February 25, 2011


Consumer Reports is almost  comical at this point.  They say the Verizon iPhone has the same issue as the GSM version but since Verizon’s network is better, people don’t notice the degradation.

We subjected the Verizon iPhone 4 to a full complement of regular tests in order to add it to our smart-phone Ratings, available to subscribers. We also put it through the special tests we carried out last year on the AT&T iPhone 4 after a rash of consumer complaints about signal reception with that model. There has been no such outpouring of complaints about the Verizon version of the phone.

In addition, to provide a comparison to some alternative models available from Verizon, we also tested five other Verizon smart phones that we rate highly: the Samsung Fascinate; Motorola Droid 2 Global; HTC Droid Incredible; LG Ally; and Motorola Droid X.

Oh, boy.  Any non-Androids?  How about BlackBerry or Palm…or a Kin?

The special tests were all carried out in the controlled environment of CU’s radio-frequency isolation chamber at our National Research and Testing Center in Yonkers, NY. In this room, which blocks interference from outside signals, our test engineers mounted each phone on a stand and established a continuous signal connection to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates the signals phones receive in the field. We then placed a finger to each phone in a range of locations around its edge, and monitored any changes to the phone’s performance at each position.

The only phones in which the finger contact caused any meaningful decline in performance was the iPhone 4, the sides of which comprise a metal band broken by several thin gaps. As with our tests of the AT&T iPhone 4, putting a finger across one particular gap—the one on the lower left side—caused performance to decline. Bridging this gap is easy to do inadvertently, especially when the phone is in your palm, which might readily and continuously cover the gap during a call.

Bottom line, they can’t recommend it even though it is their highest rated smartphone on the highest rated network.

February 8, 2011

Contrary to their negative view on the GSM iPhone and its non-issue spot of death (as well at AT&T separately), Consumer Reports today issued confidence in the Verizon iPhone.

Consumer Reports Mike Gitkas says that several million iPhones hitting Verizon’s network may affect the quality of the Verizon network.  That remains to be seen.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1 expand full story

September 27, 2010

The New Yorker iPad app, strategically priced at $4.95/issue – about five times the subscription to the paper version – goes on sale today.  Also, just to prove that they ‘get’ online, the post about the app and the accompanying story from the New Yorker don’t contain a link to the actual app (there’s a freebie).  Also the entertaining intro video is in Flash (with that dude from Rushmore) which is also not so iPad friendly.


Don’t get me wrong, I love the New Yorker. I just wish as a current subscriber, I could have it on my iPad as well without paying five times as much as I’ve already paid. expand full story


August 17, 2010

August 12, 2010

July 16, 2010


July 12, 2010


This one isn’t going to go over very well, we feel.  Consumer Reports is, for the first time, pulling its ‘Recommend rating’ on the iPhone due completely to the antenna non-issue that Apple plans to fix with a software update in coming weeks (or two weeks ago if you believed one report).  Somehow, even though they can’t recommend it, the iPhone 4 topped their Smartphone list again.  I guess they can’t recommend buying a smartphone of any sort?!

It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side

July 3, 2010

July 2, 2010


June 28, 2010


Philadelphia Eagles’ star Stacy Andrews couldn’t wait to get his hands on an iPhone 4 so he payed a 15-hour line sitter two-thousand dollars to get the only iPhone 4 up for sale at Walmart’s launch.   He could have probably found a much better deal on eBay.

An interesting tidbit from the story is the girl who sold the iPhone was initially offered $1 thousand from the star but had turned it down only to have the offer doubled. 

Video on YouTube for the flash impaired.

via Switched

June 22, 2010

USA today says of the iPhone 4:

THE BOTTOM LINE: 3 1/2 (out of four) stars. As with previous iPhones, the latest model breaks new ground. FaceTime video calling on the iPhone 4 is one of those cool “seeing is believing” features, and it arrives on top of several across-the-board enhancements. And iOS 4 is a mostly terrific software upgrade.Cutting through the hype, Apple has given longtime diehards, and first-time iPhone owners, plenty to cheer about.

Pro. FaceTime video calling. Handsome thin design. Better battery life. High-definition video recording. Supersharp display. Multitasking, folders and other enhancements through iOS 4. Generally good voice quality.

Con. Battery can’t be removed. Memory can’t be expanded. No support for Adobe Flash video sites. For FaceTime to work, both parties need to be using the new iPhone and have Wi-Fi access. Occasional dropped calls.


June 18, 2010

May 27, 2010


May 26, 2010

April 20, 2010


April 7, 2010

Tomorrow’s sneak peak at the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad v4.0 (Can we just call these devices, as a group, iPX?  Novell won’t mind!) has a lot of expectations hanging on it.  No doubt Apple will surprise us with some technology we hadn’t even considered, but there are a few expectations out there.  Here’s a list of things I can think of:

1. Multi-tasking.  Of course the iPhone already multi-tasks with some of its own apps (music, email, phone, etc.) but developers are looking for Apple to allow some of their third party apps.  The most obvious are music apps like Pandora and Spotify as well as instant messaging/VoIP apps like AIM and Skype.

2. Printing.  Seems Apple has future plans, now would be as good a time as any.

3. iAds for developers.  It sounds like developers are going to have access to Apple’s Quattro service, perhaps directly from the SDK.  That will make developing free apps even easier.  Tomorrow?  Why not?

4. Video Chat.  We found the icons in the OS before Apple deleted them.  We know they are coming.  Apple might not mention this because no iPx hardware supports it yet, but there is a good chance we’ll see it in the next OS.

5. Some iPad 3.2 features like Bluetooth keyboard and the ability to save documents and sync them to your Mac might find their way to iPhones.  Also maybe watching Youtube HTML5 video embedded in websites?

6. Tethering.  Maybe, just maybe. Maybe Apple makes a way for AT&T to slow down tethering enough not to destroy its network.

7. Mapping in iPhoneOS is sorely lacking and one of the few areas Apple has fallen behind Android.  I’d like to see some more layering, voice search for car, turn by turn and anything else they can come up with from the folks at PlaceBase.

8. With more services like Brightcove and Vimeo offering HTML5 versions of their videos, Apple may have a solution similar to what they offer to embedded Youtubes. 

9. iWork is on the iPad, perhaps we’ll see some of iLife’s photo and video editing apps get touch versions.

10. It is probably too early but we could see new iPhone hardware, especially if it is needed to explain some of the iPhone 4’s new software (like video conferencing).

Some other stuff I just thought of/remembered:

FM Radio Tx/Rx App

– A dashboard/homescreen 

– More Facebook integration (lots have said the invite looks ‘Facebooky’)

– unified inbox in Mail.app

– wireless syncing to the MobileMe cloud, which in turn syncs back to Mac

March 31, 2010

March 29, 2010

Apple may be able to keep those New York Times homescreen videos on their iPad demo videos afterall.  Brightcove last night sent out a press release (below) saying that they’ve developed an HTML5 solution for their partner’s websites.  That includes the New York Times (a Brightcove investor) and Time, both of which should be available at launch, this week.

The New York Times and TIME Inc. are already using the product, which provides support for intelligent device detection, playlist rendering, and playback of H.264 encoded video content.

Interestingly, Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove’s founder and CEO, was also the founder of ColdFusion which was purchased by Macromedia in in 2001.  At Macromedia, Jeremy became CTO and helped create the Macromedia MX (Flash) platform before leaving and starting Brightcove in 2004.

Some of Brightcove’s customers (also IDG/Computerworld)

When you consider that the WSJ, NPR, CBS, and now Brightcove’s customers will have Flash replacements at the launch of the iPad, it looks like Steve Jobs’ crusade to get HTML5 video out the door has been pretty successful so far. 

As of this writing, the NYTimes.com and Time.com still don’t play video on the iPad simulator but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any changes.

Brightcove press release follows:

Hi Seth, 

Just wanted to give you a heads up that today Brightcove is announcing a free solution that will make it easy for Brightcove customers to adapt their online video content so it is playable in HTML5-compatible devices like the iPad. The new platform solution, Brightcove Experience for HTML5, helps Brightcove customers bring high quality, interactive and advertising-supported online video to more customers, specifically those using devices that do not support Flash.

The New York Times and TIME Inc. are already using the product, which provides support for intelligent device detection, playlist rendering, and playback of H.264 encoded video content. All of Brightcove’s 1,300+ customers will be able to take advantage of Brightcove Experience for HTML5 today.

I’ve included the press release below for your reference. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Brightcove Experience for HTML5 Unveiled

Publish, Distribute and Monetize Web Video for the iPad and Other Apple Devices

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 29, 2010


March 1, 2010

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