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A Brotha’s Guide to Surviving iPhone 4S, iOS 5, and iCloud

How BrothaTech shares his views, tips & tricks on the iPhone 4S, iOS 5, iCloud, Messages, and more…

Yeah, I got one.

I must be lucky because I didn’t have any of the “concerns” others are having. I would like to attribute that to how anal particular I am with my data period (mobile or otherwise). But since it’s my job to help folks out, let me give you some tips on how to make your transition/upgrade to the the new iPhone 4S, iOS 5, or iCloud a little less confusing.

iPhone 4S
To give you a little background: I was using a 32gb iPhone 4 and Mrs. Tech was using a 16gb iPhone 4. My plan was to give her my 32gb iPhone 4, and move to the 32gb iPhone 4S. So I had to back up her phone, update it to iOS 5, restore her data. Then backup my data, switch to the iPhone 4S and restore my data. So I did all that with little to no issue.

Some folks question the value of the iPhone 4S especially folks (like me) coming from the iPhone 4. For the MOST part, they are on to something. For Me, I consider myself to be a pro-user with a TON of apps and other data on my device. So I did notice the 4 getting hung up, freezing or “flinching” when I was doing multiple things at once. The MAIN selling point to the 4S (not it’s not Siri) is the dual-core A5 processor…the same one in the iPad 2.

All I can say there is a night and day difference between the single-core 4 and dual-core 4S. That was enough for me (a Techie). If you’re not a heavy user, I’m not going to knock your hustle if you just MUST have the latest Apple device. Just be warned, besides the better 8mp camera and 1080p video recording, there isn’t any HUGE difference between the 4 and 4S. Now if you’re coming from a 3GS or below, you will get your money’s worth.Quick link to compare latest iPhone models so you can decide for youself.

Since the Siri Voice Assistant isn’t out yet, we will have to wait and see if getting the 4S is enough of a value to make a drastic difference…Although the current numbers of 4S sales numbers speak “volumes”.

iCloud
Initially, I tried to sync everything to iCloud. I quickly ran into the free 5gigs wall (results may vary). Seeing that there are currently gobs of cloud storage options that can store a multitude of things for less money than iCloud, I won’t be ponying up any extra dough on iCloud. Check Dropbox, Sugarsync, Box.net, OfficeDrop to name a few.

But I do sync some stuff using iCloud, so here is my way of working with this and other services:

– Device backups, Contacts, Calendars, Music, Photo Stream stays synced with iTunes on my computer. If you notice on my screen shot, I do have Mail on, but that’s only to use my free .me account for iMessage and Facetime.

– Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Documents & Data, and Find My iPhone are synced with iCloud. Those seem to be the most data that I could see sharing with my iPad 2.

– Mail, Calendar and Contacts, I use Google Sync. Since I have multiple Google Accounts setup and working nicely with Google, I see no need to make a change.

– iTunes…You really won’t notice iCloud if you don’t have multiple Apple mobile devices because with iCloud, you’re downloading music…and not streaming music to your devices. Even if you did, as long as you’re using the same Apple/iTunes ID on all your devices, you will automatically get new purchases on your devices. Now you can check iTunes on your mobile device and see if something you’ve bought isn’t on your phone and get it that way.

If that’s iCloud hard at work, then again, you don’t really notice that it’s working. I’m a heavy playlist user, so that’s how most of my music finds its way to my iPhone and iPad. If you really wanted to take advantage of iCloud for your music, iTunes Match (coming soon) lets you upload music you didn’t buy on iTunes to your multiple devices without manually syncing to your computer.

iOS 5
By far the coolest thing I have found is the Notifications Bar. Much more convenient and less distracting than the previous OS. Similar to Android, swiping down from the very top just above the screen will pull down all your latest notifications. You go into Settings/Notifications and control exactly what apps/services (with the exception of weather and stocks) appear in the notifications screen and if your also want them to appear on your screen while your phone is locked.

Another plus is the camera. You can quickly access the camera from the lock screen and use the volume up button as the shutter. The time it takes to load up the camera is drastically reduced as well. Finally, i’ve been waiting for iMessage. I created a free .me account and give that address to all my peeps with an iPhone. iMessage also lets me send messages with my iPad as well. Hopefully, when Apple gets on the ball and consolidates iMessage, FaceTime and iChat for all Apple devices, my .me account will become all that more valuable.

What am I missing? There are a ton of little gems in iOS 5, so I am not going to list them all. I’m not going to do a full review of the iPhone 4S, because:

1) Outside of what I already listed, there isn’t much difference.
2) You’re probably already tired of hearing about the device.

If you have any questions, feel free to look me up on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus…or if you have an iPhone, message me via my .me account: terrance.gaines@me.com

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