A Definitive iPhone 4s Review

  • October 17, 2011
  • Scott

John Gruber of Daring Fireball gives, to my mind, the definitive review of the iPhone 4S.  What I love about his reviews is that he seems to peel away a bit of the culture behind the product design process, because of his long-term connections with Apple and its products and employees.   He even includes a different take on Siri, the new voice assistant:

It’s also sort of the antithesis of everything prior in iOS. iOS is explicit and visual. Everything you can do in iOS is something you can see and touch on screen. The limits are visible and obvious. Siri, on the other hand, feels limitless. It’s fuzzy, and fuzzy on purpose. There’s no way to tell what will work and what won’t. You must explore. I found it extremely fun to explore Siri — primarily because so many of the things I tried actually worked. It’s a completely different interface for interacting with your iPhone. You’re not driving or commanding the existing iPhone interface with commands. There is no syntax to memorize. You’re just, well, talking to your iPhone.

He has a point- the difference between explicit and fuzzy is really interesting… And who isn’t going to be tempted to ask Siri to jump in a lake?  Or to close the pod bay doors?

To me – the iPhone 4s looks like a continuation of Apple’s general product strategy.  They just keep iterating the fit-and-finish.  And the specs.  And if those options lose their luster, then Apple will invest more in physical design changes. But for now, there is plenty of bang-for-the-buck in hardware improvements and software updates… and perhaps surprisingly, in cloud services.

And, by the way, the numbers are in – 4 million iPhone 4S devices were sold over the Friday-Sunday period.


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  • Damon Aldora

    think that the iPhone 4S is really a good phone. I have had one for the past
    few days, and it has been fantastic. I was moving from a Samsung Galaxy S,
    which was not the best phone I’ve ever owned. Not saying that the iPhone is the
    best so far, but after a week, I can see myself using this phone for more than
    just texting like I did on my other phone. One thing that I liked when I
    started using this phone was how fast it was at streaming. On my old phone,
    video buffering was a constant (and that phone was supposedly 4G). That is not
    the case with the 4S. I have not had any buffering circles on anything that
    I’ve streamed. I use the DISH Remote Access app from my employer DISH Network
    to stream movies and shows from my 922 SlingLoaded receiver to my phone while I
    am about. It is great! Even though there is a lot of complaint about the look
    of the phone, I still think that is irrelevant when it comes to speed and the
    user experience.