Review: Apple iPhone 4S for AT&T
Form Basics Extras Wrap-up Comments 30
Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging Siri
The iPhone 4S ships with the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system: iOS 5. The basic behavior of the menus, home screens, and such remains the same. The biggest and most important change to come to iOS is the behavior of notifications.
iOS 5, thankfully, completely rewrites the notification functionality. Most applications that can send/push notifications (email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) have their own notification controls for the tweaking. In earlier versions of iOS, incoming notifications popped up in the middle of the display, interrupting your current task and generally pissing most people off. With iOS 5, they more gracefully pop up at the top of the display, don't need to be dismissed, and can be ignored if you so wish. If you want to act on a notification, simply swipe it to the left and you'll be taken to the incoming message/alert. Some notifications can be sent to the lock screen. This means you phone lights up when there's a new message. Use this with care, you don't want the screen turning on every time you get an email. Text message and Twitter DMs are the only apps I granted "lock screen permission." You can also turn off notifications completely.
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Notifications eventually pile up in the notification tray, which acts just like it does in Android. Swipe down from the top of the display, and you see a list of missed calls, unopened emails, and unread SMS messages. It also shows the weather, stocks, Facebook and Twitter messages, and more if you want it to. Press the notification in the tray to do directly to that message.
After using the new notifications for several days, this system is much better than the previous system, and is more flexible than the notification system offered by Android. The ability to fine-tune how each individual application notifies you offers a lot of power.
Using iTunes, or on the iPhone 4S itself, it is easy to create folders with multiple apps, to rearrange all the apps on the screens and set up a nearly unlimited number of home screen pages. Swiping back and forth isn't a problem. Doubletapping the home key opens up the fast-app switching tool at the bottom of the screen, making it easy to jump to other open applications.
The settings menu gets longer and longer with each new version of iOS. In iOS 5, users have even more control over minute application behaviors. While this menu used to be easy to navigate, it now takes a lot longer to go through. It is still easy, but if you really want to control everything, you need to keep digging.
Apple's new operating system takes a major step forward in terms of design and functionality. It greatly improves usability, while also introducing some nifty new features.
May 9, 2013
Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T, today launched its new, no-contract wireless service in the U.S. The wireless network is first available in Houston, Orlando, and Tampa, and will gradually expand across AT&T's footprint around the U.S.
Sep 19, 2013
Google today released a version of it Google Wallet service that is compatible with Apple's iOS devices. Previously, it was only available to Android devices.
Apr 30, 2013
Vine today pushed out version 1.1 of its iPhone application. The most significant new feature is the ability to toggle between the front and rear cameras, making self-Vines easier to capture.
Apr 29, 2013
Google today added its Google Now service to the Google Search application for the iPhone and iPad. In order to use Google Now, iOS device owners will need to download and install the newest version of Google Search.