iPhone 4s for KD219

Post by Mark

Eureka have an offer just for today where you can get the iPhone 4s for just KD219. Eureka usually has a habit of running out of stock 2 minutes after opening so I don’t usually post about their offers except this time they’ve mentioned “unlimited quantity”. [Link]

Update: X-Cite have now also lowered the price of the iPhone 4S and you can buy it online directly from [Here]


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iPhone 4S for KD229

Post by Mark

X-Cite is selling the iPhone 4s on their newly launched online store for KD229 (just for today). That’s basically how much it cost me ordering it directly from Apple UK. [Link]

via LWDLIK


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I’m heading out

Post by Mark


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The iPhone 4S – Battery Life

Post by Mark

This is going to be my last post on the iPhone 4S since there is only one thing left to discuss and that is battery life. When I first got the phone I noticed the battery life was similar to the iPhone 4 but this weekend the battery life got so bad I actually went and purchased a car charger.

But I also found out why the phone started draining a lot more battery than my iPhone 4 ever did and that’s because I was using the Reminder App a lot because of Siri. When I tell Siri to remind me to pick up tea once I get to the supermarket, the phone starts checking my location at intervals to see if I’m at the supermarket or not so it could remind me to pick up tea once I am.

Once I turned location based reminders off I noticed the battery life went back to normal. It’s not hardware related since the Reminder App is also available on the iPhone 4 but Siri makes it more fun and easy to use. So to summarize things, the battery life is the same if you use the iPhone 4S like the iPhone 4, but once you start taking advantages of some of the iOS 5 features, battery life on both the iPhone 4 and 4S starts dropping considerably.

On a side note, check out this tip on how to make the Reminder App even more useful [Link]


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How to get Siri to learn your home or work address if you live outside the US

Post by Mark

A friend of mine figured out a way to get Siri to learn your home and work address as well as other addresses. Just follow the steps below:

1) Open the Maps App
2) Find your home, office or other location
3) Place a pin on the street in front of your location. Street not building or land etc…
4) Click the blue arrow that appeared over the pin
5) Click on Add to Contacts
6) If it’s your office address add it to your contact info
7) Go to your contact info, click on edit, then go down to the address you just added and make sure the label for that address is work (or if it’s your home address then home)

And that’s it. You can now tell Siri to remind you when you get home or to your office and she will do it. You could also add locations like super markets for example so you could tell teach Siri where Sultan Center is and then tell her to remind you to pick up milk once you get to Sultan Center and she’ll do that.

Thanks Saleh!


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Follow-up review on the iPhone 4S

Post by Mark

My iPhone 4S arrived from the UK yesterday and so I managed to spend more time with the device and now have a few things I want to highlight, mostly the negatives.

Reception
According to Apple they’ve improved the reception on the iPhone 4S. I never had any issues with the reception on the original iPhone 4 but I do have an issue with the new “improved” reception on the 4S. Although the phone signal now spends most of its time with full signal bars which is great for people who use the phone to call people, another problem has come up instead. The phone now spends a lot more time on Edge instead of 3G internet. I hadn’t seen the little “E” icon on my iPhone for ages but now it’s popping up all the time. I first noticed it in my underground parking, I used to get a weak phone signal before (say 2 bars) but would have 3G. Now I have full signal bars but Edge instead of 3G. I figured it’s not an issue since I don’t spend too much time in the basement checking email or tweets. Once I got out of the parking it swapped back to 3G, but then once I hit the traffic light near Corniche Club on the Gulf Road it was back on Edge. It swapped back to 3G again before going to Edge once I got near TGIF. I even got the Edge signal at the Kuwait Stock Market traffic light. And I’m not talking about Edge appearing briefly and disappearing again, I’m talking about Edge being there the whole time while I’m waiting at the traffic light.

Edge SUCKS. I might as well not have internet since Edge is that horribly slow. I don’t know what Apple did to the reception but I hope this is just a bug that will be fixed in the next software update because I would rather have 2 signal bars and 3G instead of full signal bars and Edge.

Siri
She’s great but I have an issue and it’s not that she doesn’t understand me sometimes (check above). In my previous post I mentioned how I wanted to use Siri to remind me of stuff when I get home or get to work. For example “Remind me to walk my dog when I get home”. Siri is supposed to know when I get home and remind me to walk my dog. Problem is because we are in Kuwait we can’t teach Siri where home or office is. Siri uses Google Maps address to learn our home and office locations and right now Google Maps addresses only work in the US. What I don’t understand is why Siri won’t learn the locations using GPS positioning. If you use the Reminder App without Siri you can teach it locations using your GPS position. I already has a saved location in the Reminder App called “Work” and I can tell the App to remind me to do something once I get to the location “work”. Why can’t Siri use the already saved location information or why it can’t learn locations using GPS instead of street addresses doesn’t make any sense.

Finally another issue with Siri and I don’t know if this problem is only happening with me or not but Siri refuses to make phone calls. If I tell her for example to call my wife or call my brother, she will start the calling process and show me she’s dialing the number but then she replies back apologizing that she can’t call them. I’ve tried it with a bunch of different people in my contact list, I’ve removed the +965 from numbers, I tried everything and Siri will keep telling me she can’t call them. Again a strange issue which hopefully will be fixed in the future.

Speed
The phone is fast, for day to day operations it’s not noticeably faster than the regular iPhone 4 but just run any game and you’ll instantly see a huge difference. Most games were loading and opening instantly and even games like Rage were loading in just a couple of seconds. If you’re a gamer you’re gonna love the 4S.

The only thing really left to test is the battery life and I can’t do that right now since I’m too busy playing with Siri and the new features. Maybe once my phone use goes back to normal in a weeks time I’ll be able to compare it to my previous iPhone.

If anyone has any questions or anything they want me to try just ask in the comments below.

Update: My guy at Alghanim just called to tell me they’re selling the iPhone 4S 16GB for KD289 and they already started delivering the phones to people from yesterday. I purchased the phone from the Apple Store in the UK and with shipping it ended up costing me around KD230. But I guess if you want the phone right now and don’t want to wait 2-3 weeks for it then this is probably your best option.


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First Impression: iPhone 4S

Post by Mark

As I mentioned in my previous post, Alghanim Electronics sent over an iPhone 4S for me to try out. I’ve been using it for a few hours and thought I would share my first impression on two of the most important new features.

The Camera
Thew camera on the iPhone 4S is a much better camera when compared to the regular iPhone 4. I saw some sample shots on the Apple website and they looked great but those shots were obviously taken in perfect lighting with an amazing photographer. I was curious to how the camera would fair in boring regular situation with random light and a not so great subject. Since the weather today is a mixture of humid, hot and dust, I decided to go to the roof and take a landscape shot.

On the left is the iPhone 4S shot and on the right the iPhone 4. Although it doesn’t look like that dramatic a difference when you zoom in at 100% it’s a complete different story as you can see below.

As you can see the iPhone 4S photo had a lot more details and a lot less artifacts. Another advantage of the iPhone 4S camera is that the lens is brighter which means better shots in low light situations. Below is a photo I took indoors.

Again zoomed out like this the details don’t show as much but once you zoom in at 100% (check below) you’ll see that the iPhone 4S shots are a lot less noisier and a lot more sharper.

One of the main reasons I purchased the iPhone 4S is because of the camera. I take a lot of shots for the blog and although I should, I don’t usually carry my good cameras with me all the time. Most of my shots are taken with an iPhone so the ability to take better shots is a great advantage for me. If like me, image quality is something you care about then the difference between the iPhone 4 and 4S is actually pretty major. You can download the full resolution images I shot and used above from these links:

Landscape with iPhone 4S
Landscape with iPhone 4
Low light with iPhone 4S
Low light with iPhone 4

Siri
Another reason I got the iPhone 4S is because of Siri. I’m a huge Stark Trek TNG fan and Siri reminded me a lot of the computer on the starship Enterprise. Even though Siri is limited when compared to the computer on Enterprise (it can’t prepare meals for example), it’s still very impressive and I love it. Siri is going to get even better in the future and I honestly can’t wait.

There are a few things that won’t work in Kuwait though. If you ask Siri for the best burger joints in Kuwait it will tell you it won’t know. Some of the Siri features are US only for now but it does do a whole bunch of other things. You could ask it to convert currency for you, find out the population of countries as well as other trivia. More importantly for me it can take notes and set reminders which is a big deal for me. I’m a very forgetful person and also very lazy so even when I usually remember something I never write it down or set a reminder. Now with Siri, once I remember something I can just tell it to write it down or remind me when I get home or work to do something. She’s really going to be my personal secretary/assistant.

Siri didn’t have that many problems understanding me. I do tend to mumble and I did have a few instances when Siri wouldn’t know what I was talking about but I also found Siri pretty forgiving. For example I might start saying “tell me” and then mid sentence change to “I mean what is the capital city of Kuwait” and Siri would still understand and tell me “Kuwait City”. Yes it does feel weird (ie stupid) talking to a phone but I’m sure I can get over that.

I ordered my iPhone 4S last week from the Apple UK store but for those of you who haven’t ordered yet and just want to walk into a store and pick one up Alghanim Electronics will have them in stock starting tomorrow. I asked about the price but as of this post they still hadn’t finalized it yet.

Update: The prices for the iPhones has been released by Alghanim and they are the following (don’t shoot the messenger):

iPhone 4S 16GB for KD350
iPhone 4S 32GB for KD390
iPhone 4S 64GB for KD420


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Hello iPhone 4S

Post by Mark

My iPhone 4S is currently stuck in customs but Alghanim Electronics sent me one over to check out. There are two things I was looking forward to, Siri and the camera and so far it feels a bit weird having a conversation with my phone, it’s something I need to get used to. I haven’t tried the camera yet but will be doing so in a bit.


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Problems with iOS 5 in Kuwait

Post by Mark

I updated my iPhone to iOS 5 and noticed a really annoying problem. I have the majority of my numbers stored with the country code +965 in front of them. But, I noticed a problem today which seems to be a common problem other people are facing as well. If you have a phone number saved with +965 in the front and that person is on your same mobile network, when they call you their number will appear without the +965 in front of it and iOS 5 won’t connect that number with the number you have saved. For example:

My iPhone has a Viva line. When Nat calls me from her Viva number I only see 55XXXXXX on my screen and not her name. When she calls me from her Zain line I see her name.

If anyone knows a solution to this problem please post it below. From the little information I was able to find online it seems either the mobile operators will have to send us a carrier update or it’s a fix which Apple will have to release.


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My iPhone 4S is shipping!

Post by Mark

For those of you who aren’t aware, you can order the new iPhone 4S from the UK Apple Store online. I didn’t post about this earlier since I wanted to make sure it would actually work but I just checked the status of my order and it’s getting ready to ship so it’s working. That’s how I ordered my iPhone last year as well, the cost is decent around KD227 for the 16GB and you just have it ship to your Aramex Shop and Ship UK address. The phone is also factory unlocked so you can use it as soon as it gets here. [UK Apple Store]

Note: If you want a UK forwarding mailbox you can get one by signing up with Aramex [Here]


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