Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

iReturned

iReturned

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appleSorry Steve, you didn’t convince me.  A free case doesn’t get it done either.  Maybe if you would have extended the warranty to 2 years or offered a soft recall, I would have hung on to the art.  But I don’t need art.  I need networking and for heavens sake, I need Exchange to work consistently.  It doesn’t.

So I considered my options and cast my ballot.  I returned my iPhone 4 to the local ATT store.

Maybe I’ll reconsider later.  I’m going to use my collectors Palm Treo Pro until the fall crop is harvested.  Then I’ll be able to see all of the devices from Apple, HTC, LG, Motorola, etc. with iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 on full display.  Now is the best time to wait.

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  • You could get a WM 6.5 phone until the new crop of phones matures, in like oh a year or 2.  Let's be honest: Android 2.1 don't support the full security control.  WP7?  It is still not mature for enterprise level email and messaging, though it should be fine as a normal phone.    

  • When you say Android doesn't support the full security control, what are you referring to? Exchange remote wipe?  Everything else you've said is pure speculation and also includes iPhone 4.

  • good for you keith. someone needs to show apple that they do design shitty products.

  • I would not classify the iPhone 4 as a shitty product. It certainly has a lot to like but let's be realistic about the device and where the market is headed.

    At a time when high speed wireless networking is really getting re-born, we see the wireless telcos cap data plans at 2 or 5GB.  Then we see so many questions around the iPhone 4.  Does it really make sense to lock in on a 2 year plan right this second?  I decided that wasn't prudent for me.

    The hardware has improved dramatically in the past 18 months across all fronts. No doubt Apple can take a lot of credit for setting a standard.  But HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and others haven't been sitting around doing nothing about it. Take a close look at the devices on the market running Android.  And lets not forget we have another wave coming with Windows Phone 7. So the software and apps are coming online as well.

    I can wait a little longer.  I can always fall back to a dumb flip phone if my Palm Treo Pro goes belly up, but I doubt that's going to happen.

  • I picked up the HTC EVO about a week ago and it is terrific. You absolutely need the App Killer app to ensure that things don't run in the background and drain the battery. I'm extremely pleased with it, after having spent a day calling around trying to find one in DFW. Android FTW!

  • Yea, the big screen on the EVO is killer. If 4G were more pervasive around my area and in Seattle, I probably would have kept mine.

  • Read this: code.google.com/.../detail  Although Android supports ActiveSync, the full support of security provisioning is still not there.  Even the latest Froyo (ie Android v2.2) does not support the full set of security policies.  Unless an exemption is given for your phone, I doubt it would be allowed to.

    Errr, I said nothing about iPhone at all.  As for WP7 v1.0, apps must come from the MS App Store (ie no sideloading), no VPN AFAIK and nothing has been said about security provisioning on WP7.   These two would make it hard for the phones to be enterprise-ready (though not an issue for consumers).  In fact, it has been mentioned (I can't recall) that WP7 is meant for the consumer first.

  • To add onto my previous post, on that thread, comment 825 dated May 25th said:

    "Version 2.2 adds support for the following security policies:

     * Device password

     * Local wipe after incorrect passwords

     * Lock screen timer

     * Remote wipe

    For more information see developer.android.com/.../android-2.2-highlights.html

    Not all security policies are supported (yet).  If you are looking for support for a specific policy not in this list, please start a new bug specifically requesting that policy (or join an existing bug for that policy)."

    So as of today, most Android phones, which are still running v2.1 do not have these features.

    The alternative is the HD2 from T-Mobile.  It is the alternative to the EVO with WM6.5.  I'm not sure the policy regarding flashing custom ROM on phones connecting to corporate network, but there a lots of firmware that can enhance the experience.

  • Thanks Watcher. I am already aware of the Android 2.1 capabilities and what's coming with 2.2. In the meantime, people might want to checkout www.nitrodesk.com/default.aspx.  The Exchange client they make called Touchdown is pretty cool and supports remote wipe on android 2.1.  Instead of wiping the whole unit, it just wipes email.  This is a plus or minus depending on your view.

  • Although, I read that the iOS 4.0.1 update addressed the Exchange issue, I agree that you want the best tool for the job. Steve's pr spin job was not influential for me....my iPhone 4 has excellent reception in the Northeast corridor where I work and play....in terms of antenna reception, ymmv. And, a nice case like the Incipio Feather gives me the backside glass protection that I perceive the device needs, so the 'free' offer is not relevant for this user. That said....as a multi-media device that interfaces beautifully in the computing ecosystem I prefer, the iPhone 4 is pretty damn sweet. When I hand it over to any of my work colleagues (including a number of Android fans), I don't have to say a word.....they are impressed by the smooth UI, the screen quality and the diverse app selection I've loaded. Anyway, good luck in your continuing device quest.

  • Thanks Brian and everyone else.  Let me re-phrase my position on the device.

    1. Exchange Support - like millions of users worldwide, I need good Exchange support. In fact, I have two Exchange mailboxes. One for my corp email and one for my personal email. My corp email is on Exchange Server 2010.  My personal email is on the Exchange Online service (paid subscription) which appears to be Exchange 2007.

    On occasion the Exchange client in the iPhone 4 would not complete the chore of sending a new message or reply to an existing message. When this happens, all networking on the device is blocked until the condition is resolved. You can't surf with Safari.  You can't tweet with Twitterific. You can't do squat.

    This condition certainly was very frequent prior to the patch documented at msexchangeteam.com/.../455342.aspx and support.apple.com/.../TS3398.

    Even after applying this change to my iPhone 4, Exchange support would still be problematic.  I would still see similar conditions but instead of it happening multiple times in a day, it would occur maybe once per day or every other day. An improvement over the shipped settings, but still less than rock solid.  It felt like a beta experience and I would just as soon let the millions of other iPhone 4 users deal with this for now.  

    So please, don't try and convince me Exchange server support is fixed. It might be for you and your situation but for me, it didn't work well with two hosted Exchange mailboxes. I know that's a unique scenario, but it's one Apple specifically built into iOS 4 and I look forward to using with my iPad.  Crosses fingers and hopes it works there.

    2. Antenna and Network - I think the device is beautiful. I like the out-of-the-box thinking Apple went through on the creative design. After I received my device on 6/24 via direct ship, I saw the horror stories about people dropping and shattering the device. So I trucked down to BestBuy on 6/25 and picked up a Rocketfish case for my wife and I. See www.bestbuy.com/.../1003208.p for the blue case I have.  It's all they had at the time but it served two purposes.

    The main purpose was protection for the device until another case comes out I like better. The other purpose as we've discovered was to prevent antenna issues from the design.

    Let's not forget that Apple has also stated that some of the ATT equipment in the network was also causing issues.  This was not discussed in the press conference on Friday that I can tell.

    Which brings us to the press conference on Friday July 16 at Apple headquarters. I actually feel pretty sorry for Apple.  They create fascianting products and are a strong competitor in many markets. I can tell you it's not fun being in the position they are in when there's blood in the water and the sharks are circling.

    If Apple had offered more than a case for my phone, I might have kept it. For instance, had Steve said I was getting Applecare for my phone and thus bumping the warranty from one year to two, that would have done it.  But that wasn't offered and I am still not convinced the full and complete story has been told.  

    When I buy devices I take great care of them. I do like to sell them later to fuel my gadget habits. The possibility that the resale value had diminished because of the questions around the iPhone 4 isn't something I want to deal with right this second.

    My experience with the phone and voice communications was actually pretty good. I only experienced a couple of dropped calls in the period from 6/24 to 7/16 and it wasn't apparent that the iPhone 4 was at fault. In fact, the only dropped calls I recall were from my stepson and his piece of crap flip phone.

    3. Windows Phone 7 and Android - if you look back on my blog a few weeks, you'll notice I grabbed the Sprint HTC EVO and took it with me to TechEd 2010 in New Orleans. This is actually a pretty normal practice for me. I like to play with the new gadgets and up until recently there weren't any restocking fees so it was a pretty low cost endeavor.

    The EVO is a pretty cool phone and I liked the screen a lot. I didn't like paying premium data rates when I rarely saw 4G coverage so I returned the phone. I'm bringing this up because you need context. I routinely test phones. that doesn't mean I am going to keep it.  And it doesn't mean I am an Apple hater.

    And let's not forget Windows Phone 7 is getting ready to ship in a few months. Will I keep a phone running WP7?  Hopefully. I am hoping there will be a phone with a killer screen, great battery life, strong Exchange email support, etc. But I have no idea right now which wireless telco will have the magic combination so as you might guess, some testing will be in order. And that is likely to include some returns as well.

    Moral of the story? Just because I returned the iPhone 4 doesn't make me an Apple hater or an idiot.

  • Keith - *this* Exchange issue, which you may or may not have been hit with - is still unresolved. It is in the fix list for 4.1 whenever that may come out. Working with Apple, I have really taken Microsoft's transparency for granted. Once this is fixed, I will have no complaints. However, I am not a fan of the way Apple handles these PR issues. discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa

  • Good for you on taking it back. After antennagate and Apple's response of trying to insult other companies rather than fixing an obvious and glaring issue, they DESERVE to have every iphone returned. I honestly can't stand that company. But hey, other companies are striking back with ads that put down the iPhone 4 and i fully support that. After all, after dishing out years of PC vs Mac ads, Apple needs a dose of its own medicine.