Saturday, November 19, 2011

iOS 5 on iPhone 4S - Free iPhone 4S

We have a comprehensive overview of the iOS 5, which we tested on an iPhone 4. There is nothing dramatically different around the iPhone 4S, except you receive a couple of things that will not work on the iPhone 4. The first is the Siri virtual assistant and the other is dictation support. Across almost the whole interface, text entry can be based on voice-recognition - you are able to dictate instead of type. There you have it so far as the iPhone 4S exclusive software goes. And in case you've missed our iOS 5 review, this review attempts to cover everything you should know about it.Click Here How to Get a Free iPhone 4S

Simplicity is the philosophy of the iOS. You've got a homescreen and apps, no layer upon layer of advanced menus hidden deep. The Settings is the only place where you'll find sub-menus. Basically, how you connect to the unit isn't different to what we should saw a couple of years during the first iPhone. And we can continue to safely call it the standard-setting touchscreen interface.

OK, that's where the iOS 5 starts. Let's see where it's heading. Apple say it rings a lot more than 200 new features. We didn't bother counting, however the interesting things amount to at least 40.

There has been virtually no visual changes to the core interface. When it comes to design, the only real new thing you'll notice round the Settings menu may be the new look of the toggle switches - they're now circles rather than squares.

To go straight to probably the most important novelties though - the iOS 5 includes a new method of Notifications.

Users receive notifications both on the lockscreen as well as on the homescreen - and there's a pull-down Notification center a la Android. You can set the behaviour for each notification: view in Notification Center on/off, take on Lock Screen on/off, Badge icon on/off, number of shown items 1/5/10 and alert style - off/banner/pop-up alert.
The system is fairly flexible and configurable now.

Notifications display on the lockscreen too and they're active. When you react to a notification by sliding it in all directions, it will take relevant action (return a missed call) or launch the appropriate app. Not bad whatsoever, although not perfect either - for those who have several missed event. Let's imagine you've got a new email along with a missed call notified around the lockscreen. You choose to return the call so when you're finished you go to the lockscreen to find nothing. A small thing, although not typical of Apple.

iOS 5 on iPhone 4S

iOS 5 on iPhone 4S

iOS 5 on iPhone 4S

iOS 5 on iPhone 4S

The homescreen notifications (or any app screen for instance) can be displayed in two ways - as a banner at the top of the screen or like a pop-up.

The notification banner at the top stays on for some seconds and then disappears. Should you tap onto it you'll be taken to the relevant app. The pop-up alert appears in the center of the screen and has two buttons - View and Dismiss.

Finally, the pull-down Notification Center works just like the Android notifications. You have access to the Notification Center from anywhere in the interface. If you're within an app, let's say a game title, if you accidentally swipe close to the notification area, you will not open the notification center, but just a small virtual handle. Should you choose need to access the Notification Center, you will need to pull it down by using their handle. It does pause the app beneath, so there’s no way you accidentally stray off course while playing Real Racing.

The Notification Center displays all of your pending alerts. You can enable/disable and rearrange the alerts in the Notification settings.

The Notification Center supports widgets too. Currently there are only two to choose from - Weather and Stocks.

Apple has added dictionary support working in all the native iOS apps for example Safari, Mail, Notes, etc. Should you tap and hang on a word after which choose Define from the popup balloon, you'll be redirected to word definition within the integrated iOS dictionary.

The dictionary isn't a stand-alone app, it really works just whenever you pick a word.
There are two more things we need to mention associated with the general interface. The first one is the dedicated Camera shortcut around the lockscreen. You can take it in the same way you invoke the music controls - having a double click from the Home button. The camera key appears right next to the Unlock slider and can launch your camera app when tapped.

Another thing is the Newsstand app in your homescreen, which displays like a homescreen folder. All of the periodicals you purchase in the App Store will go there.

As usual, we conclude our user interface section with some performance notes. You must've already seen the iPhone 4 vs. 4S head-to-head article. Anyway, in summary, the iPhone 4S is at times almost twice as fast since it's predecessor is when you are looking at CPU and seven times faster (Apple didn’t lie relating to this) when it comes to 3D performance.

Phonebook - same look, adds Related People field and custom sound alerts
The phonebook has seen very little changes but still doesn't have smart dialing (you have the system wide Spotlight search for that).
It is the same simple and easy to use app, down to the typical alphabet search.

A new thing may be the Related people field within the phonebook. You are able to identify your contacts with labels such as mother, father, parent, brother, sister, child, friend, spouse, partner, assistant, manager, etc. Will have in your mind though that the labels are available just for the native iPhone contacts. Having a group of Google-synced contacts only three labels were supported: spouse, assistant and manager.
There's a new Social Profile field too. You can use it in order to save Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkdIn and MySpace account names.

In case you don’t such as the provided ringtones and also you don’t know how to make one yourself, you can now choose Buy More Tones directly within the sound settings. You'll be redirected to the iTunes Tone Store (the iTunes app) and you will buy whatever tones you like there.
FaceTime also receives a new feature. If your carrier doesn't support FaceTime activation by telephone number, you can use your email as ID. It's done automatically when the phone number activation fails. Just make sure you are attached to a Wi-Fi network and turn the FaceTime on in Settings.
You can also choose your FaceTime ID - even if you use email activation, you could still make use of your mobile phone number for identification.

Telephony - better loudspeaker, no antenna issues, CMDA is onboard too
First things first: dropped calls are extremely 2010. A dual antenna setup gets rid of the death grip issue. The phone can intelligently switch between the two antennas as needed (even in the middle of a phone call), therefore if one antenna is blocked, the other gets control.

Not just can there be no wrong way to hold the phone, the general reception seems a lot better now. We repeated our tests from this past year. We made a few calls from the residential section of really poor coverage and while the iPhone 4 barely held to signal, similar to every other phone we’ve tested, the iPhone 4S (working on the same network) showed at least 2 to 3 bars. There have been. No dropped calls, no voice drops.

You should note that based on Apple the iPhone 4S has double the amount SAR values of the previous iPhones, but within safety levels. We guess that's the price to pay for that excellent reception.

No doubt you've heard the iPhone 4S is a world phone focusing on both CDMA and GSM networks. This works just one way though. CDMA is just available on handsets activated to be used on a CDMA network. Should you bought your iPhone with a GSM Sim it won't support CDMA.

The loudspeaker performs much better than on the iPhone 4, although not a massive improvement. It scored Average within our traditional loudspeaker test, while all the iPhone 4 had a Substandard result. The results act like what we saw around the iPad 2, we guess both devices make use of the same speakers.

Anyway, although the iPhone 4 and 4S score equal within the pink noise and also the music/voice tests, the 4S sounds richer and deeper. Within the ringtone test it comes with an increase as high as 8db.

FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi is enabled around the iPhone 4S of course. The iPhone 4, iPad 2 and also the new generation of Macs, as well as the last-gen ipod itouch are the compatible devices.
iMessage service - free messaged between all supported iOS devices
The messaging app stores all your messages within threads and offers choices for mass delete and forwarding. There is a search field, MMS support (if you opt to fasten a multimedia file) and character counter. The SMS delivery reports continue to be missing though.

iOS 5 keeps the easy and intuitive interface but brings a functionality boost with the iMessage service. The iMessage service enables you to exchange messages between iOS 5-running iGadgets via Wi-Fi or 3G. You are able to send plain text as well as multimedia (pictures, sounds, videos) messages.
To activate the iMessage you need to simply visit Settings->Messages and switch it on. But how does it work?

You tap around the new message button and you'll begin to see the standard message composer with a green SEND key. When you choose a recipient you will find a small loading icon next to the name. When the person you're texting has got the iMessage service, your SEND key will turn blue and also the top bar will say New iMessage instead of New Message. Yes, it’s all automatic.

The rest is fairly simple - you type, you add content (optional) and hit send. The iMessage conversations are color-coded to vary from the standard SMS/MMS - their bubbles are blue rather than green.

The iMessage service is essentially an IM - in an iMessage conversation you can observe when the other person is typing and you get their messages instantly. You may also get Read Receipts - something they still don’t offer within the usual SMS app. Go figure!
One more thing about iMessage - your ID is either your telephone number or your email - just as in FaceTime.

New Mail app
The Mail app receives a few tweaks of its own. It supports multiple email accounts (configurable in the Settings app) and offers Universal Inbox (showing all your mail at the same time). The Mail app will also support threads, email archiving and quick lookup of documents because of the integrated doc viewer. There is also a wide open With… option, offerings depending on what you have installed (PDF reader, mobile office, iBooks, etc).

If you open your Inbox striking the Edit button, you have a Mark key alongside Move and Delete. Now you can mass mark emails as read/unread or flag them as important. Unfortunately, a "Select All" option is still missing.

Bold, Italic and Underline font styles are put into the written text editing options as well as quote font size levels. Text selection works the usual way (tap&hold&select) and the available options can look just you have made the choice: Cut/Copy/Replace/Bold Italic Underline/Quote Level. Quote Level will increase / reduce the quote symbols before the text you're quoting.

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