Unlocking your iPhone

Since there doesn’t seem to be an easy and straight through guide for unlocking your iPhone, thought I’d quickly throw something together.

Unlocking your iPhone is great. It allows you to put in other carrier’s SIM cards. This is great if your telco isn’t cutting it and wish to move networks and keep your phone. It’s also handy for when you travel; picking up an international SIM is much cheaper than using your local SIM card and then roaming overseas. Oh, and it increases the resale value; anybody on any carrier in the world can use it now!

Around the world, most telcos will allow you to unlock your iPhone. Here in Australia, all telcos will unlock a post-paid iPhone for free. If you’ve picked up an iPhone (3GS) prepaid, you’ll have to cough up an unlocking fee. Overseas, companies such as AT&T will only unlock your phone when you’re at the end of your contract (officially). Apple has a list of carriers that will unlock your iPhone on their website.

If you contact your carrier today, chances are they’ll tell you it may take a few days (up to 72 hours) for things to happen, and at that point you need to connect to iTunes and restore.¬†However, as of iOS 5, and the new PC-free initiative and methods, unlocking has become much easier. There’s no need to do a great big backup, and then restore just to unlock your phone.

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Looking at iMessage number merging

iMessage is probably one of the most notable and widely used new features that Apple introduced with iOS 5. ‘Free’ messaging to anyone else with an iOS device without having to think. But it was fiddly; it required effort to set things up to get them as Apple described; the ability to sync messages and pick up where you left off on your other iOS device (and now, your Mac).

There was also that bug where an iPhone could continue to receive messages for a number associated with a SIM card… that wasn’t even inside the phone anymore.

iOS 6 finally attempts to fix both of these annoyances.

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Create an ‘iMessage Me’ link

With the launch of iMessage on the Mac earlier this month, we now have what I think to be the perfect IM solution – cross device (not platform, sadly) syncing of message histories – why couldn’t anyone do this earlier?

You may like to add an iMessage Me link to your website/blog to make it easier for people visiting your page from a Mac or iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) – just a tap and they’re all set to iMessage you.

For whatever reason, iOS and OS X use different URL schemes for iMessage – I understand why Messages for Mac may not want to adopt the sms:¬†scheme, but I find it odd that iOS doesn’t like the imessage: scheme. So we’re left with two different schemes depending on the platform your visitor is using.

Using some fancy PHP trickery, here’s some code that will detect your visitor’s operating system, and based on that display either a sms: link or an imessage: one.

Throw this inbetween your standard link and you’re good to go.

For example:

Or, put together:

And in action:
iMessage me!

Tapping/clicking on this will bring up the Messages app on either platform with your email address pre-filled. Nifty.

And if you’re not on an iPhone with iOS 5 installed, or some other handset, this should bring up an MMS window with your email address pre-filled too.

Some quick notes on the ‘Personal Hotspot’ feature in iOS 4.3

So Apple this morning released beta one of iOS 4.3, bringing with it a whole heap of little tweaks and a couple of major features, including the new ‘Personal Hotspot’ feature.

Personal Hotspot extends on the existing tethering support in iOS by adding WiFi as a sharing method in addition to the existing Bluetooth and USB methods.

As far as I can tell, I’d believe it’s tied to the tethering settings; if you carrier has tethering enabled (and depending on your carrier, you’ve paid for access), you should have access to WiFi tethering; it’s just another method in addition to bluetooth and USB tethering. However, don’t quote me on this!
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