Thank Goodness: Evasi0n Brings iOS 6.1 Jailbreak to All iOS Devices

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Finally, the iOS haxing community has come through. Ever since the release of iOS 6, there has been no jailbreak available for any device past an A4 processor. Not any more! The Evad3rs Dev Team has brought us a Jailbreak for any iDevice running any version of iOS 6. This includes

-iPhone 5
-iPhone 4S
-iPhone 4
-iPhone 3Gs
-iPad with A6X chip (4th gen)
-iPad 3
-iPad 2
-iPad mini
-iPod touch 5
-iPod touch 4

The jailbreak is beautifully straight-forward and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for an always beautiful $0. 

Read more and download here.

Instagram Announces Web Profiles

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Instagram, the mobile photo sharing network that was recently bought by facebook for a large sum, has now announced a web-based interface.

In the past, to view someone’s instagram profile, you needed a mobile device with the Instagram app installed. There were many online profile alternatives that were based off of Instagram’s API, but none of them were worth writing home about.

With this update, you’ll be able to find a facebook-like profile of someone’s instagram account by simply visiting instagram.com/username.

Source: Instagram

Even more importantly, Web Profiles also brings instagram to the web. It will now be possible to like and comment on photos as well as follow other users with the new web interface, and will eliminate the mobile-exclusivity aspect.

Just like the web profile, this has been done in the past with the Instagram API – in fact, quite well in one case. However, the Instagram-made site is bound to be impressive and a nice addition to the Instagram portfolio.

One thing worth mentioning is that the updated site will still not support photo uploads from a computer as “Instagram is focused on the production of photos from mobile devices” (Press Release). I don’t believe that the functionality will ever exist for this reason, however there are ways to upload a photo not taken with a mobile device to Instagram (such as dropbox).

All of these features will be rolled out to different accounts over the course of the next week.

My account has not gotten the update yet, but feel free to check by going to http://instagram.com/maxswisher.

Also, follow me on instagram! @maxswisher

 

Apple’s new iPods and iPhone: Simply screwed up

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Today Apple had an announcement about their much awaited iPhone 5 and a few new iPods.

The iPod touch was updated to be thinner with a newer camera, new dock connector, a new chip, a taller 4 inch screen, a new camera and some colored backs. They’ve also added a small magnet for a wrist-strap, implying that it’s targeted for kids. The screen is the same screen that they’ve put into the new iPhone 5, and you’ll read about why I don’t like that later.

The Nano was revised to be a bit bigger, with surprisingly unappealing icons and a stupid design that makes it look like a zune. Seriously, their designs are near-identical (but Microsoft won’t sue because Microsoft isn’t that malevolent). The new Nano introduces nothing interesting and nothing new except for a dock connector which requires a big expensive adaptor to be used with older 30-pin accessories. Worst of all, they called it the “Lightning” connector.

The most awaited product on their list was the iPhone 5, which really, I’m disappointed about. It features 4G LTE connectivity (about time), an “updated” dock connector, a tall, 4″ screen, no NFC, and an overall not-so-great design.

First of all, the screen. It’s the same width as the current iPhone, but they made it a bit taller. I don’t think that it’s the right way to go, as the proportions of it are simply weird. The ratio is very awkward in general.

 

 

Flip the thing around and you’ll think you’re staring at a prototype. On the top and bottom edges of the back of the iPhone, you’ll be greeted with glass. The rest of the back is a piece of aluminum. It looks unrefined and unfinished.

 

 

 

Then, there’s “EarPods.” Apple basically revamped their old headphones and renamed them with a name that I will never come to accept. EarPods? Seriously?

Overall, the announcement was not just underwhelming, it was disappointing. They revamped the insides a little bit, but I think that they went very, very wrong with their design.

 

Iranian? Good Luck Getting your Apple Product

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Well, isn’t this surprising.

An 19 year-old student and her uncle were at an Apple Store shopping for an iPad and iPhone at a mall in Georgia. They were talking in Farsi, and when an Apple employee overheard she said “I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations.”

Leave it to Apple to discriminate not only against other platforms, companies with similar home screens, or any other firm that dares to threaten their authority, but also against people from different parts of the world.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time that this has happened at an Apple store. Another customer, Zack Jafarzadeh, went with his friend to a different Apple Store and received similar treatment. “We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale,” said Jafarzadeh to WSBTV. “I would say if you’re trying to buy an iPhone, don’t tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet.”

It gets better. An Apple Store manager told a news team from WBSTV about their policy, which said the exportation, sale, or supply of Apple products from U.S. to Iran is not allowed without prior authorization by the federal government. The manager explained Apple Stores have to “rely on customers to be honest.”

And here’s the best part. An Apple Store employee apologized and recommended that they buy their products online. Hah!

So when a US citizen and her uncle come into an Apple store speaking Farsi, they aren’t allowed to buy anything and are basically instructed to purchase the products as long as no Apple employees need to look at them.

This is how Apple rolls, everybody. I could be annoyed at the employees, or the manager, or the Store, but really, Apple is to blame. The same thing can happen anywhere in the US, as long as Apple decides that selling an iPad to a US citizen that speaks Farsi is breaching a US law stating that it is illegal to enter Iran with “laptops or satellite cellphones” without U.S. consent.

Android, anyone?

Apple Says Things at WWDC

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So Apple had some fun at the WWDC Keynote this year.

Siri did stand-up comedy to open.

No really, I’m excited about the new Samsung. Not the phone, the refrigerator.

I must admit, that was pretty funny.

First of all, Apple updated its notebooks. The MacBook Air finally got a speed boost, the MacBook Pro got a speed boost, and the 17″ MacBook Pro bid farewell.

Apple also announced their next generation MagBook Pro, which is almost as thin as an Air, has a retina display, and a new Magsafe Port. Great.

All of these computers have gotten upgrades to USB 3, which is nice for those people who actually have devices that can take advantage of that.

Then, our friend iOS got an update.

Finally, iOS has turn by turn navigation. Siri is available on the new iPad, and has supposedly gotten a bit better. Facebook is now integrated as much as twitter. FaceTime is available on cellular networks. Photo streams can be shared. A new app called Passbook allows you to store tickets for planes, movies, and stores. There’s also a few other things that aren’t worth mentioning.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion didn’t get anything new from what we knew already, except thatdictation will be available in any text field. For many people, this will definitely come in handy.

Some people were unhappy with the absence of an iPhone 5. But I think we should be content with iOS 6, and expect the new iPhone this fall – along with the public release of iOS 6.

I’ve been playing around with iOS 6, and so far it works well. Siri works just as expected, and the Facebook and twitter integration is also very handy.

The MacBooks that were updated are available now, but iOS will be available in fall. Mountain Lion will be available this July.

MacBook Pro

Macbook Air

iOS 6

Mountain Lion

KillBackground: Kill All iOS Background Apps at Once

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One of the most prized new features of iOS 4 and on was the ability to run many apps at the same time and switch between them easily. One of the little issues with this is that when you close an application, it stays running in the background. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. But contrary to popular belief, background apps take up a ton of battery life! By the end of the day, you could have every single one of your apps running in the background of your iPhone! Of course you can double-click the home button, tap and hold one of the app icons for a second, then hit the red circle in the top left. Then hit it again for the next app. And again. And again. And again. You’ll have to tap once for every single app that’s open. Done yet? Well, if you happen to be jailbroken, here’s a little tweak from Cydia that will help you. Open Cydia and search for KillBackground. Install the free package by Mathieu Bdard and respring your device. When your phone comes back, you won’t immediately be able to tell that anything is different. But open up a few apps, then double-tap the home button. Tap and hold one of the apps for 1 second, and voilà! You’ll see a little red crossbones icon in the bottom left. One tap and all of your apps are killed! You can also open up your settings app and select KillBackground to configure some different options. Enjoy!

Finally, a good use for an iPod Nano!

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You may remember that I wrote this post hating on the new iPod nano because of it’s size and the idiotic idea of a clip. Also, the size of it! You’d lose it in an instant!

Well, I’m changing my views on this. And it’s all thanks to one accessory called the iWatchz.

Basically, this turns the iPod Nano into a wristband. I thought that sounded stupid, until I tried it. I realized that as a wristband, the iPod nano opens up to a whole other world of possibility. The Nano can act as a stylish watch, which will surely show off your geekyness. But in addition, to have your wristwatch actually be a music player, photo viewer, and FM radio can all come in handy. You don’t have to worry about bringing your iPod with you – you already have all of your music on your wrist. Ha!

Having a wristwatch is something you’re probably already used to. So being able to have all of the iPod features with you EVERYWHERE without having to remember it or lose it? Handy!

The reason I really didn’t like the nano was because they asked you to clip it on to your shirt and proudly display what you’re listening to. You could lose it, it could fall off, and you’d probably forget about it fairly frequently.

Having it as a wristband solves all of the above problems, and allows you to be sure about where your iPod is and not worry about it falling off or losing it.

You can get the iWatchz here, and you can get yourself an iPod nano here. Together, it’ll cost ya about $200. In my opinion, it’s quite a genius combination.

Using AirPort express for AirPlay alongside a Time Capsule

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You may remember that a long time ago I reviewed the Time Capsule. It’s a wonderful wireless AP, and all of my data is totally safe.

But the Time Capsule doesn’t have AirPlay. On AirPort extremes and expresses, there is a headphone jack, and when connected, you can wirelessly stream your music to your speakers from your iDevice.

I’ve had an airport express for a long time, but I stopped using it when I got my time capsule. After hearing about the AirPlay improvements, I decided to break the thing out.

The AirPort Express creates its own WiFi network, and if I’m connected to that then I won’t be able to backup to my time capsule. Luckily, it is now possible to plug the AirPort Express directly into the Time Capsule, and have them both work as the same wireless network. This means that I can stream music AND backup at the same time!

With this all settled, you will now see the AirPlay icon appear on all of your devices. From this point on, it’s all extremely easy. Just tap the icon and up pops a menu of all AirPlay devices on the network. Tap the speaker system you wish to stream to Voila, we have wireless music!

If you’re on a computer, however, you can only stream your music from iTunes. That is, of course, unless you have an app called AirFoil.

This allows any application on your computer to output sound to your AirPlay speakers.

However, there’s a small issue.

There is a two second delay between when you cause the sound to happen and when it actually comes out of your speakers. On the iDevices, the movies are in sync because they are decoupled 2 seconds back. When you change the volume on your computer, you will see the small notification popup, yet you won’t hear anything for two seconds. Quite annoying.

For videos, AirFoil has included the “AirFoil Video Player.” I don’t know if it’s very good, as I can’t even get it to work without freezing and crashing.

In general, this system is simple and functional. But if you’re trying to stream content from your computer, you will notice an extremely distinct delay. It’s not like that audio quality isn’t good, so all audio (including pandora and other streaming services) work fine.

AirPort Express

AirFoil

iPod Nano

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The iPod nano hasn’t felt much love from me so far. Lets get into the details.

Design

The iPod Nano features a very small and portable design. They tiny little screen has a black bezel that goes across the front of the screen. Apple decided not to totally flatten it out and give it edge to edge glass (which would have been a nice touch, would it have killed you to do that apple?). They turned the screen into one of touch, and makes it very difficult to use if you have sausage fingers. One of my main complaints would be the font size. I have pretty good vision and it hurts my eyes to look at the screen for too long. The iPod Nano has three buttons on it: Volume up, volume down, and lock (Apple is slowly doing away with the hold switch). The iPod Nano has a clip on the back which is an intersting addition. Ads show the nano being clipped onto shirts, bags, pockets, etc. The problem I have with this whole clippy intention is that the way they want you to wear it displays album artwork (or pedometer stats or whatever else for that matter) to everyone around you. I know it’s nice to show off what $1.29 music you were able to afford, but I really don’t need to know what music you are listening to. The nano comes in grey, black, blue, green, yellow, pink, and red.

Interface

The iPod nano has it’s own software which isn’t iOS but has a very similar interface. As you can tell by the picture on the left is has icons and pages and a wallpaper, but it doesn’t have any apps. You can rearrange all of the icons around on the home screen. Instead of having an app for all music, there are different icons on the home screen for songs, artists, playlists, now playing, genres, etc. The interface inside of the apps is like a shrunken down version of that from iOS. One interesting feature would be that the screen is able to rotate to fit whichever way you have the iPod clipped, but to do this you have to put two fingers on the screen and spin them around whichever way you want to have the screen oriented. It’s a bit disappointing that they couldn’t have at least thrown in an accelerometer to take care of this.

Sound Quality

I was personally a little disappointed with the quality of sound on this device. I found it to lack some of the higher ends, and while it still delivers full sound doesn’t pack that higher punch that other iPods do.

Value

The iPod nano goes for $149 for the 8GB version or $17o for the 16GB version. Personally, I think it’s a little bit of a rip off as the iPod shuffle goes for $50, and the nano is a shuffle with an FM tuner and a touchscreen. Personally, I think that this was a bad decision by apple as a touch screen interface on such a small device is very difficult to navigate, and believe it or not there are still people who just want to listen to music but definitely like having a screen and really don’t need 16o GB of storage space.

iPod nano

The new iPod nano and why I don’t like it

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So today apple announced a chutzpah of new stuff (as expected) including a new apple tv, a new iPod touch, a new iPod nano, and a new iPod shuffle. I’ll cover those in a later post, but for now I want to talk about the nano.

What apple did with this design really stood out to me, and not in a good way. First of all, they got rid of the buttons and replaced it with this extremely tiny excuse for a touchscreen, and got rid of the camera and curved edges and put a clip on it. So basically, it is an iPod shuffle with a touchscreen. But my big problem is the clip…

So lets say you have it clipped to your shirt like that picture. If you want to change the song you either have to bend your head over to see the screen and look like an idiot or you have to unclip it and attempt to hold the awkwardly shaped thing to change your music. So then why don’t you just put it in your pocket? Why include the clip? The only other function is to show EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD what music you are listening to at the moment. But to tell you the truth, nobody really cares what you listen to other than you. So that eliminates the clip. And what’s with the form factor of this thing?! It is a square that barely fills the palm of your hand, and it doesn’t look like it would be very fun to try to hold.

Oter than the clip, the other thing is how they tried to make it an iPod touch-like interface with homescreens. But instead of having apps, ou have things like albums, playlists, genres, etc. Why?! This interface might be cool if you wanted to use apps on it, and if you want apps go get yourself an iPod touch. it is 1/3 bigger (and is so much more confortable to hold) and boo hoo, you can’t tell the world what you are listening to. Oh, darn. That’s too bad.

I mean, nobody really cares about your music! It’s nice to know you are currently listening to the black eyed peas (I guess that explains why you, sir microsoft employee, are line dancing in the middle of your stores [traitor using iPods, don't worry I won't tell. ;-J ]) but nobody cares at all! It’s just an iPod shuffle with a screen. A smaller, less functional iPod touch. Something along those lines.

If you disagree or have anything more to add, comments are welcome. :)

Announcements

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Site Change

Just the theme, I mean. Here are the main differences:

Where are the categories and tags?

Look to the right my friend. –>

There is now a little sidebar thingy-ba-whatchamacallit where you can browse tags, categories, monthly archive,  and recent comments. Click on the folder, tag, clock, and speech bubble to navigate it.

How do I get to the RSS and twitter feeds?

Look around at the top right. See those things sticking out over there? I think you can tell which is which by their icons.

Other than that, everything is pretty much the same other than the new theme. There may be some weird error signs around but those should get sorted out soon.

maxswisher.com

Also, maxswisher.com is here! This is going to replace blog.goodmorninggeek.com, and I also have claimed the email address max@maxswisher.com. cool!

Applicational

apps.goodmorninggeek.com is here! The site is called Applicational and is less-in-depth reviews of smaller apps: iPhone apps and widgets. It is published by a friend of mine Jason Botto (jason@apps.goodmorninggeok.com) who I go to school with.

Expect that theme to change to be similar to this one soon as well.

Virtual Watercooler

If you look at the toolbar, you may notice a link called virtual watercooler.

This is a link to the blog of one of my sponsors, Oak Hill Corporation (oakhillcorporation.com).

Comments welcome!

Cover Flow + Remote App + iTunes DJ= Awesome wireless listening experience

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Sometimes I like to do nothing but listen to music. My computer on my desk playing music, me sitting on the other side of the room on a pile of stuffed animals. But what do I look at when I listen to my music???? And how do I change the music, request a song in iTunes DJ (itunes 8.1 only), or change the volume??

Well, all of that is now solved.
I always use iTunes DJ for my needs now. It plays my higher rated ones more often, I can request songs, and I can remove songs from the DJ playlist. I have a great set of speakers, and I can turn them up to a very high volume. I must say, the iTunes DJ is very good at thinking what music you want to listen to. And the request feature makes it a very realistic “DJ”. Too bad it doesn’t have a voice… but Apple could definitely put that in there. I mean, they put it in that ipod.. Hey, where is it?, aka, the iPod shuffle.
Question 1: What do I look at when I’m listening to my music?
Answer 1: The awesome cover flow look. I can see what song just played, and what song is coming up. I can put it fullscreen, so that’s all I see- My album artwork of what song is playing, and a few before and after the song that is currently playing.
Question 2: How do I change the music, request a song in iTunes DJ, and control the volume from across the room?
Answer 2: Simple. I have an iPod touch as you may know, and I have a cool app that is made by apple and is called remote. You can hook it up to your iTunes library, and over wifi, you are able to control the music. It also puts your iTunes library as the Music app’s interface, but sadly you can’t rotate to view cover flow. but I can do all that: request a song in iTunes DJ, go to the next song, and even control the iTunes volume.
VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!