Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

iPhone 3G Upgrade Articles


Thinking about buying or upgrading to the iPhone 3G?  Well, here are some articles that let’s you know what to do or expect.

One thing you should know: if you have the base iPhone 1G plan ($59.99/mo) and want the equivalent plan for the iPhone 3G, the cost is $74.99/mo – $10 extra for the 3G data plan and $5 extra for the 200 text messages (which was included in the 1G plan).

Personally, my girlfriend may buy my 1st gen iPhone.  If she does, I’ll upgrade to the 3G model.  Of course, if this occurs, I’ll post how the process went for us so you all know what to expect.

How to transfer 1st gen iPhone to someone else [AppleInsider]

Buying an iPhone 3G for current and new AT&T subscribers [AppleInsider]

How to migrate your iPhone data [Apple]

How to buy an iPhone 3G walkthrough videos from AT&T [MacRumors]

AT&T iPhone 3G plans and pricing info [AT&T]

What you need to buy an iPhone 3G [TUAW]

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Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

The “new” AT&T has annoyed me


When I switched from T-Mobile to AT&T (for the iPhone) the first thing I did was login to my account on their website to setup autopay so that every month’s bill will automatically be charged to my Amex card. Well, what happens when I get my first bill? Nothing – my card isn’t charged. So, 4 days before my payment is due, I call AT&T customer service to ask them why my card wasn’t charged. The answer: “Our system charges your card two days before the due date. So, don’t worry, your card will be charged.” Guess what happens?? My card isn’t charged and now my account is “past due.”

I’m somewhat pissed so I call customer service 15 minutes ago (that would be 9:25pm ET) and guess what? Customer service is closed and I get a recording of, “Please call back tomorrow and we’ll be happy to assist you.” Yeah, that’s it…they don’t even tell me what their hours of operation are!

I double-check my account and it now says, “AutoPay to be applied: 08/27/2007.” Last month, it didn’t say that.

So, for all of you who are thinking of or just switched to AT&T wireless, be forewarned that your autopay will NOT be effective until the second billing cycle.

Ugh, I guess this is what we have to deal with to have an iPhone… *sigh*

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone

Get live doppler radar maps on your iPhone


iweathr.jpgMacenstein found a great website for iPhones that allows you to view live doppler radar maps from Weather.com. Very sweet. The site: iWeathr.com (there’s no “e”)…but don’t bother trying to view the site unless if you have an iPhone because the site is designed only for iPhones.

After you choose a city, iWeathr loads the latest doppler radar maps from Weather.com and plays those images in a loop (just like Weather.com does).

I accessed the site via EDGE and it can take 20 – 60 seconds for the maps to load but it’s worth it. So, if you have an iPhone, give it a try!

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Weather, Wireless

AT&T has activated over 1 million iPhones


According to waitingforiphone.com, AT&T has activated over 1 million iPhones within the first week of sales:

According to reports leaked to waitingforiphone.com, ATT Mobility has fulfilled over 1 million iPhone activations since the device was launched in the US on June 29th. This news comes from a full-time staffer in ATT Mobilty’s Commerce Group who chose to remain anonymous. Wall Street analysists have placed initial iPhone sales between 500,000 – 750,000 units. First week sales of over 1 million would cement the iPhone as Apple’s fastest selling new product, and one of the hottest new technology gadgets in history.

If this is true, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s probably the most successful mobile phone/smartphone launch in the history of the cell phone industry.

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

iPhone Tip: How to type a period with one tap


If you own an iPhone or have been reading all of the reviews/comments, you’ll notice that typing a period is a pain in the ass. More specifically, it takes 3 taps to type a period. Not very user friendly, right? Well, David Pogue has posted instructions on how to type that period with one tap:

The iPhone doesn’t register most key presses until you *release* your finger. But Andrew discovered that the Shift and Punctuation keys register their taps on the *press-down* instead.

So here’s what you can do, all in one motion:

1. Touch the “.?123” key, but don’t lift your finger as the punctuation layout appears.

2. Slide your finger a half inch onto the period or comma key, and release.

Incredibly, the ABC layout returns automatically. You’ve typed a period or a comma with one finger touch instead of three. In fact, you can type ANY of the punctuation symbols the same way.

I’ve tried it and it’s pretty slick…and much easier. It’ll take some getting used to because my natural tendency is to tap instead of tap, hold, drag, and release. Nevertheless, it’s easier and quicker than tapping three times so give it a try!

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, How-To, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

500,000 iPhones sold in 2.5 days


Damn, according to reports, Apple has sold 500,000 – 525,000 iPhones from 6pm, Friday, June 29 – close of business July 1. That is absolutely amazing.

Other interesting stats:

  • 95% of buyers are opting for the 8GB model (including me)
  • 50% of buyers are switching from another carrier (I’m switching from T-Mobile)

Plus, I’ve been monitoring stock at the Apple Stores in Massachusetts and other random states and, since Saturday, inventory has been depleting with a lot more Apple Stores showing no inventory.

Needless to say, the iPhone launch has been nothing but stellar.

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

iPhone battery replacement: $86


As you all know, the iPhone’s battery cannot be replaced by us…it has to be sent to Apple to be replaced (yup, just like the iPods). It’ll cost you $86 and will require you to give up your iPhone for 3 days..oh, and all of your data will be erased (a simple sync with iTunes will restore your data).

According to the Apple site:

A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles. You may choose to replace your battery when it no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs.

Hmm, I don’t know about you but I don’t do a full charge and discharge cycle every day, week, or month so I wonder how long the battery will last when I mostly do full charges from a 50% discharge.  At the end of the day, I expect the lithium ion battery to last as long as your typical Li-on battery.  So, hopefully, I won’t have to spend $86 to replace my battery within a year.

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Technology, Wireless

Got an iPhone


iPhoneWell, I broke down, today, and bought an 8GB iPhone. To be honest, I was really trying to hold out until July 2008 because 1.) I have 1 year left on my T-Mobile contract and 2.) I wanted to wait for the 2nd gen iPhone with (hopefully) 3G.

Why did I break down and buy it? Well, I spent 20 minutes playing with it at the Apple Store and I was 110% sold. I was really concerned about the keyboard but it’s really not bad.

Btw, I’m very pleased with how Apple has been able to meet the demand (at least, thus far) and didn’t pull a ‘Playstation, Wii, or Xbox 360 launch’ Meaning, having (artificial) shortages to drum-up demand and press/hype.

Anyways, I’m in the middle of upgrading from OS X 10.3.9 –> 10.4. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to activate and use my iPhone.

I’ll post a review in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

Comments on the iPhone’s battery life and its slippery surface


There have been rumors circulating over the past month or so that the battery life of the iPhone would be pathetic but according to MacScoop’s inside source the battery life will “surprise us.”  According to Apple’s specs, the iPhone will have up to 5 hours talk/video/browsing and up to 16 hours of audio playback.  If MacScoop’s source is correct, then it sounds like the battery life will exceed the advertised specs.

Surprisingly, their ‘source’ is more concerned about the slippery feel of the iPhone:

Overall, our source found the iPhone awesome but he mentioned, as a sole negative point, that the material used on the device’s case makes it feel even more slippery than the iPod and will probably require the purchase of a protective skin or case so as to avoid unintentionally dropping it.

Interesting details…only a month or so to go until we all can get some hands-on time with the iPhone.

[via MacScoop]

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash coming on May 4?


wm6_tmobile.jpgRumors have been circulating that T-Mobile will be releasing a Windows Mobile 6 Standard ROM upgrade for T-Mobile Dash owners on May 4.

If it does drop next week, I would caution that you make sure all of your 3rd party apps are compatible with WM6 before upgrading.

[via Smartphone Thoughts]

Filed under: Cellphone, Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Rumors, Smartphone, T-Mobile, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Are cell phones killing bees?


Some scientists are suggesting that the radiation emitted by mobile phones are killing bees by interfering with their navigation systems. When this happens, the bees can’t find their way back to the hive and end up dying.

German research has shown that the behavior of bees change near power lines. Now, a small study at Landau University (Germany) has shown that bees don’t return home when mobile phones are placed nearby.

In the East Coast of the U.S., 70% of the bees are missing. In the West Coast, 60% are missing. This is not only occurring in the U.S. but across the world – Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece.

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

When was the last time you saw a bee?  I haven’t seen one in years…

[The Independent via Gizmodo]

Filed under: Cellphone, Mobile Phone, Wireless

Apple may offer $50 – $150 rebate for the iPhone


A Wall St. research report an Apple from American Technology analyst, Shaw Wu, says there are several sources indicating that Apple is seriously considering offering a rebate on the iPhone, which will retail for $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB). Of course, if you want to take advantage of the rebate, you’ll have to sign a 2-year contract with AT&T.

Some other interesting topics in the report:

  • Revenue sharing and bounties for Apple
  • Recurring revenue from cell phone carriers

Personally, I hope they offer a rebate because $500/$600 is tough to swallow.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, Cingular, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Rumors, Smartphone

Samsung BlackJack owners will get free upgrade to Windows Mobile 6


wm6-logo.gifGood news: AT&T has publicly stated that all Samsung BlackJack, Treo 750, and Cingular 8525 owners will get a free upgrade to WM6.

Bad news: the AT&T/Cingular spokesperson would not commit to a specific date and only said, “later this year.”

If I owned one of these phones, I wouldn’t mind waiting since I bet a lot of 3rd party software is not yet compatible with WM6.

[via Brighthand]

Filed under: Cellphone, Cingular, Mobile Phone, Samsung, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

T-Mobile raising SMS rates: cancel your contract without paying the fees


Following in the footsteps of Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and Cingular/AT&T, T-Mobile is raising their SMS rates from 10 cents to 15 cents on June 1, 2007. You know what that means? It means, if you’re in a contract and want to leave T-Mobile, you should be able to do so without paying the early termination fees (ETF). The reason is because their contract allows you to cancel your contract without penalty if they increase the pricing of their services (I suspect, this is why they don’t increase your monthly rate plan when they increase it for new subscribers).  However, your mileage may vary depending on the customer support rep you get.

I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical but people have reported that they have been successful in doing this – like The Boy Genius Report.

I have another year on my contract and have been very happy with T-Mobile but they won’t be carrying the iPhone…hmm, should I try to get out of my contract? If I successfully pull this off, I’ll definitely blog about it. 😉

[via Engadget Mobile and CrunchGear]

Filed under: Cellphone, T-Mobile, Wireless

Daylight Savings Time bug with Google Calendar’s API


There is a bug with Google Calendar’s API – their API doesn’t account for the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST). This is making life hell for anyone who uses 3rd party software to sync Google Calendar to their Outlook, Windows Mobile, etc. calendars. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google but they royally screwed-up on this one. According to Google Support, they’re hoping to fix this in April – April?! WTF!

I noticed this because I use GooSync to synchronize my T-Mobile Dash to Google Calendar. Things were working perfectly until the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST) took effect on March 11. Post March 11, when I created an appointment on my Windows Mobile 5 device and synced it to Google Calendar, the time of the appointment would show up correctly. But, on a subsequent sync, it would push the appointment time forward by one hour.

If you’re a GooSync user, here’s the link to the post about the DST issue in GooSync’s support group. I gotta say, it’s nice that GooSync posted this note because I’m sure they got a lot of people bitching at them – thinking it was GooSync’s fault (at first, I thought it was their fault, too).

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Daylight Savings Time, Google, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

GooSync: Synchronize Google Calendar with your mobile phone


If you have a Google Calendar and want to synchronize it with your cell phone or PDA, then GooSync is something you should check out. GooSync does a 2-way synchronization between Google Calendar and your mobile phone. So, any appointments you make on your celly or PDA is synchronized to your Google Calendar and vice versa. Cost: free (for sync’ing 1 Google calendar). If you want to sync multiple Google calendars or shared calendars, you’ll have to pay £19.95 (GBP) for 12 months of service, which is $38.30 (USD)…too bad GooSync is a British company! 😉

To use GooSync, all you need to do is create a GooSync account and grant GooSync access to your Google Calendar (don’t worry, you can do this without giving your Google login credentials to GooSync). After you create your account, you select the type of cell phone you have and follow the instructions on how to install the GooSync software on your phone. For Windows Mobile devices, all you have to do is download and install a .CAB file. The installation varies depending on your phone type (and GooSync lists A LOT of supported phones). After the software is installed, you enter your GooSync login credentials and press the “sync” button. After 10 – 20 seconds, your calendars are synchronized.

I installed GooSync on my T-Mobile Dash (Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone) tonight and it works as advertised. Here are my pros/cons:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Google, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Need to find a Starbucks on your cell phone? Send a text to “MYSBUX”


Starbucks has launched a service that allows you to get a list of the closest Starbucks by sending a text message with your zip code to “MYSBUX” (697289). After doing so, you’ll receive a text message listing the 3 nearest Starbucks locations with their address, phone number, and a link to a mobile-friendly web page that tells you if that location has WiFi and where the store is located on a Microsoft MapPoint map.

If you have a cellphone or smartphone that can browse the web, you can also navigate to their mobile-friendly site – mobile.starbucks.com – to find the nearest stores, identify which ones have Wifi, get maps, directions, etc.

I compared the text message service to Google’s 411 text message service by submitting 3 different locations (Somerville, MA, Cambridge, and Brookline, MA) to both services and got better results with Google 33% of the time (I’m sure this percentage will fluctuate depending on the city). When I say “better results,” I mean that Google returned more stores that were closer to my location. When I searched for stores nearest Brookline, MA, the Starbucks service didn’t return one store that was the second closest to my location. The response time from both services were equal – I got replies within 10 – 20 seconds. Overall, the Starbucks service is easier to use because all you have to do is enter your zip code whereas, with Google’s SMS service, you have to enter name, city, and state or zip code. The Starbucks service always returns 3 results compared to Google’s 2 – 3 results.

I also tried the Starbucks mobile site and was surprised at how fast it was. If you don’t want to use text messages, this is a very good alternative. Plus, the mobile site gives you a lot more results.

At the end of the day, I love Google SMS and will keep using it since it’s a lot easier to remember the number: “GOOGLE” (466453). Needless to say, I’m recommending Google SMS because not only can you search for Starbucks locations but you can search for anything else – it’s basically the mobile version of the 411 Directory Service.

Filed under: Cellphone, Google, Mobile Phone, Search, Text Message