Saturday, August 23, 2008

Upgrade 2.0 ke side-effects

23rd August, 2008 - 9:26 PM lazy start to the Weekend. What better way to pass time than writing my blog ;) so here I am

So as you are aware, I "upgraded" the firmware for my iPhone last Weekend from 1.1.4 to 2.0.1, the good news is, it is working like a charm.

So first things first, after upgrade, the first thing I did was Restore from the Backup in iTunes, this brought back all my SIM contacts, SMSs, Mails and even the Wallpaper. Pictures captured from the iPhone camera was also in place. However, Pictures I had stored from the Desktop was all gone, also I had not backed up Music & Videos so that was gone too. I couldn't care less. All third-party applications, themes, ringtones, wallpapers was gone and the iPhone looked like it was on Day 1, when I bought it from the store

So what did this new Software update to do my's the BIG ones...
  1. Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Support...this is the Blackberry killer
  2. MAPs with GPS support...but can't use it to my advantage coz it is supported only with the 3G hardware
  3. MobileMe...this gives the User to sync all the Contacts/Calendars/Mails from mutilple sources (Desktop PCs, hand-helds, laptops) and web sharing space (30GB+) to store data....the catch, it is a PAID service
  4. App this is Apple's answer to the jailbroken Installer, you can connect to the Internet and download a host of Apps, some PAID and some FREE. Was definately a missing feature on the first-gen iPhone
  5. Cydia...this was intalled when I jailbroke and upgraded the iPhone using WinPwn, this can be termed as the Installer killer, Cydia is the new generation Installer and does pretty much everything that Installer was capable of and more
  6. Installer...yes Installer was also installed during jailbreak, news is Installer is not going to be around for long, read on for the updates

So there you go...time to start pimping the iPhone. Hmm...well looked like I had a lot of icons on the Springboard and last time I used "Poof" from Installer to hide the unwanted icons and this time I used Cydia to do the job, it worked flawlessly. Cydia looks and feels the same as Installer. Check out a detailed comparion here.

Configuring Exchange seemed pretty simple but it didn't work for me on the first go and this is where working in Wipro for Microsoft helped, I immediately reached to my contacts in the US in MS and one of them helped me put it all together, it was pretty educational experience. Obviously, I cant scribble how we did it in a public forum and if you want to know how we did it, send me a mail. The standard instructions are here.

Next obvious choice of app was Summerboard but hell just couldn't find it, neither in Installer nor in Cydia and so I headed to man's best Invention, the Internet. Oh oh...found that Summerboard for 2.0 firmware is not ready and Installer may not release it after all and just when I thought "pimping" was history I found that we now have another app to compete with Summerboard, any guesses?...Winterboard!! Wow trust the geeks to come with something as crazy as that. So what is Winterboard and how does it compare versus Summerboard, read here.

One of the good things about Winterboard is, it supports themes made for Summerboard. I installed a default theme called Surik (creator of Winterboard) and I was plesantly surprised to see that the Wallpaper on the Springboard was changing on its own kinda like java/flash, that was cool. Another cool feature was the fact that you could now use multiple themes using Winterboard, like icons from one, wallpaper from another, ringtones from yet another, man that was some invention right there...

A nice tutorial on how to use default themes and install custom themes is here. That brings me to the point on how I used to be able to browse the folders on the iPhone before upgrade using iPhone Browser. Well, the iPhone Browser supports firmware 2.0, a new version 1.7 is available here for download. I connected my iPhone and bingo, I could browse through the folders nice and easy

Well, thats it for today, will keep updating this post as I get to know more about the 2.0 upgrade and third-party apps that support it. Ciao

Thursday, August 21, 2008

3G iPhone - Jailbroken

20th August, 2008 - A very exciting news for the iPhone users worldwide, the much awaited "jailbreak for the 3G iPhone" is here. It is the same dude from Canada, Mr. iPhone Fan who has put together a tutorial to accomplish this. I can pretty much bet it will work for you (those who have a 3G iPhone) coz I have been through the "upgrade" process and was impressed with his work, just keep your eyes wide open and read and watch the instructions on your screen and ofcourse, dont forget to say a prayer ;)

Some of the answers to FAQs post the jailbreak on the 3G iPhone is as follows (again I picked this from Mr. iPhone Fan's Q & A with his bloggers)

  1. Is there a need for Activation (SIM card) after jailbreak? No
  2. Does the data privileges provided by the Service Provider during purchase (factory defaults) work after jailbreak? Yes
  3. What happens to Warranty after jailbreak? Common sense, you think Apple will entertain your iPhone?, you can always Restore settings to Factory mode via iTunes
  4. Can you continue to "upgrade" iPhone firmware every time Apple releases a new update? Yes, but No Gurantees.
  5. What about all the data on the iPhone before jailbreak? Always Backup via iTunes and then choose the Restore option after jailbreak. Please note, data backup is limited to Contacts, Messages, Mails, SMSs and you will loose all customization (themes, ringtones, wallpapers). You can now also Backup your Media in iTunes 7, click here

Get going and "pimp" your 3G now!!

Disclaimer: "If the instructions on my page work for you, I know you and if they dont, I dont know you"

3G iPhone Coming to India

20th August, 2008 - Writing this post from the office, news is, the 3G iPhone is set for launch on 22nd August 2008 across India via Vodafone and Airtel. Both have not disclosed the price and it is just 48 Hours for the launch, can you believe that?? Not to mention any AD, print or screen on how to use the iPhone, as if everyone in India is iPhone ready, Duh!!

I can forsee a doomsday on Day 1 itself, if the US can have an Activation Server down problem, imagine India with 3 times the US population. Not to mention the price itself, the juice is that Vodafone is packaging the 8GB Model for 31K. Ofcourse, with that kind of price there should be NO problem with the Activation Server, coz there will be nobody in the stores to Buy or Activate the iPhone

Let me take you through the absolute basic differences between a 2G and 3G iPhone and why you must choose ONLY and ONLY if one was less expensive than the other

  1. As the name suggests, 3G iPhone will support 3G Network Connectivity, here is the juice, no Network provider in India is 3G today, so you will end up buying a 3G phone to use it with 2G network. Yes, there are talks about 3G coming to India and blah...blah...blah, assuming whenever it comes and ONLY GOD knows when that is, the Network provider will milk you with his 3G Service charges, just ask any of your buddies in the US how much they pay for the Data plan every month. As for 2G browsing speed, it is more than reasonable for a hand-held device, with Exchange ActiveSync I get my Office mails in my iPhone in less than 3 seconds from the time a mail is received in my Outlook. I dont think 3G is going to get me my mails in milliseconds.
  2. The second hardware comparison is the ability to use Maps with GPS, again Satellites and Tower positions and WiFi Hotspots in the US makes the 3G iPhone perfect for navigation. In India however, GPS is going to be tough to use and navigate considering the gullis that have a pincode and some that dont. Just stop your vehicle, look around and you will find a better GPS (rickshaw-wallah, pan-wallah, taxi-wallah, goonde-mawali, dhobi...even a cow, where there is cow there is a temple around..remember?) The 2G is capable of locating a destination or distance between two locations anywhere in the world with Satellite images. To find your existing location, you have third-party App called "Locate Me" and that will fill what you are looking for
  3. This is where I give it to the 3G hands-down, the Universal Headphone jack, 2G requires an adpator and if you cant find one, you will end up with the sorry white Apple headphones to listen to music and watch videos. I ordered my adaptor via a friend in London who came visting India and it cost me 600/- INR. I'm sure if you look around in your city, some stores like Manish Market in Mumbai will have that adaptor for the same price that I got it for or less. Rememeber, you CAN GET ALMOST ANYTHING IN INDIA
  4. Another major advantage of 3G over 2G is, any hardware damage to the phone and it will be covered under Warranty, especially cover for the battery, iPhone batteries are not replaceable, Apple sends you a new phone as replacement

So there you go, 4 basic HARDWARE differences between a 2G and 3G iPhone, if you still want to buy the 3G, just make sure it is CHEAP. As I write this, the 2G 8GB Model is available for 18K (prices may vary from vendor to vendor), I got mine for 21K 5 Months back

As for the SOFTWARE, do not even bother, both 2G and 3G can be jailbroken (hacked) and you can "pimp" them. 2G can be upgraded to the latest software that comes bundled with the 3G, it can be further upgraded as Apple releases new updates in the future, just find a GEEK to do that for you, if you are wondering if I can be of any help, sure, I'll charge you more than what the 3G costs ;)

Yes, not to forget the new 3G iPhone still has not overcome the following limitations from the original version

  1. Cannot use it like a hard drive to store regular data
  2. No A2DP support for Bluetooth (you cannot listen to streaming music via bluetooth stereo headset). No Bluetooth pairing of devices so no file-sharing. Bluetooth is limited to phone+mic headset to attend calls
  3. No option for Replacement Battery
  4. No Video Capture (possible with jailbreak)
  5. No Zoom on Camera; No Flash; 2 Megapixel (yes, I do believe it is a limitation for a 20K+ phone)
  6. No Flash/Java support in Safari browser (even after jailbreak)
  7. No support for OWA (Outlook Web Access) in the Safari browser (even after jailbreak)
  8. Media formats, like only MP4 (Video) & AAC (Audio) will play on the iPhone (even after jailbreak)

I hope this information helps you to make a wise decision in the days ahead. Whatever you choose, don't look back, "the grass is always green on the other side". That's it for now, I'll keep a tab on how the launch takes-off and update this post. Post your Comments and feel free to ask me Questions

23rd August, 2008 - I couldn't believe when they told me, "iPhone having a midnight launch in India", that has got to be the joke of the year, quite frankly I dont know why people flocked the stores on a midnight for a Harry Potter novel as well but atleast it wasn't priced at 30+k. So as was the expectation, there was no serpentine queues to grab the iPhone and the Service Providers roped in third-grade celebrites to make the most of the ocassion.

I finally saw an iPhone Ad on the TV and it was so quick, consumers in India wont even realize that if they received a SMS there is no way to FORWARD it...duh! I really dont think India is ready to milk the iPhone for what it is worth, unless they had planned to attract the younger generation which is hooked to the Internet 24X7 and how on earth did they think this segment could afford a 31K phone. I'm sure a rich daddy has already gifted the iPhone to his rich daughter but hey look around, show me how many rich daddys you are rubbing shoulders with. Well, I wish the Service Providers good luck and Consumers good sense ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Upgrade to 2.0 - Complete

18th August, 2008 - The time is 9:14 AM IST as I write this blog but I havent slept the whole night thinking about what was in store for the morning. Yes, I was going to "upgrade" my first-gen iPhone to 2.0

If you have not been living under a rock, you probably know what a gamble it has been for the first-gen users to "upgrade" their phone to Apple's new offering this summer. Apple launched the 2.0 3G iPhone in the markets on July 11, 2008 packed with a brand new software with host of features. The 3G phone itself had a problem with activiation for almost a month, coupled to that desperate geeks who couldnt wait to "upgrade" their phone with the new software had not-so-good-things-to-talk-about Apple's latest offering. Every imaginable problem, from data loss to network to flawed software was talked about in the community. Obiviously, I held on to my dear phone, coz apart from costing me a bomb I had no option to send it back to anybody for a replacement and the fact that it was jailbroken made me even more apprehensive about upgrading and losing everything that was in there. But all of that changed today.

PS: This is a firmware/software UPGRADE for the first-gen (jailbroken) iPhone running version 1.1.4. This is NOT a jailbreak for the second-gen 3G iPhone

I have been keeping a tab in the forums on how the upgrade has been coming up and I finally found a video tutorial that guided users to upgrade the firmware from 1.1.4 to brand new 2.0.1
I decided to go for it. I suggest you say a little prayer before you start this (even if you are an atheist), I did.

The complete tutorial is here, credits go to one Mr. iPhone Fan from Canada. I'm just going to highlight the essentials in this Post.

  1. Download and Install iTunes 7.7.1 (the latest), if you have an earlier version.
  2. Once you have downloaded and installed iTunes, connect your first-gen iPhone, iTunes will prompt you that "a new software update for the iPhone is available, would you like to download and install it?", Click "No". This update is the same as indicated in the tutorial above, you can download it with other essentials
  3. Backup the settings and data on your existing iPhone. Click here for details. You will need this to restore Contacts, Mails, SMSs etc...after the "upgrade". You can now also Backup your Media in Itunes 7, click here. Remember, your third-party apps (themes, games, wallpapers, ringtones) will vanish, basically the iPhone will go back to factory settings with a new software version but most importantly, it will still be jailbroken, you will need to again go back to Apps like Installer and start "pimping" the phone from ground zero

Thats about it, this upgrade was made possible by a software called WinPwn (only for Windows), there is a different software for Mac users, Pwnage. By the way, if you wanted a dictionary defination of "pwn", here it is...

"Pwn (/poʊn/, /puːn/, /pəʔˈoʊn/, /pɔːn/, /piˈoʊn/, /pwəʔˈn̩/) is a leetspeak slang term, derived from the word "own",[1][2][3] that implies domination or humiliation of a rival, used primarily in the Internet gaming culture to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated. Past tense is sometimes spelled pwnt (pronounced with a t sound), pwned, pwnd, pwn3d, or powned (with the standard d sound). Examples include "pwnage" or "You just got pwned!"

It took me approx. 40 Mins to get the "upgrade" going and like every installation process, you have to be patient and let the hardware and software do its thing. I must admit, it felt like forever when the screen would go blank on the iPhone when it was processing but the result was worth the wait. I got the "upgrade" in a single attempt and was amazed how the software coupled with the instructions went like a knife on the butter, smoooooth.

Well, I'm already planning the next post called "Upgrade 2.0 ke Side-Effects", the title is apt I believe and you should look forward to it...until next time, signing-off for a lazy and a satisfied sleep in my bed...yawnnnnn, good nite.

19th August, 2008 - It is 24 Hours from the time I upgraded my first-gen iPhone to 2.0.1 and I see that Apple released a 2.0.2 version. Man, it is crazy how updates keep coming in and even crazier is the fact that we try to keep up with it, so now I got to find what is in this latest update and then wait for a tutorial to perform a new "upgrade" all over again. Seriously, I'm going to hang on for a while with the 2.0.1

Disclaimer: "If the instructions on my page work for you, I know you and if they dont, I dont know you"