Friday, June 26, 2009

HTC debuts an Android phone with a 'Sense' of 'Hero'

Never mind the title up there, I was just trying to play a catchy mis-match of words for the new announcement* of HTC's latest Android-powered smartphone: the HTC Hero. ;-p

It's pretty darn amazing to watch on how HTC managed to keep producing new products every now and then, right after HTC Magic made a splash to some countries including Indonesia and U.S. T-Mobile as myTouch 3G, HTC unveiled a(nother) Android-powered smartphone called as HTC Hero.

Trail blazing the success of HTC's long known Windows Mobile powered smartphone line-ups, the Taiwanese mobile manufacturer is trying to up the competition with new handset that's jam-packed also with new features and latest technologies can be found in today's smartphones.

If Apple is adding 'oleophobic screen' technology into iPhone 3G[S]; then HTC is using a Teflon coating which is said to improve durability on its white surface that is also soft to the touch. Not wanted to be left behind, the Digital Compass technology first found in iPhone 3G[S] is also present inside the HTC Hero. But unlike any Apple's iPhone generations, the HTC Hero will come naturally with embedded Adobe's Flash 10 support for better web surfing experience.

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect. HTC is still using slower processor for Hero: the Qualcomm's MSM7200A clocked at 528MHz, considering how iPhone 3G[S] and Palm Pre™ are both trying to compete with the fastest processor clocked at 600MHz. Thomas Ricker from Engadget Mobile got to try out the HTC Hero, and he noticed that "the graphic transitions to stutter a bit and results in screen rotations that feel dangerously uncomfortable" most probably from using the not so fast processor. Here's a quick peek at HTC Hero specifications:

  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM7200A 528MHz
  • Operating System: Android
  • Memory: ROM: 512 MB
  • RAM: 288 MB
  • Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 320x480 HVGA resolution
  • Network: HSPA/WCDMA 900/2100 MHz, Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Device Control: Trackball with Enter button
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 5MP camera with auto focus
  • Battery: 1350 mAh LiOn
  • Expansion Slot: microSD memory card
  • G-sensor
  • Digital Compass
Htc-magic-getting-sense-interface-0 The original HTC Hero will shipped without the "with Google" logo on the back like the one you can found on T-Mobile's G1, meaning you won't get the whole "Google Experience" thing. But of course HTC gives the Hero users something else: Sense, HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou is touting the new UI as: "HTC Sense is a distinct experience created to make HTC phones more simple for people to use, leaving them saying, ‘it just makes sense'."

The HTC Sense comes with a pack of three new user experience: Make It Mine, Stay Close, & Discover the Unexpected. Overall it is similar to the TouchFLO UI that users familiar with HTC's Windows Mobile powered smartphones, and HTC has said to make its Sense UI availabe to older Android handsets.

"HTC sense will be available on some other existing devices", confirmed the company's CEO, Peter Chou, to Pocket-lint after the HTC Hero launch.

The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A distinct North American version will be available later in 2009.

The latest news on the HTC Hero availability just came in; apparently T-Mobile in U.K. is to join U.K. Orange in offering the HTC Hero to their subscribers. And like T-Mobile we know, the wireless carrier will be changing the name into G1Touch. While the U.K. Orange claims to have exclusivity on the graphite finish color for their HTC Hero, looks like U.K. T-Mobile is going to have some sort 'generic gray' finish color for their G1Touch (pictured below).

According to AndroidCommunity; the T-Mobile G1Touch will be available from mid-July priced free as long as you take out a minimum of a £40 ($60) per month contract, that will get you £225-worth of credit to be spent on calls, SMS and MMS messages, together with free on-device data access.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Confirmed: Steve Jobs is back!

It's hard to imagine Apple without Steve Jobs, so when the Apple CEO took an absence of medical leave on January many have missed him since, including his frenemies (read: friends and enemies).

And the rumor has it that Steve Jobs has undergone a liver transplant two months ago, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The hope to see the psychedelic CEO back in action was getting thinner, thin as his latest physical appearances.

But rejoice, you Apple stock holders and fan-boys! Because a Reuters reporter has spotted Steve Jobs leaving the Apple campus in Cupertino, California dressed in his trademark black turtleneck and jeans: "He walked out chatting with another person before climbing into a black car that then drove off."

And signs of Steve Jobs come back has also been confirmed by CNBC's Tech Check: Jim Goldman; "Steve Jobs did report to work today, as I suggested in an earlier post, at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, according to employees who have seen him on campus."

The Apple CEO has been expected to come back before when he also been cited in Apple's last press release to announce that the company has sold more than 1 million iPhone 3G [S] in the first three days since its launch, "Customers are voting, and the iPhone is winning," Jobs said in the statement.

"This is the first time we've heard from Steve Jobs since he reported he was taking medical leave," said Oppenheimer & Co analyst Yair Reiner as quoted by Reuters. "It's a sign Apple has its CEO back."

So Steve, welcome back ol' buddy. We missed you. And since you've came back and take everything back into your own hands now, when will we ever see those rumored MacTablet or MacNetbook we've been hearing lately...? ;-D

Off topic: Shia LaBeouf calls Wii an "amateur console"

We've been having a marathon news coverage on Palm Prē™ and iPhone 3G [S] for the whole weekend, so let's have a little off topic post for today, shall we?

Who doesn't know Shia LaBeouf? I recognized his natural-born play when he landed a small role in 'Constantine', where he play with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. And Shia LaBeouf got bigger when he starred in Transformer first movie and the sequel, sharing the spotlight together with the sexy Megan Fox. His name also will always be mentioned by movie fans ever since he starred in 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull' with Harrison Ford, a role any young and rising Hollywood stars would give anything to have it.

Aside from being a famous movie star, Shia LaBeouf is a big fan of videogames and game consoles like Xbox 360 & Playstation 3, but apparently he dislikes the popular Wii. In an interview with Big Download (via GameSpy), LaBeouf referred Nintendo Wii as an "amateur console", here's the snipped interview:

Q: Have you checked out the Wii Transformers game?

A: I haven't been able to play the Wii game because my hand is broken. I've just been playing Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I would imagine that the Wii experience will be like...I don't mess with the Wii, to be honest with you. It's kind of an amateur console. I'm not into the Wii thing.

Q: What's wrong with the Wii?

A: This is how in a simple way you can find out if it's a gamer you want to play with. Ask them if they have a Wii. If they say yes, get the f*** out of there.

Despite dishing out the Nintendo Wii gamers, LaBeouf did praised some of the games like: Mortal Kombat, Doom, Donkey Kong, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Kart. "Buddy, I'm a gamer. Not just the fake ones you read about," said LaBeouf in the interview.

But that's not the real pincher for me, what is that LaBeouf said he rather "eat glass" than spending some quality time with Megan Fox! What!? Here's what he really said:

Q: Is that why you wouldn't play LEGO Star Wars with Megan Fox on the set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?

A: Correct. Who wants to play the Wii version of LEGO Star Wars. I'd rather eat glass.

Oh my, LaBeouf buddy, you don't know what other guys are willing to give just to spend time and play a game with Megan Fox no matter how lame the game is... That's Megan Fox you're talking about for heaven's sake! ;-p

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Palm and Apple play a poker game

In a poker game, you must answer to the call when your opponent is bluffing, otherwise you'll be forced to fold your cards and that means end of the game for you.

It all started back then before the Palm Prē™ itself was launched all across the U.S. on June 6th, to be exact was at All Things D conference when Walt Mossberg asked Palm's executive chairman Jon Rubinstein what lessons from Apple has Rubinstein brought to bear on his new work at Palm? Rubinstein's answer was:

“I worked with Steve for many years and learned a tremendous amount from him, the value of user experience and design–taste. I also learned the idea of great marketing…On the engineering side, I helped create the engineering culture at Apple, so obviously, the engineering culture at Palm bears some similarities to it.”

And apparently Rubinstein has brought his engeneering skill in the past as the head designer of Apple's iPod division to create more than similarities for the Prē™, still at the conference when the big demo screen showed the Prē™ instantly sync with Apple's iTunes, Rubinstein dodged questions from Mossberg over how Apple might feel about the sync capability. But then later after the conference, he conceded: "We designed Palm Media Sync to be an easy and elegant way for you to take the content you own and put it on Prē™."

Proves began to emerge showing that in order for the Prē™ to be able to sync with iTunes effortlessly, Palm must disguise the Prē™ as an iPod so then iTunes will think it as one of its own and sync. According to Jon Lech Johansen's blog the co-founder of doubleTwist; when the Pre is in “Media Sync” mode it identifies itself as an Apple iPod, however it’s only the Mass Storage interface that identifies itself as an iPod. So Apple can very easily update iTunes to block the "Media Sync" in Prē™.

That's a very risky plan for the Prē™, Palm's new hope and savior. Dare I say that Palm is desperate? There's another way to look at this, the iTunes has became so big that dominates the music industry including movies and people are actually accepting this simple fact just like that. Even Roger McNamee also said this during the All Things D conference: “We’re recognizing their market dominance…and they can’t tell people what to do with their music."

So why should Palm try to trump over iTunes dominance, and start a new service from the scratch to compete with it from the already depleted resources? It's easier to piggy-back the widely popular and well spread iTunes, than fight against it. And with Jon Rubinstein's knowledge of how iPod and iTunes works, things look a lot easier for Palm to do that.

Apple initates the first bluff

On last Tuesday, Apple posted up a technical note that warns about no guarantee is given to unsupported third-party digital media players:

"Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players."

The timing of the note, and the words in it are clearly although not directly pointing at the Palm Prē™ media syncing with iTunes.

Palm calls on the Apple's bluff

To respond Apple's passive tech note, Palm's spokesperson Lynn Fox (a former Apple employee herself) spoke up aggressively to All Things D's John Paczkowski:

“If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Prē™ , they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider.”

It's actually a rather quick respond coming from Palm camp regarding the media sync matter, because it is too soon to know if Apple really is going to cut off the Prē™ ability to sync with iTunes or not. Like you, I also have been waiting if Apple is giving a respond back to Palm, or better yet maybe Apple will release a new version of iTunes that breaks the sync harmony of the Prē™. But it's already end of the weekend, and it's all silent and quiet...

Why mad at Palm and not to others?

"I bet there will be some legal maneuvering by Apple over this," said Jack Gold an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "Apple protects everything." (via PC World) Yes, sure Apple wants to protect its intellectual properties like when Apple threatens to do so about its iPhone multi-touch patent. And now this, but the question is why it has to be Palm again?

Why is the mother of all question, so before we get into the Palm part let's understand that there are already several sofwares out there to help non-Apple devices to sync with iTunes, then why would Apple mad at Palm instead of those softwares in the first place?

Is it because Palm Prē™ ability to sync directly from the device itself? Is it obviously the Prē™ introduces itself as an iPod to iTunes and Apple don't like that? Nope, the answer is much simpler than that. It is because Palm is the very reason itself, it's because from all of the big companies out there Apple sees Palm as one of them who could actually become a serious threat in the future. Especially when Jon Rubinstein is now appointed as the new CEO, replacing Ed Colligan the longest running leader of Palm.

It's not about who will win...

What exactly will Apple get if the Cupertino-based company really take the matter further, for an example by eliminate Palm Media Sync method in newer iTunes versions? First of all, Palm or any other companies / softwares will always find another way to sync with iTunes anyway. I don't think Apple want to burden its head with headaches of playing a game of cat-and-mouse, it's not worth the troubles.

Secondly and perhaps the most important result Apple should've thought of, is how the above action will make Apple look like a big bad company who bully others. This could really hurt Apple's image, while Palm will have the opposite result. Apple definetely don't want that to happen.

And how about Palm, what will it get with all of this? It's none other than sharing the spotlight with Apple, Palm is getting more attention again from the blogosphere and the company really need it to boost its stock share. It's a win-win situation for Palm; get a smooth media sync with iTunes and receive lots of coverage while doing it. But Apple also get the same attention from this.

For both companies, it's not about winning this trivial matter, but getting the most out of it while it lasts. And like playing a poker game, one needs to raise the stakes when the other is bluffing, and the remaining question is how far will the stakes go...?

Source is from Dan Moren - Macworld.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't be fooled by iPhone OS 3.0 software update

For the last couple of days, there were plenty of people who bought a new mouse to replace the broken one because it had been clicked so many times on the "Check for Updates" button in iTunes, the result of impatience waiting for the new iPhone OS 3.0 software update. And after it's actually launched, Apple had to re-connect the download connection to new servers since the old ones were caught on fire because had too many hit they could possibly handle. Figuratively speaking...

On the day that many of you happy iPhone owners called it as "Happy iPhone 3.0 day," there were some who would disagree with the word "happy" to describe that particular day. First of course were the iPhone users who couldn't get through the heavy traffic into Apple's download server, although they finally made it. Secondly are the ones like me, who don't own an iPhone and had to envy those who were on a rampage for iPhone craziness even for one day. ;-p

All in all, I just wanted to say how crazy it was. It was just a software update, yet has generated such a huge glut for iPhone users.

Perhaps it had to do with the way Apple made us wait for it, or maybe we're simply just suckers for anything related to the iPhone. One way or another, there are too many iPhone users who are willing to jump without thinking to hit the update button. Here's a quick reminder on why second thought really worth a second chance.

Like a virgin once more...

Don't start singin' that Madonna's song, I know because whenever I heard that first line: "Like a virgin, touched for the very first time...," I can't stop but to have strange naughty imagination. ~LOL~

But that is what will happen if you upgrade to iPhone OS 3.0, your jailbroken iPhone will become like a 'virgin' once more. You'll loose those favorite themes of yours, no more access to those forbidden apps, and many-many other possibilities you had with your jailbroken iPhone. Do you honestly really-really want to let all of them go, just to be with your 're-virginized' iPhone?

You must be thinking; there's got to be a new iPhone OS 3.0 jailbreaking tools out there somewhere, right? Unfortunately, it hasn't arrive yet.

No 'official' jailbreaking tools yet as of today...

What I meant by 'official' jailbreaking tools is the ones released by iPhoneDevTeam, the upcoming tool is called as the 'ultrasn0w'. The iPhoneDevTeam is currently working hard to make the final release of jailbreaking tools for iPhone OS 3.0, they're in the middle of testing new PwnageTool and QuickPwn tools which will work with iTunes 8.2 (latest version).

According to iPhoneDevTeam's new update of the progress on Thursday morning, there are two issues that they’ve been trying to resolve: complications with and a bug in Apple's new version of asr (nerdy stuff that you wouldn't care enough to know ;-p).

So if you update now, you'll have to wait for indefinite time to jailbreak the new iPhone OS 3.0 software update. Usually iPhoneDevTeam will wait until it looks like Apple has released the final version of the software, they don't want to play the cat-and-mouse game with the iPhone maker.

12 bugs already found in iPhone OS 3.0 software...

The guys at Woot! (via JAiPB) have found early 12 bugs in the new software update:

  1. Multimedia messaging does not support sculpture, macrame, or interpretive dance.
  2. Voice memo recordings totally don't sound like me. I don't sound like that, do I? Seriously?
  3. Turned on adult content filter but everybody in my videos still has their clothes on.
  4. Adding a task to calendar did not result in task getting done.
  5. Clicked this blue "compass" icon but kept getting some stupid web browser.
  6. Still no apps to cure the nagging feeling that I should've bought a Palm Pre.
  7. The touchscreen is now on the back of the phone instead of the front.
  8. Gone to the bathroom four times already today, and Remote Wipe hasn't worked once.
  9. Spotlight search crashed with memory overload error trying to index my Harry Potter cosplay photo collection.
  10. Tried out tethering, but I think I broke my finger smacking that phone around the pole.
  11. Apple still hasn't fixed the no-hardware-keyboard bug.
  12. "Cut" function does not apply to monthly AT&T bill.

Now, those 12 small-tiny-little bugs don't scare you, don't they? ;-p

I noticed a very interesting solution to avoid the bugs at no. 6 above, somebody at Elevation Partner is going to feel proud. ~LOL~

It feels like I was talking about bad things about iPhone OS 3.0, that is not true. Aside from the obvious facts you've already knew about the abundant new features that come with the new software update, don't be fooled thinking that was it. Apparently, there are more reports coming in about the newly found new nifty little features in iPhone OS 3.0, the reports are pouring in almost every hour.

PC World: 10 Hidden Features in iPhone 3.0 Update

  1. Adjustable Song Scrolling Speed, ... you can scroll through songs at various speeds. Put your finger on the scrolling point and it will start glowing.
  2. Special Characters In Messaging, the 3.0 keyboard has a few extra special characters when holding certain signs down.166903-iphone_gems_characters_original
  3. More Ways to Access Spotlight, you can also access Spotlight while pressing the home button when on the first Home Screen page. Alternatively, Mail and Contacts have now search bars at the top of the list.
  4. Quote Fragment Within Reply in Mail, ... you tap and hold in an e-mail (just as with copy/paste) and select the portion of text you want to quote.
  5. Remove Individual Texts from A Conversation, ... there is an Edit button (it's in the top-right corner when inside a conversation), which allows you to select and remove individual text messages from a certain thread, similar to the way it is done in the Mail app.
  6. Open Link In New Tab In Safari, if you tap and hold on a hyperlink (hyperlinked text) on a Web site within Safari, a dialog will prompt you to open this link, copy it (link locations) or open it in a new page (which opens a new tab in Safari).
  7. Force Quit Unresponsive Apps, to force quit an application in 3.0, you have to hold the sleep/wake button at the top until the red power off slider appears.
  8. Shake Phone to Undo Typing, ... just shake the phone and a pop-up will appear, asking you whether you want to undo what you have just entered.
  9. Change App Store Account On The Fly.
  10. Unlimited Number of Apps Installed.

ZDNet: 96+ new features in iPhone 3.0

MacRumors forum user bndoarn has a list of over 96 individual new features so far found in iPhone OS 3.0, the highlights include:

  • There is no limit to the number of apps that can be installed (beside storage space). Once you reach the home screen limit, Apps installed after that are installed without an icon but can be accessed in Spotlight. You can also use this to hide any apple application (i.e. weather and stocks)
  • In the Settings -> General -> Home Button you can now set the double click to the new search feature or the camera
  • Notes now has data detectors. Links are clickable, phone numbers are callable, email address are emailable, and address are locatable (using Maps)
  • When a phone call interrupts you, after the phone call you are taken back to the app you were in before you were interrupted
  • You can now have 11 home screen pages instead of nine
  • Now there is a different way to force quit apps. now you have to hold the sleep/wake button until the red slider appears, then you press and hold down the home button to quit the app

iPhone Atlas: Apple plugs 46 security bugs in iPhone OS 3.0

Security Apple has issued an advisory regarding security enhancements included in the iPhone OS 3.0 release, here are some of them:

  • CoreGraphics
  • Exchange
  • IPSec
  • Mail, changes were made to the Mail app to give users control over the loading of remote images in HTML messages (see image on the right).
  • MPEG-4 Video Codec
  • Profiles, changes to Profiles will prohibit the installation of a configuration profile that may weaken the passcode policy defined by Exchange ActiveSync.
  • Safari, ... now search history is actually removed.
  • Telephony
  • WebKit, they included many fixes to prevent arbitrary code or script execution, when visiting maliciously crafted Web sites.

And for you the owners of iPhone Classic, the first gen of iPhone, you might not get all of those exciting new features that will only available in iPhone 3G and upcoming iPhone 3G [S]. Some of them can't be used in iPhone Classic because of hardware limitation, and iPhone Atlas has also posted up the first impression of running iPhone OS 3.0 on the original iPhone:

"The other highly-touted features of iPhone 3.0 sadly will not be experienced by my original iPhone. Auto-focus camera lens, video recording and editing, and voice control are all hardware specific features available on the iPhone 3G S. And although I sorely covet those things to the point that I may actually throng about in the crowds at the local Apple Store on Friday simply to get a glimpse of the new features in action, the iPhone 3.0 update for my original iPhone is great."

So, what will you have? Update now to iPhone OS 3.0 and loose all of those jailbroken features goodness, or will you even wait in the line and get the new iPhone 3G [S] instead? Perhaps the best solution right now is to go with the new software update, why? Well, I can't put it better than what David Murphy from PC World has said it:

"... the expansive feature list of both the iPhone's 3.0 firmware and the new abilities brought on as part of the iPhone 3GS have made many of my Cydia customizations . . . irrelevant."

So true, it is so true.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Haier also introduced an Android phone at CommunicAsia 2009

Still coming from CommunicAsia 2009 floor which is held at the Singapore Expo, the China-based electronic maker Haier introduced its very own Android-powered phone called simply as H7.

Unfortunately the H7 displayed in the event was just a mock-up but Haier rep said it'll sport 2.8" LCD TFT, 2MP camera with on-board flash, miniUSB, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and FM Radio. Haier indicates the H7 will ship with Android 2.0 when launched at France first, on September, the handset is estimated to cost around US$150.

Source is from Crave - CNet Asia.

HTC Magic becomes Indonesia's first Android phone

While Android users in the U.S. are still waiting for confirmation of T-Mobile's second Android-powered phone to be called as myTouch 3G, mobile users in Indonesia can rejoice to know that HTC Magic is officially announced as the first Android smartphone to arrive into the local market.

The HTC Magic will be offered by Telkomsel, the same wireless giant that offers iPhone 3G in Indonesia not so long ago. Telkomsel plans to bundled the HTC Magic with its pre-paid wireless service Simpati, and the official price tag is around Rp. 6,500,000.- (US$625).

With few quick phone calls, I found out the HTC Magic hasn't arrive yet but they say it will in just few weeks in the future, probably almost at the same time T-Mobile launch its second Android smartphone too.

"HTC Magic is a sophisticated and elegant smartphone," said Peter Chou, HTC CEO at the launch in Jakarta, June 11. Telkomsel VP Channel Management Gideon Edi Purnomo said, "This is an evolution for us, that every wireless carriers will make the transition from traditional base (voice and SMS) to become data oriented base." Telkomsel is said to add 3G technology network from 4500 Node B to 7500 Node B.

Source is from Kompas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Huawei showcased Android & WinMo smartphones at CommunicAsia 2009

Fresh from the CommunicAsia 2009 event in Singapore, Huawei just showcased two new smarpthones: the Android-powered "U8230" and the "C8000" which utilizes the Windows Mobile operating system. Both smartphones are slated to arrive in second half of 2009, no pricing and exact dates are mentioned yet, but detailed specs are scarce at the moment.

The most exciting one is of course the U8230, which sports Android operating system. Other than that; it has a 3.5-inch LCD touch screen, 1500 mAH battery and what interesting is the U8230 uses the Google Chrome web browser which supports a variety of Google applications such as Google services (Map, Search, Talk, etc.).

The C8000 is using Windows Mobile but the UI a different 3-D menu, a unique independent display adapter which enables the smooth presentation of video files and DVD-quality pictures on a 2.8 inch touch screen. Huawei said this handset's battery is capable of playing video files continuously for six to eight hours.

"Having joined the Open Handset Alliance in 2008, Huawei is rapidly moving forward with the development of cutting-edge high-end handsets, especially smartphones powered by Android and Windows Mobile operating systems," said Glory Chueng, the spokesperson of Huawei Terminals.

Source is from Huawei.

Palm Prē battery is its "Achilles' heel"

The use of “Achilles’ heel” as an expression used for “area of weakness, vulnerable spot” dates only to 1855 (Merriam-Webster). It derived from the Greek "Achilleios pterna" literally meaning Achilles’ heel (via Wikipedia).

Even the fabled mighty Achilles has his weak spot, and so is the potent savior for Palm: the Prē™.

After its most anticipated launch, the Prē™ finally lands on users' hand and put to the real world test. For those who are lucky enough to get one, and play with it to their heart's content, soon enough they found out the Palm Prē™ "Achilles' heel". It is Prē's small sized battery.

It is a no brainer, really. Anyone who have a smartphone knows this, that the battery life has always become the biggest obstacle for them to keep on using the smartphone for heavy duty tasks. Which usually includes multi-tasking, never ending calls, text messaging, tweeting, chatting, surfing on the net, tasks organizer, etc. The list can go on, and because of that smartphone's battery will not even last for one day. That is why mobile manufacturers will opt for big sized battery with bigger capacity to juice-up the hardware, but unfortunately Palm uses such a small sized battery for the Prē™ because of a design consideration.

Bgr pre low batt Many users have said the same about the Prē's battery life, here are some of them:
  • Matthew Miller from ZDNet: "I went about 5 hours with pretty light usage of the Prē™ that included something like 25 emails (Gmail and Exchange), 5 minutes of calls, several Tweets made using Tweed, no Bluetooth or WiFi, about 15 minutes of Google Talk, and no music or video playing."
  • James Kendrick from jkOnTheRun: "The weak area of the Prē™ hardware is the battery life. This is not that surprising, given how small the battery is, and those who are heavy users, especially of data, should plan on carrying a second battery along."
  • Dieter Bohn from PreCentral: "...the Pre's battery gets me through a day of moderate use, but with heavy use cuts out rather quickly. .. So yes, let's come out and say it: battery life isn't good on the Prē™ and hopefully Palm will be able to alleviate it with some software fixes (we know some are in the works)."
  • Sascha Segan from GearLog: "The Palm Prē™ is a great device, but the battery needs a little help. Like with the iPhone, you shouldn't expect this phone to last more than a day or two on a charge."
Lucky enough for you, those nice gentlemen have provided us all the tips and tricks to improve the battery life of your precious shiny Palm Prē™:
  • Reduce the interval for email synchronization. Set the email settings to check every 15 minutes, this will help to save battery.
  • Log out of IM, especially AIM. There's a bug in the AIM client that sucks up battery way too quickly (Palm's fixing it) ... Remember, you can't just throw the IM program's card away; you have to click on "Sign Out" in the IM applications.
  • Turn on Wi-Fi. When the Pre's Wi-Fi is running, it uses Wi-Fi rather than 3G to make Internet connections. So connecting via Wi-Fi saves battery rather than wasting it.
  • Turn off Bluetooth
  • Turn off GPS
  • Tone down the screen's brightness
Pre batt solution The Palm Prē's battery life is not the only problem which users must face, several users have started reporting an unsettling issue at PreCentral forum: closing or opening the slider causes the Prē™ to perform soft reset automatically. But thank goodness they have found out both the cause and the solution; the battery in some Prē™ is loose/slightly too small, and any sudden closing the slider like snapping it shut will cause it to disconnect just in millisecond of time that is enough to kill the electricity flow to the phone and force a restart.

The solution? This may sounds silly, but at least it works: stick in a few layers of paper in along the top of the battery compartment to make the battery fits perfectly at its place (see the picture on the right). After that, it's up to the owners whether to demand a replacement battery to the nearest Sprint local stores or not. After all, the Palm Prē™ is still a rare commodity these days.

And if that still doesn't work for you, you might want to try ukdiveboy's ingenious method below called "Mintyboosting my Palm Prē™." ~LOL~ Here's ukdiveboy (Flickr link) explanation on how it works:

Just built my Minty Boost. Thought I'd try charging my Pre with it. Works a charm :)

I couldn't find the small Altoids tin, so I reluctantly went with what they had in Safeway. It's worked out well though - there's room around the battery holder for a couple spare batteries.

My battery meter is up 5% in the time it's taken to do the Flickr post - Minty Boost is awesome.

Well, what can I say? A genius' work is found in the most modest invention... ;-p

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sprint is holding back Palm Prē full potentials

They say in fairy tales the giants are not affraid of anything, except for small-delicate creatures. And as in modern time like ours today, there is this one little feature in today's smartphones that big wireless carrier companies fear most: data tethering. For you who are not familiar with the term; tethering allows you to use your smartphone as a modem for your laptop / computer.

Because of this 'tethering' ability in smartphone nowadays, many wireless carriers disallow or even disable this feature to control limited data bandwidth. Too much data transfer over the air will easily overwhelm the traffics at their base-station and main servers, resulting drop calls and poor wireless performance in overall. The only possible way to workaround this problem instead of disable tethering feature itself, is to expand the wireless data bandwidth along with adding more servers to tackle the requests. Unfortunately, the latter solution might not be suitable for the ailing Sprint.

When Sprint launched Palm Prē™ on June 6th, the smartphone comes with abundant new features that competitors are lacking, except that particular tethering option. Users who bought it, can't found tethering option at the Prē's Launcher app menu. But that doesn't mean the tethering ability is not there in the first place, one can quickly make a speculation that such a powerful smartphone must have tethering ability inside it. So thus begun the search of ways to look for and activate the perk by hackers: the Prē Dev Wiki team.

But before the Prē Dev Wiki team make a finding, or they have but yet to post it up, surprisingly Palm contacted them and warn not to try to unlock the Prē's tethering ability during the handset's exclusivity period with Sprint. Palm's main concern is not about the finding of Prē's hidden perk, but because Sprint could force Palm to take legal action against the hackers team. Here's the message from Palm:

"We have been politely cautioned by Palm that any discussion of tethering during the Sprint exclusivity period (and perhaps beyond—we don't know yet) will probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm, and if that happened then Palm would be forced to react against the people running the IRC channel and this wiki.

We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki.

Note that Sprint does not have a plan available for use with the Pre which allows tethering under the Terms Of Service.

Once there is a version of the Pre available for a carrier that does allow tethering, or an unlocked GSM version, then we may be able to change this policy."

Unlike Apple, who use a different approach to accept the presence of iPhone hackers known also as iPhoneDevTeam, Palm's warning can be considered as a good sign for those who wish to unlock the raw power of the Prē™ with unofficial tools. Albeit at the same time the harmony of both camps is not so good for us, end users. Because of those hackers, like the iPhoneDevTeam, iPhone has become a more exciting smartphone than what Apple meant it to be on its first iteration. Thanks to hackers, iPhone users had a workaround of using 'cut&paste' feature long before it is now available in iPhone OS 3.0 software update, and also thanks to hackers that iPhone has become so widely popular around the world because of the jailbreaking tools.

6-15-09pretether And in Palm Prē™ case, thanks to hackers that the tethering ability can be unlocked even though Palm (on Sprint's request) hid it away from the naked eyes to see. Eric Nguyen from IsYouGeekedUp has posted up the world's first set of instructions on how to tether Palm Prē™, "Basically, you setup an SSH tunnel to the Pre, which supports running as a SOCKS proxy. You then configure your browser to point to this proxy and BAM, you’re tethering away."

It is because of hackers like Eric, we can have our smartphones perform its potential at the fullest. Otherwise we'll have to take everything for granted, and suck up anything thrown at us from those corporate giants. Now, Palm has done the right thing by supporting developers through open parties such as the Prē Dev Wiki and prēDevCamp, but what we really should be worried is when the hackers chose to go along with Palm which then the results are we never see the daylight of webOS™ true potentials and what it can really do without the barriers.

Palm Prē™ tethering ability is not the only hidden gems that got unlocked and shown to the world, Prē Dev Wiki has uncovered hidden functionality to show call duration in the call log. They found out that this feature is fully developed and available in the Prē™, and proves to be very handy to keep track of your call duration time so you can save the talking time fees. Which is precisely why any wireless carriers, including Sprint, don't want their subscribers to be aware of. It is highly possible that Palm has cooked webOS™ with complete features, but then few of them got axed out because of Sprint's request...

Thumb_tall_pre-launcher-menu Another handy but hidden feature to have been discovered is to enable adding / removing pages in the Launcher app, why this feature is not enabled perhaps like what the Prē Dev Wiki assumes: "I'm guessing this was disabled due to usability concerns. Especially with the limited number of apps available right now, there's not a huge need for multiple screens, and deleting a page would result in shifting around icons, which can be a frustrating experience."

So Sprint, how long are you gonna hold back Palm Prē™ full potentials just to satisfy your needs? Don't you think your customers deserve more?

Sources are from:

The bitter sweet deals of the new iPhone 3G [S]

Ever since the new pricing plans to get iPhone 3G [S] have been laid out at (and after) its presentation on WWDC '09 by Apple's current acting CEO Phil Schiller, there have been many voices raised to show disapproval of the upgrading plans from old models to the new one.

In its official statement, Apple says the new 16GB iPhone 3G [S] will costs only $199 and the 32GB is $299, while the old 8GB iPhone 3G is now only costs $99. Sounds very tempting, but the catch is you gotta be a new AT&T subscriber. For you who are not, who already own an iPhone and an on-going subscription with it, you'll have to fork out more dimes and dollars from your pocket to upgrade to the newest model.

Previously, an AT&T spokesman said that to upgrade the 8GB iPhone 3G will costs $299, the 16GB iPhone 3G [S] is $399, and the 32GB iPhone 3G [S] costs $499. In addition, AT&T subscribers will have to pay an $18 upgrade fee. Plus only if AT&T deems eligible the subscribers for an upgrade, which depends largely on how far along they are in their contract. Does that sound not too shabby for you? Well, since the upgrade price differ from each subscriptions, it is hard to say that it is fair and square.

You'll probably won't say it is when you found out that you're paying more than you're expecting for, worst is you're paying more for less. Just like what Dr. Macenstein has found out when he plugged in all of his information into Apple's iPhone upgrade eligibility site and was offered this sweet deal: he can “UPgrade” his old 16GB iPhone 3G for a 8GB model (of the same iPhone 3G model) for only $300! ~LOL~ (see the screenshot below for better laugh)

Macenstein iphone upgrade

In general, we all think that AT&T is such a greedy company who wants to make a big profit from the new iPhone 3G [S] crazeness. Making the most of those who can't help themselves but to have the latest and the newest iPhone... But is it? Is AT&T really the one screwing with us? Apparently not according to Dr. Macenstein, who has done a little bit of math of his own. Here's a quick breakdown from his math theory:
  1. When you bought a 16GB iPhone 3G last year, AT&T actually paid Apple an extra $400 in subsidies for its price tag.
  2. If AT&T had to lay out the same subsidy on a new iPhone 3G [S] and all the other iPhone 3G customers now, before their contracts expired, AT&T would either have to lock them in for 4 more years to keep from losing money, or go bankrupt.
  3. AT&T is charging $699 for the iPhone 3G [S] without tied on a long-term contract, while Apple sells a 32GB iPod Touch for $399, that is around $300 in price difference. What iPod Touch got anything to do with iPhone? Because there are only few extra features of difference between the two devices that separates them, like the phone, camera and compass.
  4. Based on last year's iPhone 3G teardown has revealed it only costs under $100 to build an iPhone 3G, Dr. Macenstein arbitrarily pull the generous figure of $130 for the total cost of all the new things added to each iPhone (including the new chips for compass and faster processor).
  5. Subtract that arbitrary $30 figure from the difference in cost between the 32GB iPod touch and the 32GB iPhone 3G [S], so in the end we have $270 figure of extra cost that we give to Apple in order to get the new iPhone!
You may argue about the math up there, but Dr. Macenstein already stated that all of the figures above are subject to scrutiny and your usual criticism of how wrong he has it. ;-p

Naturally we know and realized it; that Apple is and always charging way too much for its products, not just the iPhone but also the Macs. And it's up to users on deciding whether or not it is worth it to pay for the "Apple-tax". Most of us will instantly try to weigh the "Apple-tax" based on comparison of the previous models with the new one, the specs and everything inside. But this is exactly where it gets a wee bit more tricky, since Apple is known to avoid talking about the actual tech specs of iPhone's guts.

Although Apple has openly described every new features in iPhone 3G [S] compared to older models, the company never mention the processor speed and how much RAM it has. Apart from how big the storage space available, Apple keeps specs for the iPods and iPhones to a minimum.

Jason Snell from Macworld wrote an excellent article that pointed out Apple’s reluctance to go into technical detail on most of its products as an extension of the company’s entire product-design philosophy:

"Apple excels at creating products that the general public likes because the company is driven by design, not by engineering. ...

Bad software is written by people who are experts at knowing how a computer works and how to write code to make it do what they want, but no idea about how regular people behave and how those people expect to interact with that software. ...

Apple’s the kind of company that makes decisions based on people, on users, and then challenges its engineers to find ways to fulfill those needs. ...

People don’t need to care that their iPhone has a 412MHz processor and 128MB or RAM — they just want to tap on an App and have it load fast. ...

But people who aren’t into this stuff — the 'not-we,' if you will—won’t care. And you know what? That’s okay. Because Apple’s right—most people shouldn’t care."

Jason then sat down with senior director of worldwide iPhone product marketing manager Bob Borchers, he was clear that “the usual speeds and feeds” aren’t the way Apple likes to talk about the iPhone.“Overall, it’s just a snappier experience. There are so many different facets to it — it’s just faster, better, quicker, snappier, and a great experience.”

But even though Apple is trying hard to avoid talking about geeky tech stuffs of its iPhone, they can't stop others from revealing all of the goodness inside of Apple's one and only smartphone. T-Mobile Netherlands website (via Macworld) has recently posted specifications for both the 16GB and 32GB of the iPhone 3G [S], the new iPhone is indeed powered by a 600MHz processor (compared to the 412MHz processor of the iPhone 3G) and sports 256MB of RAM (versus 128MB on the iPhone 3G).

T-mobile netherlands iphone specs

Apple's marketing philosophy is definetely different from other companies who love to boast of their products' hardware prowess, but then again that's what we love so much from Apple, because Apple is different. Just like Apple's famous ol' theme: "Think different..." ;-)

Talking about marketing strategy, AT&T also recently has revealed their plan to offer free MMS with a text-messaging plan at some point later this summer. Like David Martin from iPhone Atlas has reported: "Until now, some current customers have feared having to pay an additional fee for texting. Considering all the negative feedback about iPhone 3G to 3G S upgrades, this is probably a strategic decision on AT&T's part."

Atent mms faq

So, do you think you'll take that iPhone 3G [S] upgrade deals now? There'll be bitter sweet taste included in it, waiting for you take the first bite until the time for another new iPhone next year...

Monday, June 15, 2009

iPhone 3G [S] dates that matter most

The introduction has been done, the release dates have been announced, and people are already pre-ordering the new iPhone 3G [S] on-line at AT&T and Apple Store.

Little do we noticed that the new iPhone OS 3.0 software, which will be available as a free download for iPhone owners and $9.95 worth-upgrade for iPod Touch this summer, is still sporting the same 'Calendar' icon showing Tuesday, 9, like we've seen since the first iPhone models introduced back in 2007.

Yes of course, the 'Photos', 'Camera', 'Notes', 'Clock', 'Calculator', etc. are also still using the same icons. There are only two obvious difference of iPhone OS 3.0 software's Home Screen icons from the previous icons; they're the text messaging icon name and the new Voice Memos icon.

The text messaging icon is indeed still using the same ol' icon you're already familiar with, it's a simple empty text-baloon on top of a green colored box. But the naming has been changed into "Messages" because the new software update is now capable of sending MMS, unlike the older versions which limit the iPhone to only sending text messages.

But enough talking about icons detail, let's talk about something more realistic like the release dates of iPhone 3G [S] itself. “Cheer for your favorite country,” says Phil Schiller as people are shouting (as reported by Gizmodo's live WWDC '09 coverage). Apple has announced the iPhone 3G [S] launch date for over 80 countries, here are the dates:

Iphone jun 19

June 19
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
June 26
  • AustraliaIphone mystery jun 26
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
July 9
  • Bulgaria * Malta
  • Colombia * Mexico
  • Croatia * Moldova
  • Czech Republic * Montenegro
  • Denmark * New Zealand
  • Dominican Republic * Norway
  • El Salvador * Philippines
  • Estonia * Poland
  • Finland * Portugal
  • Greece * Romania
  • Guatemala * Singapore
  • Hong Kong * Slovakia
  • Hungary * South Africa
  • Latvia * Sweden
  • Liechtenstein * Uruguay
  • Lithuania * Macedonia
  • Luxembourg * Malaysia

Iphone july 9

August 9
  • Argentina * Nicaragua
  • Botswana * Niger
  • Brazil * Panama
  • Cameroon * Paraguay
  • Central African Republic * Peru
  • Chile * Russia
  • Ecuador * Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt * Senegal
  • Guinea * Taiwan
  • Honduras * Thailand
  • India * Turkey
  • Indonesia * United Arab Emirates
  • Ivory Coast * Venezuela
  • Jamaica * Madagaskar
  • Jordan * Mali
  • Kenya * Mauritius

Iphone aug 9

Looks like I'll be cheering for August 9 for iPhone 3G [S] to arrive at my country, how about you?

But seriously guys, is it just me or is Apple really love to use no. 9? Like those June 19, July 9, August 9 releases date and the $9.95 upgrade fee for iPod Touch owner for iPhone OS 3.0 software... ;-p

Source is from iPhone Atlas.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

iPhone 3G [S] buying rage has started early

Don't you hate it when you have to wait in a long line just to get the new iPhone? Well, it looks like it can't be help...

Just less than a week since the introduction of iPhone 3G [S] at WWDC '09, and despite the high upgrade fees for those who have bought older models, AT&T has begun spreading words to customers that they've sold out the iPhone 3G [S] pre-order stocks at launch day.

BGR has received a tip showing an AT&T's internal sales system note which stated:

"Due to the extraordinary demand for iPhone 3G [S], all customers placing preorders on Saturday, June 13, 2009, and later, should be informed that their order will arrive at the store 7 to 14 days from the order date.

Only preorders placed Friday, Jun 12, 2009, or earlier, are expected to arrive in time for the 7:00 a.m. opening on Friday, June 19, 2009."

That means for you who are lucky enough to have placed pre-orders before June 13 yesterday, will have your iPhone 3G [S] delivered to your front doorstep. While for you who are lazy ...*cough*... I mean unlucky ones who placed your pre-orders on & after June 13, then you'll have to wait 7-14 days later. If you think you won't survive that long without holding the newest and the latest Apple smartphone right away at the launch day, then there's no other way than start camping in front of your nearest AT&T or Apple Store at your local area.

But so far, both Apple and AT&T have not make any statement of iPhone 3G [S] stocks at each stores. Although both companies are giving out signals that for those who are lining up will not be dissappointed of not owning an iPhone 3G [S] at launch day, but keep in mind that we've yet to see how long the lines of people who want to get the new iPhone on June 19.

Iphone 3g long line

If you're beginning to feel the cold sweat running down on your neck after knowing this news, then fret not because there's still one left hope of miracle for you. I said "miracle" because this following method might not working anymore... According to iTalkiPhone; you can hack into Apple Store on-line with simple steps to place an order for iPhone 3G [S] and deliver it to your address on June 19, the same day as the official launch day! Here's how:
  1. First install Firebug into your Firefox web browser.
  2. Go to any non-apple product in the (example:
  3. Click on the little FireBug icon on the bottom of the screen, now Firebug pops up and click "Inspect", and choose the "Add to cart Icon"
  4. In firebug, right above where it's highlighted, you should see "". Click on "TV943VC/A" and change it to the value of the iPhone you want. (see code below):
iPhone 3G 8GB ($499): MB046LL/A
iPhone 3GS 16GB Black ($599): MB715LL/A
iPhone 3GS 16GB White ($599): MB716LL/A
iPhone 3GS 32GB Black ($699): MB717LL/A
iPhone 3GS 32GB White ($699): MB718LL/A

Now click on the Add to Cart button, and the iPhone should be in your cart. Proceed to buy it if you want.

The 'admin' of iTalkiPhone even said have talked to an Apple representative about this method, and they confirmed that you can do this. But remember, this way you're buying an un-subsidized iPhone. For more thorough process, you can visit the link above and see pictures attached on how to do the steps.

Iphone 3gs unboxing Too much? Are you the kinda person who much prefer to wait till this iPhone 3G [S] buying rage cool down, and leisurely waltz into an Apple Store without lining up (and sweating, and elbowing, etc.) to get it? Then why don't you just enjoy the pictures of iPhone 3G [S] first unboxing, entice yourself with an early live shots of the new iPhone before you get it later. The unboxing pictures were posted by Engadget China, unfortunately the post has been pulled which most probably because Apple asked them to.

But thank goodness iTalkiPhone has downloaded all of the live shots, and posted them up at their own website. You'll have to register first in order to view them, but I doubt such trivial thing will stop you. Right? ;-p

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WWDC '09: iPhone 3G [S] it is!

Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in... it's a new iPhone, and it's called: iPhone 3G [S].

If you were following the live coverage of yesterday Apple's WWDC '09 or if you've been keeping up with the latest news, then you must have knew it already that the rumors were right; Apple did introduce a new iPhone after all along with refreshed MacBook line-ups and upcoming new Snow Leopard.

Like me, some of you might have been surprised to learn that one of the last minute rumors and the most unlikely to be taken serious rumor was actually the right one. When I heard about how John Gruber of Daring Fireball got a tip that there's a new iPhone model passed around at Apple with codename: "iPhone 3GS", I thought that was just a(nother) rumor. But apparently the tip and John's hunch were right on the money, he speculates the "S" moniker stands for "speed" and he's right.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing confirmed what the "S" means when he was on stage at WWDC '09:

"The S stands for SPEED. Because 'this is the most powerful, fastest iPhone ever made.'
Averages 2x speed increase. OpenGL ES 2.0 support. 7.2Mbps HSDPA.
Launching messaging is 2.1x faster, loading SimCity is 2.4x faster, viewing Excel 3.6x faster, loading NY Times 2.9x faster.
The new iPhone 3G [S] is a REALLY fast phone."

There are of course many other features that come with the new iPhone hardware, the iPhone 3G [S]. But I don't think you need me to write them all over again here, you must have memorized them all and you can even mention them one by one with your eyes closed. But just in case you haven't know what to expect from the new iPhone 3G [S], then you can visit Apple's iPhone website for further information. And for more thorough and complete feature guide, including the whole WWDC '09 coverage (MacBooks, Mac OS X, iPhone OS 3.0, etc.), I recommend Gizmodo's WWDC '09 round-up.

Is it really worth it?

Even though Apple has jam-packed the new iPhone 3G [S] with some new features which can't be found in the previous models (iPhone Classic & 3G), for users and consumers that really is not what matter most. Talking about a new model means only one thing for owners of the old model: is it really worth it to upgrade?

Before we get into that, let's take a quick look at the iPhone pricing plans now: the 16GB iPhone 3G [S] will costs $199 and $299 for the 32GB model, meanwhile the old 8GB iPhone 3G is reduced to $99. See the live photo shot below of Phi Schiller's presentation of iPhone pricing plans, photo is courtesy of Gizmodo.

So Apple maintains the low price of its iPhone models most probably in order to fight the newly launched Palm Prē™, the prices sound great for new AT&T subscribers. But not for current AT&T subscribers with on going contract, they must pay higher price to get the new iPhone 3G [S].

AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel told Macworld that to upgrade the 8GB iPhone 3G will costs $299, the 16GB iPhone 3G [S] is $399, and the 32GB iPhone 3G [S] costs $599. In addition, customers will have to pay an $18 upgrade fee. Plus only if AT&T deems eligible the subscribers for an upgrade, which depends largely on how far along they are in their contract. AT&T subscribers should check their eligibility status, which they can do via Apple's online store or AT&T's web site before purchase, just to make sure.

With these kinda pricing plans, can Apple still sway the iPhone users to buy the new model instead of tempted to switch to the other side? (the cué goes to Palm Prē™ *wink*) Apple-fans' loyalty is currently put at test...

iPhone 3G [S]: Newer, faster & packs 'oleophobic coating'... (Huh, say what?!?)

From all of those exciting new features in the new iPhone to make you drool for it, there's one particular feature that you and I need to learn before we perfectly know it. Apple is touting the new iPhone 3G [S] carries a new featured technology on its screen called "fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating." Yeah, ohkay I understand completely the first line: "fingerprint-resistant", but how about the latter? "Oleophobic" sounds like a disease, or like a scary new symptom to me. ~LOL~

An eagle-eye JAiB reader named Everette has spotted details within Apple’s ‘How To’ pages for the new iPhone 3G [S] about that "oleophobic coating" thingy:

To clean iPhone, unplug all cables and turn off iPhone (press and hold the Sleep/ Wake button, then slide the onscreen slider). Then use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPhone. If your iPhone has an oleophobic coating on the screen (iPhone 3G S only), simply wipe your iPhone’s screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove oil left by your hands and face.

So after the long explanation, basically in short "oleophobic" means oil-resistant. Thank you to Everette for the find, thanks to Patrick J. from JAiB for the news, and of course many thanks to both of them for helping us learn a new word today. ;-p

iPhone 3G [S] out June 19th, but accessories are out now

Unlike the MacBook lines which become available right away after the WWDC '09 event, the new iPhone 3G [S] is set to be released into the market on June 19th. But even though the handset is yet available right now, third-party add on makers like iLuv has already launched a new accessory line designed specifically for the iPhone 3G [S]. According to Jasmine France from iPhone Atlas; iLuv's accessories selection is made up almost exclusively of cases with one car accessory thrown in for good measure. Check out iPhone Atlas' gallery for pricing and details.

What's up with the new iPhone naming?

No pun intended at the beginning line of my post up there, but seriously what was Apple thinking when they decided to add an [S] behind the already exist iPhone 3G name? Can't they come up with a better name? To think of it, at first I thought it was kinda silly but now I much more like the sound of "iPhone Video" instead...

I have to agree with Nilay Patel from Engadget who said about the new iPhone's name: "Let's face it, 'iPhone 3G S' is a pretty clunky name." ;-p

There are two kind of ways to write the new naming which is widely accepted: iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G S. But I wanted to use [S], so it would be more like how Apple writes it in the official logo.

These days we're being bombarded with unique and catchy names for smartphones; beginning from BlackBerry Bold, T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic, Palm Prē™, and now iPhone 3G [S]. It's getting weird-er, and funni-er. Thank goodness that Apple didn't call the [S] as "Super", like what Dr. Cullen did with his own version of iPhone 3G [S] below. (* Note: the Flickr link has been deleted for copyright reason)

But perhaps to call the new iPhone with nickname like "Super" is quite befitting, just like what Mr. Besilly from iPhone Savior has said about Dr. Cullen's image: "The fantastical idea of the (S) in iPhone 3GS being more appropriately fitted with the correct Super Hero emblem is not that far off from what true cult of iPhone fanatics would like to believe about Apple's epic 2009 upgrade. It's much more powerful!" ;-)

Look! It's a phone! It's a smartphone! No, it's an iPhone 3G [S]!! ~LOL~

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Counting down (few minutes left) to WWDC '09: Last minute reality check

If you're reading this means either you're currently awake and staring at your monitor, waiting for the WWDC '09 to kick start in just few more minutes to go; or you just happened to be re-reading the old posts archive and missed the live coverage. ;-p

Today is a big day for Apple and iPhone fans, as in a matter of minutes away Apple's Phil Schiller will deliver his keynote and soon we'll know what Apple has been up to these days. There have been many rumors going on for the past weeks about the new iPhone, but no matter how good they are, rumors are just whispers in the wind.

Nonetheless, we're all suckers for juicy rumors. If we're not careful, the fake excitement we're getting from rumors will only lead to huge dissappointment. So what we really need is a reality check, something to bring us back to the ground before we float way too far. Here's what we really sure know what will be the topics in this year's WWDC based on the banners hanging around the event: iPhone OS 3.0 software & 64-bit Mac OS X (pictured below).

Without doubt, the main topic of WWDC '09 will be about the iPhone apps. The WWDC banner located at the registration hall shows that crystal clear, saying: "One year later. Light-years ahead." (pictured at the top) And just in case you you didn't see it, there's a man on the left moving away from the registration counter carrying a black-colored bag wrapped in plastic; that's the WWDC '09 schwag for the attendees. The schwag consists of a black WWDC 2009 tee shirt and black vinyl backpack (pictured below).

So, the WWDC '09 is about to begin soon. I'm going off to watch it live on various tech blogs, and I'm sure you are too, enjoy!

Spb Brain Evolution for iPhone

Just received this today from Victoria Krasilshikova - Spb Software House: Spb Brain Evolution - the world's number one bestselling Windows Mobile game of 2008 - is now available for users of iPhone and iPod Touch.

Spb Brain Evolution is a braintrainer: an intellectual game that helps to improve memory, logic, arithmetic, and puzzle-solving skills. The application is an intriguing suit of addictive 10 games, which have to be played in sequence: only good results in one game unlock the next one for playing.

Spb Brain Evolution supports two independent game modes: Brain Marking and Brain Training: for evaluating the current 'brain fitness', and for improving the score, respectively. Logic, orientation and patterns, memory and calculation, facts and statistics - all can be worked on while playing Arithmetics, Balltracker, Encyclopedia, Guess Who, Matches, Memorics, Minesweeper, Numbers, Quadronica, and Sudoku.

Spb Brain Evolution keeps overall game statistics, builds progress reports, and supports profiles for multiple players. Brilliant play with high scores is rewarded with special achievement certificates, which can be printed out and used to intimidate the more novice Spb Brain Evolution players, be it family of friends. Spb Brain Evolution also cites an interesting fact at the end of every completed training.

Spb Brain Evolution Main Features:
  • 10 games (Sudoku included)
  • Brain Marking and Brain Training modes
  • Game statistics & progress reports* Multiple user profiles
  • Cool facts knowledgebase
  • Rewards for better play
  • Addictive sequential game play
Pricing and Availability: Spb Brain Evolution for iPhone is compatible with iPhone OS 2.2 and higher, and may be purchased for 4.95 USD from the Apple AppStore. Spb Brain Evolution is also available for smartphones running Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 OS.

Further Information and Downloads: Spb Brain Evolution web page for iPhone

Monday, June 8, 2009

Palm Prē launch: Vaja also launches luxurious Prē leather cases

Right on time, when Sprint launched the highly awaited Palm Prē™ yesterday on June 6th, Vaja also introduced four handicraft leather cases for the smartphone. Vaja is known as a company who make luxurious leather cases for mobile devices, and it is said only uses only 10% of Argentina's finest leather. And to welcome the arrival of Palm's latest smartphone, Vaja has launched first two of its Prē™ leather cases:
  • Leather Pocket (Black), is available right now for $60 and ships in 3 business days.
  • Classic Leather Pocket, also starts at $60 but its colors can be customized to your liking and will take 20 days to process your request.
While the other two leather cases for the Prē™: the ivolution Deco and Pouch (pictured above) are coming soon. So, Prē™ owners which one will you choose to carry & protect your newly beloved smartphone?

Sources are from Vaja, via IntoMobile.

Palm Prē launch: The Touchstone's 'chic' secrets revealed

This is the first I ever witnessed it myself when a new smartphone is launched; an accessory as popular as the handset itself: the Touchstone™. For you who have not know it yet, (just in case you've been living in the jungle and got right back into the civilization right in time for the Prē™ launch day) the newly launched Palm Prē™ can be charged in two ways: an old fashion way with microUSB that comes along in the original box, or a new and cool way with the wireless charger Touchstone™ which is sold seperately at $70.

Michelle Koh, a member of the human interface team at Palm who played a large part in designing the user experience for Palm’s new webOS™ platform and the core Person Information Management (PIM) app; said this when asked by UXbyDesign about the Touchstone™ in an interview:

"This is just so cool because what was only possible in movies, is now possible in real-life for a mass consumer product. It’s always exciting when something considered 'geek' becomes 'chic'. Not only does this matter in the way a device is charged, but also for human behavior and cognition."

The Touchstone™ seems indeed have a certain sex appeal that makes it to become the center of attention, a mysterious masterpiece no one has ever knew before... But lucky for us, it is not mystery anymore on how the Touchstone™ works because iFixit has teardown the wireless charger, and reveal its guts inside for all of us to see just hours after they bought it. *gasp!*

The inductor charging base assembly

  • The new Palm Touchstone wireless charger works on the principle of resonant induction. When you move a magnetic field near a coil of wire, it induces a current in the wire.
  • Taking advantage of this principle, the Touchstone creates an electrical coupling between two coils of wire that are not physically connected. It does this with a primary coil of wire in the base unit which transmits energy to the secondary coil of wire in the phone via a magnetic field.
Ifixit ts 2 The Touchstone rear panel includes a secondary induction coil
  • The magnetic field generated by the base unit turns on and off rapidly, generating a magnetic pulse that is carefully tuned to the dimensions of the wire coil inside the phone. This oscillating magnetic field induces a current inside the phone, allowing the battery to be charged.
  • Similar technology is used to transmit power to some battery-operated toothbrushes, razors, etc.
  • This explanation is an oversimplification of a very specific field of electrical engineering.
  • You'll note that the location of the induction coil is in the center of the device, well away from the antennas that line the perimeter of the phone.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palm Prē launch: The lines, the smiles, the pride, the comments and... the joke

The wait is finally over.

Yesterday, on June 6th, the most anticipated smartphone of the year: Palm Prē™ was finally launched at Sprint's 1,100 stores across the (U.S.) nation. Unlike the launch of Apple's iPhone last year and the year before, the launch of the Prē™ can be considered as more modest and calm, although prior yesterday's launch Palm's latest smartphone has gathered huge attentions from the blogosphere and analysts.

Palm has played well in promoting the Prē™ ever since the company introduced it at CES 2009 on last January, and despite the lack of trust from Palm to lend the smartphone to any analysts, the action however brought curiosity to the peak level and create enough enthusiasm for not just Palm loyal fans but also tech geeks around the globe. On the other hand, Sprint as the exclusive wireless carrier to offer the Prē™ understand well that they simply can't compete with the iPhone, so they tried to downplay expectations for iPhone-like crowds before the Prē™ launched.

Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott told The New York Times (via Wireless blog) earlier this week, that the company not only didn't expect long lines for the Prē™, but that Sprint even didn't want them (people lining up for the Prē™). And it seems that was what happened, salespeople at Sprint stores in New York City said there are only handfuls of people lined up outside on Saturday morning, but salespeople in Manhattan said they had a steady stream of customers for most of the day. Mark Elliott characterized the launch in East Coast cities as "a nice flow of customers," with some stores attracting crowds of 40 to 50 people waiting to get in at 8AM when many Sprint stores opened.

But overall the Prē™ sales has been a success: the Sprint store on Fifth Avenue is said only had six phones left as of 2:30PM on Saturday, in Boston the store sold out of its 55 Prē™ by 11AM, and the Framingham Sprint store had sold at least 20 Prē™ in the first 90 minutes since the opening.

According to an Engadget report, people started queuing around 5:00AM outside Sprint's New York store in the Flatiron Building, with Chris Lee and Randy Williams the first through the door (pictured below). After 40 minutes of activation and phone book transfer, the both gentlemen came out from the store with a big smile on their face, and of course a shiny new Palm Prē™. ;-)

Kevin C. Tofel from jkOnTheRun even woke up early and started heading to the closest Sprint store at local mall which was opened early at 7:50AM, the Sprint reps there told him that they only have 25 Prē™ handsets and just a “few” Touchstones, so in the end Kevin snatched the last TouchStone charger and got out from the store at 9AM. Is he happy? Sounds like he does, like how he express it from some of his early impressions on the Prē™:

Jkotr pre box
"The design of the package is very Apple-like, for lack of a better term. ... Very elegant!

I love the screen. It’s bright and vibrant, ... Everything looks super-clear.

I can already type as fast as I can on my iPhone keyboard, so I anticipate that with further experience, I’ll exceed my iPhone typing speeds.

I’m finding WebOS to be snappy. Multi-tasking with cards is (dare I say it?) fun.

I hated to get the last Touchstone at my store, but I’m already glad I got it. I haven’t even used it yet, but I’m happy because the little door that covers the Pre’s USB port is small and hard to open for me."

That's how Kevin feels about his brand new Palm Prē™, how about the others? Many of them who bought a Prē™ considered it as an investment, because of its revolutionary webOS™. Which Palm CEO Ed Colligan himself has said before that the new platform will power Palm's devices in the next (hopefully) 10 years to come. But for Palm loyal fans, the buying spree can also be considered as a way to support the ailing company...

Skip Tannen, an IT operations engineer at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. said: "As an original Palm Pilot user, I want to support Palm and see them make it, but this Pre is also just a bloody cool device." Tannen was the first in line at 8AM when the store opened, having left his home three hours earlier. Jennifer Stoner, a private tutor from Newton, Mass., has a four-years old Treo and needs to be replaced said: "I hope the Pre helps Palm, since Palm has always had the greatest apps."

Matt Hamblen from Computerworld was reporting that seven successful Prē™ buyers in Boston who were interviewed at the Framingham store said they wanted a new smartphone with a bright screen and a hardware keyboard. All of them said they had tried the iPhone, or owned one, and wanted a hardware keyboard instead of a touchscreen, finding the touchscreen hard to use.

Richard Rosmarin, another longtime Palm user, said he was eager to have a multitasking smartphone like the Pre so that he could read his e-mail while also listening to music from it in the background. "Of course my wife asked me if having this Prē™ is critical to my life, but I'm getting it anyway," he said.

Yes, true. The Prē™ has brought Palm back into the game, for the past weeks the Prē™ has become the talk of the town and its launch has generated enough buzz to make people remember Palm once again. Because of that, it's inevitably for people to compare it with the success of iPhone launch and make jokes of the comparison. One in particular which is managed to caught everyone's attention is coming from Peter Yan, a 23 years-old amateur graphic/web designer who made a comparison photo of the iPhone opening day launch against the Palm Prē™ launch (pictured below).

Harsh? Nah, that's just a reality. Something to whip both Sprint and Palm, to keep thinking forward and keep on introducing better products in the future. But for now, personally and perhaps for you too, this whole Prē™ thing is enough to welcome Palm's comeback to the competition. Here's a big cheer for Palm!!