January 27, 2012

Dev Team Releases Advanced Tool For Tinkering With iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Jailbreaks

Dev Team Releases Advanced Tool For Tinkering With iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Jailbreaks

The iPhone Dev Team has released a tool for jailbreaking A5-based iOS devices. Dubbed “CLI” (Command Line Interface), this Mac-only tool is not for the faint of heart. It’s a unix tool for jailbreaking and troubleshooting. Tinkerers can play with advanced settings to create custom firmware installs. If you think you have what it takes, CLI is available now.

Infamous hacker MuscleNerd notes, “It’s primarily to help us debug specific issues, but tinkerers might like to play around with some of its advanced options!”

You can download the free folder from this direct link and get tinkering. The Dev Team has included a bunch of commands you can use in OS X’s Terminal app to jailbreak and debug installs.

If you’re more of a regular user, we recommend using Absinthe to jailbreak your A5-based iOS devices. We have tutorials for jailbreaking the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 available.

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Cult of Mac

Apple releases iTunes 10.5.3 with iBooks 2 textbook syncing

By Sam Oliver

Published: 11:55 AM EST (08:55 AM PST)
iTunes 10.5.3 was released by Apple on Thursday, bringing support for the new iBooks 2 application for iOS and allowing users to sync their textbook purchases.

The new version of iTunes is available for download direct from Apple. It is a 102.15MB installer for Mac OS X, 66.11MB for Windows 32-bit, and 67.98MB for Windows 64-bit.

“iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive textbooks to your iPad,” Apple’s description reads. “These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.”

The release of iTunes 10.5.3 comes as Apple on Thursday launched the new iBooks 2 for iPad. The major focus of iBooks 2 are new digital titles for education that Apple hopes will reinvent the textbook.

Apple’s e-textbooks are much less expensive than their paper-based counterparts, priced at $ 14.99 or less from major publishers like McGraw Hill, Pearson, and DK Publishing. The digital titles are interactive and allow students and teachers new functionality like videos, slideshows and multiple-choice quizzes.

The creation of iBooks for iPad has also been greatly simplified with Apple’s new iBooks Author tool for Mac OS X. The new, free software available on the Mac App Store can take a file like a Word document and turn it into text formatted for iBooks 2.


Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.3 With Support For Textbook Syncing To iPad

Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.3 With Support For Textbook Syncing To iPad

Following the launch of iBooks 2 and the introduction of textbooks to the iBookstore, Apple has pushed out iTunes update 10.5.3 with support for textbook syncing to the iPad.

The update is available to download now from Apple’s website, but is yet to hit Software Update. It’s available for both Mac and Windows PCs. Here are Apple’s release notes:

iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive iBooks textbooks to your iPad. These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.

iBooks textbooks are created with iBooks Author — now available as a free download on the Mac App Store.

It looks like this update is necessary for textbook syncing, so if you’ve been struggling to install new textbooks on your iPad since they launched this morning, you might want to install this and try again.

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

Moshi releases Clarus headphones at CES

Moshi, makers of a variety of accessories for your Mac and iPhone, have announced a new set of headphones at CES called Clarus. They have two interesting characteristics, one inside the headphones, and one outside.

Outside they are a little different than a number of in-ear style headphones in that they have the ear loop to hang over your ear and keep the earpiece in place. They do offer a few sizes of covers for the earbud itself, which is handy, but even better is that you don’t have to rely on that to hold them in your ear. Made of a semi-rigid material, the loop is soft to the touch and flexes enough to let you wiggle them around to get the perfect fit.

Inside, there is a great big difference: there are two drivers! Generally headphones will have a single driver, and that driver has to be all purpose since there’s only one. This tends to mean you have to choose whether you want clear crisp sound in the high end, or a bumping thumping low end. With two drivers, you no longer have to decide which you prefer. I don’t know how they managed to fit two drivers into these compact little headphones, but I can tell you how happy I am that they managed to do it.

I got to listen to a pair on the floor, and unlike some booths that were using a specific sample or only one variety of sound to show off, I was allowed to plug in my iPhone and play whatever I wanted. First off, putting them on was really easy. That flexibility in the earpiece helped me settle them in, and then I tried samples from four different songs (a mashup, guitar-heavy rock, electronic, and acoustic guitar/piano) and got really impressive results. They were a variety of bitrates, and everything sounded clear and balanced in every sample. It was really nice to get to hear something I was really familiar with so I could tell how it would sound compared to all the other places I listen to the same music.

There are other details that are nice, like the braided cover on the cord, the iPhone mic/control capsule on the cable, and the color detail on the earpiece to help put them in the correct ear. Retail price is $ 200 and they are available now at Moshi’s website.

More Moshi headphones seen at CES

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple Releases Names of 156 Suppliers & Report On Factory Conditions

Apple Releases Names of 156 Suppliers & Report On Factory Conditions

Facing a storm of criticism over the working conditions in factories building iPods, iPhones and iPads, Apple today for the first time released the names of 156 global suppliers along with a report showing mixed success obtaining fair working conditions. One bright spot: fewer children are working on the much-prized Apple devices.

In the 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple cranked up the number of supplier audits to 229, up dramatically from 2010. In 2011, Apple reported on its actions to stem suicides as Foxconn, a China-based factory beset by employees killing themselves. This year, however, the focus was on child workers. According to the report, Apple’s audits found six cases of underage workers at five sites.

That’s a far cry from the 49 instances of child labor at 9 facilities. In one factory alone, the Cupertino, Calif. company foun d 42 child workers. “In 2011, we broadened our age verification program and saw dramatic improvements in hiring practices by our suppliers,” Apple announced. No underage workers were found at final assembly suppliers, the company claims.

Although fewer children are assembling Apple devices, workers continue to be on the job longer than desired. Indeed, only 38 percent of Apple suppliers limited workers to a 60-hour week.

Many environmentalists in China have been angry at Apple over incidents of pollution often linked to the iPhone maker’s suppliers. Apple had balked at calls to provide the names of its suppliers who could have then been sued by the groups. In late 2011, Apple made some concessions, meeting with a couple of the environmental activists.

The report comes just a day after Microsoft and Foxconn settled worker pay issues that prompted 300 factory workers building Xbox 360 consoles to threaten suicide. The workers, promised severance pay rather than raises, had threatened to jump from the factory roof.

Today’s report, including details of the audits conducted, can be downloaded from Apple.

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Cult of Mac

Readdle Releases Major Update To Popular Calendars App With New Interface & Features

Readdle Releases Major Update To Popular Calendars App With New Interface & Features

Readdle has issued an update to its popular Calendars app for iOS today, introducing an awesome new interface and a whole host of new features that allow you to add events quicker than ever before, sync even faster with Google Calendars, and use special keyboards for snappier calendar entries.

Version 3.0 of Calendars is available to download from the App Store now, and Reddle promises it’s “the most elegant and easy to use Google calendar client available.” The app makes it easier to manage your Google calendar on your iPhone, and offers a clean user interface that is designed to enhance efficiency.

You may have already used Calendars, but if you haven’t, version 3.0 is a terrific reason to try it out. Here’s what’s new:

★ New Interface

We completely changed Calendars look and feel. It’s clean, agile and focused on your productivity.

★ Tap & Hold to Add Event

We replaced “Tap to Add” action with “Tap & Hold to Add” when creating new events.

★ Week view (iPhone only)

Portrait Week View gives you best overview of the upcoming week possible on the iPhone screen.

★ Special Keyboards

Event time, reminder or repeat rule can be defined 2x times faster than before, all thanks to custom keyboards.

★ Fast sync with Google Calendar

We made sync faster. Now it takes less time and bandwidth to sync your events.

★ Many other changes

- Small arrows let you know that there are some events off the screen.

- All-day events are constantly visible on the Day View.

- Today button is back.

To see Calendars in action, check out Readdle’s demonstration video below. You can download the app now for $ 6.99.

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Cult of Mac

iFrogz releases Boost speaker, uses ‘near field audio’ to boost sound

iFrogz was back at CES this year. Last year, most of its new products were iPhone and iPad cases, but this year the company is branching out. In addition to a USB gaming headset called the Caliber (it vibrates when loud sounds are played, “enhancing” the audio), iFrogz also has a product called Boost, which is a little speaker about the size of the iPhone, which amplifies whatever you play.

What’s interesting is how it works. iFrogz calls it “near-field audio,” but essentially what happens is that they’ve embedded a mic in the speaker itself, and whatever it “hears” coming in gets amplified and pushed out louder than before. It’s actually pretty ingenious. As soon as you lay the iPhone (even in a case) on the speaker, any audio it puts out is amplified surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, as you might imagine, the quality suffers quite a bit, so this isn’t a device for audiophiles. You’ll still hear the sound and even understand lyrics, but if you want your full range of highs and lows to come across, you’ll probably just want a set of speakers you can plug into. Still, the novelty of just laying your iPhone on the speaker is neat, and the sound should work well for a desk situation, or even a quiet room.

The speaker is US$ 39.99, which is actually a little pricey for what it is. But if the idea intrigues you anyway (and you can think of a good use for it), you can check out the Boost when it arrives at retail this Spring.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

The Omni Group releases Lion update stats

While many Windows users are content to live with older versions of their software, Mac users have generally been quite responsive to version upgrades. Sure, you’ll still find the occasional person running OS X 10.4 Tiger (like the client I upgraded last week), but a lot of Macs are now running Lion (OS X 10.7) or at least Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). Omni Group, developers of the great task manager app OmniFocus, keeps a close eye on the OS version installed on user machines and has made their data available to the development community.

The data is collected through Omni Software Update, and the stats cover an array of areas covering not only the OS version that is running, but other areas like hardware, language preference, and graphic adapter and display information. Probably the most fascinating stats show the adoption of Lion since July of 2011 by Omni Group product. 71 percent of all OmniFocus users have made the jump to Lion, while a paltry 26 percent of OmniOutliner users are running the latest OS.

Overall, 47.7 percent of all OmniGroup customers are now running Lion, with 33.7 percent still cruising along nicely on Snow Leopard. Oddly enough, there are more OmniGroup customers running OS X 10.4 Tiger (11.8 percent) than 10.5 Leopard (6.7 percent).

All in all, it’s a wonderful source of data for both developers and those who just have a fascination with all things Apple. You can view the data at update.omnigroup.com.

[via MacStories]

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple Releases iOS 5.1 Beta 3 With The Ability To Toggle 3G Again

Apple Releases iOS 5.1 Beta 3 With The Ability To Toggle 3G Again

Apple has seeded a new beta this afternoon for iOS 5.1 to registered developers in the iOS Dev Center. Those that have been running the second iOS 5.1 beta can download this newest update through iOS 5”s over-the-air update feature in the Settings app.

While iOS 5.1 beta 3 (Build 9B5141a) doesn’t seem to bring anything particularly revolutionary to the table, it appears that the “Enable 3G” toggle has been enabled for quickly disabling 3G data.

The toggle was removed with the release of iOS 5.0, but Apple has seen to adding it back in this latest beta. The setting can be found under Settings > Network on pre-iOS 5 and 5.1 beta 3 software. When you turn off 3G data, you will be placed on your carrier’s 2G/EDGE network. While data speeds will become considerably slower, your iPhone’s battery will last longer.

Apple Releases iOS 5.1 Beta 3 With The Ability To Toggle 3G Again

Apple has also introduced some API improvements to help developers designate certain app files that should not be backed up by the system. Xcode 4.3 Developer Preview 3 and Apple TV 5.1 beta 2 have also been seeded. Apple asks developers to test AirPlay with their iOS 5.1 apps.

iOS 5.1 beta 2 was released on December 12th, 2011. 5.1 beta 3 expires on Wednesday, March 14th.

Cult of Mac

Spotify releases SpotON Radio app for iPhone

Spotify is the über-popular music service that lets you stream a huge library of music to your computer. You can also use the service on your iPhone with a premium subscription, letting you either sync and listen to your own music, or stream Spotify’s tracks straight to your mobile device wherever you happen to be.

The service just recently opened up an API for app developers, and a new app called SpotON Radio is one of the first to take full advantage of it. Unfortunately, it requires a premium Spotify subscription to work, but if you have one of those already, SpotON will let you listen to Internet radio stations, your own Spotify playlists, or any other music Spotify offers. The app uses “music intelligence” from Echo Nest for recommendations, and as you can see above, the display is clean and clear, which is always nice.

If you already use the Spotify app on your iPhone, the choice of this one is really up to you — that Echo Nest integration might offer some different music, and you may prefer the look and feel of this app compared to the official one. If you’re interested (and you have the account to go with the app — unless, like me, you just stick with the free Pandora service), SpotON Radio is free to download right now at launch.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog