Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Apple iPhone Wireless Internet

August 2, 2013

I like my iPhone. As I mentioned previously, I’ve had all the major releases: The original iPhone, 3G, 4, and now the 5. In every single one of those phones, there is something that has universally driven me insane: The length of time it takes for the phone to shut the WiFi receiver off when it determines that the signal is no longer usable.

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No, really iPhone, it’s a lost cause.

Now, unless you have a dog and spend a lot of time taking it on walks, you may not even notice it. Basically, when you walk outside your home, your signal indicator will usually drop to 2 bars. Depending on where your router is, the wireless will still work if you’re just right around the house. Once you get about 30 yards away, the signal will drop to 1-2 bars and it will no longer work. If you attempt to access anything, it will just endlessly load or say there’s no network connection.

Here is where the problem starts. It won’t switch to cellular for what seems like an eternity (OK, like 1-2 minutes, but it feels like an eternity). It just sits there with 1 signal bar and won’t switch off. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why doesn’t this dumb ass just toggle the WiFi off?” I’ll tell you why: I’m lazy. I need to hit the home button to exit what I’m in. Then I have to scroll to the Settings app. Then select WiFi. Then toggle it off. Then exit back out and go back to what I was doing. It takes 10 seconds, but it’s annoying. Then I have to remember to turn it back on later, or else feel the wrath of AT&T’s data throttling on my ‘unlimited‘ plan.

So, yes. I could toggle it off kind of easily, but why should I have to? Excuse my ignorance of how the cellular and wireless radios work together, but I have an idea for how to make it better. I assume 3 bars of signal is equal to 67-100% signal strength. Two bars equal 34-66%. One bar is <34%. From my experience, 2 bars is hit or miss depending on how close I am to the router – obviously. Why not have the WiFi radio switch off after 5 seconds below 50% and instantly if it’s under 34%? Does that sound outrageous? There’s no reason for me to sit at one bar of signal strength for 60-120 seconds while it tries to stay connected.

Is there a hardware issue that prevents rapid switching of the radios? Power savings, maybe? The battery already blows, so if there was an option to enable such a feature, I’d be fine with that.

That’s all, really. Just an annoying feature that has been pissing me off for years.

Edit to add: I just realized that I have had instances where I had 1 signal bar and the WiFi worked. Mostly in hotels or someone’s house. Therefore, my idea about being able to toggle rapid switching on and off would be the best option as it would make people’s lives miserable if it was always on, in some cases.

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iPhone 5 Review

October 1, 2012

I upgraded from an iPhone 4 (AT&T GSM model) that I purchased during the insane launch in June 2010. I say insane because it took almost an entire day to get an order through. I think I was among the last orders to get through before the shipping dates slipped a few weeks. Needless to say, I was able to order this one on my third try roughly 10 minutes after it went on sale. Luckily for me, since preorders sold out within the hour. So, here are my first impressions after using the iPhone 5 for about 10 days now.

Design

The first thing I noticed was the weight. Yes, I know the numbers and I expected it to be light, but the extent of it still took me by surprise. I purchased a slate black phone and I think it’s as close to perfect as the design of a smartphone can get. I like how the aluminum metal band around the phone now matches the color of the phone rather than being silver-colored. I also like how the back glass panel is replaced with aluminum as well. I haven’t and won’t be testing the scratch resistance. I’ll note that mine arrived in flawless condition – no pre-existing scratching as has been reported.

Functionality / Dock Connector

Again, I was shocked by how small the dock connector turned out to be. I saw the pictures and such, but finally seeing it and holding it in person was a shocker. I feel like I should treat it like it’s very delicate, so we’ll see how durable it turns out to be. I personally love it, it’s easier to plug in than the old one and there’s no right or wrong way. I didn’t have any accessories that require an adapter, so I guess I’m lucky on that front. Well, I did, but I sold them with my old iPhone 4 so I could boost the price a little. The home button and on/off switch seem lighter and easier to click. I had problems on my iPhone 4 when I tried to click or double click the home button and it wouldn’t respond. It would drive me insane. It could have just been wear and tear from constant use, though. Another note is the speakers on the bottom of the phone, which are much, much louder than my old phone. They also have a new design that probably won’t allow dust to cake up inside them. Many times, I’d have to get something fine-tipped to dig out dust from the grilles. No longer will that be the case.

Display

The display is very nice. It’s the same retina display from the iPhone 4/4S, but it seems different. The whole in-cell display or whatever they used is very apparent. I also noticed that the default brightness is lower than my iPhone 4, yet just as bright or maybe even brighter. Perhaps that is what contributes to the battery life. The touch screen itself works as perfectly as every iPhone has in the past. That was what sold me on the original iPhone back in 2007 and I’m glad to see that it either improves or stays consistently good.

Battery

The battery is better. It’s tough to compare because my old phone had been through probably 1,000 charge cycles, so the battery was probably measurably worse than when it was brand new. By that comparison, the iPhone 5 outperforms it with about 20% better efficiency. All things being equal, it’s probably not too noticeable. Considering the addition of LTE and the spec bumps it got, the fact that they’re getting marginally better battery life out of a battery that’s about the same size is almost an engineering miracle.

Update: A few more days in, I’ve noticed that if my reception strength is less than 4 bars, the battery rapidly depletes, as in about the same as I saw with my iPhone 4.

LTE/WiFi/Call Quality

Call quality is better. People sound louder and crisper. This is my first LTE phone, so this is new for me. As far as cellular service, it’s worse than my iPhone 4. I’d say about 20% worse. Places where I had maybe 1-2 bars of service are now ‘No Service’ and places where I had 4-5 bars are now 1-3 bars. This only counts inside buildings. I have full service when I’m in the car or outside. So far, that’s been a downgrade. When LTE is working, though, it is absurdly fast. I’ve had download speeds as high as 45Mbps and Uploads as high as 16Mbps. That absolutely leaves my home wireless connection in the dust.  That being said, I’m having the issue looked at by Apple later to see if there’s a software issue that’s causing the poor reception.

Hardware

Coming from the iPhone 4, it’s substantially faster at everything. They said twice as fast, I say it’s about 10x as fast at some tasks as my old phone. Camera is open instantly and there’s no lag between pictures. I’m used to 5 seconds of lag between shots and up to 10 seconds to open the camera. Apps open almost instantly. For example, Tap Zoo would take 2-3 minutes on my iPhone 4. It now takes about 10 seconds. Jurassic Park Builder used to take about 30 seconds, it’s now instant. Safari renders pages instantly now with no lag. It’s very fast and can’t imagine things being much quicker. The camera is noticeably better than the old phone, obviously. I haven’t tried the panorama mode yet. Honestly, I probably never will. I’ve never had a real use for it yet and likely never will.

Apple Maps

Ah, Apple Maps – The big controversy from this launch. Honestly, this is another feature I don’t have a great deal of use for since my car has its own built-in navigation (And Lexus has a pretty solid navigation system – aside from finding POI). So far, in my limited use, I haven’t seen any map glitches in the St. Louis area, but I haven’t looked too hard, either. I did test the turn-by-turn with my car’s navigation and it did the identical routes that Lexus gave me. Like I said, Lexus has a very polished system that spoils me, so I’m accustomed to sub-screen zooming in on roads as I approach and audible warnings up to a half mile beforehand. Apple Maps isn’t quite that good. It finds the route and Siri will talk through my car’s audio system via Bluetooth, but that level of information that I’m used to isn’t there. I think it would be perfectly fine if I were a passenger and directing someone or maybe even be fine as a primary navigation for someone who doesn’t have a GPS unit. I think the Maps criticism is mainly outside of the US, but as for the occasional railroad track route, missing body of water, or glitch – what are you expecting? Sometimes Google was better than Lexus. Sometimes Garmin had a better route. They all have their shortcomings.

iOS 6

I’m mixed about iOS 6. One part of me has high expectations from Apple to revolutionize things. The other part realizes that iOS is a very solid OS and, at this point, there really isn’t much more you can do with a smartphone that isn’t already done. That being said, iOS 6 doesn’t blow me away. The weather app is updated with the hourly forecast built in using the extra screen real estate. YouTube is finally gone, thank God (There’s a superior app offered by Google in the App Store). iTunes and the App Store have both been redesigned in a good way. People aren’t happy with the new App Store since it seems to not be good for searching. I haven’t had that thought or trouble.

Passbook is there, but I don’t like it. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just not practical for me. Unless I’m forgetting something, that’s it as far as changes go. Hell, the best update for me is that I don’t have to enter my iTunes password to download free apps or updates anymore! It’s shocking that it took 5 years to address that.

Conclusion

It’s a great phone. It does everything I need it to do and it does it well. It has a nice screen and enlarged it while making the phone smaller. It’s really the perfect size for a phone. The OS is stable and solid and the phone feels like it’s a quality piece. I’m holding out hope that the service issues I’ve had are a local deal and not a permanent thing. Above all, the antenna should be the most important part of the phone. Plus, you can’t argue with the resale value. After the initial investment in an iPhone, the rest are essentially free. After two years, you can still flip them for what you paid on contract (Thus justifying the purchase of an Otterbox Defender to keep it perfect). You really can’t beat that. That being said, it is just another iPhone. There isn’t anything revolutionary here – and that’s fine because the smartphone has been more or less perfected at this point.

Apple is in a tough spot. On one hand, you have a group of people that moans about Apple being boring and far behind Samsung (Absurd). On the other hand, you have a group of people that are perfectly content with the phone. The problem is that Apple feels forced to include features to appease people and then when they aren’t 100% perfect or fixed in hours, there is worldwide outrage. They’re going to sue Apple for Maps not delivering. Really? Did you ever buy Windows Vista? Use Playstation Network for the first 3 years? Buy a game that looked great on previews and then sucked to play? Saw a movie that sucked? So, I could have sued for being underwhelmed by software? People need to either grow up or have some patience. Download Garmin for $40. There are other options here, but they’re too hysterical to worry about that. If you’re worried about nothing else integrating, why the hell would you buy Apple? Hasn’t that been the company signature since forever?

What is it that people want exactly? I couldn’t copy and paste for an entire YEAR after I got the original iPhone. You’re whining because Maps are glitchy 12 days into the OS launch? Turn by turn isn’t good enough and you want Google Maps back? Since when did Google Maps offer turn by turn on iOS? The App Store is outdated and boring, but this new, faster App Store sucks? Make up your minds. Apple has reached Microsoft’s problem. The customer base is too big. Too many people whine and complain and expect perfection. There are just too many people to please. Steve Jobs had it right when he said Apple told people what they wanted, people didn’t tell Apple. Now, it’s the opposite. And just like Microsoft, Apple will fall. When you start caving into the demands of the vocal minority, you will fail.

Fanboys, Wrestling, and Apple.

September 17, 2012

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Anyone who spends any time on the internet has had experience with product fanboys. You see them everywhere. You have the Sony Playstation vs. Microsoft Xbox fanboys. You have Gran Turismo vs. Forza fanboys. You have Chevy vs. Ford vs. Import fanboys. There are WWE vs. TNA fanboys. This post is going to pertain to the Apple vs. Android fanboys.

Where do you draw the line between fan and annoying, obnoxious fanboy? It’s actually rather simple: When you are reading forum or post comments, the people so angrily calling people fanboys or sheep are, in fact, the actual fanboys. It’s not all that surprising when you think about it. Keep reading to see why.

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Apple pre-sells 600,000 iPhones.

June 16, 2010

Well, the reason for the utter chaos yesterday was because Apple pushed 600,000 pre-sale orders for the iPhone 4. Yes, 600,000. They’re quoting that as 10 times the volume of 3GS phones. AT&T’s servers also processed 13 million eligibility checks (Hell, 100 of them were probably mine). That’s 3 times the previous single-day record. I personally managed to squeeze in an order around 8PM for a launch day delivery via the Apple Store online. Moments later, the ship date pushed to July 2nd. As of right now, it’s July 14th. They are selling an unbelievable amount of phones. I would venture a guess that if you haven’t ordered one by the end of today, you’re looking at late July or early August at this point. I believe AT&T’s site has stopped sales completely right now. Love or hate Apple, they know how to market and sell the shit out of something.

Apple iPhone 4 Pre-Ordering Day An Utter Failure.

June 15, 2010

For those of us looking to pre-order an iPhone via the Apple Store (Online, by phone or in store), we’ve been met with busy servers and error messages all day long. I think the problem lies with AT&T servers as my order always gets hung up at the AT&T eligibility checker.  Why go through Apple Store? Well, first, no $18 upgrade fee. Second, you get it delivered to your door already activated on June 24th. That means no dealing with the hordes at the stores. Unfortunately, it appears that AT&T hasn’t learned anything from the previous 3 launches as you can see below.

Edit: Looks like it’s definitely AT&T’s problem. Over 12 hours and counting.

Verizon’s Blackberry Storm vs. AT&T’s iPhone 3G.

November 22, 2008

BB Storm

Earlier this week, I was convinced that I was going to leave AT&T and my first-generation iPhone for Verizon Wireless’ new Blackberry Storm. I was fed up with spotty service in parts of Athens (My apartment, mainly) and I was on my 3rd iPhone due to a series of warranty replacements.

On Friday, I went to Verizon during lunch to check out a Blackberry Storm set up in the store. I was underwhelmed. That’s being positive. There are a few things that completely turned me off from the phone. First was the actual touchscreen. Let me try to describe this. It’s a really nice screen, very bright and crisp. When you touch the screen, the icon or key will light up blue, but that’s not how you actually select it. You actually have to push the screen down and it sort of clicks like a mouse button. Does that make sense? The screen feels like it’s kind of floating.

As far as that goes, someone with a regular flip phone or cell phone will probably find it incredibly impressive. People with iPhones or smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards will likely hate it. The advantage for the iPhone is that once you get the hang of it, you can type faster on that than on your home computer in some cases. The iPhone’s auto-correct is also scarily good. I get the occasional ‘do’ or ‘so’ mix-up and it always replaces ‘fuck’ and ‘fucking’ with ‘duck’ and ‘ducking’, but 98% of the time, it is great. With the Blackberry, not only was it harder to enter characters since instead of just tapping the screen, you have to depress it, but I was horribly inaccurate with it and the auto-correct was miserable.

Also, when rotating from portrait mode to landscape mode, there was considerable lag. The iPhone also lags a little, too. apple_iphone_3g

The other huge thing that stood out to me was the operating system. If you have an iPhone, you notice that every single application and feature is specifically designed for touching and scrolling, etc. The coverflow for the music player, your contacts list, toggle buttons, etc. With the Storm, it sort of seemed like the OS wasn’t given this specific treatment. It just didn’t feel right to me. I don’t know how else to describe it.

Aside from that, the phone is beautiful. It sold out around the country, so they have a success with it. The only issue is that the people who are using better phones aren’t going to be blown away. I sure wasn’t. I decided to stick with AT&T and purchased the iPhone 3G. Besides, what in the hell would I do without Tap Tap Revenge?