iPhone 4 to receive new coat of paint tomorrow

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on April 27th, 2011

The day has finally arrived. Apple figured out how to make an iPhone 4 a color other than black. In June 2010 at WWDC Apple announced the latest version of the iPhone and showed off the beautiful hardware in two colors: black and white. Claiming manufacturing problems, the company delayed the launch of the white model on numerous occasions, to the point where everyone started to suspect Jobs & co. would simply wait for iPhone 5 to introduce the new hue. Well now we can all put those worries to rest; today Apple released a press statement (located after the break) saying that the white iPhone will arrive in stores tomorrow, April 28 around the world.

Says Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing: “The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful. We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.”

And here are the deets: White iPhone 4 models will be available from Apple’s online store, at Apple’s retail stores, AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers. The following countries will see phantom handset in their stores starting tomorrow: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and the US. Besides change in color, the hardware remains the same as the black model and so does pricing: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB–on contract with a wireless carrier.

Hip hip….now when’s iPhone 5 coming out?

[Via Apple] (Click here for more…)

Verizon iPhone launch information

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on February 5th, 2011

The Verizon iPhone is almost here. Here’s the scoop on how to get yours.

During the wee morning hours of Thursday, February 3, Verizon Wireless allowed its current subscriber base to preorder the Verizon iPhone 4 on a first-come, first-served basis. After the first two hours of the preorder window (precisely between 3AM and 5AM) VZW ceased online orders of the phone due to high demand and ended the most successful first day sales in the history of the company. Missed out on this opportunity? Not a current VZW customers? Read on.

Beginning Wednesday, February 9, you can order the phone through the Apple Store online for delivery OR reserve it for in-store pick up beginning Thursday, February 10. At at 7AM local time on Thursday the 10th, run–don’t walk–to a brick-and-mortar Apple Store to purchase the phone; they’ll be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  On launch day you’ll also find the phone being sold at over 2,000 Verizon Wireless Stores (also starting at 7AM), Best Buy, select Wal-Mart stores, and online at verizonwireless.com and apple.com. Verizon’s got a nice Special Upgrade Offer happening right now; it’ll help you save money on purchasing an iPhone if you bought your latest handset between 11/26 and 1/10.

Got it? Good. Starting brewing some coffee now and prepare for the online and retail insanity to begin. The day you’ve been dreaming about is just around the corner.

[Via Engadget, here & here]

The Verizon iPhone is coming…let the marketing blitz begin

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on January 23rd, 2011

There’s another waiting after the break.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

iPhone comes to Verizon at long last

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on January 11th, 2011

The most frequently asked tech question since 2007: When will the iPhone come to Verizon? Four years and four device iterations later, Verizon and Apple have finally announced that the best smartphone has landed on the nation’s most reliable network.  The iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless.  The facts: On February 10 the iPhone 4 will be available for Verizon; $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299.99 for the 32GB variant, new two-year contract required.  It will be available to purchase VZW Stores, Apple Stores, online at their respective websites, and at Apple Authorized Resellers.  Qualified Verizon Wireless customers will have the exclusive opportunity to preorder the iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability; if you’re currently a VZW customer check your pricing eligibility here.

The iPhone 4 and iOS 4 coming to Verizon is essentially the exact same hardware and software that’s been available on AT&T.  Here are the four differences: (1) The external antenna array has been slightly altered so that the device can properly run on Verizon’s CDMA network (as opposed to AT&T’s GSM network).  The only aesthetic change is one extra black notch located above the silent switch; note that this notch pushes down the silent switch and volume buttons just a bit, so new cases will have to be manufactured to properly fit that.  It’s too early to tell if the death grip issue has been totally resolved in the new device, but Apple’s Tim Cook is confident that “it’s going to work great.”  (2) The VZW iPhone 4 will act as a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to five devices.  Inside Settings users will have the option to switch on Personal Hotspot to share the phone’s Internet connection with other WiFi enabled devices including laptops and tablets.  This new functionality is built into iOS 4.2.5, so there is a possibility it might carry over to AT&T’s version of the phone at some point.  (3) Simultaneous voice and data is not supported on Verizon’s CDMA network, so new iPhone owners will not be able to access the Internet while making a call (or vice-versa); +1 for AT&T’s network which can simultaneously hold a voice/data connection.  (4) No global roaming support; again, advantage AT&T.  Full PR after the break.

And there you have it.  The Verizon iPhone has finally made it to fruition.  Now what should you do?  If your current contract is up and you’re due for a new phone, I advise not to purchase the VZW iPhone 4 this February. What am I crazy?  No, actually, not really.  Here’s the deal.  Every summer since 2007 Apple has shipped a new iPhone device, so you can expect iPhone 5 to be revealed in the coming months with a late June or July release. Since Apple decided to stay conservative with today’s announcement, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that the next iteration of iPhone will pack support for Verizon’s super fast 4G LTE network, among other hardware updates. You’ve waited this long for iPhone to hit Verizon; what’s another five months?  Think about it.

[Via Apple; Verizon] (Click here for more…)

Skype brings video calling to the iPhone

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 30th, 2010

Today Skype updated its official iPhone app and version 3.0 brings with it video calling over WiFi and 3G.  Two-way Skype-to-Skype video calling can take place between two phones and between phones and computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux) at no charge.  In addition to the iPhone 4, the app is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS, the newest iPod touch, the third gen iPod touch, and the iPad all running iOS 4.0 or higher.  Since the latter two devices do not feature back and front-facing cameras they are restricted to only receiving video.  And note that since the 3GS does not pack a front-facing camera it will only broadcast video from the back-facing camera.

I gave the app a test drive and it worked flawlessly…over WiFi, that is.  With that stable connection I was able to successfully connect to a desktop Skype client and video chatting worked as advertised.  With the iPhone 4 you have the option to broadcast video from the front-facing camera and switch it to the back one on the fly, as well as options to mute the conversation and switch between portrait and landscape modes.  When I disabled WiFi and attempted an iPhone 4-to-desktop video chat the video appeared noticeably more pixelated and laggy until it decided to cut out completely and drop the call.  But that’s 3G for you; heck, at least it works.

The free Skype update is available to download now at the App Store.  Apple might have had a leg up on the video conferencing competition with FaceTime since iPhone 4’s introduction, but with Mac and Windows support–plus 3G support–plus a giant user base in the millions–Skype is enabling the futuristic functionality for a significantly larger community of iOS users.  Press release and (creepy) introductory demonstration video after the break.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

Today in Apple news: iOS 4.2, Apple TV 4.1 get unleashed; MobileMe Find My iPhone feature goes free

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 22nd, 2010

If you are a proud owner of an iOS device today is your lucky day.  Apple has finally unleashed iOS 4.2, and it brings oh-so-much to the aging iPad and a handful of sweet features to the iPhone and iPod touch.  Here’s the laundry list of new features coming to the iPad: multitasking, folders (you can store up to 20 apps inside a folder), Game Center, and updates to Mail (Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching, a threaded message view).  In other words, it’s playing catch up with the iPhone and touch.  Also bear in mind that the physical toggle switch on the iPad’s side no longer acts as an orientation lock; now it’s a mute switch, just like it is on the iPhone.  The lock has been moved to the dock tray that also houses the iPod controls.  With the new update, all iOS devices will gain the ability to find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari, select new fonts in Notes, beam video and audio with AirPlay, and print wirelessly with AirPrint.  Let’s talk about the latter two new features because they are exciting additions.  With AirPlay you can stream music, video, and photos wirelessly from your iOS device to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers.  On the video front, you can only stream files you’ve purchased from iTunes (or managed to convert to make playable in iTunes) and from YouTube.  If you try to beam video content from Netflix or the ABC app, for example, only the audio will cross over.  Bummer, I know.  If you want to print wirelessly with AirPrint, you must own a compatible printer; Apple says HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro, and HP Officejet will be the first to support it.  iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch, and the latest iPod touch.  You’ll be prompted to update the next time you open iTunes.

Right on cue Apple TV owners received the 4.1 firmware update today, granting them the ability to harness the power of AirPlay.  That is, of course, if they also own a compatible iOS device.

Last, the MobileMe Find My iPhone feature no longer requires a MobileMe subscription to access and use.  Apple has turned it into an app, and it’s available in the App Store today.  In case you forgot, Find My iPhone helps you locate your missing device on a detailed map.  You can also have it display a message or play a sound to make finding your missing device easier.  And if you are forced to give up the search, you can remotely lock or wipe data from the lost device.  The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).

Look after the break for Apple’s PR.

[Via Engadget, herehere] (Click here for more…)

Oh, oh it’s magic: Watch the iPhone OS run on a 58-inch multitouch table

Posted in Design,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on November 3rd, 2010

A group of tinkerers have devised a way to hook up an iPhone 4 to a large multitouch surface to display and interact with the device’s interface like you’ve never seen before.  Making “Table Connect for iPhone” work is super simple.  All you need is a jailbroken iPhone 4 running a dedicated app, a 30-pin dock connector cable, and of course that gorgeous 58-inch multitouch table.  The iPhone plugs right into the 30-pin connector located at the base of the table and “immediately after it is attached, the magic starts to happen,” says the creators.  Watch said magic unfold in the video above, and look in the gallery below for some mockup stills.  For an alpha firmware the transition appears to be buttery smooth.

[Via TableConnectforiPhone; Engadget]

The white iPhone 4 promo Apple doesn’t want you to see

Posted in Hilarity,Video by Scott Meisner on November 2nd, 2010

So we all know the white iPhone 4 isn’t coming.  So it’s finally time to laugh hard about it.  “Once you go black, you never go back…because you don’t have that option.”

[Via Gizmodo; iPhoneSavior]

White iPhone 4 delayed, again; is it dead and gone?

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on October 27th, 2010

After announcing two delays already, Apple has gone ahead and delayed the oft-delayed white iPhone 4 once again.  Due to manufacturing problems, the white iPhone 4 has been delayed to spring 2011.  I know what you’re thinking–by then a brand new iPhone will have been announced and perhaps even released!  Good thinking, because that is highly likely.  Hours after Reuters spilled the beans on a third delay, Boy Genius Report has a source that claims the iPhone 4 will never be coated in white and that the color option has been cancelled.  No matter the outcome–delay or cancellation–if you’ve been holding out to get the white iPhone it’s time to call it quits and give in to the black model.  Don’t worry, it won’t bite.

[Via Gizmodo; Reuters; BGR]

Eligible for a free iPhone 4 case? Here’s how you get it.

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 30th, 2010

With the fiasco dubbed Antennagate behind us now, it’s time to embrace iPhone 4 with all its advantages and disadvantages and move on.  At the impromptu press conference two weeks ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that all iPhone 4 owners (who purchase their phones before September 30) are eligible to get a free Apple Bumper or third-party case.  The free case is the solution for your antenna woes; it will cover the vulnerable spot at the lower left corner.  Here’s how you go about applying for a case:

1. Download the iPhone 4 Case Program app from the App Store.
2. Launch the app on your iPhone 4 and sign in using your iTunes Store account or Apple ID.
3. Select your Bumper or case.

For iPhone 4 purchases made before July 23, 2010, you must apply no later than August 22, 2010; otherwise, you must apply within 30 days of your iPhone 4 purchase. To qualify for this program, you must purchase your iPhone 4 by September 30, 2010.

It’s that simple, really.  All cases come in black only and they include Apple Bumper, Incase Snap Case, Belkin Shield Micra, Griffin Motif, Griffin Reveal, Speck Fitted, and Speck PixelSkin HD.  There’s a 3-5 week wait for delivery, so sit tight!

If you purchased an Apple Bumper when you picked up your iPhone 4 at an Apple Store with a credit card, you will receive an automatic refund on your card if you haven’t already (you are notified by email).  If you paid with cash you must bring the receipt to the Apple Store to get a refund by 9/30.  If you bought one at an AT&T store you can receive a refund if you fill out and send this rebate coupon by 9/30.

[Via Apple; Engadget]

Taiwanese news outlet tells the story of iPhone 4’s woes the only way it can

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 22nd, 2010

..with Sims-like animations!  Taiwan’s NMA News is back again to shed some light on what’s being dubbed “Antennagate”, the negative firestorm surrounding the iPhone 4.  You don’t have to understand the language to find this news coverage over-the-top, absurd, and yet so right about everything.  I mean, who can complain about their animated coverage concerning the Conan O’Brien vs. Jay Leno debacle and the Tiger Woods scandal?

[Via Gizmodo]

Cell phone makers respond to Jobs’ claims surrounding Antennagate [Update: Apple throws Moto’s Droid X into the mix]

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 22nd, 2010

Last week Apple CEO Steve Jobs held a press conference to address the iPhone 4 deathgrip situation.  During the presentation he spit out phrases like “phones aren’t perfect” and claimed that the antenna problem is “a challenge for the entire industry.”  To provide factual evidence to back these statements, Jobs showcased videos of the iPhone 3GS, BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, and Samsung Omnia II all dropping their signal strength when gripped in a certain way.  (Apple uploaded these videos to their YouTube page.)  Over the course of the next few days following the press conference, RIM, HTC, Samsung, and Nokia shared their thoughts on the matter.  You can be sure they did not take Apple’s “all smartphones have weak spots” accusation lightly.

The first cell phone manufacturer to counter-attack Apple’s claims was Nokia, a company Apple interestingly did not make an example of at the press conference.  Though they agree with the fact that “antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held”, a non-direct jab at Apple comes later in the statement:  “… we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.”  Since Apple did not mention Nokia during the presentation, Nokia kindly left Apple out of their brief statement.  Little did they know that Apple would post a video of the Nokia N97 Mini getting deathgripped on their YouTube site just four days later.

Now let’s hear what the other cell phone makers had to say about their honorary mention.  RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie start the statement off like this: “Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable.”  Other choice quotes:  “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.”  ..  “One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity.”  Yeah, they just said that.

Things cool down a bit with the reactions from HTC and Samsung.  In an exclusive statement to Pocket-lint, HTC’s Eric Lin compared the Droid Eris’ complaint rate to iPhone 4’s.  At the conference, Jobs said that over 0.55 percent of iPhone 4 customers called AppleCare to complain about the antenna problem to date.  Lin shared that “approximately .016% of customers” feel the need to call in about Droid Eris antenna-related issues.  That’s around 34x lower then Apple’s rate.  Although HTC has yet to push out more formal response to the debacle, I’d say they win the point on this one.  Samsung rounds things out with a terse reply saying that the Omnia II’s antenna is located at the bottom of the device, a logical “design [that] keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna.”  Look after the break for the full statements from Nokia, RIM, and Samsung.

All in all I believe that these cell phone makers are justified in responding to Apple’s “Antennagate” mess.  It may be true that most smartphones have weak spots, but it was an obvious design flaw on Apple’s part to both place that spot where a hand is apt to grip the device and point out its exact position with a black strip.  And to reiterate RIM’s closing words, all of these other smartphones do not require a case to function properly.  Handing out free cases is a temporary fix.  To remedy a hardware problem a new, better design must be conjured up.  When it comes time for Apple to reevaluate the situation in September, I hope they have a more permanent fix in the works.

Update: Today (7/26) Apple posted yet another video in attempt to prove that the antenna problem affects most smartphones.  This time around it’s Motorola’s Droid X, one of Verizon’s current flagship phones.  Watch the bars drop from 3 to 0 after the break.

[Via Engadget, here, here, here, here & here] (Click here for more…)

Apple’s answer to iPhone 4 deathgrippers: free cases

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 16th, 2010

Today Apple held a press conference to address the iPhone 4 antenna problem that’s been making waves in the news recently.  Just to recap, the antenna problem occurs when an iPhone 4 user grips the lower left side of the phone.  AT&T signal strengh drops from five bars to none at a rapid rate when the user touches and/or grips that specific part of the phone.  An official statement from Apple advised users to hold their phones differently or slap on a case.  A case would cover the vulnerable lower left side and result in better signal strength during day-to-day use.  Today Jobs announced that Apple will begin offering their Bumper case for free for all iPhone 4 owners who purchase their device before September 30.  In regards to extending the free case offer Apple says they will evaluate the situation again in late September.  If you’ve already purchased a Bumper case, you can receive a full refund on it.  Since Apple cannot manufacture enough Bumpers fast enough, they will offer a choice of free cases to choose from (these have not been specified yet).  Starting late next week you can apply for a free case at Apple’s online store.  And if you’re totally unsatisfied with your purchase you can get a full refund on the phone; Apple’s got a 30 day return policy and a restocking fee will not be applied.

What led Apple to making this decision to offer free cases?  Read on to find out. (Click here for more…)

iPhone 4 sales, international ship date, proximity sensor update & white model get discussed [Update: White iPhone delayed until end of year]

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 16th, 2010

At the press conference that formally addressed the iPhone 4 antenna problem Apple alloted some time to discuss other news surrounding the magical (if it’s in a case) phone.  Apple has sold over three million iPhone 4s since it launched three weeks ago.  He also says the 4 has received “the highest customer satisfaction of any iPhone or smartphone.”  Next up, the iPhone 4 will ship in 17 more countries on July 30, including a bunch of European countries, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong.  Noticably missing from the list was South Korea who was on the late-July shipping list back at WWDC.  Apple also addressed the problem some users are having with the proximity sensor; it involves intermittent malfunctions where the display stays on during a device-to-ear phone call, and this results in accidental hang-ups when the phone is pressed up to the face.  The next iOS 4 software update promises to remedy it.  Lastly, you can expect the white iPhone 4 to ship at the end of this month, a tad later than expected.

Update: Today (7/23) Apple announced in a brief press statement that the white iPhone 4 model will not ship at the end of this month.  Due to manufacturing problems, it “will not be available until later this year.”

[Via Engadget, here & here]

Check out Apple’s $100 million phone test labs

Posted in Images,News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 16th, 2010

To prove that they invest a lot of time, energy, and money in making sure their phones are ready for launch, Apple showed off their state of the art testing facilities.  Apple spend $100 million to create 17 anechoic chambers.  These buildings are the largest on the Cupertino campus.  These chambers are “designed to stop reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves”, and this makes for the perfect environment for cell phone testing.  “You have to build these rooms or you don’t get accurate results,” Steve Jobs pointed out at today’s press conference regarding the iPhone 4’s antenna problem.  The chambers are “connected to sophisticated equipment that simulates cellular base stations, WiFi networks, Bluetooth devices – even GPS satellites” to ensure that all aspects of the phone are tested properly and thoroughly.  Apple also said that they have 18 PhD scientists and engineers on hand when it’s testing time.

Apple released three stills of these strikingly designed sound proof rooms; check ‘em out in the gallery below.  Also head over to Apple’s site to watch a brief video that takes you into some of the chambers and does a great job of describing how they’re utilized.

Update: Apple uploaded the behind-the-scenes video to their YouTube page.  I went ahead and embedded it for you; it’s sitting after the break.

[Via Apple; Engadget]

(Click here for more…)

Consumer Reports says they “can’t recommend the iPhone 4″ due to the antenna problem

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 12th, 2010

Today Consumer Reports updated their original review of the iPhone 4 after properly testing the device’s antenna.  In their original review, CR recommended the iPhone 4: “The iPhone scored high, in part because it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone…”  They go on to praise the improved battery life, front-facing camera, and built-in gyroscope.  During their time with the initial review test unit, they were “unable to replicate the [antenna] problems” that so many other iPhone owners seemed to be complaining about.  For some reason or another, CR decided to bring the iPhone 4 into their labs to test the antenna problem head-on.  (Why they didn’t do this in the first place is beyond me.)  Their findings:

When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.

The tests were conducted inside a radio frequency isolation chamber, a room “which is impervious to outside radio signals.”  After connecting “the phones to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates carrier cell towers” they concluded that all of their iPhone models were affected with the antenna problem.  They also tested other AT&T smartphones (namely the iPhone 3G and Palm Pre) and “none of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.”  Boom.

CR goes on to say that these tests call into question Apple’s forthcoming software quick update which promises to fix the way the signal bars are displayed on the phone.  After coming to this conclusion, they hint that the antenna problem is almost certainly a hardware issue, and a software update and blaming AT&T’s less than stellar network will not pave a way out of this sticky situation.  Speaking of sticky, CR recommends that those affected with the antenna problem can remedy it by applying a small piece of duct tape over the antenna gap.  Not only does this make the phone look downright ugly, it’s going to leave sticky residue and you just don’t want that on your hands (and mind).  Go out and get a bumper case if you can’t manage to hold your phone differently.  CR parts with these glum words: “Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.”  If the antenna problem is truly hardware-based (and it’s really starting to seem like it is), Apple needs to come out of hiding, admit their design flaw, fix it interally, and offer those affected with a free swap-out of updated models.  Like stat.

[Via Consumer Reports]

Fring update allows 2-way video calling over 3G with iPhone 4 (and more) [Update: Skype support is gone]

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 11th, 2010

I’m just as surpised as you are when I found out that the boys of Cupertino allowed Fring, a voice/video/IM client app, to update its services to give its users the ability to make video calls over AT&T’s 3G network.  Up until now, iPhone 4 users could make video calls using Apple’s FaceTime feature, and this is restricted to WiFi only and other iPhone 4 users.  With the latest version of Fring, iPhone 4 users have multiple options when it comes to video calling.  They can video chat over WiFi & 3G and with non-iPhone 4 users (it’ll work with any mobile device that carries Fring in its App Store).  And since Fring allows you to connect your Skype account to it, now you can video chat with friends and family from iPhone 4 to a PC/Mac running Skype.  Among other new features, Fring now supports iOS4 multitasking and offers a new “social stream” and a “smarter address book”.  Give it a try now–the updated Fring app is sitting in the App Store for $0.

Some clarification: If you have an iPhone 4, you can use Fring to make video calls with other iPhone 4 users as well as users of other devices.  If the user you are calling is using an HTC EVO 4G, two-way video calling should work just fine since both the iPhone 4 and EVO 4G have front-facing cameras.  If the user you are calling has a phone that does not have a front-facing camera (say, the Droid Incredible), video calling will only work one-way (from iPhone 4 to the Incredible).  Having a front-facing camera is a requirement to send out video; your backside camera will not suffice.  Get it?–got it?–good.

Update: Since the update was pushed out last Thursday, tons of iPhone owners have been testing it and this resulted in “network stress” for Fring’s servers.  For the time being, Fring is “temporarily reducing support to 3rd –party Skype.”  This means that many of your cell phone to PC/Mac audio/video calls mediated by Skype may not go through at this time.  Fring says they’re working on the issue, and they hope the temporary shut down will open up the ether for Fring-to-Fring video calling.

Update 2:  When Fring decided to temporarily pull the Skype service from its app due to “network stress” issues, Skype swiftly insisted that this action was a breach of their API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement.  Skype goes on to say that the Fring’s decision to remove Skype functionality “damaged the Skype brand” and reputation.  In a blog post titled “Skype Cowardly Blocks fring“, Fring goes on the defensive and claims that Skype removed itself from the app, while Skype refutes this claim and calls it “untrue.”  Two can play this he said/she said game all day long, but what does this all result in for the end consumer?  No Skype (voice/video) capability with Fring.  And that’s a major disappointment because for that very short period of time, Fring was the only way to make iPhone 4 to PC/Mac video communication.  Blast!  Look after the break for the official statements from both parties involved.

[Via Fring, here, here & here; Skype] (Click here for more…)

Stop-motion teardown of iPhone 4 proves it’s beautiful on the inside, too

Posted in photography,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 11th, 2010

The fellas at TechRestore are back with a new teardown.  Yup, it’s the iPhone 4.

1784 hi-res photos combine to make a stop-motion expose of the iPhone 4, revealing every detail of construction, from packaging, down to the chips on the logic-board. Set to a custom electronic/glitch soundtrack, with fast paced action, this is no ordinary unboxing and take-apart video!

Well said.  Now watch.

[Via Gizmodo]

‘iPhone 4 vs HTC EVO’ conversation has me laughing hysterically with knots in my stomach

Posted in Hilarity,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 9th, 2010

Though it helps to be an Apple fanboy (or girl), if you have a single funny bone in your body you will love this.  That is all.  Now enjoy!

iPhone 4: 600,000 preorders, 1.7 million sold, reception & screen issues addressed

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 2nd, 2010

iPhone 4 launch day has come and gone so let’s discuss how it all went down.  At WWDC ’10Apple CEO Steve Jobs called iPhone 4 “the biggest leap since the original iPhone”, piquing the interest of his most devout followers, so much so that they lined up in droves to preorder and purchase the latest gadget to come out of Cupertino.  On June 15, Apple, AT&T, and other authorized Apple retailers begain taking preorders for iPhone 4.  On that single day, iPhone 4 preorders maxed out at 600,000.  According to AT&T, that’s ten times as many orders as it took for last year’s iPhone 3GS.  Due to this insanely high number of preorders, Apple and AT&T were forced to halt all preorders until the phone hit store shelves one week and two days later.  And that brings us to launch day.  On June 24 iPhone 4 launched nationwide and in the UK, France, Germany and Japan to an excitable population ready to get their hands on the shiny, sleek new handset.  At Apple Retail Stores those who preordered waited in line to nab their guaranteed iPhone while overnight campers tried their luck at receiving the leftovers.  The latest tallies reveal that Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s through June 26 (that’s just three days on the market!).  In an official PR, Jobs stated, “This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history.  Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”  According to the Apple Online Store, more iPhone 4 units will ship in about three weeks.  Soon enough, Apple Stores will be chock full of new iPhones for everyone who missed out on the initial launch supply.

What began as a cheery launch quickly turned into a melancholy situation when iPhone 4 users started to cry foul about reception and screen issues.  Let’s start with the latter issue that has seemed to disapate as of late.  A number of iPhone 4 users are discovering slight yellow spots at the bottom right-hand corner of their retina displays.  An AppleInsider forum poster has come up with the best explanation for this:

Apple is using a bonding agent called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011 to bond the layers of glass. Apparently, Apple (or more likely Foxconn) is shipping these products so quickly that the evaporation process is not complete. However, after one or two days of use, especially with the screen on, will complete the evaporation process and the yellow “blotches” will disappear. How do I know? I was involved in pitching Z-6011 to Apple.

Since the time this explanation was outed (just a couple hours after the launch on the 24th) the desperate cry for help has waned.  It appears that those affected with the yellow spots will notice them disappear after a day or two of use.

The same cannot go for the next (and more dire) iPhone 4 problem: the tale of reception woes.  iPhone 4 users first noticed this problem when they gripped the phone in a certain way (in a very common way, mind you).  On the affected devices, if you hold the phone in any way that covers the lower left-hand side where the black strip is located (pictured above) you will notice your signal drop almost immediately from five to zero bars.  Preposterous!, you’re thinking.  But it’s true, so let’s dive into this a bit more.  At WWDC ’10, Jobs announced that the new iPhone packs a new antenna system that actually wraps around the outside phone so as to provide better signal strength.  The metallic band that wraps around the phone contains one piece for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS and the other for UMTS & GSM.  When you cover the bottom left-hand side of the phone where the GSM band wraps the phone all signal is lost.  What’s rather ironic is that what Jobs called “brilliant engineering” has turned into an engineering EPIC FAIL in the minds of many iPhone 4 users. (Click here for more…)