This week gave is the excitement of a new iPhone — the iPhone 4S. It also gave us the sad news that Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs passed away. Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray looks at what the new iphone gives us, and what we’ve lost now that Steve is gone.
Hello, iPhone 5 4S
Apple introduced a new iPhone this week. A new iPhone, and it’s not called iPhone 5.
In its press release Apple says the iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, and there are a few things for which that S could stand.
As with the iPhone 3GS it could stand for “speed.” The 4S features Apple’s dual-core A5 processor, offering twice the speed for CPU tasks and seven times faster graphics than the suddenly slow sounding iPhone 4.
It could stand for Sprint. Okay, no it couldn’t, though the iPhone will make its way to the Now Network.
Or it could stand for Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by speaking to it, so I guess the “S” could stand for “speech.” If you’ve used Siri, you haven’t used Apple’s Siri. And if you’re sticking with the iPhone 4 you won’t get to use either for long. More on that in a bit.
This “S,” though. It must stand for something… oh… I guess it could stand for “something.”
The phone has a much improved camera, so I guess it could stand for shutterbugs. Apple says “iPhone 4S includes an all new camera with the most advanced optics of any phone,” including an 8 megapixel sensor, a new custom lens, a larger f/2. 4 aperture and an advanced hybrid IR filter, all of which are meant to produce sharper, brighter and more accurate images.
I can’t think of an “S” for video, but that, too, is improved. Apple says “iPhone 4S can record video in full 1080p HD resolution” and comes with a new, realtime video image stabilization feature.
Screen size on the new iPhone stays the same, though there may be a reason to make the “S” stand for “screen.”
Engadget points out that the AirPlay Mirroring feature Apple showed off at WWDC for the iPad/iOS 5 combo will also be available via iPhone 4S. Users who don’t have a second-gen Apple TV can still utilize high-def mirroring through an HDMI connection cable.
What does iPhone 4S look like? Well, have you ever seen an iPhone 4? Because it looks exactly like that. Exactly. It’s black, it’s white, it’s glass on the front, and it’s glass on the back. It’s got the same stainless steel antenna edge, though the antenna has been improved on the inside. Apple says iPhone 4S can intelligently switch between two internal antennas on the fly for improved performance. By the looks of it though, it’s the same phone.
A lot of companies are now sitting on a lot of useless cases.
iPhone 4S is a world phone, as had been expected. That’s one phone for every carrier, and easier roaming internationally for CDMA iPhone users…as long as they’re using a 4S.
Three models from which to choose: 16 Gigabytes for US$199 with a two-year contract, $299 for the 32 Gigabyte version, and — a first for the iPhone — a 64 Gigabyte version for $399.
Pre-orders for the device began on Friday, October 7th with iPhone 4S availability scheduled for the following Friday, October 14th, in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.
iPhone 4S will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries by the end of October including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
What, no Malta? Lame.
As for the amazing speaking Siri, this is what has become of the Siri app and service bought by Apple in early 2010.
According to Apple’s PR:
Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more.
A lot more. Wanna look up stuff on wikipedia or do fairly complex calculations via Wolfram Alpha? Those are linked in, so have at it.
Now if you know and love the Siri App for iPhone 4, begin your goodbyes now. It looks like it’s gonna be an iPhone 4S only feature-slash-service. The one Apple showed off at the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event is definitely more advanced than what’s been available from the App Store, and now that one’s gotta go.
When yesterday’s event started, the App was still available, though reports by the time the event ended said either the it showed in the App Store but would not download, or that it was just plain gone. It still works, though apparently only until the day after the iPhone 4S hits the scene.
There’s a very perky message on the Siri start-page that reads, “I’ve been replaced! The new Siri is even smarter and better looking than me, and waiting for you on the iPhone 4S. I’ll be leaving for home Oct 15th. Until then… how can I help you?”
Don’t leave me.
So long, Steve
Thursday, October 6th, 2011. One story today, and no doubt you already know.
Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who resigned from the company in the mid-1980s and returned a decade later to make Apple one of the most successful technology companies in the world, has died.
Jobs had been struggling with his health for several years. In 2004, he underwent surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He returned to work soon after, but in early 2009 took six months off to treat what he called a “hormone imbalance” that made him appear gaunt and pale. During that leave he underwent a liver transplant. Early this year he took another, indefinite leave of absence to “focus on my health,” as he put it, and on Aug. 24 he announced his resignation as CEO, with Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook taking over and Jobs elected board chairman, a position he held until his death.
Steve Jobs was 56 years old.
Steve Jobs - 1955 - 2011
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent the following email to all Apple employees:
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Apple’s board of directors issued a statement, too:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.
Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
And from Steve Jobs’s Family:
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
The list of people paying homage is truly staggering. Truly.
Following the loss of visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, President Obama released a statement:
Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
At times like these, the lines between friends and competitors seem to blur. Apple competitors had a tremendous amount of praise for Jobs Wednesday night.
From Microsoft co-founder and sometimes Jobs nemesis Bill Gates:
I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.
For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt:
Today is very sad for all of us. Steve defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again. Steve was so charismatically brilliant that he inspired people to do the impossible, and he will be remembered as the greatest computer innovator in history.
And finally, after Steve Jobs died, I had a bit of contact with an Apple Genius. Can’t say who, can’t say where, but I can say what they told me when I asked how things were at the Genius Bar Wednesday night.
“It’s funny,” they wrote…
I’ve never met him but I feel like I’ve lost someone close to me. I’m not an emotional person but I can’t hold back my tears.
I have been in Apple Retail as a genius for 8+ years. It was Steve’s vision that brought me to Apple. First as a customer then as an employee. As I said I never met him but he had an immense influence on my life. He always challenged us to be better than we thought we could. Steve made me a better person.
My text messages are exploding with texts from people at work. Some of the team is off from work and are driving in to be with the apple family.
Apple will go on but the world is a little less bright.
And that’s pretty much it for this week. Call your mom. Hug your kids. Be an organ donor.