July 2010

Failure to order

apple_order_failure_0.png This morning a fresh batch of technology devices landed at the Apple store. This included the magic trackpad and a slick, energy efficient battery charger. Who can resist?

Plus I had a couple of gift cards around that had small balances and Apple is good about allowing multiple cards on a single order. Well sort of. So everything went well and the order went in this morning. This afternoon, however, the word came there was a problem.

When you order at Apple online they run a $1 pre-authorization for your card to make sure it's good. When they did this with the gift card it's available $7 balance was reduced to $6 so when they tried to run it for $7 later the charge failed. Oy!

Getting iPhone mail working from outside Mail.app on iOS4

This past week has been rather quiet but not in the way I'd hoped. Normally when I'm on the road as I was this week I'd get a series of photos and videos of the various things going on at home. While FaceTime is great and we had some great calls the videos and photos weren't coming.

As it turns out this isn't some issue with a lack of good intentions. In fact my wife was certain she'd sent them. Indeed there on her iPhone was an outbox full of messages to family members waiting for the last week to be sent.

It also turns out that she's far from alone in having these issues. And before Apple feels the need to post videos of other phones failing in the same way, yes there are other phones having similar problems that aren't running iOS4 or made by Apple.

At the same time my phone is having no issues sending photos and videos from the photo gallery. So I started to compare the differences between the two phones.

An unusual iPad 3G activation problem

AT&T Logo This afternoon I got a call from the folks who had spent hours trying to activate the cellular data plan on an iPad. Having called Apple and AT&T didn't help. The frustration level was understandably very high. At the end of the day it boils down to an odd little problem that AT&T never anticipated.

First the interface for activation isn't great at dealing with errors. The cycle would run like this. You enter all the data and submit it. The system doesn't like your physical address and tells you so. When it presents the form with the error it also removes the password you've entered in your last attempt. However it doesn't highlight the password field so you don't know readily it's been removed. Your next submission is rejected for not having a password. Once you fill that in it gets rejected for the address again and around, and around, and around you go.

But that's my job!!

While running errands today I stopped in the credit union to do a little business and see who I could talk to about the problematic iPad website. It's a simple problem really, the iPad is redirected to the mobile website. As you'll see if you visit the mobile site it is pretty spartan. More problematically there is no way to opt-out of using the mobile site.

So I try to explain the problem and I'm treated to an explanation of how the browser on the iPad works. "You see, the iPad looks to the server just like an iPhone so it's not possible to tell," goes the explanation. Of course it's complete balderdash. I explain that I spend my days working on some relatively large websites and know a thing or two and in fact it is possible to differentiate the two.