Everything You Wanted to Know About the iPhone 5 But Were Too Afraid to Ask

With the first reviews pouring in today for everyone’s soon to be most bragged about toy, the iPhone 5, it’s time to take a step back and look at everything we know about the new iPhone, to date.

The Look

It’s thinner (the thinnest smartphone in the world according to Apple), it’s taller (a half an inch taller to be exact), it comes in black and white (though that doesn’t matter according to the late Michael Jackson), and of course it’s pretty sleek. Apple has had more than enough time in this business to know what works and what doesn’t and they aren’t messing with the formula now. The iPhone 5 looks like an iPhone, just better.

The Features

For the most part, all of the usual upgrades apply. The sound is better, the video is clearer, and everything is supposed to be faster. Of particular note, though, are the new 4G capabilities and Siri functions. The 4G is supposedly as quick as you need it to be, Siri is better than ever, and can perform an array of new tricks from pulling up apps on request, to providing sports scores. Also, the camera is supposed to work better in lowlight, and the battery life is cited as working up to 12-14 hours in some cases with normal usage, which would mean a great improvement over the previous models.  However, if you’re looking for the real new feature of the iPhone 5, you have to turn to the new iO6.

iO6

The biggest upgrade to i06 is the new Apple Maps features which opposes the popular Google Maps program. Reviews aren’t particularly flattering for the new app, as reviewers cite trouble using it practically in urban environments ,along with being generally behind Google Maps, but with things like Yelp integration, and Siri enabled GPS, a few updates could put the system on the right track. Otherwise, the new operating system is offering up increased Facebook functionality, Facetime compatibility, and a great all in one travelling app called Passbook that also works with some of your payment methods to help create a virtual wallet. Nice.

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AT&T starts sending out tethering notices to jailbreakers

Tethering.

One of the big advantages to jailbreaking has been the ability to enable tethering without carrier support. That doesn’t mean the carrier is unaware of the way the phone is being used. In fact, AT&T has started sending text messages to customers who are tethering without the company’s tethering plan.

The message reads as follows:

“Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans.”

Some customers are also receiving emails about the usage, alerting customers that they will be automatically enrolled in the DataPro 4GB plan if they don’t get in touch with AT&T. From the email:

“If we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan. If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.”

AT&T says the goal is fairness to customers. Yes, they would like to screw all of us equally.

Verizon iPhone could cause Android and Blackberry exodus

Verizon iPhone.

We’re just three days from the official Verizon iPhone launch. This could be the biggest tech day of the year, but not just because it’s a Verizon iPhone. According to a recent survey, the release could mean millions of users abandoning the Android and Blackberry platforms.

According to uSamp, a research firm in LA, 66 percent of RIM customers labeled themselves either ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to switch to the iPhone. For Android customers, it was 44 percent for either somewhat or very likely. Granted, those aren’t a guaranteed switch, but it’s certainly more people than I expected. Those kind of numbers would mark huge losses for both Google and RIM, though I’d guess RIM would come away in worse shape than Google.

Source: CNN

iPhone coming to Verizon in January?

Verizon iPhone.

Bloomberg is reporting that the iPhone may be breaking onto America’s favorite network in January of next year. The report cites two unnamed sources who are, as always, close to the issue.

There has been a lot of speculation about the end of the AT&T exclusivity arrangement, especially when AT&T started offering up iPhone 4 upgrades to anyone that would take one.

The device will be available to customers in January, according to the people, who declined to be named because the information isn’t public. Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, and Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, declined to comment.

The iPhone, which has been the sole domain of rival AT&T in the U.S. since June 2007, will give Verizon a boost in its competition for smartphone customers, UBS AG analyst John Hodulik said in an interview. Verizon customers, who numbered 92.8 million at the end of the first quarter, may buy 3 million iPhones a quarter, he estimates.

For now I’ll remain skeptical, if only because there have been rumors of a Verizon iPhone for years now. Actually, I just don’t want to believe I signed with AT&T when Verizon was just around the corner.

No new iPhone 4s until June 29th

If you were planning to pop by your local AT&T store to pick up an iPhone 4 on launch day, take the morning to get some extra sleep instead. AT&T will not have extra stock on hand for launch day as was initially thought.

The first batch of stock phones won’t be available until June 29th, when it will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is just for AT&T, though, so you might have a shot at the new handset at a Best Buy or Apple retail store.

Here’s the official word from AT&T:

• Retail purchase (no preorder): AT&T plans to have iPhone 4 inventory – available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last – on June 29 in its retail locations, at www.att.com, and in business sales channels. As inventory sells out, AT&T will offer the convenient option of purchasing iPhone 4 and having it delivered to a home or business or an AT&T store. As always, customers will receive an email once their order is placed, and again when it ships.

Photo from fOTOGLIF