Weighing in on "Antennagate"

I've been avoiding weighing in on the iPhone antenna problems for one simple reason - I have no antenna problems. I said it the day I got my iPhone 4, and I'll say it again today - the iPhone 4 is the best iPhone Apple's ever shipped. I can now make calls in my basement which is something I could never reliably do with the 3G or 3Gs.In my humble opinion, the Antennagate phenomenon is simply the media taking the first legitimate problem with the iPhone and running with it. Headlines like "New iPhone still great!", and "iPhone has ANOTHER record breaking launch!" only draw so many clicks after you've run them 3 or 4 times. I chalk it up to the "teach the controversy" philosophy. Everyone knows that there are Apple haters and Apple lovers and if you can just find a way to stir the pot a bit, the twitterverse, blogosphere and facebookalaxy (to coin a neologism) will grab ahold of it and run.

Most of the (completely and totally non-scientific) polls I have seen indicate that a very slim minority of users are experiencing serious problems using the new iPhone. What is driving the controversy is the fact that it is easily reproducible by gripping the phone in a way most people never will.

Some people will inevitably jump ship to android or others and that's fine. The truth is, what will keep Apple on their toes is good healthy competition. And given the current production constraints, the traditional idea of "one more person buying the competition is one less person buying the iPhone" is frankly just not accurate. Apple will continue to sell every iPhone that comes off the line and the iphone market will continue to grow by millions a month.

If you are having legitimate antenna problems and decide that now's the time to jump ship to android, I wish you well. There's lots of cool things happening in mobile and the iPhone is just one of them. But the media circus is just that, a circus. And at the end of the day, a circus is just an entertaining event that passes through town, takes your money, and moves on to the next town.

Most exciting iOS 4/iPhone 4 features for Handelabra

After having the weekend to play with my shiny new iPhone 4, I feel as giddy as when I got my first iPhone, a 3G, almost 2 years ago.  So does this "change everything.  Again" as apple would have us believe?  Maybe not everything, but there are one or two great new features that we at Handelabra Studio can't wait to play with.


iPhone 4 front facingOn the StyleAssist front, the coolest thing that arrives with iPhone 4 is the front-facing camera.  I can't tell you how many times we've stressed over how frustrating it can be to have to take a self portrait with an iPhone.  The lack of any sort of tactile response to pushing a software button made it a serious case of hit or miss.  The safest option for getting good pictures on a 3G or 3GS remains the same: have someone else take the pictures.  Generally, this will be pretty easy as the best time to take a picture of a new hairstyle is while you're still sitting in the chair when your stylist is right there to assist you. (see what I did there?)  But the front-facing camera on iPhone 4 really makes taking self-portraits super easy.  The resolution is lower (standard VGA of 640x480, see sample), but generally good enough for our purposes.

iPhone 4 rear camera with flashAnother bonus for StyleAssist comes in the form of the LED flash now included next to the 5-megapixel rear facing camera.  While you'll still need to have decent lighting conditions to get a passable front-facing photo, iPhone 4's included flash makes snapping pictures in the dark, well, a snap.  If you look at the sample, you'll still notice some blur, probably related to a combination of slower shutter speed in low light and the shakiness of my hand taking a self portrait in carpal-tunnel mode.  But we'll take what we can get!

The final bonus (from John's point of view at least) is that the camera switching and flash on/off/auto buttons and functionality are completely free from a coding perspective.  As long as we stay out of their way, the base camera includes them automatically.


Lots of people have derided this "feature" of iOS 4 but we at handelabra are actually a bit excited about iAd, Apple's new mobile advertising network.  The ads themselves are pretty much what apple says they are, immersive and cool looking.  And Given what Apple's doing with the terms of service for mobile advertising these days, the fact is, it's a lot easier to hop on board with iAd than try to figure out what's going to happen down the line with AdMob.  And it gave us a really good excuse to move GAME.minder development up to iOS 4 and not look back.

All in all, the arrival of the 4's, while confusing for non-techies (No THIS is an iPhone 4 running iOS 4.  THIS is iOS 4 running on an iPhone 3Gs.  No really, it makes sense, let me start over...) is a pretty exciting time here at Handelabra.

Now if we can just get a solid date for iOS 4 on the iPad...

Waiting in line for an iPhone 4

Ever since attending WWDC, I've known that I would be waiting in line for an iPhone today. The feeling of being surrounded by a large group of apple fans is like no other. Why yes, I am drinking the cool-aid, thank you very much. What can I say, its 5:30 am. The only other time recently I've been up this early was when my kids were scared by a thunderstorm. Yet, here I sit, waiting patiently for my chance to be a part of the iPhone 4 phenomenon.T-minus 90 minutes!