Posts Tagged ‘AT & T’

AT&T, The Bars Are a Lie

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

I was at Disneyland in Anaheim, Ca yesterday because my son’s high school marching band was going to be in the parade. Since I help the band by taking photos & video, and I host their website, my plan was to stream the band live for those parents that could not attend. I had been wanting to try one of the new iPhone streaming apps anyway, and this was my chance. I did a quick test of the two major iPhone streaming applications, UStream Broadcaster and Qik. I settled on UStream as my app for the day.

There I am, ready to go with full bars, and 3G, when it happens. UStream can’t log in. Hmmm. I try just browsing and still nothing. I try various other data tests, and still nothing. I decide to reboot the phone and try again.

It boots…

It searches…

It has bars…

and, it has 3G.

I launch UStream and… nothing. The phone has no data ability at all. At this point, and for my final test, I bring up the handy AT&T Mark The Spot app to report the data failure. It won’t send the report at that moment because, well, I have no data (and it can’t get GPS coordinates). The cake was a lie (Portal reference), and so are the symbols telling users that they have full bars, and 3G. As for the video, I ended up recording it, via iPhone, and posting it to the site the next day.

Once I was back home, I brought up the Mark The Spot app and reported the failure. It allows you to specify the location of a problem by placing a pin on the map. I doubt it will have any affect, but it did make me feel better.

If you are wondering why I choose UStream, the audio was better. I will post some comparison clips, and a mini-review, when I get some time.

Verizon iDon’t Ad & Other Tech Mistakes

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I recently read a Chicago Sun Time’s Article by their tech writer Andy Ihnatko. It takes a close look at the latest Verizon ad for the Motorola Driod. Great writer and a great article. It got me thinking about the ad. By now, I think most of us have seen the iDon’t Driod ad.

I found the ad irritating the first time I saw it and found myself wondering why. I use an iPhone and love it. Was I irritated because of the attack on the iPhone? Talk about fan boy. I don’t think that was it. The Driod looks ugly in the ads to me. Square and kind of clunky. I have not seen it in person so I could be wrong. I think what irritated me is that I really want the iPhone to have some competition. I think it is better for any geek if Apple is pushed, and then Apple pushes back. We get better toys, and we all love toys. It seemed to me, from the moment the ad ended, that the designers just didn’t get it. iDon’t have this, and iDon’t have that. The ‘iDon’t’ list is pretty long too. But here’s the thing… I don’t care about half the things they list.

I don’t need a physical keyboard. The Pre has a keyboard and it’s crap. Seriously, try it and then picture an ad saying ‘Buy a Pre for the keyboard’. Comedy. A physical keyboard means nothing. A useable keyboard is the claim I want to hear. Blackberry users aside, most people, that give a virtual keyboard the time it takes to learn it, end up likening it. The Driod has a virtual keyboard too, but they were pushing the physical one. Just tell me you have a great keyboard and I don’t care what form it takes.

The ad goes on to mention the iPhone is lacking a 5 megapixel camera. Again I say, so what. It was not long ago I had an actual camera that was 3 MP. I am happy with the camera I have. What do I gain from 5 MP? A larger print. I don’t print my phone photos. More detail? I have an SLR if I need a real image. My phone camera is not for critical images and if it was, the 3 or 5 has nothing to do with it. Tell me you have the greatest image quality ever on a phone and you’ll have my attention. The Driod does have a flash, and that would be cool.

I should say that I have not used the Driod. For that reason I should stop here. I just wish tech companies would listen listen to their customers. I will have a 99 mega-pixel camera soon and that is crazy. Give me 15 megapixels and great low light quality. Give me a cell phone that doesn’t drop calls simply because I was breathing. Let me own the movie or software I ‘buy’ so I can view it, or use it, when and how I want. Don’t tell me you don’t have a “system” for me to block a prank caller, and then tell me you do have a “feature” that costs $8.95 month. Google Voice lets me do it for free. Don’t fight Net-Neutrality with claims it hurts business, and then lobby Washington to pass legislation blocking the FCC from enforcing a neutral internet. AT & T should not be allowed to block me from using my internet connection when it conflicts with another area of their business. This post took a weird turn somewhere. I was going to just point you to the Andy Ihnatko article. I hope the Driod is a good phone, but it has to give me features I want. You sell a product by fulfilling the customers needs. When will they get it?

AT & T to Allow iPhone VoIP on its 3G Network

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

ATT today announced that it had:

“taken the steps necessary so that Apple can enable VoIP applications on iPhone to run on AT&T’s wireless network.”

Up to this point, VoIP applications on an iPhone have been limited to running on WiFi, so this is fantastic news for iPhone owners. They have already notified Apple and the FCC. Based on the title of the statement, “AT&T Extends VOIP to 3G Network for iPhone“, this will be on their 3G network only. They have offered a variety of devices in the past that run VoIP on their 2G and 3G networks, along with WiFi, so I am not sure if this is for first gen iPhones or not. Doesn’t look like it. My question is why has this taken so long? The delay for MMS was said to be due to infrastructure upgrades, but since VoIP has been running on their network anyway, why was it ever – not allowed?

My problem with this is in principle. I pay for unlimited data…. except this, and that, and oh yeah… the other thing. I was lucky enough to buy NetShare in the app store before it was pulled by Apple. That lets me tether my MacBook Pro to my iPhone for internet access. Do I use it? Well Im not saying, but if I did it would have only been about 4 or 5 times when the WiFi at the radio station was out on a Sunday morning and I needed some web browsing. That would not be a huge load on the network. I feel the same way about VoIP. I use Skype. Not a lot, but I do use it. I also use Google Voice which, while not VoIP, does allow free SMS. I pay for a service from AT & T that includes unlimited data. To AT& T that means unlimited Email and Web Browsing. Unlimited Twitter. Unlimited Google Maps. You get the point. Unlimited anything that does not compete with AT & T services. I wish that unlimited data meant just that, any type of data.