Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Disable Phone-based data for the iPhone 4S

Why would you do this anyway?
With the mobile data connection disabled, the iPhone can still hook into wireless networks, including those at home, in shopping centres and hotels, at McDonalds and Starbucks, on public transport and at the office to surf the internet and to receive data.

It just won't be able to access data where there is either no internet wi-fi connection or where you haven't set it up.  As a means of keeping mobile costs down however, the wi-fi option is certainly better than a mobile data one.

In particular, if you're travelling overseas, you'll want to disable the high-cost mobile internet option.

Why can't I just use the Airport Mode?
Airport mode is designed to allow your phone to be used on aircraft (once the plane has levelled out).  It will prevent the phone from receiving calls effectively turning it into a brick that plays games.

Why wouldn't I just change my plan?
You certainly could change your plan to not include data however this would mean that it would be "permanently off" at least until you change your plan back.  The way suggested in this post is better. If you get stuck somewhere and you suddenly need data access back, you can simply turn it on.

Ok, I'm convinced.- how do I do it?
On your iPhone, go to,

  • Settings 
  • Then General 
  • Then Network 
  • Locate an entry marked Mobile Data 
  • Slide it to Off
  • That's it. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Moving from Blackberry to the iPhone 4S

Before I start on this series, I want to make my starting position clear.  I'm generally "phone-agnostic".  I've had a Blackberry Bold 9000 for years and before that it was a Blackberry 8800.  Prior to that I had a Nokia "dumb-phone".

My only non-work phone choice recently was a HTC Android device for my wife.

I've never spent much time with Apple and I've traditionally disliked their computers.  I guess that means that;

1. You have to take any criticisms here with a pinch of salt.
2. If I end up really liking the device, then it's even better than I say.

The longer term plan for this series will be for me to start looking at how to use Lotus Traveler to make the iPhone a secure device like Blackberry.

Initial Thoughts

The apple packaging is very slick and much nicer looking than the blackberry packaging.  (A win to Apple).

The apple device weighs considerably more than the blackberry bold - probably twice the weight actually. It feels much more solid but sooo weighty. (Easily a win to Blackberry)

Sim Card Installation
The iPhone has easily the worst sim card installation facility I've seen. You have to have exactly the right size paperclip to open the sim door.  My paperclips were all too big. Then it needs a smaller size than standard SIM, which meant that I had to go find a Telstra shop.  (Massive win to Blackberry).

Very, very painful.  I found typing on the apple keyboard to be difficult enough and for some reason, it didn't rotate to the wider version when I tilted the phone.   Note; A day later and my typing is very much improved.  Still not up to Blackberry speed, but much better.

Regardless, the apple setup really annoyed me - especially with it needing to create all these accounts and things.  So, I'm going to give that win to Blackberry too.

It took me a short while to remember to  use the big button at the bottom of the phone but it's started to become natural now.  I do miss the blackberry menu button because the menu isn't always obvious on the iphone but I'm getting used to it.  I'll call this one a draw.

This was where the iPhone suddenly started to come into its own. Blackberry has come a long, long way over the last few years but the iPhone completely left if for dead.  There's simply no comparison when it comes to application location and installation.   A massive win to the iPhone.

Interestingly, the wi-fi coverage on the iPhone was not as good as the blackberry. I needed to be closer to the access points in order for it to work.  That's a win to Blackberry.

I'm not sure about this one yet because I'm still trying to find (without cheating) iPhone features however I've found some really good ones - like being able to shut down the phone-data connection while leaving calls and wi-fi working.  I'll post a how-to on that later.  I'm going to give this marginally to the iPhone because although configuration is harder to find, it's certainly more functional.

Business Systems Integration
I got the iPhone to connect to IBM Lotus Traveler easily enough and established a connection to my Gmail without difficulty.  Getting my gmail contacts populated across was a little tricky (since you have to choose Microsoft Exchange !!) but it worked.  I've also managed to set up a VPN connection to work and remote desktop my computer - all free of charge.  I'm impressed.  This one goes to the iPhone.

So there you have it.  At the moment, my scores are dead even but I'm beginning to suspect that I might end up liking the apple device. 

Packt Celebrates 1000 IT Titles with a FREE Gift

You may remember that I've reviewed a few of Packt Publishing's books on this site in the past;

PACKT Publishing is releasing their 1000th IT title this month and are celebrating the event in style.

Anyone who is already registered with Packt or anyone who signs up for a free Packt account before 30 September 2012 will get a surprise gift.

So don't delay, head over to Packt and sign up.

They have easily the best collection of domino books and you might snag yourself a bargain as well as a surprise gift.

Other Useful Packt Links