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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 145
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "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.
  • Reply 2 of 145
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    When full NATIVE-FILE Keynote and PowerPoint support for the ultimate wired and wireless handheld presentation?
  • Reply 3 of 145
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 145
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Apple please release iWork iPhone Application. And please don't charge us for it since we already bought the desktop version!!
  • Reply 5 of 145
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 145
    jechejeche Posts: 9member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 145
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,509member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 145
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 145
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,509member
    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?
  • Reply 10 of 145
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,509member
    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?
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 of 145
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 145
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    So is this probably the reason why you can't write To Do's & Notes on the iPhone itself?
  • Reply 14 of 145
    nanoakronnanoakron Posts: 122member
    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.
  • Reply 15 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.
  • Reply 16 of 145
    justflybobjustflybob Posts: 1,337member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 145
    smokeonitsmokeonit Posts: 268member
    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???
  • Reply 18 of 145
    smokeonitsmokeonit Posts: 268member
    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...
  • Reply 19 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.
  • Reply 20 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.
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