Thursday, 19 August 2010

Facebook for iPhone 3.2/3.2.1 Stops working, shows Error on Jailbroken Phones

The latest update to the Facebook for iPhone app version 3.2/3.2.1 that introduces the Places feature seems to stop working on Jailbroken iPhones and when you try to use the app, it just shows the message:

 Error, Sorry there was an error

on Jailbroken Phones

Facebook iPhone App 3.2.1 Error
Apparently this is happening on most jailbroken phones and 3.2.1 was meant to fix it - but hasn't!

More info at

For those having issues using FB after the upgrade, do the following conditions apply?
*Have BiteSMS installed
*Have SBSettings installed
I opened SBSettings, More, Mobile Substrate Addons. I then disabled BiteSMSsb, resprung, and now FB works fine. Not sure what that addon does, but so far BiteSMS works fine, as does FB.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Unlock Your iPhone 3GS for free - Use on any network Vodafone, Orange, O2 and 3 Three UK

As you may have seen from blog posts my iPhone 3GS is with Vodafone UK but doesn't always get the signal I need so I wanted to be able to use alternative SIMs in the iPhone if no signal exists at the location I am at.

There are various websites that offer iPhone 3GS unlocking for around the £20 - £25 mark but I spotted this video on YouTube that allows you to unlock your iPhone 3GS for free.

Once you have jailbroken your iPhone 3GS then you can load the ultrasn0w package which then unlocks the iPhone. Using Cydia add the URL

Once rebooted your iphone will be unlocked for free!

I've just tried it with my iPhone 3GS locked to Vodafone UK and it now works with SIMs from 3 and Orange so I can now use my iPhone 3GS on any network.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Apple Announcement - How You'll Feel Flowchart!

With Apple's iPhone 4 announcement tomorrow, we thought you might enjoy Retrevo's fun flowchart/guide that "predicts" how people may feel after the announcement. This is intended to be a fun, (non-serious) look at how various people may respond.

iPhone 4 Briefing by Apple - 16 July 2010

Apple are planning a briefing on 16 July to discuss the widely reported problems with the iPhone 4G.

iPhone 4G Problems

Watch this space for feedback after the conference call.

HTC Wildfire Review (on Three 3 network UK) Android Phone

My latest phone is an HTC Wildfire on the 3 network, my first Android phone. Having most recently purchased an iPhone 3GS I was interested to see how the HTC Wildfire compared and key differences between Android and iPhone OS 3.12

The first noticeable difference is the quality of the case with the HTC Wildfire feeling far more plastic than the iPhone 3GS. This is understandable as they are in different sectors of the market but the screen size of the Wildfire is not far off the iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone cannot be opened as there are no user accessible components. The back of the HTC Wildfire can be removed but this feels very flimsy and one item that probably will not wear well over time if removed frequently. The removal is a tricky process as there is only a small gap to prise the cover off and it feels as it it will break and also damage the edge of the panel.

The look and feel of the user interface is not too different to the iPhone 3GS and the touch screen is equally effective. As my first Android phone it is hard to know what is Android and what is the HTC Sense skin on top of Android but either way the interface works well.

One thing missing is the excellent my3 application that has been on previous 3 mobiles, there may be another way to find this but I've not yet spotted it.

Configuration was simple and the phone was up and running quickly. The boot up time is quite long and certainly seems longer than the iPhone but this isn't something that you do very often.

Once I have used the phone for a few days I will post some more feedback.

Monday, 12 July 2010

iPhone 3GS No Service/Searching Problem - Comparison to Nokia 6233

As you can see from the above photo, the iPhone 3Gs is switching between Searching and No Service but the Nokia 6233 has 3 bars of signal on the same network and same location. I'm not even holding the iphone 3GS to affect the signal - the iphone 4G may be even worse if the case is held

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

iPhone App - Roadtrip by Darren Stone - Vehicle Data cost & Fuel consumption records

One of the first apps that I loaded to my iPhone was Road Trip by Darren Stone. Originally I had the free version but upgraded to the paid version to allow multiple vehicles to be covered.

It is one of the easiest apps to use and has been perfectly designed to allow you to quickly record the key details with the minimum of fuss. Fuel consumption can be recorded by purely entering the mileage and litres - with the iPhone touch screen this is a piece of cake.

You can also record other expenses such as service costs, tyres etc.

Overall one of the best iPhone apps and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants (or needs) to keep track of their vehicle costs.

Photobox iPhone App -Photobox2Go

I've just received details of a new app from Photobox. They say it has been reviewed as: 'A very good app and one that if you're a keen photographer or just love photos I would highly recommend'

I've now loaded it on my iPhone and will give my verdict shortly

Monday, 5 July 2010

PDA Net Review - iPhone Apps for Tethering

With a jailbroken iPhone the option to install a much wider variety of iPhone apps is available. One of the best that I have seen is PdaNet which allows you to use your iPhone for tethering without paying the extortionate additional charges that mobile networks try to charge. Orange, O2 and Vodafone in the UK all charge various amounts from £5 to £15 per month to allow you to use the bandwith that you have already paid for to tether your iphone to your laptop.
The bandwidth included with my contract is 1Gb per month, I rarely use more than 500Mb so it seems totally wrong to be required to pay an additional fee to actually use this spare bandwidth on my computer.

PDA Net allows you to do just this. You need to download the iPhone app and also install the client on your laptop. There is a free version of the app that allows any website other than https. By paying for the app you can access any websites from your laptop.
I have been very very impressed with Pda Net and would highly recommend it to anyone with a jailbroken iPhone 3G or 3Gs.

Friday, 2 July 2010

iPhone 4G - Apple finally admits poor signal problems

iPhone 4G - Apple finally admits poor signal problems

Curiously the BBC also state:

However, there have been few - if any - complaints about older iPhones losing signal strength when held in a certain way.

They clearly haven't been reading my blog about the iPhone 3Gs and poor signal. Judging by the number of hits it gets for people looking for the phrase "iphone 3g no service" I am far from alone.

Hopefully they will now fix it although the explanation of the signal being displayed incorrectly is hardly reassuring. Having even less signal on the iPhone 3Gs is not likely to improve it!!

On another blog Brian Klug reports

With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS.

This could be positive news for iPhone 3Gs owners like me who experience the No Service error so frequently.

iPhone 4G - Apple finally admits poor signal problems

iPhone 4G - Apple finally admits poor signal problems

Curiously the BBC also state:

However, there have been few - if any - complaints about older iPhones losing signal strength when held in a certain way.

They clearly haven't been reading my blog about the iPhone 3Gs and poor signal. Judging by the number of hits it gets for people looking for the phrase "iphone 3g no service" I am far from alone.

Hopefully they will now fix it although the explanation of the signal being displayed incorrectly is hardly reassuring. Having even less signal on the iPhone 3Gs is not likely to improve it!!

Rory's blog has a more accurate assessment

It may have trouble making phone calls, but the iPhone's fans are so bewitched by its other capabilities, they seem prepared to ignore that.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Apps They Might Have Used - American Revolution Edition

These days it's hard to imagine a current president or world leader who isn't connected to the internet, who doesn't get email, and who doesn't have a cell phone. When Barack Obama went to the White House, a BlackBerry went with him. Senators, congressmen and leaders around the world are connected by their laptops, cell phones, and various other devices but it wasn't always like this. Our founding fathers (and mothers) had to do things the hard way. If they wanted a message delivered, someone had to deliver it by hand. If they wanted to research something, they had to find a book or an actual person who knew more than they did. If they got lost, there was no GPS device to point them in the right direction.

To celebrate this Independence Day, Retrevo has taken the liberty of imagining what apps some of the most famous people behind the American Revolution might have used on a regular basis. While we can't go back in time and actually test our ideas, we hope this inspires a new appreciation of what people had to go through in the days before the wiz-bang-appification of society that we so often take for granted.

- George Washington: iTopoMaps
It's difficult to lead troops into battle, especially if you're relying on a hand-drawn map, made by a surveyor in the days before Google Maps. That's why we think George Washington, first President of the United States would have probably used the iTopoMaps App while he was leading his troops. Because Washington was a surveyor in his youth, we also think he would have had his own ideas for the development of such an app. To learn more about iTopoMaps visit

- Benjamin Franklin: Hootsuite
Were he alive today, Benjamin Franklin would most likely be the poster child of Social Media. He was many things in his lifetime; a printer, an author, a satirist, a politician, a scientist, and an inventor, as well as one of America's Founding Fathers. With so much going on, we like to think he would have loved Hootsuite, the app that helps you organize and keep up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various social media platforms. To learn more about Hootsuite visit

- Abigail Adams: Pages
Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States. She is best known for her letters to her husband while he was in Philadelphia during the Continental Congress. John and Abigail frequently wrote to each other about politics and government, and we think, if Abigail had had an iPad, she would have drafted those letters in Pages, possibly adding pictures, and charts to support her ideas. To learn more about Pages visit

- Thomas Jefferson: Language Master
Thomas Jefferson was a man who loved books. After the British burned Washington D.C. and the Library of Congress in 1814, Jefferson sold his own personal library of books to Congress. Jefferson was also deeply interested in learning different languages including Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, French and Native American dialects. While we think Jefferson would have not been without an eReader, the App we think he would have liked is Language Masters; an app designed to help people learn various languages. To learn more about Language Master visit

- Betsy Ross: Fabric Stash
While historians don't all agree that Betsy Ross actually made one of the most popular versions of the American flag, we know Betsy Ross was an American seamstress, and that means she had fabric. Ask any sewer and they'll tell you about their "stash," that assortment of fabrics that they've purchased over the years that keeps growing. We think Betsy would have loved Fabric Stash, an iPhone and iPad app that lets sewing enthusiasts organize their fabric, compare patterns, and colors, all from the palm of their hand. To learn more about Fabric Stash visit

About The Apps They Might Have Used
What if we could go back in time and share the wonderful world of apps with some of history's most notable people? What apps would they use on a regular basis? The Apps They Might Have Used is a fun and educational article series from, that looks at the lives of some of the most famous people in history and explores the apps those people might have used and enjoyed. is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.

By Jennifer Jacobson of

Monday, 28 June 2010

iPhone 4G - No Signal / Poor reception on iPhone 4G

Yet again Apple seem to have scored an own goal with the iPhone being unable to get a signal, reports show that the 4G suffers poor reception when held in a certain position.

Sadly this seems to be the case with the iPhone 3GS as well and the phone is a triumph of design over practicality.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Have a Gadgetastic Summer With Weber's On the Grill ($4.99)

By: Andrew Eisner, Director of Community and Content for

Have a Gadgetastic Summer With Weber's On the Grill ($4.99)

For about the same price of a pound of grass fed hamburger, you can buy this app from Weber for your iPhone or even better, your iPad. The iPhone version has a grill timer and lots of grilling resources like recipes and grocery lists. The iPad version is new and improved and has features like larger images, instructional videos and tips as well as the timer. Have a gadgetastic summer!
About Retrevo is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

iPhone 3Gs Searching / No Service - The most common message on iphone with Orange, O2 and Vodafone

Much as I love my iPhone 3Gs and the features that it offers, it does get incredibly frustrating that the signal strength on the iPhone 3GS is so much worse than other handsets. I understand that this is due to the design of the internal aerial which is small in comparison to other phones. Apple seem to realise the problem as they are billing the 4G as having a better aerial that covers most of the case.

The iphone messages Searching and No Service are the most common ones and appear when there is signal for other phones on the same network.

If you are getting an iPhone 3GS or already have one bear in mind that the network coverage maps that any network supply will not be accurate for the iPhone which is likely to show the No Service/Searching messages in areas of lower signal strength but where other phones can still make or receive calls. A prime example of this was over the weekend when I was out of coverage for several hours. The iPhone 3G was switching between No Service, Searching and low signal during this time but my other Nokia 6233 handset had a consistent one or 2 bars signal during the whole time.

Our other phone a Nokia 6500 on the 3 network also had a constant signal and this was in a built up area so not a remote location away from transmitters.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Windows 7 Solitaire Games ActiveX failed to start

I recently upgraded to Windows 7 on one of my PCs but when my wife came to play Solitaire it wouldn't load, giving an ActiveX error. As this was an upgrade from Vista I decided that a clean install of Windows 7 would be a good idea.

However having done this the error persisted so it appeared to be some form of hardware/driver error. Some forum posts appeared to suggest it could be video driver related so I installed the latest nVidia drivers for the onboard video card.

Unfortunately although this improved the situation with the error no longer occurring the Solitaire software would still not run.

SO its back to the drawing board - and back to running good old reliable Windows XP - no problems there and its so much faster!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Dell Inspiron 531 AMD Athlon 5000+ Locking up

I've recently had a problem with my Dell Inspiron 531 AMD Athlon 5000+ locking up, the PC boots fine and memory checks all look ok but after about 5 mins the PC locks up and cannot be used. Memory was swapped out, Windows reinstalled, all to no avail.

Everything pointed to a problem with the processor chip overheating but the fan was still running fine. I removed the processor heatsink and fan, added some more themal compound and replaced it.

So far it seems to have done the trick, the PC has not yet locked up and is running well.

iPhone 4G - Battery Life and Signal

The iPhone 4G has now been officially launched and it looks like Apple have taken the comments on the 3GS onboard by addressing the problems with terrible battery life and poor signal on the iPhone 3GS.

I look forward to seeing how the iPhone 4G performs in real life

Friday, 4 June 2010

iPhone 4G Leaked Photos

Some more photos of the iPhone 4G have surfaced. Apparently it is likely to be announced by Steve Jobs in the next few days. Hopefully it will resolve the iPhone No Service problems that have plagued the iPhone 3GS.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Next Generation iPhone - iPhone 4G found?

A prototype iPhone, the next generation iPhone 4G has been found at a bar in California. Apple have now claimed the phone back from website Gizmondo who had revealed its existence thus proving that it is a genuine iphone under development.

Key features shown on the next generation iPhone 4G are camera with flash, front facing camera and squarer design.

More information on their website

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Acer Aspire Dead/Black screen and not booting?

I love my Acer Aspire netbook but recently it refused to switch on and although powered up nothing was showing on screen. I initially thought the screen may have switched to external so tried an external monitor but that made no difference.

Having done some research on Google I found that there is a known problem with the Acer Aspire One that if the battery powers off while it is in sleep mode then it can corrupt the BIOS. Totally bizarre and no something I have every encountered in twenty years of PC use but I followed the instructions below and it is now working fine! In fact I am typing this up on the Acer while at the studio.

to summarise the info

The AA1 has a built-in BIOS recovery routine, making it possible to flash the BIOS even if the system doesn't boot anymore. It's only meant for emergencies and may void your warranty, so use at your own risk.
Follow the steps at the link above and then the BIOS has been flashed and all settings reset to default.

It worked for me and my Acer Aspire is back to normal. In future I will ensure that I shut it down rather than the battery running out while it is in hibernate/sleep mode.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What are the Best Free iPhone Apps?

The Best Free iPhone Apps that I have found so far are:

The Trainline (train times - doesnt cost unlike the National Rail version)
Met Office Weather
Road Trip Lite (car fuel stats)
Orange Weds (film reviews and cinema times) Not just for Orange iPhones

The best paid iPhone apps are:

Talking Carl (fun for kids and adults!)
The Guardian (News)

iPhone 3Gs comparison of O2,Vodafone and Orange

Apple App Store for iPhone 3GS Removes Adult Themed Apps from iTunes

I've been reading today about the furore that Apple have created by their arbitrary decision to ban certain apps from the iTunes app store.

As someone who has regularly downloaded iTunes apps and seen some of the content their decision to remove certain apps they deem to have adult content while leaving others seem absolutely ridiculous. If they have decided to remove all content they consider unsuitable for children then that is their choice but to make rules that allow Playboy to continue to distribute their apps while removing a bikini shop from showing their products appears crazy and having no logic.

One of the benefits of the Apple iPhone 3Gs is the wide range of apps that are available for it. The success of this strategy is demonstrated by the billions of apps downloaded over the last few years. However if developers now have no way of knowing if their apps that are approved will be removed at any whim by Apple then they are far less likely to invest time and money in the developement.

So come on Apple - get your act together. By all means limit the adult content to those who want to view it but be transparent, fair and open on the criteria you are using to determine what is acceptable or risk a backlash of disgruntled developers.

Mobile Phone Reviews

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Which is the best UK Mobile Phone Network for iPhone 3GS?

In my experience the best network for iPhone really depends on your location. I've tried all 3 (O2, Orange and Vodafone) over the last 10 weeks and only Vodafone works properly where I live and work despite the coverage maps for the other networks claiming they have 3G coverage only Vodafone has consistent coverage in my locations in Kent. O2 and Orange consistently displayed the Searching and No Service messages which I don't get very often at all with Vodafone.

It does mean that the only way you can actually find out is by getting the phone on each network as their coverage maps are meaningless. The O2 and Vodafone transmitters are adjacent to each other but O2 has no 3G coverage and Vodafone has 5 bars - try to figure that one!

To summarise in my experience Vodafone's claim of being "the network you can rely on" certain does stand up and is far more reliable in Kent.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mobile Phone Reviews

After the experiences with such a variety of mobile phones over the last few months I decided to create a dedicated site with information and real life consumer reviews of various mobile phones.

Mobile Phone Reviews - iPhone, Nokia, Orange

The site has reviews of the Apple iPhone 3Gs and Nokia E71 phones along with other information from this blog

Thursday, 4 February 2010

iPhone Signal on Vodafone - The Network you can rely on?

As of today my number finally ported and the iPhone is now working on the Vodafone network. So far I have found the signal strength in the Medway area to be excellent, 3G coverage is extensive and certainly much better than on O2 and even Orange as well. This all tends to back up the Vodafone claim of having the "Network you can rely on" and hopefully my love/hate relationship with the iPhone is now going to change - loved the handset and features but hated the network with O2 and Orange!

The iPhone signal on O2 at home was exceptionally variable. O2 coverage maps and customer services claimed that there was full 3G signal at my postcode but in reality the signal was rarely 3G and almost always 2G even on the top floor of the house with line of sight to their mast. Vodafone signal is full strength 3G all around the house and does not vary in the same way that the O2 signal did. Strangely the O2 signal was variable in many other locations (and on other mobiles as well as the iPhone) switching between 2G and 3G repeatedly over the course of the day.

The only downside with the migration of my number to Vodafone has been the lack of information from Vodafone about the transfer process which appears to be quite common.

When you first register the iPhone via iTunes you get the message on the handset "Awaiting Activation" and Sim registration failed. It would appear that the handset will NOT activate until your number ports to Vodafone and the Sim then registers on their network. This is completely different to other networks and a lot of calls to their customer services would be avoided if they provided information about this process up front. Vodafone do not supply temporary numbers for transfers so you can only use the handset once your number has transferred which for me was 4 days later.

More info on Mobile Phone Reviews - iPhone, Nokia, Orange

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

iPhone on Vodafone Sim Registration failed Waiting to Activate

I've finally managed to get an iPhone 3GS on the Vodafone network, hoping that I will have more success than with O2 or Orange. So far so good and Vodafone seem to be living up to their claim of being "the network you can rely on". The only problem so far has been that there was a complete lack of information about how their number porting service works which is different to other networks.

Other networks normally provide a temporary number to allow you to use your phone until your old number ports across from your old network. Vodafone do not offer this service but also do not provide any information that this is the case. Even Vodafone customer services were unable to advise that this was the case so my Vodafone iPhone was sitting there showing as Sim registration failed and an iPhone message of Waiting for Activation.

Fortunately I have another Vodafone SIM that I was able to try in the iPhone and as soon as that was done the iPhone sprung into life. I am currently using this temporary SIM until my number ports across but so far the Vodafone iPhone is showing a much stronger signal that either O2 or Orange.

One difference in the comparison between O2/Orange and Vodafone handsets is that the iPhone does not appear to show whether the signal is 2G or 3G; the handset just shows Vodafone UK and the signal strength.

[Edit - it appears that the 2G/3G indicator does not appear unless your SIM is data enabled. If you have purely voice contract the network shows only as Vodafone UK]

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Orange SPV M3100 Review - on O2 Network (HTC Hermes)

After my sagas with iPhones on Orange and O2 networks I recently obtained an Orange SPV M3100 handset which (fairly obviously) was locked to the Orange network. Thanks to some HTC Hermes/SPV M3100 online tools courtesy of I was able to unlock the phone to use any SIM card in it and am now using it on the O2 Network. This wasn't immediately straightforward as unlike with the Nokia E71 I tried last week O2 were unable to update the phone with mobile internet settings presumably as this handset was never supplied for use on the O2 network.

Unfortunately the O2 website doesn't seem to provide these details or make them easy to find but thanks to website FileSaveAs I found the settings to update the phone from the Orange defaults and get internet working.

Despite the phone being over 4 years old I am actually finding it a very nice device to use and far more friendly and easy to configure than the Nokia E71. In fact with a few minor niggles apart it compares extremely well to the Apple iPhone for usability.Clearly it is a much larger, thicker, heavier phone than the iPhone but as a mobile internet device and phone it hits all the right buttons! In addition the battery life is far better than the iPhone.

Nokia E71 compared to iPhone Review

Coming Soon - review of Nokia E71 smartphone compared to iPhone and Orange SPV

More info on Review of Nokia E71 Mobile phone

The Nokia  E71 is a smartphone from Nokia that has many advanced features such as push email and applications from the Nokia Ovi store. This is a consumer review based on a Nokia E71 handset that I was using on the O2 network in the UK. Unfortunately compared to the Apple iPhone 3Gs it does not perform as well and is far less user friendly to setup and use.
I work in IT so am familiar with software development and use. Configuring the Nokia E71 to use for email and basic functions was extremely tricky and even trying to use the manual to identify settings was not intuitive by any means.
The iPhone in comparision is a doddle to setup as all menus are very clear with easy to understand headings. Some of the Nokia E71 menus are very confusing, especially the tab menus which are not easy to see initially. Much of the problem with the Nokia E71 menu system seems to be due to the Symbian S60 operating system which is also used on other Nokia phones such as the Nokia 6120 that have similar issues with their menus.
Having come from an iPhone the mouse/scroll pad was quite clumsy to use for screen navigation and many presses were needed to move around the screen.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

iPhone 3GS Missed Calls/Phone not ringing/Calls go to Voicemail despite full signal

Further to my post yesterday about the iPhone 3GS calls going to directly to voicemail without the phone ringing despite the phone showing a good signal I have now done some more testing myself to check how this works and why it might be happening. My findings are as follows:

1) If your iPhone is using an app that connects to the internet AND your phone is connected to 2g (o or E symbols) then all calls will go direct to voicemail for the duration of your connection to the web. Once you close the application then the phone will ring again.

2) You may have no knowledge of these calls happening unless the person leaves a message. The iPhone 3Gs does not show any record of the calls being received.

3) If your iPhone is using 3G then you can receive calls as well as using the internet at the same time.

Despite this scenario being denied by O2 iPhone support who should know better (they claimed that a phone call will always interrupt a data call - my testing proves this is not the case) and lots of reports across the web show that EDGE/GPRS connections do not support voice and data at the same time.

Other people have also reported this with the iPhone and experienced similar problems with the signal being much worse on the iPhone than other handsets.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Orange iPhone 3GS Missed Calls/Calls Straight to Voicemail / O2 iPhone Full strength signal

I've read many reports that people with the O2 iphone or Orange iphone have found that calls are going direct to voicemail when they are in an area with full or very high strength network signal.

It appears that what is happening is that when the iphone is connected to the network in 2G mode (GPRS/EDGE) it is only able to handle either a voice call OR a data call but not both together. So when your phone connects to check your email,Facebook status, Ebay app updates etc it is then not able to receive calls. As this is happening in the background you have no real way of knowing what you phone is doing unless you are watching it all the time. And as the 2G network is so much slower than 3G it means the data connection will take that much longer and therefore mean you are out of contact for an even longer period of time.

This only happens when the phone connects on 2G (GPRS/EDGE) not with 3G connections which can handle both voice and data connections at the same time.

Monday, 4 January 2010

iPhone 3GS Comparison - Orange compared to O2 for signal and reception problems

The iPhone saga continues! I have now had my O2 iPhone 3GS for 3 days and am finding some rather interesting differences between the Orange iPhone and O2 iPhone; I have also been able to check signal strength for the iPhone and standard handset on O2.

1) O2 seems to use a different algorithm for switching between 2G and 3G compared to Orange. I found with Orange that the iPhone 3GS would try to maintain a 3G signal for as long as possible even if it dropped to 1 bar. The O2 version seems to be rather different and mainly appears to be sticking to the 2G GPRS network that has full coverage even if a low 3G signal exists. 3G signal only tends to appear if it is 4 or 5 bars strength. It is possible that this is a design consequence of O2 having lower claimed 3G coverage than Orange.

2) Battery seems to be used much faster on iPhone O2 than Orange. An 8 hour day connected to 2G (GPRS) took the battery from 100% down to 20%. This didn't happen with Orange iPhone which implies it either has better power management unless the O2 iPhone possibly has a faulty battery.

3) Testing the O2 Sim in a standard Nokia handset showed that a 3 bar 3G signal existed at the testing location. When the O2 sim was replaced in the iPhone it showed only 1 bar and immediately switched to GPRS 2G network. This would tend to backup other reports across the internet that show the iPhone doesn't  hold a mobile signal as well as other phones.

4) You cannot receive calls when your iPhone is connected to the 2G network using the internet - the call will go straight to voicemail.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Nokia 1661 Review - Consumer field test of the Nokia 1661 Mobile Phone

Whilst waiting for my mobile number to be ported to my new iPhone I needed a temporary phone on Pay as You Go to ensure my number was retained. The cheapest option was a Nokia 1661 for the princely sum of £10.

Review of Nokia 1661 mobile phone

For such a cheap price the phone is an absolute bargain. It is very slim and light and has incredible battery life. Obviously for such a low price there are some compromises - this is primarily the keypad which isn't very sensitive but for a basic phone - for phoning and texting people it is probably the best value out there. It uses a standard Nokia charger so can be easily recharged should the need arise, although with a battery life estimated to be 20 days this won't be needed very often!! In 7 days of use the charge has dropped to around 60% which seems exceptional - the iPhone needs charging every day!

More info on Mobile Phone Reviews - iPhone, Nokia, Orange