Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alan Kay, godfather of mobile computing, bashes the iPad

On Mar 27, 2013, at 4:48 PM, mary wrote:

In a later interview with TabTimes, Kay said personal computers should be designed like an architect designs a house, as a place where people are going to spend a lot of time and different people can exist there.

Kay obviously don't own an iPad; otherwise, he would know that people who uses an iPad often spend a lot of time with it.

Regarding the "different people can exist there", he is right about that. The iPad should allow multiple users to use it better, but that creates some unique challenges too.

Because most owners of an iPad spend a lot of time on the device, it allows little room for others to use it.  Most people who I know, with an iPad, have trouble sharing it.  The second person end up having to get their own iPad.

One challenge is storage. Except for the new 128GB iPad, most people don't have enough storage to allow every user to store their photos, music or movies.

The software would have to work like the match service that Apple runs. If while on my profile, I attempt to download a song to the storage that already exists on another profile, the OS would have to know that and know not to add the song again, but rather allow me access to the existing song. If one of us deletes the song, it would need to stay available for the other user(s). This would have to be done for other types of storage hogs like movies, videos, photo and even apps.

Some apps like Plants and Zombies allow multiple users to have and maintain their own stats, but it does not prevent the other users' info from being accessed or altered.  In a multiuser tablet environment, the OS would have to provide protection of user data.

Then you would have to have superusers. What if it was my iPad, but my kids have all of the storage used up with their junk. Should I be able to delete some to regain space?  Are tablet makers wrong or have they simple recreated the "personal computer" where is is not personal because you can personalize it, but rather because it is truly a "personal" device intended to be used personally by one person?


Carl W. Brooks

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Harlem Shake: How to get your iOS Device to do the Harlem Shake

Whether you love it (like me and my daughter) or hate it (like my wife), the Harlem Shake still hasn't lost much of its momentum after more than a month after it went viral on the World Wide Web (I know you just call it the "Internet" now).

When it first came out, I went to much effort to make my iPad 1 Homescreen perform the Harlem Shake. It was labor intensive. It has now become so easy that anyone with a Jailbroken iOS device can do it in a matter of minutes.

The Harlem Shake tweak is available in the BigBoss or default source, making your springboard or lockscreen able to go crazy as quickly as possible.

So how do you make your springboard or lockscreen icons do the Harlem Shake?

Watch my Youtube video or read the written instruction below.

Here’s how to install “Harlem Shake” for your Springboard

Open Cydia

Search for Harlem Shake and click install

(This tweak is available from the BigBoss repo that is installed by default in Cydia)

Confirm the install.

Restart the SpringBoard

Now, open Activator. (if you haven’t got it, download it from Cydia)

Since you can set this up to perform at both the Home Screen and the Lock Screen.
You have to setup activations for both. Let's do the Home Screen first.

Tap on ‘At Home Screen’

Choose an activator method. I didn't choose ‘Shake’ because you will often be at the Home Screen and you don't want it doing the Harlem Shake when you don't want it to.

I chose the "Volume Buttons" activation instead. Specifically, I chose the "Both Press" option.

The "Both Press" activation is currently "unassigned"
Choose "Harlem Shake" from the list to assign it.

Now we have to setup the Lock Screen activation. Tap the previous menu option (upper left) twice to return to the main Activator screen.

Choose "At Lock Screen" this time.

Choose an activator method. Scroll down and select ‘Shake Device’ (it’s the Harlem Shake after all!)

The "Shake Device" activation is currently "unassigned"
Choose "Harlem Shake" from the list to assign it.

Close the Settings app.

That’s it! All you’ve got to do is shake the iPhone when it’s on the lock screen and press both the Up Volume button and Down Volume button at the same time from the Home Screen to have your Harlem Shake begin.

Now sit back and watch as the app icons go crazy and do the Harlem Shake for you – complete with the original music blasting from the speakers.

Note: This Harlem Shake performance done from the Springboard and Lock Screen will drain your iOS device's battery if you perform it too much.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Robocat's Kickstarter campaign for Thermodo

Robocat, maker of the three iOS weather apps Haze, Outside, and Thermo, had launched a Kickstarter campaign for Thermodo, a physical thermometer that integrates with the iPhone.
While a thermometer for iOS sounds pretty clever, I believe it has some hurdles to jump in addition to getting funded. Thermodo is a tiny dongle that hangs on your keychain and plugs into the iPhone’s headphone jack.

The Kickstarter page states:

"Simply plug Thermodo into your device and start the companion app or any other Thermodo enabled apps of your choice. The temperature reading takes place instantly. Thermodo is powered by your device. No external power is required, it can even run in the background while you do important stuff."

With Robocat's own weather apps and the many other competing apps, why make Thermodo?

The Kickstarter page states:

“The reason we made this hardware actually came from the users,” Robocat told Cult of Mac. “We often got 1-star reviews from users that complain that the temperature data is incorrect or that Thermo doesn’t work indoors. So we are trying to solve this issue with a hardware module. With Thermodo they will get accurate temperature readings from where they are. It’s also just really exciting to work with hardware that can communicate with the mobile devices in a creative way.”

The software is where the magic will really happen for Thermodo. You’ll be able to quickly measure the temperature indoors and outdoors. The dongle will let you track the temperature and see how it rises and falls throughout the day. No network connection is required.

Thermodo will work with Haze and Thermo, and Robotcat will have a SDK available for developers to add support for their weather apps. The idea is that you will have a miniature weather station with you at all times.

My concern is that you will have conflicting temperatures to deal with. Let's say it is 15 degrees outside here in Detroit, but I am in my car with the temperature set at 75 degrees. What is the temperature that I want my phone to report? The external or internal temperature? I contend that you will vary on this, but the man thing is both. My biggest issue is just why? Why do I want to know the exact temperature of my immediate environment? Why would the majority of people want to know this? I am quite sure there are many specialized professions and individuals that will require this, but are there enough to justify this product? Time will tell.
Here is Robocat's Kickstarter page.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chrome for iOS Updated BUT it is broken on Jailbroken iOS devices (FIX)

The Chrome team happily announced Chrome 25 for iPhone and iPad. Chrome 25.0.1364.86 contains a number of improvements including:

  • Long press on the back button to quickly access any page in your tab history
  • Share a web page via Messages
Along with these new features, over the coming days they hope to make searching on Google even easier:
- See your search term right in the omnibox, instead of the search query URL
- Easily refine your search queries and view more results on the search results page

The update rolled out in the App Store over the last three days, but none of us iOS users have been able to use the app since. The Chrome app crashes within seconds of launching.

Well I thought that it happened for everyone, but it is just the Jailbroken iOS devices that have this problem.

This happens on all Jailbroken iOS device types; whether your device is a jailbroken iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone. Hopefully Google will resolve this and hopefully Apple will quickly approve the fixed product and get it in the AppStore quickly.

But until they do, you must do the following to allow Chrome to work again.

  1. Uninstall the Chrome app
  2. Download the Chrome app
  3. Launch the Chrome app
  4. Check the box to agree to "send automatic usage reports and crash reports" to Google
  5. Click accept and continue button
WTF! Why is Google specifically targeting Jailbroken iOS devices with this release? If your device is NOT Jailbroken, you so not have to agree to the usage and crash report in order for the app to run.

Why would Google force Jailbroken devices to send this information? Are they interested in the browsing habits of Jailbreak users or are they able to gather other information via the crash report like what is on your device? This is very curious.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Siri, "I don't see an app named"

Every since updated my iPhone 5 and iPad 3 to iOS 6.1.2, Siri will not launch any apps except Apple own. After every other request, Siri replieswith the  response, "I don't see an app named". 

Can someone on iOS 6.1.2, please 
try to open a non-Apple app with Siri. 

Please report your results. 

Carl W. Brooks

Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gridlee Finally Removed from AppStore

If you were fortunate enough to get a copy of Gridlee, be sure to check out my Gridlee instructional post to get the best use of it.

We knew it was just a matter of time before Apple pulled the Gridlee app from it's U.S. AppStore. Gridlee was submitted to the AppStore on January 25 2013 and lasted just over a month before it was removed.

The Gridlee game got immediate attention from the gamers who suspected that the game had more to offer because the Gridlee game sucked. The game was all the rave, not for the game Gridlee, but for what games it allow you to add to the app.

The game was a mame, similar to the iMame app that had previously added and removed from the AppStore in 2011. The mame allowed older arcade games' ROM (read only memory) to be played if it was added to a folder called ROMs in the document folder of the Gridlee game. Many sites posted videos and wrote instructions on how to add these ROMs to the game. The nice thing was that it did not require the device to be Jailbroken at all. I enjoyed playing the non-Gridlee games on the Gridlee app; especially with my new iCade iPad cabinet.

The blogs that covered iOS and Apple products immediately posted stories that Apple would pull the plug in the game within days. After weeks went by, some began to suspect and even report that the game must comply with the Apple AppStore submission guidelines or the person responsible for monitoring such activity was on vacation.

Apparently the person was on vacation and has returned, because as of March 2, 2013 the Gridlee app is no longer available for download.

So now, the only way to enjoy your arcade ROMs is to jailbreak using evasi0n and use an app like iMame4all. At least with iMame4All, you can use your Wii controller to play your games.

Is Your Mac protected? Orbicule's Undercover for Mac

Hey gang, many of you have Macs so I'll share this with you. I know Kris recently had his iPad stolen and most of you already kno...