Wednesday, September 26, 2012

iPhone 3GS D.I.Y. Battery Replacement

My Dad has an iPhone 3GS lying around as a spare phone. So when iOS 6 came out and is still supported on the 3GS, I decided to upgrade the phone. Once I was done, I noticed the display was protruding from the case. I thought someone had dropped the phone and the screen had popped out, then I realized the whole phone was "swollen". I figured the battery had swollen up and was pushing the screen out.

iPhone 3GSiPhone 3GS

I thought the phone is pretty useless and perhaps dangerous to use like this, so what do I have to loose by attempting a battery replacement myself.

I did a search online for somewhere I could buy a battery, and came across Not only do they sell the battery, but a kit to do the work as well. Seeing as the battery is $20, I figured R249 was not bad for the whole kit, which was R319 with shipping.

iPhone 3GS

With regards to the order, I must relay the confirmation email I got.

Dear Derek

When you placed your order with uFix (, a hushed silence fell upon a dustless cleanroom hidden deep within the bowels of Table Mountain. Inside, bright industrial lights gave way to soft aroma-scented candles where an ancient team of meticulous engineers bowed their heads in murmuring chant. With zen-like focus, they clasped together their velvet, anti-static gloves in hallowed prayer and on 09/22/2012 accepted your order to the value of R 319.00 ZAR.

The Engineers carefully laid out your purchased items on a satin sheet for inspection and, one by one, placed each item in an airtight container lined with silver of the finest quality:

1x iPhone 3GS Battery Repair Kit for R 249.00 each

Subtotal : R 249.00 ZAR
VAT : R 30.58 ZAR
Shipping : R 70.00 ZAR
Total : R 319.00 ZAR

A pack of tame wildebeest then proceeded to escort your package to a deep, quiet pool where a group of mermaids waited to ferry your sealed package via the Mariana Trench. From the deepest, tranquil depths of our known oceans, Poseidon proceeded to bless your order so that a team of feral horses may deliver it overland to: (my address)

I found that rather amusing.

So onto the moment of truth. The website has some very good guides on how to repair devices. The do have an iPhone 3GS Battery Replacement guide with video. So simply watching the video as an overview and then following the guide step by step was the process.

However, with this swollen battery issue of mine, I had a bit of a moment of terror. Once I got the display assembly off, I could see the battery was pushing the logic board up. Once I started to remove the screws holding the logic board in, I found them rather tight and hard to unscrew. As soon as I had the second screw out along the side, the logic board shot up with a loud crack. I was really concerned it would break. Then pressing down I removed the remaining screws to expose the battery.

iPhone 3GS

It was well and truly a balloon. I had protective glasses on, but really did not want this thing to explode on me. It is stuck to the back case with adhesive tape, so you need to pry it off, a process that I found myself doing without looking.

Once that was over, fitting the new battery and putting everything back in reverse order was pretty easy. Those ribbon cables were a bit tricky though.

Then the moment of truth, I turned the trusty iPhone back on and it worked without a problem. So she has a brand new battery, and the latest iOS 6. Not bad for a phone that's 3 years old.

iPhone 3GS

More pictures

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple Announces iPhone 5

It seems that all the rumors were correct. It would be nice to see a big bang with a completely new take on the cellphone, but this evolution on the iPhone is very good.

iPhone 5 Black
From an engineers perspective I must say that I would be ticked off by people saying this is just a facelift, when there has obviously been some very complex engineering accomplishments. The iPhone 5 does look like a serious piece of kit.

A whole bunch of specs have been updated, what jumps out at me is obviously the bigger screen. Making the screen taller appeals to me because I would find more visible screen above the onscreen keyboard very useful.

Next the 720p front facing camera is a nice update. The rear camera is still the same spec wise, but benefits from improvements to the lens hardware additions to the software, which will account for better pictures. The picture capture time is also quicker, which was often a complaint of older iPhones and you can take pictures while shooting video.

Then the new dock connector. I have invested in a few 30pin Apple accessories, but making the connector now all digital, is a natural step forward. The connector is also reversible, so plug it in whichever way you like, good for finding your charger in the dark. There will be a 30pin to "Lightning" adapter

There is a new A6 processor, they say it's 2x faster.

LTE gives much faster cellular network speeds, we will have to see if it works in SA when they launch LTE here.

And to top it all, some new earphones called "EarPods". Also a bit of cool engineering.

I am due for contract update, and will order this phone as soon as I can. Can't wait.

YouTube's dedicated app for iPhone

On 2012/09/11 Google launched their dedicated YouTube app for iPhone. There has been much speculation regarding this as Apple have removed the YouTube app embedded in iOS from the upcoming iOS 6 release.


I installed the app on my iPhone and iPad, so here are my initial findings.

The first thing is that this is an iPhone only app, but it does run on the iPad. The interface is clean and navigation is similar to the Google+ and Facebook apps.

One thing I liked straight away was the inclusion of Channel playlists, not the playlist you set up on YouTube, those have always been there, but the playlists users create on their YouTube channel.


I watch the MotorTrend channel quite a bit and like the way that they sort there videos into playlists. Can we have this on the Apple TV too please.

Talking about Apple TV, this app does support AirPlay, but only for audio. If you have an iPad or iPhone 4S you can use AirPlay Mirroring, which will then show the audio and video on the Apple TV, but not at full screen. (Please update this Google)


I would be surprised if Google don't release an iPad version of this soon, espcially seeing as a 7" iPad Mini is more than likely coming soon.

I do like the app and will use it. It's smooth and responsive and video loads quickly. But for me the iPhone is not the primary device I use to watch YouTube.


When it comes to sharing videos this app has you covered


Here are a few more screen captures showing the interface and search


Available for free in the iTunes App store