Ubuntu 10.04 Supports iPhone OS Out of the Box

Ubuntu 10.04 is finally out of the box compatible with iPhone. It needs no hacks or tweaks and identifies the iPhone as a plugged in device bringing up options to import music and images. This was made possible with updates in the libraries of libimobiledevice and usbmuxd/gtkpod which are also present in Fedora and Mandriva that will get equal benefits.

Not only that, you can also browse most of the files on your iPhone and if it your iPhone jailbroken, you can see all those files. You can also check out this Ubuntu help page on accessing iPhone data on Ubuntu thought, this needs your iPhone to be jailbroken and you can do an array of otherwise restricted things after that.

This comes in as a great relief as Apple had encrypted its library database  from Firmware version 2.x onwards and any transferred file failed to be recognized. This changed with Firmware version 3.x as support for iPhone rolled in natively with the release of this new firmware. The help page writes,

Lucid natively supports both iPhone and iPod Touch 1G, 2G, 3G and 3GS models  (iPad should be too) running up to firmware 3.1.3 without the need to jailbreak. This is due to the GNOME 2.30  libimobiledevice support.

(Via: iphonelife)

Skype Application For iPhone Updated; Adds Free Skype-To-Skype Calls Via 3G

Skype has just launched a new version of the Skype application for the iPhone. The new application version is numbered v2.0, and enables free voice calls on the iPhone over the 3G network. The new Skype application nowskype works over 3G network as well, unlike the previous version that only worked using   Wi-Fi hot spots.

Skype has also made Skype-to-Skype phone calls over 3G free until the month of August. Skype-to-Skype calls made over Wi-Fi still remain free. The updated version of the application also features a better call quality indicator. The application start-up time has also been decreased. The call quality will be near CD like on the iPhone 3GS and on the 2nd generation iPod Touch.

Users can download the latest version of the Skype application from the Apple AppStore right away.

SmokeScreen Brings Flash to the iPhone and the iPad

Much has been said and written about Apple’s decision to boycott flash on its mobile devices. Disappointed with Apple’s rigid stance, Chris Smoak took it upon himself to work around this issue. The result of his efforts is Smokescreen.

The original intention behind Smokescreen was to enable publishers to display SWF ads on Apple’s mobile devices. Smokescreen essentially converts Flash content to equivalent JavaScript/HTML5 content. In the words of Simon Willison, “It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio and turns them in to base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG”.

Unfortunately, Smokescreen still has a long way to go. At this point of time, about the only thing that it manages to do is to render banner ads successfully. More complex stuff like interactive videos and games are too laggy. However, the smokescreen code is supposed to be open sourced soon. Hopefully, the mature product will someday succeed in bringing rich flash content to the iPhone and the iPad.

Meanwhile, you can check out some of the demos available at smokescreen.us/demo.

Bing Will Not Replace Google as Default iPhone Search

There were rumors of Microsoft Bing replacing Google search as default on the iPhone. However, some more details have surfaced on this and according to that; Google is still to remain as the default search on iPhone as it has always been.

This issue sparked when Microsoft started talking to Apple about including Bing as a search option on iPhone and not necessarily as a replacement to the Google search option.

Most mobile devices currently include the option of Google search and Yahoo search though, Google is the default option everywhere and very few people know that Yahoo even exists in the option, a fewer of them changing the option to Yahoo.

What Microsoft is trying to do for its Bing search here, is get included as a third option in that list. Given the kind of relation Apple has with Microsoft and the amount of revenues a Google search can generate, it is unlikely that the option will be changed to anything else.

Though, this rumor can turn into a reality given the tension developing between Google and Apple in their competition into common areas. Google has readily attacked Apple in the I/O conference and is being forward in this animosity. Apple has not yet confirmed the nature of this inclusion.


Bing To Replace Google For iPhone Search

Techcrunch reports that Microsoft’s search engine Bing will replace Google in the upcoming version of iPhone. The news isn’t 100% confirmed yet but seems to be coming from a number of reliable sources at Google and Microsoft. Google has been paying Apple $100 Million each year for exclusive search rights on iPhone but with the recent brawl between the two giants and the ever growing rivalry between iPhone and Android, that deal seems to be falling off.

With that said, how can Microsoft miss a chance to step over Google and increase their market share in the mobile search market. There is no news yet of how much Microsoft will be paying Apple for this deal, but more details will probably be revealed on June 7th at Apple’s WWDC event. With Bing already gaining market share in mobile search with its Windows Mobile phones, this move can be a serious threat to Google.

Access Flash Websites on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Steve jobs is not relenting to entertain Flash on the or , he even went to the extent of saying that he had no issues with Adobe, but would not allow Flash on the iPad and iPhone.

Flash on iPhone and iPad

However, with software and hardware there will always be a workaround to things, and the same can be said about accessing Flash on an iPhone or iPad. Cloud Browse is an iPhone app which allows users to browse and access flash-enabled websites on the iPhone and iPod touch.

However, Cloud Browse does not display Flash on the iPhone or iPad directly, when you browse to a website which has flash content, Cloud Browse will process the flash content on its own servers and then display it on your device.

The flash content displayed by Cloud Browse is not as fast as the original flash objects, however, you can at-least access Flash on your device.

Watch a video of Cloud Browse in action on an iPad below.

You can download Cloud Browse for free using this iTunes link.


iPhone Hardware Data Encryption is #fail

Apple has more than once, boasted about the hardware data encryption used on its flagship iPhone. The hardware encryption uses a 256-bit AES and is an in your face feature as it cannot be disabled by users even if they want to.

An iPhone can be connected to a PC just like any other device though the connection requires the standard methods of authentication by a passcode and an initial pairing. Further, connecting a locked iPhone to a computer is also not possible.

However, all this falls under common and conventional realms. Bernd Marienfeldt, a security officer at UK internet node LINX, has discovered something interesting treading beyond these boundaries.He saw that if he connected his iPhone to his Ubuntu based system and rebooted it, he could gain a full read/write access to all internal files and folders since Ubuntu auto-mounts the file system. This process does not even require the iPhone to be paired to that computer.

Although Apple has been informed of the matter, it is not sure if they will release a fix to this.  Apple has started investigating into the matter and is under the assumption that this is caused by a race condition between the iPhone turning on and it’s file system being identified on USB.

It is funny to see how Apple has always shunned Linux and now, the simplest of the Linux makes its state of the art defense mechanisms look completely stupid.


Firefox Home: Coming Soon on iPhone

Firefox home is a browsing session syncing application for the iPhone OS. This app is based on Firefox Sync and allows access to the last browsing history, bookmarks and the set of tabs. This serves as an excellent session manager for web browsing and the fact that it is available anywhere makes you feel at home, so the name.

The Firefox Home app provides encrypted protection and gives us an on the fly browsing experience where we can simply catch up from the last time and place we left browsing. Even better, this app is completely free of charge and provides many awesome features of Firefox add-ons on the iPhone, where we cannot actually have Firefox, thanks for Apple.

Ragavan writes at Mozilla blog saying,

Firefox Home for iPhone is part of a broader Mozilla effort to provide a more personal Web experience with more user control. For devices or platforms where we’re unable to provide the fullFirefox browser (either technically or due to policy), we aim to provide users with on the goinstant access to their personal Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs on their iPhones, giving them another reason to keep loving Firefox on their desktops.

The project is still under development and will soon be  submitted to the iPhone app store.

Follow the project at its official Mozilla page here.

Redsn0w 0.9.5b4 Jailbreaks iPhone 3G OS 4.0 Beta 4

Redsn0w the popular tool for jailbreaking iPhone has been updated to beta 4 to support the latest OS 4.0 beta 4. iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 was released by Apple last week, and the developer team has already been able to jailbreak the iPhone OS 4.

The latest version of Redsn0w is targeted at developers of jailbroken apps who are trying to get their apps working on the iPhone OS 4.0 platform. If you are someone who is not a developer you should stay away from this app for now.

This is a beta release of redsn0w targeted at developers of jailbroken apps. It uses the same pwnage2 DFU-mode exploit that we’ve been using since the 2.x days. Nothing new is revealed to Apple, and it’s not applicable to the iPad. Don’t go near it if you use yellowsn0w, ultrasn0w, or blacksn0w.

Redsn0w 0.9.5b4 only supports iPhone 3G for now, users will also have to use MAC OS X for the jailbreaking. Please do not use this tool if you do not have the iPhone OS 4.0 beta1/beta4 installed on your device.

Download Redsn0w Beta 0.9.5b4


Walmart Selling iPhone 3GS for $97

With the anticipation of the release of next month at , the 3GS will slow but surely lose its charm since people would rather wait to get the next generation device rather than buying an old device.

iPhone 3GS 

However, now Walmart is enticing users to buy an iPhone 3GS by dropping the price to $97 for a two year contract. For $97 users will get an iPhone 3GS 16GB phone with a binding 2 year contract with AT&T.

If you have been reading this blog, you would know how I had raised issues on how Apple was keen on dumping iPhone 3GS in other markets when it announced the iPhone 3GS in India.

So would you be prepared to buy an iPhone 3GS for $97 considering that an iPhone 4G is just around the corner, or would you pass the offer and rather buy an iPhone 4G instead. Do let me know through your comments.