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Consumer Reports Confirm iPhone Reception Issues, Still Rate iPhone 4 Highest

Posted by Chris Hall on July 13th, 2010

This may come as a shock to the public, so brace yourself. The iPhone has a reception issue that is very real, and has nothing at all to do with software.

According to Consumer Reports testing, "when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal." Because of this issue, the highly respected publication does not recommend the iPhone 4, no matter how awesome they thought the phones features were.

Consumer Reports also gives a quick fix to the iPhone problem that involves duct tape and a loss of all shame. All you have to do is simply "cover the antenna gap with a piece of duct tape or another thick, non-conductive material". They follow by stating that a case may fix the problem, but there have been no tests to confirm the claim.

Ed. Note: Even though it does not get a recommended rating from Consumer Reports, according to All Things D the iPhone 4 still tops the Consumer Reports Smartphone list with a 74/100 score. Ahead of the iPhone 3GS and HTC EVO at 72.

While I don't think that anyone will change their minds about purchasing an iPhone, it would be good for Apple to fix the problem rather than blame it on software.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Here Comes the iPhone 4 Flashlight App Tidal Wave!

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 7th, 2010

Since the launch of the iPhone 4, we've seen lots of developers release details about their submitted but not yet released iPhone 4 flashlight apps. Apps that trigger the LED flash on the back of the iPhone 4 used to provide extra light for the camera. These flashlight apps trigger that LED to give you enough light to navigate in the dark.

Today it looks like Apple finally decided to approve that type of app and we've seen a rush of this new sub-genre. So far we've seen at least 11 of them appear in the App Store and I'm sure we'll see dozens more in the next few weeks. Most of these apps are showing up at $0.99 while just one has been released as free. Since they are all basically the same, you might just want to pick up the free one and put that dollar toward an app that's a little more original for your iPhone 4.

A huge warning on these apps is that the LED will likely burn through your battery pretty quick. You won't likely notice much of a problem if you are using it for a few second here and there.

So far no one has released the Doodle Jiggle Bikini God LED Flashlight app. That will be the killer one we've all been waiting for. [end sarcasm]

Pangea Software Announces iOS4 Updates for ALL Apps

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 25th, 2010

With the iPhone 4 out in the wild along with its super-powerful Retina display, not to mention iOS4, updates to pre-existing apps are almost always necessary. Happily, Pangea Software is keeping up—they've updated all of their apps to support the new iPhone 4.

Not familiar with Pangea? They've got plenty of apps to their name. My favorites include the aquatic puzzle game Enigmo (and its sequel, Enigmo 2); caveman racing game Cro-Mag Rally; and the Missile Command-esque Warheads. Bugdom 2, Otto Matic, Antimatter, Billy Frontier, PangeaVR, and Nanosaur 2 are also receiving updates.

The updates take advantage of the iPhone 4's display by adding higher-resolution graphics. Brian Greenstone, President of Pangea Software, says that "the retina display is truly astounding, and the games all look like nothing you’ve ever seen before.” All the games have been tweaked to accommodate the new OS as well.

If you've just nabbed an iPhone 4 and own some Pangea apps, make sure to download the updated versions and put that gorgeous display to good use!

I Am T-Pain (auto)Tuned For iPhone 4

Posted by Ben Harvell on June 25th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Smule, developers of exciting and sometimes unusual music apps for iPhone, has updated the popular I Am T-Pain app for iPhone 4. The 1.5 update is free to all users and takes advantage of the video services available to developers in iOS4 and the new front-facing camera on the iPhone 4.

If you’ve not tried the app before, I Am T-Pain is a novel tool that alters a user's voice using the popular Auto-Tune effect found in modern pop music. The new version now allows you to capture video on the front-facing camera as you sing into your iPhone to a backing track chosen from a number of T-Pain’s own songs.

Once recorded, songs and video can be shared to the web to sit alongside the over 29 million recordings by I Am T-Pain users so far.

If you fancy sound at least a little bit like the current chart toppers, the app works with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS and is available for a very reasonable $0.99

Check out the big man himself showing off the new app features in the video below

iPhone 4 Benchmarks & Reviews Appearing. Generally Positive

Posted by Ben Harvell on June 23rd, 2010

With pre-ordered iPhone 4s arriving early and the big tech pundits having received their models a week in advance, the first reviews and benchmarks for iPhone 4 have begun appearing online.

As you would expect, the usual suspects such as Walt Mossberg, David Pogue and Ed Baig all think Apple's new phone is the best thing thing since... the iPhone 3GS, and even the tech sites are joining the love in with both Josh Topolsky of Engadget and Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing scoring the device highly.

Mac Rumors has attempted some benchmarking of the iPhone already but has pointed out that its finding aren't an exact science. Using the GeekBench benchmarking tool on iPhone, however, it appears that the iPhone 4 runs around 31% faster than the iPhone 3GS but likely slower than the iPad which runs the same Apple A4 processor as the iPhone 4. These results are clouded by the lack of iOS4 on the iPad and fuzzy results from the benchmarking tools which are said to have produced a large variance in scores.

Other notable discoveries include the lack of a capacity marking on the back of the new iPhone whereas previous models showed 8GB and 16GB on the rear panel and 512MB of RAM available. For those who really want to delve into the nuts and bolts of the iPhone 4, iFixit has begun its teardown of the new phone and it has been suggested that the screen on the new device comes from a company called Corning who offer durable screens called Gorilla Glass.

Of course, we'll bring you all of the latest iPhone 4 news as we get it and also provide our thoughts on Apple's latest device as soon as possible.

Real Racing, Flight Control updated for iPhone 4 Retina Display

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 22nd, 2010

The increased resolution of the iPhone 4 has been the point of a lot of conversation from the moment it was first announced. Most of the conversation focusing on if it really is a "retina display," one with such a high pixel density that the human eye can't see the individual pixels. And around that, most of the conversation had to do how great text will look on the display. But what about games? How will the increased resolution impact games? Can they actually approach photographic quality? Wow, that would be staggering -- and I can't wait to see it!

In what I believe are the first games to be approved to take advantage of the Retina Display on the iPhone 4, Real Racing and Flight Control updates are now live. They include increased resolution graphics to fit the new display -- rather than rely on pixel doubled graphics. In addition, Real Racing control has been updated to take advantage of the gyroscope in the iPhone 4. It should provide for even better control of the steering in the game.

iPhone Pre-orders ImPossible To Complete [Updated]

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 15th, 2010

Apple's servers were completely overloaded today by people trying to pre-order the iPhone 4. Users trying to place their pre-orders were routinely hit with "Failed to open page" and "Server failed to respond" errors today.

While some will just wait and try again late tonight or tomorrow, there is some risk of the first day pre-orders selling out. You were able to pre-order the iPad for first day pickup for a few days, but the demand for the iPhone 4 is expected to be much greater. So it is possible that the iPhone 4 could sell-out much earlier. The real exasperating part is that if the process fails, you have to start back from the very start of the ordering process. Why can't they just remember your choices and allow you to continue?

Our best suggestion, just keep trying!

Let us know in the comments if you were able to pre-order your iPhone 4. I'll keep trying, and hopefully I will get my iPhone 4 pre-ordered before they sell out.

Update: I was just able to complete a pre-order, on my first try, using Apple's new Apple Store app. I suggest you give that a try. It's only 1.6 MB, so should be downloadable by everyone over Edge/3G.