Last week I received the iPhone 4S that I pre-ordered from the Apple Web site and started using it as my work phone. Here's my first impression of the iPhone 4S:
- The iPhone 4S looks and feels very similar to my old iPhone 4. Some screens load slightly faster, due to the faster dual-core CPU in the new phone.
- I'm glad Apple finally fixed the antenna problem. Now I can actually use the iPhone 4S naked without the bumper, without loss of reception. The iPhone 4 dock that I bought last year was useless for the iPhone 4 but it is now useful for my bumper-less iPhone 4S.
- Projecting the iPhone 4S screen is now possible with the VGA and HDMI adapter cables. Perfect for my demos of iPhone apps.
What do I think about Siri, the hot new voice-command feature exclusive to iPhone 4S?
- Most of the time, Siri couldn't understand my Asian-accented speech. Sometimes I had to speak really slowly and enunciate every word to get Siri to understand me. The dictation feature for converting speech to text was nearly impossible to use. Siri kept stumbling on words like "butterfly" and "Singapore".
- Siri seems to work fine for short commands. I can imagine myself giving commands like "meetings today" to peek quickly at my meetings for the day without having to unlock my phone.
- If you use the iPhone 4S for work, be careful when you enable the voice-command function. Siri will let you make phone calls, send SMS messages and corporate e-mail even when your phone is locked.
In spite of this security loophole, I like the convenience of using Siri to access certain phone functions without having to unlock the phone. Hopefully, someday, Apple will build a face unlock feature (similar to Android 4.0) or use a fingerprint sensor to authenticate me before granting access to the protected functions.