Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
Nearly 25 years passed between Apple’s first foray into handheld electronics — the Newton MessagePad — and the far more successful iPhone. But while phones have replaced PDAs for all intents and purposes, few if any have tried to be what Newton really aspired to — an intelligent assistant that would seamlessly blend into your life. That has changed with Siri, the standout feature of iOS 5 on the iPhone 4S, which could aptly be described as a “personal digital assistant” if there weren’t so much baggage tied to that term.
Siri is far more than parlor entertainment or a simple leapfrogging the voice control support in Android and Windows Phone. At the other end of the potential spectrum, Siri may not be a new platform in itself (although at this point Apple has somewhat sandboxed the experience). In any case, though, Siri certainly paves the way for voice as an important component for a rich multi-input digital experience. It steps toward the life-management set of functionality that the bow-tied agent immortalized in Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator video could achieve.
Continue reading Switched On: As Siri gets serious
Switched On: As Siri gets serious originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 Oct 2011 21:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, artificial intelligence
Ready to trade in that phone you just got? Sprint thinks you are, teasing you from its iPhone landing page to “go green and get green” by recycling your probably still in-contract HTC Arrive. Sure, its $73 buyback kickback might help you subsidize something fresher, but you aren’t tired of Metro already, are you?
Sprint buyback ad deems HTC Arrive too old, iPhone page lightly suggests you chuck it originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 Oct 2011 13:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, htc arrive
If you’ve unboxed a shiny new iPhone 4S from AT&T today, you’ve most likely had an experience similar to many others who made the same purchase: frustration. It seems that the surge in activity from the release of Apple’s new handset has reduced activation traffic on Ma Bell’s network to a crawl. This isn’t the first time the carrier has had issues on launch day — but back then, it didn’t have any competition. Now that Verizon and Sprint have joined the iPhone party, the pressure’s on and AT&T’s not looking good compared to the other carriers who don’t appear to be having issues. As if that weren’t enough for the folks in Cupertino, iCloud had a rocky debut this week as well — from absent verification emails to an inability to backup data. Apple has documented all five of the new service’s foibles via the coverage link below, but it appears everything’s been peachy since early this morning. So, have you been waiting for your new iPhone to be more than a shiny new paperweight? Leave a comment, and let us know.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
iPhone 4S welcomed by AT&T activation delays, iCloud stumbles out of the gate originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 14 Oct 2011 17:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It’s been a long, weird and winding road, but it appears that the saga surrounding the leaked iPhone 4 prototype that got Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home raided is finally over. The two men accused of selling the device to Chen, Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of theft of lost property. The two were sentenced to a year probation, 40 hours of public service and told to pay $250 in damages to Apple. The rest of the $5,000 they received for the prototype is theirs to keep. Through it all Chen and Gizmodo have escaped prosecution and, with the two who found and sold the device receiving barely a slap on the wrist, it looks like its time to close the book on this tale. Perhaps crime doesn’t pay, but it doesn’t appear to cost a whole heck of a lot either.
The saga of the leaked iPhone 4 prototype comes to an anticlimactic end originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, brian hogan
The Bluetooth 4.0 specification may have been finalized in July of last year, but smartphones supporting the standard are just starting to hit the market. In fact, the first such handset is the iPhone 4S. That the 4S is the first to deliver its 4.0 wares to the American public is something that got lost in all the hubbub surrounding its launch. One of the biggest selling points of the latest version of the PAN standard is its low-power mode, though that wont have much of an impact on Apple’s device. What it will enable the latest iGadget to do however, is act as a hub — collecting data from multiple sensors and accessories simultaneously, such as heart rate monitors and cats. Don’t expect this to be alone on the market for long, other manufacturers will certainly be squeezing support for the specification into their next flagship device.
iPhone 4S claims title of first Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone, ready to stream data from your cat originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Oct 2011 12:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, apple iphone
, bluetooth 4
, bluetooth 4.0
Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
The most surprising thing about the iPhone 4S is that people were surprised by the iPhone 4S, for there is ample precedent to the company both confining upgrades largely to a speed bump and to saying no to a host of potential new features. As to the former, the iPhone 4S is straight out of the playbook of Apple’s successful upgrade of the Apple 3G to the 3GS, although the competition wasn’t as strong as it is today.
Similarly, when Apple first lowered the price of the iPod touch below $200 in 2009 amidst widespread speculation that it would add a front-facing camera for FaceTime (which it did in the next generation), the company noted that it didn’t think the product needed any more “stuff.” So, what, then, defines the iPhone 4S? The differentiators can be thought of as four “Ses.”
Continue reading Switched On: The four Ses of the iPhone 4S
Switched On: The four Ses of the iPhone 4S originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 09 Oct 2011 20:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, apple iphone 4
The Now Network is apparently voting thumbs-down to the idea of having its Total Equipment Protection
plans available to its new crown jewel
. According to a leaked slide courtesy of SprintFeed
, your shiny Sprint-branded iPhone 4S
(or 4) won’t be offered with a healthy portion of peace of mind; rather, you’ll need to purchase the AppleCare+ Protection Plan
or go through a third party to have any protection from accidental damage. This may change down the road, as the slide says it won’t be offered “at launch,” but only time will tell. Unfortunate, yes, but we suppose there’s always a bright side — at least there’s now a Sprint iPhone to not have insurance for, right?
Sprint says no to iPhone insurance, AppleCare+ breathes sigh of relief originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 09 Oct 2011 18:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, iphone 4
Looking to grab that iPhone 4 on Sprint
and take advantage of the unlimited data
? Well, you can place your pre-order now on the current model and for the just announced 4S starting Friday, October 7. The company warns that this is “while supplies last” — so if you’re thinking about jumping ship from the data limiting service of Big Red
or Ma Bell
, you may want to act quickly. Just hit that source link and head to Sprint’s iPhone page to reserve yours.
Sprint now taking pre-orders for iPhone 4, reserve your 4S on October 7 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 01:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, sprint iphone
We did it at WWDC, and we’re doing it from 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Apple’s holding its hotly-anticipated iPhone 5 (and iPhone 4s?) launch event here this morning, and we’re on-hand to bring you a bit of pre- and post-show banter. Join Tim Stevens, Darren Murph and a plethora of Sesame Street characters* as we break down what’s likely to go down during today’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event. And once we’re ushered inside (you know, where live video streams aren’t allowed), follow our liveblog right here. Check out the video after the break.
*Pending a response from Cookie Monster’s publicist.
Update: And we’re done! Stay tuned for the liveblog and more throughout the day!
Continue reading Engadget, broadcasting live from Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ event in Cupertino!
Engadget, broadcasting live from Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ event in Cupertino! originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 10:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, iphone 4s
It’s all going down tomorrow, and you can bet your bottom dollar (or last prepaid SIM, whichever you prefer) that we’ll be liveblogging it all on these pages right here. But prior to Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, we’ll be set up outside of the company’s Cupertino headquarters in order to bring live pre-show analysis, including the very latest rumblings from the Apple mecca and any top-secret tips on ditching work in order to follow along. Just so we’re clear, Apple doesn’t allow live video streaming during the keynote, but our usual liveblog can be followed October 4th starting at 1:00PM ET (10:00am local time) right here. It might get a wee bit insane.
Engadget will be broadcasting live outside of Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ event! originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 17:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, apple iphone
, iphone 5
, lets talk iphone
, video streaming