When Apple’s 2.0.2 firmware update for the iPhone hit yesterday, iPhone 3G owners experiencing 3G speed and connectivity problems were hopeful that the update would address their problem at least a little bit (though it’s possibly that it could be a hardware problem that can’t be fixed with a software update).
Nothing wrong with hoping.
All Apple said about the update was that it has some “bug fixes”, so in typical Apple fashion they didn’t promise anything so they’re not on the hook for anything.
Some 3G issues seem to have been addressed at least a little bit (though not all users are in agreement) but it looks like a new problem might have been introduced.
Some iPhone 3G owners are reporting the inability to make phone calls over 3G, with every attempted call resulting in a “call failed” error even when full signal strength is displayed on the device.
Its not clear yet just how many users this is affecting, but even one is too many.
If you or someone you know is having this problem, switching the phone to EDGE in Settings > General > Network seems to help (until Apple fixes the problem).
T-Mobile subscribers in Las Vegas got a nice treat today as the companies 3G data service went online.
So far it’s just available in Las Vegas but T-Mobile plans to launch it in 26 other major markets by October 1st (if all goes well) so you won’t have too terribly long to wait.
Want to see if you’re city’s on the list? Here they are (in no specific order):
- New York City
- NJ and Long Island
- Las Vegas (DONE!)
- Kansas city
- Los Angeles
- New England
- San Diego
- Washington DC
- San Francisco
When the iPhone 3G launched last week in Canada, it’s price undercut some of the other smartphones being sold by Canadian telecom giant Rogers.
To help keep the Nokia N95 smartphones selling, Rogers has dropped the price of the device from $400 with a 3-year contract down to $199 with a 3-year contract.
Feature wise, the N95 really really offers a lot to users. But, from a usability perspective, the N95 and iPhone are very different so if you’re considering the N95 over the iPhone, really spend some time playing with it and make sure you really could deal with it for everyday use.
Before the first iPhone launched, this was an easier question to answer, but the iPhone is such a revolutionary product that I would have a hard time spending $199+ on any other cellphone.
This morning when I saw that Apple had released the 2.0 firmware update for the iPhone and iPod Touch, like any self respecting geek I started downloading it right away.
Before too long the 220MB or so file finished downloading and the update process began and after a few minutes it was done–ready to be connected to iTunes and have the various things the update process had backed up before beginning restored to my phone so it feels like my phone again.
BUT, a little something happened on the way to restoring–hundreds of thousands of other people had the same idea and we all began beating on Apple’s servers, resulting in one of two iTunes errors showing up on my computer every time I’d dock my iPhone and iTunes would try and connect to the iTunes Store to do whatever it does before restoring and then activating my phone–either one about the network connection timing out or one about iTunes being unable to make a secure connection to iTunes and telling me to make sure that I have either SSL 3.0 or TLS 1.0 enabled (which I did).
Repeatedly I tried clicking off my iPhone in the DEVICES category in iTunes then immediately clicking on it again so it would try again to connect to iTunes, then sometimes I’d undock my iPhone and dock it again just in case that might make a difference and finally, after 30 or so attempts, it worked and my iPhone settings are in the process of being restored right now.
If you should run into the same problem, keep trying and eventually you should be able to connect.
Note to Apple: perhaps releasing such a highly anticipated update to current iPhone and iPod Touch owners on the same day the new iPhone 3G is releases wasn’t such a good idea? Hopefully people that are buying their iPhone 3G right now aren’t running into the same sort of problems trying to get them activated in the AT&T and Apple stores. There must be a huge amount of traffic hitting the Apple servers right now.
UPDATE: Unfortunately it looks like the iTunes problem is affecting people that try to activate a new iPhone 3G as well. For more info check out this post.
Maybe you’ve heard by now? The iPhone 3G is launching this Friday? Yes? 😉
Between the three we can conclude that:
- 3G drains the battery a lot faster than EDGE
- The built-in speaker is louder for both music and speakerphone calls
- GPS is nice but really needs a turn-by-turn navigation app
- The plastic back of the new iPhone helps with reception
- The new 2.0 software is great
Unfortunately the iPhone 3G still has a few problems:
- No Bluetooth stereo (A2DP)
- No voice dialing
- No Flash support
- No Java support
- No WMV support
- No video recording
- No MMS
- No cut / copy / paste
- Some original iPhone accessories can’t charge the device, noticably the Bose SoundDock or Belkin car kit (adapters may be released that can help make at least some currently unsupported devices)
No real surprises, huh? If you’re still on the fence then we have that common.
If TomTom (or someone) releases a good turn-by-turn navigation application through the App Store that can make the iPhone 3G as a stand-alone GPS, then okay, I’m in. BUT, only if said app doesn’t take up most of the iPhone’s storage.
UK cell carrier O2 recently began a pre-order program for the upcoming iPhone 3G to allow current customers a shot at securing one before it releases on Friday.
Apparently response was VERY high and the 16GB version quickly sold out and the 8GB version followed before long.
Any still interested in getting an iPhone 3G from O2 is told to “Come back on 10 July for more information.”
Maybe more stock will be made available? We’ll see, I suppose.
To watch the page for yourself check it out here.
With the iPhone 3G launch coming up quick (July 11th) Apple has posted a new guided tour video, this time for the iPhone 3G.
In it you can see what’s new with the iPhone 3G as well as the upcoming iPhone 2.0 software which even current iPhone owners will be able to use to access new features like parental control and the upcoming App Store.
Check out the video for yourself here if you’re interested.
The keynote at WWDC 08 just wrapped up and while there weren’t any real surprises it was still nice to get confirmation on two Apple rumors: the 3G iPhone is real and so is MobileMe.
First up, the new iPhone.
The original iPhone was and still is a very successful product launch and the new one looks to be even more so with the biggest barrier being removed–price.
The new iPhone will start at $199 for the 8GB version and $299 for the 16GB version and features will include:
- Same excellent screen
- 3G data speed (roughly 2.8x the speed of EDGE)
- Flush headphone jack
- Thinner than original model
- “Dramatically” improved audio
- Battery life: 300 hours standby, 10 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk time, 5-6 hours of high-speed browsing, 7 hours of video, 24 hours of audio
Look for the 3G iPhone to be available in 22 countries on on July 11th and eventually be available in over 70.
Apple also used the keynote to talk about the upcoming replacement to .Mac called MobileMe.
MobileMe will be a web service that can keep a Mac, PC and iPhone in sync with email, contacts and calendar events and works with Outlook on the PC.
MobileMe will also include a gallery feature that can sync photos from your iPhone. Look for the new MobileMe service to launch in July and current .Mac subscribers will be automatically moved over to the new service.
Apple also talked a bit about the upcoming 2.0 firmware for the original iPhone and the iPod Touch.
Some of the new features in the 2.0 firmware will be:
- Ability to search contacts with live results
- Full iWork document support
- Support for MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint files
- Ability to bulk delete and move messages
- Ability to save pictures send to you
- New calculator with scientific mode when the iPhone/iPod Touch is held sideways
- Parental controls
- Enhanced language support
- App Store
Look for the new 2.0 firmware to be a free down for iPhones and a $9.99 upgrade for iPod Touch owners when it hits in July.
There was also minor mention of OS 10.6, aka “Snow Leopard” but not much was said about it.
If you were holding your breath for the Fusion rumor to pan out guess it’s time to move on–no new computer was announced.
AT&T has announced that they have upgraded their HSPA-based 3G network resulting in some pretty nice performance gains.
Effective immediately, users in a region that supports HSPA (not HSDPA) will experience a 50 percent upload speed gain, making the new peak 1.2Mbps.
Download speeds have also been increased, giving them a new real-world peak of 1.4Mbps – 1.7Mbps.
In addition to being in an HSPA-based 3G region, users will also need one of these four cards to benefit from the network upgrade:
The upcoming Sony Ericsson XPREIA X1 will be HSPA-capable and should be able to take advantage of this upgrade, but the 3G version of the Apple iPhone is expected to only support HSDPA.
Similar to the 700MHz auction the FCC held recently, the Canadian government today will begin its own auction for wireless spectrum in the 2GHz range that they’re calling the Advanced Wireless Services spectrum auction.
27 companies are bidding on licenses to operate wireless equipment in different regions. Technologies such as 3G HSPA and 4G WiMAX and LTE (Long Term Evolution) can operate in this band.
The auction could result in a 4th major cellular carrier being created in Canada (currently there are three: Bell, Rogers, and Telus).
For more info check out this press release by Industry Canada.