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What you need to know about iOS5 and iPhone 4S features

October 5, 2011

By Luke Janssen

We work on multiplatform technology and so we get a good insight into where our customers are spending their money around the world.

Admittedly, our key markets of Europe, United States and Asia are iPhone-heavy, but we are seeing more interest and budgets going to Android. So what does Apple do to stay ahead – and it is still very much ahead in my opinion, and will remain there for at least two years?

So, iOS 5 is being released midmonth along with the iPhone 4S and I thought that I would go through the key new features that I think will really change things. They are listed below.

Everything gets faster
The key thing about the iPhone4S is the new A5 chip.

Basically, this will make things go a lot faster two times faster download times for applications, seven times faster graphics, two times faster CPU (everything gets processed twice as fast) and dual core means things can run at the same time quickly.

Artificial intelligence assistant
This is a persona called Siri who theoretically understands what you are saying and then helps. She reads your texts to you, finds restaurants, answers questions, takes dictation, sets alarm times and creates appointments.

I have not ever seen voice activation work well. So my expectations for this are low. But this could be something that appeals to an older demographic, which is one of the fastest growing segments of iPhone users.

Colby at the office (and my youth focus group) says that he will “feel like a d–che bag talking into his phone” and asks “Can you get pissed off with her when she messes things up?”

Colby’s and my opinion is that this will go the same way as the Microsoft paperclip (i.e. fail)

Cool built-in apps
Apple is generally very good at building apps. We work with its developers on some of ours from time to time, and they are all very good.

I remember the first app that I played with was Poker that it built, and it was way better than any others.

“Find a friend” is built into the phone, which means that you can find friends with iPhones nearby – if they have opted to show it, which I suspect they all will – the media is far more worried about privacy than people are.

In my opinion this will not affect foursquare as foursquare is more about the gaming components and Find a friend is more about the utility of finding someone you know nearby. But you never know.

The “Cards” app that we pitched to a few postal companies around the world is being built by Apple. This will let you create and send cards. You can also send the physical card and have it sent to an address.

In my opinion this is something that will really take off. Not a bad money maker for Apple (sending cards costs $2.99 each!), and a potential life raft for the U.S. postal service who are suffering at the moment.

“Twitter” is built-in which will be a big boost to twitter, not that it needed it, because it has been doing very well recently.

“Newsstand” will house magazines and newspapers all delivered in a similar way with new issues being downloaded automatically and reducing the need for separate apps for each publication.

This is a good opportunity for publishers as it standardizes the format and therefore reduces cost.

For high-end publications that we work with who have their own app, there is also a good opportunity as the differentiation will be starker between high-end and the standardized newsstand titles.

The camera is now 8 megapixels.

Personally I think that anything above 2 megapixels is a total waste, but the point is that Apple has improved many aspects of the camera and video (white balance, face detection), and so the iPhone and all camera phones will continue to eat away at the low end of traditional camera businesses.

Also you can connect wirelessly to a projector and project in high definition.

These will both be available in the new iPhone 5, which is great news for people like me who are on Verizon and travel outside the U.S. I can now use the same phone rather than having a new handset and SIM, which did annoy me.

All phones should have both CDMA and GSM inside in my opinion.

One of the stats that I found interesting was the game infinity blade making $20m in revenue for Epic Games. It proves what we have been saying for a while, which is that iOS is a serious money maker for not just games companies but everyone who is willing to invest the time and money to produce something great.

Wireless synchronization
Company vice president Matt Turnbull’s wife lost her phone and with it, all her photos since the last time she plugged in and synchronized. Doing it wirelessly will help this. Although I cannot help thinking that it will annoy me somehow by taking time continually synchronizing itself.

On the whole there is a lot of cool stuff and good efficiencies in there, but nothing mind-blowing. I was hoping for a new device, which I am sure will be next, so I will hold off on buying one until it comes out.

Luke Janssen is CEO of TigerSpike, New York. Reach him at

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