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Displaying items by tag: iOS5

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:17

iPhone 4S woes from speed to battery

iphone-4s-1In the weeks since the iPhone 4S announcement and then launch we have read all kinds of articles and heard all kinds of stories. It has been somewhat difficult to sort through much of what is out there and come to a conclusion general or not. The iPhone 4S launched to a less than underwhelmed crowd. Normally the press gets all lathered up when a new Apple product launches, but this time things were not the same. Even with this lukewarm reception the consumers line up to buy them.  The after seeing the reception from the consumers the press worked overtime to make up for its stance on the iPhone 4S. They came out with articles about Siri, The new UI, the Speed of the new Dual Core A5 and more. Still there are issues with the iPhone and due to the much wider audience and customer base they are coming out faster than ever.

This is what we know so far. On launch day the iPhone 4S hit the market and within days the troubles began…  

The first up is poor 3G speeds when on the Sprint network. Both Apple and Sprint have acknowledged the issue with Sprint being the first one to come out about the issue a promise a fix. We are fairly certain that Apple was not pleased with this, but are also just as sure that Sprint did not want to lose any new customers to that 30 money back policy they have.  So the issue was out on the table and now a solution needs to be found. Comparing even an older Android Phone to an iPhone on the Sprint 3G network shows a remarkable difference. Apple wants to say it is iOS5, but the issue is not present in every phone so this one may actually be related to a bad lot of 3G radios. I guess we will find out once Sprint and Apple release their findings.

On top of (and possibly related to) the 3G speed issue are the reports of exceptionally poor battery life. These reports are possibly exaggerated, but some are claiming as few as 4 hours of life. One thing that we have found in common with all of the reports of poor battery life are reports of overheating, signal scanning (when the device continues to try and find a signal even if it has one) and, as listed above, poor 3G and WiFi speeds.

Now, at this point it is important to note that Apple has made some small overtures to the effect that this is an issue with iOS5 and have released iOS 5.0.1 to developers for testing. Here is my problem with this, the symptoms of this all point to a problem with the Radio on the phone. It is either defective and cannot complete the connection to the cellular or WiFi networks it is trying to talk to, or there is a MAJOR flaw in the baseband coding in iOS5 that is causing the system to continually drop the connection instead of keeping it alive.

Personally our feeling is that this is a bad lot of 3G/WiFi radios that managed to get through Q/C (quality control). It might be possible to “fix” this with software, but in the end the device will still have the flaw and its lifespan will probably be shorter than it should be.  We are waiting to see if the new iOS update will do anything for this issue and will let you know what we find.

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Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:16

Siri Can Bypass Your Lock Screen

hal-9000-the-intellegent-robot-in-movieI am sorry Dave; I can’t let you do that… This line from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 a Space Oddesy is what came to mind when I showed off this interesting little trick to a friend of mine. While playing around with Siri on their new iPhone 4S we discovered that even when the phone is locked you can send email, text play music, call someone, use the camera and more than a few other things making just about all security useless on the new phone. This is not the first time that security holes have been found on one of Apple’s devices (like finding that the encryption key is stored in plain text on the phone), but I do think this one is one of the funniest.

With all the furor and excitement over what is not much more than a speech to text engine that can run queries against predefined commands to find out that those commands appear to be able to bypass the lock security. What’s more is that Apple allows this by default. I would think that this would not be something that you would want open on a phone with a passcode; however Apple seems to think they know what is best for their customers. I will say this, at least you can turn this feature off, I just think it should have been off already…

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For those of you out there thinking about corporate data and email, I have a feeling that Microsoft will add a new security feature into their corporate phone requirements making it impossible to have this running with the lock requirements. I wonder what that will look like…


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Published in News
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 23:48

Google's Ice Cream Sandwich is Looking Very Tasty

ICS-40Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich has finally been launched. This new version of Android which will officially be Android 4.0 is supposed to not only bring new features to the table, but it also going to address some items that have been lacking on Android. According to many sources this new version of Android will touch every native app in some way. We can only hope they did something to improve the poor email app that currently is in Honeycomb, but we will have to see about that once the update is available for our Transformer.

Aside from the updates to all of the native apps we are hearing that there will be some very cool new features including a facial recognition lock. This will allow you to use the built in front facing camera to interrogate your face and compare it to an image stored on the device. If it matches you can access the device, if not; well you can figure that one out on your own.  Android 4.0 will also feature a new NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam. This will allow you simply tap two phones or devices together to share files, links and other information. Google is saying that this is being designed to work with a number of app that are already in the market so you won’t have to wait long to start bumping phones.

Next up is an overhaul of the camera app. This is also a very welcome feature as the current default one is very immature.  With the new interface you can access the camera right from the lock screen (if you choose to). You also FINALLY get a zero shutter lag in a mobile phone camera, this combines with the continuous focus and face detection. Android is also adding touch to focus and exposure lock. These are features that many phone makers have tacked on (like HTC) but are now showing up in the native app as well. Android did not stop with the Camera though, you also get some nice new features in the gallery including filters and a built in Photo Editing app which allows you to make changes and still maintain the original file for later tinkering.

We are sure there is a lot more to Android 4.0 that we are missing in our roaming around the net, but you can be sure we will be taking it for a test drive and comparing it to what you get with Apple’s new iOS 5 just to see if Android is lagging behind or actually catching up. If it is the latter then we can see the Android Tablet market picking up, especially with the Holidays coming up quickly.

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