Jailbreak: If You Need Copy-and-Paste Today

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Cut, copy and paste has finally come to iPhone OS and I could not be happier. The lack of copy-and-paste in iPhone OS was one of the biggest reasons why I jailbroke my iPhone. If you need copy-and-paste today, but do not have access to the beta builds of iPhone OS 3.0, there are a handful of jailbreak solutions out there.

Did it really have to take two years? Security issues arising from sharing data between apps aside, my money is on the guess that Apple (s aapl) had agonized and deliberated on the most elegant way of implementing cut, copy and paste. Which should come as no surprise. Apple is known to either do it the best way there is, or to not do at all (you can thank Steve Jobs for inculcating that belief at Apple).
Now that we have seen Apple’s implementation of cut, copy and paste, it is all the more interesting to see the many vastly different methods independent developers had come up with to get copy-and-paste working. How well do these solutions work? In testing all of them, I have narrowed down four methods they use to copy-and-paste text. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each. Read More about Jailbreak: If You Need Copy-and-Paste Today

Apple’s Stance Gets Sterner on Jailbreaking in Latest Developer License Agreement

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We know they don’t like it, since they recently took steps to try and make it illegal, but now Apple (s aapl) is letting developers know directly that they won’t stand for any jailbreaking funny business on their part, either.

The news from Ars Technica comes via changes to the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which is part of signing up for the iPhone Developer Program itself. Updates to the Agreement now prevent developers from jailbreaking their own phones, assisting in jailbreaking efforts, and developing apps for use with jailbroken devices. The exact wording of the new clauses are as follows:

(e)You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise, create any Application or other program that would disable, hack or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so; and
(f) Applications developed using the Apple Software may only be distributed if selected by Apple (in its sole discretion) for distribution via the App Store or for limited distribution on Registered Devices (ad hoc distribution) as contemplated in this Agreement.

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InstallerApp Desktop Client is Like iTunes for Unofficial Apps

picture-151Maybe you’ve gone the jailbreaking route with your iPhone, or maybe you haven’t, but you’ve likely been tempted by all the tantalizing apps and utilities available for those who have. Now there’s a new method for getting those apps on your iPhone, and it doesn’t necessarily require jailbreaking in order to work — although, I haven’t tested it out personally (you’ll see why later).
Ripdev’s new InstallerApp is a standalone application for your Mac computer (10.5 and up only, with a Windows version to follow) that allows you to install Installer and Cydia packages to your iPhone (not iPod touches, yet) via your computer over a USB connection, instead of directly through Cydia.app and Installer.app on the iPhone, as was necessary in the past. Read More about InstallerApp Desktop Client is Like iTunes for Unofficial Apps

Jailbreak: Five Things You Need to Know

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So you’ve just jailbroken your iPhone. Congratulations! Your iPhone life is about to improve in so many ways. Be sure to follow our Jailbreak series to get the most out of jailbreaking your iPhone. Going forward, here are some tips to bear in mind.

1. Never upgrade firmware directly via iTunes

In the process of jailbreaking the iPhone OS, a partition inside the iPhone OS is created specially to store the files and data necessary for jailbreaking to work. This partition is typically 500MB. If you look at the storage bar of your device in its iTunes page, you’ll see this 500MB partition marked as “Others”, since, naturally, iTunes does not recognize this third-party addition.

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When a user attempts to upgrade the iPhone firmware by clicking on the ‘Upgrade’ button in iTunes, it will not count the 500MB into the storage space available to install new firmware. The result is that these 500MBs are effectively “lost.” For example, if you directly upgrade your jailbroken iPhone — running, say, 2.2 — to 2.2.1, you’ll find that you now have 1GB of used space in “Others”.

If you wish to upgrade the firmware of your iPhone, always restore to the default firmware first. After you’ve done so, you can safely click that ‘Upgrade’ button in iTunes. Read More about Jailbreak: Five Things You Need to Know

iPhone App Store Gets Direct Competition From the Underground

cydiastoreAs you are probably well aware, pretty much every one of Apple’s (s aapl) competitors in the smartphone market either has or is planning to develop its very own App Store-type method of distributing platform-specific software for their handheld devices. While this is generally a good thing, because it weakens the hold of carriers on the type of software available on phones they sell, it doesn’t really provide iPhone owners themselves with more competitive choice, unless they’re willing to ditch their hardware.

Now there is an alternative: the Cydia Store, an unapproved marketplace for iPhone and iPod touch software created by Jay Freeman, the developer of the Cydia installer application for jailbroken devices. The Cydia Store is intended to be a way for developers to distribute their paid applications without going through Apple — and having to deal with Apple’s approval process. It’s good news for iPod touch and iPhone owners, since apps that are blocked by Apple or their cell phone provider partners, like ones that facilitate Internet tethering, could make their way into the Cydia Store. Read More about iPhone App Store Gets Direct Competition From the Underground

Jailbreak: A New Column

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There are many aspects of the iPhone that I wish were more developed. Better usability. Time-saver shortcuts. Visual enhancements. Missing functionality. We each have our own list of what is missing, what we would love to have, and what we would love to see in a future iPhone OS update. While I am confident Apple will meet expectations eventually, I, along with thousands of other like-minded individuals, am not going to sit around and wait.

So I have a confession to make: I jailbroke my iPhone 3G the day I got my hands on it, and I’m liking it so much I’m never going back.

The thing is this, I form a bond with every gadget I own. For a device such as a cell phone, something you have on you almost 24/7, it seems only natural that you will grow into both the way it works and its various quirks. For the latter, you either learn to live with it or find a workaround for it. The casual user will most likely live with what is offered out of the box, while the power user and the adventurous will pursue new and novel ways to suit their devices to their ever-increasing needs. Read More about Jailbreak: A New Column

EFF Volleys to Make Jailbreaking Free of “Jail-Time”

efflogoAs most savvy technology readers know, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits “circumventing” digital rights management (DRM) and “other technical protection measures” used to protect copyrighted works. While this ban was meant to deter copyright infringement, many corporations have misused the law to chill competition, free speech, and fair use. Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office convenes a rulemaking session in order to consider granting exemptions to the DMCA’s ban on circumvention to mitigate the harms the law has caused to legitimate, non-infringing uses of copyrighted materials.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is presenting three exemption requests during the 2009 exemption cycle, one of which is of particular interest to that segment of the Apple community who seek to free their iPhones from the perceived draconian management practices of Apple (s aapl) and its partner carriers.
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iPhone 3G Unlock Finally (Almost) Here

This time around, it took a little longer, but the iPhone 3G has finally been unlocked, thanks to the efforts of the hardworking iPhone Dev Team, makers of the Pwnage Tool, which is used for jailbreaking Apple’s handhelds.

The Dev Team reports successful unlocking, using their oddly codenamed “yellowsn0w,” but they’ve yet to release it to the public. Now, they’re working on repackaging it in user-friendly form, like the Pwnage Tool, so that your average end-user won’t have much trouble tossing off their carrier oppressors.
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IBM Extends iPhone Development to Windows/Linux Programmers

The now non-existent iPhone developer NDA seems to have been holding back a flood of useful and diverse information. IBM has contributed to this information deluge with their release of a tutorial (registration required), authored by PJ Cabrera, on how to use the Eclipse C Development Toolkit (CDT) to program native applications for the Apple iPhone with open source tools.

Unfortunately, any application you create will not be headed for the App Store any time soon since it requires you to jailbreak your device by using any one of the more popular utilities (e.g. QuickPwn, XPwn, Pwnage, and WinPwn). While many iPhone users have used these tools to “free” their devices, I am still not a proponent of doing this since the practice is not supported by Apple in any way, and their use may void the device’s warranty if Apple has evidence of third-party software modification. You also open yourself up to device corruption and security problems due to the fact that jailbroken applications have free reign over every bit of data in your phone. If you do go this route, your application will reach the widest audience via Cydia.
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