After over a year, Apple has released the follow-up to the iPhone 4, and its called the iPhone 4S. What do you do with your phone? If you're like most Americans, you make some calls, take some photos, and send some texts. Maybe you kill time with some games, check Facebook or Twitter, and look things up on the Web. If that's you, then the iPhone 4S ($199-$399 with contract on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T) is your phone: it's the best cameraphone in the US, the fastest Web-browsing phone, and one that has finally licked the iPhone's calling problems. It's so good, that it's our current Editors' Choice on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.
Edit: Be sure to check out our iPhone 4S review as well!
Back in June, I detailed the nine features that I wanted Apple to include in iOS 5—features that would fix obvious OS flaws and expand upon its already rock-solid foundation. Days later, at WWDC 2011, Apple revealed a handful of the "200 new features" that would comprise Cupertino's latest mobile operating system—many of which were what I and droves of other iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users had desired for some time. Fast forward to today: iOS 5 is now here, and it surpasses iOS 4 with its overhauled alerts and notification system, wireless syncing, the ability for users to activate iPads without first connecting them to a Mac or PC, and many other much-welcomed features. No operating system—be it mobile or desktop—is without flaws, but Apple iOS 5 manages to keep the dings to a minimum and retains its place as the best phone and tablet operating system. Note: iOS 5 is only compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd Generation, iPod touch 4th gen, iPad, and iPad 2.
Now, let's get to the review, shall we?
You know how all the tech pundits out there kept calling the Apple iPhone 4S an "underwhelming" upgrade? Well, it turns out that those in the real world were actually pretty stoked about it. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S smartphones in the first weekend of availability, doubling what they did with the iPhone 4 when it was released. That number is just mind-boggling, and there's no other smartphone out there that has even come close. AT&T let it be known that they activated twice as many iPhones during the iPhone 4S launch as they did with the iPhone 4, shattering their one-day record. Sprint, carrying the iPhone for the first time, said that the iPhone 4S broke its single-day sales record of any single device, ever. All this after selling over 1 million iPhone 4S preorders in 24 hours.
So, yeah, we guess it's not so underwhelming, despite what the pundits will tell ya.
Be sure to check out our iPhone 4S launch coverage video.
We were on hand for the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S, where we were first in line at the Alderwood Mall Apple Store in Lynnwood, Washington. In this video we give you a few clips of some of the overnight action, a look at some of the tribute items left at the front of the store in memory of Steve Jobs, as well as the lead up to the opening, and the cheering that occurred once the Apple Store doors were opened.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
As is customary, the folks at iFixIt have gotten ahold of the iPhone 4S a day early, and they've posted a teardown gallery that shows off all the innards of the Apple smartphone. Click on over and take a look at the craftmanship.
Apple just released iTunes 10.5, one day ahead of the release of iOS 5 and iCloud. The updated version of iTunes will be required to update devices to iOS 5, and also brings with it iTunes in the Cloud, Wi-Fi syncing, and more. Full release notes below:
What’s new in iTunes 10.5
- iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
- Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
- Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
- Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.
- Wi-Fi Syncing. Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.
This morning Apple announced that it had sold over 1 million iPhone 4S smartphones within the first 24 hours that they were available for pre-order. No matter how you look at it, this is a monstrous number, and crushes last year's iPhone 4 figures, which were "only" 600,000 on the first day. These 1 million pre-orders obviously don't include all the folks who'll be lining up at Apple, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint locations this Friday to buy the iPhone 4S directly. The device goes on sale at retail locations at 8:00 am on October 14th.
This is a shout-out to all the media who were calling the iPhone 4S underwhelming and disappointing--apparently over a million consumers disagree.
With the fifth iPhone launch looming, you'd think that five years would be enough time for major companies like Apple and AT&T to get this stuff working. You'd think. Unfortunately, when the iPhone 4S pre-orders were supposed to start at 12:01am PDT today, it took about 40 minutes before Apple's online store came back online, and things quickly went downhill from there. While Verizon customers seemed to be able to make purchases with ease, and even Sprint's site held up well despite some slowness, AT&T's systems continually crashed and burned until Apple threw in the towel and implemented a reservation system two hours later so that people could reserve a device and get to bed, coming back later to complete the transaction.
Here's looking to next year's improvements...we hope!
Little did a small group of fans know that declaring "Steve Jobs Day" on Oct. 14 would have such a potential impact.
With Apple's announcement of former chief executive Steve Jobs' death at 56, the declaration of Steve Jobs Day - the day that the iPhone 4S goes on sale - has taken on additional poignancy. And the Facebook page dedicated to the event has become one of the first online memorials in the wake of Jobs' passing, besides Twitter, where the "RIP Steve Jobs" hashtag has dominated the online medium.
“We admire his work,” reads the Steve Jobs Day Web site. “We’ve embraced his vision. And we love what he’s brought to the world. Let’d take a day to honor the man himself and say thank you. Everyone around the world is invited to participate – in real life, Facebook, Twitter, and here.”