Apple has released an updated iPhone firmware to fix a recently discovered critical SMS vulnerability. Version 3.0.1 doesn’t appear to offer any other fixes or changes, and the latest post on the iPhone Dev Team blog confirms that redsn0w 0.8 works fine with the new release, as long as you select firmware 3.0 as the base for the patching, NOT 3.0.1. I have confirmed this works with my own iPhone, and since this is a serious security flaw I would recommend everyone updates asap.
The media reaction to this flaw has been mixed, ranging from informed to hysterical. While some are screaming ‘iPhones are unsafe’ other sites have pointed out this appears to be a common flaw with a wide range of smartphone platforms including Google and Microsoft mobile operating systems.
The new V3 iPhone/iPod software from Apple offers a lot of improvements and additions, unfortunately the amount of these changes decreases the further back the family tree you go. Probably the least blessed by the V3 update is the first generation iPod Touch, the model I use. I’ve been looking through the software I use on my iPod for a couple of days to find what’s new, so here’s a list of the changes you get for your £5.99/$9.99
Search Found to the left of the home screen, this offers similar functionality to the Mac’s Spotlight, searching most of the device’s built in applications. Icons for each application on the left identify where the match is so this is a very fast way of finding what you want. It’s also customisable from Settings>General>Home, as shown below. The home button can be assigned an action, and apps you don’t want to include can be deselected. It’s even possible to drag the apps around to change the order of the search results. Read more…
Apple has announced iPhone/iPod software version 3, with a beta available to developers now and the final version due this summer. Offering over 100 new features, some of the highlights include
- Cut, Copy and Paste finally
- Spotlight Search avaliable from a new screen to the left of the current first page. Looks a bit like the Palm Pre screen layout to me
- Turn by Turn CoreLocation available to all apps for turn-by-turn GPS directions
- MMS the iphone catches up with the rest of the messaging world
- Push Notification previously promised and delayed, now to be included in V3
- Third-Party Accessory Apps software can now access hardware add-ons
- Peer-to-Peer Connectivity over bluetooth and wifi for data sharing and games
- In-App Purchasing for buying content within applications, such as newspaper or magazine subscriptions
- Landscape keyboard for easier data entry
- Voice Memos again, catching up with everyone else
- A2DP Bluetooth stereo headset support
- Shake to Shuffle the ipod nano feature moves to the iPhone
The biggest question here is should you wait for 3rd generation hardware (if launched) this summer of take advantage of the free iPhone handset/stock clearance rumoured to be coming in May?
Where Pwnage tool creates a custom firmware image to send to your iDevice, Quickpwn modifies a standard firmware install that is already there. Before starting Quickpwn you need to udpate to the new firmware using iTunes. The Quickpwn process is quite simple, the screenshots below show the steps and it even walks you through getting the device into DFU mode. The last three images are photo’s of my iPod during the install which continues on the iDevice once Quickpwn has finished. Read more…
Pwnage tool 2.2 supporting iPhone and iPod Touch firmware 2.2 was released late last night, and I have now had a chance to try it out. Nothing much different to the previous version, so here is a screenshot gallery of the process for anyone who hasn’t taken the plunge yet. It’s not quite as easy to use as Quickpwn as you have to manually put the iDevice into DFU mode then use iTunes to restore the package that Quickpwn makes. There are plenty of guides on the net for anyone needing guidance, so I won’t repeat it here. Read more…
The latest update to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices is now available through iTunes, along with an iTunes update to 8.0.2. New features of the iPhone update include Google streetview, podcast downloads and updated Mail and Safari. The iPod Touch update does not include the streetview feature.
As usual the iPhone Dev Team are recommending you delay upgrading to v2.2 through iTunes until their Pwnage and QuickPwn tools are updated to support the new release. It’s probably worth holding off on the iTunes update as well since Apple appear to be increasing their jailbreak thwarting measures recently. I’m hoping that once a jailbreak for v2.2 is released it will include an unlock for iPod Touch streetview.
Details are starting to appear of the rumoured features expected in the upcoming V2.2 firmware for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Perhaps the most interesting is the addition of Google Street View to the Maps application. This allows the viewing of panoramic images taken from street level in cities that have been photographed by Google. Street view is a feature that I used quite a bit recently when picking a hotel in San Francisco for a future visit. It’s nice to be able to look at the area around the hotel to see what the views and amenities are like.
Also rumoured are emoticons for messaging and the ability to disable the auto-correction function. I’m not one for lots of icons in messages but there are time they can come in useful, and being able to turn off auto-correct would definitely be handy when I’m typing a technical message.
Still missing is the push alerts system that Steve Jobs demonstrated at WWDC08, and there’s no information on whether this feature will make it into V2.2.
For quite a time I have been trying to get SMB shares showing in the Finder sidebar. Nothing I have tried has resulted in a permanent fix so this has become an issue I expect Snow Leopard to resolve. This morning I updated my Synology Diskstation 106e to the latest 0722 firmware and while SMB shares still don’t appear, the Diskstation does. From the release notes:
Enhanced Mac OS Usability: Synology NAS servers will be automatically found by Bonjour protocol, including Finder and Safari browser (Bookmarks > Bonjour)
The image on the left shows the Finder sidebar with the Diskstation detected through Bonjour. I would previously see this icon while connected to a share but as soon as the share was ejected the Diskstation icon dissapeared as well. It’s now permanently there, either a monitor with the infamous Windows BSOD (who says Apple doesn’t have a sense of humour) if using SMB or one like the macpro icon above for AFP. Both methods of access appear to work but SMB was a bit flaky and didn’t always connect, so I’m sticking with AFP for now.
There are a lot of other updates in the new firmware including a new downloadstation so have a look if you own one of these devices. I’m always amazed at the continued support and updates Synology provide for older models so would recommend their NAS units to anyone.
I tried updating my iPod Touch to the latest 2.1 firmware this morning, downloaded through iTunes 8. The install process completed without a hitch, but my problems started when iTunes offered to restore the backup it made before upgrading. Once the restore was complete the iPod would restart and hang at the apple logo showing a frozen progress indicator.
After 10 minutes I tried again, but the result was the same. The iPod locks up when restoring the backup, so there must be something in the backup that conflicts with the latest firmware.The upshot of this is that the only way I have found to get the 2.1 firmware working is to setup the iPod as a new device without restoring a backup, and let iTunes sync everything. That’s running at the moment so I will post some screenshots of the new genius feature when it’s done, then decide to stick with 2.1 and wait for a jailbreak, or drop back to a jailbroken 2.0.2.
Just announced at the Apple live event, firmware 2.1 for iphone and iPod Touch will be available from Friday 12th September. Improvements include significantly better battery life, fewer call drops and a lot of fixed bugs. No mention so far of the rumoured held back features, the only thing that looks new is the genius smart playlist function. The update is free for users of version 2, and $9.99 for iPod Touch owners upgrading from version 1 firmwares.
UPDATE Reports are appearing that iPod Touch V2.1 is already available, if so I will try to update and post some screenshots of the new features.
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