I know that everyone is obsessed with the full web browser capabilities of the iPhone. After all, the display is incredibly sharp and it allows you to view, navigate and read any web site (providing it doesn’t use Flash or Java). Before the iPhone web developers had to develop a specific interface for those users wishing to view their site using a mobile device. Most companies don’t go through the trouble of developing a stripped down version of their site for these small, but loyal group of users.
Fortunately, a number of media companies have reviewed their web logs and recognized that there is a large number of individuals who are trying to access their web site using a mobile device. The following organizations have special URLs for accessing their content using a mobile device (in the order in which I access them each day):
- Mac Rumors – http://mobile.macrumors.com
- Google (Search) – http://www.google.com/m
- Yahoo – http://us.m.yahoo.com
- USA Today – http://wap.usatoday.com
- Newsweek – http://mobile.newsday.com
- BusinessWeek – http://businessweek.mobi
- Time – http://mobile.time.com
- AM NY – http://mobile.amny.com
- Exxon/Mobil Locator – http://wapgo2roads.com
- Fox News – http://foxnews.mobi
- Geek.com – http://www.geek.com/portable/index.htm
- You Tube – http://m.youtube.com
What is interesting is the complete lack of consistency in the way the URLs are formed. Very few of the mobile enable web sites I use are using the “.Mobi” domain designator although the number is growing each and every day.
If there is a mobile site that you find useful, please comment this post and I’ll add it to the list.
So Jake and I headed off the the Fifth Avenue Apple Store at 8:30am on Sunday morning and got Sharon a new iPhone. There were no lines and no hassles … in and out in 10 minutes!
Little did Jake and I know that owning an iPhone didn’t mean we’d be able to enjoy using the iPhone. There was a a slight matter of “activation” that needed to be addressed. You would have figured a geek like me would have been fully prepared for what was to come. After all I had already downloaded iTunes 7.3 on Sharon’s PC, organized her music and cleaned up her Outlook Contact database. Unfortunately, that was not the problem.
I connected the device, iTunes started up, and immediately started walking me through the activation process. Within minutes I completed all the online forms and iTunes informed me that I needed to wait for an email from AT&T confirming that they have completed the activation process.
That was 6 hours ago! 6 hours .. I can’t believe it. I decided to call the AT&T number to confirm that they received my information and that there wasn’t a problem. The operator told me that they are experiencing a “backlog” processing the iPhone activation requests. They are still processing the orders they received on FRIDAY! He indicated that it will be at least 24 hours before my order is processed. He ended the call saying, “Thank you for using the new AT&T”.
What really ties my boxers up into a bunch is that you can’t do anything on the phone until the activation process is complete. I can’t configure email, wireless networking, nothing .. until AT&T does there thing. I guess I had expected Apple to be riding AT&T a bit harder about being prepared for the launch then they were. At the rate things are going the new AT&T has inherited the same lousy customer service that I grew to expect from the old AT&T.
I’ll let you know what day I finally get things working.
<< July 2nd, 2007 — Update >>
Well 24 hours have officially passed and we are still waiting for AT&T to finish activating the iPhone. It appears that they have a unique set of internal process challenges when converting an existing “business discount plan user” over to an iPhone vs a new user. According to the CSR I just spoke to, everything is “provisioned” within their system. They are just waiting for the system to finish processing the order and send out the necessary system messages. Personally .. I think their system is breaking down and they have individual CSRs processing the changes by hand. They are reluctant however to disclose any of this information to the public.
All I can do now is sit and wait, and wait and wait.
<< July 2nd, 2007 — Later that day Update >>
After spending over 2 hours on the phone with a special division of AT&T’s activation support Sharon’s new iPhone is active. What was the problem you ask? Well … it appears that AT&T users converting over from a corporate discount plan to the iPhone plan can’t simply go through the activation process because their systems don’t automatically accept the plan change request. For an individual converting over from a corporate discount plan, you need this 3rd level support person to ram your plan change down the AT&T system’s throat .. literally. They guy had to forcibly make the change 3 times before the phone worked. So after 29 hours Sharon has a working iPhone. Yahoo!
John R Chang has written and revised a very helpful article on how to configure your Mac to use your GSM Cell Phone as a modem. While this article is written specifically around configuring your Mac to use the phone, you can also configure your Bluetooth enabled PC to do the same.
Before you use this option make sure you are on an unlimited GPRS data plan with your cell phone provider. While this method of communication will allow you to access the internet it is not the same as a good WiFi hotspot. If you plan to spend a lot of time surfing web site, get a big cup of coffee and have a lot of patience.
This communications method is recommended if no other internet connectivity options are available (i.e., WiFi, EV-DO, etc.) and you are not expecting to upload large files.