real world iPhone 4S review / sprint / iOS 5

so, i’ve had “the best iPhone ever made” over the weekend and here are my, real world thoughts:

1) SIRI – yes, pretty amazing … IF it works.

between sprint and/or apple servers issues in the first 2 days. it’s been a very frustrated experience (“i’m sorry, i’m having problems reaching the network”)
but … when it does work. wow
my eastern european accent usually trips any voice recognition app (dragon go has been my favorite so far, but it too has it’s misses)

back to SIRI.
best experience – dictating 1 sentence txt message, in a crowded restaurant. got it 90% right … impressive
worst? trying to dial my friend “ehab” …. i gave up, after the 5th try

“set an alarm in 1/2 hour” doesn’t seem to work for me. “reminders” do, but they are so quiet … i’ve missed one or two already

after using it for 4 days …. although it is not 100% accurate, 85% is impressive

biggest peeve? siri has to reach out to the internet for everything!? seems like a oversight to have to do that for local info, such as your contacts, playlists, etc

2) camera

yeah it’s nice, faster, 8 mb … (can’t really confirm the dimmer environment). but … the reality is that in the end, you’ll take the 8mb picture & upload it to facebook (send it to friends, etc) at … 1mb (if). so in the real world, more doesn’t really mean much … right?


but … take a look at the 2 photos above and you will be able to pick the better one … yes 4S is better, more vibrant, more alive

3) “faster”, “better” battery life

real life improvement? maybe 5%-10% faster overall, but barely noticeable if you don’t play games.

i do have to say, download speeds are twice faster on att – 4gb vs 2gb (even using 1 year old sim card). in real life, maybe 20%+ improvement. when using newer 4G sim, you can get up to 6gb speeds … 3x faster. but that’s only certain cities

battery … i’d say about the same, but … that’s comparing to jailbroken iPhone 4 (so about 5-10% worse … ?)
[update] although i have not experienced any battery problems on the 4S. i’m having a horrible experience with my 4, after upgrading to iOS 5. after extensive testing i found that jailbreak / intelliScreenX & especially stocks ticker are to blame. now, it’s about 80-90% what i used to get on iOS 4.3.3

but … then i played music to apple TV & it drained the remaining 30% in 3 hours

4) iOS 5 – 200 “features”?

if you’ve had your phone jailbroken … you’ll actually miss it (lock screen notification on jailbreak … are better :)
configuring notification _per_ application is … mentally challenging (there’s a better word for it – sarah p especially likes :) )
photo stream is nice, but no option not to post certain pix … & no way to see them on older iOS (eg iPad)

all the other 200 features? (honestly, i had to go to apple.com to remind me, what those “features” are … :)
wireless sync … nice, but iPhoto doesn’t work wirelessly (maybe i do need to update though)
playlist folders sorting is f ed again (if you put “.” in front of your playlists, you can relate)
mail still can’t search old messages via exchange sync from gmail (google might actually be at fault here though)
iMessage … non of my friends have iOS 5 yet, so no use.
[basically, it's a feature you'll never "free" enjoy, since att charges you $20 (!) for lowest txt'ing plan, sprint "includes" it & verizon ... as well? (so you basically will pay for texting regardless if you use it or not).]
interestingly, tried to send an iMessage from a deactivated Verizon iPhone via wifi … can’t do. [update, you have to turn iMessage ON, it's not by default (?!). you also need to have contact's email address that matches apple ID ... i have 4 different email addresses on a good day = a mess. TIP: update your QR business card with the proper email address]
twitter integration – eeeh, as one of my friends recently commented to a photo posted (via twitter) to facebook: “i refuse to sign up, yet to another social service, to see your photos” :)

5) jailbreaks i miss:

free tethering
lock screen notifications that stay (calendar, 5 day weather, etc)
sbsetting on lock screen
airServer
activator gestures
would (if not for sprint integration) – g voice txt
free apps? … not so much, surprisingly

6) disappointed with sprint

i have been complaining about not able to make or maintain phone calls with att for 3 years now …
but when i was not able to check my email, downtown chicago via sprint’s service. i’ve realized …. making that phone call is no longer as crucial as being able to check your email

another annoyance, is the data OR call … will again, make you miss att

yet, another – visual voicemail doesn’t work for me … i could probably call sprint, etc, but why ??? $850 phone should work perfectly, out of box (you’ll pay that other $450 one way or another …)

i do have to say that built-in integration with google voice is amazing: type in the number … that’s it! all your calls & texts to that phone come to your sprint phone now & when you txt/dial from your phone, google voice number comes up. brilliant (att, take notice)


ps: let’s talk about iOS 5 bugs some more (my list) – apple, please take note:

- having to set notification settings, one by one. i have 20 apps on a good day, pleeeeease let me set it once for all
– camera button on the lock screen (even when the phone is not locked) – have you tried to press home button, once you’re there? can’t get out! (can’t see other photos, again even when phone is unlocked)
– battery life – ok, in all fairness, i’ve used 2 diff 4S (att & sprint) & did NOT experience any battery problems, BUT my 4 att … seems to have 1/2 of battery life what it had under 4.3.3. upon detailed testings i finally managed to get a day out of it by: turning off intelliScreenX (stock ticker might be the real culprit here), but then i played music to apple TV & it drained the remaining 30% in 3 hours.
– mail search – still doesn’t work, when it comes to older “on server” messages. first: the default search should be “all”. then i’m not sure if it’s apple or google, but my gmail search via exchange client on iOS hasn’t worked for 2 years now.

fix for iBooks on 4.3.5 / ios 5.0.1 jailbroken iPhone / iPad crashing

so you made a mistake of upgrading your iPad / iPhone to iOS 4.3.5 / 5.0.1 – You applied jailbreak via Cydia and now iBooks crash (& you didn’t backup your SHSH).

[update 12/29] how to fix iBooks 1.5 on untethered iOS 5.01 :
– redsn0w 9b10+ (if not latest patch with corona 1.3)
– install fresh iBooks 1.5 (i’ve updated on device)
– install iBooksFix2 from repo.inanelyi.com
reboot

[update 11/1] how to fix iBooks on jailbroken iOS 5 (need to be jb literate)

 

you’re not alone, this is a well known issue. unfortunately because it affects iOS 5 beta as well. i have a feeling, our heros: comex & ih8sn0w – will wait until the final iOS5 to fix this issue (cat & mouse game jb community & apple play every year …). there isn’t seem to be a solution, i’ve tried to downgrade to earlier version of iBooks – they all crash (1.2 1.3) & 1.1 opens, but no books show & you can’t even complete a sample download.

well, thx to @raktim_rakzzz i have a solution for ya:

- use pwnage tool to cook up a custom ipsw firmware & jailbreak your iPhone / iPad
instructions here (mac)
– instead of 4.3.4 (mentioned in the instructions above) use 4.3.5 bundle – get at pwnbundles.com

ps: if you have iPad 3g … like me, you’re out of luck :( – 4.3.5 upgrades to firmware 07.11.01 which doesn’t support this fix

[update]

last resort is to downgrade to 4.3.3 via iFaith (win only)

ps: or … use this free epub reader app – Bluefire … until final iOS 5 fix comes out (thx to sinful)

my first day with lion mac os x … i hate it

over the years, i’ve learned not to jump on the “new” bandwagon and wait at least a month before upgrading to a new product, software or gadget.
so i’m not in a rush, especially seeing hillarious videos like this one (NSFW 150k+ views).

but, to give apple credit, 2011 MB Air has fixed my 2 annoyances with previous Air: lid up the keyboard & removed pointless “eject” button (thus moving music play keys, where they are suppose to be). so i was excited to test 2011, especially that my in-laws got it & there was no risk of having to go back to Leopard Snow, etc.
apple failed terribly on not putting back the infared for the remotes (yeah, “get apple tv” – $100 – “philosophy” – but you can’t really send power point presentations to apple tv via airPlay, can you?). and to add salt to the wound, they have removed FrontRow app (although there’s a hack for that).

so … i’m writing this on my 2010 Air & will keep it ’till  x-mass,  if not longer … why?

2011 Air, or Mac OS X Lion – i should say – doesn’t feel like a finished product!

- firefox dmg file couldn’t mount. my very first impression wasn’t good: download firefox, mount dmg, move to applications & … “can’t open” (WFT? did i just upgrade to windows?). had to re-download twice, delete files & restart the system to get it to work …. brand new, $1400 laptop!
– after using the Air for few hours, system preference crashed! really apple???
– when downgrading the resolution to lower 1152×720 – can’t see bottom menu in iphoto. yeah, minor bug, but contrary to apple’s belief old folks can’t see ant size fonts at native – 1440×900 resolution. i’ve gotten used to upscaled, not so good looking 1152xx720 resolution. but not to have iPhoto scale down accordingly?
– mail app – can’t increase font sizes. the option is there … but doesn’t do anything … yep, restarted. nada. again, very frustrating for old people, who can’t see ant size fonts on the screen!
– video “anatomy of mac” is still leopard on the support site. support section of apple’s website doesn’t seem to be aware of Lion’s existence … yet (but i guess it’s more efficient for the co. to have old folks come to the store to take lesson … maybe up sell them on some crap they don’t need)
drop box folder – doesn’t work out of the box … until you enable sharing on it …
gestures – not implemented on applications like firefox. now this is probably firefox’s fault, but still when making a fundamental OS changes like: stuff scrolls up, instead of down (thank god there’s an easy way to disable that). or making 3 finger left/right swipes, switch os “pages”, instead of website’ visited pages …. should give devs a bit of notice? have a discussion to make sure those “revolutionary” videos, correspond with the actual product experience?
[no apple, safari is not the greatest browser out there ... it actually sux. e.g. have you heard of a standard cmd-K shortcut to search? cmd-1,2 to switch between tabs?]
ohh & if you want to understand why 2-finger left/right swipe is a disaster. try to explain to a 70 year old a difference between: 1 finger swipe, 2 finger swipe & 3 fingers … the difference between going left, right, up (the middle one, might be up by then :) )
– totally agree with the guy from the video above on, Launchpad doesn’t feel like part of the OS: can’t select multiple apps & move them, can’t manage them via finder. & the name “Launchpad” – again my old folks have no idea that means “application” …
- AirDrop … doesn’t work with older macs. how dumb is that?
dashboard – while you can probably remap “Launchpad” (f4) key back to dashboard … dashboard itself is kinda lost in the “mission control” (another dumb name) … but, ok – that’s a minor annoyance at most.

good?

huh … 2011 MacBook Air, looks nice … but pretty much the same as 2010 (yes, now with a lid up keyboard). did not notice greater battery life. speed … maybe 5-10% faster (but honestly didn’t spend enough time with it).

ok, so i do like the instant integration of yahoo (don’t think that’s automatic with gmail) – when you sing-in the first time, it asks you to plug in the user/password into mail app, it works for contacts & iChat too. nice.

interestingly features, i’ve looked forward to: autocorrect, versions, mail, airDrop … now seem cosmetic conveniences i can live without on Snow Leopard.

so overall, can’t say i’m compelled to upgrade, actually.

overall – Lion OS X feels sloppy.

what’s going on apple? not making enough money? jobs left & attention to detail – we’ve got to love so much about your products – went out of the window with him?
no, i’m not an apple hating a**hole, but i do expect near perfection for a laptop that’s $1400!

but i still love apple

why? no choice, frankly. & i’m brutally reminded of windows in the 90s … by having to wait (3 hours & counting) to migrate my in-law’s PC to mac:
1) upgrade my in-laws’ win XP to SP3
2) so i can install apple’s migration assistant (bit lazy of apple to require SP3 …)
3) so i can migrate … mear 3gb worth of data
will keep you posted, how that goes

[update: sp3 upgrade failed 3 times, then kinda went through, then apple's migration assistant refused to install even after win said SP3. 4 hours later, i've decided to take a USB stick, copy all content of "my documents" & successfully dropped it on the mac ... all of which took, 15 min]

google+ plus – not making my life easier … yet

my brief love affair with google+ got stuck on the 3rd date (i mean day :):

like:
– simple sharing rules concept – aka circles

shockingly that’s all. it’s funny how many hoops we are willing to jump through, because we got fed up by,  a free,  yet very unpredictable social network, called FB
[my FB peeves: sucky twitter integration, api that breaks weekly, reason why i loved fb to begin with: auto posts of all of my social tools: youtube, pix, music, blogs, etc - have anyone noticed how they don't automatically show up in your feed any longer???]

not ready: (but back to google+ … “the hope”)
– no twitter / fb integration.
had to rethink this one … w/ improved sharing rules, all posts will have to come out of + now (instead from twitter, until now), but … even though  i “found” this twittermail solution, it cuts posts off, after 43rd character …
– no simple google contacts -> google+ import. nor fb, nor twitter
(dragging your first friend into the circle seems cool. dragging 100 of them seems like too much work)
– can’t adjust sharing settings after initial post (so when one of my buddies starts cursing, etc … now all of the world can see)
– can’t delete other’s replies to my posts???
– can’t edit post’s (link) description
– can’t delete/edit a contact added on + (i actually edited that contact on g contacts & now i have 2 separate contacts on +)
– spam – yep, in “incoming” i’ve received an invite from “cheap flights” already (i polish, but still)

conclusion:

google, i love you, but … i was looking for a better social network alternative, to make my life easier. i’m going to wait, until you become a cougar … then we can resume our date (i hope).

chase stole my money

after paying off my mortgage, 2 days later my back account was raped by another monthly payment withdraw  from the scummiest bank on earth, called chase.

i called & was informed that i need to provide them with proof, which i did.
called again 3 days later and was informed that the refund check was indeed mailed to me, except they have mailed it to … you guessed it … my mailing address, for the property i just sold …

i requested cancellation of the check to be mailed to the new address. was told 3 business days

now a week later, i’ve received a call that my check could not be sent, due to some dumb policy that when you change the mailing address it can’t be sent for another month.
i ripped the rep a new a-whole, asked for a supervisor and of course miraculously the rules were bent.

except it will take yet another 3 business days … we are approaching a month of chase stealing money from me & holding on to it.

all i can do is share this story with you, so you don’t make the same mistake and do any kind of business with this corrupted, beaurocratic, shady and greedy corporation. (RT & Facebook “like” is appreciated)

ps: in case you were wondering, i did not chose to take a mortgage with chase. i was misfortunate to have them purchase my mortgage from WAMU.

signed: the little guy

how i got caught in iPad 2 line – review

I must admit, even though I’ve owned an iPad 1 for almost a year, I too got excited on the news of the “new” one.  Ohh, it’s skinnier? Lighter? TWO times faster? … Has cameras?!

Decided to give a local best buy a try at 3:30pm on a Friday. And what do you know – I was the 10th person out of 11 units available at that location (what a “social” experience BTW – standing in line for i product, bonding with other dummies).

(they finally took them out of hiding, looks like around 10 … there’s hope)

Joy! Right? Well, I really wanted the black one and was upset I didn’t put my old one on eBay before the announcement (apple dropped the price by $100 and another $50 if you get refurbished iPad 1). But heck, I was “lucky”, especially after hearing crazy stories of people camping out for 3 days in the rain to get one or $900 offers for the first SPOT in line (idiots).


The excitement fades after 1/2 hour.

You get  butterflies whenever you open your first apple product … viral marketing machine of that co. is just mind boggling.

But after I synced my bookmarks, few apps and started playing with this “new”, “amazing” and can’t forget “magical” device … I had a hard time finding “the it“:

  • Magnetic Coverthe video blue me away, but after doing it myself twice … the “trick” gets old and you felt a bit cheated, especially at $80 for a piece of “leather” – that doesn’t even cover the back … and the alignment is … close, but not perfect (especially when you turn it around to the back)
  • Skinnier then iPhone 4″ … well, when you actually stack up against old iPad … not much difference. they actually feel very … same.
  • Lighter … we are talking about 11 sheets of paper “difference”. Not noticeable either.

I do have to say, that it feels sturdier

  • Cameras … Ok this feature seemed like a big one, but if you already have an iPhone … you’ll realize you don’t actually need it, except for those Skype calls. And walking around, while trying to film with an iPad … just feels awkward. Finally, when you try to edit those “films” with iMovie … you realize how crappy the resolution is. iPhone 3GS ish at best and VGA web cam up front.
    (yet, you still can’t edit photos with native photo app)
  • Faster … Again, I was sooo excited for this improvement. Only … to not really notice much difference after browsing the web, running few apps and playing Angry Birds (not a graphics intensive game, I know) for few hours. Yes, it feels … maybe 8% faster, things are a bit snappier, the tabs on safari sometimes don’t reload (finally! … but after few hours, they do it again).

Overall, ipad 2 is a minor improvement at best.

I actually went back to my iPad 1 and continued playing with it for the rest of the evening (so I wouldn’t put any marks on iPad 2 and can still sell it). iPad 1 was my friend again, didn’t feel old, didn’t “lack” cameras or extra juice. Immediately realized, what I really “need” is to sell my old iPad and use the $200 difference (it would take to get new one) … And get – iPad 1, 32gb … 3G, refurbished from apple (same price as new, iPad 2 wifi). Now, that’s a good “deal”! (& yes, apple wins either way)

Summary

got to “love” apple. This release is not for existing iPad owners. It’s for those suckers that have been salivating every time they saw a TV ad or heard a friend talk about it, but considered android or the fact that ipad is too damn expensive (just like iPhone 2 vs 3G).
I mean, you most likely already have an iPhone/android,  computer (or few) and once you do buy it – you’ll find yourself only using iPad to: read books, check web and maybe email and watch movies when you travel. It’s an expensive toy, not a life or death necessity.
In today’s times, when you actually notice recession, maybe even unemployed like me – you have no business complaining about anything being too slow or not heaving enough features.

I still have respect for apple. Being able to make a grown, ass techie stand in line and feel special for a privilege of being stripped of 640 dollars – you got me again, apple :)

Twitter not publishing to Facebook any longer?

For the past couple of days, i’ve noticed that my twitter status updates are not getting automatically published to facebook any longer. Seems others are experiencing same problems:

[update 3/11 - a month passed by & ... what do you know my twitter updates started posting on FB on their own - fixed ... for now]

you’ve got to love facebook and their secret changes, that cause stuff to stop working, without any announcements.  it’s dumb, especially after recent twitter by FB buy out rumors. but we all know fb doesn’t really care about us – its’ users – last.fm updates haven’t worked in months.

yet another reason, why we need a new, open facebook, that will work as fb should: connect all of our social (flickr, pandora, last.fm, etc) activities on one page.

Solutions? Haven’t found a fix so far. Tried to re-connect via:

- http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/ – no luck
(which humorously doesn’t work if you have an auto httpS enabled)

Anyone?

[update 2/24] starting to have a feeling, that my particular twitter account might have been blocked, due to pirate bay posts …

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