I like Apple products, they look nice, they feel good, they do what I want them to do, when I want them to do it, they work! And as someone who likes Apple products I have to like everything they do and evangelise how great the company is and all its range are. But I recently bought the iPhone 4S and have to say, it’s not all that!
I upgraded from the 3GS having waited far too long for the mythical iPhone 5. I’m not going to go into all the technical details because to be honest who really cares? If mobile phone manufacturers believe that the average customer really cares if its a blah blah chipset or a blah blah2 chipset they are sadly mistaken. The phone needs to be useable and to do what it says it will.
What is better than the 3GS? Well everything that made the 4 better than the 3GS. Front facing camera, better main camera, better screen.. Ummmmmm… that’s about it. It feels a bit more sturdy. So the iPhone 4 was an improvement on the 3GS. The 4S though doesn’t seem to have anything extra on it that the 4 had, I know this opens the door to some Apple over-enthusiast to tell me that with the blah blah2 chipset and the gazillion megapixel camera that takes a picture 0.2 milliseconds faster than the Samsung it is the best phone on the market – I DON’T CARE!
LIGHT – the camera has a light on it. Another improvement. Oh wait, the 4 had that one as well didn’t it…
In fact the one noticeable difference I have seen is that when I started writing this my battery was at 100% and it is now at 95% and believe me, I’m a pretty speedy typer. I can even type when not looking at the screen that’s how good a typer I am! I can guarantee that when I go home tonight my phone will be fully charged at 100% and when I wake up the following morning the battery will say it is at 10-15%. Less than 12 hours battery life on standby is not the same as the 200 hours we were promised!
So let’s talk about the one big addition that people will notice, Siri. This is so new, I have never seen a voice control feature on a phone, except my old Nokia back in 2002 and every phone I’ve had since then. The difference. Siri has a name! Does it work any better? No. It is shockingly poor. It was supposed to have natural language processing. It doesn’t do this. Maybe if the programmers spent more time working on it and less time teaching it humourous responses to 2001 questions it would actually be useful. Maybe if they realised that there are countries outside of the US it would be useful. Maybe if it actually had natural language processing rather that saying “I’m sorry I don’t understand blah blah” if you didn’t speak like a ridiculous glottalstopped caricature of Tony Blair it might be useful. But it doesn’t. It is useless.
This all seems very negative. I actually like my iPhone. I just am no longer excited by it. And no longer feel like I will get the next iPhone no matter what. I will definitely shop around a bit more next time. Apple have lost it. They sold on their reputation, but you can only really do that the once in the fast changing times of technology. What would I have liked? Gadgets! We buy smart phones so we can go to the pub and say “look what my phone can do – it is much better than yours”. I want a phone with an electric shaver in it, or a lighter, or more realistically near field technology so that I can pay/use my Oyster card on my phone. I don’t want to be in the embarrassing situation of showing off Siri, only to get the response “I’m sorry I don’t know what a business is outside of the US”.
If you have an iPhone 4 don’t bother, if you have a 3GS look around, you might find something a bit more exciting out there!