Despite the favorable reviews it’s received in the few weeks since its debut, the policies surrounding the iPhone came under fire yesterday when Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, had some choice words about AT&T’s termination fees.
According to The Boston Herald, Markey criticized AT&T’s US$175 early termination fee as well as AT&T acting as the exclusive provider for the iPhone until 2012 in yesterday’s hearings.
During his speech, Markey described the iPhone as akin to the Eagles’ song, “Hotel California”, in which “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave – you’re stuck with your iPhone and you can’t take it anywhere.‚Äù
The comment arose during a hearing to decide whether Congress should grant the cell-phone industry’s wish of being allowed to pre-empt states from regulating wireless phone companies. Individual state public utility commission currently hold the authority to regulate both the terms and conditions of wireless service agreements.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on this, let us know via the forums.
I’m not sure how useful this is, but it could be cool. Hans-Peter Dusel’s iPodVolumeBooster program has just been updated to version 1.3. The program acts as a workaround for the volume-limited iPods sold in Europe and works around the 100 decibel sound output restriction.
The program itself alters a database used by the iPod, thereby allowing with MP3 and AAC song files to remain unaltered.
Version 1.3, a 1.1 megabyte download, repairs the following bugs:
-iPodVolumeBooster now recognizes titles on the iPod.
-The new version now recognizes external iTunes music libraries.
iPodVolumeBooster is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have feedback about it, let us know in the forums.
Getting back to the iPhone, the guys at iPhone Atlas and MacFixIt are reporting that a surprisingly high number of iPhone owners have stated that their batteries aren’t charging completely. In these cases, the universal plug icon fails to appear, which brings into question whether the battery itself is fully charging.
The iPhone Atlas article recommends charging the iPhone for at least 10 hours as a means of optimizing the unit’s battery life. If this has taken place, try restoring the device as well as fully draining the battery and recharging.
In some cases, iPhones have been failing to charge unless they were turned off, then plugged into a wall outlet. Should this happen, the article recommends contacting Apple for possible repairs or a warranty replacement.
If any of you have seen this on your iPhone, let us know in the forums.
Late Wednesday, Microsoft released version 11.3.6 of its Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac suite. The new version, a 15.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
Improvements for Excel 2004
-Security is improved: This update fixes vulnerabilities in Excel 2004 that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
Improvements for Entourage 2004:
-Microsoft Exchange public folder data loss issue is fixed: This update fixes an issue that causes data loss when public folder users who have a permission level of “Editor” or greater use Entourage to empty the cache for all public folders on the server running Exchange Server.
-Japanese postal code dictionary is updated: The Japanese postal code dictionary is updated with the latest information as of May 2007.
The update can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s web site as well as through the Microsoft AutoUpdate application, which is typically found in Mac OS X’s Applications folder after the software has been installed.
Microsoft Office 2004 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to run and varies in price depending on the version purchased.
If you’ve had either a positive or negative experience with the new version of Office 2004, let us know in the forums.
Late Wednesday, Apple released updates to two of their core programs; QuickTime 7.2 and iTunes 7.3.1.
QuickTime 7.2, which is a 33.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
-Support for full screen viewing in QuickTime Player.
-Updates to the H.264 codec.
-Numerous bug fixes.
-Export for iPhone (exports .m4v video).
-Export for iPhone (Cellular) (exports .3gp video).
QuickTime 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
iTunes 7.3.1, which was also released today, is a 51.4 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:
-Improvements to the iPhone service activation.
-Fill iPhone synching with music, TV shows, movies, podcasts and photos.
-Improved wireless sharing between photo libraries and Apple TV devices via iTunes.
-Fix to a problem in iTunes 7.3 when the iTunes Library was accessed.
iTunes 7.3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
Both programs can be updated via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you’ve seen any major changes on your end once these programs have been installed, let us know via the forums.
If it sounded too good to be true, it was.
According to Engadget and several other outlets, yesterday’s optimistic comments from JPMorgan analyst Kevin Chang have been retracted by the company.
The rebuttal took place in the form of a document put forth by the firm’s North America Equity Research division. Here, JPMorgan states that the firm “has not been able to independently confirm” Chang’s comments without a second source and mentions that a “lower-end iPhone appearing in the near-term would be unusual and highly risky.”
Also mentioned in the document are several suggestions that a “high-priced, non-subsidized 3G model” will surface “in the first half of 2008.”
Full images of the retraction can be found here courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
Update: An article over at TimesOnline states that a well-placed source at JPMorgan claimed the retraction was “completely erroneous” and that the firm stood by the original comment.
“In no way are we retracting what Mr Chang said,” the source said. “We express our view through research documents, and the way the market reacts to them is a function of the market.”
The disparity has been noted as two analysts’ views differing on the information at hand when analyzing Apple’s stock.
If you have thoughts or comments on this, let us know what you think by way of the forums.
On Tuesday, software company Ecamm Network released iPhoneDrive 1.0, a US$9.95 utility that allows users to use their iPhones as hard drives and drag and drop files to the device, similar to the iPod’s disk use feature.
The software is available as a fully active seven day demo and is available as a 486 kilobyte download.
iPhoneDrive requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 and iTunes 7.3 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the demo version or have any comments, let us know in the forums.
One of the things that stays in every potential or current iPhone customer today is durability! How will my phone handle the everyday abuse I put it through? Well ShieldZone has answered the question by creating a shield that is made from a unique material which was originally created for the military to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades.
Perhaps one of the coolest features of the iPhone is its Wi-Fi capability, which handily trumps its EDGE data speeds provided a nearby Wi-Fi location is accessible.
According to Macworld News, the folks at JiWire (which serves as a mobile broadband advertising network that also provides a search engine pointing to accessible Wi-Fi locations) have released an iPhone-optimized version of their Wi-Fi location search engine.
The engine itself functions passively with no software to download or install but functions as a web site capable of detecting when an iPhone accesses it and includes optimized code specific to the handset. JiWire boasts that its Wi-Fi Finder tool lists 150,000 accessible Wi-Fi networks in 135 countries worldwide.
If you’ve had success with JiWire’s web site or know of a similar tool for finding publicly accessible hot spots, let us know in the forums.
A poster on Howard Forums claims that “a buddy from Apple” told him that a major iPhone firmware update is being prepped for “no later than when Leopard ships in two months.” On the rumored feature list are:
Disk mode support
More REAL applications are coming, including the special version of iWork and iChat
Search for files, a.k.a. mobile Spotlight
Widescreen keyboard in every app, not just Safari
You will be able to add mail accounts without iTunes
Syncing with .Mac accounts
Camera software upgrade to include stabilization feature