We're here giving you updates from Apple's “Let's Talk iPhone” event. Will it be the 5, will it be 4S? Keep reading and refreshing the page to find out. Tim Cook is on stage inviting us to Apple's campus. He says the place is like a second home to everyone who works there. He talks about the momentum Apple has had, especially with opening new stores. They've opened two in China; Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Shanghai store is their biggest store so far. They have 357 stores in 11 different countries.
Is it going to be one or two iPhones?
He then goes on to talk about the success of OS X Lion. Six million copies of Lion have been downloaded so far. After elaborating further on the success of the Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro and the iMac, Cook moves on to talk about music.
The iPod launched in 2001 revolutionizing the music industry. Over 300 million iPods have been sold. 45 million of those were sold between July 2010 and June 2011. iTunes is now up to 20 billion songs. Which brings us to the iPhone, which Cook admits is the reason why so many people are in that room today.
But then it turns out the iPhone mention was just a curveball. He quickly moves on to talk about the iPad, Apple's youngest product. iPads are showing up everywhere, including schools. A 40 pound flight manual is replaced with a light iPad. Hospitals are testing iPads for pilot or deployment programs. Basically, iPads are everywhere.
Scott Forstall steps up to the plate. He says that iOS is the number one mobile platform with a ComScore of 43% as opposed to Android's 33%. There are also 5,00,000 apps in the App Store, 1,40,000 of which are specifically for the iPad. 18 billion apps have been downloaded. He's showing off a card app that lets you make your own greeting cards. Apple will print and mail the card that you make to its intended recipient and even send you a notification of when the card gets delivered. It's $2.99 (Rs. 148) to mail a card in the US and $4.99 (248) to mail a card anywhere else in the world.
He then goes on to talk about iOS 5. Talks about the top 10 features of the mobile OS. Features include notifications, iMessenger (BBM for iOS), push to all devices, Reminders app, Twitter integration, Newsstand, Background display, and camera function. They're trying to make it easier to get to the camera so if you double tap on the home button, you can take a picture. You can use the volume button to take a photo.
iOS 5 cometh on October 15
iOS 5 will drop October 12th. It will be available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod Touch 4th and 3rd generation.
Eddy Cue then comes on stage to talk about iCloud. He starts talking about iTunes in the cloud. You can download and re-download your music and media at any time on any device. Photos too, you take them on your iPhone and you can send them to any other device. Documents get pushed too. iCloud will also be out on October 12th. Apps and books are redownloaded too. There's a daily backup of iCloud events.
It's all in the cloud now
He then talks about Find My Friends. It's an app which will let you quickly see the locations of your friends who have chosen to share their locations with you. Apple's gone one step ahead of Foursquare and Facebook in location based social networking and have added the ability to see the longitude and latitude of your friends' exact positions. What's useful is you can share for limited time so if you don't normally share but are driving to a friend's house, you can share during that time so your friend can redirect you if you're lost. There are parental controls too to prevent stalking.
iCloud is free for Lion and iOS 5 users. 5GB of space is available but more can be purchased. Then there's iTunes Match. This service scans your library and finds the stuff that iTunes has to add and uploads anything that isn't already in iTunes. You can stream your entire library just by tapping on it. $24.99 a year (Rs. 1,224 approx). iTunes Match will go live in the US at the end of October. Apple is working hard to bring iTunes Match to other countries.
Phil Schiller then comes to the stage to talk about the iPod. The updates made for the iPod Nano this year are revisited. The iPod Nano will also provide an improved fitness experience. Users will no longer a=have to rely on Nike+ or a dongle in their shoes. Users doubling up their Nanos for a watch will have 16 new clock interfaces to use. Moving on to the iPod Touch. Schiller calls it the number one portable gaming device. That will all change with new features added like iMessenger. The iPod Touch will now be available in white. There will be an 8GB version available for $199 (Rs. 9,552 approx), a 32GB for $299 (Rs. 14,352 approx) and a 64 GB for $399 (Rs.19,152 approx). The new iPods will also be available on October 12th.
Little has changed with the new iPod Nano
And now the moment we've been waiting for. For those of you who betted on iPhone 4S, collect your winnings. It has the same retina display and the glass on the back but the inside is all new. It has the A5 chip. It also has dual core graphics which are 7x faster than the previous iPhone. To demonstrate gaming on this new iPhone, they're showing off Infinity Blade 2 on the phone. Inifinity Blade 2 will only run like this on the iPhone 4S. It will be available on the 1st of December. Schiller then talks about the battery life. 4S will provide 8 hours of 3G talktime, 6 hours of browsing, 9 on Wifi, 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music. The next new feature is the wireless system. The wireless system can now intelligently switch between the two antennas between transmit and receive. Theoretical data speeds have doubled compared to the previous iPhone. 4S provides 14.4 Mbps while iPhone 4 provided 7.2 Mbps. 4S will be available in both, GSM and CDMA.
4S also has a new camera. The camera will have an 8 megapixel sensor. Which means 3264×2448. It has 60% more pixels and backside illuminated CMOS which means 63% more light. It is also faster. There's an IR filter for more colour accuracy. It will also have five elements in the lens assembly which means pictures will be 30 percent sharper and it will go down to f/2.4. Apple's also designed a new Image Signal Processor which enables face detection and has 26% better white balance.The 4S takes 1.1 seconds for the first picture and half a second for the second picture.
A new iPhone 4, with better performance and a more capable camera
Onto video. The iPhone 4S will feature 1080p HD video recording. It will have video image stabalization with temporal noise reduction. Colour and saturation might be a little too boosted but won't disappoint.
Next up is AirPlay Mirroring which means you can get your game on an even bigger screen. Following this, Schiller talks about voice commands and how differently worded questions can essentially ask the same thing. Apple's calling it Siri. Forstall comes back and asks what the weather is like today. Siri provides the forecast. Forstall then asks for the hourly forecast which Siri then provides. Then Forstall asks if he'll need a raincoat today and Siri replies, “It sure looks like rain today”. He then asks Siri what the current time in Paris is and Siri responds with the hour and minute. Forstall commands Siri to wake him up at 6 am the following day to which Siri then replies by setting the alarm for 6 am. You can
ask Siri for stock information, restaurant recommendations (with help from Yelp), directions to a location and more.
Forstall then talks about receiving a text message while your phone is in your pocket and you have a bluetooth headset on. You can command Siri to read your text message for you and you'll hear it through your Bluetooth headset. If someone is texting you, asking you to do lunch, Siri can check if you have any appointments for the suggested date and if you do not, then you can command Siri to reply to the message saying you can indeed make the lunch. Siri even remembers who to send the text message as a reply to. You can then make a calendar appointment just by talking. Forstall then commanded Siri to remind him to call his wife after work. Siri already knew who his wife was and created a geofence around work. You can also command Siri to get you information on say Neil Armstrong, tell you how many days are left until Christmas but Siri won't get shopping for you. If you ask Siri, “Who are you”, it replies “I am a humble personal assistant”.
Schiller comes back to talk about Dictation. There's a microphone icon next to the keyboard, which if you hit, will let you dictate say, an email or a text message and it will 'type' for you. Data connection is required. It works out of the box but it learns your voice and gets better. It works for UK and US English, French and German with more languages to come. It is currently in beta. It works with 3G and Wifi and with built-in apps.
Schiller then reveals prices for the device. In black and white both, the 16GB will cost $199 (Rs. 9,552 approx), 32 GB for $299 (Rs. 14,352 approx) and 64 GB for $399 (Rs. 19,152 approx). With carrier agreement of course (two year contracts). There are also new prices for the iPhone 3GS (8 GB) which is now $49 (Rs. 2,352 approx), the 16 GB iPhone 4 is now $199 (Rs. 9,552 approx) and the 8GB iPhone 4 is now $99 (Rs. 4,752 approx). The 8GB iPhone 3GS will be free with a two year contract. Pre-orders for the 4S will start on Friday, the 7th of October and the phone will be available on Friday the 14th of October. On the 14th it will be available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Japan. On the 28th, 22 more countries will get the phone (India is not on this list) and by the end of the year, 70 countries will have the phone.
Tim Cook comes back to recap the iPhone. He talks about how these products are industry leading and calls the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever. He then signs off, without Apple's usual “One More Thing”. iPhone 4S it is folks.
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