There is a certain joy in unboxing virtually any gadget for the first time, but Apple raised the event to an art form with its always stylish packaging. The Apple iPhone 4S box, though, doesn’t mark any new style breakthroughs.
Apple’s signature white box is a doppelganger for the iPhone 4 packaging. Inside, the phone looks and feels like the previous iPhone 4. This gallery’s comparison photos bear that out. Setup, though is a bit different, thanks to iOS 5. There’s a large, gray-patterned “Welcome” screen and that motif carries through until you have the phone ready to go. Those of you who downloaded the mobile operating system on Oct. 12 and updated your older devices are probably already familiar with these screens.
Once you’re done with initial setup, you can dive into the iPhone 4S device’s newest toy: Siri: The intelligent Assistant. This voice-recognition system works pretty much right out of the box. The first question I asked it (by popular demand) was “When is the iPhone 5 coming out?” Siri’s first answer was that I didn’t have anything on my calendar for at 5 p.m. The second attempt fared better though and Siri told me, “Everything you need to know about Apple products is at Apple’s website.” Below the response, which it both spoke and printed on the screen for me, was Apple’s URL. Later I asked Siri, “Why are you so cool?” Its response: “I just am.”
Most of Siri’s responses came quite quickly and Apple execs explained to me that it’ll actually improve over time as it personalizes for my voice (I can also clear this personalization, if I choose). More interesting is that Siri will crowdsource to eventually improve for all users.
I’m still busy setting up the phone and will report back later on the rest of its features and performance. Did you buy an iPhone 4S? If so, tell me why and what you think of the phone in the comments.