Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

I’m back…and here’s a new iPhone post

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been super busy at work/with family/attending family reunions/ blah blah blah so I haven’t posted in a awhile. Actually the main reason is that I was lazy as shit and was off the interwebz for a awhile and social media specifically. But I’m back now.

I wanted to let those JailBreakers know about a new app available in Cydia called MissionBoard which replaces the native iOS switch. I actually like the idea of being able to see all the apps on one screen and this allows you to see thumbnails of what is currently running. Here’s an image courtesy of (excellent resource for JailBreak aficionados).

As you can see, the running apps are visually displayed on the screen so you can quickly see what is running. Scrolling up and down will show all open apps on a page by page basis. One advantage is that it allows me to see immediately which browser was open to which site. If you’re like me, I find myself using multiple browsers because Apple allows no way to default to a third party browser. So when I click on a link, it opens up Safari by default. I use Opera and A Perfect Browser for the most part so often times I have to remember which browser has which page. Not a big deal, but I like this look better than the native Apple iOS.

I lost my iPhone 4 so I had to get a new 4S which annoys me because I wanted to wait for the 5. Once my wife gets the 5 though (she’s having issues with her 4) I will have her iPhone 4 to play with and I will Jailbreak that device. My iPad 1 & 2 are also jailbroken but I decided not to jb my son’s iPad 3 (given he needs it for school). That’s it for now. New post next week about my health a potential surgery.



iOS5 Untethered Jailbreak

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Jailbroken Home ScreenSo last night, after months of not having had a jailbroken phone (since the update to iOS 5) I took the step to jailbreak the phone. The motivation behind this was the release of the untethered jailbreak this week, courtesy of the iPhone-Dev team and @pod2g.

Supported devices are:

  • iPhone 4 (GSM – CDMA)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPod touch 4G
  • iPod touch 3G
  • iPad 1

It was not without some issues.

There are some steps you need to take before you begin:

  1. First off, to jailbreak the phone, you need to download Redsn0w ver. 0.9.10b3 for Windows or for Mac
  2. Download the IPSW for iOS 5.0.1 for your specific device. This page has a list of IPSW’s for the different models.
  3. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes.
  4. Make sure you are on the 5.0.1 version of the iOS. (Settings->General->About->Version

Now that you have all of the items you need, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Connect your device to the computer you have it partnered with and hold the power key down until the slider to shutdown the device.
  2. Launch Redsn0w
  3. Click on Extras->Select IPSW->Select the one you want.
  4. Go back to the main screen and click the Jailbreak button
  5. Make sure the “Install Cydia” box is ticked
  6. Click Next
  7. Make sure your device is bot turned off and plugged into your computer before you get to the next step
  8. At the next step, you need to put the device in DFU mode. Follow the steps on screen.
  9. Once this is complete (it takes a bit of time), you will see a Cydia icon on the screen. Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a jailbroken phone.

What next? Check out my earlier blog post on what to do after you jailbreak your device.

Now is the time to Jailbreak your iDevice

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

So, you want to jailbreak your device but you’re worried you can’t find the correct IPSW file, or can’t get the device in DFU mode, or are worried that the revised IPSW that you created from your Pwnage tool may be corrupted. Well, have no fear, now comes the easiest jailbreak ever. Just follow these steps:

  1. Back up your iDevice
  2. Launch the mobile Safari browser
  3. Point the browser to
  4. Click on install
  5. Wait for Cydia to be installed to the iDevice
  6. Go to my post on what to do after you jailbreak your device.

The first day it was available, over one million people freed themselves from the tyranny of a single distribution channel. It’s easy and REVERSIBLE. If you don’t like it, restore the device to your pre-jailbreak settings. Simple! Enjoy.

BTW, this is good for all versions of iOS up to 4.3.3 and it’s untethered. The next release will close the PDF vulnerability that this site exploits.

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In the iconic 1984 ad by Ridley Scott,  Apple tried to show that they wanted to free the mewling masses from Big Brother’s intrusions and oppressions. Ironically, 27 years later, they are supplying the means to provide that very information that Orwell railed against in his dystopian vision. Shame on you, Apple.

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters.

iPhone Tracker image

Update (04/21/2011 11pm): I downloaded the program mentioned in the article iPhone Tracker and sure enough, it shows where I’d been since I got the iPhone. I have nothing to hide so perhaps it’s a moot point; nevertheless, it’s a “feature” I would hope Apple remedies soon. (special thanks to Kay Harbach who yammed about this on Yammer)

Update (04/22/2011): According to this blog post by the fine people at F-Secure, the location information gets sent to Apple twice a day, presumably to update their global location database, the same type of database Google collected when they were driving around for Google Street View. Instead of using cars to accumulate the data (which is expensive), Apple is using you and me, as iPhone owners, to collect the data for them. Seeing as they are perhaps violating my privacy as well as using me as a tool for their benefit, I want to send them a bill.  Hey Jobs! Geolocate this, jerk!

Update (04/23/2011): Android collects the same data and transmits it to Google. The danger is magnified in the Apple iOS though because the back up resides, unencrypted, on your hard drive when you sync. Android has no mechanism (though the information is sent to Google since your device is linked to your Google account) to sync and backup locally to your PC.

Categories: Mac, Tech Tags: , , , ,

So you’ve jailbroken your iPhone. Now what?

March 17, 2011 5 comments

Home Screen

I’ve mentioned before how there are distinct advantages to jailbreaking your iOS device. I was dismayed when Apple changed the orientation lock on the iPad and made it into a volume lock. Someone promptly developed a “NoMute” app that changes the switch functionality back to rotation lock. Up until the iOS 4.3 update, the only way to get it was through the Cydia repositories.

What I want to do in this post is give you ideas and recommendations as to what to get, app wise, once you’ve jailbroken your iDevice. I won’t go into details on how to jailbreak the unit, you can find plenty of resources here on and on so I won’t bore you with those details. I will list some terms for the users who have jailbroken their iPhones/iPads for the first time. I was lost trying to figure out what was what and I hope that this list will provide a starting point for all the nOObs.

Jailbroken terminology

  • Cydia – App that is the source of all other apps. Central repository
  • Springboard – What you see on your screen, the whole thing, icons, background, lockscreen
  • Respring – Akin to rebooting your Springboard
  • Mobile substrate – A failsafe “” that will run in case of a SpringBoard crash.
  • SHSH Blobs – is a signature file which is verified against Apple Servers to verify the the iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. If for some reason, when you are try to restore to a previous version, Apple will not allow you to restore it because, you are trying load a older version of iOS. To make this possible, you need to send a request to a different machine (local or designated) which sends an SHSH blob (which was saved by you) back to iTunes faking that its the current version.
  • DFU Mode – Stands for “Device Firmware Update.” This is the mode your device needs to be in prior to injecting the jailbreak. It is the state between power off and loading the iOS. Allows access to kernel, which is the current injection vector.
  • Tethered – Having to re-jailbreak phone every time you cycle power to the phone. Annoying as hell.
  • Untethered – NOT having to jailbreak your phone every time you cycle power to the phone. Don’t jailbreak until the untethered method is available.

OK so now you have your Cydia App on the screen. It looks like this:————————->

This is where you begin.

<———–You will see this screen when you launch the app:

Go to search and search for these 5 critical apps:



Five Icon dock



Other apps that you might want to consider include iBlank, iFile ($2.00), Veency, Iconoclasm ($2.00), WiFiFoFum, WiFi Passwords, Five Icon Switcher, OpenSSH, and FakeCarrier.

I won’t go over the optional apps but I will briefly describe each of the five apps.


SBSettings is a great add-on that allows you easy access to the most common settings within the iOS. rather than launching the native settings app, you swipe your finger on the top of the device to bring down a selection (customizable) of commands that allow you to turn bluetooth on and off, turn WiFi on and off, allow a quick reboot or power off and an easy way to view and kill processes. Here is how it looks on my phone. Note that you can also quickly turn airplane mode on and off from this screen.

Winterboard controls the themes that you can either download for free or pay for. The themes can range from simple to complex, with skins for your phone app, iTunes app; SMS app, etc as well as modified icons and lockscreens. Winterboard is what controls these mods. Within winterboard, you select those sections you want to use and then you re-spring to get the new skin(s) and look. You can see from the top picture that I have modded my iPhone with the A 2 A [ProjectBLU] theme.

Five Icon Dock is simply that, allows you to place five instead of four icons in the dock. there is also a Six Icon Dock but I find it’s too crowded.

SpringJumps allows you to quickly jump from one screen to the next, bypassing the need to swipe till you get to the correct screen. You can see from my screen that I have Home/Tools/Games/Apps/More. I often switch from Home to Apps and this allows me to quickly go from one screen to a screen two screens down.

AptBackup lets you backup your jailbroken app settings so that when you upgrade to the latest version of the iOS, you are able to keep track of your jailbroken apps. You see, every time Apple releases an upgrade, it removes the jailbreak and restores it to the stock Apple apps, forcing you to try to remember which JB apps you had. AptBackup takes the guesswork out of the process. it backs up the apps you have along with the regular Apple backup which occurs when you sync your device.

As I mentioned above, there are many other useful apps available through Cydia. Peruse the repositories and enjoy the freedom of multiple distribution channels. There are some great apps out there that are NOT Apple sanctioned and it’s worth it to try them out.