Apple’s iPhone 4S, running the new iOS 5 operating system, went on sale last week. It offers some meaningful advantages over the older models. Here are five ways the new iPhone 4S (and the new iOS 5) phone operating system can benefit your business.
1. Control your phone by speaking naturally (iPhone 4S only)
The iPhone 4S’s new Siri feature, an “intelligent personal assistant” that understands what you say, can vastly increase your productivity. Imagine the time you could save by dictating emails into your phone instead of typing (especially for all you hunt-and-peck typists), or having Siri remind you to call a client as soon as you arrive at the office. You can ask Siri to give you driving directions, tell Siri to send a text message to a client saying you're running late, or instruct Siri to put an appointment in your calendar and send an email invite.
2. Use your iPhone worldwide (iPhone 4S only)
If you’ve been using your iPhone on AT&T then you’ve been able to use your phone overseas—but if you’re on Verizon or you want to be on Sprint, then getting the 4S means you can finally use your iPhone anywhere in the world. If you travel internationally on business even once or twice a year, this may be reason enough to upgrade.
3. Faster internet (iPhone 4S on AT&T only)
Do you use your phone for everything from finding directions to a conference to doing background research on a company or an industry? If so, then the faster internet speed of the AT&T iPhone 4S is a great reason to switch. It boasts 14.4 Mbps maximum data download speed (about twice as fast as the iPhone 4). Minimize your time wasted waiting for pages to load.
4. Read and edit documents on your phone (iPhone 4S and iOS 5)
The new, free iCloud service from Apple allows you to wirelessly sync your contacts and calendar from your computer to your iPhone—but did you know it can also be used to create, edit, and sync documents too? Create a Keynote presentation on your Mac in your office, then tweak it on your iPhone on the way to the meeting; all changes automatically appear on your iPad in time to use it to give your big client presentation. You can have all your important documents at your fingertips—and update them too.
5. Automatic alerts (iPhone 4S and iOS 5)
The new Notification Center puts all the stuff you need to know in one place, including voicemail messages, upcoming appointments, reminders, weather, emails, stocks, and any other notification an app has for you. Set it to track only the data that’s important to you, and then receive banner alerts automatically, or go into the Notification Center to see all your alerts in one place. You’ll never miss another client email or a company meeting.
Ivan Drucker and Caroline Green are the principals of IvanExpert, Inc., a Mac-focused technology consulting firm. IvanExpert advises small businesses in the New York City area on how to leverage their tech to be more efficient and productive. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.