Thursday, August 21, 2008

iPhone 2.0.2 Update - admitting a problem?

I've had my iPhone now for a few weeks and as far as the device itself is concerned I'm really impressed. I've got another post queued up to add to the noise bascially discussing how I've found it and "good bits", "bad bits" etc. but the main issue I've had since it arrived is the really, really crappy reception.

In the UK we are on O2, a company not renowned for having the best coverage (although I think they would dissagree.) On their website, they have a tool which lets you put in a postcode or town, and it shows a (crappy) map coloured to show what sort of service you should expect in that area. For my local area, the entire map is coloured to indicate full HSDPA. This means I should be getting a reasonably good 3G signal in most places. The sad reality has been that even in the MAIN street of the villiage of Bishop's Cleeve, where I should get max sig, all I see is "No Service".

It's a bit lame, but I haven't bothered (read: summoned the patience) to talk to O2 about it yet, although that call is imminent. But what surprised me the other day was a friend of mine has an LG on O2 and both phones sat next to each other on a table, one was showing strong signal and 3G while my iPhone was a single bar with no data but more often "No Service" this leads me to suspect that it is more a problem with the phone itself.

When the update came out the other day to 2.0.2 I dutifully upgraded and since then the behaviour of the phone has been... odd! Some stuff I can't really put my finger on, but the main one is that whereas in the past, when the phone was in range of a wireless network, it would be constantly connected (or rather would show itself to be.) But now, the wireless connection symbol only ever appears when the phone is actually trying to fetch data. This would be fine but on some occasions the connection isn't coming up quickly enough for Safari or Twinkle and I'm getting error messages about connection problems. This even happened in the mail app once which is quite worrying.

So what's going on? I know Apple are shitty when it comes to revealing what is being fixed by an update, but I am wondering if this is some kind of attempt at a quick fix for what seems to be an emerging flaw in either the software or hardware on the phone. If it is, is this an admission however subtle that there is a real issue? And if it is, it's failed, and it has also damaged the useability of the phone.

1 comment:

M. Santos said...

That's pretty funny, considering I heard that Europe has the best 3G coverage. I work on the 8th floor of a 9 story building a couple miles outside of Manhattan and my reception is pretty flunky, as well. We can only blame the carriers, though. It looks like 3G is ahead of its time.

I thought I was the only one who thought the 2.0.2 was quirky. Safari is very unstable for me - sometimes hanging, sometimes jumping to the home menu without any interaction on my part.

This is my first Apple product and, after all the hype over the stability that Macs have, I'm disappointed to see this kind of performance.