To iPhone or not to iPhone–What a Great Question

By Justin Crawford

I currently have an original Motorola Droid, and it has worked pretty well until recently, when I dropped it and completely shattered the screen. I got the phone about a year and half ago and as with most phones, it has been a little annoying at times. When I bought it, I was sucked in by all the capabilities and possibilities of the phone. Then when the shine wore off, it was just another phone.

As I mentioned, the Droid can do great things: you can write apps for it, customize it more than any other phone (this is true of all Android devices), plus many other features. What I found was that I did not use of any of these features.  All I want in a phone is to be able to connect to everything (internet and wireless) and for it to be reliable.

This brings me to why I am considering leaving Android. The phone has been pretty shaky. It loses signal, freezes, crashes and is just kind of useless at times. So I will be looking at the new iPhone 4S to see if that will be my next phone.

I was looking forward to the iPhone launch, just like the rest of the technical world.  Even Android users are excited to see what Apple puts out, if only to start working on what they will say trying to convince people Android is superior.  As I was learning the details of the launch I was starting to think I should give iPhone a try.  I never hear an Apple user have the complaints that I had of my Droid (until they saw 4S instead of 5).

You are probably wondering what is so cool about an iPhone, and honestly it is simple. It is one of the easiest devices to use and figure out, as are most Apple products. Then why were consumers disappointed in finding out that only an iPhone 4S would be released? The disappointment came from consumers hearing rumors about a new iPhone that had everything from a totally redesigned look to the new 4G network. Then when this did not actually happen, they were upset. Combine that with the fact the 4S looks just like the iPhone 4, and the pizzazz of a new device is gone. How can you show it off if it looks just like your old one?

With all that phone drama out of the way let’s get into what makes the iPhone 4S different from the iPhone 4.


Siri – This is a virtual “assistant” that responds to questions that you ask. Siri can also perform tasks for you, including adding events to your calendar, sending text messages, typing out emails, checking the weather, looking for places to eat, getting directions and just about anything in between.  I actually got to play with this standing in the Verizon store, and it is pretty neat.  I asked Siri what 4 + 5 was and it answered 9.


Dual-Core A5 – Okay, so I do not want to go all techie on everybody so I will keep this simple.  This is the new processor in the iPhone 4S.  To keep it simple (like the iPhone), it is fast. Users will see this in opening apps, web pages and games.


Camera – With the new 8 megapixel camera, consumers can take better pictures. The 4S also made some improvements in lens to take a better picture. The fun does not just stop with taking a picture; you can edit photos as soon as you take them.


HD Video – Speaking of cameras, you can use the same camera to video in 1080p HD. Shooting at 30 frames per second, you are sure to get everything that happens in your video. By tapping on your screen where you want to focus, the iPhone will automatically stabilize your shot.  That way, even the shakiest videographer will look like a pro.  I must say, I am skeptical about this. I haven’t tried it myself, but I think the stabilization can only do so much.  I guess the fact that Apple thought about this problem is good.


iOS 5 – The new operating system (OS) on the iPhone has some pretty cool features.  You can now view all of your recent messages, emails, phone calls and other items in the notification center. A new messaging feature, iMessage, allows you to text other iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users for “free.”  It is not really free because it uses your data connection, so if you have a limited plan, iMessage will eat into that amount.  The messages are small and should not affect you too much, unless you send a bunch of videos.  The new OS also integrates Twitter.  Once you sign in on your phone, you can tweet from maps, photos, YouTube and other built-in apps.  A built-in reminder system keeps you updated on everything that you plan (Siri will do this if you tell her).  The OS also allows you to activate your phone without a computer.


iCloud – This is a cloud storage device.  For those who do not know, cloud storage allows you to store files, music, photos and pretty much anything else securely on the internet.  With iCloud, anything you purchase on your computer, iPod or iPad via Apple’s iTunes Store can be accessed from your iPhone.


This should get you caught up on the new iPhone, but there is still a lot to learn, not to mention the numerous, third-party apps that are available on the 4S.  I hope this gives you a better understanding of what changes have been made on the phone.  I know that my iPhone 4S will be here in early November.


Justin Crawford holds a degree in Engineering Technology from MTSU.  He is employed as a network engineer.


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