Saturday, October 15, 2011

iPhone 4S Release Day

Two crazy iPhone days this week!  First, most of us encountered trouble updating to iOS 5, although it sounds like I got the better end of the deal on that one.  People - you need to BACKUP and then RESTORE that backup!

Anyway, yesterday was the release of the iPhone 4S.  On most release days, there are oodles and oodles of lines waiting for the latest iPhone.  At least here in Hawaii, lines were not that bad.  Perhaps it's because many pre-ordered for mail delivery and you could get an iPhone at the Apple Store, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Best Buy, Wal-Mart or Target.

The hardest part about the 4S release day was actually trying to activate your iPhone 4S.  It seems like AT&T was the hardest hit since it has the largest base of iPhone users.

A member in my family ordered the iPhone 4S and I was given the task to make it come alive.
I was actually one of the lucky ones.  I received the iPhone 4S from UPS at around 10:15 a.m. Hawaii time.  I know some people received their package in the late afternoon.  But, my headstart was all for naught because of the activation problems.

This was the first iPhone that you didn't have to use iTunes with to activate or activate in a store.  And it looks like everyone was taking the route of activating over the air.  I just wanted to do it because it's something that was never done before.

After the my initial failure, my Mom was bugging me to see if I wanted to have lunch with her or if she should come home on the bus.  Since I was getting nowhere fast with the 4S activation, I decided to take the 4S with me and try to see if I could activate it on the road.

So, in between having lunch with my Mom and going to Costco there were many more activation attempts and many more failures.  At least I was able to research the problem and I found out it wasn't the iPhone but rather AT&T's servers.  At around 1:30 p.m. Hawaii time my activation got through!

I didn't want to set up too much because I would have to go home and put on a backup anyway.  So, I just did enough to get it up and running.

I activated it while I was on my way to Costco, so that's where I was able to first use the iPhone 4S.  I snapped a few pictures while I was there.  The iPhone 4S still cannot take a great photo if you have shaky hands.  But, here's an example of some of the photos I took.  Not all of them are great but that's probably due to my camera-taking ability.  They have not been retouched and use the HDR function in the camera app:

I love how you can now get better depth of field than the iPhone 4.  To achieve that kind of results, I've had to use an accessory like the olloclip.

My current phone is the iPhone 4.  A few days ago I heard about the slight hardware change between the 4 and the 4S and I was able to confirm it after receiving the 4S:

Okay, I took this picture with my iPad 2 so it's crappy.  But it's enough to get my point across.  On the left is the AT&T iPhone 4.  On the right is the iPhone 4S.  Amazingly, the volume control buttons match up perfectly.  I found that out after putting the 4S into an iPhone 4 case which has an exact placement for those buttons.  But, the mute switch has been moved.  That's because there's new gaps in the antenna, similar to the Verizon iPhone 4, that fixed the death grip issue and improved the cell signal.

Finally, I was able to use Siri a little bit and I like it a lot.  However, being in Hawaii, Siri doesn't yet know Hawaiian names or places so that's out of the question.  Still, it comes in very handy when it is very hard to type.  Here's my favorite Siri response:

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