Blogging From the Mall

I came out to the local Apple store to get a case for the new iPhone since the one for the original model feels loose.

I get there, and am stopped at the door. I have to wait in the line even though I don’t want an iPhone. Bummer.

The line was maybe only 10 people, but I don’t know how fast it was moving, and it just didn’t seem worth it for a case. So instead of a nice leather case I got a cheap vinyl one from one of the mall’s “sidewalk vendors”. It’ll do for now.

Mission accomplished, I’m sitting with a cup of Go Juice and posting this via the WordPress iPhone app.

My New iPhone 3G S: Fast, But No Activation or Secure Network Connections [Updated]

AT&T delivered my new iphone 3G S on June 19th as promised. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to activate it (should I swap the SIM card from the old phone?) and it didn’t come with any documentation to that effect. Ultimately, since there was a sticker on the box with my phone number, I assumed AT&T did what they needed to do, so SIM-swapping was unnecessary.

I plugged it into iTunes, and saw the (common) message that it needed activation and that could take a while. I’d read this could take up to two days, so I kind of expecetd it. No biggie, since I could still sync it, put it on WiFI, etc.

I took the option to restore it from the latest backup (of my current iPhone). This worked great, with all my apps brought over, including all my settings and their positions on the various home screens. Connecting it to my home WiFi network, my Microsoft Exchange account asked for a password, and it was all set. MobileMe did as well, but it claimed it could not get a secure connection to the server. The Inbox worked, but I could not see or interact with any other folders in my account.

Without MobileMe I don’t have bookmarks, contacts, etc., but I used Safari to browse to some sites and could see the speed improvements. Then I tried Tweetie and it failed. Like MobileMe, it could not get a secure connection. So I deleted it, thinking maybe it just needed re-installing. To re-install it I went to the App Store. Connecting there was fast, and so was browsing, but when I went to purchase Tweetie it failed because it could not get a secure connection.

So I have a phone on my own WiFi network that somehow cannot connect securely. I’ve tried:

  • Turning off SSL for MobileMe email, but it still won’t connect.
  • Blowing away the MobileMe account and re-added it, but that was no help.
  • Double-checking all network settings, but everything is fine (and matches my existing phone which works great).
  • Turning off 3G and hard-resetting the device. No help.

I do not know if — and do not see why — activation would have any bearing on secure connections via WiFi, but at this point I’ve decided not to trouble-shoot the secure connection issue any further until the phone is activated and I verify the problem persists.

So I’m waiting…

It’s been nearly 24 hours and I’m waiting.

[UPDATE:] I visited my local AT&T and they got it activated. That’s the good news. The bad news is that — as I feared — this didn’t address the secured network connection issue. So I’ve now got a valid phone but no contacts, email, bookmarks, etc.

[UPDATE #2:] After resetting Network Connections and a few other tricks failed, I found a forum post that said to click OK on the initial error about an invalid certificate, and then just wait. According to the post, it would take a while but the phone would chew on it and apparently reset its certificate. Well, it worked, and everything is working now. To be honest, I think I had done that yesterday, so it’s possible it only worked in conjunction with many other things I tried today.

Rational Reasons To Avoid the iPhone?

Nice review of the iPhone 3G S by David Pogue at the NYT. It’s a good review, and I was struck by a statement he made in his conclusion:

At this point, the usual list of 10 rational objections to the iPhone have been whittled down to about three: no physical keyboard, no way to swap the battery yourself and no way to avoid using AT&T as your cell company.

Here are my comments on the three remaining reason he gives:

  • No physical keyboard. I’ve written about the difference between software and hardware keyboards elsewhere. I believe the universal landscape keyboard in iPhone OS 3.0 addresses some of the complaints people had re: needing a hardware keyboard  in terms of two-handed typing.
  • No swappable battery. This is a non-starter in my opinion. Some people still think the iPod needs one. In any case, the new iPhone has increased battery life pretty significantly; the more battery life, the less need to swap it.
  • AT&T only. Valid, but valid for anyone no matter what. In other words, if you don’t live in an area with AT&T service than you can’t consider the iPhone. Besides, without that exclusivity we wouldn’t have the iPhone as we know it.

To me, unless you’re outside AT&T coverage it’s really come down to people who will always find a reason to ding the iPhone.

TAB – On Subsidies: AT&T is Not Ripping Off iPhone 3G Owners

There is already a lot of noise over this all around the ‘net. Owners of the iPhone 3G saying they’re getting ripped off, or not being treated like “loyal customers,” because they’re not being offered the fully subsidized price for the new iPhone 3G S. In reality the AT&T upgrade pricing is pretty much like all phone subsidies in the U.S. (and, for that matter, many other parts of the world). Actually, it’s a little better…

Read the rest of this post on theAppleBlog >>

TAB – Dear AT&T: Maybe It’s Time to Get On the iPhone Bandwagon

I’ve defended AT&T on occasion regarding the iPhone, but its latest moves (or non-moves) make it hard to do so.

To recap its defense, I’ve praised AT&T for the following:

  • Without AT&T we don’t even have the iPhone as we know it. You think Verizon was gonna allow it? Heck, it’s been two years, and there’s still no Wi-Fi on Verizon’s phones.
  • At the initial iPhone launch, the unlimited data at $20/month was better than most, and in-home activation was also new. (For 3G, the company raised the data rate to $30, but that was what it charged for other 3G phones, so it’s not as egregious as some think.)
  • It leveraged its Wi-Fi hotspot service and made it free to iPhone (and other smartphone) users. This is huge, and something I use daily.

Yet, for all the good, AT&T lately is acting like a tanker that takes forever to turn. Apple’s comments about AT&T in the WWDC keynote on June 8 seemed tinged with dissatisfaction…

Read the rest of this article on theAppleBlog >>