Technologizer posts about iPhone

iOS 5 Up First

By  |  Posted at 10:39 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

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As expected, Apple devoted a significant section of Tuesday’s event to iOS 5 given by iOS chief Scott Forstall. Since we’ve already gone over the major points of iOS 5 back during WWDC, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the most exciting new features.

iOS 5 introduces iMessage, essentially Apple’s response to BlackBerry Messenger. Conversations can be started on one device and then finished on another: that is because the app is push-based. Obviously this has the carriers a little concerned because after all those text messaging plans are just another way to get another $10, $15, or more out of you every month. Most of your friends on iPhones? Well, obviously you’re not going to need so many text messages.

It also debuts notifications in a more Android like format, where you swipe from the top to see them. This is a great feature for those like me who get several in a row before looking at their phone, and then have to cycle through all those popups which gets seriously annoying.

Twitter integration’s another notable feature, which would be found across the camera, Safari, and maps apps. Developers would be able to also integrate Twitter into their own apps. I have to say that’s great and all, but what about Facebook?

Game Center gets some important enhancements which Apple likely hopes will push it to the forefront. Achievement points, friend recommendations and photos are just some of the additions, which makes it much more like Xbox Live (which it should be anyway).

But you really care when its available, and that’s October 12th. And oh yeah, it’s a free update.

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If you’re looking for our liveblog, Harry’s in Japan. But thanks to the fine folks at Macworld, we’re simulcasting their liveblog here: Join us!

(UPDATE: CoverItLive, which Macworld uses, seems to be having troubles–we recommend the live coverage at gdgt, which is working great.]

Posted by Ed at 10:11 am

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Here’s one nugget for you all to feast on ahead of the announcement. Yesterdays report on Boy Genius Report that the iPhone 5 would be an Sprint exclusive with WiMAX is being panned by the Wall Street Journal: Greg Bensinger reports that the device will neither run on LTE nor WiMAX. I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

Posted by Ed at 9:56 am

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Did Sprint Sell Its Soul for the iPhone?

By  |  Posted at 3:40 pm on Monday, October 3, 2011


Sprint needs something, anything, to keep it relevant. It is staring two huge rivals — Verizon and AT&T — in the face, and will become the odd man out if the AT&T merger goes through. So what is it to do?

If you believe what the Wall Street Journal is saying Sprint has done, you all but sell your company’s soul for the iconic iPhone.

Sprint is likely to lose money on the iPhone deal through at least 2014, the paper reports, but it seems to think that the device could be key in keeping the carrier relevant. The gamble carries a lot of risk: Sprint could find itself straddled by a costly deal that could bring the entire company down if it fails.

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Here Comes iOS 5

By  |  Posted at 11:11 am on Monday, June 6, 2011


While iOS 5 is slated to have “200+ new features,” at WWDC we only got to see ten of them. The first is something that probably would remind you of Android: the notifications list. Instead of the old way of notifications being displayed as they arrive, they’d now be in list form accessible by swiping down from the top of the device.

Another new feature is the “Newsstand,” essentially a formal launch of Apple’s subscription option for iOS content. A dedicated section would now be included in the iTunes Store, with a companion app created to read this content exclusively.

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The Washington Post’s Ian Shapira says that while Apple may frown on “jailbreaking,” some are making a legitimate business out of it. How about making an extra $50,000 a year from this simple process?

Posted by Ed at 2:58 pm

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Native Union’s Retro ‘Pop Phone’ Handsets

By  |  Posted at 12:55 pm on Friday, September 17, 2010


When you think of phone headsets, its probably a good bet that what you’re thinking of its the traditional on ear kind. Native Union has taken this and given it a retro feel, launching a line that looks like the traditional corded phone handsets that many of us older folk would be familiar with.

The Pop Phone comes in pink, yellow, dark blue, dark purple and green. The company had already offered two other less “poppy” colors in red and black. The included 3.5mm jack will plug into any iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry, and a button on the inside of the handle would allow for one touch answer and disconnect. The Pop Phone also includes noise-cancelling, which should improve call clarity in noisier situations.

Native Union says one of the most compelling uses for this is on the iPad, as the handset would work with Skype and turn the tablet into a phone. The price is about the same as most other handsets, coming in at $29.99. I have to credit the company with being creative, but will these really sell?

Also available from the company are other less pop-influenced designs including the MM04, which retails for $199.99. That unit can connect up to two phones simultaneously via Bluetooth, and seems more catered towards the business set.

Will the Pop Phone sell though? I’m guessing if you’re a frequent Skyper, maybe getting this for your iPad might be the missing link. But I don’t know how many iPhone users would be willing to plunk down $30 for that old retro feel. I guess we’ll see.

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Mophie’s iPhone 4 Case Adds Suprisingly Little Bulk

By  |  Posted at 10:18 pm on Thursday, September 16, 2010

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Mophie has built a name for itself with its line of external battery cases for the iPhone and iPod. There’s always been a real problem with these (at least for me), and that was the sheer amount of bulk they add. It appears the company may have finally figured out how to combat this problem from the case I saw in New York City on Wednesday.

Actually, the battery pack looks all but like an typical hard case, but a little thicker. As you can see, the case itself mimics the actual design of the phone itself, so from a distance you may not even notice it.

While I love my Mophie and think that a battery extender is almost a necessity for any heavy smartphone user, the bulk it adds is cumbersome and sometimes slightly annoying. The fact that the company has been able to shrink down the case to eliminate a large chunk of that bulk is very impressive.

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Skype for iPhone finally multitasks. I got a call while using Safari, and the phone vibrated while ringing very quietly. Sorry iPhone 4 owners: Still no video chat.

Posted by Jared at 12:16 pm

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FaceTime Takes Center Stage in New iPhone 4 Ads

By  |  Posted at 3:20 pm on Monday, July 12, 2010


Perhaps the amount of negative publicity surrounding the iPhone 4 has forced Apple to go for the sentimental in its latest crop of ads for the device, or perhaps it’s just coincidence. Either way, FaceTime is given top billing and it seems as if the company is serious about video calling.

Four ads have been released: “Smile,” a father reassuring his teenage daughter that the braces she just got aren’t that bad; “Meet Her,” a grandfather seeing his new grandchild for the first time; “Big News,” a wife telling her husband that she’s finally pregnant; and “Haircut,” a boyfriend telling her girlfriend that even though her hair is really short its still “cute.”

There’s no announcer voice, just the interaction. It lets the feature speak for itself, which I think probably does a lot more to convince the viewer that this is something you want rather than some voice telling you this is what you need.

Some have said these ads are a little too personal; I would have to disagree. In a time where advertisers seem to rely too much on humor, having somebody market something on a level like this seems refreshing to me.

We have all four ads here for you to view after the break. I’d like to hear what you think.

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Frash Could Be Apple’s Flash Waterloo

By  |  Posted at 9:24 am on Monday, July 5, 2010


An enterprising developer has proven that with a little work, Flash will work just fine on the iPad and iPhone, as long as you’re comfortable jailbreaking your device. Yes you will have problems–Flash is intended for use with a mouse, and not touch-based input methods. But certainly it gives hope that enterprising developers can be able to force Apple’s hand.

The program is called “Frash,” and will work in Safari Mobile through a compatibility layer. The program is actually a port of the official Adobe Flash plug-in that is already available for Android devices. Performance is actually pretty decent–sorry Mr. Jobs, there goes your trademark excuse for not allowing Flash at all.

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ZX Nostalgia: Another iPhone Game Emulator

By  |  Posted at 7:01 pm on Monday, June 28, 2010


The iPhone has given life to another set of old games. This time it’s ZX Nostalgia, an emulator of Sinclair’s ZX Spectrum personal computer.

ZX Nostalgia costs $1 and includes 14 games, including Manic Miner, Fantastic Voyage and a shameless Star Wars clone called Starstrike 3D. All the games were released between 1982 and 1984.

I gave the app a whirl, and although I don’t regret spending the buck, there are a few things that need improvement. The interface is not nearly as slick as Manomio’s Commodore 64 emulator, and it lacks extra features such as high scores or online achievements. ZX Nostalgia could also use some more detailed instructions for each game — some games are just impossible to figure out — and more customization in its controls.

But overall, I’m pleased that there’s another bundle of emulated classic video games in the App Store, and it makes me wonder what we’ll see next. I still think a Nintendo emulator is out of the question, because the company is now competing with Apple in the handheld gaming market, even though an official emulator app would be awesome and a huge money maker for both parties.

In January, Gizmodo reported that a “Sega Genesis Ultimate Collection” app would arrive the following month, but it never did. Perhaps Sega found more success selling standalone classics like Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe. Also, Manomio has put together Atari 2600 and Amiga emulators as tech demos, but an app would require rights to the games, or permission from rights holders, and I’m guessing that hasn’t happened.

There’s still room for other consoles, such as Intellivision (Update: Intellivision is available, and it’s free), Sega Master System or Turbo Grafx 16, but I don’t know what has to happen to make them a reality on the iPhone. I just know I’m enough of a sucker for retro video games on new devices that I’d pay for all of them.

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A Bluetooth Headset With Its Own iPhone App

By  |  Posted at 8:21 am on Friday, June 25, 2010

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Hands free headset Sound ID has actually managed to innovate in the headset space, where you’d probably not think there was much more room for drastic improvement. It’s Sound ID 510 Bluetooth headset is actually the first to include an iPhone app that controls the functionality of the device itself.

The device, which launched earlier this month, is getting good retail support — both AT&T and Apple are selling the $129.99 USD headset in select stores. Heidi Adams, Sound ID’s marketing chief, told me that the feature set that the 510 brings is practially unheard of at this price point, making it very competitive.

Besides the app, the device features noise and wind canceling algorithms, touch-sensitive volume adjustment, multi-point technology to connect the headset to more than one device at once, and an Environmental mode which amplifies sound around the device when not in a call.

But as I said earlier, the real power of the 510 is in the iPhone app. At first use, the iPhone app will allow you to set specifically how the headset audio will sound. This setting is then saved, and can be changed at any time. A sound meter actually acts as a decibel meter, giving a sound level reading as heard through the headset’s microphone, and a battery level indicator tells you how much charge the unit has left.

Sound ID has also included a “Find my Headset” feature, which when pressed will cause the headset to emit a loud beeping noise to assist in locating it.

I did not have a chance at the show to actually demo the unit, but we have one on the way for our review. I will definitely report back on my experiences with the device.

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Analyst Says T-Mobile USA is iPhone’s Next U.S. Home

By  |  Posted at 1:27 pm on Thursday, June 10, 2010


Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu is made waves today by saying T-Mobile could be the next carrier in the U.S. to get the iPhone, saying that the changes to the iPhone necessary would be much less since it operates on the same technology (GSM) as current exclusive carrier AT&T.

The statement goes against the prevailing wisdom that Apple would turn to Verizon to continue expanding availability of the device. AT&T operates its 3G network in the 1900MHz band, whereas T-Mobile uses the 1700/2100MHz band. Both use the 850MHz band, meaning Apple would only need to add a single band (1700MHz) to make 3G work fully. iPhone 4 and the 3GS have already added the 2100MHz band.

With 34 million subscribers, T-Mobile would provide a significant new market for Apple. Add to this that the Cupertino company already offers the iPhone on T-Mobile’s European carriers and such a partnership is not too far fetched. Wu says that the phone could arrive as early as this fall.

Representatives with T-Mobile said that while they would love to carry the device, “ultimately it is Apple’s decision,” and refused to comment further on any speculation.

Personally, while I think it’s the logical thing to do, I don’t think its the best idea from a business sense. Verizon has some 93 million customers, which would obviously mean a much larger potential market for Apple. Spending money on development of a CDMA-capable device may not be such a bad idea.

Either way, we seem to go through this every so many months lately so I’m not expecting the iPhone to go anywhere until Apple says it will. And from all the statements — and its actions too- it appears Apple is still happy to be with AT&T.

[Hat tip: Associated Press]

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Is Tethering Finally Coming for AT&T iPhone Users?

By  |  Posted at 2:14 pm on Wednesday, May 19, 2010


After promising that tethering would arrive for iPhone users all the way back when iPhone OS 3 was released, a new option in iPhone OS 4 Beta 4 seems to suggest that AT&T will finally get on the ball this summer following the official release of the OS.

MacRumors is one of several sites to publish screenshots of a new option within the Network section of iPhone’s settings which seem to suggest tethering will finally be a reality. Tapping “Set Up Internet Tethering” pops up a message stating that customers can either call or visit AT&T’s website in order to set up the feature.

Gregg Keizer at Computerworld contacted AT&T to ask about the status of tethering, but got nothing more than the that company had “nothing new” to share. Confusing, if you ask me. Why can’t the carrier just come clean on its plans? We’ve only been waiting for a year now, no?

It’s not like AT&T doesn’t do tethering at all–if you have a Blackberry, you can add the functionality to your plan for an extra $30 per month.

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Breaking: Nokia Sues Apple Over iPad

By  |  Posted at 7:42 am on Friday, May 7, 2010


Nokia has just announced that it has sued Apple in Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, claiming that both the iPad and iPhone violate five patents held by the electronics maker.

“The patents in question relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices,” according to a statement from the company.

Although the wording is of course somewhat vague, the suit appears to hit the heart of what has made applications on the iPad and iPhone what they are. Positioning data in applications has become a central feature — most of the major ones carry some type of location-aware technology.

I’m not sure what Nokia means by “enhanced speech and data transmission,” and have asked the company to clarify exactly what those specific patents do cover.

Nokia’s suit surely comes as a surprise to the tech community, as it had not publicly made any indication that it believed its intellectual property rights had been violated. That said, it’s not the first suit between the two companies: a suit last year involved GSM, UMTS, and Wi-Fi standards. A request for comment has been sent to Apple, however no response has been received as of press time.

More details to come as we receive them.

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