Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Apple Macworld ’09 Keynote

January 8, 2009

I had a chance to watch the recorded Apple Macworld ’09 keynote this morning.

Apple sold 9.7 million Macs last year. Twice the number of its rivals. This is an amazing number.

3 new things were introduced: iLife ’09, iWork ’09, and Macbook Pro “17.

I am not sure what impact would those have on Apple sales since none of the announced is that of a major differentiator. There are certainly interesting additionas to the software line Apple offers (iPhoto ’09 seems promising as well as the new version of Garage Band). Personally, I still doubt the power of iWork against Office for the Mac.

As for the Macbook Pro “17 I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand the work Apple did with regards to the battery (1000 recharges, 8 hours of work time) seems remarkable. But it comes with a price tag – no easy access to the hard disk and other parts. the design of the notebook itself is amazing, and the Apple design team deserves kodus for that.

I am still awaiting some more meaningful announcments from Apple (new Mac mini’s, iPhone nano, etc.).

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Experience with yellowsn0w 0.9.5 – Working

January 5, 2009

I have been running yellowsn0w 0.9.5 for the past day and a half now. Except for an annoyance of having to pop the SIM out and in when you shutdown the iPhone, everything is working as it should.

The interesting thing is that the iPhone works really fast now. I am not sure why but who cares 🙂

yellowsn0w is still beta software, but now, a working beta software.

Stay away from yellowsn0w

January 2, 2009

Well, after playing around with it for several hours I gave up on yellowsn0w. For those of you who did not experienced  the new unlock tool for the iPhone 3G I would strongly recommend staying away from it until someone figures out why there are so many unsuccessful unlocks.

After unlocking I ended up with an unstable iPhone 3G unable of making or receiving calls, unable to use the Internet, etc. Lucky me, restored to a clean install of 2.2, inserted my Turbo SIM and at least I am having a working 2G iPhone (no, 3G does not work still with firmware 2.2 and Turbo SIM).

The Dev-Team is making an effort resolving this. Currently they have released version 0.9.3.

Update I: The Dev-Team had released version 0.9.4. With this release I was able to unlock the iPhone and make and receive calls. I still don’t have 3G enabled, or the Internet working…

Update II: Everything is working perfectly fine now.

Update III: It is unstable and cannot be trusted. There is still a long way to go with this.

Countdown for yellowsn0w

December 31, 2008

A few hours now separates us from 2009. One of the most anticipated events to happen right at the start of the new year (for those who care) is the release of yellowsn0w, the unlock for Apple’s iPhone 3G. This is if you haven’t upgraded to the new baseband that comes with version 2.2 (there might be a surprise there according to the latest rumors). The unlock will be available via Cydia at midnight tonight and it seems that the crowds are already mounting in anticipation.

I have already written in the past about Apple’s treatment with regards to those who wish to purchase and unlock an iPhone. And I have also written about why do I think Apple would not make the iPhone SIM-free. I still think that Apple’s approach is wrong, and the efforts that are being made by Apple preventing this from happening proves not to last for long.

My logic behind this, is that if someone wishes to purchase an iPhone, and there is a provider in his country that sales it, the chances are lower that this person would be looking into the trouble of getting an iPhone and unlocking it. Those unfortunate that do not have the option to purchase the iPhone in their countries, are ,in my opinion, those who will be looking into getting one and unlocking it.

The iPhone is a status symbol in many countries, especially if there is no carrier saling it. This makes it  ‘cooler’ having one, when most cannot have it.

Update: Seems like the unlock is compatible with version 2.2 and the 02.28.00 baseband.

RIM is fighting back

November 30, 2008

It did not take long for RIM to lunch its answer to Apple’s iPhone. Although there is still work for RIM in making the Blackberry Storm a worth competition to the iPhone surly they are in the right direction. At least keeping some of its users from defecting.

Another device, which was released in Europe a few months back, but just now in the US by AT&T is the Blackberry Bold. Now offering 3G and other goodies, this device is certainly a business workhorse. I did not find any worth alternative for the excellent Blackberry push email as of yet.
Until then, and especially in light of the constant improvements with its devices (HTML email is still a bummer) RIM is giving a worthy fight to Apple.

That said, if RIM would not improve their disadvantages (HTML email, for example) they will loose the fight.

Goodbye Blackberry?

July 11, 2008

One of the interesting things Apple has added into Mobile ME and into the new 2.0 iPhone software is push email.

After examining several videos that are available online an interesting question is now raising – Where is Blackberry going to go from here?

Having PUSH email is an enormous advantage for all of us geeks that needs their email wherever they go and immediately.

Seems to me there is no gap anymore between Apple to Blackberry. From now on it is Blackberry trailing behind Apple not only with features, but also with Sales.

That said, you can get Blackberry on all major carriers (at least in the US), but only select offers the iPhone (usually a single per-country).

Where is Apple going with this?

July 8, 2008

I admit it.

I really do not understand Apple and its idiotic policy with regards to the iPhone 3G. Let’s assume I would like to buy the iPhone and pay 600 USD just to get it. According to some reports, I would still need to activate it. It would not be SIM free… I am not sure if these reports are true, but if so this represents a lame way of moving back instead of moving forward for Apple.

What was so cool about the first generation iPhone? You could activate it at home (or not) using iTunes and the whole let’s go to the store thing did not apply.

Now you are forced to activate in store (Apple or AT&T).

Frankly I am getting tired of this. The phone itself is not any new revelation to the mobile phone industry. So we have 3G, GPS and a better battery. The version Apple had to start with a year later.

If it turns out that you are to pay 600 USD for an unlocked iPhone 3G I do believe there might be other more interesting alternatives. Check out HTC touch Diamond, and the new Touch Pro (679 USD unlocked SIM free).

Here it comes: iPhone 3G

July 5, 2008

I am sure you have all read about the new iPhone 3G and what it brings (or not) to the world of mobile phones.

Frankly I am a bit disappointed from the enhancements of the new iPhone (but it is better to have a 3G capability then not). I am still scratching my head understanding why can’t Apple make the iPhone be used as a modem? Oh well.

In my opinion the biggest addition is the app store. This is the new cash cow for Apple. Write your application and split the cash with us. Very creative move by Apple. I anticipate that GPS applications and Games will be the number 1 hit for the App store (or at least this is what I will be looking for).

The other part relates to how you get your hands on the phone and how much is this going to cost you. As a loyal citizen of Apple I had bought the first generation iPhone when it cost 600 USD (Steve, where is my other 100USD?). Now I need to put 300 USD more just to get committed to AT&T again for 2-years.

Go figure.

This time I might wait a bit to hear whether the new iPhone is really that much of a change or whether it is just a nice enhancement.

iPhone 3G in 2008

December 4, 2007

So it seems Apple will be releasing a new version of its iPhone now with a 3G capability sometime next year.

The information was confirmed (leaked?) by no other then AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson.

One of the interesting things to watch will be the battery lifetime when the iPhone will have 3G capabilities.

From my own experience I can tell that when you use WiFi the battery drains fast (ok not fast as with playing Video).

What is Apple trying to do to its iPhone users?

October 1, 2007

Apple had released firmware version 1.1.1 for the iPhone. If you have software hacked iPhone that allows you to place any SIM card and use any GSM-based network, your phone will be bricked. i.e. you will not be able to use it.

The question asked is why Apple is trying to angry its customers? I have already written in the past about the new Apple cash cow, which is the percentage it takes from the net profit for the iPhone customers of the carriers, which have exclusive deals with Apple.

Apple is actually doing more then this. If you will show up in an Apple store with a bricked iPhone the chances are that your iPhone will not be replaced and that your warranty is voided.

In my opinion Apple had gone too far with this. Instead of being happy that the iPhone is a big success, and it sells in big numbers, Apple is fighting its own users. According to various sources Apple had already sold more then 1 million of iPhone units. So even if 5% of them are hacked and can use any SIM, why does Apple bothers so much about this?

One aspect would be to show the carriers it is doing something. The other is to maintain the exclusivity.

This also ties with another mistake (my opinion) Apple did by lowering the price of the iPhone by 200$ two months after it had been introduced.

Sure, if you are gadget guy you need to pay more. But on the other hand you do not expect that only 2 months will pass and that the price will be cut by 33%?