Anyone with a Smart Cover Can Break into Your iPad 2

In a pretty sizable and scary (and weird!) security bug, Apple’s Smart Cover can be used to unlock any iPad 2, even if there’s a passcode on it. Here’s how it works. And here’s how to fix it.

We’ve confirmed the security flaw with our own Smart Covers and iPad 2s running iOS 5 and it’s just like the video above—the bug easily exposes your iPad 2 to unwanted eyes. And though you have to jump through a few hoops to get there, it works like this:

• Lock a passcode enabled iPad 2
• Hold down power button until it reaches the shutoff slider screen
• Close Smart Cover
• Open Smart Cover
• Click cancel

I don’t know how anyone would’ve figured that out but it definitely works. Going through those steps exposes an iPad 2’s entire home screen and apps (you can delete them but can’t open any apps) and even Spotlight previews. Perhaps more damning is that if you have an app open before you lock it (like Mail or Messages), the user who broke into your iPad 2 will have full access to that app (and can see and send messages, etc.). The smart cover break in is limited, yes, but could be used maliciously to peep e-mails that weren’t supposed to be peeped.

The only way to fix this bug is to disable Smart Cover unlocking in the General settings menu. Annoying for Smart Cover owners but a workable stopgap solution until Apple fixes the bug.

Although it only mentioned smart cover, what’s causing the issue is with the magnet, so if you purchased any iPad cases with magnetic in it, such as the one below, wait to upgrade your iPad 2 to iOS 5 until Apple the fix the issue.

(from Gizmodo)


Leave a comment

Teardown of Apple’s iPhone 4s

Well, iFixit did it before me. If you come here to check out the dissembly of the latest iPhone 4s. This is the wrong place. Check it out here:

Here it’s just a story of how I tear down two of Apple’s iPhone 4’s. It happened a couple months ago. Something stupid and tragic happened. My iPhone 4 dropped on top of my wife’s iPhone 4, and broke the front glass of both phones. We didn’t buy Apple care, and Apple store charges $199 each for the replacement, so I decided to buy the replacement iPhone glass replacement and fix them myself. As you may know, to change the iPhone 4’s front screen, you will have to take the phone apart, and get everything out. That’s what I did.

Here are the pictures:

Take out the Sim Card. Not really necessary

Take off the back cover

Take out the battery

Take off the motherboard shield

Take off the camera and speaker, using the cheap tools from eBay

Take off the broken front glass

With the diagram, I won’t get panic.

As for the real iPhone 4S. I will get it tomorrow. I plan to tear it down, but iFixit did it already, so it’s no longer exciting. Also, iPhone 4 and 4s look awfully alike. It’s no fun.


Android for Touchpad is Here!

CyanogenMod 7.1.o’s Gingerbread has finally made its way to HP’s disowned slate, the Touchpad, which I queued in line out side a local BestBuy in the early morning of 8/20/2011 to get at $149 for a 32GB model.

Android for HP Touchpad is Here.

It’s too bad that HP wants to discontinue support to WebOS, the operation system used on these touchpads, however, the rumor that one day an Android system can be installed on these tablets pumped up people’s expectation, and that is the main reason I get it.

They call it a “lower your expectations” edition. A new video and forum update belabors the point that the alpha is an early, buggy build that is not intended for the general public. However, if you’re brave enough to install CyanogenMod anyway, you’ll wind up with a neat assortment of usable features, including multiboot support, ten-point multitouch, functional WiFi, camera support for video chat, limited GPU acceleration and a ton of other features that are either working now, or are near completion. The team says there are too many nonfunctional features to properly list at the moment, but advise brave testers to expect app incompatibility and poorly optimized power consumption. Ready to throw caution to the wind?

Leave a comment

Apple iPhone 4s Pre-Order Top One Million within 24 Hours

News source: Wall Street Journal

The Preorders for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4S topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single-day preorder record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4.

“The first day preorders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do,” said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of world-wide product marketing.

iPhone 4s Pre-Order Top One Million Within 24 Hours

Online and telephone preorders for the iPhone 4S began in the predawn hours Friday, marking Apple’s first major product launch since Chief Executive Tim Cook took the company’s reins. This time around, the iPhone will be available from three U.S. carriers, including, for the first time, Sprint Nextel Corp.

AT&T Inc. said it had “more than 200,000 preorders in the first 12 hours alone” making the iPhone 4S “the most successful iPhone launch we’ve ever had.”

A Verizon Wireless spokesman said that executives were “pleased with the sales and the ordering process.”

U.S. Apple retail stores will start selling the iPhone 4S at 8 a.m. local time Friday. It will roll out to 22 more countries by the end of the month.

Reaction to the 4S is critical for Apple, because it is an indication of whether the company can continue to generate desire for its devices.

Smartphones are Apple’s single-largest product category by revenue. Consumer demand for the iPhone 4S could be shaped by an outpouring of emotion surrounding last week’s death of former CEO Steve Jobs.

Analysts had a more muted reaction to the phone after Apple introduced it Tuesday, with some predicting the company lost potential customers by not changing the external design of the phone or calling it an iPhone 5.

The newest iPhone has a similar look to its predecessor, but sports a faster microprocessor and new voice-activated software.

Apple is the world’s single-largest maker of smartphones, but faces increased competition from companies that supply phones running on Google Inc.’s Android software.

With the smartphone market expanding rapidly, analysts said any company’s leadership could easily ebb and flow based on new partnerships, breakthrough technologies and consumers’ preferences.

Nokia Corp. is working on new handsets that run Microsoft Corp. software, while Google is preparing to release an update to its Android software.

Leave a comment

How to Choose Cases for iPhone 4s and iPhone 4

(10/17/2011 Update: My iPhone 4s is just delivered. Since a lot of people questioned, I want to tell you that I tried the two cases with the iPhone 4s and it fits perfectly. I don’t have time to write a blog about it, so I’m going to use the the photos from JustCase)

While the world is still waiting for the iPhone 4s to be available, which takes at least 5 more days. Gadget lovers who have pre-ordered the iPhone 4s and who will try to wait in line at Apple Stores on 10/14 morning have no better ways of killing time than shopping online for the available iPhone 4s accessories. The most popular accessories for iPhone 4s, is of course an iPhone case.

Both iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s have the same dimension of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm.  They differ in terms of weight as the new iPhone 4S is heavier at 140g while the iPhone 4 is lighter at 137g. So, can we use the iPhone 4 cases for 4s? If you search the Internet, there are already somany iPhone 4s cases out there. Will they really work for all the iPhone 4s?

What I would like to tell you that: it is not an accurate statement to say iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s are the same. Sometimes they are not. The reason I say this is because in US market, there are two kinds of iPhone 4s. There are GSM iPhone 4 which we can call the AT&T iPhone 4, since it’s used by AT&T users, and the CDMA iPhone 4 which we can call the Verizon iPhone 4. iPhone 4s is the same as Verizon one, but not the AT&T phone.

The major difference between AT&T phone and Verizon phone, or iPhone 4 and 4s, that may decide is a case is suitable is the location of the mute button and volume keys. In the following picture. The upper one is a iPhone 4s (Verizon phone) and the lower one is an iPhone 4 (AT&T phone). As you can see, the mute key is about 0.12 inch higher and the volume keys are 0.06 inch lower.

Therefore when you choose cases, especially those “barely there” snap on cases, that tries to fit the phone as much as possible, you need to make sure they won’t block any of your keys and buttons.

If you read my previous blog Free Updgrade to iPhone 4s from iPhone 4, you will know that I recently bought two cases on Amazon. This is a new brand, and you should be able to find them on Amazon by searching “JustCase”. I bought them because they proclaim these two cases work for iPhone 4 and 4s for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

(Update: I got quite a few people asking me where I bought these cases. Even though I have said search JustCase on Amazon, I guess people like links today, so here we go:

JustCase Metallica:

JustCase Slim:


Both cases works for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. First of all, I used an iPhone App called Ruler to measure the case openings.

I only have AT&T phones, so I can not show you how it looks on Verizon phones, but I use the specifications of the button location to simulate a photo, and from the phone, both phones should fit perfectly in the Metallica case.

The red case is for my wife. From the following picture, you should see it’s having an opening big enough for both phones. It doesn’t have a connection on top of the keys or connection between the keys, but it makes it much easier to take off the case, which is necessary for my wife, who’s got about 8 or 9 iPhone cases, and she changes cases to match her clothes, and sometimes her mood (which I still don’t understand).

Actually there is something else that is different between iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. It’s on the top of the phone, the 4s has an extra antenna, and the speaker hole is slightly shifted to the right if you are facing the phone.

Therefore, if you are buying those bumper cases, which wraps around the sides of the iPhones, you need to make sure the hole is big enough for the speaker connector. Personally I like snap on cases, and for those cases, they usually keep the top and bottom wide open, so you can easily rip it open.

As for the back cover, one thing you need to pay attention to is the camera opening. A lot of the cases do a pear shape opening that looks really nice. If you just look at it, neither the camera, the bigger circle, nor the flash, the smaller circle are covered. However, if you take a photo with flash light, the flash is so strong and it will reflect on the edge of the opening and add the color of the case to your photo, which may be an effect you wanted on the last night of October.

It says the flash for iPhone 4s is much stronger than iPhone 4, therefore, when I buy cases, make sure it has a big hold for the camera. Especially if you like bright color cases.

Some cases has an opening for the apple logo, some doesn’t. Personally I like to show the logo, but I’m fine with the Metallica case. I like the brushed aluminum feel, and an opening will probably interrupt the flow of the cool brushes.

As for the bottom of the iPhone, just make sure it won’t cover up the speakers, but the location of the speakers are the same for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s.

The phone speakers are really dirty. Yeah, I know. It’s about time for the new guy with an S.


Free Updgrade to iPhone 4s from iPhone 4

Well, I’m not giving you any tips or advices. It’s just my own story:

My wife and I were both AT&T iPhone 4 users, and we have a family plan started last August. I didn’t think we can get a free upgrade and probably will have to pay something like $400 per phone and $200 each for breaking the contract.

Yesterday, it seems everyone around me was talking about pre-ordering iPhones 4s, and I couldn’t resist to go to AT&T website and check it out. I put my phone number in, and I was qualified!! Although I have to pay $449 and $18 activation fee. It is a lot of money for me, but I wanted it so bad at that moment, and also because I wanted to do something to memorize Steve Jobs, the most innovative entrepreneur on earth, who has inspired me for so many years, I clicked the submit button.

Then I realized it might be a little issue to explain this to my wife, who is already mad at me many times for getting the same gadgets of newer versions, so I decided to buy another one for her. That way, she will get madder, but then I can cancel one to make her less upset, and we will still have one iPhone 4s in my house. She won’t even know the difference between iPhone 4 and 4s, so you know who will be using it.

I put her number in, and wow, wOW, WOW, she’s qualified for an update for only $199! I guess it’s because her phone is the main phone for the plan. That’s unbelievable! What a deal! I don’t think that ever happened on any of the old releases. I know people are selling old iPhone 4s on craigslist or ebay between $300-$350 and if I can sell my two old phones for $650, the issue is resolved!

I listed my two phones on craigslist and go so many responses, and within an hour, I got the offer of $650, and a promise to wait until next Saturday to pick up my old phones after I got my new iPhone 4s.

That’s not even end of it!

I told my friend about it, and he says, why don’t you call AT&T to do the upgrade. They will waive the $18 for you! But you can still call them before the order is fulfilled.

I called AT&T but their line is so busy yesterday. I guess too many people are calling them, so I will try again later, but with the extra $18, I bought two new nice iPhone 4 and 4s compatible cases from JustCase on Amazon.

Two new iPhone 4s and two new phone cases for nothing. I’m a happy man! 

Leave a comment

iPhone 4 and 4s Comparison

Display and Size

Both iphone 4 and iphone 4S have the same dimension of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm.  They differ in terms of weight as the new iphone 4S is heavier at 140g while the iphone 4 is lighter at 137g.  Meanwhile, there is no difference on the display and screen of these iphone models.  The screen is 3.5” 16 M colored LED-backlit capacitive touchscreen.  It is scratch resistant (as usual) with the same sets of sensors and multi-touch input method installed.

iPhone 4S-v.s. iPhone 4 Comparison

The iphone 4S boasts new models which supports 64GB storage capability.  Both iphone 4 and iphone 4S retain models with 16 and 32 GB memory.  Storage cannot be expanded as there are no available card slot in iphone 4 and iphone 4S.  Phonebook entries are practically unlimited. When it come to the iPhone RAM size, the iPhone 4 has 512MB while the iPhone 4S RAM is not indicated.

The iphone 4 and 4S supports 3G network.  Iphone 4S has additional capability on data transfer using EDGE and GPRS.  Bluetooth upgrade is evident in iphone 4S which already have v4.0 compared to v2.1 on iphone 4.  USB connectivity is present in both phones while infrared capability is still absent.  Both versions can access the world-wide-web using Wi-fi.

The new iphone 4S’s new feature from its former versions is its CDMA and GSM capability.  People can now connect anywhere around the world without worrying network availability and capability.  Previous versions of the iphone have specific 2G network branding which restricts access to networks in some areas or continents.

The iphone 4S is now refurnished with a new 8 megapixel rear camera with 3264×2448 pixels.  It has autofocus with LED flash.  It is also equipped with additional lens which makes the image clearer.  Video is at 1080p.  The iphone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera with 2592 x 1944 pixels.  It also has autofocus and LED flash.  Both phones come with VGA camera located in front.  Video is set at 720p.

Inside the iphone
The new iphone 4S comes with iOS 5 as its new OS compared to iOS4.2.5 for iphone 4.   When it comes to the iPhone processor specs, the iPhone 4S becomes much faster as it comes with a 1GHz dual core processor supported by Apple A5 chipset compared to 1GHz processor A4 chipset on iphone 4.

Messaging and Internet

Both iphone versions have messaging capability through SMS, Email, iMessage(for apple products), MMS and Push Email aside from the call feature and videocalling (internet).  Browser for both phones is through Safari (HTML).  The iphone 4S is also equipped with iCloud which lets users access data (such as apps and music) through the internet on similar apple devices.

US Carriers
The iphone 4 and iphone 4S is available at AT&T and Verizon.  iPhone for Sprint was recently announced, making Sprint to join the 2 networks in selling the iphone 4S starting October 14.

Color availability and Price
Both versions come in white and black.  Prices in the US depend on the network carrier and data plan.  It starts at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB and $399 for the 64GB a lock-in period of 2 years.

Exclusive feature

The iphone 4S prides itself with the new application called Siri.  Users can now do voice command prompts on the iphone for services such as send message to specified recipient, make or change scheduled appointments, make Siri read your message, make a reminder, money conversion, search the internet and many more.  It can also answer your queries such as the weather for today.

Release date
The iphone 4 was announced January 2011 and was released immediately February 2011.  The new iphone 4S was announced and released on October 2011 (October 5 to be exact).

Leave a comment