iPhone 5 returning home

Well, the little ding that was on the iPhone 5 when it arrived and which must have been done when it was being made over in happy Foxconn land began to irritate me more and more. Its placement, right at the top under the power button meant I couldn’t really miss it, had it been hidden away round the back, out of sight when being held in the hand then I probably wouldn’t have bothered too much but……darn it I thought, this is a £500 plus phone which arrived with a noticeable scratch on it, in the box plus it still makes that irritating rattling noise when it is held in a certain way or placed down on a table or when shaken lightly. Plus, there are now a couple more bits of paint flaking off near the original mark and I began to think, how crap will this thing look in 6 months time if that carries on?

So, I was just going to do a return on the Apple website but discovered that you only have 14 days to do that which is poor, I’m sure it used to be 30. I then had to call Apple, spoke to 3 different people including a lovely girl who sounded like Holly Hunter, she was from Kentucky and was very sympathetic to my slightly “enhanced” tale of woe re the marks and rattling. Forty minutes later and having spoken firmly to her “supervisor” and some other lady nearer home I had a swop out email from Apple with return instructions and a delivery date for the new one of early November, not ideal but not disastrous either. I felt so much better afterwards too, it was like a big weight had been lifted off me as the little marks and rattling had been riling me since I first got it and I was never really happy. I could have taken it through to the Apple Store in Glasgow for them to have a look but that would mean a 100 mile round trip and I couldn’t see myself having the time to do that for a few weeks…..and I wanted this sorted before then.

The only slight concern was that the nice lady from Apple Europe, who authorised the return, wanted me to send a photo of the marks on the phone so I took a couple of pics with my HTC One S and emailed them through within an hour or so. I heard nothing back from her that evening but the next morning I received a further email from Apple saying that I’d get my replacement “within 3-5 business days” and would receive delivery details nearer the time.

Fingers crossed.

Incipio Faxion Case for iPhone 5 review

I bought this case from here a few days ago and have been pleasantly surprised by how decent it is. Incipio are a very well know brand and for iPhones, their “Feather case” is probably the one that they are best known for. I’ve had a couple of them myself down the years…

The Faxion is a very sturdy case with a hard plastic that is glossy, not grippy, covering most of the case. The grey colouring is a softer material and adds grip. Here’s the official blurb:

“The slim durable Faxion case fuses soft and hard materials into one co-molded form. The inner layer of the form fitting case is manufactured from TPU, providing excellent shock absorbency whilst the polycarbonate-like Plextonium exterior adds additional strength and impact resistance to the case”

Yikes. The grey soft material encroaches over the edge of the sides and onto the screen, which I kind of like actually as it means all the iPhone is effectively covered/protected. The volume buttons and power button are also covered but have a very nice tactile feel, Incipio have done a good job here in keeping the responsiveness. I also like the fact there is no play in the grey material that covers the screen edges. You read about some other cases where the covering is loose, that’s the sort of thing that would annoy me hugely but the Faxion case, if you try to pull the top sides away.from the phone..well, you can’t as it so firm and solid. The drawback here being that the case is a total bugger to get off as there is so little give once the phone is in the case.

Still, I’m pretty sure this case would give some very useful drop protection as it feels so solid. It has the advantage of not feeling hugely bulky though and also offers “on the table” laying protection. The interior has a nice soft finish and the little “spots” are raised, probably with the aim of keeping the iPhone’s delicate back away from any scratching potential from the case inside.

Pro’s – very sturdy, great fit, nice two tone design, lay on the table protection, tactile buttons, lined interior should prevent iPhone back from getting scratched

Con’s – not easy to get off, makes the iPhone a bit thicker (adds another 4mm), glossy and slippery?

Another iPhone 5 update

Okay, another week passes with the iPhone 5 and it continues to be a decent experience. My last iPhone, version 4, was jail broken and there are some things that I am already starting to miss…no, make that pine for, for version 5. Tethering for starters, which I also miss badly from Android and am thus reduced to carry round my HTC One S so I can use it out of the box for providing internet access on my Nexus 7 on the go, as they say. I’d completely forgotten actually that tethering was a no no on stock iPhones. Ouch.

I also miss not being able to reply to text messages directly from the pop up notification like you can do on Android (using mainly 3rd party apps) and on a jailbroken iPhone 4 through the likes of BiteSMS. It is actually really annoying having to go into the actual messages app to do this.

However, this can be partly balanced out by being able to backup apps and the data contained therein within iTunes making subsequent restoring much easier than on Android, please don’t tell me about the fairly awful Android backup application, I forget it’s name as I stopped using it, which doesn’t back up app data and which when it restores your apps manages to take them out of the update info in Google Play. I did like Titanium Backup but you have to root your phone to use that.

I do like the iPhone 5 but find myself casting somewhat envious eyes at the Sony Xperia T on a near hourly basis.

iCloud Storage free bump…hmmmm

Hmmmm. Got an email, as many other ex-MobileMe members did, extending my “free” iCloud storage for another year or so. This was rapturously received by the Apple faithful as a great gift and further evidence of the great value that Cupertino extends to its loyal minions. I’ve currently got about 350kb of stuff up there and not much stored anywhere else in the cloud, Dropbox aside.

More likely it’s a way for Apple to further tie you in to their Eco-system. If you start uploading heaps of gigabytes of music and files and stuff to iCloud in the next 11 months then when your free storage runs out and you then have to start paying for it, it’s likely a whole load of customers will take the lazy boy approach and just start paying for it instead of moving it back and looking elsewhere for alternative and possibly cheaper options. Or perhaps I’m just an old cynic.

Lost in Mobile

Just happened to pop over to LIM a few hours ago. Must admit, I stopped visiting LIM a month or so ago as there are a few posters on there who just annoy me too much. You can sort of guarantee that if there is anything remotely anti-Apple (and there is usually a post or two every few days with a negative slant, like Apple is the only tech company out there with slightly less than angelic track record) then the same sad names will be straight in there….Bug Blatter and Mr Fathead…sorry Mr Fatuous with their words of wisdom. They must just be sitting there waiting for some anti-Apple story and then bang!, they’re straight in there with the same comment they’ve made about 245 times before. Yawn…

Oddly, Shaun seems to attach a lot of credence to what Bug Shagger, sorry Blatter, says when it seems quite clear to me he’s just a bit predictable and has an unnaturally strong aversion to Apple…a tech company. Perhaps he just needs to get out more?

LIM prides itself on its friendly nature but now and again feels the ned to remind its readers to cut back on the vitriol between Android and iOS which is a bit ironic as the iOS posters are always unfailingly polite and tolerant whereas it is the Android users, the two named above being two of the biggest culprits, who are the most confrontational and who regularly feel the need to point out where iOS/Apple is lacking/sinning.

Newsify for iPhone

Having been away from iOS for a year or so, I’d not tried any new apps during that period so going back to iOS with my iPhone 5 has been almost like starting afresh. In the past I’d tried out loads of RSS applications and my criteria was simple…….it must work with Google Reader and it must have offline caching/reading built in so I can sync via wifi in the morning at home and then read the feeds at leisure throughout the day. Stuff like “sharing” and “liking” on Facebook or Google Plus are of no interest to me. There’s a big choice of RSS apps out there in the App Store and some are well known and well thought of such as Reeder. I tried it again and it is optimised for iOS 6 and the new iPhone 5 bigger screen but it still annoys me in one important respect….even though it has offline reading facility in it and it downloads images for offline reading, there is an irritating 1/2 second delay when you open up an article and before the image appears. It drives me mad and it’s still there, a year or so after I last used the app.

So, I had a good look around and chanced upon Newsify. This has a lovely UI, when you open a feed you can choose to view the articles as either a list or in that Flipboard/Pulse Reader style which seems to be quite popular. Very stylish little app that is reliable too, does offline caching, allows me to post interesting posts to Pocket and the images appear in-line in posts immediately.  Other plus points for me include the ability to view posts in full screen, to add or unsubscribe from feeds within the app itself, post to Twitter and the ability to change both font size and font style. It’s already been tweaked for iOS 6 and takes full advantage of the iPhone 5 bigger screen estate. There is also a “universal” edition for the iPad as a further bonus….

I’ve been really quite impressed by the app and would recommend it.

iPhone 5 update

Well, that’s a week now since the iPhone arrived and that gives time to have a wee think about what has been good and bad to date.

First thing, when an untethered jailbreak comes along I will be waiting a few days to make sure it’s okay and will then jailbreak mine as I miss the ability to have quick access to settings, such as wifi, on the homescreen and SB Settings will once again then come to the rescue. I can’t bear it….

Annoyingly, if you shake the iPhone there’s a rattling noise. I googled this and a lot of people are noticing this too, which is a relief as I’d hate to think it was only me, but it’s annoying and you don’t expect it in a £500 plus phone….my last iPhone 4 didn’t do it.

Also annoyingly, very annoyingly in fact, I noticed a week ago (about two hours after having unboxed it) a tiny scuff on the top right hand of the phone and again, I see numerous reports of other people reporting scuffed iPhone 5’s too. Poor show. At first I just thought it was a piece of dust trapped/stuck on the band bit but it was still there a few days later and it was then I realised what it was.

On the plus side, the screen is great, battery life for me has been excellent, the camera is excellent, the device looks lovely and feels great in the hand but for the first time in my Apple buying career, I’m having concerns about build quality of an Apple device. I think I’ve got a 30 day return period leeway and my concern is if the paint is already coming off, how much worse might it be in a few months time? The return period, which I think I have, currently gives me some peace of mind.