3 Days of 3G

Mark and his iPhone 3G

I’ve had my iPhone 3G a few days now, so I’m way past due for a blog post.

Email
At first, Gmail really sucked. Eventually I fixed most of the issues. The trick was not using the GMail setup “shortcut”, and rather to just manually configure IMAP. This page was quite helpful.

Alas, things could be better. I’m currently polling for new mail, which means an update latency of 15 minutes in the worst case. Still looking for a push mail solution that works with Gmail.

Calendar
My calendar stuff works now but again, its kludgey. I subscribe to my Google calendar with iCal, and sync it down when the phone is connected over USB. Realtime updates would be much nicer. (Update 3/9/09: Resolved! Check out the Google Sync beta.)

App Store
While the App Store is cool, I wish it would stop asking me for my damn password (especially when I am about to download an app which costs $0).

These apps are all useful and free:

  • Bloomberg.app — Better than the built-in stock app.
  • Google.app — Remember to go here when you want to initiate a search.
  • Facebook.app — The data is almost better than my contact list.

Billing
Be aware that you may lose your corporate discount when getting an iPhone. I wasn’t prepared for this.

My wife works for Microsoft. I work for AMD. Both have discount agreements with AT&T. Adding the iPhone to our family plan killed the (better) MS discount, but I was able to add the AMD discount instead.

It’s all very confusing. At one point I was told by an AT&T rep that we could get the MS discount but I would need to pay for the enterprise data plan ($45/mo instead of $30/mo).

Hacking
PwnageTool works great to jailbreak the iPhone, so long as you have an OS X machine. When you do this, you get Cydia, which is a slick port of Debian’s APT system to the iPhone. This is a great way to get cool software that Apple would never officially allow. I’ve installed the following rogue apps:

Misc
I haven’t tried to hook up with my employer’s Exchange server yet. My technical side wants to make it work — that is, until my lazy side bitch-slaps it and screams “work/life balance.”

Springboard (the home screen) looks really cluttered with 20 app-icons.

Wow, visual voicemail is nice. I had to reset my PIN before it worked, though.

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2 Responses to “3 Days of 3G”


  1. 1 Alkivar July 30, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    You should check out nuevasync http://www.nuevasync.com/ it doesnt push email (yet), but it pushes your google contacts and calendar according to one of my friends.

    there is also a kludgy way to get push gmail as well…

    how to simulate a push account for Gmail:

    1) You will need both your Gmail account and another account that
    supports “push” (like yahoo or MobileME).
    2) On your Gmail account under settings forward all new mail to your
    push account. (this will allow the iphone to see the inbound mail).
    3) On the iPhone setup mail accounts for both Gmail and your push
    account.
    4) Now under the push account turn off the primary SMTP and use the
    Gmail SMTP as the only working alternative.
    5) Turn off the Gmail account on the iPhone (to avoid duplications)

    What does this get you? Well the Push account (yahoo) will let you
    read and your gmail account will let you send with your gmail address
    intact. No need to have both accounts active.

    until gmail works properly with the iphone 2.0 this should serve

  2. 2 Mark July 31, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Thanks Jon, that’s good info. I think it’s not worth the trouble for me. I’ll just wait until Google gets its act together.

    Seems like they could just copy whatever proprietary hack Yahoo is using for push mail.


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