Posts Tagged ‘ iphone ’

The problem with iphone is… Vodafone

except if your'e an NZ customer... then your'e just a cash cow

except if your'e an NZ customer... then your'e just a cash cow

Well, I haven’t given Vodafone a serve for at least… a few weeks, so here goes.

This isn’t a critisim of the iphone, I’m even more happy with it than I was a week or so after I got one last year, but it is a critisim of Vodafone.

The iphone is cool because of all those useful app’s, you can use google maps to find the nearest ATM machine, an currency exchange rate widget to check prices using latest rates, a weather app to check the weather, a subway app to get an update on the London tube (so you can see if they are on strike or not) etc etc. This stuff is really useful when you’re overseas… but

But, only if you’re really really loaded, like Steve Job’s loaded.

Last time I used my iphone in Sydney I came back to a $600 data bill – yep, I used every app on the phone with total abandon, they were great and really useful. Then I got the email from Vodafone and just about had a stroke… yes, that’s NZ$600 plus all the calls etc, for 4 days in Sydney.

This time in Europe I have data roaming turned off and just use the wifi, but it’s not the same, the apps and maps don’t work when I want them, but on the other hand I am not remortgaging the house to pay Vodafone for 6 weeks in Europe.

Vodafone is (once again) operating with it’s head up it’s arse. If it was really sensible it would drop data roaming rates to a reasonable level (even their staff in Auckland say it’s a rip off) then I could use the damn phone the way it’s been designed, I don’t mind paying a few hundred dollars, but by my estimation it would cost me thousands to use data roaming. So Vodafone won’t be getting a cent out of me for data roaming, whereas if they were sensible they would get something.

And before anyone start making excuses about termination rates and the costs other companies might be charging Vodafone, I am using Vodafone in the UK. And that takes me to my second grip about Vodafone.

One of the reasons I use Vodafone is because it’s a big international company.

I notice billboards right across the UK announcing that Vodafone has “abolished” roaming changes across the EU AND NZ and Australia (probably because they were told to by regulators, or a pre emptive action to prevent regulation), so why the hell aren’t Vodafone NZ doing this, or at least dropping them? Who are they kidding with $2 a minute plus your local charge for phone calls??? International mobile phone rates in the UK from Vodafone and other carriers are as low as a few pence, so it’s not the termination charges from Vodafone UK to Vodafone NZ.

If your’e from Vodafone and reading this, get with the program. Ripping me and your other customers who travel off by not offering seamless and discounted charging based on a fair rate with Vodafone ‘International Inc’ is just dumb. It’s so obvious to anyone that Vodafone in the EU has better rates, so as a Vodafone NZ customer why can’t I get something close to these rates?

And what the hell are these rates for Vodafone UK customers on Data roaming???

C’mon, stop treating NZ customers like morons!


iphone app review; Find NZ, Kitty!, Zenbu

This week, a couple of NZ apps that both do the same thing, in amost the same way but one looks better. And a completely useless app of the type you show your friends in the hope they’ll be impressed with your cool phone, but who actually think your’e pretty lame – and if you show them this one, it will confirm their suspicions!

Find NZ (speaks for itself), Kitty and Zenbu… click below for the review and screen shots.

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iphone app review: 1-day, National Bank, eWallet

1-Day app…

This will only be of interest to NZ (and possibly Australian) readers as 1-Day is an online offshoot of Torpedo 7 a sports store. Briefly 1-Day offers three items a day on a simple website, they are (usually) heavily discounted and the products range from, electronics & sports gear, to well, just about anything. There are a limited number of items available and once they go that’s it, another three items get listed the next day.

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Why iphone leaves Blackberry for dust

I admit I was a bit gutted to give up my Blackberry. If it’s hadn’t been for Vodafone mucking around and delaying the release of the Bold and Storm (maybe Blackberries fault) I would never have switched to iphone. Despite being a home Mac user, I wasn’t thrilled at giving up my blackberry (I know how Obama feels).

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Touch screens for Mac laptops?

If you don’t have an iPhone, this may not mean much. This evening I was reading an article on the ‘net and I tried to move it around the screen with my finger, it was almost reflex I guess, on the iPhone you can move things around and zoom in on pages and photos without a second thought.

This made me think, why haven’t Apple done this with their laptops?

Want to type an email, a full keyboard beats anything else hands down, but surf the ‘net? a touch screen is by far the best way to go.

Here’s hoping Apple pull their finger out and sort out the next lot of MacBook’s with touch screen!

iphone three months on

iphoneIt’s been 3 months using the iphone 3G so I thought I would post an update on the pros and cons.

I’ll get the irritations over with the start with, with the most annoying first…

  1. First would have to be the freezing that happens occasionally when you dial out. I contacted Vodafone and got shuffled through various call centers until I ended up with Apple who told me how to ‘reboot’ the iphone. This is not information that comes with the phone, you hold down the function button and the off button for a few seconds and keep on holding them down when the turn off option appears on the screen, this shuts the unit off, you then can restart it. Apple staff told me that if I kept doing this eventually the problem would decrease. This doesn’t seem very logical, but in fact this has been the case and it now happens rarely.
  2. I wish you could use the landscape function more, and that the key board could be used for everything like this, it would make it easier to use. I’d guess this is just a software option but surely it makes sense to be able to type emails landscape? Hopefully this will appear sometime soon.
  3. It would be good to have the ‘recents’ phone call list also show what phone someone has called you from (Blackberry does this), for example did John call you from his mobile or land line, you have the definitions in your contacts but it doesn’t show them on the recent call list.
  4. GPS, it’s very average, and difficult to use in the car because the phone keeps going into sleep mode. This may be the google widget I’m using and there may be different ones that are available, but this is no Navman or TomTom, which is a pity.

Now the good things. Some of these I hadn’t even considered, but as I’ve used the phone it’s apparent why they are so useful.

  1. Wifi. This is great! I was worried about my bill at the end of the month, but I haven’t yet used up by data allowance because at work and home the phone picks up the wifi network by preference and therefore you don’t pay your carrier for the downloaded data. It’s also surprising just how many networks there are around, and how many are unsecured, which means very often you have a network that allows you to access email at little or no cost. This has been one of the best functions of the phone, and it is so easy to use, and it saves you money and allows you to surf the net and download email faster than the 3G network without being stung by your carrier.
  2. The touch screen. I’m not entirely sold on the key board, but I’m getting better at it and the predictive text helps a lot. But being about to navigate with strokes is much easier than a mechanical method and Apples interface is superb.
  3. Predictive text. The keyboard isn’t fantastic for fast typing unless it’s in landscape, but the predictive text is excellent especially as it learns words you type a lot.
  4. The applications. At the beginning there were a lot of OK but dull apps, but over the last few months more have appeared and some of them are impressive. The latest ones being National Banks account access, and instant access to all the traffic web cams in Auckland (or Wellington and Christchurch).One of my gripes was not being able to edit spreadsheets and word documents, but I have found a app that does this neatly. There are more appearing everyday and you can even write your own. Many are free and most only cost a few dollars, these go onto your itunes account, not your phone account which is something that might interest corporate IT departments – it means the staff are not going to be running up bills downloading ring tones, they can do it with their own money with their itunes account.

I’ve looked the new Blackberry Storm features, the camera looks good, but there is no wifi. There’s no way I would go back to a phone without wifi because of the savings and ease of use. Blackberry obviously want to tie users into their email, that’s where they make money, just as Apple want you using their applications and itunes, slightly different ways of revenue gathering, but without the wifi the new Blackberry is just a blackberry with an SD card slot and a (not so good) touch screen.

The Apple is a great phone and I’m glad that Blackberry didn’t get their phone out onto the NZ market in time because I would have gone with that and not tried the iphone. That way I would have never discovered that I can convert my phone into a light sabre, another clever app that uses the motion sensors in the phone to create very realistic light sabre sounds!

Now if only I could figure out to do with the remaining 13GB of memory.

Oh, and it’s also a great phone too!

Blackberry Bold “later this year”

It now looks like my source was full of shit, and the Blackberry Bold aka 9000 is not coming to NZ until “later this year”. This could mean anything from next month to December.

I couldn’t wait any longer so I have made the switch to an iphone. There was no point getting a $900 phone that wasn’t on 3G.

Is the iphone better than the Blackberry?

Well I’ve only had it 12 hours so difficult to say. First impressions is that it is a very different phone. It does almost all the same things, but quite differently, but if you are a Mac user you will already know this. It’s a bit like comparing a PC to a Mac, at the end of the day they perform the same tasks with the same outcome, differently.

Having a Mac made it surprisingly easy to set up, it took about 5-10 minutes, I plugged the phone into my Macbook at home, it linked up with itunes and sucked in all my contacts, calendar, emails settings for my various accounts, music and video and an update and I was set.

I liked the Blackberry wheel, but then Blackberry have ditched this. The on screen navigation is clever on the iphone and will take a bit of getting used to. I don’t think the key board is as good as a tactile one, but then again, I was used to a full QWERTY keyboard and this is a big change.

I think I will miss push email, but then again, did I really need all that email? I usually ended up deleting a lot unread. Having lost the Blackberry Enterprise Server when I left my corporate job the seamless synchronisation that the Enterprise Server provided with Outlook has gone, so I was going to be plugging a Blackberry in to synchronise it anyway so some of the advantages of the Blackberry have diminished.

It works nicely on the home WIFI network and the web browsing is very cool with a crystal clear screen (apart from my sticky fingerprints) and it’s only a bit smaller than the PSP screen.

I confess that despite being a long term Mac user I would have got the Blackberry Bold if it has been available, but so far the switch won’t be quite as painful as I thought it might be. It will be how it interfaces with my work PC laptop that will be interesting. 

It’s a sexy package and as usual it has got the style you’d expect from any Apple product.