Google Contacts as the hub not!

Google finally has their contacts close to a separate application. You can get a list when you logon to gmail and edit them. The biggest issues are:

# Amazingly that Google has got to be the only contact manager that has no notion of first name and last name. It is all one field. So there is no way to sort by first and last name. And most importantly for things like iPhones which search by first and last name so parsing doesn’t really work. For instance, “Nuevasync”:http://nuevasync.com really has some big problems trying to sync into the iPhone, it has to guess like crazy and for instance, if you have a PhD at the back, then it thinks it is the address.
# Google doesn’t support unicode! So you can’t use it with Chinese. What is it with these guys? It is pretty basic stuff to support UTF-8. This breaks all the contacts

So the net is that right now while the contacts on Google seem like they would be great, some really simple things make it pretty unusable.

You can finally buy an iPhone

It’s true, my buddy Mac wandered in and just bought one. Now with the upcoming iPod and iTouch refreshes coming up it is going to be a great fall for Apple.

AppleInsider | iPhone 3G finally reaching supply and demand balance

After more than six weeks of almost constant iPhone 3G shortages, Apple is finally known to be getting a grip on its retail supply and has virtually every model in stock everywhere

AppleInsider | iPhone 3G finally reaching supply and demand balance

The equilibrium isn’t seen as slowing demand and instead simply reflects Apple stepping up its production, he adds, reiterating his belief that earlier estimates of 3.8 million iPhones sold during the September quarter are “very conservative” and that this surge of sales could spill over into Apple’s fiscal 2009.

iPhone poor 3G performance isn’t in the hardware

Well, there is nothing like real world testing. It looks like all these complaints about the iPhone are because this is wireless, so you can have deadspots close together and because networks are being overwhelmed and in the US the network is spotty.

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

Wieselgren reported that the lab found that all these iPhones to “have no problems with the 3G communication in the test chamber. They send and receive signals in a fully normal manner. They do not disconnect earlier than the others we have tested when the signal becomes weaker.”

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

Wieselgren reported that at one location where a Sony Ericsson phone displayed full bars, one iPhone 3G showed low 3G reception while the other indicated it was on EDGE. When attempting to download a web page however, Wieselgren wrote that “the Sony Ericsson with all the 3G bars makes it in 46 seconds. For my iPhone with Edge it takes 32.

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

The lab findings refute the speculation of financial analyst Richard Windsor of Nomura Securities, who issued a report two weeks ago that accused the iPhone 3G’s Infineon chipset of being faulty and possibly requiring a massive recall to resolve. Infineon said it was not aware of any problems with its chips, which are also used by Samsung.

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

A broader, informal study conducted by Wired that involved 2,600 users in different countries suggested that the iPhone 3G’s problems were more likely due to limitations of carriers’ networks, particularly AT&T in the US, where users reported 75 percent of the zero data results from dropped calls and less than half of the average data throughput compared to users on European carriers.

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

Citigroup analyst recently reported similar 3G problems with dropping to the slower EDGE network or even cutting out entirely when using RIM’s new BlackBerry Bold on AT&T’s 3G network. The Bold uses an entirely different cellular chipset than the iPhone 3G.

AppleInsider | Repeat tests show iPhone 3G doesn’t suffer from faulty hardware

After lab results demonstrated that the iPhone 3G’s antenna actually functions normally, critics complained that the tests didn’t represent their own experiences. So the tests were performed again on two phones that had been experiencing severe problems for some users; the verdict was the same: no hardware problems found.

Blackberry Bold coming on AT&T

AppleInsider | New BlackBerry suffering same 3G connection drops as iPhone

early testing of the Bold, which uses the same 3G network standard as current iPhones, finds the device with just as unstable a connection as that reported in the US and elsewhere for Apple’s handset, with data sometimes dropping to the slower EDGE network or even cutting out entirely.

“We had a few occasional 3G signal dropping troubles at some locations,” Suva writes, “especially on high-rises building streets on our 34th floor… which may be why AT&T has yet to launch the product.”

And while Rogers Wireless in Canada has already launched Research in Motion’s new smartphone, the researcher suggests that an American launch may hinge on either a patch for the Bold’s firmware or straightening out network issues with AT&T, which will be the phone’s sole carrier in the US.

iPhone 2.0.2 manages 3G to EDGE conversion

AppleInsider | Apple: iPhone 2.0.2 update targets 3G issues

The 2.0.2 update apparently addresses complex issues that control how quickly the iPhone 3G will drop a weak 3G signal in order to use a stronger EDGE signal when it is available. In the US, much of AT&T’s cellular network is built out using cell towers optimized to deliver “2.75 G” GSM/EDGE service. Sources familiar with the matter say 3G networks require closer tower spacing to provide the same level of coverage with the more modern 3G UMTS.

There is nothing Apple can do in software to fill in spotty coverage in AT&T’s 3G network, but software updates can adjust how the phone hardware works to allow it find and maintain a link with a less than optimal 3G signal. Independent tests have suggested that at least some versions of the iPhone 3G are too quick to drop a marginal 3G signal that other UMTS phones can use without problems.

A CNet report on iPhone 3G issues cited Andrew Seybold, an independent industry analyst, as saying, “My belief is that because AT&T’s network is not built out to every cell site, people are getting frustrated because they’re finding places where the 3G signal isn’t available or is weak.”

!

Just did for my iPhone and got 1.3Mbps download and 200Kbps on 3G which is pretty good. Most folks now think the reason iPhones are slow is that the network is slow. Makes sense, my one iPhone sucked down an entire T-1 doing this.

iPhone 2.0.2 and Apple plans to sell 40M iPhones in next 12 month

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Apple plans to build 40 million to 45 million iPhone 3Gs in the 12 months through August 2009, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans.
The article goes on to say that daily production of the iPhone 3G is now at 150,000 units per day

Apple in a very Microsoft-like way ships 2.0.2 but it is unclear what it fixes or breaks. Best to be more specific than less where millions and millions of geeks are involved. Supposed perhaps to fix 3G issues but not clear. Doesn’t fix the “Black screen of death” which causes the iPhone to “hang”:http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=2106 on startup when a third party applications crashes.

Personally I’ve learned that loading lots of third party applications definitely causes the iPhone to crash so I limit myself to a small handful of my favorites and then delete ones after I try them. The best ones are Pandora, Simplify, Shazam for music. Then for games, it is the car racing game, Tris which is a Tetris clone. For games I just pick anything that has 4 star or more and which are in the top 50. Seems to work pretty well.

Making Apps work across multiple iPhones

The apps on an iPhone use Fairplay DRM which allow five machines to be authorized. So here is how to get two iPhones in your family works. Hat tip to TUAW for this note from “allforces”:http://allforces.com/2008/07/22/share-apps-between-iphones/

It is complicated, but basically what you do is to have two computers and authorize both for a single iTunes account. Then re-download applictions that you bought on one computer to the other.

1M iPhones and 10M app downloads

Wow, at this rate of 10 apps per new iphone, this is going to be an amazing platform. The lower price I’m sure really helped. Hope I get mine soon. (Despite the short battery life and I’m going to love the white color!)

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Despite long lines and activation troubles, Apple announced today that they sold its one millionth iPhone 3G on Sunday, only three days after its initial launch on Friday, July 11th. In the press release, Steve Job points out that it took 74 days to sell the same number of the original iPhone.

iPhone 3G Reviews

Well, “ilounge”:http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/live-iphone-3g-vs-iphone-comparison-test-results-here/ has a good first review set:

* The White 16GB is going to be much cleaner with fewer fingerprints than the black one. I’m kinda regretting ordering the black one now that I’ve seen photos. The white one is actually quite cute.
* Some folks are saying that this is really like iPhone 1.1 because other than 3G not much has changed, so if you already have a current iPhone you can wait for the next churn. (For those of us who have lost our iPhones, we are screwed!).
* The best thing to do with an iPhone is to try to get an unlocked one. The plans are really expensive at $30/month if you are a consumer. OTOH, the $45/month enterprise one is at least, just as much of a ripoff as the Blackberry plan. So you are no worse off if you are an Exchange user 🙂
* Sound quality on Bluetooth is better, but about the same as the original iPhone on the headset. The speakerphone is a little louder (important for me).
* 3G network isn’t always faster. Naturally, it depends on AT&T’s network, which I’m sure is not too high performance. Essentially 3G is about 26% faster in NYC. Wifi is still the method of choice at 2-7x faster than 3G with an average of 4x. In Orange County (who knows where and how that network is configured), 3G about 2x faster than in NYC. So YMMV

Apple iPhone v2

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

announced new features of Firmware 2.0 and the SDK, including:

– contact searching
– complete iWork document support
– complete Office document support (now includes PowerPoint)
– bulk delete and move for Mail
– save images you receive
– scientific calculator in landscape mode
– parental controls
– language

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

The new iPhones will cost $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) with an unlimited 3G data plan costing $30/month. This is an increase from the current $20/month unlimited EDGE data plan for the 1st generation iPhone. Voice plans continue to start at $39.99, but no additional details are provided.

Meanwhile, AT&T reveals that Apple will no longer receive the revenue sharing from each users plans. It was highly publicized that AT&T paid Apple a portion of its monthly recurring service charges for each iPhone user. Under the new agreement, there is no revenue sharing. AT&T is presumably directing that money towards the $200 subsidy for the iPhone.

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

The new iPhones will cost $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) with an unlimited 3G data plan costing $30/month. This is an increase from the current $20/month unlimited EDGE data plan for the 1st generation iPhone. Voice plans continue to start at $39.99, but no additional details are provided.

Meanwhile, AT&T reveals that Apple will no longer receive the revenue sharing from each users plans. It was highly publicized that AT&T paid Apple a portion of its monthly recurring service charges for each iPhone user. Under the new agreement, there is no revenue sharing. AT&T is presumably directing that money towards the $200 subsidy for the iPhone.

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Gizmodo spoke with AT&T’s President of National Distribution Glenn Lurie, who revealed that all iPhone activations will take place in-store. This is in contrast to the current system in which customers may activate their iPhones from home using iTunes. Additionally, Reuters reports that AT&T has said that purchasers who do not activate their iPhones within 30 days will be subject to penalties. No details on these proposed penalties have been made public.

Apple – iPhone – Enterprise – Integration

f your office uses Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or 2007, iPhone 2.0 software will allow you to wirelessly push company email, calendar events, and contacts to iPhone over a 128-bit encrypted SSL connection.