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'If I want to use my iPad as a phone, then let me' and other great CNET comments this week

Each week, we round up some of the most thoughtful comments from the CNET community. Here are some of this week's best.

The dry spell for Apple has been well documented, and everyone is waiting for Cupertino's next move. Many of us are wondering: Can Apple catch up to the progress Motorola, HTC, and Samsung have made this year in the smartphone wars? That's why we have to do it: we have to talk about the iPhone rumors about color (champagne! multiple options!) and models (low-cost second model!) that have piled up this week like so many discarded USB chargers.

In his FAQ on all these iPhone rumors, Josh Lowensohn gives a practical breakdown of what could and could not happen with Apple's rumored September 10 phone announcement. It's a good read, and you all have some good comments on his predictions, too. In another piece that currently hosts a whopping 1,125 comments, Rick Broida explains what Apple must do to keep him as a customer.

We've highlighted a few of your responses here. Nothing prompts a conversation like the iPhone, and we'd love to hear your position on the ongoing debate about its future. We're also highlighting your thoughts about Gmail privacy and Microsoft's continued walkback of Xbox One user requirements. Enjoy.

--Lindsey Turrentine, Editor-in-Chief, CNET Reviews

Apple's cheaper and not so cheap iPhone explained (FAQ)

by Josh Lowensohn (Read more)

A cheaper iPhone on top of a normal iPhone upgrade now seems inevitable, but what's the big deal? And a champagne color? Really?! CNET explains.

BruinGuy: This all seems good to me. Although I'll never own an iPhone I think it best for Apple to make a comeback. Apple's dismal market share of only 13.2% means that there's little or no competition for Samsung. While I like Android, a smartphone world ruled by any one vendor (Samsung) isn't appealing. Competition creates innovation and innovation helps the us, the consumer. What we don't want is a repeat of the Mac where Apple sits back and lets Microsoft dominate. We see where that got us. See post.

The one thing Apple must do to keep me as an iPhone customer

by Rick Broida (Read more)

Rick's been a faithful iPhone owner for over five years, but unless the next model has this feature, he's switching to Android.

Biandhi: I keep reading a lot of opinions that say that a significant number of people primarily use a smartphone for data (Internet, Web, apps, text, e-mail) and don't actually make a lot of phone calls.

Given that, and if you fall into that category, why don't you just get a iPad Mini with cellular data. There are several good options (Google Voice, Vonage, Skype) that very inexpensively allow you to add VoIP telephony that works over cellular data.

That gives you a ginormous "phablet" off the shelf with all the tablet features you desire and only slight inconvenience for voice telephony. But hey, VoIP works fairly well most of the time and if phone calls have become a minor use for a smartphone, why isn't that a simple trade-off?

Personally, I think Apple should should just enable voice calls on all their tablets and be done with the criticism they don't have a phablet. Hey, if I want to use my iPad as a phone, then just let me! (Bluetooth headset and iPad in a purse, backpack, or briefcase, isn't really as crazy as it may seem.)

See post.

Tech-Pastor: I am facing the same dilemma. I am a longtime Apple user with a MacBook Pro, iPad Mini, and an iPhone 4S. Also have two Apple TVs. But, admittedly I have grown restless and started peeking over the fence at Android devices. I am pretty heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem and I have never had any problems. Everything just works. I am, however, a technology enthusiast. I like to explore new gadgets. If Apple's announcement yields the same form factor with merely incremental improvements I think I will try Android for a while. Still not sure, but I will at least explore the possibility. I think the Android environment has come a long way, and it looks like I can do all the things I want to do on either device. And I am not one who thinks you must choose a side. These are gadgets, not your religion. I will use whatever I want, and if I do not like it... I will switch back See post.

Microsoft dumps Kinect link requirement for Xbox One

Nic Healey (Read more)

The game console was designed to shut down if it wasn't connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours. The Xbox One will still ship with the new version of the Kinect camera, but connecting it will no longer be mandatory.

Abro86: This is pretty humorous. Microsoft has to keep backtracking on all their stances. But hey, for me the bigger issue wasn't so much the "always on" feature, or even the Kinect. It was that I really don't want to have to pay for Xbox Live. It just doesn't offer anything beyond multiplayer game capability. Because of that I'd prefer to stick to PC gaming where I can play multiplayer games free of charge.

But hey, to each their own. I know many gamers like Xbox Live and would pay to have it, and play on the Xbox servers.

See post.

Gmail: You weren't really expecting privacy, were you?

Molly Wood (Read more)

The Internet is in a panic over a Google legal brief that claims Gmail users have no expectation of privacy when they use the service. Good headline, but let's be honest: that's the entire point of Gmail.

Ud_88: Postal Services around the world should go on an advertising overdrive. All of their new slogans should be: We DON'T read your letters. See post.

eccles1214: The main issue here is if you are willing to let someone track your movement and content on the Web so that they can sell you and the general population better ads. We know that this data in the past came from credit cards, grocery stores, and sometimes even government agencies, etc. The only thing that should be of concern to the majority of Google users is the concept of "free for now because it is paid for by ad revenue" concept. If this massive data collection does not translate to people buying more of the advertisers' stuff, then Google will have to increase your out-of-pocket contribution to their "free" service. I am curious if people buy more stuff if Google happens to link the sellers with the buyers in a more focused way. See post.

rgor: Despite these "revelations" (as if we did not know this already), every day millions of people will sign up for Gmail because it DOES offer great service with less spam and more features than its competition and because in order to use an Android phone, a Gmail address is required. Indeed, the latter factor (requiring a Gmail e-mail address in order to use Android) appears to be the main reason for the incredible growth of Gmail lately. If only some of Gmail's competitors would make an e-mail system as good as Gmail (including the excellent spam protection and the phone number feature that used to be Grand Central), then maybe people would use it if they cared about their privacy. The problem is all of Gmail's competitors -- even -- fall short of Gmail in at least one feature or another. See post.