iPhone 4S features Android already had

By Gary Johnson - Oct 8, 2011

The latest version of the iPhone has left many consumers slightly disappointed, as they may have been expecting an all new device. Instead Apple brought out a speeded up version of last year’s handsets but with some new features added. There are some of the new iPhone 4S features that Android devices already had.

When the iPhone 4 was released last year there were some new and innovative features of the device such as the Retina display. But according to an article on GottaBeMobile, the new features of the device have long been enjoyed by Android users. Ok the neat Siri feature is pretty unique for now; there is not much else that is.

The upgrading of the new iPhone really only just brings it to the same level of the best new Android devices. Apple revealed that the new iPhone is powered by the A5 dual-core processor that is also found in the iPad 2. While the Motorola Atrix 4G and the LG Optimus 2X had a dual-core chip from a tablet ages ago. There is also the Samsung Galaxy S II and Motorola Droid Bionic that use dual-core processors.

There is one feature of the new Siri assistant that has been available on Android since early 2010, where users can dictate text to the device. The Find My Friends feature has long been available via Google Latitude, even though not many people use it.

Many Android smartphones have used eight megapixels cameras since last year, and the Droid Bionic will also record 1080p video as well. The amount of pixels a camera has doesn’t always mean better quality, but some are starting to go beyond this amount now as well.

The release between the iPhone 4 and the 4S was 16 months, and the latest model isn’t a major leap over its predecessor. There were recent rumors that the iPhone 5 was delayed because of the current LTE technology, so the next upgrade could be more of a major one.

Were you disappointed with the iPhone 4S?

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Also See: iPad X release date hype for 2018 after concept

  • Every dual core Android phone I have seen is slow and laggy compared to the current iPhone 4.
    The 8 megapixel camera on Android phones is not as good as the 5 megapixel on the iPhone 4.
    Siri blows away Androids minimal voice recognition.

  • John

    The iPhone 4S looks great. I travel a lot on business so Siri and the improved camera will be a big help for me. I plan to get one as soon as I can.

  • Anonymous

    So question, did you write an article called “Android features iPhone already had”, when the first Android phone showed up?  Or any time after that?

    Point being this is silly exercise as both will innovate in one way or the other with the other stepping up after.  It’s called competition and that’s good for everyone.  Don’t you think?

  • There were MP3 players before Apple introduced the iPod.

    There were smartphones before Apple introduced the iPhone.

    There were tablet computers before Apple introduced the iPad. 

    Apple isn’t usually the first one to come out with a new product or feature. But they always make existing products or features from other companies pale in comparison.

    Android had a voice recognition feature before Siri…. but Siri outdoes it in usability, AI advancements, and integration, making for a much better and more useful experience.

  • Leonard Holland

    Apple people are going to be happy with some of the features that Android users have been enjoying for the past year or so, like myself. Apple will just take those features and make them better i.e. the notification center. Ill be enjoying these copied features as I leave Android OS and go to iOS. Its been real Android.

    • Anonymous

      hope you’re right, cause Apple lost momentum over the last year. Im not sure if they are still pace maker. To me it looks like they are focussing on law fight, marketing tricks, maybe because they know they lost the tech battle.
      …honestly, Apple is famous for user experience, but can anyone seriously explain what the operation of an iPod or iTunes has to do with usability? To me it has ever been a geeky limitation and a huge step back (way beyond others like sony/nokia/motorola long have been). It’s like driving a VW and believing that’s special. doooh!

      • Anonymous

        Well the past year Apps have carried Apple forward. Half a billion apps, is not exactly a loss and while it is true that Android had a better UI for notifications, Apple more than just matching android in this area. Their reminder system even without siri would have been enviable. It appears Apple will beat Google to the punch with it’s messaging client as well and still bests it with it’s facetime software. 

        Say what you want about processors, but it appears that the graphics processor Apple is using is besting the competition (at least the iPad 2 has been so I assume the iPhone 4s will continue), and even with 8 MegaPixel cameras the iPhone 4 has been the top rated camera on any mobile phone, so assuming Apple did it right with this 8 MegaPixel sensor too, we should see the the iPhone 4s on the top of the heap. Not to mention the great, composing and editing features. 

        I’m not sure what feature any android maker will be able to point to, to best the iPhone 4s, short of the lie about 4g, which was originally defined as 100Mb/sec and is being claimed by carriers who can’t maintain better than the 2Mb my 3g iphone 4 gets. Worse yet, with carrier limitations, if you even could get near the 10-15Mb/sec the theorize, you would blow the cap off your data plan in a matter of minutes. 

        Bottom line, nobody who is in the market for a new phone this year is going to feel left behind because they purchased an iPhone 4s. It looks to be as good or better than any of the phones it is going up against. The proof will be in the numbers. Latest figures show iPhone at 28% to Androids 56%. This doesn’t count what had to be a huge slow down in september as anticipation for a new iPhone grew. But when figures come out for the quarter ending October, iPhone will hold it’s position and the quarter ending Jan 2012 will show the iPhone closing the gap at the expense of everyone. 
        So October will be 30% vs 60% and Jan will be 35% vs 55%. 

        Don’t get me wrong I don’t expect the following quarter to see 40% vs 50%. iOS will settle in at around 1/3 of the market and android a little over half (unless some surprise player comes out of the wood work).

        At least that is how I see it playing out. 

        • Anonymous

          Love your points but remember you are taking iPhone vs. Android, should it not be iPhone vs one Android phone and then tell me how close sales are. People hide behind “Android” when they need to look at that one device, nothing comes close to sales of iPhone then, also how much does a 16 month old Android phone go for, I just got £282 for my 16 month old iPhone 4 and that was O2 with a straight swap for cash.

  • Mk4deadpool

    What do you mean Google hasn’t brpught anything new. The fact that you can make the phone to your liking and customization are new unlike apple ypu can’t. The fact that everybody uses Google to s3arch anything on the web and to create a phone powered by something you use almost everyday is unique. So to me it only males sense to have a.phone powered by Google.

  • Jfutral

    Well, to be technical, those features were not available to ALL Android users, just to some. Not all Android phones sport the same features, much less these features in particular. And too bad for Android, these features don’t mean anything until they are available on the iPhone. As much as it annoys Android fans, the iPhone IS the standard, for now.

    More mega pixels does not make a better camera. Better cameras are more a function of sensors and optics and the software that handles the image capture. I’d rather have a camera with better optics and sensors than more pixels any day. Just like with video. You can have a better quality video at 720p than 1080i or p by having a higher bit rate at the 720p resolution. More pixels does not equal better picture.

    And when the carriers actually have enough 4g infrastructure (never mind that 4g isn’t even 4g any more) to make a difference and when using 4g doesn’t suck battery life, that is when it will matter more. So not having 4g is not an issue.

    I wasn’t disappointed, but I do want a new form factor. I drop my phone a lot and I have no doubt the glass front and back would need replacing on a too regular a basis. My wife is far more careful with her 4 than I am with my 3gs and I have already replaced both. All those new features really aren’t important to me to begin with. They are nice and (tech-head) cool, but that’s about it. No deal makers/breakers for me.

    Electronically, it really is a new device, in that faster and more of certain things is the only way the tech industry knows how to go “new” at this point. It is as different from the iPhone 4 as any of the Android devices are different from the iPhone 4 in that respect, OS and ecosystem not-withstanding. That is until Apple releases the next big thing. Android makers and Google certainly have shown they are incapable of creating anything truly new.


  • Kevin

    I am a current iPhone 4 customer… love the phone… and upgraded because I was blown away by Siri… I’m really looking forward to the better optics in the camera which catch us up to some really cool Android phones.  The additional 3.5G speed will also be greatly appreciated as well… all in all a nice upgrade to a phone I was completely content with already.

    • Anonymous

      Same with me, but I’ve chosen the other way. Got the Galaxy SII and it really rocks. I can’t understand why Apple didn’t upsize the screen. A big screen is key and everything else on the Samsung works at least as good as on my “old” iPhone 4. It has a veeery good user experience and I like to see the power and speed of the phone every day. Though my old iPhone was a rock solid (good looking, well done) phone, the Galaxy is a beast.

      What Apple released with the iPhone 4s is a shame. I’m glad I’ve bought an Android.

      • Anonymous

        3.5″ screen is still optimal for one hand use. how far can you stretch your thumb across the screen? keep in mind it was designed for average hand sizes too.

        • AbsolutZeroGI

          I have no problems sliding my hands across my Epic 4g Touch (4.52″ screen). None whatsoever. I also make fewer typos when typing because the keys are bigger and my games are easier to play because the on screen controls are better.

          Long press search button gets my vlingo app that calls me master and asks what i want, then perfectly does whatever I want it to do. If Siri does the same thing then bravo, but when comparing voice dictation to other voice dictation, as long as they both work right you can’t compare them. If both understand “text *person* hey how are you” and it sends a text to *person* saying “hi how are you”, then neither one is better.

          Anyway, back to the point. Gorgeous, giant screen that I have no problems with (I’m 5’9″ with small hands for a dude) and I love how it looks. So, if there’s people that have no problems with it, that doesn’t make it a universal problem, which makes your “one handed usability” argument moot. 

  • Yazoo

    It’s amazing how the tech punditry always looks at spec sheets & not real world performance or the quality of the components within differing products. Such as the quality of the pictures taken from cameras on these phones. Do you have anything to say about the real issues? Such as usability & the user experience? It’s a lot easier to add features to a product that someone else has done all the heavy lifting on. Apple did the heavy lifting…Android is a knock-off product. Google did not bring anything new to the market with Android & still hasn’t. When I say new I’m talking about a big picture, paradigm shifting idea not how many megapixels are on a camera. None of these companies that you mention have even come close to doing this with Android. Android the name says it all it’s a replicant.

    • Anonymous

      well said!

      but stating Apple stands for usability and user experience is simple blah. Just repeating other people’s non-sense doesn’t make a truth out of it.
      Apple didn’t improve anything in that respect, in the opposite, they made things worse, look at the iPod (navigation: that horrible wheel , sound, hardware, support…), the iPhone (lack of features and quality: list is long but just to mention some: crappy cam, no widgets, no copy/past, no tethering, bad battery, sensitive housing… ), not to talk about the iPod, now the second edition with the wrong from factor and way too expensive.Anyway, Apple did excellent marketing and made the world believe it required their products. They opened new market segments where others believed the market is saturited. And that’s their merit.jmho

      • Anonymous

        You couldn’t be more wrong!

        First with the ipod, you may not have loved the navigation wheel but it buried the competition at the time which were designed for libraries of dozens of songs not thousands. And the idea of charging through your sync cable was pure inspiration. The morphing from physical to touch wheel, to click wheel kept the competition one step behind. At least till the iPod Touch showed up on the scene and put things out of reach!

        The first phone was a rock solid phone that was more generally usable than ANY smart phone on the market at the time, and it had the BEST battery life of any smart phone at the time. That first phone solved all of the core problems with a touch based phone and did it in a way that kept it fast and usable. The features left out (with the exception of the weak camera) were all done to make the phone simply work. It was a brilliant entry into the market and set the expectations for all phones to follow. It also forever changed the control a carrier would have over Apple and to some extent Google and others. 

        Rev 2 actually represented the year of growing pains as they tried to extend functionality and we saw our first hiccups and glitches on an iPhone but those were fixed quickly and by rev 3 Apple had the formula working and has never looked back. 

        People love to dismiss this as marketing hype, but hyped products do not have 90+% satisfaction and retention rates. 

        • AbsolutZeroGI

          Android hasn’t brought anything new to the table?
          Flash enabled browser (Apple still ain’t got it)
          Live wallpapers (Apple still ain’t got it)
          Widgets (which Apple will shamelessly steal upon the release of iOS 5)
          However, they still don’t have scrollable widgets or resizeable widgets, Android does.
          First dual core processor
          First 4g phone
          First 3D phone
          Drop down notification bar (which Apple will shamelessly steal upon the release of iOS 5)

          There were mp3 players before the iPod
          The blackberry was the first *big* smartphone company, IT did the heavy lifting for Apple (everyone used BB…I still know people who use BBM), which (under your logic), makes Apple a knockoff product too
          I’ll give tablets to apple, there were none that worked well before the iPad. But the rest is hogwash.