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Dave Reynolds > Is the iPhone 4S a Google killer?

Is the iPhone 4S a Google killer?

While everyone expected Apple to deliver iPhone 5, they surprised us with iPhone 4s, currently the latest Apple’s product. It runs on the newest iOS 5 Apple operating system powered by a powerful 1 ghz dual core processor. I’ve had a chance to play around with the new 64gb unit. Wow!

Compared to the iPhone 4, the physical design is almost identical with screen size and resolution virtually the same. It also comes in black and white color. Except for the screen, almost everything else has been upgraded on iPhone 4s, starting with internal storage. Although it’s still unable to read external storage devices, you will not be disappointed. The new iPhone 4s is available in 16gb, 32gb and 64gb versions. Internet speed is also totally impressive, up to 14.4 mb/s in 3G, double as fast as iPhone 4 (7.2mb/s) which runs on Apple’s default Safari internet browser. So essentially, you have a computer in your hands.

Some of the biggest upgrades here are in the iPhone 4s camera. As I continue to experiment with iPhone photography and videography,  the ability to now capture photos in 8mpx supported by LED flash and videos in extremely high quality 1080p (full) HD is warmly welcomed. The iPhone 4s is no match for professional movie cameras, however if you are planning to film anything short of a major Hollywood release, your world will be rocked. You even get to capture super high definition video in the dark — now thanks to the LED video light. So, photography and videography with iPhone 4s in general is somewhere between excellence and awesomeness.

All those features are supported by a 1432 mAh battery which provides talk time up to 8h (3g) or 14h (2g), and stand by time up to 200 hours.

Ah, yes I almost forgot to mention the main feature of the new iPhone 4s,  Siri. I believe you have at least heard about it. Siri is an intelligent software assistant, you can even call it your personal assistant because it gives you the ability to control your phone with your voice. You can do almost anything by voice, which you would normally have to do manually. You can place calls, search the internet, get information about weather or news, write and send text messages, listen to music… almost everything. There is no support for video game play with Siri, yet! Although you can’t tell from Apple’s official commercial, you do have to press some buttons. When you want to give a voice command you have to press a button to start recording and to stop recording command. Still, Siri is simply awesome. And Siri clearly does not take itself too seriously. The Wall Street Journal has a funny article documenting Siri’s sense of humor. For example, the article tells about someone who said to Siri, “Beam me up.” And Siri replied, ” Sorry, Captain, your tricorder is in Airplane Mode.” And to the question, “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Siri replied “Depends if you’re talking about African or European wood.”

Apple made a brilliant move in giving Siri a personality. I just wish it were available on my iPad.
Now, let’s address the talk that Siri could be a Google killer. Have you noticed the Voice Actions icon to the right of the Google search bar? A great example of how they differ is when you want to know about the weather. In Google Voice Actions you would say “weather New York tomorrow” and rather than a spoken response, you get something to see or select. Voice Actions is a query interpreter to replace typing. With Siri you can ask “What’s the weather going to be tomorrow in New York?” or “Is it going to rain tomorrow in New York?” The answer could be something more natural like “It doesn’t look like you need an umbrella”

Nothing prevents Siri from being extended to the Mac and being your personal assistant anywhere. Searching for emails or files in your computer would finally sound more natural. You would say “Show me pictures of me and my wife from our latest trip to Hawaii” and Siri would fire up iPhoto and use Places and Faces to get you the right pictures.

Wondering about the price? A little steep, but considering other phones in it’s class it’s reasonable. Unlocked (available for every cell phone carrier), 16gb version costs around 550$, 32gb version around 650$ and the most popular 64gb version around 800$. Of course,  if you buy one through your service provider you can probably get a way better price.

Boom: The two cores in the A5 chip deliver up to two times more power and up to seven times faster graphics.  And you’ll feel the effects. Fast. iPhone 4S is quick and responsive, which makes all the difference when you’re launching apps, browsing the web, gaming, and doing just about everything. And no matter what you’re doing, you can keep on doing it. Because the A5 chip is so power-efficient, iPhone 4S has outstanding battery life. I’m sold!

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Nov at 7:51 PM

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