Totally Free from Your PC: Get Ready for the iPhone 4S

We’re calling time of death for the PC tether to the iPhone October 14, 2011, whenever your local retailers open or when your pre-ordered iPhone 4S arrives.

That’s one of the most exciting developments coming in the iPhone 4S. All those functions for which you had to physically connect your phone to your computer have been completely revamped. You’ll be able to simply speak your command, and the phone gets to work.

So, for example, previously when you wanted to update the phone software, you had to connect. With this new version, you don’t have to worry about it. You get on the phone and just put in the menu and say “Update software.” Even iTunes synchronization previously required you to connect to your USB cable.  But with the 4S, it simply happens — with the use of your wifi capabilities.

Apple is taking away the dependency on computers. The company is making it so your phone communicates automatically with Apple’s servers. You don’t even need to connect your phone to activate it anymore. This capability is one of the core selling points of the new iOS 5. The new operating system further enables Apple to become more pervasive and entrenched in countries where people may not have easy access to computers and to the internet. It also firmly anchors Apple’s commitment to making its products simpler for everyone to use.

The news that Apple wasn’t releasing the much-anticipated iPhone 5 may have come as a shocker and a disappointment, but the refinements made with this release make this machine faster, more useful and more powerful than it’s ever been.

First there’s the speed. The A5 dual-core processor and dual-core GPU has Apple claiming the new iPhone 4S’s processing speed is twice as fast as the iPhone 4 and graphics performance peaks at seven times faster. A movie-watcher and gamer’s delight, no doubt. The camera now comes in at 8 megapixels, autofocus, flash, an f/2.4 aperture lens, CMOS sensor that allows 73 percent more light and an infrared filter that produces better color accuracy. And, you can record video in 1080p HD. Apple says talk time will be up to 8 hours on 3G and up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM).

Exclusive to the iPhone 4S is Siri, a native app that acts as something of a voice-activated virtual assistant. Siri will remind you about your appointments, voice-dial and text your contacts and answer your questions like “What’s the weather like this weekend” or “Where can I get some sushi right now?”

Despite all the under-the-hood upgrades, conflicting reports say the phone continues with 512 MB of RAM. Industry watchers were expecting at least 1 GB. This has implications for the developer community and all the apps that are in the pipeline. On the other hand, the company is adding an option for 64 GB storage capacity at long last. This upgrade will also more than double your downloading capacity. Max download is 14.4 Mbps, compared to iPhone 4’s 7.2. In addition, the phone operates on both CDMA and GSM in 200 countries.

And years in the making, the iPhone 4S will make its debut on the Sprint network. No need to wonder whether these changes are impressive enough to charm the masses. The company has already exceeded 1 million in pre-orders. The challenge is now on for the developer world to take advantage of the new features. With the phenomenal growth of the iPhone developer ecosystem, that should not be a problem. Good bye old tether…hello truly wireless world.

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