Since Apple announced the iPhone 3GS at WWDC 2009, the buzz has been non-stop. There are obviously those Apple fanboys that are hyping this as the Third Coming, as well as those who are a bit more skeptical as to if the speed boost is truly real, and truly worth it. Oh, and of course, the lead-up to the iPhone 3GS launch hasn’t been without controversy, but AT&T stepped up in a big way to make it easier on iPhone 3G owners who want to upgrade without breaking the bank. So the question remains - is it worth it?
iPhone 3GS: The ‘S’ is for ‘Speed’
Okay, so many of us were speculating that this phone would be called the iPhone video. After all, when video came to the iPod, it was called the iPod video, and video would certainly be the big feature if it was included in the third iPhone, right? Wrong. Video takes a back seat to speed when it comes to the iPhone 3GS. I know, that sounds all sorts of silly, but allow me to explain. Apple has been focused on optimizing and refining OS X, as evidenced by what we are seeing with Snow Leopard. Remember, the iPhone is based on OS X at it’s core, and Apple wouldn’t neglect bringing those refinements to their flagship mobile device.
That said, believe the hype. This phone is very noticeably faster than the iPhone and iPhone 3G—even if you have an iPhone 3G that is already running the faster iPhone 3.0 update. You are able to launch and quit the core apps in a snap. Internet speeds are faster. Launching those games that take a while to load is nowhere near as frustrating. And best of all, despite this being a “little thing,” the little nagging stalls and overall lack of responsiveness are just gone.
So, if you are wondering just how fast that iPhone 3GS really is, we’ve got something you may want to take a look at. In this video, we compare the speed of the iPhone 3GS at pulling up Gear Live in Mobile Safari, to that of an iMac doing the same in the latest version of Firefox. Forget about comparing iPhone 3GS browser speeds to the older iPhone 3G, this really shows off the power inside of the latest Apple smartphone.
Earlier today we told you how AT&T impressed us by offering “best pricing” upgrades for iPhone 3G users to iPhone 3GS. Some wondered what would happen if they had already ordered the iPhone, especially if they bought it through the Apple Store. Turns out, Apple is already on top of it. I just got an email from the Apple Store Online team, letting me know that, within the next 5 days, I will get getting a $200 refund. You can see the entire text of the email after the break.
At WWDC 2009, aside from introducing the world to the iPhone 3G S, Apple also introduced a newly redesigned MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro 2009 revision does away with the removable battery, but replaces it with a battery that lasts up to 7 hours. Oh, and we mean a real 7 hours, we’ve tested it. Also, the ExpressCard slot has been removed, and in its place we now have an SD card slot. The MacBook Pro will even boot off of an SD card if you tell it to.
We’ve got a full 15-inch MacBook Pro 2009 gallery for you, with over 15 images showing off the 2009 revision of Apple’s flagship notebook computer. Check it out, this thing’s a beauty. Oh, and if you want to see our video unboxing of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, check it out after the break.
Read More | MacBook Pro 2009 unboxing gallery
Gallery: MacBook Pro 2009 unboxing gallery
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is the latest iPhone 3G (and iPhone 3G S) battery pack to come out of Mophie, and is the follow-up to the Mophie Juice Pack 3G. We’ve actually been big fans of the Juice Pack 3G since it launched last year, as it’s kept our iPhones running for just about twice as long as they normally would. FOr days during events like CES, that meant we could be checking email and texting all day and night without worrying about battery power dying. Of course, the Juice Pack 3G did have one drawback—its size. With the Juice Pack 3G on the device, it was just too big to fit anywhere comfortable, including a pants pocket. Looking to improve on that, Mophie has released the Juice Pack Air. Come on in for our full Mophie Juice Pack Air review, and be sure to enter our Mophie Juice Pack Air Giveaway!
Gallery: Mophie Juice Pack Air review
Whoa! Gear Live is now five years old—can you believe that? I sure can’t. It seems like it was just yesterday that I started up this little blog, to share my thoughts on consumer electronics in my spare time, and eventually getting a friend to help me post some news. Before we knew it, this become my full-time gig, and we were adding writers, and sections, left and right. Today, Gear Live has over 20,000 articles spread across our various sections, headed up by some of the best writers in the blogging game. We’ve got video shows, giveaways, and a social network that we are building as well. Regardless of how many things we’ve got going on from the past, we will always have some neat tricks up our collective sleeves in the future.
So how are we celebrating? Well, how about if we gave you presents? Since it’s our fifth birthday, we decided we would give away five Mophie Juice Pack Airs. After all, people are all over the iPhone 3G S if our numbers are correct (they are,) and what better way to celebrate than by doubling the battery life of your iPhone 3G or 3G S?
How do you enter? Simple. Just leave a reply in our ‘Gear Live Turns 5’ forum thread, letting us know what your favorite Gear Live story of all time happens to be. It can be a text update, or one of our videos. Just leave a link and tell us why you liked it. Once you’ve done that, head on over to Twitter and tweet the following:
“@gearlive Turns 5, and I just entered to win a Mophie Juice Pack Air! http://bit.ly/mophie-air” (Click here to tweet this now)
We will choose five random entries as our winners, and they’ll receive the Mophie Juice Pack Air for their troubles. Why should you want one? Check out our Mophie Juice Pack Air review. Now to start comparing kindergarten programs…
At the WWDC 2009 keynote, Apple revealed the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, bringing the aluminum MacBook into the Pro family, and also bringing back FireWire. We were able to get our hands on one of the new MacBook Pro 13-inch models, which also now include an SD card slot, and we’ve got a look at the product here for you in this episode of Unboxing Live!
Project Natal made an appearance this evening on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with Fallon and his guests getting to try out the controller-less Xbox 360 add-on. Kudo Tsunado was on hand to show off Project Natal, and just like at E3, he was wearing his huge sunglasses despite being indoors. Jimmy Fallon and crew got to slap balls around, and also played a little Burnout Paradise. Check out the video above.
Read More | Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
The Zune HD is real, and we are going to be giving one away to one of our readers. You want in? All you need to to do enter to win the Zune HD is help us win the I’m a Blogger Get me Out of Here contest. If we win, we will be bringing you content straight from the set of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. Seriously, I had to taste some of the most vile flavors I’ve ever put in my mouth, and you’ll probably get a few laughs out of it.
Here’s how to enter to win:
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Gear Live account
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Twitter account
- Add the Gear Live Twitter account to your follow list
- On Twitter, post the following tweet about our contest:
“I just entered to win a Zune HD from @gearlive! http://bit.ly/zune-hd” (Click here to tweet this now)
- Once that is done, leave a comment in this forum thread with a direct link back to your Tweet, or a screen capture showing you voted. Be sure you are signed in to your Gear Live account before you leave the response.
BONUS ENTRIES: Want more chances to win? Share the link to our contests on the following sites, and leave us a comment linking to those as well:
- Post a screen capture in the forum thread showing that you voted
- Facebook: Shared Link
- Del.icio.us bookmark
- FriendFeed: Use Post a Link
- Your blog: Have a site? Link to our contest on it!
Remember: The bonus entries are just that - bonus. In order to be eligible to win, you must complete the core Twitter requirements.
As we (hopefully) make it through each round, you get another chance to Vote all over again, giving you even more chances to win. The contest starts today, and is open to US residents only. You have until 11:00 PM PST on June 11th to enter your votes. We will then announce our winner, chosen randomly out of all valid entrants and bonus points, on June 12th. The winner will be sent a Zune HD right after the product launches. Remember, you have three chances to enter a vote!
Amidst all the iPhone 3GS hype, there is some bad news today as well for owners of the current iPhone 3G who may want to upgrade. As it turns out, those $199/299 prices being thrown around aren’t for you. Those are for new customers, and those who are at the end of their contract. If you are a current iPhone 3G owner on AT&T, you’ll have to shell out $399 for a 16GB iPhone 3GS, or $499 for a 32GB model. Ever have your iPhone 3G replaced because it was faulty? You may be in for an even bigger shock. As you can see in the image above, there are two iPhones that AT&T is giving the upgrade status on. The thing is, both phones were purchased on the same day, and are on the same plan (I should know, as it is my account up there.) See how the upgrade dates are different? Straight up ridiculous.
Oh, and if you are just completely not eligible for an upgrade, or want to buy an iPhone 3GS with no contract commitments? The 16GB model will cost you $599, and the 32GB iPhone 3GS will run you a cool $699. I know, it hurts.