New iPhone 3G S (Hands on Review)

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Unlike the iPhone upgrades experienced by 2G and 3G users over the past 2 years, my upgrade to the new 3G S was simple and quick. After sync’g my 2G iPhone to iTunes (creating a fresh backing up) I was able to connect my new 3G S iPhone to iTunes, select the phone number to move to the phone, activate it and restore all my apps, music, video and data. The restore (about 7.5GB) took about 20 minutes.

The conversion

After the restore was complete I was able to send and receive calls from the new phone! That is a huge improvement over last year. (Your mileage may vary). Another HUGE benefit to me is that I am still able to use all of my 2G iPhone’s features except to make phone calls. Using WiFi I can send and receive calls via Skype, take and upload pictures and of course play music and videos. Rather than sell my 2G iPhone I plan to use it as a spare entertainment device for my son.

When you restore data to the iPhone 3G S there are a few things you need to do update on the device. They include:

  • Set email account passwords
  • Set Voicemail password
  • Reconfigure over WiFi “pairing” for apps that sync wirelessly

Almost everything else worked immediately without any configuration changes. To update over WiFi application pairing check the preferences panel in each application and follow their pairing instructions. For THINGS, which I use daily on the Mac, I was able to simply “un-pair” the old iPhone and configure pairing with the new device.

Should I upgrade?

The challenge of explaining the benefits of the 3G S to an interested listener is that the phone consists of two upgrades; OS and hardware. On the OS side, v3.0 of the iPhone OS provides a number of benefits including support for Cut & Paste and Spotlight search as well as a ton of minor upgrades to bundled iPhone apps (i.e., Camera, Mail, etc.). Application developers also have an amazing number of new features accessible to include in their applications via the iPhone v3.0 SDK. I have been beta testing V3.0 on my 2G iPhone for 2 weeks and the improved OS is a wonderful upgrade (free to iPhone owners) and well worth installing and testing before you decide to replace your 2G or 3G device.

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One really nice feature of the v3.0 OS is “Find iPHone”. This is the ability to locate your phone via Apple’s Mobile Me service. If you have an active Mobile Me account, you can not only locate your phone on a Google Map, you can also send your phone a message. The phone will play a tone for up to two minutes with the message displayed as an alert on the screen. You can also remotely erase your phone if it truly is lost. I was able to test the map location feature on the 3G S and the alert message on the 2G (see picture above).

The hardware benefits of the new phone are nothing to scoff at either. The 3G S sports a faster processor and double the RAM. You can also select storage sizes of 16GB or 32GB. Most of the apps I tested load and run much faster than they did on the 2G. The higher resolution camera with “touch to focus” provide better, sharper pictures and the compass is an excellent addition if you use Google Maps frequently. I also noticed a huge improvement in cell coverage on the 3G S. Phone calls that would drop or not connect from within my apartment worked very well on the new phone.

Conclusion

In summary, if you have a 2G phone and you want both the hardware benefits I have outlined above upgrade to the new 3G S. If all you really want are the software benefits, upgrade to the v3.0 firmware and try it out for a week or two. That will be more than enough time to decide if you need the speed the 3G S provides.

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Posting to your Blog using an iPhone

Happy to report that WordPress.org has released the WordPress for iPhone (and iPod Touch) app. This app allows you to quickly write and post blog entries directly from your iPhone.

The app is installed via the iTunes app store and can be configured by providing your blog’s URL, admin ID and password. Configuration can occur over an EDGE or 3G connection but a WiFi connection is advisable if you have a large blog with a lot of categories.

The app can be configured to download some or all of your blog posts. Additionally it supports uploading images taken with the iPhone camera or from the camera roll library.  Images uploaded from the iPhone are placed at the bottom of the post.  There doesn’t appear to be a way to change the images’ position in the post in v1.0.

This us my first blog post using the app.  I will continue to provide updates as I get back posting to my blog from the comfort of the various airport terminals I am frequenting.

For more information check out http://iphone.wordpress.net

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But Steve .. 24 Hours is just not enough time!

Gross Point Blank .. BrokenI just knew this was going to happen. I rented Gross Point Blank from the Apple iTunes Store a month ago thinking, “hey this would be great to watch on the way back from LA.” Unfortunately I had to work on the flight and I never got a chance to watch the movie. No problem I thought .. I still have another 29 days. But .. what I failed to consider was how fast 29 days can pass.

So yesterday when I checked my email after I boarded a flight from Boston back to NYC, my iPhone reminded me I only have 2 days left to watch this movie before it will be deleted. My big presentation behind me I kicked back and started watching the movie. Which for anyone who has an iPhone or iTouch knows .. is a really enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, the flight was only 45 minutes so I only got up to the part where John Cussack goes back to his home town only to discover that his parent’s house is gone and replaced with a convenience store. I figured .. I’ll watch the rest of it tomorrow. ERRRRRRRR! Wrong answer. I let 24 hours pass and the movie was gone.

I am sooooo .. not so happy. I understand the need to set a time limit on movie rentals but would it have killed the movie studios to let Apple set the expiration time to 48 hours vs 24? I mean really? Would it have hurt?

BTW .. if anyone can tell me what happens at the end of the movie I’d really appreciate it.

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