One of my main AT&T/iPhone complaints has finally been addressed. Ever since the iPhone 3G (and for some, the original iPhone) came out two years ago, I wondered why AT&T was so adamant about NOT allowing you to tether (use your iPhone as a modem/WiFi hotspot) your iPhone to your laptop and share its 3G data connection. After all they allow this with every other smart phone they sell and they even sell 3G data cards. Also no one ever expected this to be FREE. So I never really got why this was such a big deal? Granted AT&T couldn't do it alone and it would require built-in support by Apple in the iPhone OS (iOS). However, that support came in iPhone OS 3 LAST YEAR. So what took AT&T a YEAR to allow it on the iPhone for us in the US? They claim that they still needed to tweak their network to allow the influx of additional data traffic. While this may be true, the thing is since it's not FREE, not everyone is going to do it. Also it's not something you're going to be using all the time or would you?
Data Plan caps may have been the real issue
I don't doubt that AT&T needed to (and still needs to) work on "the world's fastest 3G network" to get it ready for even the slightest increase in traffic, but I suspect that an even larger issue was not wanting you to be able to pay a flat fee and have unlimited use. Even when you go with a $60/month 3G data card from AT&T there is a 5GB/month cap on it. Up until now all iPhone plans have been "UNLIMITED" data. So while the amount of 3G data that iPhone users currently consume must be HUGE, I'm sure giving users unlimited tethering would have brought this fragile network to its knees.
Do you want unlimited iPhone 3G data or do you want tethering?
Continue reading “AT&T Finally Brings Tethering to the iPhone: What you should know…”
Like many of you, I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 yesterday. I'm traveling in France and the upgrade went great. No glitches or problems reactivating. I was also very happy that it didn't wipe the phone and make me restore all my content (especially since I sync media from an iMac at home). I'm very happy (almost giddy) with the folder management for Apps and the unified inbox for Mail (one of my pet peeves since day one!). Although I've been trying to keep up on the new features as best I could while traveling, there were a few pleasant surprises that I hadn't seen listed anywhere.
1 Notes Syncing Over the Air
It's about freaking time! I never understood why you could sync Contacts, Calendars, etc. via MobileMe, but not Notes to the iPhone (3.x) over the air. Well it's here now and you can do it with MobileMe or ANY IMAP based email service! Woohoo! Finally!
2 Calendars On/Off
One of the things that surprised me about the iPad's calendar made it's way into iOS 4 for the iPhone and that's the ability to turn calendar displays on/off individually. I cheered! In previous iPhone OS 3.x you could either look at an individual calendar or ALL calendars. I have lots of calendars on my iPhone, but don't need to see them ALL all the time. It's great having a unified calendar view of just the calendars I want to see. However, performance definitely took a hit here. It's sloooooooooooooooooooooow scrolling my calendar in List view for some reason (even though I've now turned most calendars off).
3 iTunes Playlist Creation
A nice touch that I didn't see coming. You can now create a Real Playlist complete with a name on the fly and add any of your songs to it right on the iPhone itself. It will sync back to iTunes on your next sync.
Continue reading “5 Nice Surprises in iOS 4”
I've been busy with my day job and really couldn't spend a lot of time ogling the iPhone announcements the other day. However, I did catch up on my reading of all the new things and watched a few of the videos and of course people expect me to weigh in on what I like or don't like about new tech gadgets So here goes:
iPhone 4 – What I'm excited about
From a new hardware perspective, I'm excited about the new smaller, thinner form factor and since I have yet to see the actual (retina) display I can't weigh in on it one way or the other. I'm sure it's great. I also welcome the faster speeds of the A4, longer battery life of the bigger battery and potential better call quality based on the new antenna layout/case design. I definitely welcome the new 5MP camera and LED flash as well as having both a front facing and rear facing camera. This was long over due! FaceTime looks cool, but I wonder how useful it will be since both people have to have iPhone 4s and be on WiFi. Still, it will be fun to try. The 720p video is definitely welcome! It may mean that I can actually give up my Kodak Zi8, which I love. What I love even more is carrying less devices.
iPhone 4 – What I'm a little disappointed about
Although I get the space constraint issues, I'm still disappointed that there's not a 64GB version. Maybe I won't care as much now that I have an iPad, but my 32GB iPhone 3GS is always within 1-5GBs of space remaining. So I was looking forward to not only a faster iPhone, but bigger storage too. Also I kinda wish that they didn't go to a MicroSIM as it means switching the SIM card between phones is going to be a little more challenging. I'll be testing an Android phone in the not too distant future and it would have been nice to be able to "easily" go between the two with the same SIM Card. This solution looks promising though.
iOS 4 – What I'm excited about
If you asked me to name the top 3 features I can't wait for they would be (in order): Folders! – I have TONS of Apps and believe it or not, I can't wait to get them under control from an organization standpoint with folders. I have all 11 screens full right now on my 3GS and I have to pick and choose which apps to delete when I want to add more because I refuse to let them slide into that black hole that is page 12. The second thing I have been dying for is the integrated inbox in Mail. I've been complaining about that since 2007. So 3 years later, I'm glad that someone at Apple realized that people have more than one email account and don't want to have to constantly go back back back to view a different inbox. The third thing that I'm excited about is mult-tiasking. Although it remains to be seen what really happens when an app is in the background, I still welcome the fact that it will at least return me to the app where I left off now with 3rd party apps.
iOS 4- What I'm disappointed about
Continue reading “My thoughts on iPhone 4 and iOS 4”