Yes, I was one of those geeks who kept one eye on a liveblog of this morning’s Apple Event (which you can now view on apple.com). So I figured that I might as well turn my geekery into a blog post. Many things were touched on that had been previously announced (Apple Stores, Macs, Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5, iCloud and so on) but the real announcement was the new iPhone 4S. So here are a few of my thoughts.
Some people seem disappointed. They were expecting the “iPhone 5,” and didn’t get it. But this release seems to pack in enough goodies to be a “full release” if you ask me. I’m guessing Apple reserves new numbers for case redesigns, but if you want to, you can call this the iPhone 5, because it’s got more than enough internal changes.
I think the increased speed (the CPU, GPU, and wifi all are improved) is important. The more we use our phones as portable computers, the more we need “real computer” speed. The demo at the event was a gaming demo, that really showed off pushing the limits, but these things matter even for those of us who don’t push the limits with games. Anything that means apps load and work faster, web pages render faster, etc. is good news.
I was more excited about the improved battery life. THAT seems like a big deal.
And Siri seems like a whole new paradigm in human interfacing with computers. If you haven’t seen the Siri micro-site (including video) check it out. I joked on Twitter about Siri being the birth of Skynet, but it really is a wonderful use for artificial intelligence. The idea of being able to speak simple tasks into your phone and having it not just find something for you, but to operate apps, make appointments in your calendar while emailing invites, and so on, that’s really something. You can be sure that Google and others won’t be far behind, and that soon this will be the way all of us interact with our phones/computers. It’s a great thing, and Apple was first out of the gate. They deserve the attention that Siri will get.
Of course, Siri is software, and yet it’s “limited” to the iPhone 4S; I have to imagine the reason is that it’s extremely processor intensive; that’s probably why Google does much of their translation and other voice recognition work in the cloud. I’m guessing that the reason that the iPhone 4 or 3GS can’t run Siri is that it needs the A5 CPU in the iPhone 4S.
Speaking of other versions of iPhone, with the iPhone now a “worldphone,” available on Sprint as well as AT&T and Verizon in the USA, and with the iPhone 3GS now available free with contract, I expect to see a whole lot more iPhones out there.
So are the benefits of the iPhone 4S enough to make me jump from my iPhone 4? (I just found out that we qualify for the $199 price). I’m not sure, but I’m definitely considering it. Either way, it’s a very solid phone, the best yet, and if I had an iPhone 3GS (or any other phone) I’d definitely jump on the Goode Shippe iPhone now.