Navizon iPhone GPS: the Amazing Hacker Development Continues

Navizon

I feel like it is Christmas every time I open my iPhone installer.app lately.  Along with VNSea, NES and MobileChat, here comes another AMAZING developer-hacker application.   I don’t see Apple having 1/2 of this stuff by the time the next release is out. AS a matter of fact, I don’t see a lot of hacked iPhones going legit any time soon.

Back to Navizon:  Using both cellular triangulation and a DB of Wifi hotspots and ISP IP addresses, Navizon is able to provide a semi-accurate view of where you are at a much faster rate than most GPS systems.  Granted the accuracy of the device depends on a lot of factors, and your results may, of course vary. 

The Navizon.app also just throws your coordinates into the Maps application and puts a little pin where it thinks you are.  So, so clever.  In my informal tests, it was about 500 Meters off at my home and about 200 meters off at work.  Each of these results used cellular data and got the information in just seconds.

The number of applications to deliver content using geograhic location on the iPhone are virtually limitless.  I am sure developers are hard at work on more applications that take advantage of this knowledge.  If Google Adsense isn’t all over this then someone needs to get fired, yesterday.

I can’t wait to see where this application goes, how exciting!  Get hacking!

OH, btw, it DOES work in Europe - at least France.

iPhone Announced in Germany, No Surprises

iPhone tmobile Apple today announced their alliance with German (former) state telco Tmobile for the German market. Tmobile will have EDGE on 100% of its network by the end of 2007 (oh and probably some 3G too?) and of course it has a bazillion Wifi hotspots around the World.  No mention of whether or not the iPhone plan with Tmobile will include access at any of them like the UK’s O2’s offering.  

The price is a respectable

VNC for iPhone, Now it is Getting Interesting

A very interesting application just hit my iPhone’s installer.app repository.  VNSea, the port of the venerable VNC Client that is used in many remote desktop installations, including Apple’s own Remote Desktop.  Although the application doesn’t appear to be working too well – we got just a flash of the desktop before the application crashed – the possibilities are endless for VNC client like this.  

Controlling a home computer or server from the road would give access to unlimited amounts of applications and data.  This is definitely something to look out for.

From the website:

VNSea is a graphical (duh) VNC client for the iPhone and presumably the iPod touch, based on Chicken of the VNC for Mac OS X. CotVNC is also hosted at SourceForge.

Please note that server passwords are currently stored in plaintext in the
preferences file and shown unprotected on screen. This will be fixed as
soon as the client is mostly functional. Right now, functionality takes
precedence over local security.

16 Sep 2007 - Source has been added to the repository.

16 Sep 2007 – The 0.2 release is now available in the project downloads. This release adds and fixes quite a few features:

  • Vnsea now has very basic mouse control. Scrolling is now done with two fingers, while a single finger controls the mouse.
  • Support for all encoding formats supported by CotVNC, including JPEG.
  • You can control the desired pixel depth from the server settings to cut down on bandwidth.
  • Better error reporting (i.e. no crash) if a connection cannot be made.
  • Shimmer is included so future updates can be performed automatically.

Note to Apple: Europeans Have Internet, Have Seen This Before

Wow! I’m not European, but I play one on TV. I cannot imagine that Europeans are going to be too impressed by the “Event” at the Regent Street Apple Store today.  What was announced comes down to this:

  • Announced the exact same iPhone announced 9 months ago in the US and rolled out 3 months ago
  • Will be out in 2 MORE months
  • Significant extra cost (blame the weak dollar and 17.5% VAT?)
  • Limited EDGE Internet
  • Limited Unlimited Bandwidth
  • EDGE coverage is at 30% of UK
  • Acknowledged that there are fewer hotspot options in Europe
  • No 3G like 90% of the other smartphones because it is a “battery hog”  EDGE will crawl. Rationale: we like slim – can’t make slim 3G phone (don’t tell Nokia, Samsung, LG, etc)

So, as a fake European, I have to believe that there is going to be some backlash around these parts.  We have Internet over here.  We saw what went down in January.  We’ve seen smug Americans rolling over here with your slim little devices. I guess the reality distortion field isn’t strong outside of the San Francisco Bay area….

Apple probably could have saved some money by just getting a 30 inch Cinema display and playing back parts of the Macworld and WWDC announcements, except dubbing over some benny Hill background music and replacing the $ signs with double priced, cursive “L’s”

Still though, the iPhone is a sick piece of equipment. And it will sell like hotcakes…or Pannenkoeken…I would wager that most sales will by GSM hackers that buy them from the US and slang with old Firmware.  

Innit.

Europe Going iPhone…Soon.

Europe iphone

With Apple set to announce it’s European iPhone strategy later this week, a lot of questions still remain on the specifics of the deal.  What we know:

  • The carriers will be O2 in the UK, Tmobile in Germany, and Orange in France.  Spain’s Telefonica might also pick up the device because of the O2 relationship.
  • Even with the rampant SIM hacking, the devices will be locked to the carriers initially.  Different Laws in Europe REQUIRE that device manufacturers open up their devices after 6 months of use.  This might not be a huge issue as the phones are likely to be sold with 2 year plans.
  • Apple’s UK announcement will likely open the iPod Touch floodgates as the employees have been asked to stay late the day of the announcement.

What we’d like to know:

  • 3G or not?  It is looking more and more like the 3G iPhone will be hitting the ground around Macworld.  Could Apple be trying to slang EDGE iPhones to the 3G spoiled Europeans?  If so, will that alone cause the iPhone to be poorly regarded in the land of copious Wireless bandwidth?
  • Will the iPhone match the iPod’s 16Gb storage requirements?  If so, how far up can the prices go?
  • Apple traditionally sells its products in Europe with a premium that is also due to its language requirements, different channel density and absurdly high VAT.  What price will it try to fetch with it’s current lineup
  • How will Apple keep the hackers out of the iPhone?  IT is having a hard time doing just that in the States where there is only one other carrier besides AT&T (Tmobile) that carries the iPhone and Americans are used to being screwed by their Carriers.  Europeans are much more accustomed to freedom to move carriers
  • What goodies besides international keyboards, mobile itunes and more hacker prevention will the 1.1.1 firmware have?  iChat?  Copy/Paste?  More photo tools?

The event is just around the corner at the Apple store in London.  Could we also see the long awaited Beatles on iTunes announcement?  Is there anyone left who hasn’t downloaded the entire anthology off of Torrent.  So many Questions….

British iPhone on O2 Announcement Next Week

Apple england

It looks all but certain that Apple will announce its first European iPhone carrier next week.   And some bad news for y’all across the pond (or Channel as it were), it is not going to be carried by Vodafone who is currently launching an iTunes competitor (and whose CTO recently publicly dissed the iPhone).  It will most likely be carried by O2 only.    

It remains to be seen what effect, if any, the recent iPhone hacking will have on the selection of iPhone carriers.  Apple will probably have to secure its iPhone OS from these hacks if it expects to keep exclusivity contracts with the vendors going.

Apple will save its Continental Europe announcement for Apple Expo in Paris where it will announce deals with Orange and Tmobile.

Apple is expected to announce 3G iPhones with 16Gb of storage at some point but next week’s announcement might be too soon for those features.   Perhaps Apple will only announce it’s partner next week and save the specs for Apple Expo?

Let the speculation begin!

iPhone GUI Unlock Released

When it rains it pours! 

Not much else to say
but if you have to unlock your iPhone (like us tomorrow) you now have like 10 less steps to do – Amazing work at http://www.freeiphoneunlock.com/unlock/

It is in Beta still and the coders are off to bed for some much deserved sleep.  Perhaps tomorrow it will be more stable – it looks good enough for us!

Download the application in its current state here.

iPhone Liberation Day Has Arrived

True iPhone liberation has really arrived. Kudos to the people around the World who have used the internet to communicate and solve a problem that not one, or ten people alone could have.

The free version of the software unlock is finally out there. We aim to get a new, wrapped in cellophane, iPhone and document the whole process of activating it, unlocking it, and moving to a foreign carrier.

Further Reading (more after the jump):

http://www.freeiphoneunlock.com/guide/

http://iphone.unlock.no/

http://9to5mac.com/iphone-hacking-roundup-223453452

Plan is this (keep in mind, this will all take place in France from unwrapping to calling):

  • Activate Phone: We are tempted to use DVD Jon’s method but are instead opting for the “TUAW method” which involves entering a nonworking SS# and opting to get the AT&TGO pay as you go plan – but of course, never paying – just “GOing”.  This should activate the phone without costing us anything.
  • Unlock Phone: Unlocking the phone with the buffer overflow “movie file” that the iUnlock application yields.  Again, Amazing work people.
  • Use Phone: We have a work SIM from Vodaphone UK (unlimited EU data) and an Orange France Pay as you go plan.  We hope to use both for both data and calling
  • Install 3rd Party Apps like a IM client, terminal Client and other fun stuff that is out there.  We broke down all of the Hacking sites here.

Our iPhone is currently clearing customs at Charles de Gaul Airport. God speed little guy!

CDG iphone

Hidden Feature Makes iPodtouch and iPhone Physical Storage Limitations (a bit) Obsolete

The iPodtouch’s physical storage limitation of 16GB enraged a lot of people.  Why?  Most were worried that they wouldn’t be able to store much of the video that they wanted to watch on their beautiful new 480×320 screens.  However, Apple allows you to play movies over the net.  Don’t believe us?  Point your iPhone/iPodtouch browser over to:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/iphone

Yep.  Links to Quicktime movies.  Full 480×320.  Full stereo sound and amazing video clarity.  They also start up right away and play fully without having to catch up if you are on relatively speedy Wifi enabled Internet connection.

So what is stopping us from taking our incredibly diverse .mp4 movie collection and putting it on the web?  Not much really.

Just point your Web Server directory to the folder that has your media files.  No index.html page necessary – just enable directory listing on the webserver and allow the web browser to open the mp4 files.  Now we have an iPod with 2TB of storage.  

Technically, this can be done with music files and audiobooks as well.  Anything that is read by Quicktime/iTunes should be compatible.  Perhaps Apple should run with this on a Airport Extreme update?  This functionality would be really easy to build in and make simple for the masses.  

As long as we are near some Wifi – which isn’t that infrequent!  Now Bring on the 3G iPhones!

iPhone Hacking Roundup

So with the steep price drop and the hacking community going nuts on the iPhone, we thought it’d be a good idea to start getting into it. Rather than risk our day to day 8Gb iPhone (which was paid for by the day job), we took advantage of the $200 price cut and snapped up a 4Gb iPhone for $300.

Since I work WAAAY outside AT&T’s coverage range (Paris) and don’t feel like being one of those $3000/month AT&T customers who receive 500 page bills, I’ve decided to get a bit pirate on our little 4Gb beauty.

I wanted to go from end to end without touching AT&T.  I was hoping to not have to pay for iPhoneSimFree but worst case scenario I will settle – it looks like it is going for $50 right now from the Australian carrier.  We’ve found a good roundup here: iPhone unlocking and activation bypass roundup.

As for initial activation, I think DVD Jon’s product is the best.

If you do a Google search for