iPhone 4g Case Review – IvySkin

While I normally hate iPhone cases the IvySkin case I ordered actually exceeded my expectations on all fronts.  In general I hate phone cases.  Mostly because they add bulk to something that is designed to be as small as possible.  Plus they remove the feel of the phone and in some cases add weight.

I purchased the ivyskin iphone 4g clear case.  The features that stand out in my mind are the feel of the case, the included protection covers for both the front and back of the phone and the overall quality of the case.

Feel: The case is smooth like butter.  It truly mimics the smooth feel of the uncovered iphone.  This is a huge plus since I hate the feeling of cheep plastic.

Build Quality: The case is super thin (0.6mm to be exact) and made out of a single piece of plastic.  Installing the case is quick and easy as is removal.  Additional thought was made to include 2 screen protection covers. One for the back of the iPhone and one for the front.  Most companies do the obvious and include a front screen protector, almost never is the back of the iphone considered.  The back protector is designed to ensure that grit or dust trapped between the phone and the case does not scratch the glass or plastic on the edge of the iphone.

Value: For $14.99 with FREE shipping you get the case + two screen protectors and installation gear.  If I went down to my local Apple store I’d be hard pressed to buy the same items for less.  Plus what I’d end up with wouldn’t be as nice.

What’s Included

  • Crystal clear case, super thin, smooth like butter…
  • Two (count them!) two iphone screen protection covers.
  • Installation aids/gear 1 squeegee, one micro clothe

Overall I’m really impressed with the IvySkin case and am surprised that Apple stores don’t carry them.  This case is leaps and bounds better than the equivalent competitor cases.

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Calibrate iPhone GPS

So… technically you can’t calibrate your iPhones GPS.  What you can do is force it to rethink how it figures out where you are.  I created this post because I recently ran into this exact issue.  The issue being that my iPhone for no apparent reason was extremely inaccurate when showing my current location through google maps.  When looking at Google maps my current location was off by roughly 4 miles.  Yes MILES!!!

So on to the fix.  I was able to get my gps position refreshed to within 500-1000 feet of what it should have been by doing all of the following in no specific order.

  1. Switch the network from 3G to Edge or vise versa (Settings -> General -> Network -> 3G ON/OFF)
  2. Open google maps and click the “location” option found within the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Wait for your location to shift… then close Google Maps.
  4. Disable data services (Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data ON/OFF)
  5. Perform Step 2 again… and wait, then close Google Maps.
  6. At this point you may have to perform step 1 and 2 again if your position has not corrected itself.

Verizon DSL Firewall Ports

While home for the holidays I found out that my parents DSL router needed some updates. Specifically to allow some common applications which my siblings needed to use both a schools VPN and also some common iPhone ports.

Verizion DSL/Wifi Router
model327W/B99-327W15

#iphone gmail port
pass to port 993 >> done

#forti vpn client port
pass to port 10443 >> done

# iphone facetime ports
pass protocol udp, to port >= 3478, to port > done
pass protocol udp, to port >= 16384, to port > done
pass protocol udp, to port >= 16393, to port > done
pass to port 5223 >> done

Fix – iPhone 3.1.2/3.1.3 Zoom Boot Issue

Symptom: When booting or navigating the iPhone screen is zoomed in.
Cause: The zoom option was turned on and the screen was double tapped with 3 fingers.

Example Pictures:

Fix: Apple introduced a zoom feature which allows you to zoom by taping the screen with 3 fingers. If your screen is zoomed in like the pictures above tap the screen with 3 fingers and it will go back to normal.  The zoom option can be found in settings -> general -> accessibility -> zoom.  Turn it OFF if you do not want to repeat said issue.

Fix Source: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2321955&tstart=15

Blackberry to iPhone Address Book Synchronization

I’ve run into my first issue with moving my contacts from my existing Blackberry 8810 to my new iPhone 3Gs. Based on my research the easiest way to sync my contacts is to sync them with Outlook then sync the iPhone with Outlook. The initial sync using Blackberry Desktop Manager fails with “Synchronization Warning”: “Because the application is configured for wireless synchronization, synchronization is currently unavailable”. Getting around this issue is quite simple and easy.

  1. Unlock blackberry
  2. Launch Address Book Application
  3. Launch the options menu by hitting the blackberry button to the left of the track ball
  4. Scroll down and select options
  5. Scroll and select Desktop
  6. Select Wireless Synchronization and toggle it to No
  7. Press the escape button found to the right of the track ball and select Save.
  8. Relaunch Blackberry Desktop Manager and perform the synchronization.
  9. Follow the above steps to place your device back in the proper state (Wireless Synchronization = Yes).

Synchronization Data Flow

Blackberry Manager Synchronization -> Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook -> iPhone (via iTunes)

Sync with iPhone (Outlook -> iPhone)

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Connect iPhone
  3. Click iPhone and select the info tab
  4. Place a check mark in the Sync with: Outlook option.
  5. Click Apply in the lower right corner
  6. Wait for synchronization to finish.

  7. Uncheck the sync with Outlook option and click apply.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Address Book Outlook Sync instructions can be found here:
http://www.rickysays.com/copy-contacts-from-blackberry-to-iphone

How to sell an iPhone on ebay… and not get scammed

I’m still in the process of selling my iPhone through e-bay and figured I’d compile a list of do’s and don’ts.  First off ebay restricts sales of iPhones and also heavily monitors all iPhone sales.  Monitoring is found on the ebay side and also on the associated PayPal transaction.  

Pre-Reqs: 

  1. iPhone must be in your posession and you must be able to take a picture of it with your screen name in the picture. 
  2. You must have a valid working Paypal account.  No other form of payment is accepted. 
Posting the add: (I won’t go into to much detail since the process is pretty straight forward…)
  1. Do NOT post a Buy It Now Price. This will attract scammers who hack peoples paypal & ebay accounts.  Trust me… I’ve had to deal with this twice already. 
  2. Offer Free Shipping.  This will make your add more favorable and only nocks off about $20 in terms of your take home $$$.
  3. Start your bidding at $250.00 or higher. On average you’ll get around 30+ bids on your iPhone. This is not enough bids to raise the price of your phone to a legit selling price ($300+). 
  4. Include a full list of items included in the sale and also details regarding the condition of the phone and also whether or not it is unlocked.  
  5. International shipping.  Indicate within the sale details that you are willing to do international shipping.  Be sure to note that buyers are responsible for VAT and for any Taxes which are charged to them by their Country.  As a courtesy also note that the item will be shipped as a gift (check box on shipping).  
  6. Last but not least, state that you WILL NOT SHIP the iPhone until payment is fully confirmed! 

Fix – iPhone stuck at pineapple boot screen

Symptom: iPhone won’t boot, hangs at pineapple boot screen
Fix: Put iPhone in DFU mode.

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Connect iPhone to computer via USB cable
  3. Shut iPhone off (press and hold sleep/power button)
  4. Reset iPhone by pressing & holding both the power button and home button (Note Screen will be blank)
  5. Release power button after 10 seconds
iTunes will now recognize the iPhone in DFU mode. It will then give you the option of restoring it.
Restoring an alternative .ips file within iTunes.
  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Connect your iPhone
  3. On the iPhone summary screen press and hold Shift and press Restore.
  4. You will be given the option of selecting your own .ipsw file.
It appears that iTunes no longer stores the .ipsw files locally.  While this is perplexing there are alternative ways of getting the necessary .ipsw files.  The most common way is the simply download it from Apple themselves.  They keep a hidden archive which when linked directly gives you access to each .ipsw version previously released.
ipsw files can be downloaded here:

4.0.0 (3G): iPhone1,2_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw

4.0.0 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw

4.0.0 (4): iPhone3,1_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw

4.0.1 (3G): iPhone1,2_4.0.1_8A306_Restore.ipsw

4.0.1 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.0.1_8A306_Restore.ipsw

4.0.1 (4): iPhone3,1_4.0.1_8A306_Restore.ipsw

4.0.2 (3G): iPhone1,2_4.0.2_8A400_Restore.ipsw

4.0.2 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.0.2_8A400_Restore.ipsw

4.0.2 (4): iPhone3,1_4.0.2_8A400_Restore.ipsw

4.1.0 (3G): iPhone1,2_4.1_8B117_Restore.ipsw

4.1.0 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.1_8B117_Restore.ipsw

4.1.0 (4): iPhone3,1_4.1_8B117_Restore.ipsw

Credit where credit is due… ipsw link list source
By default iTunes stores .ipsw files in this folder:
C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorApplication DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates

or
C:Documents and Settings<user account name>Application DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates