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iPhone 3G clarifications: battery life, GPS, office apps

post #1 of 145
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Apple itself is setting the record straight and says that iPhone 3G's GPS mapping unit is as powerful as in dedicated devices. Also, cut-and-paste is still a possibility, and outside testers have found the iPhone's battery life the best in its class.

Contradicting claims by the New York Times' David Pogue, who was told by Apple that iPhone 3G's GPS chip is too small to work for turn-by-turn navigation, Apple product chief Greg Woswiak tells ExtremeTech that the hardware is just as capable as in other GPS-aware phones, many of which provide live driving directions.

Instead, the lack of an existing program from Apple or someone else to handle real-time road navigation is due to "complicated issues," according to the executive. He expects full navigation functionality to be expanded once developers are given more time.

"It will evolve," Joswiak says. "I think our developers will amaze us."

At least two veteran companies of the GPS industry, TeleNav and TomTom, have already said they are developing fuller navigation software than what's offered with the iPhone edition of Google Maps.

As for other features on the iPhone wish list, many of these are limited more by time and current implementation, according to Joswiak. A long-requested ability to cut and paste, among other features, is said to be absent only because Apple had to prioritize which features it added to the iPhone 2.0 firmware and iPhone 3G before launch. The official doesn't say if or when the feature would be implemented.

Office suites are possible on iPhones but are limited as "there's no cross-application file structure," he says, creating a fenced-off environment where the resulting content can't be shared between other iPhone apps.

Separately, PC World argues that claims of short battery life are also misleading. The publication agrees that Apple's call time on 3G is much shorter than the 10 hours promised on normal GSM phone networks but has run tests it says show iPhone 3G to be the longest-lived of the 3G cellphones in its class, which includes both smartphones and high-end media phones.

In a calling test, the Apple device exceeded Apple's own estimates and lasted for five hours and 38 minutes and just edges out the Samsung Instinct by five minutes -- a statistic which doesn't factor in the need for legacy voice support on the Instinct and other phones for CDMA-based cellular networks.

The next-closest device with comparable 3G technology to iPhone was HTC's Touch DUAL slider, which lasted 20 minutes less. In return, Palm's smartphones typically performed the worst, with the Treo 750 lasting just three hours and 53 minutes on AT&T's network.

Critics also frequently overlook some of the technical limits of these devices, says the magazine's Yardena Arar. Aside from the call quality difference, the HSDPA (High Speed Packet Download Access) technology used for 3G on AT&T's network allows iPhone 3Gs or similar devices to access the Internet while taking calls, a feat which is still impossible with CDMA-based 3G phones for networks such as Sprint and Verizon. Still, Arar says, that may be cold comfort for those expecting their earlier battery life.

"The good news for 3G iPhone owners is that they're probably better off than other 3G handset owners in terms of battery life," he says. "But that won't help when your 3G iPhone stops running at the end of a long and busy day."
post #2 of 145
"Still, Arar says, that may be cold comfort for those expecting their earlier battery life."

Better comfort: the iPhone 3G can be switched to EDGE and back easily at any time, for greatly increased battery life.
post #3 of 145
When full NATIVE-FILE Keynote and PowerPoint support for the ultimate wired and wireless handheld presentation?
post #4 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

"Still, Arar says, that may be cold comfort for those expecting their earlier battery life."

Better comfort: the iPhone 3G can be switched to EDGE and back easily at any time, for greatly increased battery life.

I agree, normally during the day and when your around a WiFi connection leave the iPhone in EDGE mode.

What would be nice is some sort of intelligent switching. The phone could idle in EDGE mode until you either accesses enough data to switch or when you placed or received a call and needed data at the same time.
post #5 of 145
Apple please release iWork iPhone Application. And please don't charge us for it since we already bought the desktop version!!
post #6 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

"Still, Arar says, that may be cold comfort for those expecting their earlier battery life."

Better comfort: the iPhone 3G can be switched to EDGE and back easily at any time, for greatly increased battery life.

I wish the 3G On/Off switch was located with the Airport Mode On/Off switch. I have switched between EDGE and HSDPA many times and having to enter Settings » General » Network is two too many steps for this receptive action.

I'd actually prefer to have 3G settings that allow to choose which apps or types of apps I can have use 3G and which I prefer use GSM. FOr instance, when I'm using Safari or iTunes Store app I would like it to initialize the 3G, but if they are closed to turn it off automatically.
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post #7 of 145
So, I stopped by the W 14th Street NYC store again tonight. Still quite a line, and someone immediately came up to me, right next to an Apple employee, and offered me her place in line, up front, for $150. Not only did the Apple employee not object - when I was a bit taken aback and asked her to explain again, the Apple employee helped her.
post #8 of 145
Apple is getting stupider about communicating it's product details... does it, or does it not have full GPS capability? It's really a simple question.

Apple is also really missing a huge opportunity by not including a higher-priced version of the iPod touch with GPS. Personally, I would buy two of them today if they had that additional functionality.

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post #9 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"But that won't help when your 3G iPhone stops running at the end of a long and busy day."

Halfway thru a long and busy day is more like it. Hopefully Apple can provide a software update that can squeeze more battery life from GPS and 3G-surfing tasks. As it is, the iPhone 3G doesn't hold a long enough charge to handle all the tasks in a day that it's capable of, which conflicts with Apple's original intent of delivering a pocket device that can replace all others.
post #10 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeChe View Post

So, I stopped by the W 14th Street NYC store again tonight. Still quite a line, and someone immediately came up to me, right next to an Apple employee, and offered me her place in line, up front, for $150. Not only did the Apple employee not object - when I was a bit taken aback and asked her to explain again, the Apple employee helped her.

Yeah, so? Did you buy the spot?

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post #11 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Halfway thru a long and busy day is more like it. Hopefully Apple can provide a software update that can squeeze more battery life from GPS and 3G-surfing tasks. As it is, the iPhone 3G doesn't hold a long enough charge to handle all the tasks in a day that it's capable of, which conflicts with Apple's original intent of delivering a pocket device that can replace all others.

Apple has squeezed a lot of efficiency out of their current battery, we're just waiting for the next breakthrough in battery tech... perhaps carbon nanotubes?

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post #12 of 145
my GF and I both bought iphones on friday night....
Overall very impressed with just about everything.... a little problem with some of the apps.... apple told me that they are experiencing some bugs with certain ones running together on the same phone?? but surely will be addressed soon.
but my question is with the GPS capabilities... about 4 out of 5 times I can't get a solid blue dot. With both phones side by side, my girlfriends seems to immediately find her current location, while mine has me somewhere in a 2 block radius?? I work in Manhattan and Live in Brooklyn. Have tried the GPS on WIFI/EDGE/3G yet that doesn't seem to make a difference either.... and I should have excellent coverage here in NYC, at least as good as its going to get in the US.. I would assume....


SO... Anyone else feeling like their GPS isn't acting as "snappy" as it should, or not living up to the other reviews you are reading???? tips would be much appreciated......
will probably visit the Apple store when everyone else gets theirs and the lines die down.
post #13 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wish the 3G On/Off switch was located with the Airport Mode On/Off switch. I have switched between EDGE and HSDPA many times and having to enter Settings » General » Network is two too many steps for this receptive action.

I'd actually prefer to have 3G settings that allow to choose which apps or types of apps I can have use 3G and which I prefer use GSM. FOr instance, when I'm using Safari or iTunes Store app I would like it to initialize the 3G, but if they are closed to turn it off automatically.

I'd like to see the ability to prioritize/turn off networks based on location. This could surely improve battery life.
post #14 of 145
So is this probably the reason why you can't write To Do's & Notes on the iPhone itself?
post #15 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wish the 3G On/Off switch was located with the Airport Mode On/Off switch. I have switched between EDGE and HSDPA many times and having to enter Settings » General » Network is two too many steps for this receptive action.

I'd actually prefer to have 3G settings that allow to choose which apps or types of apps I can have use 3G and which I prefer use GSM. FOr instance, when I'm using Safari or iTunes Store app I would like it to initialize the 3G, but if they are closed to turn it off automatically.

I want to see it done intelligently. So if you go into a non-3G area, the 3G radio switches off automatically. DUH.

Or as you say, certain apps with high data needs use 3G, others don't - or maybe there's a popup like with GPS services.

Or the 3G radio only turns on when you need to download something to the phone? The 'push' is run as a simple 'ping' to the server over the GPRS/EDGE network and if there's something to be 'pushed', 3G radio powers up, transmits and then powers back down?

How about automatically turning off the 3G radio when wireless is in use?

These are things that can be sorted out in software, with only minimal user interaction, that would greatly extend the battery life - smart 3G switching.
post #16 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sholmesbk View Post

my GF and I both bought iphones on friday night....
Overall very impressed with just about everything.... a little problem with some of the apps.... apple told me that they are experiencing some bugs with certain ones running together on the same phone?? but surely will be addressed soon.
but my question is with the GPS capabilities... about 4 out of 5 times I can't get a solid blue dot. With both phones side by side, my girlfriends seems to immediately find her current location, while mine has me somewhere in a 2 block radius?? I work in Manhattan and Live in Brooklyn. Have tried the GPS on WIFI/EDGE/3G yet that doesn't seem to make a difference either.... and I should have excellent coverage here in NYC, at least as good as its going to get in the US.. I would assume....


SO... Anyone else feeling like their GPS isn't acting as "snappy" as it should, or not living up to the other reviews you are reading???? tips would be much appreciated......
will probably visit the Apple store when everyone else gets theirs and the lines die down.


I should probably let someone more knowledgeable about this kind of thing answer, but I do know there's a problem with GPS in canyons called "multipath," which can throw off the signal, and that includes urban canyons such as between buildings. Basically, as far as I understand it, the signal can bounce off the canyon walls, creating multiple signals that confuse the GPS system. I don't know if that's what's going on with you, especially since you only seem to be having problems with one of your two phones, but it seems to make sense that in NYC with all its tall buildings, you actually may get worse GPS coverage. I tried to find a link to explain all this, but everything I found via Google was very technical, so I lost interest.
post #17 of 145
I must be rather slow on the uptake here, but I was really surprised that there doesn't appear to be any way to view Numbers/Excel or Pages/Word docs, or even PDF docs on the iPhone 3G.

If I am wrong on this, would someone please point me in the right direction?

Much obliged.
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post #18 of 145
appleinsider: what about the bluetooth stack that will/would allow the iphone 2G to connect to external bluetooth GPS receivers!!! that way the iphone 2G would have better reception, less battery drain and could also run the tomtom software or do the live GPS tracking if there's no WPS coverage avaiable... why is nobody trying to find out about that???
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post #19 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sholmesbk View Post

my GF and I both bought iphones on friday night....
Overall very impressed with just about everything.... a little problem with some of the apps.... apple told me that they are experiencing some bugs with certain ones running together on the same phone?? but surely will be addressed soon.
but my question is with the GPS capabilities... about 4 out of 5 times I can't get a solid blue dot. With both phones side by side, my girlfriends seems to immediately find her current location, while mine has me somewhere in a 2 block radius?? I work in Manhattan and Live in Brooklyn. Have tried the GPS on WIFI/EDGE/3G yet that doesn't seem to make a difference either.... and I should have excellent coverage here in NYC, at least as good as its going to get in the US.. I would assume....


SO... Anyone else feeling like their GPS isn't acting as "snappy" as it should, or not living up to the other reviews you are reading???? tips would be much appreciated......
will probably visit the Apple store when everyone else gets theirs and the lines die down.

try a software restore... sounds like a problem with the firmware... maybe you have the older version installed.. there's release 45 and 47... hte 47 has several bugfixes...
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post #20 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I must be rather slow on the uptake here, but I was really surprised that there doesn't appear to be any way to view Numbers/Excel or Pages/Word docs, or even PDF docs on the iPhone 3G.

If I am wrong on this, would someone please point me in the right direction?

Much obliged.

You can use MobileMe if you set up an account or you can view them in email attachments.
Google docs is also an option.
post #21 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

So is this probably the reason why you can't write To Do's & Notes on the iPhone itself?

?? Both versions of the iphone and the software from day 1 has had an application for Notes.
post #22 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

appleinsider: what about the bluetooth stack that will/would allow the iphone 2G to connect to external bluetooth GPS receivers!!! that way the iphone 2G would have better reception, less battery drain and could also run the tomtom software or do the live GPS tracking if there's no WPS coverage avaiable... why is nobody trying to find out about that???

The SDK current prohibits developers from using the BT stack in any regard. It seems odd so I wonder if Apple has their own plans for it or if they are having BT issues they need to work out. the iPhone doesn't have A2DP yet so I wonder if it's the latter, but that hypothesis is weak.

BT also uses a good deal of power so offloading the GPS to an external device is somewhat self-defeated. Not to mention this would require an additional cost when you already have one. I think using the 30-pin connector with a form fitting battery pack would be the best option.
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post #23 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The SDK current prohibits developers from using the BT stack in any regard. It seems odd so I wonder if Apple has their own plans for it or if they are having BT issues they need to work out. the iPhone doesn't have A2DP yet so I wonder if it's the latter, but that hypothesis is weak.

BT also uses a good deal of power so offloading the GPS to an external device is somewhat self-defeated. Not to mention this would require an additional cost when you already have one. I think using the 30-pin connector with a form fitting battery pack would be the best option.

what most people forget is that in a car the best spot for good gps reception is far from where would put his phone in order to be able to view the screen, especially if the windshield has special coating blocking the GPS signal completely!

i think external. GPS should @ least be an option for iphone owners, new or old!!!
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post #24 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Apple please release iWork iPhone Application. And please don't charge us for it since we already bought the desktop version!!

Yes, please do lots of extra work for us and give it to us for free because we bought something from you once so now deserve all updates free until things are perfect.
post #25 of 145
I charged my iphone last night, unplugged it at 7 AM, it was dead by lunch, usint the out of the box network options...yea, that beats all other smart phones...I feel ripped off
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post #26 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

I charged my iphone last night, unplugged it at 7 AM, it was dead by lunch, usint the out of the box network options...yea, that beats all other smart phones...I feel ripped off

turn off 3G, only turn on if yuor really need it!

EDGE is fast enough for every day stuff... once your in the place where you have the time and need for fast access you turn it back on... that way your battery will make it thur the day;_)

i know why i'm not selling my iphone 2G ;-) and i have wifi mostly everywhere i need it...
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post #27 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The SDK current prohibits developers from using the BT stack in any regard. It seems odd so I wonder if Apple has their own plans for it or if they are having BT issues they need to work out. the iPhone doesn't have A2DP yet so I wonder if it's the latter, but that hypothesis is weak.

BT also uses a good deal of power so offloading the GPS to an external device is somewhat self-defeated. Not to mention this would require an additional cost when you already have one. I think using the 30-pin connector with a form fitting battery pack would be the best option.

if there's no stack for using the external BT hardware, what is there to prohibit!!! you don't make sense...

and apple itself could allow to use ext. bluetooth GPS with google maps for the iphone 3G/2G, saving battery life and having better reception... after all an external antenna is always easily placed at the best spot in the car... i have a glass sunroof and i place my BT gps below, i always have a super strong signal, just like the OEM antennas on the back of the car roof... inside a car the GPS signal will always be much weaker due to the steel frame which blocks up to 80% of the signal... average 50%, cell phones suffer the same loss and have to crank up the RF power to max... that's why an external antenna is always better for a good and stable signal while on the road, especially in urban canyons or in remote areas with spotty cell coverage... people that rely on their cell phone connection for their work will always have an external antenna since they know that not having/using it will put them in a bad position with their clients/boss...
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post #28 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

what most people forget is that in a car the best spot for good gps reception is far from where would put his phone in order to be able to view the screen, especially if the windshield has special coating blocking the GPS signal completely!

i think external. GPS should @ least be an option for iphone owners, new or old!!!

Which cars have the coating that block GPS??????
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post #29 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

turn off 3G, only turn on if yuor really need it!

To add to that, if you aren't going to be using WiFi, then turn that off, too. It's by far the less power draining radio in your iPhone but if you don't need it there is no need to have it on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

if there's no stack for using the external BT hardware, what is there to prohibit!!! you don't make sense....

Huh? The iPhone has BT, but Apple's SDK clearly prohibits developers from using it.
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post #30 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Which cars have the coating that block GPS??????

i think many fords have the windshield with the coating. you can easily notice the bluish glare from he outside...

i think one quick view into your cars manual should clear that up... normally the manufacturers include that in the manual!
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post #31 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Huh? The iPhone has BT, but Apple's SDK clearly prohibits developers from using it.

i didn't mention BT stack for handsfree/earpiece... since we all know that that stack is included, right???
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post #32 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

To add to that, if you aren't going to be using WiFi, then turn that off, too. It's by far the less power draining radio in your iPhone but if you don't need it there is no need to have it on.

sorry for not mentioning wifi... of course wifi drains your battery just as much... but if you live in an area with no 3G coverage you can forget about the 3G part, if your on GSM/EDGE, then the 3G drain doesn't apply. at least that my understanding, right??? correct me if i'm mistaken!
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post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

When full NATIVE-FILE Keynote and PowerPoint support for the ultimate wired and wireless handheld presentation?

Yah, until your phone rings in the middle of the presentation!
post #34 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I must be rather slow on the uptake here, but I was really surprised that there doesn't appear to be any way to view Numbers/Excel or Pages/Word docs, or even PDF docs on the iPhone 3G.

I viewed one just today. A friend e-mailed me a .doc file and I was able to click on it and read the contents, right on the iPhone. Being new to the iPhone in just the past 36 hours, I must say I was rather impressed. So the feature certainly is in there.
post #35 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Jacobs View Post

Yah, until your phone rings in the middle of the presentation!

intelligent people turn the phone part of the iphone off in a presentation, LOL...
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post #36 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i didn't mention BT stack for handsfree/earpiece... since we all know that that stack is included, right???

I am not sure what you are saying here. All I said is that no iPhone developer can currently utilize the BT in any way. shape or form under the current SDK rules.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeChe View Post

No, idiot, I have ethics.

Do your ethics compensate for lack of manners? In what previous post did you state that your ethics prevent you from buying the spot or are we to assume that everyone is too ethical to do such a thing as we clearly know nothing of you outside of the 3 posts you mead on this forum prior to his simple inquiry?
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post #37 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wish the 3G On/Off switch was located with the Airport Mode On/Off switch. I have switched between EDGE and HSDPA many times and having to enter Settings » General » Network is two too many steps for this receptive action.

Agreed.

Quote:
I'd actually prefer to have 3G settings that allow to choose which apps or types of apps I can have use 3G and which I prefer use GSM. FOr instance, when I'm using Safari or iTunes Store app I would like it to initialize the 3G, but if they are closed to turn it off automatically.

That doesn't bother me as much. What positively amazed me about the iPhone software was the inability to cut and paste -- after a year, Apple's software people can't figure that out? I can't even copy a URL to send in an email to a friend. Amazing.

(Someone kindly correct me if I'm mistaken somehow. This is my first sustained taste of iPhone.)

Anyway, just got back from the 'Burgh, and got my first taste of 3G service with iPhone 3G. I live in an area where AT&T hasn't built out 3G; the lawyer types at the local diner tell me it will be in place by this time NEXT year. Sigh.

I can confirm the reports on 3G battery life coming from Apple appear to be accurate. Five hours or so appear to be what to expect in iPhone 3G battery life while in 3G-land. For my part, my iPhone 3G will go on the car charger as soon as I hit the road. I might even bring the USB cable into work, and plug it into a handy computer to keep the battery topped off. We'll see.
post #38 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Damon View Post

I can't even copy a URL to send in an email to a friend. Amazing

Just click on the '+' in the bottom center of the Safari window.




Quote:
I can confirm the reports on 3G battery life coming from Apple appear to be accurate. Five hours or so appear to be what to expect in iPhone 3G battery life while in 3G-land.

Apple has become very accurate with their battery testing by using real world setting.

Quote:
For my part, my iPhone 3G will go on the car charger as soon as I hit the road. I might even bring the USB cable into work, and plug it into a handy computer to keep the battery topped off. We'll see.

Beware of 3rd-party car chargers. The 3G iPhone no longer works with many power adapters. It also no longer charges via FireWire, which I've been using for extra power cord for years. I don't know why they changed this but the fact that the large brick power adapter has been replaced by a very small and light A/C adapter. Did they move the AC/DC conversion into the device itself?
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post #39 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I must be rather slow on the uptake here, but I was really surprised that there doesn't appear to be any way to view Numbers/Excel or Pages/Word docs, or even PDF docs on the iPhone 3G.

If I am wrong on this, would someone please point me in the right direction?

Check out FileMagnet. It has a desktop and iPhone part, using wifi to transfer files.
You can then read them on the iPhone.
It supports PDF and they are working on word/excel.

(I wrote a longer reply before but iPhone safari crashed on me.)
post #40 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutts View Post

Check out FileMagnet. It has a desktop and iPhone part, using wifi to transfer files.
You can then read them on the iPhone.
It supports PDF and they are working on word/excel.

(I wrote a longer reply before but iPhone safari crashed on me.)

OS X iPhone v2.0 can read iWork (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) documents as well as MS Office (Word, Excel & Powerpoint), according to Jobs at the WWDC. At least Word was readable on the first iPhone software, but iWork support was strangely missing, considering they make it.

PS: Safari is crashing a lot for me on v2.0.
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