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Apple iOS 4.0 Exchange Issues

July 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve noticed ever since I updated to iOS 4.0 on my iPhone 3GS that sending mail from an external app (either 3rd party apps or the Apple based Notes app) does not actually get sent. The message sits in the Mail app’s Outbox. I have to open Mail, select my outbox, open the email and select Send in order for it to actually get sent.
This isn’t an issue however if I create a new mail within the Mail app and send it from there. Only apps that support sending mail has this issue. This wasn’t an issue prior to upgrading to iOS 4.0 however, and everyone I know running iOS 3.1.3 or older does not have this issue.

At first I thought it was just my phone, since my GPS is broken on it as well (That’s another topic for discussion), but then I changed my default mail account from my Google Exchange account to my Yahoo SMTP account and the problem went away.

I suppose before I get to far into this I should say that I have two Google accounts setup on my phone, and this is why:

  1. SMTP account for syncing notes. Push is not supported via Google’s SMTP servers, so I only use this for syncing notes since Google’s Exchange servers don’t sync notes.
  2. Exchange account for syncing my Contacts, Calendar and mail via Push.

With that having been said, I tested my SMTP Google account by turning on Mail syncing (only supports Fetch however), so I fetched my new mail, then opened up the Apple Notes app and tried to email a note from it to myself. It worked! So the issue doesn’t seem to be my Google email account, but rather something with the Google Exchange server, or the way Apple handles sending mail via exchange. Like I said, everyone I know running iOS 3.1.3 and older can still send mail via the Google Exchange, why can’t my iOS 4.0?

I called AppleCare and spent 45 minutes on the phone with them before they said they’d call me back. I guess they’re having their senior team look into the issue. Apple really screwed things up with iOS 4, exchange issues (this is not the first) amongst other problems with the OS people have had. Then there’s the iPhone 4 debacles.

Come on Apple, you can do better than this. Don’t turn into a Microsoft.

Update:

I spoke with one of their Senior iOS Advisors and he was not able to figure out what the issue was and gathered all the information to turn over to the iOS Engineers so that they can take a look at it and figure out if this is an iOS Exchange hole or an issue on Google’s end.

Update 2:

The iOS Advisor emailed me and let me know that he created an account setup with Google’s Exchange and had the same problem. Mail would sit in the outbox when sent from external apps, and he would have to open the mail inside the outbox and select send in order for it to actually get sent. He went ahead and forward all the information to the Apple Engineers and now it’s just a waiting game to see if Apple says it’s their issue or Google’s.

Categories: Apple, iPhone

iOS First impressions

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve had the iOS 4.0 installed on my phone for a full 24 hours now and thought I’d write my initial impressions of the OS update.

I installed the update on my iPhone 3G and found that the actual installation and restoring of my content went flawless, I was very impressed with it. The first thing I did was start organizing my apps into folders. I managed to get 11 pages of apps down to just two which made me very happy. I included a few puffed of it below. I placed all my non-game apps on the first page, and all my games on the 2nd page. Even though there aren’t many folders on page #1, I wanted to keep my games separate. I also placed 4 folders in my quick bar, moving my SMS & phone apps into my Social folder. It’s working very nice.

Next I downloaded Pandora & started using it, and I must say I LOVE IT. With that said, the rest of my apps are slowly appearing in the app store with 4.0 multi-tasking support.

Can’t wait to get everything up to date!

Categories: Apple, iPhone

Mobile War

June 20, 2010 2 comments

For those of you that might not have heard (might want to get out of your caves), Apple announced their new iPhone 4 last week and it looks pretty impressive. Not that the features being released on the phone are unheard of features, but the fact that these long awaited features have finally made it onto the iPhone and made it that much more complete. However this isn’t a post about praising Apple & their new product, but rather a post regarding the two major competitors on the market at the moment, and the possible impacts that Microsoft’s future mobile device might have on the mobile market.

Apple & Google are the new titans in the mobile market. They have gained a combined total of 78% in regards to the mobile market place and from the looks of it, Google is gaining ground pretty quickly. There’s an argument that the 59% of the market owned by Apple includes iPod Touches and iPads, while the Google data shows only their Android Smartphone’s and thus renders Apples data inconclusive. I don’t really agree with that as Google has a dozen or more different handsets spanning multiple carriers on the market running their OS while Apple only has a single phone on a single network. Even if you include their two other products, Apple still has fewer products on the market than Google, and a greater share of the market. Most impressive indeed. Will it last however? I’m not to sure. I don’t think that Google will overtake Apple by selling a single phone, I don’t think anyone can. I do believe that if Google keeps pumping enough handsets onto the market that they’ll be able to catch Apple sooner than later.

The Google Android platform is a solid platform and up until iOS 4.0 it was superior when it came to features in my opinion, but lacked a solid piece of hardware to power the latest and greatest Android features as they were designed to be operated. The app fragmentation has also hurt the handset I believe and until Google gets a grip on that issue, I have a bad feeling that developers will continue to move to iOS. That works great for me as I own an iPhone, but does not look well for Android phone owners. Android owners argue this point, saying that the Android Market now contains 50,000 apps and is still going strong. While that may be true, they don’t realize that the Android Market place has been in existence for 21 months now, and only contains 50,000 apps. Apples App Store contained 185,000 apps within its first 21 months of existence. There’s your proof of the preferred platform. Google Android can be developed for on any platform as it uses Java to create its apps while Apple iPhone Apps must be created on a Mac. The Android OS has a greater range of development options and thus a larger developer audience, however the Market Place contains 27% of the apps that the Apple App Store contained at 21 months of life. Why? Fragmentation of the Market Place due to too many handsets on the market using a varied version of the operating system. A solid example is multi-touch. Not all phones support multi-touch, and so developers must choose to either add multi-touch support for the few handsets that our out on the market and loose profit by abandoning those that do not support multi-touch, or develop the app to support both hardware configurations which appears to be a real pain from everything that I’ve been reading.

I believe that the better platform at the moment is the iOS. Android would be the perfect platform if they followed suit with Microsoft and developed their OS and imposed hardware restrictions on the manufactures that use their Android OS. Developers would no longer need to worry about fragmentation and I think it’s safe to assume that developers would flock to the Android platform knowing that they can write once and run on all handsets. Considering that Google provides the OS for all manufactures to use on their handsets, I think that the Android Market share will surpass the iOS Market share just by shear volume of handsets on the market. Developers would love it, it would be a gold mine for them to dig into and leave the Apple iOS behind.

What about Microsoft? They have their new Windows Phone 7 coming out here pretty soon and it looks rather enticing to me. The support of .NET and XNA will allow developers to rapidly develop games or software using existing code that they’ve used in previous applications they’ve developed using Visual Studio. It uses Silver light for the actual applications on the device, and while it provides a nice user experience, I think that the learning curve for new developers will be steep. I tried to get involved in it and was confused and frustrated by the lack of documentation provided. Yes it’s out there, but you have to find the documentation on how to execute something in particular, then double check in the MSDN docs to make sure that this is valid to use with the .NET Compact Framework.
Microsoft needs to build a repo just like they did for the XNA Framework for Windows Phone development. It would cover development of Silver light apps for the phone and developers could refer to it instead of traversing the internet in search of Windows Silver light examples that they need to convert into mobile apps.

Will Microsoft’s new Mobile OS compete with Apple & Google? Sadly I don’t really think it does. While Microsoft’s new OS is really slick and it does exactly what the iPhone did 3 years ago. It’s innovative and a fresh new way to use a mobile phone, however I just don’t think they have what it takes to compete. In order for the platform to succeed you need developers on it. If you confuse the developers or don’t provide the support they need, then you will have a failing OS. Thankfully Microsoft has typically always provided great support for development on their technologies, so I’m hoping to see some sort of beefing up on the Windows Phone documentation & support before it actually hits store shelves.

What do you think?

iPhone 3GS

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I took my fiancée yesterday to Walmart & bought us both the $97 16gb iPhone 3GS and brought them home. I had already owned an iPhone 3G 8gb for a year & a half now but really got tired of the phones lack of memory and constant struggle to fit my content on the phone due to the storage size of it. The 3GS has twice the space and my memory info app tells me I have 150mb of memory available instead of the 42mb my old 3G had. Much better!

The process was really slow and painstaking. It took us nearly two hours to get my current line upgraded (I was eligible) & add my fiancée to my current family plan. I thought it was funny though, they had 7 iPhone 3GS’s and sold out of them all while we stood there waiting for our sale to complete. Walmart has hit something good here I think.

I really wanted to wait for the new iPhone coming out but decided that the two of us getting $97 phones was healthier for our budget than waiting on the more expensive phone to come out.

With that all having been said, the 3GS is amazingly snappy. My fiancée & I play IMO together (MMORPG on iPhone) and love it. The game was hard to play on my last iPhone and plays buttery smooth on this one. $97?? It’s awesome for that price.

–Posted from my iPhone

Categories: Apple, iPhone Tags:

My Technologically Filled Day.

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

My iPhone has really become an important aspect of my day-to-day routine. I posted updates to Twitter, update my status on Facebook, check my email, update my Calendar events, mark off my Task-list and use my voice to find a restaurant near me so I can make reservations for the night. It’s great.

I start my days off usually with a quick tweet or two from my iPhone twitter client Twittelator (free version available).

Once I’ve done that I scoot on to work, logging my arrival time into Momento, which is my daily journal app. It works great and I use it to log various conversations I’ve had throughout the day, and personal opinions on various items that pass through my desk… Opinions that can’t be voiced in a public forum due to job security. Another nice thing with Momento is that it connects to my facebook and twitter profiles, and pulls in my status and tweets from there, building a timeline I can follow at a later point in time. Posts that I make within Momento I can tag with various tags, include people and locations within it. Then at a later time, I can search through sort able tags to help find what I’m looking for. It works great

As I progress through the day I’ll obtain various new tasks I need to accomplish or complete, and I’ll log those into Pocket Informant (Free version available). Pocket Informant connects with my Toodeldo account and synchronizes with it. Allowing me to take my tasks home and access them via my laptop while I work from home. Pocket Informant also synchronizes pretty well with my Google Calendar allowing me to create and manage my calendar events on the go. Since Google is my central repository anyway for all my email, documents, RSS feeds and photo management, it’s nice that my apps all sync with Google and allow me to access my data everywhere I go.

As I get free time throughout the day I’ll try to spend some time reading my RSS feeds. The Google Reader works pretty well via a web browser on the iPhone, but I prefer to use MobileRSS (Free version available). It syncs with Google Reader and lets me send content to my Read It Later account (iPhone app available in Pro & Free), along with Instapaper, Delicious, Twitter, Facebook and Email.
It supports Google Article sharing and comments as well, which makes it nice.

As the day comes to a close I post a few more updates to twitter and facebook (via the facebook app), make what ever adjustments I need to do with my events and tasks, and off to bed I go to start a new day tomorrow using the same apps again.

I love how the iPhone has allowed me to be more productive with less effort. I even import and manage my iPhone photo’s with Google’s Picasa and it’s a piece of cake.

I ❤ my iPhone.

Synchronizing PC/iPhone Bookmarks

January 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Following up on my previous bookmarking post, I turned to Google for a synchronizing solution. I wanted to synchronize my bookmarks across Firefox, Internet Explorer and my iPhone. After trying several solutions the best one ended up being xMarks. I created an account on their site, and installed the Firefox & Internet Explorer plug-ins. It uploaded the favorites from both browsers to the xMarks servers, and then synchronized the two of them. As I browsed the web today, I bookmarked a couple websites to test it out, both in IE7 and Firefox, and the plug-in informed me of the changes and kept things in sync.

It was a little problematic at first getting the two initially synced, but once that process was completed the xMarks plug-in works like a dream. For Internet Explorer it installs as a Windows Application running in the task tray. As I browse and make changes to my Internet Explorer the system tray icon changes to let me know that my favorites need to be synchronized with their servers. When I open Firefox, a little icon in the lower right corner of the Firefox status bar shows me that I need to synchronize my favorites. A simple right click on the icon provides me the ability to sync the Favorites and a few short seconds later my favorites are synced once again. It’s a painless process and works great.

Now to finish the setup, I opened up my iTunes and selected my iPhone. Under the Info tab, I scrolled down to the Web Browser section and turned on Sync Bookmarks. I selected Internet Explorer and synced my iPhone. Now every time I add a favorite to my primary browser (Firefox), I can sync it with Internet Explorer instantly and sync it with my iPhone on my next sync.

Android Platform Vs iPhone Platform

January 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Over the last couple months there has been a flurry of blogs and news articles regarding the iPhone Vs. Droid or iPhone Vs. Android and while they do a good job of showcasing the good and the bad side of each mobile device, they are not really a fair comparison to either product.

The iPhone OS was developed by Apple, with the App Store created by Apple and the iPhone and iPod Touch hardware being designed by Apple. The iPhone when you stand back and look at it, is a complete platform created, developed and implemented by Apple.
Now let’s take a look at Google’s Android platform. The Android OS was developed by Google, the Android Market was created by Google and the phone’s hardware is created by several manufactures and distributed by several wireless carriers.

This provides both companies with a completely different platform for their mobile solutions. Apple has a controlled platform, one that gives them the greatest amount of security and control over what users can obtain and perform with their devices.
Google on the other hand has taken an open source approach and provided all of the manufactures with the source code to the OS, allowing them to edit the Android OS as they see fit to deliver a fully customized experience to their users when sold through the manufacturers selected wireless provider.

Until the release of the Nexus One by Google, the Android OS was only used by 3rd party companies. Apple’s iPhone OS is restricted to Apple. Any update to the iPhone OS can be pushed to users phones via iTunes and it’s guaranteed to work with each users iPhone provided the update supports the older generations of the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Google can release a new version of their Android operating system, but with so many manufactures designing custom elements to their handsets, the updates are not guaranteed to work with every mobile device on the market running the Android OS.
A tip of the hat must be given to Apple in this regard.

The other big thing I believe Apple has going in their favor is the App Store. Up until this past week I was leaning more towards the Android Market as being better than the iPhone, or at least having the potential to be. However, in light of the latest phishing scam released into the Android Market my opinions have swayed and I believe that Apple has the better solution in regards to Mobile Device Applications.
While many developers do not like the way Apple handles the App review process, it definitely works towards the consumers advantage. The mobile user can download an application knowing that they are safe from malicious hackers and that their private information is (in theory) protected from predators.
The other downside to the Android Market is the fact that an app is submitted and can be downloaded for all Android based devices. This creates more work on the developers end as they will have to test their app against several mobile devices now to ensure that any customizations done to the OS by that manufacture or wireless provider has not broken something along the way that the developers app will need to have working. While some developers are having to do this with 3G/3GS apps now, the developer can rest assured that when he tests the app within the Apple emulator, and it works, then it will work with the consumer once released. Android on the other hand does not guarantee that it will work, as what is represented in the emulator is not a good representation of the many different kinds of hardware on the market that the consumer might have and be running the app on.
What Google has created is the Windows Mobile scenario. You download your app and hope that your handset will be able to run it without glitches.
The iPhone does not suffer from this, and that is due to the fact that Apple is the sole user of the iPhone OS. If Google wants to make their Market a serious competitor against Apples app store, they will need to take steps to secure users data and ensure that all of the apps created will work on all Android based devices. Due to the fact that the OS is open source, Google has it’s hands tied and really does not have a way to ensure that each Android device released to the market will support every app and provide a solid way to protect users data. They can implement a better application review process to ensure users aren’t being victimized by a hacker, but stopping all of it will still be difficult.

Lastly I want to take a look at the hardware and software side of the Mobile Platform provided by both Google and Apple. Google’s OS is open source, which means every manufacture out there can provide users with a fully customized experience from the manufacture. This is perfect for hardware manufactures as they can ensure now that their device does not look and feel like the rest of the Android pack out there on the market. They can be different, and they can offer cool content that other devices don’t offer out of the box.
Apple’s iPhone OS is closed source and only Apple has access to it. The OS is really restricted in terms of customization, and limits users as to what they can do to it. It also means that consumers are forced to shell out the money to Apple, as there are no other hardware devices on the market that use the iPhone OS for consumers to choose from.
The Android OS currently runs on several hand held devices and provide consumers with a wide range of devices that they can choose from. The only downside to the Android OS from a platform stand point is that it is open sourced and thus there is no way to guarantee that the RSS Reader app i download on my Motorola DROID will run on my HTC Nexus One. Each device can in theory run a custom version of the OS that has the potential to break compatibility with various apps in the market place.
Apple’s iPhone OS does not suffer from this issue, as there is only one device on the market.

In terms of Hardware, Apple developed the OS and the hardware specifications for their iPhone. This gives them the upper hand as they can now produce a product that is highly optimized and get the best performance out of the device that’s possible.
The Android OS is developed by Google while Motorola or HTC create the hardware. When tested, the Nexus One was not all that much faster when processing Java and rendering HTML web pages on than the iPhone 3GS. The Nexus One has some killer specs with it, but wasn’t able to blow away a 1 year old iPhone. Third Party manufactures can create flimsy hardware, put the Android OS on it and push it out for a quick phone, and after I played with several Android based devices find myself disappointed.
Apple has control over the hardware that the OS will be installed onto, and take a lot of pride in it. Google’s OS has been put on some shabby hardware, and it tarnish’s some peoples opinions on the ‘Google Platform’ when they don’t really understand that Google’s Android OS is actually pretty solid. It’s the manufacture that drops the ball.

Now that the Nexus One is out, I’m curious how it operates. I would really like to purchase one to replace my iPhone, but I’m waiting until the 3G issue is resolved.

At the moment, I think that the iPhone platform is the better platform. Apple offers an all in one solution for themselves, developers and consumers. I think if Google wants to start competing with Apple’s platform, they will need to make some changes, and they will need to be made soon. Starting with their Android Market approval process, and enhancing the Market experience. The Android operating system is solid, all it needs to really give it a place in the wireless world is a solid piece of hardware. That’s what I was hoping the Nexus One would be, but it appears that after only selling 20,000 units, there is something else to be said regarding the device. It’s not the device that’s the problem, but the Android platform as a whole. Google needs to take a step back and consider it’s next steps for the platform carefully, because the way it’s running now isn’t going to steal Apple’s thunder away from the iPhone.

Categories: Android, iPhone Tags: , , ,