Tag Archives: iPhone

iPhone comes to Verizon at long last

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] READ MORE iPhone comes to Verizon at long last

Skype brings video calling to the iPhone

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] READ MORE Skype brings video calling to the iPhone

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

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

Google Instant makes its way to mobile devices

Today Google made good on their promise bringing the power of Google Instant search to the mobile space.  When you access Google.com and begin to type your query, the search bar snaps to the top of the screen and Instant does its thing.  The new functionality works over 3G and WiFi connections, but Google gives you the option to turn it off during those slow surfing times.  There’s a turn on/turn off button located beneath the search bar on the home page for easy access.

Instant for mobile is currently in beta, and it’s available for iPhone and iPod (running iOS4) and Android (running 2.2 Froyo) users in the U.S.  Additional country, language, and device support is in the works.  Look after the break to watch a brief demonstration.

[Via GoogleBlog] READ MORE Google Instant makes its way to mobile devices

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

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]

Flash comes to iPhone in Skyfire browser [Update: sold out?; Update 2: it’s back]

Somehow, someway Skyfire has managed to clear its mobile Skyfire browser–Flash support and all–through the Apple gates and into the App Store.  As detailed in early September, Skyfire does not actually run Flash video; instead it trancodes the content using Skyfire’s servers from Flash to HTML5.  So if you’ve been looking for a Flash fix on your iOS device here’s your $3 solution.

Note: The Webkit-based browser will not support all Internet Flash content; for example, Flash games and apps are not supported, and Hulu content is blocked.  Skyfire promises that “scores of other premium sites are supported”, so stay hopeful!  Look after the break for an updated video demonstration.

Update: An app can’t be “sold out”, can it?  According to Skyfire: “The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade.  Thus we are effectively ‘sold out’ and will temporarily not accept new purchases from the App Store.  We are working really hard to increase capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the App Store as soon as we can support it.”  Ah, that explains it.  Keep tabs on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on the matter.

Update 2 (11/5): In a short blog post Skyfire CEO Jeff Glueck assures iOS users that “we’re working around the clock to add capacity for more users.”  And here are the specifics: “We are going to open batches of downloads for new users over the coming days. The first batch will be in a few minutes on the Apple App Store. It will be first come, first serve.”  The first batches are coming to the US only, “with additional country support to follow shortly.”

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Flash comes to iPhone in Skyfire browser [Update: sold out?; Update 2: it’s back]

Band loses gear, rocks out on NYC subway using iPhone instrument apps

Brooklyn-based band Atomic Tom supposedly had all their instruments stolen earlier this month.  So they decided to hop on the B-train and perform their single “Take Me Out” using nothing but iPhones and musical apps.  The video went viral and has garnered around 2.1 million hits on YouTube.  I say “supposedly had their instruments stolen” because this all went down about three months after their debut album The Moment hit iTunes.  Publicity stunt or not, these guys are super talented.

[Via Digg]

Netflix finds a home in iPhone & iPod touch

Netflix on the iPhone and iPod touch is no surprise; the free app was demoed at WWDC back in June and the iPad has been enjoying its company since launch.  On August 26 the Netflix app was updated (to version 1.1.0) to support all iOS4 devices.  The app will stream movies and TV shows over WiFi and 3G.  Within the app you have access to your personal Instant Queue (which is managable right on the device) and you can search and add new content to your queue using a standard search method or viewing content by genre.  You also have the ability to resume watching a show or movie right where you left off on your TV or computer.  The app itself is free, but remember you must be signed up for a Netflix membership (which starts at $8.99/month) to login and start streaming.  Download the app here and happy streaming!  Look after the break for a brief video preview of the app in action.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Netflix finds a home in iPhone & iPod touch

VEVO brings its music video library to the iPhone

VEVO, the vast and growing music video portal on YouTube, is now available in app form.  Besides containing over 20,000 music videos from more than 7,000 artists the VEVO app also brings with it:

  • Enjoy special features including exclusive videos, premieres, top charts, top playlists, artists on tour and VEVO original music programming.
  • Create and save custom playlists for easy on-demand playback of favorite videos.
  • Easily discover what videos are being watched around your location right now using Location Services/GPS.
  • Stay up to date on video premieres and special events with push notification alerts.
  • Have fun with music trivia before watching each video.
  • Optimized for iPhone 4.0 high resolution Retina Display.
  • Share any video easily with friends via Twitter, Facebook and via Email.
  • Download music from each video within the iTunes Store.
  • The VEVO app is only available in the U.S. and Canada.  iPad and Android versions are coming soon.  Download it for free here.

    [Via VEVOBlog; Gizmodo]

    Facebook Places ready to share your location with friends on the iPhone

    Similar to Foursquare, Facebook Places gives you the ability to share your location in the world with friends and view your friends’ location.  “Checking in” and sharing your location is simple:

    Go to Places on the iPhone application or touch.facebook.com site and then tap the “Check In” button. You’ll see a list of places near you. Choose the place that matches where you are. If it’s not on the list, search for it or add it. After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place.

    You can even “tag” friends that are with you, just as you can tag a friend in a status update or photo.  You can also post an update along with your check-in to tell people more about what you are doing.  The “People Here Now” section reveals a list of nearby Facebook users, whether they are “friends” or not.  People will only show up in this list if they are checked into the same location as you.

    Privacy concerns are an ongoing issue at Facebook HQ, so they made sure to highlight ways to tweak Places options.  The default setting shares your location and previously tagged locations with friends only; you have to option to change the master privacy control to “Everyone” if you like.  You also have the option whether or not to allow your friends to check you in to places.  If you let them do so, you will receive notification every time you are checked into a place.  You can always remove yourself from the places you’ve been checked or tagged into, just as you can remove your name from a tagged photo.  Want to learn more about controlling your privacy with Places?  Watch this helpful and informative video from Lifehacker that goes through the motions step-by-step.

    Facebook Places is only available on the iPhone in the US.  In order to access the new feature you must download the free update for the Facebook app.  Along with Places, version 3.2 brings background photo and video uploads (for iOS4 users), some visual and loading enhancements, and various bug fixes.  Got an Android and Blackberry device?  Point your browser to touch.facebook.com to access an HTML 5 version of Places to join the fun.  Facebook is working on bring Places to other mobile devices and more countries.  They have opened up a Places API for third party developers like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp to use in their respective services.

    [Via Facebook; Engadget]

    id’s Carmack to bring graphics-heavy 60fps game to the iPhone

    At this year’s QuakeCon in Dallas, Texas id Software co-founder John Carmack revealed that he’s bringing Rage (a first-person shooter that wowed critics at E3) to the iPhone.  With the announcement came a very brief tech demo for those in attendence.  Get this: the game will run at 60 frames-per-second!  All of the lighting, texture, and detail look phenomenal.  This game is basically gonna blow away the App Store games competition.  What started as an experiment on the Nintendo Wii quickly became an app for the iOS platform, according to Carmack.  About two years ago Carmack stated that the iPhone is “more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined” and today he is backing that up with this impressive tech demo (it’s embedded above).  He says that the demo was running off an iPhone 4 and that the game will run fine on the iPhone 3G and feel best on the iPad (thanks to the larger display).  He promises that Rage for iOS will be released this year, before the game drops on major consoles sometime in 2011.  It’s about time these games-on-the-go got beefier, more graphically intense, and exciting, wouldn’t you say?

    [Via Joystiq]

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

    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]