iPhone France 1000 Euros?

Well, I am proud of France today. My abusive foster country is all right by me. Why? Is it the fact that the transit workers are striking so they can continue to retire 3 years earlier than the general population making my commute a one hour walk? Maybe its the kind, helpful manner in which all levels of government administration treat foreign workers?

Nope, not this time. This time it is those crazy laws against mobile phone makers colluding with the telecoms. You see, in France you gotta sell the handset unlocked without ties to a phone carrier. This is going to open a lot of holes in Apple’s game plan. Will it be better for the customer? (Yes)

Obviously this doesn’t bode well for the iPhone and its lock to Orange. Apple is being forced to sell its first unlocked iPhones in France on November 29th. The catch is the price. It will likely cost more than double to buy the phone without a plan.

iPod and iPhone 1.1.1 Update Adds Screen Flipper "Spaces"

As one of the people who have just updated my hacked iPhone to 1.1.1 (with most of the hacked apps working properly now – we think it is a safe time), I noticed that Apple inexplicably threw us with hacked iPhones/iPods a bone. We no longer need any of the 3rd party launcher applications to get to all of our apps if we’ve exceeded the 20 that fit on the front page. Apple has built in this functionality.

You won’t notice this functionality unless you hack the iPhone and add additional applications. When the number of applications overfills the screen, you are presented with dots above the dock items. If you swipe your finger horizontally like you do when browsing pictures, you will get a new page of desktop items. Very nice Apple.

It is a system wide interface. If you go to the weather application and add more than one city, you will see these dots and be able to switch between the screen in the same way.

The ironic part is, obviously, that you don’t need this functionality unless you hack your device! For those of you who haven’t hacked your iPhone/iPod (what are you waiting for?!) you can feel assured that Apple is going to shortly offer enough applications to fill your screen and take you onto another one.

We’d say you have about 2 weeks to wait ;)

What's on your iPod?

WorkpodSo it looks like just about everybody is able to hack their iPods now. The hackery started last week with some rogue .tif exploit jailbreaks and has progressed from online guides to a full gui crack. Even non-Erica Sadun TUAWers (man we missed stuff like "Wanna set your iPod touch free and install tons of wacky apps on it but don’t want to muck around with the Terminal" from TUAW) are getting in on the act. The application is called iJailbreak and it does all the mukking for you. If you are a Windows user, head over to TouchFree.

So, now that the hack is most definitely mainstream, we want to know what people are putting on their newly cracked iPod touches.

In fact, remember way back when Apple had the "What’s on your Powerbook?" campaign? (refresher) Well now that everybody who is anybody is hacking their iPod Touch, we thought it’d be fun to bring it back.

Flash to the guy with a tie...remember him? He was doing CRAZY stuff with Filemaker. Now fast forward fifteen(!) years. We’ve put together a business focussed iPod and are donning it the “WorkPod” because it only has “Suit and Tie” Applications. We’ve even been good worker bees and deleted YouTube. See the picture?

Here is Suit Guy’s "What’s on Your iPod":

  1. MobileNotes.app
  2. VNSea.app VNC Virtual Desktop Client
  3. Weather.app
  4. Maps.app
  5. Books.app Ebook Reader
  6. weDict – multiple dictionaries lookup
  7. MobileMail.app for reading and writing offline email
  8. RSS.app for reading offline Feeds
  9. Apollo.app IM – for corporate instant messaging
  10. Navizon.app -Soft GPS

Not to mention the included Apps:

  1. Safari.app -Full Webbrowser
  2. Calander.app – (writable hacked)
  3. Contacts.app
  4. Calculator.app
  5. Clock.app – Alarm clock!
  6. Photos.app for presenting images
  7. Music.app for playing audiobooks

Not too shabby – if you have an iPhone you could certainly add more like the Voicenote.app. With a list like that, maybe we can get finance to buy one of these for the office?

What’s on your iPod?

Will Apple Soon be Forced to Unbrick All iPhones?

As the current iPhone 1.1.1 locking proves, there is a VERY dangerous flaw in the current iPhone and iPod touch software. A malformed TIF file can be used to get root access to the device. Obviously that is good if you want to install some useful applications on your iPhone/iPod, however that is extremely bad if you are worried about someone taking over your iPhone. Ironically, this might be a good thing for those who accidentally let Apple Brick their iPhones – try to stay with us here…

Theoretically, the malformed TIF file could be used for more nefarious tasks than updating than installing useful apps or updating the modems firmware…stuff like making a 900-number dialer($$ cha – ching $$), a bot installer (iPhone Spam-bot?), a baseband modem crippler or just good old-fashioned bricking the iPhone….

Hypothetically, one of these malformed tif files could even have the same effect as the “bricker” 1.1.1 update. However, this time Apple’s Safari security will be to blame, not the users who are trying to assert their legal right to move the phone to other carriers. The only recourse Apple will legally have is to unBrick all of the iPhones that their update has caused and reset the baseband modem to factor settings.

One has to wonder if the malformed tif file vulnerability would have been discovered and applied to the iPhone had Apple not closed the Intaller.app development community out of the iPhone originally. Perhaps it is better to have these incredibly intelligent people on your side?

iPhone 1.1.1 Gets Published Hack…More Fun Stuff Coming (iPod Touch Soon)

It looks official. From the first intrusion into the 1.1.1 Firmware, we knew this was coming.

Less than a week later, here it is. There are, of course caveats: The hack provides jailbreak, activation, and third party applications but only applies to the iPhone (no iPod Touchy for you!) and is not meant for iPhones with modified basebands. So for those of us with hacked 1.0.2 we have to wait – probably a few more days.

Of course, iPhoneSIMFree is now working as well. It looks like all is happy in iPhone hacking land…for the moment.

In other news, Apple readies version 1.1.3. How many people do you think will update straight away this time after the iBrickieness of the last “update”. Apple will need to add some pretty hefty features to make this a worthwhile update. We are thinking iChat, etc. And make it as good as Apollo.

iPhone WebApps Appearing on Apple's Downloads Feed?


Bookmark it now – it doesn’t work yet but it will very soon. Apple will be unleashing this new webpage devoted to Webapps. Apple’s web team is gearing up to put the iPhone applications built with the Web 2.0 “SDK” on their new software page that will function in much the same way as the current software downloads page. In fact, it is likely that the two pages will be integrated.

Thanks to a commenter, we found a few webapps in Apple’s “recent downloads RSS feed”. However, when you click on the link the feed provides to you, you end up at a unused page at Apple…at least unused for the moment – http://www.apple.com/webapps/

This isn’t huge news as we’ve known about Web Applications since the iPhone was announced. However, it is a big deal to have a one stop shop for all of the iPhone/iPod touch applications. We expect it to be like a web 2.0 version of Installer.app on the iPhone. There also may be a full Safari version for use on Laptop/Desktops running full browsers. The functionality would work in the same way that the Quicktime movie trailers pages browser sniff and push a page based on the platform.

As content is currently being pushed into it, look for this page to pop up in the next few days…

To see what we are yapping about, click here. Search within the fields for “iPhone”. You should get a few hits but all of the links are broken. Thanks again to our eagle-eyed readers for the tip!

Seeqpod Hooks Up iPod Touch and iPhone Owners with Monster Music Library

Billed as he “World’s Largest Index of Playable Internet Music”, seeqpod has just unveiled an extremely user friendly interface for iPodTouch/iPhone users. The application will make Apple happy that it is using its “Web 2.0 SDK” but upset that it is using it for (what could be easily considered) piracy. Another negative for Cupertino is that it will also be competition for the iTunes Music Store in that when used from a desktop, users can download mp3s directly to your computer. The iTunes mobile store could also lose some impulse buyers..

The application goes out and searches the Internet for mp3s and then indexes them using the metadata in the files. A quick check of our favorite artists netted a wealth of good content. Video searches are also in the wings for seeqpod.

Some screenshots and additional info after the jump.

Obviously, there are some significant legal issues at play here. Seeqpod doesn’t host any of these files so they are probably in the clear for now. However, content companies that wish to find locations of their content pirated on the net can also use seeqpod’s interface to find people illegally sharing their wares. Only time will tell how long this service will last. Sometimes popularity can be a double-edged sword.

More on Seeqpod:

About Us

Now, more than ever, it is important to be able to find, discover, and manage the wealth of information available on the Internet.

SeeqPod is a totally different breed of search and discovery technology provider, because we believe that one day, everything will be ‘playable’. Hence we have embraced the term ‘Playable Search’.

The team at SeeqPod is passionate about technology as well as music. So first we decided to apply some pretty sophisticated technology to music and video search so that anyone, anywhere can mine the deepest crevices and corners of the Web for media that is publicly available, yet not always easy to find.

Currently in Beta, SeeqPod’s first consumer site empowers users by allowing them to search and discover music and video all over the Web. Our intelligent software robots work with targeted crawling systems to auto-submit content to the site. This, combined with user submissions, results in a large and rich search and discovery index. This process can be viewed in real-time via the PodCrawler.

Born out of UC’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), ‘Playable Search’ is made possible through biometric search & discovery technology, a method that mimics the way the human mind might use context to make and recall associations, an approach which relies on context by finding the hidden relationships in digital content and data.

SeeqPod has provided public access to its technologies through SeeqPod Media Search, Recommendation and Discovery Services (SMSRDS), a REST-based API. SMSRDS enables third-party developers to easily integrate SeeqPod technologies into social networks, ad networks, and other consumer applications, and improve their user’s experience in new and novel ways.

More Legit 3rd Party iPhone Applications on the Way?

While Apple’s official line is that the only 3rd party iPhone development will be on the EDGE-crippled Web 2.0 "SDK", behind the scenes, there is much more going on. Apple has been furiously working with their partners on games and applications for the iPhone/iPod and the standardized Human-Interface Controls that will go along with them. For instance, EA is currently porting their iPod lineup to the OSX iPod/iPhone platform to be sold along side the classic iPod OS versions. Other big developers with strict confidentiality agreements are also on board.

Apple is specifically looking to replicate the model of TMobile’s successful SideKick application development and distribution platform (although obviously not in the Sidekick’s Java). Apple has even brought in some of Danger’s (SidekickOS creators) application development team to help with the architecture. A public SDK announcement will likely be made in the coming months which could possibly be included with Xcode. More likely, the SDK will be given only to high level developers with established close ties to Apple.

In the Tmobile model, developers (who can prove they are developers by submitting a working application) get a key that opens their Sidekicks for further testing. Once they feel they have a stable working application, they submit it to the Danger/Tmobile team for compatibility testing. If Tmobile/Danger feel the application is stable, won’t interfere with other applications and would be of interest to their customers, they make it available for download and install through an integrated payment system. The cost of application is added to the customer’s monthly bill. The Danger team actively works with the developers to insure compatibility and stability in applications through SidekickOS updates.

Whether Apple would make the applications available on Mobile iTunes via an over the air upgrade compared to their current model of installing from a host computer’s iTunes is uncertain. The direction they are heading is certainly towards making the iPhone a solitary device so one would expect mobile iTunes to bear some of this load. Also, the applications would be billed through the user’s iTunes account rather than the phone bill in the Tmobile model.

The rationale for Apple’s recent complete and total lockdown of the iPhone is that these games would be easy to port to the unlocked versions of the iPhone. Developers could easily sell the applications on their own without Apple taking its cut (which is guesstimated to be about 2/3rds of the take). These pirated applications could also be distributed via torrent sites like music and movies are currently.

Apple, learning about the devastating effects of pirating from its first hand experience in the music and film industry and their own OS/applications, does not want this to happen. Therefore, one shouldn’t expect Apple to release a way for non-developers to freely install applications on their iPods and iPhones.


These moves will likely further sever the iPhone OS fork and subsequently make the unlocked iPhones more valuable than ever as a hacker device.