For more on at&t Network issues, check out the following:
Why or why not to tether your computer to iPhone

More at&t connection issues

Network issues, who's at fault... Not At&t!

Welcome to Las Vegas
Your 3G experience stops here (if you use AT&T, that is)

Each and every year the (Consumer Electronics Show) swoops down on the Las Vegas area. The largest convention of the year in Las Vegas brings upwards of 120,000 people from all over the world to sin city, and with it comes traffic of all sorts, including on our cell phone networks.


The very first time I experienced a dropped call was when my iPhone failed to connect during the 2009 CES last year.

Flash forward a year and bring millions of more advanced devices onto the network that do more and more data intensive duties (upload photos, videos, as well as even make the odd phone call) and you congest the network.


With so many devices on the network, it's no question whether or not it will feel stress. The question up until today has been how much this would impact full AT&T subscribers who will share the data road will untold thousands of new users.

Below are several screenshots of the network today (01/07/10 the first day of CES) brought to you by speedtest.net iPhone app.

Before running these tests I restarted my phone to ensure a blank slate. I then immediately put the phone into airplane mode and then disabled 3g turn the phone mode back on and tested in edge. I did the same thing for 3g testing.

I tested outdoors at 3667 las Vegas blvd s. Across the street from brand new buildings with brand new cell towers in them. Literally on the middle of the strip

On edge the tests top out around 3kbit/second which is laughable

3G Network:
These numbers tell the tale.
I wish that I could have had better numbers. I tested this three times in a row.



What can he said? AT&T has issues. Las Vegas is always a problem but special events such as this showcase the failure on a magnitude that should never have to occur.

For the record, friends running unlocked iphones with tmobile service are getting edge speeds as fast as my 3g speeds.

But let's let AT&T simply keep up thier rule. Eventually the iPhone will land on verizon wireless and we will see if that network can handle the extra stress that millions of data hogs can bring

I know technology is big news when my wife texts or calls me about it.
While I knew that the Google Nexus One was being launched today (January 5th, 2010) I saw it on all the usual places (Twitter, cnet, engadget) it never really hit me until my wife texted me:

"iPhone vs super phone by google???"

I live in Las Vegas, and the CES convention is starting in two days. Google decided to get a leg up on the event and launch their biggest gamble in some time early, before the very first CES keynote was started. The gamble could pay off or prove to be just another Google side project.

Take a look at the specs, they are very impressive and listed below and you can see why people are excited.

But has it ever occured to anyone why with the Android OS 2.1 and most powerful hardware ever crammed into a phone that the Nexus One (or is that "NexusOne") may fail?

The old addage KISS comes to mind.
In most cases KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid, and if Apple is a little less worried than we may think they ought to be, there may very well be a good reason.

Hint: it's all in the software.


When the original iPhone was released, there was no AppStore. The phone launched with almost the same featureset the NexusOne comes with out of the box:

-Full web browser
-Productivity apps (calculator, notepad etc)
-Phone functions (phone, SMS etc)

When the Appstore opened however, the iPhone became an instant all in one super device. It could play games and do so much more. With each version of iPhone (currently 3.1.2) the device keeps getting better, but more importantly the app restrictions apple had in place get looser.

The Nexus One has better hardware out of the box, but hardware alone does not sell the device to consumers, software is what sells. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will tell you that.

Even seven months after the release of the considerably more powerful iPhone 3gs, there are literally less than a dozen out of thousands of apps that use the superior graphics tech of the newest idevice. They cater to the masses, the iPhone 2g and 3g consumers.
Why? Because it is about the software!


This is not a story of apple vs google as much as it is the AppStore vs google.
If google plans to win, they need to deliver a simple way for developers to quickly port over apps already on the apple AppStore to the android store. The lack of a multitouch screen on the Nexus One ensures that direct ports of most full fledged action and sports games (some of the the most profitable on the AppStore) will be less than simple.

If anyone can pull it off, it is google. The question remains how they market the new "superphone."

The Droid tried it's best to point out how it was technically much more powerful than the iPhone but failed to sell and be the true "iPhone killer" that it's backers hoped.

In fact, it may be better to market the Nexus One as "Nexus does what iPhone does... But slightly faster."

Let the battle begin!

Nexus One vs. Droid vs. iPhone
(click to enlarge)

Earlier on today I was inspired by a post on ten years of web design evolution which i highly recommend you check out.
It was an eye opener how things can change over the course of a decade.

Along with the internet, mobile devices have also become considerably more user friendly, powerful and useful over the years.

Here is a quick overview of the different devices which have been important over the past ten years, and why:

1. Nokia 7110
Released: October 1999

Although this handset was released in late 1999, I am including it because it is the first that featured a WAP browser. This allowed people to browse special formatted WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) formatted websites. Practical for almost nothing at first, and then email and banking sites and some web portals later.
This phone has a spring loaded slider, inspired by the modified Nokia 8110 used in the film The Matrix. Nokia handsets were at the time the most popular worldwide, and this phone was a very big seller.

2. Sony Ericsson T68m/T68i
Released: Late 2001/Early 2002

One of the most feature rich phones released in the early part of the decade, this was the first Sony Ericsson screen with a color screen and an at the time impressive 101x80 resolution and 256 colors (the iPhone has a 480x320 and millions of colors). Not only was it one of the first phones on the market with color MMS as well as bluetooth capability and a tri-band antenna which made it a nearly truly "global" handset.
The original phone was launched as the Ericsson T68m and had no camera at all. After the Sony/Ericsson merger, the phone was given an important upgrade; a camera as an optional upgrade. It was relaunched as the T68i and given a full email client as well.
The phone was considered an early example of stealth marketing as Sony Ericsson paid actors to pose as tourists and asked them to take photos of them with the phone.

3. Danger Hiptop
Released: October 2002

If you were a T-Mobile USA customer, this phone was known to you as the Sidekick.
What made the Danger Hiptop different?
The difference was everywhere. From the large screen to the easy to navigate menus (you could quickly move around the menu system without exposing the keyboard), to the full qwerty keyboard, the phone was obviously made for multimedia, and gave parents everywhere a shock when they saw that SMS could cost money, and service providers the world over a good reason to begin to offer SMS packages, moving away from the "cell phone means minutes" model they had used for years.
Eventually this handset became popular with celebrities and even more popular with teens the world over. The screen was upgraded to color and the line still exists today.

4. Palm Treo 600

Released June 2003

Before the Palm Pre, there was the Palm Treo.
Before there was a Palm OS operated phone, there was a Palm OS operated PDA (personal digital assistant). Make no mistake, the Treo was the iPhone of its time.
The Palm Teo was the first merger of PDA and mobile phone giving business users a good excuse to throw out one of their two devices and use just one.
The handset includes a 0.3 megapixel camera and has fully functioning email, web browsing, and office applications. It also has a touch screen as do all Palm devices, however touchscreen technology at the time was limited to LCD screens with limited colors.

This handset was also manufactured by Handspring, which was later purchased by Palm and rebranded as Palm.

5. Motorolla Razr
Released late 2004/early 2005

How do you make a piece of technology a fashion statement? Market it as an exclusive and "must have" type of item, and charge a large ammount for the "privilage" of having one (sound familliar original iPhone first day customers?).

The Razr was marketed as an exclusive phone. There was even a limited edition Dolce & Gabanna gold Razr which came with a charm to attach to the phone.

What made the phone so popular? Was it the most powerful on the market? Hadrly. It did browser the mobile web, took photos and some versions took video. It ran Java based games and applications, and there were also international versions that had the Motorolla Rockr version of iTunes installed. It also had a bad habit of locking up during use requiring the battery to be removed (not all users suffered this), however this phone was all about the style. To have one was to say that you were fashionable. At least that was the case until 2006, by which time Motorolla had sold nearly 50,000,000 Razr handsets world wide.

6. Blackberry 7290
Released 2005

Welcome to Push.
Before 2005, the internet was a manual experience. Users would have to manually open a web page on a mobile browser or mail application and manually check for mail. Push notifications would solve all of this as mail was sent to devices the instant that it was sent to the incoming mail server. This was the last step enterprise (read: businesses) needed to be able to finally efficiently roll out mobile email, and until this date Blackberry remains the handset of choice for enterprise. iPhone and other devices have started to utilize the same push technology as the Blackberry, but the full QWERTY keyboards and predictive text made way for the ultimate email machine, giving it the name "crackberry" amongst its fans and detractors alike, the Blackberry 7290 was truly the first handset to show us what a mobile handset could do for business.

7. iPhone
Released 2007

If the story behind the iPhone is true, someone at Verizon Wireless has lost his or her job.
The story goes that Steve Jobs went to the largest data network in the United States and offered them a new type of handset, one dedicated to browsing the internet without the limitations of WAP, sending text messages and email, all while including mobile maps, and a full iPod built in.
Verizon turned Apple down and the phone was pitched to At&t with the rest history.
The iPhone is the first entry into the mobile phone market for Apple. It's critics decry it's lack of Adobe Flash in its Safari web browser and strict limitations on Applicaions available, while its proponents consider it as close to perfection as a mobile device can come.
In either case, it is very hard to argue how much this one device has changed the landscape. In a mere two years since its launch there are now dozens of other touch screen phones, and operating systems fit to compete with Apple (the Google Android and Palm Pre platforms come to mind) and only better the industry.

In The End, We All Win

Technology has launched itself so far in a mere ten years.
Chances are that every person you keep in touch with has a phone which is far "smarter" than that which was available only a few years ago.
Looking at this list shows how far we have come and only we can guess how we may end up, and how we will get there.

Do You Sync?
Alternatives to a Tethered iPhone

By Steven J. Campbell

A funny thing occured to me over the Christmas and New Years Holiday.
I realized that although I have been using the same iPhone for months, I have not synced the phone with iTunes a single time.

But what if you are unable to get to a computer? More specifically YOUR computer which is required to sync the phone?

In this post, we look at your alternatives to syncing.


Lets be honest here, I may not be the typical iPhone user. But even the first time user can get by without a sync with these tools and alternative methods.

When you sync you are transferring data to and from your phone and computer.
This data is:

-Contact information
-Calendar events and appointments
-Any music added to your computers iTunes library or purchased on your iPhone from the iTunes music store
-Any apps downloaded on your pc through iTunes or purchased on the iPhones own AppStore.

The aim is to SYNC(hronize) your iPhone and iTunes on your computer, to make them look the same.


Here are some ways to avoid syncing your device.


I listen to music on my iPhone. I listen to plenty of music.
I have no music stored on my iPhone, but I manage to listen to music all the time.

Pandora iTunes link

Pandora should be the first app that any user installs on thier iPhone. For those unfamiliar with the app, Pandora is a free open sourced music project which aims to deliver music to the masses.
Simply tell Pandora a song or artist you like and it will do it's best to play that song/artist and others like it.It is 100% free up to 40 hours a month and then only $1.00 for the rest of the month afterwards.

Honorable mentions:

Last.fm (iTunes link) is a good app that functions much like Pandora.
Aol radio (iTunes link) allows streaming radio from the hundreds if stations owned by CBS across the United States.

Another option for jailbroken iPhone users is imuzik, which allows you to download tracks directly to your iPhone. The app is not legal at all. Not only does it work only on jailbroken iPhones but it downloads completely illegal mp3 files to your device.
A full review of iMuzik can be found here.


Google provides an alternative to the iPhone calendar app.  You can read about how to use Microsoft Exchange with Google to sync all of your contacts to the Internet.
For step by step instructions, click here


The only solution I can think of is not free. It is to use Apple's own MobileMe service to backup your contacts. This will also back up your calendar and mail. It creates a mirrored image of your phone online. If you ever lose your phone either to theft or damage, your data is always safe.

MobileMe is not free. Apple will give you a two month trial with a $99 regular annual fee.
In many ways it is worth every dollar.


Apps and podcasts are restricted on thr iPhone. If on the cellular network (edge or 3G) you may not download anything larger than 10mb in size. This limits large amounts of bandwidth being used over the cellular network.

If you need to download large files, you have two options however one requires a jailbroken device

A) connect to a wifi network. This is simple and allows you full access to any app or download, regardless of size

B) If you are jailbroken you can use an app called "3G Unrestrictor" which is available for a one time fee of $2.00 from the cydia store. It allows you to fool your phone into downloading any size file from the app store or podcast from the iTunes store.

Apps do not need to be synced. They may simply stay on your device. Most podcasts are listened to on your iPhone and can also be deleted on the iPhone without connecting to a pc or mac.


I manage to survive without syncing my iPhone and so can you if you are willing to experiment a little and live the Apple slogan from 1997-2002