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Entries in iphone (19)

Wednesday
May042011

Apple Releases iOS Update

Apple has released iOS version 4.3.3 for the GSM iPhone 4, GSM iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch (3rd & 4th generation), iPad and iPad 2.  In addition to bug fixes, the latest iOS version also changes the way the crowd-sourced location cache is handled: 

  • Reduces the size of the cache  
  • No longer backs the cache up to iTunes
  • Deletes the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off

A separate iOS version 4.2.8 is also available for the CDMA iPhone 4.

Both updates are available through iTunes when you connect your iOS device and click Check for Update.

I have installed the update without issue.  Total time to install and sync my iPhone 4 was approximately 13 minutes.

 

Monday
May022011

Apple's Share of Smartphone Profits

A piece by Jay Yarow at Business Insider details Apple's share of profits among major phone makers.

Apple's share of the smartphone market may not be overwhelming, but its share of the market's profits is.

Spoiler:  Apple has 50% of the market's profit with only 25% of the market share.

Apple's share of the profits is growing while all of the rest are seeing their profit shrink.

Friday
Apr292011

Apple: Highest Mobile Phone Growth Rate

International Data Corporation (IDC) has released their latest quarterly report on mobile phone market share.  Apple continues to hold the number 4 position among worldwide mobile phone manufacturers behind Nokia, Samsung and LG.  IDC noted:

Apple maintained its number 4 spot on IDC's Top 5 list thanks to a record quarter for unit shipments. The company posted the highest growth rate of the worldwide leaders. Apple's results were buoyed by strong sales on Verizon Wireless and additional carrier deals; the company is now on 186 carriers operating in 90 countries. The iPhone once again sold particularly well in developed economic regions of the world, such as North America and Western Europe.

(Emphasis added.)

Apple's 5% mobile phone market share is particularly impressive when you remember that manufacturers like Nokia and Samsung offer dozens of different mobile phone models while Apple offers, basically, just one model.

In 2007, Apple's stated goal was to capture just 1% of mobile phone market share.  Some analysts scoffed at that suggestion, saying the mobile phone market was too competitive for a new player to gain a 1% foothold.

Fast-forward to 2011: Every mobile phone manufacturer wants to make phones that are just like the iPhone.

Thursday
Apr282011

Most iPhone/Android Comparisons Flawed

In an article at The Loop, Jim Dalrymple argues that you can't compare the iPhone to Android.

Here is the first giant flaw — you may have noticed in the headline of this story. You cannot compare Android to an iPhone. That’s comparing an operating system to a hardware device.

The man has a point.  He correctly points out that you wouldn't compare a single model of Mercedes against all cars that GM makes.  The same is true for the iPhone/Android comparison.

Dalrymple points out that it is more appropriate to compare operating systems.

Now, let’s take a look at the operating systems in the U.S. According to reports released this month by comScore, if you factor in all of the devices that use iOS including iPhones, iPads and iPodtouches, Apple reached 37.9 million people. Android, according to the data, reached 23.8 million on phones and tablets.

That’s a 59 percent lead for iOS over Android.

Logical and true.

Thursday
Apr282011

Mobile Sales: iPhone Gains, Android Slips

Market research company The NPD Group has announced their analysis of mobile phone market share in the United States.

In the first quarter (Q1) of this year Apple's mobile phone sales reached 14 percent of the U.S. market. Apple outranked HTC, Motorola and RIM as the third-largest handset brand in the U.S., behind Samsung at 23 percent and LG at 18 percent. After launching on Verizon's network in February, Apple's iPhone 4 further solidified its position as the top-selling mobile phone in the U.S., while iPhone 3GS, Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC Droid Incredible rounded out NPD's top-five mobile phone handset ranking.

The report goes on to state that Apple's launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon's network is what allowed the iPhone to expand its market share, previously held back by AT&T exclusivity.

At the same time, Andoird OS lost ground in market share, falling to 50 percent of smartphone unit sales compared to 53 percent during the previous quarter.

Wednesday
Apr272011

Apple Q&A On Location Data

Apple Inc. has published their response to the growing controversy over the recording of iPhone user location.

Why is Apple tracking the location of my iPhone? 
Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.

Apple goes on to explain why there is a need for a location database.

Why is my iPhone logging my location? 
The iPhone is not logging your location. Rather, it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested. Calculating a phone’s location using just GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes. iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data to quickly find GPS satellites, and even triangulate its location using just Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data when GPS is not available (such as indoors or in basements). These calculations are performed live on the iPhone using a crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data that is generated by tens of millions of iPhones sending the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple.

The document also explains that a software bug is responsible for the location database cache file being updated when a user has turned off Location Services in their iPhone settings.  Apple states they will be releasing a software update in the next few weeks that will address this, plus a couple of other issues.

  • reduces the size of the crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower database cached on the iPhone,
  • ceases backing up this cache, and
  • deletes this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off. 

Apple ends the document stating that, in the next major iOS update, the cache will also be encrypted on the iPhone.

Monday
Apr252011

Apple Gets Sued (yes, again!)

Bloomberg is reporting that a lawsuit has been filed against Apple Inc. in Federal court claiming invasion of privacy and computer fraud over Apple's alleged recording of the movements of iPhone and iPad users.

The complaint cited a report last week by two computer programmers claiming that Apple’s iOS4 operating system is logging latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time a spot is visited. The programmers said Apple devices are collecting about a year’s worth of location data. Apple hasn’t commented on the matter since the April 20 report was released.

The attorneys for the two named plaintiffs, Vikram Ajjampur and William Devito, are apparently seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.

It is important to note that, so far, there has been no proof or demonstration that Apple is "collecting" any of this location data.  All that has been demonstrated is that the location data is stored on a user's iPhone or iPad and that the data gets copied to the user's computer when he or she syncs their iPhone or iPad for updates and backup.  Nowhere has anyone proven that a single bit of that data gets transmitted to Apple or to any other party.

Until such time as there is some form of proof that Apple is both collecting the location data to their servers and using that data in a manner that allows them to personally identify a specific user, then my opinion is this lawsuit is meritless and a waste of the court's time.

Thursday
Apr212011

iPhone 4 Tracking Brouhaha

Yesterday, a pair of security researchers (Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden) announced the discovery that the iPhone 4 and iPad 3G are regularly recording the position of the device to a hidden consolidated.db cache file.  Their "discovery" spawned a whirlwind of controversy, including this morning's news of a letter sent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs by Senator Al Franken (D-MN).

Today, network security and forensics expert Alex Levinson stepped forward to explain that the hidden consolidated.db cache file is neither new nor secret.  In fact, the existence of the file was mentioned in iOS Forensic Analysis: for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, a book to which Levinson was a contributor.  The book was released on December 5, 2010.

For me, it's much ado about nothing.  Anyone carrying any sort of mobile phone can be tracked by their mobile provider.  I guess if I was engaged in criminal activity or I was cheating on my spouse, I might have more reason to be concerned.  But the moment I started carrying a mobile device that relies on cellular towers or WiFi hotspots, and features a GPS chip to determine its position, it was pretty easy to figure out that my movements could be tracked.

By the way, Android OS device owners should take note that their devices are tracking position into a similar cache file.  Though, it appears the Android OS does not keep a very long record.

Wednesday
Apr202011

PureGear Shell and Holster for iPhone 4

I don't like to carry my iPhone 4 in my pocket.  I prefer to use a case or holster that clips to my belt.  Until recently, I was using a Marware CEO Sleeve.  Last week, while attaching the CEO Sleeve to my belt, the clip broke.  (Thankfully, the CEO Sleeve -with iPhone 4 in it- came off in my hand instead of hitting the floor.)  I contacted Marware and they were happy to replace the CEO Sleeve under warranty.  Only problem: they no longer offer it in black.  They sent me a 'vanilla' one instead.  Not my cup of tea.

Thus began the search to find a replacement gadget to carry and protect my iPhone 4.  During this search, a friend suggested a case and holster that another (mutual) friend had found at a Verizon store.  I visited a Verizon store the next day and ended up purchasing a PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 model number AIP4HOC.

The Holster and Shell

PureGear put some thought into this design.  There are two separate parts, the Holster and the Shell.

Holster & Shell, Front (click image to expand)

Holster & Shell, Back (click image to expand)

The Holster and Shell are constructed of rubberized plastic.  The material has a nice tactile feel and it is quite strong.  There are other cases/shells on the market that could offer more protection, but they all seem to be bulkier and, frankly, not nearly as attractive.

Nesting the Two Parts

The iPhone 4 slides into the Shell and then the Shell/iPhone combo slides (iPhone face first) into the Holster.

The Two Parts, Nested (click image to expand)

Clipped to my belt, the package is nice and compact.  There's no fumbling to remove the iPhone from the Holster, it slides right out.  Putting the iPhone back is just as easy.  It snicks into place and all seems very secure.

The Kickstand

The long rectangular section on the back of the Shell is the nifty Kickstand.  It slides open and locks in place behind a little tab.

Kickstand in Portrait Orientation (click image to expand)

I didn't think I'd use the Kickstand feature very often.  I have to admit, it's a nice feature to have.  It can also be used in landscape orientation.

Kickstand in Landscape Orientation (click image to expand)

The Kickstand is perfect for propping up the iPhone 4 while you browse the web or watch a movie.

Enjoy your Favorite Movie (click image to expand)

Adjustable Belt Clip

The Holster features a ratcheting belt clip with 12 positions over a 180-degree arc.  The belt clip will accommodate fairly thick belts and belts up to about 1.5-inches wide.

Ratcheting Belt Clip (click image to expand)

Generous Opening for Camera

PureGear also got it right with the opening in the Shell for the iPhone's camera and flash.  Some other cases are known to create glare in photos due to the flash reflecting off of the case's plastic edges.  PureGear made the opening a bit more generous and that eliminates the glare problem.

Opening for Camera (click image to expand)

If you look closely at the camera and flash opening, you'll notice a millimeter or so of air gap between the inside back of the Shell and the back of the iPhone 4.  This air gap should help prevent damage to the back of the iPhone 4 from small bits of sand or grit.

Fits Both Models

The PureGear Shell fits both the Verizon iPhone 4 and the AT&T iPhone 4 (AT&T model pictured).

Summary

PureGear has created a nice balance between protection, bulk, appearance and function.  The rubberized texture helps you avoid accidentally dropping your iPhone 4, and the Kickstand feature is a very nice bonus.  The PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 earns my highest recommendation.

Where to Buy

The PureGear AIP4HOC is available at Verizon stores for about $30.  However, the AIP4HOC is available through Amazon at a significant savings (link below).

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