Friday, 21 December 2007

Apple iPhone 1.1.2 OTB

Ok, so I got this iPhone everyone is talking about. The problem was that it is a 1.1.2 Out of The Box (OTB) and as my sources tell me, it is impossible to crack the bootloader by software of this new version. But the good news is that you can can unlock the phone by using TurboSIM hardware adapter for your SIM card.

So the first thing to jailbreak the phone and then apply the hardware crack with TurboSIM. You can find details on this forum. By following the steps (around 37 ;) you can unlock completely the phone as I did. I think there is a one step (3.4.b) which is completely unnecessary. But, truth be told, the tutorial is very clear, and easy to follow.

So what about the phone?

First the dimensions. As you can see here the iPhone is considerable bigger and heavier than other fashion phones. The phone is encased in aluminium (not aluminum you stupid US firefox) and feels solid in ones hand(s). Only weak spot is the back bottom of the casing which is made from plastic but this normal because antennas are placed there (to avoid Faraday's cage effect). The front of the phone is covered in protective glass and feels solid too.

Display is absolutely astonishing (I have never seen in person Nokia N810 to compare it though) and it has a great ppi. You can put text so small on the screen that you can have difficulty reading it even though on closer inspection you can see all the text rendered beautifully. Text is always displayed using Apple's font smoothing and as I said, looks absolutely fantastic. It doesn't have problems displaying Croatian characters which is a great plus too.


Software as you might have heard is generally great. I rather wouldn't go into much detail because this article would be too long, and I get bored typing this.

The good:

Everything is snappy and fast.

Safari (web browser) is excellent. No problem displaying most of web pages. It is relatively fast, responsive and very usable. You can't copy and paste links between tabs.

Mail application is easy to use but leaves things to be desired. You can't send more than one attachment (photo) per email and you can't search your e-mail, nor tag/label them or put them in special folders.

iPod part is good too. Audio is great, video even better, and software part is generally good too. It displays the last song you played with a little speaker icon but it would be kinda nice to have that icon for every playlist you have. So if you are switching between audiobooks and normal songs you can always know what was the last chapter/disc you were listening to.

Phone part is ok, and I won't go into much details because I would rather flaggellate my self to death. One missing thing is the address book is this: searching. I just don't get why didn't they put it in.

SMS texting is kinda of a mixed bag. On one hand, chat-like texting is superbly implemented but it lacks some very basic things like: character counter (wtf), forwarding, copy/paste, send to many, and other less severe things.

Camera is a bit weak spot because is only 2Mpix and you can't configure anything. But it does snap images ok.

Notes application is kinda ok but the problem is you can't sync it with a computer. There is a workaround though, you can mail your notes to your computer and there you can filter it so you receive it under different label or folder.

Calendar, stocks, weather, google maps and clock are completely ok, and do what they do well.

YouTube app is good too, it displays videos in great detail. I would even go as far to say that some videos look better on the iPhone than on a computer. Probably the reason (as I read somewhere on /.) is that video on the PC is actually compressed more to get into the .flv wrapper for flash, and the iPhone version gets that fancy H.264 directly. One of the problems with this app is that not all videos are in that format so they don't turn up in the search results and they cannot be displayed. Another thing missing is the some kind of sorting. When I search for X i want most viewed to be first and the less viewed last. Can't do that unfortunately.

Calculator is just too simple. Well, it could have 2 modes. One simple one advanced. Obviously all iPhone users are simpletons.

iTunes app is great actually even if you aren't going to buy anything. It is just a great help if you want to find some song and hear a part of it.

If you look closely on the screenshots you will see a Installer application. This application is used for installing 3-rd party application. There are tons of them but quite a few are somewhat unfinished. You will find some useful apps like Perl/PHP/Python/Ruby runtimes, BSD Subsystem, SSH, games, toys, flashlights (turns on brightness and displays white screen, works good too), sms tweaks (forwarding etc, but no sms char counter), app for disabling spellchecking, screenshot grabber, internet radio streaming app (in early development but sounds great) etc.

If your and are crashing don't follow those guides on the web, just install iWorld, change to your country and you can uninstall it. Quite easy.

The bad:

  • There is no copy/paste functionality. So if you want to copy a text from a sms message to a Notes app, tough luck. Want to copy and paste a link to a new safari window? Can't do that either.
  • No sms character counter as mentioned previously.
  • Officially closed platform. That means you have to wait/search for workaround to install 3rd party software. Steve Jobs had a vision of a mobile phone. He named it iPhone. And it was closed.
  • Older hardware accessories don't work. (at least my FM Radio Remote from the iPod 5.5gen doesn't work). Why? Milking the customer of course.
  • No 3G. Self explanatory. I know that its possible that 3G chips at the moment consume too much power. But on other 3G phones you can always switch off 3G when you don't need it.
  • No RADIUS. So if you want to connect to Eduroam or any other network tough luck.
  • Searching for wireless networks can be better.
  • Some software buttons are sometimes placed counterintuitive.
  • No video recording or MMS which is standard for a long time in Europe.
  • Needs a workaround to get free custom ringtones. (Cut a mp3 in say audacity to 40 sec, import to iTunes, convert to aac, find that .m4a file, rename to .m4r, reimport)
  • there are some other cons too, but I can't remember them at the moment.

There are a lot of things I didn't mention but you can always ask in the comment and I will gladly answer asap.

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