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iPhone 4S, Other Announcements From Apple

Ankit Tyagi |
October 4, 2011 | 9:07 p.m. PDT

Associate Tech Editor

Although the focus of Apple’s press conference this Tuesday was on the iPhone 4S, Apple proceeded to announce some key features that really show some cool new features, such as new apps and Siri Assistant.

The iPhone 4S, photo courtesy of Creative Commons
The iPhone 4S, photo courtesy of Creative Commons

With the tagline for the event being, “Let’s Talk iPhone,” Apple talked about much more, including updates on their iPod product line, 2 new apps, and Siri. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of these announcements:

Cards and Find My Friends

Cards is Apple’s way of merging greeting cards with iOS. After taking a picture, users can upload it to Cards, where according to Scott Forstall, iOS VP, “you create the card, and we will do the rest.” Users design the card, and Apple will send it for $2.99 domestically, $4.99 internationally. 

Find My Friends is similar to Foursquare and Facebook Places in the sense that users can see where their friends are, provided those friends have made that information available. Apple says that privacy controls for Find My Friends are simple and easy to use.

Both apps are available with the release of iOS 5 on October 12th, and will be free. 

iPod Nano and iPod Touch

The iPod Nano has become a fitness device with the latest update. With the ability to automatically connect with Nike+, users can effectively track their walks and runs. Combine that with larger icons on the screen and a reduced price, Apple is trying to increase their market share on iPods even further by providing a relatively inexpensive option that many can use.

Beyond the iPod Nano, Apple’s most popular iPod, the iPod Touch, now comes in a new color. Like the iPhone, the iPod Touch now has the option of black or white, and comes with a reduced price. Apple has brought the price of the iPod Touch down to $199, barely breaking the psychological mark of $200. Apart from those 2 changes, iOS 5, and iCloud, Apple didn't change much for this update.

iPhone 4S and Siri Assistant

The iPhone 4S brought a lot of new internals for Apple's smartphone, as highlighted here, but one of the key features is Siri, Apple's new "intelligent assistant." 

Purchased from Siri, a company that built a personal assistant app for the iPhone, Apple has reworked it to be more deeply integrated with iOS. By using everyday language, users can ask Siri for weather in a city, movie times, restaurants, and more. See Apple's Siri sample video for details:

The co-founder of Siri, Norman Winarsky, believes that this is AI being introduced to a large market, and by doing so, creating a technological shift. This is reminiscent of FaceTime, which brought mobile video calling to the mainstream. Winarsky believes that this is only the surface of what AI can do, and Apple is here to bring this cutting edge tech to the masses.


Reach Ankit Tyagi here.

Follow him on Twitter @ankittya.


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