iPhone 4S

One of my facebook friends posted this on my wall:

4S, that’s it? ūüôā So, when can we expect iOS5 for iPad?

I responded on facebook and decided to also post a response here…

First off, iOS5 for iPad is releasing on October 12th… and it’s going to be awesome. ¬†My parents both have iPads and I’m looking forward to the “PC Free” feature which will be an big advantage of them. ¬†Never again having to plug either iPad in to the mac yet staying in sync with each other will be great. ¬†Now when one of them buys a new Angry Birds game they both get it instantly. ¬†And their data will be backed up automatically to iCloud every day when they plug in to wall to recharge. It’s more than a sales pitch, I’ve seen it work.

Sidebar: this Angry Birds example is real world. ¬†I bought the app for them on one of the iPads and had to plug that one in to the mac to sync and then the plug the other one and sync it. ¬†This isn’t something that they were going to figure out on their own. ¬†It’s annoying. ¬†But with iCloud it’s instantly a non-issue.

About yesterday’s announcement:

I have to admit that I was bummed when I first heard about there not being an iPhone 5. 9to5mac.com had a source and outed this info a few days ago. ¬†Like many other people I didn’t want to believe it. ¬†After 16 months we all hoped for an exterior redesign.

So what was this iPhone 5 we were teased? ¬†I believe it is the iPhone5 that will be released year from now. I think it will be LTE and have that larger screen and the teardrop design. In previous releases we’ve heard rumors of features that weren’t released until the following year. ¬†Apple plans their product roadmap years in advance, and very often some of those plans get leaked. ¬†This leads to excitement over rumors and disappointment after the announcement. ¬†If it weren’t for the rumors, this announcement would have been looked at very differently.

I think it is true that Apple sometimes holds back features so that you’ll want to buy another new iDevice again the next year. As an Apple fan boy it does get frustrating, like when we had to wait the extra year to get those front facing cameras. But the tactic works. People keep buying their stuff.

I actually don’t think they held much back this time.¬†Keep this in mind: Apple historically only changes the outside design of the phone every 2 years, probably in part because people have 2 year contracts and only get to buy a new phone every other year. Case in point,¬†I was talking to a different friend who didn’t get a new iPhone last year. ¬†He is excited because he still has a 3GS. So an upgrade to an iPhone 4S will be new to him – and will actually be a very big upgrade.

Many people will be upgrading from a 3GS to a 4S this year.  Think about what that upgrade will be like, because for all of them it will be huge:

1. Much faster processor. ¬†The 3GS has an ARM 11, the 4 has an A4 and the 4S has an A5. ¬†So it’s two generations faster processor, or about 4-5 times faster processing. ¬†Also in this category is much faster graphics processing.

2. Retina display.  Going from 3GS to 4 or 4S means twice the pixel density.

3. Front facing camera and facetime. The 3GS didn’t have this.

4. Way better camera.  The 3GS camera had no flash and was 3megapixels.  Also going from 480P to 1080P on video recording.

5. Much faster downloading over AT&T via the new dual antenna design.

It’s really big. ¬†For anyone going from a 3GS to to a 4S it’s going to seem like a quantum leap. Every experience in the phone will feel a ton¬†snappier.

Of course for me, it’s a single generation jump. ¬†But after coming to terms with the same exterior, I’m very happy with the announcement overall. ¬†I’m really looking forward to my upgrade. ¬†I’ve seen the difference between the A4 and the A5 when I upgraded from an iPad to an iPad2. There will be a noticeable difference in the speed. ¬†Plus there are several features on the list I’m looking forward to, including the better camera, the faster downloading, and Siri.

The 4S might look like a 4 but it’s very different inside. It’s twice as fast, has faster graphics than the tower computer I had before the one I have now, and their redesigned antenna system solves the antenna-gate problems and more by (theoretically) doubling the download speed (on AT&T only).

What if… they had introduced a different physical design but all the same innards and named it iPhone5 instead of iPhone4S? ¬†People would have thought it was amazing. (Or they would have found something else to be bummed about.) ¬†So the only bummer thing about it is that physically it looks the same as the 4? ¬†How shallow are we? ¬†I still think the 4 has a cool look – and almost everyone covers up the design with a case anyway. So what’s to be bummed about?

On Friday I’ll be clicking refresh over and over again until the order screen comes up, and preordering my iPhone 4S.