Opinion: Goodbye September, You Sucked!

Here I sit at my PC at the end of September 2012 and wonder where all the time went. Looking back on this past month, “lackluster” is the only thing I can come up with to describe it. Maybe I am just a little extra grumpy today and if that is the case, please accept my apologies up front. However, I can’t help but look at this past month and not wonder what good came from it. My colleagues and I have conversed back and forth several times about how dry the news cycles seem to be in regards to the tech industry. Not that there isn’t any news, but most of it lacks any pizzazz or appeal for our audience. This could be the result of an abysmal global economy. However, I believe there is a greater underlying issue and the wretched economy is merely a symptom of that issue. The issue I speak of is the severe lack of INNOVATION! Google search defines innovate:

 Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

We’ve had no shortage of press releases from high tech vendors touting their innovation, but I ask you, which of those supposed innovations has made you want to dump out your pocketbook and go shopping? To be honest, this reality isn’t all bad, that is if you have the ability to think creatively and the guts to take a risk in this market.

Exhibit A

In my case against the tech industry, let me introduce exhibit A, Apple. Go to Apple’s website, http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/, and see “what’s new”. Notice, I went ahead and put the entire URL there because I want you to see that Apple literally put the words “whats-new” in the link. Now glance down the page and tell me what is the first thing you see listed. Here’s what I see, “Maps Take a Whole New Turn”. Seriously I don’t even know where to begin here. Let’s start with their original logic. You’re telling me that with all the genius that resides in the headquarters of Apple, the most innovative new thing they could add to their IOS was a map? Please let me jump off the couch, go trade in my iPhone 4S, which by the way, many AT&T users have found that their upgrades aren’t available for upgrade to the iPhone 5 yet, and shell out massive dough for an upgrade. Of course, if you have the iPhone 4S, you can upgrade its IOS to 6 for free, but then you’ll probably end up like my boss who came to me freaking out because he no longer has Google Maps anymore. But Apple gave you a map, right? Yeah and unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you know by now that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, had to write a public apology for the horrid piece of work their map turned out to be. Now, to my second question. Why in the world is that stupid map still listed as your number one addition on your IOS 6 “what’s new” page? Unfortunately, the lack of innovation doesn’t stop there. Siri gets some tweaks by adding additional languages and letting you ask for sports scores. Facebook is much more integrated into IOS 6. Yet with all these lackluster features, people are flocking to get their iPhone 5’s. This to me, is beyond all logic and speaks volumes about the cult that is Apple. Now there are some who believe Apple is going to pull us out of the recession. Folks I don’t know if you realize that kicking out Google Maps and YouTube from Apple makes them more of a closed system. A closed system stands to help no one besides the ones inside that closed system.

iOS 4.3 Brings Mobile Hotspot, New Multi-Touch Gestures And Hardware Rotation Lock

Today, Apple seeded the latest Beta version of iOS 4.3 to developers for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3G/4G, iPad and Apple TV 2G. This new version of iOS brings quite a few changes including mobile hotspot. The Personal Hotspot’ feature was first seen in Verizon’s recently announced iPhone 4.

iOS 4.3 also brings in support for AirPlay for third party applications, new multi-touch gestures, a new font Noteworthy’ and iAd Full screen banners.

iOS 4.3 also includes new four or five fingers based multi-touch gestures. A four or five finger swipes left or right will allow users to switch between running apps, while a swipe up or down will bring up the multitasking bar. A pinch on the screen will bring users back to the home screen.

Below is the video showing the new four or five finger gestures on iPad running iOS 4.3 Beta-:

One of the most important changes in iOS 4.3 is the ability to change the Side Switch’ to either mute the device or lock its orientation. Apple had change the side switch orientation lock function to mute the device and was flaked for it. I guess Apple heard all the whining and prayers of their iPad owners and provided users with the mute or lock switch option in the latest version of iOS.

Also with the release of iOS 4.3 Beta 1 and the introduction of new multi-touch gestures, rumors have started floating that the next generation iPad and iPhone won’t sport a Home’ button. In fact, Apple employees are already testing the next generation iPad and iPhone without the Home button.

(Source)

Apple iPhone 3G Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread

iPhone_3G_Android_GingerbreadThe Google Nexus S is the only device to be running on Android 2.3 officially. However, thanks to the modding community most of the popular phones out there including the Nokia N900, Droid Incredible and the Motorola Droid have got their Android 2.3 based Custom ROM.

Now, a guy with the nickname nickpack – and his team have managed to get Android 2.3 up and running on the iPhone 3G. The project is also compatible with iDroid project, which will allow users to dual-boot Android 2.3 Gingerbread and iOS on their iPhone 3G.

Here is a link to a video of Android 2.3 Gingerbread running on iPhone 3G. From the video, it is clearly visible that Gingerbread is running a bit sluggish on the handset. The developers behind this project have not mention any release date of this mod.

They also did not mention anything on what works   and what does not work on this unofficial port of Android 2.3 Gingerbread on iPhone 3G. Hopefully, the final version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread on the iPhone 3G will run pretty smoothly.

Enable HD Video Recording On iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 4 is capable of recording videos in 720p resolution. However, its predecessor the iPhone 3GS can only record videos in VGA resolution. The Cortex A8 processor inside the iPhone 3GS is capable of decoding 720p videos, but Apple has imposed some kind of software limit to it. Now, a guy named Mike has managed to bypass the limit imposed by Apple and now his iPhone 3GS can record videos in 1080×800 resolution at 30fps.

Here is a video shot in 1080×800 resolution at 30fps by the iPhone 3GS after applying the hack :

This hack by Mike also allows playback of 720p videos on the iPhone. He has used a very odd resolution of 1080×800 so as to maintain the original aspect ratio of the video (4:3). iPhone 3GS owners who are interested in trying out this hack, need to make sure that there 3GS is jailbroken and running on iOS4.1.

Users can find the steps to enable HD video recording on their iPhone 3GS here.

Download PwnageTool 4.1 To Jailbreak iPhone 4/iPod Touch

The iPhone Dev Team has finally released PwnageTool 4.1. The application uses Geohot’s boot rom exploit to build custom IPSW/firmware files for most of the iTouch devices out there. By creating custom firmwares, users can update their iTouch device to the latest firmware without upgrading their baseband. This will help them in preserving their unlock and update to the latest iOS as well.Pwnage_Tool

As of now, PwnageTool 4.1 supports the iPhone 3G, 3GS (Old as well as new boot roms) running on iOS 4.1 and the iPhone 4 running on iOS4.1 as well. The Apple iPad running on iOS 3.2.2 and Apple TV 2G running iOS 4.1 are supported as well. The iPod Touch 3G and iPod Touch 4G running iOS 4.1 are supported as well.

At the moment, PwnageTool 4.1 is available only for Mac. Users can read more about PwnageTool 4.1 here.

(Source)

Google Goggles Now Available for iPhone

Google had introduced Google Goggles’ on Android way back in December last year. Today, Google has released the Google Goggles application for the iPhone. The application will be available as a part of the Google Mobile App. To use the Goggles application on the iPhone, users just need to tap the camera button and point the camera towards the desired object.

Here is a short video by Google demonstrating Goggles app on iPhone-:

Users should keep in mind that the Google Goggles feature is still a Labs’ product i.e. it is still in beta. Since the Goggles application requires auto-focus, the application will work only on the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 running iOS4 and above. Here is the official blog post from Google.

Google Mobile App with Goggles is available for download at the Apple AppStore.

Apple iOS 4.2 Beta Released

Apple has just released the Beta 1 of iOS 4.2 to developers. All people who have an iPhone Developer Standard or Enterprise account will be able to download the Beta version. iOS 4.2 brings with it numbers of new features including Multi-tasking, AirPlay, AirPrint, GameCenter and Folders etcetera to the iPad. The final version of iOS 4.2 will be released in November by Apple.

iOS 4.2 will bring with all the features to the iPad which the iPhone got with the iOS 4 update. Apple has even setup a dedicated page for the iOS 4.2 update for the iPad which mentions about all the feature it will be getting with this update. The iOS 4.2 update is aimed mainly at iPad but it will also bring new features like AirPlay and AirPrint to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

There is still another one and a half months to go for the final version of iOS 4.2 to be released. Until then, we can expect many more Beta(s) and Golden Release Candidate from Apple.

TweetDeck For Android Coming This Week

TweetDeck is a very popular twitter client on Windows and on iOS. Now, the folks behind TweetDeck are soon going to launch a beta version of TweetDeck for Android. According to the official TweetDeck blog, a public betaimage version of the application will be released sometime this week for some serious device testing.The TweetDeck for Android application has been built from the scratch for the best Twitter experience possible.

Here is the full press release :

Android TweetDeck – Beta Test

To get straight to the point, we’re nearing completion of Android TweetDeck and we’ve really been pushing the limits of what Android can do. Hence we will be opening up a public beta testing period this week for some serious device testing. But before all that happens I wanted to briefly explain what Android TweetDeck means to us because it’s more than just TweetDeck on Android.

First off, we’ve built Android TweetDeck from the ground up to be true multi-stream, laser focused on showing you all your friends’ cross-service activity in one app. Multi-column is still the order of the day but now columns are blended based on the type of activity rather than the service. And all this whilst retaining the most powerful functionality from each included service.

We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time making the app silky smooth from the column scrolling to the custom views – so much so that one of Google’s Android Developer Advocates recently described it as “a thing of beauty”. So look out for the beta test later this week and please do get involved.

Interestingly Android TweetDeck also represents the future of our iPhone and iPad applications. We’ll have a few bug fix releases shortly (awaiting approval in the app store) but in the background we are working on porting Android to iPhone in as quick a time as possible. Finally, it won’t be long before most of the new concepts in Android TweetDeck make it to the desktop and web – we’re also working on this now.

Speaking of the desktop, we have a new build available now which contains a workaround for a Facebook bug which caused TweetDeck to order updates incorrectly.

Android has quite a few Twitter clients like Seesmic, Tweetcaster and Twidroyd. However, none of them stand a chance against the awesome tweeting applications available for Apple iOS. Hopefully, the launch of TweetDeck for Android will change this.

BlackBerry OS6 WebKit Browser Video Preview And Benchmarks

BlackBerry, like Nokia have been unable to catch up with the touchevolution in mobile phones. The BlackBerry Storm and the Storm 2 were a major failure, thanks to the out-dated BlackBerry OS. Now all the BlackBerry fans have pinned their hopes on the next generation BlackBerry OS, and it looks like they won’t be disappointed. Salomondrin have posted a video of the new browser in the upcoming BlackBerry OS in action.

The new browser on the BlackBerry OS 6 is based on the same webkit code used by Apple’s Safari web-browser and the Android web-browser. In the Acid3 benchmark, the new BlackBerry browser outperformed both the iPhone 4 and HTC Incredible. However, users should keep in mind that the HTC Incredible was running on Android 2.1, and not on Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Here is the video I am talking about :

The HTML5 score of the webkit browser is impressive as well. Looks like RIM has been working hard behind the scene to make sure BlackBerry OS 6 and its future devices meet the expectations of the general public. Kudos to RIM for this!

Apple iPhone 4 Unlocked….Again!

Last week, we had told you about Planetbeing unlocking his iPhone 4. Now MuscleNerd of the iPhone Dev Team has managed to unlock his iPhone 4 as well. The method used by MuscleNerd is different than the one used by iPhone 4 unlock Planetbeing. According to this tweet from MuscleNerd, there are apparently 3 ideas/ways to unlock the iPhone 4. The method used by Planetbeing is the first one, while MuscleNerd used the second idea.

Now both the modders will compare their unlocking method to see which method is the fastest and easiest. The fastest and the most efficient method will then be used in the next version of ultrasn0w to unlock the iPhone 4. The 3rd idea will not be used by both the modders for now. It will be saved for the future, in all probability. Hopefully, the next version of ultrasn0w will be released within the next one month by the iPhone Dev team.