In other news, Ambrosia Software released version 1.0.0 of iToner, its custom ringtone transfer utility for the iPhone.
With iToner, users can drag MP3 or AAC format files onto the iToner application window, click the “Sync” button and port the ringtones to the iPhone. Ambrosia has stated that the ringtones will continue to function even in the face of iPhone firmware updates.
iTones retails for US$15 and is available as a 2.7 megabyte download.
The application is programmed as a Universal Binary and can run at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. iToner requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the program and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
It’s one of the most useful chunks of shareware out there and where Windows Media Player for the Mac went south so many years ago, this filled in perfectly.
Flip4Mac, the popular shareware collection of Windows Media components for QuickTime, has been updated via a public beta of version 188.8.131.52 of the software.
The new version, a 7.6 megabyte download, resolves an issue with failed exports in Sorenson Squeeze.
Flip4Mac 184.108.40.206 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and QuickTime 6.5.1 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version or have two cents to chip in about Flip4Mac, let us know in the comments or forums
Whether you feel it’s right or not, successful iPhone hardware hacks have been reported around the world. Some of these hacks have worked and the users seem pretty happy with the results.
Others have backfired and caused damage that’s nothing less than impossible to explain to the nice person behind the Genius Bar as accidental or the dog’s fault (such as the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth now refusing to work or the iPhone itself refusing to power up).
According to iPhone Atlas, a more severe example has arisen.
A relatively anonymous post to the Hackintosh forums provided this comment and showed this picture:
‚ÄúWe were so happy, all the software part was done, so we started opening the iphone. The antenna cover was a bit tricky but eventually it came off. Then we started to open the metal cover (after taking out the 3 screws) and PUFF, up it went in smoke, I think my collegue must have touched something. It literally went up in black smoke. I was so hot that when I tried to pick it up I burnt my fingers. So, this is for sure the most difficult part of the whole process. I don‚Äôt know what he did, as I had just stepped out of the room to fetch something when I heard a scream‚Ä¶they got such a fright.‚Äù
Although the iPhone is severely cool, there are certain provisos to follow when opening it up and trying to modify it: as in, be extremely careful, follow the directions and if you find US$499/US$599 wafting to the ceiling in the form of black smoke, try to have a sense of humor about it after the fact.
If you have any thoughts or feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
On Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published five new Apple patents under the titles “Methods and apparatuses for pixel transformations, Interface for defining aperture”, “Power management in a portable media delivery system”, “Dynamic power management in a portable media delivery system” and “Media delivery system with improved interaction.”
According to MacNN, the final three patents focus on Wi-Fi functionality in an iPod. Such a feature has been anticipated for some time and may come to light with the new iPods due out on September 5th.
Patent details are as follows:
“iPod Wi-Fi: Power management in a portable media delivery system”
Click the jump for the full story…
A new bill which just passed the California assembly on Monday by a 62-5 vote may ban California drivers under 18 from using a cell phone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while driving.
The amendment aims to improve driver safety, one of the cited studies finding that while teenagers make up 6% of licensed drivers, they compromise 16% of auto accident fatalities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill, which was previously approved by the state senate, will head back there for expected final approval of amendments before being placed on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk. It’s unknown as to whether the Governor is expected to sign or veto it.
Opponents of the bill have argued that other distractions, such as CDs and music, continue to exist. Others have cited that hands-free devices, help remove the danger from using a device such as a cell phone in the car.
Click the jump for the full story…
Filling in the category of “unexpected but kind of neat”, accessory manufacturer DLO has released OpenFM. The application, which is available for free, functions as a web site and allows web-based and iPhone users in the United States to find top-performing radio frequencies in their area.
OpenFM allows users to search by zip code or city/state and pulls up results from an active database of licensed FM broadcasters. According to MacMerc.com, the program uses a set of algorithms to match the database’s information against known locations of radio towers to determine the best FM frequencies to use. Returned results are categorized from “Best Bet” to “Good” to “OK”.
In addition to the iPhone application, DLO has also announced that it will be offering a web-based version as well as a widget version of OpenFM for Mac and Windows in the coming weeks.
If you’ve tried OpenFM or similar programs and have feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
Late Wednesday, Apple released version 7.2.1 of its 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station firmware. The update, a 4.6 megabyte download, brings the base station units up to the latest certified 802.11n draft as well as includes bug fixes and security updates.
The update requires AirPort Utility 5.1 or later to be installed as well as an AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n and can be downloaded directly or through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback of any kind about it, let us know in the comments or forums.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that its first service pack for its Windows Vista operating system will be released in the final quarter of this year with the company shipping a beta next month to 10,000 to 15,000 testers.
The update, according to cnet, will include operating system updates, bug fixes, and enhancements to improve performance, reliability and application compatibility of Vista.
David Zipkin, senior product manager for Microsoft, stated that while Microsoft has garnered a reputation for sneaking fixes into system updates and that these updates have caused headaches in the past, “anything that works on Vista is going to keep on working on SP1.”
Microsoft has also announced that it will release a third service pack for Windows XP which will include previous service packs as well as a small number of new fixes.
Click the jump for the full story…
A six-minute video posted on the iPhone Unlocking blog shows John McLaughlin, founder of Uniquephones, using a software unlock to allow his iPhone to function on the Vodafone wireless network to make two phone calls using the handset.
The video, which was shot using a Nokia N95 cell phone, demonstrates McLaughlin hooking the iPhone to a Windows PC, running a software program, resetting the iPhone twice as part of the process, then hooking it to a Mac, synching it to iTunes, swapping in a Vodafone SIM card and placing two calls.
According to Macworld News, Uniquephones already unlocks phones from several manufacturers, including Nokia and Motorola and cites about 60% of its customers as being in the United States.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s the YouTube video of the demonstration in action:
McLaughlin had reportedly planned to post his company’s iPhone unlocking method on the iphoneunlocking.com web site last Saturday, but stated that he feared legal action from AT&T Wireless if he posted the software. McLaughlin, having received a phone call at 3:00 AM in Belfast from a representative of O’Melveny & Myers, a law firm acting on AT&T’s behalf, stated that the caller said his company would be distributing and infringing upon the copyright of Apple’s intellectual property should he begin selling the software to iPhone subscribers.
As of Tuesday, McLaughlin has stated that he’s still undecided as to whether he’ll distribute the software, but claims that the video shows the the process is possible.
Got two cents to chip in on this? Let us know over in the comments or forums.
On Wednesday, Sierra Wireless introduced its new AirCard 880U and 881U model USB modems.
According the Macworld News, the new modems are designed around the High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) protocol and can function at a theoretical upload speed of two megabits per second and can download at 7.2 megabits per second. The units are also compatible with the HSPDA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS and GSM networks.
Where regional access is concerned, the 880U is optimized for use in Europe and Asia while the 881U is optimized for use in North America. Both models feature their own internal batteries to ensure sufficient power in peak or fringe area transmission requirements. The units also feature power control, a patent-pending antenna that Sierra Wireless claims boosts data performance and an architecture geared towards data traffic management.
Final pricing for the USB modems has yet to be announced and may be set by the cell service carries that resell the units to their customers.
If you have any thoughts on this or a favorite USB modem of your own, let us know in the comments or forums.