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Consumer Reports tests, confirms iPhone 4 antenna problem in weak signal areas

Consumer Reports has run lab tests and confirmed what many real-world users likely already know -- in areas with weak signal, touching the iPhone 4 external antenna band at the bottom left side can cause a loss of voice and data connection.

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AT&T coughing up free MicroCells to MVCs?

Looks like some of AT&T's "most valuable customers" are receiving a letter offering them a free MicroCell. The box, which sits in your home or office and re-routes your cell phone -- including iPhone -- over your broadband network can often work miracles in low signal areas... for a price.

What's less clear than the reception boost, however, is just who's being offered the feebie.

Though his calls do frequently drop at home, Jason says he wasn't terribly vocal about the issue and only pays around $180 per month for his family plan -- the only thing that might possibly qualify him, in his opinion, is that his contract was set to expire.

Leanna paid for a MicroCell recently, and while it does seem to power through even the iPhone 4 antenna issues, she's not happy she was excluded from the MVC list. AT&T, expect a call from a tiny, agro blogger any time now...

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Apple airs 4 new iPhone 4 ads and they're all about FaceTime

Apple has begun airing 4 new iPhone 4 commercials and once again, it's all about FaceTime, and heavy on the emotion and sentimentality. Titled Smile, Meet Her, Big News, and Haircut, each focuses on a moment of shared intimacy, of insecurity and anticipation, of surprise and joy. And they do it in a way that makes the visual integral to he communication.

Again, incredibly smart advertising on Apple's part, and another step towards mainstreaming video calling and the way they're doing it...

It's no longer about their being an app for that. Now it's about there being a phone -- specifically iPhone 4 -- for that.

Videos after the break.

[YouTube.com/apple via 9to5Mac]

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iPad 3G speed test: built-in 3G vs. Google Android and Palm Pre Plus Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi tether

One of the questions we get all the time is whether or not it's better to get an iPad with built-in 3G (which costs $130 more for the device, $15 or $30 for the service), or to get an iPad Wi-Fi and tether is via Mi-Fi or to a Google Android or Palm webOS device running Mobile HotSpot software (which costs 0 to $30 for the option).

Of course, Apple currently doesn't offer Mobile HotSpot on the iPhone, or a way to tether the iPad via the existing Bluetooth or USB feature, so you're out of luck there.

We ran two (admittedly unscientific) test just to see how the iPad would perform, both natively and when tethered to a Nexus One running Android 2.2 Froyo, and a Palm Pre Plus. First we put all three through the Speed Test app, and then we loaded a web page on each to get a feel for real-world performance. (Cache, cookies, and history cleared, of course.)

And the results varied quite a bit. Check out the video above for highlights and continue reading for more...

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NAVIGON MobileNavigator goes iOS 4

NAVIGON dropped us a note to let us know that new, feature-filled, iOS 4-friendly version of MobileNavigator they previewed for us back at WWDC 2010 has hit the App Store and is available now. It includes:

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iPhone Envy turned to joy -- and a follow up movie!

TiPb gave away a couple of iPhone 4s last month and our grand prize winner, Brandon, was kind enough to not only send us the picture above -- showing off his new iPhone 4 -- but to film a sequel to his prize-winning film, iPhone Envy.

Check it out below, and huge appreciation and congratulations again to Brandon!

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Class action lawsuit over iPhone/AT&T exclusivity gets certified -- should it go to court?

The class action lawsuit against AT&T's US iPhone exclusivity has been certified, which means a judge thinks it meets the legal requirements to go forward. If you remember back, The crux of suit states that customer contracts are 2 years, but the AT&T exclusivity is 5 years -- so customers were falsely lured to AT&T for 5 years, not 2 -- if they want to keep iPhones, that is. The lawsuit seeks to include all current AT&T iPhone customers.

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iPhone 4 Jailbreak - In theory?

Geohot has updated his blog to let us know that he's apparently jailbroken his iPhone 4 in less than one day.  There's a little caveat though -- he's said he probably won't release it.  Well I guess my question is, what's the point in posting it up then?  Most people are familiar with Geohot's blackra1n and purplera1n jailbreak tools.  They were simple and downright easy.

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iChatr brings "chat-roulette" action to iPhone 4

Want to chat with random strangers via your iPhone 4 front-facing camera, and expose yourself to every hope and horror that entails? Well, yeah, you guessed it -- there's now an app for that (and we're guessing, like LED flashlights, there'll be many soon enough).

Given the demographics you're more likely to end up face-to-facing a pant-less Mosspuppet than an anything-less Angelina Jolie, but you launch your app and you take your chances, and you can always swipe to go to someone else.

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iPhone vs Android: Cooper, Woz, and Page edition

A bit of a roundup this afternoon as the cell phone inventor Martin Cooper, personal computer inventor Steve Wozniak, and advertising revolutionary Larry Page all give their opinions on iPhone vs. Android.

Martin Cooper went on CNN with this zinger:

"I think that the Android phones are catching up now, and the latest version of the Android phones are every bit as good, if not better, than the iPhone."

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