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Jailbreaking Our iPhones Is Now Legal: Part II.

August 6th, 2010 by admin

We recently posted the good? news that it is now legal to jailbreak our iPhones (under certain conditions). We also looked briefly at some of the pros and cons of jailbreaking our iPhones,  and some excellent posts have since appeared elsewhere on this issue.

One of the reasons that jailbreaking has been made legal is so that iPhone owners can access a wider range of service providers. The recent release of user satisfaction survey results by ChangeWaveResearch, for the Phone4 are particularly (though unintentionally) revealing on this matter. The survey results reveal that iPhone 4 owners are pretty happy with their iPhone 4. BUT that they are less than happy about the performance of their AT&T service provider. Consider the following graph, for example:

Dissatisfaction with AT&T are the top two reasons people gave for being unhappy with their iPhone 4 and make up 3 of the top four complaints. This issue is highlighted even more by the following graph, where it is clear that dropped calls are far more prevalent with AT&T than at other service providers and that the situation has been deteriorating for some time.

However, unless the iPhone is jailboken, iPhone owners are stuck with AT &T.

This must be raising some big questions at Apple. Because the last thing Apple wants is for users to jailbreak their iPhones. Their exclusive deal with AT&T has come back to bite them.  Because, clearly, the single biggest reason people have for considering getting their iPhones jailbroken is to get away from AT&T.

iPhone and iPad Apps Could be Cheaper and Better?

May 4th, 2010 by admin

U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Link to DOJ Home Page
 

Apple’s exclusive control over its platform has been touted as an anti-competitive strategy that has just been waiting to be challenged.

Most iPhone, iPod - and now iPad users could not care less, we suspect, about the fairness or otherwise of Apple’s actions. What we care about is the number, type and price of the apps. And, if you are like us, the most pressing change we would like to see is to the search-ability of iTunes!! And of course, about the quality of the iPhone or iPad itself!

iPhone app download storeAfter all, how would we even KNOW if the apps could be better or cheaper with more open competition, when we can’t even FIND most of them. There are now over 100,000 apps available for us iPhone users to download. And it seems as if just about anyone can get an app listed in iTunes on just about any subject (urinals for examples!). But finding out about the apps that we need is a lot more arduous than it needs to be. How can a company that has so much talent at both invention and innovation do this one thing so badly?

All the same its clear that some are unhappy about the Apple monopoly over its platform. The current war raging between Adobe and Apple is a case in point. But perhaps more significant are the people who get their iPhones, iPods and iPads unlocked and the talented developers who offer their considerable talent and valuable time for free so that people can do this. We refer, of course, to the iPhone dev team

And in case you think this is a minor group - consider that, according to Google, over 4 million people A MONTH search Google using keywords like iphone unlock, iPhone unlocked, 3g iphone unlock, 3g unlock - and so on. So a lot of interest! What’s more, according to Alexa, the Iphwn site (maintained by the iPhone Dev Team) is ranked at 14,335  - again this means that just this one site gets a huge following (over 750K visitors a month) with nearly a third of its visitors being American.

That’s a LOT of interest in unlocking or jailbreaking the iPhone, iPad or iPod. So the recent reports that the Federal Anti Trust body is looking at the Apple “monopoly” and may be about to challenge the way they control their iPhone and iPad development platforms is a sign that some of the concern out there is starting to get noticed!

Of course, there are a lot of passionate Apple supporters who don’t really care how Apple gets the results it does. After all, its only the results that count! Isn’t it?

Iphone Jailbreak Virus A Boon For Apple?

November 25th, 2009 by admin

Unwittingly, the young geek that developed a bug that targets unlocked iPhones, may have just been doing Apple a big favor! After all, Apple have been trying everything in their considerable arsenal to stop people from jailbreaking their iPhones - including trying to make it illegal to jailbreak an iPhone.

Unfortunately for iPhone owners that have unlocked their iPhones,  the computer geek from Down Under released the code for his bug into cyber space. And now - mere weeks later -  another virus  has been developed, also attacking  iPhones that have been jailbroken.

The virus was identified by software security firm Sophos, which has named it “Duh” after a title identified in the software’s own source code. The company has warned jailbroken iPhone users to secure their devices. While the virus has apparently not yet been activated, infected phones are at risk of being used by hackers in order to gain private information, such as bank details, and use the phone’s broadband - possibly sending some user’s charges sky high.

It is not entirely clear how many  iPhones have been jailbroken.   Pinch Media stats (see below) suggest somewhere between 15 and 22% of iPhones have been jailbroken.

picture-7

Now Pinch Media provide a lot of statistics for App developers - so that they (the developers) can keep tabs on downloads of their Apps from iTunes.  As a result, they  have been able to show that many Apps are being pirated (see our next post for more on this). But they are also able to show how many iPhones that are downloading Apps, have been unlocked.

Clearly, the number of iPhones that have been jailbroken are a significant thorn is the side of Apple - as they represent potentially lost customers from their iTunes store.

So, as we said at the start, these new bugs may be a problem for people with jailbroken iphones, but they may well be throwing parties over at Apple!

iPhone Jailbreak Security Tip

November 9th, 2009 by admin

Attention all those with a jail broken iPhone! If you have also installed SSH, without changing the default password, then you might be in for trouble.

The iPhone Just Got Rick Rolled.

Because a smart alec Aussie computer geek has gone and created the first iPhone worm (and called it ikee) - and he has been able to do this by targeting of a weakness in the SSH iPhone software - us, the users! Why? Because apparently, not changing the password is:

is the digital equivalent to installing a new door on your house and hanging the key to the lock from the door handle.

And the problem is that SSH is appealing because it allows users to remotely connect to their phone via the internet. So its likely that a large percentage of Australian jail broken iPhones are vulnerable to the worm.

You will know you have the worm if you discover that your iPhone’s  wallpaper has been changed to a picture of British 80’s icon Rick Astley with the accompanying message: “ikee is never going to give you up.”

According to Towns, the worm was created as a practical joke rather than malice. But, as Towns has released the full source code for four different variants, there is the possibility that the worm will spread from Australia! So if you have a jail broken iPhone and have also installed SSH, then you need to change your password, pronto. F-Secure has posted instructions on how to change the root password.

iPhone Hack: Unlock Or Update?

September 19th, 2009 by admin

The iPhonegizmo team have researched and posted about the reasons many people have for unlocking their iPhones (here, for example).  And about how Apple has worked hard to try and stop unlocking! And we introduced you to the iPhone Dev Team, (a group of hackers who develop software for iPhone users so that they can use applications unauthorized by Apple on their iPhones). They provide a free open source iPhone hack (unlock software).

Well, the iPhone Dev Team have been issuing guidelines (aka - warnings) for iPhone owners that want to keep their iPhones unlocked, to NOT install Apple’s firmware updates:

if you want to keep the jailbreak or unlock on your 3GS, you should resist all urges to install Apple’s official firmware updates without knowing if a jailbreak exists for that version yet.

The image “http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/pwnagetool-pwned.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In fact, the Dev Team warn that updating to the latest OS version (iPhone OS 3.1) will destroy the redsn0w unlock.

But, it seems that the new PwnageTool 3.1 just  released “THIS DOES NOT SUPPORT THE 3GS OR 2G/3G IPOD TOUCH” Apparently the latest Apple firmware is tougher to unlock - so the fix is promised for “some time in the near future”.

This leaves iPhone owners with a real dilemma -  is independence from iTunes worth the risk of not updating to the latest firware? We will leave you with the warning listed at softpedia:

Using hacks may render your device unusable, or may reduce the quality of your experience using the respective device. If you choose to download and install jailbreak tools, you will do so at your own risk. Unlocking / jailbreaking your iPhone / iPod touch may violate your warranty or the EULA with Apple and / or your cellular service provider.

OUCH!

Is It Illegal To Jailbreak our iPhones?

February 18th, 2009 by admin

iPhone 2.0 Jailbreak and Unlock Piratespacer3.jpgNot yet, but…..

The iPhone is a thing of beauty - no two ways about it. But its expensive to buy and expensive to run. So not surprisingly people are keen to try and find cheaper ways to use it.

Now Apple is run by smart smart people who know how to design brilliant systems as well as brilliant technology. And the process by which Apple have organized thousands of developers to submit their apps only to Apple and sell only through iTunes, can only been described as sheer genius.

Given the resulting huge supply of free Apps that flow daily into iTunes. you would think that the motive to jailbreak an iPhone had been pretty much destroyed. Not so, it would seem! And the proof for this is the steps taken this week by Apple to have “jailbreaking” an iPhone declared illegal.

And if what they say in their submission to Copyright Office is the whole truth of the matter, then we would have to agree. If all jail breaking software requires the use of Apple’s own copyright software - then that is unambiguously theft of their software. According to APple:

Current jailbreak techniques now in widespread use [utilizes] unauthorized modification to the copyrighted bootloader and OS, resulting in infringement of the copyright in those programs

The image “http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/pwnagetool-pwned.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.But is this the whole truth? What of the widely used PwnageTool - the iPhone jailbreak software that is open source and free to use?

These are questions that will no doubt be answered in the coming weeks - we will keep you posted. In the meantime we are predicting a surge in jailbreaking before the Copyright Office gives its ruling.

Why? Because so many people want to have a wider choice of service provider (only AT&T in the US and only Rogers in Canada) than Apple currently allows. (BTW: isn’t “tied selling” - making the sale of one product conditional on the purchase of another product - illegal in the US?)

Unlock iPhone - Why do it?

November 21st, 2008 by admin

fun-smart-carspacer1.jpgWhy would anyone want to unlock their iPhone?

Well, before we even consider that question there is a more crucial one for most of us!

And the crucial question is: can the iPhone be unlocked safely?

To answer this, we can look to those that devote their time to the matter over at iPhone Dev Team the people who have developed QuickPwn the tool they describe as the:

“tool we’ve been working on to jailbreak a phone more quickly and easily”

The tool is free and works for iPhones prior to the iPhone 3G. But don’t despair because they believe they are about to crack the iPhone 3G. In the meantime, they warn iPhone 3G owners:

Installing ‘2.2’ straight away on the iPhone 3G using the iTunes auto-updater could affect your chances of any software unlock in the near future (should one be found and released), so when you see an update in iTunes await our instructions first. (more details here)

And don’t worry, the iPhonegizmo team recognize that most iPhone users are not geeks. So we tracked down a tech savvy blogger at geek.com, who has explained in simple terms just how to use this software.

And has some easy to follow images to make the instructions just that much easier to follow.

Now, even these instruction may put some people off. If so, there are some commercial applications that will do all this for you. Our team is currently reviewing them and will post our recommendations in the near future.

There can be little doubt that Apple want to own and/or control everything related to the iPhone market. If you use their browser, shop for all your media through their app store, then there is little room for competition. And the recent news that Google are teaming up with Apple to sell advertising just to apple users will only add to their market control.

pimp my rideConsider how many iPhone developers now operate through the iPhone apps store - even when their app is free!

Consider how Apple is continuously working to develop their software so that users cannot unlock their iPhones.

(This, by the way, would be similar to Ford locking car engines and making sure that all suppliers of ANY accessories, engine parts, tires - you name it - sold their products through Ford!)

Unlocking an iPhone - as long as it is done with reputable products - gives its owner the same sort of freedom that comes with owning any other product. That means that we can have access to music, videos, TV shows, etc., that are free, or much cheaper than we can get from iTunes and that we can select from a much wider range than that decided by the Apple marketing machine.

More importantly, it means that there is healthy competition for our $. Competition ensures we get a better range of accessories, apps, software.. etc. and at a better prices!

(Top image is of the smart forfun2 - a design fantasma developed outside the factories of the two cars that have been used to make it - the Smart car and the Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 series)

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