What People Like and DisLike about their iPhone 4S
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What is Your Favorite Feature on the iPhone 4s?
In the recent survey conducted by Changewave, The Business Insider published the above chart in their December 1rst Chart of the Day publication. Based on those results, I will address each of the categories below from personal experience.
Siri Digital Assistant
I absolutely agree with the majority of people who like this functionality. Siri is definitely the game changer that was announced with Apple IOS 5 (see article Apple iOS 5 Overview) on the iPhone4s. I have found that Siri makes me much more productive while driving in the car to and from work as I’m able to send text message and have text messages read to me. I’m also able to set many reminders as I think of things that I need to get to during the day. This feature alone is worth the decision to buy an iPhone4s
Ease of Use
Given the user interfaces (UI) was designed by Apple, no surprises here. When it comes to UI, Apple is the best in the business. All Apple products are very easy to use and the interface is very intuitive.
Battery Life Too Short
Ok, on this one, I’m surprise the percentage of dislikes is not higher. Battery life is terrible on the 4S. Even after the ios5.1 update, which was supposed to address poor battery life, I’m still getting horrible performance. I have a charger at home, a cigarette lighter charger for my car, and an extra charger that I keep at my desk in the office, just to make sure I’m always charged up. For my son, who is also an owner of an iPhone4s, for Christmas I bought him an iPhone cover which itself is a charger. The cover also contains a battery so in theory, once your phones battery drains, it starts pulling power from the cover, basically doubling the battery life of the phone. I need one of those for myself. Unfortunately, the are not cheap. The cost was $80.
8 Megapixel Camera
The camera on the iphone4s is absolutely awesome. I take a lot of pictures and I currently have an old Cannon Sureshot camera which has done me well for many years as I have hundreds of great photos to attest to that. Ever since I got my 4s, I find myself using it more and more as the camera on the phone is much better than the Cannon digital camera. Even the video camera has stabilization built-in that helps produce high quality videos.
One day I came home fro work and my son was showing a video on our large 55 inch flatscreen TV. It was a school project that he and his friends were working on and I commented about how clear the video was. That’s when he told me they took the entire thing with the 4S. There were both inside and outside scenes with lots of motion and the picture was extremely stable. At first I didn’t believe him but then he showed me how he was actually playing the video that I was watching directly off his 4s using an HDMI cable to connect to the TV. Two thumbs up on the camera.
Lack of 4G Capability
Not an issue at all for me and not sure why it is with others. The 3G speeds are more than enough for everything you’ll do on your 4S, including watching video. Don’t get me wrong, I have two 4G devices, including a mobile hotspot (see Novatel MiFi M4510L Product Review (Verizon Wireless)) and the 4G speeds are great, but I truly don’t feel I’m missing out not having 4G on the 4S. If you planned to tether the phoe to a laptop and use it as a modem, or take advantage of the MiFi capability built into the phone to attache multiple devices through your phone to the internet, then yes, maybe you will notice the difference between 3G and 4G. However, for the typical stuff you will be doing on your.phone, 3G technology is just fine. I use Verizon’s CDMA EVDO network. I’m sure the same is true for AT&T’s HSDPA network as well.
Faster Web Browsing / Screen Resolution
Both of these are excellent on the 4s. The A5 microprocessor runs at 1 Ghz speeds to the browser is very fast and the screen has excellent resolution.
At first, I was very reluctant to use the iCloud service. Not sure why!! After several months, I decided to activate iCloud and found that specifically because I had both an iphone4S and an iPad2, this was the best thing that I could have ever done. I found that all my documents were kept in synch between my two devices which comes in very handy, especially when I’m on the road. For more on the Apple iCloud, see Apple's iCloud.
Third Party Apps
The Apple App Store is chock full of applications (over 500,000 I believe at last count). If you can’t find an application for something you need in their, then chances are, there really isn’t a need for that app to begin with. To me, the App store is overwhelming. I really don’t have the time to simply browse it to see what’s there. I would love to do that. Right now, I simply enter the store, type into the search box the application or type of application I’m looking for, then download it and I’m done. To me, Apple gets an A+ in the 3rd party apps department.
Ability to Synch with Multiple Computers
Again, to go along with my iCloud comments above, the IOS 5 iCloud service makes synching to multiple computers simple and easy. I’m even able to synch to my Apple TV (see Apple TV, A High Level Overview). The best example would be when I’m away on business, I tak a photo of some landmark in a different country from my 4s. Immediately, that photo goes into my Photo Stream which means that through the cloud, it’s immediately available on my iPad2, and back home, my family can also view the same picture on our 55 inch big screen TV through the Apple TV box. This capability is very cool!!
The ability to multitask is a great improvement over my previous phones (Android and Blackberry). Multi-tasking helps make my life even easier and more productive.
I think the screen size on the 4S is just the perfect size. Any bigger and it would be a lot tougher to carry it around. For example, the HTC Thunderbolt had a very nice resolution, large screen. It’s a much much bigger phone to have to carry around with you. I like to carry my phone in my pants pocker so the 4S is perfect for that. Any bigger and I wouldn’t be able to carry it in either my pants or my shirt pocket.
Coverage/Speed/Quality of Network
This topic has nothing to do with the 4S. Those capabilities are all a consequence of the mobile network you are using for commercial service. Most operators have coverage across the entire US and as I stated above, the 3G speeds of our two biggest mobile operators is more than adequate enough for almost anything you need to do on the phone. VZW prides themselves on quality and I haven’t had any issues as it comes to quality while using my 4s.
Excessive Dropped Calls/Voice Quality
Again, similar to the topic above, this is a factor of the mobile network which you are getting your service from. VZW typically has the best network in terms of quality. I typically never drop a call unless I drive through a known dead spot where I know there is no cellular coverage. AT&T on the other hand has struggled to keep their network up to the task as the data explosion has taken place. They’ve been adding more and more capacity since the iPhones were first launched so hopefully now, customers will see the number of dropped calls decrease.
I spent a great deal of time on my 4S during conference calls usually on both my way into work and my way home. The quality of the calls is just fine. Again, I use Verizon Wireless as my service provider and you remember the VZW “Can You Here Me Now” guy. That same quality still exists today in their network.
Difficulty Importing Contact List/Phone Book
Not sure what the problem here is. I use Microsoft ActiveSynch and all my emails, contacts, and calendar entries are sent over the air down to my 4S to keep everything in synch. This was simple and easily accomplished. The IT department at my workplace maintains the ActiveSynch servers and they are connected to our MS Exchange Servers.
No Handwriting Recognition Feature
This one I can agree is a place where the 4s is lacking. I’ll take it a step farther and say where Apple is lacking. I searched and tried many handwriting applications specifically for my iPad2 device, since I was hoping to use it in place of my hard cover notebook that I take to every meeting. As I tried one after the other, I really couldn’t find one that works to my liking. The fact that I’m lefthanded was also a hindrance as my hand would drag across the touch sensitive screen and start making marks in the document where I had no intention of doing so.
I’m hoping that my words and comments on each of these topics is found helpful to you in your search and evaluation of your next cell phone. I need to caveat all my comments here by saying in recent years, I’ve turned into a big Apple fan and the fact that I really love my 4s device. Hopefully those two factors didn't cloud my judgment as I walked through this feature list.
The bottom line, if you’re even considering buying a new iPhone4S, I wouldn’t wait any longer and just go out and buy it. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.