This is ridiculously future-cool -- an iPhone 4 video call from the middle of the Pacific Ocean thanks to a boat, a satellite-powered Wi-Fi hotspot, and FaceTime.
FaceTime from the middle of the Pacific. Arthur and Peter, my MotionX colleagues are in the office in Santa Cruz, California and get video-taped doing FaceTime between Pete’s iPhone 4 in Santa Cruz and my iPhone 4 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean one of the most isolated spots in the world. When it came up, it was like magic! To paraphrase Arthur Clarke, Great innovative technology and magic are literally indistinguishable. This is what the Camera-Phone was designed to do.
Camera+ for iPhone is a photography application that allows you to take photos and edit them. tap tap tap claims Camera+ is "all about one thing - GREAT PHOTOS!" How does Camera+ hold up to this expectation? Follow along to find out.
One of the greatest tricks Apple pulled off at the iPhone 4 press conference was changing the dialog from death-touch -- a single point of antenna trouble on iPhone 4 -- to death-grip -- a device-wide point of antenna trouble faced by the entire industry.
Apple for their part did cop to making iPhone 4's point of attenuation very external and incredibly visible. Steve Jobs called it "x-marks the spot", but then Apple very quickly moved on from this death-touch to a wider death-grip and demonstrated it on handsets from RIM's BlackBerry to HTC's Droid to Samsung's Windows Mobile.
I initially thought this was a mistake on Apple's part -- that they were spending too much time deflecting onto the competition. Turns out I underestimated Apple, but not as badly as the competition. What Apple very neatly managed to do there was conflate their own widely reported iPhone 4 death-touch into the very real but widely under-reported death-grip phenomena that does indeed affect the entire industry.
What's more, by those very competitors responding that the death-grip either didn't affect their devices, was minimal at best, or wouldn't affect future devices, they cinched it for Apple. They became part of the problem. Why?
Here I am showing how to apply a BodyGuardz screen protector to your iPad. Why? I don't know about you but for me my iPad screen is 9.7 inches of beautiful, colorful joy and the thought of scratching it fills me with equal parts apprehension and terror. So, in the better safe than sorry department, here's what I did:
Apple has just announced that, come Friday, July 23, the next round of international iPad roll-outs will hit Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
Boy Genius and 9to5Mac have been digging deep into how FaceTime might work on iOS devices that don't have phone numbers attached to them -- namely the next generation iPod touch G4 and iPad G2. Since iPhone 4 uses phone numbers as "accounts" to route FaceTime connections, the alternative for iPod touch and iPad seems to be Apple ID and the associated email address.
Taiwan news decided to have a little -- fun? -- with Apple and iPhone 4 by casting Steve Jobs as Darth Vader, laughing as Foxconn workers jump off buildings, and light-sabering off the fingers of customers who complain about reception problems.
It's sensationalistic, callus about the suicides, and convenient they cast blame entirely on Apple for the problems of Taiwanese and Chinese owned businesses, and some might find the imagery disturbing so consider yourself warned before you hit the play button. But, hey, Star Wars.
"The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone's antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna. We have fully conducted field tests before the rollout of smartphones. Reception problems have not happened so far, and there is no room for such problems to happen in the future"
Apple must be ecstatic. Any company that stayed quiet would have ridden out the story pretty much uninvolved. Any company -- now all of them -- that spoke up guaranteed their phones a bump in YouTube demos and/or free case requests.
And that "problems in the future" bit? Sigh. Early reports already indicate Samsung's new Galaxy S-class Captivate and Vibrant are having the same problem. Here's a sample from InformationWeek:
I have both a Samsung Vibrant and Captivate on hand for testing purposes. In both phones, the internal antenna is apparently located on the back of the phone, towards the very bottom edge. When gripped around the bottom of the phone (with either hand) the signal strength drops almost immediately. The Vibrant went from three bars to zero bars in about five seconds, and the Captivate went from four bars to zero bars in about six seconds. When I let go, the signal returns immediately.
Sure, death-grip isn't the same as iPhone 4's single-point touch, but in a media frenzy no phone is safe.
Video after the break.
Update: Samsung Galaxy S suffering from death-finger in second video after the break .
"Approximately .016% of customers [have complained]. We have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris".
Which could also just mean there hasn't been the attention or scrutiny placed on signal strength attenuation in the past, and again it will be open season now with any number of YouTube videos popping up showing everything from the HTC Droid Eris to HTC Droid Incredible to HTC Nexus One succumbing to the death-grip, just like Apple demonstrated.
However, HTC does have the forethought to warn customers not to touch the spot over their antenna (see image, top).