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I have had a few issues with my iPhone since buying it on June 29th and though I’d share ’em, with y’all.
For the most part, it has been a revelation on how good user interfaces can be. I am not going to into the pluses or minuses of the device, though. If that’s what you’re interested in, I’d refer you to Phone Scoop’s in-depth review.
So in the middle of last week, I was suddenly unable to access the Internet via my iPhone. I got an error message that read: Could Not Activate EDGE. I was a little miffed, but have had random connection issues with other phones. So I decided to give it some time. An hour later, still no luck. My iPhone was also have difficulty in sending SMS messages. It often took 3 or 4 attempts to get an SMS to successfully send to another phone. I chalked this up to a network anomoly and let it rest for a while.
Several hours later, though, I still had no luck connecting to the Internet. Eventually I gave up and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up and checked the iPhone. Still no Internet, but this time around I got a DNS Server error. Eep. I called AT&T customer service right away. (BTW, I had powered the phone on and off several times.)
I waited about 8 minutes to be connected a rep. Once connected, the rep checked my account and told me that my data account was still active, and there had been no network issues in the area. Since it wasn’t service related, he decided to transfer me to an Apple rep.
I waited on hold again for another 8 to 10 minutes. Once I spoke to the Apple rep (who was chipper as hell, BTW), she had me reset the iPhone. It took several attempts. After the second attempt, the iPhone was able to reconnect to the EDGE network and successfully browse the Web. Cool.
Two days later, though, I had another failure with the iPhone, this time hardware related. After using it as an iPod for a while and listening to some Machine Head, I pulled out the headphones. From then on, the ear piece speaker failed to work. The speakerphone worked just fine, but the ear piece speaker made no sound at all, and calls could not be heard using the iPhone as a regular phone.
Since I had a similar issue with a Treo several years ago, I took it directly to the Apple store. Unfortunately I had to wait two days to get an appointment with an Apple Genius. After I explained the problem to him, he agreed that it was a hardware issue and it needed to be fixed. The little mechanism inside the headphone jack that shuts off the ear piece speaker and routes calls to the headphones was permanently activated. Since the 14-day return window had expired, they wouldn’t just give me a new phone. It was sent off to be repaired. Apple offered a temporary iPhone replacement for me to use, but I declined, preferring to just use another handset I had at home. So I took my SIM and put it in a BlackBerry Pearl. The experience was jarring. I had loved my Pearl. After just 3 weeks with the iPhone, though, the BB OS was jarring to use.
I switched to a Nokia E61i, and that was much better. Thankfully I only had to use it for three days. Apple FedExed the iPhone back to me just 70 hours after I dropped it off at the Apple store. The repair was free, but the experience did stink, and made me lose a little bit of confidence in the quality of the new phone.
I stopped into iPhone Dev Camp today. I walked in and was shocked to see hundreds of developers staring intensely at their laptops. I honestly didn’t expect so many people, but this is the bay area, and so it is Apple’s and Web 2.0’s home turf. Most the people in attendance had iPhones, but they didn’t seem to be using them. You could tell these were the type of people who generally don’t leave the house without their laptop. They also, for the most part, were not mobile developers.
The mobile interface and development world is small enough that everyone in it knows or at least recognizes each other, especially when it comes to online and not Java development… and i did not recognize a single soul in the place. so I went out to the organizers are expressed my shock at how into their laptops everyone was – both because this was the first dev camp i’ve ever attended (i often attend “bar camps” but those are much more social, even though they involve no bars.), and because everyone seemed much more interested in their laptops and full computer sized applications than mobile applications.
And that’s when the organizers stunned me. they weren’t surprised by the computer-centric makeup of the crowd at all, because the organizers didn’t consider an iPhone a mobile device. “It’s not a mobile device,” one said, “it’s more of a really powerful browser in a small computer.” And that view seems to be the one shared by most the attendees. I went back around and checked on the types of applications these folks were working on. They weren’t mobile centric. They didn’t consider the on the go nature of the iPhone or the fact that mobile UIs usually call for less information and less input. They were trying to squeeze full desktop applications or full desktop websites into the phone. The preliminary results were appalling in many cases. (but they were preliminary!)
But not all web developers are looking at the iPhone like it’s a MacBook mini. I was browsing the iPhone Application List and came across MoviesApp. It is, I would say, my dream movie times application. It considers all the capabilities of the iPhone so it integrates with the media aspects of the iPhone, Google Maps and more. And it also requires a minimum of input and clicks to get the information you want, formatted exactly how you would expect on your iPhone. I’m glad that despite today’s experiences that at least some people understand the iPhone’s highly mobile nature.
Now what i’m really hoping is that these same developers who are making well thought out web applications for the iPhone realize that there are millions more Windows Mobile and S60 phones out there that can advantage of their hard work; and they expand their development to allow these millions of users to experience wonderfully designed applications as well. The one thing I was hoping the iPhone might do is get more people to develop truly well designed mobile web sites, instead of forcing us to use their unwieldy desktop sites or their ultra low bandwidth sites that fail to provide enough information.
According to gizmodo, this is the Motorola Zante, a new danger-based device that we’ve been hearing rumors about for many months. It’s reportedly a much thinner sidekick with updated features. But what i want to know is which one of these is the real Zante. The picture on the left is the first Zante’s that appeared on the net. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the keyboard is a grid, the way most smartphone keyboards are laid out. When these renderings first appeared i noticed immediately, because as a former sidekick user, i know the one thing that sets these devices apart is their keyboard, which normally has offset keys like a full-sized QWERTY keyboard. I was disappointed that Motorola might have abandoned one of the sidekick’s biggest strengths in the name of making it thinner and more modern. but i knew these images were just renderings and so i reserved my judgement.
then yesterday, the image on the right surfaced. notice that in this image, the keys on the keyboard are offset from each other. in fact the keyboard looks almost exactly like the sidekick 3. If this is really the final rendering of the Zante, then it seems that Motorola has finally done away with the D-pad normally found on the left. Which only makes sense, since it became redundant after Danger introduced the trackball on the right to replace the old scroll wheel.
Of course all this analysis is still based on rumor, not fact. But if all these images are surfacing now, it can’t be long before this device is officially unveiled.
on the right is picture floating around the internet of a rumored nokia feature phone called the 7500 of the new Nokia 7500, a fashion phone introduced in China today (see link in comments). on the left is the Prada store that opened in Tokyo about 3 years ago. is this Nokia’s answer to the LG Prada phone?