The “S” stands for Speed. It is touted to be the “most powerful, fastest iPhone ever made” – duh!, boasting a similar design to the iPhone 3G with a glossy back. Here are some benchmark figures – kicking off messaging will be more than twice as fast, while loading SimCity is 2.4x faster, and Excel spreadsheets, er, excel at 3.6x faster, and voracious readers can load NY Times 2.9x faster. The iPhone 3GS will also support OpenGL|ES alongside 7.2 Mbps HSDPA connectivity. The camera has also been upgraded to (just) 3-Megapixels, sans flash. You do get autofocus and autoexposure, two critical quality features. Focusing is as simple as tapping (nice!), letting you tweak the focus and change white balance settings on-the-fly. In addition, the camera can capture 30fps VGA with audio, and video editing is a snap with the touch of a finger. Macro mode of images are said to be “stunning”, but we’ll have to wait for real world tests to see whether this holds water or not.
Finally, Voice Control has been included into the iPhone 3GS, where you can speak a name and have it call that contact, while controlling playlists (if you can remember the numerous artists on your iPhone, of course). Looks like Apple is playing catch up this time round with the iPhone 3GS instead of breaking new ground.
There is also a built-in digital compass and a new compass app that has been integrated into maps.
Accessibility settings include a VoiceOver that will read aloud what your finger is hovering over. Sounds (no pun intended) perfect for those who are having trouble seeing what’s on the iPhone’s screen. Other features include Nike+ support, zooming, panning and inverting audio.
Hardware encryption ups the ante when it comes to data security, offering instant remote wipe just in case it gets lost. This encryption is also included in iTunes.
The iPhone 3GS is also greener and has better battery life, squeezing out 9 hours on Wi-Fi, 10 hours on video playback, 30 hours on audio playback, 12 hours on 2G talk and 5 hours on 3G talk. Guess there won’t be a front-facing camera. The iPhone 3GS will come in 16GB and 32GB models as suspected, retailing for $199 and $299, respectively. Folks who are on tighter budgets can pick up the vanilla iPhone 3G for $99 as Apple wants to “reach even more customers”. The iPhone 3G will be $99 from TODAY onwards, while the iPhone 3GS will be out on June 19th.
Are those upgrades worth throwing in extra cash into the iPhone 3GS – what do you think? What will you do?