This hint requires a Mac using the latest version of iTunes and an iOS 4-compatible device with iBooks 1.1 installed. Once you've completed each step, you will be able to save Web sites, documents, or any other data that any Mac OS X application allows to be printed to PDF directly into iTunes for … Read more
Are you still having trouble trying to upgrade your iPhone or iPod Touch to Apple's new iOS 4? If so, here's a workaround that could help.
After Apple released iOS 4 on June 21, a small but significant number of folks anxious to upgrade started reporting various issues from long download times to error messages to backups that never seemed to finish. In my corner, I tried several times to update my iPod Touch 2G by following the standard steps, but without any success.
Each time I triggered the update, the software would start to back up my … Read more
In the nearly two years that Apple has been selling apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, I've accumulated pages and pages of them. I try to keep them organized, grouping games and similar apps together on separate pages--but it still involves a lot of flipping and searching to get where I want to go.
Apple's new Folders feature in iOS 4 offers a new approach to managing an ever-growing collection of apps, allowing you to group apps together under custom headings. Not only do folders cut down on the number of icons sprawling across your home screens, … Read more
I think we can all agree at this point that the iPhone 4 launch is not going well for Apple or its customers. In just two days since its release, iPhone 4 owners have found a plethora of potential and real-world problems, from a faulty antennas and Bluetooth headset connectivity issues to screen discolorations and scratches.
Then there's the phone's glass. Why oh why did Apple decide to use glass for the back of the iPhone 4? As Ryan Salerno, a Gizmodo writer, discovered this morning, glass is breakable.
The good news, if you can call it that, … Read more
Apple's iOS4 is spreading out to iPhone and iPod Touch owners today. Upgrading the firmware on your iPhone or iPod may be old hat for some of you, but if this is your first time around, here's the iOS 4 upgrade process in five easy steps.
The iOS 4 upgrade is free for both iPhone and iPod Touch, but excludes first-gen models.
Editors' note: This post was updated at 11 a.m. June 10, 2010, to correct the information about the unlimited data plan for existing customers, which they can choose to keep when upgrading to the iPhone 4.
Last year, I upgraded to the iPhone 3GS (from the 3G) without much deliberation. It was obviously a decision made against my better financial judgment. But this is not new. I, and generally those who buy Apple products, do that a lot.
Apart from the fact that I was a year younger (and therefore that much less wise and patient), it was also because the 3GS was significantly faster than the 3G, and it has a compass. For the former, if you have experience with both versions of the phone, you'd surely agree with me. About the latter, it's personal, as I tend to have no idea which direction I'm headed. Literally, of course.
This year, on the other hand, mulling over whether I should upgrade has given me a neck pain. The new iPhone 4 indeed offers some exciting new features. I am sold on the new screen; my co-worker Eric Franklin, who reviews computer monitors, said it "totally blows him away" (though he has never actually seen the device). I'm also sold on the new design and the front-facing camera. (Believe it or not, I am not too keen on the gyroscope.) In short, I am not going to argue why I want to upgrade.
Instead, here are the reasons I can't see rushing to upgrade just yet.
1. No unlimited data with tethering.
As it's been widely reported, starting June 7, AT&T killed the once-mandatory unlimited data plan for the iPhone. Instead you can opt for the 200MB or 2GB plans that cost $15 or $25 a month, respectively. Of course you'll have to pay extra if you go over the limit.
This, however, only applies to new subscribers. Existing iPhone users, like me, are grandfathered in. However there's a catch: you won't be able to use tethering, which requires a limited data plan plus another $20/month.
AT&T says that tethering will be made available together with the iOS 4 (iPhone OS 4.0). It's ironic, however, that it won't be allowed on phones with existing unlimited data plan. Not a good deal.
Now, most people are actually doing fine with just 200MB or 2GB a month, but savvy users could easily exceed that, even a few times over, especially if they tether.
A lot of iPhone owners use the phone's 3G connection to download apps, music, and podcasts, as the cellular connection allows for downloading files that are 20MB or less. If you do this or stream YouTube videos regularly, you will quickly see that your monthly ration of 200MB or even 2GB is far from enough. I didn't check mine, but I have friends who average 4GB or 6GB a month.
(Even though AT&T has disabled tethering starting with iPhone OS version 3.0.1, those who stay with version 3.0, which I do, can still use this feature. You can also have your phone jailbroken to use tethering, via a free third-party app, without AT&T being able to do anything about it.)
2. You won't miss much.
This only applies to owners of the iPhone 3GS. Your iPhone will be able to fully enjoy version 4.0 of the iPhone OS (now called iOS), the biggest benefit of which is multitasking. Yes, you'll miss the front-facing camera, and hence FaceTime, but it will be a while before there are apps/services that fully take advantage of this.
Also, FaceTime is most appealing, for me personally at least, when you can video-chat on the go via a cellular connection. However, at least in the beginning, the app will only be able to run using a Wi-Fi network. And even when it can be used with a 3G connection, this will directly affect your data plan. The lack of unlimited data plan makes this a feature that you wish you didn't have when you see the bill at the end of the month.
What I sure will miss, however, is the A4 chip that's slated to offer a significant boost in performance. But nonetheless, the iPhone 3GS is already pretty snappy. I can live with that.… Read more
Starting on June 7th, iPhone and iPad customers may want to be a little more savvy about checking their data usage, given AT&T's new plan structures. To check your data usage online, open your favorite Web browser and navigate to the AT&T Wireless homepage. Enter your account information and log in. Click on "… Read more
It used to be that parents would encourage their kids to do arts and crafts projects. Now they're making them fix their cracked iPhone screens.
Just ask Brett, who you last saw building his own iPad stand for $12.40. He's my 10-year-old nephew, and his father put him to work recently to fix his cracked iPhone 3GS screen, which was apparently caused by an encounter with a set of keys. To be clear, the cracked portion you're looking at--see photos below--is only the protective layer of glass that sits on top of the LCD, not the … Read more
Apple's announcement of iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 in just the last three months shows that the smartphone wars aren't cooling yet. Just consider everything that has happened in the space of the last year. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is a top-to-bottom overhaul of the Windows Mobile OS, and Google continues to aggressively roll out updates to Android. Palm hasn't been quite as active in the news recently, but we're not discounting its WebOS quite yet.
The following chart compares popular features from the smartphone operating system that have been most active this year. … Read more
iPad buyers face a difficult decision: to 3G or not to 3G? After all, the entry-level 3G iPad costs $629, plus $14.99/month for a 250MB data plan or $29.99/month for unlimited. You don't have to sign up for a contract, which is great, but the fact remains you're paying yet another wireless bill for service on a single device.
There is another option. With a Verizon MiFi card, a combination wireless modem and Wi-Fi router, you could choose the cheaper Wi-Fi-only iPad and still enjoy 3G Internet just about anywhere. Plus, you get to share that connectivity with up to four other users/devices.
However, that's a much pricier solution: The MiFi locks you into a two-year Verizon contract and charges you a minimum of $39.99 per month--$59.99 if you choose the unlimited data plan.
That's why I'm hitching my wireless wagon to Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go, a pay-as-you-go service that requires no contract and no monthly minimums. (Here's my hands-on review of the service in case you're interested.)
Broadband2Go works with a Novatel-made USB aircard that sells for $99.99 (or $88.54 at Walmart). Obviously you can't plug it directly into an iPad (the modem was made with laptops in mind), but there's a workaround: the CradlePoint PHS300.
Plug the Broadband2Go into this compact, battery-powered Wi-Fi router and presto: You've got MiFi-style functionality from a pay-as-you-go provider.
Plus, the PHS300 supports up to 16 simultaneous users/devices, versus just five on the MiFi. It's not quite as elegant a solution, but it's definitely cheaper in the long run.… Read more