Monday, May 30, 2011

iPhone 3GS headphones on iPhone 3G - remote not working

Trying to use my iPhone 3GS/4 headphones, MB770G/B with an old iPhone 3G gave me a lot of headaches. The 3G plug differs from the 3GS headphone plug. Apple redesigned it. As a result, the microphone can't be used on the 3G, also the remote Volume Up, Volume Down, Answer/Hang Up keys are not compatible with the iPhone 3G. Bummer!
After a little bit of research (that also included changing the jack flex cable inside the 3G with a 3Gs version) I think I found the most convenient way to overpass these problems: drum-roll... the answer is:
Activator - a beautiful piece of software installed at iPhone jailbreak that allows you to assign special functions to the volume keys on your iPhone.  For instance: holding the Volume Up can be set up as Next Track and pressing Volume Up + Volume Down play/pause. The "shortcuts" can be set to function even if the screen is locked. 
Simply awesome! 
When riding a bike there's no need to take the iPhone and unlock it and go to iPod and change the song. When riding a motorcycle you don't have to take off your gloves to change the song! 

Is jailbreaking recommended? If you ride the bike, the motorcycle, skateboard, skates - yes it is!

Important Update:
Based on the fact the mic was not working as well, I decided to open up the iPhone to see if the headphone mother-plug was working properly. It was full of dust/dirt! Using a compressed air can I managed to take all the dust out and after measuring continuity on the flex cable from the headphone mother-plug to the connector no. 6 and putting the phone back together... Surprise, the microphone started working and the remote is partially working (the volume up/down keys are still useless but now I can answer the iPhone/hang up, change the song and pause music).


The Apple headphones MB770G/B are compatible with iPhone 3G even if they are designed for 3GS+ iPhones. The only downside is that the +/- keys will not work, but the main headset functionality can be achieved, the headphones act like their old version (the ones that had only the microphone/answer button.

Read more on headphone compatibility on Apple's site.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nokia E7 - camera light troubleshooting

Trying to take a picture after sunset I realized that the camera flash wasn't lighting.
After going through the settings a few times, rebooting the phone, trying to turn that light in flashlight mode (holding the  unlock button in the main screen) - I gave up: the camera flash on the new E7 was broken.
When going in flashlight mode, the phone vibrated. So, the light function was activated/deactivated (no light though).
Not being able to remove the battery left me clueless (it's an internal battery, like the one on the iPhone).
But, when messing around with the phone, I realized the following: when the Nokia E7 was turned off, I kept the power button pressed and the phone vibrated 3 times and booted. Surprise: the camera led was working again!!!
 I don't know if that applies to other phones/models but I worked for me, another visit to the service avoided.

Later Edit
I took the phone apart :) The flash light module has 2 contacts that were not pressing on the mainboard hard enough. Bending and tensing the two copper contacts toward the mainboard did the trick.

Monday, May 16, 2011

PlayBook fast battery discharge

FIX: Open the Video Chat application and accept Agreement. 
Full story:
When first powered on, the Blackberry PlayBook requested an operating system update. After the update process was completed successfully I fully charged the tablet. To my amazement, the next morning the PlayBook was turned off and battery was empty, 0%, dead!

I thought it would need a recalibration or something like that (Android powered phones sometime need after rooting and installing a new OS). After charging the PlayBook a few times the battery life was the same (a few hours). The battery was discharging in an incredible fast rate when in standby mode.Thinking the Playbook was  broken I emailed support. They answered the next day with the fix.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blackberry PlayBook

Yey, the new Blackberry PlayBook arrived today!
The package contains: PlayBook, Neoprene Sleeve, Cleaning Cloth, Micro-USB Cable, Micro-USB Folding Blade Charger. Even if the charger was designed for US power outlets, it has an Input voltage 110-240V - with a small adapter you can plug it in European plugs at well. Nice job Blackberry!

The tablet automatically updated its OS on the first power on. Everything went fast and smooth.

Playbook comes with preinstalled apps including NFS Undercover, Youtube, Calculator, Tetris, Adobe Reader.

As opposed to Apple's iPad, the browser has built-in Flash support. Video streaming sites with a Flash player worked like a charm.

I still can't figure out how to email a picture after capturing it with the built in camera...

To sum up: 
Pros: fast, good screen angles, true multitasking, 2 speakers, ... fast
Cons: it's a little heavier than i expected, no email client integrated  (only browser based)