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Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

Andy returns to the dark side, well almost - 90% Dark Side!

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A number of years ago, I backed Apple, and invested in an iPad and iPhone, only to be burned, when Apple abandoned that platform, and left me with bricks which could not be upgraded, stuck on an iOS version with no applications available in the Appstore to support those expensive gadgets!

Fast forward a number of years and Google launched it’s first Android phone in 2012, the Google Nexus 4 - I blogged about it here - Andy’s Google Nexus 4 - that was over four years ago, and decided it was time for a switch to Droid in 2013.

In all those years Droid has served me well, BUT I’ve been experiencing more and more issues in the last 12 months with Droid applications failing to work correctly compared to iOS applications, also iOS application seem to be made available for iPhone and iPad before Droid (e.g. Airline eTicket systems), and also some applications are never developed or supported, e.g. Android Pay still does not support American Express -Do American Express have issues with Android security ?

Considering there are more Android phones in the world, than iPhones, it is indeed odd, that iOS is the preferred platform for some applications, but the Development time is longer, and also Apple verification can take a while, but with latest development kits, e.g. Xamarin - code can be quickly ported for Windows, Android or iOS applications from Microsoft Visual Studio. So this still puzzles me?

One thing I do know, is that Apple controls the hardware, the OS, the applications and therefore may make it a better applicatio  target, like Sun Solaris, Sun manufactured the hardware, and manufactured the OS - a strong platform, also similar to IBM, and AIX, developed specifically for IBM computers.

An opportunity arose to purchase a new phone, I could have purchased a new Google Pixel or Samsung something, but the costs are similar to an Apple iPhone, but the quality of Apple products are far superior in my opinion, and Google and Samsung products are overpriced, but believe because people will purchase Apple products at x GBP, they can also charge x GBP for their products.

So I decided:- to Return to the Dark Side, almost! I’m about “90% Dark Side” - I’ve opted for a Jet Black 256GB iPhone 7 .

But still using the Google ecosystem, e.g. Google+, GMail, Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Photos, not that horrible iCloud thing!

Jet Black 256GB iPhone 7 & Decoded Case

Jet Black 256GB iPhone 7 & Decoded Case

Jet Black iPhone 7

Jet Black iPhone 7

Jet Black iPhone 7

Jet Black iPhone 7

So we will see how long this lasts me, before I change back, come back in four years, and read the blog to find out, I could have decided to get a Blackberry or Nokia Windows Phone!

This was one of the major reasons, I change airtime companies, see Goodbye Orange @EE, and hello @ThreeUK! #makeitright

Oh, and the iPhone 7 - I’ve had it 4 weeks now, and It’s @#!”£$%^& Brilliant!!!!

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Trials and Tribulations of My Amazon Echo aka Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo Part 2

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Previosuly on Andysworld! - Part 1

So 48 hours later, no email from Amazon, telling me that my US profile, had been migrated to a UK profile.

I decided to get Amazon to call me again this afternoon at 4pm, and what surprised me is that there are NO call records of previous discussions, no service request number notes, and it was lucky I had a photo of the box with serial number, because they have no record of that either!

After giving them the serial number again, for the up-tenth time, it was confirmed that the Echo had been registered from the original Experts Exchange purchaser.

So why was it still not working, after long 1 hour discussions with Customer Support, Kiera went away to ask an Echo Specialist Engineer, and it would appear, I’d been given the run around, and given some bull sh1t!

She confirmed, what needed to be done was as follows:-

1. Add my UK Amazon account, to US Market place.

2. Start Alexa App, and setup Echo.

3. Once completed, then Migrate my US profile (which would then exist) to a UK profile.

She then proceeded to Add my account to US Market place, which she sometimes takes 3-4 hours, but mine, went through immediately…she asked me to uninstall and re-install the Alexa App from Google Play Store, and login again with my account and password and proceed….

Amazon Echo Connected!

Amazon Echo Connected!

Success, I’ve never got this far before in the setup, so this was the issue. I then proceeded with the setup, but for some reasons it did not like the Office WiFi, so returned home, to continue setup, and now have a working US Echo!

Okay, so it’s on US at present, but I’ll get it switched later….

So what have we learnt…

1. Be Patient with Amazon Customer Support!

2. If someone does purchase an Amazon Echo for you, make sure they Mark it As a Gift!

(I did discuss this with Amazon, and said Amazon should make this clearer with the purchase of Amazon Hardware, I spoke to many people in my office, that regularly order from Amazon, and they only consider a Gift, as something you send somebody direct from Amazon, and maybe Gift wrapped! e.g. would you mark an item as a Gift, for someone in your household, or would you just order, and give it to them yourself, maybe Gift wrap yourself!!!! Food for thought here!)

or Ask them to Deregister it, and this could be easier to find.

3. If you do have a non-Country version, which does not match your Country of residence, Ask Amazon to add your Account to that market place.

4. Ask Amazon then to migrate you.

Now I can get on with Home Automation coming soon….

Coming soon TP-Link KASA!

Coming soon TP-Link KASA!

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Trials and Tribulations of My Amazon Echo aka Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo Part 1

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo!

This is the Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo - it started just before Christmas 2016, when I received an email from Gene Richardson, Chief Operations Officer at Experts Exchange, telling me I had won an Amazon Echo, see this blog - I won an Amazon Echo - Thanks @ExpertsExchange.

I’ve been so excited waiting for the day it would arrive….So I’ve been eagerly tracking it from the US via the USPS website…

Captured on 10th Jan - still in transit?

Captured on 10th Jan - still in transit?

it all started going “Pete Tong”, when it had arrived in London, UK, but then departed on another flight to it’s destination…. I don’t live that far from London to justify a flight..(as of 10 January, time of writing this blog, it’s still in transit!). But at least it had cross the pond I thought.

On Saturday 7th January, whilst I was washing, polishing my car and new alloy wheels outside my house, the Postman pasted me, and I said hello, I later found he had secretly deposited a Charges Card through my letterbox!

UK Customs Charges

UK Customs Charges

Damn it, the Local Sorting Office is now not open until Monday morning, I’ve got to wait all weekend, until I can get my hands on my Echo, and pay £28.77 GBP Customs Charge!

There is an option on the card to pay by plastic online, but unfortunately that would trigger a re-delivery and I would not be at home to receive it, so the only option was to go to the Sorting Office on Monday I thought using my mobile phone, pay the charges (at the Sorting Office door) online via plastic, and collect the parcel - NO that’s not an option, because the Sorting Office does not get notified that quickly by office mice or something, so it’s very slow.

Sorting Office does not accept plastic, only cash and postage stamps!!! So I ran round to the Post Office, purchased £28.77 GBP of postage stamps to stick onto the card, via plastic! and then returned to the Sorting Office, handed the card, got the package, but needed a receipt!

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

20 minutes later……I’m on the road again to the office….now very keen to open the box, and get it setup!

Amazon Echo open box

Amazon Echo open box

So excited I can taste the Amazon Echo (I must admit, the build, box is of very high quality - Impressive!), and here it is

and the first issue, it has an American Plug, not a problem I thought it’s bound to use a micro-USB, and I’ve got plenty of them - NO it uses a standard jack type plug, but not a problem, I’ve got variable voltage supplies, with correct adapters, but that didn’t work, because the power socket is recessed under the body, and it would not fit. So I immediately ordered a UK replacement PSU from Amazon.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

But good news, I’l order a US-UK converter from Argos UK, some luck we had some in the stock cupboard…..Best News all day, at least I can power it on, I did check the PSU supplied was 100-220v AC.

So Google Nexus 4 in hand, Alexa App is already installed, turn on Amazon Echo, Alexa greets us, we are in Setup Mode, start the Alexa App,

Android Alexa App

Android Alexa App

hit the connect WiFi button on the App, Amazon Echo goes bong, and responds with You’ve Connected to Echo, now use your App to setup Echo…..wait….wait…..wait…..wait….long wait….

Android App not working ?

Android App not working ?

with the Echo orange light circling around, and eventually it will time out, and sayh WiFi not setup, and display a nice purple ring.

The same happens with a Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Windows 8.1 laptop. So time to call Amazon support! (first call!). In fact it was a Live Chat, which was not resolved, so they phoned me.

After lots of discussion, it was suggested that the device was locked to the Amazon Account, that purchased the device, and Amazon could not tell me the email address of the person, and I had a guess it was @experts-exchange.com, and they told me that bit, and said I would need to contact the person, so they could Deregister it from their Amazon account, it would not work with my account, unless this was done.

So we played guess the email account with Amazon, listing the many employees names I know at Epxerts Exchange, it was not any of them! So I have up on this and pinged an email off to Experts Exchange….

later that evening at my home, I tried a different Android device, iPad and iPhone, Windows 10 PC, exactly the same issue, so it’s nothing to do with the environment in the office!

Another few discussions with Amazon….it’s getting late now … and I’ve been at this all day, and still no working Echo….

An Amazon Technical report specialist stated that it needed to be Reset to Factory defaults, and he would monitor his screen, whilst I did it, to see if the Registered User - disappeared when I did it - I had a discussions with him, as to how is that going to happen, because how can the Echo communicate with anything to do this, but he swore blind, it would do it…..

After a Factory Reset - no change to the registered user - what a surprise, he then told me, it sometimes does it…..by random.

I asked if they could let me know the Registered user, so I could contact them, Amazon then revealed they do not know, and all they have in the control panel was b**********@experts-exchange.com, later an email from EE, stated they had no record of it, and then it appeared against the Finance Controller’s Amazon account, which he had Registered…

Very late last night….I thought brilliant now I can get to use it….. but still I get….

Android App not working ?

Android App not working ?

So back on the phone to Amazon, and this time a Smart Person informed me that the Echo I had was a US model,which has a US Profile, and this has to be migrated to the UK Profile (EMEA)…..I’m still not sure how this CLOUD setting works with my Echo which at present has not and connect connect to the internet, because as of yet, it’s not been configured for WiFi, but I was told that the Amazon App, which is connected to my Account, would not be able to connect to a US Echo….

So how does my Echo get a UK Profile?

So I’m still here 22.43 still waiting for a communication from Amazon, this US to UK migration has been completed…….

Anyway for shits and giggles this evening, trying to prove something, if this Echo is really working, and is a US Model, what if I was to use the US Amazon Alexia App for iOS and Android….so sideload APK onto my Anrdoid phone, and some black-magic with iTunes, grab a Amazon.com account…

I’ve got both Amazon Alexa Apps from US, on Android phone

this should work right ???

Umm.. WRONG it does not!

and guess what THE SAME!

The SAGA continues…….here Part 2

22.49 Jan 10 2017 Still not working!

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Warning to iPhone & Ipad - Big Brother tracks you!

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

You may have read or heard in the Press in the last few days

“The iPhone and iPad collects data that shows when the user was at each location with a timestamp. The information is downloaded to the user’s computer each time the iPad or iPhone is synced. “

I’ve seen fictional programs like Crime Scene Investigation on Channel 5, magically recover location history from phones and GPS devices fitted in cars to provide evidence to convict criminals. - I’ve always thought this was rediculous until now, and just good TV Drama!

So it had me thinking, so I started poking around in the backup data that iTunes stores on your computer.

iTunes stores the backup in the following locations

on a Windows XP Computer

C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

on a Vista/Windows 7 computer it’s stored in

C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

where <USERNAME> is the user you use to login to your computer.

In the Backup folder is a folder which looks like a GUID (long hex number!) and in that is the files that itunes uses to backup your iphone or ipad and all the settings.

it looks something like this:-

d81725cff6c7b675940b71cbff4471b2f7d83a91

This folder contains many files, with similar filenames, it didn’t take me long to find the file I was looking for, if you search all files for the keywords TABLE Wifi or one of the following keywords Timestamp FLOAT, Latitude FLOAT, Longitude - once you found this file use this file to extract the data. (I’ve since discovered that this file is always appended to when you sync your Apple device, so once you found the file, just use this file to extract the data always).

This log file readily identifies itself as a SQLite format 3 database file, which is good news because using the Firefox 4.0 Add-On, we can examine the data in the database (SQLite Manager Add-on only works with Firefox 4.0, so you’ll need to upgrade!).

Install the SQLite Manager add-on, and use menu option Database/Select Database/Connect Database and open the database file you found above (just change to All files in the pick list).

You should end up with a display as follows

Using SQLite Manager to open Location file from iPhone/iPad

Using SQLite Manager to open Location file from iPhone/iPad

The table we are interested in is called CellLocation, so select Tables, CellLocation

WOW the data is there!

It would seem that the Iphone and iPad 3G version, logs the locations of mobile Cell Locations used by the device, MMC, MNC, Cell Id and LAC,  Latitude and Longitude are logged against a timestamp (number of seconds since January 1 2001).

I would suggest either deleting the file, or using the iTunes option to encrypt databackups on your computer, unless you want this file to be used in evidence against you! (remember if you ever lose you iPhone or iPad, it can be jailbroken and this information can be retreived or synced to another computer for the information to be extracted from your Apple device - so if you get caught, destroy your device!). (just hope your Wife or Girlfriend, doesn’t get hold of the file if you’ve been “playing away!” - enough said!).

My ipad locations since I've owned it!

My ipad locations since I've owned it!

I don’t often turn on 3G on the iPad, I use a E585 - MiFi, but I’m going to check if that makes a difference, because I think it’s the 3G data which is tracked!

iPad on vaction in Japan!

iPad on vaction in Japan!

Tracking is global! (as can be seen from the above when I took the iPad to Japan!)

So how do we get this information into a nice Google Maps display. Simple,

  1. Use SQLite Manager to export the data to a CSV, highlight the table CellLocation, right-click, Select Export Table, CSV (comma), select OK.
  2. Import the CSV into Excel, remove all columns except Latitude and Longitud.
  3. Save the file as a CSV.
  4. Using GPS Visualizer, import the data for a nice location map with your locations highlighted!

SCARY STUFF! BIG BROTHER!

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Skyfire App for ipad

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Skyfire App for iPhone, iPad appeared today in the App Store, the app will turn Web-based Flash video into HTML5 and play it on your iPhone or iPad.

What a real disappoitment, it’s not a true iPad App, and the up-scaling is awful.

My advice, wait for an Ipad version! and save your money!

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Flash comes to iPad and other iOS devices

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

so stick that in you pipe and smoke it Apple haters! So maybe you might be tempted to purchase an iPad now, it might do Flash in the future!

It would appear that Apple have made some changes to its iOS Developer Programs licence.

What the decision broadly means is that developers can use third-party development tools to create apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

What it really means is Flash apps are about to start flooding the App Store. A few are already awaiting approval, according to reports.

Let’s wait and see…..

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How to beat the UK TV License and save £145.50 a year!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I’ve just received my new UK TV License for another 12 months, at a cost of £145.50 a year. I think everybody knows in the UK, if you use a service like BBC iPlayer to watch pre-recorded shows, what the TV License calls “on-demand”, a UK TV License is not required. What I didn’t know, and I’ve been told this by UK TV Licensing is if you purchase any computer or high tech mobile phone or games console your details (name and address) will also be sent to UK TV Licensing, I only thought it was TV receiving equipment, but on reading my new TV License it states “You’re now covered to do more than just watch TV at home on a TV set. You can also watch and record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV through your computer, games consoles, and digital box, DVD/VHS recorder, even your mobile phone”.

So therefore TV Licensing assumes that every household in the UK should have a TV License.

I’ve made some enquiries about the defintion of “on-demand” which doesn’t require a TV License, it doesn’t require a TV License because it’s pre-preorded content. The content was also not received by you, as you didn’t record it. In the same way, Homeowner A records a program for you as it’s broadcast, they are covered by their TV License to receive this program, they give the program to you on a USB stick, Homeower B doesn’t require a TV license to watch the program.

If you examine the above further, and watch a program, which is recorded elsewhere, not at your home, and transmitted/played-back 50 seconds later - no TV License is required.

I’ve just come off the telephone discussing this with Amie, TV Licensing on 0300 790 6055. The telephone conversation was recorded, she also stated that the Field Agents are also aware of this information.

So how do you save £145.50 a year,

  1. Firstly you must stop using your TV equipment, e.g. TV and Set-Top-Boxes that receive television through a UHF aerial (e.g. live broadcasts)
  2. Remove the TV aerial from the TV equipment.
  3. You do not have to remove the TV equipment from the premises (I’ve also discussed this with TV Licensing - they have to prove you are using it, and I was told, they would take your word that you are not using it!).
  4. Use BBC iPlayer, Sky Player, ITV Player, 4od, Demand Five to watch pre-recorded “on-demand” content from the Internet, either via computer, laptop or Internet connected TVs.
  5. Live Content use - TVCatchup - http://www.tvcatchup.com/ from your computer, laptop, iPhone or iPad.
  6. tvcatchup_ipad1a1You can turn your iPad into a TV with TVCatchup iPad Service.

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WiFi Charger software for PDA, iPhone and Smartphones

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

wifi-charger-softwareI found this new software app on the Internet that converts WiFi signals to electricity to charge your PDA, I understand the iPhone, iTouch applications will be in the AppStore shortly. I’m just having issues with using it with my old 802.11b access points, it doesn’t charge very well, but if I use on my new Belkin ‘N’ series, as you can see in the screenshot, it charges very fast. The only issue is my battery gets very hot, because it says it blast charges it, I think the instructions are not very well laid out, not written in good english. The software vendor WireFree A/S is appearing at Gadget Show 2010 Live next week on stand OZ56.

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Mobile Edition of andysworld! for use with iPhone!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I’ve had a few requests from readers with mobile devices, that read the blog, that struggle with the side panels and content.

If you are lucky enough to own one of those mobile devices, smart phones, pda, iPhone, Nokia something or HTC Touch device, I’ve now made the blog “mobile” compatible.

If accessed from a mobile device, it should switch to a mobile theme, which may help reading the blog. If it doesn’t send me your User Agent string, or let me know which device you have and I’ll add it to the list of devices.

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