This is My Next seemed to be impressed with it, despite the removal of Meego and the front-facing camera:
…the superb build quality and Clear Black AMOLED display you’re familiar with from the Harmattan device are both present and accounted for here. The feel in the hand is close to the best around and the blacks are deep enough to create the illusion that onscreen items are simply floating atop the curved Gorilla Glass screen.
Be sure to check out the short video review in that post; good hardware design is most evident when the device itself just seems to fade into the background, letting the UI shine through. If this is what Elop believes is the first “true” Windows Phone, than I think the platform has a great hardware platform to (continue to) build on. As an aside, can you believe how huge the HTC Titan is? It’s practically a tablet!
Time is the only thing that these fierce competitors can’t make more of. Many of today’s corporate PCs are saddled with management, backup, and security agents that can bog down a PC. Employees want their PCs to boot in 10 seconds, not 10 minutes, and they don’t want to have to get a cup of coffee while opening a 20 MB spreadsheet in Excel. They’re drawn to uncluttered Macs — especially those with solid-state drives, which are more responsive and boot in seconds.
I understand the need for standards and a consistent security architecture, but all I know is within the last two weeks, I’ve seen no less than seven HP company laptops suffer from total harddisk failure, which calls for a complete re-imaging of the machine. And everyone hates it.
- I noticed a speed increase over my iPod Touch with the A4.
- The notifications are finally useful, and actually make me want to enable them.
- I’m on Verizon, and the 3G performance was better than I expected (though that may not be saying much, coming from a Blackberry).
- I’ve been testing a lot of new apps, and so far my favorites have been Elements, a great syncing text editor, and TeamViewer, a no-nonsense free remote access app.
- Biggest complaint: battery life. I’m sitting at about 20-30% by 6:00 p.m. To supplement the internal battery, I’m using a Mophie Juicepack Air that gets me easily through the day with battery to spare, but I may take it in just to confirm everything is as it should be.
- I sincerely hope that Apple opens the API for Siri, because I think there is an amazing framework in place that is just begging to be used throughout.
The Verdict: The best iPhone yet for first-time buyers, worth the upgrade for 3GS owners, 4 owners should pick up the iOS 5 update and wait. More app recommendations coming in the near future.
UPDATE: I took my 4S into the Apple store on suspicion of a problem echoed in this article, and sure enough, it looks like an iCloud sync crashloop was the culprit. After a hard reset and reconfigure, I’m now getting at least an additional 20%. I usually hit red now at around 11:00 or so even with heavy use, so I actually took the Mophie back. Very pleased.
That is a huge understatement. Instapaper has long been one of my favorite web/app-based services, and was one of the prevailing reasons I bought a Kindle after seeing the high level of integration it offered. Now that I have an iPhone 4S (more on that later), I can finally take advantage of the mobile syncing and reading of articles the way the developer intended.
I could use this space to talk about all of the great new features, like the new unified navigation, more fully integrated article curation, tap-to-define, or even the inline footnotes (seriously, how did he do that?). But perhaps of greater importance than any one feature is how they all work in concert with one another. The new functions are almost transparent while reading, lying at the ready just under the surface. This painstaking attention to detail doesn’t happen by accident, and Mr. Arment’s work on this release shows more than any other that I can recall.
I have always thought of good UI/UX design as a conversation between developer and user, imparting the character of the creator as well as functionality. The new face of Instapaper speaks of cool confidence, simplicity without oversimplification, and a strong desire to set the standard for user experience on a mobile device. Curation at its finest.
Of the features touted in Apple’s refresh of the iPhone this past Tuesday, the voice-based assistant Siri (assimilated into iOS from Apple’s acquisition of the company by the same name last year) garnered the most attention, and in my mind, has the most potential. While Apple has cautiously listed the feature as “beta,” initial reviews have been positive, and cite better performance than the keynote suggested. While voice recognition is nothing new, (and even voice transcription has been more or less standard on Android devices for some time) Siri’s real selling point is its integration with Apple’s core iOS services, as well as its sensitivity to context. While we won’t know the full depth of its functionality until more full-length hands-on reviews are available, the sensitivity and power of Siri has started to leak out in small ways, as MG Siegler notices while testing the iPhone 4S in London:
Siri didn’t work for me when UK English was turned on. When I switched to US English, it worked perfectly. It understands accents.
Paul Miller wrote a nice overview of Siri’s role in iOS 5, and like him, I’m particularly excited about the Wolfram Alpha integration. By choosing to utilize Wolfram’s engine natively, I think it finally will give purpose to a search engine that has been largely ignored by the body public. In addition, if Apple decides to open Siri’s API to developers, I think we could see it turn into a killer feature, one that sets a new standard for voice recognition not just as an alternative means of input, but as a primary one depending on the application in question. I’ll be giving a more in-depth review of Siri’s capabilities (as well as iOS 5 as a whole) when my 4S arrives next week.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
I will always remember my first Apple experience. Thank you Mr. Jobs for your innovation, your passion, and your desire to never settle. You will be dearly missed.
David Ulevotch, CEO of OpenDNS, on the pre-fetching in Amazon’s new Silk browser built into the Kindle Fire:
I think it’s brilliant. Not sure if people are wary of Amazon doing it since they will see all your traffic but SOMEONE should be doing this. Performance is one reason, but security benefits could be added too. Ultimately I think the idea of decoupled browsing makes a lot of sense. I’d rather a remote exploit run in a VM in the cloud instead of compromising my mobile device and rooting my phone.
But the caveat is that this is Amazon. People hand over all the cards to Google but they feel the exchange of value is worth it. But it took nearly a decade for people to even recognize they were giving something of value to Google. Armed with that savvy that exists now, consumers now know they are giving something to Amazon — so the burden is on Amazon to say how it will use the data or make the benefits so compelling that consumers don’t care just as Google does. It’s worth remembering that Google is open in many areas, but none of their openness is in the areas that matter.
It’s been reported that Amazon is taking between a $50-100 loss on each Kindle Fire sold. But that’s nothing compared to the goldmine of analytics and opportunities for sales that this new platform unlocks. While their are some obvious privacy and security questions that will only be answered once the device is in-hand, it certainly shows promise.