Mar 21, 2013
How it works, is that you need the Air Display app on your iPad (costs approximately 9 euros here) and then you need the Air Display app for the PC/Mac. When using Air Display, both devices need to be on the same WiFi network and obviously the iPad app needs to be running. In Windows, the application creates an icon in the icon tray, and once the requirements of WiFi and app running on iPad are met, you can connect to the iPad (good insturctions are included in the the iPad app).
I started my journey to be an Air Display user by installing the app on my iPad, and when I then tried to get the software for my Win8-running laptop, I had a moment of disappointment. After installing the PC application, it told me it did not support Win8, and then it crashed.
Avatron however is working on a Win8-supporting version too. It is still in beta, but if you're not scared of betas (which I am not) and are willing to participate in the beta-testing, Avatron offers the beta drivers for (test) usage. So that's what I did. I asked for the beta version for Win8 and ok, the screen flashes sometimes with some operations (like e.g. changing the orientation of the iPad) and it has some issues with Office2013 (e.g. trying the slideshow in PowerPoint 2013 on iPad resulted in PP crashing, and as a little bit bigger problem, Lync 2013 started crashing when joining an online meeting).
The normal mouse moves to the iPad screen, the laptop keyboard works as well. According to Avatron, all of the Win8 gestures are not there even though it is fully touch compatible also; I mean, it is an iPad. But since I'm using a non-touch laptop, my hands are on the keyboard/touchpad so their usability on the iPad additional display is the key feature for me.
Waiting for the RTM :)
[Edit: April 25th, 2013 I just noticed that AirDisplay is not beta anymore!]
Feb 24, 2013
A few days ago I jailbroke my iPad, after watching my boyfriend and his jailbroken iPad for a couple of weeks, to determine that it actually was "safe" to do it. I was slightly worried that it might cause problems, and besides, I've still got a full year of warranty left on my iPad. But the temptation grew too big. I too wanted to have separate user accounts for my girls and some other cool stuff, like those handy toggles in the message area etc.
I didn't go through the whole operation of downloading the jailbreak etc. for my boyfriend already had the stuff needed on his MacBook. So I simply hooked my iPad to his Mac and tapped a couple of icons. Or something. After a few minutes and a couple restarts, I had Cydia on my iPad and could start getting all those things I had been wanting to have for some time already.
1. Multiple user accounts
The truly number one reason for me to jailbreak my iPad. So the first thing I did after freeing my dear device from its Apple jail, was to download the iUsers app from Cydia. It makes a new setting "Users" in the Settings of the iPad, with which you can then create new user accounts. The first one you create will be the current account, the administrator. The other accounts get their own new profiles when switching to them for the first time.
There are a few things to understand when using the not-alltogether-bugfree iUsers (iUsers v.1.0.2 on the iOS 6.1):
- even if you give different passcodes for different users, they will not take effect; the administrator passcode is forced on those accounts too
- the first time you try to log in to a different accounts (with the users icon in the lock screen), it takes quite some time because of the profile creating (an hour or so even), and then takes you through the initial "creating a new iPad" wizard
- after the initial log in, changing the user still takes a few minutes and does something funny that puts the iPad in safety mode (displayed on the status bar), so then you need to reboot the iPad in order to get the proper full mode again
- the app data of at least some apps is not split to different users, so e.g. my accounts in Blogsy are visible and usable in my daughters' profiles too. This is a bit unfortunate, since in many cases that sort of beats the whole purpose of having multiple users
2. Notification bar toggles
One of the things I missed in the iPad from what I'd been used to with my Android Galaxy Tab was the ability to toggle things like the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness etc. in the notification bar. With a jailbroken iPad you can have those too! You need a couple of apps for that, though:
- the WinterBoard
- and the SBSettings app
Then, with the SBSettings you can configure those toggles. It has a set of default ones, but you can also extend them by getting more toggles from Cydia (there is a button for that in the SBSettings).
3. Multitasking gestures
With the SBSetting you also get this Activator app, where you can adjust and change the iPad gestures to your own liking. I didn't really feel the need to do much, but I did download this addition for assigning multitasking gestures for my iPad. So now, instead of always needing to use the home button for switching between apps, I tap on the left/right corner of the status bar to go left and right. Not always the most convenient gesture because of some app buttons being too close to the status bar, but hey, the screen is already pretty full and most gestures already assigned.
4. Get the date and other stuff on status bar
Also in the SBSettings you can set the date&time&other data to be shown in the status bar.
5. Fake the user agent
Ever annoyed that you can't play your favorite videos in Youtube on the iPad (or iPhone)? Or that you are forced to a damn mobile site because you're using a tablet or phone? I have been, definately. So one of the first things I did was also to download the User Agent Faker. You can set the user agent of Safari and almost any other apps according to your preference, e.g. to appear like Chrome when sending request over the Internet.
6. Um... SSH, rooting and stuff
Now I'm not a Unix person in the least, so I really didn't find any need to be installing those things (at least not yet, we'll see if some reasons come up at some point), but since my boyfriend is, I know that's the thing quite many most probably would want, maybe even as the main reason for jailbreaking the iPad. But as it is, I'll point you to my boyfriend's blog for information on that.
7. Oh, and all them themes...
They're like skins for different parts of the iOS and the Cydia stuff and there's a lot of them. I only tried one for the toggles, but it didn't work. Apparently some of them require the WinterBoard mode, some the traditional SummerBoard mode. And they don't really say which...
The jailbreaking hasn't really caused any true problems for me, but sometimes the stuff seems to function slightly strangely:
- The SBSettings and Activator icons seem to be a bit elusive; every now and then I'm missing them from my screens completely... But they usually re-appear when restarting the SpringBoard (the Cydia)
- Once when I updated an app or addition or smtg in Cydia, I got 18 icons (things that should be hidden) on my screen, seemingly the Setup wizard bits and some Cydia stuff and e.g. game center duplicate :o They did vanish after a reboot of the iPad, though.
But still, I'm happy with the jailbreak. It allows me to customize my iPad so much more!
Feb 19, 2013
The problem was that my daughter had had several games on the phone, but wanted a new one. The phone told her that there was not enough memory to install it. So she deleted all games except for the three she likes most. But did it help? Nope. She still could not install a single game on her phone anymore. So, she turned to her mother. That would be me, of course.
First thing I did was to move the remaining three games to her spacious external memory card and deleted all cache data from all of her apps. Did not help. So I googled a bit and tried installing a memory cleaner app on the phone - which didn't give any problems, to my surprise. But still, no luck with the game.
I googled a bit more and found some insturctions to move practiaclly all apps to the memory card by installing some SDKs and development tools and such stuff on my laptop and on that phone and running this and that console and rooting the phone and whatnot! "Haha, you're the geek girl, the Android-hacker, go for it! You just press all the buttons at the same time, say google backwords and type root on the screen with your nose," my boyfriend snickered when I sighed in exasperation and announced that I am definately NOT going to be messing (my girl's phone) with that kind of hacking.
But, it was dêja vú. Windows phone all over again. No updates available. So apparently that phone model is kinda old and doesn't support newer Android versions. No Ice Cream Sandwiches or Jellybeans to my girl's phone. Fine. Didn't go all geeky with that either, trying to manually force a newer version on it.
Instead, I logged into the Google Play store in the browser, searched for the game and clicked install. Magically, it worked. The phone didn't break in tears, cry over spilled memory or anything. It simply installed the game. Poof.
I don't understand the memory system of Android at all. I don't really like Android. But unfortunately, while iPhone is too expensive and WinPhone doesn't get the games, Android it is for the kids.
Feb 14, 2013
Got myself a new toy, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover for iPad. I've got to say that it seems to be the best thing since buying that Camera Kit last spring, which, by the way, has been in use a lot.
Originally I thought I'd probably "need", or have use for, the cover only on trips and e.g. seminars or so. But now that I have the keyboard, I notice that since I'm an active blog-writer etc. the keyboard serves me very well at home too!
Compared to e.g. the generic bluetooth Apple or other keyboards, this cover has some serious advantages over them:
- the stand - most and for all, the iPad stands nicely on the keyboard when typing, so you don't need to be fixing the iPad separately anywhere
- the cover-attachment feature - it just tags along and locks the screen too
- proper keys - well ok, this is actually an advantage over the Surface keyboard
- the inbuilt chargeable battery that lasts for hundreds of hours
I really like this little lightweight addition to my toy collection!
Feb 4, 2013
No, I still don't have Windows Phone 7.8.
What I do have, is Windows phone 7.5, build 7.10.8779.8, which apparently is only the first update file on the way to WP 7.8 (7.10.8858.136) and supposed to be part of a batch that gets installed without the user knowing that the update is actually a set of updates, according to an article in International Business Times.
So how the h*ll, pardon my French, did I end up being one third of the way up to WP7.8?
It's not that long ago that my iPad informed me, that iOs 6.1 update was available. I got the notice pretty much approximately at the same time as any other iPad user, as far as I know. Now, for more than a week already, I have been reading (tweets, obviously, what else) and hearing my friends and aquaintaces,
right here in this same country, talk about WP7.8 on their Lumia 800.
I am one impatient geek, ok. I get my iOs updates at the same time with the rest of the world, and I want my Win Phone updates that way too!
A complaint in Twitter, and I got an answer: "you need to do the Zune disconnect trick". What is that, now? Sounds funky, don't it? So I googled it and found the instructions. Basically:
- turn of the network connenctions on your phone
- open Zune
- connect phone to computer
- search for update; if the newest one isn't readily available ->
- check for updates again but this time
- disconnect the computer from the Internet within 3seconds
- and the newest update should appear
- --> reconnect computer to the Internet and update the phone
But, pretty pretty please, would it be possible to at least opt the update to anybody checking with Zune, even if the update is availble notfications are rolled out in batches?
P.S. If you want it bad enough, you can do it manually too, but that was like too much ado for me for now.
Jan 23, 2013
Some time ago I finally noticed that my Lumia could indeed be used as a wifi hotspot. I vaguely recall trying it out successfully with my laptop, but didn't really have the need for it after that. Except for with my iPad in the bus, and that didn't work. I thought the problem was somehow related to iPad being unable to use the network via Lumia or something.
This Monday I realised that the problem was something deeper than that. I needed, truly needed, to use my Lumia 800 as Internet connection for my work laptop. And it didn't work. I got a connection, but could not open any web pages or connect to Exchange. I tried to use our office VPN connection, but it would not connect either. As my last resort, I tried our home VPN. And that actually worked! And started tunneling requests so I could access web sites and my email, too.
Turns out for some reason Lumia did not provide any DNS service to my laptop, or iPad either, and that was the reason for nonworking networking. Our home VPN is confugerd with an IP address on my laptop as well as iPad, that's why it functions when using my Lumia for Internet connection.
Whether the problem is caused by Lumia or my mobile provider (or the combination of those two), I don't know. But at least I do know how to work around the problem. An IP address configured VPN connection does the trick.
Jan 10, 2013
So, as said, it's been a couple months since I last downloaded stuff. It would been only a few days, had Spotify not stopped supporting new download purchases. You can't download music even with (new) Premium subscriptions, though there is no notification of that on Spotify web site.
So, no downloading music :/ And living in this country with Teosto-hirmuvalta (Copywrite bureau tyranny), the price of music in Finnish online music stores is double the price and not nearly as plenty. Which may of course be one of the reasons behind this. The other one being pushing people to use the mobile app. But little does that help me with the car stereo system!
But what annoyed me even more, was that I noticed also, that Spotify had wiped out all of my previously downloaded music files in my music library! That is, like, intolerable behavior from a store! I paid for that music! It's like buying a cd that automatically destroys itself after a certain period of time. Unheard of!
Luckily though I had - well, have - all my music backed up on my usb drive. But this seriously infuriated me! What's next? Amazon wiping out all Kindle books from my account, just because? Dropbox or Skydrive being empties just because? Cloud services... Very very scary in many ways.
As is Android. I believe I compared Android to Windows XP in one of my earlier posts. I mean, it is. Though I don't remember even WinXP ever losing icons from the desktop. Whereas a couple nights ago my oldest daughter's Android phone did. It crashed and rebooted itself and whooosh! all her games were gone from the screens. It was bedtime, so I told her I'd take a look at the phone the next day, afraid that the actual apps had disappeared.
Before going to bed myself I googled a bit and noticed that a whole lot of people have had that same problem. And that most probably it was only the icons that had disappeared, not the apps. I found a couple of promising tricks (involving e.g. clearing memory and such), but by the time I was back from work and daughter from school and I told her I could try to fix the phone, the icons had already reappeared magically.
I don't really like Android too much. My Galaxy Tab has been reduced to a Kindle device solely (all the kids have Android phones now, so they don't even play games on the Tab anymore), all syncs disabled so prevent the battery from dying in a day even when I don't even touch the tablet. I hope my Kindle books don't decide to go awol...