Tag 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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iPhone 5S. The Upgrades and all ~

>> iOS 7. ( Duh)

>> Camera app has multiple modes and built-in filters. The sensor is 15% bigger than before.

>> There’s a new burst mode — 10 frames per second.

>> Slo-Mo is coming as well. The icon shows it can do 120FPS. ( 120FPS is insane.. )

>> Gallery app has the ability to automatically group photos into “moments” and “related collections” .

>> AirDrop ( Easy sharing via p2p wifi technology )

>> iTunes Radio ( well, not really restricted to 5S .. 😛 )

>> Touch ID . ( The fingerprint sensor on the Home Button )

>> A7 64 Bit Processor  ( Holy cow ?!  40x faster CPU power and 56x GPU power increase !!!! )

>> A dedicated motion processor, the M7.

>> a new, five-element Apple-designed lens” with an F2.2 aperture

>> The new flash has two LEDs. One is cool and white, the other is warm and amber.

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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, h.id 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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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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Great point against several features which aren’t implemented in iPhone 5.

Found this jewel amongst the promoted comments in an iPhone 5 related article in Ars Technica :

Point relating to the new ‘Lightning’ connectors
You may want to note that the flash memory used in most SmartPhones, including the iPhone, isn’t actually fast enough to even saturate USB2 speeds. So having a USB3 interface gains you just about nothing. You can only read from the flash at about 200Mbit/sec. Write speeds are even slower. There is no need for USB3 at this time. I would bet the new Apple Dock connector has pins reserved for future USB3 compatibility.

True, if the flash memory in the phone can’t handle USB3 speeds, there isn’t a point for a USB3 chip to be implemented in the ‘Lightning’ connector.

Wireless Charging: Here’s the problem. Wireless charging makes the device thicker. There’s nothing I can do to make it thinner once that design choice has been made. So even if I never use wireless charging I am paying a thickness tax for having it built-in. On the other side if you start with a very thin device you can add a wireless charging case which will of course increase the thickness — but it’s your choice. Compare the thickness of the iPhone 5 to the Nokia 920. The iPhone 5 would likely be thinner even *with* a wireless charging case.

Yeah, this is a pretty solid point. If people want to have wireless charging, they can buy a wireless charging case and mat separately. For those who don’t require wireless charging, you can have the svelte and thinness of the phone. This also puts the ball in the consumers’ court.

NFC: It’s been in other devices now for what? Almost a year? Hasn’t really taken off. On the e-payment side it’s hard to compete with swiping a credit card. How much easier can it get? For the other non-payment features NFC provides I think we’re looking at a repeat of QR codes. Nice idea but not many people use them and it’s not even clear NFC is the best way of doing those things due to the requirement of an extra radio and large low frequency antenna. Bluetooth, wifi-direct, and even just IP will provide a lot of the same functionality for ‘free’ with no extra parts required.

Totally agreed. I don’t see many merchants supporting QR codes, not to mention NFC lulz. I read some time back that there are some merchants who run their membership/loyalty cards via QR codes, but that’s still the minority. NFC have a proven security risk as well, can’t remember the exact details of the security flaw though.

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Setting up VPN ( HotSpot Shield ) on the iPhone ~

1. Turn off WiFi. Then find the VPN settings in
Settings -> General -> Network -> VPN -> Add VPN Configuration:

Enter the following details:

Select the IPSec tab/pane
Description: HotspotShield
Account: n5tfrq
Password: n5tfrq
Use Certificate: OFF
Group Name: hss
Secret: hss

2. Save the settings and hit the “HOME” button to quit. Make sure to turn Wi-Fi back “ON”.

3. To activate Hotspot Shield on your iPhone, the VPN setting needs to be turned on.

Settings –> VPN –> ON

Credits goes to iphoneincanada .

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