Hands on iPhone 4S review

A lot of people were left grumbling after
Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” keynote speech last week. “Where’s the iPhone 5”
being the biggest out cry. Well let’s take a step back for a second. The iPhone
4S
now possesses an A5 processor, which is identical to what’s in the iPad 2. It has
an 8 megapixel camera and new virtual assistant in the form of Siri. So this is
not merely a rehash of the iPhone 4.

Siri speech recognition on iPhone 4S

Hardware aside it was Siri that stole the
headlines at the keynote. The demo was more than impressive. The prompts Apple has
provided have helped with the learning curve. I’ve been able to set up
reminders, search the web, play songs in iTunes and create SMS messages just by
using my voice. This has forced me to project my voice more clearly. My usual muffled voice has lead to some
interesting results. For example, while texting about wrestling to my brother, “CM Punk”
came out as “Tiempo Pascal”.

Siri not quite ready for the UK

Something my friend had spotted on
MacRumours that I thought I’d test for myself – Location services don’t appear
to be set up in the UK at the moment. A request of “Where am I” fed me back
this statement from Siri. Not a massive problem as I always have
Google Maps to bail me out of this situation. But it’s something Apple need to
address ASAP.

Great new iCloud and iOS 5 features

Other new features stem from the release of
iOS5. There are some fantastic features, which have been added such as tabbed
browsing in Safari, the ability to create reading lists, new software to edit
photos and movies and iCloud.

iCloud replaces the redundant MobileMe
which never took off. Importantly it will
now be a free app and you’ll be able to sync devices without the need to plug
them into a computer. 5GB storage will be available for free, but you have the
option to purchase more storage. On iTunes for example you will be able to
re-download your music via cloud to any of your other iOS devices. You’ll also
be able to do the same with pictures and movies on Camera Roll and documents.

iMessage

iMessage is the to Apple what BBM is
to Blackberry. You now have the ability to send instant messages from iPhone to
iPhone. Also you’ll be able to do the same across iPhone to iPad and vice
versa. This will help with the monthly free SMS allowance.

Features aside the process to get up
and running was very straightforward. I was hoping for the iPhone to sync with
iCloud straight out of the box. This didn’t work for me, so I resorted to
plugging it into my Mac. Other than that all my contacts, messages and files
transferred over from my 3GS to my 4S seamlessly.

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