Brazen bloggers, a fawning press, voracious fanboys, and even Apple contributed to the Oct. 4 ‘is that all?’ moment
What a letdown. The iPhone 4S announced yesterday features the interesting Siri virtual assistant technology, which fulfills Apple chairman Steve Jobs’s longtime goal of having a device that takes and acts on spoken orders. And the prosumer-level rear camera puts one more nail in the coffin for stand-alone digital cameras for the masses. But the iPhone 4S was no iPhone 5, though it’s been treated that way sight unseen among journalists, bloggers, and fanboys for nearly a year.
After all that hype — some of it outrageous — Apple’s announcement of basically a hardware upgrade fell flat. It didn’t help that new CEO Tim Cook blathered for more than 20 minutes about rising Apple market share or that iOS chief Scott Fostall replayed his iOS 5 and iCloud presentation from June for another 25 minutes. Or that the Siri demos by Phil Schiller went on way too long (I tuned out after 5 minutes of essentially the same type of example). The nearly two-hour Apple “special event” was way overpadded for what turned out to be a moderate set of announcements.
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Early signs of an overhyped event
Last February, when the “iPhone 5″ crescendo started in earnest, I warned people to expect a modest hardware upgrade, what I called the iPhone 4X, instead of an iPhone 5. I have no secret ins at Apple; I just relied on my long observations of Apple’s behavior. It very rarely upends a new design just a year later, and the iPhone 4 was the most recent new design. It turned out the iPad 2 later that spring was an exception to that rule, but it’s held true in iPods, Macs, and previous iPhones.
In fact, a look at the iPhone’s evolution shows how conservative Apple is when it comes to radically redesiging its products. The same goes for the MacBook Pros, which are largely unchanged after three years, and even the MacBook Air, which is about as old a design. Apple is more apt to innovate inside the case once it’s found a form it likes — and it likes its carved-aluminum-block Macs and sandwiched-aluminum-and-glass iPhones very much.
The fact that Apple held the iPhone 5 — er, 4S reveal at its Town Hall facility at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters should have been a sign that this was not a revolutionary moment. It historically uses that venue for relatively minor announcements, reserving the larger Moscone conference center in San Francisco for the big stuff. That may change when its “spaceship” campus is completed several years hence, but in the meantime, I bet that Moscone will remain the “big deal” venue.
Ironically, that facility couldn’t handle the (smaller number than usual of) journalists invited to relay to the world Apple’s latest revelations. Thus, dozens of sites’ “live” blogs went dark as the combination of the hall’s limited Internet access and the blogging engines that the media sites tend to subscribe to choked (Cover It Live was the biggest loser in that game yesterday).
New York, NY (1888PressRelease) October 10, 2011 – FastUnlockiPhone.com Team has released FastRa1n RC3, which is an update to a 1-click unlock and untethered jailbreak iPhone 4 4.3.5 and ios 5.0 that adds activation options and an add-on fastsn0w, which unlocks iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS any baseband version.
To Unlock and Jailbreak your iPhone Visit The Official Website www.FastUnlockiPhone.com
It is pretty easy to use and worked perfectly with any iPhone 4 and 3Gs. Besides the tool, there’s a fastra1n application that gets automatically installed on the iPhone after jailbreak, which gives you option to install Cydia and some other alternatives like RockYourPhone and the ‘sn0w’ option to use fastsn0w unlock solution as well.
Another day, another successful iPhone jailbreak story to report to you. Today, on the heels of purplera1n, iPhone OS www.FastUnlockiPhone.com delivered fastra1n to the masses. With it, Windows and Mac users will have available to them a jailbreak iPhone 4 4.3.5 and unlock on all iPhone and iPod touch generations. Installation is pretty simple: Download and install the app on your PC, then plug in your device.
Yesterday Apple pushed a new firmware update for all iPhone and iPod touch users which brought some important security and bug fixes. Features wise, there was nothing new to be seen in the firmware. Since this firmware updates the baseband on iPhone 4 3GS and 3G, therefore you can update to this firmware if you want to preserve your unlock on iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Jailbreaking will also work with iPod touch 2G(new MC models) and iPod touch 3G. The only devices which can be currently jailbroken using fastra1n RC3 is iPhone 4 and 3Gs 4.3.5 and ios 5.0.
While fastra1n does the jailbreak part and unlocks the iPhone’s baseband for use with any carrier’s services, including pre-paid cards. Those looking to hack their devices start out by downloading their appropriate version of fastra1n. Available for both Mac and Windows, the tool currently provides the fastest untethered jailbreak iphone 4 4.3.5 and 5.0 process, although it doesn’t support the latest iPhone 4S. And while it is able to jailbreak devices running iPhone OS 4.3.5 and 5.0, it doesn’t pave the way for a software unlock in the future, so it’s not too recommended for people who don’t know much about these two aspects (jailbreak / unlock).
After jailbreaking with FastRa1n, the user is required to connect their device to the Internet via WiFi and download some more stuff, which, ultimately, will allow them to unlock their phones. At the moment, www.FastUnlockiPhone.com tools work only for any versions of the iPhone OS inluding the latest ios 5.0.
October 8, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Those bypassing the iPhone 4S and opting to upgrade their current Apple devices with the new iOS 5 operating system are in luck: its October 12th release date means you’ll get your hands on it two days before those upgrading to the 4S. That means those currently sporting an older model like the iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS can download and install iOS for free and essentially test drive its new features before deciding whether to go full-bore by upgrading to the 4S hardware. The iOS 5 experience on older iPhones will be limited due to their comparatively less capable hardware specs. The new Siri voice assistant feature of iOS 5, for instance, will only run on the 4S thanks to its dual core A5 processor. Still, a bevy of new features await existing iPhone users once the iOS 5 update goes live on its release date next week. However, acquiring it the same day as it’s released may one bit of manual labor…
Like all iPhone software updates, iOS 5 is acquired by connecting your device to your computer, launching iTunes, and waiting for the update to reveal itself. However, iTunes only checks for updates automatically about once a week; those who want to ensure they get their hands on iOS 5 on October 12th will need to click the “Check for update” button in iTunes to force the software to immediately check for the download. Prepare to be without your iPhone for a stretch during the upgrade process. iOS 4 installation took up to two hours on older, slower iPhone hardware. iOS 5 upgrades could spell more of the same.
iPhone users aren’t the only ones in store for the iOS 5 upgrade. The current iPad 2 and previous iPad 1 are also upgradeable. The same goes for the two most recent generations (third and fourth) of iPod touch, which includes the new white iPod touch model which Apple released this week. Apple has noted that AirPlay Mirroring only works with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.
Updated 1:40pm PST with additional information on iOS 5 device compatibility
As an Android user, you only have access to a limited number of accessories. If you are lucky, you’ll have access to a handful of cases that look similar, a car mount, a desk dock and an extra battery. iPhone users on the other hand ave a seemingly unlimited supply of accessories.
The lack of accessories is no where to be found on my list of concerns for switching from Android to iPhone. In fact, it is one of the big pluses, and was behind my decision to get an iPod back in the early 2000′s.
I’m worried that I might go bankrupt gorging myself on iPhone 4S cases and accessories that, up til now, I could only glare at with a bit of jealousy while I used my widgets and custom keyboards.
iPhone 4S Case – Wallet Style
We just shared a collection of iPhone 4S cases that are worth checking out while you wait for your iPhone 4S preorder to ship, but I have my eye on a high quality wallet case.
I am looking over a wide array of iPhone 4S wallet cases, but the Piel Frama iPhone 4S wallet case looks like a top contender. The $100 pricetag is tough to swallow, but based on the short time I spent with one of these cases on a friend’s iPhone they are very nice.
I’m also considering the Case-mate card case and a wallet iPhone case from Speck. The biggest issue for me will be trimming down to just a card or two and my ID, so don’t be surprised if you bump into me and I have a different iPhone case in a few months.
iPhone 4s Car Mount
I have been using the SpiderMount to keep my ThunderBolt in my car, for turn by turn directions and music, but I will quickly be jumping over to an iPhone mount. I am looking for something that charges my iPhone 4S and provides line out at the same time so that I can have a clean installation.
I’m still searching for the final solution, but it will most likely be a Proclip iPhone 4S mount with power pass through and a charger with lineout like the Griffin AutoPilot charger. It is great to have one cord to plugin when you get in the car. As an added bonus, you don’t have to adjust the headphone volume all the time.
The iPhone 4S will support AirPlay, which lets you mirror your iPhone display on your HDTV. This means you can watch movies, play games and soon use your iPhone 4S as a controller to play on a bigger screen (according to the direction of apps we are seeing).
In order to do this, you will need an Apple TV. At $99 this is another pricey accessory, but it is one that I can use with my iPad 2 as well. Given the small size, I can use the Apple TV at home, and take it along to use in class when I am teaching, for a more mobile experience. This will come later in my list of iPhone 4S accessories, but it is an exciting addition.
Dock to Micro USB
In Europe, you will be able to purchase a Apple Dock Connector to Micro USB adapter. This isn’t as nice as a built in Micro USB port, but as soon as I can purchase one in the States, I will be adding it to my backpack.
While I may be far from an Apple adapter when I need a charge, it is very rare that I am far from a MicroUSB cord and a USB port.
Great Bluetooth Headset
I already have this accessory, which will prevent this iPhone 4S experiment from bankrupting me, but if i didn’t already have one, I would be purchasing a nice Bluetooth headset.
The top pick for me is still the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC2. I love this Bluetooth headest because it senses when it is on your ear and when it isn’t. This prevents your phone from picking up on your headset if the headset isn’t on your ear. It an also pause music when you take the headset off, and auto answer calls when you put it on your ear.
I think we’ll see many more people opting for good Bluetooth headsets in order to ensure good Siri performance while outdoors or in the car.
(Read: What is Siri?)
Apple disappointed some consumers and critics by revealing the iPhone 4S, rather than a completely re-designed device. However, analysts believe the lack of more compact LTE chips are to blame for this step by Apple. Qualcomm is reportedly working on a chip that will be ready next year and could be used in Apple’s next handset.
In addition, by making use of the new chip from Qualcomm, it could even be possible that the battery life of the smartphone will be enhanced.
The primary design-related concern that Apple may have had with LTE chips that are currently used in phones like the HTC Thunderbolt could be with regard to the chip’s size. As things stand now, existing LTE chips will not fit into the casing of the iPhone 4, after all other components have been added.
October 10, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Only buyers of the new iPhone 4S get the Siri voice assistant feature of iOS 5, but those who stay home and download iOS 5 for their iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS will get the rest of the new features two days sooner. The 4S hits stores on October 14th, keeping with Apple’s tradition of Friday major retail launches. But the download version of iOS 5, a free gift from Apple to users of third and fourth generation iPhones, will surface online two days earlier on October 12th. As is the case with installing any new operating system on any piece of older slower hardware, some iOS 5 features will run more slowly on the iPhone 4 and especially the iPhone 3GS than they will on the new iPhone 4S which sports a significantly faster dual core processor. Only two headlining iOS 5 features, AirPlay Mirroring and Siri, require so much computing horsepower that they’ll only run on the latest iPhone and not the previous iterations. Of the two, only Siri will be widely missed…
Each new iPhone generation has its own “killer” feature around which Apple shapes its marketing campaign. For the iPhone 3G it was 3G networking, For the iPhone 4 it was FaceTime. For the iPhone 3GS it was… well, we’ll get back to you on that if we ever figure out what the 3GS was all about (we were merely jesting here, but several readers have accurately pointed out that the 3GS introduced both video and the compass to the iPhone timeline, for whatever it’s worth). But this time it’s unmistakably Siri for the iPhone 4S. Voice commands are nothing new, but they’ve long tended to be either overly simplistic or overly obtuse. Siri, based on the demos, puts a nearly human face on voice recognition. It also requires significant processing power to calculate in real time what it is the user it referring to and then come up with an appropriate answer or action. The iPhone 4 and 3GS, simply put, can’t do that. Apple is banking that despite all of the rest of the iOS 5 magic being given away to those users for free, the lack of Siri will drive at least some of them to end up buying an iPhone 4S after all. We’ll find out starting next week, as iOS 5 lands on Wednesday and the iPhone 4S with iOS 5 preinstalled hits stores on Friday. iPhone 4 and 3GS users, which way are you leaning on the iPhone 4S? Share your comments below.
Updated 2:20am PST with additional information on the iPhone 3GS
October 9, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
The iPhone 5 faces a further four to twelve month gestation period before its release date (logical emphasis on six to nine), leaving Apple’s interstitial new iPhone 4S to benefit via sales to those who’ve come to respect the advances which the 4S does bring along with those who simply want or need a new iPhone now. If preorder numbers thus far are an indication of what’s to come, the 4S is set to become Apple’s biggest hit product yet. But iPhone 5 holdouts abound, and while some will ultimately change their mind and plunk down on a 4S in the next several months after all, others will continue to wait until Apple launches the next generation one way or the other. The reasons range from the strategic (they live in an area in which ATT or Verizon offers 4G LTE and they don’t want an iPhone which doesn’t include it) to the superficial (they already have an iPhone 4 and they don’t want to replace it with an identical twin) to the situational (they’re on T-Mobile, and while the Sprint iPhone 4S is looking tempting, they plan to wait for a presumed T-Mobile iPhone 5 once their carrier’s merger is squared away). Here’s a detailed look at the various reasons for waiting for the iPhone 5 and the likelihood that each group of holdouts gets their way…
New iPhone 5 body style: This one is nearly a given. Apple has now technically used the current iPhone body style four times in sixteen months, if you count the original iPhone 4, the Verizon iPhone 4, the white iPhone 4, and now the iPhone 4S. That’s perhaps justified by the fact that they’ve all been part of the “four” era. But by that logic, the iPhone 5 must come with an external redesign. Apple previously employed a more curvaceous design with the original iPhone and the 3G/3GS before moving to the current boxier fourth generation design. Apple could shift back to curviness, albeit in a thinner body, with the iPhone 5. But the iPhone 4 design itself was enough of a departure from any previous iPhone hardware design that predicting the next one with any degree of confidence is a dangerous game – beyond the near certainty that the iPhone 5 styling will in fact change in some way…
4G LTE iPhone 5: Most of you are reading that as a string of alphanumeric soup. 4G represents the next generation of mobile cellular networking after the current 3G. LTE refers to the 4G variation which Verizon has begun building out and ATT is just beginning to build out, and Sprint is switching over to LTE from its current competing 4G variation next year as part of its new deal with Apple. So why isn’t 4G LTE in the iPhone 4S, if it’s the favored son of all three U.S. iPhone carriers? For one, most iPhone users don’t live in an area in which 4G LTE towers have been built yet by their carrier, meaning you can’t use LTE even if it’s built into your phone. Second, 4G LTE hardware antennas are big and bulky and drain a phone’s battery at stunning speeds (even faster if LTE isn’t available in your area and your phone is constantly searching for an LTE signal). In other words, an iPhone 4S with 4G LTE would be a big brick with minimal battery life and most buyers wouldn’t be able to put the 4G LTE to any use anyway. That’ll change by next year, when all three carriers will be closer to completing their 4G LTE nationwide networks (to varying degrees) and 4G LTE chip advancements will allow for normal-sized phones with acceptable battery life. Will this happen in time for the iPhone 5? One would think that Apple is waiting to launch the iPhone 5 until the precise moment at which it feels it can do a 4G LTE iPhone right. But if the phase-in to the 4G LTE era continues to crawl as slowly in 2012 as it has in 2011, and particularly if Apple has its sights set on an early 2012 iPhone 5 release date as opposed to a summer or fall launch, there are no guarantees. Here’s more on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
Updated 11:55pm PST with additional information on the Sprint iPhone