What a day! Today’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event was somewhat of a disappointment for me, as I was hoping to see Apple unravel a completely new, innovative iPhone 5. Instead, Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, an upgraded version of the iPhone 4. It contains the dual-core A5 CPU (the one in the iPad2), which is claimed to make the iPhone 4S up to 7x faster. To emphasize this change, Tim Cooke showed a demo from the new game Infinity Blade 2 to demonstrate the iPhone 4S’s crisp, fast graphics, allowing for more details in gaming. This aspect didn’t surprise me, but the 1080p video capture and the 8 megapixel camera seems to be Apple’s response to the huge increase in iPhone photography and now video.
All those pieces of news were great, but I was still waiting for something that would really blow me off my feet. And sure enough, the voice-recognition software Siri was introduced. After being asked, “Who are you?” Siri replies, “I am a humble personal assistant. Siri really is a voice-controlled personal assistant, but should be far from being humble. It can define words, check the weather, look for restaurants, plan meetings, send text messages, and a plethora of other tasks. One key ability it has is to remember names and subjects. One example of a text message exchange was provided (this was all done with Siri):
Text: “When can we have lunch?”
User: “Do I have any meetings this Friday at noon?”
Siri: “You do not have anything on you calendar for this Friday at 12pm.”
User: “Reply I can do Friday.”
After sending the text, Siri then makes an appointment for lunch at 12pm Friday.
I am seriously impressed by this demonstration, and enjoy seeing Siri interpret different ways of saying the same thing. At the end of the demonstration, Siri was asked to “Do shopping”, and instead showed you how many days were left until Christmas. Genuine.
As I already mentioned, the iPhone 4S will have a dual-core A5 CPU chip and maintains the same in-facing camera. The iPhone 4S will be only .1 oz heavier and the same size as the iPhone 4. It will start selling at 199$ for the 16GB model, 299$ for the 32GB model, and 399$ for the 64GB model. It’s definitely affordable, and the Siri assistant makes it all the more appealing.
Of the other things discussed at the event, Tim Cooke explained Apple’s development and impact globally, and how its presence has increased dramatically over time. He also showed a new Cards app which allows users to design their own greeting cards and send them anywhere in the U.S. for 2.99$ and 4.99$ for anywhere else in the world. iTunes Match and iCloud were also discussed, but those were both old news. The one presentation that was new other than the iPhone 4S was the new iPod Nano, which has been upgraded to make exercise records easier and has more apps.