AC – After Cupertino: iPhone 4S Launched In Uneventful Apple Keynote

Originally posted on General Musings of an Idiot.

I blogged earlier this afternoonabout the big plans we thought Apple had for us in their keynote this evening. And how unbelievably underwhelming it was.

iPhone 4S

As we knew, Apple would be releasing a phone, and they did – the iPhone 4S, not the iPhone 5 as predicted. I would call it a recycled idea – it has the body of an iPhone 4, and is kitted out with basically the same insides too. A faster A5 chip, that outputs seven times faster graphics than the iPhone 4, plus a new 8 megapixel that takes some rather beautiful pictures. Bar that, mind you, nothing else shouts out ‘BUY ME’ – a new antenna system, a global phone, HD video, and AirPlay mirroring.

The only feature that does look quite brilliant is called Siri – a voice recognition assistant service. You ask her whatever the hell you want – what’s the weather, make me a meeting, call my wife – and she will come up with a very logical answer. That is the only stand-out feature for me.

Siri

Other announcements included a slightly updated iPod line-up, and as predicted, the iPod Classic is now dead and buried. A few minor updates to the iPod Touch, including a white version, and a few new additions to the iPod Nano, and we’re there. And that was that.

There were also a few new features mentioned regarding iCloud and iOS 5. No Facebook integration as suspected, nor any major advances on what we heard in June. One quite neat new application is ‘Cards’, Apple’s new take on Moonpig here in the UK, and Hallmark in the US. A card making service, sending greetings cards across the US and around the world with your photos or your creations plastered across the front. It’s $2.99 a card for domestic US mail, or $4.99 to send a card anywhere else in the world. And the app is free, too. Very clever to diversify into another new market, and watch them make a big killing in market share too.

Cards

We also saw something called ‘Find My Friends’, using the same technology as seen in ‘Find My iPhone’, which allows you to discover your friends with an iOS GPS-enabled device. The demo given during the keynote was at Disneyland, showing all your friends in your address book in the local area. Clever, but needed? Not really.

So, dates, I hear you ask. October 12th is the big one for most of us – that’s the release date for iOS 5, iCloud, Cards, and Find My Friends. All are free, and will be made available across the globe next Wednesday.

October 14th is the release date for the iPhone 4S, priced at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model, and $399 for the 64GB model. It can be pre-ordered from October 7th – this Friday. It’s available in both black and white. (hurrah, you may be saying, after the iPhone 4 white model fiasco…)

The 3GS is also here to stay. It’s available in 8GB, and is now free via contract. The iPhone 4 is also only available in an 8GB model, priced at $99.

No iPad. No Mac updates. No iPhone 5. No big surprises. And no Steve Jobs, either.

Ah well, there’s always January…

All pictures courtesy of Engadget.

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