Tom's Blog

My weird and wonderful blog…



We’ll be back right after this short break


Greetings humans, I’ve been quite occupied with my current job however I should start writing the article that will be the death of me soon (My Samsung Galaxy S3/Android switcharoo).

In the meantime, keep breaking the rules.

PS: Thought I’d add the kitten photo because nobody can stay mad at a kitten…


New iPhone! Same iPhone?


So I’ve given a bit of time for the dust to settle before posting my thoughts regarding the iPhone 5 announcement on the 12th September. The reason for that is quite simple, to make sure that all the hype surrounding the announcement has settled and people are able to make a more informed decision (Yeah right…).

So I couldn’t help but feel a slight tinge of disappointment after the new iPhone was announced. Below is a shortened run-down of what the new iPhone will be about:

Bigger display, thinner body

So the most well leaked rumour about the new iPhone was finally revealed. The iPhone 5 now sports a 4 inch IPS LCD display running a 1136×640 resolution at 326 PPI. The body however has taken a diet with the iPhone measuring in at 7.6 mm thick and weighing only 112 grams. And while Apple loves to quote superb facts about their devices, the iPhone 5 is not the thinnest smartphone in the world (There are actually 6 other smartphones thinner than the iPhone 5). This screen also runs at 16:9 ratio meaning it’ll display widescreen videos properly without any black emptiness on the edges. The added real-estate means Apple have been able to add 1 extra row of icons to the homescreen and the majority if not all the apps designed by Apple have been re-written to take advantage of the extra space. Current apps will have to be updated, in their current state they’ll run in their standard resolution, with the extra space getting blacked out.

“Ultrafast Wireless”

No surprise here as Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would support LTE. So it has one chip, one radio and a dynamic antenna. One note to remember that Apple didn’t mention is that if you’re using a CDMA iPhone 5 you still won’t be able to use voice and data at the same time. Below is a list of supported wireless formats:

UMTS/HSPA, LTE, EDGE, HSPA+, HSUPA, HSDPA, GRPS, DC-HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)

Upgraded processor

The iPhone 5 will sport a new chip, the A6 which is supposed to be 2 x faster in the CPU and graphics department. Since there is no way of checking this performance out yet we’ll just take Apple at it’s word and trust that the phone will run smoothly.

Improved battery life

Apple has claimed that they’ve improved the battery life from the iPhone 4S on this new phone, however upon closer inspection it looks like the only thing that they’ve improved on is the standby time. Everything else is the same as the 4S.

iSight /FaceTime Cameras

Below are the specs for the new iSight (Rear) camera as well as the FaceTime (Front) camera:


8 MP sensor
3264 x 2448 max resolution
Backside illumination
Hybrid IR filter
Five-element lens
f/2.4 aperature
Panorama mode
1080p HD
Improved video stabilization
Face detection
Take photos while recording video


Backside illumination
Face detection
FaceTime over 3G

The iPhone cameras are usually good so expect the minor bump in quality from the 4S lenses. On a smaller note, a major uproar has started in the U.S regarding running FaceTime over 3G and AT&T. According to AT&T, you won’t be able to run FaceTime over 3G unless you’re on a certain FaceTime Data Plan. While we’re yet to see this level of assness from our SP’s be prepared for what could come.

Wideband Audio

Or HD voice as it’s been touted in the press will allow clearer voice due to more of the band being utilised (Who really uses voice these days?). The phone will also feature 3 microphones to allow for better noise cancelation.

Lightning Connector

Apple announced their new connector for their devices going forward. The new 8-pin design will be reversible and you’ll get a free adapter with your iPhone so you can still use your 30-pin cable should you choose to do so. While this should allow you to use your old accessories with the iPhone 5 it’s not guaranteed to work with all accessories.

So that’s it. Apple showed off iOS 6 running on the iPhone 5 but there were no surprises with regards to the OS that was announced a few months ago. Apple have also released a list of iOS 6 Features available according to countries so you can check out what stuff you’ll be able to use off the bat.

iOS 6 Feature Availability

So Apple have released a device that is pretty much on par with what’s been available out there for the last 4 months and while everyone was expecting more, the drones will no doubt flock to buy this latest iteration of Apples pride and joy. You can check out a comparison of the latest smartphones available from the different OEM’s courtesy of The Verge:

SmartPhone OEM comparison

How to get your iOS device into DFU mode without using any buttons

So I tried to update my iPhone 4 to the iOS 6 beta firmware only to find out that the loophole that we used to update has been fixed. This meant that my iPhone had the latest beta firmware, I was however unable to activate it since my device wasn’t registered with Apple as a dev device. Normally you can just restart your device in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode by holding down the power and home buttons for 10 seconds and then letting go. This would then allow you to restore your device to an earlier firmware. I had one bigger problem though, the power button on my iPhone 4 is broken at the moment which means I can’t enter DFU mode.

Luckily a friend pointed me to a piece of software that allows you to restart your phone in DFU mode without touching your device. It’s called TinyUmbrella, download link below (It’s a Java App so make sure you have Java installed too):

Once you’re in DFU mode iTunes will tell you that your device is in Recovery Mode and needs to be restored. You can now point it to your previous firmware (5.1.1 in this case) and it will start restoring your phone (Provided you made a backup like I mentioned in my previous post). There is one little hitch that you should look out for. When you run TinyUmbrella it modifies your hosts file in Windows and points to What this means is that when iTunes tries to verify your firmware with Apple, it won’t be able to find the server, so make sure you’ve removed this line out of your hosts file before trying to restore in iTunes. TinyUmbrella is used by the Jailbreaking scene to hack their devices which is why it makes the entry in your hosts file.

Hope this helps anybody that runs into a similar situation. Thanks Ricky!

iPhone OS 4 versus Windows Phone 7

So now that Apple’s finally addressed (well, sort of addressed) the 800-pound gorilla known as multitasking, it’s time to take a good, hard look at how iPhone OS 4 stacks up against Redmond’s completely redesigned mobile monster that’s destined to hit handsets toward the end of the year. Though the two companies have taken vastly different paths to get to where they are with their mobile strategies today, there are some striking similarities between the platforms; take that multitasking we already mentioned, for example — both iPhone OS and Windows Phone are looking to keep processor and battery utilization to a minimum by putting the emphasis on managed services for background apps rather than just letting them run roughshod over your fragile hardware. Of course, there are some striking differences, too — so let’s have a look, shall we?

OS 4
OS 3.1.3

Phone 7
Mobile 6.5.3
Kernel Type OS X OS X Windows CE 6 Windows CE 5
Platform Adaptability Good Good Good Excellent
Platform Age Adolescent Adolescent Young Mature
First-party Enterprise Support Exchange Exchange Exchange Exchange
Wireless Tech GSM, WiFi GSM, WiFi GSM, CDMA, WiFi GSM, CDMA, WiFi
Screen Gestures Yes Yes Yes Limited
Screen Tech Capacitive Capacitive Capacitive Capacitive / Resistive
Multitouch Yes Yes Yes Yes
UI skinning Limited No No Yes
Input methods Virtual / external keyboards Virtual keyboard only Virtual / physical keyboards Virtual / physical keyboards, T9 / triple tap, character recognition
Notification style Modal pop-up, icon badge Modal pop-up, icon badge Unobtrusive banner / pop-up Modal pop-up
Contact integration / management Exchange ActiveSync, Mac OS Address Book, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Mac OS Address Book, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Google Sync, Domino, BlackBerry
Multitasking Limited / managed No Limited / managed Yes
Copy / paste Yes Yes No Yes
Media support / ecosystem iTunes iTunes Zune None
Global search Yes Yes Yes No
Firmware updates Tethered Tethered Tethered, OTA Tethered, limited OTA
Browser Engine WebKit WebKit Trident (IE) Trident (IE)
Tethering Yes (varies by carrier) Yes (varies by carrier) Unknown Yes
Stereo Blutooth Yes Yes Yes Yes
SDK Availability / Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Official App Store Yes Yes Yes Yes
App Availability High High Low (unreleased) Medium
Native Applications Yes Yes No Yes
Unsigned Applications No No No Yes
On-Device App Management Excellent Good
(no folders)
(no folders)

Taken from Engadget:

Blog at

Up ↑