Nokia must be hoping there’s a sap for that

Nokia’s official blog has jumped on the iPhone 4 “death grip” bandwagon in a posting that suggests the company’s mobiles don’t share the same issues related to blocking a phone’s antenna, despite having earlier published instructions that tell users to avoid holding its phones in a way that might block the antenna.

Nokia making fun of the iPhone is like the Hindenburg making fun of a 747.

Unlike iOS, Android Users Play Upgrade Roulette: Maybe you get it, maybe you don’t

Some of the cause for the updates is likely to be HTC, which only said 2010 phones would be updated. As such, the only HTC phones on Sprint to carry Android 2.2 are likely to be the Evo 4G and possibly the Legend. Samsung hasn’t explained any of its plans for the Moment, but the company has developed a pattern of declining to upgrade phones beyond one revision.

Only phones from 2010? Only one revision? Wow. That’s some harsh upgrade terms right there. And don’t think other hardware manufacturers and carriers will think any different.

For all the good press Android 2.2 has received, little has been written about the tiny percentage of phones that are actually going to run it. The vaunted Evo doesn’t have it yet. Even unreleased phones like the DroidX will debut with 2.1.

Notice that there isn’t just one upgrade villain. Various manufacturers and carriers will have their own rules about what’s happening. Too bad for the user who wants to upgrade but realizes the decision is not his.

Still, this is what Google wrought by design. Their goal is to get as many “Androids” out there as possible. Version consistency is not a priority because they all display Google’s mobile ads, which is the entire point of Android in the first place.

Though disappointed by this, I’m not surprised. I’ve compared the Android distribution philosophy to Windows Mobile before, and this is more proof of it.

Sure, Android is better than WinMo, but saying you run “Android”—unless you’re a geek—doesn’t tell us much because of the many hardware/software iterations. Typical users will be running the original version that came on the phone two years later when they buy a new one because upgrading was too much trouble, or they didn’t know they could, or it wasn’t an option. The more Android devices sell, the more this will be true. The carriers and manufacturers are too busy with the latest spec sheet-based offering (10 megapixels, anyone?) to worry about the user who bought one three months ago.

Compare this to the iPhone. Much is made of Apple’s yearly iOS introductions, with critics claiming it’s all hype or they’re just catching up. I disagree, but none of that matters. What matters is that every year iPhone owners get an upgrade that significantly improves their existing phone and it costs them nothing. They just plug into iTunes and click Install. Further, only with iOS 4 has Apple finally dropped a device. But that original iPhone is three years old, and was already “made new” twice; we’re not talking about an HTC phone bought seven months ago. 

The reason iPhone owners watch Apple’s new iOS announcements closely is because they know their phone can upgrade to it. Meanwhile, Android users excited by 2.2 a month ago are still waiting, most likely to be disappointed. 

Interesting take on the iPhone 4 reception issue

According to a trusted source, there are multiple points on the iPhone 4’s frame for antenna reception. Our source says that the issues “can and will” be addressed by tweaking, balancing, and/or redistributing antennae reception and/or signal strength display via software. When asked if it could be a hardware issue, our source said, “Don’t be silly. It’s not the hardware. Apple’s too smart for that. In fact, most any hardware maker is too smart for that.”

iOS 4.0.1?

AT&T To Allow Phone Number Swapping For iPhone 4 Without A Store Visit?

However, if the number you used to order your device is NOT the number you intend to use with your iPhone 4, follow these simple steps when your device arrives and an ATT representative will help you activate.

I bought my iPhone 4 using an eligible number on our family plan with the intent of swapping it to my number after activation. The eligible member of the family would end up with my 3GS; I’d get the 4.

AT&T has no problem with this. In fact, it’s written in the purchase receipt and confirmation email that if you plan to swap phones you just have to bring both of them into a store after the new one is activated.

However, today we got a text message from AT&T linking to the above page. It seems AT&T has set it up so that phone swapping can be done over the phone, there’s no need for a store visit. Cool!

Will this work? I never know if AT&T’s ideas, even the good ones, will get implemented right. Obviously, I’ll follow the procedure and see what happens. Worst case scenario is I go to the store and wait in line like I’d already planned to. Doing it over the phone would sure be nice, though.

Oh Goody, Another iPhone vs. Android Feature List

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All the article “proves” is that it’s just as easy to devise a feature list favoring the iPhone as it is to favor Android. Big deal.

The inherent worth of a product is the total package, from the hardware to the software to the ecosystem. When measured on that scale I think the iPhone beats up Android and takes its lunch money. But you’ll never capture that in a feature list, can’t we just leave those to the marketing people?

Sizing up the iPhone 4 for shutterbugs

After Apple announced the hardware specs at WWDC, we saw some readers quickly lament Apple’s decision not to jam in an 8MP or higher sensor that some of the competition is sporting—after all, if 5MP is better than 3.1MP, then 8MP (or even 12MP) is even better, right?

Unfortunately, not all pixels are created equal, and it’s worth considering the impact that more megapixels would have on the iPhone’s design as well as the resulting image quality. For comparison’s sake, OmniVision offers an 8MP sensor in the 1/3.2″ size; since Apple already chose a 1/3.2″ sensor for the iPhone 4, there’s no difference there. However, it would require a larger and/or more expensive lens to resolve enough detail to take advantage of those additional 3 million pixels—not an easy feat since Apple shaved off 24 percent of the size of the iPhone 3GS. Further, an 8MP sensor has 1.4µm pixel pitch, with sensitivity below that of the iPhone 3GS.

Great article about the iPhone 4’s new camera system. It may be nothing spec-head geeks will appreciate, but those of us in the real world like a technical discussion that isn’t based on marketing and sales checklists.

A Switcher Switches (or How One Pundit Learned To Milk A Storyline)

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I tweeted the above in response to this article. Today I found out I was right.

Not only has the author not stopped whining about Apple’s “creepy” culture, but he’s not even switching like he threatened to do.

Does anyone still not believe there are tech pundits who’ll write anything to bag readers?

This guy spouted off twice in one week, taking alternate positions while using the same silly talking points each time. “I’m switching from Apple because of X, Y and Z.” “I’m staying with Apple despite X, Y and Z.” Two articles for the price of one, and he grabs both the Android and Apple crowd.

Welcome “back”, Mitch. I’m glad you got an iPhone 4; now just stop writing about it so we can all enjoy your choice.