1. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Inside Apple's 'black lab' wireless testing facilities -- Engadget

    That's a good read on what Apple tried to use to defuse the whole antenna testing discussion with some press people yesterday. I read through the whole thing and it was quite entertaining... I urge you to give it a read as well.

    With that said, I can't help but think of how easy it is for engineers to miss some pretty obvious issues with technology simply because of how they test in the labs. I've been a long time believer that a programmer or engineer will never be as good at testing something based on real world use then well, a regular person. The issue has always been one of understanding... By this I mean that the coder or engineer knows the product so well that they tend to test by following an inherent path deep within the products design. The issue is that it isn't until you test outside of those parameters that you start noticing issues, and this is something that you will generally not find in a lab. Why? Simple... engineers don't think stupidly enough. They are in essence, too smart for their own good. So, Apple designs the new iPhone and tests the heck out of it in their multi-million dollar facility and then the average Joe uses their finger to find an issue in less then 5 minutes. lol Sound familiar? How many times has RIM released OS builds that were tested and certify by not only RIM but also carrier testers and then we found quite a few bugs in it? Heck, some (builds .32x of the Storm1 OS) even had a blatant icon misalignment issue that went unfixed for several builds.

    The point is... companies need to realize that no matter how much testing you do in your super secret labs, the average person will still find a way to show the weaknesses in your product. So, what's the point of this? Well, it's simple... perhaps companies should look into bringing fresh and untainted eyes to the testing labs. They don't even need to go outside of their companies to do this... they can go into the non-technical departments and pluck out a "smart and savvy" employee and bring them (blindfolded in the case of Apple ) into the depths of secret ville labs and put the device in their hands and see what a real person with no historical memory of the product's design does or doesn't do with it.

    This is what they need to do to make products better. You can't use your own engineers to test beyond a certain point because they'll ALWAYS unconciously not test certain things because they know those will cause issues. It's like the whole "this server is uncrashable example I used a long time ago" where it was obviously crashable by unplugging it from power. Case in point... engineers ALWAYS miss the most blatant facts staring them right in the face. Embrace the public... or your immediate public like employees in the non-technical departments if you're Apple.
    07-17-10 10:19 AM
  2. Jayhawk-X's Avatar
    Good point, a lot of testing does not emulate real world situation's, & condition's.
    07-17-10 10:24 AM
  3. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Exactly... I remember reading Engadget a few months ago about this new cell company that built an "indistructable" cellphone and was telling people they would give them one free if they could break it. Many tried stepping on it, trowing it on the ground, etc. Then the video guy showed up and he gave it a try. Turns out if you smack the screen edge on the sharp corner of a table really hard a couple of times, you can separate the phone from the bezzel... inherently "breaking it". You should have seen the rep's face. Pure classic embarrassment. Guess it was back to the old drawing board for them. lol
    07-17-10 10:33 AM
  4. Masahiro's Avatar
    Not sure what this has to do with BlackBerry, but there was a news report done on the whole situation that claims Apple engineerrs knew of the issues with the antenna design before the phone was released. Any suggestions or recommendations to change the design were overruled by Steve Jobs due to aesthetic reasons. There's a link to it on the forums somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

    Edit: Here's a link posted by amazinglygraceless. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-15/apple-engineer-said-to-have-told-jobs-last-year-about-iphone-antenna-flaw.html
    It's not the video I was talking about, but close enough.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by Masahiro; 07-17-10 at 10:50 AM.
    07-17-10 10:42 AM
  5. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Not sure what this has to do with BlackBerry, but there was a news report done on the whole situation that claims Apple engineerrs knew of the issues with the antenna design before the phone was released. Any suggestions or recommendations to change the design were overruled by Steve Jobs due to aesthetic reasons. There's a link to it on the forums somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

    Edit: Here's a link posted by amazinglygraceless. Apple Engineer Told Jobs IPhone Antenna Might Cut Calls - Bloomberg
    It's not the video I was talking about, but close enough.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Thanks Captain Obvious, I think everyone is pretty fluent about that rumor. (Who do you think you're talking with here?... )

    Anyway, if I was Steve, I wouldn't have changed the design either because the aesthetics of the iPhone IS what sells it the most. However, I would have spent a bit more money on maybe infesting in a hard polymer clearcoat on the metal so as not allow grouding the two antennas out by a simple skin bridge. THAT'S what I would have done because that would have kept the same aesthetic look, while fixing the problem at hand. Unfortunately, Steve doesn't think like that because his turtleneck's probably limiting blood circulation to his brain a bit. lol
    07-17-10 04:08 PM
  6. Masahiro's Avatar
    Now you're changing your point.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-17-10 04:25 PM
  7. sivan's Avatar
    Yes, that's common knowledge about the difference between engineers and testers. Also, Apple is very secretive which *may* have led to less real world testing.

    But looking at Apple's history reveals a pattern of preference for materials based on aesthetic considerations over practical ones. The exact same issue came up with the Titanium PowerBooks earlier in the decade. Turned out the case interfered with WiFi reception. And later the Titanium coating started to chip and the TiBook was scrapped. That was a bone headed design but they sold a ton of those, people were going nuts over how "sexy" Titanium is.

    The iPad and lower end MacBooks have full size glass screens that are heavy and reflective, both of which are bad for mobile devices. It seems to me that the allure of pure glass and metal again blinded Apple in the construction of the iPhone, hence no coating on the antenna. There are many other examples.
    07-17-10 04:27 PM
  8. tack's Avatar
    It does sell them products however, and many times they do have inventive, function designs and I think are second to none. My Macbook Pro for example is the best designed laptop I have ever had. This whole iPhone 4 thing should be quite embarrassing however, and how they are reacting is even more so. It is a quite a pompous reaction. Do they really think intelligent people will buy the whole "every phone has issue" line? wow
    07-17-10 07:59 PM
  9. avt123's Avatar
    It does sell them products however, and many times they do have inventive, function designs and I think are second to none. My Macbook Pro for example is the best designed laptop I have ever had. This whole iPhone 4 thing should be quite embarrassing however, and how they are reacting is even more so. It is a quite a pompous reaction. Do they really think intelligent people will buy the whole "every phone has issue" line? wow
    Probably not. But people are still buying them like crazy so it doesn't even matter.

    Jobs could have literally told people to "Go f themselves", and people would still be all over it.
    07-17-10 08:13 PM
  10. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    It does sell them products however, and many times they do have inventive, function designs and I think are second to none. My Macbook Pro for example is the best designed laptop I have ever had. This whole iPhone 4 thing should be quite embarrassing however, and how they are reacting is even more so. It is a quite a pompous reaction. Do they really think intelligent people will buy the whole "every phone has issue" line? wow
    Why not buy that line? After all, Jim expected all BB fans to buy the whole "don't expect to ever have bug free software on any smartphone in today's world".

    How is that any different? Or did some of you already forget that line? Lol

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-17-10 11:26 PM
  11. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Probably not. But people are still buying them like crazy so it doesn't even matter.

    Jobs could have literally told people to "Go f themselves", and people would still be all over it.
    Lol, does Steve read anything they put on the teleprompter ala Ron Burgundy too?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-17-10 11:29 PM
  12. Username00089's Avatar
    Probably not. But people are still buying them like crazy so it doesn't even matter.

    Jobs could have literally told people to "Go f themselves", and people would still be all over it.
    Yeah, exactly. I've said it a million times already. Steve has that Bill Belichick
    type attitude. Really shrude. Everyone knows he's a p*ick. But people buy
    into what they say. Look at how Belichick gets his players to buy into his
    system. People on the outside criticize him for being such a **** but when
    they come to New England they buy into what he says because they believe
    in it. Not exactly the cult following that Apple has been able to produce.
    But nonetheless, both these guys have the "This is going to happen my way.
    If you don't like it, you don't have to be here." And in Steve's case "don't
    have to use our product."
    07-18-10 12:21 PM
  13. RadioRaiders's Avatar
    After a series of double doors and long, anonymous hallways, we entered a large, warehouse-like lab cluttered with test equipment amid large tables covered in mysterious black cloth (and no, we couldn't look under the cloth). Awaiting us was Phil Schiller, Greg Joswiak, Bob Mansfield, and engineer Ruben Caballero. The latter employee has become a somewhat controversial figure over the last few days, as he was alleged to have known about and communicated concerns over the new antenna design
    ...every time Steve Jobs turned around, Ruben would turn to the Engadget guys and mouth the words "HELP ME!"

    Ruben and the crew led us through another hallway and into a separate lab where more interference testing was going on using "heads" and "hands." The heads are made of plastic and filled with a liquid mixture that replicates the contents of... well, your head. The hands are made from a kind of high-test foam rubber
    Oh, I'm disappointed, I would think Apple would be using actual severed human heads and hands ...I mean really, isn't that what having super-duper-top-secret "black labs" all about?

    ...anyway, yea, nice little PR stunt Stevie. Trying to show you're not totally inept at RF design. But still Motorola, Nokia and some others probably have 10x the testing facilities that you have ...I mean Apple isn't an RF company, excluding wifi, they really only make 1 RF device.
    07-19-10 02:13 AM
  14. LazyStarGazer's Avatar
    Inside Apple's 'black lab' wireless testing facilities -- Engadget

    That's a good read on what Apple tried to use to defuse the whole antenna testing discussion with some press people yesterday. I read through the whole thing and it was quite entertaining... I urge you to give it a read as well.

    With that said, I can't help but think of how easy it is for engineers to miss some pretty obvious issues with technology simply because of how they test in the labs. I've been a long time believer that a programmer or engineer will never be as good at testing something based on real world use then well, a regular person. The issue has always been one of understanding... By this I mean that the coder or engineer knows the product so well that they tend to test by following an inherent path deep within the products design. The issue is that it isn't until you test outside of those parameters that you start noticing issues, and this is something that you will generally not find in a lab. Why? Simple... engineers don't think stupidly enough. They are in essence, too smart for their own good. So, Apple designs the new iPhone and tests the heck out of it in their multi-million dollar facility and then the average Joe uses their finger to find an issue in less then 5 minutes. lol Sound familiar? How many times has RIM released OS builds that were tested and certify by not only RIM but also carrier testers and then we found quite a few bugs in it? Heck, some (builds .32x of the Storm1 OS) even had a blatant icon misalignment issue that went unfixed for several builds.

    The point is... companies need to realize that no matter how much testing you do in your super secret labs, the average person will still find a way to show the weaknesses in your product. So, what's the point of this? Well, it's simple... perhaps companies should look into bringing fresh and untainted eyes to the testing labs. They don't even need to go outside of their companies to do this... they can go into the non-technical departments and pluck out a "smart and savvy" employee and bring them (blindfolded in the case of Apple ) into the depths of secret ville labs and put the device in their hands and see what a real person with no historical memory of the product's design does or doesn't do with it.

    This is what they need to do to make products better. You can't use your own engineers to test beyond a certain point because they'll ALWAYS unconciously not test certain things because they know those will cause issues. It's like the whole "this server is uncrashable example I used a long time ago" where it was obviously crashable by unplugging it from power. Case in point... engineers ALWAYS miss the most blatant facts staring them right in the face. Embrace the public... or your immediate public like employees in the non-technical departments if you're Apple.
    They tried that. The 'smart and savvy' employee left it in a bar.

    Seriously though, they did test it 'outside the box' by using it in the real world. Unfortunately, if all the units used for real world testing had a case on them that made them look like a 3GS, the sleeper hold could easily go undiscovered.
    07-19-10 05:29 AM
  15. Username00089's Avatar
    That's because nobody is trustworthy. Talking strictly about the smartphone
    market, the more and more prominent it becomes, the less and less trustworthy
    people will become. There wasn't nearly as much talk (even on the blogs) about
    the 3rd gen iPhone as there was this year. Specifically the iPhone started
    getting plenty of talk in March.
    07-19-10 11:48 AM
  16. anon1727506's Avatar
    Just shows that we live in a much different world today.

    Forty years ago it took years to develop and test a product. Today a product goes from the computer screen to the shelf at your local store within months. And with products like the iPhone, there is the element of secrecy that can really hamper the testing phase. I'm sure Apple would love to release a thousand prototypes for testing... but then there would be a nine hundred and ninety-nine You Tube Videos about that device.
    07-19-10 04:01 PM
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