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Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

I looked forward all day long to getting home and updating the firmware on the two iPhones to iPhone 3.0, and here’s my at-a-glance impression of the install and the handful of features I was most looking forward to testing:

Install. No problems at all.  There were a few installaton horror stories earlier today on AppleInsider — see comments here — but the most common complaint was the download and relaunch time.  I set up the download, took the dogs for a short walk, and it was nearly finished 20 minutes later when I got back inside.  The whole refresh took 25-30 minutes tops from the beginning of the initial download in iTunes 8.2 to the end of the reboot on the first iPhone.

Snappyness. Some people are reporting that apps open and close faster on the iPhone 3G after the update.  I’m not seeing that.  Apps are loading and closing the same as before.

Mail. I got an error message on initial launch, but it straightened itself out with the Exchange Server back at the office and my emails came up just fine.  The folders did have to re-download from Exchange Server, but that was quick and painless.

I suspect landscape view will turn out to be the killer feature in iPhone 3.0.  Landscape is available in every window of Mail — folder list, email list, reading individual emails, and writing individual emails — so you don’t have to go back and forth from landscape to upright.  It is going to take some getting used to, but it won’t be nearly as steep a learning curve as typing on an iPhone for the first time.

The visual difference while typing is more than I expected.  Your eyes have more territory to cover than before, so you may need to hold the iPhone a little further away while typing.  Reaching the letters in the center of the phone is a little awkward, but it beats having to pinch the side of the phone to thumb-type the letters near the sides.  It may take a couple of days to find your rhythm, but I have a feeling typing in landscape is going to be a major improvement over iPhone 2.2.

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kindle dx

After seeing all the buzz last week about the Kindle DX, I kinda sorta want one, but the functionality and price do not quite match yet.  Amazon is marketing the new, bigger Kindle as as a reader for books, textbooks, newspapers, magazines and to a lesser extent for blogs and PDFs.  I would love it for all of those things — but not for $489.

Amazon introduced an an iPhone app in March that allowed iPhone and iPod touch users to view (but not actually purchase) Kindle books on an iPhone or iPod touch, and introduced an update today that allows you to purchase books.  (It’s just a web site with an icon and not as good as the Amazon app, so I assume this is a transitional step.)  I’m not going to read books on a 2.5-inch screen, so I’m not terribly excited about the app.

The New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post later this summer are going to offer readers the Kindle DX at a reduced price with a monthly subscription.  That would be a great idea if the subscriptions were less than $9.99 a month — and $13.99 a month for the New York Times? — and/or if you couldn’t get the same content online for free.  The $1.49-$2.99 a month pricing for numerous magazines titles seems more reasonable even accounting for the fact that the content is free online.

I’ll wait for the rumored 10-inch Apple tablet.  A $499-$699 Apple tablet would presumably compete with netbooks (Safari), book readers (Kindle app), and MP3/portable video players (iTunes Store).  If this is Apple’s answer to the Kindle — basically a 10-inch iPod touch — sign me up.

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Until about a year ago, I had searched the Internet far and wide for a free, uncomplicated service that would let me keep a folder on my home Mac completely synced with an identical folder on my work PC and backed up online.  I found SugarSync, which allowed me to do just that for $2.49 a month.

And now it’s free.  (Actually, up to 2 GB is free.  SugarSync makes its money on packages ranging from 30 GB to 250 GB of storage.)

You can also access your files on a mobile browser or with an iPhone app.

UPDATE: I’m now using Dropbox.

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You’re counting the days, ain’t ‘ya?  In just a few short weeks, you’ll have that shiny new iPhone, all tricked out with the latest 3G technology.  Oh, yes… you’ll be blazing through the Internet at screaming near-broadband speed.  Or will you?

I was cruising through the AT&T website, and stumbled across the 3G vs. Edge Network coverage map, and one thing jumps out – if you’re not in an upper-tier market, that new iPhone may not be running any faster, because 3G may not be available.

AT&T tells us they are rolling out 3G at breakneck speed.  I’m sure that’s true.  But, on July 11th, some fairly large markets will still be waiting.  A quick look shows towns like Omaha, Savannah, Wichita, Shreveport, and even artsy Santa Fe are 3G-less.  Similarly, if you’re anywhere in Iowa, Vermont, Wyoming, or Alaska, you’re out in the cold.  And, the website gives no real idea when all that is going to change.

So, if you’re planning to feed on the faster Internet that the new iPhone promises, and you’re going to pay for it, it would be smart to make sure that you are getting serviced.  For a short time, anyway, if you can see cows anywhere near where you live, 3G is still in your future.

I live in Memphis.  I’m good.  But, I’m buying the new BlackBerry.  And, that’s another post, entirely.

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So, now we know a firm date on the new iPhone, the race is on. New BlackBerry vs. iPhone… which hits stores first?

July 11th will see the minions of Apple Zombies lining up for their latest fix of brains – and a new toy. But the exact date for the new BlackBerry is less certain. Pricing and release date info say that the new BlackBerry Bold, the name picked for the RIM smartphone, will be in AT&T stores in “July.” No exact date is offered. Release dates for other providers will follow AT&T.

While Apple Zombies are a mindless, obedient bunch, buying whatever they are told, I am not sure CrackBerry addicts are quite so motivated. They do, after all, have jobs and lives (not “un” lives), so time is limited. Still, it ain’t called “CrackBerry” for nuthin’.

Cost for the new BlackBerry will actually come in slightly higher than the new iPhone. So, guys like me, who really like their BlackBerrys, are saving pennies.

Brains…

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Apple Zombies unite! Camp out in line. Lie to the wife. Whatever!

July 11th – the day before my birthday – the new iPhone is out! Slimmer, faster, better, or so Steve tells us.

The new phone will boast G3 technology, better browsing, and promised longer battery life – hopefully enough to satisfy the hungriest zombie who endlessly wanders the Earth in search of brains. And, Steve.

So, I wonder. Will we see those scenes on TV July 12 (did I mention that’s my birthday), as Apple Zombies triumphantly walk out of the Apple Store, fists in the air, proving that they have heeded the calls from Cupertino to pony up more cash? Stay tuned, folks.

Oh, and bring an extra $100. While the base 8 GB model is black, the swankier 16 GB version comes in white. And, all good Apple Zombies will want to show that off, right? It’ll match that little Apple sticker on the back of the SUV.

Brains…

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