Verizon iPhone Has Antenna Issues

According to Consumer Reports, the iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless’ network has a similar problem to the AT&T version. If the phone is held in a certain way, it could cause dropped calls or problems dialing out. This is due to blocking of the antenna which is in the band around the phone.

Consumer Reports tested the Verizon iPhone 4 and found that covering tiny gaps in the metal band surrounding the phone’s edge causes “meaningful decline in performance.”

In conditions where cell signal is weak, the iPhone 4 would drop calls when the user covered the gaps by holding the phone in a specific — but natural — way. This issue can also be avoided by using a cover on the phone which prevents contact with the antenna.

Consumer Reports conducted similar tests last summer on the iPhone 4 that runs on AT&T Inc.’s networks. In both cases, the publication has decided not to include the phone on its list of recommended smart phones.

iPhone 4 Verizon Review

cnet verizon iPhone review

The good: The Verizon iPhone 4 offers a hot-spot feature not available on AT&T’s device. Performance was better in most regards.

The bad: The Verizon iPhone 4 lacks world roaming and the ability to access voice and data simultaneously. The hot-spot feature didn’t work with all devices.

The bottom line: The Verizon iPhone 4 has much in common with its AT&T counterpart, but varying features and different performance give it enough room to stand apart. It won’t vastly change your iPhone experience, but we welcome the consumer choice that it brings. Continue reading

Review of Omnigraffle 5 Diagramming Essentials

Omnigraffle 5 Diagramming Essentials by Ruben Olsen from Packt Publishing.

I found the book poorly organized and the exercises in the first few chapters did not have clear objectives. It could really have used more information reviewing the “essentials” of Omnigraffle rather than spending so much time on the stencils that the author had placed on Graffletopia.

The information for the beginner is not as straightforward as it should be. Working through the exercises are not as useful to those who really need to get a handle on the overall flow and model of Omnigraffle.

The walkthroughs on OmniGroup Extras do a better job of pointing out key the tools and how to use them. It also provides tips on organizing your workspace. Continue reading

Tron Legacy

I find it sad to hear that the new Tron movie has been reviewed very poorly.

Digital Trends

Rotten Tomatoes

Screen Rant

I was really hoping for something better when I originally heard about the project (and blogged about it) nearly 3 years ago.

I still plan on seeing the movie. I mean, even those that hated it thought the special effects are worth it… Still, I was hoping that this would bring a resurgence into the franchise and allow us to move away from those ridiculous vampire movies.

Please test your site for usability

It is amazing to me, as a usability researcher, that there are still companies that do not test their sites for usability.

While I know that hiring professional usability researchers may be out of the budget for some smaller companies, it is possible (and highly recommended) that you they at least put their designs in front of a few users and fix the basics.

Steve Krug, who wrote, Don’t Make Me Think”, still standard reading for designers, web developers & usability professionals, has written another book.  It is essentially a companion book to his first, very successful book on usability . While the first book focused on design, this new book is all about testing.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy“Rocket Surgery Made Easy” explains just how easy it is to do usability testing on your own.

I highly recommend it for those who think that usability testing is too difficult or too expensive and so end up putting your website out there with all the horrible problems that make the internet difficult to navigate and information hard to find.

While this book does lay out all the things that designers and web developers would need to do the testing themselves, I am not concerned that we usability  specialists will lose much work, as there are still plenty of more difficult usability issues, often related to enterprise websites as well as internal applications that will require larger tests as well as in depth studies that Steve Krug does not cover in this book.

There is a companion website for the book with additional downloads and videos.