Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Longest Day

I never got a chance to preorder the iPhone 4 because of all of the mayhem going on at the Apple and AT&T websites on June 15.  I just couldn't get through.

But, I know a friend who had reserved an iPhone 4 32GB at the Apple Store at Ala Moana Center AND preordered an iPhone 4 to be delivered by mail.  He was gracious enough to give me his reservation at the Ala Moana Apple Store.

I have always been one to avoid the Ala Moana Apple Store because that's by far the most popular Apple Store because it's in town.  But, I'd rather drive out somewhere else just for the convenience because the lines at Ala Moana are just CRAZY!  And on iDay 4, it didn't get any less crazy.

Seriously, I waited in line for 5 hours and 45 minutes in the reservation line just to get my black 32GB iPhone 4.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beamer Case: Shine Your LED On Me

So, you want an LED flash for your iPhone but you don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for the new iPhone 4?

Then Quirky's Beamer case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is for you!

It's the only iPhone case that I know of that has an LED light for picture taking and it is currently selling for $38.00.

I think it's highly ironic that the week the iPhone 4 comes out with a built-in LED flash is the same week I receive the Beamer in the mail.

Here's my thoughts on the only LED flash solution for the iPhone 3G and 3GS:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What To Expect From iOS 4

On June 21st, the new iOS 4 will debut on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  Notice it's not called iPhone OS 4.  That's because it appears Apple wants to rename its mobile OS so it's not only associated with the iPhone.  It thought it was a little weird to call the iPad's operating system iPhone OS 3.2.

To dabble with iOS 4, here's what you need:
  • iTunes 9.2 - Make sure you update our iTunes.
  • iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, 2nd-generation iPod Touch or 3rd-generation iPod Touch - Users of the original iPhone and iPod Touch are out of luck. iOS 4 for the iPad is coming in Fall of 2010.
So, why should you upgrade to iOS 4? There are a lot of great features we have been waiting for a LONG time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My iPhone 4 Debacle

It's nice that Apple and AT&T have both apologized for the "approval system malfunctions" when the iPhone 4 preordering commenced. AT&T says the amount of people preordering the iPhone 4 on the first day was ten times the amount of people who preordered the 3GS. Apple says 600,000 people preordered the iPhone 4 on the first day of preorders. And I was not one of them. But, I thought I was.

Here's what happened:

I woke up at 10:30 p.m. HST on June 14 to find that the preorders had begun. I couldn't preorder before work because of "system malfunctions." I couldn't preorder at work because of "system malfunctions." So, I decided to go to the Apple Store at Kahala Mall.

I had to go on a computer to preorder. I got past the AT&T eligibility phase. I got past the screen to select which iPhone 4 to preorder. I chose which store to pick it up from. Then I got this screen:

So, I should be good right? Wrong. I talked with co-workers and they said they had to log in with their Apple ID and they got confirmation e-mails about their reservation. So, I go back to the Kahala Mall store to find out if I'm on the list. I'm not.

AT&T, Best Buy and, presumably, Radio Shack are no longer taking preorders because Apple told them they cannot guarantee the amount of iPhones.

I really wanted to get the iPhone 4 on June 24th because the next day I leave for a trip to Portland, Oregon. I wanted to document my trip with the iPhone 4 720p video camera and edit them with iMovie for iPhone. And I wanted to e-mail them to family and friends.

With the iPhone 4, my trip would have been MAGICAL.

My final hope to get it before my trip is stand in line at the Apple Store and hope I get one. I'm going to wait all day and night if I have to.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How RadioShack May Help You To Buy An iPhone 4

In the past, people have been able to pay for their own iPhone addiction by selling their obsolete hardware for prices nearing (or above) the retail value of the new one.

They would sell it to people they know through friends, on craigslist, on eBay or even through iPhone forums. However, selling to people you do not know on the internet can have mixed results. Many people have been scammed.
Right now, RadioShack has a "Trade & Save Program" that will give you a gift card for your old iPhone. Here's the breakdown of monetary values if your iPhone is cosmetically flawless and you send in your charger:
  • 32GB iPhone 3GS - $329.10
  • 16GB iPhone 3GS - $256.84
  • 16GB iPhone 3G - $185.94
  • 8GB iPhone 3G - $149.70
  • 16GB iPhone - $128.78
  • 8GB iPhone - $103.15
  • 4GB iPhone - $83.94
If you have any kind of damage, including scratches, the gift card value goes down. Other kinds of phones and tech devices can also be traded in.
So, what do you do with that gift card? Well, there are reports that RadioShack is already accepting preorders on the iPhone 4 with the purchase of a $50 gift card. So, the trade-in program could go a long way to help you with the purchase of an iPhone 4.
For many reasons that I don't want to get into right now, I will not be able to take advantage of this program. But, if you couldn't upgrade to the iPhone 4 because of a shortage of cash this program could really help.
To find out if you are eligible for an upgrade with AT&T, click this link.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Enter The iPhone 4

For the most part, I am happy with the upgrades on the newly announced iPhone 4 and I think this is a farther leap forward than the iPhone 3GS was for the iPhone 3G. (Obviously, this sets up a future iPhone to be called the iPhone 4G.)

I still need to gather my thoughts fully before I can give my take on the new hardware. I also need to watch the keynote in its entirety.

For now, enjoy this video on the design of the iPhone 4:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What You Need To Know About The New AT&T Data Plans

For all of you who complained that $30/month for unlimited data on AT&T was too expensive, thank you for this debacle.

If you haven't heard yet AT&T is changing its data plans for all of its smartphones (including the iPhone and iPad) effective June 7, 2010:

DataPlus - 200MB/month for $15/month; if customers exceed 200MB in a monthly billing cycle they will receive an additional 200MB of data for $15 for use in the cycle.

DataPro - 2GB/month for $25/month; if a customer exceeds 2GB during a billing cycle they will receive an additional 1GB for $10 for use in the cycle.

Tethering - An additional $20/month; only for DataPro customers; will launch when iPhone OS 4 is released.

Here's where early adopters of the iPhone are rewarded. Those who bought the original iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS with unlimited data plans will be able to keep them - even if you decide to buy the 4th-generation iPhone with a new two-year contract. The data plans are only for new customers or if you willingly decide to change your data plan.

There is good and bad news with the new plans, according to Gizmodo:

"...AT&T tells us that if you're running over the 200MB limit, you can
actually switch to the beefier 2GB DataPro completely pain-free (no ETFs or any
of that business), and then switch back to the skinnier plan "over time."
With DataPro, if you run over 2GB, you get another 1GB of data for $10, ad
infinitum. So, if you use 5GB of data, you're looking at a $55 bill for

The worst part of all of this is the tethering option. First of all, you can't tether a device with an unlimited data plan. You'll have to switch to the DataPro plan which is a measly 2GB/month. On a smartphone only the heaviest users will use more than 2GB a month. But, one would think that you could use 2GB awfully fast on a laptop, especially if you like to watch YouTube or Hulu videos. Jailbreaking your iPhone and buying MyWi is looking better by the day.

It gets a little more complicated for iPad WiFi+3G users. If you would like to stay with the $29.99+tax unlimited data plan, you need to sign up for it before June 7 and make sure you never cancel it. So, it will have to be a recurring charge every month. If you order an iPad WiFi+3G before June 7, the unlimited data plan will be honored. Still, this really puts a dent into my plan to pay for 3G whenever I needed it then cancel. Getting a smartphone that makes a Wi-Fi hotspot (Palm Pre Plus, HTC EVO 4G) or buying a separate hot spot (Verizon's MiFi, Sprint's Overdrive 3G/4G) to use with a Wi-Fi only iPad is looking better by the day. And, no, you can't tether your iPhone with your iPad.

Although I have never used more than 2GB in one monthly billing cycle, I'm going to stick with the unlimited plan for the iPhone. I have no plans to tether and I don't want to be counting megabytes. Although for some people, saving $60 a year with the DataPro plan and $75 a year with the DataPlus plan (I'm looking at you BlackBerry users) is a significant savings. To me, there at least be one more tier like 5GB a month for $40/month. And for those of you on other carriers, your day is coming soon. A top executive with Verizon has already said that being allowed to consume as much data as you want will have to change and it looks like Verizon is looking at non-unlimited data plans for its LTE 4G network. We'll have to wait and see about T-Mobile and Sprint.

For the iPad, I'm reluctantly signing up for the recurring $29.99+tax unlimited 3G plan until I find a way to track how much 3G data I'm using per month.