[ Ø ] Harsh Prakash – GIS Blog

Quiet Musings On Applied Spatial (Health, Disaster, Technology, Planning et al.)

Archive for the ‘mobile’ tag

Conference Presentation: GIS TECH 201 – Mapping Mashups

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Verizon iPhone or iNot?

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Back in the summer of 2010, as one of the million proud owners of iPhone 4, I noticed a certain setting to switch phone carrier. That setting then portended the change we will see tomorrow. But should you bite the bait? Assuming CDMA and GSM don’t matter, here’s part 1 of my guide:

There is a lot of spin around Apple’s flagship cash cow, or as we have come to know it- the iPhone, which only recently represented about 43% of its overall sales. Not all of the coverage is positive (remember Foxconn?). Apple’s growing pains also include a big lawsuit fight. But for those with out a blind searing faith in Steve Jobs, the genius patriarch, the iPhone may very well be suffocating. If true, could Jobs be repeating his original sin? And if so, should your phone follow his sin to the grave?

iOS works better than Android out-of-the-box. To better understand the genesis of its famed usability and cool minimalism, watch Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. If you decide to switch, be prepared to shell out monies in cool apps and media. From a quick glance, I paid around $750 over 2 years. To Apple. Not AT&T (that averaged around $2,400 for the same time). And remember that MP3s from Amazon, somethings you can’t buy on your iPhone, tend to be less expensive and redownloadable – a big plus for some. And all that precious data would cost even more to put into MobileMe, Apple’s own cloud solution, never mind the naysayers. So more additions to your ever burgeoning monthly bill (Tethering, Personal Hotspot, …).

iPhone’s Mythical Advantage: Apps

Apple still disallows Adobe Flash (or Oracle Java) from iOS. It appears to be more a business decision than a technology constraint, designed to control the sprawl of Flash-based gaming mobile websites where you could buy outside of Apple’s walled-garden. How this affects HTML5 gaming websites is still unfolding, but it certainly helps the lagging QuickTime in the meantime. In any case, it goes against the customer’s best interests by taking away her choice to enjoy multimedia content in one of the industry’s most prolific formats. But Apple has you covered with the most commonly used app: the browser. Mobile Safari, hands down is the best mobile browser out there between the platforms that I tested, namely iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. For the GIS pros among you, Joben blogs about GIS apps for the iPhone. You can always find an increasing number at the App Store, like the iGIS.

Jailbreaking Folsom

So you switch and finally get that toy you were waiting for? Why jailbreak it? Jailbreaking the iPhone isn’t worth the effort, even if it is legal. And even if not upgrading to the latest and greatest release (something that iTunes would handle seamlessly for you, but something that you can’t always do with Cydia because Cydia often trots a step behind) is an acceptable risk, ask yourself if your precious data is too important to jailbreak. After all, you could brick your iPhone and quite possibly provide no way for iTunes to restore it. But if your phone data is not critical ahem, then you can add some developer functionalities by jailbreaking and escape the infamous iTunes bloat. Now jailbreaking could also introduce your spanking iOS to new viruses, but if you must, hope over to Cydia. If you need a copy of the old firmware during jailbreak, grab it from here. Once you jailbreak, remember to download a file browser or explorer, like iFunBox or iPhoneBrowser. You may also want to jailbreak if you want to install a phone firewall out of privacy concerns. After all, Apple did confess to collecting GPS data from iOS 3 and iOS 4 daily. Then again, if that is what propels you, why share your payment info with Cydia’s marketplace (just asking)?

Some quick notes on iFunBox or iPhoneBrowser – You can’t watch your uploaded pics or videos, or play your uploaded songs in their native app, even if you upload them to the folders that the iPhone looks under, say //var/mobile/Media/DCIM/100APPLE/. This is because the iPhone, much like the Android, extensively uses SQLite as its Swiss Army database, and all your uploads need to be first registered in the database, say //private/var/mobile/Media/PhotoData/Photos.sqlite which links your IMG_0001.JPG or IMG_0002.MOV. Now there are Cydia apps like iFile that help add your photos, but videos are still no go. But if you are brave enough to try, download the SQLite Manager add-on for Firefox and test your luck.

PS: More

Written by Harsh

February 9th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Follow Up [1]: Job

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We are looking for a Senior Mobile Developer, GIS or otherwise, in the Washington DC Metro. Given the niche, pass it along to qualified professionals or contact me with your resume.

Related:
* Job

Written by Harsh

April 24th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Job,LBS

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Follow Up [1]: Wireless Application Protocol

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Written by Harsh

May 19th, 2005 at 6:54 pm

Posted in LBS,Technology

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Wireless Application Protocol

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As the year-end inches closer, let us look at one significant industry trend:
A potential increase in location-based wireless services [“Where are my kids …no really, WHERE are my kids …and give me that in Lat/Long”]? This could be brought about by a spread of handy ‘location-aware’ productivity tools, such as a GPS-enabled internet-ready Blackberry phone that also functions as a TV. Such tools could tell you when your family members or selected friends move into your vicinity. Based on industry reports, this might be old news in parts of Japan.

• SmartPhlow: Real-time Traffic Monitoring
• Real-time Mobile Mapping

Related:
• Social Software

The earliest benefit could be in emergency-response which just might be the area most likely to get heavy government funding. Ex: Volunteer Fire Departments being able to access critical layout and hydrant information that they need for machine placement and egress route planning as they respond to a distress call. Or, first-responders being able to retrieve medical history on-the-go. Check out an earlier National Incident Management System memo. Also, take a look at the developments at the WV Statewide Addressing and Mapping Board which plans to implement a statewide Spatial Information System [SIS] using aerial photography etc. The project has been funded in part by Verizon. Its objective is to help emergency-response by integrating mapping with E911, postal and public utility services, and telephone companies. This project was initially started to provide city-style addresses for rural areas so that all areas receive the same level of emergency services. With this broadening of its scope, it could serve as a guide for other states.

• ESRI Library: Challenges for GIS in Emergency Preparedness
and Response

• “Efficient Operations and Emergency Response”

Related:
• Google: SMS, Froogle, [http://www.google.com/wml]
• “U.S. launches a new Global Positioning Satellite”

Written by Harsh

November 6th, 2004 at 7:30 pm

Posted in LBS,Technology

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