iOS 5 Beta 3 Adds AirPlay Support for FaceTime

FaceTime via AirPlay

TiPB has discovered that in the third beta of iOS 5 a new featured has been activated. The feature is  AirPlay streaming support for FaceTime video calling, and allows  users to display FaceTime video calls directly on a large-screen TV for easy viewing by larger groups of people.

If this makes it into the final release — and not everything does — it’ll be fantastic for families and businesses alike.

The ability to easily start a video call and beam it onto the big screen is compelling. Whether it’s grandpa and grandma, or the team in England, it takes FaceTime from a small, personal experience to a big, group experience at the touch of a button.

This feature definitely adds will be useful for video calling in group settings. iOS 5 is expected to be released sometime in Fall.

Android Still No. 1, Apple Moves Up to No. 2 in U.S. Smartphone Share

Although Android holds the No. 1 position and sits on top of the smartphone market, the battle for the second position between Apple and Blackberry got tougher and in the end it was Apple who made it, leaving behind RIM’s BlackBerry in the third position.

According to the report published by market research firm comScore, Android continues to dominate the smartphone world while Apple’s iOS ranks No. 2 and BlackBerry dropping to the third position followed by Microsoft’s Windows 7 at fourth position.

Apple Beats RIM's BlackBerry, Android Still No. 1

The reason behind Blackberry’s backsliding could be due to the delay in release of new models and the several problems faced by the company.  RIM is currently valued at about $14 billion which came down from $83 billion in June 2008.

RIM’s Blackberry OS has 24.7 percent in the the smartphone market share while Apple’s iOS now enjoys 26.6 percent share whereas Google’s Android OS saw a 5.1 percent rise making its total share 38.1 percent and topping the list.

During the three month average period ending in May 2011, Android and iOS were the only two platforms that saw growth of 5.1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. Blackberry lost 4.2 percent while Microsoft losing 1.9 percent and Palm losing 0.4 percent share in the US market.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Google33.0%38.1%5.1
Apple25.2%26.6%1.4
RIM28.9%24.7%-4.2
Microsoft7.7%5.8%-1.9
Palm2.8%2.4%-0.4

The report also mentioned that Apple saw a significant growth in hardware sales, and rose from 7.5 percent to 8.7 percent. However, Samsung retained it’s position at the top with 24.8 percent restricting LG to second position with 20.9 percent. Motorola, on the other hand, had a slight decline of 1 percent, yet holding it’s position at three.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Samsung24.8%24.8%0.0
LG20.9%21.1%0.2
Motorola16.1%15.1%-1.0
Apple7.5%8.7%1.2
RIM8.6%8.1%-0.5

 

The research also dug up the mobile content usage by subscribers. It was reported that subscribers most used text messaging (69.5 percent) on their mobile device with a 0.7 percent rise. Browsers on the other hand, were used by 39.8 percent of subscribers (1.5 percent rise) while 38.6 used downloaded apps.

Social  networking or reading blogs,  however, saw a 1.8 percent growth with 26.8 percent while others enjoyed playing games (26.9 percent) and listening to music (18.6  percent)

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Sent text message to another phone68.8%69.5%0.7
Used browser38.3%39.8%1.5
Used downloaded apps36.6%38.6%2.0
Accessed social networking site or blog26.8%28.6%1.8
Played Games24.6%26.9%2.3
Listened to music on mobile phone17.5%18.6%1.1

Jailbreak iPad 2 and iPhone 4 Running iOS 4.3 Using JailbreakMe.com

Apple announced the iPad 2 way back in March this year. The second generation iPad boasts of a dual-core A5 processor, and was slimmer and lighter than its predecessor.

However, the iPad 2 was made insanely secure from jailbreaking by Apple. All the hardware level exploits used by the jailbreakers, were patched by Apple in iPad 2.

Nevertheless, popular hacker comex has finally released a way to jailbreak the iPad 2. The jailbreak works via a PDF exploit found, which was first discovered in 2010.

image

To jailbreak your iPad 2, owners just need to head over to JailbreakMe.com from their iDevice, and press the Free’ button on the site. Then, users need to select the Install button which comes up on the screen. The site will then load a PDF, which may crash Safari.

Afterwards, users will find the Cydia shortcut on their iOS home screen. Tap on free and install button only once, even if it may look like Safari is not responding.

This jailbreak is also compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G and 4G, running on iOS 4.3.3.

Easily Convert Flash Content to HTML5 with Swiffy

The day Google unvieled Google+, TakeOut, and launched a  new design, they also released something called Swiffy with minimal fanfare.

Swiffy LogoSwiffy is a Google Labs product and allows developers to convert Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing reuse of Flash content on devices without a Flash player.

You can easily convert simple animations and ad banners but since the tool is still in early stages, don’t expect it to convert all flash content. You can check out the power of the tool in these examples. To use the program, you simply upload a SWF file and Swiffy returns HTML5 output. Swiffy will be really helpful for devices such as iPhone and iPad which doesn’t support Flash content. Steve Jobs has famously resisted Flash on iOS products, saying it crashes and is a battery hog. With Swiffy, that problem can be solved, allowing users access to more compatiable content  on devices, which don’t support Flash.

Swiffy Converts SWF to HTML5

It’s interested to note that Adobe released a similar tool called Wallaby, earlier this year. Swiffy is different from Wallaby, as explained by Google.

Wallaby is an installable tool that converts .fla files, whereas Swiffy is a web-based tool that converts .swf files. Wallaby focuses on reusing parts of a Flash file in HTML, and thus produces code that can be edited by the developer, whereas Swiffy generates an efficient format that is not that easily editable.

What does Adobe thinks of Swiffy? Google has an answer for that as well.

Adobe is pleased to see the Flash platform extended to devices which don’t support the Flash player. The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads can continue to get all the authoring benefits of Flash Pro and have the flexibility to run the ad in the Flash Player or HTML depending on what’s available on the system. Google and Adobe look forward to close collaboration around efforts like these.

Swiffy still has a long way to go, it looks promising. You converted a Flash file using Swiffy? Don’t forget to share it with us.

Android vs iPhone [Comic]

While we have seen advertising between Apple and Blackberry in the past and also between Apple and Microsoft, we have seen a full fledged advertising from either Google or Apple taking potshots at each other.

Thanks to some smart guy, we now have an vs war, guess who wins? Take a look at the image below to find out. By the way, who do you think is the winner between Android and iPhone?

Android vs iPhone

(h/t @oldmonkMGM)

Apple Offering 7-Day Refund Policy On App Store Apps In Taiwan

App Store LogoOver the past few days, reports have suggested that Apple and Google maybe being pressurized by the Taiwanese Government  to modify their app sales policies. This app sale policy would require both companies  to modify their app sales policies to comply with a law requiring a one-week return and refund policy on all purchases. WantChinaTimes was the first to report this story and today more info has become available.

At the request of Taipei City Hall, Apple agreed to let their phone users have a trial period of seven days, within which a user can return the app for a full refund.

Apple hasn’t in the past offered refunds officially, but refunds have been available case by case via iTunes support. Today, The Economic Times of India reports that Apple has agreed to these new rules while Google has been fined $34,600 over its refusal to offer a 7-day refund policy. Also, another report from the Taipei Times uncovers that  Google has withdrawn its paid apps from the marketplace in Taiwan rather than agree to the new conditions.

The reason why Apple agreed to this law is unclear, and there’s no word of  changes in the handling of purchases made through the App Store in Taiwan. In addition, it is unknown if  Apple will be extending the policy to other countries.

iOS5 Will Not Allow Downgrades to iOS4

If you are an , or user who has been jailbreaking your device, here is some bad news. The upcoming iOS5 will not allow users to downgrade to an earlier version of the OS out of the box.

Also Read: iOS 5 – Everything You Need to Know About It

A new post by The Dev-Team says that Apple is using a new technology in the iOS5 which will disallow users from downgrading to a lower version of iOS. Jailbreakers have usually had an option to backup their SHSH blobs in case something goes wrong with the update. They could then use the SHSH blob to downgrade their iPhone or iPod Touch to a older version.

It looks like Apple is about to aggressively combat the replay attacksthat have until now allowed users to use iTunes to restore to previous firmware versions using saved SHSH blobs.

Those of you who have been jailbreaking for a while have probably heard us periodically warn you to save your blobsfor each firmware using either Cydia or TinyUmbrella (or even the copy from /tmp during restoremethod for advanced users).  Saving your blobs for a given firmware on your specific device allows you to restore *that* device to *that* firmware even after Apple has stopped signing it.  That’s all about to change.

Starting with the iOS5 beta, the role of the APTicketis changing — it’s being used much like the BBTickethas always been used.  The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t depend merely on your ECID and firmware version…it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number).  This APTicket authentication will happen at every boot, not just at restore time.  Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.

This will only affect restores starting at iOS5 and onward, and Apple will be able to flip that switch off and on at will (by opening or closing the APTicket signing window for that firmware, like they do for the BBTicket). 

Starting with iOS5, Apple will be using a new technology which they can turn on and off at will. This will limit the device from being restored to an earlier version. However, all is not lost yet since the Dev-Team says that tethered jailbreaks will still be possible and users would be able to downgrade to an earlier version provided they use an older version of iTunes, so don’t delete those old installers yet.

geohot’s limera1n exploit occurs before any of this new checking is done, so tethered jailbreaks will still always be possible for devices where limera1n applies. Also, restoring to pre-5.0 firmwares with saved blobs will still be possible (but you’ll soon start to need to use older iTunes versions for that). Note that iTunes ultimately is *not* the component that matters here..it’s the boot sequence on the device starting with the LLB.

Apple has always been playing games with jailbreakers by watching over them and quickly releasing patches when an exploit is discovered and used for jailbreaking. Apple has also gone out and released unlocked iPhone 4 in the market. This might be aimed at controlling the unlocked iPhone market which is achieved through jailbreaking. With the introduction of iOS5, Apple might be hoping to restrict jailbreaking completely, even though it is legal.

Samurai II Vengeance Hits the Android Market; Available For Both Tegra 2 And Non-Tegra 2 Handsets

One of the major complaints in the Android eco-system is the lack of quality’ games. Yes, there is Angry Birds and its various versions, but one game alone is not enough to cater to everyone’s need.

Thankfully, the gaming scene of the Android Market has been changing rapidly with new quality games being added nearly every day. Yesterday, Cut The Rope was made available for Android phones, and the day before that N.O.V.A. 2 hit the Android Market.

Today, another quality’ game Samurai II Vengeance has hit the Android Market. The game is about a Samurai who is seeking vengeance from Orochi. It is the sequel to the massively popular Samurai: Way of Warrior game, which is available for iOS, and was also crowned by Apple as one of the best games of 2009.

Below is a small video demo of the game :

Samurai II Vengeance is a quality game in all respect, especially gameplay and graphics. The game is based on the Unity 3D engine and looks absolutely great. The controls are easy to use as well. The game ran perfectly fine without any lags on my SGS II, which is down clocked to 1GHz.

Samurai II Vengeance is available in two flavors, one for Tegra 2 based devices with optimized graphics, and a non-Tegra 2 version. The non-Tegra 2 version is also optimized for Xperia Play, and supports its gamepad.

The Tegra 2 version costs $4.99, while the non Tegra 2 version costs $2.99. Here is the link to the game.

Wootish is the StumbleUpon of Apple’s App Stores

As any iOS or Mac OS X user knows, one of the worst things about the App Stores available to us is that it is often hard to discover new and interesting apps. You could search on the Internet, or try to dig through the lists that Apple puts together, but it’s not always the most interesting thing to do. That’s where Wootish comes in.

If you are familiar with the popular web discovery application StumbleUpon, then you will understand the idea behind Wootish. What Wootish is designed to do is to collect information about what apps you are interested in for what platforms, and then it offers suggestions for you to look at.

Using Wootish to Discover Apps

Wootish Starting Screen

Using Wootish is actually very simple. When you first load the website, you will see a screen like the one above. Follow the instructions, and select your devices, desired app categories, and price range from the drop down menus towards the top of the page. Once you do that, you can hit ‘Discover’.

You will be offered one app at a time to look at. You can look at the screenshots, the description, and even see the rating of the app. The one feature that I can say I wish Wootish had was the ability to read reviews from within the web page.

If you decide that you are interested in an app that Wootish shows you, there is a ‘Download’ link on the left side of the page. Clicking that link will send you to the iTunes page for the app, and even open iTunes to download it. If you are browsing on your iOS device, then you will be given the App Store page for the app instead.

Wootish: Where it Falls Short

As I said above, I really wish that Wootish had the comments within its web interface. While they are easy to access via the iTunes/App Store link, it’s inconvenient to leave the page. I also noticed that whenever I selected ‘Free’ in the ‘Price’ menu, I got an error like the one below. I hope they get that fixed soon.

Wootish SQL Error

Another feature that I wish Wootish had is language filtering. While using it, I got multiple hits in  languages  that I do not speak or read. If there was a simple tick box to select a language, it would  improve  the  experience  significantly.

Overall, I think Wootish is a great way to discover new apps. I recommend that you check it out if you are an iOS or Mac OS X user.

Apple To Launch iOS-powered TV Display This Fall?

Apple TV

According to a new rumor from DailyTech, Apple maybe launching a television set this fall. They report that a former  Apple executive spoke with them and said you’ll go into an Apple retail store and be able to walk out with a TV. It’s perfect.The rumored TV is expected to run  Apple’s iOS (which currently runs on the  iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV). In addition, the rumor also suggests that  Apple will not be developing the large screens in-house, but will work with an OEM to get the production rolling.

According to source Apple plans to “blow Netflix and all those other guys away” by bundling Apple TV + iTunes inside physical television sets. According to the source Apple is teaming up with a major supplier (our guess would be Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930)), to provide the physical televisions, which will be rebranded as Apple television sets.

However, Apple has even said  multiple times that the Apple TV is a “hobby”. In 2010, Tim Cook responded to questions about the Apple TV set top box at a Goldman Sachs Conference:

Q: Where do you see things going with the Apple TV?
A: It’s still a hobby, but our gut tells us there’s something there. The go-to-market model is difficult, and we have no interest in being in the TV market. But we have continued to invest in the Apple TV and will keep doing so.

DailyTech is not known for reporting on Apple-related rumors, so this article should be taken with a pinch of salt. Is this the new Apple unicorn? Let us know in the comments!