Apple has announced an update to the iPhone,and it’s not the long rumored iPhone 5 but the iPhone 4S. At face value, everything looks exactly the same. Inside is another matter. The biggest hardware changes are the processor and the camera. The iPhone 4S now uses the A5 dual-core processor that is in the iPad 2. Not only will the iPhone 4S have 16GB and 32GB models, it will have a bigger 64GB model as well.
The iPhone 4S now uses an 8 megapixel sensor on its rear-facing camera which is 60% more than the iPhone 4. It still uses the same backside illuminated sensor technology that allows for better quality photos in low light conditions. The iPhone 4S camera now has face detection to autofocus on people faces. The same rear-facing camera has ability to record 1080p videos with video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction.
On the software front, the iPhone 4S will have iOS 5 out of the box. iOS 5 includes a number of new features such as the Notification Center to easily manage notifications as well as iMessage which is similar to RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service that allows other iOS 5 users to message each other and iCloud that will store your data in the iCloud service.
The biggest new feature of the iPhone 5 is Siri. Siri is basically an intelligent assistant that recognizes context. This allows you to use your voice to ask questions in a natural manner and it will answer you as if conversing with another human being.
“iPhone 4S also introduces Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more. You can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking.”
The iPhone 4S will be available in the US on October 14 with worldwide availability before the end of the year.