Guest post by Simon Drew. Simon writes on behalf of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website.
Five was the number everyone was talking about in the build-up to the launch of the new iPhone 4S. In the end, it transpired that Apple’s latest handset wouldn’t be acquiring a five in its nomenclature – though it did have one appended to its new operating system, the iOS 5.
The operating system that will grace the 4S has helped impart some of the most significant changes to the new phone. Most of the benefits brought about by the iOS 5 pertain to social and entertainment functions; deft touches that should make the phone a pleasure to use.
One of the most useful new features is the way in which users are now notified of incoming messages. Texts, emails, Tweets, Facebook updates: whatever your thing, this new operating system simply arranges them better. The previous OS hid these updates away, conﬁning them to specific apps and only notifying you of them one at a time. Now you can see all this information in one place – the notification center – which will show up on your phone even when the screen is locked. It’s simply a case of swiping from the top when a new alert comes up, and you’ll be up-to-date with the latest info without needing to jump in and out of apps.
The iPhone 4S also comes with a new to do list which intelligently tracks your location. Not only can you schedule events by their specific time and date, but you can essentially log in and out as you enter and leave these functions. This makes the 4S your very own personal assistant, sensibly aggregating your personal data so that you don’t have to fiddle about with calendars and schedule memos.
The iPhone 4S is also equipped with a new and improved newsstand to deliver all the latest news and mags, which will organise your subscriptions so they’re all together in one place. It allows you to access the information you require quickly and with ease. Best of all, it looks like a cute little bookshelf; your news will come complete with its own colourful front cover.
Twitter fans will also be pleased with Apple’s latest handset, as iOS 5 makes it easier to Tweet: users can post videos, links and pictures from their iPhone directly to Twitter simply by tapping the ‘Tweet’ button. Safari also is more accessible, allowing you to take text and pictures from a website and re-display them on your phone, making the format altogether more readable. The service will do away with ads and clutter, and allow you to save articles for later.
Finally, the iOS 5 supports AirPlay, allowing you to stream content between devices wirelessly. You can stream music around the whole of your house, or stream a ﬁlm from your iPhone to your TV. At last, you can start watching an episode of Dexter on the bus, before getting home and flopping onto the sofa to watch the remainder on the big screen.
All this and you’ll never have to connect your iPhone 4S to a computer: it’s fully enabled for Air updates, so you can refresh content without having to fiddle about with tangled wires. With the ability to add new email folders or edit photographs on your phone, the trusty desktop may not even get a look in. For those of you who decide to refrain from upgrading until the iPhone 5 finally deigns to make an appearance, the good news is that AirPlay is coming to the iPhone 4 and 3GS too.
In appraising the 4S, Mark Hirst, Managing Director of Best Mobile Contracts observed:
“The iPhone 4S is an evolutionary device that will do no harm in encouraging people to switch to Apple and iOS. New features such as Siri and iOS 5 will help improve the functionality of the iPhone, as well as improve the features that they can offer.”
The iPhone 4S may not be the life-changing product that some had built it up to be. Nevertheless, when the phone goes on sale, just try telling that to the millions of customers who will be jostling to get their hands on the quickest beast yet to emerge from Apple’s stable.
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