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Saturday, January 21, 2012

iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Jailbroken (Untethered)

Huh? What does that even mean? So I am writing this blog post to inform all my friends who are new to the iPhone and iPad within the last 18-24 months of some cool unofficial apps and tweaks that us geeks have been using and playing with since iPhone 2G was launched.

If you've never seen Steve Jobs introduce the first iPhone, please do. Even if you do not care about "ancient" history its a fantastic example of top notch presentation skills and communication of new ideas. Immense complexity, simplified.

The first iPhone didn't have apps. The web was it as far as extending its primary functionality. But then the computer science and programming geeks got a hold of the iPhone and started tinkering. 

A few days after the original iPhone became available in July 2007, developers released the first jailbreaking tool for it,[24] and soon a jailbreak-only game app became available.[25] In October 2007, JailbreakMe 1.0 (also called "AppSnapp") allowed people to jailbreak iPhone OS 1.1.1 on both the iPhone and iPod touch,[26][27] and it included as a way to get software for the jailbroken device. From Wikipedia.
 As you can see from day one, the potential to run programs (now known as Apps) was baked into the iPhone. It wasn't just a phone, it was a miniaturized computer with a direct connection to the internet.

For an indepth look at the reasons and history for Jailbreaking, I point you to Wikipedia:

So you made it this far (or skipped) in this blog post. What does Jailbreaking mean to you! It means several things in terms of installing apps from an alternate app store called Cydia. After you jailbreak, the Cydia app becomes the primary method of finding, trying, buying (some paid and some free) apps. This includes things from quick-access to settings via my favorite tweak SBSettings to complete icon and background theme system called Winterboard. 

Home Screen of the Cydia "App Store"
SBSettings quick access toggles

It also lets developers release software that Apple would prefer not to include in their app store. The best example of this is My3G. This paid app allows you to bypass certain download limit restrictions when you are on 3G. It also allows FaceTime over 3G (your mileage depends on data speeds) and downloading larger apps and podcasts over 3G (the normal limit is 20MB then you need to be on wifi). Another great paid app is MyWi. This turns your phone into a mobile hotspot without having to pay your Cell Phone provider an additional fee (on top of your already expensive data plans). One word of caution, this is not for heavy use. I only connect my Wifi iPad 2 to it when I need some internet.

My3G app that removes download limits for green checked apps.
Ok, by now most people are moderately convinced that they're for some freedom on their iDevice. But IS IT SAFE?? There are risks involved when you tinker with your toys. You do jailbreak at your on peril however over the last 4+ years of jailbreaking, the iDevices have proven very resilient to error and the jailbreak developers are masterfully skillful. One Jailbreaks via a program for your Mac or Windows computer. The current Jailbreak for all devices iPhone 4 and older (including original iPad) is an application called redsn0w. The best site to get the software to Jailbreak is from the developers themselves at (click the Redsn0w links at left). has the best instructions to walk you through the procedure (really, you can do it).

For folks on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 (collectively referred to as the A5 devices as their CPU is the Apple A5 chip) need to use the ChronicDev Teams Absinthe tool. As of this writing their websites are seeing heavy traffic however you can follow this guide with links to the software to download:

Please feel free to comment and I'll look to update this post and respond in the comments as possible!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Apple Best; Dell Worst in customer support

Since I've been trashing Apple the last week over the App Store its time to return some love that I've personally experienced. Cyn at the Lehigh Valley Apple Store provided excellent support to me for my iPhone and Andrew for mine and Michelle's Macbook.

Read all about laptop customer support from LaptopMag

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Another insightful perspective on the Google Voice app fiasco: number portability

Apple, Google Voice, and number portability

Engadget Editor In Cheif on Apple/ATT and Google Voice

On the same Page re: Apple and AT&T

It looks like someone else is now strategising how the Apple/AT&T Google Voice App(s) saga will conclude now that the FCC has stepped in. PC World steps in with a suggestion that I bantered about last night:

It's time for Apple and AT&T to fully consider what is at stake and do the right thing. Give the FCC a win if that's what it takes, but let your customers have Google Voice if they want it--as they obviously do.

Read the full article at PC World

Monday, August 03, 2009

Some more for good measure...

Why not. Fast Company does a very nice article laying out its time to recognize more of the iPhone's shortcomings and other offerings benefits.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

AT&T publicly lays blame at Apple over Google Voice apps

AT&T has further inflamed the Google Voice apps vs. Apple battle. AT&T as publicly told the Washington Post that it has nothing to do with App approval and Apps in the Apple iTunes app store.

Check out the "update" at the end of this Washington Post article as see for yourself.

What happens next? Apple blames AT&T, some mid-level manager for making a bad decision and reverses decisions, approves Google Voice app and restores all others?

Should Google release their Google Voice app for the jailbreaking app manager Cydia?

This is fun.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I see your outrage and I raise you the Feds!

For the past several days I have let it be perfectly clear on my frustration with Apple rejecting the Google Voice app from the iTunes App Store. You can relive assumption, outrage, resignation and analysis at the respective links.

I'm not even a developer. I haven't written code since undergrad and as a joe schmoe user I'm pissed.

Apparently the fine folks at the FCC love their iPhones too. The Washington Post, TUAW, TechCrunch, Chron, and all have continued their coverage of this major issue.

The FCC is a giant typical bureaucratic government agency. Within one week of the Google Voice apps (Google's and 3rd party) being removed from the iTune app store the FCC head of wireless communications has a letter out to all 3 major parties. The FCC folks!! This isn't Mike Arrington rating for more web page hits or Google fanboy's. This the The Federal Communications Commission!

Like to be one of the many to welcome the FCC to this party. Kegs to the left and jello shots in the fridge...

Friday, July 31, 2009

The hits keep coming...

If enraged iPhone users are a one-two punch combo, AT&T and Apple are getting clobbered, on the internets anyway. We're seeing double-digit daily articles on how screwed up Apple is with the App store and how utterly incompetent and borderline criminal AT&T has been running their 3G network.

Today's Roundup:
MG Siegler from Techcrunch: FedUp
Mike Arrington Quits...I Quit The...
Gizmodo on MA