iOS 5 Beta 2 is out and I played around with it a little bit this weekend. Some very cool new features coming our way, including Reminders, which will replace every to-do list I’ve ever paid for. I mean, come on, being able to set a reminder based on your geographical location? Awesome. I can see myself passing by the grocery store on the way home reminding me to stop and buy milk. The future is truly here. The new notification center is greatness as well, with one interface for Twitter, Email, Calendar and SMS notifications. Not that us
cool iPhone users will have to use carrier plans any more because Apple is essentially removing the need to use SMS with iMessage. (If you can get all your friends to buy iPhones, that is).
Another new feature is coming our way, iCloud backup. Basically, all your iPhone data will be backed up to the Apple iCloud. Pretty cool eh? All your music, email, documents and app settings such as the stocks you follow, your to-do list, user names, passwords…oh wait.
Do you *really* want to back all this personal data to a cloud provider (i.e. Apple) that just two months ago admitted to storing your entire location history on your local machine? Just go and do a Google Search on “iPhone storing location data” to see how upset we all were. And by “we”, I mean Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Guardian, and pretty much every news outlet and blogger on the planet.
I believe we might be suffering from short term memory loss here, people. This isn’t an exciting feature, it’s scary as hell. We haven’t heard yet from the Apple Spaceship how this data is stored. Is it encrypted? If so, who has the keys? (Hello Dropbox). I quickly looked through the iOS 5 developer release notes and couldn’t find any mention of encryption. Please prove me wrong. Please.
Trust is important. When it comes to data, trust no one.
Some people asked, so here are the instructions.
What you’ll need:
-Apple Developer Account ($99/year).
-An iDevice (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
-A Windows Machine
If you happen to be a close friend who’s reading this, I might be able to help you with step 1 above. Ask nicely.
How to do it:
First you’ll need to install a copy of iTunes 10.5 for windows. You’d think this would be available on the main download page from Apple like the Mac software, but it’s not. Instead, head over to the iCloud section and find it at https://developer.apple.com/icloud/downloads/ under Windows downloads. While you’re there, grab the iCloud control panel too.
Install iTunes 10.5, connect your device and grab your Device ID. You’ll need it to provision your device in the iOS Provisioning portal on the Apple developer site. Once you have it, go ahead and add your device at http://developer.apple.com/ios/manage/devices/index.action.
Sync your device.
Next, download the beta code from http://developer.apple.com/devcenter/ios/index.action#betadownloads
Once downloaded, on windows, you’ll need to extract it. The way to do this on Windows is to get TransMac. (15 day trial). Simply open the downloaded file, click on it within TransMac and drag it to your desktop. Once extracted, it’ll take a few minutes, head back over to iTunes and click on the summary page for your device.
Hold shift down and click “Restore”. This will open up a prompt for the file you just extracted. Select the file and press submit.
Then walk away and cross your fingers (or hold your thumb) while waiting for your device to restore to iOS5. Once done, sync your music, etc and you’re done.
If you’d like to sync your Photo Stream to your Pictures folder on your Windows box, go ahead and install the iCloud app that you downloaded earlier. It’ll sync all photos you take to a folder on your box and also allows you to sync misc items with Outlook. Barf.
A few notes on the beta:
-It’s a beta. A few things aren’t working. The most annoying one I’ve found so far is Qrank not working.
-I have not tested any actual phone functionality. Heh.
-The new notification center rocks. You’ll never want to go back to iOS4 after trying it.
-Tabbed browsing on the iPad is glorious
-Photo Stream works, but you can’t delete any photos from your stream yet. Workaround: Don’t take bad pictures.
-Reminders. Buh-bye every to-do list app I’ve ever tried. Being able to set reminders based on location and time will change the way you work. It also syncs across all your iDevices with the same Apple ID.
-Music in the cloud. Buy a song with your iPhone, if set up correctly, it’ll download on your iPad, iTunes libraries and any other device that’s connected to your Apple ID. This is magic. MAGIC.
- Kindle software update with social networking. Why? I just want to read books on my Kindle. That is all. I don’t want an iKindle.
- The last episode of Lost was on and they’re all dead. I want my 121 hours back.
- My 3G iPhone keeps dropping calls and it’s starting to bug the heck out of me. Yet I’m holding out for the 4G iPhone upgrade. Makes zero sense, I know.
- In-N-Out Burger in Texas!
- I haven’t had time to watch the season finale of The Big Bang Theory, but The Big Blog Theory did.
What it is:
An IM client that supports AIM/Google Talk/ICQ/Jabber/MSN/mySpace IM/Yahoo & Facebook IM on your iPhone. The version that got published live today to the iPhone App store includes Push Notification. I.e. when you get a new IM, you’ll get an SMS/Text-like notification on your iPhone screen telling you who sent the message and the content of the message. You have the option to either close the message box or view, which automatically opens the application and opens a chat box in which you can chat with your buddies.
-Easier to chat on the iPhone than I thought it would be.
-Error correction works great and once you get used to typing, you’ll be chatting away fast on it.
-Supports landscape view.
-Push notification is very nicely implemented, although logging off before you go to sleep is recommended.
-Yahoo IM doesn’t work. Every time I attempt to log in, I get the error message “Connection failed on all fallback ports”. Not sure if this is temporary or not, looks like it’s not specific to this version of Beejive based on a quick Google search.
-Frequent crashes. I’ve had it for less than a day and it has crashed 3 times on me back to the home screen.
-The cost. $9.99 for an IM app? If it had been $4.99 I wouldn’t have complained, but $9.99 is more than this app is worth right now given the issues above.
Recommend that you wait and see what Meebo is up to or for Beejive to drop the price.
Update: Now getting “error: received invalid data” when trying to log in to Yahoo
Update: June 24th – looks like Yahoo is working now, at least somewhat. I could log in to one Yahoo account, but not two at the same time. Log out of all accounts and log back in.
I am in the unfortunate situation of having bought a new car. Unfortunate, you ask? Yes, because I’m getting 2-3 auto-calls per day from companies trying to sell me a worthless extended warranty. This is a known scam and not even being on the Do-not-call list stops them from calling.
Fortunately, there’s a solution for those of us with iPhones. The Blacklist application for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Blacklist creates a contact named “Blacklisted Number” full of thousands of numbers (over 30,000 and growing) belonging to US telemarketers, scammers, and prank callers on your iPhone so that when one of these numbers calls, you know not to answer because it displays the caller as “Blacklisted Number”.
Blacklist connects to callerdb.com’s extensive database of problem callers every time you sync. Since I installed it two days ago, I’ve avoided 4 calls. Installation and sync is painless if you’re on a high speed wifi connection.
With the minutes it saves you, Blacklist will pay for itself. If you’re getting telemarketing calls to your iPhone, you need this application. Why isn’t Vonage doing this?
Trying to get back in shape again after foot surgery in December. I’ve been listening to music, podcasts, watching TV Shows, catching up on news and even emailing while working out. Simply because being on a treadmill is boring. With a big B. I’ve found that an interesting Podcast will get my mind off of the actual physical activity and get my brain focused elsewhere, which makes me work out for a longer period of time. What do you work out to? Any recommendations?