One of the less-heralded new features in iOS 4.2.1 for the iPhone is the addition of a slew of new SMS message tones, along with the ability to assign text tones to particular contacts. The expansion of choice is welcome, and I hate to look gift text tones in the mouth, but there are still some frustrations in the mix.
The biggest issue is that as far as we can tell, 3GS owners aren’t getting the new ringtones at all; only iPhone 4 users are seeing them. It’s not clear yet if this is permanent or temporary.
Even if you have the new tones, what you see is what you get; you still can’t add your own custom SMS tones without jailbreaking. For another thing, as Chris Rawson pointed out last week, these new SMS alerts are mostly freakishly long — who has time to wait for 10 seconds of music whenever they get a text? It is a puzzlement.
You may find one of the new SMS tones to your liking; for my money, most of them sound like they might have been recorded between takes on the Looney Tunes scoring stage, although ‘Anticipate’ is a dead ringer for the Stair Dismount music sting. The only one that I feel like I might be able to stick with for a while is ‘Noir,’ which is short enough not to drive me bonkers.
Whether you stick with the classic alerts or dip into the new and ‘improved’ ones, you can still have some fun assigning specific tones to particular people — very handy if you want to make sure that your spouse or your boss always get your attention in a hurry. Read on for the simple steps needed to set this up.
Apple has begun retro-fitting iPhone 4s brought in for service with proprietary torx screws, meant to keep customers out. Similar to those used to keep the new MacBook Air sealed, these screws are of Apple’s own design and send a clear message: Do not enter.
What would prompt such a move? No doubt the cottage industry of after-market conversion kits of white casing parts has something to do with it. The anti-tampering screws are showing up on recently-purchased iPhone 4s as well.
On one hand, it’s an understandable move: Apple makes no money
As Apple announced previously, iOS 4.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is now available.
Steve Jobs had given a glimpse of some of the new features in iOS 4.2 at the September 1 special event.
iOS 4.2 brings the following new features:
- iOS 4 features such as multitasking, folders, Game Centre for iPad users.
- AirPrint: Apple’s Wirelessly printing technology
- It will also bring the AirPlay feature to iDevices, which will allow you to stream video, music, and photos over Wi-Fi especially useful if you have the second generation Apple TV.
The beta versions of iOS 4.2 have revealed the following hidden features:
The screen orientation lock switch on the iPad has now been repurposed to serve as the mute switch
- New fonts for Notes app
- New Settings option
- New Default Lockscreen Keyboard
- Allow you to search for text on a web page in Mobile Safari
- Allows users to set text tones to individual contacts
- Developers had observed speed improvements and more reliability in iOS 4.2 for iPad
- Game Center compatibility indicators added to the App Store app
- YouTube app that comes pre-installed on the iDevices will finally allow users to upload a video as public, private or unlisted
- Enable/Disable alert sounds for New Mail, Sent Mail, Calendar Alerts, Lock Sounds, Keyboard Clicks for iPad users
- Minor graphical changes
- New iPad wallpapers
- Performance improvements for iPhone 3G
Apple has also announced with the iOS 4.2 software update,
Apple has gone live with iOS 4.2.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and the firmware is now available to download.
As a reminder to jailbreakers, don’t accidentally update and make sure you have your SHSH blobs for 4.1 saved.
You can find the download links below:
- iPhone 4: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPhone 3GS: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPhone 3G: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPod Touch 4G: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPod Touch 3G: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPod Touch 2G: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- iPad wifi & 3G: direct link firmware 4.2.1
- Apple TV: direct link firmware 4.2
Amazon has released Price Check, a free app that allows you to do some comparison shopping. You start by saying the name of your target product, scanning its barcode, typing its name, or snapping a photo. You’ll get several results; tap one to see who’s offering it with prices and shipping costs listed. Of course, Amazon hopes it has the lowest price, but it doesn’t always win.
I tried the app in a local store and found the barcode scanning and voice recognition worked well. I took a picture of some DVDs, and the app figured out what the movie was and offered meaningful price comparisons to other retailers.
I used to use the Amazon Mobile app in bookstores while I browsed, and I often just ordered from Amazon while I was in a brick and mortar book store. I felt bad, but sometimes the price differential was too significant to resist. You can share your pricing info via email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter. The Price Check app is listed for the iPhone only, but it will run on the iPad and the iPod touch. Amazon also has an iPad app called Windowshop, but it doesn’t do price comparisons and is just an easy way to shop at Amazon.
Price Check is so good that