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]