Oct 22, 2017

Dancers are the athletes of God - Albert Einstein

iPhone phone audio stops working when ear-phones ‘oddly’ unplugged…

I tried to answer somebody on the iPhone today and could not hear them and they could not hear me. If i pressed the Speaker button then I could. I tried dialling out to people and again the same thing – it was clearly no one off. Powered-right-off and on and still the same. Updated iTunes to 8.0.1.11 (desperate stuff I know!) and still the same.

Did Google search on ‘iPhone mike and speaker stopped working’ and got salvation on first link returned.

They say to plug earphones in and out a few times because the iPhone can get confused and think earphones are plugged in when they are not. I did this and all was sorted. The page I visited is here::
http://www.iphoneatlas.com/2007/08/30/no-iphone-audio-a-simple-fix/

It all fits because up until now i have never, ever, used the iPhone for music and yesterday I put some music on it (I had just got a Nano iPod up and going and so had the music fresh in iTunes). So I play music on my iPhone for the first time and lo, the phone has problems when I decide to do a crazy thing like unplug the headphones!  It may be Apple, it may just be the Jailbreak I suppose. But it’s not good or cool and another reminder that the iPhone might be wonderful in a number of respects but reliability and stability is not one of them.

If I continue to use the iPhone it will be without playing music on it for now. I’m sure there are ways of operating the player/headphone functionality that does not cause problems but finding and learning them I’m not interested in. And anyway we are told about the legendary usability of Apple and how it just works. Well what I’d like is the ability to unplug the headphones anywhere at anytime and still be able to hear callers and for callers to hear me. Not a lot to ask.

Finally note that mine is an original (non 3G) phone, jail broken to allow use on my providers network (T-Mobile) and updated to v2.1 software.

Original jail broken iPhone and 2.1 Software update

My phone was jail-broken so I could use it on T-Mobile where I have a contract running I cannot move from. One needs to be careful in talking about Jail Breaking because it seemed to be 2 things originally:

1) A part that enabled you to use another mobile provider for comms
2) A part that enabled you to add new applications especially created for a jail-broken iPhone. This was cool because the original iPhone was closed and there was no Apple market for extra apps.

Now the 1 part seems to exist very separately from the 2 part – to the point where you can use iTunes/Apples normal iPhone update facility and still the phone talks to the ‘alien’ sim just fine. The only thing you loose is not being able to download jail broken apps, but there are not so many of them anyway, and to be honest all I ever really wanted was just to use the iPhone with the network I need to.

Anyway I upgraded to 2.1 using the normal Apple facilities and all went well:
1) T-Mobile still working
2) they fixed the Mapping Locate me now feature
3) back to more snappy machine – ie can move between menus more quickly than with 2.01 and 2.02

Unknown – still not sure about occasional browser crashing.

I’d stress again this is an original iPhone, not a 3G one. While my iPhone can talk to third party comms providers I don’t believe there is a software solution to do the same on the iPhone 3G yet. So while I might not have fast comms at least I have the benefit of not changing contracts and all that stuff.

While I’m glad that Apple have dug themselves out of a hole they should never have made, I’m still not sure about iPhone usability overall and the lack of 3G on mine is a drawback when I have a Nokia E61 that does. I’ll probably run the iPhone for a week and then review. Slightly longer term, my mobile contract comes up for renewal at the end of the 2008 and teasing out a new mobile will be fun.

Not a Fan of Apple, iPhone or iphoneunlockuk.com

For background see my earlier post on upgrading my original iPhone to version 2 software:
www.brucemarriott.com/2008/07/27/upgrading-original-iphone-to-version-2-software-not-yet-i-think/

Since then I have become steadily more disenchanted by my iPhone and where Apple seem to have landed us…

  • the slowness of the device to switch applications
  • the browser crashes – just when you get to an interesting page the browser self extinquishes. Where were you? how did you get there. This is corrosive of using the device to browse for useful info
  • browser annoyances like inability to quickly get to the bottom of a page, waiting for rendering when trying to move swiftly through a document, double tapping to magnify an area but catching a link during the page load (when everything is rendered tiny and thus easily done) and it interpreting the first tap as an instruction to go get the other page – immensely annoying.
  • Apple coming out with bug fix releases but not saying what they fix. 2.01 and 2.02 don’t reliably seem to have done much.
  • Mapping locate me function still not working
  • All the general crap around running a jail broken iPhone – why can’t Apple just allow users to go with the network they want rather then trying to screw more money out of it all by limiting what can they do. It’s not an atractive business model.
  • Having to go into a Phone mode to call out – my Nokia home page just allows dialling really easily.

All up I continue to hold to the view that Apple have released the V2 update too soon and after insufficient testing.

The upside of the device remains the large screen and some aspects of the usability. But it’s not enough.

I have given up on the iPhone as a phone for now and put the Sim back in a reliable Nokia E61. It’s also smaller and lighter and has a longer battery life. It is 3G full bluetooth and the screen is good enough.

I have though just updated the iPhone to 2.02 – it still works on T-Mobile but the jail broken apps are gone, but I wasn’t really relaying on anything there so no problem and I can add that back latter should I need. The locate me now mapping is still not working in 2.02.

Finally about iphoneunlockuk.com…
About two weeks ago I added a comment to their blog as follow:
I’ve been living with an original iPhone (which runs on T-Mobile UK) upgraded for about a week now and on balance wish I had not upgraded to v2.0.

Apple don’t seem to have tested it as much as they should and GPS/locate me does not work and the machine can often hang for a few seconds after switching application. Safari (browser) also doesn’t seem as robust as it used to be and just self extinguishes on some sites. None of this renders the machine unusable but had I been aware of the problems I would have held off upgrading an otherwise reliable machine until Apple have got 2.01 or 2.1 out.

Comments don’t get added but wait in a moderation queue. Disappointingly by comment was moderated out. Many comments are of the ‘Thank you so much for such a brilliant service…’ variety though occasionally more interesting tit-bits emerge. I guess my ‘think twice about upgrading’ contribution was out of kilter with encouraging people to spend money at the site. I think this is a shame. If anybody has had a similar experience do say. New blog entries have now been created by iphoneunlockuk for 2.01 and 2.02 releases and when I have a bit of experience of 2.02 I will try adding another contribution to the site.

Upgrading Original iPhone to Version 2 Software – not yet I think

Well I held off a while but last night decided to upgrade my original 8GB iPhone to version 2. My phone is actually jail-broken and used on T-Mobile in the UK. No objection to O2 at all but I have a contract that is still running and which I can’t get out of.

The website I used to unlock the iPhone is: www.iphoneunlockuk.com

I suspect they just package up a solution developed by others, but money changes hands and support telephone lines are there if needed. I’ve never had to use these so how good they might be I don’t know. The website is a bit confused having grown in a topsy turvy way, but the instructions for the upgrade to 2 looked full enough and initial teething problems (with the instructions) were sorted. Some banners on the site might lead you to believe it is a one click process – this is most certainly not the case. However above all that I didn’t do what I should have done – a good net search for problems around upgrading original iPhones. Had I done this I don’t think I would have done the upgrade yet. The upgrade itself seemed to go fine however but here are the issues I have encountered and where I am now in having a great working iPhone or not…

iPhone 2.0 – Calendar Syncing problems with Outlook 2003/2007
First thing I do with any upgrade like this is give syncing of appointments a good shake – if it doesn’t work and you don’t have access to a solid diary you really are left looking like a banana head.

By problems I mean that if I create an entry on the iPhone it did not seem to sync across to the PC (Windows XP, Outlook 2003) and visa versa. Also using the Calender on the iPhone it suddenly started talking about 2 Calendars and Itunes 7.7 had created a new Calendar in Outlook called ‘Home’. A couple of entries were in it, picked from the one calendar I have always run. Where on earth all this has come from I don’t know! There must be some logic to it but goodness knows what it is. Search net and this discussion on the Apple site helped solve the issue: discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1595598&tstart=0

Essentially it seems to come down to recurring entries not being handled properly and you need to delete them all, Sync, and then recreate them. In the thread is a way you can use export and import to help the process. I also deleted the newly created home Calender on Outlook (Go > Folder List > right click on ‘Home’ Calendar and delete ). I then checked it all, creating and modifying appointments on both sides of the sync. Getting rid of the Home stuff also means I’m back to just one Calender in both places and which everything goes in – easiest.

So I seem to be sorted but no marks to Apple for the pain and poor approach to a central need that should be rock solid.

iPhone 2.0 – Can’t locate me in Google Maps
If you go into Maps and touch the little icon at the bottom left of the screen it is supposed to bring up a map of where you are. On first generation iPhones, like mine, it does this using knowledge of where mobile phone masts and public wifi connections are. This always used to work for me with 1.1.4 software. It now doesn’t and just seems to go off into infinity thinking about where it is. More on this problem here: discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1596432&tstart=15

UK phones seems to be particularly afflicted, whether on O2 or not, but its seems to be early days still in seeing just how big a problem this is across the population.

It’s a big issue in Version 2 because some of the applications (like Camera) are GeoTag capable and it would be nice to use the facility (even if less than 100% accurate on original iPhones because of the approximate way they establish where you are).

iPhone – General Sluggish Feel
As I move around from application to application it seems to me that each application thinks a bit longer before putting up its initial screen. And sometimes it seems to think about whether to accept the menu selection you are trying to make. It’s not cripplingly bad, but does not inspire so much confidence.

iPhone 2.0 – So whats better?
I’ve not used the iPhone store to see what applications I can download – I’ve spent too much time picking up pieces from the upgrade… Hopefully it will please me at some point.

No Copy and Paste still – which seems perverse. And no ability to read email in Landscape mode, which I’ve always wanted. In fact why isn’t the ability to work in Portrait or Landscape just generic across all applications?

All up at the moment I’ve very much underwhelmed by the upgrade and if I had my hours again I wouldn’t bother. On the other hand upgrading when Apple bring out 2.01 or 2.1 software should be easier from here and could be more difficult from where I was. All up though I get the feeling of a rushed release by Apple.

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