Sunday, June 26, 2011

iOS 5 Beta 2 Impressions

I hope you enjoyed the post below on how to install iOS 5 Beta 2 without a registered UDID for your iOS device. I wanted to post some of my thoughts on iOS 5 Beta 2. I realize some of the negatives I provide are likely going to be fixed in the next few Beta releases or the Gold Master release.

iOS 5 isn't as major of an upgrade as iOS 4 came out as. iOS 5, instead, takes the great features of iOS 4 (Safari, iBooks, Multitasking, etc.) and integrates them further with even better features such as Twitter Integration, Wireless iTunes Sync, and iCloud.

So far, I've had the opportunity to test the following features in iOS 5 Beta 2.   


My two favorite iOS apps are Facebook and NYTimes. I haven't had the chance to download either quite yet but I have a feeling that I won't be using the NYTimes app much with iOS 5.

I generally read the NYTimes every night before I fall asleep and I was having the hardest time falling asleep without the app last night. Since I didn't have my card near me to verify my account, I wasn't even able to activate my iTunes Account on the App Store.

I went against my will and chose to go to the NYTimes site via Safari, even though I dreaded doing this in iOS 4. Particularly, iOS 4 Beta where the NYTimes app didn't start working until iOS 4 was finally released, 3 months later. During these 3 months, I had to read the Times via Safari and the experience was not pleasant at all, especially compared to the native app we're used to.

Enough about my previous experiences. I went onto the New York Times website and read this article. Look at this article on MobileSafari (left), the article fits very little onto the page thus you have to constantly scroll down as you're reading.

The screen shot on the right is of Reader. It's an amazing addition to iOS 5 because it replicates the NYTimes app or any good news reader. Simplicity is priceless.

Wi-Fi Sync

Wi-Fi Sync is an amazing new add on to iOS5. You sort of wonder why Apple didn't do this earlier, though. Better late than never, I guess. Regardless, the speeds for syncing are quite acceptable. I really like that you can still use the iPhone while it's syncing, both with Wi-Fi and USB. Actually, this is one of the best features of iOS5, I used to hate those dreaded minutes where the iPhone would take forever to backup (probably because of my huge Camera Roll, though) and sync. Now, even while the iPhone is syncing all its files with iTunes, you can use your iPhone to your pleasure.  Additionally, you can instantly access synced songs and videos and you can see the progress of songs that were going to be synced. 

To enable Wi-Fi Sync on iOS 5 Beta 2, go to iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 and connect your iOS device via USB. On the Summary page, under Options select "Sync over Wi-Fi connection." After the initial sync via USB you can wirelessly sync your iOS device whenever both the computer and device are on the same network. 

Note: I tried this on my PC, initially, using iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 and the option for Wireless Sync wasn't there. When I resync'd to my Macbook Pro, I was able to enable the setting. 

I took my phone about 15 minutes to sync 1GB of music to my phone. My contacts, calendar, etc. were all synced via MobileMe. 

All iTunes/ iOS functions are available, except Update/ Restore.

The sync indicator spins when the device syncs.

This new addition is not really anything to write home about. When you see above, it's the 2nd App on the 3rd row. I think Reminders is very simple to use but it's very simple. I can't believe it took Apple this long to implement a regular tasks app. It's easy to create new tasks and very easy to mark them complete. Just very simple all together. I think people have already adjusted to adding notes in their calendar, ToodleDo, and RTM to make this app very useful from here. 

Final Thoughts
I hope you enjoyed my impressions of iOS 5 Beta 2. It's contains a number of amazing improvements from iOS 4.3.3. If you'd like to download and install iOS 5 Beta 2 (without a registered UDID) see below for my instructions on how to do so.  

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to: Install iOS Beta 2 without a Registered UDID (Tethered Jailbreak)

So... you initially installed iOS 5 Beta 1, on your iPhone/ iPod/ iPad, through the VoiceOver hack.  Unfortunately, Apple's chosen to close that loophole we all used to activate iOS 5 Beta 1. But those of us who don't know developers, are not yet out of luck just yet! You can still download iOS 5 Beta 2, without being registered as a developer with Apple. This is a bit more tricky than the previous solution, however anyone can do it.

Step One: Downloads
  • iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 (Needed for Installation/ WiFi Sync) 
  • iOS 5 Beta 2 IPSW for your iOS Device (Be sure to note the name of the downloaded file)
  • Redsn0w 0.9.8b1 (Windows / Mac)
  • iOS 5 Beta 1 IPSW for your iOS Device (this is needed for the Jailbreak; Be sure to note the name of the downloaded file) 
  • iFunBox (Windows Only) or iPhone Explorer (Mac; the Windows version crashes with iOS 5)
I can't give you the download links for Apple's Beta software. If you need me to help you Google that, I already thought of it. If you'd like me to Google it for you (and tell you to open the second search result) click here.

Step Two: iOS 5 Installation
  • Install iTunes 10.5 Beta 2
  • Connect your iOS Device
  • Press the Option key and click Restore on iTunes
  • Select the iOS 5 Beta 2 file (make sure, you're selecting Beta 2 instead of Beta 1) 
  • Wait for the installation to complete. 
Step 3: Jailbreak (Tethered)
  • Open Redsn0w 0.9.8b1
  • Select the iOS Beta 1 file for jailbreak. Redsn0w hasn't been updated for iOS Beta 2's IPSW yet, but it works perfectly on Beta 2, with the Beta 1 IPSW. 
  • Don't check any of the boxes before running it. This will just Jailbreak the file system and allow you to access the file system via an application like iFunBox or iPhone Explorer. If you'd like access to Cydia, select it.
  • Wait for the install to complete on the device, this took my iPhone 4 approximately 5 minutes. 
Step 4: Access File System
  • Open iPhone Explorer or iFunBox
  • Go into the Raw File System (referred to as root/ system) 
  • Go to Root/ System - Library - CoreServices - SystemVersion.plist 
  • Save SystemVersion.plist to your desktop
  • Open this file via TextEdit (Mac) or NotePad (Windows)
  • Remove the following parts of the script: <key>ReleaseType</key> <string>Beta</string>
  • Save the file and drag it back to: Root/ System - Library - CoreService
  • Replace the original file. 
Step 5: Activation!
  • Turn off the iOS Device. 
  • Open Redsn0w and use the Beta 1 IPSW. 
  • Select "Just boot tethered right now" and follow the instructions. 
  • Proceed to Activation!
Note: This is a tethered jailbreak. That means that every time the device turns off, you must use RedSn0w to boot tethered. I've noticed that my iPhone turns on without tethering, however, Safari doesn't work through this method. 

      Tuesday, March 8, 2011

      Technorati Find Me!

      So hey there Technorati bot! How's it going? Good? Well than. 
      So here's my code so you can verify that this blog does indeed belong to me and not some other anonymous person. Although, I think you know who I am.

      Oh if you're reading this, congrats, you're probably one of my first readers! Thanks for being cool and subscribing to my blog via RSS.
      So yeah, I'll be going now. I have a killer headache and I need to sleep to pass the CAHSEE tomorrow. Well not really, I could do it half asleep but I think I wanna get a perfect (or near perfect) score so I'm gonna go to bed now.

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      Review: iProcrastinate

      App Summary: iProcrastinate is an really good task management program (fancy way for me to say "To-Do List"). The name iProcrastinate describes me and much of you, I'd assume. iProcrastinate is a lot more useful and powerful than other to-do list application out there right now. As a free app from the Mac App Store, this App is definitely something you need if you're not able to keep track of your hectic life without screwing up really badly. 
      Quick Thoughts: This app in the most basic form of thinking, seems fine. Nothing to call home about but nothing to go our of your way to destroy either. Why is this app review worthy then? Simply put, this app is what every "To-Do List" Application/ Program should have always done. Microsoft, Apple, Toodledo, take a look and learn how to improve your so called "To Do Lists." I'd like to congratulate the developer of this App because they've done a really good job putting things that should have always been included in all the more popular tasks lists. 
      Price: Free
      The Good
      • This app is very good at doing a lot of things that most to-do lists should have done years ago. 
      • The labeling system is color coded, this is a bit of a geek thing, but you're not restricted to the stock colors but you have your own spectrum of color to apply to your label! Important, not really. Cool? Yes. 
      • I love the fact that there's the steps bar for each task that needs to be done. So if you're like me and you do the easy parts first and leave the hard parts for the end, you can easily remember that you've partially done each task, at least. 
      • The files box is the most brilliant thing that the developer could have thought of. Why didn’t Microsoft implement this in Office 2000? Seriously, this is amazing. You select the associated files with the task and then it has it ready for you when you open up the program. Pure awesomeness. Totally Winning!
      The Bad
      • I haven't found a way to synchronize this with iCal nor Outlook. I know this app is amazing but there are some legitimate needs for iCal and Outlook that this app doesn't meet. There's some drop-box integration and local device syncing but it's not anything special. 
      • The calendar is sub-par. For a to-do list app this good, there should have been some more developments to the calendar, especially considering that it can't sync with any other calendar apps on the computer.
      • Screen_shot_2011-03-07_at_11
      • There's no reminder setting. You just set the app and you're expected to check up on it. I'm borderline ADHD, I will forget the existence of this app unless it calls me first. 
      • This is me asking too much but I'd like to have the ability to have a widget for the dashboard to go along with this. If I need to look at anything really quick, I open dashboard. If I were to happen to open programs, it would take me a couple minutes to open each of them up and glance at what I need to know, yes, even with my 2011 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro. 
      Final Impressions
      This app is really cool to have but it's not perfect. No app is actually perfect, though – because someone will always be dissatisfied at something. If you'd like a really good virtual to-do list application – this app is great. This app has two things that no other to-do list app I've come across has yet to show – the files and steps tools! These two things make this app worth downloading. What I don't think is great about this app is lack of a good calendar, lack of good sync options, and my personal reason for disliking this app a little, the lack of a widget. 
      Impressed? Want to Download iProcrastinate? Click here.