Weird Rogers 3G network error

2008/12/16

Since about Sunday, Dec 7th (I remember exactly because I noticed it when leaving the regular ByMUG meeting at Patty Bolands) my iPhone for no particular reason decided to translocate itself to GMT+1 time zone. It was not visible immediately, only emails received at 16:20 were shown as received 6 hour in the future.

All this without any changes or installing anything on my end …

The Clock application showed what was wrong (this snapshot was taken on Sunday, 16:02 Ottawa time):

img_0007

I tried to change settings for Date and Time to manual and correct the problem, but any time I switched back to keeping time synchronized automatically it jumped back to wrong time.

I believe this is a Rogers problem as it happens only when 3G is on. With Edge, you can safely switch forth and back beween any impact on the correct time. It would look like the iPhone is getting wrong information from the 3G network about time or about timezone (despite the settings of timezone to Ottawa, Canada). I tried Toronto and Montreal for timezone settings – same results.

Currently there are two workarounds:

1) Use Edge and suffer the slow speed, partially compensated by better battery life
2) Use manual setting and take into account that without network synchronization time your phone can get out of sync byt as much as few minutes
per day.

There is also discussion thread on Apple site.

I suggest that everybody that experiences this calls Rogers and requests fix. I would also consider asking for refund of part of the data plan, because this problem basically does not allow to use the 3G service we are paying for.

Chances are slim for getting few bucks back but maybe it will help to elevate the severity of the problem in their Bugzilla (or whatever they use for issue tracking).

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Fix for ‘Sender address is invalid’ error on iPhone 3G

2008/11/24

I started to have this error about week ago, out of the blue. I was not aware of making any changes, but suddenly could not reply to an email, send new email or even forward existing email in the iPhone default Mail application. I am using GMail account and because other clients on different platforms worked OK, I suspected either Rogers or Apple. I was trying several possible fixes (and used Safari and Gmail web access – which is not much fun).

Here is what did NOT resolve the problem:

  • deleting and recreating the account
  • upgrading to firmware 2.2
  • resetting and restoring the phone

Finally, the fix was to switch off all Gmail SMTP servers (for no particular reason there were two) and switch on the Rogers SMTP. To do that, go to Settings, Mail Contacts Calendar, click on account, select SMTP server.

I do not remember entering any of these servers, so they must have been created automagically when creating the GMail account in the Mail app. The Rogers account that works is all greyed out, the username and password is set to optional and the part of URL showing is smtp.rogerswirelessdata.c…

Because I have disabled BOTH Gmail server, the Default settings now shows under SMTP ‘No Server’ – but it works 🙂


iPhone firmware 2.1 – first impressions

2008/09/16

I was brave and updated right away last Friday, as soon as the update appeared, both the iTunes and the iPhone firmware. And so far, so good. Initial observations are quite positive – at least so far, from using it during last few days.

I never had any issues with the dropped calls, so I cannot report any improvement. What seems to work better is browsing: I get much less (if any) connection errors. It is hard to say whether it was the firmware, or Rogers fixed something – or the fixed firmware causes less issues to network – it looks like improvement.

What is definitely a huge improvement is sync time. Backup now does not take 5 minutes+, it is down (after initial one) to less than minute and whole sync with transfering new podcasts and application updates is done in 2-3 minutes max. The application update still takes about same amount time – at least it feels like it.

Overall, there are few nice little improvements, like this one in list of podcasts:

Note the detail info that indicates half-finished podcasts and shows how much of the audio is left:

Nice touch (pun intended) 😉


Calendar synchronization between iPhone, Google calendars and iCal

2008/09/09

Here is my situation: I am using three different Macs (Macbook Pro and two iMacs – one at home and occasionally second one at work) and need to keep the contacts and calendars synchronized at least between two of them (MBP and home iMac). I use iPhone which also has calendar and contacts. And in the cloud, there is Google calendar. Actually, more than one: my own calendar and company shared calendar of my colleagues from Thinknostic. Quite a challenge to keep it all in sync.

Here is the setup that works for me:

To synchronize iCals between different Macs as well as between Mac and iPhone, the most seamless and completely painless way seems to be using Mobile Me. I registered for Mobile Me back when it started – just to grab the name (miro at me dot com), and have not used it much at first. Thanks the 30+60 day extension, I have still until mid November ti decide whether I will keep it or no. The sync feature alone seems to be worth at least half of the subscription price. The other half is push email and really easy way how to synchronize files between Macs … Also to have online access to your contacts when you are not on a Mac can be useful sometimes. But back to the workflow:

Theoretically, both iCal and address book gets synchronized every time you sync the iPhone with Mac. This is not really as useful as it may sound, because I do the sync about once a week to download images from camera and upload new podcasts. And to update the apps, of course. I would not do that more often, for simple reason: the synchronization takes forever. Ten minutes at least. With Mobile me, you can sync as often as you want (every minute if you really want) – and also access the information online via browser.

To synchronize Google calendar used to require some helper applications, like GCalDaemon (free, opensource) or Spanning Sync. Not any more. Since Google opened up the API this summer, it can be done out of the box: read more on here

This solution is almost perfect, the only relatively minor problem is that sync between iCal and Google does not include iPhone: the calendars that you have added to iCal and are coming from GCal are left out – Mobile Me synchronization does not include calendars not created or owned by iCal application. This is not such a big deal as it may seem because from iPhone, you can always access the Google calendar by using the very good mobile Web UI.


More on kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork Error 302

2008/08/28

A friend made me aware of this (thanks, Peter):

The Inside Deets on iPhone 2.0.2 and Dropped Calls
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/08/28/the-inside-deets-on-iphone-202-and-dropped-calls/

Sounds like plausible explanation.

It is not the network that is fault but the interaction of the bad
power control algorithm in 2.0 and 2.0.1 software and the network that
is at fault. The sooner everybody is running 2.0.2 software the better
things will be. Having seen the graphs the 2.0.2 software has already
started to make difference.


The Things bliss

2008/08/24

Finally – the new version of Things on iPhone can synchronize with Things on Mac desktop.

It actually works – no strings attached. Assumed that:

1) the WiFi on iPhone is on

2) iPhone and Mac are on same network (so that Bonjour magic can work)

3) the Mac Things is running when you start Things on iPhone

the synchronization happens automatically and is VERY fast (few seconds max).

Finally a portable GTD application that works for me :-).

PS: Things is very nice implementation of GTD. If you are not into GTD cult, do not bother – or try reading this, this and this first ….


Rogers, iPhone and the dreaded kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork Error 302

2008/08/23

Many people recently (including myself) had experiences difficulties with Web access on the iPhone. Quite often the following error message pops up:

Usually repeating the web page access helps. Sometimes you have to try third time or wait few minutes.

This has nothing to do with signal strenght – as you can see, there are 4 bars and 3G is on. I saw it happen on Edge as well. Reseting the phone sometimes helps, but it is hard to say whether because of the reset or time delay ..

Most people think this is network problem with Rogers data network and I tend to agree. If it was an iPhone or Safari issue, it would not go away with retrying – I think.

It also happens in more than just Safari: the weather does not get updates, Mail fails fetching the last state and so on.

Here are some threads on the issue:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1622181&tstart=0

http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/forums/showthread.php?p=21624

It would not be first time when Rogers would be using paying customers as beta testers of the service. Few years back when hispeed internet was introduced, I remember frequent outages and spending time with their (not so great) techsupport. Eventually, they must have learned how to do it or build up capacities because it went away.

Let’s hope the same happens with the 3G data network. And it better happens quickly, because this service sucks, dear Rogers …

If you are seeing the same issue, please open the ticket with both Rogers and Apple (to create some pressure).