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10 Useful But Less Common Cydia Tweaks Worth Trying February 14, 2013

Posted by Bilal in iPhone.
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In December 2012, After the sudden shutdown of Installous, the major  pirate appstore by the Hackulous team, many voices were herd saying that the game of jailbreaking is over. Sheer silence about the jailbreak of iOS 6  added fuel to the fire. But with the record downloads of the evasi0n, all such rumors came to their own death. There was a tweet saying that

The jailbreak for iOS6 is awaited even more than the iOS6 itself!

And it is totally true. The slow countdown for the release of evasi0n also persuaded this waiting. On the contrary, when the download of evasi0n was made publicly available, all the crowd rushed to grab it which resulted in the slow performance and time-out errors of the Cydia. No doubt, Saurik was there to take the quick care of it. The web has been flooded with the new and updated posts and tips to do right after jailbreaking. Here, I am going to mention 10 useful but less common tweaks and utilities that you should give a try to feel the true freedom that jailbreak provides to you.

KuaiDial

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

Apple has done a marvelous job developing iOS and iPhone but it seems that they forgot to make a proper app for the phone itself. iOS 6 provides some major tweaks to the phone app but still it is not fully customizable. This tweak provides you options for customizing almost everything about the phone app (check screenshot below). The homepage of KuaiDial does not provide much information. To explore it fully, you must give it a try.

KuaiDial

 Image: Main Settings for the KuaiDial

NCTabClock

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

When we are running a full screen app and we want to check the time or the battery, it is very annoying to minimize the app and then reopen it or to open the full notification center. NCTabClock is a very small and simple tweak that adds a clock and/or battery to the tab that appears when trying to open the notification center in a full screen app.

BatteryDoctorPro

Category: Utilities

Price: Free

It is not just a battery manager, it is much more than that. It  provides a lot of features including and not limited to:

  • Battery Profiles – A set of Predefined settings and toggles to get the estimated  battery timing
  • Optimization of battery life by adjusting the charging pattern
  • Full record of charging, discharging, battery usage by apps etc.
  • An extensive collection of toggles AND list of running apps by tapping the battery icon in the status bar
  • Very elegant UI

Personal Note: Highly recommended

batteryDoctorPro

 Image: Battery Profiles with their estimated times

Bridge

Category: Multimedia

Price: $ 1.99

Before iOS 5, even to activate your new iOS device, you have to connect it to iTunes. Now, with iOS 6 running on the devices, the dependency on iTunes has decreased quite considerably but still there are some places when you need to use iTunes to complete a basic task. A very simple task, transfer multimedia files to your device’s iTunes library still required iTunes for this purpose. Bridge allows you to import music and videos straight to your media library (from web browser or other supported apps.)

DataDeposit

Category: Utilities

Price: Free

Although iOS provides the option of the iCloud/iTunes backup but it is very limited in options. Also, if you want to upgrade the OS of your device with CLEAN installation and only interested in the saved data of just a few apps, you are out of luck. If your device is already jailbroken, DataDeposit comes to your rescue. You can upgrade you deice with a clean  installation, to avoid the old stuff that made your previous OS somehow sluggish over the time. Once the upgrade is complete and jailbroken ( e.g. transition from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 6.1), you can use DataDeposit to restore the data for the selected apps ONLY. It uses Dropbox integration for data deposit and recover.

Personal Note: The app is pretty simple and the recovery rate is almost 90%. If you are too much concerned about your data, you can still take the iTunes/iCloud backup as a plan B.

DietBar

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

Either you are working on a big screen device or small hand held device, your main concern is the contents of the screen. Hope you remember one of the very first shiny feature of the Google Chrome, a single navigation bar on the top and freeing the rest of the screen for the contents. When you are using small screen device, the screen area gets even more precious. DietBar reclaim precious pixels by shrink the height of most in-app navigation bars to a minimal size.

Personal Note: It works fine with majority of the apps, only in a few apps, a white line appears under the navigation bar.

FolderCloser

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

It is a very simple tweak that closes the folder automatically once the application has been launched.

iCallAnnounce

Category: Utilities

Price: 0.99 $

As clear from its name, it will announce the name of the caller in a human voice. It also supports announcing sms sender name and the sms text also.

Personal Note: The name will be announced before the bell ring starts. It depends upon the device volume or ringer volume.

PasswordPilot

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

How many times it has happened that you are trying to download/update an app which is even free, but you are required to enter your password for the apple store account. Since the password requirements for the apple store account are very good from security point of view ( combination of small letters, capital letters, numbers etc); it gets very annoying to enter it again and again. Although an attempt has been made to reduce the frequency of entering password in iOs 6, you still find yourself entering this complex combination too often. PasswordPilot lets you enter the password for your apple store account once and whenever the password box pops up. It fills it automaticall.

Its PRO version is also available for 1.99 $. It supports multiple account and other features.

WrapAround

Category: Tweaks

Price: 1.99 $

Suppose you are having 8 pages of apps on you device and you need to go to the page one. Just press home button once and you will reach home page, simple isn’t it? But what about the reverse i.e. you are on page 1 and need to go to page 8? You have to swipe through hall the pages until you reach the last page. Get WrapAround, it will let u reach to the last page from home page in just 2 swipes : Home Page –> SpotLight Search –> Last Page. It lets you scroll forever through icon pages with infinite scrolling. Last icon page wraps around to Spotlight.

Note: It is possible that some of these apps and tweaks might not be fully ported to iOS 6 but stay tuned, soon you will be able to get the updated version.

Disclaimer: These utilities and tweaks have been mentioned to facilitate your iOS experience. Writer is not responsible for any harm/loss occurred due to the usage of these tweaks and utilities.

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Windows Azure MS – Building Cross Platform Mobile Solutions December 20, 2012

Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
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On 16th Dec 2012, an event was arranged by Microsoft Saudi Arabia at Golden Tulip Hotel, Jeddah; a 3 star hotel located near old airport. The focus of this event was Windows Azure and its Mobile Services. If you are new to Windows Azure, its better you check its home page. The event was conducted by Fauzan Khan from Microsoft Arabia. The agenda of the event was:

  • 08:30 – 09:30 Registration and Breakfast
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Introduction to Azure Mobile Services
  • 10:30 – 10:45 Break
  • 10:45 – 11:45 Building Your Windows Phone 8 App
  • 11:45 – 12:45 Prayer / Lunch
  • 12:45 – 13:45 Building Cross Platform Apps Across WP8/Win8
  • 13:45 – 14:00 Break
  • 14:00 – 15:00 Authentication / Storage
  • 15:00 – 15:15 Break
  • 15:15 – 16:15 Enabling Push Notifications
  • 16:15 – 16:45 Closing and Prize Draw

Windows Azure has been available for quite a time, Mobile Services have been launched publically as a part of Azure since last month by the Build Event. This Windows Azure provide a free 90 days trail and it includes 10 mobile services. Currently, out of the box (OOTB) support is available for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and iOS. OOTB support for android is expected to be available soon. The Azure Mobile user page is a complete and comprehensive portal that provide the access to all the required components like databases, virtual machines, logs etc.

Some of the topics discussed/demoed were:

  • App.caml.cs
  • TwoWayDataBinding
  • Twitter Authentication
  • ObserveableCollection <>
  • IValueConvertor
  • Push Notifications
  • Channel URI
  • Windows 8

An interesting thing to know is that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to get the Windows Store, even before China. Now it is available in 191 countries.

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