Amidst our testing of the new iPhone 3GS, we’ve put together a short audio clip to demonstrate the new handset’s Voice Control feature. The audio clip can be accessed here. (MP3 Format, 1:53). In the sample, you can hear the feature being used to bring up audio tracks by artist, start a Genius playlist, activate shuffle, and make phone calls, both with and without mobile/home instruction.
An industrious iLounge reader has taken an old iPod mini unit and rebuilt it using nothing but natural wood and screws, and has also made matching wooden accessories. Forum member Josh, from Australia, took the guts of his first iPod mini and handmade a new case for the device using Australian red cedar, Camphor Laurel for the working Click Wheel, brass plates, and brass screws—the design requires no glue, and is held together exclusively by the screws, save for the Click Wheel which is attached to the sensor via double-sided tape. Wanting to go further and create a complete set of accessories, Josh also gutted an iTrip mini he had on hand, building a new light red cedar case for the unit that matches the new dimensions and body of the wooden iPod mini. Finally, he gutted his original iPod mini dock, re-encasing the components in a piece of Camphor Laurel wood, with a slightly larger opening to accommodate the dimensions of the wooden mini. Congratulations to Josh on his creation! Continue reading for a few extra shots of the device; see his forum post and Flickr account for even more photos.
iLounge has posted a pair of videos to YouTube, comparing the speed of the iPhone 3GS to that of the iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G. The videos offer visual comparisons of speed when running games. Continue reading to see the videos in an embedded form, or follow the above links to watch them on YouTube.
Following a relatively smooth morning roll out of the iPhone 3GS, reports are beginning to surface suggesting that early morning West Coast sales and pre-order deliveries are beginning to put strain on Apple’s servers as larger numbers of users try simultaneously to activate their new handsets. According to AppleInsider, Apple is now providing a warning message through iTunes to affected users, stating that their activation needs extra time to complete, and may take up to 48 hours to go through. The message states that an email will be sent to the customer’s email address when activation is completed, apologizes for the inconvenience, and suggests the user try out some of the phone’s features that don’t require a cellular connection. The situation recalls memories of last year’s iPhone 3G launch debacle, when thousands of users were left waiting for hours in- and outside AT&T and Apple stores while employees tried in vain to activate their new phones.
iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the last seven days in news, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out to our email subscribers later today. In addition to rounding up the week’s top stories, iPodweek also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive iPodweek, there’s still time to register and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address.
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Apple has published a new support document outlining how the new Push Notification system in iPhone OS 3.0 operates. The article states that users must open any app at least once before it can receive notifications, and when restoring from a backup, the app(s) will need to be reopened to get notifications. Notably, the article also states that when an iPod touch unit is on and has a Wi-Fi connection, notifications can be received at any time, but if the screen of the iPod touch is asleep, the device will check for notifications once every 15 minutes. It is unclear whether the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS exhibit similar behavior due to their persistent cellular connections.
AT&T has revealed that it has already sold “hundreds of thousands” of iPhone 3GS units through its online pre-order system. AT&T corporate communications representative Michael Coe told AppleInsider, “[AT&T] sold hundreds of thousands through our preorder process prior to the launch, which exceeded our own expectations for iPhone 3GS.” Coe declined to comment on the exact number of orders, or if the figure exceeded 300,000 units, but analysts had previously pegged launch weekend estimates at roughly half a million units; the figure from AT&T does not include pre-orders made through Apple’s online system.
iLounge editor Jesse David Hollington is on location at the Apple Store in the Eaton Centre in Toronto for the launch of the iPhone 3GS, and reports that technical difficulties on Rogers’ end have slowed down the proceedings considerably. Hollington writes, “the Apple Store here at the Eaton Centre opened at 8:00 a.m. with about a dozen people in line with appointments, and about a dozen in another line who didn’t make or couldn’t get appointments. My appointment was for 9:00. The Apple Store began processing only NEW activations around 8:15 due to problems on Rogers’ end. Apparently, the just-announced promotional pricing is so new that it isn’t in Rogers’ systems, so the Rogers computer will show all existing iPhone owners as ineligible for an upgrade (as would be the normal policy).”
He continues, “as a result, they have to physically telephone a Rogers Customer Care rep for each upgrade to confirm eligibility and billing (purchase price goes on the Rogers bill). Telephone hold times are running from 30-40 minutes just to talk to somebody. I’ve been told I’m next on deck at this point, one hour late for my original appointment (there are four people being processed for upgrades right now).”
Apple has released iPhone Configuration Utility 2.0 for Mac OS X and Windows. The utility allows enterprise users to create, maintain, and encrypt configuration profiles which can then be used to setup multiple iPhones. Configuration profiles contain “device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates” that allow the devices to work with enterprise systems. iPhone Configuration Utility 2.0 for Mac and Windows is available now as a free download from Apple’s website; more on the iPhone’s enterprise features can be found in Apple’s Enterprise Deployment Guide. [via Mac Rumors]
Scosche has introduced its new KickBack S case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Constructed from a combination of polycarbonate and rubber materials, the KickBack S features nubs on the front corners to prevent the screen from touching any surface when laid face-down, rubber protection for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to all other ports and controls, and a hinged kickstand for viewing videos. Scosche’s KickBack S for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will be available soon in black, white, or pink and will sell for $35.
Apple has begun direct sales of unlocked phones in Italy, the first time the handset has been offered outside of carrier stores in the country. SetteB.IT reports (Translated Link) that the change was just recently confirmed by employees at the Roma Apple Store, who had previously denied any plans to offer the handsets directly. Macity goes on to explain (Translated Link) that while the phones were offered unlocked through TIM and Vodafone previously, neither would sell the phone without forcing the customer to sign a contract. iPhones purchased through Apple, by comparison, are free to be used on any service. Pricing for the iPhone 3GS is €599 for 16GB models and €699 for 32GB units through Apple, and €619 and €719, respectively, through TIM and Vodafone; the iPhone 3GS goes on sale in Italy today.
U.K. iPhone carrier O2 has said that it will disconnect any customers found to be using the tethering feature of iPhone OS 3.0 that aren’t signed up for one of the company’s tethering Bolt-On plans. A number of iPhone users who have installed the 3.0 update have reported that it is possible to use the new tethering solution without singing up for the plan. O2 is planning to roll out its tethering Bolt-On plans for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS today with the launch of the 3GS, more information on rates and plans can be found in this article.
Rapid Repair has posted a teardown of the new iPhone 3GS, revealing chips that the service suggests support 720p video. According to the report, the iPhone 3GS contains a Samsung S5PC100 CPU with PowerVR SGX graphics, capable of running at speeds up to 833 MHz—although it’s currently set to run at 600, underclocked in the same fashion that iPhone and iPhone 3G chips were—and powering 720p video playback. Rapid Repair suggests the 3GS may become a “gateway HD media product in the near future.” As expected, the teardown reveals that the iPhone 3GS carries 256MB of RAM; the report also states that the 3GS battery—a Li-ion Polymer, 3.7V model—looks “very similar” to the original iPhone 3G battery.
Update: iFixit has also posted a teardown of the new handset, and claims that the battery found in the iPhone 3GS represents a 6% increase in capacity over the iPhone 3G battery.
iLounge has obtained a new iPhone 3GS, and has posted its new gallery of iPhone 3GS unboxing and comparison photos. Check back throughout the day for additional details on the third-generation iPhone.
Update: Our gallery has been updated, and now features screenshots of all the new iPhone 3GS features, as well as photos of both the new black and white models.
Rogers Wireless has announced a set of iPhone 3GS discounts that it will offer to certain prior iPhone customers. For customers who bought an iPhone 3G between July 11 and Sept. 30, 2008, and with an average monthly spend of at least $100, Rogers is cutting $500 off the cost of an iPhone 3GS, bringing the prices down to $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. For customers that bought an iPhone between July 11 and Dec. 31 2008 but aren’t eligible for the above offer, the company is offering a $250 discount, resulting in prices of $449 for the 16GB model and $549 for 32GB units. Both offers expire on July 31 and come with the addition of a one-year term to the customer’s existing agreement. Customers may also purchase the iPhone 3GS at cost through the company’s website or retail channels; this pushes the prices up to $699 for the 16GB and $799 for 32GB models.
Interestingly, Fido customers will not be offered the same deal; they may redeem FidoDollars towards a new iPhone 3GS, with an additional $100 top-up from Fido. It appears that Rogers/Fido will allow customers to switch over to Rogers and purchase the phone at the new contract price. Finally, both carriers will be offering the 6GB/$30 data promotion until July 31; this plan is valid on a new or existing iPhone plan. The iPhone 3GS will launch in Canada today, and will be available at Apple retail stores as well as Rogers/Fido locations.
Apple has posted an updated version of its iPhone User Guide (PDF Link) online. The new guide, which is labeled as “For iPhone OS 3.0 Software,” features several sections on iPhone 3GS-exclusive features, including entire chapters dedicated to the compass and Nike+ integration. Also mentioned in the guide are iPhone 3GS controls for the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic, Voice Control, complete with instructions on how to use the feature, MMS messaging, and a section on how to shoot and edit videos with the Camera application.
With over 3,800 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“Would you give up your iPhone if data charges went up, or you were subjected to bandwidth caps?” has ended. Readers were given three negative responses, three positive choices, and the option to say they don’t own an iPhone.
The majority of iPhone owners surveyed—51%—said they would give up their iPhones if their carrier capped their data usage or raised prices. Another 14% said the would give up their iPhones if the carrier raised data charges, followed by 11% who said they wouldn’t give up their iPhones if their carrier raised prices or capped their data, so long as the charges included tethering, or if the bandwidth limit was around 10GB/month. Another 10% said they wouldn’t give up their iPhones no matter what happened, while 8% said they wouldn’t give it up over high prices, so long as the additional charges included tethering or the bandwidth limit was around 5GB month, and 5% said they would give up their phones if their carrier limited their monthly bandwidth. Finally, 23% of total respondents said they didn’t own an iPhone. Thanks for all your votes!
Our new poll focuses on the iPhone 3GS. We’d like to know if you plan on purchasing one. Do you have an iPhone 3G, or an original iPhone, and plan to upgrade, or will this be your first iPhone or iPod touch? Or are you skipping it because the upgrade pricing from your iPhone 3G is too expensive, or because you’re happy with your original iPhone? Perhaps you aren’t buying the 3GS because you don’t care for your regional carrier, or because the phone simply doesn’t appeal to you? Our new poll, “Will you be purchasing an iPhone 3GS?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the far left hand column of the main iLounge.com home page. Cast your vote today!
Both T-Mobile and Orange in Austria have announced their pricing for the iPhone 3GS, offering competitive plans due to their non-exclusivity. T-Mobile will be offering customers 16GB 3GS units for €149 on a €39/month contract offering 2,000 call minutes, 1,000 SMS, and 1GB of data; the 32GB model is €249 with this plan. Alternately, customers can choose the more expensive €49/month plan, which offers 3,000 minutes, 1,000 SMS, and 3GB data, and pay €49 for the 16GB 3GS, or €149 for the 32GB model. The 8GB iPhone 3G is being offered for free no matter which plan the user chooses; all plans contain upcharges for MMS messaging, and the company is also offering a €49 online coupon, a money-back guarantee, and an offer of no monthly payments for the rest of 2009. Current customers may purchase the new 16GB handset for €539, with 32GB units running €639.
Orange will also be offering tiered pricing on the iPhone 3GS, with the 16GB model running €69, €119, or €199, depending on the plan chosen, while the 32GB model will cost €169, €219, or €299. The 8GB iPhone 3G will range in price from €49 to €149. Orange is also offering an online coupon of €40, and like T-Mobile is charging extra for MMS messages. Tethering will be offered at a cost of €2 per month, €0.20 per MB. Finally, Orange will offer the iPhone 3GS without a contract, and has priced the 16GB model at €500, and the 32GB at €600. Both carriers will launch the phone on June 26.
[With contributions from Alicia Bankhofer.]
The release of iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch has brought with it a slew of new application updates, developed to take advantage of the upgraded software. Instead of breaking all these updates out into separate stories, we’ve decided to list them in this single spot; we will update this story as more news of major application updates rolls in.
MLB.com At Bat 2009: Thanks to the enhanced video streaming support in iPhone OS 3.0, MLB.com’s At Bat 2009 application will begin offering up to two streaming, full-length live games per day, starting today. In addition, the company plans to will roll out the entire slate of out-of-market games currently offered through its premier live streaming video product, MLB.TV Premium, as part of MLB.com At Bat 2009. The application is available now for $10.
Smule Leaf Trombone World Stage: Smule has updated its virtual instrument app Leaf Trombone World Stage to take advantage of new iPhone OS 3.0 features. Users will now be able to play together in a new Duet Mode, which takes advantage of new Bluetooth-based peer-to-peer features, and will be able to receive push notifications regarding opportunities to judge friends, learn recent results of their own performances, and track individual achievements. Leaf Trombone World Stage sells for $1.
A number of both first- and second-generation iPod touch users are reporting Wi-Fi irregularities after installing iPhone OS 3.0. No less than four separate threads on Apple’s Discussion boards mention Wi-Fi problems, the most common of which seems to be the iPod touch failing to reconnect to the most recent network after going to sleep, forcing the user to manually reconnect each time. Some users have reported that resetting the network settings fixes the problem; others report that this fails to solve the issue. One iLounge editor has experienced problems on first- and second-generation iPod touches, with a reset of network settings working on the iPod touch 2G, and the same thing on the iPod touch 1G resulting in the device failing to sense its own Wi-Fi chip, displaying a “No Wi-Fi” message afterwards. Other users have reported more mild problems, such as reduced Wi-Fi signal, or difficulty in getting their devices to reconnect following installation.