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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 “” 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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