Sunday, July 25, 2010
After fully charging my Pre, the battery died at around 2pm today, 21 hours after the test started. That is a far cry from the 2.5 days that the BlackBerry Storm2 is getting. I'm going to charge the phone up again, and will re-run the test starting at 5pm this evening with W-Fi turned off and see how things go.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
But I hate the battery performance of my phone. I can barely get 24 hours on a single charge with minimal calls and surfing. I have my Pre with me all the time, but I use is sparingly to make sure that I can make it through my day on a full charge. Conversely, my Verizon BlackBerry Storm2, which gets used about the same as my Pre, can easily go 2.5 days without me having to worry about recharging the device.
On the Pre, I keep features that I don't need that drain the battery turned off. This includes the GPS and Wi-Fi radios. I even keep the screen brightness down around 25-30%.
Earlier this week, I read an interesting data point on PreCentral that reads:
"Turn Wi-Fi on and leave it on. Seriously. Unless you’re someplace where there’s positively not a Wi-Fi network to which you can connect, leave Wi-Fi on. The Wi-Fi radio in all webOS phones (with the exception of the Wi-Fi-less Sprint Pixi) is notably more power efficient than the cellular radio, so whenever possible use Wi-Fi instead. Plus, if you’re on a metered data plan, you can save your bytes for later."That statement runs counter to what I've always practiced with my Treo smartphones. For more than a year, I've left Wi-Fi off on my Pre, and only configured one of many email and social media account to sync at an interval of less than 1 hour. There is something to consider about the PreCentral article and that is that if you have apps that poll the Internet for information, the Wi-Fi radio really might be more efficient than the cellular radio.
I want to test this notion out, so all this week, I'm going to leave Bluetooth on as I always do (for handsfree driving), and turning Wi-Fi on. I also have GPS enabled so that when I take a photo, it is "geotagged" for use in iPhoto. (That is a really cool feature, if you have iPhoto '09 and a GPS enabled smartphone or camera.)
I'll post my results over the coming days. If I find that the battery life is good, then I may start turning on more frequent email and social media updates so I can get information more timely.
The Facts According to Apple, AT&T
Apple's assertion that the "death grip" issue is a problem on all smartphones, not just the iPhone 4. Mr. Jobs suggests that the loss of signal, or "bars", was more noticeable because of the two slits on the lower left and right sides of the iPhone 4.
Mr. Jobs also said that Apple takes these issues seriously and that they, "care about every user," and that they "love our users." During the presentation, Apple uncharacteristically came clean with some hard numbers based on the data that they have. Apple also released the delta change between early iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 dropped call statistics per 100 calls.
To help address the issue of signal strength, Apple also released the iOS 4.0.1 update on July 15th. The update is free to all iPhone OS 4 users and anyone using an iPhone 3 or iPhone 3GS. The iOS 4.0 software will not run on the original iPhone, also known as the iPhone 2G. The software update is available for download via iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.
Making Sure Customers Are Happy
Even though Mr. Jobs' assertion is that this is not the major customer problem that some technology blogs are making it out to be, Apple wants to "take care of everyone" by giving all iPhone 4 customers a free case. If they have already purchased an Apple iPhone 4 bumper case, the company will automatically refund your money. If you still don't like the iPhone 4 or feel that the antenna issue is a big problem for you, you can bring the phone back to an Apple or AT&T store for a full refund. No restocking fees. A full refund. No questions asked. The iPhone must be in good working condition and you have 30 days to return the phone from the day if shipped from Apple or you purchased it from an AT&T store.
I'm glad to see Apple stepping up to the plate to offer free cases to every iPhone 4 owner and anyone who purchases an iPhone 4 until September 30th.
My personal feeling is that yes there is a problem, but it isn't as big as you may be lead to believe by the media. For me, I'm satisfied with the outcome, but then again I don't own an iPhone 4. I plan on waiting until I can get one on the Sprint network.
You can download and install iBooks 1.1.2 on your iPad with iOS 3.2 and iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.0 or later installed. Hit the App Store icon on your iDevice or use the iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC to download the update.
MR4 is a maintenance release that addresses the "silent call" issues with the Eris and other minor fixes. The update weighs in at just under 13MB and will take about 30 minutes to install on your device from the time you start the download to the time you finish installing the update.
You can check for the update by going to Settings > About Phone > System updates.
Monday, July 19, 2010
iTunes 9.2.1, available for Mac OS X and Windows PCs, is mostly a maintenance update that addresses bug fixes, performance issues, and will disable "older versions of some incompatible third-party [iTunes] plug-ins."
I don't use any plug-ins with iTunes, but if you do, you'll want to double-check yours for iTunes 9.2.1 compatibility before applying this update.
iTunes 9.2.1 is available for download on Mac OS X and Windows PCs from the Apple Software Update control panel.
iBooks 1.1.1 for iPad, iOS 4 Devices
The iBooks update adds some nice features to Apple's ebook reader. This update includes improved support for books and PDF files with images and adds support for books and documents with audio and video content, as well as additional performance tweaks and bug fixes.
You can download the iBooks update directly to your iPad or iOS 4 device by using App Store on the device or by downloading the update from iTunes and syncing it over to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The big fix in iOS 3.2.1 is to address the Wi-Fi connectivity issues that some people have been having since the Wi-Fi only model went on sale earlier this year. I've run into this problem once or twice since April 3rd when I picked up my iPad on launch day.
Unlike app updates, you will need to download iOS 3.2.1 by connecting your iPad to a Mac or PC and syncing it with iTunes 9.2. I had to select my iPad in the source pane and then click the "Check for Update" button.
The upgrade was painless, and I would expect nothing less from Apple. Using my upgraded iPad at work and at home, I did not notice any real differences between iOS 3.2 and 3.2.1; but then again I didn't have the Wi-Fi issue at the house or office.
The streaming video feed of today's invitation only media press conference has been posted on the Apple website for your viewing pleasure.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
"Invites were sent out this evening to media outlets around the country. What do you think Apple is going to say?"
I doubt this is to talk about a new iPod, smaller iPhone, or iOS 4 for iPad. I'll hold off talking about the iPhone 4 drama until after the Apple event.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Mr. Paczkowski writes:
"This will be Ballmer’s third time headlining CES, and after his first two appearances, I don’t think anyone’s expecting too much. The highlight of his 2009 keynote: The widely expected announcement of the Windows 7 beta. The highlights of his 2010 address: An ill-starred Windows-based tablet and Project Natal, a controllerless game interface system the company debuted at E3 months earlier."
If "The Other Steve" wants to keep things interesting, he will have to really play up his company's new Windows Phone 7 operating system and have a slew of OEM and carrier partners on stage to help launch the new phones.
I have to admit that I've never watched a Steve Ballmer keynote. They lack the excitement of even the dullest Apple keynote or media event. The last Microsoft event that I watched was the "Windows Longhorn is Windows Vista" keynote. We all know how that turned out. (Because of Vista, I switched back to all Macs at my home office.)
You can read the full article on the DigitalDaily website.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
"[A] recent tweet by a twitter user @MaxdMerc, a guy working at the Apple Store, Lakeside (UK) has reportedly confirmed that the next firmware update might be delayed slightly due to Apple working on a fix to patch the hole, recently used to jailbreak iOS 4."I have to believe that this is something that Apple would do to, as some would say, "protect" the iPhone and iPhone customers.
Any one who has been watching both Apple's and Google's rise in the smartphone, music, and video businesses knows that the two tech titans are headed for a high stakes showdown in the sky.
Apple's approach to smartphones, and the entire iTunes ecosystem, is a walled garden that takes care of your every need; as long as you are using iTunes on your Mac or PC and an iDevice running iOS 3 or 4. Google, following in Microsoft's desktop footsteps, has flung open the doors to their Android operating system and allows anyone with the ambition and the know-how to develop a new phone or develop applications for their smartphone platform.
For both companies, streaming content over the Internet, or the "Cloud" as some like to say, is the next battleground for the hearts, minds, and dollars of gadget lovers across the globe.
A recent online Baron's Technology Trader column, How a Droid Could Eat Apple's Lunch" talks about how Google's and Apple's approach to "locking" customers into their ecosystems have taken divergent paths toward the same goal. Right now, Apple is sitting pretty as the undisputed king of the kill. The number of Android smartphones being put on the market is staggering when compared to the number of carriers selling the iPhone, which is only available from Apple.
It's hard to say who will be the winner of this show down. Barron's columnist Mark Veverka writes:
"There are other reasons why Android is gaining momentum. Many Silicon Valley veterans envision Apple's repeating the mistakes it made during the rollout of its first personal computers, when it chose to keep a closed proprietary system over a more pervasive operating system pushed by IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC). The WinTel collaboration took Apple to the brink of bankruptcy, and some fear that Apple is going down the same path with the iOS. "Android attacks Apple at its weakest point, which is its walled-garden ecosystem[.]"You can read the full article on Barron's website.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
- NYTimes: Apple Acknowledges Flaw in iPhone Signal Meter http://nyti.ms/ajIgZc 9:50 AM Jul 3rd via NYT Editors' Choice
- Why Apple's iPhone 4 Update Won't Fix Your Reception Problem http://bit.ly/cpqTNR 10:49 AM Jul 3rd via mobile web
- Apple says software will fix iPhone 4, others say that this is a hardware problem. What do you think? Me? I think it's both hard/software. 10:51 AM Jul 3rd via mobile web
"Apple released that "official statement" about a software update coming in a few weeks to fix the iPhone 4 reception problem. Apple claimed that there really isn't a problem, it's more of a psychosomatic issue with the signal bars on the iPhone 4. Apple will release an update to fix the signal bars displayed rather than fix what's really going on.
Gizmodo is now reporting that when they spoke to AppleCare three different times today AppleCare confirmed the software update will NOT fix the reception issue.
- There is an antenna interference problem when you hold the iPhone 4 in a certain way (the tests by Anandtech and many demonstration videos in the internet show that the signal drop will happen every time when you touch the phone's dead spot, on the left bottom corner).
- One solution is to hold the phone differently, avoiding to touch the left bottom corner of the phone (coincidentally, this is how models hold the iPhone 4 in most of Apple's promotional material).
- The other other solution is to buy a case or one of Apple's $30 bumpers
- The incoming software update will not fix this antenna problem, only change the way the phone displays the available signal, make it more accurate."
Any way you cut it, this is a poor situation to be in for iPhone 4 customers. Apple has stated in an open letter on their website that, "[a]s a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund."
I don't have an iPhone 4, but I am in support of the free Apple iPhone bumpers idea being floated around. Apple is sitting on a mountain of cash, and what better way to make lemonade out of lemons than giving away free bumpers until Apple is able to re-engineer the radio dead spot?
So how about it, Apple? Are you guys game? The legions of Apple fans have earned a little kick-back for their fanatical support over the last 10 years.
[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...; Gizmodo.com...]
A full page ad that appeared in the New York Times over the weekend, the ad reads:
"Most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design," the advertisement reads. "The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard."
Thursday, July 1, 2010
On the Palm blog, Jon Zilber writes:
"Today, Palm becomes part of the largest technology company in the world, HP.You can read the full post on the Palm blog.
It’s our first day together, but it’s already abundantly clear to everyone who’s been involved in bringing the two companies together that great things are in store. The combination of Palm’s trailblazing webOS and HP’s strength as the leading provider of everything from PCs, laptops, and printers to home electronics and enterprise systems promises an amazing roadmap of new tools for your mobile and web-connected future."
Alongside the blog post, a press release was posted on the Palm website.
“With webOS, HP will deliver its customers a unique and compelling experience across smartphones and other mobility products,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “This allows us the opportunity to fully engage in growing our smartphone family offering and the footprint of webOS.”You can read the full press release on the Palm website.
Under Jon Rubinstein, former Palm chairman and chief executive officer, the Palm global business unit will report to Bradley. Palm will be responsible for webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks.
“With HP’s full backing and global strengths, I’m confident that webOS will be able to reach its full potential,” said Rubinstein. ”This agreement will accelerate the development of this incredible platform with new resources, scale and support from a world-respected brand.”