The iPhone 4S: Revolutionary Or Evolutionary

Do you remember hearing the first disappointed comments after the iPhone 4S announcement?  To put it simply, everyone was a bit let down that the new iPhone wasn’t going to be a full-blown revamp of the iPhone 4. Some were concerned that it would just be an iPhone 4 with a few simple upgrades, suckering gadget-junkies to stand in line for hours only to find that the 4S was basically the same as its predecessor, with only a few more bells and whistles.  Well, the reality is, the new iPhone is a bit of both. It is not a revolutionary product like the original iPhone – or even the iPhone 4.  Rather, it’s more evolutionary with several impressive upgrades.  Here’s a quick look at 3 of the upgrades Apple has produced in the 4S – and whether or not they’re worth waiting in line for.


One of the most noticeable areas of improvement can be found in the amount of speed and power that the 4S commands.  Apple announced that the iPhone 4S has seven times the graphical prowess of its predecessor and is twice as powerful. It features the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 chip which makes opening apps, loading the web browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other operations smoother and faster.


One remarkable distinction between the iPhone 4 and the 4S is the addition of  your very own “personal assistant” named Siri.  When it works, it is an amazing feat of technology. You can just tell Siri to contact an associate and tell her you’re running late.  Tell Siri, “I’m feeling like Indian food,” and she will tell you where the nearest place serving Sag Paneer is located.  Even so, the caveat is “when it works.”  When Siri cannot understand a particular command, area or specific person, she will tell you humorously, if not annoyingly after a while, that she can’t process the info.  Inevitably this will be fixed at some point, but it would be wonderful if it worked flawlessly now.  See this article for another take on Siri.


Another cool aspect of the iPhone 4S is that it has basically made MobileMe a stock feature.  All Apple products from now on will have access to iCloud. This means that it no longer matters which device you use, you can access any piece of information you’re looking for, whether it’s an mp3, a photo, app or document.  It’s truly remarkable, until you stumble upon some of its unwieldy aspects. The most frustrating of these is the fact that MobileMe has already created a user ID that iCloud doesn’t recognize. Moreover, if you have an email address through Yahoo or Gmail, it won’t recognize them because they don’t have a address. All new technology comes with learning curves, but the fact that we think Apple should be above these frustrations makes them even more, well, frustrating.

In the final analysis, the iPhone 4S will of course be an enormous commercial success. But, are the upgrades worth the wait?  In the end, it depends on who you ask. If you’re a Mac-addict, forever in need of the most up-to-date and coolest toy, then of course, it’s worth the wait.  With its improvements in power, efficiency, speed, software and upgrades, the 4S is an impressive machine.  However, if you’re able to get everything you need from your old 3G(S), there’s really nothing completely revolutionary about the iPhone 4S.  As an evolutionary device, it’s still pretty cool.