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iPhone 4S: Part One

Today I would like to offer your two videos of the new iPhone 4S: unpacking, design, activation, initial settings and the use of Siri in real life.

Design and Construction

First I would recommend several useful links to iPhone articles on our web site.

iPhone 4 Review

iPhone 4S

After the announcement of iPhone 4S many rumors filled hundreds of web resources, which is not surprising. No one remembers or prefers to forget that after the unveiling of iPhone 3Gs prophets of doom and gloom said that Apple was losing ground. When first orders became possible the figures reached a one million mark within 24 hours and all manufactured iPhones had their potential owners alerted immediately after the first sales commenced. There will be a shortage of supply.

As I have mentioned in the issue dedicated to the announcement of iPhone 4S the new model will be a hit and it is actually quite different from its predecessor. First lets look at the design.

The song remains the same as only sound activation button was moved slightly down, there is no strip at the top, while the bottom has different screws. There are two variants available to buy black and white. They have the similar package and identical kits: iPhone 4S, compact plug, USB cable, clip, headset and user guide. As in a white iPhone 4 there is a changed proximity sensor and microSIM slot is located in its place. We should mention less obvious differences too. When the screen is active you can see light in a 3.5 mm jack of iPhone 4, while it does not happen with iPhone 4S. Special marks are absent, for example, there is no letter S anywhere. In other words you cannot boast a new model silently. I think the button Home moves deeper in iPhone 4S, though I may be subjective here. I have been using my iPhone 4 for a year now. The built is similar and if you touch the centre of the back cover you may feel it move. After extensive use of iPhone 4 it may even move a lot.

Thats all I managed to notice so far. We have a tried and trusted iPhone 4 with all the tuning under the hood.


Apple created a genuine assistant. Do you often use voice search, dialing or anything of the kind? My experience was purely frustrating and I usually gave up after futile attempts. It was simply not convenient. As always Apple decided to join together different function, stirred them, added some simplicity to get an appropriate mix. The result is impressive. Siri works well. Even if you have noise around the recognition will just take more time, but you will be heard. Incidentally, it may lead to a push in the market of Bluetooth headsets and associated wired solutions. Siri is not a toy. I do not like to complete the calendar, but here you can use voice to make an appointment. Its a whole different ball game. Not all languages are supported at the moment, but if you can use English then you may start working with Siri now. Apple only showed the way and Siri is not only an app, but a host of skills integrated into the OS. Apps developers will be able to create different pieces of software for the assistant. iPhone 4S is an ideal solution for the visually challenged. The phone is so easy to call, leave a message, check weather forecast, etc.

Here comes the full list of commands:


Contacts queries:

  • What's Michael's address?
  • What is Susan Park's phone number?
  • When is my wife's birthday?
  • Show Jennifer's home email address

Contacts search:

  • Show Jason Russell
  • Find people named Park
  • Who is Michael Manning?

Kinship reference:

  • My mom is Susan Park
  • Michael Manning is my brother
  • Call my brother at work


Adding events:

  • Set up a meeting at 9
  • Set up a meeting with Michael at 9
  • Meet with Lisa at noon
  • Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am
  • New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3
  • Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom

Editing events:

  • Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30
  • Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am
  • Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason
  • Cancel the budget review meeting

Events queries:

  • What does the rest of my day look like?
  • What's on my calendar for Friday?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When am I meeting with Michael?
  • Where is my next meeting?


Alarms setting:

  • Wake me up tomorrow at 7am
  • Set an alarm for 6:30am
  • Wake me up in 8 hours
  • Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45
  • Turn off my 6:30 alarm
  • Delete my 7:30 alarm

Time queries:

  • What time is it?
  • What time is it in Berlin?
  • What is today's date?
  • What's the date this Saturday?


  • Set the timer for ten minutes
  • Show the timer
  • Pause the timer
  • Resume
  • Reset the timer
  • Stop it

Friends (associated with Find My Friends)

Information about friends:

  • Where's Jason?
  • Where is my sister?
  • Is my wife at home?
  • Where are all my friends?
  • Who is here?
  • Who is near me?



  • How do I get home?
  • Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California
  • Directions to my dad's work

Nearby locations:

  • Find coffee near me
  • Where is Starbucks?
  • Find some burger joints in Baltimore
  • Find a gas station within walking distance
  • Good Mexican restaurants around here

Messages (iMessage)

Sending messages:

  • Tell Susan I'll be right there
  • Send a message to Jason Russell
  • Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow
  • Tell Jennifer the show was great
  • Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I'll be late
  • Send a message to 408 555 1212
  • Text Jason and Lisa where are you?

Reading messages:

  • Read my new messages
  • Read it again

Answering messages:

  • Reply that's great news
  • Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes
  • Call her



  • Play The Light of the Sun
  • Play Trouble
  • Play Taking Back Sunday shuffled
  • Play Alicia Keys
  • Play some blues
  • Play my party mix
  • Shuffle my roadtrip playlist
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Skip


Starting and searching notes:

  • Note that I spent $12 on lunch
  • Note: check out that new Alicia Keys album
  • Find my restaurant note
  • Create a reading list note
  • Add Tom Sawyer to my reading list note



  • Call Jason
  • Call Jennifer Wright mobile
  • Call Susan on her work phone
  • Call 408 555 1212
  • Call home
  • FaceTime Lisa



  • Remind me to call mom
  • Remind me to call my mom when I get home
  • Remember to take an umbrella
  • Remind me take my medicine at 6am tomorrow
  • Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here
  • Remind me when I leave to call Jason
  • Remind me to finish the report by 6

Share prices

Stocks quotations:

  • What's Apple's stock price?
  • What is Apple's PE ratio?
  • What did Yahoo close at today?
  • How is the Nikkei doing?
  • How are the markets doing?
  • What is the Dow at?


Weather forecast:

  • What's the weather for today?
  • What's the weather for tomorrow?
  • Will it rain in Cupertino this week?
  • Check next week's forecast for Burlington
  • What's the forecast for this evening?
  • How's the weather in Tampa right now?
  • How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?
  • What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?
  • What's the temperature outside?
  • How windy is it out there?
  • When is sunrise in Paris?

Web search

Information search:

  • Search the web for Bora Bora
  • Search for vegetarian pasta recipes
  • Search the web for best cable plans
  • Google the war of 1812
  • Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln
  • Search for news about the World Cup
  • Bing Alicia Keys

Use of Wolfram Alpha (!):

  • How many calories in a bagel?
  • What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?
  • Who's buried in Grant's tomb?
  • How long do dogs live?
  • What is the Gossamer Condor?
  • What's the square root of 128?
  • How many dollars is 45?
  • What was the Best Picture of 1983?
  • How many days until Christmas?
  • How far away is the Sun?
  • When is the next solar eclipse?
  • Show me the Orion constellation
  • What's the population of Jamaica?
  • How high is Mt. Everest?
  • How deep is the Atlantic ocean?
  • What's the price of gasoline in Chicago?


Checking mail:

  • Check email
  • Any new email from Michael today?
  • Show new mail about the lease
  • Show the email from Lisa yesterday

Answering messages:

  • Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment
  • Call him at work

Sending messages:

  • Email Lisa about the trip
  • Email Jennifer about the change in plans
  • New email to Susan Park
  • Mail Dad about the rent check
  • Email Dr. Manning and say I got the forms, thanks
  • Mail Lisa and Jason about the party and say I had a great time

I am sure that Siri was a favorite toy for Steve Jobs, because here we not only get a communication with a gadget, but the new level of it. If you mispronounce a word the system will mention that it did not understand you, which leads to instinctive apologies on your behalf. Siri deems your apology as redundant. Set an alarm, and when Siri asks to confirm the time, say OK for the system to respond with as you wish. Such instances are numerous, which makes you work with new capacities of Siri. There is no reason to learn commands by heart. As clearly seen from the video you can ask for weather differently. Dont forget the key word though. By default Siri is not activated and you have to fix it in the settings to replace the standard voice controls. Start Siri by pressing and holding Home. Its operation needs Internet connection, geo tagging and set up mail clients. You can select the language, activate and deactivate the voice answering, information on your data, and how you will talk to Siri.

I will not make far-fetched conclusions and the next review will be dedicated to the camera and comparison with iPhone 4. Wait for this article featuring high quality pictures. So far enjoy the video. Anyways, Siri is a special feature and iPhone 4S deserves attention due to it alone. I wonder if Samsung calls its assistant Iris.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 16 October 2011

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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