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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 PERFECT STORM TO KILL A DATA NETWORK
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.
IT'S THE NETWORK
GSM + CES= DISASTER
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
These numbers tell the tale.
I wish that I could have had better numbers. I tested this three times in a row.
SERVER SETTINGS ETC:
WHAT ELSE TO SAY?
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.
THE APPSTORE VS HARDWARE
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!
THE APPSTORE VS GOOGLE
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:
Released: October 1999
Do You Sync?
Alternatives to a Tethered iPhone
By Steven J. Campbell
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.
WHAT YOU SYNC, WHEN YOU SYNC
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:
-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.
HOW TO NOT SYNC
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.
(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.
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
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.
IN THE END
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