Last-minute removal of location-based reminders from 3GS

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sanford, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. sanford macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    This is going around these forums, and others, but you can't have location-based reminders on your 3GS. Siri and the new camera and dual-core A5 are the pushes to upgrade to 4S. Siri is the withheld push that could have been implemented for older phones, yes, even just fine on the 3GS.

    Location-based reminders, in my opinion, are actually much cooler interface design then Siri -- I don't even like to talk on my phone, let alone WITH my phone -- reminders hardly have the sparkly retail glitter of asking your phone if you need an umbrella, or whatever. It's just a neat utility feature.

    It's doubtful Apple held it back to push upgrades. It obviously worked in betas, so long as you had a developer iCloud account associated with the 3GS; also doubtful they pulled it because it was broken. Yes, the GPS chipset in the 4 and 4S is more accurate and acquires faster than what's in the 3GS. No, it's not THAT much more accurate or fast. I've had a 4 and a 3GS, and they both could quickly pin me down to the freaking aisle I was standing on in a giant Walmart. That's INDOORS, people, showing of the "assisted" part of "assisted GPS". Though not everyone would have the same results, I could have set shopping reminder by STORE DEPARTMENT. I probably will be able to that when I upgrade to a 4S in a few weeks; or, I should say, order a 4S in a little over two weeks when my upgrade cycles, and receive sometime in early 2012 -- thank you AT&T for not waiving a WHOLE THREE WEEKS of contract, instead making me go the full 12 months.

    Anyway, back to the point, for letter-writing types, write some letters if you want location-based reminders on your 3GS. Almost surely the reason Apple is not including it for 3GS is because the model has smaller battery capacity and the GPS chipset draws more power than in the later models. For location reminders to work, the GPS has to be on all the time, which will drain the battery a lot quicker than usual, if you have location reminders on. Toddlers with iPhones would be upset.

    There is plenty of precedence for allowing battery-draining features and apps, so long as turning the feature on or installing the app, you're warned it will quickly drain battery. Turn-by-turn nav apps suck battery, Apple allows them. Apple turns on the LED flash for video recording on the 4 and 4S when it's needed. You think 3GS GPS will drain battery? Trying shooting 1080p video your kids' trick-or-treating marathon this Halloween with a 4 or 4S. Now THAT will drain battery, but they allow.

    Switching on location-based reminder should pop up this on a 3GS: "Location-based reminders on this device may rapidly drain your battery? Do you still wish to turn on location-based reminders?"

    Unfortunately, by the time they'd get around to doing this, the point will probably be moot for the letter-writing campaign, as they'll have cratered and upgraded from a 3GS to a 4S when they swore they weren't going to. But it'd be nice for people taking advantage of the free-with-contract deal on the 3GS. Which will be a lot of parents with school-age kids, minimizing cost for lots of family devices. If anyone should be reminded of something when he gets to or leaves a particular place, it's a 12-year-old kid.

    Note also, a lot of people, even with iCloud-synced reminder lists and iPhone 4s, are having problems getting the location option to show up. So either the feature is wonky and no one is really missing much, or I could be running off at the mouth and the feature actually somehow works on the 3GS if we knew how to make it work.
  2. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    Perhaps Apple just wanted another selling point for the 4S.
  3. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    I know you spent a lot of time on writing that, but I'm going to have to break it to you, you're wrong.

    The 3GS hardware does not support the region based geofencing. With the iPhone 4 apple used special hardware on the cellular modem that performs a callback to the main processor when it moves beyond a certain region. Without this, the 3GS is unable to make use of the location based reminders.
  4. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Actually, we're both wrong. It DOES work on a 3GS. It worked in beta, and 3GS beta users w/ iCloud accounts were able to use it. That's why Apple originally included it as a compatible feature of iOS 5 for 3GS. The problem was, as you call attention to, the lack of hardware support for region-based geofencing, which the 4 has and the 3GS does not, means 3GS location-based reminders did not trigger as consistently as those on a 4. Enough 3GS beta testers and users had problems, and I'm sure this was born out by Apple's own testing, it was obviously not consistent enough to include as a 3GS feature. People will be more upset their location reminders don't trigger when they were depending on them, than they will be upset not having that option in the first place.

    As for your condescending attitude when you have no ****ing clue what you're talking about, go **** yourself.

  5. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Pretty sure I do know, since I just told you what the story was. Yeah sure it might have been in beta 1, but I still don't see how I misspoke at all.
  6. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    You said it WON'T work, due to lack of hardware support. Yet it WILL work, and not all THAT terribly -- just not well enough for prime time, in Apple's opinion.

    As for telling me the story, yes, you're correct: That's your story; and apparently you're sticking to it. It's not wholly inaccurate, but it's not THE story, either. There's a big difference between ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE SUPPORTED due to lack of hardware support and WON'T BE SUPPORTED due to concerns about consistent operation. You at least implied, really rather about directly stated, CANNOT BE SUPPORTED.

    As for the other, you may address your friends, family and roommates as you please. But in public, the smart mouth does nothing to make your case. For one, I'm not wrong; the 3GS CAN support location-based reminders but Apple, for whatever reasons, chose not to include it for 3GS in the final release. For two, though it may take you "a lot of time" to write a couple hundred words, it takes me only a few minutes. You didn't set out to inform or provide a dissenting opinion, but rather to be a smart ass. In that you have succeeded.
  7. fjrabon macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    I'm imagining all of these replies prefaced by a sassy voice saying "oh no he di'int!"
  8. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Yeah, I know, it's a waste of time and life. It really doesn't matter WHY location-based alerts on supported on the 3GS. They just aren't. Knowing WHY they aren't won't magically make them supported.

    I'm probably a lot edgy this morning. I don't think the iCloud transition was what you'd call seamless, or even vaguely smooth. I had a lot of work to do, I almost certainly shouldn't have updated/transitioned so soon, but I've never had a single problem before changing an Apple product or service day one -- and that's been A LOT of big changes.

    On top of it we discovered the last Sony PS3 firmware update broke Blu-ray movie playback on our PS3. Game play fine. It's well documented, but it's only perhaps 5% or less of PS3 Slims. So Sony claims it's not their fault. Sony claims a lot of things. But they want $150 to fix it, and on that point, since it still plays games, they can go to hell.

    That's a digression, but what I'm getting at: Today I am very, very sick of gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to be fun or helpful or both requiring about as much care-taking grind as a nursery full of newborn infants.
  9. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    Why do you have such a vested interest in this? It's pretty realistic for a nearly two and a half year old phone doesn't support the latest/greatest features- whether or not it is capable of it.
  10. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    I'll just pipe in when I don't know what I'm talking about, heh (in that I assumed the 3GS has the same GPS chip as the 3G but I could be wrong here) in that I totally disagree that the 3GS has almost as good GPS as the 4.

    I know one of the things I noticed about the 4 was the GPS was pretty good and got a location very quickly. My old 3G took a long time to get a reading and wasn't as accurate (to the point I questioned if it really would work for a GPS that gave you turn by turn instructions like Navigon or TomTom when it took a while to update. For example if you tried to watch yourself on a map using it it would many times have you far off, and then update, and then get stuck where it found you last for a while).

    I noticed the GPS was vastly improved before they even announced on here it was a different GPS chip (and apple had said nothing about upgrading the chip). It was obvious they had improved it (Which made me super happy cause it was one of my complaints about the 3G. I loved my 3G but it was what showed me what a phone could do but it also had a lot of things it needed to do better.. good enough to show me the potential, but not good enough so to speak).
  11. munrog macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    To add my 2p worth. On my 3GS which I used with Beta 4 onwards there was never any geolocation based reminders. SO it hasn't been available on that platform since at least beta 4

  12. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    I have no idea about the parts, but that's a reasonable assumption; maybe not the SAME chip, but nearly as capable as the on one in the 4. Apple, or at least tech pundits remarking on the 4's parts, noted that the 4's GPS acquired faster with lower power drain. More accurate, I don't know, but why not? As I recall, a bit more was made of all these improvements due to enhancement of the assisted GPS capability -- that is, using cell towers and/or cataloged wifi hotspots when available to get faster, more consistent GPS results, and if not absolutely more accurate, just as accurate faster. Thus, the reason turn-by-turn nav apps were really made for the 4 -- even if some claimed support for 3GS, though I don't know any did: Turn-by-turn nav in street-dense regions need pretty fast acquisition.

    But that's why I mentioned assisted GPS in the original post. The main difference FOR ME between the 4 and the 3GS in the GPS feature was notably reduced battery drain when using a GPS app, like for running or cycling. I didn't notice any real difference in accuracy, maybe a few feet, whether that be pinpointing my location or calculating speed or distance, etc. (As for faster acquisition, I'm sure the 4 probably was faster, but not so as I'd notice because I don't use turn-by-turn nav, which is really where'd you hurt with slower acquisition. And I don't know there would be much driving nav that runs on a 3GS to compare to the 4, anyway.) The key here is "assisted." I live in Dallas. Otherwise known as AT&T Central. It's not only extremely wifi dense, but I turn around outside, I trip over an AT&T cell tower -- except in the usual inexplicable dead spots, but that's the usual everywhere. So with all those signals to bounce off for assist, I never was going to see much difference between 3GS and 4 GPS. I travel some, but honestly I never made enough attention to GPS on either phone outside my home region.

    Someone above asked why I was so invested in this. I'm really not. I think the idea of geofencing is cool. I had a 4, it was stolen a month and a half ago, and rather than replace it at a bit of excess cost, I went back to using my 3GS since some kind of new model would almost surely be announced soon, and my full subsidy upgrade cycle is only 12 months long, available again this Nov. 1, because of my customer status with AT&T. I plan on buying a 4S, or at least ordering one around my full subsidy eligibility and waiting who knows how long for it to ship. I guess I'm a little underwhelmed with iOS 5 so far, and it runs fine on the 3GS, so my interest in the 4S has probably waned somewhat, but I'm sure if I don't get one right away, I will by early next year.

    I was a little frustrated that the location-based reminders feature was not listed as 4 (now 4 and 4S) only, but that the volume-up camera shutter button WAS listed as 4-only, though it works fine with the 3GS -- good decision in my opinion. The frustration was because I had no documentation from Apple that location-based reminders wouldn't work on a 3GS, but they wouldn't work, and I figured in all the iCloud transition hubbub I must be doing something wrong, or had made the wrong settings.

    What bugged me about Yohe up there was the cocky approach to his reply to my original post. And he was wrong. Location-based reminders CAN be implemented on a 3GS, but Apple, for reasons of consistent performance or marketing or both or neither, did not include them for 3GS. Yohe's claim was that the 3GS WOULD NOT support location-based reminders, which is incorrect. You can be dead right and cocky as hell, but flat wrong and cocky is just annoying.

  13. Matthew Yohe, Oct 13, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011

    Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Please stop. I wasn't wrong. I never said that Apple "couldn't" do this.

    To say that Apple "CAN" implement this is like saying they can implement apps that run in the background forever. Of course they can do that, but they aren't going to for obvious reasons.

    So, of course they can leave the GPS on all the time on the 3GS, but they aren't going to, and that's not even how they are pulling off this feature in the 4 anyway. You seem to think that because the GPS is more accurate in the 4, they didn't include it in the 3GS. Did you read what I said? The reason is not the GPS hardware.
  14. Virance macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2011
    That is exactly the point though. The guy you are arguing with did not lie to you.

    1: Apple only likes to include features that it feels a device can handle with a certain degree of quality (and became even more sensitive to this after putting iOS 4 on the 3g).

    2: The 3gs lacks a hardware feature that allows it to geofence without incurring an unacceptable degree of power consumption.

    Ergo, as a result of a lacking hardware feature, the location-based reminder feature is not possible on the 3gs. The connotation of the other posters thread was clearly, clearly not "it is absolutely technically impossible for this feature to be included" - obviously neither he nor anyone else would believe that. There is a GPS in the 3gs, so clearly if it wanted to poll the GPS constantly it could include the feature. Instead, the connotation was (again, very clearly) that due to the missing hardware capability this feature was not possible to an acceptable, consumer-ready degree on the 3gs.

    If you want your device to do everything that it possibly can, regardless of how well it executes that feature, go to Android or jailbreak. If you honestly think Apple is going to start including every possible technical feature on every one of it's devices, regardless of the user experience it leads to, then you have absolutely no clue what got Apple to this point in the first place.
  15. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Oh, you people are insane. The original intent was to include the feature on 3GS. It was 3GS-compatible at the iOS 5 announcement. It was in the first couple betas. Not alphas, BETAS. Software that went out to a LARGE developer community regularly uses iOS devices on a daily basis, both personally and for QA purposes.

    "The 3GS hardware does not support the region based geofencing."

    That's what Yohe wrote. Now he writes he never said 3GS wouldn't SUPPORT the feature, only that Apple chose not to implement it. Geofencing can be implemented several ways, including ways the 3GS SUPPORTS.

    If you can't see he did a complete about-face, between WILL NOT SUPPORT and APPLE DECIDED NOT TO, I can't help you.
  16. jowie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2004
    London ish
    Well I just got a 4S and can't get a location-based reminder to work on my phone anyway... :rolleyes:

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