iPhone 4S gets ‘Siri-ous’

By on October 19, 2011

“You don’t even know me,” Siri responds when you say I love you.

Apple released its newest iPhone upgrade, the iPhone 4S, which comes with a revamped voice recognition feature called Siri, which kept eager Apple users awake at 3 a.m. Oct. 7 waiting to preorder it.

Photo by Anna Brundage/Chronicle

Although many iPhone users were expecting Apple to release the iPhone 5, the 4S offers many new features for consumers to love.

According to Apple, more than four million 4S cell phones were sold this past weekend. Apple representatives also said that during the first preorder day, one million iPhone 4S’s were sold.

One highly-publicized feature, Siri, makes the 4S a female personal assistant for users. By holding down the home key and speaking into the phone, consumers can give their phones directions by using voice commands.

Siri even looks out for her owner’s well-being. In addition to reading text messages aloud, she can send dictated text messages to make texting while driving a non-issue for iPhone 4S owners.

Junior Megan O’Neill, who switched from a Blackberry Curve 8530 to the iPhone 4S, is enjoying the Siri application.

“Siri is really cool. You can ask her anything and she’ll find it for you,” O’Neill said. “Yesterday my roommates and I were asking random funny questions, like ‘where should I hide a dead body’ and Siri answered with the closest reservoir. It’s really cool.”

Last Friday, senior Iggy Armenia stood in line with about 20 other people at an AT&T store in Clinton at 7 a.m. to buy the iPhone 4S. He upgraded from the iPhone 3GS.

“My favorite part of the new phone is definitely Siri, all the stuff it can do is amazing,” Armenia said. “I also really like the new A5 processor, it makes the phone so much faster than my old phone.”

With its new Dual-Core 5A chip, the 4S is faster and more efficient than previous iPhones. The chip features a longer battery life and more megapixels for shooting higher quality pictures and videos all in high definition.

“The iPhone is just faster,” O’Neill said. “Sometimes my Blackberry would take forever to load the Internet or just freeze because I tried to do too much at once. With the iPhone, I don’t have to wait for my things to upload. It just makes me less frustrated with my phone.”

Other iPhone users can now download iOS5, a free software upgrade that comes pre-installed on the 4S.

Senior Jessica Prior had a bad experience downloading the iOS5 software to her iPhone 4. The software took 7 hours to download, and during that time her phone was reset, and she lost all contacts, text messages and pictures. She was late for her 8 a.m. class the next morning, because the download erased her programmed alarms.

“At first I was really disappointed because I lost everything and it made me really frantic,” Prior said. “I went to the Apple store and they helped me get my contacts and apps back. Now I love the new software. After the initial shock that everything was gone, it was fine.”

According to Apple’s website, the cost of the 4S ranges from $199 to $399 depending on features and cell phone service providers.

While some speculate Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs’s recent death may have increased the hype surrounding the 4S, others think the cell phone would have been successful regardless.

“I don’t think [Jobs’s death] had a major effect,” Armenia said. “If anything, some people may go out and buy the 4S because it was the last project that was lead by Jobs himself.”

The new software offers iMessage, which is similar to Blackberry Messenger. In addition to sending text messages, iMessage allows all Apple products to connect and have their own messaging system. For example, someone who has an iPhone can iMessage an iPad user instantly, allowing for easier communication.

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