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iPhone MMS send failure fix

I woke up last Friday morning, just like everyone else, looking forward to finally getting MMS on my iPhone 3GS. However, for some of us, the excitement turned into dismay when the MMS update didn't work.

Users were discussing the issue under the topic MMS message send failure on Apple support forums. I was experiencing the problem and initially I could not fix it--even after spending more than 2 hours on the phone with Apple and AT&T. Today I decided to take a new approach and I found an ironically simple fix for this problem that we … Read more

Apple digging into iPhone 3GS battery issues, users say

Battery issues with the iPhone 3GS have led Apple to contact some customers to get first-hand reports on what may be causing premature draining, according to users on Apple's forums and the iPhone Blog enthusiast site.

Apple's discussion boards have been buzzing with users complaining about poor battery life with the iPhone 3GS, which was released in June.

In some cases, users on the forums say the battery is draining while the iPhone is on standby. Other users say that after charging the battery overnight, it mysteriously drains after sending a couple of text messages or e-mails. Turning … Read more

Samsung's 'Apple' chip rides iPhone market gains

Query: Who makes the Apple-branded chip in the iPhone? Answer: Samsung. This nontrivial detail translated into smartphone chip market share gains for Samsung in the second quarter, according to iSuppli.

The iPhone, largely due to the popularity of the 3GS model, accounted for 13.9 percent of global smartphone shipments in the second quarter, up from 10.1 percent in the first quarter, according to iSuppli. As a result, Samsung accounted for 15.9 percent of global revenue from sales of standalone applications processors. An applications processor is roughly analogous to the main Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processor in … Read more

Apple explains iPhone OS 3.1 Exchange changes

iPhone and iPhone 3G users hit a roadblock last week trying to login to Exchange 2007 servers after upgrading to iPhone OS 3.1.

Because the problems began with the latest update, it may seem reasonable to assume that the update is to blame, but it's not. In fact, everything is working exactly how it's supposed to be, according to Apple.

"iPhone OS 3.1 is working properly with Exchange Server 2007," Apple representative Natalie Harrison told CNET News. "We added device encryption information to the data that can be managed by IT administrators using … Read more

A utility suite for cheap and Madden football: iPhone apps of the week

Have you updated your iPhone to version 3.1 yet? Among the fixes and feature enhancements in the latest update, Apple added the Genius feature (formerly found in iTunes) to the App Store. Like its iTunes counterpart, Genius for iPhone apps looks at the apps you have on your iPhone and makes recommendations for apps you might like. I should point out that you need to digitally agree to Apple's terms and conditions, which you should read carefully before turning the feature on. The potentially objectionable part (that I have no objection to) is that Apple will track information, … Read more

Better data signal required

So far, we've tested four flat-fee GPS applications for the iPhone with built-in offline maps: Navigon, iGo My Way, TomTom, and CoPilot Live. They all have their pros and cons, but they share a few common shortcomings: a lack of real-time traffic, no support for text-to-speech (except for Navigon with its recent update), and outdated maps.

We've just finished testing a GPS navigation app that offers all of those previously unavailable features: the AT&T Navigator (version 1.2i.5). The catch? It doesn't have built-in maps (meaning you will need a working data connection to … Read more

Road test: AT&T Navigator GPS iPhone application

So far I've tested four flat-fee GPS applications for the iPhone with built-in offline maps: Navigon, iGo My Way, TomTom, and CoPilot Live. They all have pros and cons, but they share a few common shortcomings: a lack of real-time traffic, no support for text-to-speech (except for Navigon with its recent update), and outdated maps.

I've just finished testing a GPS navigation app that offers all of those previously unavailable features: the AT&T Navigator (version 1.2i.5). The catch? It doesn't have built-in maps (meaning you will need a working data connection to download the maps in real time) and it requires a monthly subscription of $10. The app itself is free.

This is one of the first GPS navigation applications made for the iPhone. It's actually a product by TeleNav and is also available for other cell carriers, including Sprint and Alltel.

Unlike the other aforementioned apps that take an hour or so to download using Wi-Fi, the AT&T Navigator has no built-in maps and therefore is a snap to install on the iPhone, even via a 3G or Edge connection. This makes it a perfect quick add-on when you suddenly need a GPS navigator.

The app also launches very quickly, taking just a second or two on my iPhone 3GS. When it can (more on this later), it also picks up GPS signals very fast. After about a week of use, I can say I really like the real-time traffic updates--which warn you both onscreen and audibly--and the text-to-speech features. This is especially helpful when you are in a unfamiliar town.

However, I found out that the traffic updates are available mostly for freeways only, unlike Google Maps, which offer them all the way down to street level for major cities.… Read more

Faster AT&T 3G on its way, slowly

Since I got my iPhone 3GS a couple of months ago, I've been wondering when I would really benefit from its highly anticipated faster 3G capability. I finally got the answer, and as it turns out, the wait is far from over.

AT&T announced Wednesday details of its rollout plans for High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 3G technology. This is the next generation of 3G, and it offers up to 7.2Mbps data connection speeds (as opposed to the 2Mbps and 3.6Mbps of the current 3G).

(This is, of course, just the theoretical number. Typical real-world downlink and uplink speeds will likely be less than that depending on location, device, and overall traffic on the local wireless network at a given time. Nonetheless, this promises a significant boost. HSPA 7.2 is part of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies, which include GSM, UMTS, and the Emerging LTE technology. HSPA 7.2 offers backward-compatibility, meaning it also works with existing 3G and 2G devices at the lower device-specific speed.)

According to the announcement, the new speed will be available by the end of the year. Unfortunately, it's available only in six cities in the U.S., including Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; and Miami. This means the rest of the country, including the San Francisco Bay Area where I am, must continue to wait.

It's unclear how long the wait will be for the rest of the cities, but the company says it plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to reach about 90 percent of its existing 3G network footprint with HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2011.

While this is rather sad news for me, for most people it won't mean much, as chances are your phone is not compatible with the higher 3G speed. Currently, the iPhone 3GS is the only HSPA 7.2-ready smartphone I know that AT&T offers.

However, AT&T assures that it will offer more compatible devices with the rollout of HSPA 7.2. The company expects to have six HSPA 7.2-compatible smartphones in its device portfolio by the end of the year, as well as two new LaptopConnect cards.

The rollout of HSPA 7.2 is part of AT&T's plan to invest some $18 billion this year, of which more than two-thirds is going toward broadband and wireless. Key projects of this investment include, in AT&T's words:… Read more

Road test: CoPilot Live navigation app for iPhone

CoPilot Live is the fourth turn-by-turn GPS application with offline built-in maps for all of North America that I have on my iPhone 3GS. After Navigon, iGo My Way, and TomTom, I thought there would be nothing new I could find in a navigation app. I was wrong.

CoPilot Live offers a quick way to switch between modes of travel, which include auto, RV, motorcycle, biking, and walking. This makes the app ideal for getting around town, especially, say, if you need to change from driving a car to walking. The Navigon app offers a similar option, but you have to dig pretty deep into the menu to change your travel mode. With CoPilot you can do this anytime, even in the middle of an existing route, just via a few taps.

Another nice thing about CoPilot is the Live Services option, which includes Live Weather and Live Link. Live Weather lets you see local weather or weather in a different city. Live Link connects CoPilot Live users, allowing them to send messages or share locations. I wasn't able to try this out as I was the only one I know who used the app during the testing.

The Live Services option, of course, requires an Internet connection and is only available when there's a cellular or Wi-Fi signal. Unfortunately, the most anticipated feature that also requires an Internet connection, the real-time traffic option, is not yet available, though there's a placeholder for it within the Live Services section of the app. According to ALK Technologies, maker of the CoPilot Live, this service will be added via an update that's coming out by the end of the month and costs another $20 per year, on top of the current $35 flat fee for the app. No other flat-free iPhone GPS apps with offline maps currently offer real-time traffic.

Also missing is the text-to-speech feature, where the app would read out the name of the street. Nonetheless, the app has a wide selection of voices for you to choose from. It includes voices of 29 languages, each with a few options of accents, both male and female. It's probably the most versatile GPS app for the iPhone in terms of languages it supports. … Read more

Augmented reality on iPhone: Secretly inside Yelp

The hot trend of 2009 has to be augmented reality, particularly with all the impressive tech demos and futuristic games currently in development across the world.

On the iPhone in particular, several companies have promised Twittering, search, and other navigation using layers of real-time data overlaid onto live video from the iPhone's camera. Imagine a heads-up display on reality itself, and that's what augmented reality is promising.

Apple has been onboard with these developments, promising that the upcoming OS 3.1 will provide full compatibility for AR apps. But it turns out we don't need to wait … Read more