Homebrew prodigy Comex is best known for developing the only browser-based jailbreak for Apple's iOS devices. A Flash port for iOS called Frash also figures prominently on his list of achievements. Now, the latest version of Frash supports jailbroken iPhone 4s as well. In fact, the Flash port is only compatible with iOS devices with ARMv7 architecture-based processors: iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3G, iPad, iPhone 4. iOS4 / iPad 3.2.x.
Having a jailbroken iOS device is the first step on the road to installing Frash. Tech blog Redmond Pie has a helpful guide detailing the rest of the journey. But be warned that Frash is still not the most stable piece of code and only supports limited Flash content.
The newest jailbreak for Apple's iOS platform has exposed a serious exploit that could allow a remote attacker to compromise the device. The exploit is present in all iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches running version 3.1.2 and higher. The exploit doesn't even require any particular user intervention, just opening a malicious PDF document.
The user is just required to visit a web address in mobile Safari that will load a PDF document. The PDF contains malicious code hidden in a font. The font will cause a stack overflow, allowing the code to be run on the device. A hacker could conceivably do anything at that point. Anything from deleting files, to installing spyware in the background.
This is similar to an exploit early in the iPhone's existence that used TIFF images. But this time around there are many more iPhones in the world, so we expect Apple to take this pretty seriously. Users are cautioned to avoid any PDFs for the time being.
With both iOS and Android rapidly gaining ground in the smartphone market, Research in Motion's second position seems to be under considerable threat. But many feel it has more on its mind than just smartphones. The besieged smartphone vendor is now being seen as a potential victim of the tablet bug. Reports about the rumored Blackberry tablet have become quite frequent in recent weeks.
The latest rumor has RIM prepping a 7-inch touchscreen tablet for a 2011 launch. "Research In Motion (RIMM, Market Perform) is trying to pull forward the launch of the 7-inch touchscreen tablet from early next year to year end...with a marginal point of differentiation being the front- and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing," Ashok Kumar, an analyst and managing director at Rodman & Renshaw, said in a research note last week.
According to Cnet, Marvell's 1GHz Armada 610 processor could power the rumored tablet. Although RIM refused to comment on Kumar's claim, tech site Betanews got “a source close to RIM” to confirm the analyst's statements. Its source went a step further and revealed that the tablet would also feature Flash support.
Apple was on the verge of collapse a bit over a decade ago. But the tide began to turn with the launch of the iPod and fate has been like an Apple fanboy ever since. Contrary to what people might have imagined back then, it owes most of its current success to the wildly popular iOS family of devices and not the Mac. But merely churning out “groundbreaking” iOS-toting products every few years will not help sustain the present rate of growth. Instead, the company will need to tap into emerging markets like China.
Lenovo chairman Liu Chuanzhi believes that China will eventually emerge as the most important market for vendors. He is glad that Apple is ignoring such an important market, letting his company go unchallenged there. “We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble,” Liu told the Financial Times during a rather “relaxed” dinner interview. That said, Liu was all praise for Steve Jobs, whom he called a genius and a “big pearl.”
Amazon's Kindle reader apps for Apple's iOS devices – the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch – now support books with audio/video elements. The ability to play embedded video/audio, however, does not extend to its flagship eReader. There are currently 13 e-books that leverage this new feature, including five travel guides, a cookbook promising “heavenly cakes”, and a knitting guide for beginners.
"In the new Kindle Edition with audio/video of 'Rick Steves' London,' the embedded walking tours allow customers to listen to Rick as they explore the sites of London," said Bill Newlin, publisher of Avalon Travel. "Rick's narration adds depth to the reader's experience, while listeners can follow the routes more easily with the text."
Apple is trying to present the iPad as an alternative to dedicated eReaders like Amazon's Kindle. Factor in the growing number of mobile devices capable of doubling up as eReaders and dedicated eReaders begin to appear vulnerable.
But Amazon harbors no intentions of going down with the ship it commands, if it does drown. The company is hedging its bet by porting the Kindle experience to disparate consumer devices. It currently provides free reading apps for the PC, Mac, iOS devices and Blackberry, and plans to support Android soon. Its software presence across a wide range of devices is like an insurance policy against the threat these very devices pose to its eReader.
A new report from online data analytics firm Quantcast has some Android fans cheering. The numbers show just how much the landscape is changing. On the surface, it looks like a win for Apple, who's iOS has a nearly 60% share of mobile data consumption. Android meanwhile is down at a little under 20%.
When tracking the total market share of each OS, Apple has taken a hit over the last 18 months, while Android is making big gains. The iOS platform was up around 75% share in mobile web traffic in January 2009. Now it's below 60%. Android was barely at 5% last January, having now made it to nearly 20%. The story behind the data relates to the types of devices out there.
Android is still mostly just found on phones. What tablets there are don't make up much of the market. Apple's iOS on the other hand, isn't just on iPhones. There are also millions of iPods and iPads that run the same OS. Quantcast tracked 8.7 million Android devices in the US. There are about 18.3 million iOS devices out there, but only 10.7 million iPhones. So of course the numbers look a little skewed. It's going to be quite a ride as we see if the iPhone 4 can fend off the little green robot.