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Cellphones Displays Iphone Wireless Networking Apple

iOS Update May Tackle iPhone 4's Antenna Problems 282

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-your-apple-a-day dept.
DJRumpy was one of several readers to point out rumors that Apple will soon be deploying an update to iOS 4 to combat the iPhone 4 antenna problems we discussed last week. This could be good news for users of the 1.7 million iPhone 4s purchased during the first three days of its release. (And no, Daily Mail, Steve didn't announce a recall, though there's speculation that this problem could be a boon for Android.) An anonymous reader notes an analysis of a teardown of the phone, which found that its parts collectively cost about $188, with the most expensive part — the LCD screen — costing $28.50 by itself. In other Apple news, Germany has demanded that the company "immediately make clear" what data it collects from customers, and what use it makes of that data (perhaps spurred by Google's Wi-Fi sniffing debacle).
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iOS Update May Tackle iPhone 4's Antenna Problems

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:56PM (#32719424)

    It isn't IOS it's iOS.

    See what I did there?

    And if you think it matters that a networking hardware company named their firmware something 'first' you are seriously delusional. Like Cisco is going to get any traction against Apple and iPhone/iPad. You saw the part where Apple sold 1,700,000 of these things in 3 days, right?

    Why not just go stand in front of a freight train and claim that you got there 'first'?

  • by jsveiga (465473) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:57PM (#32719450)

    It won't but it will change the refresh rate of the antenna signal strength meter so you won't notice the signal going down anymore.

    ...so when the call quality gets bad, you'll be able to blame the network, not Apple.

    ...and on the transmit side, the software will pump up more average power than what the network power control requests, so your battery life will get worse, and overall network (WCDMA) performance will be degraded for all users in the neighborhood.

  • Re:Steve responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:10PM (#32719660) Journal

    Yes good old Stevie was claiming the problem was with the operators and demanded a modification of the UOS (user operating system).

    Sorry dude but it will be a few years before you can implant all of that Apple hardware directly into our brains.

    When I read his rather terse reply about "well, hold the phone differently" I was surprised. And this is from the company that made its riches by making hardware and software adapt to the users needs.

    Now it's like "the hell with you, we are omnipresent and omnipotent, you will bow down and kiss my ass".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:33PM (#32720018)

    And I suppose you have taken classes in waves & fields to justify your claimed expertise on this subject?

    The problem is, according to the theory, that the two antennae are short-circuited by your sweaty palm, resulting in a different overall antenna length, thus shifting its best frequency response to a different frequency than the one for which Apple tuned its reception.

    As such, both antennae are always in use, and if they are short-circuited, "temporarily cutting off the antenna not in use" is not only impossible but would not change the problem: the antennae are effectively one due to the short-circuit. Cutting one of them off wouldn't fix the short-circuit.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:46PM (#32720232) Homepage Journal

    Android needs a task manager but doesn't come with one.

    False. Android doesn't need a task manager: the OS suspends tasks when they become unused (leaving them in memory but not using any CPU), and kills them when it needs to reclaim their memory. Task managers are for people with OCD and people who are confused about how Android's multitasking works.

    The most popular Android task manager doesn't show which apps are consuming the battery most.

    Android 2.x has that built in: Settings | About phone | Battery use

  • Re:Steve responds (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:50PM (#32720292)

    For some time now Apple has not cared about functionality, looks have trumped all. Started around the time of the puck mouse, and then in earnest with OS-X, when they threw out a good deal of UI research that their own HIG discovered.

    These days it is all about shiny. If something looks cooler, it is pushed for, regardless of if that is a good design idea. Another recent example would be internal power supplies in the Time Capsules. They generate too much heat and you see the units failing in large numbers after about a year and a half. Much smarter design would be an external PSU, but that wouldn't look as cool so it wasn't done.

    So this isn't surprising either. Apple decided that the all glass, antenna around the edge design looked cool. They didn't bother to do proper research as it if it would be a problem. I'm not saying that it is obvious, but you'd think in the course of a new antenna you'd consult with a PhD or two on it. The PhD here who does antenna research said "That looks like trouble, people will interfere with the antenna by holding it." For that matter maybe someone did tell them and they said "Who cares, it works well enough and looks cool."

    Apple stopped being the usability king some time ago. That isn't to say they never do anything right or don't make usable devices, just that they are more concerned with looks than usability. If the two collide, looks will win out.

  • by Stick32 (975497) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:01PM (#32720496)
    Easy... You get the icon to always display 3-5 bars. Then everyone can go back to blaming AT&T's network for dropped calls, as usual...
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:09PM (#32720614)

    I call name collision. Please refer to the iPhone/iPad operating system as something other than IOS because Cisco used it first.

    You're about a month behind. The complaint that's currently fashionable is the antenna issue. In about two weeks it's gonna move on to something else, so try to keep up.

  • Re:Steve responds (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:10PM (#32720628)

    It sounds to me like you cherry-picked the puck mouse example (also, this is a product from 1998 you're talking about).

    As for OS X, all my experience with it, previous versions of Mac OS, practically every desktop Windows version since 3.x and a boatload of X11 window managers (including but not limited to: PWM, FVWM1/2, Openstep, Enlightenment, Metacity, IceWM, 4DWM, Blackbox, Fluxbox...) tells me that it's better than most if not all of the competitors in many ways (although if you have a very specialized workflow then you may benefit from another UI but as a general desktop OS it's definitely one of the better and sure beats previous incarnations of Mac OS).

    Can't speak for the Time Capsule as I have never even seen one of those IRL but it does sound like you're confusing "shiny" with "easy to handle", the average user (the kind of person who would buy a turnkey backup unit like the Time Capsule) doesn't want extra cables and power bricks, they want something dead simple.

    Finally, the iPhone 4. Yeah, this does seem like a bit of an issue but for all we know they did usability research and found that only 0.003% of all users they tested it on actually held the phone in a way that shorted out the antenna. Still, does seem like a bad bug to let out in the open (but I'm not yet convinced they won't be able to fix it in software, there were a few other glitches with the iPhone 3G that had the anti-Apple crowd screaming "DEFECTIVE HARDWARE UNPOSSIBLE TO FIX IRREPARABLY BORKEN BUY A BLACKBERRY AND ZUNE INSTAED!!1" yet they were fixed in the 3.0.1 release of the OS).

  • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:50PM (#32721294)

    Irrespective of the possibility of fixing the issue in software (on which subject I expect there will be no shortage of ill-informed opining here), Dilger's not what you'd call a trustworthy source.

    Because the people [gizmodo.com] who broke this "story" are such a trustworthy bunch with no scores to settle ? This whole thing is a non-story and only useful as link bait for the tech "press" while the iphone 4 is hot.

  • Re:Steve responds (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:51PM (#32721312)

    One: Consider the ergonomics of the magic mouse, if you consider the puck mouse to be too dated.
    Two: I have yet to see a software update that is capable of physically rerouting copper wires. That's the problem with the antenna, the user can touch the antenna surface and detune it.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .999mahoj.> on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:14PM (#32722690)

    The simulator is part of the Xcode suite, and is provided by Apple - I assume that they ensure it is as close to an actual iPhone/Touch etc as possible.

    I'm not saying it's easy or cheap, if you want all the hardware - ideally as a developer you'd have an iPhone 3G, a 3GS and an iPhone 4, and the three different generations of the iPod Touch, which is going to set you back a lot if you want to hardware test on all potential platforms for your apps.

    In the grand scheme of things, the startup capital for the Mac, the phone and a developer contract is only part of it - rent, power, food etc are all going to add to it, unless it's not your primary income source. In which case, you will have to justify whether the expense of an actual phone for hardware testing is worth it.

  • Re:Steve responds (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Monday June 28, 2010 @06:33PM (#32724424)

    OS-X, in particular the early dock, is just a POS. Completely about the shiny tech demo, not about usability. Frankly if you want to see a dock like interface done right, look at Windows 7. The OS-X dock was made to look cool, not to be clear and easy to use. It was far inferior to the interfaces it replaced in Classic. However people liked it, because it looked cool in the store and on video. They were attracted to the shiny, they didn't consider usability.

    I guess I and lots of people I know (yay, anecdote!) are exceptions to this then. The OS X dock was dead simple to grasp, just looking at it made sense quickly ("Apps without a marker under aren't running, those with a marker under are running, apps not already in the dock get added to the far-right of the dock while running", that's about it) but the win7 taskbar/dock just seems like an over-engineered mess to me (this has also been the most common complaint about win7 from friends of mine who have upgraded to win7 with several of them asking me if I knew the easiest way to make it "behave like windows 2000" and another question being "how do I know if a program is running or not?").

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