Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guide on How to Replace the iPhone Screen

Since my post a while back providing video tutorials on how to replace a cracked iPhone screen seems to be a more popular post I thought it might be helpful for some who are looking to do this difficult repair to have a guide on how to go about fixing the iPhone.  This do it yourself project should only be attempted by those that are confident in their ability to work on delicate electronics and are willing to void the warranty for their iPhone.  This project should cost between $50 and $150 depending on where you get your parts and which ones you will need to get.

Where Do You Get the Parts to Fix Your iPhone Screen

Of course when you attempt to do this project you are going to make sure you can get all of the tools required to replace the iPhone screen.  First thing is first though, you need to determine whether you have broken just the front panel (glass covering the display) or the actual display (lcd) itself.  The easiest way to tell is if everything still looks clear aside from the broken glass.  If all of the pixels appear undamaged and there are no odd colors then you are probably in luck and it is only the front panel that needs to be replaced.  This could save you around $70 since the display is the most expensive part.  The guide to fix the screen is the same with the exception of actually using the new display or not; the video in this post does a great job of explaining that as well.

There are a few places that you can go to get iPhone parts and tools.  Without a doubt, iFixit is your best place to start your search for parts and tools for the repair.  iFixit has plenty of parts for most anything that you need Mac related and they also provide repair guides for the DIY project you are planning to do.  Although iFixit is a great place to get these items, there are other places that may have the parts and it may be a good idea to shop around so you get the best price on your iPhone parts.  Rapid Repair is a great site which has iPhone parts and also offers repair services if you think that you may be in over your head.  eTech Parts looks to have a good selection with some good prices and there is always eBay.  iFixit and Rapid Repair are probably the best places to get the necessary tools if you do not have them already. 

 How Do You Replace the iPhone 3G Screen

This guide will be very similar to the one for the iPhone 3GS, but you should make sure that you use the guide that applies to your specific model of iPhone if you are still using a first generation iPhone.

There are a few tools that you will need a also a couple of parts.  You will need a Phillips #00 Screwdriver,  a small suction cup, and a spudger.  The parts required would of course be the display and the front panel which is actually the covering for the display.  Once you have these items you should head on over to iFixit for the full guide on how to repair the screen.  There is also a somewhat humorous video below that goes through the process for an iPhone 3G.  It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with both before attempting to do the repair.

Can You Replace An iPhone Screen Yourself

At this point you may be asking yourself, "can I replace the iPhone screen myself?"  The video above should make you a little more confident in your ability to do this repair, but if you do feel uncomfortable it may be a good idea to get a professional to repair it.  Apple will of course do the repair for you, but it will cost you about $100 more to get them to do it for you.   This will allow you to retain your warranty though, and it also could give you peace of mind.  Unfortunately, there is no fun in that approve at all.  If you are good with gadgets and think that you can be careful when doing the repair then you are probably going to be just fine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

AT&T Speaks Out About Their Network

It turns out that AT&T has not taken kindly to all of the Verizon ads lately knocking their network. It seems that the two networks are playing nice now after a small legal battle that was childish at best and just managed to bring light to the whole deal anyway; making it a lose lose for AT&T.  After the dust has settled a little bit though, I got this email from AT&T.  They decided to email me and let me know that their service was great and getting better all of the time.

Normally I would just think this was some email that I had signed up for accidently when buying something, but I know that for AT&T I had specifically told them not to send anything.  They sent it anyway and it only puts more bang in Verizon's advertising buck.  True, it does speak well about AT&T's network and it does try and reassure us all that they are working hard to make it better, but only when they are under the gun.  Shouldn't AT&T be working on their network all of the time.  I know that AT&T has to defend their brand whenever it is slandered in someone else's advertising, but AT&T should have addressed many issues long before deciding to take on the iPhone.  The iPhone has done so much to damage AT&T's reputation that AT&T has actually started to advertise their other devices more heavily to soften the blow when they lose exclusivity of the iPhone.  There will probably be a huge shift in brand loyalty when the iPhone does become available for other carriers, but unfortunately only time will tell.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

iPhone to Verizon

Although it is just a rumor, it has been floating around so it may be worth a mention. With all of these Droid commercials and "there's a map for that" stuff you would think that Apple and Verizon will never have a partnership, but the truth is there is a perfect transition here that could truly make sense. The "Droid Does" campaign was not a very good one for the argument, but if Verizon keeps pushing the fact that their network is much better and you should pick your network and then your phone we could see a perfect shift to the iPhone coming on to Verizon's network. We have always known that Verizon was greedy and wanted too much control of the iPhone and so Apple had to logically fall back on ATT as the second best partner. Verizon is really kicking themselves right now since Apple and ATT have been living it up, but if Verizon gets a second chance it could mean great things for Apple and not so great things for ATT. I think with all of the talk of bad networks that ATT could actually see a decline in their subscriber numbers if Verizon were to get the iPhone. I for one would consider the switch if only to give Verizon a chance. The only reason that I ever switched from T-Mobile was because of the iPhone and to have a choice between the two biggest wireless providers in the US would just make it more dependent upon the network. Only time will tell if we are going to get a chance to have a big red iPhone, but hopefully we will get the option so that it helps pull prices down a little.

Friday, September 11, 2009

iPhone OS 3.1 kills Tethering Hack

AT&T has yet to release a tethering option for iPhone owners, but there was at least a little hack that was discovered which would allow you to use tethering for free without jailbreaking or unlocking your iPhone. Unfortunately, as promised, the new firmware for the iPhone does break that hack so that you can no longer use your tethering to surf the web on the go. There are a few upgrades that may be worth the update; especially alongside the iTunes updates that you can now use in conjunction, but still the loss of tethering is a major bummer. Hopefully someone will find another easy way to get the tethering working again for free and without jailbreaking. If I find one I will be sure to post it here.

Apple's New Snow Leopard

So now that Snow Leopard has been released and everyone has gotten a chance to get their copy it sounds like it is well worth the switch. Are you going to update your mac to Snow Leopard or are you going to wait for the next OS to make the upgrade? I have been anxiously awaiting the new OS especially since it has a lot of under the hood improvements that actually help with making your mac run more quickly. For a $30 upgrade cost it is not something that I think I can pass up. Sure I probably will not see much of a difference, but it is always good to keep as up to date as possible. Windows 7 on the other hand made a lot of improvements to the looks of the Windows platform, but possibly not as much focus on the internals. It is however, supposed to work much better than its predecessor so everyone is still working in the right direction it would seem.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blogpress Review

After using Blogpress for a little while and having some experience with customer support I feel it is time for a full review. This iPhone app has a lot to offer for mobile bloggers and is really the top pick if you are looking for an app to do bloggng for a few different blogs.

First Impressions

The app overall felt like a very solid one at first, but soon I found out that I was not able to connect to Wordpress. I have two main blogs; this one and Dave's Movie Reviews which is on Wordpress. I liked the Wordpress app, but it did not allow for placement and sizing of the photos. This was a must for my movie review blog so I set out to find a decent blogging app for the iPhone that had more functionality. At first I wondered about the price, but after using the app I have to say that it is well worth the few dollars. So how did I resolve the Wordpress connection issue; it was quite simple actually because customer support was quick and helpful. I tried a couple of their stock troubleshooting techniques with no avail so then I decided to email customer support for help. In only a few hours I had a response. After a couple days and a few emails the issue was resolved. I am not sure what I was doing wrong, but the customer support was friendly fast and helpful so I have to give them top notches for that.


The app is not free from it's glitches, but I am hoping that constant improvements will be made to alleviate some of those issues. The first thing I noticed was the ability to do landscape editing of the post. This is a mus for any true blogging software on the iPhone because it allows you to type a whole lot faster and easier. Now even though it is included in this software I would say it is a little inconsistent. You can only switch to landscape view while in the body of your post. This is not that much of a problem, but is not very intuitive and I see no reason that you should not be able to all navigation and editing in landscape mode. Also, there have been a couple times when the app got stuck in landscape and I had to close it out and restart and also a few times where it failed to go into landscape mode entirely. This is the main complaint about the app for sure. The great news is the ability to add your own photos to posts and be able to place them and size then to your liking. The main reason I chose this app proves to be quite useful and works great. I have heard of people having trouble with length of posts, but I have not had any trouble with that yet. I also would not mind a few more formatting and sizing of text options, but this is a great start. If you are looking for a great blogging app that works with wordpress and blogger then this is your app.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blogpress - iPhone App First Impressions

I just purchased Blogpress for the iPhone so that I can do a little more mobile blogging. Mainly, I have been annoyed with the lack of a Google blogger iPhone app so I thought I would see what third party apps were available. Blogpress had the best reviews out of the apps I saw and it is supposed to work with a few blogging formats including the two that I use; Blogger and Wordpress. So far it is pretty good; although the main concern now is that I cannot get wordpress to work. I am hoping that the support ticket I sent in gets answered quickly and then I would probably give this app high praise. We will have to wait and see though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tethering With Your iPhone 3GS

It turns out that even though AT&T does not allow tethering that there is still a way around that. To unlock the feature and use your iPhone as a wireless modem for your laptop just check out this post at 9 to 5 Mac.

There are a few easy steps:

1. Download the file at 9 to 5 Mac
2. Open the file with iTunes
3. Connect your iPhone and option click the restore button in iTunes and select the open file
4. Go to settings/general/network/internet tethering on your iPhone and turn it on

This will allow you to connect by USB or by Bluetooth; I have tested both and it did not seem to make a difference in speed. What have you found to be faster when tethering? Just remember that if you tether too much AT&T may catch you and can suspend your account or charge you hefty fees. Good luck and happy tethering!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone 3G S First Impressions


After actually receiving my iPhone 3G S on the 19th as promised, I decided to take a few shots while unboxing it just for good measure. The only noticeable difference when you first look at the box is how much smaller it is than the iPhone 3G box and the “S” after iPhone 3G. I opened it up to find a device that looked much like the one I had purchased almost a year ago. The upgrades are clearly on the inside of the phone; two things on the outside of the iPhone are apparent after looking it over and using it a little bit. First, the lettering that says iPhone and 16GB (in my case) is now shiny like the Apple towards the top of the back casing. In addition, the screen clearly does not smudge as easily. This was noticeable from the first time that I touched the screen. On my iPhone 3G I would get smudges from the first touch and it just built and built until it looked awful. Now it actually does not smudge that much and the little that it does is cleaned off much easier. It almost only takes putting it in your pocket for a little and it will be a clean screen. This is definitely a great plus which was not mentioned much when the iPhone 3G S was announced.

Syncing and Activation

Upon connecting it to my MacBook Pro I found that it had to activate and restore from a previous backup of my iPhone 3G which did take a while since I had a lot of apps and music on it. In fact, I took the movies off of the sync just because I did not want to take that long. After it was done syncing it still said there was no service and that activation may take some time. I went online to check what kind of wait we were talking about here and found that Apple was reporting up to 48 hours activation time before the phone was ready to go so I tried swapping the old SIM card out with the new one even though it said on the instructions not to do so. I found that to work right away and was happily exploring my new device. I guess it is possible that the switch between the SIM cards will eventually happen and I will have to put the new SIM card back in, but I kind of doubt it. In any case, I will be keeping my new SIM card around for at least a week to be on the safe side.

First impressions

The first thing I tried out on the new phone was the compass. I wanted to see how well it worked. It works great, but actually orienting your Google Maps app to the direction you are facing is not intuitive at all. It took me a few tries to figure that out. All you have to do is touch the current location button on the lower left of the screen and then press it again. Then it will spin the map to the direction you are facing. It may ask you to calibrate your compass by waving the iPhone in a figure 8 motion, but once it is locked it works great. It is amazing how much better the Maps application is by adding just this one simple thing to it. This is one of the simplest and yet most effective upgrades on the phone.

Another thing I noticed just from opening up an app or two and playing with different programs was how much zippier the phone felt. Everything opens faster and refreshes and loads faster which while not making it instantaneous it does make it a smoother and cleaner experience. It already seemed a little better when I upgraded the iPhone 3G to the 3.0 software, but the 3G S really does mean speed. In case you are wondering, there have been a few speed tests going around to see how fast the iPhone is compared to the T-Mobile G1 and the Sprint Palm Pre and the new iPhone is faster than both.

I did also try the voice control a bit, but found that it was not as impressive as some other functions of the phone and I will likely not be using it much in the future. I will give it a few more tries probably, but I just don't see the big advantage even if I was trying to use the phone while driving since it was not as accurate as I had hoped. The next great thing about the new iPhone is the video capture ability and quick and simple editing. Although I have not had much time to play with that I have used it a little and found the picture quality to be quite good for a phone for sure and decent for a dedicated portable video camera. This is sure to make those cheap handheld camcorders worry about their market share. I will talk more about the camera and video camera in a later post.


The overall experience of getting the iPhone 3G S as compared to the 3G and the original was not as exciting, but was much less stressful and more enjoyable. The main reason is that I was able to pre-order it from AT&T and it was shipped directly to me instead of having to wait in line. Also, I actually got it on the day it came out instead of waiting in line at AT&T last year only to find out after two hours of waiting that the manager had lied when he said there were plenty of phones for everyone. The activation process was also a breeze since I was able to just sync the phone and switch the SIM cards rather than wait for a long time for an AT&T rep to waste my time with an activation that should take a couple minutes. All in all the experience has been a really good one and although the fact that the outside of the iPhone looks almost identical takes away from the excitement, the internal upgrades are quite noticeable with normal use and are likely to increase the productivity and functionality greatly for this next year while we wait for the new ones to comes out next June or July.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The iPhone 3G S is Finally Here!

After a whole year of anticipation (maybe a slight exaggeration) our wait if finally over. Today Apple and AT&T are releasing the iPhone 3G S to the eager public. This iPhone promises to be more of an internal upgrade than an external, but as Apple has said in the past it is more about the software than the hardware. While other companies are pushing the hardware specs of their devices, Apple is talking about software and functionality. This is what truly separates the iPhone and Apple from other phones and phone manufacturers.

With all that said though, the new iPhone has a lot of impressive specs to present. Apple claims that it is twice as fast and in fact that has been proven to be true with most normal tasks that the iPhone is given. This versions will especially see improvements in graphically intensive games which the older model had some difficulties running at times. Even with the increases power of the phone though, it still manages to get a little bit better battery life. Of course we would all like to see that day when we could have an iPhone that would last a week on one charge, but that is just not going to happen anytime soon.

I am hoping to have my new iPhone 3G S soon so I will post some unboxing photos and start to work on a full review.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Could This be the Next iPhone?

Picture from MacRumors.com

There are photos circulating that are supposedly the next iPhone. If the photos are real, then it would certainly be an improvement upon the current model's casing. I like the shiny black just fine, but a matte black with a little bit of grip to it would be a great idea. Also, bringing back the metal casing on the back instead of the plastic one that we have now would make the iPhone feel much more sturdy which is definitely something I liked about the original iPhone. We will have to wait and see of course if these are in fact real photos, but for now we can speculate and try and figure out what kind of casing we would like the best. The next iPhones are likely to come out around the middle of the year since this is when Apple has stated as the normal life cycle of the iPhone. Above is the picture compliments of MacRumors.com

UPDATE - it turns out that this is in fact not the new iPhone case, but it was either a consideration by Apple or a way to identify a leak in there staff. In either case it would have been very nice for the new iPhone to have a matte finish, but hopefully they consider it for the next one.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flash for iPhone Coming?

There have recently been talks about Adobe bringing flash to the iPhone, but it has been almost two years since the original iPhone came out so does it really matter anymore.  Apple has been working on doing more than just fit the mold of every other company out there and has actually tried to make things the way they want them.  Flash is a great example of this.  Apple decided not to encourage Adobe to create flash for the iPhone in hopes that Apple can help push the internet to work better with the iPhone and possibly create a new platform that could make Flash obsolete.  This is an incredibly bold move that hopefully in the long run will make it possible for iPhones to have rich internet experiences, but for now it seems like it is hindering the internet experience.  Now that the iPhone is so popular it gives Apple more leverage to push for internet reform, but will it be enough to actually make any sort of dint in the out of date internet?  We will have to wait and see.

Update: Adobe has officially stated that Apple has not allowed them to make flash for iPhone.  This is sad for all of us wanting a full internet experience now.  I admit that flash is out of date and far to processor intensive, but it is still the king for delivering rich internet experiences.  Maybe some day Apple will allow Adobe to bring flash to the iPhone, but until then we can only hope that more people make mobile versions of their site that do not require flash for them to be used.