Apple iPhone 4S review: Fast 4ward

Fast 4ward

GSMArena team, 21 October 2011.

Storage management and App Store purchase list

You can find the Purchased list in the App Store's Updates section. It has two tabs - All and Not On This iPhone. It's the easiest way to again download an app that you purchased and uninstalled.

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The Purchased list in the App Store

Note that this list is available on the iOS 4 as well.

Now let's talk about the Storage Management. You can find it in Settings->General->Usage menu. Here you now have storage information too, before the Battery Percentage toggle and the statistics.

The Storage part begins with Free and Used space info and then you have a list of your ten biggest apps and their memory footprint - usually the Music and some heavy games such as Infinity Blade. You can access all of your installed apps via the dedicated button at the end of the top 10 list.

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The Storage settings managing an application

Tapping on an app in the list will show the data footprint (default app, saves, etc.) but the clean data option is now gone (it was available in the beta versions). You can still uninstall the whole app from there.

Wireless activation

Perhaps this is where most of Apple's efforts went. Many are probably put off by the dependence on iTunes. Well, Apple has finally made this a bit easier.

You no longer need a computer to activate your iGadget. The moment you turn on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch for the first time, you can do the activation and setup process right on your device (a network connection is required of course). After a few simple steps, quite similar to Android's initiation process, you are good to go.

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The whole activation and setip process

OTA updates

You no longer need a computer connection and iTunes to install new firmware updates either. Now you can do it over-the-air. The option is in Settings->General->Software Update. Of course, you can still use iTunes on your Mac/PC to do that if your Wi-Fi connection is too slow.

And thanks to the use of Delta encoding, the updates will now come with a much smaller footprint than before when they carried a whole system image. The new update files carry only the bits that need changing.

The OTA updates

Wi-Fi iTunes sync

In case you choose to rely on the traditional computer-based iTunes sync, you will be happy to know Apple has now provided an option to sync wirelessly. You just need to have your iGadget and your PC/Mac connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Make sure you've enabled the Wi-Fi sync option in your iTunes client and your iGadget is connected with a cable.

The wireless wync runs automatically as soon as you plug your device to charge and you open the iTunes client on your Wi-Fi connected computer.

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The iTunes sync settings

Another novelty in the PC/Mac iTunes sync, is that it no longer locks your device during the process. You can continue to use your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch during the sync process.

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You can use your iPhone even when syncing with iTunes (note sync icon at the top)

If you choose to use the iCloud, the only one thing that you may ever need the desktop iTunes is for using the USB mass storage functionality.

Accessibility gets better

Improved accessibility goes beyond the Voice Over, Zooming, UI color switch, etc. The iPhone can now use the LED flash for alerts and you can assign and even create custom vibration alerts to specific events or contacts much like you would assign a personalized ringtone.

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The Accessibility settings

The Assistive Touch is another useful feature. By activating it you get a new on-screen key that stays available throughout the UI, even on the lockscreen and in games. Its shaped as a homescreen icon and offers a few useful menus.

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Assistive Touch settings

You can easily move the key in one of the four corners of the screen at any time. Tapping on it reveals four shortcuts Gestures, Device, Home, Favorites. Every shortcut, except the Home key, opens another submenu.

The Gestures shortuct allows you to simulate two, three, four or five-finger tap. The Device shortcut will allows you to rotate the screen (if available), lock the screen, use the volume controls and even simulate a device shake.

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Assistive Touch in action

In the Favorites section you have a Pinch gesture shortcut and you can additionally assign six more custom gestures. You just need to perform them once so the iOS can save them.

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Creating a new gesture the gesture menu

The Home virtual key has the same functionality as the hardware Home you can single/double/triple click it for the relevant commands.

The Assistive Touch is a pure accessibility option that helps you control everything in the iOS with lets say just one finger.

Reader comments

  • Ftr

Take bucks from me poor man n buy a new phone u really need a new one.

  • Bhk

Battery back very low

  • AnonD-690428

The only reason I still use iPhone 4S on 2017 is the camera. I'ts looks way better than several new released phone today. main disadvantage is that this 4S don't have 4G. Maybe I'll still use it until next year and change to 4G phone but still use 4S...