Before collapsing under the incredible blogger peer pressure and buying an iPhone, I was a user of Helio's Ocean. The thing was great. It did everything the iPhone did and still outperforms it in some ways (MMS and video capture, anyone?), and Pantech's engineers used the dual-sliding idea to create the Pantech Duo for AT&T last year.
The Inspiron Mini 9 can now be ordered with built-in mobile broadband, Dell announced Tuesday.
Just last week, CEO Michael Dell confirmed the company was signing up more wireless providers as partners on its new line of Netbooks, but gave no specific date. Dell has offered 3G capability with Vodafone for European customers since the device's September launch.
Now U.S. customers get their turn. For $125 more, the 9-inch Netbook can now be configured with embedded WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network). But right now, AT&T is offering a $120 rebate to those who sign a new … Read more
AT&T introduced a slew of messaging phones recently, like the Pantech Matrix, the Samsung Propel, and the Pantech Slate. But its most popular announcement by far has been the AT&T Quickfire, a touch-screen and QWERTY keyboard hybrid that promises more than just the normal messaging phone. And we had the chance to get our hands on it this week.
Despite a few design quirks, we have to say we're pretty impressed. The Quickfire is definitely the bulkiest messaging phone we've seen; it's even thicker than the T-Mobile Sidekick. We're not exactly fans … Read more
(Sheesh, I've been busy lately. I had more spare time when I was employed!)
Ever since I got my iPhone 3G in late July, I've been keeping track of the things I like--and don't like--about it.
Since Apple is rumored to be releasing the next major iPhone firmware update today, I thought I'd run through the list now, and then see how the new firmware changes things. Many of these comments apply to the iPod touch as well.
The things I like are, generally, the same things everyone likes. The iPhone is feature-rich, well integrated, well supported by independent software developers, and fun to use.
The things I don't like are, generally, software features that ought to be present but just aren't.
Each time I discover another one of these missing features, I jot it down in my iPhone WTF list. WTF, of course, stands for "Where's the feature?"
Muting and sounds For example: Where's the feature to mute the phone? You may point to the little toggle switch on the left side, but no, that just mutes the ringer and certain audio alerts, not the whole phone. On my old Palm Treo, the mute switch darn well muted everything, as if the switch disconnected the speaker wires themselves.
On the iPhone, there's no way to predict which sound sources will respect the mute switch. Calendar alerts do; alarms don't. These are good choices--I like knowing that the alarm function will still wake me up even if I mute the phone before going to sleep--but hardly intuitive.
Alarm volume is controlled by the ringer volume, but even the minimum ringer volume is still audible.
Application-generated sounds have a separate volume control. If you're not in the iPod application, which has a volume slider, I think the only way to adjust this control is to use the volume rocker switch while an application is making sounds. Sometimes, that's after the phone has already started to annoy the people around you.
Bottom line: I can't find a way to make the unit completely silent without going into multiple Settings panels and applications, and even that isn't completely effective because some applications (as exemplified by the otherwise valuable Phone Aid) will turn the volume back up when they run.
Alerts and Calendar app While I'm on the subject of alerts: in the Calendar application, where's the function to set an alert for the exact time of an event? Sometimes I just want to beep myself at 10 a.m. to make a phone call, for example. I don't want to have to set the time for 10:05 a.m. and the alert for "5 minutes before." I love the fact that Calendar supports up to two alerts for the same event, but I wish I could set them to, say, 15 minutes and 0 minutes respectively. This problem could be solved by providing a "Custom" time choice for both of the alerts.
The Calendar app also has the worst user-interface design in the whole iPhone, I think. To select the date and time for an alarm, you spin three wheels apparently stolen from the game show The Price Is Right. The minutes wheel is so easy to spin that in going from :00 to :30, I commonly spin right past :30 and back to :00. Apple has developed many ways to select dates and times for other systems and applications; this is by far the worst.
The Calendar app does something else that's kind of silly. In the daily view, most events get two lines of text: the title and location. Displaying these two lines takes up about one hour of the day. For a shorter event--one scheduled for 30 minutes, say--the two lines get squeezed into one line in an attempt to maintain the orderly appearance of the schedule.
But come on, Apple! The lines on a sheet of paper are fixed. The lines on a computer display aren't. Stretch the lines apart so that every event gets the space it needs! Jeez, this isn't rocket science.
Similarly, a long event has plenty of room to display additional information, such as the notes associated with the event--but instead, the event ends up with two lines of text and a bunch of wasted blank space. Display the notes, and shrink the event if that helps to keep the whole day on the screen. I hate having to scroll the Day display just to show two events.
The Calendar app doesn't handle multiple-user event scheduling very well. Invitations received by the iPhone's Mail app aren't understood by the phone. I can go look at the message on my Mac and add the event to my calendar there, and eventually the event shows up on my iPhone, but that's not so good when I'm traveling. And even then, the event can't be edited on the iPhone--not at all, not even to change the times.
The Calendar app does something very nice: the icon on the iPhone's home screen shows the current day and date. So, where's the feature? Why don't all of Apple's apps do this sort of thing where appropriate? The Clock app icon always shows 10:15. The Weather app always shows sunny and 73 degrees. The Stocks app shows a random squiggle. Sure, updating all these icons would give the iPhone some extra work to do--so Apple should provide a "Live icon updates?" setting and have some rules about how often the updates should happen. I think the slight increase in overhead would usually be worth it.
In case you haven't noticed, touch-screen phones are red hot this season. In this episode of Dialed In, we run through the latest touch-screen phones, including the LG Delve and Samsung Eternity. We also dish on other new handsets including the BlackBerry Storm and the AT&T Quickfire.
Listen now: Download today's podcast
Rumor of the week LG Prada 2
News Samsung Saga, Renown debut for Verizon Wireless AT&T launches Samsung Eternity Alltel launches the LG Swift and the Samsung Hue II HTC Touch Diamond for Alltel LG Incite is LG's first U.S. smartphone … Read more
LG and AT&T just introduced the Incite, the first-ever LG smartphone for the U.S. market.
Equipped with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the Incite comes with a host of high-end features like GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a 3.0-megapixel camera with built-in camcorder, and access to AT&T 3G services like AT&T Mobile Music and AT&T Video Share. As a Windows Mobile phone, it also comes with Microsoft Office Mobile, Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5, and Windows Media Player 10, a first for LG.
The design is quite attractive, as well. It … Read more
As we told you when we reviewed the recent Samsung Behold, touch-screen phones are in. Indeed, with models such as the Behold, the Instinct, and the Delve, Samsung has been at the forefront of this trend. And now its brings touch-screen loveliness to AT&T with the Samsung Eternity.
Also called the SGH-A867, the black-and-chrome Eternity has a 3.2-inch display with haptics vibrating feedback, Samsung's TouchWiz interface, and an accelerometer. Inside you'll find support for AT&T Mobile TV, GPS, a 3-megapixel camera, messaging and e-mail, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, AT&T's … Read more
AT&T took the wraps off the new Nokia 6650 Thursday. Offering a thin flip-phone design--still a rarity for Nokia--the 6650 shows a brushed metal skin in either red or silver. In fact, it could almost resemble the Motorola Razr if you squint.
As for features, the 3G world phone offers a music player with support for AT&T's Mobile Music service, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Video Share, voice dialing, a speakerphone, personal-organizer options, a microSD card slot, stereo Bluetooth, an XHTML Web browser, and a 2-megapixel camera. The 6650 will be available beginning … Read more
In case you find the RIM BlackBerry Bold a bit too expensive for your tastes or you don't need all that flash, perhaps we can interest you in the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900?
Also known by its code name, the BlackBerry Javelin, the 8900 steps in as the update to the Curve 8300 series and according to the Boy Genius Report, it has received the old FCC stamp of approval, clearing the way for a U.S. arrival.
The BlackBerry Curve 8900, which just launched with T-Mobile Germany on Wednesday, is said to be heading to both T-Mobile and … Read more
Never one to rest on its laurels, Samsung has released yet another phone with a slim slider design. AT&T's Samsung SGH-A777 is the latest in the company's Boeing series, as we've come to call it. It started with the A707 and then proceeded to roll out the A717, the A727, the A737, the A747, and the A767, all for AT&T. Yes, the company skipped over the A757 but we still like the analogy. The only trouble is that the phones don't resemble the corresponding airplanes in any way. If that were true, … Read more