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iPhone 4S Portable Genius 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1118093849
ISBN-10: 1118093844
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review




From the Author: The Top 5 New iPhone 4S Features
Author Paul McFedries

The iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5 installed, so right out of the box you get access to dozens of new features (actually, Apple claims there are more than 200 new features in iOS 5, and I believe them). These include the Notification Center, Wi-Fi syncing and software updating, photo editing, reminders, Twitter integration, free text messaging over Wi-Fi, text shortcuts, private web browsing, Reader (reading web pages without ads another other distractions), Reading List (saving pages to read later), email message folders, AirPlay mirroring, Newsstand, and iCloud support.

These are all great features, but they're not unique to the iPhone 4S since iOS 5 also runs on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. So what's uniquely new about the iPhone 4S? You might think that, since the iPhone 4S looks identical to its iPhone 4 predecessor, there's nothing unique about it, but there's more to the iPhone 4S than meets the eye. Herewith, my list of the top five new features that are available only on the iPhone 4S:

A5 microprocessor. This Apple-designed chip sports two cores, so apps that can take advantage of this dual-core architecture will run up to two times as fast. Not only that, but the A5 chip is also specially designed to handle graphics data, and Apple says that the iPhone 4S can process graphics up to seven times faster than the iPhone 4. Gamers, start your thumbs!

Improved camera. The iPhone 4 camera was widely lauded for taking great shots, although most of these kudos were qualified with "for a phone." The critics might just have to drop that qualifier for the iPhone 4S, which offers tons of camera improvements. These start with the resolution, which has been beefed up to a gaudy 8 megapixels, resulting in 3264x2448 photos that will render 8"x10" prints pixel for pixel. And these are "full-well" (FW) pixels, which means they capture a higher range of light. The camera's optics are all new, as well, with a five-element lens for precise light collection, a larger f/2.4 aperture to capture more light, and a hybrid infrared (IR) filter that blocks unwelcome IR light for more accurate colors. The iPhone 4S camera is also faster, so you can capture those spur-of-the-moment shots.

Improved video recording. Since your iPhone is always with you, it's the ideal device for capturing the action, whatever it might be. Now the iPhone 4S just might upgrade that from "ideal" to "perfect" with its support for full 1080p HD video recording (compared to the "mere" 720p recording of the iPhone 4). Also, the improved camera optics—the FW pixels, increased aperture, custom lens, and hybrid IR filter—give your video recording more light and better colors. iPhone 4S also comes with video stabilization baked in, so your videos will only have that shaky, "handheld" look if you do it on purpose.

Combined antenna. The iPhone 4S comes with a combined "world phone" antenna that supports both GSM and CDMA. That means one phone for everyone, no matter which company they use as a cellular provider. It also means that the iPhone 4S will work without a hitch wherever you are in the world (provided you're within range of a cellular signal, of course). Having two built-in antennas confers other benefits as well. Call quality should improve since the iPhone 4S can switch between the two antennas to receive and transmit phone data. Even better, having two antennas effectively doubles download speeds, with the iPhone 4S now capable of up to 14.4 Mbps downloads (compared to the maximum download speed of 7.2 Mbps for the iPhone 4).

Siri. Controlling a computer with just voice commands has been a mainstream dream ever since the first Star Trek series. Mac OS X and Windows come with speech-recognition features, but few people use them because they're difficult to configure and are more often than not frustrating to use. Third-party speech recognition programs are more powerful, but they tend to be expensive and still don't work all that well. The dream of voice control remains unfulfilled on desktop machines, but on the iPhone 4S, voice control is a reality that comes in the form of the new Siri app. Siri replaces the Voice Control feature from the iPhone 3GS and 4, which was limited to dialing phone calls and controlling the Music app with voice commands. Siri is one of the slickest iPhone 4S features because it goes well beyond this by also giving you voice control over Web searching, appointments, contacts, reminders, map navigation, text messages, notes, and more.

There you have it: Five impressive new features that can only be found on the iPhone 4S. I've got mine. Have you?


From the Back Cover

The Genius is in.

You don't have to be a genius to use the iPhone 4S. But if you want to get the very most out of yours, put this savvy Portable Genius guide to work and start ramping up the pace. Want to connect your iPhone to a network? Sync your iPhone? Get the most out of the audio, photo, and video features? Use Siri voice control to send messages, schedule meetings, and call friends? You'll find cool and useful Genius tips, full-color screenshots, and pages of easy-to-access shortcuts and tools that will save you loads of time and let you enjoy your iPhone 4S to the max.

Portable GENIUS

Fun, hip, and straightforward, the Portable Genius series gives forward-thinking Apple users useful information in handy, compact books that are easy to navigate and don't skimp on the essentials. Collect the whole series and make the most of your Apple digital lifestyle.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118093844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118093849
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book iPhone 4 Portable Genius by Paul McFedries has been like a non judgmental friend over the past couple of weeks as I'm learning the functions and features of my new iPhone. It's like getting inside tips from a computer savvy teenage kid without the eye rolling and sighs. The book is written in a casual and non technical style. There are plenty of helpful graphics and screenshots. Each chapter heading is a questions that I've asked myself such as "How do I configure my iPhone," "How do I max out my iPhone's photo and video features," "How do I use my iPhone to navigate my world," and "How do I keep my life in sinc with Mobile Me?" to name a few. I've run across some simple tips that I'm sure I would not have discovered on my own, like tappping on a phone number embedded in a text message or web page to initiate a call, and some keyboarding shortcuts, and I finally understand the ins and outs of all the internet access networks. The book is handy and compact. It is one of a series of "Portable Genius" books for Apple users. This book may be too basic for experts, but for me it was definitely worth the read.
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The Portable Genius series of books is consistently excellent, well illustrated and well indexed. The iPhone4 book is no exception. Many years ago Apple offered excellent documentation with its products but today it is a pamphlet, an inscrutable website and 3rd party publishers. Portable Genius and David Pogue and others have done an excellent job of filling the gap. Unfortunately ever secretive Apple does not share its' new product information with the outside publishers during development so user-orientied books lag product introduction by several months if not longer.

The current example of Apple's disregard for its early adopters is iLife 11 released October 20, 2010. The portable Genius book will not be available until February 8, 2011 and David Pogue not until March 15, 2011. As a committed Apple customer I wish that Apple would become collaborate with the writing community during development and not subject its customers to a six month wait from time of release until something coherent was available. Until then Portable Genius, David Pogue, Jeff Carlson and others fill the void but not until the product is half-way towards the next release.
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It's a shame Apple is too cheap to include a manual with their products. I guess they aren't making enough money these days. Well thanks to the "iPhone 4S Portable Genius" who needs them. Seriously, this is a very informative book for iPhone users. It goes beyond the basics in layman's terms which is very important to me since I am so Y1K. Well worth the investment.
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I already had a copy of the 5S/C version of this book. Having lost my iPhone 5C, I bought a 4S and this book - which is wonderful for finding out all the little technical bits that you might not understand - at least not if you're an old lady like me. The younger generation seems to learn it all by osmosis. I recommend this book to the seniors who are trying to figure out their iPhones - you'll have to read a younger person's review to see what they think.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this thinking that the information would be updated for the Verizon version of the iPhone but after going through it I have found that several sections are taken from the GSM version and inaccurate for the CDMA iPhone. The authors need to review and edit where needed. This book is a work in progress and was released prematurely.
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The new iPhone 4S is my first iPhone. I love the phone and have integrated it into my work/home life.
While I am able to figure out what the author is trying to get it, there are quite a few mistakes.
Menu steps are incomplete, and sometimes I need to figure out where options he is referring to are located.
I have learned quite a few short cuts which are very helpful.
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I am updating my review. I finished this manual and it was outstanding.
While there were a few small errors in the beginning, it was easy enough to work around it.
I learned so much from this manual.
I am a techie at heart, and since this is my first smart phone, I wanted to know as much as possible about it.
The manual is formatted well so you can go to a chapter that contains info on what you want to know.
It will also be a great reference manual as well.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great comprehensive guide to the iPhone 4s and iOS 5.0 in general. The books is organized in a question format with chapter titles such as "How do I configure my iPhone" and "How do I connect my iPhone to a Network" making more of a functional organization than simply a list of features. This allows the book to be used as a reference manual to skip the stuff you already know, and the chapters are further divided on a more functional basis.

Each concept is presented with an excellent description and screen shots so you know you are doing it right and can follow along with the book. Everything is covered in this book: basics, intermediate and advanced topics; not just setup and sync but video editing, iCloud and troubleshooting.

The Genius series is a great product line from Wiley. It retains all the knowledge of an Apple genius without the attitude and the long wait to get to the bar. Purchase this book and go to a real bar with your spare time! Just don't leave your iPhone there.
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