Tuesday, October 4, 2011

APPLE: Let's talk iPhone

With the internet buzzing and live blogging over Apple's anticipated reveal of the iPhone 5, Tim Cook states, "Next up is iPhone, this could be the reason why the room is so full today." Shortly after that he starts talking about the iPad...damn you Apple! It's no secret that the only thing people cared about today was the reveal of the iPhone 5. Would it be a complete redesign of the system or just a similar design with some minor tweaks? There were plenty of announcements at the conference titled "Let's talk iPhone" but here's what I thought were the coolest ones:

 - A new "Cards" app is coming in which people can customize their own cards for birthdays, graduation, etc. by adding their own pictures, words, etc. Apple will print it out and send it to you for only $2.99 in the US and $4.99 anywhere in the world...goodbye Hallmark.

 - Over 1 billion apps are downloaded each month from iOS...ya, month.

 - iMessage which is basically BBM for iOS devices is coming and it will send messages to all your iOS devices, i.e. iPad and iPhone.

 - Reminders app will alert you when you are near something you need to be doing.

 - Newstand app will feature GQ, Allure, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, etc.

 - Easier photo taking by double tapping the Home button or clicking the volume buttons.

 - Game Center updating to add friend photos, achievement points, friend recommendations, etc.

 - Tabbed web browsing coming to the iPad and pages can be saved so you can view them instantly on either your iPhone, iPad, etc.

 - iOS 5 will drop on October 12th!

 - iCloud comes October 12th and will store your contently and automatically push it to all your devices. Take a photo on your iPhone and it's automatically pushed to your iPad as well. Also daily backups on the cloud for all devices. Honestly it sounds pretty incredible.

 - Find My Friends will show you where your friends are if they have opted to show their location. Sounds cool to me, except when you don't invite a friend to a party and forget to turn it off...uh oh! It might suck with parents too for you high schoolers. Parental controls included to keep away those pesky stalkers. You can also see where someone is for a limited time, i.e. they're lost trying to get to your house and you can see where they are and direct them...that's sweet.

 - iTunes Match allows you to sync all your music instantaneously whether you've bought it from iTunes or not? Don't quite fully understand this one. But it's $24.99 for a year. It comes at the end of October.

 - Some cool iPod Nano accessories like a wristwatch, automatic run/walk tracker and different clock faces one of which was Mickey Mouse! $129 for 8GB and $149 for 16GB...not bad.

 - New iPod Touches are sweet including a new white model. The new version can run iOS 5 and be plugged in with iCloud. 8GB is $199. 32GB is $299 and 64GB is $399...wow.

 - Infinity Blade 2 is coming to iOS on December 1st. The sequel to one of the best selling games in iOS history. The new graphics look pretty awesome.

 - New iPhone 4S features an A5 chip, up to 2X faster than before with dual core graphics which are said to be seven times faster than previous iPhones. It supports both CDMA and GDS networks which means it will be faster more consistently utilizing two antennas. Battery life is eight hours of 3G talk time, six hours of browsing, nine hours on WiFi. 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music. Features an all new camera with an 8 megapixel sensor which is 3264x2448 (very nice resolution). Videos will be recorded in 1080p. 

 - A brand new thing called Siri makes your phone eerily intelligent and helpful, seriously this thing is absolutely insane. It recognizes your voice and has the ability to answer questions regardless of how they are presented. 
For example, asking "What is the weather today" is the same as saying "Will it rain in Cupertino?," "Do I need an umbrella today?" "What's the upcoming forecast?" etc. 

 - It will answer based on the question asked, i.e. "Do I need a raincoat today?" Siri responds, "It sure looks like rain today." 
 - "Wake me up tomorrow at 6am." Siri responds, "Ok, I set it for 6am." 

 - "Find me a Greek restaurant in the Palo Alto area." Siri responds that she found 14 - sorted by rating.
 - If you have a bluetooth in and you get a text message you can have Siri read the message to you by pressing your bluetooth button.
 - This is insane, you can make an appointment all by talking to Siri and she will set your calendar, clock, etc.

 - Tell her, "Remind me to call my wife when I leave work." Siri asks to confirm and makes the reminder. Siri already knew who his wife is and set up a geofence around work.

 - Tell her, "Define Mitosis." It's defined.

 - This is insane. Honestly what this represents for the future of technology is staggering. This is a phone we're talking about and the things it can do are impressive. Truly incredible technology.

 - PRICE POINTS FOR 4S: $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB. $399 for 64GB! Both black and white versions and price is with carrier agreement. 
 - PRE-ORDERS start October 7th and the iPhone 4S hits shelves on October 14th! Available for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

And that's it from the "Let's Talk iPhone" conference! No iPhone 5 revealed...yet. But honestly the improvements to the iPhone 4S are so significant it may as well have been a brand new model. Not only is it priced well, but the new features are incredible. Siri may change the way that people do business and it seems that there is only plans to grow in Apple's future.

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