Tag Archives: iOS

iOS 4.3.1 Jailbreak Available


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Resident jailbreak expert Reza is ready to help you upgrade your current jailbreak for 4.3.1. The untethered jailbreak tools for iOS are ready and in the wild. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your jailbroken iPad, iPod touch or iPhone, you can grab several of the new features by grabbing 4.3.1.

redsn0w is one of the tools you can use to perform your upgrade – or new jailbreak. redsn0w is a multi-platform jailbreak and unlock tool created by the iPhone Dev Team. redsn0w is simple to use, and supports all current iPhone and iPod touch devices which use at least firmware 3.0.

ultrasn0w is another tool that can be used to accomplish the same task. This unlock will work on iPhone4 baseband 01.59 and 3G/3GS basebands 04.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01 and 05.13.04. If you have trouble finding ultrasn0w within Cydia, add this repo: repo666.ultrasn0w.com.

So why would you want to unlock your device to begin with? Many people enjoy the Apple hardware but prefer a more open software experience. They want to change the way things are done on their iDevice and even add some functionality that may not have already been there. It’s important to note that doing this is NOT illegal, but it does void your Apple warranty. You should always unlock or jailbreak at your own risk, and realize that no one can be held liable if you receive less-than-desirable results.

If you have an unlocked iPhone, you’re going to want to stay away from doing a straight upgrade. There are alternate update methods you can find in order to help you do some custom patching of the iOS before updating. Or, you can also use Tiny Umbrella to block your baseband and allow this upgrade.

If you’re ready to upgrade, 4.3.1 is great due to the hotspot features alone. It allows you to share your 3G signal with your iPad and other devices. With the iPad, it’s super cool because the GPS functionality from your phone will carry over into your iPad.

Have you updated your jailbroken device yet? What has your experience been like?

Help for Jailbroken iOS Devices


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JailbreakQA is a site dedicated to answering iPhone jailbreak related questions. This week, Reza talks about JailbreakQA and how it can help you find the right answers to your questions about Cydia, jailbreaking your iPhone and any other non-standard uses for your iPhone or iOS device. Reza brings you tips and tricks to help you get the most use out of your jailbroken iOS device each week.

The JailbreakQA site is based on the OSQA platform, just like our Lockergnome Q&A site. Our site is dedicated to asking and answering questions of any nature, not just technical ones. Since most of our community tends to lean towards geeky things, that’s what you’ll find most often. However, I’ve seen questions about things such as cars, gardening and even dancing. To date, we have over 16,000 questions asked and nearly 70,000 answers have been given!

JailbreakQA works much the same way. People ask questions and other members give answers. You can vote up (or down!) the answers that you feel deserve a bit of recognition, and comment on any answers given to ask for more clarification. This site is a fantastic resource for those of you who may still be thinking about jailbreaking your device as well as for long-time “expert” jailbreakers.

If you’ve been thinking about doing this to your iOS device but still aren’t sure, you may want to read through some of the questions and answers on JailbreakQA. There are many people in the same position as you: they think they may want to unlock their device but aren’t positive it is the best option for them. You’ll find threads here which explain the advantages of jailbreaking – and ones which discuss any disadvantages.

Jailbreaking your device is a decision only you can make. I will give you the same advice here as I do when you ask me “which is better?” – do your research. Understand the benefits and limitations of a jailbroken device. Know your pros and cons. Decide if doing this is the best thing for you. If it is – then go for it. It’s your device, your money and your time. No one other than you can figure out what will work best for you.

Customize Your Jailbroken Device with DreamBoard


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Reza brings you tips and tricks to help you get the most use out of your jailbroken iOS device each week. Today, he’s discussing the DreamBoard app as an alternative interface customization for your jailbroken iPhone.

The debate over whether or not to jailbreak your device is often a heated one. Those in favor claim to want the freedom and control over their devices. Those on the opposite side of the fence rant about breaking the device’s warranty, not using it as intended and claiming that the person in question shouldn’t have bought that device to begin with. Personally, I won’t be jailbreaking my devices. However, that’s a matter of personal preference for me. I happen to LIKE the way my iPhone works, looks and feels. I think that jailbreaking is something that each device owner should be deciding – it’s not my choice what they do with their phone!

The DreamBoard app will let you easily customize the look of your entire phone. You can click the application to bring up all of your available themes. It’s super simple to let you switch between them. Changing themes with the click of a button does all of the work for you. Changes are made across the device as soon as you approve the change. It does take a couple of seconds to bring the application – and its changes – up, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

You’ll have all of the widgets and the feel of any one of several different devices, including an HTC. Give yourself a Facebook or weather widget – or any of the others available for your use. Place your apps and widgets wherever you like using DreamBoard.

One important difference between this app and Springboard is that you won’t have to restart the app each time you make a change. No more resprings are necessary! DreamBoard also includes a free copy of Endroid (the HTC theme) for your pleasure.

This app is not available for the iPad, nor is it recommended for the iPhone 3G, iPod 2G, or iPod 3G 8GB.

Android vs iPad? Why Android Tablets Can’t Beat the iPad

I just received an email from community member Andrew Wellings:

Hello Chris! When I’m doing stuff around the house, I like to keep my phone on me to listen to music or browse the Web (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and reading up on my news/tech blogs). As you may know from experience, this drains the battery alarmingly quickly, and the small screen is very limiting.

I have been looking at buying a tablet device for a few weeks, but I would rather trust your opinion, as opposed to some reviewer on a tech blog (which technically, I guess you are…). Anyway, the big dilemma is this: should I buy a used iPad 1st gen, or one of those many Android tablets?

I don’t need 3G, cameras or any bells and whistles. All I would need is Wi-Fi, a 7-10inch screen (not too fussy there, although preferably capacitative), to be able to watch videos, listen to music and maybe store some photos to show the relatives.

It would need to be available in the UK though, and preferably have a sub £250 price tag (~$400). Thanks very much for any help you can give.

Andrew, like most consumers (99 out of 100), are looking to get the most bang for their buck – right?

If you know anything about me (at all), you probably also know how I’m going to answer this question – but even if you didn’t know me, you’d be hard-pressed to find a true consumer advocate who would not recommend the iPad 1st-gen in this case. Can the 1G iPad do everything? No. Does that make it an inferior device? No.

You may be inclined to attack my position – so before you spout off your own brand of nonsense, why don’t you read a fandroid’s thoughts first. “Can the Android Tablet Ecosystem Still Beat iPad?” Yeah, I’m in complete agreement with him. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this post – I happen to agree with cogent Android supporters.

I also think that the most definitive article on this subject has already been crafted by someone with far more insight than you or me.

Now, since Apple has recently dropped the price of the iPad 1G to US$400 (while supplies last, assumedly), it’s become even more attractive to would-be tablet owners. Keep in mind, too, that despite its year-old life, Apple continues to push the latest iOS updates to it. Find me a Honeycomb Android tablet that sells for less than $400 (without contract) with a capacitive (multi-touch) screen today at less than 1.5lbs and I’ll seriously reconsider my suggestion.

You have to wonder: what is Motorola smoking? At least Samsung has the cojones to state the painfully obvious. Buying any device based on its possible future potential is just… ill-advised.

Android tablets can’t beat the iPad – Reason #1: Splintered experiences.

The industry has yet to see an Android tablet that comes close to matching the iPad’s overarching experience. Ah, there’s the key word: “experience.” That’s the magic revealed when hardware works in perfect harmony with software. This is the elusive factor that all Android devices seem to face after the new car smell wears off.

Specs be damned. Would you rather have a souped-up machine that did everything 50% of the time, or a stripped-down machine that did some things 100% of the time? You’re a fool to answer the former.

The OS can never be written to run optimized on all compatible hardware. That’s a difficult hill to climb (trying to be all things to all people). Couple with that shortcoming that certain device models are effectively locked out of software revisions by carriers… and you’ve got the making for an even more cluttered, confusing, and just plain god-awful consumer experience. This very disconnect will keep Android from besting iOS, alone.

Let he who hath been locked out of an Android OS update on capable hardware cast the first stone.

Android tablets can’t beat the iPad – Reason #2: Current pricing models.

Apple is the only company creating iOS-compatible hardware – versus dozens upon dozens of companies creating Android-capable hardware. In other words: Android devices are a de-facto commodity. And there’s one thing you can’t do with a commodity if you expect it to succeed: charge too much. But higher-than-iPad pricing is exactly what we’re seeing from these supposed “iPad killers.”

Why on god’s green earth, if you were trying to compete with a clear market leader, would you set your entry model’s MSRP at a higher cost than the leader’s entry model?

As a matter of fact, the reason would-be Apple denouncers have been so anti-Mac for years is because they see the Mac as “more expensive” than its PC cousins. Well, it seems to me that if you are a dyed-in-the-wool PC user who brandishes this outdated myth about Macs, you should never be caught dead carrying an Android tablet – since they’re absolutely more expensive than Apple’s iPad.

Motorola is dropping the price on the Xoom, but is that low enough to capture any amount of market share before the next Android-based iPad-killer is released in another month or so?

New Android devices should be more affordable, comparatively – and certainly priced less than the lowest-priced iPad. Who could argue with that?!

We might readily suggest an older Android device that weighs in at a much more affordable price, but with it comes a correspondingly lackluster experience. Have you ever tried using Android 1.x (resistive) after playing inside 2.3 (capacitive with multi-touch)? Let’s just assume that sacrificing usability is never an option for any consumer – otherwise, we’ll be forever wrestling with nerds who believe that GUIs are for wimps.

Besides, it’s difficult to compare today’s available options with yesterday’s in fairness. I personally can’t wait to buy a truly competitive Android tablet. It, however, doesn’t currently seem to exist.

Android tablets can’t beat the iPad – Reason #3: Too many choices.

Consumers absolutely need choice – but there’s a far greater chance of you making an incorrect choice on a menu with thousands of items.

I absolutely do see a world where there are more Android than iOS devices – that’s inevitable, much like we see more PCs with no true or clear differentiation between them. However, #1 in saturation does not imply a #1 product. Do I really need to bring up IE6 as an example to belabor my point?

There’s only one iPad, and it’s easy to spot the differences between 1G and 2G models. Even with future editions in the fold, Apple only offers a limited amount of units at any given time.

Ask yourself this: why is it that a new “best Android device” seems to be released every few weeks? Who could keep up with that?

Tangentially, Android is irresponsibly positioned as “good” for the consumer with an intentionally laissez faire app marketplace – but while Android’s software choices seem to be equal to those within Apple’s iTunes App Store, you’re doing nothing but swimming in an array of razor blades within Google’s Market. That may be acceptable for geeks, but not for most of the known galaxy.

Nah, you’ll be safe with Android. I’m not making this stuff up. Certain geeks should be ashamed for wholeheartedly endorsing an experience that has such a strong potential for compromising the innocent consumer. That’s not a choice – it’s the Sword of Damocles.

Android tablets can’t beat the iPad – Reason #4: Flash is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

But why even bring up Flash in this entire “iPad vs Android” argument? Because it’s too frequently called upon as a trump card without true qualification. Maybe if poorly-developed Flash apps had caused my browsers to crash with less frequency over the years, I’d be more sympathetic to Adobe’s cause. Flash? Platform non grata in the mobile space.

It’s also been argued that the consumer should be able to view Flash-rendered content on any particular platform. But Flash, in case you missed the memo, has overstayed its welcome – and is far from stable or secure (on any OS). Even its proprietors are Flash compatibility (which will likely drain your battery at break-neck speed and run medicore-at-best), who am I to argue? It’s your money – and you’re absolutely free to spend it in whatever way(s) you see fit. I’ve been living largely without it on my desktop for some time, thanks to the Click-to-Play functionality found in development builds of Google Chrome (my default Web browser, and one of the best available today).

Oh, snap. Did you see that? I wrote an article about how Google’s Android wasn’t a good choice for consumers if they were also considering an iPad – then I dovetailed my statements with a clear assertion that I prefer Google’s Chrome web browser above all others. This isn’t about what’s right for Google or Apple – it’s about what’s best for consumers on the whole.

iOS devices are still selling like hotcakes, despite their inability to natively support Flash content. If you’re really concerned about not being able to view useless Flash splash screens to restaurant Web sites, just look up the information on Google Places. As far as Flash video content on the iPad is concerned – there’s always Skyfire. “Problem” solved.

By all definitions, the iPad is a new kind of computer. I need to state this outright, if only because the most ardent iPad antagonists awkwardly continue (in gusto) to shoehorn the “tablet” class into a classic notebook / laptop paradigm (USB ports, et al). If any Android tablet expects to be seen as true competition to Apple’s entrant, it must first qualify by accepting new rules and eschewing perception.

Of course, the Android ecosystem could continue to ignore competition at is own peril. If I were Google, I’d be far more concerned about webOS than I would be iOS. But I’m (obviously) not Google. 😉 I have no horse in this race, other than wanting to see huge wins for consumers.

Manage Calls on Your Jailbroken iPhone with iBlackList


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If you have people you don’t wish to receive messages or calls from, it can be difficult to find blocking applications which actually work. If you happen to have a jailbroken iPhone, though, the answer is crystal clear: iBlackList. This is the best call blocker and sms selector available for the iPhone, as Reza shows you.

The application is seriously easy to set up and use – no muss, no fuss. There are several cool features, as well:

  • Call and SMS blocking facility (Including Unknown/Restricted ID callers)
  • Protects your privacy by Password
  • Unlimited number of contacts per list
  • Works with black and white lists concept
  • Parental Control with silent record storage
  • Popup removal from lock screen for lost events (Privacy), keeping the sound/vibration notifications
  • Auto Reply SMS for SMS feature, where the system will send your custom SMS text to filtered messages
  • Independent history, where blocked/filtered events will be stored for later visualization. Please note your setup needs to be correct in order to store records on this history
  • Individual Scheduler for each list
  • Four types of action for calls, which varies from send the caller to voicemail to completely ignore

At this point, you may be wondering why in the heck you would want to bother paying for and installing this app. After all, you can simply ignore the call if you see a number you don’t recognize or like, right? Using something such as iBlackList make life SO much simpler, though. You can choose which numbers to completely ignore, which ones to send directly to voice mail AND keep a log of every action made.

One use for this app is something I hadn’t thought of, but was brought up to me by another person: using it in court. Perhaps you have someone who is literally stalking you… or a person you have a restraining order against who continues trying to contact you. By sending these particular calls to voicemail or ignoring them and still having accurate date/time-stamped records, you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone isn’t doing what they should be.

What other uses can you come up with to make an app such as this worth your time and money? Which ones are you using to help you manage your phone life?

Thoughts on the iPad 2 from ceBIT

Pieter was an attendee at the ceBIT conference last weekend and I was happy to talk with him during a bit of down time. At the time of the recording, I had not yet posted any official thoughts about the iPad 2. I definitely plan on getting one as soon as it is released, just as I will get the new iPhone whenever it hits the stores.

While the new iteration may not be revolutionary in any way, I feel it is the next logical step for Apple at this point in time. It’s evolutionary. The Cupertino giant has definitely upped the ante for everyone else. They’ve raised that proverbial bar just enough that other manufacturers will be tripping over themselves to attempt to catch up – maybe not with specs, but certainly with price point.

It doesn’t matter if your Android (or other) device has a larger screen or faster processor. It’s all about the experience itself and the amount of cash I’m going to have to shell out to get that experience. I simply haven’t seen a single other vendor out there who can even come close to these two all-important factors.

You cannot deny the sleekness of the iPad. The first gen model wasn’t all that lightweight but the new version is much slimmer and weighs a bit less. That part doesn’t honestly interest me. Whoopie – it’s a few grams lighter than the original offering. It still boils down to the price point.

Forget the number of apps available. I don’t care if there are five billion apps out there – I want quality. In my eyes, Apple’s marketing message is a tad off. It’s not about the quantity – it’s about the experience. I’d rather choose from a pool of 50,000 solid apps than from one of 500,000 questionable ones.

I’ll call it now: HP will give Apple a run for their money with the webOS-based tablets than Android has done. I’m not saying Android is bad, so please don’t start your flame wars. I simply feel that Android needs to mature some more before it can successfully compete in the tablet world. Each new version of the operating system is an improvement over the last – and that’s my point. It’s growing and maturing into what it will become one day.

The way I see it is that it’s the iPad on one side of the fence and everyone else on the other side. I already stated that HP will be stepping up to the plate this year. The only other thing I see bringing any competition to the market could possibly be Google… IF they fully bake their operating system into the right hardware – and with the right cost.

True geeks may want the fastest and best specs on the market. But at the end of the day, the target audience is the non-geeks – those who simply want a good experience.

How to Use Voice Activator on iOS Jailbreaks


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Reza’s weekly video is going to show off Voice Activator for jailbroken iOS devices. Several websites have touted this app as the “best Cydia tweak ever.” Voice Activator is a new tweak by chpwn which allows you to take full control of the Voice Control feature of your iPhone or iPod touch. Launch apps, open URLs, use Activator actions: it’s all included within this one tweak.

This app is available in the Cydia App Store under the Big Boss Repo for the cost of $4.99. Although this may seem expensive, it’s definitely worth your time. Voice Activator opens up a lot more voice functions than what you will already find within your device – it gives you Android-like full systsem voice control!

Use it to open and close apps, perform system functions, launch web pages and create custom actions. It’s easy to install and will make you wonder how you ever functioned without it.

Thanks, Reza, for another great episode in the jailbreak series.

Android Takes Over as Leading Smartphone Platform

According to new research by Canalys, Google’s Android platform has taken over the top smartphone platform spot from Symbian in the last quarter of 2010. Global sales of Android phones during this time period was 33.3 million. This is in comparison to Symbian’s 31 million. Apple came in at third place with 16.2 million iOS smartphones shipped, followed by RIM with 14.6 million and Microsoft with 3.1 million.

Android is being used by manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC. All of these companies has seen excellent sales results with devices based on this platform. Is it fair, though, to compare something like Android to iOS? Apple’s operating system only appears on one smartphone, whereas Android shows up in more devices than we can count. In light of that, I’d say that the iOS numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

The change at the top doesn’t come as much of a shock. Nokia reported not long ago that they are having weak sales. The company claims this is a result of their struggles to transform the Symbian platform into something that can truly compete with iOS and Android.

Which smartphone platform are you using? What do you love about it?

How to Grill a Phone

How fire-resistant is your cellphone? If you’re the owner of an HTC Surround Windows Phone 7 device, you’ll be happy to know that your phone will last longer in direct heat than either the iPhone or the T-Mobile G2 running Android.

In a rather interesting marketing campaign for EZ-Grill, the company decided to fry up three different cell phones. You have to admit that the strategy is a good one, even if you find it a waste of good devices. After all, you watched the video and took the time to form an opinion of it, right?

What other types of online marketing campaigns have you seen lately that are close to crossing a line between what you feel is right and wrong?

What's New in iOS 4.1? Get it now!

Have You Played Tetris on the iPhone Yet?

Via Apple, this update contains improvements, including the following:

  • Game Center:
    • Send and receive friend requests
    • Invite friends to multi-player games over the Internet
    • Play multi-player games by auto-matching with other players
    • View Leaderboards and Achievements
    • Discover new games from friends
  • High dynamic range (HDR) photos on iPhone 4
  • Support for TV show rentals on iTunes
  • Ability to upload HD videos to YouTube and MobileMe over Wi-Fi on iPhone 4
  • Additional support for AVRCP-supported accessories, including next & previous track control
  • FaceTime calling directly from Favorites
  • Bug fixes:
    • iPhone 4 proximity sensor performance
    • iPhone 3G performance
    • Nike+iPod fixes
    • Bluetooth improvements
  • Landscape Camera and FaceTime Call Controls
  • Direct Ping support in iTunes
  • Disable Spell Check Feature
  • FaceTime and Multiplayer/Game Center Restrictions
  • Over the air Nike + Submissions
  • AT&T Carrier settings shift to version 8.0

Products compatible with this software update? iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2nd generation, or later. Game Center requires iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2nd generation or later. Thanks to 9to5mac for a more comprehensive list of changes.