O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Users Report Boosted WiFi Range via iPhone 1.0.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, August 23rd, 2007, 09:03
Category: iPhone

When Apple released its iPhone 1.0.2 firmware update a few days ago, specific fixes provided by the update were kept vague. Outside of the words “bug fixes”, users have been left to discover what specific performance elements the patch improved or altered.
According to MacRumors, several users have reported that their iPhones are now able to connect to wireless access points that were once regarded by their iPhone handset as out of range.
“My WiFi reception is definitely better,” commented a user identified as schulzmc said Tuesday. “While in my office I have never been able to connect to the hub in the conference room down the hall [but after the update] I was surprised that the Edge connection seemed faster, until I realized I was connected to the WiFI hub with two bars. For me, this is a huge issue, as I was preparing to try to deal with whatever hassle it would take to get the WiFI connection extended to my office area.”
Mixed reports have surfaced as to other changes provided by the update. Some have reported increased speakerphone volumes while others have stated that this setting has remained the same.
Others, who added non-Apple-sanctioned software or hacks to their iPhones to achieve results such as custom ring tones have reported problems which pushed them to restore their handsets to a factory default state.
The update is automatically downloaded when the iPhone is connected to a Mac or PC and iTunes is opened. Users can then choose whether or not to apply the 3.7 megabyte download.
If you’ve seen any changes, positive or negative, that have stemmed from the iPhone 1.0.2 update, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Chooses European Providers for iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007, 08:07
Category: iPhone

If you were curious as to which providers Apple would go with per its upcoming European release of the iPhone, the vote is in.
On Tuesday, sources told the Financial Times that a deal was signed between T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in England. According to the article, the three operators will hand over 10% of the revenues made from calls and data transfers through iPhone traffic.
The operators are stated to officially announce the partnerships at the IFA trade fair in Berlin at the end of August, although T-Mobile, Orange and O2 declined to comment as of yesterday.
The iPhone is currently slated to launch in Europe this autumn to the UK, French and German markets with further European and an Asian rollout taking place in 2008.
If you have any ideas or feedback on this, let us know in the comments or forums.


iPhone 1.0.2 Update Released

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Date: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007, 08:09
Category: Software

Late Tuesday, Apple released iPhone Update 1.0.2, the second major firmware update for its popular iPhone handset.
The new software, which can be downloaded by connecting the iPhone to your Mac or PC, selecting the iPhone in iTunes and clicking the “Update” button, is a 3.7 megabyte download and applies the following cryptic changes according to Apple: ‚Äúthis version of the software includes bug fixes and supersedes all previous versions.‚Äù
According to iPhone Atlas, the update erases hacks, forcing the code into a recovery and then restoration mode, thereby removing non-Apple-sanction modifications as well as third-party installed applications.
This feat is accomplished via a validation process performed on the iPhone. If the validation fails, the iPhone then moves into recovery and restoration mode, prompting iTunes to download a 92 megabyte version of the 1.0.2 software update to bring the iPhone in line with the current software revision.
Albeit Apple has been vague about specific fixes, some iPhone Atlas readers have reported a significantly louder maximum volume on the device. Other users have reported that the iPhone version of Safari (or MobileSafari) now smoothly scrolls pages as they’re loading, where before scrolling on a still-loading page had been jerky or nonexistent.
Reports are still coming in and if you guys have tried the new update and seen any changes whatsoever, let us know in the comments or forums.


iPhone Salling Clicker Development Tutorial Posted

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Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2007, 07:47
Category: iPhone

The iPhone is cool, but it doesn’t have everything.
Including salling clicker applications which act as a remote control for the device’s functions.
An IBM Senior Software Engineer by the name of Jack Herrington has just posted a full tutorial as to how to create a sailing clicker application for your iPhone using PHP and XML.
The process begins by using a program called the iUI toolkit, which builds an interface similar to a web site and then allows you to follow the instructions from there.
Not for the techie faint of heart, this one takes some doing, but could yield a pretty cool remote control program of sorts for your favorite new cell phone when it’s all said and done.
If you’ve tried the tutorial or seen a similar effort in the works, let us know via the comments of forums.


SpamSieve Updated to 2.6.4

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Date: Monday, August 20th, 2007, 15:13
Category: Software

Getting back to basics, Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.6.4. The new version, a 3.9 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:
-Made more accuracy improvements for messages with attachments.
-Fixed a bug that could cause crashes when processing messages containing PDF attachments.
-Updated localizations.
SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.
If you’ve tried SpamSieve 2.6.4 and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.


Handbrake Updated to 0.9.0

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Date: Monday, August 20th, 2007, 08:22
Category: Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.0.
The new version, a 4.5 to 5.6 megabyte download (depending on version), adds the following features and changes:
-User experience is improved through a re-envisioned Mac interface and a Windows interface that’s been rebuilt from the ground up.
-Picture quality is improved through better image scaling, better deinterlacing, new filters for denoising, deblocking, inverse telecine, and new presets devoted to high quality settings.
-Speed improvements due to updated copies of x264 and ffmpeg. This includes improved multi-threaded encoding for the iPod.
-Compatibility is improved through new presets for devices like the iPhone and PSP. As well, HandBrake now supports DTS as an audio source and has limited support for .VOB and .TS file containers as input. Most excitingly, HandBrake can now output to the Matroska (MKV) file container.
-Stability has been improved due to countless bug fixes (including audio drop and mp2 issues). Handbrake also has optional support for MP4 files larger than 4 gigabytes.
Handbrake 0.9.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later to run and is available for free.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know via the comments or forums.


Roxio Announces Popcorn 3

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Date: Friday, August 17th, 2007, 13:50
Category: Software

Earlier today, software company Roxio announced the it would be releasing Popcorn 3, its video conversion and disc burning software for the Mac at the end of the month.
According to Macworld News, the new version will provide a simplified interface, TiVoToGo burn support that will allow some TiVo-branded digital video recorders to transfer saved shows to their Mac via a user-selected format.
Other upcoming features are as follows:
-A new Media browser will allow the user to find and preview video files.
-A program known as Disc Cover RE will let users create and print labels and inserts for their DVDs.
-Users can now create bookmarks and preserve existing chapter markers in their files.
-Play and resume features have been added. This will allow Popcorn to pause a process in the middle of a conversion and help your Mac with other processor functions.
-Support for the Elgato Sytems Turbo.264 coprocessor, which can help speed up video conversions.
-A Quality Preview feature will let users see 15 seconds of video to gauge whether the quality and format they’ve selected are appropriate.
-Batch DVD and video playback conversion features have been added.
-New presets have been added for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and BlackBerry.
-Support has been added for Dolby Pro Logic II and users can now create four-hour DVDs on a single 4.7 gigabyte DVD.
Roxio has stated that users of Toast 7 and 8 and Popcorn 1 and 2 will be able to directly unlock the upgrade version of Popcorn 3, which will be sold through the company’s web site for US$29.99.
Popcorn 3 will require a Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later, a G4, G5 or Intel-based processor, QuickTime 7.1.6 or later, 300 megabytes of hard drive space and up to 15 gigabytes of temporary free disk space available to convert videos.
If you have any ideas or feedback on this, let us know in the comments or forums.


Steps for Dealing with a Cracked iPhone Screen

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Date: Friday, August 17th, 2007, 09:49
Category: iPhone

You have your iPhone. And odds are, you’re pretty fond of it. Still, which the iPhone’s screen can take an admirable amount of abuse, it’s not invincible.
The guys over at iPhone Atlas have put together a quick guide outlining the best procedures for dealing with a cracked iPhone screen should the occasion arise:
-First, a repair/replacement from Apple can run between US$200 and US$250. The iPhone is covered under a standard limited one-year warranty for defects, but is not eligible for AT&T’s wireless phone insurance, which retails for US$5 a month and provides replacements in the case of loss, theft, accidental physical or liquid damage and mechanical and electrical failures after the manufacturer’s warranty period has termed.
-An Apple FAQ list has stated that the company will repair your 4 GB iPhone for US$199 or your 8 GB iPhone for US$249 plus US$6.95 in shipping and handling should your iPhone require service for any reason outside of battery replacement (an US$86 service).
While it can be presumed that this service covers screen cracks, Apple’s FAQ states that ‚Äúservice may not be available if your iPhone has been damaged due to accident or abuse.‚Äù
-Reports have come in to the iPhone Atlas web site that Apple representatives at the Genius Bar have replaced cracked screens for free. This is a nice gesture, but don’t count on it and it seems only likely to occur if the user can prove that the screen was damaged during routine use.
-A variety of do-it-yourself kits have become available and range from US$150 to US$200. Other third party firms have begun to sell replacement iPhone components such as the screen and its associated parts. Installation isn’t for the timid of heart and will violate any remaining Apple warranty.
-Credit card protection is also available. American Express offers a Gold Rewards Card, which includes a purchase protection plan that will repair or replace certain items or reimburse the policy member for the amount charged to the card at up to US$1,0000 per occurrence. The policy will also activate if the item is stolen or accidentally damaged up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
Had any experience with this on your end or have a story to offer? Let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Releases iWeb 2.0.1 Update

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Date: Friday, August 17th, 2007, 08:07
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Apple released version 2.0.1 of its iWeb application, the WYSIWYG web content creation tool included with iLife 2008.
The update, which is about an 11 megabyte download, repairs an issue with upgrading and publishing iWeb 1.x web sites and is currently available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. iWeb 2.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
Like any update, if you’ve tried the new version and have any kind of feedback regarding it, let us know in the comments or forums.


Software Glitch Shuts Down Part of Skype Network

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Date: Thursday, August 16th, 2007, 11:37
Category: Software

A blog entry over at VoIP software maker Skype‘s company blog has revealed that a bug is currently affecting the firm’s network (specifically, logging in) and appears to be affecting its European user base, according to Macworld News.
The company, which has temporarily disabled downloads of its software, has stated that it expects to have the problem resolved within 12 to 24 hours. Users are advised to leave their Skype client running so they can be logged back in once the bug has been dealt with.
American users do not seem to be experiencing the problem and company officials were unavailable for comment.
If you’ve seen this problem on your end or have an idea or a workaround, let us know in the comments or forums.