September 7, 2007

iPod Touch: update- Hacking and Searches

Posted in iPod, Mac, Mac Software at 5:51 pm by a11en

Well, a bit of an update on the “Hacker-Killer” release of the iPod Touch. Gizmodo is reporting:

The iPod runs Mac OS X like the iPhone does and we have got unofficial word from inside Apple that it runs exactly the same applications. The exact quote: “they use the same damn binaries.”

They also discuss that the same internals are likely there, with some modest interface differences.  In fact, they are reporting that Apple likely didn’t install the usual iPhone software (Mail.app, Stocks, etc.) due to differentiation in the product line.  I completely concur, and suggested this in my last post.

Then there are some questions as to whether or not the microphone within the iPhone’s headset is available (hiding within the headphone jack of the iPod Touch) for use.  Some mentioned that the headphone jack is *not* recessed in the iPod Touch, and therefore your kick-ass Shure noise-isolation ear-buds will work… but this may mean that the headphone jack was changed out in the iPod Touch (will have to do a bit more digging to confirm this).  But, I think we can expect to see the iPod taken apart in the first few weeks of it’s life, as well as  someone trying out the iPhone headset with it.  The only problem will be, are there any apps for it, if it does use the microphone?

As Gizmodo suggests, we are all now learning about the applications which are available to hackers of the iPhone.  In a new post, I’ll update and add links to the apps which are being added by the savvy to their iPhone, and see what that might mean for iPod Touch users.

BTW, it seems we are all of the same mind.  Recent search hits from the blog show that people are arriving here looking for:

  1. PDF abilities on the iPod Touch–  Most likely this will be the same as the PDF abilities on the iPhone within the browser.  There are some reports that the browser requires the full PDF to be available in the phone before showing the first page (as most browsers do these days).  This might not be too important to people who wish to download their pdfs to the iPod Touch.  But- will there be a reader capable of surfing the file-system on the iPod?
  2. Skype on iPod Touch– we’ve talked about this in the past… I think it will come down to a USB microphone product… I can’t see Apple allowing a microphone input on this device.  In fact, I think we’ll see the device was crippled once it gets into the hacker/cracker’s hands.
  3. Bluetooth on the iPod Touch–  Gizmodo readers commented on this as well.  Unfortunately, this appears to be another no-go.  If the internals of the iPod Touch really are the same as the iPhone, I think we will have some serious confirmation that Apple *doesn’t* want this device to be much more than a reader.  They’re thinking consumer visual reader hardware, not useful communication device.  Truly it could be the latter, Apple just needs to get out of this mode of thinking.  [Again, re iPod’s lack of high-def record abilities.]
  4. iPod Touch SSH– seems I’m not the only one.  The good news, is that if the terminal is working, most likely we can install the simple ssh libraries and binaries needed in the underpinning.  I suspect we’ll see SSH pretty quickly.  Likely we won’t be able to pass through VPN’s, however.  But, time will tell.

One possible solution to the difficulties in low-on-board memory may be streaming content via your own webpage.  I suspect we’ll see an amped up version of .mac for users of the iPod Touch.  Apple will probably attempt to link the home iTunes materials (video and audio) through streaming content and secure connections to the iPod Touch via wifi.  This obviously isn’t the best option for these things, but it may alleviate some of the lack of memory.  This may be the only solution we have to do PDF’s if we can’t figure out how to get the pdf’s from the core system file area.

Will be updating this weekend with what I find out for applications on the iPhone.

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1 Comment »

  1. a11en said,

    Another frustration I can see occuring, is the lack of a file-system interface. Based on it’s visual interface, I suspect a very cut-throat aqua, or even a dash-board implementation (as I suggested in the past). As far as I can see, there is no manner to view files or file-system on the iPhone while on the device. Perhaps the Safari browser can view them? This will pose a problem for people with content they wish to work with. Will Apple sport the iTunes interface as the manner with which to work with this device even now? I highly suspect it will. Unfortunately, this means the device is likely to be as frustrating to work with as the Palm devices were. Files should be drag and drop-able to the file-system, as well as seen and opened via respective readers while on the iPod Touch. Instead, I fear the files will be hiding, and we won’t see the file-structure *at all*, and we’ll be forced to sync/add files via iTunes.

    Although, to be honest, we could always add notes to the note section of the iPod, eh? Wonder how this will turn out…

    [The main reason I’m harping on this, is that I’d like to be able to read my scientific research articles via the device- it would be wonderful to have my Thesis bibliography inside the thing, and also be able to search it via a cut-throat spotlight like content search!!]

    -Allen


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