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iOS 4.0.1 and iPad 3.2.1 released

July 15, 2010 1 comment

Software updates for the iPad and devices running iOS 4 are now available through iTunes.  iPad OS 3.2.1 includes fixes for Wi-Fi, handling of PDFs in Mail and video playback, as well as adding Bing to Safari’s search options. iOS 4.0.1 for iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G lists an improvement to the formula used to calculate the signal strength bars as the only change.

I’ve just updated my 32Gb WiFi only iPad to 3.2.1, losing the Spirit jailbreak. I’ve found the benefits of a jailbroken iPad to be limited so far, so intend to wait a few months for the bugs to be ironed out of existing jailbroken apps.

10.6.4 tested on hackintosh

June 17, 2010 3 comments

My original hackintosh has now been updated to 10.6.4, and as was the case with the past few updates a new version of sleepenabler.kext was required to prevent a kernel panic during boot. The 10.6.4 sleep enabler is available from Insanelymac.

The Snow Leopard Mail application has received an update to version 4.3, showing the above dialogue when first launched. The upgrading of mail messages took only a few seconds, unfortunately it was followed by this warning.

Letterbox is a Mail plugin that adds a widescreen view with the message preview pane on the right of the window. Fortunately developer Aaron Harnly already has an update to Letterbox 0.24b7 which is compatible with 10.6.4.

10.6.4 released

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple has today released the latest update to its Snow Leopard operating system, 10.6.4. Full details of the fixes included are available at support.apple.com/kb/HT4150, and details of the security content at support.apple.com/kb/HT1222. A quick look at several hackintosh forums showed mixed upgrade results. A new 10.6.4 version of Sleepenabler.kext is available to try, and further compatibility  details will be posted once I have installed the update on my three applicable hackintosh systems.

Sensationalising Apple news

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I saw a fine example of the way news is reported today, with a story presented in two very different ways. Here’s the headline and first few sentences from the two stories.

Massive Apple iPad data breach reveals 114,000 subscriber emails

An iPad security breach in the US has revealed 114,000 email addresses of AT&T subscribers, according to the hacking group Goatse Security.
Goatse has previously identified holes in web browsers such as Safari and Firefox, but this is perhaps their biggest profile security hole find to date.

And the second story:

AT&T website scraped to reveal iPad 3G owners’ email addresses

Unfortunately for AT&T’s security infrastructure — and equally unfortunately for customers who bought and activated iPad 3G units on the company’s network — a freelance security research team has reportedly scraped two key tidbits of information from thousands of iPad registrations. As Gawker reports, the hackers exploited a script on AT&T’s site by feeding it ICC-IDs (the GSM SIM card’s identifier code) harvested from iPad user screenshots and interpolated to cover a wider range. The AT&T site obligingly gave back the email address associated with each of the ICC-IDs.

Seeing the first headline certainly got my attention, is there a problem with the iPad? Has Apple screwed up? Then the second followed a few posts down my RSS feed list, calmly stating the facts. Can you tell which site I trust for news?

Categories: apple, ipad Tags: , , ,

iOS 4 thoughts

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

An Engadget post yesterday revealed the gold build issued at WWDC works on any compatible iPod/iPhone without the device being registered for development. A quick search of the usual places such things are found turned up the latest beta of iTunes 9.2 required for the restore process, as well as the ipsw packages for the iPhone 3G/S and iPod Touch 2g/3g. Since these are far from official sources everything was scanned for nasties but the clean results meant it wasn’t long before my 3GS was running iOS4.

After a day of playing with the next year’s OS the initial stand out additions are multitasking, folders and the unified Mail inbox. Multitasking, even in the current state of only being fully supported by Apple apps, is a big improvement in speed and ease of use. Opening a link in Mail takes the user straight to Safari but a quick double click of the home button and a tap on the mail icon and you’re back to where you left off in Mail. Folders means an alternative to page after page of app icons, and the unified inbox is such an improvement you just wonder why it wasn’t like this from the start. There are some problems and inconsistencies with the new additions, so read on for more details and screenshots. Read more…

Upgrading an O2 iPhone

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Over the past two days O2 has released details of its upgrade offers and eligibility. While better than last year’s pay off your contract in full deal they represent a significant additional outlay for those prepared to sign up for another 18 or 24 month contract. Here’s what we know so far. Read more…

Categories: apple, iPhone

iPhone 4 announced

June 8, 2010 1 comment

On 7th June Steve Jobs took the stage at the 2010 WWDC to announce the fourth version of the iPhone hardware. Full details of the improvements over the 3GS model have been well covered elsewhere, so here’s a brief summary:

  • 960 by 640 pixel display with 800 to 1 contrast ratio using an IPS (same as iPad) panel
  • A4 processor, also same as used in the iPad
  • Adds 802.11n wireless
  • Up to 7 hours talk time (3G), 300 hours standby, 10 hours WiFi internet use, 40 hours audio playback, 10 hours of video playback
  • 16 or 32Gb storage
  • Available in white or black, with colour edge covers offered
  • New 5 Megapixel backside illuminated camera sensor for better low light images
  • 640×480 front camera for self portraits and video calls
  • LED flash
  • 720p video recording
  • Three axis Gyroscope
  • iMovie software available to run on the phone for $4.99

The standout features for me are the improved camera and 720p video recording. The Apple iPhone camera page has some un-retouched samples at the bottom of the page that can be zoomed to full size. While none of them are really low light (there are a couple of low light smaller examples near the top) they offer quality good enough for holiday snaps. The popular phrase “the best camera is the one you have with you” doesn’t present too much of a compromise for the average consumer. The availability of iMovie for iPhone 4 is a big bonus, though it appears to be limited to the new iPhone with no word on backward compatibility with the 3GS.

My hope is that Apple will provide some way of transferring photo and video from the iPhone 4 to the iPad, where a version of iMovie and iPhoto would provide much easier editing. The iPad camera connection kit could easily do this, and both devices offer wireless connectivity that would make it a cheaper option.

Uk networks O2, Orange and Vodafone have announced availability of the iPhone 4 on 24th June, but have yet to release details of pricing. O2 have promised a limited time offer for those in existing iPhone contracts wishing to upgrade. Hopefully this will match the AT&T offer to cancel up to six months remaining contract if the new iPhone is taken with a new two year contract.

Price wise the new iPhone is $199 for 16Gb and $299 for 32Gb. No word yet on UK pricing but I’m expecting £170 and £260 if the same conversion as the iPad is used.

Categories: apple, iPhone, movie, photo Tags: , , ,

iPad Jailbreaking and strange fixes

June 3, 2010 2 comments

In the name of research my iPad has been jailbroken using the Spirit app. There hasn’t been much of a need for jailbreaking as the settings app sits in the expanded six place iPad dock, and provides much faster access to settings than the iPhone equivalent. SBsettings is now installed on the iPad, but Winterboard currently has some issues on the iPad. Changing the theme on the iPhone makes it look much better, but the iPad supports wallpapers and the apps look way better without any fiddling so the appeal of theming is much reduced.

There’s not much to report on the jailbreak, it’s just as simple as the recent iPhone attempt and results in Cydia on the iPad desktop. There’s a warning in Cydia that not everything works on the iPad yet, and some iPhone software may cause a crash that needs a software restore to fix.

Trying the iPad’s iPod app yesterday resulted in an instant crash that I initially thought may be related to the jailbreak, but posts on the Apple support forum showed the issue is not uncommon. The unlikely fix of launching the Videos app before the iPod app actually worked for me so all is back to normal.

Apple removes MyFrame for offering widgets

June 3, 2010 1 comment

Earlier this week Apple removed the MyFrame photo frame application from the app store. There’s nothing new about apps being pulled, but in this instance the app in question was a high quality photo frame capable of displaying the time, date, weather, notes and twitter feeds. I can say it’s high quality as I paid for the app and used it whenever my iPad was sitting on my desk while I worked at the hackintosh. The app stopped working a couple of days ago which I initially thought was caused by jailbreaking the iPad, but now I’m not so sure.

From the Groundhog software blog and Macworld article it appears MyFrame was pulled from the app store for using widgets, and the reply to an email sent to Steve Jobs said, “We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry.

While this is good news for a much requested feature in the upcoming iPad OS 4, it sucks for a useful app. Especially an app that was recently upgraded to version 1.2, the third release approved by Apple. There also appears to be some confusion at the app store. Clicking the link on the Groundhog software site to buy the app took me to the UK iTunes store with a warning the app was not currently available in the UK, but was in the US store. This happened as I have both a UK and US account from my recent US iPad purchase. Agreeing to be taken to the US store then gave an error that the app is not available there either.

The most puzzling thing here is why Apple doesn’t contact app developers and give them the chance to remove whatever conflicts with planned OS features or new unannounced ‘rules’. I’ve just fired of this question from the iTunes report a problem feature, any reply will be added as a new post.

I paid for MyFrame a couple of weeks ago and use it often. The 1.2 update added more control over the photo slideshows and some other great features. Then earlier this week it stopped working. After launching the app would take a while to display anything, then freeze and finally exit back to the iPad desktop. I’ve since found out the app has been removed from the app store, is this related to the sudden problems I am experiencing?
Also, now the app has been removed and there is no word on future updates or re-admittance to the app store, will Apple be issuing a refund to all the loyal Apple customers who paid for this app? Or is the developer going to get a big bill?

iPad thoughts part 2 – Included Apps

May 25, 2010 4 comments

The iPad really comes alive when you start using the touchscreen and interacting with the OS and applications. The most common layout in landscape mode is the left third of the screen showing a list of some sort while the middle and right thirds show the selected document or view. The Settings app below shows this, with the list of setting groups on the left and the options on the right.

Turning to portrait mode shows the same options squeezed in width for the narrower dimension, while other apps such as Mail show a full screen view with a dropdown list. Read more…