Sep 12, 2012

Aug - 29 2012 | By

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Glenn, Paul and Mikail Graham were in the studio talking about today's product announcements by Apple

Mikail said the new iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter and faster with longer battery life — 8 hours while using high speed LTE for web browsing. He speculated you might get about 10 hours when not using LTE.

There were new iPod units too. The Nano is thinner & "more beautiful and actually very close to an iPod Touch".

The new iPod Touch is "more like an iPhone 5 than an iPhone 4" — like a cross between them. It has Siri <the voice-activated assistant> and a 720p Facetime camera. "It's got a 5 mega pixel camera equal to the old iPhone 4 and it does HD — high definition". If you don't want to pay for a contract, you can use the Touch to communicate using VOIP — using Skype. Also it has new speakers & microphone.

"These aren't available until the end of the month". The Touch & Nano will come in October. They'll start taking orders for the iPhone 5 on Friday the 14th. IOS 6 will come a week later, about Sep 26. By the time iPhone 5 starts shipping, it will have IOS 6.

Paul noted that if you get a contract with AT&T right now, you'll pay $99 for the iPhone 4S and $199 for a 16gig iPhone 5.

For those looking to upgrade from an earlier iPhone, you can get AT&T to unlock the old phone before you sell it. This will improve its resale value. It's important that the original contract owner requests the unlocking — it's much easier to accomplish than if the buyer tries to do it. An unlocked phone will no longer be tied to AT&T and can then be used with other carriers by a simple change of the SIM card. T-Mobile is making a effort to signup users with unlocked phones <I think T-Mobile may still have an unlimited data plan, as mentioned in previous shows>

Mikail said you can get $350 to $380 for an iPhone 4S in good condition, using Amazon, if it's legitimately unlocked. Normally, you'd have to wait until the contract has expired, but Mikail said he's heard of some phones being unlocked before the end of the contract.

The iPod Touch comes in 5 colors now. And, Mikail said, you can get any of these devices in red "which benefits the African AIDS program" — a portion of the profits are donated.

The dimensions of these devices are different from the previous models and require different cases. E.g. the screen is 4" screen where it used to be 3.5" — you'll get a 16:9 proportion and a 1360 X 640 image.

They have a new dock connector called "Lightning". It's an 8-pin connector that's faster and it can be inserted in either orientation. There's a $10 adapter to accommodate the users of the older connector. <Here is an NPR news story about it.>

Glenn noted that the Apple connectors have had a good history and that his cords tend to break before the connector.

Mikail said that much synching is now done using the cloud or wirelessly so the cord is used less. He said both the iPhone & iPod have the 802.11n wi-fi capability for increased speed.

Mikail said Sprint still has an uncapped data plan. AT&T & Verizon have family plans, but he's read reviews showing people end up spending more <more than the individual plan, I guess>. If you've been using an old unlimited data plan, you may want to think twice before switching to these family plans.

Mikail said he'd been using wi-fi to get his data on his jailbroken phone, so he didn't need a substantial data plan from the phone company. Paul concurred and said that wi-fi is the way to go. LTE is nice & fast but businesses, especially, will be concerned about the cost, Mikail said.

Glenn said the family plans from Verizon & AT&T have unlimited voice minutes but they get you for the data. He said there might be an advantage to these plans if you have a several devices on the contract at once. <Do your homework>

Paul said LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and was originally called 3GPP and was intended to provide a way for increased data transmission without too much change in infrastructure.

A caller with an iPhone 4 asked it he needed to call AT&T to have it jailbroken.
– No, the word is 'unlock' — AT&T doesn't like to hear about jailbreaking.

He also said he just got back from a foreign country where he used the phone to get just a little bit of data. When he got back there was a message from AT&T saying "call us immediately to avoid substantial charges". He had incurred a bill of almost $600. Mikail said there are 2 things to avoid high charges abroad.
– Turn off the cellular data under settings -> general.
– <he didn't get to the second thing>

The caller said AT&T offered him a $30 data plan and to backdate it to include the data for which he was being charged $600.

He went on to say he put up a Yagi antenna pointed to Banner Mountain and added a Wilson cell phone amp to improve his cellular reception. He's now getting 3G & 4G speeds. He also noticed that his iPad 3 will not do 3G, it's 4G only. Mikail said that's changed with the iPhone 5 <meaning that it can do 3G, I guess> but there's no hope for the caller's iPad 3 — there's no software update, its hardware is built only for 4G.

He then asked about changing cell phone carriers when abroad.
– When you get to the foreign country, shop around. There are cellular companies as well as independents that can sell you a plan.
– Then, just take the current SIM card out of the phone and put in the one you just bought.
– Pick a reputable brand name.

The caller said he got the Wilson cell phone amp from Banner Communications for $600. It's the model 65.

Glenn asked the caller what text (txt) options he has and was told there is no option — he pays 25 cents for each text message. Mikail revealed his strategy to avoid texting charges — he gives people his Google Voice number, if they want to send him a text message "because if you have an Apple device, any Apple device, on IOS 5 or later all your text messaging including pictures and files is all free, it cost you nothing…" "…so anybody else with an iPhone, iPad or a Mac address that you send to, it cost you nothing to send to them. It only costs the people, like say, on a Samsung or an HTC or an LG phone or Nokia or whatever. So what I do is I give them my Google Voice number for those folks and I keep my Apple number for the other folks. So that way I still don't pay anything for my texting at all and I can send text with emoticons or pictures or files or whatever and you get around this whole nonsense of them charging you for it." <I hope that made sense>

Glenn encouraged listeners to become KVMR members.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on this show are those of the speakers only and not necessarily those of KVMR, its board, management, staff or contributors. If things go wrong it's your fault.

Ron called. He has iMac running Snow Leopard. He wants to access its hard drive from an iPad.
– There's software for the iPad for about $20 to create a VPN.
– You can't just do conventional sharing, as far as Mikail knows.|
– Glenn said Teamviewer can do it too. It not only can transfer files but use the programs on the remote machine.
– With the new operating system called Mountain Lion you can just drag files from one desktop to another. <I think this is for the sharing facility and doesn't apply to the caller's question>

Paul asked about updating to Mountain Lion (version 10.8). Can you update to it from version 10.5?
– No, you have to have Snow Leopard version 10.68 but no earlier version.
– Mountain Lion cost $19.95.
– Most compatibility problem with Mountain Lion are due to the older Power PC processors, according to Mikail.
– The only problem Mikail has with Mountain Lion is due to the MacBook Air he's using. It sometimes doesn't wake up correctly — the screen comes up but he can't do anything with it. It's a problem with MacBook Air, he said.
– When you upgrade, any incompatible applications you have are quarantined to a special folder.
– Glenn asked about processor compatibility and Mikail said just search with the words compatibility core 2 duo for instance. Machines made in late 2007 or later should be compatible with Mountain Lion.

Ron has a Mac with OS version 10.5 and wanted to know if he can go directly to Mountain Lion.
– You have to go to 10.68, as mentioned above. Then upgrade to Mountain Lion.
– Or you can wipe the drive and start fresh.
– Apple recently ran a promotion where you could get Snow Leopard for next to nothing so you can then upgrade to Mountain Lion. They want customers to get the latest OS. Do a Google search to find Snow Leopard for cheap/free.

Paul noted that Mountain Lion does not support telephone modems. Mikail said there is a USB device that can work if you mess with it a bit.

Robert called. He bought a Windows XP machine a couple of years ago. When he inquired at a store about upgrading to Windows 7, he was told to hold off until October when Windows 8 will be released.
– Just stick with XP if everything is working ok.
– If you plan to go to Windows 8, wait a year or so for any problems to be worked out.

Scott called to say he bought Snow Leopard for $30 and then got a copy for free. So, he's willing to sell a copy to Ron (above) for $15.
– Glenn suggested Scott call in to the Flea Market tomorrow or call the office now & leave a phone number or even email zen at kvmr dot org with the number so he can be connected to Ron.

If you're stuck with Mac OS 10.4 because your processor speed is 800 megahertz or less, or you have a G4, you'll find the Firefox browser, greater than version 3.6 will not install. There's a project called Tenfourfox you can use.

Mark called to say Sprint supports iPhone and is an alternative to the pricey Verizon & AT&T plans and has an unlimited voice, data and text plan. However, Sprint tends not to work well in Nevada County and Mark said Sprint gave him an 'air cell' to plug into his router. His calls now go over his broadband connection. Of course, you may still have problems when you leave the house.

Barry called. He bought an older Mac G417 a few years ago and he's not receiving software updates as he expects.
– Mikail said he's lucky to get any updates. It's the end of the road for that machine — though you can continue using it as you have in the past, for word processing etc.
– Paul suggested converting to the Linux operating system. Of course, it's not going to be a Mac any more.

Barry felt he was being forced to buy a newer machine.
– It's not that the companies are forcing you to get a new machine, they just can't afford to support old equipment.

Paul said there are user communities for various old computers and operating systems like CP/M, which he and Mikail started on. He suggested Barry look try oldmac.com.

Betsie called. She uses an iMac and was recently copying a CD that was chipped and now the drive stopped working.
– Never put a physically defective CD into a player or computer. You may have damaged the drive mechanism or the laser.
– It can be costly to replace an internal CD drive.
– For about $40 you can get an external drive that works thru the USB port.

The podcast of this show MIGHT possibly become available here.

Last updated 12:06 AM 9/27/2012 (changed Berry to Barry)