Apple has finally put their iTun.es domain to good use as a link shortener for Tweets originating from Ping. Previously, Twitter’s t.co service was used, but that’s not nearly Apple-y enough. Surprisingly, they have owned this domain for nearly 4 years, but are just now starting to use it.
Just because Facebook itself doesn’t feel the need to make a Facebook app doesn’t mean that a third party doesn’t. Stepping up to the plate is Friendly for Facebook, developed by oecoway inc.
The app is now free for any iPad users, and boasts a UI developed specifically for the iPad.
Here’s the features list:
- Swipe through Facebook photos full screen
- Chat with your online friends
- Upload/Download Photos
- Easy switch between multiple Facebook accounts
- Secure your Facebook Account with a PIN Code access
- Customize colors and fonts to your liking
I’ve been using the app on my iPad since it launched, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who uses Facebook on a daily basis. If you are a user of Facebook that finds the online site lacking, you should definitely give this a try. And for the great price of nothing, what do you have to lose?
Andrew Carol, a software engineer at Apple, has recreated a 2100 year old computer using nothing but Legos. The Antikythera Mechanism was originally built by the Greeks to predict celestial events and eclipses (with surprising accuracy). Carol managed to built the replica in 30 days using 1,500 Lego pieces; including 110 different gears that are combined together to form 8 gear boxes, which each perform a single mathematical calculation.
The Antikythera Mechanism: http://bit.ly/fm4oFK is the oldest known scientific computer, built in Greece at around 100 BCE. Lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. But not until a century later was its purpose understood: an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. In 2010, we built a fully-functional replica out of Lego. Sponsored by Digital Science: http://www.digital-science.com/ a new division of Macmillan Publishers that provides technology solutions for researchers. Available under a CC-BY-3.0-Unported license.
Chpwn, the creator of the “Infini” line of tweaks, has recently released ListLauncher on the Cydia store for $.99. This app adds a scrollable list of every installed application to the Spotlight homescreen (while retaining Spotlight’s original functionality). If you have a ton of applications, being able to search alphabetically can be a huge time-saver (especially if you don’t know the exact name of the app you’re looking for).
ListLauncher v1.2 out in Cydia now! Fixes the A-Z issue people were having and properly reflects App Store updates and uninstallations.
The creator of the de facto grey-market application store for iOS, Jay Freeman (or Saurik, as most of us know him), plans to release a Cydia clone for the Mac. Inspired by the announcement of a Mac App Store, Saurik wants to create a place for users to download unconventional tweaks and hacks for OS X.
Freeman felt that the same type of store would be useful for Mac OS X devices; the result is a Mac Cydia, which will be available “within weeks.” With today’s news that the Mac App Store will not support in-app purchases, something that is critical to the freemium app model that is so successful in the iOS world, a Mac Cydia might be just the web store for a number of Mac developers.
There isn’t much information available at the moment, but if you have an app that you would like to submit to the store, contact “patrick [at] saurikit.com” for details.
Apple has posted a job application for a “Verizon iPad System Engineer”. It’s unknown why they would need a Verizon engineer, but it’s possible that the next-generation iPad will have a universal CDMA/GSM chip, or be sold in both AT&T and Verizon flavors.
If Apple plans to bring the iPhone to Verizon, then it is very likely that the iPad will follow suit. (And no, the MiFi doesn’t count.)
Apple has completely removed the jailbreak detection API from iOS, leaving 3rd party devs out in the cold when it comes to detecting ”compromised” devices. An API is a programming resource that developers can use to make use of certain operating system functions, such as accessing the camera, compass, etc. In this case, Apple created an API to detect if a device had been jailbroken, which companies could use to ensure their networks were only being used by secure devices.
Note: This is unrelated to Apple’s preventive jailbreak measures, this API only functions to detect a compromised device post-jailbreak.
Time Magazine has published their “Top 10 Everything of 2010″ list, which covers 50 different categories, from “Albums” to “Viral Videos”. Unsurprisingly, Apple products have dominated the gadgets section, snagging four of the ten spots.
Critics complain that Apple products are overrated, but there is no denying their success. The iPad has sold millions of units, and no other tablet has even come close to rivaling it. The iPhone 4, on the other hand, was topped by two Android phones, the Nexus One and Samsung Galaxy S. As noted by Time, 2010 certainly was “the year of the Android“. Google activates over 300,000 units per day, more than that of the iPhone and iPad combined. This may be due to the wide variety of hardware (and networks) Android is available on, but that’s hardly an excuse—it’s a business model. If Apple ever wants to be the leading smartphone vendor again, then they’re going to have to end their exclusivity with AT&T. (Plus, it’s bad for business.)
I recently reviewed a Christmas music streaming app created to bring attention to the Salvation Army. With every purchase of the $2.99 app, $1 goes to the charitable outreach program. I wondered why there weren’t more apps used to raise funds and if one day we wouldn’t see monies collected through an iPhone app by various organizations. A recent story in the New York Times revealed it isn’t likely in the near future.
Apps for nonprofits exist in the App Store, but donations cannot be made directly through the app. Donors must leave the app and are redirected to a web site for this purpose. Beth Kanter, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” called the process “…cumbersome and it doesn’t have to be.” She has started a petition accompanied by the graphic of Steve Jobs and the Grinch (see right). Other critics see the issue to be money. Apple takes a 30% cut of App Store purchases which would result in a PR nightmare.
In their defense, Apple would have to overcome the challenging tasks of managing and allocating funds, as well as verifying the recipient organizations. However, it has been done. In August, PayPal introduced a donation system available through it’s mobile app. Two months later Apple asked them to remove the option. PayPal is now developing an app for the Android OS.
A new jailbreak add-on (aptly named Antid0te) is being developed by Stefan Esser, an independent security consultant dedicated to making systems more secure. It’s designed to patch holes left open by Apple, and add “ASLR” (address space layout randomization) to make exploiting the OS much, much more difficult. At the Pwn2Own competition earlier this year, the iPhone was compromised in just 20 seconds, revealing the user’s SMS messages to the hacker. Some holes, like the one used by the new Jailbreakme, were even patched by members of the community long before Apple could release an update. Esser believes that this isn’t good enough, and that vulnerabilities should be patched sooner.