Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple iPhone 4S and the refreshed iPod lineup

Yesterday's Apple event was a bit of a downer for many as they unveiled only iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5. Rumour mills were dishing out articles about iPhone 5 for the past few months. So naturally people were expecting way too much from yesterday's event.

    iP4S looks exactly the same as iPhone 4 but with all new hardware inside and will be running iOS5. It now has the dual core A5 chip. Apple claims graphics will be 7x faster and CPU 2x faster compared to that of iP4. iP4S is now compatible with both GSM and CDMA thereby getting rid of the need for separate models. They have introduced a new 8 MP camera with a new five element lens giving 30% more sharpness & is now capable of full HD video recording. iCloud will be available as part of iOS 5. Apple seems to have taken care of the faulty antenna in iP4 by introducing a new antenna design in iP4S. It can now intelligently switch antennas to achieve the best call quality.

    The feature that Apple presented as the USP of iP4S was Siri, the intelligent personal assistant. We can talk to Siri to get things done on the iP4S that too using natural language. Siri currently supports English(UK,US and Australian), German and French.

     Apple also talked about the new iOS5 and its features. Introduced a few new apps and updates to existing native ones. The new apps introduced were 'Find My Friends' and 'Cards'. The former is similar to the Google latitude and the latter one helps you send cards made using your iDevice as physical mail to the addressee. Apple also mentioned iCloud features and iTunes Match.  iTunes Match is a cloud music match service which builds an exact copy of your song collection just by comparing the tracks you have with their database thus avoiding the need for uploading all your tracks to the cloud. If any songs are not found in apple's database, they are uploaded from the iDevice. It is a paid service with a cost of $24.99 per year.

    Now coming to their music player lineup, iPod Classic was not shown in their iPod lineup making way for assumptions that it got terminated. However it is still displayed in the Apple website. But chances are high that it will be discontinued soon.
    Most of the updates to other iPods are software related.  iPod Touch gets the iMessage software and also iCloud as part of iOS 5. Prices start from $199. Will be available in black and white colors starting on October 12.

    iPod nano UI gets a refresh. Grid of icons as seen in previous nano has been replaced with a linear list of big icons thereby making it easier to swipe. Fitness features got improved and 16 new clock faces have been added as an encouragement to those using nano watch kits. Prices start from $129 and is available now.

No updates were announced for iPod shuffle and price remains untouched.

You can watch the full event keynote here.


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