Hacker brings Android to iPhone

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Date: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010, 04:05
Category: Hack, iPhone, News

Amidst stolen iPhone prototypes and very influential companies arguing, it’s cool to see that there are people just out there working on cool hacks for other people’s enjoyment.

Per CNET, David Wang managed to boot Google’s Android operating system on an iPhone 3G handset. Wang, the “planetbeing” member of the iPhone Dev Team posted a video demonstrating Android on an iPhone Wednesday.

The demo shows the boot process and Wang using Android for browsing, receiving a text message, answering a phone call, and playing music. The phone is set up with a dual-boot configuration and indeed the video begins with it running iPhone OS.

“It’s not really production quality yet,” Wang said on the video. “I’d say it’s alpha quality. But pretty much everything works.”

The Android-on-iPhone hack is a notable technical accomplishment and does indicate what’s possible. Wang has been working since at least 2008 to boot Linux on the iPhone, according to his blog. The demonstration uses a first-generation iPhone, but newer models should be supported at some point.

“It should be pretty simple to port forward to the iPhone 3G. The 3GS will take more work,” Wang said on the blog. “Hopefully with all this groundwork laid out, we can make Android a real alternative or supplement for iPhone users. Maybe we can finally get Flash. ;)”

Still, there’s work to be done. “It’s slightly buggy because I didn’t bother to implement all the Android-specific driver extensions,” he said in the video demonstration. And it’s slow, since Wang can be seen using a debug version of Android.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a gander:



Gizmodo tears iPhone prototype apart, posts findings

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, 04:00
Category: iPhone, News

The plus side: Gizmodo tore apart and studied the iPhone prototype, revealing some interesting things and proving you can find some amazing things at a bar.

The down side: Steve Jobs is probably angry about this and several buildings on Apple’s campus have already been destroyed thanks to his eye lasers.

Per Gizmodo, the prototype iPhone was disassembled, revealing a tightly packed interior with much smaller components, allowing the device to be thinner than its predecessor while also making space for a much larger battery.

The teardown found that the main logic board of the prototype iPhone was about one-third the size of the board that controls the current-generation iPhone 3GS. “Basically, the guts have shrunk drastically,” author Jason Chen wrote.

Those smaller components allowed Apple to cram a battery that is 19% larger than the current iPhone’s power supply into the prototype device. And while the discovered hardware was thinner, it also reportedly weighed 3 grams more than the current-generation handset, thanks to the larger battery.

Disassembling the handset proved to be interesting, with between 40 and 50 screws inside the prototype iPhone. Chen also dispelled a rumor that the battery on the handset is user-removable (the tightly packed case must be disassembled to access the battery).

“Everything fits in here like an intricately-designed jigsaw puzzle,” the report said. “This is definitely laid out like a final product. To think that there’s more room left for any components for this case is unreasonable. Unless Apple decides now to go with a larger case so they can fit more things in there, this is the most that we’re going to see this summer.”

As to whether the device sports a custom-built Apple processor, like the iPad’s A4 CPU, that remains a mystery. The main logic board was encased in metal and could not be removed without breaking the device, and did not feature markings to indicate where its components originated.

The new hardware featured a forward-facing camera, high-resolution 960×640 pixel display, camera flash and a secondary mic for noise cancellation.

The prototype’s design also proved different from the iPhone we’ve become familiar with, which has looked largely the same since the device was first unveiled in 2007. Apple changed the back of the device to be completely flat, with a material said to be made either of glass or plastic to improve reception.

The device was allegedly found at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., where an Apple software engineer reportedly left it by mistake. It was wrapped in a casing that disguised it as an iPhone 3GS.

Gawker Media paid US$5,000 to an unknown party to receive the device. After it was disassembled and revealed to millions of Internet readers, Gizmodo reportedly returned the device to Apple.

Amidst harsh words, Adobe cancels Flash port work for iPhone OS

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, 03:39
Category: iPhone, News, Software

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A lot can change in two week’s time.

Per Mashable, in that span of time, Adobe has gone from touting its technology for building Flash applications that run on the iPhone to canceling future development of that technology.

When Apple altered the terms of its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license, it effectively blocked Adobe’s move. But in his Tuesday announcement that Adobe will cease future development of the Flash-apps-on-iPhone technology, Mike Chambers, Adobe’s principal product manager for the Flash platform, offered the following quote outlining the conflict between Adobe and Apple:

“As developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time, and for seemingly any reason,” Chambers said. “The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms.”

The company also disclosed in a regulatory filing that its business could be harmed if the iPhone and iPad don’t support Adobe technology with one report stating that the company could be considering legal action against Apple, too, according to one report.

Recently, Adobe also gainded an ally in competing against Apple: Google.

“Fortunately, the iPhone isn’t the only game in town. Android based phones have been doing well behind the success of the Motorola Droid and Nexus One, and there are a number of Android based tablets slated to be released this year. We are working closely with Google to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to these devices, and thus far, the results have been very promising,” Chambers said.

The upcoming Flash Player 10.1 and related AIR 2.0 programming foundations are currently in private beta testing stages for Android and the software, which is scheduled to arrive this quarter, will work on a variety of other phone operating systems, including Windows Phone 7, the BlackBerry OS, Symbian OS, and Palm’s WebOS.

“I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers, and ultimately consumers, and that is not something that I want to actively promote,” Chambers said. “We are at the beginning of a significant change in the industry, and I believe that ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked-down platform that Apple is trying to create.”

The Adobe technology for bringing Flash-derived applications to the iPhone is now effectively irrelevant at the very moment when Adobe is bringing it to market in its CS5 product line.

“There is no technical reason that Flash can’t run on the iPhone,” Chambers said.

Apple demands iPhone 4G prototype be returned from Gizmodo

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, 05:37
Category: iPhone, News

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Following up on Apple’s discovered iPhone 4G prototype: Apple wants it back.

Per Macworld UK, Gizmodo editor Brian Lam has posted an official letter he received from Apple requesting that the device be returned immediately.

Gizmodo believes that such official communication proves the device is real. However, it should be noted that this does not necessarily mean that the device is the next iPhone and could simply be a prototype.

The device was reportedly found by an anonymous bar-goer at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a German beer garden in Redwood City, near San Francisco. The phone was discovered on a barstool at midnight on Thursday, March 19th.

The person who found the phone asked around the bar to see if anyone had lost an iPhone 3GS (the phone had a case on it that made it look like a 3GS), but nobody claimed it. The person then unlocked the phone and found the Facebook page of Apple software engineer, Gray Powell, still signed in. The person decided to try to return it in the morning.

Gizmodo says that the person woke up to find the phone dead thanks to Apple’s MobileMe service, which allows users to wipe their stolen iPhones of all data, remotely. The person then noticed the phone looked different from other iPhones (for instance, the unit’s front-facing camera) and managed to remove the “disguise” case. Upon discovering that this iPhone was not like any other iPhone out there, this person promptly forgot their promise to find Gray Powell and return the phone, and started selling to the highest bidder.

Nick Denton, the head of Gawker Media and publisher of Gizmodo, tweeted earlier Monday, “Yes, we’re proud practitioners of checkbook journalism. Anything for the story!” and “Does Gizmodo pay for exclusives? Too right!”

Per AOL’s Daily Finance, web site Engadget was offered the chance to bid after the site published the first photos of the prototype, but declined. Engadget editor in chief Joshua Topolsky says he doesn’t believe in checkbook journalism as “it encourages awful behavior in tipsters.”

Rumor: Fourth-Gen iPhone likely to use primarily Apple-created processor

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 19th, 2010, 12:45
Category: iPhone, News, Rumor

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The rumored fourth-generation iPhone (now being tagged the “iPhone HD”) will apparently use Apple’s own custom processor according to the Korea Times, which has quotes anonymous executives close to the story.

Where the iPhone 3GS and earlier models were using primarily Samsung-designed chips with an Apple influence, the next iPhone will supposedly use a primarily Apple-created chip. Features weren’t discussed with the contact, but a variant of the iPad’s A4 processor is the most probable candidate.

A move of the sort was already expected but may be important for Apple, which may be pushing for an HD focus with its new smartphone. The A4 is already capable of 720p video playback and could see that feature, as well as better battery life become present in the iPhone version. It’s uncertain if Apple will have to underclock the A4 or otherwise make significant changes to accommodate the tighter spaces and power requirements of a handset.

The A4 is known to be a modified, system-on-a-chip design based on ARM’s Cortex-A8, much like the processor found in the iPhone 3GS but with a newer PowerVR SGX535 graphics core, a higher clock speed and other optimizations.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Fourth-Generation iPhone prototype discovered, analyzed

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 19th, 2010, 05:19
Category: iPhone, photos, Rumor

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A series of new photos of an alleged fourth-generation iPhone prototype surfaced over the weekend, the device sporting dual cameras with flash, a high-resolution screen, and a slot for a MicroSIM card.

Per Engadget, the device was allegedly found laying on the floor of a San Jose bar and sports a front-facing camera, 80GB of storage, and aluminum sides. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber spoke with sources who reaffirmed to him that the device is legitimate, and “Apple is very interested in getting it back.”

“I am not certain this is the actual production unit Apple intends to ship to consumers,” he wrote. “I think it’s a testbed frame — thicker, with visible (un-Apple-like) seams, meant to fit into 3GS cases so as to disguise units out in the wild. It’s hard to tell from the photos. But I think it is the real deal in terms of the internals and the display being next-gen hardware, and the new glass back.”

He also went on to mention a patent regarding radio-transparent zirconia CE casings. Such casings could allow wireless signals to pass through an enclosure uninhibited and could improve reception on future iPhone models. Gruber theorized that the glass-looking back seen on the iPhone prototype could be a “high-durability” ceramic enclosure, similar to what was mentioned in the patent, as having glass on both sides of the new iPhone would make it very fragile if dropped.

The alleged prototype iPhone, reportedly dubbed “iPhone HD,” sports a double-resolution 960 x 640 pixel display. Previous reports suggested the new handset would, like the iPad, sport a custom-built processor from Apple.

The back of the device has Xs in place of certain numbers, such as the amount of storage and Federal Communications Commission ID number. It was also said to be previously running with a “decidedly new” operating system, though it is no longer booting. The device also has a “button” on its side, which sources told Engadget is for holding a MicroSIM card for connectivity with a GSM network, suggesting it is not the CDMA compatible model Apple is purportedly working on.

When Apple introduced the developer preview of its forthcoming iPhone OS 4 mobile operating system, users found references to iChat and frameworks containing the strings “front facing” and “back facing,” providing even more potential evidence of a new model with video chat. Apple was also said to be looking to secure large quantities of LED camera flash components for a forthcoming iPhone, and data discovered in the iPhone OS 4 beta suggests that the next-gen device will indeed include a camera flash.

Apple is expected to introduce the fourth-generation iPhone at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Last week the head of a Canadian wireless carrier said Apple will ship the device that same month, while AT&T employees have been restricted from taking vacations in the same month.

Boxee posts job listing for iPhone/iPad/Android OS development position

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 16th, 2010, 03:30
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

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Speaking of job listings, a new listing at media company Boxee has confirmed the firm’s plans to enter into mobile apps. Per Electronista, the startup is hoping to begin work with a Lead iPhone and iPad App Developer that would bring the company’s media front end to Apple’s handhelds. It also dropped a hint that an Android version is next, as the new hire’s experience with Google’s mobile OS would be “a plus.”

Differences between the mobile version and the large-screen versions didn’t show up in the posting, but it would likely handle much of the same media sharing. This could include streaming media from computers on the local network as well as accessing Internet-specific features while away from home.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases firmware updates for 27″ iMacs

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010, 04:12
Category: iMac, News, Software

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Apple’s in one of its update-o-rama sprees again and late Wednesday, the company released firmware updates for its popular 27″ iMac line.

The first update, the 27″ iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.0, a 397 kilobyte download, fixes Target Display Mode compatibility issues on 27″ iMac computers.

The second update, the 27″ EFI FW Update 1.0, a 2.0 megabyte download, addresses the newer Intel Core i5 and i7 iMacs and fixes the following issues:

- Resolves an issue that sometimes caused high processor utilization while playing audio through the headphone output mini-jack.

- Resolves an issue that prevented the display backlight from turning on after powering on the iMac.

Both updates can be located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any differences, please let us know.

Apple releases Security Update 2010-003 for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6 operating systems

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Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010, 04:40
Category: security, Software

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Following up on a slew of recent software updates, Apple released Security Update 2010-003 on Wednesday. The update, which varies in size between 6.2 and 208 megabytes depending on the version used and fixes assorted security holes described here.

The update, as usual, can be located, snagged and installed Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Security Update 2010-003 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve installed the update and noticed any changes, let us know.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update to address stability problems

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 03:59
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

This was strange but it’s worth snagging.

On Tuesday, Apple released stability fixes for the client and server versions of its Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating systems via its Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update. The update, which can be found here, is intended for users who have updated to Mac OS X 10.6.3 directly from Mac OS X 10.6 using the recently issued Mac OS X Update Combined 10.6.3 for Snow Leopard. Users who updated from either Mac OS X 10.6.1 or 10.6.2 to 10.6.3 do not need to install this update.

Per Macworld, the update includes many of the same improvements in Mac OS X 10.6.3, such as updates to QuickTime X, OpenGL-based apps, coloring messages in Mail, and printing reliability. It also addresses issues with opening files with some special characters in Rosetta apps, color problems with HD content in iMovie, recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server, and it improves performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 under 64-bit mode.

The Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 update is available from Apple’s support download site as a 785MB combo updater; there’s also a 897MB combo update for Mac OS X Server 10.6.3 v1.1.

As always, if you’ve tried the update and noticed any significant changes (for better or for worse), feel free to hurl your two cents in.