iPhone 3GS: Follow Up

By on Mar 21, 2010 | 3 comments

In response to my first post about the iPhone 3GS, I am following up with this post to give a better review on the iPhone. With regards to coverage of AT&T at least in my area (Pittsburgh), I have had no issues what so ever in regards to making both telephone calls and using the data network.  In my personal opinion, I believe that the 3G coverage is about equally matched up to Verizon Wireless, however using the web and data applications run much smoother, in addition to the response time appears to be better.  This could be due to the nature of how the phone’s applications are written, or due to the OS that the device is running on. Using two accounts on this phone both MobileMe and Microsoft Exchange works beautifully.  In my experience with BlackBerry, having more than one account tended to merge both email accounts, calendars, and contacts together.  The iPhone handles multiple accounts very well keeping everything separated.  I am absolutely in love with MobileMe, and how it integrates with my phone and MacBook (more on the MacBook in a future post).  The synchronization is by far faster than Exchange, and Apple I applaud you for getting email, contacts, and calendar synchronization nailed on the head.  I actually find myself more now using the calendar and iCal to keep my personal life organized, because I know the two will work together with no problems. I think the battery on the phone is good, considering I have been playing with this phone every free moment I get.  I go about a full day on my battery when I am playing with this,  and on days like Saturdays when I’m at home the battery lasts until Monday morning. As of this post I charged my phone last night, and have had 3 hours and 40 minutes of use today, and my battery is still at 65%. At the end of the day, everyone will have their own thoughts about this device. In my opinion  moving from a business standard platform (BlackBerry), to the iPhone was a great move.  I found no down sides to having a iPhone over a BlackBerry, and with the addition to the various applications that adds additional productivity to my personal life, I’d already be lost without this...

iPhone 3GS vs BlackBerry Storm – Part 1

By on Mar 6, 2010 | 3 comments

I just recently changed jobs, and my new company has issued me an iPhone 3GS. So that being said, I thought a comparison between this device and my old BlackBerry Storm is in order. I’ve only had my iPhone for 5 days, so I will follow up this article in a week or so with part deux. Coverage: I have always had a Verizon cellphone (Smartphone or not) for years, so the thought of switching carriers did cause a bit of concern.  I heard multiple people say the AT&T coverage in my area (Pittsburgh) was not that great in comparison to Verizon’s.  Generally a few dropped calls would be  okay, and even understandable, however since this is primarily used for business I need to have a reliable network.  I don’t believe in the TV commercials for AT&T or Verizon, as they are playing the marketing game, and really only the individual using the phone can correctly assess the coverage.  As of now (5 days) using the phone, I have yet to see any situation that makes me believe Verizon is a better network. To test the AT&T commercial, I created a phone conference with two other phones.  Once  I had the phone conference going I began surfing the web and perhaps because of the network and the beauty of Apple everything just worked.  I could not make a phone call and browse the web on my BlackBerry.  I do not know how often I’d use this, but its fantastic knowing that I can. Email/Calendar/Contacts (Exchange): The first account I configured on this device was my Microsoft Exchange account from work.  Prior to the iPhone I was using multiple BlackBerry devices (VZW WE 8830, and the BlackBerry Storm), so I was used to getting my email very fast.  So far I have not noticed a delay in the delivery of my email.  Typically my phone has notified me of a new message either 1 – 2 seconds after my computer received the message, no major delays.  The calendar and contact synchronization has also been fast.  I have not seen a major delay yet in comparison to the BlackBerry platform. Email/Contacts/Calendar (MobileMe): I have now moved from using Gmail to MobileMe.  I have been using Gmail since the early days, when the initial invites had been in small numbers.  I knew what to expect from Gmail so once more, I was leery of the switch.  I tried using MobileMe a few months back on the 60-day trial, and noticed that the web interface was slow, and my contacts would randomly delete themselves, so I cancelled my trail.  My thought was even though the web interface was beautiful, I need reliability. Since getting the iPhone I figured, lets give it another chance to fully take advantage of the push technology.  I am not sure if Apple has changed their servers, or made an update but now my web interface is extremely fast.  Had the experience been this fast during my trial I probably would not have cancelled it.  The push for email is extremely fast, and I believe it works faster than my exchange account.  The updating of contacts and calendar is actually faster than Exchange.  I can move items in my web interface or on the phone, and almost in real time I see the update.  Exchange takes a little bit longer (10-20 seconds).   This is actually much faster than the BlackBerry platform again. I am actually loving the performance of MobileMe over Exchange and even the BlackBerry platform. Ease of Use: I have to admit using this phone is truly a dream.  Typing on the iPhone’s keyboard is a better experience than that of the Storm.  In a previous post, I mentioned how one had to touch, then physically click on the screen to input a character.  This is not the case with the iPhone. I am actually finding it faster to type email and SMS messages via the iPhone.  I have yet to try the landscape keyboard because I am so impressed with the portrait keyboard.  On the storm I was constantly producing spelling errors, due to the “SurePress” keyboard.  The phone would “think” I wanted to type one word when really I meant another.  This led to some embarrassing emails to executives as the overall grammar of the email made no sense. Battery: I’ve been charging my battery daily, but I believe the reason it is getting low is due to my constantly playing with the device.  Once the novelty slows down from having the iPhone I will be able to truly give both devices a fair comparison.  I do not want to give a opinion on the iPhone’s battery quite yet. Summary: I have been downloading applications like crazy this week, and the App Store has a far better selection than what I could find for my BlackBerry.  There are many applications I have found so far that will allow me to be more productive and aware of my servers at work while I am out of the office.  This is one of the reasons our company is actually removing all BlackBerries from our environment and moving to the iPhone.  I plan on following up to this post in a week or two once I have really tested the phone in more detail.  As I said both phones have been on the market for quite some...

Come on, AT&T

By on Jun 9, 2009 | 0 comments

By now, just about everyone has heard about the upcoming release of the iPhone 3Gs and the 3.0 firmware update for the iPhone. There are some great features in the new firmware. Two notable ones are tethering and MMS messaging; both of which won’t be supported by AT&T when the firmware is released. For those who don’t know what MMS and tethering are, here is a brief description: Tethering would allow people to use the iPhone’s 3g network access to connect other devices to the internet. For example, if you have a laptop you could connect the iPhone via usb, or even bluetooth, and access the internet through your iPhone data plan. MMS messages are delivered in a fashion almost identical from a user standpoint to SMS, but any multimedia content is first encoded and inserted into a text. It is primarily used to send photos, or sounds, such as ringtones. When the new firmware update is available next week, 22 carriers will allow tethering and nearly 30 will have MMS enabled. AT&T won’t support either. AT&T stated that MMS will be available in the “summer.” They state that it will take that much time to change all of the existing iPhone plans so that they don’t “opt out” of the MMS function. As for tethering, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. AT&T, if they ever do allow it, will probably charge a ridiculous amount to enable it’s usage. That is assuming their 3g network could even handle it. Something needs to change about the way AT&T does business. They are constantly behind other carriers. They need to understand that the iPhone alone isn’t going to save them. As soon as their exclusive agreement with Apple ends, I’m sure many people will change providers, myself...

It’s ok, that call wasn’t important.

By on Nov 4, 2008 | 3 comments

Those who talk to me regularly know that I got an iPhone on October 1, 2008. Obviously, that means I made the switch to AT&T. Ever since 1998, I had Verizon as my cell phone provider. Over the 10 years with Verizon I had 2 dropped calls that were caused by my phone and/or service. With AT&T I have already had 19 dropped calls. Yes, 19 in a little over 1 month. I guess it wouldn’t bother me so much, but how long did they run that “fewest dropped calls” ad campaign? Seriously…do they think that is an acceptable quality of service customers should be paying for? Isn’t Pittsburgh a “large” enough area that my service should be better? It doesn’t make any sense when it happens either. I have a full signal according to the phone, but yet my calls are dropped so often it’s not even funny. Oh wait, that’s another ad campaign of theirs isn’t it? “More bars more places.” The amount of bars I have are totally irrelevant if I can’t even have an entire phone conversation. Is the 3g network just that bad? Or, is this something that only happens in my area? I am curious to hear about the level of service others have received with...

1/2 Price 3g iPhone? Not quite

By on Jun 10, 2008 | 3 comments

Anyone who has watched television or has been on the internet the past 2 days has seen all the ads I’m sure. “Twice the speed. Half the price.” But how true is that exactly? Yes, the 8gb 3g iPhone will only cost $199. But, barely mentioned anywhere is the fact that the US provider AT&T has raised the price of the iPhone plans by $10 a month. So yeah, Apple lowered the price of the iPhone by $200. Too bad new owners of the 3g iPhone will have to pay $240 more over 2 years than people currently with plans. I was definitely considering making the switch to AT&T and paying the early termination fee to Verizon. But the more I think about it now, I’m finding it very hard to consider paying $70 minimum a month for one of the iPhone plans. Edit: After looking into this more, I noticed there is another change also. The base plan no longer includes the 200 text messages. You are now required to pay $5 a month to include 200 text messages. I’m curious to hear what others think about...

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