Stats showdown: iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4

Table courtesy of The Verge. Go past the fold for the full version.

Our friends over at The Verge have beaten everyone to the comparison punch by creating this fine table offering an at-the-glance overview of the key hardware features of the newly introduced iPhone 4S and the eighteen months old iPhone 4. Hope you don’t mind that the new iPhone 4S is a tad heavier than its predecessor, full three grams to be precise. We take it you’ll also appreciate Siri, an iPhone 4S exclusive personal assistant based on software which “helps you get things done just by asking”. It’s also our belief you’ll appreciate an hour longer talk time on the iPhone 4S and the new 64GB model costing $399. The full table is right below the fold.

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Apple demoes amazing Siri personal assistant

Despite Phil Shiller’s remark that it may not be such a good idea to demo Siri, iOS chief Scott Forstall took the stage to demo the feature previously known as Assistant, which 9to5Mac exclusively revealed (here and here). “Siri is your intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking”, says the official tagline. It’s activated just by holding down the home button briefly and understands natural-language queries in English, German and French, with more languages possibly following at later time.

For starters, you can, say, tell Siri to set an alarm clock just by saying “wake me up at 6 AM”. Or, you could ask Siri something like “What time is it in Paris?” and it will speak aloud “The time in Paris, France is 8:16 PM” How nice is that?

How about asking Siri “Do I need a raincoat today”? Sure, you can do that and it’ll respond “It sure looks like rain today”. That’s the power of the DARPA-funded military project striving to create an artificial intelligence-backed personal assistant that learns.

Siri is omni-present throughout the entire operating system so you can issue complex voice commands that include core functionalities. Siri can text messages for you, set calendar appointments, compose and dictate email, look up contacts, create notes, search the web, create geolocation-based reminders such as “remind me to call my wife when I leave work” and lots, lots more.

If there ever was such a thing as a software-based killer feature on a mobile phone, this is it. Also worth noting, the amount of user interface work Apple’s done around Siri is just mind-blowing, as you can see on the included screenshots. It’s not a pretty interface, great speech recognition/synthesis and clever artificial intelligence: Siri taps the power of the web to deliver mash ups that will blow your mind. More examples below the fold:

Images via Engadget

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App rentals arriving?

You can rent movies and television shows on iTunes, but not apps for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. That could change as compelling evidence surfaces just a day before Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event that app rentals might be in the works.

The Tech Erra points to some code strings, uncovered by Sonny Dickson from iTunes 10.5 Beta 9, that strongly suggest such a feature could be unveiled at tomorrow’s press conference. The contents of the strings (seen below) clearly points to the app rental ability. Any rented app will be automatically removed from your devices, including your computer, after the rental period expires, one of the string reads:

Apps are automatically removed from your iTunes library at the end of the rental period.

This could be an interesting twist to today’s App Store rules that make a clear distinction between paid and free apps, here’s why.

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NBA2K12 hitting iPhone, iPad next Tuesday, Michael Jordan battles included

2K Sports chose the iPhone 5 day to launch its multi-platform basketball series on iOS devices. NBA2K12 will be hitting Apple’s iPhone and iPad for the first time next Tuesday, October 4. CNET played the game and walked away pretty impressed. Animations are great and console-like, down to the Signature Style shooting moves. NBA2K12 supports Apple’s Game Center and sports Michael Jordan classic battles. In fact, it’s the first time the famous basketball player has adorned any mobile gaming platform. As for playing modes:

You have the standard Quick Game; there’s a full 82-game Season Mode with player transactions; Playoff Mode, where you’ll skip the regular season and jump right into the games that count; and Situation Mode, which allows you to create custom scenarios where you can try to comeback from 5 points down with a minute left.

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