Archives for category: iPhone

So what happened?…..    Just in case you haven’t heard it yet here’s the short(ish) version…

 

So they started off with Tim Cook taking the stage and talking about two new Chinese Apple Stores and the new one over in Hong Kong too.  They like to big up the numbers first.  He ran a video and got his first proper round of applause.

 

Then the new CEO went on to discuss their products. Starting with the desktop OS (OSX Lion) and comparing it to Windows 7. Lion has been downloaded 6 million times. It took Windows 7 20 weeks to reach the same point that Lion reached in 2 weeks.

 

Mac: The MacBook Air – the best macbook ever. Mac has outgrown the PC market by almost six times and Mac has outgrown the PC every quarter for the last 5 years.

 

iTunes and iPods: In 10 years the iPod has become the number one music player in the world. More than 70% of the US market belongs to the iPod and they’ve sold over 300 million iPods worldwide.  Sony sold 230,000 walkman cassette players in 30 years. iTunes launched 8 years ago with 200,000 tracks available, and now it holds 20 million. It’s the number one music store in the world.

 

iPhone: The iPhone 4 accounts for 50% of the iPhones ever sold. The number 1 smartphone in the world. 93% of the Fortune 500 companies are deploying the iPhone in their businesses. The iPhone has 5% of the mobile phone market worldwide – not smartphones – but mobile phones. That is one hell of a lot of phones.

 

iPad: The iPad has a 95% customer satisfaction rating. They’re everywhere. Schools, Pilots and Medicine. 3 out of 4 tablets sold in the US are iPads. As AllThingsD said “People want iPads, not Tablets”, And this morning, the passed 250 million iOS devices sold.

 

iOS: iOS accounts for 43% of the mobile OS installed base. There are over 500,000 apps in the Apps Store and just over 140,000 of these are specifically designed for the iPad. There have been over 18billion apps downloaded – over a billion a month.  There’s also now a “cards” app, in which you send your photo and it’s then delivered via the postal service.

 

iOS5: There’s over 200 new features as we already know. They include notifications and  iMessage (like BlackBerry Messenger) which will run on all the iOS devices. There will also be Twitter integration (not Facebook) and ….

 

  • NewsStand: NewsStand will download new publications in the background so they’re ready and waiting for you when you want to read them.  
  • Camera: My favourite feature – The volume buttons as a trigger for the camera, but there’s also autofocus and autoexposure along with grid line to align your shot.
  • Game Center: which is the place where iOS gamers get together. There’s 67 million users on there now.  
  • Safari: has had a refresh, and includes the reader feature which exists on the desktop version already.

 

It’ll run on the iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 1 & 2, iPod touch (3rd & 4th Gen) and will arrive on October the 12th…  bit annoying because I wanted it before I jet off – but so be it.

 

iCloud” obviously is the next big thing to be discussed. iCloud is all about syncronising your iOS devices. iTunes will be in the cloud, Photo Stream, puts your photos in the cloud. You can store your Pages & Numbers documents up there and your iOS device will be automatically backed up every day. It will finally be available to all on October the 12th.

 

“Family and Friends” is a new app to help keep track of your family and friends. There are location sharing blocks of time and simple privacy controls to enable switching the service on and off. Of course your family and friends will need to be carrying an iOS device.

 

“iTunes Match” will scan your library and match it to the tracks that exist in iTunes to save you uploading them onto iCloud. Not sure what happens if you haven’t bought your tracks (ie: They’re pirated) but I’m sure that’ll become clear.  To sign up for it, you pay $25 per year but not until the end of October. And the rub here??  It’s only available in the US due to copyright law. Pah!

 

just going back to the iPods…

 

iPod Nano: new built in sensors for tracking your walking and running. 16 New clock faces for everyone who uses their iPod Nano as a watch. (8Gb = $129 and 16Gb = $149)

 

iPod Touch: Most popular iPod and the most popular gaming device. iMessage and GameCenter are both appearing here. There’s now going to be a white version. (8Gb = $199, 32Gb = $299 and 64Gb = $399)

 

And so… onto the iPhone….

 

The iPhone 4S!!!  (I hate to say I told you so).  

 

It’s the same externally as an iPhone 4, but internally there’s lots of changes.  The A5 chip (Apple designed Dual Core ARM chip), 7x faster graphics (dual core graphics processor), Increased battery life, Improved antennas for call quality and download speeds up to almost 14.4Mbps and it’s a Worldphone!…  The camera has been upgraded to an 8 megapixel sensor. 

Iphone4s

If you’re really into your camera gear – you’d be interested to know it has the following: “CMOS backside illuminated sensor — gets 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor, and 1/3rd faster. On top of that, we place a high-end IR filter for greater accuracy and uniformity.” – They’re complex gizmos and they’re very highly rated. HD 1080p video recording with real-time stabilisation and noise reduction. 

 

And finally…..  Voice. This is really the new innovation. Now you can talk to your device. It’s marketed as an “Intelligent Assistant” known as Siri.

 

So you say, “What’s the weather like today?” and it simply tells you…..  now, I’m happy to look up at the sky, but I get where this is going. “What time is it in Paris?” for example is far more useful. 

 

You can set your alarm by saying “Wake me up tomorrow at 6am” These are the sort of clever tricks your iPhone 4S will doing for you.

 

Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha searches by voice.

 

Basically – you ask it and it speaks back the response. Good stuff if it works as well as the demos. Other wise, http://www.DamnYouAutoCorrect.com was the tip of the iceberg. Works in English, French and German.

 

And so a worldwide launch on October the 14th… with pre-orders from the 7th October in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany and Japan.  Oh, and the price ?

 

16Gb = $199

32Gb = $299

64Gb = $399

 

The iPhone 4 will drop to $99 and the remaining 3GS’ will be free on contract.

 

That’s it. What do you think?


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
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Onwards to my favourite subject, but one I’ve been a little neglectful of lately. All things technological.  In particular, two subjects, that of the Social network and of Apple.

 

Facebook has become THE social network. It’s slowly grown into that position over a (relatively) long period of time, as you can see here:

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I’m sure you’d agree that’s some pretty rapid growth. But that’s nothing.  Take a look at Twitter’s growth numbers.

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So Facebook went from zero to 800 million users (by far the most of any Social Network) in 7 years. You could average it at 114m users a year if you like.

 

However, Twitter went from zero to 200 million in 5 years, which again you could average to 40m a year. So that’s still very rapid growth, but not as fast as Facebook.  So what about Google plus?

 

G+ went from zero to 10million users in 16 days…..  and we can see from the trends of the other networks that growth starts off slow….  If that’s slow! then these are crazy numbers..  averaging out at 228m a year!!! Holy crud.  Of course – these are just statistics and as we know 87.4% of statistics are made up on the spot.  G+’s biggest problem is that to move people from Facebook onto G+, the Facebook crowd won’t budge until their friends are there, or until Facebook changes something major that they don’t like.

 

And guess what?  One snippet of tech news that’s not just a statistic is that Facebook is changing.  Their recent F8 conference announced a whole raft of changes which clearly show they feel threatened by the release of Google+ and that they’re running to catch up quick.  One of the more interesting is the timeline, which I actually think looks very nice – but it’s pretty creepy when stuff like this happens to what you thought was personal – and then suddenly isn’t.  

And of course, Facebook users – who are traditionally a fairly conservative bunch – won’t like the change.  At least for about three weeks and then they’ll just resort to their usual level of bland chitter-chatter.

 

Here’s what timeline looks like from Facebook’s perspective…

 

 

Now, from socialising, onto the fruit stuff… Apple…..

 

If you didn’t know already, there’s an Apple announcement tomorrow and this has served to whip the IT press into a frenzy.  Here’s what I’ve heard that seems pretty solid…

 

Steve Jobs probably won’t be there, because Tim Cook will be, now that Steve has officially retired. It would be great for him to appear to handover to Tim, but he’s probably too unwell, which is a great shame.  He’s clearly been one of the most innovative CEO’s in the tech industry over the last 10 years and turned Apple around when they needed it most. He will be greatly missed by the tech world as a whole.

 

As for the announcement, the expectation is the iPhone 5 will land – and I have to say after all I’ve seen and read – I don’t think it will. I think the iPhone 5 (which might have a curved back a bit like the iPhone 3 – or it might not) isn’t going to show up until next year at the earliest. 

 

Furthermore, the location for the announcement (Apple’s HQ) is a very small venue – too small for an iPhone launch – and this time of year is traditionally reserved for iPod announcements.  Having said that, the invite for the event looks like this:

[[posterous-content:pid___2]]

Now – lots of people have tried to analyse this image – and have drawn the conclusion that – it’s clearly an iPhone event (and not an iPod event), It’s on Tuesday the 4th at 10am in Cupertino, CA and it’s about voice recognition on the iPhone.  That seems to fir with all the other rumors pretty nicely.

 

iPhone stuff

  • There’s going to be a cheaper 8G iPhone 4 (model N90A)
  • There’s going to be an iPhone 4S (model N94) will have CDMA GSMA HSPA+ (in other words 4G capabilities)
  • Really good speech recognition. Probably not on the iPhone 3Gs or earlier.

 

Non iPhone stuff

  • The iPod classic will no longer be available.
  • A new iPod touch possibly

 

Other random guesstimate….

  • There really might be an Apple HDTV – but it’s really dodgy ground.  I’d love to think this was true, but who knows. We’ll just have to wait until tomorrow….

 

The far more interesting part of the announcement will be the arrival of iOS 5.

 

iOS 5 has loads of great new features – and as I’ve said elsewhere, since Amazon have announce the Kindle Fire – hardware isn’t where the fight is anymore.  It’s moved on to content. Once more, content is king again. 

 

If you count an OS as content, then Apple are going to do something awesome in this space. You can read about the advertised changes here: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios5/

But one last minute feature that I hadn’t heard about until this week is iOS5’s new locking features – including shapes. Drag your finger in a shape to unlock the screen.  Android does this already – so it’s a welcome addition.

 

So – 10am PST is 6pm UK time. The only absolute certainly is the tech press will still be talking about it and wondering what Apple will do next.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

A most enjoyable weekend has brought me back round to Monday. Sure enough, on Saturday Mrs G, Daughter and I hopped on the bus (Gus) into Chelter’s.  

Now, I’m all for a bit of enterprise, but this particular scheme is starting to niggle at me a little. What I’m referring to is something that happened back in the mid nineties. There was an art installation that travelled the world called the “Cow Parade”.  The idea is that these cows would appear in your local city and local artists would then decorate them, to express themsleves in whatever way they felt like doing.  All good stuff, and I do love a clever piece of art, which this most certainly was when it was called “Land in Sicht”* and it was original.

However, since then it’s spawned all sorts of copies. There has been at least Pig, Donkey and Lion Parade’s. Bristol currently has a Gorilla Parade, and now Cheltenham Town council have joined the bandwagon – or should that be parade?  The thing is – I’m all for the art – that’s great, but when they’re auctioned off at the end – two things occur to me…  1) Who in thier right mind would want a fibreglass pig / donkey / lion / gorilla / horse etc… and 2) Who’s getting the money ?   I mean I know it says “for Charity” but that’s a rather generic all encompassing way of saying “for good stuff”, just not what good stuff.

Anyway – there’s 10 of them in Cheltenham (Horses, obviously) and they’re around until October.  They actually look great, but I wonder what they’ll achieve, if anything…

Cheltenham is a grand place to spend a Saturday (or any day for that matter) and it was a beautiful warm summer’s day with greenery and finery in equal amounts.  We took advantage of the outdoor dining climate and bought everything we needed over the space of a couple of hours.  

We also had to nip across to Gloucester though (thanks to the 94 – beautifully equipped public transport) because the O2 shop had run out of micro-SIM cards for Mrs G’s new iPhone.  I chewed my arm over the decision to buy it for a while. Obviously the iPhone 5 will land within the next two months, so I was very much on the fence about the whole thing.  In the end, it was just easier to get her upgraded for free now, rather than have to fork out (which is bound to be the situation) in a couple of months time for a phone that I’ll want more than she will…. probably….  enough! I’m starting to sound like a fan-boy now… LoL.

Sunday saw us back in the saddle – and this time for seven and a half miles up and down the river to get to the “far away” Sainsbury’s.  There was no need to cycle that far, other than “it’s good for us” and so it is.  It was also a fun way to spend an hour, so all good.  It did mean we were dead on our feet yesterday afternoon though – and swing bridges aside – sleep beckoned.

Img_3470

This week holds all sorts of fun in advance of my trip over the atlantic. 

Take care.

* “Land in Sicht” started in Switzerland and roughly translates to “Countryside in View”


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

To quote Lebowski:

The Big Lebowski: Are you employed sir?
The Dude: Employed?
The Big Lebowski: You don’t go out looking for a job dressed like that? On a weekday?
The Dude: Is this a…  what day is this?

It’s a good point, and to be honest over the next week or two is going to become a well asked question. With no less than 4 bank holidays either side of the next two weekends we really don’t have a cat in hells chance of knowing what day it is from one sunrise to the next. Right now, it could be a Friday, or a Saturday, or at a stretch it might be Sunday. Hmmm it’s all very confusing.

Anyway, whatever day it is, it seems I can treat it as if it were a Saturday, so I’ve started it off with a mowing of the lawn. Bit of a walk to the local shop (for local people) with Mrs G and drive to “Countrywide” to pick up some growbags with daughter. Back at the ranch and positioning and planting of said bags brings us nicely round to mid afternoon. Strawberries and tomatoes if you were wondering.
Got a sausage casserole on the go in the slow cooker for this evenings dinner, other than that, it’s all about the sunshine. What a gorgeous day.
Finally, just a little geek news…. Seems that the behemoth that is the Playstation Network (Sony’s equivalent of X-Box Live) is off line and has been for about 24 hours with no articulated reason.  Some people pay for the premium level service on this network. I imagine they’re extremely upset and the result could well cause long term damage to sony’s mostly unblemished record to date.
And secondly, just how green is the iPhone (you know, the one that tracks your movements)
How-green-is-iphone-for-web

Geekaphone’s How Green is the iPhone Infographic


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

There’s been a PicPosterous app for a little while, but now there’s a proper app to manage your posterous blog:

http://www.youtube.com/v/0S-L_8K_zNc&hl=en&fs=1&hd=1

Download it here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/posterous/id394252521?mt=8


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
What the world really needs is yet another phone on the Market to make the job of choosing and buying a phone just that little bit harder. Until today there were four main choices. A Blackberry, An Android based phone, A Nokia or an iPhone. To be fair “other phones are available” but to my mind the question is why?  

Regardless, choosing one from four isn’t to bad. But now you have to choose from five thanks to the inventors of BSOD, or to the less geeky of you, the Blue Screen Of Death. And so it’s come to pass that Microsoft have finally realised they’re lagging behind the competition (again) and the boss that isn’t Bill Gates has officially unveiled the Windows Phone 7. Steve Ballmer has given us a wealth of information, most of which is irrelevant, but some of which is interesting. I’ll try and boil it down to the useful stuff…

There will be 9 (so far) different handsets. These will be built by Dell, Samsung, LG & HTC. They will be available in 30 different countries and on over 60 different networks, but they will be exclusive to different carriers in different countries.

Here’s a summary of the Spec’s I’ve seen so far in ascending screen size….
Manufacturer Model Processor Screen Resolution Style Storage Camera Video Battery Talk & Standby
LG Quantum 1GHz Snapdragon 3.5” 480×800 Slide out Keyboard 16Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 19days S
HTC 7 Pro 1GHz 3.6” 480×800 Full Keyboard 8Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S
HTC 7 Mozart 1GHz 3.7” 480×800 Candy Bar 8Gb 8MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S
LG Optimus 7 1GHz Snapdragon 3.8” 480×800 Candy Bar 16Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 19days S
HTC Surround 1GHz Qualcomm 3.8” 480×800 Slide out speaker 8Gb 5MP 720p 4hr T, 11days S
HTC 7 Trophy 1GHz 3.8” 480×800 Candy Bar 8Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S
Dell Venue Pro 1GHz Qualcomm 4.1” 480×800 Vertical Slide 8Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 14days S
HTC HD7 1GHz Qualcomm 4.3” 480×800 Touch Screen 16Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 13days S
Samsung Focus / OMNIA 7 1GHz Qualcomm 4” 480×800 Touch Screen 8Gb 5MP 720p 3hr T, 10days S
It’ll be very interesting to see a) what the pricing is like and b) what the performance of these devices is like.  By comparison, and just because I am shamelessly biased now, here’s the same specs for the iPhone 4:
Manufacturer Model Processor Screen Resolution Style Storage Camera Video Battery Talk & Standby
Apple iPhone 4 1Ghz Underclocked to 750 3.5” 640×960 Touch Screen 32Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 12days S
I don’t think for a minute that they’re anything like a threat to the iPhone, but it’s entirely possible they could get enough developers behind it over the next 12 months to at least start making some in roads. Unless of course, the likes of Apple & Google pull something else out of the bag.

With MS garnering some support from even @StephenFry (a well known Apple proponent) there is most definitely a battle royal taking place in the smartphone market place. As always, these things are usually good for the consumer, but can end up being fatal for the protagonists.  Time will tell eh?

See and download the full gallery on posterous


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

To flash or not to flash that is the question.

Having read & watched this Dan Simmons piece about Andriod 2.2 on the HTC Desire and how it runs adobe flash, and I find myself considering jailbreaking my iPhone 4 just so that I can run flash too. I say, so that I can run flash, but actually even then I can’t run the real live 100% cosher Adobe version of flash.

So what’s going on and how are us mere mortals supposed to understand the pluses and minuses ?

Well, flash (in the form we’re used to seeing) is a browser plugin that allows your web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, A.N.Other) to play animations and certain videos. For example in the UK the BBC uses the flash plugin to play it’s video content. What this means for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch is that you simply can’t watch flash video on these devices, because Apple won’t allow the flash plugin on the mobile version of safari.  Apple have published their thoughts on flash for all the world to see and it explains why Apple don’t allow it, but here’s the conclusion that Steve Jobs draws from his article.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Not to be outdone or put down by this, Adobe wrote their own reply, entitled Freedom of Choice, and the shorthand summary:

We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web — the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.

I’m actually with Mr Jobs on this one. HTML5 does a great job without the power hungry flash hassle and extortionate fee’s involved for developers (The cheapest version “Flash Builder Standard” costs £163, “Flash Builder Premium” is £466, while “Flash Pro CS5” costs £653), but – and it’s quite a big but – HTML5 is in it’s infancy still. Most developers have not adopted it yet and so we still have a distance to go before it’s a prevalent as flash is today.  I’m pretty sure that will still happen, but it’s no instant fix.

In the meantime this means all the iApple device hackers are in their element trying to find new and interesting ways to make your iDevice play flash. Fun times.  Basically once you’ve applied a jailbreak to your device you can install all the stuff that Apple would rather you didn’t.

Until recently the act of jail-breaking was illegal in the US, but there’s been a change in the law and that means you can jailbreak without fear of reprisal. However, Apple still insist that jail-breaking invalidates your warranty – although this pre-supposes that they know you’ve done it, because it’s just as easy to reverse the process should you ever want to.

How do you it then? Turns out it’s really easy to Jailbreak the handset unless you’ve installed today’s firmware upgrade. You see, this is how it goes with Apple and the Dev team. These guys spend their lives in mortal combat of iOS security. It’s great fun for us to watch. Every time the Dev team find a way around the Apple security, apple release a patch to block it, and the Dev team start searching for another way in. Todays update (iOS 4.0.2) has locked it all up again, but you can expect the dev team to have that sorted today or tomorrow probably.

So, that’s the decision made for me. I’ll just hang on until next time round I guess. If you haven’t upgraded (from 4.0.1) and you still want to jailbreak, simply visit this site in the iPhone safari browser: http://www.jailbreakme.com/ and from here you simply follow the instructions.

Once you’re jailbroken, then you use the Cydia app (installed as part of the jailbreak) to install “Frash”. Navigate to Cydia on your Home screen, then tap on “Manage –> Sources”, then tap “Edit” followed by “Add”. Type http://repo.benm.at then tap “Add Source”. Finally search in this source for “Frash” and install from there.

Enjoy.

A few months ago the Gorse Fox mentioned dictation software that he was using on his PC to write his blog entry. Well, now I’ve got dragon dictate and I’m able to do the same thing with one small difference. I am using my phone. Vocally mobile blogging should in theory be far less complicated than it sounds….

But the question remains is it less complicated or not? So by way of an example, I have dictated this entry into dragon on my iPhone and in a moment I shall press the stop button. Whereupon, it will process what I have said and then I can copy and paste it, or twitter it, or e-mail it wherever I wish. So, let’s see what the results are like….

A few months ago because Fox mentioned dictation software that he was using his PC to write his blog entry well now I’ve got DragonDictate and I am able to do the same thing with one small difference I’m using my phone totally mobile blogging should in theory be far less complicated than it sounds


of the question remains is a less complicated or not so by way of an example I have dictated this entry into Dragon on my iPhone in a moment to press the start button where upon ill process works out and then I can copy and paste it or could trick or e-mail it wherever I wish so let’s see what the results are light

Actually, I think that’s not too bad for a first attempt. Not right, but not bad. I suspect that the whole process is hampered somewhat by my slight west country accent (Whot axe-ent be that then miy muckurr?? – Ed) but given a little practice and my best Queen’s/BBC english, I’m sure it’s not too much to worry about.  Having said that though, is it what I want to be doing?

The thing is, I find that I enjoy the process of sitting and typing out an entry far more than I think I would just sitting and talking to myself.  This may just be a “stuck in my ways” problem, or it could be me romanticising the role of the writer into someone who sit’s at a desk with a typewriter and looks out the window for inspiration (only to find naught but the writers block).  I’ll persevere for a little, but I suspect, like many others before me, I’m just not ready to jump ship and talk….

Just catching up with my RSS feeds and I see Gizmodo running this story:

Gulp: Security Researcher Discovers WPA2 Vulnerability

It’s time to be nostalgic for the days when you could count on WPA2 as the strongest, most impregnable wireless security standard. Security firm AirTight Networks has discovered a means of compromising WPA2 encryption using about ten lines of code.

Marvellous.  This is why the Digital Economy Bill needs to be repealed, before my Dad gets locked up because someone parked outside his house and downloaded the top ten singles every week for a year…. or something similar….  There is no such thing as secure.

You may have seen yesterdays news report regarding the search for the next generation of cyber security specialists. I registered and had a go at the example cypher they had and I think I did quite well. If you want to try it, it’s all happening here: https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/. Wound up with a piece of Hexadecimal that I haven’t been able to fathom but I believe that’s just because I’m not using the right tool for the job.

The niggle is that it’s small, so doubly frustrating. I’ve been through the obvious stuff and just keep hitting a wall, but I haven’t tried taking it as double-byte hex into UTF-8 (Chinese maybe) and then translating the resulting glyphs back to english…. that might do it…. or it might not… Sadly, as I’m not being paid for it, it will have to wait until I have some spare time, and the way things are today, that may be next year….

It’s all geek to me….

So here’s the thing. It’s generally believed that choice is good. Informed choice is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. Who should you believe ? Well that choice is yours. Tricky isn’t it?

‘Antennagate’ is starting to highlight this is a never-before-seen way. Apple’s press conference on Friday was a completely new thing for them. Unheard of in their PR history to hold such an event. What really got me interested was the fact that Mr Jobs showed exactly the same ‘antanna’ issue happening on a Blackberry, an HTC Droid and a Samsung Windows phone. If you want to watch the whole thing, it’s available here: Apple’s July 16th Press Conference

You could see it happen with your own eyes. Most phones have been plastic historically, but with smartphones that’s all changing especially with larger and larger screens. This must have some impact on signal quality, but this stuff is real and is clearly a problem across the board, not just for Apple.

Here’s a Droid Incredible with singnal issues:


…and a Blackberry…

The competition don’t like Apple eating huge chunks out of their market, the press love a failure in amongst a load of success, but some of the reporting is just false. The question is which is wrong ? Are apple lying to us, or are a handfull of websites lying ?

I’m lucky enough to have an iPhone 4, and I’m very very happy with it. It’s certainly a vast improvement over the 3GS and I haven’t had a single call fail. The comptetition’s response to Mr Job’s presentation only serves to show he’s rattled their cages by calling them out.

Nokia’s response:

We prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

RIM’s response

RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls

So phones that work really well, but look really awful? We are talking about smartphones here right?? People don’t buy smartphones that look like housebricks – why would they? If you’re paying 500 quid for that much computing power in your pocket, you don’t want it to look like an old TV remote. You want the big display, the quality graphics, the slick interface etc etc…. and like I said, I’m still waiting on that dropped call feature – not something I’ve experienced, but again, Apple’s innovative design is irking the boys who like black plastic.

People don’t pay as much attention to the problems with these phones because they don’t carry the same publicity that the iPhone does. I don’t know how the Apple Marketing people got their products to have this god-like status, but they’ve done an amazing job with that. That’s really where the pain for the likes of RIM & HTC lies.

The entire thing hasn’t been blown completly out of proportion, rather it’s in direct proportion to the amount of coverage that the iPhone as a brand gets. Ultimately the only person’s opinion you can count on is your own. Don’t ask me (or anyone else for that matter) to make the decision for you. Inform yourself. Go out and try them. I tried an HTC and a blackberry (friends handsets, not on a long term test) and Starfleet issue Blackberry’s by default (although there is now an option on iPhone’s). I drew my own conclusions.

And this brings us to the really great thing about choice.

You have a choice. Buy one (and you’ll love it – they’ll even give you a free case if you want one, and you can take it back if you don’t like it) or don’t buy one. It’s up to you. But remember…. It’s just a phone. Ring your loved one’s, Calm down.

First off, the lies…. Yes we can get you out of there. Meaning, you’re not going anywhere. The escape committee know what this means.

As badman has pointed out, it may have to be the glider option after all, so I’m currently trying to figure out how to get on the roof of the komandant’s block with a 40ft fold up hang-glider unobserved. It’s just high enough that given the correct wind direction I should be able to silently sail clear over the top of the fence and down into the woods.  Certainly not a job for the feint of heart. I’m just glad it’s Friday.

Now, the secrets…
Grand Central Terminal, in New York City. Next time you’re in there, (and if you haven’t you’ve missed a treat) take a close look at the clock that sits on top of the information booth in the middle of the main concourse. It’s synched to the atomic clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory and is worth an astronomical amount of money.  The four faces are made from opal, and have recently been valued at about 20 million USD.  There’s also a hidden platform far below the surface that you’ll never see, but which was installed for President Roosevelt in the 1930’s and is still in use today.

On the subject of secret railway stations (I’ve mentioned the Queen’s stop in box tunnel, but yesterday the Beeb published this guided tour of an abandoned tube station. (UK Only I’m afraid). It’s St Mary’s in East London, which closed in 1938. Here’s the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10612599

Phone reception now… Apple have planned a surprise briefing on the iPhone 4 antenna issue at 6pm UK time today.  Now it’s only a surprise to those that haven’t been paying attention.  I think they’ll stop just short of a full product recall, after all they sold over 1.7million handsets in the first three days and the cost of getting them all back is estimated at around £1bn.  More likely is the opportunity for those experiencing problems (and as I’ve said, I’m not) to be able to walk into an apple store and exchange the unit, but we won’t know for sure until this evening. From Apple’s perspective I imagine the worst part of the whole story is the damage it’s doing to it’s brand and that can be far more costly. They have released a software upgrade which means the signal strength is now shown correctly. The only difference I’m seeing are slightly differently designed signal bars.  Very odd stuff going on here.

I think the best summary of events so far, has to be Andy Ihnatko’s blog entry regarding his expectations of the forthcoming press conference. This seems like all logical and sensible fare. It is impressive just how much kafuffle it’s generated. I mean… it’s a phone..

…and onwards to the weekend….  which this time will involve a trip to the hospital with daughter, a trip up north for a birthday party and trip over the long grass in the back garden meaning I’ll have to get the mower out on sunday if it stays dry.

Oh, and one last thing as it’s Friday.  Those of you that enjoyed the Old Spice shenanigans might be interested to hear that their marketing has gone all viral (to use the parlance of our times) and you can even get “him” to anser your phone. Hope you enjoy this: http://oldspicevoicemail.com/

Update: Is there no stopping the Oldspice ?? Monacle Smile….