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The iPhone 4S is here.

Almost.

The iPhone 4S is available for pre-order from 7th October and will hit stores 7 days later.

iPhone 4S available 14th October

iPhone 4S available 14th October

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of information available to those wanting to pre-order the 4S. At the time of writing, O2, Orange, Vodafone and Three all have the latest iPhone on their respective homepages, however this is nothing more than a “sign up for more information” link.

I’m guessing that the majority of people buying the 4S will be upgrading from an existing iPhone, in which case they are likely to get much better deals than whatever is announced publicly. Personally I’m with O2 and they upgraded me from the iPhone 3 -> iPhone 3G-S -> iPhone 4 at no cost, so I’m hoping to bag another free upgrade.

What’s new in the iPhone 4S?

At this point I will hand over to Apple, as their keynote speech provides a great summary of what’s new in the iPhone 4S:

Many of these features are already available if you run a jailbroken iPhone. In this regard, it is nice to see Apple taking note of the most popular Cydia tweaks:

- the notification centre and the way it is accessed;
- granting access to the camera from the lock screen; and
- the ability to use the ‘volume up’ button to take pictures.

Jailbroken iPhone 4 - notifications, camera access & scrolling folders

Jailbroken iPhone 4 - notifications, camera access & scrolling folders

Unfortunately my favourite tweaks from Cydia don’t seem to have made their way into iOS5. These are the “kill all apps” feature, which saves the hassle of having to close down applications individually, and the ability to have more than 12 applications in any given folder. The 5 icon dock is handy, however I could easily live without it.

Thankfully, it is already possible to jailbreak iOS5, so in the event I do upgrade to the iPhone 4S I won’t lose any functionality.

In any case, the upgraded processor and camera are welcome additions, as is the ability to use the upgraded GPS with reminders. For the moment, I’m on the fence about Siri. If it works as well as it does in a rehearsed Apple presentation it would be a huge leap forwards in terms of what is capable on a mobile device. However, I question how well it will work when there’s ambient noise and if the user speaks anything other than the Queen’s English.

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