AT&T Allows iPhone 4S To Use FaceTime Over 3G

According to a poster on the MacRumors forums, iPhone 4S users on AT&T’s network are finally able to use FaceTime via cellular. This is surprising as AT&T announced earlier this month that they would only allow users with 4G LTE devices and a tiered data plan to use FaceTime via a cellular connection. MacRumors has also reported that the poster was using a grandfathered unlimited data plan on his or her iPhone 5 and 4S, both of which are able to make FaceTime calls over cellular. We’ve embedded the forum post below:

In a recent thread we were discussing AT&T members getting facetime with LTE devices and tiered plans. However I noticed today that I have facetime over cellular and I have an unlimited plan on my 5.

I just turned off my other phone, a 4S and turned it back on, only to find the switch flipped to ON for facetime over cellular. Both phones work perfectly over cellular.

I also checked a few coworkers phones, all now have FT over cellular.

As of now, we’re not totally sure if AT&T is officially supporting FaceTime over cellular on the iPhone 4S and unlimited data plans at it could be an oversight on their part. It’s also worth noting that the original rollout of FaceTime on tiered data plans was supposed to take 8-10 weeks. CNET has reportedly asked an AT&T representative for clarification on FaceTime over cellular. AT&T responded to them with a good ol’ “we’re looking into it.”

Finally, AT&T iPhone 4 and iPad 2 users will be unable to take advantage of FaceTime over AT&T’s network as iOS 6 requires an iPhone 4S or higher to use FaceTime via cellular data.

Image Source: Brett Jordan

Apple iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Galaxy Note II vs. HTC One X

Apple has just unveiled its next-generation iPhone, and as expected it packs in a larger 4-inch screen with higher resolution. It will also be the first handset to make use of the recently approved nano-SIM cards. While the iPhone 5 sports similar design as the last two generations of the iPhone, it does look much more beautiful, at least in the press shots from Apple.

If you are looking to buy a handset, and are confused about how the iPhone 5 stacks up against its competition, here is a specs based, on-paper, comparison of the handset with some of its major competitors -:

While the iPhone 5 does not sport a new design or any new innovative features, it does feature an excellent camera, a powerful SoC and an excellent battery life. On paper the iPhone 5 may look similar to the iPhone 4S and its Android competitors, but the device packs in some marvellous piece of technology. It will be interesting to see how the 8MP camera on the iPhone 5 stacks up against the 8.7MP PureView camera on the Lumia 920.

If you are interested in knowing which is the best smartphone in the market right now, then you won’t find your answer here. This question is extremely subjective and the answer depends more on the user’s needs than anything else. If you want the largest screen possible on a phone, then buy the Galaxy Note 2. If you want something that ‘just works’, then the iPhone 5 will be perfect for you. If you don’t like the restrictions of iOS6 and a closed ecosystem, the Galaxy S III is the handset you should buy.

iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User: Screen

iPhone 4S

For an introduction and background to this series, please refer to my first post on the topic: New Series: iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User.

After looking at the setup experience, the first thing I wanted to look at is the much talked about Retina display of the iPhone 4S. I had heard a lot about how fantastic it is, and read a lot about the technical stuff like pixel density on that screen, but hadn’t experienced it outside of using my friends’ phones for a few minutes. The few minutes I spent with my friends’ phones did not impress me much but I attributed it to the fact that I had spent so little time with the display.

So, having used it constantly for a few days, what was the verdict? Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is. Yes, it is clear and crisp. It is very, very clear and crisp. However, the Super AMOLED screen of my Focus and the ClearBlack AMOLED on my Lumia are both equally clear and crisp. In fact, I love the deeper colors on the base Lumia screen much more than what the iPhone 4S produces. It could be a result of bigger tiles on my Lumia compared to the many folders (with tinier icons) on my iPhone, but in “real world” use, the Lumia comes off as being as clear and crisp as the iPhone and the colors richer/deeper than the iPhone.


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Yes, I could zoom into a specific icon and see how there is virtually no pixelation, but I never zoom to that level with my normal eyesight. Under normal circumstances, I look at the Lumia screen (with the dark theme enabled), and I look at the iPhone 4S with the normal brightness, and I must say, the Lumia screen comes out looking better.

(Please excuse my screenshots – I tried to make sure the brightness levels on both the phones were similar, and also, it looks like screenshot tools on *both* the phones seem to be just average?)

The other area where the Retina display is supposed to do better is reading. The claim — web pages, books, etc. are much better to read on that display compared to the Lumia? Here too, I did not see a tremendous difference.

IMG_0049Screen Capture (12)


IMG_0053Screen Capture (15)

IMG_0051Screen Capture (14)

IMG_0050Screen Capture (13)

Perhaps my expectations were raised really high? Maybe. Perhaps I should have tested it with long periods of reading? Maybe, but I don’t read pages and pages of books on the phone. The most I read is a multi-page web article, some part of books/magazines, and of course emails. I have provided some samples of the same above, and the Retina does not come off as being vastly different from the Lumia.

I would like to state emphatically, the iPhone screen is fantastic. However, in comparison to the Lumia, it does not seem to be dramatically superior. The Lumia holds its own despite “lower specs” across the board. The ClearBlack AMOLED on the Lumia “pops” the colors very well and the text renders quite well too. Oh, and a completely personal takeaway: when I turn on the Lumia, there is an immediate “wow” factor; maybe because of the colors, the brightness, the curved glass screen, or a combination of these and other factors that I can’t really pinpoint. Whatever it is, it makes the Lumia screen feel better than the iPhone screen, to me. Some friends on Twitter said that I need to give the Retina display some time and I will realize the beauty of it. I have seen it is a good screen, but after 4-5 days of extensive use, I really don’t see a huge upside in that screen.

Also, since I promised to talk about size as well, let me say that strictly speaking, the Lumia 800 that I am using now and the iPhone are not too different in size. However, my previous phone, the Samsung Focus, was 4″ diagonally and I really, really like that size. When I started using the Lumia after the Focus, I felt that the Lumia itself was a bit small (it is 3.7″ diagonally) and the iPhone is even smaller. So, compared to my ideal screen size of 4″, the iPhone seems smaller. However, for this experiment, I will not bring it up since the Lumia 800 and the iPhone are comparable in size.

Do you have any feedback on this comparison? Have you seen something I did not? I would love to hear from you!

iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User: Out Of the Box Experience, Setup


For an introduction and background to this series, please refer to my first post on the topic: New Series: iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User.

As someone who has switched (and reset) Windows Phones quite a bit, for one reason or the other, I know how painful it is to get the phone to “my state”. Yes, entering my Windows Live ID and setting up Facebook account sets up a ton of stuff automatically (Contacts, Calendars, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pictures) but there are still a lot of personalization items which I have to repeat every single time. Here is what I have to do every time I set up a new Windows Phone, after setting up my “accounts”:

  • Reinstall all my apps. It is a bit easier now with web marketplace and apps like Reinstaller, but I still have to manually reinstall each app.
  • Customize each app with login information, settings for the app, etc.
  • Set up my live tiles for various apps. Some apps offer secondary tiles (like “Sports News” in a newspaper app, for example), so these have to be manually set up.
  • De-dupe contacts across Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. This seems like a bit of functionality which was left off for lack of time. On Windows Live website, these contacts are in fact de-duped, but on the phone, they are not. So I have to go in and clean up manually.
  • Create my People Groups and pin them to Start Screen. I like this feature a lot, so I do like to create three groups: immediate family, cousins, and close friends. That way, I see the updates from these groups bubble up over all the other noise. There’s no way to save these Groups in the cloud so they automatically come when I sign in.
  • Adjust system settings like letting Bing use location services, my Office username, etc.
  • I don’t play many games, but if I did, almost none of the games save their states in the cloud, so all game progress gets lost when moving phones.
  • Connect to PC to set up wireless sync (and check if there are any updates available for the phone).

As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done after signing into various accounts to set up a new phone. How does it go with iPhone? Read on!

New Series: iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User


Those who read my posts know that I have been a Windows Phone user since it launched in late-2010. I like the platform a lot, and do believe it is more efficient for the way I use a smartphone. Before I switched to Windows Phone, I used an iPhone 3GS. Since then, my exposure to iOS has been through my iPad (1 and 2) and my iPod Touch. However, those iOS devices are at most used for an hour a day, so it is not fair to use that to compare against the Windows Phone platform.

So, when I recently got an opportunity to get an AT&T iPhone 4S, I jumped on it. I decided to give it my full attention, use it as my primary(-ish) phone for some time, and compare and contrast iOS with Windows Phone after actually using it. I figured, rather than compare specs on paper, which anybody can, it would be better to compare usage. With that in mind, I present this new series, where I will talk about various aspects of using Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone vs. using an iPhone 4S. My intention is to look at the common tasks one performs with a smartphone and how they differ across these two platforms. This is not so much of a “competition” to determine who “wins”, it is more of a comparison to identify the tasks where one platform may excel and the other may not.

I plan to break the series into the following:

What I do not want to do is:

  • Look at hard specs like cores, PPI, version of bluetooth supported, etc. If any of these happen to make it more difficult for me to do normal things, I will point them out.
  • I am going in with the assumption that we are going to live in a heterogeneous world where I may have a Windows PC and related apps along with my iPhone or iPad. As a result, I will try to stay away from stuff that is clearly going to remain “Apple-only”. For example, iMessage or certain aspects of iCloud which do not carry over to say, a Windows Phone, like contacts and calendar sync. There are other platform-specific tie-ins with Windows Phone like Xbox LIVE Achievements, which again, I won’t go into.

I am genuinely excited, both, to try the iPhone 4S (it’s been about 2 years since I used an iPhone), as well as to compare that experience to how I do things on my Lumia. Is there anything specific you would like me to look at in this experiment? Let me know!

Two New iPhone TV Ads Featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel Revealed

Today, a new iPhone commercial has aired from Verizon featuring Samuel L. Jackson on ESPN. The ad reportedly first aired on ESPN’s Sportscenter, which seems to be a Verizon-made commercial, reports The Next Web.

In the 30 second ad, Jackson uses Apple’s Siri as he makes gazpacho. He asks Siri software for cooking directions, where to buy ingredients, and to set timers.

The ad seems to be an Apple creation, with the three U.S. iPhone carriers — AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon featured in the end of the ad. A similar ad featuring Zooey Deschanel has aired too. Deschanel’s ad promotes Siri on Sprint’s network.

In the past, Apple has used celebrities like Bono in iPod commercials, but it is rare for them to do so. Will Ferrell also did a number of iPod ads a few years back.

Demand for iPhone 4S Continues to Grow

You know the phone that nobody wanted? Well, even six months after its launch, demand for the iPhone 4S continues to rise. ChangeWave has released new data that reveals 56 percent of polled customers who plan to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days said that they will purchase the iPhone 4S. That’s up from 54 percent who planned to buy an iPhone 4S in the previous poll conducted in December.

Changwave iPhone 4S

While Apple continued to gain, its competitor Samsung stayed flat as 13 percent of consumers said they would purchase one of its smartphones. Motorola fell by one point to 6 percent. HTC came in third place, which stayed at 3 percent and Research in Motion somehow managed to grow by a point to 3 percent.

In fact, demand for the iPhone 4S in March was the second-highest share ever. Consumer demand for the iPhone was only higher in a poll conducted last September, when news about the iPhone 4S started to come out just before it was officially announced.

Nokia Lumia 900 vs iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus vs Galaxy S2 – How Does The Best Windows Phone Stack Up Against Its Competition?

The Lumia 900 is finally up for sale in the United States, and it has already sold out in quite a few online stores. The Lumia 900 is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the recent years in the United States, and the handset will have a key role in determining the future on WP7 and the Nokia-MS partnership.

However, how does the Lumia 900 stack up against some of the best phones up for sale today including the iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S2? Read our comparison post below to find out!


The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest display among all these 4 handsets and comes with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD screen with a whopping 720p screen, but has a PenTile display. The Galaxy S2 and Lumia 900 come with a 4.3-inch display with WVGA (480*800) resolution. While the Galaxy S2 uses a Super-AMOLED Plus display, the Lumia 900 has a (AMOLED) ClearBlack Display. The iPhone 4S has the smallest display among its competitors with a relatively small 3.5-inch IPS LCD display with 640*960 resolution. The iPhone 4S has the highest pixel density here with a Retina busting 326ppi, while the Galaxy Nexus comes in a second close with a ppi of 316. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 both have a disappointingly low ppi of 218.

The iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus both trump the Lumia 900 in terms of display quality as well as resolution, while the Lumia 900 manages to tie it with the Galaxy S2 display. However, considering the Lumia 900 is being released in 2012, and all of its competitors were launched in 2011, the former should have had packed in a higher resolution screen. Sadly, since Windows Phone does not support resolutions higher than WVGA, there is nothing much the OEMs can do about it, except for wait for Windows Phone 8.

Read: Galaxy S2 vs. Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S – Which is the best smartphone of 2011?

Processing Power

Except for the Lumia 900, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, all have a dual-core processor. The A5 SoC used inside the iPhone 4S is an absolute beast and manages to trump every other mobile CPU + GPU combination easily. The Exynos SoC found inside the Galaxy S2 comes in second with two powerful Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, along with an ARM Mali-400MP GPU. The Galaxy Nexus also packs in two 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, which struggles to keep up with the HD resolution on the handset.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1.4GHz along with an Adreno 205 GPU powers the Lumia 900. While the OS on the handset itself runs very smooth, third party apps and browsing on the handset take a toll due to the limited CPU power.


The iPhone 4S, Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 pack in an 8MP camera with an LED flash, while the Galaxy Nexus houses a 5MP camera aided by an LED flash. The 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S can take some absolutely stunning pictures, and is a clear winner here. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 come in a close second, with the former struggling in low-light conditions quite heavily. The Galaxy Nexus with its poor, but with Instant capture feature, 5MP cam does not even stand a chance.

While the Lumia 900 may have come second in the camera shoot-out, we should not forget that the Galaxy S2 was released nearly a year ago. The Galaxy S3 is just around the corner, and chances are it will trump the Lumia 900 in camera performance easily.


While the iPhone App Store has more than 450,000+ apps, there are roughly around 300,000 apps in the Google Play Store. In comparison to this, the Windows Phone Marketplace has around 70,000+ apps. Sadly, there is a very serious lack of quality applications in the WP Marketplace. There is still no official Dropbox client available for the OS, which might be a bummer for quite a few people out there. There are still no graphically intensive games available for the OS. Most developers still prefer to launch an iOS version of their app first, followed by an Android version.

However, most developers who have released a WP7 version of their app have been seriously impressed with the SDK tools available for the platform, and actually prefer coding apps for WP rather than Android. So hopefully it is just a matter of time, and possibly few more APIs from Microsoft, before we see some quality apps hit the Windows Phone marketplace.

P.S. – I can’t comment on the battery life of the handsets since I have not used them long enough. However, I am sure the iPhone 4S will be a clear winner here just because it has a smaller screen, and lacks support for LTE networks. Lumia 900 should provide users with the same battery life as the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Nexus, if not worse.

Also Read: Some must have apps for the Nokia Lumia 900 and 800

Apple’s iPhone 4S Launches on China Telecom with 200,000 Pre-Orders

Late last month, we reported that Apple and China had been negotiating an iPhone deal. The deal would allow Apple to offer the iPhone on the largest mobile carrier in the world. Rumors had suggested that the iPhone would be made available on China Mobile on March 9th. Turns out, those rumors turned out to be true.

Today, China Telecom launched the iPhone 4S, which makes them the second carrier in the country to officially offer the iPhone for sale. With its 129 million mobile subscribers, this is a huge opportunity for Apple and this makes the carrier the largest carrier to offer the iPhone on a CDMA network.

M.I.C. Gadget has a nice overview of the launch events, and reports that China Telecom had announced a greater-than-expected 200,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4S. Preorders for the iPhone 4S on China Telecom had only been available for a week, as the carrier began taking order on March 2nd.

The carrier offers many monthly plans for the iPhone 4S. The 16GB model is offered for free on plans as low as 389 yan ($62) per month for a two-year contract or 289 yuan ($46 per month for a three-year contract.

So wait, who’s “winning” again?

iOS 5.1 IPSW Direct Download Links

Along with the ‘new iPad‘, Apple has also released iOS 5.1 to iDevice owners. This new version of iOS brings with it quite a few changes, bug fixes and new features. The most important change in the new version is that Siri now officially supports Japanese language. Secondly, users can also delete photos from their Photo Stream.

Other changes include a permanent camera shortcut icon on the lockscreen, battery life improvements, and more. Below the the full change-log of the update -:

  • Japanese language support for Siri
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius Playlists for iTunes Match Subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Updated AT&T network indicator
  • Address bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls.
The iOS 5.1 update is available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and the iPhone 3GS, along with the 2nd and 1st generation iPad. Owners of iPod Touch 3G and 4G can also download the update for free from iTunes. Alternatively, iDevice owners can manually update their device to iOS 5.1 by downloading and installing the IPSW file.
The iOS 5.1 IPSW file for the iPhone 4S can be downloaded from here, while the IPSW file for the iPhone 4 can be downloaded from here (GSM) and here (CDMA/Verizon). The IPSW files for iPod Touch 3G and 4G can be downloaded from here and here, respectively. iPad 2 Wi-Fi model owners can download the latest version of iOS 5.1 from here, while 3G+Wi-Fi model owners should click here (GSM) or here (CDMA).