Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting the Nexus One working on Fido (Canada)

Since the Nexus One is an unlocked phone and you can buy it without having to sign your life away, you will have to do a little bit of configuration yourself. It took me a little while to sort out what little conflicting information I could find in order to get all the bits in place.

As far as I can tell, the phone works perfectly on the Fido network at 3G speeds (I saw a lot of people saying it would not and would only work on EDGE).

Here are the steps you need to take to get the phone working on Fido's network.

Basic Phone & Voice Setup
  1. The Phone will want to configure when you first turn it on (You need a gmail account or a Google Apps account for this). Leave the SIM card out until the initial configuration is done. You can do it with the SIM in, but it's better to use a WiFi access point instead.
  2. Once done and booted for the first time, shut the phone down again (press and hold the button on the top left). Once the phone is off, insert your SIM (give attention to the orientation of the SIM card, it's labeled in the slot). Press the same button to power up the phone again.
  3. You should now have a working cell phone. you can make and receive calls with it etc. however the data portion will not yet be working. Make a test call if you can to check that the SIM is correctly installed.
Get the Data Setup
At this point the phone is working but you have no data. It will work fine on a Wifi connection (which you have already created) but as soon as you leave the house and the wifi goes out of range, you will lose the data access. All is not lost, there are just a couple of settings to add.

  1. On the phone, go to: Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> Mobile Networks
  2. Click on "Access Point Names" (it will be an empty screen).
  3. Click the menu button (centre left) and select "New APN".
You need to do that twice as there are two APNs to add as follows:

This is the one that will show the 3G icon in the notification bar.
Name: FidoINT
Username: fido
Password: fido
APN Type: default
leave the rest of the fields blank

This one will enable MMS from the phone.
Name: FidoMMS
MMS Proxy:
APN Type: mms
leave the rest of the fields blank

You should now have proper 3G data access and MMS working.

Update 1: It appears that MMS is not working. I'll see if I can sort out why and post it here.

Update 2: A commentator below (Milo) added the following to our knowledge base:
"To all those of you who are not getting 3g speeds and only edge:

I called Nexus One support about the issue, and I figured out why it is that I too am only getting edge. There are 2 versions of the Nexus One. The AT&T version and the world version. The most recent one which became available for sale in Canada will allow for 3g on all networks around the world, however if you purchased your nexus one from the states or a third party site prior to its release in Canada then you're as boned as I am. The newer Nexus One is identical except for the fact it works in wider cellular range for data. Now this doesn't mean the phone is completely useless for 3g. For example I just got back from Europe using an Orange sim and had 3g. Sadly I don't believe any provider in Canada at the moment works on the same frequency as the older Nexus One."

Nexus One - First Impressions

I've been an iPhone user for about 2 years now, but I ordered a Nexus One the same day they became availible in Canada.

Here are my first impressions.

- The packaging is as slick as an iPhone.
- The phone is a millimetere or two thinner than the iPhone, but overall its almost exactly the same size and it is going to fix in most of my iPhone holsters etc.
- It comes with a 4 gig microSD card already in the phone.
- Starts up with an animation as an indicator.
- The screen is much brighter than my iPhone. and faster.
- The onscreen keyboard is very similar to the iPhone, so I'm not having much trouble with it. It doesn't come withteh keyboardsound feedback enabled however which I'm missing right away. I may be able to turn it on once i get things going. (update: indeed you can turn on the click sounds).
- Battery status shows you what applications/features are taking up the most battery power... very handy.

I'll have to explore more, but I'll post anything else I find that is particularly cool or different.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Disillusioned with the iPhone

I have to admit that I've been an iPhone user for almost two years.
I love the interface, as it mostly works and in my opinion is much better than just about anything else currently available; including BlackBerry and Android phones.

The reason it's better has to do with the design of the user interface and the way it's controlled (android does pretty well, but is stuck a bit too much in older design concepts).

However I'm becoming more and more disgusted with Apple's goal of completely controlling the phone and all the content it gets. The recent move to kill iPhone apps that are competitive or are some how morally objectionable to someone at Apple (such as the recent decision to remove wifi finders from the app store), along with Apple's tendency to lock down anything they do in recent years is concerning me on a usability and moral level.

It only a matter of time before my disgust with Apple outweighs my desire to use the best device and I choose something else.

The question becomes what else there is. Android comes closest at the moment, but I'm not complete satisfied with that one ether.

Note: This image is not mine, and I don't know where it came from. If you know, let me know and I'll attribute it properly.