18 Jul 2010 @ 5:39 PM 
iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

Apple have made their iOS 4.0.1 software upgrade available today. Unlike other upgrades, you don’t receive a critical security fix that will keep you safer, and you don’t get a new feature that will make your use of the phone even more complete. What you do get is a better way of displaying how well (or how bad) the phone reception is in your area.

This is in response to the recent bad press received by the launch of the new iPhone 4 regarding the loss of signal that can occur when you are holding the phone. Apple admitted that the algorithm to calculate the number of bars shown for a given signal strength was incorrect and this new and complete iOS update will fix that “problem”.

This is truly a great and worthy update to spend time downloading. You will now see just exactly how crap the phone service in your area actually is instead of being lulled into a false sense of security with the full 5 bars at all times until you are out of range.

While I think the iPhone 4 is a nice piece of design work and will no doubt raise the bar yet again amongst handset makers to try and compete, it does highlight one major design flaw that seems evident across a range of technology devices; design over function.

Devices that are designed to send and receive signals require an antenna. Very simple, something that has been known about radio based transmission devices for a large number of years now. Unfortunately the antenna on the common mobile phone seems to have gradually over time vanished. The average consumer possible thought that new technology came about to relieve the need for an antenna, however not really. All phones regardless of model or design have an antenna place somewhere within the device. It may not be obvious however it is there.

In the case of the iPhone 4, it would seem that the need to keep to the design standard of Apple won out over the need to actually produce a product that would viably work in common use scenarios. The antenna on the iPhone 4 is actually wrapped around the outside of the casing in an effort to save space. Holding the phone (as you normally would while making a phone call) attenuates the signal to the point where it may either lose the call or connection you are on or at the very least degrade it.

Now comes the corporate spin part. One possible fix to this problem is to use the Apple produced iPhone 4 bumper case. Hmmm, could it be possible that Apple were prepared for this occurrence?

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 18 Jul 2010 @ 05:39 PM

Tags: , ,
Categories: Mobile, Software, Technology


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