My subconscious at work?

I’m beginning to believe my subconscious has developed super powers. I am jonesing for a new smart phone that works better than my antiquated iPhone 3G. Given the age of my phone that’s not a tall order.

To help me in that direction, my subconscious has disabled the ability of my phone to vibrate when someone calls me. I don’t know how I managed to do it but the phone does not shake anymore.

I dislike my phone ringing but (obviously) don’t wish to miss calls. I’m going to do the factory reset of the phone to see if that fixes it. I remain hopeful since I’m not quite ready to get a replacement.

This is not a new ability for me. I’ve been jinxing electronic equipment since my Dad had a TRS-80 Model I. But I now work in a field where this is not a desirable trait so it must be I am doing it subconsciously again.

Since I’m looking for a new phone I’ve been gathering information. Did you know that you cannot surf the web while speaking on Verizon’s network using an Android phone? I had heard that but thought that was just a rumor. Apparently it’s a CDMA limitation, but more information is needed. I’ve also read that while using LTE that limitation is gone.

I’ll take another look at T-Mobile and Sprint just to see if their networks are up to par. In the meanwhile I will continue to be impressed with my latent super powers.

P.S. No, I have not lost my mind, and yes I am kidding about the super powers. The phone is still broken though.

Hello? AT&T? Can you hear me now?

Any consumer subscription service is about getting what you pay for. 4 bars, a 3G icon, and no Internet connectivity is not acceptable.

What good is it to have a grandfathered-in data plan from AT&T if their data network is unavailable half the time?

I usually can’t use my phone in Penn Station at all. The phone does work consistently in the same areas (just not Manhattan) so while the iPhone 3G is dated, I hold that AT&T’s network is just sub-standard.

I’ve had my Apple iPhone 3G for over 2 years now and am well out of my contract time. I could get a Verizon iPhone 4 after next month but I’m not going to for two reasons.

First, I think I want to try something new and another iPhone is not it. Before the iPhone I had the Blackberry Pearl. It worked well but I wanted to combine my music player and phone. The 3G was part of my decision process because I do like to connect to the Internet during my commute.

My second reason is that the iPhone 4 does have antenna issues. It’s a 2010 phone and in June the next iteration of iPhone will be announced. Why get dated technology?

The model that I am looking at is the HTC Thunderbolt. This is essentially an updated EVO phone but for Verizon. Sadly, Verizon has not bothered to publish an availability date but I’ve read that it will be sold in March.

I can wait till March.

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Android or iPhone 4?

Do I get an Android phone or an iPhone 4? I’m in no rush to get a new phone but I do periodically suffer from phone envy.

I am a fan of easy-to-use technology. I currently own an iPhone 3G with iOS 4.0.1 installed. My phone has been jailbroken not because I have a “SOFTWARE MUST BE FREE!!!1!” itch, but because I wanted to tweek my phone in ways that Apple doesn’t support for my hardware.

Cool Applications, not so cool app store

One of my favorite apps on my iPhone is Camera+. It lets me take photos, make adjustments, and share those photos online. All within the app and very easily.

The Camera+ developers came up with the idea of modifying the volume up button to be used as a shutter button. This re-mapping of the button would only be done while the user is in the app. It’s a great idea and makes using Camera+ easier.  But the idea was rejected by the app store, so the developers created a back door to enable that setting.

That’s a sensible work around because the app store was apparently afraid that re-mapping the volume up key while in the Camera+ app would create confusion. Since the end-user would have to access a specific application URL, they would have to know what they were doing.

But as expected the Camera+ app has been removed from the app store. Rules are rules, especially when they are arbitrary, imaginary, mostly made up, and not published.

Do I really want to continue using a product that fosters an environment like this? I know that the Android Market Place has it’s pitfalls too but the Apple App store is driven by incompetence.

Android is becoming more cool

I know two people who have Android phones from Verizon.  The first phone I’ve seen is the HTC Incredible.  The UI is easy to use and makes the experience fun.

The other phone is the Droid X.  The display portion alone feels like it’s bigger than my iPhone 3G.  It’s not a small phone in comparison but the display is fantastic. It’s not as slick as an HTC phone but it is close.

How would a Gorilla design a better Gorilla?

I’ve also seen the iPhone 4.  The display is phenomenal but it’s essentially a better iPhone 3GS. It’s more resolution, more memory, faster CPU.  But it’s still an iPhone and I already have an inferior version right now.

Why just get a better version of the iPhone 3G? Why not get a new phone and try out the other guys? If Camera+ existed for the Android phone, that would go a long way to hastening my decision.

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iPhone 3G slowness

Within days of my putting on iOS 4.0.1 onto my iPhone 3G, the phone started to crawl. Playing music was painful and using applications became a joke. For example doing anything with Camera+ (a very cool photo app BTW) would take minutes when it used to take seconds. Downgrading to 3.1.3 caused my apps to become responsive.

Last Wednesday I installed iOS 4.0.1 and did not restore my backup. I factory defaulted the phone and when it was plugged into my PC, I treated it like a new phone. This meant I had to copy my song library, apps, etc. from scratch. I recovered my contacts easily enough because I use Google Sync.

Next up I went into my iPhone’s settings app and turned off all Spotlight searches. If I could disable Spotlight 100% I would do it; this is one feature that Apple should have left on design table.

I also jailbreak’ed my iPhone and made the following changes:

  1. I turned on SpringBoard’s image backgrounds.
  2. I enabled Multitasking.
  3. I turned on the percentage battery meter option.

Why not? I ended up turning off multitasking because while everything ran acceptably, when you are out of memory, apps would not start properly. The background image is not as fast as a 3GS but still usable and makes the phone more attractive.

To make my modifications, I installed iPhone Explorer on my PC to copy and modify a .plist file manually. This is not not the safest way to do it. In the Cydia app store is an application called Features (for iPhone 3G) that installs in WinterBoard.

So far the performance has been alright. If/when I get an iPhone 4 the display and speed will probably startle me.

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Google Voice on the iPhone is slick

After I read this article on Gizmodo  (helpfully called “How To: Jailbreak Any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad”) I figured what the heck and did the deed.

The Spirit Jailbreak Tool is as fire and forget as it gets. I backed up my iPhone, made sure I could restore it to its pristine Apple condition and pushed the button. It was so easy that I wonder what the catch is. A few minutes later and GV Mobile was installed on my phone.

I can see why Apple and/or AT&T blocked this app in the iTunes store. The integration is so flawless that I’m not sure why I would go back and use the Apple dialer. It’s like the Apple phone app but integrated with Google Voice. I get my downloaded voicemail as well as the transcribed email.

It’s a shame that Apple does not let Google get this onto the app store, it’s a good quality program.