TechTalkUK Podcast 1

January 16th, 2011 | Posted by Nick Robinson in Podcast - (1 Comments)

Happy New Year, So the big news is we are changing, after starting out as an iPad/Tablet show we have decided to open it up to include tech in general, but with a strong UK bias.

So from this show on we will still be talking about iPads and Tablets, but also PC’s, Mac, Mobiles…in fact anything that’s interesting in the tech world. (more…)

iPhone 4 stays (shock of the year)

September 29th, 2010 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (3 Comments)

I rather like the old saying, “I used to be indecisive, but these days, I am not sure”, and it nicely sums up the last couple of twists in the iPhone 4 sale saga.

I had the money, I sent the money back when my SO (who had bought it for me you will recall) was less than chuffed when I sold it, and Richard, my long suffering buyer allowed me to renege on the deal.

A few days later, and noticing I was not really using the iPhone 4, the SO decided that the very fact I was prepared to stick with it despite not wanting to was enough, and she declared I was free to sell it.

Richard had been tweeting that he still wanted one, so I asked him, and he sent me the money again :-). We both bank at the same place, and transfers are instant, so it was at least easy to do :-)

That was fine, and THIS TIME I actually did restore the iPhone 4 to 4.1 which as I write this is not able to be jailbroken, and by so doing, I felt I was sealing the whole thing as I can not possibly use an iPhone without the JB :-)

Now, a small apology here, if you heard the latest PSC you will have heard me say that the iPhone has gone off to the buyer, that was a tiny white lie, and for reasons that shall remain private, I was not actually to post it till today. I actually think I was trying to convince myself that if I told you lot it had gone, I might actually stick with the decision!

So, on Tuesday night, I came home, and charged the virgin, 4.1′ed iPhone 4 up fully ready to pack away in the box, ready for posting today, which was also my last day at work before heading off in the motorhome for a couple of weeks. It was all going so well, until the iPhone was fully charged, and rather than just put it in the box, I thought “hey, I have never even seen 4.1, lets have a quick look”

Fatal, and maybe this is the whole point about iPhone, and why people that have never had one will never understand, just playing around with it for 30 seconds, I was back in love with the stupid thing. I really am at a loss to explain it. 

Now, a lot of you will be thinking along the lines of never agreeing to buy something off me, and you are probably right :-), I will in my defence say that I did sit and think really carefully before sending a couple of tweets to the buyer, and I did in fairness offer to send him the full price back for the phone so he could order one from Apple, or if he insisted, I would go ahead and post the phone as agreed.

Of course, I sort of knew Richard would not insist on either of those options, and would likely just say send back the money for a second time. What I had not expected was his response, which, while it was exactly as I thought, had a couple of twists, first, he found the whole thing very funny, and most tellingly, he had taken the “gamble” of actually ordering an iPhone 4 from Apple anyway, a couple of weeks back, which I guess tells you all you need to know about Richard.

1. He is the toppest top bloke I know.

2. He actually knows me better than I know myself :-)

So, what of the iPhone 4 that I had fell out of love with? Well, one really great thing is the restore function with iTunes. 20 mins after Richard said keep it, I had my old machine back, sans Jailbreak of course (I do have SHSH blobs saved on Cydia, but this close to my holiday, I decided to go stock for a couple of weeks).  Say what you like about Apple, and iTunes, but Android could do with something like this, and I don’t mean a series of kludges like Appbrain/Titanium/ which while undoubtably good, are not a patch on the Apple way.

I used the iPhone 4 exclusively today, and am back in love with it, the keyboard is simple lovely, much better than even the best Android one, and having my entire CD collection, rather than having to choose which to put on the card (too tight to splash £80 on a 32GB MicroSD) is nice again.

So, is the SGS going? No, I am currently fortunate that I can afford to keep both, podcasting does pay extremely well as you all know :-) 

So, the good news for you lot is that I am not on PSC for a couple of weeks, so you will not have to hear about this nonsense for a while, although I may do a quick audioboo from the motorhome if I can get a signal on the iPhone :-)

Oh, one final thought, if you know where I live and are thinking its great that I am publishing that I will be away, its fine, all the good kit is coming with me, and a friend is using the house for a couple of weeks :-)




Oh dear, and I promised you a full review and in depth comparison between at least the iPhone and the Galaxy S over on Twitter this week.

Sadface. I am going to have to let you all down with a very short piece I am afraid. Sorry. Oh, why?

Well, as you all probably know, I am not paid to do this, nor do I have advertising to get you to click, or suchlike as some sites do. No, I do this for fun :-)

And the fact is, iPhone 4 has me totally at this point, hook, line and sinker. Antenna Gate, Smantenna Gate, I just love the whole thing, and nothing else is coming close.

Sorry Android folks, I do keep trying, and will doubtless lose money again when the Galaxy S goes on eBay soon, but I just can not do it. I am going to try to tell you why, but I doubt you will get it, I am not sure I get it myself to be honest.

So, I bought the Galaxy S while away for a few days, I needed a bit of tech and it was cheapish, only £329 on O2 and that included an (unwanted..bah) SIM card with £10 on it. Bonus was it is unlocked as well.

Back to my motorhome, and fire it up, screen is bloody lovely, really nice. Sign into Google, no need to activate it like iPhone, and no need to have  PC or Mac to do so. Good stuff. But setup is only a one time affair, so does it count for much, really.

First thing I need is Twitter, so off to get the official App from the Market Place, after all, the same dev on iPhone has the best Twitter client by miles, so this will be great right. Wrong. On Android its horrible, truly horrible, and I soon dump it and get the great Seesmic, the closest thing I can find on Android for now. 

But it is still not great. I use Twitter a lot now, a real lot, and on iPhone its so slick, read a tweet, hit the link, it opens in Tweetie 2 (its just Twitter now on iPhone but I will ALWAYS see it as Tweetie 2 :-), and I hit the little arrow icon, hit Read Later, which rather confusingly sends the article to InstaPaper, which, I can read at my own pace, online, offline, on the web, on my iPhone, or on my iPad. On my Android, nope, no Instapaper for me. Or you.

Of course, you will already be hitting comments, or emailing me to say there is an Instapaper clone for Android. Yeah, I know, but I don’t want clone, I want original.

But hell, its only Twitter, lets move on to email. This has to be better than iPhone surely? 

Its damned easy to setup, give them that, but oddly, reading it via the Gmail client is not as good as you may think, first of all, if you want pictures, you appear to have to click each time, and if you want to go back to inbox, you have to use either menu and click a link, or use the back key. And if you want to read newer mail, again, you have to use the menu each time. OK, in 2.2 there is a forward and back icon on screen, but this is 2.1, with no fixed date for 2.2.

Can you imagine the fuss if Apple said tomorrow, “we are pleased to announce the iPhone XYZ, and it comes with iOS 3.1.3″  Can you? But Android suppliers from HTC to Samsung, to seem to do this over and over again, and think there is nothing wrong with that?

On iPhone, email is so easy, pictures always load, and no side to side scrolling required, WTF is that all about Goggle? A little up and down arrow for newer or older, and an arrow for back to Inbox, so simple, so slick.

What about Keyboards. If I really have to tell you how many light years ahead the iOS keyboard if from any Android keyboard, well, honestly, you have never used an iPhone keyboard for any length of time. The Galaxy S one is especially poor, and yes of course I know I have endless choice of keyboard on Android, unlike that nasty locked down iOS thing, but here is the whole point, one keyboard is plenty when it is as good as iPhone’s keyboard.

OK, web browsing then, surely Galaxy S wins here? Nope. Look, its only Apple’s webkit that allows your Androiders to have a pretty good web experience anyway, and don’t you forget it!  I will call this one a draw, well until you need a bloody keyboard in the web browser…….oh, and still no Instapaper, which is like having chips without vinegar.

But please, I hear you cry, there must be something about Galaxy S that is better than iPhone, surely, please, just one thing? Maybe it holds signal better? As you all know by now, iPhone 4 can not make ANY calls, nor does it hold ANY signal once you get within 10 feet of the steel band……..well OK, Gizmodo mode off……but no, sorry, in a weak signal area, the Galaxy S seems to fair a bit worse than iPhone 4 does on same network etc, and although I can not be arsed to join the world and his cat doing more death grip videos, I promise you the iPhone 4, does pretty damned well on my weak signal here.

So, that is it, sorry if I upset anyone, it is only MY opinion, and remember the old proverb, “opinions are like arseholes, everybody has got one”


EDIT 18/8: Decided to buy the Galaxy S again, and my latest thoughts can be found HERE






In general, the Google stuff syncs very nicely with the iOS devices, second only to Android, and until Google decided to launch a phone, I think they allowed Apple quite detailed access to allow this. You can for example sync up to 25 calendars to the iPhone.

This quick guide will get you up and running with Google services on your iPhone or other iOS device. (more…)

iPhone 4 Antenna

June 30th, 2010 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)


Take a good look at that bar photo above. it pretty much explains the whole issue with iPhone 4 antenna situation.

Its taken from this fantastic article and does a far better job of answering this issue than EVERYTHING else I read in the last 5 days!

What it effectively shows is that on iPhone 4, you can lose 39dB of signal, and stay on 5 bars, but lose just 14dB more, and you drop to just 1 bar!! 


UPDATE: 2/7/10  Apple just released this LETTER which to my mind is still written a little bit defensively, and will doubtless set off those people who don’t own an iPhone 4, or live in such a strong signal area they will never notice it.

OK, first off, a couple of myths to deal with, IMHO.

1. There are “good” iPhone 4′s and “bad” iPhone 4′s

I do not believe this at all, in the mass produced world of these things, I believe all iPhone 4′s have this issue. It is explained however by “there are good signal areas, and there are bad signal areas”

It is also explained by the photo above, the BARS are completely wrongly scaled to make it look like oyu have stronger signal than your really do.

2. If you wiggle/remove/reinsert/put tape around/mess about with/wait 20 mins/ your SIM card this will solve your issue.

Again, sorry, do not believe it at all. When you do all of the above, your are either reconnecting with the tower, or indeed contacting a better tower. 

So what is going on?

One of the strangest things about this whole situation is that many people were claiming that they simply did not have this issue at all, and even some popular podcasts this week were saying it was a non issue.

I had always said it was real, but that on the other hand, this iPhone 4 gave me better signal in some places than other phones, and from reading the above letter, I can now see that in actual fact, that may not be true at all, when this fix is pushed out, it may turn out that I have no signal at home, just like my old 3GS.

However, and this is the crux of the matter really, I don’t think that is the case, as I can at least pick the iPhone 4 up at home and make a call using O2, which I could not do with the 3GS, nor can I do so with the Nexus One.

What is quite shocking about the letter to me though is the admission that for 3 years, Apple has faked the Bars on the phone to make it look like you had more signal, or more accurately, as much signal as your old Nokia! I have always maintained that you can not beat Nokia for pure phone signal, and I think its fair to say even Nokia have made some phones lately that do not carry on the tradition and earlier phones.

Anyway, with the new information today, and my use for over a week now, I am changing my advice on buying an iPhone 4

Case A: You live in a good or excellent signal area, and rarely use your phone outside of this area.

I would say go right ahead and get an iPhone 4. Get it from Apple with a 14 day return clause and see how you get on.

Case B: You use the phone in a known area of weak signal.

I would now say that if you hold your phone in your left hand, you need to take a good look at the pictures of iPhone 4, and assure yourself that you could hold it without bridging the little black line on the left corner of the phone. Again, no real risk if you get it from Apple, check first if you are buying on contract that you have a returns period. There are various catches, such as with T-Mobile, if you use Streetcheck before you order, you can return it, if you don’t, you can’t, although UK law always allows 7 days under the Distance Selling Regs.

O2 are taking this DSR thing away from you if you buy out your current iPhone contract and update early, on the basis that they are not selling you a new item but extending service contract which does fall outside of DSR. FWIW I think they are acting illegally here, but be aware of it.

Case C: You are me

First of all, well done. I only make and receive 2/3 calls a day, and am on Wi-Fi apart from 25 mins each day. 

This issue does not affect Wi-Fi, and I do like the other features of the iPhone 4. 

I am perfectly capable of holding the phone in such a way as to not touch the 1cm spot in question.

You also have to remember that I have the Nexus One, and it is not perfect, but today I found out for the first time that while I can always repeat the Apple issue WITH A WEAK SIGNAL, I can not always repeat it with the same SIM in the N1. The signal does drop away when I hold it, but it usually comes back after a few seconds, unlike the iPhone 4 which stays away until you let go of the join.

Having said all of this, getting hold of an iPhone 4 is still a challenge in the UK, with O2 and Apple Stores being the best bet at this time. 


iPhone 4 Early Thoughts

June 24th, 2010 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (Comments Off)

Well, I said I would not have one, but you all knew that was rubbish I guess. I managed to pre order my iPhone 4 around 1pm on Tuesday the 15th, and it arrived today, (24th) just like Apple said it would. As I write this, I feel it is important to be open and honest about the phone, I think I am a bit of a fanboy, but will try to remain objective. I also want to keep this first look fairly brief, mainly as I have not really played with it very much.

I had my 3GS 32GB for just over a year, and in that time, it was quite simply the best smartphone I had ever owned. Looking back, at least part of that was due to being able to jailbreak the phone, something I will not be doing this time I have decided. My main reason to jailbreak was to install two very simple MP3 files, one said “You have Mail”, the other “You have Message”, and they were the simplest and best way I found of being able to hear a tone. It seems amazing to me, with some of the other stuff Apple has done, that in 2010 you still can not change an Email, or SMS tone to a file of your choice. But, that said, I am still not going to jailbreak. So onto the new phone. (more…)