I knew there was a reason I was keeping my old Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard from my Windows Mobile days. Windows Mobile and for that matter Blackberry and Palm had Bluetooth keyboard profiles in 2005. Apple has finally implemented the keyboard profile for both the iPad and now the iPhone.
The Apple keyboard profile is compatible with the Think Outside (acquired by iGo) StoweAway keyboard.
Here is a picture of my 5 row Bluetooth keyboard paired to my iPhone 4. The fn + key don't seem to work which makes sense but otherwise it is fully functional. There is also a smaller 4 row keyboard which is available on eBay northwards of $170. It has crossed my mind to sell it but I like the portability.
Blogging from the iPhone listening to my music library using Bluetooth A2DP stereo streaming to my old Motorola DC800 home stereo adapter I reviewed back in 2006 on pocketnow.com. After re reading the review the problem with pairing the iPod (with BT adapter) was problematic at the time because you could not enter the required 0000 pairing code. That is not a problem with the iPhone and it works very well with the iPhone OS 3.0. Although AVCRP remote control does not impact this configuration, I would love to understand why Apple left out the functionality.
Another point: I was able to write a blog post and stream using Bluetooth back in 2006 on Windows Mobile. Sometimes it seems we have to take one step back to take two steps forward..
With minor restore glitches and battery training issues, my overall first week impression of the 3GS is "speed". Apple was right in adding the "S" to the 3G moniker. Applications like Trip Cubby which were sluggish on the 3G, run smoothly on the 3GS. Everything is just faster from web page rendering to GPS acquisition.
I like the new auto focus camera; although I can't say that I have seen a dramatic improvement in picture quality.
I had noticed that the 3GS' screen was not as bright as the 3G and Jason Kneen mentions a yellow tint in his first impression post. I put both units side by side and he is absolutely correct. Although this picture taken with my Omnia i910 does not show the difference clearly, you can see that the 3GS on the right has a yellowish tint compared to the 3G on the left. It is not dramatic but enough to notice.
I am befuddled by the lack of a full Stereo/Remote control (A2DP/AVRCP) Bluetooth implementation. Although the sound quality is very good with my Motorola HT820 headphones, the lack of a full AVRCP (remote control) implementation has me puzzled. It is like they went a quarter of the way by implementing start/stop and answer/call last number dialed but no track forward/backward. I also found that the Bluetooth stack won't recognize A2DP on my Altec Lansing iMT 525 Bluetooth stereo speaker. It recognizes it as Hands Free device, but I suspect this could be an Altec Lansing issue since the Motorola HT820 headphones which are older paired which no issues.
The biggest issue I have had this week has been with the battery. It seems that battery needs multiple full charges before it starts providing enough power for my average usage day, but at this point I have to say that battery life is no better than the 3G.
All in all I find the 3GS with OS 3.0 are a good evolutionary upgrade, but Apple still has work to implement key Bluetooth and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync functionality. Bottom line I am sticking with the 3GS.
The Apple buzz machine is starting to get into high gear after their March 17th presentation on the iPhone OS version 3.0. Now, carriers like AT&T are starting to spill the beans on the upcoming hardware refresh due out in June. All the major media outlets have picked up the Boy Genius report regarding his conversation with an unnamed AT&T executive…
New iPhone announcement around mid-June (duh)
New iPhone will be faster and have a more seamless experience unmatched by any device (could be just talking about 3.0, but we think it's also a new iPhone)
U-Verse iPhone application; will allow control of your home DVR (play, pause, rewind, etc.)
The annual iPhone launch is "becoming a tradition."
Nothing official is being confirmed, but they said that people should prep for an exciting time this summer.
AT&T is said to be working with Apple to create a unified product with an unparalleled experience across all their products and services.
Apple's 3.0 software should tell us where the iPhone platform is going… uh, k?
They said customers shouldn't need to choose from AT&T's high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences. The gap in capability should be filled with the new iPhone. Ok, bets on slide out QWERTY, autofocus camera, video sharing, blah blah?
Seems like the higher speed HSDPA (7.2Mbps) is being hinted at too which should confirm the earlier rumors of the new Infineon chipset.
The $99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won't be a Windows OS. "
Apple has announced the dates of its World Wide Developers Conference for June 8 through the 12th. With 73 days left to go, that gives the rumor mill plenty of time to generate all sorts of news…I am very interested in seeing what Apple comes up with for an A2DP stereo Bluetooth headset.
Now Apple stores are selling locked iPhone 3G without a contract for $599 (8GB) and $699 (16GB). Although it is possible to unlock them on your own, in the US the iPhone 3G frequencies only work on AT&T network, although you could still use Edge on T-Mobile and Metro PCS. I wonder about the motivation behind this move, maybe they just want to move inventory to make room for the new iPhone in June.
The BMW snap in adapter concept which allows you to swap it for different phones is excellent, however they never envisioned the iPhone's width when they designed the E53 X5 eject box (snap in adapter fits into the eject box). This means that the iPhone snap in adapter (part no 84 10 9 182 792) fits into the eject box, however the iPhone is to wide to fit into the combination snap in/eject box. The only option is to trim the eject box's side walls as reported in this X5 forum post. The problem is that trimming the walls can be a tricky process which I was not comfortable attempting, however Matt at 2point5 (the makers of the spec doc) has the required skills and equipment to do a great job.
The customized eject box with the snap in adapter installed. The red arrow points to the trimmed side walls.
The eject box, snap in adapter and my iPhone 3G installed in my X5 center console. The snap in adapter charges my iPhone 3G. It is too bad the iPhone does not have an external antenna to make use of the X5's cell antenna. The iPhone connects via BMW's 13th generation ULF Bluetooth unit (part no 84 10 9 154 358) which works perfectly.
The 13th generation BMW I-Bus Bluetooth module works very well with the iPhone 3G. The contacts are seamlessly transferred to the car and the incoming call contact's name is displayed on the nav screen.
One of the nice features of the ULF unit is the voice command feature which allows you to save voice tags and phone numbers allowing you to voice dial (a feature missing from the iPhone). Once you initiate the call the contacts name is displayed only if the system finds a perfect match with the phone number associated with the voice tag.
The problem I found was that the contact name for outgoing voice dial call did not always display. The reason was that I had some phone numbers setup with the +1 international dialing code so I can dial US numbers when I am traveling overseas. When I remove the +1, the ULF unit displays the contact name.
The downside of removing the +1 is loosing the ability to dial back to the US when traveling internationally, but the Apple designers must have forethought this issue by including an option to automatically add the +1 to numbers in your contacts which do not have an international dialing prefix. I assume that the iPhone add the appropriate country code based on the iPhone owners residence. The option is set by default in settings/phone as shown in the screen shot.
I updated the picture, since the iPhone TypePad app has issues with screen print images. TypePad says it is an iPhone problem...
I have been using using a 4th generation BMW ULF Bluetooth module (part no 84 21 6 950 089 ) with my Windows Mobile devices and the JetWare Mobile Bluetooth add on application for several years now without any issues. The JetWare Mobile application allows you to filter contacts by category, send the first 100 or so characters of emails and SMS messages to the ULF module, and displays address book based caller id information. Although you can still purchase JetWare Mobile, the developer seems to have gone AWOL and the product is no longer supported. JetWare Mobile version 1.31 has worked very well with all the HTC based devices I have used it on.
Although, I could pair my iPhone 3G and transfer the contacts to the 4th generation BMW ULF module, I could not view SMS or caller id. I wanted caller id on the Nav screen so I would not have to look down at the iPhone while driving. I also wanted to place the iPhone in the BMW cradle for charging. I decided to try the 13th generation unit (part no 84 10 9 154 358) from BimmerNav. This is probably last generation I-BUS ULF module from BMW since they are moving all their electronics to i-Drive. I can report that caller id works with the iPhone 3G, however I have not gotten SMS or emails to transfer (more testing needed). The contacts transfer fine, as they did with the 4th generation unit although the iPhone has no way to filter them so my entire contact folder transfers. Since the iPhone can sync multiple contact folders (the only feature it has over Windows Mobile when it comes to ActiveSync), I may filter my contacts using multiple folders since only the main contact folder syncs with the BMW ULF module.
As I mentioned earlier I want to use the BMW iPhone cradle for charging. The cradle is designed for 2006+ models, because the iPhone is wider than the older eject boxes (the cradle fits inside the eject box) like the one in my 2002 X5. There is an excellent thread on the X5forum detailing how to slim down the eject box's side rails which is on my to do list. I also am looking at upgrading my Dension iPod interface to an Intravee II, then wiring it into the eject box so I can charge and play music from my iPhone. I currently have a 5th generation 60GB iPod with my entire music collection connected to the Dension and I am not sure I want to loose access to all my music collection, since the iPhone can only hold a subset, so that part of the project is still in requirements gathering mode...
I appreciate all the comments on my Windows Vista SP1 posts, especially when it comes to the X60. If Lenovo plans to be a major player they need to make sure their current machines are up to date. It is not like they have not known about these issues...
The iPhone with 1.1.4 has been working fine, although yesterday a corruption occurred when I tried to synchronize my contacts. This seems to be a known problem and the support thread at the Apple site seemed overly complicated (link). I used a trick I learned on Windows Mobile when I get fatal sync errors with Exchange (see my post). Uncheck the synchronization for contacts. Sync again, this will remove the contacts on the iPhone. Recheck the synchronization for contacts and sync again. The contacts resynched with Outlook without error. I wish I had my hands on the beta 2.0 so I try it out with Exchange.
I have let my Bluetooth issue on the XPS 720 drop and never heard back from my support chat with Dell, they were suppose to send me a new unit. I will try installing the driver again with SP1 to see if that works.
I am behind on my Trapster.com review; here is a news video which was aired both on channel 10 in San Diego (link) and CNN. Worth a view if you have not been to the site.
This week I have been using Spb Mobile Shell 2.0. The new features I am gravitating to are the ability to get detailed weather from the Now screen and accessing the contact screen. I find myself touching the icons at the bottom of the screen rather swiping across the screen. It is funny how the iPhone lends itself to swiping while for me the Kaiser doe not. Maybe it has to do with the Kaiser recessed screen vs the flush design of the iPhone. The psychology of how the device feels is so important. There is no
doubt that smooth surfaces with limited edges appeal more to touching.
I finally updated my iPhone to 1.1.4 with ZiPhone to keep it jailbroken and IPSF unlocked. It could not be any easier and with Apple's restore process all my settings were put back into place. It will interesting to see how Apple handles the restore process when custom applications are part of the mix.
I ran into a Bluetooth issue on my XPS 720 this weekend. Basically the system does not recognize the Bluetooth module. Installing new drivers request that the module be turned using Fn + F2, but that is for laptops not desktops. There are threads alluding to the issue but none of the fixes worked. I did a chat with tech support, they were suppose to get back to me and ship me a new module but I have not heard anything. Out of the 4 contacts (2 chats 2 calls) I made with Dell tech support, calling seems get better
results. I may call today regarding since I have not heard back from my chat session.
The Altec Lansing name has been well known in consumer and professional audio circles for many years. They are the market leader in personal computer speakers. They were purchased by Plantronics in 2005 and since then they have released a series of products geared to provide high quality sound for mobile devices. The inMotion iMT525 SoundBlade Bluetooth speaker merges Plantronics Bluetooth headset and Altec Lansing speaker technologies to produce a Bluetooth speaker system suitable for home or travel. Read my review on pocketnow.com.
Sleek, thin design
Excellent stereo sound quality
No GSM buzz
Rechargeable batteries are not included
True Bass SRS system can not be turned off/adjusted