Accessory Review: Scosche flipSYNC

Scosche is a company that specializes in car audio installation, and more importantly, iDevice accessories. The company produces accessories from speakers to charging cables and everything in between. The company is not as well known as other accessory competitors such as OtterBox or Ultimate Ears, but they do offer some cool knick-knacks that can be useful for one’s mobile device. The flipSYNC is a portable charging cable meant for on-the-go use. Although it lives up to its purpose, it still has some disappointing setbacks that may turn you away from purchasing it.

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App Review: Bamboo Paper

If you are an iPad owner, a thought comes along about using your device for something more, something educational. Paper is becoming more like old technology, so a new generation technology should replace that. This app does exactly that. As I was browsing the Top Charts, I saw Bamboo Paper; it interested me because I am a student and this seemed like a good way to take notes. The app was basically like scrap paper that could be used to draw or take notes. The possibilities were endless because anyone from any age group could use this.

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Welcome Group Video Chat on Your iPad via Fring

iPad Screenshot 5

The developers of Fring have updated their iOS app with iPad compatibility. If you’re one of those lucky owners of an iPad 2 and enjoy video chatting with your friends, then you can now do it with all of them at once, provided that you have less than five (or you want to alternate).

In an effort to shore up its user base, Fring offers all users the group video chat service (FaceTime and Skype lack this) along with 3G (and 4G, as it says in the app’s description) calling free of charge. The only disappointment of this service is that its only available on mobile devices and not on computers.

Fring is available on the App Store for free.

[MacStories]

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Report: Not One, But Two New iPhones This Fall?

The iPhone rumor mill is churning again with speculation about two different upcoming iPhone models. That’s because Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank is advising his clients to expect both an iPhone 5 and a mid-range iPhone 4S this Fall.

“With Nokia and RIM struggling,” Whitmore writes, “the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category).”

Whitmore believes that the iPhone 4S will be unlocked, cost around $349, and will include a prepaid voice plan for the emerging market of people who want to pay upfront for their phone plans. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, would tout faster speeds and other features for a higher price.

This speculation should be taken lightly, as Whitmore does not cite any sources nor does he have any inside knowledge on this topic. If this rumor prevails, and we do in fact see an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 released, which one would you rather purchase? For me, picking the iPhone 5 would be a no-brainer.

[Story: CNN | Image: Yutaka Tsutano]

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Apple Steps Up Their SHSH Game, Combats Downgrading and Jailbreaking

Those who depend on falling back to a previous version of iOS to jailbreak may be in for a shock after they update to iOS 5. Starting in the newest version, you may not be able to downgrade to a jailbreakable OS with saved SHSH blobs. This is by way of MuscleNerd, who then wrote a post on the Dev-Team Blog about the issue:

Those of you who have been jailbreaking for a while have probably heard us periodically warn you to “save your blobs” for each firmware using either Cydia or TinyUmbrella (or even the “copy from /tmp during restore” method for advanced users).  Saving your blobs for a given firmware on your specific device allows you to restore *that* device to *that* firmware even after Apple has stopped signing it.  That’s all about to change.

Starting with the iOS5 beta, the role of the “APTicket” is changing — it’s being used much like the “BBTicket” has always been used.  The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t depend merely on your ECID and firmware version…it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number).  This APTicket authentication will happen at every boot, not just at restore time.  Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.

If you have the SHSH blobs for a pre-iOS 5 version of iOS, then you should always be able to downgrade. However, after iOS 5 has been the dominant operating system on the market for a while (say, a year or so), then there’s a good chance that you will be pressured to upgrade to iOS 5 because of app incompatibilities.

MuscleNerd does mention the following in the post:

Note: although there may still be ways to combat this, a beta period is really not the time or place to discuss them.  We’re just letting you know what Apple has already done in their exisiting beta releases — they’ve stepped up their game!

Even if they have plans or methods to get around the updates that Apple is imposing, discussing them when things could change so quickly and easily is never a good idea. We’ll keep you informed; there’s a possibility that after iOS 5 comes out, a new tool to use when downgrading will be released.

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Headphone Review: Yurbuds Ironman Series

Yurbuds is a company that specializes in active earphones for the on-the-go trainer. This is an area that isn’t as covered in the headphone world since not too many companies deliver headphones designed specifically for outdoor, training use. Yurbuds are designed by triatheletes for anyone who needs their music to pump them through the next mile. Do the Yurbuds have what it takes to keep up with other headphones?

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Report: Geohot Working For Facebook

George Hotz, the well-known iPhone hacker otherwise known as geohot, is reportedly now working for Facebook. Hotz became the center of attention when he was involved in a recent Sony lawsuit for hacking the PlayStation 3. Techunwrapped is reporting that Hotz has been working for the social networking giant since May and announced it to his Facebook friends on June 17th, 2011. Joshua Hill of the Chronic Dev Team, known by his alias p0sixninja, recently confirmed in an interview with MyGreatFest that Hotz is in fact working with Facebook and that it is the reason why he has been so quiet since the Sony lawsuit ended.

[Techunwrapped]

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AT&T Leak: LTE Smartphones Coming in September, iPhone 5 to be Among Them?

This is another potential bombshell that we’ve just picked up on out of the Lulzsec AT&T leak. As of January 6th, 2011 it would appear that AT&T was planning for an LTE iPhone 5 at the second stage of its LTE deployment. Yesterday’s leak pegged the date of the second deployment to be in September. Bloomberg has reported that the iPhone 5 will be available in September. That’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

You’ll notice that the iPhone is mentioned just once. There also seems to be AT&T LTE smartphones (probably Android devices) on tap for September as well.

The AT&T LTE roll-out is nearly identical to the way Verizon deployed their network: they allow dongles and 4G netbooks/laptops to stress test the network before phones that depend on the network’s stability and solidity are released. The only difference is that AT&T seems to be moving faster than Verizon was initially. This is probably because AT&T is feeling the competitive pressure from Big Red.

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Sn0wbreeze v2.8b3 Released, Jailbreaks iOS 5 Beta 2

iH8sn0w has released sn0wbreeze version 2.8 beta 3 to jailbreak the most recent beta of Apple’s upcoming mobile OS. Both the iOS and sn0wbreeze betas are recommended for developers only, since most apps and tweaks will not work. This is an untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 3GS with old bootrom only, all others are tethered until one of the dev teams releases a new exploit. To prevent piracy, this release does not Hacktivate or add afc2.

  • sn0wbreeze v2.8 BETA 3:
  • Now jailbreaks iOS 5 (beta 2)
  • Intended for developers ONLY!
  • Does not Hacktivate or add afc2 in this release to prevent piracy.
  • iPhone 3GS old bootrom users have an untethered boot.
  • Now only 15MB :)

Supported Devices:

  • iPhone 3GS (old bootrom) [UNTETHERED]
  • iPhone 3GS (new bootrom) [TETHERED]
  • iPhone 4 GSM [TETHERED]
  • iPhone 4 CDMA [TETHERED]
  • iPod Touch 3G [TETHERED]
  • iPod Touch 4 [TETHERED]
  • iPad 1G [TETHERED]

Now available at: http://ih8sn0w.com/sb28b3

[iH8sn0w]

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AT&T Leak: 2011 LTE Rollout Plans, iPad 3 to be LTE Capable?

Lulzsec, the infamous hacking group, may have brought us at least one gem in their final hack attack. One of their recent targets, AT&T, had internal data compromised and leaked. It would appear that that data contained information about AT&T’s roll-out of LTE, their true next-generation data network (comparable to Verizon’s already-launched LTE network).

According to a calendar titled “2011 Weekly Calendar – LTE Milestones,” the first production launch will take place in July. The calendar isn’t specific beyond the month, so we aren’t sure of what exact date AT&T is hoping to peg here. It also seems as if the ten more markets that were promised this year are on track to go live in September (that’s when “LTE 2 Production Launch” goes live). The calendar shows no further roll-outs planned.

On a slide of a completely different PowerPoint presentation, titled “LTE Status,” we see mentions of an iPad. This is where things get slightly more cryptic. Depending on how you interpret the message, it would seem as if AT&T is planning for an LTE iPad (probably the iPad 3, which is being rumored for a release either around March of next year, or this fall). Remember that this slide’s title is “LTE Status.” It wouldn’t make sense for a 3G iPad to be detailed on a page devoted to information on the 4G status. With that in mind, this might confirm the rampant rumors of the iPad 3 being an LTE device. Given the timeline of the leaked information, it would also stand to reason that this new evidence points towards a March release, and not for the fall.

There’s potentially much more in this leak, so feel free to point out anything you see in the comments, or email us! I’m sure I’ll continue digging through it.

Update: Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days… even us. We’ve had feedback pointing out that the iPad 3 part is probably not quite accurate; instead, it’s more centered around payment options and the like. However, I’d like to reiterate that the LTE roll-out dates are most likely correct. Thanks to everyone who took the time to politely correct us! Again, though, we do stand by the dates and the LTE smartphones leak.

Thanks to @Deferom for pointing it out!

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