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October 24th, 2011

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Should College Recruiters Upgrade to the iPhone 4S?

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Over the past week, our staff here at Front Rush has been using the new iPhone 4S and just wanted to share our thoughts and the possibilities for recruiting.

The overall impression with the device is that it is the best iPhone yet (as advertised by Apple). Its a bit wippier than previous generations, and provides a few interesting functionalities. It definitely surpasses any Blackberry and very much sets the bar for future Android devices.

So let’s talk about some of the functionalities that are cool for recruiting:

  • The most prominent addition to the iPhone is the introduction of Siri. Siri is a voice activated assistant that allows you to send emails, search google, set alarms and a bunch of other cool stuff simply by asking. So for example, prior to going to bed, I will ask Siri “please wake me up at 7:30 am” and Siri will go ahead and do that for you.
  • Another interesting application in recruiting is note taking. When taking notes on a recruit, you can simply speak your notes instead of having to try to type them out on the small keypad. Its a bit awkward talking to a phone and because you have to speak out loud, so hopefully you are in a location where others can’t hear you. But if you can get beyond these two points, then the time saving is remarkable. Notes are taken exactly at the pace of your voice and the accuracy is close enough that you can figure them out later, if necessary . It also gives you the ability to not have to look at your phone while taking notes.
  • However, sending emails via Siri is not yet the best option. Siri is accurate but not 100% and so if you choose to dictate an email for Siri to compose, then you will have to double check the message prior to sending. We have found that there are usually enough mistakes that it would have been nearly as fast to type them out ourselves.
  • Another interesting addition is iMessage. iMessage has the look and feel of a text message except it does not actually rack up your bill. Its the equivalent of Blackberries BBM for iPhone users. What’s interesting about this is that when two iPhone users communicate, they are not charged for individual text-messages. As a result, one of the reasons for the ban of text-messaging in recruiting (expensive text-messages for recruits) seems to hold a bit less water.  The NCAA will need to rule on whether or not the same rules apply to this new technology as text messaging.
  • The camera on the device has been improved dramatically (at least by spec). It is now an 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p HD Video. The quality is good enough that the idea of carrying a second camera is becoming more and more obsolete. We were however a bit surprised that we could not easily tell a side by side comparison of a photo taken with the 4S vs the 4 but admittedly it was not in an environment that would have been a great testing ground.
  • The last big item to point out is the iCloud service which allows for wireless sync. What’s nice is if you use Siri to remind you of an event on a certain date, this will show up on the calendar (on your device) and then wirelessly sync to the calendar you have on your mac. It takes the hassle out of connecting devices to sync them.

Overall, we really like the iPhone 4S. We generally don’t recommend doing the upgrade if you currently have an iPhone 4 and want to save your contract extension discount for a future release.  But if you or your department do the upgrade, you will be perfectly happy.

Sean Devlin is the technical guru behind the wildly popular Front Rush web-based contact management recruiting system used by thousands of coaches across the country.  You can email him with your technology questions at sdevlin@frontrush.com, and visit their website for a complete view of why they’re the nation’s go-to leaders in recruiting technology.

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