Category: News

Glitch Causing iPhone 5 to Ignore Wi-Fi Connections and Use Cellular Data Instead

Wi-Fi icon

You’ve heard about Apple Maps and Scuffgate, but the iPhone 5’s real problems so far have revolved around boring old Wi-Fi. Today it’s been confirmed that the Verizon iPhone 5 is suffering from a strange software glitch that is causing the iPhone 5 to ignore some Wi-Fi connections and instead use cellular data.

Frustrated customers are reporting a surprise jump in cellular data usage despite being connected to Wi-Fi networks most of the time. In some cases, customers have been billed for data overages. This forum thread and numerous others at Apple’s discussion boards are quickly growing in size with user complaints.

Both Apple and Verizon have confirmed the error involves the iPhone 5 ignoring Wi-Fi connections, and Apple has released an update to fix the problem. Click here for the official support page for installing the update. Verizon released a statement to The Loop saying customers will ultimately not be charged for the data usage.

The issue, however, may not be limited to Verizon customers. Glenn Fleishman from TidBits has published reports from AT&T and Sprint users who are experiencing Wi-Fi/cellular data-usage issues as well. AT&T and Sprint have not yet commented.

Strangely enough, in a beta version of iOS 6, Apple briefly included a new feature called “Wi-Fi Plus Cellular” in the iPhone’s settings that, when turned on, would revert to cellular data usage when Wi-Fi performance was poor. That toggle was eventually removed from the final version of iOS 6. However, it seems that this is exactly the problem that customers are experiencing.

For customers wanting to quickly and easily check on their monthly data usage, check out our handy tip here.

Fandango iPhone App Gets Passbook Support, But Few Theaters Currently Support it

Fandango iPhone app screenshots

The Fandango iPhone app (free) has been updated for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 to support the new Passbook feature. Passbook will allow movie theaters to scan a barcode displayed on your iPhone’s screen to confirm your ticket purchase.

It sounds useful in theory, but unfortunately, the Passbook implementation in the Fandango app is currently hard to find and without much instruction.

Few theaters support Passbook, and it’s a lot of work to find the theaters in the Fandango app that do. In the app’s description, Fandango says to “look for the ‘Mobile Ticket’ icon on the theater page.” Well, I had to tap through 20 theaters in Chicago one by one until I found the mobile ticket icon (which really means Passbook support. Why don’t they just say “Passbook tickets”? Presumably because they want these mobile tickets to be used on other phones as well). The “mobile ticket icon” looks like this:

Fandango Passbook mobile ticketing example on iPhone

There is no way to list just the theaters that support Passbook. You have to tap in and out of each theater to find one that does. Most users will likely think, as I did, that Passbook “just works,” meaning if you buy a movie ticket via Fandango, you can use it in Passbook. Not so.

I hope Passbook support will grow quickly, but at least for Fandango, it’s not very widespread so far, and it’s not very intuitive to use.

Controversial Scratch Test Video Shows iPhone 5 Holds Up Well Against Some Materials

A controversial video made by a forum poster over at seems to indicate that the black iPhone 5 may not be quite as scratch prone as other recent tests have indicated.

The “controversial” video—controversial because it was done in an AT&T store on an iPhone 5 on display—shows an iPhone 5 being rubbed hard against a sharp corner of a plastic display case. The iPhone 5 comes away unscathed, even when the test is repeated several times. It likewise survives the sharp digging and scratching of a fingernail.

The video seems to indicate that, at least when it comes to plastic or acrylics with sharp edges, the back of the iPhone 5 isn’t quite as brittle or easily scratched as another recent popular scratch-test video from iFixIt indicated. That particular test involved metal-on-metal contact.

Some members of the MacRumors forum and commenters on YouTube objected to the methods of the test, pointing out that the creator of the video could have been arrested for attempting to destroy store property. However, no damage was apparently done to the device.

iOS 6 Available for Download Today

iOS6 logo

iOS 6 is arriving today, so rev up your Internet connections. The update is compatible with iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer, and 4th-gen iPods and newer. The release is expected around (*update* it’s available now, although it may not show up as available for everyone right away) 1:00PM Eastern time today (according to rumors). The file size should be around 900MB (this won’t be a quickie update).

The easiest way to update is right on the iPhone/iPad itself. You’ll need to be on a WiFi network, then simply go into Settings > General > Software Update and tap Download and Install. You can also update through iTunes as well. Connect to iTunes, click on your iPhone in the left sidebar, click Summary, then click Check for Update.


iOS 6 Software Update on iPhone


Check for iOS Software Update in iTunes Check for iOS Software Update in iTunes

Not all of iOS 6’s features will be available on older devices. Engadget created this handy chart (see below) showing which features work on older devices:

Engadget List of Supported iOS 6 features

But just what are all the features of iOS 6? iPhoneHacks has a good quick-but-extensive rundown, and then the forums at MacRumors has a sweet list of “all the little things” that are new, if you like minutiae (personal dictionary in iCloud!).

The 10 Most Useful iPhone/iPad Links of the Week

1. Apple Introduces the iPhone 5

It’s here. Apple has posted all the details of the iPhone 5 on their website, and it’s going to be a sweet phone, even though it looks somewhat the same as the last two version. There are few manmade objects in this world more useful than an iPhone. Maybe your car? Maybe. How is the iPhone 5 is more useful than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S? The LTE radio means more info at faster speeds. It’s bigger screen can hold more data. The cameras improved low-light capabilities means more photos can be created and shared. And it’s A6 chip means the interface will be incredibly fast. In this modern world, you’ve got to have a smartphone, and the iPhone is still the king.

2. Which iPhone 5 Carrier Should You Choose?

Every year, PC Mag does extensive testing of the wireless carriers across the country, so their opinion counts for something. Here, Sascha Segan runs down the benefits of each carrier, with his overall choice being Verizon because it scores best with PC Mag readers and its has the best nationwide 4G network. AT&T is good if you need to use voice and data at the same time or if where you live doesn’t have LTE (AT&T has the best 3G network). Because of its unlimited data deals, Sprint is the best for heavy data users, but it’s also the slowest of the carriers.

3. What Things Can You Say to Siri in iOS 6?

Erica Sadun at TUAW posted a nice list of things you can ask (and tell) Siri. Probably the most useful new feature is launching apps via Siri, as in “Launch The Weather Channel app.” Another interesting tidbit is that you can now tell Siri your arbitrary relationships like “Anne Hathaway is my favorite actress” and Siri will remember. For what purpose, I don’t know.

4. Review: New Apple EarPods

My excitement for Apple’s new $30 EarPods has been tempered only slightly by early reviews. While they’re indeed better than Apple’s previous default earphones, they seem to still fall short in terms of sound quality compared with some of the best iPhone earphones for under $100. Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge scored the EarPods an A-, saying the EarPods “offer a number of welcome improvements, nearly across the board—sound quality, comfort, and stability have all jumped up, and even the three-button remote and mic capsule has seen small improvements in usability.” Still, pretty good for $30.

5. Which iPhone 5 for a Global Traveller?

Duncan Davidson does an exhaustive look at what the best version of the iPhone 5 is for international traveling. He concludes its the Verizon iPhone 5 because Verizon lets you easily buy small chunks of data for international traveling, and because the Verizon phone can be easily unlocked for using local sim cards around the world for those month-long stays.

6. Time Reporter Uses iPad As Main Computer for Year

Still think your iPad can’t replace your home computer? Harry McCracken over at Time writes about how he’s settled into the iPad as his primary computer. He goes into detail about the iPad’s benefits: battery life, simplicity, embedded Internet (3G & LTE), and reliability. He does admit he hasn’t completely abandoned his laptop, which he uses for serious graphics products.

7. What Apple’s New Lightning Connector Means for You

Goodbye, 30-pin dock connector. We knew ye well. Maybe too well. Dan Frakes at MacWorld examines the new Lightning plug. It’s should be easier to use, as its reversible sides mean there is no up when plugging it in. It’s more durable and 80% smaller. Of course, this totally obsoletes your old docks and cords. But wait, Apple is now selling two Lightning to 30-pin adapters, which they gouge you for at $29 or ($39, with cord). It’s the price of progress. Actually, one of the reasons the adapters are so expensive is because they contain a digital-to-analog audio adapter chip inside so they can output audio to stereos and other audio devices.

8.Notes and Reminders Now Editable on iCloud Website

You now can create and edit Notes and Reminders on the iPhone, then edit them on the web via, and vice versa. This really changes the usefulness of the Notes app in particular for me. A quick tip though: in the Notes app on the iPhone, make sure you create new notes in the iCloud folder (tap Accounts in the top left corner), else they won’t sync back to the iCloud site. Of course, also make sure you have iCloud turned on in the iPhones settings as well.

9. Official YouTube iPhone App Released

Apple is getting rid of its YouTube app in iOS 6, so you’ll need Google’s new YouTube app (free) to watch funny cat videos. Even if you aren’t updating to iOS 6, Google’s app is slightly better than Apple’s version, so there’s little reason not to download it.

10. With iOS 6, FaceTime Will Work Over Cellular on Verizon, Sprint, & (sort of) AT&T

FaceTime was previously limited to Wi-Fi, but now with iOS 6, the iPhone 5, 4S, and new iPad support its use over cellular—as long as the carriers are onboard. Well, they’re on board—mostly. AT&T Wireless has the stipulation that you have to have on of their new Mobile Share data plans. Does anyone use FaceTime? I think, if you have kids, you use FaceTime. If you don’t have kids, you probably don’t use FaceTime much.

Unlocked iPhone 5 Pricing: $649, $749, $849, Will Be Available “Sometime Over the Next Several Weeks”

An unlocked iPhone 5 will eventually be available for purchase, just not right away. The unlocked version briefly made an appearance on Apple’s online store, revealing pricing details, but was quickly removed, according to TechCrunch, who managed a screenshot (seen at bottom of this post). The prices will be as follows:

  • $649 for 16 GB
  • $749 for 32 GB
  • $849 for 32 GB

The unlocked iPhone 5 will not, however, be available for purchase on launch day. Apple says they will be available in the “next several weeks,” according to The Verge. Unlocked iPhones are typically used on services like T-Mobile and Walmart’s Straight Talk in the US.

Unlocked iPhone 5 prices iPhone 5 Preorder Ship Dates Slip to 2 Weeks. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint Preorder Deliveries Still Say Sept. 21

iPhone 5 Shipping Date Slips

It took all of one hour for’s iPhone 5 launch-day delivery inventory to sell out. Shipping dates for Apple’s online store have now slipped to a delay of two weeks. If you still want to get an iPhone 5 delivered on launch day, the websites of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are still showing ship dates for September 21 (*Update: The carriers ship dates have also slipped, too).

Customers can also line up outside of an Apple Store or the stores of one of the 3 big carriers next Friday to attempt to get their hands on an iPhone 5, but by initial reports, at least, it appears the demand for the iPhone 5 is at never-seen-before levels, so expect unprecedentedly long lines.

iPhone 5 Preorders Start at 3 AM Eastern Time, Sept 14, That’s Late, Late Tonight!

iPhone 5 Black laying on face

*Update* Preorders have started, and ship dates have already slipped. More info here.

If you want to get your iPhone 5 order in as soon as possible, you’ll have to get up (or stay up) in the middle of the night. Apple has verified to Wired that iPhone 5 preorders start at 3:00 AM in the Eastern time zone on September 14, which means 2:00 AM Central time, 1:00 AM Mountain, and 12:00 AM Pacific (midnight, those lucky ducks). You can preorder online at’s store.

Do you really have to wake up that early in order to secure an iPhone 5 for delivery on September 21? If history is any guide, no, you can at least wait until a more decent hour in the morning. It took 24 hours for the iPhone 4S to sell out of its release-day-delivery inventory. After that, delivery of the iPhone 4S took 1-2 weeks. But then again, the iPhone 5 is likely to be a much bigger launch, so who knows if Apple will have enough to satiate the early birds.

Apple’s New EarPods Set to Upend Premium Earphone Market

Eclipsed by the iPhone 5 intro yesterday was another huge announcement, Apple’s new, radically shaped Earpods ($29). Apple says the new design of the EarPods is “engineered to minimize sound loss and maximize sound output.” Not only will they sound better, the new shape of the earphones will also fit more people comfortably.

These new EarPods will be Apple’s default earphones moving forward, and because they ship with all its mobile products, they will be the most-used earphones on the planet. It will have a huge impact on the industry.

This, of course, should make premium-earphone manufacturers sweat. These companies use Apple’s default earphones as a baseline to design and sell their products around. As long as your earphones sound and/or fit better than Apple’s cheapos, you can make money.

Apple EarPods

Initial anecdotal evidence suggests that Apple has indeed raised the bar. Some members of the media got their hands on EarPods a little early, and their initial reports so far are positive. The Chicago Sun Times’ Andy Ihnatko on Twitter yesterday had this to say about the new EarPods:

David Pogue, from the New York Times, who finds it difficult to find a good-fitting pair of earphones, had this to say on Twitter:

And Jason Snell from Macworld got to listen to the earphones as well:

Apple’s own official description says the EarPods’ “audio quality is so superior, they rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more.” If true, we could see Apple lay waste to another industry, one long ripe for the plucking. Apple even says the EarPods offer “greater protection from sweat and water,” which means, combined with their improved fit, they chould even challenge companies who make athlethic sweat-resistant earphones.

If you were looking for a disruptive revolutionary product yesterday, it may have slipped beneath your notice. It’s the EarPods.

You can watch Apple’s Jony Ives describe the new EarPods in the video below.

Apple Announces iPhone 5, Preorders Start Sept 14, Shipping Sept 21

iPhone 5 in black

Apple today announced the iPhone 5 with a larger 4-inch screen, support for 4G LTE, a faster A6 chip, an 18% thinner body, and 20% less weight. Preorders will start in two days on Friday, September 14, with customers being able to get their hands on the device a week later on September 21.

Pricing will remain the same with 2-year contract: $199 for 16GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB.

Also introduced is a new smaller cord for syncing and charging—Apple is calling the cord Lightning—and newly designed earphones called Earpods ($29).

Thanks to previous rumors and leaks, there were few surprises with the announcement today other than perhaps its finalized look. In the black version, almost all silver chrome has been removed and replaced with black painted sides. The white version maintains some silver, but its appears painted on and not shiny metallic chrome like the sides on the iPhone 4S.

Apple has posted more info on their official iPhone 5 website.

iPhone 5 With Lightning Cord

iPhone 5 Black back and side


iPhone 5 White Camera Closeup