Consumer Reports Tuesday officially recommended the iPhone 4S (See Network World's "First Look: iPhone 4S") to its readers and noted that Apple had fixed the antenna issues that had plagued its previous model, the iPhone 4. Last year Consumer Reports caused a stir when it said that it could not recommend the iPhone 4 due to its well-publicized design flaws where users would find their reception cut off if they gripped the device on its lower left-hand side.
Additionally, Consumer Reports said that the iPhone 4S's battery "did very well" in its standard battery life tests despite many reported complaints about the device's battery life. Consumer Reports noted that Apple has identified bugs in its iOS 5 platform as the reason some users are experiencing battery issues and has resolved to fix these issues in an upcoming patch.
TECH ARGUMENTS: iOS vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone
Consumer Reports also said the iPhone 4S offered several significant upgrades over its predecessor including a faster dual-core processor and the addition of Siri, a voice-enabled "personal assistant" that can interpret your speech patterns and provide you answers to your questions just by asking it in a natural voice. However, the magazine also said that these improvements were not enough to put the iPhone 4S on top of its smartphone rankings since it lacks the LTE connectivity of Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Droid Bionic.
The iPhone 4's antenna issues were an embarrassment to Apple last year as late Apple CEO Steve Jobs eventually announced that the company would give free rubber bumper cases to all iPhone 4 users or would give iPhone 4 users full refunds if they weren't happy with the device. Consumer Reports said last year that the rubber cases solved the signal problems caused during tests when users put their hands over the phone antennas.
Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.