Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

More iPhone! Easy activation and 3 service plans.

June 27, 2007

Yep, more on the iPhone. It seems that Apple and AT&T have been making joint announcements regarding the upcoming gadget, cementing the closeness of their partnership over the product. In this post I bring you two announcements by the companies.

First of all, Apple and AT&T have announced that iPhone users will be able to activate the iPhone using iTunes at home, instead of having to wait in the retail stores.

Apparently iTunes will guide the user through choosing their service plan. Using iTunes, users will also be able to synchronise their songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts, contacts, and other stuff in the same way as with their iPods. This blog post says that the activation will work for both new and existing AT&T customers, and that users will be able to replace phones on their AT&T account with their new shiny iPhone.

“Syncing their new iPhone with iTunes works the same way [as syncing the iPod with iTunes]”, Steve Jobs – Apple CEO – said.

Smart idea, using an interface that many users – considering the popularity of iPods – are familiar with to help jumpstart a new product – not that it needs jumpstarting. Wonder who came up with this, Apple or AT&T?

As Will says, the iTunes activation feature will be a boon to many users, who don’t have to spend ages in the store waiting for retail employees to activate their phones. A small but noticeable change.

The second announcement brings details of iPhone service plans. Three plans have been announced, and all include unlimited Email/Web data, unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling, and 200 texts – more texts can be added to the plans. Here’s a table of all three plans.

If you already have an AT&T plan, you can add a plan that only includes the visual voicemail and web data transfer for $20 a month.

Living in Tanzania, the cost of using mobile phones here goes to a completely different scale than it does in the US, so I’m not sure whether these are pricey plans or not. But Cheynne commented that they’re cheaper than he expected.

Well, that’s more iPhone news being rolled out in the days before the launch.

Oh, and I had a laugh at AT&T declaring Friday to be ‘iDay’, and using other “i” jokes.

– Nishant

Duo line up for iPhone – four days early; iPhone 2 rumors; iPhone survival tips

June 26, 2007

iPhone, iPhone, iPhone, all attention on the iPhone.

First of all, as Aaron Wright reveals, two people have begun camping outside a New York store to make sure they get their hands on the iPhone when it comes out on Friday. With four days of waiting ahead, they are prepared with soft drinks, coolers of food, and chairs. Let’s hope they also have a portable lavatory.

Kanak Bhandari thinks that it could be a stunt to get a free iPhone; the duo probably didn’t plan it like that, but it could end up happening. To gundampilotspaz, however, this early queue serves as a deterrent to going near that Apple Store; “”I don’t think being anywhere near that Apple Store would be an enjoyable experience.”

Picture taken from the above blog post. This is Greg, the first guy in the queue. Here’s a video link.

And now, according to this article the iPhone could be succeeded by January 2008, when Apple might unveil the iPhone 2. GPS, better WiFi service, and the ability to synchronise with email servers may be included. Am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that Apple is working on the successor for a product yet to be released?

Although, the iPhone 2 may not render the iPhone obsolete. Apple products seem to last for a while, even with frequent hardware updates. Case in point: I know people who are still getting by with PowerBooks, despite the MacBook Pro having been released.

Finally, this blog post at has given out five survival tips to help you get through the iPhone launch day. Although a few are actually more like alternatives to buying an iPhone, (the final tip says “Don’t buy one”), they might be worth checking out.

– Nishant

Fashion and practicality: a jacket recharges your gadgets

June 25, 2007

As a heavy iPod user, this could be interesting. This Thursday, (the 21st of June) an Italian company showed off an extraordinary jacket at a fashion show in Florence. This jacket contains solar electronics that can generate electricity and store it in a battery, where it can be used to charge iPods, cell phones, and other devices. The jacket is designed by ‘Zegna’, with the electronics developed by ‘Solarc’.

There are two solar modules in the collar of the coat. One module is 9cm by 5.5cm, and with full sunlight generates 1 watt of power.

The integrated battery is 70mm by 60mm by 13mm, and is about 100 grams heavy. In about four to eight power it is fully charged, and when it’s full it can charge an iPod up in another four hours. There are 5 volt and 6 volt connections available, for USB and cell phone devices respectively. These two blog posts have more details on the jacket, and the picture that’s below.

The jacket will ship in late 2008, with prices yet to be stated. Unless it’s outrageously expensive – or extremely unfashionable – I can see myself wearing this jacket.

– Nishant

Mobile phones are potential haven for viruses, Spanish police arrest creator of one such virus

June 25, 2007

Security worries over viruses that could target mobile phones are growing. The number of people using mobile phones is growing daily as is the complexity of these phones. Case in point: the iPhone, with its increasing popularity and own optimised version of Mac OS X. And I’m not sure if anti-virus programs for phones exist, but I sure haven’t noticed a cellulised version of Norton Anti-Virus, or Kerio Personal Firewall – well, they might actually exist. It stands to reason that such popular platforms will attract viruses. (I wonder if more people have mobiles than computers or vice versa?).

It’s no coincidence then that Spain has for the very first time arrested a person who made viruses targeted at mobile phones. This 28 year old man is suspected to have created a virus that has allegedly hit more than 115,000 phones. Spanish police say that this virus has caused millions of euros in damage to mobile phones and mobile phone networks.

It seems that viruses have learnt a new disguise in their move to cell phones. This virus took the familiar forms of erotic messages and sports information, but also disguised itself as anti-virus software; an interesting tactic. It spread through Bluetooth.

Let’s hope that I don’t have to burden my already-slow cellphone with virus protection software now.

– Nishant

Apple posts ‘Guided Tour’ of the iPhone on their website

June 22, 2007

Apple has posted a ‘guided tour’ of the iPhone on their website, in the form of a movie. It can be streamed from their website in three different forms, or you can choose to download it at 175 MB. The idea for the iPhone stemmed from Steve Jobs, (Apple’s bigwig) directing an investigation into touch-screen technology. The first advertisement for the iPhone aired on 25th February 2007, and the rest is (widely publicised) history – in a few months, the iPhone has become a major talking point.

LG Electronics has accused Apple of stealing the iPhone concept from their own ‘LG PRADA’ that won the iF Design Award in September 2006. LG has yet to start legal proceedings. Also, Cisco and Apple have agreed to share the ‘iPhone’ name for their products. I can see this leading to confusion.

In other iPhone news, Apple Gazette has stated that the iPhone will have 8 hours of talk time battery life, 6 hours of internet use, 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback, and about 250 hours of standby time. I have to agree with Elliot Back that this is a slightly fantastic claim. Although, I will be happy if such battery life comes into play.

Will the iPhone change the cell phone market like the iPod did to the postable mp3 player market? As usual, only time will tell. I think that later versions of the iPhone will be more evolutionary – the iPod has changed quite a lot from its first incarnations.

– Nishant