I'm convinced that Siri is the killer feature of the iPhone 4S, and David Pogue of the New York Times characterizes it as "Crazy good, transformative, category-redefining speech recognition" in his review.
Facebook's app for iOS devices just received a major update — and finally includes a new interface specifically for the iPad. Hurray! The app is very different from the iPhone app and effectively takes advantage of the larger screen. It includes access to Facebook games, apps, and chat, and a number of other features. Photos are high resolution, and you can flip through them like a photo album. Navigation is optimized so that you can quickly access features and return to where you were.
Apple has done it again. The iPhone 4S has stoked frenzied enthusiasm, and over 1 million people preordered the phone in the first 24 hours — a new record for Apple. You can read more in Apple's press release from earlier today. The previous record was 600,000 for the iPhone 4. If you order one now, you'll have to wait a week or two. The iPhone 4S will be available in stores this Friday. No doubt there will be long lines again.
Within 24 hours of the launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple had already received so many online orders that they sold out all of their units available for the announced Oct. 14 delivery. So if you haven't yet ordered, you'll be faced with a delay of 1–2 weeks. Also, AT&T announced that they had received a record 200,000 preorders in the first 12 hours. Read more on AppleInsider. I think Siri is the killer feature of this phone.
Although the iPhone 4S isn't yet available, a number of enthusiasts were able to give it a test run at Apple's event on Tuesday. And they've now written their initial impressions. They generally praise the greater speed, higher quality camera, and the effectiveness of Siri. TiPb has posted a roundup of several of these reviews. Be sure to read the review on This Is My Next, which says that Siri, the new speech recognition feature, is indeed impressive.
Earlier this year Jason Snell of Macworld magazine had some interesting insights on how Apple would fare in the absence of Steve Jobs. His bottom line is that Apple is now firmly in the mold of Steve Jobs. Jobs created a corporate culture that has suffused the company and that has deeply imbibed his ethos of putting people first, of letting design lead technology, of having the courage to do things differently, and of never compromising the vision, even if it means lower short-term profits.
The legacy of Steve Jobs may never be equaled: The Apple II, which jumpstarted the personal computer industry. The Macintosh, which changed the way people use personal computers. The iPod, which was easy and fun to use, and took over the MP3 player market. The iPhone, which has revolutionized mobile phones. The iPad, which is leading the way into what he called "the post-PC world."
As CEO of Apple, he did things his way: no market research, no focus groups. He didn't ask what consumers wanted. He simply intuitively knew what they would like, and he demanded that his company create it.
The disappointment in not seeing an iPhone 5 is silly. The iPhone 4S is a radical step forward -- thanks to Siri. So what if the phone looks the same? The way you interact with it has been utterly transformed. This is what Apple has excelled at for over 30 years. And this is why the iPhone 4S is revoluationary. Siri isn't just speech recognition; it's natural language understanding.
One new iPhone or two? Tomorrow we'll know. The latest evidence for a new iPhone 5 model is the inadvertent appearance of a listing for it on the Cincinnati Bell website, according to TUAW. And the specs on the posted listing showed that the phone will have an 8-megapixel camera, 4G dataspeed, and a 4-inch screen. The evidence seems good — but this is still a rumor. The hardest part to believe is the 4G dataspeed and the fact that this particular carrier only offers prepay options.
Tomorrow we'll learn what Apple has up its sleeve, and we'll move from reporting rumors to explaining details. For now, the evidence continues to mount that an iPhone 4S will be announced along with a presumed iPhone 5. Gizmodo has posted actual photos of an iPhone 4S from the manufacturing plant in Brazil.