Tuesday, 4 November 2014

iPhone 4S

A new iPhone means new hardware, and with the 4S, the most notable upgrades are to the processor and the camera. You also get some other goodies like Siri, Apple's voice-enabled personal assistant. But what's even better is that a new iPhone means new apps that take advantage of those enhancements.

The iPhone 4S has only been available for a little more than a week, but you can already find some apps that have been designed specifically to take advantage of the phone's new dual-core A5 processor. The same CPU that powers the iPad 2, Apple claims that this pumped-up chip delivers double the power of the A4 and can accelerate graphics speed sevenfold. In fact, the iPhone 4S is the fastest smartphone we've tested. This means even-more-realistic gaming with faster action and more fluid graphics. We found some great games designed just for the iPhone 4S.

Perhaps even more notable are the upgrades to the iPhone's camera. It's an 8-megapixel shooter (up from 5-MP) with a bigger sensor, five-element lens, larger f/2.4 aperture, and 1080p30 video capture (up from 720p30). And that A5 chip means it's much faster than before. Now you'll likely take some of your best photos and video with your iPhone, since it's a great camera that's always in your pocket. The photo and video apps here let you do even more with the 4S's camera, and with them in your arsenal, you might even be able to ditch your point-and-shoot camera.

Also new and exclusive to the iPhone 4S is Siri, Apple's voice-activated personal assistant who can schedule appointments, find you a good slice of pizza, tell you the local time in China, and more. Far from perfect, Siri is fun to use and shows amazing potential for the future of voice control. A couple of third-party apps are already integrating Siri.

Besides having a quirky but charming robotic woman living inside, did you know that the latest iPhone can use Russian satellites to pinpoint your location or give you directions? The iPhone 4S is one of the first handsets with GLONASS support, which means it has access to 24 Russian location satellites in addition to GPS's standard 31. This should mean better accuracy in urban areas and other places where traditional GPS coverage is sketchy. We've got a few location-based apps to put those additional satellites to the test.