Nov 27

iPhone 4 Display Panel

Few aspects of upcoming iOS devices are the subject of more speculation and rumor than the display sizes and technologies the products will employ.  Of course, we know nothing about the next iPhone or iPad – other than that they’ll be released in 2012 – but new information is shedding light on what we might expect, at least in terms of their touchscreen displays.

AppleInsider is reporting that Sony and Hitachi are already at work on 4-inch touchscreens for “an unspecified iOS device that will hit the market in 2012,” presumably the next-gen iPhone.  It has long been rumored that the iPhone 5 would feature a larger display, though this is as-yet unconfirmed. 

Due out next spring, the iPad 3 is expected to feature the same size touchscreen display, but with a much higher resolution than the current two models.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

“One of the people familiar with the matter said Apple’s next iPad is expected to launch next year, and Sharp’s Kameyama No. 2 plant in central Japan will manufacture LCD panels for the device.”

The iPad 3 is said to have double the resolution of the iPad and iPad 2, 2048 x 1536.

There are also rumblings that a new LCD technology known as IGZO may also be included in the iPhone 5 and/or future iPads.  IGZO offers "near-OLED power consumption while having a lower cost and thinness that is only 25% greater than OLED.” 

None of this information has been confirmed, but it at least gives us some idea of where Apple might be going with its displays in the coming years.

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Nov 21

iPhone 4SLast month when the iPhone 4S was about to go up for pre-order, I discovered that – for the first time in my three-plus years as an AT&T iPhone user – I wouldn’t be eligible for a subsidized upgrade at launch; I’d have to wait until late November to get a 4S at the discounted $199 price.  Frankly, I was aggravated, but set about waiting for AT&T to let me renew my contract and get the latest and greatest.

Dreams of Siri danced in my head.

Then last week I had the opportunity to review an iPhone 4S (the Verizon 16GB Black model), and after spending several days with the handset, I’ve decided that my iPhone 4 will suit me just fine until the iPhone 5 is released, probably in the summer of 2012.  And if you’re an iPhone 4 owner waiting for your own subsidized upgrade, read on – the same may be true for you.

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Nov 10

iOS 5.0.1 Update Screen Apple’s first update for their latest mobile OS, iOS 5, is now live.  The update is supposed to address battery life issues as well as various other bugs in the first release.  In addition the update adds gesture support for the 1st Generation iPad.

You can update via iTunes, of course, over a USB cable, but you can also now update over the air, as iOS 5 supports PC-free updating.  To get the update directly on your iPhone 3GS, 4 or 4S, iPad, or iPod touch 3rd and 4th Gen, connect to a Wi-Fi network and tap Settings > General > Software Update.

This is the first time an OTA update has been publically released for an iOS device, so it’ll be interesting to see if it goes off without a hitch…

For more information on iOS 5.0.1, check out this article at Apple’s support site.

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Nov 08

Consumer ReportsLast year, Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of the phone’s external antenna design, which sometimes caused severe signal loss when two of the antennas were bridged by the user’s skin.  Discovery of this flaw – popularly known as Death Grip – and Apple’s initially lousy response to it, became known as Antennagate.

But Consumer Reports has been testing the new iPhone 4S and says the phone suffers none of its predecessor’s antenna ills:

[The iPhone 4S] doesn’t suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor in special tests in our labs… a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone’s lower left side while you’re in an area with a weak signal.”

The publication does go on to say, however, that the iPhone 4 – even the newer versions of it – continue to experience the same antenna attenuation issues as the first batch that shipped in 2010.

Oh, and though they’re taken with the 4S, Consumer Reports recommends a few Android phones even more, the Motorola Droid Bionic and Samsung Galaxy S II among them.

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Nov 02

Low Battery Under iOS 5A few weeks ago I posted a list of steps to help with decreased battery life on an iPhone 4 after upgrading to iOS 5.  I’ve received emails from users who’ve done one or more of the easier steps on the list with significant improvement – but my iOS 5 upgraded iPhone 4 continued to suffer strangely fast battery drains even after completing these steps.

So, late last week I bit the bullet and performed a hard reset of my iPhone 4, known in iOS parlance as a restore.  And this did fix my battery issue completely.

Performing a restore on an iPhone, particularly one you’ve used for a long while, can be an aggravating experience since you lose your apps, settings, media, etc.  But if you’re having problems with your iPhone after updating to iOS 5, it may be the only solution. 

You can use an existing backup to put your phone back the way it was prior to the restore as much as is possible, but doing so my also recreate whatever issue was causing the battery drain in the first place.  I recommend that you do a full restore rather than opting to restore from a backup, and manually put your phone back the way it was.  It’s a last resort, but it seems to work for just about everyone who’s having trouble, including me.

Apple is working on an iOS update, v.5.1, that is said to help with the iOS 5 battery issue. No word yet on when the update will be released, though it will likely be sometime in November. 

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