or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 3G's first day: hardware reviews, app plans, and unlocking
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

iPhone 3G's first day: hardware reviews, app plans, and unlocking

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The first day of iPhone 3G's existence has seen a slew of real-world surprises -- and real-world problems -- as well as a much clearer picture of the expanding third-party app universe, and early successes in jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones.

iPhone 3G reviews: the good

While Apple trumpets the new iPhone's namesake 3G connection for its speed, perhaps the single most observable improvement to the handset with the new network support is call quality.

Using 3G for calls reduces battery life but is said to dramatically improve the clarity of calls going in and out. To Gizmodo, the greater amount of voice data sent during a 3G call (combined with the new mic and speaker) completely overhauls the experience: voice is "especially clear" and enough of an improvement that it sounds like "the difference between talking to someone with their hand over their mouth and with their hand taken away," according to the site.

The New York Times' David Pogue has already described the quality as some of the best of any phone.

Of course, the Internet access itself is demonstrably faster, with Apple's "twice as fast" claims largely coming true in practice. Gizmodo actually sees a larger gain than Apple of 2.6 times the extra speed on 3G versus EDGE; in more detailed throughput tests, Engadget has measured the iPhone at between 300Kbps to 500Kbps in the US, where AT&T's 3G network is relatively slow, while foreign networks with more advanced support often net 700Kbps to 800Kbps.

And while the GPS mapping on the iPhone isn't a replacement for the voiced navigation of a dedicated GPS unit, its speed in getting a position lock is unusually quick. Both Gizmodo and Engadget have seen the iPhone find its position in as little as one second and attribute it to the iPhone's relatively unique ability to narrow down its location through Wi-Fi triangulation.

The at times maligned plastic back may prove crucial to its strong performance. Gizmodo notices that Wi-Fi range grows by 20 percent on the newer device to 120 feet. Apple even takes advantage this for a new, improved Airplane Mode that optionally leaves Wi-Fi turned on for sensitive connections such as in-cabin networks.

iPhone 3G observations: the bad

One increasingly common trait seen on iPhone 3G, and one which may be a potential problem for the device, is the unnatural tint at least some users are finding on the display: the screen exhibits a yellowish tint that can be potentially distracting to some users: some of Gizmodo's readers have observed a bias towards the color in white areas that can be noticeable versus the bluish iPhone or the more color-neutral iPod touch.

It's unclear as to whether this is an unintentional flaw or an idiosyncrasy of the screen; the LCD on the iPhone 3G is described by iLounge as having narrower viewing angles that may induce color shifts.

Battery life is still in testing by most reviewers, though the data-rich signal has led Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg to warn that power runs down quickly compared to iPhones with the technology disabled. The performance isn't unusual among 3G phones but may be a disappointment to some customers.

The camera is also disappointing, but precisely because it hasn't changed. Engadget notes that the 2-megapixel camera is the same with only minor changes to image processing to improve the sharpness of images, while Gizmodo also sees reduced noise but few other changes.

Additionally, the plastic back that helps reception so much is also seen as a double-edged sword: in black, the rear casing shows smudges, lint, and other superficial dirt, even if anecdotal reports from users report the shell as unusually scratch-resistant (though not immune).

Apps set to explode in numbers, complexity

Apple is known to have exerted tight control over its initial choice of launch partners for the App Store, permitting an unusual mix of small and large developers and pushing developers to ask money for apps which would otherwise sell for free.

In the immediate wake of the official iPhone 3G and App Store launches, however, at least some of those restrictions appear to have been lifted. AppleInsider has received multiple reports of developers being readily accepted into the official iPhone Developer Program with little effort, suggesting that the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPhone maker is eager to grow well past the starting 500 apps that have come with the App Store's debut.

Signs also exist that developers are keen to push the boundaries of what Apple will allow for third-party apps. Although Apple's development guidelines currently bar turn-by-turn directions, well-known navigation app designer TeleNav has said it's developing a true GPS navigation tool for iPhones with GPS that would mimic a full-fledged GPS device, including spoken turn-by-turn directions. TomTom has also expressed interest in the same software, and both are believed to be counting on special exceptions from Apple to make this work.

Games are also proving to be much more popular for the iPhone, with most of the top ten App Store programs being dedicated to fun rather than work and many dedicated game developers releasing genuinely complex games. One of the industry's most well-established developers, id Software, may also be pointing to a future of much more serious development: the company's co-founder John Carmack on Friday told Shacknews that his company is strongly interested in iPhone game development and just "didn't have the manpower" to put forward an advanced 3D game that would represent the company for the App Store's grand opening.

iPhone 2.0 already successfully unlocked

In what comes as little surprise to those following the iPhone hacking community, Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware has already been successfully unlocked and jailbroken to run with unsanctioned carriers and apps.

The longstanding iPhone Dev Team group has successfully developed a version of its Pwnage Tool that not only modifies iPhones and iPods using the 2.0 firmware to run bootleg code but is simple enough that nearly any user can run it, according to the hackers, who in the past few months have also cracked beta iPhone firmware included with the official Software Development Kit.

A more polished version for the public is coming soon.

Pwnage Tool 2.0 in action.

Other development teams are likely to join the effort to open up the Apple phone but haven't yet made their presence felt.

The move brings the prospect of unlocked iPhone 3G units closer, though breaking the locks on these devices is expected to take extra time: the new chipset that permits the faster speeds also bars programmers from simply translating their experience in unlocking the 2G phone over to a 3G device.
post #2 of 21
For "The Bad" don't forget about TONS of pissed of customers today (well, potential customers) that waited forever in line just to run into problems like iTunes, slow servers, confusing information, etc.
post #3 of 21
Well, that particular "bad" is temporary--an unfortunate launch-day overload, along the lines of "waiting in a hot line to find they have none left!" But once you get one and activate it, that "bad" can be forgotten.

As for screen tint--not all whites are alike, and I think I might prefer yellow-white to blue-white. But going from one (old IPhone) to the other (3G) sounds jarring.

And as for Apple lowering the bar and letting more devs into the program... yeah. They'll let ANYBODY in these days. I know because I was just accepted
post #4 of 21
I wish Apple did some more filtering of Apps. Some are so weird and useless. Looks like Apple puts them there just to make the number of Apps bigger. I hope Apple takes bigger part in helping Developers with UInterface and graphics. Some Applications look like they were drawn in Paint. Just looks bad for Apple. =)
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #5 of 21
If TomTom comes out for the iPhone and is reasonably priced, I'm getting an iPhone. Otherwise, I'm not so sure... That's my 'Killer App'...

I travel abroad fairly often and using Google Maps abroad is clearly impossible with the current charges for data roaming.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

If TomTom comes out for the iPhone and is reasonably priced, I'm getting an iPhone. Otherwise, I'm not so sure... That's my 'Killer App'...

I travel abroad fairly often and using Google Maps abroad is clearly impossible with the current charges for data roaming.

I doubt the iPhone 3G is not going to replace a stand alone GPS unit. Too slow.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

I doubt the iPhone 3G is not going to replace a stand alone GPS unit. Too slow.

why shouldn't it have a good antena it should have a quality gps chip, won't know till people try other nav apps.

i read that gps companies were scared to death of the iphone if it had gps, because you know other than email, gps is killer app and it allows locations for many things, until i used my friends garmin 350 i didn't realize the importance of finding things newby, i know how to get to an address but finding atm, hospitals, gas, resturants is just mindblowing

i'm hoping for quaity voice dialing and speech to text gps even as you say you have to buy more software. one device for travel OMG
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

I travel abroad fairly often and using Google Maps abroad is clearly impossible with the current charges for data roaming.

I travel continuously so switching SIM cards in each country is critical.
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
post #9 of 21
Would be nice if O2 (UK) let existing customers with contracts switch over to the iPhone 3G. This was the case with the launch of the first iPhone. So I was under the impression by staff that this would be the case this time. I even swapped from Orange to O2 to facilitate this move.

The other nice experience was that O2 took £10 from me as a deposit for an iPhone 3G but when I went in to collect it - they say "we have loads upstairs, the system is down so we can't sell them, we'll give you a call when everything is back to normal". It is now Saturday and the system is still down. Sounds more like bollocks to me!

Here's a good experience - MobileMe, is it launched? Are people using it? I know I'm not, I can't get it. So much for the Apple slogan "it just works". The launch of iPhone 3G and MobileMe is clearly a massive balls-up. Apple have powerful servers, massively skilled engineers and obviously an over zealous marketing team that is short on deliverables. It's a joke to see the advertising "the phone you've been waiting for" and the t-shirts and balloons. In the O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores it looks like a party were the host didn't turn up. Not good for new blood O2 or Apple customers.

In the wake of this debacle the Carphone Warehouse has a little flyer on the iPhone 3G display units (devoid of handsets) comparing the iPhone 3G with other phones on the market with the bias to the other phones. Message to Apple - don't come up with the goods, your outlet partners will stab you in the back.

As for the attitude of some people who seem to roll over and accept the apparent sub-standard yellow tinted screens as preferred I find amazing. Apple users should be scathing if things are not right - not accepting. Apple users have been used to brilliant products that work straight out of the box. So much so we have a smug look on our faces when talking about our kit. Apple as a company picked up on this an incorporated the smug attitude into it's advertising. But the smug look doesn't last too long when Apple fails. And it's failed big time this time around.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

why shouldn't it have a good antena it should have a quality gps chip, won't know till people try other nav apps.

i read that gps companies were scared to death of the iphone if it had gps, because you know other than email, gps is killer app and it allows locations for many things, until i used my friends garmin 350 i didn't realize the importance of finding things newby, i know how to get to an address but finding atm, hospitals, gas, resturants is just mindblowing

i'm hoping for quaity voice dialing and speech to text gps even as you say you have to buy more software. one device for travel OMG

I would like it to happen as well, I'm not holding my breath though. I'm wondering how the maps will be stored, how much space they would take up, how the processor could keep up with that as well as the other functions that have to run on the phone. Remember those stand alones are just that, they have only that purpose to execute. Once you start adding other things that need to get done (email, sms, phone) you start limiting the functionality of other applications. I hope it's possible but I'm skeptical for now.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

I would like it to happen as well, I'm not holding my breath though. I'm wondering how the maps will be stored, how much space they would take up, how the processor could keep up with that as well as the other functions that have to run on the phone. Remember those stand alones are just that, they have only that purpose to execute. Once you start adding other things that need to get done (email, sms, phone) you start limiting the functionality of other applications. I hope it's possible but I'm skeptical for now.

Last I heard, the amount of data stored on a common GPS device is around a quarter or half gig. I really don't think you other concerns are problems. Assisted GPS like iPhone has should be a lot quicker because the iPhone fetches a lot of data through the phone/WiFi network rather than wait for that data to come through the GPS signal, so you get a fix in a few seconds rather than a few minutes.

Even if it wasn't as fast or quite as accurate, I would prefer to have one device that does it all than have a pile of devices with parts redundant to other devices. A separate GPS with touch screen shouldn't be needed when you already have a powerful touchscreen device which many parts are likely superior to all but the more expensive GPS devices.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

early successes in jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones

Oh, really? Because I watched that entire YouTube video you linked to, and it failed in every attempt to do, well, everything. "Phone not found", "I Haz Fail". My best guess is that someone designed a really pretty frontend that does nothing. Until I see it actually unlock a phone, I remain unconvinced.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

I wish Apple did some more filtering of Apps. Some are so weird and useless. Looks like Apple puts them there just to make the number of Apps bigger. I hope Apple takes bigger part in helping Developers with UInterface and graphics. Some Applications look like they were drawn in Paint. Just looks bad for Apple. =)

What's "weird and useless" to you might be a godsend to someone else.

I'd rather them be less restrictive on apps. What if only a handful of people need something really obscure? Why should it be denied just because it's only useful to a few?
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

why shouldn't it have a good antena it should have a quality gps chip, won't know till people try other nav apps.

i read that gps companies were scared to death of the iphone if it had gps, because you know other than email, gps is killer app and it allows locations for many things, until i used my friends garmin 350 i didn't realize the importance of finding things newby, i know how to get to an address but finding atm, hospitals, gas, resturants is just mindblowing

i'm hoping for quaity voice dialing and speech to text gps even as you say you have to buy more software. one device for travel OMG

Nokia N95, 6110, N82, N81 with GPS BT Device. Been there, done that and they give turn by turn instructions. Oh, did I mention the maps are already on the device so you do not have to stay connected?
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Oh, really? Because I watched that entire YouTube video you linked to, and it failed in every attempt to do, well, everything. "Phone not found", "I Haz Fail". My best guess is that someone designed a really pretty frontend that does nothing. Until I see it actually unlock a phone, I remain unconvinced.

The next step towards unlocking.

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1516

Another update: Boot-neuter

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1517
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

The next step towards unlocking.

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1516

Another update: Boot-neuter

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1517



post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

Nokia N95, 6110, N82, N81 with GPS BT Device. Been there, done that and they give turn by turn instructions. Oh, did I mention the maps are already on the device so you do not have to stay connected?

Dropping another $100-$200 on a separate BT GPS dongle isn't really "been there, done that" when the point is having the convenience of a single device, is it?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Dropping another $100-$200 on a separate BT GPS dongle isn't really "been there, done that" when the point is having the convenience of a single device, is it?

You pick "one" device. I threw in the BT GPS dongle to illustrate the possibility to do it (next time I will caveat it). To date, Apple has crippled the BT to nothing more than pair with a headset. The others have integrated turn by turn GPS and has had it long before the iPhone so GPS in an iPod, I mean, iPod with Phone, is nothing new. Just having a GPS is nothing spectacular. Turn by turn voice directions makes more sense and is something to get excited over.
post #19 of 21
the garmin gps devices use less than 4gb, the one i'm looking at uses 2gb, so you could keep all the maps on the iphone. thats why i'm getting the 16 for the extra space.
now if it was setup to keep the data, or keep the data on home computer, then you can put it in when you are going on a trip, if not just keep it in itunes or local harddrive so it won't use up needed iphone space.

still looking for voice dialing similar to my moto v551

those of you with a BT car kit how does it work with the present iphone? when you receive a call do you just push the BT car kit answer button or do you have to handle the iphone?

now looking to Christmas season, would apple upgrade this (memory) or wait till jan-march or june again???
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

I doubt the iPhone 3G is not going to replace a stand alone GPS unit. Too slow.

I smell a cover-up from Apple until an agreement is worked out with one of the "big guys" of the GPS world. (Pun intended)

I still have, and use from time to time, a seven-year old Garmin Street Pilot III. It is full color and at the time it was introduced, state of the art. I can't believe it is more advanced and has a "better processor" than the iPhone. I can't remember what processor is in it but in the next generation of Street Pilot's Garmin started using the same processor as what was in the Palm Pilot's, even in 2003 it was a step up to the 66 mhz dragonball processor. I'm sure the iPhone has a much better processor in it.
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
Reply
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
Reply
post #21 of 21
Check out my review of the iPhone 3G here

http://moneyforgadgets.blogspot.com/...ew-iphone.html
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 3G's first day: hardware reviews, app plans, and unlocking