MobileMe, Apple, Inc.'s answer to the consumer-based "push" concept has launched today. MobileMe comprises of web-based applications that not only synchronize with their desktop counterparts, but also "pushes" updates to other computers including calendar appointments, address book entries and Safari bookmarks. Windows-based PC's and Apple's OS X can be used to synchronize this information between platforms. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch (using Wi-Fi) you can receive these updates instantly on your device without having to synchronize with your desktop.
Playing around with 3G on the iPhone a bit lately (since I'm one of the lucky ones who got activated in-store) and the results are ....mixed. I've tried a few different services, each giving wildly different results within the service and between services (the above comes from http://inetworktest.com. I'm definitely on 3G here in Providence, RI, but my speed tests seem to ranging from a mediocre 140kbps up to a stupendous 420kbps. On average, well, there doesn't seem to be an average, it either comes in poorly or awesomely.
As we just noted earlier today, iTunes is feeling the hurt of all the traffic today. Case in point: Activation is confirmed to be down all across Canada. We're also getting reports that some people who did manage to buy an iPhone 3G are stuck in emergency call mode and can't activate. It seems that activation is so tough right now some AT&T stores are letting customers leave without activating their iPhones. Our advice: do not leave the store without getting it activated, at least for today.
The iPhone 3G does not come with a dock, instead you need to buy it separately for $29.99. The bummer of it is that the dock that came with the 1st gen iPhone is incompatible with the 3G dock. The other bummer for some folks could possibly be that the 3G dock also doesn't work with the original iPhone either.
In any case -- it's a dock. It has the same outputs (USB and Audio) and the same basic shape as the original dock, although it is a bit nicer in spots. Namely: it doesn't wrap as far around the sides of the iPhone, so it has an overall cleaner look. The phone does sit a bit too vertically for my tastes, but that's a fairly subjective thing.
Still, for an extra 29 bucks there's more we'd like to see here. An included USB cable and AC adapter for two. An IR port so it might be able to support an Apple Remote for three.
So all in all: boo-urns on Apple for no longer including it and boo-urns for charging $29 for it, $19 would be much more appropriate. Gallery after the break!
Although Apple forces you to get your iPhone activated in-store before you walk out the door, that may not mean that people are going to have a trouble-free syncing experience today. To wit: the error message above is the best I can get when I plug my iPhone 3G into my Mac. Apparently iTunes wants to double-check that my iPhone really is what it's supposed to be. With the presumably massive number of people getting iPhone 3Gs today, iTunes is not handling the load so well.
Here we are - A gallery of the iPhone 3G in White and some comparisons to the original iPhone 2G. Short version: The iPhone 3G is a bit thicker, a smidge taller, and (most surprisingly) noticeably wider, it feels just as good in the hand because of the curved back. That wider part also means there's a slight border on the left and right of the screen -- but all in all the iPhone 3G is essentially the same slab as the original iPhone.
The plastic backing feels very solid -- it's very hard plastic and though it's not likely to be as scratch-resistant as the original metal, it's a damn sight tougher than most smartphone plastic we've seen. It is a fingerprint magnet back to front, even in white (though the white hides it better).
The headphone jack is flush (yay) and looks to be well-constructed. Unlike many a smarthphone we've used before, there's no jiggle whatsoever when you plug a headset in. Ok, we'll say it, the headset jack on Treos would often get busted because the soldier points would fail -- that doesn't look to be a concern here. Also great: Speaker quality and call quality are FAR SUPERIOR to the original iPhone.
We're going to have much much more throughout the day, including a full hardware review, a full review of the iPhone 2.0 OS, some app reviews, and a new chance for you to win stuff from TiPb. Keep on coming back all day, but for now check out our gallery and unboxing video after the break.
Not willing (or able) to wait in line in the am? Don't fret, just be sure that you head on over to this Apple page before you head to the Apple store -- it will let you know whether the flavor of iPhone 3G you're hoping for is in stock.
Here at the Providence, RI Mall, the halls are filled with lost souls as of 5:45 am, wandering in a state of limbo, unable to queue up because of a short security guard with delusions of importance. Nevertheless, Randyman was kind enough to kick our local line off with the following photo, Will was here at 3:45 am, and the other 6 us are alternately sneaking around the halls or sitting here in the parking lot, waiting for the overzealous security guard's wristwatch to read 6am.
The Mobile Me desktop login just worked for me for the first time just now, this morning. I'm successfully pushing data out, but I'm not about to start depending on it for real work. Is it working for you?
Those of us who went ahead and downloaded the iPhone 2.0 Firmware Update direct from Apple may have jumped the gun a little too early. There have been some problems with it -- I myself have had a handful of crashes and, yes, a couple of full-on resets. A couple of times these crashes (and one of the reset) happened in the Phone App. The Phone app should be the most SOLID application on the device, so seeing it freeze up and make me drop a call (and wait for a reboot) was disheartening to say the least.
Sounded like a great idea, dinnit? Put up a website where your customers could upgrade to the brand-spanking-new iPhone 3G kit, right? Digg effect, meet iPwnage (no, not the hack, the tidal-wave of traffic Apple's little gadget brings with it). It'll Steve your website right quick -- especially when you offer to hand deliver them on launch day!
JAR! Avast ye scurvy 2.0 firmware and prepare to be unlocked!
Didn't take long, did it? Well, actually it did -- the iPhoneDevTeam has been hax0ring away at it since the SDK went wide and Apple, in an attempt to woo legitimate developers, made the beta 2.0 firmware (all 8 versions of it), widely available.
Their latest, release version 2.0, Pwnage tool hasn't gone public yet, but will soon. Are you willing to unlock? 22 countries are getting the iPhone tomorrow, and 50 more are following, but with Apple's tight control of the SDK, my bet is there will still be a few folks out there who want to run anything they dang-well please on their iPhone.
Splashdata - the company that has given unto the smartphone-and-pda-user world such iconic titles as SplashID, SplashShopper, and SplashMoney on numerous popular platforms - has jumped head-first into the iPhone world with two of the three aforementioned apps in the iTunes App Store. Both SplashShopper and SplashID are currently available for purchase and download, each at $9.99.