Archive for iPhone

Eric Schmidt Posts Guide On Converting To Android From iPhone

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 26, 2013 by itnerd

Well, clearly Google feels it can steal market share when Google chairman Eric Schmidt posts a guide on converting to Android from the iPhone:

Many of my iPhone friends are converting to Android. The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola (Verizon Droid Ultra) and the Nexus 5 (for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface. They are a great Christmas present to an iPhone user! 

Here are the steps I recommend to make this switch. Like the people who moved from PCs to Macs and never switched back, you will switch from iPhone to Android and never switch back as everything will be in the cloud, backed up, and there are so many choices for you. 80% of the world, in the latest surveys, agrees on Android.

I’ll admit that a lot of the Android phones that I’ve reviewed lately have been really nice. But I am not sure if I would make the jump to another platform. Still, one has to wonder how many people do make that jump. If you’ve got thoughts on that, please leave a comment and let us know what your view is.

iPhone 5C & 5S Launch Worldwide

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 20, 2013 by itnerd

Today is the day you can buy a iPhone 5C or 5S on the street along with ordering the 5S online. The ever predictable lineups are part of an iPhone launch day. Here’s some shots from various places around the planet. I’ll start with YouTube videos complied by Fortune and some stills from France. Since I’m from Toronto, here’s a live blog that they’re running.

Canadian carriers are getting in on the action. For example, Telus dropped me a note to say that the iPhone 5s will be available on a two-year term for $229 for the 16GB model, $329 for the 32GB model and $439 for the 64GB model, and iPhone 5c will be available on a two-year term for $129 for the 16GB model and $229 for the 32GB model. In addition, iPhone 4s 8GB will be available for $0 on a two-year term. I expect other carriers to be similar.

So, are you rushing out to grab a new iPhone or is this a non-event for you?

Hey IT Nerd! Should I Upgrade To An iPhone 5s or 5c?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 16, 2013 by itnerd

I’ve gotten variants of this question over the weekend. The answer is that “it depends.” Here’s how I look at the question:

  • If you own any iPhone earlier than a 5, you should upgrade. The reason being is that you’re likely close to the end of your contract (or even out of contract) and the new iPhones are simply faster, have better displays, better cameras, and the like. Plus you’ll get the phone at a low price assuming you make a two year commitment.
  • If you own an iPhone 5, you might want to upgrade to a 5s because of the 64-bit processor, fingerprint sensor, and enhanced camera abilities among other features. I say might because for me, that isn’t enough of a jump for me to want to go to a 5s. I will be waiting for the iPhone 6 or whatever it is called because that’s likely to be a revolution rather than the evolution that the iPhone 5s is. However for you there might be enough of a value proposition to make you want to make the switch.
  • If you own an iPhone 5, you should avoid the iPhone 5c. That’s because it’s basically an iPhone 5 with a selection of colors and slightly better battery life. Unless those items matter to you, there’s no point in upgrading to a 5c in my opinion. Besides, if you do want a splash of color. a case will take care of that and protect your phone too.

In either of the last two cases, you might have to break your contract to get a new iPhone or spring for an unlocked one via That can get expensive in a hurry and may be enough of a deterrent to keep you from making the jump to a new iPhone.

If you do decide to replace your iPhone, you might want to keep this in mind to help you guide yourself to the right amount of storage that you will need. After all, you cannot upgrade these phones with an SD card.

The NSA REALLY Likes The iPhone

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on September 9, 2013 by itnerd

Now I have to admit that I had an “oh crap” moment when I saw this article about the reasons why the iPhone is loved by the NSA. But the more I read it, the (somewhat) better I felt. First, this is what got my attention:

The NSA can retrieve user data on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices, according to internal classified documents obtained by German news outlet Der Spiegel. Special task forces within the agency have reportedly studied the three mobile platforms with the goal of accessing the contacts, instant messaging traffic, and location data found on the devices.

The classified documents don’t point to any “large-scale” snooping of smartphone owners, but they do highlight the historic record of a few specific cases. And as detailed in a follow-up story published Monday by Der Spiegel, Apple’s iPhone has been a favorite among NSA agents for several reasons.

The article then goes on to explain how the NSA gets data from iPhones:

NSA programs called “scripts” can spy on 38 different features of the iPhone operating system, though the documents — at least one of which dates back to a 2010 NSA internal report — list just iOS 3 and 4 as the accessible versions. These features include mapping, voice mail, photos, and such apps as Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Earth.

The NSA also uses the iPhone’s backup files as another infiltration tool, according to Der Spiegel. These files contains such tidbits as contact lists, call logs, and drafts of text messages. And to grab this data, agents don’t even need to hit the iPhone itself — they can simply access the PC used to synchronize with the phone.

Now that’s the part that makes me feel somewhat better. The versions of iOS being referenced in the story are version 3 and 4 of iOS. Now that does not mean any later version such as iOS 6 has anything that the NSA can leverage. We just do not know if that’s the case. Another thing that makes me feel somewhat better. This isn’t, at least not according to story, is that there’s no large scale snooping going on that anyone knows about. Finally when it comes to the backup files, perhaps encrypting them will make them unreadable as you do have that option. Though there’s a report that the NSA can crack encryption so who knows?

Hmmm… Re-reading all of this, I don’t feel somewhat better actually. Does anyone else feel the same?


Another Person Shocked By iPhone In China…. But New Facts Emerge

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 19, 2013 by itnerd

A second person has been shocked by an iPhone in China. Apparently this person was using an iPhone 4 and was shocked into a coma ten days ago. The thing that caught my interest is in this ZDNet article:

Wu Jiantong, 30, apparently had yelled “I’m getting shocked” when he was connecting his iPhone 4 to a charger, which was later found to be a counterfeit or third-party product. His sister related the incident, adding that she went to his rescue by pulling the charger out of the socket.

He was using a “counterfeit or third-party” charger with his iPhone 4. That’s significant because new facts have emerged about the other case that ended up being a fatality that I wrote about previously:

A Chinese television broadcast has demonstrated the possibility faulty chargers could have caused the death of a Chinese air stewardess electrocuted when she answered phonecalls on a charging iPhone spread. 

A report by national broadcaster CCTV suggested the charger in the stewardess electrocution case might not be a genuine Apple product, and the phone was not an iPhone 5 but an iPhone 4.

Hmmm….. iPhone 4, non-Apple charger? Sounds like something worth investigating to me. It’s also a strong hint to perhaps use genuine Apple accessories or stuff that’s part of Apple’s MFi Program. If this goes in the direction that I think it will, clearly using knockoff products is not a good idea.

New App Helps You To Choose Hotels That Treat Workers Fairly

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 17, 2013 by itnerd

If you travel as much as I do, you’ll see people cleaning rooms and doing other housekeeping. I normally didn’t think twice about them until I found out that in many cases, these workers are not even paid a living wage. That’s not good to say the least. But not all hotels do this to their workers. So, how do you pick the hotels that pay their workers fairly? 

Enter the new UNITE HERE’s iPhone app

UNITE HERE is the union that represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service and airport industries throughout North America. And this app allows you to pick hotels where workers are represented by UNITE HERE. That way you know your dollars are going to support fair labour practices. Hotels on strike or under boycott are also listed so that you can stay away from those hotels. 

My thoughts? I think this is a good idea as I like to vote with my dollars when it comes to a variety of things. Thus this app would help me to do so when it comes to where to stay on my next business trip. What do you think? Good idea or not? Post a comment and share your thoughts? 

iPhone Thief Caught After Leaving His Samsung Smartphone At Scene Of Crime…. #Fail

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 12, 2013 by itnerd

Today is a day for weird tech news.

A strong candidate for dumbest criminal of the year is Travis Montgomery Snyder of Remington VA. Apparently he broke into a cell phone shop and stole a bunch of iPhones. But left his Samsung Galaxy phone behind. It didn’t require CSI techs to use his phone to hunt him down.

Perhaps Mr. Montgomery should rethink being a criminal?

New Lock Screen Exploit Found In iOS 6.1.3

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on March 21, 2013 by itnerd

iOS 6.1.3 has been out for less than two days and there’s a new lock screen exploit to report. Here’s video proof:

Now the exploit only gives an someone access to both contacts and photos and the exploit has been confirmed by on an iPhone 4, 4S, and 5. But the good news is that you can make your iPhone safe(er). Simply disable Voice Dial from the Passcode Lock menu. If you have Siri enabled, you’re fine as Siri has to be disabled to enable Voice Dial.

Now the last time such an issue was discovered, it took Apple over a month to fix it. Apple needs to fix this one a whole lot faster and maybe give it a few extra cycles in the hands of their QA team before they release it.

iOS Update Stops Well Documented Locked Phone Exploit

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on March 19, 2013 by itnerd

If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you need to download iOS 6.1.3 right now. Not only does it solve the locked phone exploits that I’ve documented here in the past, but it also improves Maps in Japan. You can bet the latter was a throw in as the former was a real problem for Apple. There’s also a bunch of other security fixes as outlined in this document. But take it from me, you simply want to download this update as soon as you can. I’ll be doing that for my wife tonight when she gets home.

Hey IT Nerd! I Want An iPhone 4S. Which One Should I Get? 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB?

Posted in Tips with tags , on July 14, 2012 by itnerd

This is a question I get a lot. What iPhone 4S should I get? 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB? It depends what type of user you are. Do you take lots of photos? Do you plan on using the video camera? Do you have a large music collection? Those are all factors that will influence which phone you buy. Not only that, but you have to remember that the iPhone is not expandable. So you must choose wisely. Here’s how I would make my decision:

  • If you just need a smartphone and you don’t plan on storing a lot of photos or music or apps on it, or you’re not a heavy video user, then get the 16GB version. If this is you, you’re not a person who’s going to need a lot of space. Thus you can get the entry level iPhone 4S.
  • If you’re the type that wants lots of apps and wants to leverage the 8MP camera for both stills and video, then the 32GB iPhone 4S is for you. You’ll need the space and have room left over.
  • If you’re a video or photo addict and you have a huge music library or you want every app that you can get, the 64GB iPhone 4S is for you. The video part is key. One hour of 1080p video takes up roughly 10GB of space. Thus you’re going to need 64GB.

Oh, for people looking for other smartphones, you can likely take this logic and apply it to whatever phone you’re looking at.