Archive for category Apple

Should I jailbreak?

Since an untethered jailbreak is out for iOS 5.0.1, I’m debating whether I should jailbreak my iPod now. I decided to make a poll so my readers can vote (as well as Twitter followers).

 

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iOS 5.0.1 now has an untethered jailbreak

The wait is finally over. Well, at least for devices running iOS 5.0.1 with a pre-A5 processor. If you have one of the following devices, you can now jailbreak iOS 5 (untethered).

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4 (GSM and CDMA)
  • iPad 1
  • iPod Touch 3rd generation
  • iPod Touch 4th generation

If you don’t know what an untethered jailbreak is, I’ll start by explaining a tethered jailbreak. A tethered jailbreak means that if you power off your device (hold down the lock button and slide to power off) or your battery dies, you have to plug it into your computer and re-jailbreak to boot it again. An untethered jailbreak means that you can reboot it all you want and all of your jailbreak tweaks will stay visible.

iOS 5 has had a tethered jailbreak for a while, but now that the untethered jailbreak is released I’m sure more people will be jailbreaking their devices. Check out the links below for more information.

http://blog.iphone-dev.org/post/14857834236/untethered-holidays

http://twitter.com/pod2g (this is the twitter page of the guy who made the jailbreak. Thanks @pod2g!)

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RIP Steve Jobs


Today, news broke that Apple’s former CEO and founder, Steve Jobs, passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old. Steve Jobs was a very big¬†contributor¬†to technology, and without him, computers would be the same as they are today.
Even if you hate Apple with a passion, you have to admit that Steve was very innovative and will be missed.

I apologize for not writing a longer post, but there’s so much information flying around the internet right now that you just have to open any news site and can find all of the known information.

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Rant about Windows accessibly

Many of you may or may not know that I am legally blind. I use computers on a daily basis, and plan on going to college for Computer Science. I can pretty much use a computer normally (without the assistance of enlarging software) but need to be a few inches from the screen to read any text. I have used all three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, and a few Linux distros). Out of all three, Windows has been the worst in terms of accessibility. Before Windows 7, as many of you may know, the only built in screen magnification software split the screen in half, one with the regular size, then a docked window which showed the zoomed in view. This is horribly inconvenient, inefficient, and just doesn’t work well.
With Windows 7, it has been much improved. If you haven’t used the built in Windows 7 magnifier, it basically brings up a small window with options to increase/decrease the zoom level, as well as change the view between full screen, lens, and docked. This means that all of the major OS’s have some kind of full screen magnification tool, but Windows is still behind in my book. On Mac OS X (and Linux even) you can hold a key and scroll up and down the the trackpad. In Windows, you have to either hit Win+/- or press the two buttons in the magnifier window. This could be much more intuitive. Also, while zooming in Windows, it increases a set amount each time, so it’s not very smooth. On OS X and Linux it is a very smooth zoom in and out. This may not seem like such a big deal but when using it on a daily basis, it is.
There are other programs you can buy for Windows that will do a better job (one I use is called ZoomText), but these are expensive. Luckily, I get a free copy of ZoomText because of my blindness. This program is better than the built in Windows magnifier, but it still doesn’t have a smooth zooming experience. It is also less intuitive just because on most Windows laptops, you don’t have multitouch scrolling (just moving your finger along the side of the touchpad).
To simply this post:
Mac and Linux – Intuitive and smooth scrolling with two finger scrolling.
Windows – A good enough magnifier but isn’t as smooth or intuitive as other platforms. Expensive alternatives exist but still aren’t as good as the defaults on other platforms.
I really hope Microsoft improves their magnifier program on future versions of Windows.

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iOS App Ideas

Having recently¬†acquired¬†a used Mac, I am starting to get into iOS development. For those who don’t know, iOS is the software that runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Right now I’m kind of stuck for application ideas, so this is where I need your help. If you think of any cool app ideas or there’s an app you like but doesn’t have all the features you want, please leave a comment, email me, @ reply me on twitter, or send me a youtube message with the idea. If it’s something I think I’d be willing or able to do, I’ll most likely try it.

I will give credit in the app to the person who submitted the idea (assuming it ever makes it to the app store), and will be open to suggestions for updates further down the road.

Send me an email

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Apple Event Wrap up

iTunes 10 Logo

Now that the Apple Event is over, and there have been tons of blog/forum posts all over the major tech websites, I’ll go ahead and post a wrap-up of the event.
My predictions came true, for the most part. I’ll copy and paste the title of each prediction, and say what was wrong and right about it.

1. A new iPod Touch (http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/)

The new iPod Touch has two cameras; a front facing (for facetime) and a rear facing. The megapixel amount was not stated, but there is no flash and the rear camera can record 720p video. The new Touch also includes a Retina display, A4 processor, gyroscope, and a slight redesign (not to look like the iPhone 4, but it’s thinner and has a little flatter back).

2. Either a new iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle

I was kind of surprised by this one. They included both (according to Steve, this was the biggest iPod refresh ever). The new Shuffle brought back the buttons of the second generation, and kept Voiceover of the third. It is also smaller than the second generation.

The new Nano replaced the click wheel with a touchscreen. It is also smaller and squarer (is that a word?). It now has an interface similar to the iPhone/iPod Touch, but doesn’t have most of the features (no accelerometer, no wifi). Apple also removed the camera, FM radio and video playback (which all seem like steps backwards to me). I would have preferred them to keep the click wheel (or maybe make it completely touch sensitive so it doesn’t actually click?) and just update it a little more instead of completely overhauling it, sacrificing some features.

3. iOS 4 for the iPad

Apple announced iOS 4.2 for the iPad. It brings the addition of all the iOS 4 features that are on the iPhone (multitasking, folders, etc).

The rest of these are not what I had in my predictions post, they are just what else happened.

4. iOS 4.1 for the iPhone and iPod Touch

iOS 4.1 was announced as well. It is said to fix performance issues on the iPhone 3G. It also will bring the GameCenter. It also brings high dynamic range (HDR) photos. HDR photos basically underexpose/overexpose the photo and combine them with the original to  make a very nice looking picture. iOS 4.1 allows uploading full HD videos over Wi-Fi, which was a problem before with the iPhone 4.

5. iTunes 10 (http://www.apple.com/itunes/ping/)

iTunes 10 is a major iTunes upgrade (they even changed the logo, which is the picture for this post). It includes Ping, which to me sounds like a facebook for music. Not sure how much I’ll use Ping, but it seems neat. Hopefully the new iTunes brings performance increases for Windows, because iTunes for Windows plainly sucks.

6. AirPlay (http://www.apple.com/itunes/airplay/)

AirTunes was a way to stream music over wifi to other devices. Now Apple renamed it to AirPlay because now it can stream Videos as well.

7. A new Apple TV (http://www.apple.com/appletv/)

The new Apple TV is, in one word, tiny. Click here to see how small it is. It doesn’t have any internal storage, and instead rely’s on streaming for all it’s content. You can stream media from your computer to your TV, as well as rent shows/movies. Yes, I said rent. Apple no longer allows purchasing of TV content. Shows are $0.99 per show. Movies vary in price, depending on how old they are. You can download a movie the day it comes on DVD for $5.99, and it goes down from there. Seems relatively cheap, although you can pretty much get free TV shows on Hulu (if you hook a computer up to your TV, but Steve Jobs said that consumers don’t want a computer on their TV)

I think that’s everything, although I’m sure I forgot something.

If I did forget something, comment below. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and subscribe on Youtube.

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My predictions for September 1st

If you follow Apple at all, you probably know that there is an Apple event on the first of September. There have been many rumors about what’s coming, but here are my predictions:

1. A new iPod Touch
I am pretty confident that there will be a new iPod touch coming. I think it will have a front facing VGA camera. I would like it to have a rear facing camera as well, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just had a front facing camera for FaceTime. I also expect it to have a retina display, A4 processor, and similar design to the iPhone 4. I’m not sure if Apple will keep the metal antenna around the side, since it caused so many problems with the iPhone 4.

2. Either a new iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle
There have been rumors about the Nano getting a touchscreen and losing the click wheel. If they release a touchscreen-only iPod Nano, I know of a few people who would definitely not upgrade. The main reason they have a Nano is because you can change songs in your pocket (or without looking) because of the tactile click wheel. I can see Apple releasing a touch-only Nano though, because they are not fans of buttons. I could also see a new iPod Shuffle with a small screen (maybe touch, maybe not) as it would make it easier to use.
I think that this will be the main focus of the event, since it is music-centric.

3. iOS 4 for the iPad
The iPad has to get iOS 4 sometime, so why not make it at this event? It will most likely bring multitasking, folders, etc. There isn’t really much to explain about this one, since you’ve most likely know what’s in iOS 4 (if not, search my blog. I have a post about it)

There have also been rumors of a Verizon iPhone coming. I don’t really believe most of these. I will believe a Verizon iPhone when I see it. I also doubt that they would release it in a music-centric event. If they release one, it will have it’s own event.

That’s really all I think so far. They can’t update everything!

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