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iphone exchange and gps features

I wanted to quickly jot down some notes on my experiences with the iphone.

First off, it lives up to expectations; it is the best consumer electronics device I have ever owned. It has it’s flaws, well documented; I am very very content with the device.

AT&T however, is clearly not what it used to be. I’ve been on Sprint for a year and I rarely dropped a call and they always sounded great; I have consistent dropped calls with AT&T as well as “I can’t quite hear you” moments. I live and work in the San Fernando Valley/Burbank areas. So AT&T had better improve. I do applaud the iPhone going with GSM however – I prefer international standards when possible.

EXCHANGE: As far as exchange goes, I “keep hearing” that they’re going to add activesync support, which makes me hesitant to invest any time in “hacking” my iPhone to work with exchange (which I was prepared to do). If your corporate security regime does not mind, the simplest is to forward your exchange mail to a gmail account, then set your gmail account to use your work email as your “reply to” address. Although your mail will say, “sent by <gmail account> on behalf of <work email>, your emails will properly be sent to your work email account. Don’t do this of course if your work will fire you for breaking their tight exchange security.

GPS: I am working  on the following hack, which I encourage others to do as well:

    1) get a sprint or verizon rev A evdo card
    2) plug it into a tiny, linux-bootable arm device such as this TS-WIFIBOX
    3) plug in a GPS receiver
    4) enable the wireless router
    5) write a small script or program to get the GPS data and send it out on a port, or simply paste it, once a second, into a little text file served on a web server on the same box
    6) write a safari HTML mash-up “application” that uses google/yahoo/MSN live maps and plots the lat/long of the box. Since the iphone will be connected through the wifi box, it can get the GPS from “192.168.0.1:80/gps.rss” on the wifi box, and integrate it through javascript, plotting it into the web

Simple, eh? The total thing should cost $250 (TS-WIFIBOX) + $150 (Sprint u720 EVDO USB receiver) + $75 (any USB GPS receiver).

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