iPhone 3.0 firmware and SDK previewed and released!

17 03 2009

It’s finally here! Today, Apple released in specific detail the new iPhone 3.0 firmware and new iPhone SDK! Rumors have been flying for weeks about what is to be released this morning and we have all the answers.


The waiting is finally over! After weeks of anticipation, apple has previewed the iPhone 3.0 firmware to the public. The new 3.0 firmware has many features that we have been dreaming about since January 9, 2007. They include:

  • Copy and Paste
  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
  • Landscape view in SMS, Mail and Notes (was already in Safari)
  • In-application  purchasing, like extra content
  • Access iPod library from your application
  • Spotlight to search your iPhone
  • A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth) Capability
  • And more

The Firmware will be free to all iPhone users but will cost $9.95 for iPod touch users.

New iPhone SDK

The new iPhone SDK has many exciting features that Apple Developers are excited about. The most notable of these is the ability to test your developed apps before releasing them into the open market of iTunes. It also includes over 1,000 new API’s!

All in all, today we witnessed the next generation in mobile devices. Many people were worried that the new Palm Pre would contain many apps that the iPhone did not and become the leader in the smartphone market, but Apple took care of these worries. The new SDK is currently available to registered Apple developers and the 3.0 firmware will be available to the public sometime in June.

App Store Review: Enigmo

17 02 2009


Enigmo is a game with a simple concept – get the water/fire/oil into their respective containers. You get to use a variety of tools, like ramps, cannons, sponges, and springs to move the droplets around the level. The goal of the game is to fill up containers to their maximum of 40 drops, simultaneously,  to move on to the next level. What’s interesting is that you also have to deal with obstacles, like force-fields that you have to turn off by shooting some of your drops through a ring to shut the force field down.

There is a lot of content in this game. The game comes with 50 levels, and you can download user-generated content so you never run out of challenges. But you won’t fly too quickly through all of the original 50 levels, some are very difficult and require a lot time to figure out.


The biggest downfall of the game is that the difficulty curve isn’t gradual. At times you’ll be ready to delete the game  in frustration because it’s so hard, and you don’t want to deal with it anymore, but then the next level is a cakewalk.

For the $1.99 price tag, you could do a whole lot worse than Enigmo. The game gives you a lot of content for a small price, and when you feel like your brain needs some exercise it’s a great little game to play.

Introduction to BitTorrent: Part II: Using µTorrent

8 12 2008

For part I in this series see: Introduction to BitTorrent: Part I. This part will cover using µTorrent on Windows.

µTorrent is a free, light weight BitTorrent client maintained by BitTorrent Inc., who also maintains the BitTorrent Protocol. A study in PC World has shown that µTorrent is the number 2 peer to peer (P2P) client and the number 1 BitTorrent client.

This article will focus around using µTorrent for a beginner on a Windows system, although there is now a beta version of µTorrent for OS X.

Look for full setup instructions after the Jump.

Read more…

TheiLife Birthday Celebration continues with 1Password: 1 Free License up for grabs!

23 10 2008

Like free stuff? Know how to write a comment on this blog? Read on for a chance to win a free license to 1Password!

In commemoration of theiLife.com’s first anniversary, developers from Agile Web Solutions have kindly provided us with one free license to their famed 1Password software to give away. For those of you who don’t know what 1Password is, you should check it out. If you browse the internet on your Mac I highly recommend you start using 1Password to save time and protect yourself from the dangers of the internet. Not only does it autofill forms and login windows but it can generate strong passwords and even sync this information securely across computers or to your iPhone or iPod touch! If you’d like to be entered to receive a free copy of 1Password, simply comment below! A big thanks again to Roustem of the 1Password team for allowing this to happen.

And, by the way, happy 250th post everyone!

Apple Introduces iPhone OS firmware 2.1 and iTunes 8!

9 09 2008

Today, at the Let’s Rock iPod event held at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, Apple has released two major upgrades to it’s current software offerings.

True to the rumors, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off of iTunes 8 today. iTunes 8 contains a number of new features including Accessibility (through VoiceOver), New “Grid” Browsing, and Genius. The Grid browsing is similar to the iPhoto layout where you can browse albums by cover and switch between viewing by Albums, Artists, Genres and Composers in respective tabs above. For any given artist, you can mouse over and see the different album artworks, like you would an event in iPhoto. The Genius feature in iTunes 8 Automatically makes playlists from songs in your library that go great together with just one click. Additionally, the Genius sidebar will make recommendations from the iTunes Store based on the music you already have. Genius information is sent to iTunes servers anonymously (which is optional) and will be used to generate better results for you every week. iTunes 8 is a free download and will be available today for both Mac and PC from apple.com/itunes.

Apple also introduced a new version of it’s iPhone OS, version 2.1 at it’s media event today. iPhone firmware 2.1 is said to contain much better battery life, fewer dropped calls, bug fixes, faster backups to iTunes and no more App crashes. However, it is unclear if the Push Notification made it’s way into the 2.1 version of the firmware. The iPhone OS version 2.1 software will be available as a free download to iPhone users and free to all iPod touch owners who already have the 2.0 firmware (paid for) and installed and will be available for download this Friday, September 12th.

Stay tuned for the latest information regarding Apple’s latest hardware and software announcements here at theiLife.com.

Reports from an iPhone 3G and iPod Touch running firmware 2.0.1

4 08 2008

Here are some notes from the 2.0.1 firmware update installation.

Here are my notes, in chronological order since installation:

Downloading the firmware took about 7 minutes on a 20/5 Mbit/s connection. Fairly slow for Apple’s servers, probably due to heavy traffic.

My iPhone update took about 20 minutes. Note that I recently synced and backed up my iPhone with my computer about one hour prior to the installation.

This update WILL disturb a previously jailbroken 2.0 device, but will not brick it or fail to install the update on a device that was PWNED using the latest PWNAGE tool.

Things seem to be snappier. No Apple application crashes yet, no sign of sluggish performance.

Now trying third party applications. Installing an update on the device from the App Store still relocates applications to the back as if they were never installed.

After over 12 hours of extensive use, we have found 2.0.1 is a great improvement to the buggy 2.0 firmware. However, there are still some outstanding issues.

More updates coming soon.

iPhone OS 2.0, iTunes 7.7 Bugs, Slowness and Headaches!

31 07 2008

Although the 2.0 firmware brings many new features, it also brings many bugs and headaches. Here is some tips to help ease the pain.

While the enhancements found in the new iPhone OS are wonderful, native third party applications have brought along a whole new set of issues to the platform. While it has still been under a month since the public introduction of the App Store, there are a number of major issues across the platform. Hopefully Apple will formally address and fix them however, at the moment it is up to the users.

On the Device:

Applications Crashing:
Immediately after opening a third party application, the newly launched application will quit. This bug has affected a number of applications, and often can be corrected by a hard reset of the device or re-installing the application.

Extremely slow Performance:
Even when in one of Apple’s own applications such as Safari or Contacts, the keyboard will be extremely laggy and sometimes even unexpectedly quit. Another common issue is loading Settings only to find a blank screen. Try holding down the home button for 7 seconds to force quit the application and if the issue persists, reset the device.

Random Restarts:
Sometimes when using an application (usually third party) the device will just randomly restart. There seems to be no definitive cause or solution to this issue.

Application Updates:
The App Store shows new updates to your applications. It downloads the new version and installs it (however long it might take) and treats it like a new application! It erases the old version, but adds the icon all the way at the last position. The only way around this is to update via iTunes.

In iTunes:

Application Updates:
Sometimes, the App Store Icon on your device will show there are updates to applications. When you go into iTunes, it doesn’t show any updates. Even if you manually click “Check for Updates” it says there isn’t any updates available. The only way to fix this is to go and re-download each application you want to update to; or update the application on your device and have it synced back to iTunes.

Long Backups:
Backups are recommended so you can restore your device back to how it was at any given point in time. Sometimes, after installing or updating applications backups may take a very long time. The best bet is to wait it out or press the X to cancel the backup.

These are a few remedies to a bunch of large issues. If you have any more tips or tricks you think we missed, please contact us or leave a comment below!

3 Ways to find App Store Applications for your iPhone and iPod Touch running firmware 2.0

18 07 2008

Most people are amazed with some of the applications that have been coming from the App Store.

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

Apple claimed a catalogue of over 500 applications on the App Store’s July 11th launch. Just a week later, this has grown to over 700 applications- with many developers anxiously waiting for their applications (or updates) to get updated.

For those who have updated to the new firmware 2.0, you probably have found a number of applications you are really enjoying. However, the more you explore, the more pleased you might get. There are really hundreds of awesome applications on the App Store- some of which you may not know about. Here are a couple of ways to keep on top of the App Store- from the latest additions, hottest applications and updates to current applications.

Chris Pirillo recently created a Slinkset based application, that is a social news site for iPhone applications like Digg. You can find the most popular applications, voted on by users, and comments about each application. This is a great forum to be introduced into new applications, and read comments that are actually relevant (unlike a typical iTunes review).

MacRumors editor Arnold Kim has created a website, dubbed Touch Arcade, which provides extensive coverage of iPhone games. This is a high quality site for those looking just for iPhone gaming coverage.

PinchMedia offers RSS feeds from the App Store in four categories: Top Paid, Top Free, Updated and New Apps. You can subscribe to these feeds in your favorite RSS browser to watch as new updates and applications roll in; and stay on top of the most popular applications.

There are many apps to be discovered, and loads added each day. It is up to you to stay on top of them!

iPhone 3G launch approaching – Madness Begins T-5 Days

7 07 2008

The site has been in a dormant state for the past couple of weeks. This is about to change. Behold July 11th!

Its been almost a month since WWDC 2008 and it is finally come time for Apple to deliver its goodies. All three major announcements from WWDC- Mobile Me, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone OS 2.0 firmware update are expected to be delivered this coming Friday. You can rest assured theiLife will have continuing coverage of all three events. We be in line at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City later this week and will bring you the latest coverage (live, of course) of not only the iPhone 3G launch but MobileMe and the new iPhone OS firmware 2.0. Keep posted for more details coming soon!

Mac Basics: an introduction to Growl

19 06 2008

Guest poster Dan Foy from Macsimum News gives us an overview of Growl. You can read his original post here on Macsiumum News!

You’re working on a project at work, and you hear the “bing” of Mail, telling you there’s a new e-mail. You are confronted with the question, “Do I stop what I’m doing and see if the e-mail is important, or do I take a chance and keep working on my project?”

What if you didn’t have to? What if a little box popped up on the side of your screen with a summary of the e-mail, giving you a short-term look at the e-mail so you can decide if it’s important or not?
Believe it or not, the software that does that is already here. And it’s free (donations are accepted).
It’s called Growl. Growl is a notification system for Mac OS X: it allows applications that support Growl to send you notifications (took the description right off their web site because I couldn’t have said it better myself).

I had heard of Growl, but didn’t see much use for it until I accidentally installed it. Yes, I accidentally installed Growl. I don’t even know what program installed it for me (which I don’t like, but I seem to recall an installer asking me if I wanted to install Growl, so I must have said “yes.”)
Anyway, all of a sudden, I started seeing notifications when my RSS reader, the open-source Vienna, downloaded new articles. Thought that was pretty handy. I could tell when there were new articles without bumping down to the bottom of the screen and making the dock appear (Vienna has a number notifier in its dock icon and I keep my dock hidden). Saves time.
So I started investigating and found Growl in my System Preferences (in the Other category at the bottom). After some exploration, I found that there is a plugin for Apple’s Mail program that allows Growl to notify you of new e-mail.

And there are a whole bunch of other programs that are either written to work with Growl, and for some others there are plugins.

But the one that really helps me is the Mail plugin. My day job is at a newspaper. I do page design for my home paper and tech support for several other papers. As part of that, I get an enormous amount of e-mail from the Associated Press. Most of if deals with their web-based video network, and for some reason, they can’t just send me the important stuff, they send me an email every time they post a new video.

I have them whisked off to a folder in Mail, but it “bing”s every time one of those e-mails come in and I don’t always have time to see whether or not it’s important. But I want to know immediately if someone is having a problem related to their deadlines.
Growl shows me who the email is from and allows me to more-easily ignore the AP stuff.
And that’s just one example. I also use Semulov, which unmounts volumes. Now when a volume unmounts, I see it in a Growl notification.
I’m sure you can come up with many other uses, but I just wanted to introduce you to this cool little program.