So what about the keynote? I'll make it short and be as biased as possible... wait, what? Huh.
The small things
- Cards for iOS5. Create Gift Cards and let Apple send them. Awesome. Cool thing. Thing is, there's a bunch or services for probably every region in the US/Europe where you can do the same thing for less green. Still, nice thing. But as the first feature presented at a Apple Keynote? Unimpressed.
- Notifications for iOS5. I'm not even... well, okay. It's what Android's been doing for years. Yes, my phone has this bar. Yes, I can swipe right or left for calling/texting. It's Apple copying. It's okay. Copying makes progress in technology. The problem is that Apple's being a b*tch about it.
- iMessage. Push messages to all iOS5 devices. Neat.
- Reminders. A ToDo-App, really? Granted, the geostuff is cool: Reminders go off when you enter or leave a certain area.
- Twitter integration. Uhm. They didn't have that?
- Newsstand. Well. There's an app for that. Still nice.
- Camera shortcut (double-tap home button), use volume button for taking pictures. Nice. Some Android Roms (not enough) have that. Nice anyway.
- Synched reading list, tabbed browsing on iPad, eMail-Stuff. Neat.
- Photo Sync over the iCloud. 5gb Cloud Storage for free. Everything above costs you. My G+-Apps uploads all my photos into a personal photo folder as soon as I plug it in for recharging. Google hasn't send me a "limit reached" warning yet. Way over 5 gb ;)
- Find my Friends. Oh, Google Latitude. You're welcome, Apple.
- DualCore-Processor. Up to 2x faster CPU, 7x faster Graphics
- "even better call quality" - Oh that's really nice, I mean it was very good from the.. wait a second. WHAT? Good joke.
- 8 megapixels camera. Nice.
- 1080p recording. Nice.
- AirPlay. Wired or wireless game streaming to your (tech enabled) TV-Set. Cool stuff.
- Siri. Well... that's a really cool thing.
Apple's new voice recognition system (or personal assistant) looks very promising. During the keynote, Siri understood everything and was able to read out messages, check the calendar, move appointments and help you call people or write messages. My SGSII does a good job with the whole voice stuff but I do not use it as much as it is still a bit... clumsy. It's just not as smooth as Siri looked like. I really want to have a conversation with my gadgets one day and I think this is a nice step forward.
All in all
You can twist and turn it as you like: For me, the iPhone4S is just Apple trying to catch up to Android's top runners. My SGS2 still has a better CPU/GPU, probably more RAM, a microSDHC slot, better WiFi, bigger and way better display, MHL output, 2MP front-facing camera, standard SIM, probably more battery capacity and removable battery (got 2 extra batteries for ~$15 each, working perfectly). My phone's like $23 a month including a two-year contract and $555 on amazon.com without a contract and the iPhone4S sets you back $199 and puts you in a two-year contract. That's just laughable. I don't even want to know what it's going to cost without a contract.