Tag Archive for 'phone'

iPhone for Verizon

Rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon have been around for ages, but never before have they be as substantial. Verizon has sent out invitations for a special announcement scheduled for Jan. 11th and at this point, the rumor has pretty much been accepted as fact.

One of the biggest gripes current and would-be iPhone owners have is the quality of AT&T’s network. I think that many of these complaints are overhyped. None of the (many) iPhones owners I know have any complaints with AT&T’s cell reception. Also, the assumption that Verizon’s network will provide for a “better” iPhone experience because of their network is a big question mark that remains to be proven.

This bit on TechCrunch sums up my feelings about the iPhone on Verizon’s network:

According to AppleInsider, Verizon sold an estimated 4.4 million Droids. Verizon has 92 million subscribers while AT&T has 90 million. So 11 million AT&T subscribers are slamming the network while 4 million Droid-ites are tapping Verizon’s network gently. So what happens, then, when the iPhone effect hits Verizon, especially on Verizon’s older, slower CDMA network? Verizon will experience the exact issue that has been plaguing AT&T: the curse of success.

A second carrier is great for Apple but a lot still remains to be seen. Anybody ready to jump the AT&T ship for a Verizon iPhone?

3jam Web App

After I discovered GrandCentral (now known as Google Voice), I quickly became enamored with the power and flexibility Google lent to phone technology. I was also surprised by the number of Google Voice alternatives, I found a number of products (Line2, VoxOx, Phone Booth, Grasshopper).

While most of the aforementioned sites are tailored for business use, 3jam seemed to be much simpler without sacrificing much of the basic functionality of Google Voice and also had numbers available in the elusive 212 area code. Between my actual phone number, Google Voice and 3jam, I have three phone numbers. Unfortunately 3jam doesn’t have an app or even a slick web app like Google does so I decided to create my own.

If you’re as nerdy as I am to be messing around with 3jam, take the web app for a spin, it currently serves as a iPhone-esque SMS interface (as opposed to using SMS shortcodes to send txt messages via your 3jam number). In the future I hope to take advantage of all the other features of 3jam’s API.

Download: 3jam Web App

iPhone or Droid?

I wish this was easier but at the same time I don’t.

Battle of the Ages

Battle of the Ages

The Definitive Guide to Syncing Blackberry With Mac OS X

For a long while, Mac users had to rely on third-party applications such as PocketMac or MissingSync to populate their BlackBerrys with contact, tasks, calendar data and media. RIM’s release of BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac brings first-party support for synchronizing data between Macs and Blackberry. The process however, isn’t always so simple. My personal experience syncing my Storm and my MacBook Pro had its share of seemingly inexplicable errors. After some fairly extensive research, I’ve found the answers to my two biggest problems.

1. My BlackBerry won’t mount on my Mac as a Mass Storage Device
Mass Storage Mode allows your phone to mount as any USB hard drive or flash drive would thus allowing you to copy files back and forth between the phone and your computer. Firstly, the phone needs to have Mass Storage Mode enabled. This is done by going into the phone’s options menu and then selecting “Memory.”

  • Media Card Support: On
  • Encryption Mode: None
  • Media Transfer Protocol (MTP): On
  • Mass Storage Support: On
  • Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected: Yes or Prompt

If you have these settings and your phone still won’t mount, the likely cause is a carrier unlock. Unlocking your phone disables Mass Storage Mode. To remedy the problem, iCrack has a patch to re-enable it. However, the patch runs on Windows only and doesn’t work in all circumstances. To manually enable Mass Storage Mode, you need to enter what’s called the Engineering Screens. Follow the directions from BerryReview to access the escreens:

To access the escreen, access the device “Help Me!” screen. For QWERTY devices, perform the key combination Alt+Shift+H on the home screen. For SureType devices, type Alt+EACE on the home screen. For SurePress devices, hold the Escape button, and tap the screen upper left, upper right, upper left, and upper right corners in that sequence.

The “Help Me!” screen contains the application version, PIN, and current up time. Without leaving the “Help Me!” screen, enter that information into the generator. The generator will give you the 8 digit code for the current “Help Me!” screen. If you close the “Help Me!” screen, the device uptime will no longer match the uptime used to generate the code.

Type the 8 digit code into the “Help Me!” screen. You will not see the digits as you type them, but once all 8 correct digits are entered, the escreen will activate. Make sure to use Alt for the numbers on QWERTY devices. Make sure to use multitap to enter the digits on SureType devices.

Once activated, the escreen will replace the “Help Me!” screen for the duration specified when generating the code. You can close the escreen earlier by setting your device clock ahead past the expiration time, reactivating the “Help Me!” screen, then setting your device clock back to normal. Note: Devices with a vendor ID of 1 (RIM engineering sample devices) will always have the escreen open.

Obtain the 8-digit code with this generator.

Once you’re at the escreen, click “OS Engineering Screens” and then “USB.” Select the seting for “Mass Storage (MS)” and click the BlackBerry button and choose “Toggle MS.” Now your BlackBerry should connect to your computer with no problem.

2. My BlackBerry experiences random sync errors telling me to “Retry Sync”
I really don’t have a good explanation for this one. Sometimes syncing contacts (or anything else) with BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac works, and other times, the sync fails telling me to retry. When you are receive an error message, hold down the option key and click on the sync services icon in the menubar and select Reset Sync Services. If you don’t have this menubar icon, go to System Preferences>MobileMe>Sync>Show Status in Menubar. Doing so will probably prompt you to reconcile some sync conflicts but hopefully you’ll only have to do this once.

I hope this helps any other BlackBerry and Mac user who’s experienced the same problems.

Life with a smartphone

For someone as nerdy as myself, it’s amazing how I survived so long with a “dumb phone.” The primary reason for not adopting a smartphone sooner was cost. Due to a series of impulsive decisions, I’ve finally joined the club, but where I ended up might be surprising to those who know me for my Apple Fanboy-ism. Continue reading ‘Life with a smartphone’



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