04 Oct

Ars Technica – iPhone 4s out October 14, beefier specs, same body

Apple announced the next iteration of its iPhone, the iPhone 4S, at an event today in Cupertino. The phone’s body and screen are virtually identical to the iPhone 4, though it receives some significant internal spec bumps and a virtual "intelligent assistant" named Siri.

Like the iPad 2, the new iPhone 4S has a dual-core A5 chip clocked at 1GHz that is meant to deliver graphics up to seven times faster than the iPhone 4. Infinity Blade 2 was demonstrated on the handset; it’s an iOS exclusive that will be available December 1. Another feature migrated from the iPad 2 is screen mirroring, which can be done with the iPhone 4S either via AirPlay on an Apple TV or through a wired connection. The new handset will carry the same retina display as its predecessor, and will no longer need separate GSM and CDMA models; instead, the handset will be a world phone, with both systems included.

The camera on the iPhone 4S has been bumped up to 8 megapixels and now has an additional backside illuminated sensor that lets the phone gather 73 percent more light per pixel than the iPhone 4’s version, which should help with low-light photos. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide product marketing, also noted that the camera will capture pictures 33 percent faster than before, with half a second between shots, and will be able to shoot 1080p video with image stabilization.

A new software feature that may be exclusive to the iPhone 4S is Siri, an "intelligent assistant" that answers questions and responds to commands by pulling up the appropriate app (it’s named for the similar app Apple bought in 2010). Scott Forstall, senior VP of iOS software, demonstrated the app by asking the phone "What is the weather like today?"—Siri pulled up the forecast. The command "wake me up tomorrow at 6AM" made the phone set an alarm for that time.

Siri can also send e-mails and text messages, make calendar entries, and take dictation in apps that normally require keyboard entry. Apple did not mention whether it will make APIs available for developers to integrate Siri into third-party applications.

via Ars Technica – iPhone 4s out October 14, beefier specs, same body. Nice bump to an awesome phone. Siri looks really interesting.