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All the signs are pointing towards the jailbreak for the 2nd generation iPod Touch being released very soon. The iPhone Dev Team – responsible for the Pwnage jailbreak – has uploaded a photo to their new website redsn0w.com. It now shows a chipset that one of the commenters on their blog has identified as being from the 2nd gen iPod Touch. This is excellent news. It brings the latest Touch up to par with all other devices running iPhone OS, and it shows that Apple’s chain of trust on the device can be broken.
You may remember that the jailbreak for the original iPhone could be done via the website jailbreakme.com, which took advantage of a flaw in Safari. Recently I was reading a Slashdot discussion on the iPhone 3G unlock. Coupled with the Dev Team’s talk at CCC, this brought home to me how far Apple has moved on in securing the 2nd gen iPod Touch, compared to the original iPod Touch and iPhone. I also wondered how far Apple will go. Could the iPhone 3G and the 2nd gen iPod Touch be the last ones that can be jailbroken?
I’ve been fascinated by the use of handhelds to facilitate both learning and using languages for years. It all started with the first Psion and Palm PDAs, with appropriate English-to-XXX dictionaries, but with the advent of multimedia around the Year 1997, audio samples became possible for the first time. Space was a problem in those early days, of course. And the underlying platforms have evolved significantly. But the idea is still valid and CoolGorilla’s latest implementation on the iPhone is extremely slick. Here’s a brief video walkthrough of how it works:
In another facet of my existence, I practice a Japanese martial art called Aikido. The central themes of Aikido are harmony and calmness. So when Tyler Streeter asked me to review his app iBonsai, which grows a virtual bonsai tree on your iPhone, I didn’t rush to write it up, but took my time and serenely composed my thoughts…
I’m a fan of Coverflow – I really like navigating my stuff by flicking through pictures. Admittedly, it’s not ideal for every situation, and it some it slows things down. In May, I wrote in “Embracing Coverflow” about the suitability of Coverflow-style browsing for Contacts – pictures are how you recognise people, so in this case I think it’s a natural fit.
Now, Plausible Labs has released Peeps, which embodies many of the ideas I wrote about. After a bit of initial confusion with Apple (over the perceived use of the private Coverflow API), the app was finally published to the App Store in late December. Peeps is able to talk to your built-in Contacts list, so there’s no maintaining another list of people. It pulls in all the photos on first launch, and keeps them updated.
I’ve been meaning to write about the options for picture messaging on the iPhone for a while, but that’s pointless now . A proper native MMS application was released on January 5th, and – unsurprisingly – it’s already the third most downloaded free app on the UK App Store.
I wrote in August that MMS sending was coming to your O2 iPhone. Ross McKillop wrote a web app (iPhoneMMS.net) that interfaced with O2; originally this just allowed viewing of messages, but was later expanded to include sending. He has now teamed up with Ed Lea, who wrote the highly-regarded TV Plus, to create a native version of the web app. And it’s superb.
Here’s something I found a bit curious. Cydia is the unofficial twin of the App Store, where users with jailbroken phones can go to get software. Since the App Store debuted, several applications have made the transition away from it – unofficial apps have become official and available for download on the App Store. It’s also the case that some apps, e.g. PDANet and Podcaster, have appeared on Cydia following rejection from the App Store by Apple. But I haven’t seen this before.
If the iPhone came of age in 2008, then’s what’s in store for 2009?
In line with releases so far, the successor to the iPhone 3G is likely to be available in the middle of the year. I see more storage on the horizon, with probably a better camera (maybe with a flash), possibly 802.11n wireless. But I’m not going to try and predict any more beyond that. People can judge for themselves whether the hardware specifications of the new iPhone match their personal expectations and requirements, as compared to other devices available on the market.
The real change for the iPhone is that touchscreen phones will go large in 2009. Apple’s flagship device is increasingly going to be one of many shiny touchscreen devices on offer to the mobile customer.
Macworld has just finished and to be honest, the keynote was a bit underwhelming. The BBC has declared that Apple fizzled out, iPhone Central believes iPhone news was a no-show for Expo keynote, and our own Steve Litchfield thinks that the iPhone is in stasis.
While there may have been no new hardware announcements (where art thou, iPhone Nano?), the iPhone isn’t really about the hardware. Its main pull is the software, and the ecosystem in which it operates.
So Apple’s last ever keynote at MacWorld has come and gone. And, contrary to the tease mentions by some case sites, there was no iPhone Nano announced. Nor indeed any significant iPhone announcements, rather strangely.
As I can illustrate from a chart I drew up for an AAS feature (reproduced below the break), the Apple iPhone is supremely functional in many areas but is let down in others (all well known). In the areas of photo/video and navigation, Apple could have knocked the ball out of the park and really, really rattled the cages of the likes of Nokia.
The first Carnival of the new year takes us to the realm of Helen the technokitten, and it’s a bumper edition. There’s a contribution from AAi, reviews of the past year (lots of iPhone mentions), and predictions for 2009.
The posts of the week are two of those predictions, from Chetan Sharma and Rudy De Waele. Both are well worth digesting. I’ll have my own “what’s coming in 2009” post up later this week – it’s been in draft for a couple of weeks, but what with all the Xmas cheer…
Head on over to Carnival at the link below to read all the posts: