Who needs an iPhone 4S, anyway?

It's no secret that I grab whatever iPhone comes down the Apple pipe. "I need to know this for the benefit of my clients," is the line I give my wife. She knows just as much as I do that I'd probably be just fine without the latest greatest… I just love this stuff. Last Tuesday, Apple announced iPhone 4S. So, what I'd like to do is look at its three major features in an attempt to justify my purchase. Maybe this can help convince your boss, too.

Enhanced Camera

According to Flickr, the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera in use right now. With the iPhone 4S, Apple has not only increased the camera's quality, but they've actually made the camera perform quicker. Capture the moment as soon as it happens, with darker darks, brighter colors, and more accurate white balance. Oh, and it will now use face-detection to autofocus your shot more accurately and image-stabilization to make your videos smoother. Nice, eh? I take pictures of my kids constantly, so my whole family would benefit from this feature, right?


Siri is the new personal assistant built into iPhone 4S. "Use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more," is what Apple's site says. It is far more than mere voice commands found in other phones. Siri is artificial intelligence, using your location, date, address book, and more to figure out the meaning behind your question. For example, asking Siri if you need an umbrella tomorrow will prompt it to let you know the chance of rain for the next day. To learn more about Siri, click here. And to learn about the former Pentagon scientist who now works on the Siri team at Apple, click here. Other fun commands you can give Siri include, "When I leave work, remind me to call my wife." "Call my mom." "Set a timer for thirty minutes." "Set up a meeting today with John at noon." And more.

A5 Processor

The A5 is the brain within the iPhone 4S, and it is twice as fast as the iPhone 4. Needless to say, it's the hardware that's able to bring you the power of a better camera and Siri. But it doesn't stop there. Your apps will launch twice as fast, websites will load twice as fast, and you'll definitely be twice as awesome having this processor in your phone. :-)

Now what?

For most folks who have an iPhone 4, these might not be major reasons to upgrade. Besides, if you signed a two-year contract when you bought your iPhone 4, you may not be eligible for a full discount on the iPhone 4S. But, if the camera is the most used part of your phone, and you think Siri would be a fantastic addition to your workflow, I say go for it. I'll be making the upgrade, but for me, it's the A5's allure. My iPhone is not just a phone, but my GPS, scheduler, to-do list, and reading device. I use it constantly, and doubling the speed sounds like a splendid upgrade. Unfortunately for me, I am not eligible for an upgrade until November. My wife assures me that I'll live.

Rick Stawarz

Minneapolis, MN

I am an Apple Certified Support Professional with over a decade of experience supporting families, schools, and businesses. Tech has always captured my imagination, but it's not my only passion. I'm an ordained Anglican minister;  Aeropress is a daily ritual of mine; I've driven across Mongolia; and I'm the father of three girls. I hope to provide for you a balanced and realistic perspective into the practicality of technology.