It takes a village: Group bug-swatting for the iPhone

Users are resorting to makeshift solutions for iPhone bugs and some compatibility issues are resolved.

The Web is filled with folks coming up with makeshift solutions from paper clips to cutting plastic away from headphones for some of the issues I've written about here.

For example, my friend Patrick, otherwise known as "he who waited hours in the iPhone line with me," agreed with my observations about previous generation iPod accessories that, on first glance, don't work with the iPhone. (He also had to wait three days in limbo for his iPhone to activate after being ported from Nextel while his wife's phone worked instantly, but that's another story he can tell you, complete with colorful metaphors.)

Me and Pat at the end of our iPhone wait in San Francisco

Pat, being the persevering type noted:

"I've noticed and been trying out some of the old iPod accessories that I have in the house/car and I've come to some conclusions. For example, I was so psyched to think that the [factory-installed] BMW (glove compartment) adapter would be a two-in-one-charger for my car and an iPod connector. Not sure if you've seen the 'not compatible' notification on the iPhone, but some of the old iPod accessories actually work in the 30-pin dock connector if you opt to switch to Airplane mode. Pretty cool. So, at first I was let down that I couldn't use some old accessories, but actually, you'll just have to send all of your callers to voice mail if you want to listen to your music in the Beemer and/or the bathroom on your Bose SoundDock."

Airplane mode, intriguing. This may well serve as a legitimate excuse to avoid those calls you don't want to take. Hrmm. Thank you Apple for a new reason why I missed that call from the good ol' boss.

As for the headphone "pop, pop, pop" issue I noted yesterday, while our iPhones were searching for a Wi-Fi fix, my friend Zach noted that the issue is most likely caused by the extradeep, recessed headphone port that iPhones have that iPods don't. So, most headphone connectors are too short to really connect with the iPhone's sound outputs (The sexual innuendo with this observation is boundless I swear). This is pretty annoying to me, but eh, market paths can be changed, right?

But Kevin Fox has noted the same issue on his blog, Fury.com, although with a different take:

"As those of you who have already bought iPhones know, most headphones don't fit the iPhone due to how far the plug is recessed into the case, meaning that unless a headphone plug has a very narrow flange behind the plug, it won't fit. A lot of people have commented that this was short-sighted or uncaring of Apple, but I think it's a calculated move toward world domination."

As Kevin notes, a paradigm shift may well be in the works, (he should know a little something about paradigm shifts) but with stop-gap solutions like thisfrom third-party vendors, I'm weary. I'm not sure I want the paradigm to shift if it's not Apple or Google driven. What I do like, however, is the community-based approach at problem solving these bugs we can all do for now.

About the author

    Kevin Ho is an attorney living in San Francisco. He's from Iowa originally where he got his first Atari computer when he was little and remembers using the Apple IIGS. He is PC-user but secretly a Mac person in the closet as evidenced by many an iPod cluttering his desk drawers. He'll be writing about his experience with the iPhone. Disclosure.

     

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