iOS 6 does everything on a 4S. Discuss

I wanted to isolate this from the other hot topics, so let’s pretend maps aren’t an issue (and they’re the same on any iPhone anyway), and let’s pretend you don’t have qualms about the scratch resistance of an aluminum back; let’s pretend for argument that the iPhone 5 hardware is objectively “better” in every way that it’s different.

Is it good or bad that every iOS 6 feature is the same on an iPhone 4S as an iPhone 5? As a 4S owner in the middle of my contract, I’m only upgrading every two years regardless of features just because of the cost. So I was never seriously considering a 5, but I think if I’d been on the fence, the feature parity would’ve pushed me back to the 4S. But it also feels great to know that my 4S can still do everything the new 5 can.

If memory serves, most iOS updates introduced a feature or two that were exclusive to the new hardware timed with their release. So this time around, do you think it’s good for Apple that existing customers will be happier customers by not missing out, or are they doing more harm than good long term by not making us envy the newest hardware quite as much as in the past?

I haven’t really decided what I think, or if this issue is even big enough that consumers will act any differently at all, anyone else got any theories?

Surely there must be differences. I put iOS6 on my iPhone 4 over the weekend I haven’t had a religious experience yet so I assume there must be SOMETHING I didn’t get.

The 4 doesn’t have Siri, an example of a new software feature (basically) that came to the new-at-the-time iPhone 4S but not to the iPhone 4 with iOS 5.

As far as I can tell, there is no similar exclusive feature to the iPhone 5 that the 4S doesn’t gain with the iOS 6 update. Is that a shift in strategy, or just the way it happened to work out with this round?

With the change in screen size, it’s possible you’ll start to see apps that require the larger screen. I don’t really see the advantage to the 5 at this point. I need a new phone because the home button rarely functions on my iPhone 4, but I’m thinking more about the 4s than the 5.

The two ‘game changers’ (if that) for the phone are LTE and larger screen. It doesn’t seem to have anything new software wise that I’ve noticed. The larger screen is nice for the apps that use it, though.

Wasn’t the 4/4S case the exception? I don’t remember anything being exclusive to the 4 that the 3GS didn’t get, or to the 3GS that wasn’t on the 3G. I could be wrong about that, obviously, but I seem to remember that it was notable that the 4 didn’t get all the Siri stuff.

I thought there were at least a few things the 3GS didn’t get when the 4 came out. Wasnt the HDR photo option exclusive to the 4? I guess the other thing on the 4 was FaceTime, which, granted, was a hardware thing (no front camera on the 3GS). The effect though was that the new phones could do something the old ones couldn’t. The 5 is the first I remember where the new phone doesn’t do anything the previous one can’t, it just does everything faster.

The 5 can display an extra row of app icons.

Yeah, I had a 3GS and there was no HDR. That was the only software element I can remember that I didn’t have and my wife’s iPhone 4 did. It didn’t matter, though, because the 4 was all about the Retina Display, just like the 5 is all about the new form factor (lighter! thinner! faster! stronger!).

As a 4S owner locked into an ungodly 3 year Canadian carrier contract, I’m pleased as punch that my phone can do everything an iPhone 5 can do, minus the extra row of icons. It makes me that much more likely to buy another Apple product in the future, knowing that annual software updates keep coming and do a really good (and sometimes perfect) job of keeping me current. Unlike the fiasco of OS updates that Android handsets suffer through, with various carriers and manufacturers offering various levels of upgrade.

The only feature I’ve seen on the 5 that’s not on the 4S is the ability to take photos during videos. I just played with that on a coworker’s 5 and it’s pretty cool. You do get a tiny stutter in the video, but not a black screen flash like you get with my DSLR when you do the same thing.

But yeah, the only differences are hardware-related: Better photo quality (see Gizmodo comparisons today), photos during video, faster perf, LTE.

You’ll have to wait for iOS 7 for Apple to artificially constrain some features from the iPhone 4S, apparently.

This thread is kind of ridiculous. As a consumer, you’re on the fence about whether you think it’s better that Apple didn’t arbitrarily withhold features from you?

If it’s any consolation, putting a chip into their Lightning USB cable to prevent you from only paying the 3 bucks on Amazon the cable should cost will MORE than make up for upgrade losses of waffling 4S owners.

No, as a guy who follows Apple and tech stuff, I’m curious about whether this is a non-story or a conscious decision by Apple, and if the later, whether smarter people than me think they made the right move.

I think Apple only feels the need to artificially limit software features when there aren’t any outward hardware features to differentiate the product. iPhone 5 is taller and thinner. No need to make the 4S seem worse by locking features to the new system. When the iPhone 5S comes out I’m sure they’ll decide something in iOS 7 isn’t “compatible” with the 5 and 4S.

Apple is more than willing to force the obsolescence issue on its older hardware. Honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t find something that will “only” work on a 4G connection, like face time or some variant thereof.

I wish the 4S had 1GB of RAM though.

I think you just gave Samsung another line for their next “make fun of Apple fans” commercial.

Did you properly self-flagellate yourself prior to installing it? If not, that is why your experience is lacking.

Well, I had to deal with a string of errors and it wouldn’t install until I tried to restore the phone, had that fail, and then somehow it worked. Does that count? :P

Only if you intentionally caused it to achieve spiritual orgasm.