The Handy Light iPhone app was an iPhone flashlight app with a difference: it enabled iPhone tethering. Tethering – using your cell phone as a modem to connect your laptop to the Internet – is one of the most demanded features on cellphones and, being not allowed on iPhones, has long been the Holy Grail among iPhone owners. In fact the desire to tether with an iPhone is one of the main reasons that users Jailbreak (root) their iPhones.
As we discussed earlier, Consumer Reports has issued a “can’t recommend” warning for the iPhone 4, based on the reception problems. However, in the process of testing the iPhone 4.0 issues, they did find a quick, cheap fix for the problem. It’s not pretty, but apparently it does work.
While Apple has been trying to pass the buck on the iPhone 4 reception problems, no less a venerable institution than Consumer Reports itself has said that it has tested the iPhone 4.0 hardware and found it to blame for the iPhone 4.0 reception issues that have been widely reported. In a blog post entitled “Why Consumer Reports can’t recommend the iPhone 4”, and subtitled “Apple iPhone 4 design defect confirmed”, on the ConsumerReports.org website, Consumer Reports says “It’s official.”
In a letter posted on the Apple website on Friday, just as everyone was leaving for the long weekend (we’re sure the timing is just coincidence), Apple admits that there is a bonafide Apple iPhone 4 reception problem. Well, sort of. What they really say is that the problem isn’t with the reception, or even with a faulty antenna – it’s with saying you have more bars of reception than you really do. Hrrm… way to shift the blame over to AT and T!
It was only a matter of time before the legal world and the iPhone app world merged. There are now several iPhone applications that purport to help you to get divorced, by providing information, calculations and, at least by inference, advice (although of course they can’t call it legal advice without risking being hit for unauthorized practice of law – or, as we in the biz call it, UPL).
Very few apps (applications) on the iPad run in the background, meaning that most of them simply stop when you hit the home button and exit the application. But with the iPod app on your iPad, you can have music in the background, and use any other application while listening to that iPod background music. And you can pop up a pop-up iPod controller (like a little iPod remote control) while you are using any other application, without ever leaving that app.!
If you’ve been trying to figure out how to shuffle your music on your iPad, well, you’re not alone. Apple could hardly have made it more confusing. First, you can’t shuffle your music on your iPad in iTunes, because iTunes isn’t even where your music is on the iPad! Your music is in the iPod app on your iPad, and you can shuffle your music on the iPod on the iPad, but you have to know the secret. So, here’s the secret.
In an irony that was almost assuredly lost on them, AT and T today apologized by mass email to all of their iPad 3G customers for the security leak (i.e. the hackers which had hacked into the system) which exposed their iPad 3G customers’ email addresses, exposing them to the risk of being spammed. Here is the email which AT and T just sent out – note the fact that they sent it from a non-repliable email address, which is considered a no-no in email sending best practices.
In addition to the new iPhone 4 being announced this week, Apple released a new free update to its web browser, Safari. The new Safari 5, for both Mac and Windows, offers a few new features, but none as interesting – or as controversial – as the new Safari “Reader” view or, if you will, Reader function. The new Safari 5 Reader button instantly strips out nearly everything on the page that isn’t part of the article you are reading – ads, external links, pop-ups – everything – and gives you a view of whatever you are reading that has only the content text, and any attendant images or videos.
Apple has released a promotional video of the new iPhone 4 (or iPhone IV, for those into Roman numerals), and it looks pretty incredible. The new iPhone 4.0 has front and rear facing cameras (with a built-in flash), takes HD video, and has iMovie onboard! But that’s not all! It also has true video calling And video chat – during which you can switch between the front and rear cameras – and multitasking switching between apps!
In a much-hoped for move, Skype and Skype Out now work with 3G, at least on the iPhone and iPad. The bad news is that Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will cost you money (after a free period that lasts through at least August, and maybe through the end of the year).
Say goodbye to our little friend, the unlimited 3G data plan for the iPad 3G + Wifi. Yes, it’s true, less than a month after rolling it out, AT and T has announced that they will be replacing the unlimited 3G data plan for iPad with a new, limited 3G data plan, known as the AT and T DataPro plan, effective Monday, June 7th. And the current $15.00 for 250MB per month plan has been reduced to 200MB per month under the new AT and T DataPlus plan. This means that if you are thinking of buying an iPad 3G, now is the time to do it, so that you can sign up for the unlimited data plan by Sunday.
As the iPad 3G celebrates its one month birthday, the automatic renewal of the AT and T 3G data plan is kicking in for those who subscribed to one of the two data plans. Here’s what that auto-renew looks like. (Learn how to cancel your AT and T iPad 3G data plan here.)