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iOS Update May Tackle iPhone 4's Antenna Problems

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-is-your-apple-a-day dept.

Cellphones 282

DJRumpy was one of several readers to point out rumors that Apple will soon be deploying an update to iOS 4 to combat the iPhone 4 antenna problems we discussed last week. This could be good news for users of the 1.7 million iPhone 4s purchased during the first three days of its release. (And no, Daily Mail, Steve didn't announce a recall, though there's speculation that this problem could be a boon for Android.) An anonymous reader notes an analysis of a teardown of the phone, which found that its parts collectively cost about $188, with the most expensive part — the LCD screen — costing $28.50 by itself. In other Apple news, Germany has demanded that the company "immediately make clear" what data it collects from customers, and what use it makes of that data (perhaps spurred by Google's Wi-Fi sniffing debacle).

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Interested to know... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719144)

How a software update will fix an human-caused short circuit.

Re:Interested to know... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719178)

It won't but it will change the refresh rate of the antenna signal strength meter so you won't notice the signal going down anymore.

Re:Interested to know... (4, Insightful)

jsveiga (465473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719450)

It won't but it will change the refresh rate of the antenna signal strength meter so you won't notice the signal going down anymore.

...so when the call quality gets bad, you'll be able to blame the network, not Apple.

...and on the transmit side, the software will pump up more average power than what the network power control requests, so your battery life will get worse, and overall network (WCDMA) performance will be degraded for all users in the neighborhood.

Re:Interested to know... (5, Funny)

mrops (927562) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720114)

It will boost the transmit power so high that the user will feel a little tingle of an electric shock if the antenna is shorted by this obvious inappropriate use of this godly device.

In related news, apple fanboys have chopped of their thumbs as it is obviously a flaw in human design.

Religious leaders were heard blaming god for designing man in his faulty image while evolutionist think that humans will eventually evolve so that this antenna problem mitigates itself.

Re:Interested to know... (5, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719182)

The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting "no service" rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.

iOS 4 introduced some enhancements to how the baseband selects which frequencies to use, so it makes sense that the error may have crept into those changes. Additionally, this explains why iOS 4 has also caused similar problems for iPhone 3GS users.

Re:Interested to know... (5, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719544)

The information I saw stated that they change the antenna priority from 'strongest signal' to 'most reliable', whatever that means. This change was introduced in iOS4. The same issues have also been reported in iPhone 3G and 3GS, which would seem to reinforce the idea that this may be software related. Although having the antenna's outside the case may exaggerate the issue, it does not appear to be the primary factor.

iPhone 3G: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsfgAXmK0b4 [youtube.com]

iPhone 3GS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9ztRup6cLs [youtube.com]

General YouTube results:

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...gnal+ios4&aq=f [youtube.com]

Additionally, here is the link that I first found reporting the antenna priority change:

http://www.electronista.com/articles...rly.next.week/ [electronista.com]

It will be interesting to see how Apple handles this. I recall they had similar issues with frequencies on the first generation iPhone.

If the issue was strictly related to the external antenna's, we wouldn't be seeing this issue pop up once 3G and 3GS users upgraded to iOS4.

Re:Interested to know... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719598)

Odd. The link on electronista is now gone. This is the relevant text from that link:

"A software origin for the hand position bug, nicknamed the "death grip" for its tendency to kill the cellular signal if the antennas are bridged, would explain how some have replicated the problem on the iPhone 3G and the 3GS. As iOS 4 changed the antenna's priority from the strongest possible signal to the most reliable, it may have changed that behavior for all phones, not just the iPhone 4.

Owners of the 3G MicroCell also support this through their lack of trouble; since the femtocell is always the most powerful cellular signal when nearby, iPhones always stay connected. The same behavior may likewise explain why some without MicroCells haven't had success replicating the problem, as any attenuation of the signal might not be enough to confuse the phone if the user is close to a good cell site."

Re:Interested to know... (-1, Offtopic)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720124)

What in the FUCK is up with that dude's fingernails?

Re:Interested to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720282)

lol..A little long aren't they ;)

FYI, I think this is the link he's referring to:

iPhone 3GS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9ztRup6cLs [youtube.com]

Re:Interested to know... (3, Interesting)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719206)

It's all speculation at this point. But the best speculation possible is based on reports that the iPhone 4 was designed to look for towers with lower congestion, even if they might have a weaker signal. If this is the case (and I don't personally know) it's possible that this feature is simply too aggressive, or not aggressive enough about switching back to the strong tower when attenuation occurs.

Speculation, as I said. I don't think anyone really knows for sure.

Re:Interested to know... (4, Informative)

jsveiga (465473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719652)

... the iPhone 4 was designed to look for towers with lower congestion, even if they might have a weaker signal.

That sounds strange. Only while in idle mode (no calls in place) a GSM/UMTS phone has some autonomy to select the cell site to which it will "listen" to.

If the iPhone follows the UMTS standards, while in a call it reports received signal information from neighboring cell sites (or towers) to the network, and the network then decides which cell site(s) the phone will use (or switch to, what is called handoff). The phone has to obey the network's decision, so the only way that the phone software could affect the cell site choices would be to send "fake" (or wrong) received signal information back to the network (which would violate the GSM/UMTS standard).

Re:Interested to know... (0, Offtopic)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720258)

Standards aren't Variables don't.

Re:Interested to know... (5, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719778)

The phone is not in charge of decisions at that level, sorry.

That's like each a commuter on a train deciding when the train will leave the station....

Loads are governed by the cell network hardware. Some phones are in cars, moving thru rapidly and they may leapfrog...some are still and they may get priority. For those networks that 'breathe' (expand and contract based on load), it would be especially hazardous if the devices could negotiate which cell on their own....not going to happen :)

Re:Interested to know... (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720120)

That's like each a commuter on a train deciding when the train will leave the station....

A commuter can't make it leave early, but sticking your arm in the door will certainly make it late, since safety features won't allow the train to move with an open door. Is it possible that this metaphor also applies to the iPhone? It somehow "sticks its arm" in the handoff?

Re:Interested to know... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719940)

It's all speculation at this point. But the best speculation possible is based on reports that

Isn't that what they said just before they tossed six dozen Dunlops into a hopper and pumped them a mile under the ocean as a "junk shot"?

Re:Interested to know... (4, Informative)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719218)

Re:Interested to know... (2, Informative)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720608)

Hence the "Stay tuned" comment from a recent Jobs email.

Re:Interested to know... (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719236)

That was my first thought too.

Re:Interested to know... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719376)

Perhaps they'll enable the built-in Tazer and zap any users who grab it the wrong way.

Re:Interested to know... (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719532)

Now you're exaggerating. It will be just an easy to access (user friendliness, remember!) tutorial showing the only proper way to hold a mobile phone.

Re:Interested to know... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719866)

Access the built-in compass and warn the user to face Mecca^H^H^H^H^HCupertino while placing iPhone calls.

Re:Interested to know... (1, Informative)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720364)

Well, my 3G has never been a good cellphone. They may as well disable the phone antenna, and get rid of both, customers complaining and Nokia suing. That's win-win!

Re:Interested to know... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719550)

The most interesting part of the new "A4" is its concealed chamber of iBot(tm) nanites. These tiny robots feature a robust and elegant objective C API and GrandCentral support, for efficient parallel activity, whether it be reconfiguring antennas or synthesizing V-series nerve agents in the blood vessels of those who jailbreak their devices.

Re:Interested to know... (2, Interesting)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719770)

It's *possible* that the very slight short circuit of a user's palm is playing havoc with the frequency calibration system. This would also neatly explain why people are more often reporting that the signal gradually falls off over several seconds rather than instantly.

If that's the case, then Apple *might* be able to retool the frequency calibration code to ignore the mild short circuit.

In all likelihood, the answer is probably to ship all future iPhone 4s with a very thin layer of clear resin (nail polish works wonders on the existing ones)over the external metallic surfaces.

--Ryvar

Re:Interested to know... (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719846)

I suspect the placebo effect.

Whatever it does, it will most likely eat more battery. So it's one tradeoff for another.

Re:Interested to know... (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719902)

I'm assuming they temporarily cut off the antenna not in use, or multiplex the signals... both capable in software.

Re:Interested to know... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720018)

And I suppose you have taken classes in waves & fields to justify your claimed expertise on this subject?

The problem is, according to the theory, that the two antennae are short-circuited by your sweaty palm, resulting in a different overall antenna length, thus shifting its best frequency response to a different frequency than the one for which Apple tuned its reception.

As such, both antennae are always in use, and if they are short-circuited, "temporarily cutting off the antenna not in use" is not only impossible but would not change the problem: the antennae are effectively one due to the short-circuit. Cutting one of them off wouldn't fix the short-circuit.

Re:Interested to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719924)

It will remove the "telephone feature" from the iPhone, just like Sony removed home-brew from the PS3.

Enjoy.

Re:Interested to know... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719990)

Boost output power to compensate for lower signal. Simple solution, really - if you don't care about slashing your battery life...

Re:Interested to know... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720000)

It doesn't have, Lois! It's beautiful!

Re:Interested to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720010)

Rewiring a high voltage to the frame when a bad connection is detected, causing the user to stop stupidly holding the phone in his hand, I suppose.

Re:Interested to know... (5, Insightful)

Stick32 (975497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720496)

Easy... You get the icon to always display 3-5 bars. Then everyone can go back to blaming AT&T's network for dropped calls, as usual...

Steve responds (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719170)

Germany has demanded that the company "immediately make clear" what data it collects from customers,

"All of it," replies Steve.

and what use it makes of that data

"Good use," replies Steve.

Re:Steve responds (4, Insightful)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719660)

Yes good old Stevie was claiming the problem was with the operators and demanded a modification of the UOS (user operating system).

Sorry dude but it will be a few years before you can implant all of that Apple hardware directly into our brains.

When I read his rather terse reply about "well, hold the phone differently" I was surprised. And this is from the company that made its riches by making hardware and software adapt to the users needs.

Now it's like "the hell with you, we are omnipresent and omnipotent, you will bow down and kiss my ass".

Re:Steve responds (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719986)

And this is from the company that made its riches by making hardware and software adapt to the users needs.

Three words for you: Hockey. Puck. Mouse.

Apple doesn't give a damn about its users needs. Apple cares about shiny. Which, I guess, is caring about its users needs if its users want shiny.

Re:Steve responds (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720292)

For some time now Apple has not cared about functionality, looks have trumped all. Started around the time of the puck mouse, and then in earnest with OS-X, when they threw out a good deal of UI research that their own HIG discovered.

These days it is all about shiny. If something looks cooler, it is pushed for, regardless of if that is a good design idea. Another recent example would be internal power supplies in the Time Capsules. They generate too much heat and you see the units failing in large numbers after about a year and a half. Much smarter design would be an external PSU, but that wouldn't look as cool so it wasn't done.

So this isn't surprising either. Apple decided that the all glass, antenna around the edge design looked cool. They didn't bother to do proper research as it if it would be a problem. I'm not saying that it is obvious, but you'd think in the course of a new antenna you'd consult with a PhD or two on it. The PhD here who does antenna research said "That looks like trouble, people will interfere with the antenna by holding it." For that matter maybe someone did tell them and they said "Who cares, it works well enough and looks cool."

Apple stopped being the usability king some time ago. That isn't to say they never do anything right or don't make usable devices, just that they are more concerned with looks than usability. If the two collide, looks will win out.

Re:Steve responds (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719750)

And then he adds: "would you like a line-pass for the Apple store?"

Didn't Jobs say.. (2, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719188)

All phones have sensitive areas," Jobs wrote. "Just avoid holding it in this way."

Now the iPhone won't have a sensitive area? Huh?

Re:Didn't Jobs say.. (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719626)

Funny story. When this news broke, I actually took my own phone and looked at the signal strength difference while leaving it set on the table and when I'm holding it. Sure enough, when holding it, it drops a bar, but because it never produced a noticeable degradation in voice quality or anything else. The impact may be noticeable depending on your carrier, but I've never noticed it to be a problem with Verizon in my area. If it's an issue with how the signal is displayed like Apple is claiming, it's not really a big deal.

In order to test to what extent holding the phone produces an actual loss of signal strength, it would be necessary to place a large number of calls while the device is not being held and record the number of dropped calls and to compare that against the number of dropped calls recorded while the device is being held in the hand. I'd wager that there are likely to be more dropped calls while holding it, based off of the technical information I've heard regarding the way the antenna was designed, but I don't believe the difference will be overly large.

Re:Didn't Jobs say.. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720294)

I can cover all edges of my env3 and I do not see any signal strength drop on the display...

IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (0, Flamebait)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719192)

I call name collision. Please refer to the iPhone/iPad operating system as something other than IOS because Cisco used it first.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719294)

They'll probably argue that the lowercase i makes it seperable somehow. Perhaps you need to say "IOS" like "eye-oss" and iOS like "Eye-Oh-Ess" to distinguish in regular language.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720070)

Oh, so it's more like i OS, IBM's midrange OS.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (3, Informative)

Dracker (1323355) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720236)

Apple licensed the name from Cisco. There's no legal problem.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719330)

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719468)

They're clearly all fanbois over there.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719344)

Cisco licensed the use of the trademark.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

Jose (15075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719350)

if you notice, they are calling Apple's version iOS not IOS(note the lower case 'i' character, which is Apple's thing)...and of course, they did get permission. [networkworld.com]

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719354)

Don't forget Nintendo's IOS microkernel operating system (from the Wii), of unknown expansion (possibly "I/O System", but it also does security), which is presumed to have been developed by RouteFree [linkedin.com] ^WBroadOn [broadon.com] ^WiGware [igware.com] . TLA collisions suck.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719372)

How about FagOS?

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719424)

It isn't IOS it's iOS.

See what I did there?

And if you think it matters that a networking hardware company named their firmware something 'first' you are seriously delusional. Like Cisco is going to get any traction against Apple and iPhone/iPad. You saw the part where Apple sold 1,700,000 of these things in 3 days, right?

Why not just go stand in front of a freight train and claim that you got there 'first'?

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719498)

With trademarks, it absolutely matters. However, others have provided references that Apple licensed the mark from Cisco, so I guess that's that.

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719458)

I call name collision. Please refer to the iPhone/iPad operating system as something other than IOS because Cisco used it first.

We are all glad that you noticed so quickly. However, the name of the iPhone and iPad operating system _is_ iOS and Apple is paying Cisco license fees for the use of the name. So since Cisco agrees with Apple's use of the name, I think that settles the matter. And all of this was known weeks ago :-(

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (1, Informative)

malakai (136531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719952)

I second this. This is really annoying. IOS has been Cisco's moniker of choice for their operating system since 1987, when they bought it from Bill Yeager. This is such typical Apple hubris, and only helps cement the dividing line between IT/Developers and Apple. Good luck getting any of us to help your users without a smirk or comment on their fannypack.....

Re:IOS == Cisco Internetworking Operating System (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720614)

I call name collision. Please refer to the iPhone/iPad operating system as something other than IOS because Cisco used it first.

You're about a month behind. The complaint that's currently fashionable is the antenna issue. In about two weeks it's gonna move on to something else, so try to keep up.

Well that's a broad summary (-1, Offtopic)

Cigarra (652458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719202)

How am I supposed to be off-topic then? Oh, I know...

Seems like a stretch. (3, Interesting)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719210)

I know modern radio platforms have a lot of software flexibility, but the limited knowledge of antennas I've picked up from messing with long-range WiFi and my ham radio experiments tells me this is not something that can be patched out with an OS upgrade.

That is unless the OS upgrade comes with a coupon for a free rubber bumper thingy...

Re:Seems like a stretch. (1, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719534)

Maybe you should actually inform yourself then?

The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting "no service" rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.

iOS 4 introduced some enhancements to how the baseband selects which frequencies to use, so it makes sense that the error may have crept into those changes. Additionally, this explains why iOS 4 has also caused similar problems for iPhone 3GS users.

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719622)

The update activates the nanite-producing capabilities of the iPhone. The nanites then patch up the phone and install a neural transceiver into the owner. After that, he will never again complain about any Apple product.

Re:Seems like a stretch. (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719764)

They could always just sum the bars from every connected tower and report that number to the end user.

Re:Seems like a stretch. (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720538)

My old cell phone had a novel approach to this problem. Apparently the engineers believed that there was a software solution that could change the reception of radio waves by an antenna, and instead used what they call an "external antenna." Sure, it looked "so 1990's" to pull the antenna out when placing a call, but it did improve signal strength.

Of course, everyone said this didn't make a difference, and the first gen iphone was the first phone I ever had without an external antenna, but coincidentally it is the first phone that I seem to have reception problems - though they aren't bad.

I just want to know what engineer thought that putting an antenna on the outside of the phone in the exact place where you are supposed to hold it was a good idea. I would expect "touching an antenna while operating it reduces performance" to be in Antennas 101.

Source (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719232)

AppleInsider article by Daniel Eran Dilger.

Oh dear.

Mod parent up! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719318)

Irrespective of the possibility of fixing the issue in software (on which subject I expect there will be no shortage of ill-informed opining here), Dilger's not what you'd call a trustworthy source.

Re:Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719956)

Daniel Eran Dilger's articles were banned from digg because those articles were extremely biased. Seems slashdot's editorial standards have dropped so much so that it seems digg is better than slashdot now!.

I already solved the antenna problems (3, Funny)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719516)

Names for the fix may vary. I call the fix "Nexus One". You might call it "Evo 4G", or any number of other names. Regardless of what you call it, I'm sure it will work equally well!

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (0, Flamebait)

pslam (97660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719536)

Except of course that both those handsets also suffer from signal attenuation when held (go Google for it). As do all handsets.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719610)

Except my calls don't drop. And you don't see people complaining about it on other platforms. The only people bringing this point up are the iphone owners who are trying to justify this obvious design defect.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

pslam (97660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719674)

This is called a vocal minority and/or hysteria. The only difference between this and other platforms is the location of the antenna was pointed out. Do you know where the antenna is on a Nexus One? Guess what would happen if that was pointed out.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719762)

You make a very good point. When I take my G1 apart, short circuit the antenna and make a call, the signal drops as well. The key difference is with phones designed with functionality trumping aesthetics the antenna is typically not put in a user-accessible location. Apple just had to have something new to add as a bullet point on their spec sheet. How this got through QA is beyond me.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

pslam (97660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719868)

Funny, I also have a G1, and if I pick it up it loses a few bars of signal, as does every handset I've ever owned since 1999. Again, the only difference is most folks until now never thought about it.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720206)

This is an entirely different issue for two reasons: 1.) You can cause the iPhone to lose signal by touching it with the tip of your finger, and 2.) the location on the iPhone happens to be a place that people *naturally* hold their phone. It isn't the same thing as covering the antenna with your hand. Otherwise the problem would still exist even with the rubber bumper.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (2, Funny)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719932)

How this got through QA is beyond me.

It looks good.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720192)

Oh, certainly, if I grabbed the antenna on the Nexus One, I suppose the same thing would happen.

That said, I would rashly assume that HTC didn't place the antenna on the Nexus One somewhere where I might actually be holding the phone.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720600)

And you don't see people complaining about it on other platforms. The only people bringing this point up are the iphone owners who are trying to justify this obvious design defect.

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/android/thread?tid=34ae2c179184c33e&hl=en
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deCkjeHYT-g

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719728)

As do all handsets

This is not true. Handsets used to have thest things called "antennae" that stuck out of the body of the unit.

They actually got better reception when held because the human body holding the handset made the other half of a dipole.

In new designs with the "antenna" buried in the phone, the human body just couples ground to itself and becomes a thicker shield.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (2, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720354)

Well yeah, but that was back in the dark ages when cell phones were expected to reliably act as phones.

These days they're a fashion accessory. If it actually works as a phone is kind of a side point as long as you can have loads of garbage apps.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (2, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719948)

Funny, cause my Motorola Droid has a plastic case and my skin never comes in contact with the antena.

Re:I already solved the antenna problems (1, Flamebait)

milkman_matt (593465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719996)

"Names for the fix may vary. I call the fix "Nexus One"."

Even meant as a joke, you're right. AT&T drops my calls like I'm on the Unlimited Dropped Call plan. I've lost a call twice on a 2 mile drive just the other day. I'm convinced that AT&T could drop a call made with 2 tin cans and a string and it's infuriating and I've had enough.

You'd think with an influx of millions of new customers due to the iPhone, and the fact that they charge and extra ($30?) charge for iPhone users, they may try to sink some of that cash into strengthening their networks to support their customers. Instead people are told that a 30% dropped call rate is 'acceptable'. Even if they picked up 1M iPhone customers, that's $30M/mo that they didn't have before. What're they doing with this cash?

I left AT&T about 6 or 7 years ago for Verizon, was impressed with the iPhone after the price became reasonable, and begrudgingly switched back. I wish I hadn't. The service has sucked ever since, and I'm going to leave them a second time for the same reason (and this is in two different states.) If the Incredibles weren't back-ordered for so long AT&T would have have lost me again already.

So actually, you're right. The solution for me is going to be one of the Verizon Droid phones.

is this a software problem? (0, Troll)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719560)

What? Problem with the antenna? A pure hardware problem that will be solved with the next iOS update, i.e. software problem??? Here i am lost, since when we entered the era of quantum phones?

Re:is this a software problem? (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719616)

Except that iOS 4 has caused similar issues with the 3GS models.

The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting "no service" rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.

iOS 4 introduced some enhancements to how the baseband selects which frequencies to use, so it makes sense that the error may have crept into those changes. Additionally, this explains why iOS 4 has also caused similar problems for iPhone 3GS users.

Re:is this a software problem? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719882)

A pure hardware problem that will be solved with the next iOS update, i.e. software problem?

Anything is possible with the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field!

Here, you seem to be not getting enough iAid. Here, drink this [wordpress.com] .

Re:is this a software problem? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720400)

As the summary claims: it may fix it.
For what is worth, I noticed that the Geolocation API through safari doesn't work unless you have the WiFi on. It seems like they either crippled the device or something they may as well fix. Possibly not the only thing to fix from the first release of iOS 4.

What it won't fix (1, Interesting)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719586)

You're in direct contact with the antenna (unless there's a clear plastic shield on it). Anybody feel a small "burning" sensation on their fingertips yet?

Prices aren't close to right. (4, Interesting)

Mazin07 (999269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719602)

Do these people still not know how cellphones are priced? A 8GB iPhone 3GS is about $530, and prices for the iPhone 4 are expected to be $600 to $700. The $199 price quoted in TFA is only after you agree to a ~$2000 contract.

Re:Prices aren't close to right. (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719838)

The $199 price quoted in TFA is only after you agree to a ~$2000 contract

Except that's whargarbl in the other direction, it's only 2k if you count the basic phone plan, but by this point pretty much any consumer buying an iphone is either switching from some other form of cell phone or would probably at least get a basic cell phone if they didn't end up with a smart phone of some kind. Thus, at $25/mo for the iphone data plan, the phone counting contract is $199 + (2yrs*12mo/yr*$25/mo)=$199+$600=$800.

Re:Prices aren't close to right. (1)

Mazin07 (999269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720154)

It's not fair to assume that the consumer is already being shafted and thus discount the base cost. I'm using an unlocked iPhone without data plan for about $15/month but it doesn't make sense to say that, for only $25/month more, I can get a subsidized AT&T iPhone.

There is no iPod Touch 4 (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720626)

it's only 2k if you count the basic phone plan, but by this point pretty much any consumer buying an iphone is either switching from some other form of cell phone or would probably at least get a basic cell phone if they didn't end up with a smart phone of some kind.

Pretend I want to develop an app that runs on an iPhone 4. Until there's an iPod Touch 4, I have to buy an iPhone 4 to test on an iPhone 4. I am satisfied with my current phone plan at $7 per month from Virgin Mobile USA. So yes, it would cost me over a thousand dollars to switch to an iPhone.

No 2-for-1 iPhone offers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719662)

Only Android phones are cheap enough to be provided in 2-for-1 offers.

Android needs a task manager but doesn't come with one. 3rd party task managers are available that can corrupt apps. The most popular Android task manager doesn't show which apps are consuming the battery most.

The EVO 4G judders.

Re:No 2-for-1 iPhone offers (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720232)

Android needs a task manager but doesn't come with one.

False. Android doesn't need a task manager: the OS suspends tasks when they become unused (leaving them in memory but not using any CPU), and kills them when it needs to reclaim their memory. Task managers are for people with OCD and people who are confused about how Android's multitasking works.

The most popular Android task manager doesn't show which apps are consuming the battery most.

Android 2.x has that built in: Settings | About phone | Battery use

BT, DT, fool me once... (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719694)

This is the same thing they said about the EDGE/3G wobble in the Nexus One.

The "update" didn't change a fucking thing.

iOS 4 + 3G = Massive Speed Decrease (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32719892)

Yeah, how about they fix whatever they broke in iOS 4 for us 3G users. My phone has decresed in speed by at least half since I installed iOS 4...

Now bring me the red Swingline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32719936)

"We've fixed the glitch", replied Jobs.

"Wait, but the antenna still doesn't work any better. All you did was make the OS display 4 bars instead of 2."

"We've fixed the glitch."

How? (0, Redundant)

eison (56778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720080)

How could a software update fix a hardware problem with the antenna? Isn't basic physics involved?

I would genuinely like to know. Plenty of people here (who aren't me unfortunately) know how antennas work, anything that could be done without changing the hardware involved?

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720324)

How could a software update fix a hardware problem with the antenna?

This is not a hardware issue. I just tested with my old 3G phone updated to iOS 4. It behaves exactly as the iPhone 4 when I cover the lower part of the phone with my hand.

Re:How? (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720588)

How could a software update fix a hardware problem with the antenna? Isn't basic physics involved?

>

Yes, but the new software update will allow you to turn it up all the way to 11.

How many here have an iPhone 4? (4, Interesting)

sjonke (457707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720262)

If you do, do you experience the antenna shorting signal drop to zero issue? I'm curious, because 99% of the messages I see about this issue, on all forums, are from people talking about the problem, but who do not make any mention of actually have an iPhone 4 nor even of knowing anyone who has the problem. Now, maybe in fact everyone who has an iPhone 4 has this issue, but I am having a hell of a time trying to figure that out. And I'm trying to figure that out because I've got an iPhone 4 on order and I'd like to know if I should keep it. Android fans declaring, definitively, perhaps spurred on by the speculation of a specialist who doesn't have an iPhone 4 either, that the iPhone 4 has a fatal flaw does not tell me one way or the other. iPhone 3GS, 3G and iPhone owners saying that the iPhone 4 has a fatal flaw tells me nothing. The only people I want to hear from are genuine iPhone 4 users. So... do you have the issue?

Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720350)

So I guess Steve Jobs' response to the concerned buyer should have been "Just don't hold it like that......and download the Apple patch."

For a smart guy, he's a fucking moron.

Please stop with the apple stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32720372)

I'm starting to feel like slashdot has turn to some sort of engadget degenerate ... also the only IOS that matters to nerds is the one by Cisco, so this is quite misleading

An interesting bit from the TOS (2, Interesting)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32720490)

In other Apple news, Germany has demanded that the company "immediately make clear" what data it collects from customers, and what use it makes of that data (perhaps spurred by Google's Wi-Fi sniffing debacle).

While updating my Ipod touch (3gs) last night I noticed in the tos that you can control which apps have access to the service. I think this is a cool idea but I didn't see anything in the new os that allows me that access. It doesn't really matter that much for me as I usually turn location services off till needed but what is Apple pulling here? I'd be very disappointed if that only works with an iphone.

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