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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Verizon abandons new fees

Public pressure can build quickly in the social media age. Verizon tried to push through a new $2 fee and ended up with a PR nightmare.

Verizon Wireless bowed to a torrent of criticism on Friday and reversed a day-old plan to impose a $2 bill-paying fee that would have applied to only some customers.

The consumer vitriol, which cascaded across Twitter and onto blogs and petitions all around the Web, struck a chord with a company that was clearly not expecting it.

“The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions,” Verizon Wireless said in a statement referring to the reversal.

Everything is changing, as consumers have real power now with social media.

Verizon to dump its one year contract option

Verizon Store.

Roughly one week from today, Verizon will no longer be offering customers the option to sign a one-year contract. “The reason behind the change is the greater majority of customers sign up for a 2 year contract and take advantage of the discounted (promotion) price,” a Verizon Wireless spokesperson told BGR in an email. “Customers will still have the option of choosing month to month, prepaid or service with a two year contract.”

I can’t say this is really a surprise. Few carriers gave such deals and frankly there wasn’t a lot of benefit to the customer. American consumers typically put up with contracts for free or significantly reduced handsets. If they are really averse to contracts, a one year deal probably wouldn’t be any more appealing than two.

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

Verizon officially gets the iPhone – available February 10th

Verizon iPhone.

It is finally, really, actually, verifiably true: Verizon will officially offer the iPhone starting February 10th of this year. Lowell McAdam made the announcement from New York this morning, saying, “If the press write something long enough, eventually it comes true. We’re very very excited about our announcement today.”

It is definitely exciting news. People have been waiting a very long time for this kind of announcement, though personally, I won’t be switching. Not yet anyway.

For one thing, Verizon’s network will be slower. More reliable? Sure, but still slower. I live in a small town in North Carolina and I rarely see service congestion on my iPhone. While AT&T is definitely unreliable in other parts of the world, it’s just fine here. My data is snappy and I rarely drop calls. The only reason to switch would be in network calling to the rest of my family, but I have enough rollover minutes saved up to more than accommodate my dialing habits.

At the very earliest, I’d think about switching in June of 2012. By then, the iPhone 6 should be out, and Verizon’s network should be fast enough to warrant the change. I’ll also, god willing, be living in a different part of the country, and I’d like the assurance that I’ll have a reliable network there.

There is one extremely compelling reason to switch, even if you aren’t having network trouble. The Verizon iPhone will allow you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. After traveling near the holidays and getting stuck in airports with $7/hour internet fees, I would love few things more than the ability to use my phone as a hotspot. I would say that AT&T will get this feature soon, but the truth is it probably won’t. AT&T has enough data trouble as it is. Clogging its network with more data means reliability will likely take another hit, something AT&T can’t really afford. We’ll see how Verizon handles the iPhone data load.