Category Archives: iPhone

iTunes syncing does not include backup anymore.

Throughout the history of iTunes, iTunes sync includes backing up as the 1st step of the syncing process.

However, I have recently realised that this is not the case anymore. No idea when the change occurred, but this is a pretty significant change.

Backing up and Syncing are 2 different processes.

A back up creates a snapshot which ensures that you can easily restore your device to the particular state when you did the backup.

A sync simply ensures that the contents in your iOS device matches what is in iTunes.

Hence, if you only sync your device, you may have run into problems when you really do need to restore your iOS device =/

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The curious case of iOS 9 app syncing.

iOS 9 changes a fundamental concept of syncing – the syncing of apps.

In previous iOS versions, apps that were updated on any iOS device would simply be transferred to the PC during a sync.

However, apps that were updated/purchased on an iOS 9 device will not be synced to the PC. This is due to Apple’s new policy (from iOS 9 onwards) of only loading the appropriate components of an app to a device. For instance, only the iPhone related components of an app will be loaded into an iPhone, the iPad artifacts in the app will not be loaded. Hence, this means that the app on an iOS device is not 100% complete. This is the reason why apps updated on an iOS 9 device will not be transferred to a PC during a sync. A PC will only contain apps that are complete.

Apps that are updated on the PC will be synced to the iOS device.

One way to maintain the identical set of apps on a PC is to manually download the apps that were downloaded on a device to the computer as well via iTunes. An easy way to see in iTunes the apps that are not present on PC, but present on your device is to go to the App Store > ‘Purchased’ (on the right hand side) > ‘Not in my library’ . Strangely, it is not able to sort the apps in chronological order even after sorting by ‘Most Recent’.. Is this a bug or something, I’ve no idea.

The other way is to enable automatic downloads in iTunes.

Edit > Preferences > Store > Automatic Downloads > tick the checkbox for ‘Apps’ .

I’ve to agree that this new policy change is not well communicated to the general public by Apple. Such major changes should be explained clearly. I faced the issue of numerous apps being stuck on ‘waiting..’ after syncing and was wondering why. I did some research and this is what I am able to conclude so far.


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Enable NTFS write support for Mac OS X Lion

  1. Install Homebrew.
  2. In Terminal, type brew install Fuse4x.
  3. Next, type brew install ntfs-3g.
  4. Type brew info fuse4x-kext . Enter the 2 lines of $ sudo code separately at the start of the text given.
  5. Type brew info ntfs-3g . Enter the 2 lines of code separately after the line “To replace the default Mac OSX automounter:” .
  6. A restart may be prompted.
  7. Done.

All the best.

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Recovering iOS sms backups.

Sms backups can be in 2 forms –

Category 1

If you have manually extracted out the sms.db file via SSH or some iOS file explorer software

Category 2

If you didn’t manually extract out the sms.db file, you can look for it in the C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup . There should usually be 1 folder in there representing your backup. If there are more than 1, that means that you have synced >=1 iDevices with different device names. Simply check the date to choose the appropriate backup folder you want.

After that, locate 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 file inside the backup folder. Use Windows Search for this =D

Steps if your situation falls under category 1 :

1. Rename your sms.db file to sms.sqlite. If the file format (db/sqlite) isn’t visible, click on Organise tab at the top left corner and select Folder and search options > View. Check the option for  ” show hidden files,drives and folders ”

2. Open Firefox and install the SQLite Manager add-on for Firefox, restart Firefox. Click on Firefox button > Web Developer->SQLite Manager. On SQLite Manager window click the ‘open’ icon and select sms.sqlite.

3. Click on the Execute SQL tab and paste the following query into the ‘Enter SQL’ empty space :

SELECT rowid, address, date, text FROM message ORDER BY date

4. Click Run SQL button and yeah, you get your smses back. Organisation may not be as neat though.

Steps if your situation falls under category 2:

Step 1 to 2 is the same as category 1.

3. Click on the Execute SQL tab and paste the following query into the ‘Enter SQL’ empty space :

SELECT m.rowid as RowID, DATETIME(date + 978307200, ‘unixepoch’, ‘localtime’) as Date, as “Phone Number”, m.service as Service, CASE is_from_me WHEN 0 THEN “Received” WHEN 1 THEN “Sent” ELSE “Unknown” END as Type, CASE WHEN date_read > 0 THEN DATETIME(date_read + 978307200, ‘unixepoch’, ‘utc’) WHEN date_delivered > 0 THEN DATETIME(date_delivered + 978307200, ‘unixepoch’, ‘utc’) ELSE NULL END as “Date Read/Sent”, text as Text FROM message m, handle h WHERE h.rowid = m.handle_id ORDER BY m.rowid ASC;

4. Click Run SQL button and yeah, you get your smses back. Organisation is superb for this method. The SQL commands are simply fantastic 🙂 Kudos to the author.

With great thanks to Google, and the following two resources :

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Plague Inc Hack ( v1.5 )

I am using an iOS device, so I am not sure if this works on Android though.

Here goes :

1. Navigate to var/mobile/Applications using your favourite file browser ( My recommendations are iFunbox – desktop , iFile – jailbroken iPhone ) .  Locate the Folder for Plague Inc.

2. Click on the folder and enter the Library sub-folder and subsequently enter the Preferences sub-folder.

3. Replace the original com.ndemiccreations.plagueinc.plist file with this file.

4. By doing so, you will unlock all the viruses/bacteria etc ..

5. Remember to change the file access permissions to :User – Read, Write.
Group – Read, Write.
World – Read,Write.


IAP is not unlocked. You’ll either use IAPFree or some other IAP software to obtain it.

Change file permissions is easy via iFile. iFunbox seems to require an additional step of SSH to change file permissions..

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Time hack ( Happy Street ) . Side effects and the blah.

Those who played Happy Street will know that many things you do will require a certain time for it to be crafted etc.

I have tried out the ‘time hack’ which in other words, mean manually adjusting your device’s time to fast forward the game time as well.

In this particular game though, the developer apparently found a way to track those who have changed their device timing.

There will be a subtle warning from Pepin immediately once you launch the game after adjusting your device’s time.

What I have found out so far regarding the ‘time hack’ :

1. Crafting and building of items will be completed when you fast forward the time, but when you reset your device’s time back to normal, the crafting and building duration will be reverted back as well. However, the items that you have already gotten from the crafting will still be in your bag.

2. Gold and plants that you collected while in the ‘fast-forward gameplay’ will remain as well, similar to crafted items.

( Long story cut short : There is no benefits to be gained when you build buildings, only gold and items collected will remain after you reset time back to normal. )

3. Lucky Spins tokens doesn’t get affected .

4. Some people have the issue of plants and trees not growing etc after resetting the time back to normal. This doesn’t seem to happen to me, maybe I got lucky.


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Well, well. Random musings on the Apple Maps saga.

There is currently lots of vitriol online regarding the failure of Apple Maps. Inaccurate detection of locations, lack of Street View, lack of nearby amenities being shown, no public Transport routing etc etc.

It is true. I believe Apple has made a mistake. The Maps app that they self-curated wasn’t as up to mark to consumer expectations. It seems like another Beta software .. sounds familiar ? Remember the release of Siri last year ? Beta version, they say. HAHA.

Some commentators have said that Apple has lost it focus on its users and instead is letting its intense rivalry with Google dominate its policies and actions.

However, I feel that Apple has simply decided to take the bitter pill now rather than later. Mapping apps provide valuable consumer data which can lead to other revenue gaining opportunities. For instance, letting the mapmaker know which location is more popular based on location-based pings from the user and location-based ads which can be served to consumers using the app. Apple doesn’t want Google to obtain all these data anymore, it wants the data for itself.

Additionally, it also dealt a blow to one of  Google’s main revenue arm, advertising. ( Yeah, this could be partly attributed to the rivalry..) iPhone users account for half of the total Google Maps traffic in the US even though there is a greater proportion of Android users (60%) compared to iOS (34%) .

However, there is another core reason why Apple decided to make its own Maps app. In the agreement between Apple and Google regarding Apple’s usage of Google Maps on its iDevices, there is a specific clause stating that Apple cannot include turn-by-turn navigation. This means that Apple devices with Google Maps will always be one step behind Android Phones, which have turn-by-turn navigation a long time back. This surely would not do for Apple.

All-in all, I feel that Apple made a bold move in attempting to wean its reliance of Google Maps and also reducing the inflow of data to Google in the process, but the self-curated Maps App definitely needs improvements to ensure the sleek user experience Apple is known for.

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First impressions after using the iPhone 5 for a day..

1. The Weather App in iOS 6 seem to only allow us to see detailed weather forecast information on only the current day. Previously, we are able to view details in advance.. hmm ?

2. Text is definitely crisper. Looking real good. This stark contrast could be partly due to the matte screen protector on my previous 4S =/.

3. Maps, yeah Apple Maps. Very sleek implementation. But it definitely shows lesser amenities and etc on the map as compared to the previous Google Map. And I still don’t get the difference between 3D and non-3D. :O  . And yes, no Street View. However, I don’t really utilise Street View in the first place, so it isn’t that much of a loss. No Flyover feature in SG as well.

4. Auto-brightness works extremely well in the iPhone 5. Seriously, you got to try it to know what I mean haha. the self-adjusting mechanism this time round is top-notch.

5. Blue colored theme for the Status bar at the top, when you enter Settings, Messages.. etc. All along, it is black themed right ? If my memory didn’t fail me lulz .

6. No 100% one-handed usage anymore. There are definitely some areas of the screen which I can’t comfortably reach with one hand.

7. Siri got a slight improvement in the accuracy department.. But features such as movietimes don’t work in SG !! -.- .

8. Shape of buttons in the Calculator and Phone application are changed subtly. Buttons in the Calculator got more rounded while those in the Phone are given a white theme and there are no gaps anymore between buttons. Buttons in the Camera App got changed to a bigger one too.

9. App store UI, a total revamp.

10. Full-screen mode in Safari is a nice touch though.

11. A ‘new’ badge will be shown for each newly downloaded app.

12. ‘Tap to tweet’ and ‘Tap to post’ are available under Notifications Center.

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Modified Samsung advert. For teh lulz.

Samsung Galaxy III vs iPhone 5

Modified Samsung advert LOL.

No hard feelings eh ? Just for fun,peace and laughter =)

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SSH locations and permissions (iPhone)

SSH locations for :

1.Addressbook, SMS , Notes >>> /var/mobile/lib

You’ll find folders for Addressbook etc under the lib folder.

2. Appbackup >>> /var/mobile/lib/preferences/Appbackup

The location to copy and paste your previous Appbackup save files to .

3. Cydia Themes  >> /var/stash/theme

4. Cydia apps >>  /var/mobilesubstrate/dynamiclib

5. Installous downloads  >> /private/var/mobile/downloads/Installous/Downloads


Addressbook folder : 0700 . Contents inside folder : 0644.

Safari, SMS, Notes folder : 0700.

Contents inside SMS : Drafts = 0700. sms.db = 0644.
Contents inside Notes : 0644.
Contents inside Safari : 0644.

Appbackup folder : 0755 . Contents inside folder : 0755.

Note : All Owner and Group must be set to Mobile (501) .

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