Tag Archives: iphone

And So Begins Scrollgate

I confirmed this on my own iPhone 5 screen. I’ve also reported the bug to Apple (though it likely already knows, as this has been floating around the tech socialsphere today). It remains to be seen whether or not this is a hardware or software issue, but it only seems to impact newest-gen devices (iPod touch and iPhone).

You’re scrolling it wrong?

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.

Be the Life of the Party with an iPhone and djay

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djay is an iPhone and iPod touch app that acts as a portable DJ system in combination with your iPod library. You get access to your favorite tracks and playlists via a realistic touchscreen interface. Perform live as a street corner DJ or be the life of the party from your iPhone.

Record mixes on-the-go or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your iPod library automatically. With a simple rotation of your iPhone or iPod touch, djay’s intuitive dual turntable setup beautifully morphs to each turntable individually, allowing you to beat-match, adjust EQs, loop, and cue with even greater precision and control.

Features of this awesome app include:

  • Direct access to iPod library
  • Hyper-realistic low-latency turntable interface
  • Exclusive portrait and landscape modes
  • Automix mode with automatic transition control (Fade, Backspin, Reverse, Brake, and Random)
  • Automatic beat and tempo matching (BPM sync)
  • Looping (Auto, Manual, and Bounce)
  • Cue Point Trigger
  • Live Recording (with built-in organizer for recorded performances)
  • Seamless AirPlay integration (wirelessly transmit your mix to Apple TV or AirPort Express base station)
  • Pre-Cueing (with optional headphone adapter)
  • Full visual waveform
  • High-quality scratching
  • Mixer, tempo, and EQ controls
  • Pitch-Bend
  • Beat-synchronized scrubbing
  • Fully optimized for iOS multitasking and background operation

Yes, you’ll find apps which are free, unlike djay. However, you will NOT find a free app that is better than this one. You get what you pay for in most cases, and that is definitely true when it comes to most apps available for your devices.

djay can turn you into the life of the party – every single time. Isn’t that “feature” alone worth its weight in gold?

Which apps are you using to become a dee-jay for a day?

Why Are You Still Paying for Unlimited Data?

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Pretty much since the beginning of time, I’ve had an unlimited data plan on my iPhones. That feature costs me about thirty bucks each month. I also have an unlimited plan on my iPad 3G, which costs another thirty smackers. You do the math – that’s sixty dollars each month, folks. There has to be a better solution, right?

I killed off my no-subscription-needed iPad plan. I’m going to enabling tethering via my iPhone. That plan will cost me $45.00 per month. Instead of playing $60.00 each month for two separate services, I am attempting to find a new solution that will work better for me.

I took a good look at my usage models on both devices. I hit 4 to 5GB of data combined over the course of several months. It just makes sense to pay for 4GB per month, right? The math shows that there’s just no way I should ever hit that cap.

Theoretically, I’m saving fifteen bucks each month. Keep in mind, if you switch from your old unlimited AT&T plan to a usage-based plan, you will not be able to go back – ever. It took me a moment to click that button. I know I’m saving money, but what if I do end up needing that data later? That’s something that each of you will have to consider before making this same choice.

Isn’t this a geek’s worst nightmare – losing unlimited data? But think about it for a moment… do you honestly NEED an unlimited plan? Why are you paying for that which you never use? Are you throwing your money out the window at the moment just in case you might one day need to utilize more than 4GB in any one month?

I was able to turn on the Personal Hot Spot instantly upon enabling it on my account. It was very simple to flip on and even easier to connect with. Within a matter of seconds, I was surfing the web on the iPad by using my iPhone 4.

Yes, it was slightly depressing to get rid of my unlimited plan. However, it is very cool to know I now have a Personal Hot Spot anywhere I may go.

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.

Which Apps Do You Use on a Jailbroken iPhone?

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This week, Reza is going to show you an app called SBSettings to be used with a jailbroken iPhone. He will be bringing you tips and tricks to help you get the most use out of your jailbroken iOS device each Thursday.

SBSettings will move your important toggles directly into Springboard where they are always available instantly – even while other apps are running.

The app doesn’t come with an icon. Simply swipe the status bar to bring down the main menu window. In the app settings, you can change the way you bring up the SB Settings window. Change it up to suite your needs.

Using this app reduces the total number of apps and pages that you need to go through to do things such as turn 3G on or off. You won’t have nearly as many swipes and clicks to get to where you need to be. Who doesn’t like it when life gets easier?

Will You Be Switching from AT&T to Verizon?

Up until today, AT&T had an exclusive lock on the iPhone. Now that it is available on the Verizon network, people are wondering whether or not they should be changing providers. When King5 news came to my house earlier today, Dad and I sat down with the reporter to talk about all of these types of questions.

Dad had a heck of a time choosing a cell phone for himself. He wanted a smartphone, but had no idea what exactly he needed. He checked out several different models, and did end up settling on an iPhone 4. Now, he’s wondering if he should be switching to Verizon.

Dad lives in an area where AT&T works well. Why on Earth would he pay those cancellation fees to make a switch? If you are happy with AT&T at this time, there’s no reason to be changing anything. Don’t break your contract. The phones themselves really aren’t any different.

When looking for a phone for yourself, keep my Dad’s advice in mind: “Why buy a Cadillac when a Chevy will do?” If you don’t NEED bells and whistles, then don’t pay for them.

Verizon iPhone Pre-Orders to Start February 3rd

Verizon is offering existing customers a chance to buy the Verizon iPhone on February 3rd, a week before the general public. According to an email received by MacRumors, Verizon will begin pre-order sales at 3am Eastern on February 3rd. The email also indicates that the pre-sale inventory is limited, so when that inventory is depleted, customers will have to wait until the February 10th public launch date.

Make sure you have your My Verizon self-serve account set-up online. Orders can only be placed through your my Verizon account. On February 3rd at 3am EST, Verizon Wireless will allow our current customers to order upgrades or new lines to their accounts through your My Verizon online account (make sure you have registered before the 3rd).

Verizon is allowing certain existing AT&T customers to trade in their current iPhone for credit towards a new Verizon iPhone 4. Depending on which model you have, you could receive up to $360.00 in credits.

Are you planning to make a switch to Verizon?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what’s new today.

Switch Tasks Quickly on a Jailbroken iPhone

RMalayeri is going to be bringing you regular screencasts each Thursday to talk about different things you can do with a jailbroken iPhone. This week, he is showing off Multiflow, an app which brings Expose-like functionality to iOS. It will set you back a mere five bucks through the Cydia store.

This app is a replacement for the standard iOS multi-tasking view. With Multifl0w, you can “explode” all of your open apps, just as you can on your Mac computer. There are several different ways to set up this app to customize it to your liking.

Multifl0w shows all open apps (up to 9) on the same screen, for easy and quick task switching. The tabs are re-arrangeable, just drag an drop!

Thanks, Reza, for an excellent beginning to our new jailbreaking series.

Verizon and the Perfect iPhone Commercial

And so it begins… the first Verizon iPhone commercial has been unleashed on the world. Whether or not you are a fan of the beloved Apple device hitting Verizon’s markets, you have to admit that this commercial is a damn good one. Its sheer simplicity is perfection.

The scene is set with a simple clock showing a time of 11:59. You can hear the ticking in the background as different clocks are shown, all with different times on them. Someone’s fingers are tapping a desk impatiently. These elements together perfectly set you up for the big moment…

That moment comes when the proverbial clock strikes twelve. We see a pretty girl break out into a huge smile, but there is no party. There are no fireworks, streamers or confetti. Verizon Wireless simply says:

To our millions of customers who never stopped believing this day would come – thank you.

Simplicity can be powerful, folks. Keep that in mind.