Tag Archives: iPhone

Solution – iPhone Apps are not syncing with iTunes after a restore

So you have got a new iPhone; you did a backup of your old iPhone and restored it to the new device. Everything seems to be working except that Apps are not installing. You try to re-sync with iTunes but nothing changes.

Looking at the Apps tab in iTunes shows that the Apps will be installed. So the question is when? Seems never right?

Well, it happened to me recently when I was doing just the same thing for an iPhone I was migrating. I even tried to restore a second time, but it didn’t matter.

I then stumbled upon the “Restrictions” settings, funny enough it was disabled. The original phone had restrictions turned on and Apps installation disabled. Just in the off chance of a bug here, I enabled restrictions, just to make sure all options are set to enabled, and turned off restrictions again.

Right after, I did another sync with iTunes, and all the Apps started to install.

There you have it, there’s a bug in the process. Maybe it was specific to my situation, where the source was an iPhone 4 with iOS6 and the target was an iPhone 4S with iOS7.

Nevertheless, here’s an experience I’ll share, in case if you encounter a similar issue.

Hello 2012!! The most >Geek< fun I've had in a while

ok ok, so this is really not at all keeping up to trying to post regularly. Got too busy, had a baby, etc.. excuses.

Now, I have a great reason to post!! I just finished a little pet project, tiny one.. but I’m quite excited about it as it’s something I’ve tried to do over 10 years ago, but the products were bad. Now, with newer hardware and software it’s a reality!

I had just succeeded to build my home SIP infrastructure. With a SIP client on my iPhone, I can connect to my personal PBX server, and make calls to regular phones via a SIP to PSTN router.

You are lost? I just built my own VOIP system, which I can make data calls over the air, from my iPhone, connect to my home based VOIP system, and call to a land line. What’s so big deal about that? Here in Singapore, the digital land lines are completely toll free! All outgoing LOCAL calls are free. With 3G and 10GB of quota a month, I can make a lot of phone calls this way!

I will share how I did it… and boy, it’s not easy. This setup is not for the faint hearted to even attempt to consider. Leave it to the real IT geeks *cough*

Here’s a glimpse on what you’ll need.

  1. Home broadband connection which has preferably unlimited usage (as we get here in Singapore)
    +the broadband connection must always be up (otherwise you cannot connect from outside of your home)
  2. Home wifi  network, if you want to make calls via your SIP client in the smartphone
  3. A Linksys SPA 3102 (retailing for about S$100 in Singapore) – this is a VOIP Router
  4. Asterisk – a free PBX Server – run this on an old PC, or a small atom machine, or a virtual machine
    (I run mine as a VMware Virtual Machine)
  5. A SIP client for your PC and/or smartphone
    PC – A good and free SIP client called X-Lite (http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite.html)
    iOS – many choices available, free and paid I use the free client from 3CX (http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html)

Generally, each item is easy to get up and running, but to get them working together was not easy, especially when you don’t understand half the terms involved. This is one of the craziest situations where I was looking at pages of configuration items and they are mostly abbreviated.

In addition, there are few up to date guides on the net which tells you what to do. I found lots of guides for Asterisk, some very good, but are for older versions. I’m using version 1.8, and there are lots that are now redundant. After all I’ve done to get things to work, I must say it’s actually not a lot of settings we need to make.

Credits will be given when due. I will link to the sites which I found the most useful information.

 

iMessage how to use it?

The first question I had was, where’s the app for iMessage? I was thinking that there could be a dedicated app, and it’ll probably function like having another “whatsapp” like function. I was wrong. In face, iMessage is integrated into the orignal “Message” app. Yes, the one you use for SMS and MMS.

So, how to start using it? There are 2 parts to it. Part 1 is to setup your iOS device, and part 2 is how to send an iMessage.

Part 1 – go to settings, messages, then look at addresses. These are what your friends and contacts will use to send iMessage to you, as a form of identification (like a userid). By default, your mobile number will be one of them, and the other is the iTunes or iCloud account you used when your first setup iOS5. You can add or change more contact information. e.g. your work email address. Add all the form of “identification” you want and save it.

Part 2 – just launch messages, and here’s the cool bit. Just add the contact you like to send a text to. The app will then do a check if the recipient is already registered with iMessages. Remember what you did in Part 1? The recipient’s contact information in your phone book will be used to check for iMessage “compatibility”. If yes, your “send” button will turn blue, and the text box will have a faint “iMessage” word, otherwise it will have a faint “text message”, and the “send” button will be green.

It’s that simple!

Now, I’m just a little curious about the warning that popped up once or twice to warn of carrier charges for sms sent to activate iMessage. I wonder how many messages will that consume.

iOS Upgrade fail with error 23 – the workaround

So after trying iOS 5 myself, I’m feeling good to upgrade my wife’s iPhone 4.

Strange thing occurred that once I asked iTunes 10.5 to upgrade the iPhone 4, after the first dialog box that says something about backup, the next thing I get is error 23. Which actually means the phone has a hardware problem. Is there an underlying problem? I have no idea, phone seems fine.

So, what I did that made it work… or at least now it’s gone past that stage. Put the phone into recovery mode, and now iTunes 10.5 is downloading iOS5. Will know soon enough if it will work all the way.

*update* the workaround was successful!!

*update 2* to get the iPhone into recovery mode, do the following

  1. have your computer running iTunes 10.5, and the iPhone sync cable plugged into the computer
  2. don’t connect the sync it to your phone yet, and shutdown the phone
  3. after the phone is off, press and hold the home button (don’t let go of the button)
  4. keep holding the home button, and plug the sync cable into the phone (still, hold on to the home button, don’t let go yet)
  5. when you get to the recovery screen, you’ll see the iTunes logo and the sync cable show up on the phone, you can now let go of the home button
  6. iTunes will detect and report that the phone is in recovery
  7. Follow the wizard to proceed with the upgrade

iTunes 10.5 can sync 2 devices simultaneously

Things have been different, and I didn’t have anything good to write about. Until now…

I’ve just updated my iPhone 3GS then my iPad to IOS5. The sync was taking quite some time and I decided to try to sync my 3GS while the iPad is being restored. Searched around a bit and found some old posts saying that Windows iTunes can’t sync simultaneously. Yea, that post is a little old, from 2009.

So now, I’m trying it myself. It works!! The improvement now is that for music, videos and app sync, the device doesn’t stay in the lock screen anymore. It’s more like a background process.

There’s more to be discovered with iOS5, hopefully some more good stuffs to write about!

Update to my Manila SUN Cellular Experience

My earlier post was basically highlighting that if you are purchasing a Sun Cellular prepaid SIM for internet usage, you’ll have to get it activated before trying to apply and SBW load. Otherwise the load will be wasted, which was what happened to me.

The follow up experience to that was that I did get my GPRS (data) access activated within the 48hrs as mentioned by the call center help agent. There was no automated notification, I just had to keep trying to send “activate” to 2300. When it works, it will reply with the activation message.

Then I applied the SBW50 load and I was immediately online. The next thing I tried was tethering with my iPhone 3GS. The tethering didn’t work. In fact, the tethering option disappeared from the iPhone menu.

So what I did for the rest of the trip was to just use my E5830 to provide Internet access to my laptop and phone over WIFI.

I noticed for the E5830, in most places, there are good 3G signal, but for some reason the device will fall back to a slower speed. So I just forced the device to only use WCDMA to keep to the constant good speed. The drawback on this is when the 3G signal quality was bad, Internet access will be miserable.

IOS Devices : Automatic App Installation On All Devices You Own

I didn’t stay up to catch the Apple WWDC, but it’s the first thing I checked out when I woke up today. One of the new features which has got all my thumbs up is the ability for your devices to automatically download purchased content. More details is in this Mac Rumors posting.

I haven’t tested this yet, but what I believe it’s suppose to do is this; Say you have an iPhone and an iPad. If you’ve purchased  content, Music/App/Book, from the Apple Stores, it will automatically make it available on both devices. That sure takes the hassle out to trying to keep both devices in sync.

Without this, I’ve been maintaining synchronization using iTunes, or just manual re-download. Now it’s all automatic! That’s cool!

The best part, you don’t need to wait for IOS5, all you need is the currently available IOS 4.3!

mifi world!! pocket hotspot on the go!

huawei i moa week ago, I picked up my newest gadget, the Huawei E5830. This is a personal wifi hotspot, something similar to the Novatel MiFi, available with Verizon (US) or M1 (Singapore).

My sister has the MiFi from M1 and she complains the same issue that many users have; the unit overheats. When it gets too hot, it just shuts down without warning! For my sister it seems to get to that point in 5mins of usage.

So, together, we picked up the Huawei E5830. In Singapore, there are 2 ways to buy that device. 1, with a contract with Singtel (one of the major telco), or 2, from 3rd party resellers.

The Singtel option is costly, and also did not apply for us as we have existing contracts for our data plan. The alternative is 3rd party resellers. Just about all of these 3rd party resellers sells the unlocked model from 3-UK. So it seems that the 3 UK could be the best provider in the world that offers the device with a nice pre-paid data plan. This makes the device available at a pretty reasonable price. In addition, some people have got their hands on the unlock code for the device and managed to unlock the devices and even change the firmware.

With the unlock and firmware upgrade, this device becomes usable with any 3G telcos in the world. It’s easy to find many people trying to sell this on eBay. For us, we found someone in Singapore who have brought in a large quantity of these devices and selling them at a slightly higher price than we can find in eBay. For the higher premium, at least we’ll get a better chance of some sort of “warranty” if we find any problems with the units.

The Huawei E5380 is slighly bigger than the first generation HSDPA USB modem. As it has a rechargeable battery inside, it weighs a little bit more, but still fairly light to carry around easily. Opening up the unit to slide in the SIM card is very similar to most mobile phones. To operate the unit, there are 3 buttons, power, wifi & 3G connect.

  • Power – toggles the unit on and off
  • wifi – toggles the wifi served on and off
  • connect – gets the unit to establish a connection to the internet

The unit is pre-configured with WPA encrypted wifi out of the box. The WPA key is on a sticker next to the SIM card slot, so make sure to take note of the key when inserting the SIM card.

Once we power up the unit, give it about 30s to 1min to boot up, and when the “W” icon lights up, the WIFI is on and you can get your notebook, iPad, etc.. to search for the signal. Follow the standard way on your device to connect to a wifi.

If your unit has the firmware that has web management capabilities, just launch your favorite browser and point it to http://192.168.1.1. Login with the default credentials and it will take you to the web administration portal. For Starhub users, there’s actually nothing much to do, the unit will just work straight away. If you are a M1 or Singtel user, you’ll need to make some changes to the APN profile. Likewise if your provider requires some unique APN setup, this will have to be done.

One nice feature is that you can configure the unit to connect to 3G manually or on demand. Manually, means you’ll either need to press the button, or get into the web portal and click the “connect” button. On demand means that the 3G will auto connect once there’s a request from a client device to access something on the internet. It can have a time out setting which will disconnect the 3G connection after some time of inactivity. This probably can extend the battery life since the unit don’t have to maintain a permanent connection. On the similar note, the wifi signal can be set to auto-off after a period of inactivity also. This further saves power, but to re-enable wifi signal, you’ll have to press the wifi button on the device.

I’ve been quite happy with the performance of the unit, by specifications it is capable up to 7.2Mbps downstream. In reality, with Singtel as my provider I have reached up to 3Mbps, which for me is very much good enough for internet access on the go.

In addition to the wifi connection it provides, you can use the unit like a USB dongle as well. It has a standard mini-USB jack, and once plugged in, you’ll get the usual virtual CD-ROM drive that contains the connection manager installer. If you’ve used 3G USB dongles before, this will be a familiar ground for you. I have read before that some units will disable 3G when the USB is plugged in. This is not the case for my unit. So, this means that if you are sharing the device with others, and the battery goes low, you can just connect the device to your notebook to charge it up.

In the overall, I’m very pleased with this little investment. It is the perfect companion for iPad users, for people who work on the go, and to share with peers.

If you’ve read about my exploration of MyWi before, I’ll rate this unit to be a much better choice for a few reaons

  1. on top of the list – this device operates in Infrastructure mode (which mywi only works in ad-hoc)
  2. the E5380 offers many more features than MyWi, which one can argue is not critical just to get some internet connection on the go
  3. Since this unit works independently, it takes away the strain from my iPhone
  4. I can easily pass the unit to my wife for her usage, which otherwise I would not be able to do so with my iPhone

True, there’s a higher cost involved compared to just buying MyWi, so, it really comes down to individual situations and preferences.

DROPBOX – keep files in sync and have a backup copy in the cloud

I’ve been using this nifty little tool for many months now, and it works like a charm!! I first got introduced to it watching Tekzilla, and I’m now hooked!!

What Dropbox does is that you identify a particular folder in your computer that you want to be kept in sync between computers. For me, this is my desktop, notebook & netbook. Everytime your computer is on the internet, it will keep all the files sync’d in this folder. So, no matter which machine you are on, you have access to all the files in that folder. Update the file any where, and the rest will get the updates too. To make it even more awesome, you can access these files on your iPhone or Android device.

Dropbox installs a small client on to your computer, and gives you 2GB of free space at the start. With some successful referrals, your free space goes up to 10GB!!

I use it to keep my frequently used files in sync between my computers. I’ve read other usage as to keep iTunes libraries in sync between computers, some others use it to keep emails sync’d between computers, and much more. The possibilities are endless.

So, wait no more!! give it a try and use my referral link here =)

iPhone How-to : add other Google calendars to your iPhone Calendar

this is an extension of the iPhone Calendar how-tos… in this post, I’ll describe the steps you need to perform to add someone else’s Google calendar to your iPhone Calendar app.

If you just want to add your own calendar, you may skip this and go to this post instead.

Now, the steps to add someone else’s calendar is very similar to add your own using the CalDAV method. The only thing that needs to be done prior to the config in the iPhone is that this person must first share the calendar with you.

I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here, so please follow Google’s Instructions on how to share your calendar. I discourage you from making your personal calendar public. To learn more, read another Google’s FAQ entry.

For the calendar to work, so that you can see something on the iPhone, you need to set the permission level to at least “See all event details”. If it’s set to “See only free/busy (hide details)”, you will be able to add the calendar via CalDAV, but nothing will show up in your calendar. If you are allowed to make changes even, then by all means go and set the permission to “Make changes to events”.  The ultimate you-have-it-all permission will be “Make changes AND manage sharing”, which I would think most people would not need.

If you are using Google Apps, and you can’t share beyond “only see free/busy information”, you’ll need to request your Administrator to increase the level of sharing allowed. This Google FAQ entry should help. *NOTE* after the administrator makes the changes, it will take a while before the system is updated and you can increase the level of detail to be shared on your calendar. This worked within 10mins during my testing.

Now, once the sharing is enabled, you can do a quick validation via your Gmail Calendar. See if the other person’s calendar is now showing up in your account as well. If yes, and you are not seeing “free/busy” information only, you are good.

The final step is to add the calendar to your iPhone’s setup. The steps are exactly the same as adding your own calendar via CalDAV (read this post), except in step 3, instead of using your own email address, you use the address of the person who had shared it with you. Follow through the rest of the steps, using your own Gmail login credentials, and you should be set!

At this point, your calendar should now show your own and the new calendar that was shared with you.

An additional tip for you… now that you have multiple entries from different calendars, it will be helpful to be able to visually identify easily which entries belongs to who. Fortunately, there’s a way to do this, but you’ll have to do this in Gmail Calendar’s web interface.

This is a very simple process, first just login to you Gmail Calendar. Next, on the left column of the page, find the calendar that you can see, and click on the little triangle next to it. A box will pop up and it will have several colors for your to choose from. Select the one you like and it’s done. In the iPhone Calendar, all entries belonging to that calendar will now have the color code you just picked.