Poking around iOS filesystem – sans jailbreak

If you’re like me and you like to have a look around and find out how things work, you’ve probably wondered what’s installed on your iPhone. While this is easy enough to do if you’re jailbroken, that doesn’t help if you’ve got a fairly recent device, such as the iPad 2, or iPhone 4S. However, some App Store apps have some secret ‘backdoor’ access – not actively touting it infront of Apple, but not disallowing it either.
The other downside to this is that you can only look; you can’t touch anything. This means you can’t edit any files sadly, nor can you upload your own files outside of the apps’ own sandbox. [Read more…]

A Passbook Full Of Potential

One of maybe the most underhyped (or even overhyped) and hopefully my favourite new feature of Apple’s iOS 6 would have to be Passbook.
Perhaps a not so direct competitor to Google Wallet, in that it doesn’t handle mobile payments (yet), Passbook is yet another app that wants to replace your wallet.

Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place.

Of course, much like anything that relies on third parties – unfortunately those third parties have to also get on board. I believe that Passbook has the potential to become quite large. Surely I can’t be the only one who hates carrying around physical cards in my wallet, digging around for those loyalty cards hidden in there somewhere. Or, printing out those PDF tickets to that event, because you couldn’t remember where you put them last time you hit print. Passbook wants to help you here.

[Read more…]

Kaching: iCarte brings NFC to the iPhone

Possibly the most touted feature of NFC has been mobile payments. The idea of only having to carry one device – when you go shopping, you only have to pull out your phone, tap it to the terminal, and you’ve just paid for your groceries. Unfortunately the above scenario is only true today for a select few – in the US, Google is making their best efforts to push Google Wallet.

Here in Australia, Commonwealth Bank have made the first move, selling an NFC enabled case, called an iCarte, that allows you to use your iPhone as your ‘wallet’. Or, at least make PayPass payments after you open the Kaching app. So how does it work?

[Read more…]

iOS Carrier Bundles Demystified

One of my favourite things about the iPhone is that it’s fairly painless to throw another SIM card into your iPhone, and have all of your carriers settings just work (internet, MMS, voicemail, and tethering if your carrier allows it). The way this magic works is that Apple actually has the settings for all of the official iPhone carriers preloaded into iOS. If you throw in a SIM from a supported carrier, the settings are simply loaded and away you go. These are referred to as carrier bundles (or, carrier settings according to Apple).

Carrier settings updates are small files (about 10 kb) that are installed on your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular models). Carrier settings include updates to Access Point Names (APNs), MMS settings, features such as tethering, and default apps such as Stocks, Maps, and Weather.

 

On your iOS device, they live at

/var/mobile/Library/Carrier Bundles/ – bundles that have been updated with iTunes, or pushed over the air

/System/Library/Carrier Bundles/ – stock bundles that ship with iOS

On your computer side, they can be found at

~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Carrier Support/

If you haven’t ever had iTunes prompt you about a carrier update, this folder probably won’t exist.

Carrier bundles themselves are simply .zip archives, but with a .ipcc extension instead. They’re named after your carrier, and may also say whether they’re for your iPhone or iPad (Telstra_au_iPhone.ipcc)

[Read more…]

Self-Checkout with EasyPay

One of the most frustrating aspects of shopping in a brick and mortar store, is perhaps the waiting. Queuing for the checkout registers is one of the most annoying parts. Especially when the person at the head of the queue is asking a handful of questions, and you only have one thing you want to buy and take away.

Several months ago, Apple introduced the idea of ‘EasyPay’, where you get to be your own self checkout; take out your iPhone and you can scan and pay for accessories yourself. Great if you know exactly what you’re after, have no questions, and you just want to get there and then go.

First up, you’re going to need to install the Apple Store app; this works on the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad if you’ve got a camera.
You also need to have location services enabled if you’ve turned them off, and you need to connect to the ‘Apple Store’ WiFi network.
This is how Apple can verify you are actually at the Apple Store!

Upon opening the app, you should see ¬†the store you’re in displayed;

[Read more…]