Tag Archives: iPhone 4

After Antennagate, is Glassgate next for iPhone 4?

8 Oct

The iPhone 4 seems to be jinxed for Apple. After fielding issues related to its ‘revolutionary’ antenna, it now seems that a few specs of dust might be able to crack the rear glass panel of the phone. GDGT reports that this can happen to users who ‘protect’ their iPhone 4 with a slip-on case. Now the thing about a slip-on case is it shields not only the side of the phone (the culprit behind the ‘grip of death’) but it also protects the back. But as we all have experienced, some tiny particulates do find their way inside and get sandwiched between the rear panel of the phone and the internal lining of the case.

GDGT reports that internally, Apple engineers have learnt that these particulates can scratch the iPhone 4’s rear glass panel, which eventually develop into full-blown cracks! While we have not seen this happen to any iPhone 4 but if it does, Apple will have to bend over backwards and appease agitated customers. I won’t blame them, considering they have spent a fortune buying the iPhone 4 (don’t forget the hours spent waiting in a queue or the days spent waiting out of the window waiting for the FedEx guy to arrive).

I’m not sure how Apple would wriggle out of this one but what I’m sure about is that next year’s iPhone will look a lot different than the iPhone 4.


Real Football 2011, FIFA 11 coming to App Store this week?

26 Sep

The biggest mobile football game rivalry is expected to get a refresh this week, with Gameloft’s Real Football and EA’s FIFA series going toe to toe again. If rumours are to be believed, both Real Football 2011 and FIFA 11 are likely to hit the App store in the coming few days. We have heard no official confirmation but sources within both companies are reasonably sure that footy gaming fans will have reason to celebrate this week. Both games claim to offer radically better graphics and support for the retina display as well as official affiliations with different clubs and countries, letting you mess around with real players.

However, what we are really curious about is the gameplay – will the two games take a page out of Konami’s Pro Evo Soccer book and minimise the need to hit onscreen buttons? And erm…call us skinflints, but we are also wondering about the price tags and are offering prayers that they will be as far from the USD 10 mark as possible. We are waiting and watching!

Docs To Go 4.0 for iOS released!

13 Sep

One of the most popular office suites on the Apple App Store, Documents To Go has a new version. Documents To Go 4.0 arrived in the App Store today and will work on the iPhone/ iPod touch and iPad. And it brings a number of features that the developers at DataViz (the folks behind the suite) claim that users have been clamouring for, including “speed optimizations, Sheet To Go “freeze panes”, improved high resolution retina display” (yep, we are quoting the release there!). The new version also lets users take advantage of iOS’ multi-tasking feature (but what of the iPad, we wonder) and joy of joys, supports full external keyboard. The interface has been tweaked and made simpler and  the already muscular Word to Go has had more formatting options added to it, such as left and right indent, strike out, and new bullet styles.

“Our loyal customer base has always been a huge resource for DataViz in terms of what features to add to our products and this version is no exception.   Documents To Go 4.0 adds some of the top customer requests along with features that take advantage of the latest technology provided by Apple to offer an even more functional mobile office suite,” said Bonnie Boyle, Business Manager for Documents To Go products. The suite is available in two flavours – normal and Premium, with the former costing $9.99 and the latter being a tad pricier at $16.99. All customers who purchased Documents To Go 3.0 will however get a free upgrade to the new suite. We like that and are downloading! Watch this space for a review.

FarmVille spoof Farmvillain dodges Chuck Norris, arrives in App Store

12 Aug

It was only a matter of time, we guess. Hot on the heels of the Farmville app on the iPhone comes its spoof, Farmvillain. Designed by Jolt Online Gaming, the app is a merciless spoof on the gathering and animal caring ways of Farmville with jokes and anecdotes that are so risque that the app was allegedly turned down three times by Apple (including once because it appeared “to include features that identify Chuck Norris”) before it finally made its way into the official download zone of iPhone/iPod touch users. The game costs $0.99 and as to what it contains, well, we will let the game description on iTunes do the talking:

“Sick of cutesie FamrVille posts on your Facebook page? Fight back with Farmvillain. Send hilarious dark and humorous posts to yourself and your friends’ walls. Want to give your friends some mad cow disease? Allow animal testing on your farm?…Farmvillain is most assuredly not a game, nor is it affiliated with any part of FarmVille. We’re much funnier than that.”

What can we say to that? We are downloading, folks. No offence meant to Mr Norris.

Weekend reading: Why Apple needs to loosen its death grip over Antenna Gate

25 Jul

iPhone 4 death gripFirst they denied it. Then they accepted it. And now they are on a mission to prove everyone suffers from it. The headline and the picture are indications enough of what it is all about – the iPhone 4’s ‘Antenna Gate’ and how Apple is reacting to it.

Initially, Apple turned a blind eye to reports that indicated the iPhone 4 might have a faulty antenna design which leads to it dropping calls when held in a particular way (when held in the left hand and the skin covers the lower left edge of the phone – also called as the death grip). Last week, Steve Jobs addressed the media and accepted that there was a problem that affected less than a per cent of iPhone 4 owners and offered free cases to all owners as a peace offering. (The case covers the antenna and eliminates the death grip.)

Everything would have been fine had Jobs & Co. left it at that. But no, like sore losers they won’t accept that they screwed up and have now embarked on a mission to prove that every cellphone out there suffers from attenuation (the loss of signal when the antenna is obstructed by skin when held). Precisely for that Apple has put online a website on which it uploads videos of how death grip can be applied to phones from competing brands.

I admire Jobs and products that Apple comes out with and it saddens me to see how they are unable to come to terms with a bad design decision with your most popular product. While Apple can put the death grip on any phone under the sun, the point they are missing is that people don’t hold phones the way they are holding to demonstrate attenuation on other phones. Apple even shows the iPhone 3GS suffering from attenuation but no one has really complained about it before simply because they do not hold their iPhone 3GS that way!

While Apple’s videos were entertaining initially, now they are becoming irritating and have started putting me off. What will they come up with next week? Probably how to put a death grip on the Samsung Galaxy S? I won’t be surprised.

My point of this entire rant is to just tell Apple to pucker up and face the reality. Rather than telling us that others are bad too, just work things out and give us a solution. We love your phones and are willing to use them with a case if need be. We won’t complain, promise. Just grow up!

Marware launches Bumper-like case for iPhone 4

24 Jul

Marware SportGrip Edge for iPhone 4Ever since Apple announced that it would be offering free iPhone 4 cases to all owners, we felt for third-party case sellers who have spent millions of dollars manufacturing a variety of cases for the world’s most loved/hated (take your pick) smartphone. Now Marware has launched a Bumper-like case for the iPhone 4. Considering that Apple won’t be able to make enough Bumpers for its 3 million or so customers, in all probability, it will offer a choice of silicone slips to choose from once it runs out of Bumpers.

If that really isn’t your thing, you should look at this SportGrip Edge from Marware. Priced at $19.99, it is similar to Apple’s Bumper – it is a band that covers the edges – and it also comes with two sheets of screen protector for the front and the back of the phone. Not only will it eliminate call drops caused by the “death grip” but it will also protect the front and the back from getting scratched.

Jay Freeman aka Saurik shows his jailbroken iPhone 4 on camera

24 Jul

Those of you who use jailbroken iPhones must be familiar with the name Jay Freeman aka Saurik. Yup, he’s the guy behind the popular Cydia app store for getting apps that Apple won’t ever approve. He is here showing off his jailbroken iPhone 4 complete with the Cydia app store while talking to the folks at Making it Work. Hit the link below to watch the video.

via TUAW

Gresso’s iPhone 4 Black Diamond case solves 'Antennagate' in style

23 Jul

Gresso has launched its latest iPhone 4 casing, made of 200-years old African Blackwood, the signature material which they have used for the iPhone 3GS casing as well. The Gresso iPhone 4 Black Diamond casing has an 18-K gold Apple logo embedded on the backside with an inlaid glittering black diamond.

This $10,000 case for the iPhone 4 not only makes the device look pretty but also solves the ‘death grip’ problem that many users are facing. The antenna strip around the perimeter of the iPhone 4, which is the known culprit for the problem, will be covered by the steel frame along the edges of the Gresso case. The steel frame has a titanium black PVD coating which being dielectric in nature will nullify the reception issue and consequently, there will be no loss of signal, according to Gresso.

Inside Apple's antenna testing lab

17 Jul

For the first time, Apple has released information about its antenna design and testing labs, thanks to the whole “antennagate” debate. Complete with photographs and a video, Apple explains how it tests the antenna performance of its products before they are given a go-ahead for mass production. Every thing, from cellular signals to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even GPS signals are simulated in this lab that has the capability to create real-life conditions. Apple engineers use 17 different antenna characterisation chambers (anechoic chambers) in the lab that measure the device’s wireless and antenna performances. Apple claims that the iPhone 4 had been tested across the world with different carriers running their networks on different equipment in different conditions. Hell, Apple even uses artificial hands and heads that mimic human tissue, apart from real people, to test how it affects the antenna performance.

Then how did Apple not come across the ‘death grip’? That was revealed today during Steve Jobs’ candid talk. They came across the signal drop but it wasn’t that bad as some people out there are facing. Probably, that happened when the test phones were in significantly good network coverage and the signal drop wasn’t alarming to drop a call.

Whatever may have happened, the way Jobs tackled the situation demonstrates why Apple has such devoted customers. Some might call it fanboy-ism but it is not a one-way street as Nokia might be able to tell you when its devoted followers are abandoning ship and embracing Android.

Talking about Nokia, it could learn a thing or two from how things have changed in the past 24 hours for Apple. Consumers do not like to wait till you announce your next product if you cannot bring out a quality product in the first place. And if you keep bringing out kickass products, they are willing to compromise when you stumble. The key is to accept when you have let your customers down, lay out bare facts and take measures immediately to resolve the crisis.

Apple to ship free iPhone 4 cases to owners and everyone lived happily ever after…

17 Jul

Steve Jobs today sweet-talked the media, gave out free iPhone 4 cases and literally put the whole ‘death grip’ and ‘antenna gate’ incident behind him. Jobs set the tone at the beginning by saying, “We are not perfect. Phones are not perfect.” Then he went on to show (on video) how a similar death grip could put the BlackBerry 9700, HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Omnia 2 to sleep – a point that he had been making ever since the whole issue first started getting reported.

What really set the record straight was some stats that he dropped – only 0.55 per cent of iPhone 4 users are reporting this problem and the number of additional calls dropped per 100 calls on the iPhone 4 is less than one when compared to the iPhone 3GS. Talking about the iPhone 3GS, he said that the return rate of the iPhone 3GS was double that that of the iPhone 4 during early shipments. So far, Apple has sold three million units of the iPhone 4 in just three weeks.

Jobs was just short of admitting that the iPhone 4 has a flawed design with the antenna strip running around the edges of the phone but insisted that this is a problem that every handset manufacturer out there is facing.

Still, to pacify its users (I think it was more a step to pacify the press than anyone else), Apple will ship free iPhone 4 cases to all iPhone 4 owners and will refund those who bought Apple’s bumper cases. The offer will begin next week when Apple will put a site online from where owners would be able to choose a case. Unfortunately, Apple won’t be able to manufacture as many bumpers and we have a sneak feeling that we might be seeing silicone cases in different colour options on that site. The offer would be on till September 30. Unsatisfied users can also return their phone and they would be refunded in full without having to pay any restocking fee.

Jobs dismissed the idea of making any design changes on the phone and also said the Bloomberg story that he was told about this problem when the iPhone 4 was being designed were completely false. However, he added that during their tests, they noticed that there was a loss of signal when the e was held in a certain way but they never really thought it would be this bad.

It takes balls of steel for someone to face the press when journalists smell blood and Jobs really came out with nary a scratch on him or his company. It seems to me that everyone just wanted to see him on stage and talk about it in public rather than sharing his views with random people via an occasional e-mail. And to reassure its customers, in a rare move, Apple has posted a video of Jobs’ July 16 iPhone 4 antenna gate address on its website.

Next week, Apple will be announcing its latest quarterly results and it would be rather interesting to see if anyone asks the company how much money they would be spending to ship everyone free cases. Nevertheless, it would be much cheaper than a recall, which would have cost the company at least $1.5 billion according to some analysts.