128GB iPad is a reality

A couple days back there were rumours of an upcoming iDevice having 128GB storage capabilities from info in a developer release of iOS 6.1. Today Apple confirmed that they will be producing a 128GB iDevice, and while it isn’t an iPhone as many were dreaming, it’s the retina iPad 4. Available for sale from the 5th February at $799 for WiFi and $929 for WiFi/cellular.

Also in recent Apple news was the release of iOS 6.1, most importantly broadening LTE compatability. I know iOS X.X releases aren’t accompanied with an Apple keynote, but with this iPad announcement Apple feels publicly more like Microsoft than Job’s Apple…

The new YouTube app

As you may know, last month Apple stated that their license with Google to include the YouTube app pre-installed on iOS devices has ended. What does this mean for you? Well, if you have an iOS device, you can get the new YouTube app from the app store right now. After installing it, you’ll notice it’s slightly different to the Android app with the main feed – you can opt out of Google’s non-subscription based suggestions. That is, you can stick with just seeing uploads from people you subscribe to in your main stream, rather than also see what they comment on, what they rate, and what they add to playlists. Personally, I welcome  this for two reasons; one being that with YouTube preloading on Android bumps subscribed uploads off the list in preference for newer activity which is just someone commenting on a video, and secondly, the entire activity list resulted in browsing through a lengthy stream of potentially uninteresting material.

The animations also feel a bit slicker than the Android ones in that it bounces a bit rather than just sliding to the side, resulting in the new iOS app feeling more polished and thought-out than the Android one.

iOS 5 updating hell

(UPDATED as of 9:23AM GMT with ‘conclusion’)

yes, it’s that time of year again. I’ll write this from the present perspective.

so, it’s 10:44PM GMT. I, like many others, had been expecting iOS 5 to be released around 6PM GMT. It was released (aprox.) 6:10GMT. I instantly tried to update, first running into a similar issue as I had done late last night with the iTunes 10.5 update, but it quickly sorted itself (unlike iTunes). 200MB into the download, the internet connection died. So, I tried again. Just under an hour ago it had finally finished downloading (it took ages).

The first thing I saw was along the lines of “iTunes failed to backup this iPod, will wipe now”. I thought “fine, I wiped it two or so weeks ago anyway, so I won’t lose anything important”. However, it wanted to ‘restore’ (to be honest Apple, what you class a ‘restoring’ is FAR from the real definition) it. And, just as had happened when I was un-jailbreaking it trying to update to 4.3.5, it failed to ‘restore’ it.

I had actually encountered this “failed to backup” message twice before in the last few days, but thought nothing of it as it worked the next time. Who knows, maybe if it had been a successful backup rather than third time unlucky, there’d be no issue.

So, what am I doing now? Waiting ages for the 32-bit version of the standalone iTunes setup to finish downloading. Why? Well, the tower PC failed to work, so I had to switch to a second rather unused computer. Which a) doesn’t have the latest version of iTunes and b) is unbearable to use. But why the standalone installer? Apple Software Update is only showing quicktime and safari. and despite iTunes saying 10.5 is available, it seems to be a repeat of last night’s non-existent update.

Once that finishes, what will I have to do? I have no idea. I guess I should wiipe the iPod beforehand, as there’s nowhere near enough space on the second computer’s HDD to back it up. Then, I’ll have to wait another 3 1/2 hours for the iOS 5 update to download again. With Apple, the fun never ends…

As a side note, do you know how easy it was to update to Windows Phone 7.5, even when my phone wasn’t yet ‘cleared’ for the update yet? Incredibly simple. No wiping, no restoring, just trick it into thinking my phone can have it right then, download it, wait a bit, done.


So, I waited another three and a half hours for the update to download again. Then, it gets halfway through the restore progress (it really shouldn’t be restoring anyway) and says no more disk space on C: to restore the iPod. Not specifically Apple’s fault (this time), but it would have been nice if it could have told me BEFORE I wasted 3 1/2 hours.

I have never been a ‘fan’ of the shift-click on update or restore to select an ipsw file, solely because it had never worked for me (always said it was invalid, even when downloaded from Apple). So, I faced a few options. Re-partition the hard drive (would take hours as would have to shift 30GB+ to the left) and try again (re-downloading the file a third time in total, so yet more time taken), boot into XP (larger partition size with more free space) (tried this, but internet wouldn’t work in XP) or, shift-click.

I decided to go for shift-click. So, I located the ipsw in the AppData>Roaming etc. folder and copied it to the desktop. Then, I removed all large files from the iPod. eventually, I was ready. I held shift and left clicked on ‘update’, then selected the ipsw. It went smoothly at first, but then came up with an error (I think it was 3002? I definitely saw 3002 last night and I think this was the occasion). I really couldn’t be asked to try again, so I just did shift-click restore (already had a backup of the iPod on the computer that refuses to do iOS updates for some obscure reason). At last. After NINE hours of constant issues, I had finally managed to update to iOS 5. I waited for it to update, and once it came to the ‘Set up new iPod’ screen in iTunes, I unplugged it and plugged it back into the syncing computer, managing to restore the backup onto it. So, thanks a bunch Apple for a ‘fun filled’ evening, night and early morning. Unbelievable.

Two hours to go…

So, just two hours until the WWDC 2011 keynote. It’s pretty obvious even just from the banner outside the Moscone Centre that the key featres will be OS X Lion, iOS 5 and ‘iCloud’. Just going to throw this out there; has Apple said it will be called iCloud? If not, this will probably be another fun game of guessing the new Apple product/service name, such as iTab, iSlate etc. that was just called ‘iPad’ by Apple. iEther anyone? (yes, I know it’s officially iCloud. Rather takes the fun out of it…)

Anyway, pretty much everyone who’s interested in Apple stuff is eagerly awaiting the keynote, whether being their in person to see it, getting the vidcast or reading live updates as the events unfold. Apple may or may not be streaming it live.

My probable iOS update dilemma

Well, it’s nearing the sixth, and Apple will most likely be announcing iOS 5 (maybe it’s been confirmed by them, I forget). As you may have gathered from some of my tweets over the past while, I have a third generation 64GB iPod Touch running iOS 4.0 (yes, 4.0, not 4.0.1 or 4.0.2, just 4.0). I updated to it about two hours after it’s release (a day which I had been eagerly anticipating since Apple announced a specific release date. I even made a rudimentary countdown thing out of post-it notes) as soon as I got back home. Overall, I was pretty happy with it. There were several huge flaws, such as all photos that weren’t in ‘saved photos’ were now awful quality. Oh, and the Music app (including the Videos app) crashed each time I tapped on it, meaning my iPod now no longer performed it’s primary function. I managed to sort out the crashing problem within a few days, but it was a pain nonetheless.
I remember it vividly yet I’m not sure what the event was. On the way back from the coast, I kept checking for Apple news updates. Just remembered what the event was (as this is statically displayed this probably looks odd. If it was live text display, such as speech, it would make sense), it was the September Apple music event where they had just announced the new line of iPods. When I got home, I decided to jailbreak my iPod, with some helpful tips and guidance from the two twitter users @wondroushippo and @zabmanic, two very nice and helpful people, so I would like to thank them here properly for their tips rather than in a limited 140 characters. So, thank you 😀
I had attempted to jailbreak my iPod before, using the USB to PC methods many many times, but it had never worked. There isn’t really any method easier than http://jailbreakme.com. You simply visit the site on your iDevice (you have to be running iOS 4.0 or 4.0.1. Can’t remember if 4.0.2 was the last working one or the one Apple released as a patch) and just slide a lock-screen style slider. Then you wait a few minutes, and it’s done.
Anyway, I always seem to manage to go into deeper detail than is properly necessary. I’ll try to get back to the main point now. So, currently, my iPod is jailbroken. I do benefit from it, whether just using SBSettings (fantastic, especially being able to change the brightness without having to quit an app and go to settings), backgrounder (makes all apps multitask. Sure, it slows the device down if you have too many running, but it’s better than having just about 20% of apps having multitasking and the rest not) and mxtube (hard to locate the videos, but handy nonetheless, YouTube downloader), to name probably my top three most used jailbreaking features. I’ve managed to get by without Game Centre and all the other updates, but will I be able to cope without the new features in iOS 5? As far as I am aware, it isn’t really a good idea to try and update the firmware on a jailbroken iDevice. Also, as I discovered running 4.0, most hackstore (Cydia) stuff works best on older versions of iOS. For example, the version of MobileTerminal on Cydia crashes on startup in 4.0, but their is a newer compatible version available through another source.
If iOS 5 is just a teeny update, then I doubt updating will even cross my mind. However, this is Apple. They work like clockwork (mostly). Chances are, this update is going to provide some pretty groundbreaking stuff (and will probably be compatible with the 3rd generation, considering the past. 4.0 is compatible-ish with 2nd, 3rd and 4th, so 5.0 will probably be compatible-ish with 3rd, 4th and the future 5th. By “compatible-ish, I mean the 2nd generation iDevices couldn’t do multitasking or home screen wallpapers, but they could run the OS).
Would I be able to cope without the jailbreaking advantages? I doubt it. And if I had to, my usage of the device would be a lot more time consuming and less productive. It would also result in me using computers more than it. Is that really what you want happening, Apple?

Google gives Apple the finger – again

Apple was near to ruling the smartphone market. Then Google announce that they plan on launching a phone. Apple – hardware. Google – web search, platforms for others to use/build on. How could this new phone possibly fit Google’s markets? Well it did. People wanted to buy the ‘Google phone’ just as much as one would want to buy a signed Google t-shirt. A lot. As everyone knows, Apple was rather ‘annoyed’ by this, eventually suing HTC for rather petty, but nonetheless existent, patents. Then, a few years down the line, Apple releases the first big tablet. And wouldn’t you beleive it?! Suddenly, as if by magic, hundreds of other companies suddenly decide that there’s a market for tablets. Couldn’t they just give Apple credit when due? No. And what easier OS to put on a tablet? Google’s Android. But it looks like a phone OS, because it is. Guess what Google just announced! A tablet-specific version of Android, called ‘Honeycomb’.

Just as I thought they had changed…

There are rumours sneaking about that Apple will be charging iPad owners to update to iOS 4 in the autumn. Giving iOS4 away for free to iPhone users and iPod Touch users was amazing of Apple, but if this rumour is true, I shall be disappointed in them. I suppose that if they do charge for it, it will be to recoup some of the money lost on free bumpers and people not buying iPhone 4s because of the signal problem.

Apple seems to have rushed the iPhone 4

As I keep reading news stories about Apple’s iPhone 4, I keep reading a recuring theme: “Apple fixes one iPhone bug as another appears”.

Firstly, there is the problem that calls are dropped if you hold the phone with your left hand. Now, this was fixed by Apple by giving everyone a free bumper thing.

Secondly, there is the problem where the signal monitor is wrong and it shows the wrong signal strength, and Apple claim to have fixed that.

Finally, after Apple fixing these problems people have been reported that their 3GS’s are now starting to drop calls, occursing to this recent BBC news report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10659123

Maybe all the problems will be solved at some point, but as far as I can see, Apple should have waited till all the problems are fixed.

Looks like face time will be condemed to stay WiFi only.

Apparently, we use to much data in unlimited plans for mobile phones, so the short of it is, O2 is cutting theirs amongst others. The carriers don’t quite seem to get it, when you say ‘unlimited’, that means UNLIMITED! For the carriers who are so thick they didn’t get that, let’s break the word down. Limited; to have a limit on something. Un; the opposite of the following word that is now part of the word. Therefore, un-limited basically means without limits, so when they offer unlimited data, they should have thought that maybe by offering the user what they want for once, they might actually use the opportunity to use it. So back to the main point, if face time ever goes 3G, it will cost the user a massive amount as a YouTube video costs a lot to watch on your iPhone (it didn’t used to as it was unlimited data usage) think how much a forty minute video call would cost!


UPDATE: FaceTime is only on WiFi, unless you jailbreak your phone.