. iOS « Torchwood Archives
Torchwood Archives
18Jul/11Off

iOS 4.3.4 deployed, jailbreak already available

Apple has adressed the hole in PDF viewer, and an update has been released for the following devices:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4 (GSM)
  • iPod Touch 3gen
  • iPod Touch 4gen
  • iPad
  • iPad 2

There are no other changes in the patch description.

It is also already possible to jailbreak iOS 4.3.4 using Pwnage Tool. Details are available here.

15Jul/11Off

About jailbreak and bias

Cydia front page

Cydia front page

Thanks to @musclenerd (who linked this on twitter) I have recently read this text about how jailbreak is bad, and how jailbreakers are all criminals. To put it simply, I don't like when someone, who has no idea about a topic, writes with such a bias and confidence.

But let's be fair and review all the points mentioned in said text.

  1. "a major company decides to lockout a tiny percentage of its customer base for the greater good of all other users" Of course, every company has the right to ban user from accessing their service, if said user does not follow the license agreement. But is it really for the greater good? Is it a coincidence, that the author of the Mobile Notifier has been hired by Apple? If Apple was so dedicated to eradicate jailbreakers, why hiring one of them? Apple knows, that jailbreaking community is a source of innovation, and a field trial for new, unstable features.
  2. "get underneath the iPhone’s operating system, hack it into something different entirely, and use their iPhone as less of a tool and more of a tinker-toy for their geek hobbyist fantasies." sorry, but as far as I know, modifying phones, cars, tools is peoples own choice. Did they pay for their iPhone? Yes. That gives them right to do anything with it, including microwaving it or dropping from height. Or jailbreaking. Of course, some of these actions will void the warranty, and majority of jailbreakers accept this fact.
    On a sidenote, another major smartphone manufacturer, the HTC company allows their users unrestricted access to tinker with software of their phones. This made the company very successful, and a dedicated community of developers is creating ROM images, programs and tweaks, which increase the base functionality of their phones. See XDAdevelopers.com.
  3. Their agenda is clear: they consider iPhone users who don’t hack their iPhone to be “in jail” and must be freed. This "jail" is nothing more than disallowing the administrator access to iOS (to defend Apple's busines model, but thats another story). Mac's for example don't have such a restriction and users have free access to root account.
  4. "Apple Stores flooded with mainstream users whose iPhones are no longer reliable, usable, or comprehensible" this is the risk of people who jailbreak their device. These people more often than not, know what they are doing, and thus they know about the risk. Jailbreak can almost always be removed by restoring to a stock software package.
  5. "stealing pay-for features like tethering without paying for them" stealing tethering? Didn't the user pay for the data plan? Yes. So it's their right to use that data plan, tethered or not, because they paid the operator for the data transfer. Only a handful of mobile operators in the world put an additional charge for enabling tethering in their terminals. The majority don't care about how their users use the data plan as long as they paid for that plan.

It seems, that the author of the mentioned text fails to understand what jailbreaking is, what is it used for, how the jailbreaking community works, that there is world outside of AT&T, and that there is a percentage of people in the world, who are innovative, creative and know how to improve stock software.

PS. I have been running jailbroken iOS on my previous iPhone (2G) for quite a while, because I had to unlock it (so I could use it outside of US), and to enable features like MMS messaging and a few others.

7Jul/11Off

iPad2 jailbroken, serious hole in iOS PDF

On 4th of July some jailbreak related websites (limera1n) Mentioned that www.jailbreakme.com has changed and probably a new jailbreak is coming soon. They were not mistaken:

 

»

This means, that the following devies:

  • iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.3 to 4.3.3
  • iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3 to 4.3.3
  • iPod 3rd & 4th gen running iOS 4.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.3
  • iPad running iOS 4.3 to 4.3.3
  • iPad2 running iOS 4.3.3

can now be jailbroken by visiting the website above. The new jailbreakme.com 3.0 exploits a vulnerability in the iOS's PDF reader which has been exposed by a guy called comex. This unfortunately means, that the current build of iOS 4.3.3 is unsafe, and users who don't jailbreak should be very cautious about unknown links and PDF files, as it is possible they can exploit the same hole as said jailbreak. It is possible to patch the vulnerability by installing a patch from Cydia: PDF Patcher 2 to Fix the PDF Exploit also released by comex.

20Jun/11Off

Do you really need a 3G tablet?

Guide about tethering in tablet PCs on Tabletowo.pl

The year 2011 is undoubtedly the year of tablets. So if you plan to buy one, check this guide out. You might save some $$$ by buying a WiFi tablet and using a mobile phone for internet access. You can read tethering guide in polish on tabletowo.pl. English translation is coming really soon!

EDIT: English translation is available here.

7Jun/11Off

Apple iOS 5 unveiled on WWDC 2011

Yesterday Steve Jobs has presented the brand new iOS 5, which should arrive in iPhones, iPods and iPads this Fall. The new flag OS for Apple mobile devices brings an extensive list of changes, some of which are quite important.

  • Notification system revisited. The iOS notification system with it's disruptive nature and rather cumbersome alert and badges system was quite outdated. The overhaul includes Notification Center, which is very similar to the one found in Android (drag a finger down from the top of the screen, Notification Center will scroll down)
  • PC Free - independence from a PC or Mac. It will now be possible to activate and use an iDevice without the need to connect it to iTunes.
  • Wireless Sync - an old Windows Mobile feature comes to iOS: all iDevices running iOS 5 will sync to iTunes over WiFi connection, so cables are not necessary anymore.
  • iCloud - Free 5 GB of personal storage cloud, along with the ability to view and redownload all Apps and Books owned by the user. This is already working once you update iTunes to 10.3.
  • Calendar and Reminders also received a huge overhaul. It is now possible to make a list of reminders - say shopping list. Or To Do list. You can not only set the iDevice to remind you at given time, but also based on location: reminders can sound based on arrival or departure. Calendar has now the week view.
  • Camera - users can now use volume buttons as shutter - this feature is long overdue!
  • Newsstand - along with iBooks, this is yet another new app, which will bring all the magazines into one place, for your reading pleasure.
  • iMessage - an instant messaging app with contacts and history wirelessly snchronized between all iDevices under one iTunes account.
  • Airplay Mirroring for iPad 2 - if you have an Apple TV, then you don't need the HDMI cable anymore. It will be possible to stream the mirror of the screen wirelessly over to a paired Apple TV.
  • Minor changes to Mail, Game Center, Photos and Safari.

 

 

29Apr/11Off

New Expansion for Galaxy on Fire II

Yesterday Galaxy on Fire II, an iOS game for iPhone and iPad (which I have reviewed here), has received a paid add-on named "Valkyrie". Another new feature is ability to obtain a player owned station, where it is possible to store multiple ships (before this, player could only own one starship at a time).

The new Valkyrie add-on costs 3,99 EUR (paid as in-app purchase) and brings a new storyline centered around Valkyrie station in Herjaza system. That is of course not all, which the expansion has to offer:

  • New ships
  • Loma, the black market system
  • Guided missiles
  • Scatterguns (AoE guns)
  • Automatic turrets
  • New blueprints
  • Opponent signatures
  • Time extenders
  • Weapon modifiers (similar to weapon upgrades in EVE)
  • New booster
  • New tractor beam
  • Emergency system
  • New thermo weapon
  • Mines

The amount of new content makes this game even closer to the single player EVE-like experience. By the way, dear CCP, when do you release EVE Online for iPad?! (or EVE offline, it could just be a game in EVE universe - money waiting to be made here)

Player owned station can be either bought in-game for 30 million credits and 50 tons of Buskat, or as an in-app purchase for a mere 0,79 EUR. The station is located in Shima system.

EDIT: I found a bug. If you don't buy the add-on, every time you undock, a character named Cornelious will contact you to offer a mission, which is not available until after you bought the expansion.

19Apr/11Off

Some Flash features are coming to iOS

One of the features missing in iOS is for sure Adobe Flash support. iPad, which in theory is designed mainly as a highly portable web browsing/mail reading device, is not able to view all websites on the internet. Adobe Flash is a de facto standard, it is available for a multitude of platforms, including Linux and Android. Apple however, decided against including Flash in iOS. Apple claims, that the reasoning behind this is purely technical related. Most of the mobile device community, however, suspects that real reasons are business ones: introducing Flash and enabling users to access free web games could severely impact AppStore revenues. Steve Jobs mentioned during his keynote, that developers have earned 2 billion dollars from AppStore sales. That obviously means nearly a billion dollar cut for Apple itself.

Adobe has announced new streaming features

Adobe did not surrender, and some Flash features are still coming to iOS platform. Thanks to HTTP Live Streaming, or HLS in short, it will be possible for the server to decide what kind of stream player to use - either a classic flash player or HTML 5 based one. Unfortunately that means Flash games and websites will still remain out of reach for iPad and iPhone users, but they will be able to access more video related websites.

26Mar/11Off

iPad 2 – first impressions

Yesterday iPad 2 was officially introduced in Europe, including Poland. Unfortunately, polish introduction should rather be called Warsaw introduction, because there were some supply problems in other cities. Also the supply of the new Apple slate was quite limited and not everyone was able to get their hands on the long-awaited device.

The first impression is quite good: the tablet looks solid, even though it is thinner than its predecessor. The 3G model which I bought has a black plastic area near the top, which houses the HSDPA modem and the built in GPS. The back is made from aluminum, so it feels more durable than the plastic iPhone 3G/3Gs (and reminds of the original iPhone).

Also you don't need a USIM card inserted right away to activate the 3G iPad - all one needs is a computer with iTunes.

Pros:

  • All games i have run very smoothly (Galaxy On Fire 2,
  • GLBenchmark results 5 to 8 times better than original iPad
  • lighter than the original iPad
  • two cameras for taking photos, videos and chatting
  • can record smooth HD-ready (720p) videos
  • can provide HDMI (1080p for still images and 720p for movies) and VGA output

There are also some cons:

  • backlight bleeding in dark lighting conditions is very visible
  • the oleophobic coating does not make much difference - after an hour the screen is just as dirty as any touch capable device
  • the oleophobic coating makes rapid finger movement difficult, so gamers might need some getting used to
  • the SIM tack is hard to remove
  • there are some minor bugs in iOS (already running on 4.3.1) -- for example when resetting Cellular Network Data usage you get -465794987610350000000000 bytes instead of 0 bytes.
  • low quality front camera in low lighting conditions
  • can only use micro SIM

Unopened box of iPad 2

Unpacked iPad 2

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3Mar/11Off

iPad 2 in Poland

According to a few sources (directly asking polish iSpot employee for instance) I can say with enough confidence, that on 25 th of March the new Apple slate will be oficially available in Poland. It is a good news, because original iPad took 7 months to arrive (and when it finally shown up, it was overpriced a lot).

24Jan/11Off

iOS 4.3 beta2

On 19th of January Apple has released a second beta release of the iOS version 4.3 for anyone with an active Apple Developer account.

Some of the new features include:

  • Tether 3G connection over WiFi (making iPhone a personal wireless router)
  • Picture Stream - a service allowing publishing of photos to MobileMe
  • Video Streaming
  • The side switch on iPad can be assigned either for mute (like on iPhone) or for orientation lock (like it used to be in iOS 3.x)

Previous beta release of 4.3 also contained four- and five-finger gestures for switching multitasked applications and closing the active one. This feature was for experimental use only and has been removed from beta2.

Now some sad information for iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2gen users: there will be no iOS 4.3 for your device. iPhone 3G suffered poor performance when running iOS 4.0, it did improve a bit in 4.1 and subsequently 4.2.1, but it seems that Apple has decided that iPhone 3G/iPod touch 2gen don't have enough juice to power iOS 4.3.

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