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iPlayer can’t be streamed via AirPlay – or can it?
In September I was all excited about streaming BBC iPlayer content from an iPhone or iPad to the new Apple TV, based on the fact that AirPlay allows:
Any H.264 content from the web can be broadcast over Airplay to your HDTV.
Except that now iOS 4.2 has been released, it doesn’t work that way. Only audio can be streamed from non-Apple apps, which is frankly rubbish.
But there may be a solution.
Once again, jailbreaking to the rescue!
This is only a small thing, but it reinforces for me why jailbreaking an iOS device allows you so much more flexibility in using your gadget.
iOS 4.2 for iPad has been out for 3 days. One small gripe is that Apple – in their wisdom and wish for unity across their range of devices – has decided to change the orientation lock on the iPad into a mute switch. I know this makes it operate in the same way as the iPhone, but I don’t use my iPad in the same way as my iPhone. The orientation lock makes sense – and if you want to mute an iPad quickly, you can just hold the volume decrease button, and volume will drop to zero immediately.
But 3 days later, we have a solution. There’s a jailbreak for iOS 4.2.1, and Nicolas Haunold has today released a simple tweak through Cydia called NoMute, which changes the function of the mute switch under iOS 4.2 back to being an orientation switch.
A small, simple thing that demonstrates why people need to be legally allowed to hack their gadgets – to make them work in the way that they want.
Undeleting iPhone photos, or anything else
I’m starting to post more stuff that I come across that I think will be interesting to All About iPhone’s readers, such as this. If you happen to delete photos – or any other data – on your iPhone that you want to recover, then you can try this method:
It works because data on the iPhone’s disk (as with any other computer) is still present until it gets overwritten. When you “delete” a photo, only the reference to that photo file is actually removed. You can then use a photo recovery tool, as with any other disk. Personally, I’ve always found PhotoRescue to be superb at recovering photos.
This method does require an iPhone that has been jailbroken prior to you deleting the data you want to recover. But because you get a disk image of your entire phone, you could recover any data from it, as long as it hasn’t already been overwritten, and you know where to look.
Let’s face it, iOS devices have pretty crappy built-in data tracking. Settings –> General –> Usage gives you this mightily useful piece of information.
Enter DataMan. It uses location services to determine where and when you use wifi and mobile data; you don’t have to keep it running in the background, by the way.
The app gives you local notifications when you hit daily, weekly and monthly limits, based on percentage of allowance thresholds you set. A really good idea if you’re not on an unlimited data plan.
In keeping with my policy of not writing about things when they’ve been perfectly well covered elsewhere, take a look at Craig Thornton’s review of DataMan if you’d like to know more.
There are two additional things I’d like to see, or rather remove:
- Daily and Weekly notifications
- Two of the four percentage usage notifications
I don’t need to be notified that much about my data. Saying that, you can work around those by setting daily and weekly allowances to the same as the monthly allowance, and percentage usage alerts to above 100%. But the developer has also told me that options to turn some things off is en route. Actually, I’ve just noticed that DataMan Lite only has the monthly usage, so if that’s all you need, give that a go.
I’ve also come across an app called Download Meter that does the same sort of thing – I haven’t tried it, but here’s the iTunes link.
Confused about unlocking your iPhone?
This one is for jailbreakers only:
If you’re trying to unofficially unlock your iPhone, there are lots of guides around. I’d recommend the unlocking tutorials at iClarified, in particular. But it can be confusing.
I like sites that cut through the cruft, and I’ve just found out about Can I Unlock My iPhone?
It’s up-to-date with current jailbreak and unlock developments, and gives you a simple answer, based on your iOS device and firmware.
If you’re looking for an official unlock from your UK mobile phone network, then I’ve previously written about that (but it needs to updated for iPhone 4).
Finding My iPhone for free
When I commented on the possibility that some MobileMe services could go free, I didn’t think it would be Find My iPhone.
But you can now find, message and remote wipe any device running iOS 4.2 or above – for free. You can only set this free service up with an iPhone 4, iPad or 4th gen iPod touch, but after this you can enable it for older iOS devices as well, as Lifehacker points out.
It’s a “nice to have for free” feature, although I’m not sure it will draw in more paid users to MobileMe, if that is Apple’s intention.
But how long will Apple keep the remaining MobileMe services as paid, when other smartphone users get email and sync services thrown in gratis?
Yes, I know you can use Google for free email and sync, but I’m thinking Apple can add to the ease of use: buy device, create iTunes account, have email, sync and app/music/tv purchasing all set up. That it what Apple are good at, isn’t it?
Are some MobileMe services to go free?
MacRumors is reporting that some MobileMe services may be made free, based on text found in the iOS 4.2.1 beta firmware.
The evidence comes in the form of a new private framework known as AppleAccounts.framework that includes a series of device-specific error messages referring to free MobileMe accounts.
This would be a great move by Apple. Offering some or all of these for free will be a welcome service for iOS and Mac owners, and tie those users further in to the Apple ecosystem.
I currently use Google for email, and syncing calendar and address book data. While Gmail is flawless, I often encounter errors syncing calendars from iCal, and Address Book fields do not always map correctly to Google Contacts.
So I wonder what Apple will offer for free? Even if it’s just syncing Contact and Calendars, I’ll be happy. The other services you get with MobileMe are syncing Safari bookmarks and Notes, Photo Galleries, Find My iPhone and iDisk. And don’t forget email.
A final thought: what if *all* those services go free, and the paid MobileMe allows you to wirelessly sync music and video?
Need a BBC Radio iPhone app? Get TuneIn Radio.
You can currently stream BBC Radio shows on your iPhone for free using FStream and BBC Streams. But I’ve been hanging on for BBC Streams’ promised free iPhone app, for a cleaner app experience tailored to BBC Radio. I even donated some money to make it happen, but it’s turned out to be absolute vapourware. I don’t think the app will ever materialise.
So I started looking around for alternatives, and came up with TuneIn Radio. And you know what? You get what you pay for. This is a superb app.
There are plenty of reviews around for this app, but I’m going to concentrate on using it with BBC content.
The cheapest iPad mobile data options, including Mifi tariffs
Last updated: Nov. 4th, 2010
If you’re planning on getting an iPad 3G, then the networks have revealed their pricing on Apple’s UK website. I’ve collated these with all the options and notes and added Three and Vodafone’s MiFi mobile broadband into the mix. I’ve also worked out the Total Costs of Ownership for all that tasty mobile data, which I’ve put into one searchable, sortable table.
My new iPad case – the Viva Vercaso
I was sent a couple of Viva Vercaso iPad cases recently. It is a leather folio-style case.
And it’s pretty nice; so nice that I’ve switched from using the Proporta recycled leather case.