Category: Hardware

iPhone MMS Message Send Failure

My iPhone 3G was doing very well with the new MMS capabilities until one day it wouldn’t send any. I didn’t update, add any apps, or change any settings. All I did was sync it with iTunes to backup the phone. I don’t know if that caused the problem or not, but it was the only thing I did besides normal usage of the phone. I was hunting for a fix online and saw a lot of suggestions for people who couldn’t get MMS working from the beginning, but none about how to get it working again after it had been working previously.

Some suggestions were drastic including a full restore of the iPhone, and others were annoying by suggesting that you call at&t customer support. All that noise sounded like way too much of a headache to me, so I just did a simple power cycle (turn off the phone, then turn it back on), and that fixed it. Amazingly simple. I’ve made it a habit to start with that as my first step of troubleshooting my iPhone, computers, routers, modems, cable boxes, etc. Sometimes it fixes it, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s nice when it does.

iPhone Review

Well, I’ve had my iPhone for about 9 days now, and I’m getting pretty fast on it. There are several features that I love, and several features that I hate, and even still, several features that I feel are missing. Here are my compliments and gripes in no particular order.

Compliments:

  • Great design – it looks beautiful. Really. You think you’ve seen how cool it is until you see one in person and realize just how REALLY beautiful it is. It’s also smaller than I thought it was going to be. Not a whole lot wider than my SLVR, but actually thinner, and the same height as my SLVR.
  • Extremely fast interface – it zips around from app to app with no delay or processing time. Much, much faster than my SLVR or any other phone I’ve used.
  • On-screen keyboard – works great and knows what words I’m trying to type even when I miss the letter. It’s amazingly intuitive in its corrections. Very quick learning curve for people who know how to type on a QWERTY keyboard because you already know where the letters are located.
  • Threaded text messaging – it’s so convenient to view SMS in a conversation interface. I really appreciate this view and it’s a no brainer for any phone from now on.
  • Email anywhere – I know other smartphones have had email capability before, but this is just so much like the Mail.app from Mac OS X that it looks and acts beautifully, easily and handily.
  • Sync – Having a Mac, I feel that I get a little extra benefit from the iPhone being made by Apple. It synchronizes all my contacts from Address Book, all my calendars from iCal, any photos I want from iPhoto, music and videos from iTunes, and Safari bookmarks (not that I use Safari, but it’s nice that it does it). Sure, it can do that in a round-about way for Windows users, too, but for Apple users, the interface is so similar on the iPhone that it feels like you’re still at your Mac.
  • Google Maps – This is probably my favorite app so far. I’ve already found several times where I wished I had a map while on the road, and just pulled out my iPhone to save the day. The app acts just like the web version of Google Maps with the ability to drag the map around and zoom in and out. The coolest feature is that you can display live traffic information on the map. Seriously cool and useful.
  • WiFi – Aside from driving down the road, everywhere I’ve had to make use of the Internet on my iPhone, there has been an open network available. My home has one, work, my friend’s house, shopping centers, and the beach. Of course, I’m sure eventually I’ll end up somewhere that I won’t find a wireless network, but the point is that more and more are popping up everyday. It’s nice to have it detect that I’m using the Internet and automagically offer to use a hotspot that it sees.

Gripes:

  • No video recording – I had it on my SLVR and used it all of twice in over a year, but I still miss it on the iPhone. I would use it more now because I would have instant access to the web for uploading videos to YouTube or other services.
  • No custom ringtones – this one is a huge annoyance. I loved having whatever I wanted as my ringtone on my last three Motorolas.
  • No SMS to multiple people – I used to be able to send a message to multiple recipients on my SLVR, but not on my iPhone! Doesn’t make sense to me, but I can’t do it.
  • Camera quality – It looks about the same as any other camera phone… crap. Unless you are outside taking a picture at noon on a sunny day, you’re gonna get a grainy, hazy picture. This isn’t a big deal because most people who care about picture quality have a nice digital camera. About the only thing it’s good for is to take pictures of your contacts so that when they call, it will show you their pic.
  • Buggy – I have had various apps “crash” on the iPhone for a total of about 17 times so far. It just kicks me back to the homescreen, and then lets me back into the app immediately afterwards. I have two friends who also got iPhones on the first day, and they both say that they are not having the same problems. I don’t know if I got a lemon, or if I’m just pushing the device harder than they are. Either way, I hope Apple issues some updates or something soon to address these crashes. The one encouraging comment I can make is that every time I sync with my Mac, a box pops up and asks if it can send the crash data to Apple. This makes me feel better since others may be having the same issues and after enough feedback, Apple will fix it. The iPhone totally locked up on me the first time I tried to edit a contact’s information. I had to hard reset it, and then everything was fine.
  • EDGE network – Do you remember the days of dial-up? Well, imagine that on a handheld device. It feels slightly faster, but not really enough for it to be comfortable. It’s nice to know it’s there when you need it, like when using Google Maps in a pinch. If you’re serious about web surfing or watching YouTube videos while on the road, you better find another phone. For me, it’s fine, but for serious surfers, it would be a disappointment.
  • Speaker – The speaker on the bottom of the iPhone is used for the ringtone, speakerphone, and playing music. In all three areas it performs poorly. Once the volume gets slightly above halfway, it starts to distort making the song or person’s voice almost impossible to recognize or understand. The speaker on my SLVR was much better and could handle being all the way up without distorting. Hopefully, Apple will loosen the purse strings for the next generation and put a better quality speaker in the iPhone.

Most of these are widely agreed upon goods and bads, and I was well aware of most of them before I bought it, so it’s not as if I didn’t know about them or regret my purchase. Overall, I’m very happy about it, and really enjoy all the use I get out of it. Would I recommend everyone buy one? No. If you are a person who loves technology and Apple, and you have some extra cash saved up, then I would say you should get one. If you’re a patient person, then I would recommend you wait till the 2nd generation comes out, whenever that may be. Rumors point to Christmas, but who knows with Apple.

I think my roommate summed up the essence of the iPhone the night I brought it home when he said, “I knew it was gonna be cool, but I didn’t realize how cool until I played with it!” I think you’ll find yourself saying the same thing the first time you get your hands on one.