Category: iPhone

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.

Transfer Music From iPhone to Computer

I recently got a new iMac and wanted the music from my iPhone on it. I have tried several different apps that work well with iPods, but have trouble with the iPhone for whatever reason. Senuti used to be my go-to app, but it hadn’t been updated for the iPhone 3G, not to mention that they had started charging for the software. Yamipod is a great free app that does the job for getting music off, as well as putting music back on the iPod (although a little unrefined as far as UI goes and occasionally crashes), but it doesn’t work with the iPhone 3G either.

I settled on Music Rescue, which costs £10 to register, but you can download and try it for free.

When you first launch it with your iPhone plugged in, it automagically recognizes it and gives you the option to open it or QuickRecover. Pretty smart, eh? I chose to open it, because I didn’t know what QuickRecover would do. I’m ignorant. I admit it.

Auto Detect

After you open it, you can see the contents of your iPhone in a beautiful and very iTunes-esque interface. I’m not saying iTunes is the best, but at least it eliminates the learning curve. You have access to view and playback your music, movies, podcasts, and audiobooks. I didn’t have any TV shows on my iPhone, but it appears to handle all media on your iPhone. Probably not voice recordings, though.

Media Library

I was impressed with all the options in the preferences to customize how you want the app to behave. Very flexible and useful. You can even setup a profile for your device that will be stored on the device itself so that when you plug into other computers with Music Rescue, it will remember the settings. This could be useful if you want to keep two computer music libraries synced through the use of your iPhone.

App PreferencesProfiles

When you’re ready to start the copy, click the button in the bottom right corner that says “Begin Copy…” and you’re presented with some options of which media you want to copy as shown below. I love options and flexibility! I also love the little encouragement in the bottom left, “Don’t steal music.” Isn’t that Apple’s line?

Copy Options

If you use the software in the Demo mode, then you’ll be nagged every 50 songs with this little window which goes away by clicking OK. I love developers who tell you it isn’t free software, yet they let you use it for free. It’s like those companies that send you free return address labels, but then ask you to send in a donation if you plan on using them. Yeah, ok, I’ll get right on that.

Register Nag

It’s a small annoyance, but if you use this more than once, it would definitely be worth it to purchase a license key. After all your media is copied from the iPhone, it then opens iTunes and adds it to the library. If there are conflicts, it warns you and gives you options for overwriting, skipping, or merging data. How very thoughtful!

Overall, a very flexible, easy, quick, and painless procedure to get my music off my iPhone. I highly recommend this software to anyone in the same boat.

P.S. They also offer a Windows version, but I have not tested it. Let me know how it works for you.

Get Large Voice Recordings Off Your iPhone

The new Voice Memos app on the iPhone 3.0 software is pretty cool. It makes great sounding recordings, and it’s easy as pie to use. The only glitch I’ve run into is that you can’t get the recordings off if they are over 2 minutes. Now what?

There are two three methods. One is easy, one is for the geeks, and the third is an in between one.

Method 1: iTunes [easy]

When you plug your iPhone into iTunes, go to the Music tab and make sure that there is a check mark next to “Include voice memos”. This will automatically sync your voice memos into their own playlist in iTunes where you can then do whatever you’d like with them. Here’s a screenshot of where to look in iTunes.

Method 2: SSH for Jailbroken iPhones [geeky]

If you have your iPhone jailbroken, you can SSH into it and pull the recordings off manually. They’ll play just fine in iTunes or QuickTime and then you can convert them to another format if you want.

In your SFTP program (I use Cyberduck, it’s free), go to this path to find the recordings:
/private/var/mobile/Media/Recordings

Method 3: iExplorer [in between]

I’ve had a lot of questions about this, so I’m adding it to the post. If the previous methods didn’t work, this one is also pretty easy, although it requires installing iExplorer. It’s third-party software for Mac and PC and your phone doesn’t need to be jailbroken. Here’s a step-by-step for using iExplorer:

  1. Download and install iExplorer.
    • Version 2 is free, but version 3 has a demo mode that will allow you to transfer the memo for free. You can find both versions on the downloads page.
  2. Connect your iPhone via USB cable to your computer and open iExplorer.
  3. Click the arrow next to your iPhone’s name, and then navigate to:
    /Media/Recordings/
  4. Locate the voice memo you’d like to download. They will be named with the date they were created, such as:
    20110210 114619.m4a
  5. Once you see it, you can drag it to your Desktop or any other folder on your computer

If this has helped you, I would greatly appreciate a dollar or two, but no pressure. Either way, thanks for reading!




Lots of Voicemail

I have been experiencing some weird occurances with my iPhone lately. This is an image of the latest oddity.

What’s wrong with this picture? I guess I should check my voicemail more often, eh? I actually didn’t have 68 voicemails, but it stayed like that until I rebooted my iPhone. Scared me for a second, though. Interesting little glitch.

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.