Apple’s Failure, the iPhone 4

What happened Apple?

You seemed to be on top of the world in design and function.  Then you released the iPhone 4.

What a horribly designed piece of hardware.  Apple seems to have chosen the “form before function” approach here and the swaths of people who lined up for the next iDevice from old Jobs and gang now feel brutally raped and left out in the cold.

Within hours of the iPhone 4’s release, reports already flooded tech blogs of massive reception issues with Apple’s new heralded antenna design.  Apple remained fairly silent on the whole ordeal until last friday when they all but admitted the phone has a fatal flaw… the new antenna system they talked up at the press event.

Apple tried to put a positive spin on the whole thing basically saying it’s not their fault, ALL antenna systems do this, and they even tried to demo the problem in OTHER phones.  Well you know what Steve?  Explain why the iPhone 4 is the only one dropping calls when held.  Other companies are even firing shots across Apple’s bow regarding the design.

Nokia:

Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.

RIM:

Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, 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, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.

Samsung:

The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone’s antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna. We have fully conducted field tests before the rollout of smartphones. Reception problems have not happened so far, and there is no room for such problems to happen in the future.

HTC:

According to Apple, nearly 0.55% of iPhone 4 customers have been in contact with them regarding reception or antenna issues on the new phone

So what percentage of people have complained [about the Droid Eris Antenna]?

“Approximately .016% of customers”, Eric Lin, the company’s global PR and online community manager exclusively revealed to us before adding that “we have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris”.

If you’re keeping track, that is over 34 times higher than the iPhone 4 complaint rates.

Even Consumer Reports tested and proved the serious issue and rated the iPhone 4 a DO NOT BUY.

So you have the biggest names in phone manufacturing all telling Apple they screwed the pooch on this one.  Apple obviously did not test the phone enough in the real world and pushed the device out before it was ready.  Apple’s solution to this disaster?  A product recall with a fixed design?  Nope, you get a free ugly case to wrap around your phone to prevent your hand from coming in direct contact with their magical and revolutionary antenna.  Wow.  Thanks Apple.

Add on top of this whole Antennagate thing, the fact that the phone’s proximity sensor also seems to be suffering from serious issues, causing people’s phones to hang up, mute, or put calls on hold when the phone is brought up to someone’s face, it’s a wonder if Apple seriously tested this device at all?  I think it is pretty apparent they did not.

With Apple’s iOS being quickly hunted down by the mass influx of bad ass Android devices, the iPhone 4’s massive problems could spell big trouble for iOS and it’s now dated and played out interface.

Can you hear me now?   No Steve, we can’t.

Why Windows Phone 7 Will Fail

Two years ago I wrote about what Microsoft needed to do to turn their platform around.  Now with Windows Phone 7 only months away, it would appear Microsoft has failed in every way imaginable.

Windows Phone 7 will be a miserable failure.  There are many countless reasons why it is going to epic fail, but here are some of the most important:

1) Microsoft doesn’t know mobile phones from a hole in the ground.  Just look at the current state of Windows Mobile.  It’s built on the Windows CE platform, created in 1996.  Yes.  Let me repeat.  Windows Mobile is based on a platform created in 1996.  Sure, the platform has seen updates, but it’s still based on a world created 13 years ago.  Back when Windows 98 was nothing but a dream.   Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows CE.  Yup.  Microsoft’s newest “cutting edge” Phone OS is STILL based on Windows CE.  They just couldn’t get rid of it.  Thanks Microsoft.  The same bullshit you’ve been jamming down our throats for the past how many years that has NEVER worked right is your platform for the next Windows Phone?  EPIC FAIL.

2) The Kin is a disgusting failure.  The Kin is running a hacked down version of Windows Phone 7.  Don’t believe me it sucks?  Here are a few quotes regarding the Kin and it’s abilities:

“…Lofty goals indeed for a product like this, and unfortunately for everyone, Microsoft misses the mark by a long shot. It’s not even close.”

“…we also take issue with the browser, which is abysmally slow and buggy (it consistently crashed while trying to load any complex web pages like Engadget), and the email client, which seemed to have trouble displaying even the most rudimentary HTML messages”

“While using the One and Two we found ourselves consistently confused or surprised by how many bad little interface problems there are. Not only does the phone make it hard to do simple tasks — and not only are the social networking features poorly implemented — but the handsets are often sluggish, hiccupy, and downright crash-prone. We were told by the devices on more than one occasion that we needed to restart (while performing basic tasks), and often it would just throw us a blank screen while we waited for the device to come back from whatever tragic internal situation was occurring”

That’s enough of that.  If you want to read more though, you can head over to Engadget’s review of the Kin One and Two.

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AT&T Fuze vs. iPhone

Note:  I’ve had this written since last week, just hadn’t posted it yet.  I kept going between posting it, or splitting this article up in to 2, 1 comparing hardware, 1 comparing software, because I feel like this article kind of meanders all over the place.  But I decided for my little blog site, this 1 massive post will do just fine.

Well, here it is.  The article thousands of people have been waiting for!  Ok, well probably no one… but here it is any way, my Fuze vs. iPhone comparison.  I wrote previously about why I went with another Windows Mobile phone over the iPhone, and now here is the comparison.

I’ve had the Fuze for over a week now and had time to get used to it and play with all of its features.

The iPhone is running 2.2 Firmware and has been Jailbroken.

The Fuze is running a custom Firmware.  Basically I’m running the AT&T leaked rom that is been modified.  The rom is the official AT&T update that is coming soon, but it was leaked out and people already have it.  I’m running a customized version that removes AT&T’s bullshit from it, an XDA-Developers member NotATreoFan (NATF) created.  It’s version 4.5 of his rom, which is Windows Mobile 6.1

My general feelings on the Fuze as of right now:  I LOVE IT.  This is one seriously kick ass phone.  It finally feels like a Windows Mobile device should be.  It is very fast, you can multi-task like crazy on it and it has a very nice, easy to use interface utilizing HTC’s TouchFlo 3D (which comes on the device, stock).

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A look at my Windows Mobile history

I recently bought an AT&T Fuze, the latest Windows Mobile powered device in the US.  It is in the mail right now and should be here next week some time.  When I get it I plan on doing a full on Fuze vs. iPhone comparison.  But before I get it, I just wanted to give a look at the history of the WM powered phones I’ve been using for the last 4-5 years and what made me decide to get another, even while around a year ago I wrote that it is broken beyond repair.

My first was the Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard).  It came with Windows Mobile 5 and I loved it at the time.  It did everything and did it decently.  When Windows Mobile 6 came out it was an excitting time, getting the latest hacked WM6 roms for the Wizard and all that entailed.  Over all I really liked the 8125 and I still believe that it was a BETTER device then the 8525 is.

The only issue I ever had with my 8125 is the screen drift issue, where you had to align the screen about every 2-3 days.  I eventually cracked the screen on it due to my own stupidity/anger at the drift issue.

I bought an AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) after that…. and this device has really turned me off of windows mobile in the last year or so.  Couple that with the fact that my work phone is an iPhone, I really had a hatred growing inside of me for WM.  I still believe in the post I wrote and that Windows Mobile is broken beyond repair.  What I mean by this is that if Microsoft wants to compete seriously with the iPhone, all WM base needs to be thrown out and they need to start over.

I don’t know what went wrong during the hardware design phase of the 8525 but someone some where really screwed the pooch.  This phone has really been nothing but problems with me since I first got it.  The device has always seemed to run SLOWER then my 8125 did, and it always seems to be having issues, ESPECIALLY lately.  Most recently the phone is locking up ALL the time on me and some days I’ll miss multiple calls and text messages because of this.

I believe part of the issues with the 8525 compared to the 8125 are due to the 8525’s under powered single processor.  The 8125 actually had 2 processors in it.  1 for the OS related tasks, and 1 that managed all the phone’s radio related tasks, like calls, data, and text messaging.  The 8525 does both OS and radio tasks on 1 400 mghz Samsung processor, and I believe this is where the 8525’s shit-factor really comes in to play.

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iPhone formatted version of my blog

Check out the new beautiful iPhone-formatted version of my site just for mobile Safari!

After an hour of messing around with my logo because my dumbass didn’t save the original source file when I originally made it, I got it looking just the way I want it. (And I’ve saved source files this time so if I ever need to play with my logo again it won’t be such a gigantor pain in the ass)

To see the special site you don’t need to do anything special.  Just browse my site from Safari on any iPhone or iPod Touch and you will automatically be served up the pretty version, complete with ajax-style menus 😎

It will even create a pretty icon for your iPhone’s home screen if you choose to add a link to my site to it (I’ll probably be the only person to ever do this, haha)

Screen shots after the break…

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iPhone 2.2 Jailbreakers, free up space from previous Jailbreaks!

I noticed that after my upgrade and reinstalling my apps I was missing a huge chunk of my free space.
I got to investigating and noticed that every folder in /private/var/stash was duplicated!  It appeared as though it still had my old folder from the first upgrade on there… as well as the newly made folders.
Some quick googling turned up this nugget of information:

I believe BigBoss is referring mostly to the extra directories under /private/var/stash. Each time Cydia runs “for the first time”, it moves and symlinks some directories there to ensure that the root partition doesn’t run out of space. If that was over your head, stop reading, and follow his instructions above.

Still with me? Okay, so first off it’s these directories that are showing as “Other” in iTunes. That’s fine, and it’s totally normal for there to be a decent amount of space showing that way.

The problem comes when Cydia runs again on the “Upgraded” device, and goes and creates all these directories over again, resulting in double the space consumed (though I personally didn’t see quite as much as 500mb).

If you are comfortable poking around *nix, the cleanup you asked about is generally straightforward. Just stroll over to /private/var/stash, do an ls -al and delete the older of any duplicate directories (Applications.23981, Applications.sidufh, etc.). If they have the same date, you’ll need to find for the symlink and see which one’s current.

As always, backup first, and if you brick your device, go back and follow BigBoss’ instructions above. 😛

So I deleted the old duplicate folders that didn’t need to be there any more and got back over 800mb of free space!!

I’ve some screen shots so you get what I’m talking about…

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