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Welcome to Apple's new iPhone 4S

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Tuesday October 4, 2011 marked the latest announcement of Apple Computer Inc's iconic iPhone model. However sadly, the very next day the unthinkable happened to the very one who sought to have us all “think different”, Steve Jobs passed away and left a void in the tech world. But he also left behind a legacy of great inventions, toys and tools to enhance our lives and to make what we do every day, just a little easier, a little better and certainly a little smarter.

So what was announced? The iPhone 4S. Not the iPhone 5 we were all hoping for, but what appeared initially to be the same as the iPhone 4, with an S on the end. Fans that watched the live blogs on announcement day were somewhat underwhelmed by the event, and kept on thinking well any minute now, we'll get the usual “and one more thing” at the end of the presentation. But not this time. That's not to say it was a total non event, because a couple of new things were announced.

This is a much more powerful device running the same processor as the iPad 2 and if you've ever had a go on one of those you know it's lighting fast. Web pages and videos open much faster, apps play much better and now the camera has a massive eight megapixel camera on board. My first proper digital camera only had four! Sharper and more brilliant photos are expected with better low light performance which as always been a bit of an issue on the models to date.

There is more however. A recent purchase of a company called Siri for $200 million is now embedded in the IOS 5 operating system that will ship with the new 4S that is touted as your own personal digital assistant. So what exactly is Siri? Well it used to be an app that you could install yourself from the app store, allowing you to ask natural language questions that would be analysed by the Siri servers, to make sense of what you asked for, then return the results to allow you to do things like book a dinner reservation at a nearby restaurant, or buy movie tickets. Apple obviously liked what they saw and figured they could take it farther and with the new processing power of the 4S turned it into an embedded service.

Only available in the new iPhone 4S and IOS 5 (no you can't get it if you are a 3GS or 4 user) it will allow you to ask external queries about the weather, local businesses nearby and really cool capabilities like providing hands free assistance in creating a new appointment, contact info, timers/reminders and even location based reminders. For instance “remind me when I get close to a petrol station to stop and fill up”. Of course you'll be able to compose emails or texts on the fly or control your music playback all hands free. Feasibly any app that has text input can have you simply speak to enter your text. All in all Siri looks like it will be pretty fun to try, but will the results and content it finds be relevant to us in Bermuda? We'll see.

Well as usual Apple has outdone itself and in the first 24 hours of PRE-orders sold in excess of one million units. That amount alone pretty much took care of the $200 million they spent on acquiring Siri. Have you ordered yours?

John Manderson has spent the last 20 years in the telecommunications and IT industry. He currently heads up Wireless Ventures Ltd in Bermuda as its president and CEO providing consulting services and products to the Bermuda, US and UK telecoms markets. He can be contacted at john.manderson[AT]wirelessventuresltd.com

John Manderson (Photo by Akil Simmons) November 1,2011
John Manderson (Photo by Akil Simmons) November 1,2011

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Published November 09, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated November 09, 2011 at 9:43 am)

Welcome to Apple's new iPhone 4S

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