Anyone who follows me on Twitter will probably be aware that I got a new iPhone 4S the other week. My Twitter stream was clogged for several days with my complaining at O2 for not offering pre-order, ordering through Vodafone and then fun and games with the parcel tracker service. I eventually caught up with the phone at a Post Office near my flat that I never knew existed.
Leaving for another day the strangeness of living in a world of modern developments bereft of any community other than the one that was there before and doesn’t really like us, here are some things about the new phone.
Firstly, there are slight case modifications from the iPhone 4. Not many but, due to the aerial improvements, the silent switch and volume controls are slightly lower than they were. This meant that the first thing I had to do was attack my case to make it fit properly.
Next, the obvious: Siri. Siri is iOS5’s new voice assistant. I was a complete sceptic about this, fully expecting that it wouldn’t understand a thing I said and I would never use it. Turns out it’s amazing. It can almost always understand what I’m saying, including the names of people (to send them a text, for example) and places. The only problem I have is that its business finder capability only works in the USA. Over there you can say ‘find me a gas station’ and it will. In the UK you say ‘where’s the nearest shopping centre?’ and you get ‘Sorry Jen, I can only look for businesses in the United States, and when you’re using U.S. English.’ Oh, that’s the other thing – it knows my name. I told Siri who I was by choosing myself from the contacts list when prompted. I’m now even using Siri for the occasional bit of dictation. Facebook statuses, emails and the like. Brilliant.
Something I was really excited about testing was iMovie. This has been around on iPhone since the previous iOS but didn’t work on my 3GS so it was pretty much the first thing I downloaded to the new phone. I have to say I’m really impressed. I couldn’t quite see how a high-feature interface could work on such a small display but it’s achieved perfectly. You swipe to scroll through the movie, click to add media, click on each clip, photo or sound clip to edit it (individual interfaces then adapt for this) and you’re done. Give it a name, export to library, done in seconds.
For a bit of a trial run I used some stock and wallpaper images of snowboarders and created a fantasy snowboard holiday video, perhaps the sort of thing I imagine I would make to show my family a slideshow from a particular occasion.
Oh, you want to see it? Ok.