Tech Toy of the Month: iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4SThe fact that the iPhone 4S is the Tech Toy for this month should be no great surprise! It is amazing that each succession of the iPhone surpasses the amount of anticipation and headlines that the previous one did. Each new phone outsells the previous one! However, with each release, there is a also a lot written negatively prior to the phone going on sale. So let me give you the straight story and personal experiences.

Realize that much of what is written negatively is done by technology “experts” and technically savvy individuals. They generally view technology from the perspective of one who is very fluent with it and are looking for the newest, cutting edge features and options. They complain and downplay new devices that aren’t on the technology cutting edge. However, this is not the viewpoint of everyday people. Yes, everyday people want great technology, but they want their technology to work well first and foremost. If it is cutting-edge, great, but it must work easily with virtually no problems. Apple gets this and is why they don’t necessarily jam-pack each new device with every possible new technology available. They create the best device possible that provides the best customer experience. Obviously this is a formula that works as each iPhone continues to set sales records – without the need of pricing discounts or free phone giveaways as their competitors must do.

So that being said, how does the new iPhone 4S stack up? One can read all the tech specs and get lost in all the details but let me sum it up: the iPhone 4S is a definitive upgrade in power and technical specs from the iPhone 4 and a huge leap from the iPhone 3GS (which many people like myself will be upgrading from). Besides the greatly improved central processor and graphic processor in the iPhone 4S, the camera is also greatly improved, offering higher megapixel resolution on both still photos and videos. That being said, these improvements aren’t likely enough to justify an upgrade for most iPhone 4 owners. However, the next feature will.

By far the biggest improvement to the iPhone 4S is the addition of the Siri feature. Siri lets you use your voice to control your phone. Now you can ask your iPhone to set reminders for you, look up information, or give you directions. You can also now dictate text messages and e-mails! Voice control was something that I was looking forward to on an iPhone, but I didn’t expect it to arrive with this revision of the iPhone. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. So far in my testing of Siri, I’ve been impressed how well it works. There is room for improvement, but the great thing is that Siri should automatically improve over time. I expect that over the next few weeks and month, the accuracy of Siri will get better and better.

I read an article stating that we may be witnessing history with the iPhone 4S. Siri has the potential to change the technology world similarly to the way the mouse did. Voice control of our technology has been a holy grail and Apple may have finally gotten it right. I agree with the premise of the article. It is easy to imagine that one day we will look back and say, “Remember when we couldn’t control our technology with our voice? The iPhone 4S may be the device that launches this new era in voice control.