In October of 2011, Apple released the brand-new iPhone 4S. This was the highly anticipated fifth generation of Apple’s iPhone and came loaded with many new or improved features. When the iPhone 3GS was released back in 2009, the ‘S’ stood for speed. However, this time around the ‘S’ stood for our favourite virtual assistant, Siri. Siri, is an intuitive automated voice control system that allows users to issue a range of diverse commands and was debuted on the 4S. The 4S also improved upon cellular connectivity as well as enhancing both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. However, as was becoming a trend with ‘S’ models, the iPhone 4S was about improving performance, and in this category, the iPhone 4S certainly scored well.
Perhaps the most Signiant upgrade was to processor. Inside the inner workings of the 4S, lay a powerful A5 SoC processor. The A5 processor was originally only seen in the iPad 2 which was released earlier that year. With the A5 originally being an iPad processor, it was safe to the iPhone 4S wasn’t short of power. The A5, a dual-core Cortex A9 central processing unit with a PowerVR graphics card made sure of this. The result was staggering. Apple boasted a 2x speed improvement, in addition to a whopping 7x improvement of graphics. In short, you had the power of the top of the range iPad in a little plucky smartphone. With all that power, the little iPhone 4 could run everything from graphics intensive games to AirPlay Mirroring.
Airplay Mirroring was an intuitive sharing platform that essentially allowed the 4S to share its screen. This meant that, regardless of the app, the 4S could be hooked up to an Apple TV which would then show the app in real time. Developers capitalised on this technology in a range of different ways. Firemokeys Studios, responsible for the popular driving franchise, ‘Real Racing’, used this technology to create a split-screen multiplayer mode, whereby up to 4 people could connect to an Apple TV and race against each other. This provided a fresh outlook on mobile gaming as it pushed the phone towards the role of a controller, rather than a handheld system. Airplay mode also had it’s use in a commercial environment, as you could bring up articles, graphs and statistics or anything you had on your phone, and present them to a larger audience.
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