iTunes and iPhone OS via the cloud
on the whole, it feels retrograde. It creates an impression that the iPad does not stand on its own. It’s a child that still needs a parent. But it’s not a young child. It’s more like a teenager. It’s close. So close that it feels like it ought to be able to stand on its own. Daring Fireball on the iPad’s USB leash
Just recently, it has been discovered that Apple is interested in investing in sync capabilities with the cloud. Breaking away from the USB sync paradigm is something that all iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users would enjoy. The Apple Blog, today
I think Apple has got to be moving towards a proper cloud sync solution. That’s what the Lala acquisition was about. Not just music sync, like Lala, but all iDevice data sync. via the cloud. You can organize what you want synced on either your iDevice or your desktop in iTunes, but the actual syncing is no longer dependent on a usb cable, and its not dependent on iTunes on a desktop either.
This last point is really important, because the iPad currently requires access to another computer, which seems like a flaw in the product. But fixable.
One thing I’ve noticed which also point to the integration of Lala technology in iPhone OS, is a subtle, but important, change in the way iPhone OS 4 betas handle data storage, syncing, and deleting. In previous iPhone OS versions, if you have a song on your iPhone, delete it, it got deleted from the filesystem. To get that song back on your iPhone you had to re-sync it to iTunes which recopied the whole MP3 back to your iPhone.
What I’ve noticed with the OS 4 betas is that when I delete a track from my iPod Touch, it merely gets hidden from the Music app. I’m sure that if I changed enough data on my iPod that the actual blocks of memory in my iPod got written over, then the mp3 would be lost and to get the song back on my iPod, then iTunes would have to re-copy the mp3. Instead, what happens is that if you delete a song, and then later have iTunes add that song back to your iDevice, it checks first to see if that song is actually still on your device’s SSD (just invisible to the Music app), and, if its still there it just un-deletes the track. Much faster. When I upgraded my iPod to OS 4 beta 4 and it deleted the 4,000 tracks that were currently on my iPod, it only took between an hour to two hours to sync all 30 GB of data back to my iPod; in OS 3 it took a whole night.
This change is subtle, but key to moving to cloud sync. Of course, the first time you copy all your data to your iDevice will either require a USB or just take frikkin’ forever, but eventually the fact that OS 4 doesn’t delete your data until it needs the space will make cloud syncing massive data much faster and realistic over wifi. And it works very similiar to the way Lala works.
Some winterboard themes I’ve been working on. They’re both available through modmyi’s repo, which is likely already set up in your cydia:
subtleSwiper themes the “Swipe to Unlock” bar on your lockscreen. Makes it well, subtler. thinner, translucent, etc. Good for showing off a good wallpaper, or if you use something like LockInfo which likes a lot of lockscreen real estate.
Moon Charging themes the charging bar on your lockscreen when your iPod/iPhone is charging. Instead of a bulky green battery, you get the moon, growing through its phases from new (empty charge) to full. It’s small and down to the side so it is also ideal for lockInfo-ists.
3.1.3 and jails
So you like a jailbroken iDevice. Maybe its for the themes, or the multitasking, or the SBSSettings/Toggles panel, or the apps. There’s a lot of reasons.
Now you’ve just noticed your favorite App Store app as upgraded, and now requires 3.1.3. What do you do? Or, your iDevice just crashed and needs to be restored. You restore it to a “pristine” jailbroken 3.1.2 state and try to sync over your app store apps, some of which have upgraded to 3.1.3 requirements (which is starting to be really common as there is a misconception that for Apps to be universal and include an iPad app they need to require 3.1.3). What do you do?
As far as I can tell, there’s no solid way to jailbreak 3.1.3. If I’m wrong, someone please educate me.
I was sure there was no good solution to this dilemma. I love Instapaper. I also love Kirikae. Sometimes I use Evernote. Sometimes I use GVMobile. What to do…
Well, I just found a solution.
It’s in Cydia. a small app called Firmware 3.1.3. And all it does is make 3.1.2 look like 3.1.3 to iTunes. This lets you install 3.1.3 only apps on 3.1.2. It also keeps iTunes from trying to get you to upgrade to 3.1.3.
That’s it. Install it and forget it.
Then you’ve got a jailbroken 3.1.2 that can use 3.1.3 apps.
Where there’s a will. There’s…
Download, Install, Use iphome
I’ve posted a temporary iphome page in case you want to try out iphome before installing(for download and installation see below). This is not a permanent site, and I make no promises that this will stay up longer than a month… we’ll see.
Until then, check out iphome maybe (only renders properly on an iPhone/iPod touch).
Something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while and keep putting off. This post might not cover it all, but to get the ball rolling… Using Dropbox to host your own web pages and how the iPhone needs a home page… In my dropbox public folder is a folder called sites. In that folder is one file of text and one jpg, takes up 57kb. Produces this:
Which is my iPod’s home page, a search engine, shortcuts page, lets me easily search 16 search engines and websites. Includes quickly accessing twitter and gmail. And as my browsing habits change, it is easily modifiable to suit my needs. If all you want is this exact page, skip to the bottom of this post to “Download, Install, Use iphome”. (NOTE: For now I’m just going to write that and stop. But I’ll add more about the technical details, modifying it, using yubnub, which the page is based on, etc, in the future right here).
This requires either Dropbox or having a webserver. If you have webserver I’m assuming all you need is the code itself. If you already have Dropbox, skip to the download link. If this is all new to you, go here, and follow the instructions to download and install Dropbox.
In your Dropbox folder is a Public folder, I recommend creating a folder called “sites” inside of that. However you prefer, move the iphome folder to somewhere inside your Dropbox/Public folder.
After moving it, open up your iphome folder find “index.html” and right click on it, go to the Dropbox submenu in your contextual menu and “Copy Public Link”. If, for some reason, you are having trouble with that, you can always go to “http://www.dropbox.com” and sign in, and navigate to “index.html”, click on it and your browser will take you to the public URL of your new home page.
Everyone who has an iphone or ipod has a way of transfering information from their computer to it. Maybe you use dropbox, or evernote. Maybe you email yourself.
However you do it, copy that public URL (should be something like this: “http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/1234567/sites/iphome/index.html”) to your ipod touch. Open that url in Mobile Safari on your ipod touch and bookmark it. For true “home page” type behavior, add it to your homescreen.
Now you have it installed.
If you just want to dive right in, there’s only a few things you need to know:
1. YubNub uses prefixes to tell it where on the internet to search. iphome’s default is “g” for Google. So when using iphone you’ll see these prefixes. Leave them alone, and type your search after them. “g poodles” will send you here and “wkm poodles” will send you here, “wkm” being the prefix for wikipedia’s iphone optimized search.
2. The bottom three buttons are bookmarks, not searches. Tapping “twitter” will take you to twitter.com.
3. Notice the checkbox on the left, below the search field. If it is checked, anything you do will open in a new page. If unchecked it will open in the current page.
4. Notice the drop down menu at the top, with Google preselected. Everthing here is a potential search. Tap it, scroll down and pick a search. Select the search and tap the “pick” button. Notice that after doing this the prefix in the search field changes appropriately and your keyboard pops up. Type in your search and go.
5. The first 2 rows of buttons beneath the blue line are for searches. They’re just buttons for easy access.
6. You are not limited to the searches in the drop down menu or the quick search buttons. YubNub has an enourmous, extensive, amazing diversity of existing uses. It is a command line for the web. You can even make your own. And any Yubnub command can be used from iphome. Just tap the “clear” button and it will erase any prefix and take you to the search field.
7. You can also just type a url into the search field, if the location bar seems too far to reach…