With the iPhone 4S having been in people’s pockets for a month or so now, we’ve seen some more in-depth analysis of the phone, including several reports from experts as well as feedback from ordinary users. We’ve rounded up a few recent iPhone 4S news items for you here.
There are several improved specs on the iPhone 4S camera, but the one that’s received most attention from experts is the IR filter. So, what is an IR filter, and why would you want one on your camera?
First up, it is an infrared filter, but it has nothing to do with being able to take photographs of heat sources in pitch darkness (that would be infrared photography). Rather, the IR filter stops heat (infrared) sources from ruining your picture, which they would otherwise do by contaminating the red channel of the camera.
If you’re familiar with Photoshop and similar software, you’ll have seen colours defined according to how much red, green, and blue are in a particular pixel, which will cause it to show as a particular colour.
Your camera uses a similar process when it takes photos, recording how much red, green, and blue are in every pixel and displaying the photo accordingly.
Traditionally, infrared light is detected by cameras as though it were red light, thus causing the finished picture to appear far redder than it ought to be.
Red-eye is no longer a problem with the iPhone 4S- due to its infrared filter. Analysis shows that even in images of areas that don’t particularly have a high level of infrared activity, the 4S offers far superior colour correction than the iPhone 4 does, meaning every snap you take with it will have more true-to-life colours.
Consumer Reports is a US-based consumer news group, very much like the UK’s “Which?” magazine and associated website. They thoroughly test all kinds of consumer products, and are completely independent, so they are regarded as a highly reliable sources.
Consumer Reports has just released a report of their initial tests on the iPhone 4S, particularly noting that Apple seems to have completely fixed the dreaded reception problems on the iPhone 4 (the well-known fault whereby holding the handset in the “wrong” place could result in dramatic signal drops).
Consumer Reports did note the battery issues that several iPhone 4S users have complained about and, Apple’s response – the battery problems will be fixed with an iOS5 update. They plan to re-test the 4S once the update has occurred.
Consumer Reports still didn’t rate the iPhone 4S as their best buy, preferring the Samsung Galaxy S2, and the Motorola Droid Bionic, citing their larger displays and 4G compatibility.
The Siri voice control on the iPhone 4S also provides users with an additional feature that the iPhone 4 did not have.
Apple has updated its Apple Store iOS so that US customers can reserve and check out an item online, then reserve it for pickup within the hour at any Apple US store. Rumour has it that the service will be extended to UK customers if the trial in the USA works well. UK customers can already track purchases via their iPhones.