Thursday, October 20, 2011

iPhone 4S upgrade and first impression review

I love stuff that just works and usually the iPhone ticks those boxes for me. So, naturally, I ordered an iPhone 4S 64Gb the same day this was possible. This is to upgrade from my iPhone 4 32Gb. The three things that excited me the most were Siri, having plenty more storage and the improved camera. Faster is nice but I did not find my existing phone to be slow.

Today my phone arrived and I decided to try 100% wireless restore. I.e. not plug in to my computer with iTunes and only restore from the latest iCloud backup. I was amazed at how well it worked. All I had to do was switch my SIM over to the new phone and put in my wifi password and apple account details and in minutes it was ready to start being used.

The first thing I had to do after that was enter a new lock screen PIN, which it prompted me to do. Then it asked for my apple id again (not sure why it did not use what I entered earlier). Then it prompted me for some Google Apps accounts passwords so I had to set up some new application specific passwords. This re-entering of passwords I have seen before when going from a 3GS to 4. It seems the backup keys the passwords against the hardware for security. Makes sense.

To set up the application specific passwords I had to use the Google Authenticator app. Unfortunately at this point it has not finished downloading and installing all the apps. So I clicked on the app and it jumped to the front of the download queue. A moment later I ran it only to find it had not copied over the 2-factor account details, of which I have 5. Mildly annoying. I guess it’s the same reason as the passwords; security. So I had to choose SMS me the number and I was in. I will finish setting up the authentication later.

But that was about the only niggle I had. All the settings for everything has migrated, all apps, all icon positions and folders, all messages, all pictures - even my open safari tabs, my tiny tower, and my cut the rope progress! Very slick.

I tell you this cloud stuff. It’s the future man! LAN is so last millennium.

Next I wanted my music and went to the wireless iTunes sync. It said... To sync music wirelessly... plug in... and choose wifi sync. Oh well. After I had done that it started to copy them over automatically, via wi-fi. This was taking some time so I just plugged it back in again and let it copy over at USB speeds.
I wanted to play with Siri, so I turned it on and had the following conversation:

“What time is it?”

“It’s 8pm”

"Will it rain tomorrow?"

"There is no rain forecast for Southampton tomorrow."

"What time does my last appointment finish tomorrow?"

"Your last appointment tomorrow ends at 5.30pm."

“What should I buy my wife for Christmas?”

“Sorry, I don’t understand “What should I buy my wife for Christmas?”, shall I search the web?"

"Why not?"

"Why not what?"

“**** ***”

“Sorry I don’t understand “4Q””

“**** ***”

“Daniel, I don’t understand “4Q””

“Now you’re getting cheeky!”

“If you insist.”

“You’re funny!”

“Ha! I’m glad you think so.”

I am going to have so much fun with this!

I tried the camera in a fairly low-light situation and it seems still very grainy but not quite as bad as previous phones. I have yet to try it in the daylight.

So, first impressions are good.