Showing posts from June 22, 2010

iPhone Antenna Issues

One of the things you can be sure I tested on the iPhone 4 was the antenna issue - I was pretty sure that it was real anyway as there have been reports from some reputable sources and Apple has acknowledged that there is an issue.

As a right handed person I tend to hold my phone in my left hand when using it, especially when talking. Sure enough when holding it normally I saw the signal drop away from three bars to two. A colleague who tried it also saw the same issue. Now that's not going to be a problem in areas of strong service, but where the signal is weak its going to be a different matter.

Those worried by this issue should be aware that signal meters on phones aren't exactly the most accurate things anyway and those bars dropping away may not be a real problem. In fact the suggestion that Apple has a software fix coming would indicate that they'll change the way the signal strength is displayed to stop this happening.

The more important question is whether the signal …

iPhone 4 First Impressions

Spent some time with the iPhone 4 this morning and I have to say that I've been left seriously underwhelmed. Now whilst you might not find that surprising, I was disappointed as I really thought that this was the phone that might tempt me back into the Apple fold.

The screen is good, but its not exactly amazing unless you're coming from the old iPhone in which case its a quantum leap forward. Coming from the Xperia its improvement in resolution and color presentation is less amazing, I'd say that the iPhone's screen is 10% better than the Xperia, 5% ahead of the Desire and nip and tuck with the Galaxy S.

Other than that and the nicer industrial design there's not a lot there that's new, unless you've been using an older iPhone for the last few years.

It is clear that Apple have corrected many of the flaws which made the earlier iPhone's untouchable for many people and, more importantly, caught up with Android on many fronts.

I can't wait for Google…

You're Holding It The Wrong Way

So say Apple and (tersely) Steve Jobs, in response to the reported problems of antenna problems and loss of wireless service with the new iPhone 4.
Its clear that Apple made a complete FUBAR with the antennas on its new phone - probably due to the fact that wireless performance and emission testing is pretty much never done with the device in a user's hand.
Fair enough, could happen to anybody. The real solution appears to be a case which stops the hand contacting the antenna. Apple has just such a thing coming - the Bumper case. What's interesting is that the Bumper is the least Apple-like product in the world, it looks tacky, covers one of the iPhone 4's nicest features and is going to cost a user money. All of which suggests that it was designed specifically to solve a particular problem...
This being the case I'm at a loss to see why Apple didn't come clean and say that there's a problem with the design and give every buyer a free Bumper with each iPhone…

Battery Life v Performance

Battery life is something that pretty much every smartphone user worries about - lasting a full day on a charge of moderate usage isn't a given for most of today's powerhouses. Just how much things have changed was brought home to me this week by being out of the office.
My work-supplied phone is the Palm Treo Pro - its a phone I've always liked pairing a decent keyboard with a touchscreen and most of the features that most business people need - push email, a decent browser and good phone performance.
I don't recall battery life being a particularly key factor in the decision to purchase Treo Pros, however having put it through its paces over the last few days I have to say I'm surprised - three days of light to moderate usage easily achieved on one charge. That's something I could only dream of with my Xperia.
Of course the trade-off is performance - the Treo runs a slow (but actually more than adequate) CPU, less memory, a screen half the size and less than hal…

iPhone Out The Door, But Not Cleanly

The iPhone 4 arrived in UK shops today and already there have been some stories of users having hardware problems.

The one gaining initial publicity is to do with the iPhone's display - high resolution it may be, free from discoloration it certainly ain't!

Users have been reporting that their phone's display is marred by yellow discoloured areas. Some have spots, others have bands. For those who are having problems there are uncomfirmed claims that the yellow is glue used to attach the screen to the touch layer which hasn't cured properly and should disappear when it has after a few days of use.

More worrying is the story that phone signal can be affected by the way the phone is held - almost certainly due to the antenna bands which frame the device. Plenty of video evidence out there, although there's no comment from Apple yet.

Given the news about Android's continued success now would be a really bad time to drop the ball at such a big product launch...

Google Activating 160,000 Androids Per Day

That's a pretty remarkable number and starts to suggest that despite some serious Jobs-ian frothing at the mouth, Apple's grip on the Smartphone market is being loosened.

In fact if you consider that 160,000 across a full year (even working on a five day week) that's almost 50 million Androids entering the market this year - enough to overtake Apple and Rim and even to start worrying Nokia's inflated position at number one.

Impressive achievement by Google and its partners I just don't see them shipping at that rate for much longer.

End of year sales numbers are going to be interesting reading though...

World Cup: England Expects

Tomorrow brings England's chance to prove their credibility as World Cup contenders, victory over Slovenia the required result.

To my mind there is no question that England will get this result, not least because of the mindset of their manager 'Don Fabio' as some of the press have christened him. This is a man who has one league titles by the bucketload as a manager and who is the true expression of the results-focused management style which characterises the success of the Italian national team.

Thus we can say that irrespective of the performances England have put themselves in a position to qualify - a simple victory assuring a place in the last sixteen. No surprise that Italy find themselves in a similar position.

For any team at the World Cup getting through the first round is the biggest hurdle, as France have proven, once into the knockout phase anything can happen and often does.

England expects and its unthinkable that England will fail to deliver.

World Cup: Shamed France Head Home

Runners-up last time out when Zinedine Zidane managed to tarnish his reputation with a physical assault on one of his opponents in the final; the French managed to go one better this time when the collective behaviour of their squad and the lack of effort or commitment from the players on the pitch has heaped disgrace and indignity on their nation. In 1966 the Italian team was pelted with tomatoes when returning home after their desperate performance, this French side deserves no less.

There is a certain responsibility that goes with the honour of being selected to play for your nation, whatever your nationality. This French squad were exposed as petulant, over-paid children who showed the badge of their country no respect. The French Football Federation should ensure that none of those responsible ever receive that honour again.

The World Cup is a time when we mark the achievements of those teams who achieve more than they have a right to do. At the same time we should berate those who…