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First look: Setting up the new iPhone 4S with iOS 5

Out with iTunes

While pulling the latest iPhone out of the box isn't a new experience, setting it up is. Rather than booting up to a graphic asking you to plug the device into iTunes, it now presents a simple "iPhone" graphic with an unlocking slider control to get started. There's also an information icon that, when touched, present the device's serial numbers.

Similar to setting up a new Mac, iOS 5 devices like iPhone 4S now step through a series of basic setup options, asking the user to first select a language and region. During the setup process, the background smoothly animates characters in a variety of languages and then a map, offering an initial taste of the iPhone's hardware accelerated graphics.

iOS 5 setup next asks the user to enable Location Services or not, offering a link that outlines exactly what that means.

Next, iOS 5 asks the user to select a Wi-Fi network or use the cellular network to obtain Internet access, and subsequently activates. The page warns this step might take up to three minutes. The first phone we activated on Sprint activated immediately, but our AT&T model sat in an activation queue for a very long time (hours). However, even after activating properly on Sprint, the phone subsequently said there was no service for the next ten minutes.

The phone reported, "We’re sorry. There was a problem completing your activation.You can restart the activation process by turning your iPhone off and on. If activating via iTunes, please disconnect and reconnect your iPhone."

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