2012 MacWorld | iWorld Review: iPhone Tripod Mounts

I went to MacWold | iWorld in search of a decent iPhone Tripod Mount.  There were many available to purchase, but two caught my eye during this year’s event.

The first is the Glif from Studio Neat.  This particular mount fits very well with an iPhone 4 or 4S. Studio Neat has also designed the Serif, which adds much needed security to the mount. The Glif combo which includes the Glif and Serif is $30 or you can purchase the Glif by itself for $20.

The next tripod mount is from i4Software. This mount was not for sale during MacWorld | iWorld, but i4Software offered it for free upon the purchase of the $7.99 Video Camera iOS Application, which won the Best of Show Award for 2012.

I was told that the mount would be for sell for $20. What is nice about this mount is that it doesn’t require the removal of a iPhone’s case. It also could work with other phones. I find that it isn’t all that great when used with the iPhone 4 Bumper case as it is easy to slide the iPhone from side to side. Also the first one I received was broken.

In the end I wished I would have purchased the Glif Combo ($25 at the show) as the need to mount my iPhone to take video and photos will be limited and my can handle the inconvenience of taking the it out of the bumper case.

My iPhone 4S Purchase and AT&T Activation Lesson

I wanted to be the first on the block to own an iPhone 4S. I waited 9 hours and 47 minutes the week prior to pre-order the latest and greatest iPhone. It wasn’t until the morning of October 12th that it shipped from China.  I tracked it landing in Alaska that very same day (actually gaining 7 hours). By Thursday it had landed in Louisville, Kentucky. By the time I had gone to bet Thursday night, it had traveled to Salt Lake City, UT.

I went to bed feeling knowing that it would arrive in the Boise Metro Area during the early morning hours and put on a UPS truck for delivery. The iPhone arrived sometime after 10AM Friday October 14th. I had read on Twitter that AT&T was having issues activating the newly arriving iPhones.

This did not detour me. I took some snap shots of the un-boxing with my iPhone 3GS. Posted them to twitter and then began the process. I found that I needed iTunes or a wireless connection to activate the phone. I thought this was weird, but I had alternatives as iTunes 10.5 was not available on my work PC and wireless signals were weak at best.

I took a stroll to the local coffee shop in an attempt to secure a wireless signal for activation. I was in luck and began the process. The new phone displayed a message it would take a mere 3 minutes and I would be activated. After about 3 minutes I received a new message stating:

“Your activation is still pending. You will receive an email notification once your activation is complete. We’re sorry. There was a problem connecting to the server. Please try again later.”

Though my new iPhone 4S was activated around 7PM my time, what transpired in between receiving the device and afterwards is a lesson learned. I tried to complete the activation at an AT&T store in my local area at lunch. I was met with brick wall of “you ordered it through Apple, there is nothing we can do”. I headed to the Apple Store, and was met with yes we have been activating AT&T all day with one problem.

The Genius tried, but failed two different times. An AT&T representative was trying her best to get me along with 5 other with the same issue activated, but with no luck. While about to leave, I ran into a gentleman that walked in, bought an iPhone 4S, activated it on AT&T and walked out of the Apple Store in less than 30 minutes. He said that it was true of many people that day.

Apple Store employees said the same, but could not help in my situation since I had pre-ordered the phone. The AT&T representative only made matters worse by having me complete several non effective tasks in order to complete activation. Discouraged I headed back to work a few minutes late from lunch.

After arriving back to work things got worse.  I read an article that many people were able to activate there pre-ordered iPhone 4S with an AT&T representative over the phone. I made a call. I was greeted by a warm voice that was more than happy to help. She discovered that my data plan was not matching the SIM card. She put me on hold, worked some magic and came back on the line. It was about then the call on my 3GS failed and I had now lost phone service on my 3GS and my iPhone 4S was not activated, but something new appeared, a 3G signal.

After several attempts to activate I continued to get nowhere. I called back to AT&T to see if the process that had been started earlier could bring the phone to life, but no such luck. I was also told that my 3GS was dead in the water as well.

It was time to head home for the day. I attempted over the newly acquired 3G signal to activate the 4S while driving home. Driving home in rush hour I have frequent and long stops. While picking my daughter up from daycare I returned to my car to discover that my phone had been activated. At last after about 8 hours I was finally activated. However, I needed to connect to my iMac to restore my settings.

The next day I arrived back at the Apple Store to purchase a case. I found droves of people purchasing phones without activation issues, most of which were AT&T customers. For all my waiting, complaining and pure madness through purchasing and activation, I could have kept my sanity and walked into my local Apple Store and been in and out in 30 minutes. I learned a valuable lesson in all of this; it’s not worth being the first and AT&T is a terrible iPhone launch partner.

My 9 Hour 47 Minute iPhone 4S Pre-order Experience

I stayed up to early morning hours of Friday October 7th to order an iPhone 4S. I had already decided on a White one with 32GB of storage. As a current iPhone 3GS owner I had been eligible to upgrade since the early part of September.

At 1:01 AM I promptly refreshed the Apple Online Store homepage to be greeted with the standard “We’ll be back soon” message. While I waited I headed over to twitter to see if any other followers were running into the same thing.

Forward to 1:32 AM and the store is still not up. I respond back to Chris Breen about his complaint about the store being down “@BodyofBreen imagine how east cost people feel. #iPhone4S #applestoredown”. No reply back, but he was on Pacific Time and far better off than the rest of us. It’s at this point I decided to give up for the moment and get some rest. I felt I was in for a long wait.

2:25 AM I wake startled to find that the store was up, but after numerous attempts I can’t get past the eligibility screen. I try AT&T and still no luck. Errors and more errors until 3:01 AM, I get a message that an iPhone had been reserved and that an email would notify me when I could come back to Apple Store and place my order. Not trusting system, I try one more time and get the same message. Well nothing more to do, but back to bed and get some rest.

4:53 AM I get the email telling me the Apple Store is ready for me. I have until Saturday October 8th 5:00PDT to order. I start the process yet again, but run into the biggest issue of the day. I can’t change my shipping address. I try about everything possible for the next hour to make a change in shipping, no luck. I am completely frustrated as I can’t be home on the 14th of October and wait for an iPhone. Why can’t I ship it to my work address? I go back to bed.

10:26 AM I attempt to pre-order via AT&T. I get to the shipping address and find I cannot change it via AT&T either. I scroll down and discover that “for security reasons” I can only have the phone shipped to the billing address of record. I am dumbfounded as why this is a policy, but I play the game. I switch my billing address to my work address and at 10:48 AM my order is complete.

1:44 PM my email Order Acknowledgment arrives solidifying my order. As of this post my iPhone 4S has yet to ship, but I expect it to. I am hearing that people ordering Black 16GB models have received notification. In fact a co-worker ordered a 1 black model and 1 white model, with the shipping confirmation coming for the black model.

The pre-order experience was far from flawless. I believe AT&T was to blame for a lot of the issues. Apple had a great back up plan in place this time. Verizon and Sprint from what I read had little problems, which says a lot about those two companies. Obviously Apple did not intend for customers to wait as long as I did to fill an order. At this point I need a few naps to recover all the lost sleep. Good Night.