Apple patent ditches GPS for Wi-Fi to better determine location indoors

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

Apple has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday that will help its Maps app better track your location indoors.

The patent describes a technology that temporarily ditches the GPS sensor, and uses Wi-Fi access points, location databases, and other sensors to determine your location where the GPS sensor may not be as accurate, Apple Insider first reported. Read More

 

Broadcom launches Gigabit Wi-Fi chip that will likely power the next iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014

Imagination Technologies, the fabless British semiconductor maker, yesterday at Mobile World Congress detailed its new PowerVR graphics which outperforms Nvidia’s Tegra K1 platform and is a likely candidate for the next iPhone’s GPU. And now, another premium silicon vendor has announced a chip that could just as easily find its way into future iOS devices.

I’m talking about Broadcom, whose Wi-Fi chips and other controller components are used in the iPhone 5s and iPad lineup. The Irvine, California based firm announced at Mobile World Congress a new fifth-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi component which doubles data throughput and increases Wi-Fi coverage by up to 30 percent.

Should Apple choose to tap it, the iPhone 6 and the next iPad will adopt Gigabit Wi-Fi aka 802.11ac, the latest and greatest standard in wireless networking for the consumer market… Read More

 

Google Wi-Fi app being tested, takes the pain out of accessing public hotspots

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2014

Google is testing a new iPhone application which aims to make it easier to access public Wi-Fi hotspots on your handset, Engadget reported Thursday.

The software will make it simple to automatically authenticate and connect users to Google’s free hotspots inside Starbucks stores “or wherever they are available”.

The publication has learned that the Google Wi-Fi app could even tap users’ Google Account to “install a dedicated security certificate on their device to automatically authenticate devices when a connection is available,” bypassing the need to go through the clunky login process when joining public Wi-Fi hotspots… Read More

 

CleverPin lets you use an iPhone passcode only when you need it

By Joe Rossignol on Jan 30, 2014

Italian developer Filippo Bigarella has been working hard to update his jailbreak tweaks with iOS 7 support, highlighted by the release of Springtomize 3 over the weekend. With an update to that flagship tweak out of the way, Bigarella has followed up by pushing out a new version of CleverPin for iOS 7 and later.

You may recall our own Jeff Benjamin reviewing the original version of CleverPin, a security-based extension, nearly three years ago. Take a look at what has changed since then…  Read More

 

How to share your MacBook wi-fi connection with your iPad

By Sébastien Page on Jan 19, 2014

I spent the holidays in a resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which didn’t offer free wi-fi to its customers. If I wanted to get online, I had to pay a hefty price. Even worse, paying for this wi-fi plan would only allow me to connect one device. Signing out of a laptop to sign in from an iPhone simply wouldn’t work. Because I really wanted to get things done, I chose to pay for wi-fi on my MacBook Air.

Once I got wi-fi access on my MacBook Air, I figured I would probably be able to share this connection with my iPhone or iPad. After doing a bit of research, I found out that it was impossible for some reason to share my connection with my iPhone. However, it was possible to share it with my iPad.

Here is what I did to share my MacBook Air internet connection with my iPadRead More

 

16/32GB Wi-Fi Retina iPad mini shipping times slip to 5-10 days

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2013

Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display used to ship in 1-3 business days for the more popular versions with sixteen and 32 gigabytes of storage, with the more capacious variants with 64 and 128 gigabytes of storage being delivered in 5-10 days.

In another development that won’t please holiday shoppers, the entry-level 16GB Retina iPad mini along with its 32GB variant have become harder to come by as shipping estimates on the online Apple Store slip to 5-10 days. Matter of fact, now all capacities, colors, wireless and carrier models (Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + Cellular) of the iPad mini with Retina display are shipping in 5-10 days… Read More

 

Southwest becomes first airline to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi service

By Sébastien Page on Nov 21, 2013

Since the FAA started allowing usage of personal electronic devices during all phases of flight last month, most airlines have now embraced the new rule, letting people play Words With Friends from takeoff to landing. Often one step ahead of competitions in terms of services, Southwest Airlines takes this a bit further and now allows passengers to stay connected to Wi-Fi from gate to gate. Read More

 

BBM updated with compatibility for Wi-Fi-only iPad and iPod touch devices

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2013

Following numerous delays, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) finally arrived last month as a free download on iOS and Android as the Canadian smartphone maker’s survival remains uncertain. The app saw five million downloads in the first eight hours of availability, emerged as the No. 1 on the iTunes download charts and brought a cool 20 million new users to the BBM platform within a week. BlackBerry tweeted today that the iPhone-only release would get updated later today to support Wi-Fi-only iPhone touch and iPad devices.

The new version is live now, but there’s a catch… Read More

 

Gogo’s inflight Wi-Fi now lets you send and receive texts and phone calls in the air

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2013

In-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo is rolling out a new feature that will appeal to busy travelers who’ve always hated not being able to send or receive text messages and phone calls while spending a couple hours in the air. This is now possible, and using your own phone number, too.

Gogo’s new Talk & Text solution does not require that airlines retrofit their aircraft with additional equipment, but you clearly can’t just use stock Messages or Phone app as the cellular signal is non-existent 30,000 feet in the air.

Gogo instead requires you to use their new Gogo Text & Talk iPhone app (coming soon to Android) to send and receive text messages and phone calls via Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi networks. The software also lets you use your the iOS address book and check your voicemail… Read More

 

How to set up your Apple TV using an iOS device

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Yesterday, I let you in on a trick to selectively show or hide unwanted app icons from your Apple TV’s Home screen. Today, I want to talk about another great Apple TV enhancement, one just implemented as part of the newly-released Apple TV 6.0 software update: tap-to-setup. In a nutshell, you can now use an iOS device to quickly set up your $99 hockey puck.

Sure, the third-generation Apple TV does allow for greater flexibility by letting folks pair a Bluetooth keyboard in order to quickly type in any pertinent information during the setup procedure (or afterwards). Tap-to-setup, however, takes easy to the next level by automatically transferring common settings from your iOS device… Read More

 

NetworkList: save Wi-Fi passwords and SSIDs

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 27, 2013

NetworkList is a recently released jailbreak tweak that allows you to keep a running list of the Wi-Fi networks known to your device. This list makes it easy to remember the Wi-Fi network names, and you can even use a tap gesture to copy the SSID or the password (which is shown in the clear) to your pasteboard.

Some may balk at the potential security concerns, but if that’s not something you worry about, NetworkList may be worth your time. Have a look at our video walkthrough past the break for more information. Read More

 

Google to replace AT&T as Starbucks Wi-Fi provider

By Sébastien Page on Jul 31, 2013

Starbucks drinkers will be glad to learn that Google will soon replace AT&T as the coffee chain’s preferred partner to power the Wi-Fi network of its 7,000+ US stores. Additionally, Google Fiber access, where available, will be provided as well.

According to a post over at the official Google blog:

That’s why we’re teaming up with Starbucks to bring faster, free WiFi connections to all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States over the next 18 months. When your local Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, you’ll be able to surf the web at speeds up to 10x faster than before. If you’re in a Google Fiber city, we’re hoping to get you a connection that’s up to 100x faster.

How great is that? Read More

 

Wi-Fi Alliance launches 802.11ac certification

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2013

The so-called Gigabit Wi-Fi, better known as 802.11ac, has yet to be officially ratified but that hasn’t stopped Apple from implementing the technology on the refreshed MacBook Air lineup and the redesigned AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base stations, which were both announced during the WWDC keynote earlier this month.

That said, it’s fairly safe to assume that Apple will also roll out 802.11ac across the upcoming iPhone 5S, iPad 5, iPad mini 2 and a next-gen Mac Pro, Apple TV and MacBook. For what it’s worth, Apple reportedly partnered with chip maker Broadcom to outfit all Macs with 802.11ac chips.

Apple is usually among the first companies – if not the first – to implement each new major revision to the Wi-Fi standard. And while this allows Apple’s customers to live on the bleeding edge of technology, it also exposes early adopters to their fair share of teething issues… Read More

 

‘WiPi’ shows the Wi-Fi picker using an Activator gesture

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 13, 2013

WiPi is a recently released jailbreak tweak that allows you to quickly access your device’s Wi-Fi picker. Using a simple Activator gesture configurable in the tweak’s preference panel, it’s a quick way to select a desired Wi-Fi network without having to resort to the Wi-Fi section in the stock Settings app.

Want to see how WiPi works in action? Then check inside for our hands-on video walkthrough. Read More

 

The new AirPort Extreme can house SATA hard drive, teardown reveals

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2013

Apple at Monday’s WWDC 2013 keynote briefly mentioned its refreshed AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule wireless appliances which now support Gigabit Wi-Fi, also known as 802.11ac, for three times throughput of 802.11an. In unveiling the sixth-generation AirPort Extreme, Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller somewhat cryptically alluded that the redesigned base station might accept internal storage.

“There’s also room in there for a hard drive,” he quipped. Sure enough, teardown wizards over at iFixit bought a brand spanking new unit and tore it apart, finding 3.5 inches of empty space inside… Read More

 

Apple updates AirPort Utility with 802.11ac support

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2013

As you know, Apple alongside a host of software-focused announcements today also refreshed its AirPort wireless appliances with compatibility for the latest 802.11ac standard, also known as Gigabit Ethernet. As a result, the updated AirPort Express and Time Capsule base stations can now transfer data up to three times faster, and more reliably too. And to go along with the hardware refresh, the company has pushed new versions of AirPort Utility for iOS and Mac… Read More

 

AT&T LTE expands, Wi-Fi network growth doubles

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2013

U.S. carrier AT&T announced an expansion of its fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology in Tunica, MississippiAthens and McMinn County; and LaFollette and Campbell County. The company has also flipped the switch on 4G in Tallahassee, FloridaLawrence, Kansas; and the Salinas and Monterey areas. AT&T says its 4G network covers more than 285 million people and includes 3,000 more 4G cities and towns than Verizon. Letting us in on the latest on its network expansion, the telco underscored its Wi-Fi network doubled in 2012 versus the year-ago period… Read More

 

AT&T now offers travelers 1GB of free data across UK’s 16,000 Wi-Fi spots

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2013

U.S. carrier AT&T today expanded its 4G LTE coverage in several markets and now word has reaches us that the company has signed an interesting roaming deal with The Cloud to offer travelers free access to 16,000 Wi-Fi spots in the United Kingdom. The Cloud is a BSkyB-owned Wi-Fi hotspot provider and the agreement entails up to one gigabyte of free roaming data.

RIM has always bested the iPhone and other handset vendors with reasonable service terms that typically include free or inexpensive messaging and data for BlackBerry users traveling abroad. While Apple’s dealings with the world’s carriers don’t included these benefits, it’s nice that one of the most important carriers globally is now appeasing to its customers with a fair roaming deal… Read More