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Apple iDevice clubhouse: Now with essential apps and tweaks!

Mussels

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#1
Going to do this right this time, and prove that iDevices can actually be useful to the average geek and not just for looks/sex appeal to the masses.

This thread is going to avoid discussion on pirated apps.



Cool apps:

Acrobits Softphone/Groundwire: Full fledged SIP/VOIP app. works as good, if not better than the anrdoid equivalents. G729 codec support, incoming and outgoing calls, ties in with phone contacts. Seamless transition from 3G/LTE to WiFi and back (between calls). Works on iPads and iPods, turning them into wifi/3G VOIP phones.

For reference, i have two VOIP accounts with mynetfone (an australian VOIP provider) one with a landline 'home' number that links to my iphone, and one without an incoming number that i use for private calling. due to the prices here in Au, VOIP calls to landlines are free, while i get better mobile to mobile rates from the phone as normal.

See the spoiler for a screenshot of this running fullscreen on my first gen ipad, turning it into my home phone on wifi and 3G.


Teamviewer: Remote desktop control app, with a free PC client/host. Does NOT require port forwards. The iPad version gets bonus points here, because you can have it change the hosts resolution to match your iPad, for a 1:1 screen image with native touchscreen support (no dragging a mouse cursor - its like having a touchscreen windows on your iPad)

Teamspeak 3: I suppose this only applies if you use teamspeak for gaming, but its damn handy to have on your iphone - on anything with iOS6, it also works perfectly with bluetooth headsets.

Chrome: synced browser between your desktop and mobile browsers, including tabs and passwords? yes please! (incognito mode for those late night iPad porn sessions too ;) )

Stanza: Free app. Tie this in with Calibre (windows software) and you have a damn powerful Ebook combination. Convert any PDF, Epub or text file to fit properly on your device, and download them over the built in wifi server in Calibre.



Mundane but useful apps:

Techpowerup app: well, duh :p

Facebook Messenger: Not just the facebook app, this ones purely for messaging. Latest versions are adding VOIP calling, probably through their tie-ins with skype.

Skype: Video calling is a lot easier on a phone/tablet than on a PC, since the camera is integrated. Like facebook, this can be used to save money as a 'free' alternative to texting people (assuming they use the skype as well)

Google Maps: again with the obvious. best free navigation system around.

Flashlight (or any similar app): holds on the camera flash, making your phone a flashlight. should be a stock feature, but its not.

Tunein Radio: away from home, or poor signal? use wifi or 3G to listen to online versions of your favourite radio station

Speed Test: the app version of speedtest.net, this lets you do some tests to determine the speed of your 3G/LTE/wifi networks. can be useful for troubleshooting problems.


Essential Tweaks:

A few battery life tweaks:

Turn off bluetooth if you arent using it. Same with LTE on the latest devices.

If you're using an iPad for offline purposes, set it to airplane mode so that the battery doesnt drain at all when its idle (for example, ebook reading)

Do not disturb mode (ios6) on a timer can be used to save battery life as well - since notifications arent waking up the screen, beeping, or vibrating, it can extend battery life quite a bit when you're asleep or at work.

Disable auto screen brightness - this can actually waste CPU power and cause lag on older iDevices, quite noticeable on my first gen iPad.

Jailbroken Tweaks/apps: These are cydia tweaks/apps, some free, some paid.

Adblocker: Something i really miss on non-rooted android devices and non JB iDevices. On apple, this works really easily: it keeps a list of known ad links/addresses, and when you choose to do so, it simply blocks them from showing. This can be used to block the ads in free apps like angry birds, making them lag less and behave more like the paid versions.

Since my iphone 5 cant be jailbroken at the time of writing, this will focus on iPad jailbreaks that i'm runninng.

FullForce and Retinapad: Hacks to make 'iphone' apps look like 'ipad' apps. Extremely noticeable on apps like facebook messenger, which dont have ipad versions. Removes all the aliasing/jaggies on text when in '2x' mode.
Here is a comparison of the Groundwire app in 2x mode, between stock apple and retinapad (paid). the fullforce (free) i have glitches out with groundwire.


Note the rather large difference in quality of the text - thats not compression in the images, thats just how bad apple screw over 'iphone' apps on the ipad without these tweaks.


Displayout: more or less, this tweak allows you to modify the behaviour of VGA/HDMI output. you can force specific resolutions (if hardware supported) for all apps, instead of needing an app to officially support external displays. This solves a lot of problems with video apps (that arent youtube) not mirroring onto external displays. (PS: angry birds on a 40" LCD is awesome)

ManualCorrect: a replacement/additive to the infamous autocorrect. changes the behaviour quite drastically, and for the better. google will show better examples for this than i can provide.

Quasar: multi tasking for the ipad! this allows you to run apps in a window, letting you run two (or more) apps simultaneously. Doesnt work right for me on a first gen ipad, as the hardware is too slow but shows enormous potential for multitasking.



Factory reset your iphone without losing jailbreak!

Run the windows program Semi-Restore
http://semi-restore.com/


let the phone reboot, ta-da!
i also used the program http://www.copytrans.net/ so that i didnt need itunes (it downloads legit apple drivers from apple, and installs them without itunes)

in my case since it was jailbroken, i had to re-jailbreak the phone with evasion, and reinstall the 'preferenceloader' tweak (had to set it to 'hacker' mode in cydia to see it), otherwise tweaks didnt show up in the settings app.
 
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wolf

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#2
I'd love to join man! lots of apple hate in TPU, but I gotta say I do love their Phones :)

iPhone4 16gb Black, not jailbroken.


PRO's

  • Beautiful screen (high resolution)
  • Very sensitive touch screen
  • Great camera for stills and 720p video
  • Form, this phone looks fantastic.
  • Simplicity (buttons mostly)
  • Pre installed apps, comes with 99% of what you 'need'

CON's

  • iTunes store or you need to jailbreak... BIG con.
  • Almost 'need' for screen covers and cases
  • Battery life with 3G and WiFi on
  • Interface can be clunky, and hardly optimisable without jailbreaking

I'm sure there is more Pro's and Con's so I'll add them as I think of them :)

also the battery on my iPhone 3G still holds up exceptionally well with 3G off! probably in the realm of 4-5 days standy and light use, not bad for ~3 years old used constantly since purchase, until about one month ago.
 
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#3
iDevice clubhouse instead?

I am using an iPod Classic 80Gb, sign me up?

iTunes+iPod is "good enough" for me, but obviously not enough for fussy people wanting the best. I like Apple's engineers and design, they seem to be always ahead of the curve.
 

Mussels

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#4
i went with those names for people searching for the thread, makes it easier to find.


Mines due to arrive later today, so i'll be writing a mini review on it when it does. I'd appreciate it if you guys did similar for your devices - in spoiler tags, write up your impressions both positive and negative for the devices. Think the pro's and cons at the end of a TPU review.
 

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#5
Probably not going to write a review for mine, its going to celebrate its 4th year anniversary soon. Battery life is still decent (can last me a day's use, probably about 8hr?), and can still store all my music, so upgrade is not needed.
 

Mussels

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#6
Probably not going to write a review for mine, its going to celebrate its 4th year anniversary soon. Battery life is still decent (can last me a day's use, probably about 8hr?), and can still store all my music, so upgrade is not needed.
still useful for people to know if they find one out there second hand.
 

Mussels

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#7
Iphone 4 32GB review

Pros:
  • Screen - VERY clear and easy to see. default fonts are excellent to read, even at tiny DPI (zoomed out)
  • Touch controls - very, very responsive. no need for a stylus at all. Menus and programs scroll more smoothly than samsung galaxy S, a high end android phone.
  • Audio quality from 3.5mm jack - really not a surprise, apple made sure the phone looks and sounds good. can drive my sennheiser HD555 headphones as good as my auzentech sound card, slightly less bassy but excellent overall.
  • GPS is extremely accurate. better than my navman and nokia N95 by a mile, however the phone didnt come included with any GPS applications - they have to be purchased seperately.
  • Camera - the camera itself is quite good for still objects, without needing excessive lighting to take good snaps. see the followling close up of an LED keyboard with flash on - something my other cameras choked on. Every single hair and mote of dust is visible.
  • Physical mute/silent switch on the phone for beeps/calls etc.

    http://img.techpowerup.org/110607/Capture470.png

    (not image tagged for those with slow net)

    Cons:
  • Camera software - in typical apple fashion, you have almost zero control. apart from a (hidden) zoom slider, the slider to change between camera and video, a flash control and the button to take the photo you have.... nothing. you cant even change the resolution of the photos being taken.
  • Multi tasking is terrible. Having a single VOIP application up with multitasking (and not the silly Push notifications) drains the battery about 5 times faster.
  • Auto correct. nuff said, but easy to disable.
  • Non expandable storage. Every android and his dog has a micro SDHC slot.
  • Bad handling of VOIP. they did their best to block it working, probably from telcos pressuring them. due to no multitasking you either have to leave the app onscreen to receive calls, rely on push notifications (which are often delayed, meaning you miss the call) or use a program which can hack multitasking like acrobits groundwire - which drains the battery fairly fast (you'll be recharging every day, guaranteed)




    In the middle:
  • Video recording. Its fluid and a good FPS, but it doesnt handle low light too well - and the mic sensitivity is quite low. It seemed to use the regular voice call mic, which meant it was facing the wrong way - it records the sounds from whoever is recording, and not what the camera is pointing at.
  • Safari browser: its tabbed, its fairly simple to use... but some weird decisions (to boost battery life, i'm sure). HTML5 and flash content like youtube only work in their own applications, and not via the browser - which means embedded flash on websites doesnt work. You can install applications/mods/hacks to make it work, but android has a one up there.
  • Push notifications. Apples version of 'multi tasking'. The short version is that instead of the phone being capable of more than static, non updating screens to save battery life, they get your application developers to run a push server - which basically sends your phone a text message via its internet connection when something happens, rather than leave the app up and checking constantly. Yes, this does quite well for say, facebook notifications or other non-time critical things... but its really worthless for VOIP calls such as skype, or real time chats. Its far better than nothing at all, but it just proves that apple really dont want multi tasking, they just want long battery life and a responsive phone. they dont trust users to know how to quit an application to free up resources.
  • Limited to apple exclusive hardware for the most part. This is not new, everyones used it by now. at least generic bluetooth hardware works just fine (keyboards, headsets etc). While apple specific hardware often comes with a big price tag, at least you know it exists and is guaranteed compatibility.
  • Huge app selection - but android has the same (or greater). Poor symbian :p
 
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#8
if ipod classics are allowed how about my old nano?
 

Frick

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#9
I have two iPod minis torn asunder somewhere. :p
 

Mussels

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#10
if ipod classics are allowed how about my old nano?
of course. as i said above, people still have them, and people still sell them second hand or give them away. lets do it the TPU way and accumulate generations of apple hardware knowledge in the one place.
 
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#11
I got a jailbroken 4.2 Ipod touch 2nd generation 8GB.
 

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#12
i'll add everyone in the morning (and link to the reviews) will need to sort out some kind of method to get them added in.
 
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#13
Ipod Nano 8gb Gen ? (the unprofessional review)
the ipod has a very long battery life (like a day or something, it says 24 hours on the box), it has 8gb of storage, which isn't enough if your music collection is big enough for you to need an ipod, it comes with some games (which aren't very good) and it will display .txt files but not make them, it plays videos very well but the screen is very small (nano - infact), when you plug your headphones in sound comes out, which can be changed by using the equalizer presets which never seem to produce a sound you actually like.

Conclusion:All in all a must buy for anyone who likes things where the paint chips off at the edges (oh, and this model has a bonus as it will carry on playing music even when the ipod shuts of and says 'connect to charger')

the Good points of this ipod may be added when i'm in a better mood
 
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#14
iPhone 4 here provided by my job. I'm a general IT tech, primarily Macs as at an ad firm last 8 years. Grew up using Macs in the 80s and now they provide my living. However I also love games which got me into building PCs.
 

cadaveca

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#15
Got an iPhone 3GS 16GB here, iPod Nano 4GB, iPod Touch 8GB. Using Beats by Dre PowerBeats with all of them; Killer music/movie/workout combination.
 

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#16
You may find it funny, but 'dem things never fall out of my ears when running, and have excellent audio. I use voice control with 'em too, so I never need to pull the phone out of my pocket, even to make a call.

They are a bit overpriced, but I tried many sets of in-ears looking for ones that would stay put, and stay put they do, which to me, makes the price more than worth it.
 
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#17
Um yeah dude I was already about to comment that based upon your "review" of your iPod that perhaps this isn't a clubhouse you actually want to be in. The laughing at dude's choice of workout headphones just makes it even worse.

Ok, yeah, you're one of those audiophile freakos blessed with the hearing and pitch distinction capabilities of a bat. We get it.
 
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#18
Um yeah dude I was already about to comment that based upon your "review" of your iPod that perhaps this isn't a clubhouse you actually want to be in. The laughing at dude's choice of workout headphones just makes it even worse.

Ok, yeah, you're one of those audiophile freakos blessed with the hearing and pitch distinction capabilities of a bat. We get it.
no its just a personal hate of the brand, i don't think that was the right smiley really, maybe this would of worked better:mad:, i prefer over ears for the staying on my head part

whats wrong with my ipod review, it manages to do everything, to a tolerable level, nothing really stands out as spectacular, apart from the gui
 
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#19
No maybe taking yourself and your attitude somewhere else would be "better". There's an Audio clubhouse or some shit iirc.
 
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#20
No maybe taking yourself and your attitude somewhere else would be "better". There's an Audio clubhouse or some shit iirc.
calm down, didn't mean to offend anybody :eek:

if it matters my ipod is better then my phone and psp at playing music, thats why i use it
 

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#21
i prefer over ears for the staying on my head part
Not everyone has the same tastes for what they prefer when it comes to this. And over-the-head sets, while running, will come off just as easy as other in-ears. I like to run, and alot, and bulky headphones totally ruin that experience.

Most over-the-head also lack the "controltalk" features, too. The PowerBeats were designed specifically for use with Apple products, and offer all the functionality of the included phones, and then some.

I'm not offended, at all...you are entitled to your opinion, and I'm entitled to have an opinion that differs from yours, however, I won't poke fun at your opinion.
 
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#22
Not everyone has the same tastes for what they prefer when it comes to this. And over-the-head sets, while running, will come off just as easy as other in-ears. I like to run, and alot, and bulky headphones totally ruin that experience.

Most over-the-head also lack the "controltalk" features, too. The PowerBeats were designed specifically for use with Apple products, and offer all the functionality of the included phones, and then some.

I'm not offended, at all...you are entitled to your opinion, and I'm entitled to have an opinion that differs from yours, however, I won't poke fun at your opinion.
i was talking to wrigleyvillan

i'm well aware of the different tastes in headphones, i think mainly it comes down to what you listen to :), dre's seem to be liked by the rap/hip-hop crowd
 

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#23
i was talking to wrigleyvillan

i'm well aware of the different tastes in headphones, i think mainly it comes down to what you listen to :), dre's seem to be liked by the rap/hip-hop crowd
Yes, but he was talking about your comment to my post, and I am commenting on the discussion that spawned off of that. No big deal.

I'm a guitarist...playing primarily rock music, and usually stuff that's not to commonly heard. I choice in headphones doesn't dictate me fitting within a stereotype, but thanks for that anyway.

I play piano, drums, and trumpet too. You see, I'm a musician, and audio reproduction is critical to my trained ears. So I get the workout/phone functionality, and pretty damn good audio...and my choice has nothing to do with the music I listen to or play, surprise, surprise...:rolleyes:
 
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#24
All right, no prob. Perhaps I'm too on guard and touchy as this is an Apple product clubhouse on TPU and I expect there to be some BS.
 
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#25
do you have a review for us wrigley? i've never had an iphone 4 for price reasons