All posts in iPhone News

Apple Patent Could End iPhone Jailbreaking

An Apple patent application, filed earlier this year but posted online last Thursday could put an end to jailbreaking iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, reports claim.
Jailbreaking, which allows Apple users to run third-party unsigned code on their devices by unlocking the operating system, was recently found not to violate copyright laws defined by the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
While an Apple patent would primarily protect users from thieves, with a range of security measures possibly planned, the company seems keen to stamp out jailbreaking, despite the practice now legal under “fair use” in the US.
According to tech news site CNET, Apple’s patent “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” includes a remote “kill switch” that could quickly restore an iPhone, iPod or iPad to its factory settings.
Along with the potential to restore factory settings, Apple also intends to send warnings to owners via email or text message when such activity as “hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, or removal of a SIM card.” is detected, CNET adds.

Orange drops 'unlimited' iPhone tariff wording

The decision to change the wording was taken to “provide a fair experience for all users of the Orange network and not only provide more transparency on the data allowances customers receive, but… also help [Orange] to provide a sustainable experience for the majority,” an Orange spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.
“It’s worth noting that [approximately] 1 percent of our mobile customers use [approximately] 20 percent of our network capacity. Therefore, this move will help us address that imbalance to ensure a fair resource for everyone, with data bundles on offer for those who wish to download more,” added the spokesperson.
In June, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that it was investigating operators’ use of the word ‘unlimited’ when advertising fixed and mobile data plans. Orange’s new tariffs — which are being offered alongside the previous deals — no longer include the term, which Orange had actually used alongside a so-called fair use cap of 750MB per month.
Orange is offering the iPhone 4 on a range of tariffs between £30 and £75 per month, on 18-month and two-year commitments. At £35 a month, customers can choose between having 500MB of data and 600 minutes of talktime, or 750MB and 400 minutes. The maximum data allowance involved in the costlier tariffs is 1GB.

Competitor networks 3, Vodafone and Tesco all offer the iPhone 4 with a flat-rate 1GB data allowance, while O2 and T-Mobile both range between 500MB and 1GB, depending on the price and length of the contract. T-Mobile offers 3GB a month with Android phones.

Orange is also offering the iPhone 4 on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) with an upfront cost of £480, plus a £10 top-up. A monthly £10 top-up will net PAYG customers 250MB data allowance and 300 free texts.

Mappiness: iPhone app measures happiness

The project, led by researcher George MacKerron of LSE’s Department of Geography and Envirnoment, is designed to help the team understand the impact of a person’s surrounding environment. The team believes that  features such as pollution, noise, weather conditions and green space all play a part a person’s overall happiness.

The app beeps users at random times of the day to find out how ‘happy’, ‘relaxed’ and how ‘awake’ they are feeling – as well as their activity, companionship and location.

The application even tracks a users’ location via GPS in addition to monitoring noise levels using the iPhone’s in-built microphone. The data is sent back to a central data store securely and anonymously.

MacKerron said: ‘Tracking happiness through time alone is an idea with history: in the 19th century economists imagined a “hedonimeter”, a perfect happiness gauge, and psychologists have more recently run small-scale “experience sampling” studies to see how mood varies with activity, time of day, and so on.

‘We hope to find better answers to questions about the impacts of natural beauty, environmental problems – maybe even aspects of climate – on individual and national wellbeing.’

Users will be able to observe real-time national happiness levels on the website, http://www.mappiness.org.uk/, alongside maps and timelines drawn out from the response data.

Mappiness is free to download from Apple’s online App Store.

Source: Metro

Flash comes to the iPhone …sort of!

It had to happen: a developer has figured out a way to see Flash videos and games on the iPhone and iPad, well – sort of.
Boston developer Lida Tang, 32, has worked his way into the Apple App Store with Cloud Browse, a program that lets you go to websites that feature flash video and games, includinge CBS.com, comedycentral.com and Nickelodeon.com, despite Apple’s aversion to Flash. Tang came up with a workaround that obviously even Apple could approve of.
You can watch Flash, but it isn’t actually on your iPhone. It’s on another computer.
Here’s how it works: you download the free Cloud Browse App and install it. Then you direct the App to the website of your choice. Here’s where the interesting part comes in: the site is called up on another computer, which streams it back to your iPhone.
The App works for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but is optimized for the small screen of the iPhone and iPod. In our tests, the quality was decent on the iPhone, but pretty grainy and hard to watch on the much larger iPad. (An iPad optimized App is in the works.)
The app is free, has been out for a few weeks, and so far has picked up 150,000 downloads, says Tang. He plans on bringing out a paid App at $9.99 monthly.  Download here
There’s a big difference between free and paid. Free users only get to stay connected for about 10-15 minutes, and the video frame rate is slow. Tang says paid users will get unlimited access, and faster video.
Tang says he began working on the App a year ago, motivated by “wanting to escape the confine of the mobile device. There’s a lot more power in the cloud.”
The app had already been approved by Apple by the time Apple CEO Steve Jobs penned his “Thoughts on Flash,” on the Apple website, which ended any realistic hope of seeing Flash on the iPhone or iPad. Jobs says Flash is a battery drainer and resource hog.
The Cloud Browse App works just about anywhere on the Web — except for video site Hulu, which is co-owned by Fox, NBC and ABC. “Hulu is very aggressive about blocking access,” says Tang.
Source: usatoday

New iPhone getting June 7th reveal?

Confirmation that Steve Jobs will host Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 keynote raises hopes.

Apple has confirmed that Steve Jobs himself will be hosting the keynote talk at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 – raising chances that the gathering will be used to unveil the upcoming iPhone 4.

Though there’s no direct evidence to confirm this, if nothing else we know that a new iPhone is both in development and nearing release.

Early builds of the gadget have in recent weeks been spotted (or ‘acquired’)by both Gizmodo and Vietnamese site Taoviet.

Kicking off on June 7th, WWDC is designed to provide advanced advice for skilled developers across five key technology tracks.

The 5000 attendees will be able to attend sessions in the following tracks: Application Frameworks; Internet & Web; Graphics & Media; Developer Tools; and Core OS.

Source: MVCUK

iPhone makes it to world's best inventions list

The Apple iPhone has made it to the list of the ‘Most Important Inventions Of All Time’.

The cell phone, ranked eighth in the list, is ahead of both space travel and the combustion engine.

After its launch in 2007, more than 42 million of the gadgets have been sold.

The computer came fifth and Graham Bell’s telephone came sixth just ahead of Sir Alexander Flemming’s discovery of Penicillin.

A total of 4,000 consumers voted to rank some of the major inventions of the last 200 years, in the survey conducted by Tesco Mobile.

“All of the inventions included in this list have changed the world forever,” the Sun quoted Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Tesco Mobile, as saying.

He added: “Whether it be something as small as a paper clip, to something which changed the face of the universe like the combustion engine, these amazing feats have all been recognised as truly great.

“It’s amazing to see how much the iPhone is valued, sitting alongside inventions such as Penicillin in people’s perceptions and being declared a more important invention than miracle gadgets of their own time, such as the compass.”

Spell check made it to 86th, while power steering was placed at 50th and the TV remote control landed in 43rd.

Full article >>

UK parties iPhone apps

All the major parties have talked the talk about learning from Obama’s celebrated success at using technology to build a grassroots campaign which engaged voters and all the major parties have released iPhone apps. I got to wondering – have they blended what they’ve learnt from Obama with the power of the iPhone to engage its users?

In this post, I’ll look at each of the party’s election apps considering where they’ve done well and where they’ve got it all wrong. As a reasonable baseline, I’ll suggest that an app should at least have party news, party relevant tweets and policy information. The thing I’m most interested in is whether the apps provide a platform for interested people to get engaged in party activities. Do the apps allow Joe Public to get involved at a grassroots level?

The Labour Party – iCampaign

The Labour party’s app is very comprehensive. Over and above the campaign news section, there is an Inside the Campaign section which reads a bit like a campaign blog. Good reading for both the party faithful and just the politically interested.

The app also features local election events and info on Labour representatives relevant to your location. This is brilliant use of the iPhone’s geo-location features and offers an immediate route into Labour party activities for potential volunteers, including a form to sign up as a volunteer.

Localisation and the use of the app to engage would-be-volunteers in local events mean this one’s a winner. One thing I wonder about – why does the word “Labour” not appear in the app’s title?

The Tories – Conservative

At the risk of sounding like a real newspaper rather than a tech blog, the Tories’ app is all gloss and no substance. Having to endure the naff title sequence every time I run the app put me off before I even got started. Policies are accessible through a clunky interface. News is presented in a reasonably straightforward fashion.

The only feature which encourages any sort of engagement with the party is “Call a friend” where the app encourages you to call friends in your addressbook and, in doing so, provide their details to the Tories for local campaigning.

A dynamic infographic, the Swingometer, allows the user to tilt the device to demonstrate how percentage swing translates into Conservative seats gained nationally. As someone who does not have a mental picture of the constituency map its not clear how tilting the phone numerically affects which specific constituencies so it came across as someone’s funky visual idea with very little meaning.

The app provides web links to the Tories’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages which, annoyingly, take you out of the app and into the browser.

A few flashy graphics neither entices nor facilitates users easily engaging with the party.

The Liberal Democrats – Lib Dems

The Lib Dems app puts Nick Clegg into your pocket, quite literally. By selecting three topics from six available,the app strings together a series of videos which are narrated by Nick Clegg. A few links allow you to join the mailing list, share the app with a friend and make donations. And that’s about it really.

The Lib Dems fail on my baseline of presenting, at a minimum, news, policy and twitter. There’s also no way to meaningfully engage as a potential volunteer.

UK Independence Party – UKIP
Promisingly, the UKIP app is powered by Purple Forge, the team behind My Politics. Although it doesn’t look flashy, it doesn’t disappoint. In terms of the baseline, the app provides access to UKIP news, the UKIP manifesto and, amazingly, tweets sourced from a series of UKIP relevant Twitter accounts as well as on the search terms #UKIP, #ukelection, #uk, #election2010, #notaxes and #jobs. That’s pretty brave because it seems to show both positive and negative sentiment. It’s also inspired, it shows UKIP being open to hearing from all commentators and seemingly really engaged with social media.

The main app screen provides links to UKIP’s YouTube and flickr pages as well as a short shpiel on the party’s history and a place to donate. There’s an events section which apparently allows you to export events into your calendar but on the evening I looked there were no events showing on the schedule.

The app allows you to share news, events, tweets, pics and videos to your own Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. The Engage area of the app polls users on political issues and provides results of the polls to users in real time.

A real immersive app which allows you engage with party policy, party events and share party information with your own social networks. All functionality is embedded within the app. Functionally it’s a winner although it’s a pity the UI is a bit unpolished.

The Greens – Green Party Policy Matchmaker

The Greens have taken a totally different path with their Policy Matchmaker app. The app takes the user through a series of 10 questions designed to assess how the user’s views match Green Party policies, particularly those which are not driven by their environmental principles. After answering all questions, the user is given a score and some explanatory notes on the relevant policy points. If you close the app and want to read the policies again, you have to answer all the questions again – a bit of a usability disaster.

The only other feature allows you to share the app with friends via Facebook, text message or email.

The policy matchmaker is a great idea which is let down by it being the only idea expressed in the app. The baseline (news, policy and Twitter) is not achieved.

Final Words
In summary, only Labour and UKIP have delivered apps which encourage and facilitate real engagement with the party. Astonishingly, UKIP’s app stands alone as the only app which encourages sharing on social networks. The Tories ply an unsual middle ground with a few basic features and an attempt at some innovation which is poorly executed. The Lib Dems seem to have built an unusual front-end to some You Tube content and little more. The Green Party app is built on an interesting idea but requires some basic features as well.

The exam question was “Have the parties blended what they’ve learnt from Obama with the power of the iPhone to engage its users?” and it seems that, in most cases, the parties came up woefully short.

Source: thenextweb

Will the iPhone 4G ship with OS 3.x?

So far all we have heard regarding the iPhone 4G has been rumors, however we must admit once of the most likely-sounding rumors we have heard suggests that the handset will come with iPhone OS 4.0 as standard, however a article on OzcarGuide suggests that this may not be the case.
According to their article the iPhone 4G may infact come with iPhone OS 3.1.2 as standard, this is because Apple may face an anti-trust inquiry surrounding changes to Apple’s terms of service which are being seen by many as anti-competitive, this could perhaps land Apple in trouble with the U.S. fair trade commission.
Obviously the easiest way for Apple to rectify this would be to modify iPhone OS 4.0 so that it doesn’t bring-on an anti-trust inquiry, however with just a month or so until the expected iPhone 4G launch experts doubt that Apple could make all the necessary changes in time.
If all this turns out to be true we could perhaps see OS 4.0 arrive later than planned, no-doubt if this is the case it will arrive via an over-the-air update, which could perhaps kill the initial buzz surrounding an iPhone 4G launch.
Would you prefer to wait for an iPhone 4G running OS 4.0? Or would you be happy with an iPhone 4G running OS 3.1.2?

Apple to charge $1 Million for iPhone Mobile Ads

There are pleanty of different advertisement platforms for the iPhone; AdMob, AdWhirl and many more. However, as you may already know, last month Apple have recently acquired Quatro wireless and turned it into iAd.
However, if you own a small business and want to run an advertisement in an iPhone app, you’d better hold onto you wallet for now.    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning to charge upwards of $1 million for ads within iPhone apps this year, and possibly even more than that to be “among the first”.
Apple plans to charge a small group of marketers up to $10 million each at launch, the report said, citing “a person familiar with the matter.”
Existing mobile ad deals tend to run about $100,000 to $200,000, the article quoted unnamed ad executives as saying.

Apple acquire A4 chip maker to continue innovation

Steve Jobs (SEO of Apple Inc.) recently announced that Apple is the larged mobile device manufacturer in the world, beating the likes of Samsung, Sony and Nokia.

Apple have recently acquired  Intinsity (a small Texan company), the manufacturers for the speedy A4 chip inside the guts of the iPad.  This means that Apple will be able to strive for even faster hardware inside of their mobile devices.

Full article on this, see here.