The iPhone 4S was officially announced today, and for the folks who were waiting patiently, you'll be happy to hear that the new phones will be available on Oct. 12, 2011. Here are some details of what we can look forward to with Apple's newest mobile device.
There are a number of hardware improvements to look forward to with the iPhone 4S, including:
- GSM and CDMA network capabilities
- CPU: The A5 Chip is the same dual-core chip found on the iPad (this will be a fairly significant boost to speed and the handling of multi-tasking)
- Antenna: The 4S now can switch between two antennas to transmit and receive for better call quality and faster data transmission
- Battery Life: Eight hours of talk time on 3G, 14 hours on 2G, and 10 hours of watching video
- Camera: The camera app is now accessible from the lock screen without entering a password or sliding a screen. Both autofocus and exposure can be locked on a single point in the frame for more consistant pictures. Eye reduction and auto-enhance have been seriously improved.
- IOS: The big update is for notifications. Similar to that in Android, notifications now appear in the lock screen and, by swiping a notification, you will be taken directly to that application for immediate response.
- iMessages is a beefed up text messaging system sent over 3G and Wi-Fi
- Reminders will now work in conjunction with location to remind you to do specific things based on your location
- Twitter: Twitter is now deeply integrated into iOS for more seamless functionality
- Newsstand: This is a new application which allows iOS to manage publications, such as magazines and newspapers. New issues of publications are downloaded in the background.
- Safari: There's a new button on the Safari browser called Reader. When tapped, Reader will open pages in text-only mode formatted specifically for the iPhone. Part of this functionality is "Reading List," which allows you to save text-only pages for later. And finally, tabbed browsing is now available.
- Mail: The Mail app has new formatting tools and will also allow you to search the text of an e-mail, not just the subject and address lines.
- Find My Friends: This new app allows you to see a list of friends and family who are sharing their location with you on a map. This will allow for the creation of temporary events.
- iOS updates: This is HUGE! All iOS updates are now wireless, which means users will no longer have to depend on a computer or iTunes to initialize or update a phone.
- iCloud: The new Apple cloud — called iCloud — will be free. This cloud service will allow all of your iOS devices to have access to music you've purchased from any of those devices. Photostream will also do the same thing for photos. With this system, photos taken by one device will be pushed to all other iOS devices, as well as iPhoto on your computer. iCloud also does an automatic, daily backup from all your devices. Contacts and calendars are synced.
Will you be first in line to get the new iPhone 4S? Or will you wait it out and see how it fares before dropping your cold hard coin?
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.