All posts by Rajat

Editor at Callingallgeeks

How to Use iPhone as HotSpot & Connect to Laptop for Internet

This guide will show you how to enable and use Personal Hotspot on iPhone. This feature is available on all models of iPhone & I’m testing this with iPhone 6.

In case if you don’t know about what hotspot can do for you. Let me quickly explain it:

With iPhone hotspot feature you can use your mobile internet on your laptop or other devices. Your iPhone will work as a Wi-fi device & use your mobile internet. This is handy when you are traveling, or you need backup internet.

You can only enable mobile hotspot on your iPhone if your carrier allows tethering. If it does, you are in luck.

Earlier iPhone had the Internet tethering feature, but it could only be used via USB or Bluetooth therefore limiting the usage on laptops and desktop computers. Now with the addition of wi-fi hotspot, you can share the internet with other devices too like iPod Touch, iPad, and other smartphones.

How to turn hotspot on iPhone:

To use Personal Hotspot feature on iPhone, the first thing you need to ensure is your phone has mobile data enabled. If you are currently connected to Wi-fi, disable it & also disable Bluetooth.

Once done, go to iPhone Settings > Personal hotspot and tap on the switch to turn it On. You can use the default password for hotspot security, or you can set up a custom password. Enter your password and tap on Done.

You will then be asked how do you want to enable the mobile hotspot. Usually, I go for Wi-fi and USB only. It will turn on all the radios that are turned on at the moment and also allow you to turn on the ones that are off if desired.

You can now connect any device by selecting the wi-fi network we created above. It will have the same name as your iPhone.

Once any device connects to your personal hotspot, the status bar on your iPhone will turn blue. It will also show the number of devices connected. You can connect a maximum of five devices.

The hotspot will automatically turn off after staying idle for more than an hour. This will save your iPhone battery from draining. After you have enabled Personal Hotspot once, it will appear on the first page of Settings app, and you won’t have to travel through multiple panes to enable or disable it.

If you have any other questions related to Personal Hotspot or iPhone feel free to ask us via comments.

Dummies Guide to Facetime on iPhone and iPod Touch

facetime1.png Facetime is one of the best free feature of iOS device. The best thing about Facetime free video calling service is, it’s available on all Apple devices. Be it, Mac, iPhone, iPad or any other iOS device with camera on it. First time user might get confused with how to use FaceTime, and in this guide I will exactly be talking about the same. This guide will answer all your queries regarding Facetime on iOS devices, right from activation to making calls.

Facetime is one of the most talked about features of iPhone 4. Yesterday, we posted some pictures from our first impressions of Facetime on iPhone 4 as Harsh and I tried a Facetime conversation. We were totally amazed by the quality of audio and video.

Facetime is also very intuitive and easy to use. In fact we are Facetime Ninjas now, in less than thirty minutes of video calling. Here’s how you can get started and most of other related queries answered.

How to Activate Facetime on your iPhone:

Though this guide is written for iPhone4, but if you are using any other version of iPhone/iPad, Facetime activation method remains the same.

Go to Settings > Phone > Facetime > On. The iPhone  will automatically send an SMS(international for non US users) and within 10 seconds your Facetime will be active.

facetime-iphone4-25.jpg Facetime activation

This only needs to be done once per sim card, and that too is automatic. No registration or user id required. Like Apple says, Facetime works out of the box.

Once the “Waiting for Activation” message goes away you are good to go. Please note that you will not be able to see the SMS sent for activation through your Messages app. If you have trouble activating Facetime, wait for our post which talks about activation issues for unofficial carriers.

iPod Touch users go to Settings > Facetime to confirm and verify your email address that will be used to receive calls. If unverified, follow instructions sent to email to get started.

Charges for using Fcaetime

No. We were not charged for our Facetime calls. It’s free for video calls between iPhone 4 and iPod touch devices. Both devices need to be connected to a wifi network with internet access(not necessarily same network).

How to start a Facetime video call

There has been a lot of doubt as to how the Facetime call is authenticated. Harsh and I tried the email address method yesterday but that failed and here’s why.
Facetime uses two ways to identify people – Phone number or email address. And the the type of device determines which one will be used.
facetime-iphone4-80.jpg
  • When calling an iPhone 4: Use the phone number of the person you are calling.
  • When calling an iPod touch (4th generation): Use the email address designated for FaceTime of the person you are calling.

Please note that you need iOS 4.1 to make calls or receive them from users on iPod Touch.

How to Make a Facetime Call

There are two ways of initiating a Facetime call. You could make a phone call just the way you normally do and then once you are there on the call click on Facetime. If your friend accepts the Facetime request call, voice call will end and you will no more be charged for voice.

facetime-iphone4-79.jpg
facetime-iphone4-83.jpg facetime-iphone4-86.jpg

Another way is directly making a Facetime call. Go to your contacts page and tap Facetime. Choose a method of identification(phone or email). Your friend will receive a notification if he’s on wifi. If he accepts you are good to go.

On iPod touch, there is an additional Facetime app. You can use it to call any of your contacts or through the contacts app like mentioned above.

Can I switch Cameras

facetime3.png

The Facetime call starts with your front camera. You can switch to the rear camera and back by clicking on the button in lower right corner.
facetime4.png

Some other features of Facetime you might want to know:

Muting Facetime

The Mute button will only prevent your audio from going through. Your video will still be visible to the other person.

Landscape Support

Just rotate the iPhone to switch to this mode.

Moving the preview window

The small window which shows your own Face can be moved around by dragging if it obstructs your view in the default position.

Do something else and get back to Facetime again?

If you need to check another app while you are on Facetime, no problem. Just hit home button and do your work. Your video will freeze on last frame and audio chat can still be continued. Once you click on the green bar similar to the one you get with voice calls, your video chat will be resumed.

Last Tip for Facetime Users:

You can also add Facetime to your Favorites list and start a Facetime call right from there. Facetime calls will also feature in your Recent Calls history.

Conclusion

So, that’s all we have gathered so far about Facetime. It’s been a great experience so far for us. Rumors are afloat that Facetime might soon come to iPads, Macs and Windows PCs too. We are really looking forward to that.

I hope this detailed Facetime usage guide will help you to start using this useful free service. In upcoming article, we will also be talking about iMessage, but for now why don’t you go ahead and try making a Facetime call to other iOS user in your contact list.

How Much Data Does a FaceTime Call Use?

facetime data usage

So what did we find out?

Now that we have made FaceTime an integral part of how we communicate, we decided to find out how much data it is consuming. This is important for a lot of users who may not be on an unlimited data plan be it 3G or wi-fi. Keeping an eye on how much data Facetime is using, will make sure you never cross your data limit, and don’t get over billed for the usage.

Here are iOS apps that you can use to calculate data usage used by apps on your Smartphone or iPad:

For those living under a rock, here are some FaceTime related articles:

Facetime Data usage test:

Facetime is free, and works best when you are using high speed internet connection (Wi-fi, 3G, 4G).  We made a FaceTime call from our iPhone 6 (over 3G) The results for the test call are as follows:

  • Call Duration: 10 minutes
  • Data Sent: 14.6 MB
  • Data Received: 15.1
  • Total Data (Sum of above) : 29.7 for ten minutes

We can conclude from the above that FaceTime is using approximately three megabytes per minute. So, an hour long conversation would involve around 180MB of data. A similar test conducted by 9to5Mac yielded the same results. Though, this result may vary depending upon which version of iOS device you are using.  So, when you are choosing a wi-fi plan at home go for unlimited connections to avoid huge data charges. Similarly, make sure you consider data charges on all the networks before you choose a 3G connection from the upcoming providers in India.

3 Free Cydia Apps to Change iPhone’s Carrier Name

When you see a custom name instead of the operator’s name on anyone’s iPhone or screenshots on the internet, you might have wondered how do they do this. This tutorial will show you three free cydia apps that can change iPhone’s carrier name. Now you can change it to any fake carrier name or even your own name. We have tested these to work on the latest versions of iOS including iOS 6.1.1.

Cydia Fake carrier

1. Fake Operator

This application does not have any icon for itself. You need to configure it through the settings app on your iPhone.

While it does not need a reboot or respring to change iPhone’s carrier name, you do need to quit Settings for the changes to take effect. Works perfectly with iOS 4.3.1+

Change iphone carrier name 11Change iphone carrier name 10

It can be downloaded for free via Cydia. Since, it is hosted on the BigBoss repo no need to add any new repo to Cydia. Just search for Fake Operator using the search tab.

Change iphone carrier name 6Change iphone carrier name 5

2. FakeCarrier

This app is similar to Fake Operator in functionality. It does have its own icon but that’s not why I like this the most. The good part is that you do not have to quit the app for the changes to be effective. Just type fake carrier name and tap on set to apply it. I have tested FakeCarrier to work on the latest iOS version 4.3.1 on iPhone 4.

Change iphone carrier name 3Change iphone carrier name 2

Again no extra Repo needs to be added as it is hosted on BigBoss repo. Just go to Cydia and search for FakeCarrier.

Change iphone carrier name 4Change iphone carrier name 5

3. MakeItMine

MakeItMine is an app by Erica Sadun. Since, this app hasn’t been updated in a while it does not work for iOS version 4.2 and later. Also, it requires you to respring iPhone for changes to take effect. Even though respring feature is included, it is inconvenient compared to the previous two apps.

Change iphone carrier name

You can install MakeItMine from the ModMyI repo, which is a default repo in Cydia.

Change iphone carrier name 13Change iphone carrier name 14

Do let us know, which is your favorite fake carrier application for iPhone and what did you finally change the carrier name to?

11 Reasons Why I love My Mac and Why You Should Too

Before I start confessing my love for the Mac, let me first admit something. Yes, I am a devoted Apple fan and take a lot of pride in it. I love a Mac because I daresay, it is a far better design and helps me perform all my tasks more efficiently.

Why I love My Mac

I switched to a Mac less than two years ago. So, that leaves me with around ten years of PC experience. Having said that, I know now my readers will give me a little extra credibility for whatever I write next.

Why I love my Mac So Much?

The Design & Form Factor

The best part about an Apple product is that the software and the hardware are both manufactured by the same people. Everyone knows how advantageous that is. Almost zero incompatibility issues with the hardware. Even when you upgrade your Operating System.

Next, I’ll speak of the form factor. This is my favorite part. The Apple devices are like a minimalist’s dream come true. Ever since the unibody Macbooks came into existence I’ve been in the awe of it. It was last year that I got my first unibody Macbook Pro(MBP).

The Design & Form Factor

Best in Class Hardware

I loved the way Apple used to classify the previous generation MacBooks as ones “designed to match standards which don’t even exist yet.” It’s true. Macbooks are not luxuries, and They are essentials. Try the MultiTouch trackpad and I swear it will blow you away. The glass trackpad remains pristine forever, and the added gestures on multitouch make it all the more classier.

The Operating System

Another favorite part of mine. I don’t hate Windows. But sorry I can’t ever love it. Bill Gates, himself once admitted in a Fortune Magazine interview as to how fanatic Steve Jobs has been about the User Interface(UI). The OS X El Captain experience is something you are missing out on in case you do not own an Apple Computer.

os-x-el-capitan

Let’s illustrate this further. The UI on Leopard is far more superior and intuitive than Windows. The learning curve for any normal user is faster on the former. Most of the newer UI elements on Windows have been borrowed extensively from Apple’s OS. Moreover, even my Mom can use it. That’s one hell of a UI test. Jokes apart, lets look at the framework. Why to bother a layman with the fear of spyware and malware. There is no registry on Mac and hence half the trouble reduced. Any serious tweak on the Mac will require authorisation from the user.

Gone are the days when the number of Software packages for the Mac were limited. Today, you have the best of them available to you in both worlds making the switch to Leopard all the easier.

Check out:

Mac Works Out of the Box

This is a very important factor as well. You know when you first run your PC you cannot view any of the PDF or DOCS or Quicktime Movies etc. without the need for installing extra software. And I really find that insane. I don’t need the ability to edit files right away but I beg of you, let me at least view them?

The Finder (Explorer’s equivalent on Mac) will let you preview just any file without opening it in any application. You need to look into any file at all, just press the Spacebar on your keyboard. You will have a preview of the file open up. Press the Spacebar again and it goes away. You did not have to open an application just to take a quick look at the file. For instance, you need to look at the date and sender’s name inside three PDF files on your desktop. You don’t have to Open each file. Just quickly preview each. It’s efficient. You save time as well as energy. And all of us need to.

Mac Finder
I’m previewing an M4R iPhone ringtone here without opening it in an Application

The System won’t Crash on Yo

In the past, one year on my new MBP, not once has the system crashed on me. The machine will ALWAYS be responsive. A Mac user, ordinarily, doesn’t know what is it like when the system hangs. The worst scenario I’ve had is that a browser goes unresponsive. When Firefox stops responding, I leave it as it is and fire up Safari. And Finder sucks way less than Explorer. This is Windows XP Explorer I’m talking about. The one on Windows 7 might have learned a few lessons.

Spotlight Search

All your files on the Mac will be indexed and ready for searching. Whenever you need something, just press Command + Space and type. Be it calculating 54*37 or the definition of “Histrionic” or the name of a file or the contents of a document you remember. Just type it and you’ll have results in less than a second. So no matter how cluttered your hard drive is and where you throw your files, they will always be available to you only a Spotlight Search away.

Spotlight Search

More out of the Box Love

All the basic things that you will need to do, you will have a tool available on the Mac. Like I said you will not need to install anything on the first day itself. Do You want to take a screenshot, my blogger friend? Press Command + Shift + 3. You don’t want the full screen but only a part press Command + Shift + 4. The pictures will be ready for you right on your desktop.

Multiple Desktops

You need multiple desktops. No problem. Spaces to the rescue. As you can see in this screenshot, I’ve been composing this blog post in the top left screen, browsing Apple wallpapers in the next. When I run out of ideas I can take a break and just return to watching the TV show in the third screen. Easy Right?

Multiple Desktops

Customer Support

If you have used any Apple hardware you’ll know how much you love their Support. No matter how bad your problem is, you’ll have a qualified person to speak to who’ll understand exactly what you are talking about. PC users, face it. You never had this advantage. This is the reason Apple rates highest in consumer satisfaction.  Apple emerged victorious in JD Power survey for the same.

The list of outstanding features just goes on and on. I’ll keep sharing more of  Mac love for the forthcoming posts. Let’s switch perspective now. What does PC still have then? And why their sales? I could instantly, think of the following two points.

Cons of Mac Book and Apple computer:

Cost Factor

I do agree. PCs are on an average cheaper than Apple computer. Yes, significantly cheaper. For the price of an entry-level Apple computer you can get a way advanced PC. This is one of the advantages that PCs have for themselves. Apple fans however will let a hole in their wallets. I want the best product and I will pay whatever it takes.

Options and Customizations

Again PC users have a greater advantage here. But the point is what do we really need it. The professionals apart, lets talk about the normal user. He doesn’t need many options. Why put him in the dilemma to decide if he wants/needs a Bluray or Dual Layer DVD drive. Apple gives you a lesser number of options and no sub standard configurations. You will not get a computer with 1GB of RAM from them no matter how badly you want it.


PC and MAC

All you PC lovers. I’m your culprit. Feel free to hit me as much as you like. I won’t disapprove your comment no matter how much Apple hatred you show. 😛 And the one-millionth a dollar question. Are you a PC or a MAC?

What Are The Difference Between DFU and Recovery Mode

This tutorial tells you the basic difference between iPhone’s DFU and Recovery modes and what mode is used for what purpose. If you already know the difference between the two modes and looking for just the instructions on how to put iPhone into the two modes read:

Difference Between DFU and Recovery Mode:

What are these modes for and why should I know about them?

If you are a new iPhone user or don’t care about jailbreaking chances are that you might have never come across these two modes and won’t need to in the future either. But if you use Cydia or custom IPSW firmware on your iPhone or other iOS devices you will definitely come across this.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. Both of the modes can be entered by pressing a particular series of buttons on your iPhone. They help you update or install firmware when the normal iTunes method fails. Here are some situations when you might need to use these modes.

  • Reset iPhone if your forgot Passcode
  • Downgrade Firmware version
  • Install beta iOS Firmware
  • When iTunes returns errors like 1013, 1603 etc.

iPhone Recovery mode vs DFU mode:

iPhone Recovery Mode:

Recovery Mode boots your iPhone and stops at the Connect to iTunes screen. You can use it to install the latest firmware but not downgrade. You can click on Restore in iTunes to let iTunes download firmware and install. Alternatively, you can download firmware from here and press Alt + Restore(Shift + Restore on Windows) to browse for firmware manually.

iPhone Recovery Mode

The recovery mode and iTunes will prevent you from restoring to older firmware than the current firmware. You will keep getting error in iTunes every time you try doing it. This is because iPhone has already booted and knows the current firmware version.

iPhone DFU Mode:

DFU mode on the other hand does not fully start up the iPhone or iPod Touch. The screen remains off and appears as if your iPhone is turned off but it will be recognized in iTunes and be ready for restoring to any firmware. Since, the firmware is not booted you can downgrade iPhone to previous versions or even custom firmwares with Cydia and other packages created from jailbreak tools like PwnageTool.

iPhone DFU Mode
Learn how to put iPhone into DFU mode:

So now you know the difference between the two modes. Let us know if you have any related questions via comments.

How to Make Phone Calls and Send SMS from iPad 3G using PhoneItiPad

Last month iPhoneIslam had showed us video proof of being able to make make phone calls from iPad 3G as well as sending and receiving SMS. The jailbreak tweak PhoneItiPad is finally live in Cydia for everyone to download at $19.99

iPhoneIslam is the same group on people who brought us FaceIt3GS, a jailbreak tweak to enable FaceTime on iPhone 3GS. Since this app is available via Cydia and requires a jailbreak it will only work on the iPad 1 and not the iPad 2 since there’s no jailbreak tool available yet for the latter.

Also, iPhoneItiPad does not work on iOS 5 beta yet. It will work perfectly on iOS 4 though. You just need a jailbroken iPad 1 running iOS 4.x.x. If you haven’t jailbroken your iPad yet, read our jailbreak guide for iOS 4.3.x before proceeding with this guide.

How to Make Calls from iPad 3G using PhoneItiPad:

Phoneitipad

Purchase PhoneItiPad from here using your iPad or Computer’s browser. It will cost you $19.99 or around Rs. 900 in Indian currency. Not a big price to pay to turn your iPad into an iPhone.

Purchase phoneitipad for ipad to make calls

After you have filled in your billing information you will also need to enter your iPad’s 11 digit serial number. To find out the iPad’s serial number go to Settings > General > About and scroll down to find it. Click continue on the webpage to finish the purchase.

Now launch Cydia on your iPad and add the PhoneItiPad repo http://apps.iphoneislam.com. Now search for PhoneitiPad and install it.

You should now have the phone and messages app on your iPad and already be able to make and receive calls. In case you aren’t able to, just make sure your sim has an active voice plan and not just the data plan which is usually the case for iPad sims. If the sim is able to make calls on an iPhone 4 it would work great on iPad too.

Here’s a video demo of the Phone and SMS features on iPad by iPhoneIslam,

As you can see it seems to work flawlessly. The question is would you be willing to pay a one time fee of $20 for turning your iPad into an iPhone? It is not yet clear if this tweak will continue to work in iOS 5. As of now it doesn’t.

First Jailbreak Tweak for iOS 5 UISettings Widget Released

Apple may have brought an end to the life of a lot of older jailbreak tweaks by introducing new features in iOS 5 but that is not going to stop the jailbreak community from creating more useful jailbreak tweaks. UISettings widget for the Notification Center is the first jailbreak tweak released for iOS 5. Instructions on how to install and a review after the break.

UISettings can be described as an alternative form of SBSettings which was created to give users quick access to certain iPhone settings. Just like SBSettings UISettings can be launched anywhere in iOS 5 without the need to quit current app and going to Settings application.

Uisettings widget first jailbreak tweak for ios 5  2 Uisettings widget first jailbreak tweak for ios 5  3

UISettings has been available for iOS 4 too where it works via the multitasking bar. The developer has now ported it to the notifications center in iOS 5 which can be pulled down by swiping one finger from top to bottom on the iPhone screen.

Here’s a list of the toggles and quick settings available in UISettings:

  • Respring
  • Wifi
  • Airplane
  • Bluetooth
  • Brightness
  • Volume
  • Power OFF
  • Reboot
  • Safe Mode

The last option Safe Mode doesnt work on iOS 5 yet, but the rest all do. I do not really like the icons and the colors in particular but the tool itself is pretty handy. Thankfully, just like SBSettings themes there will be more themes for UISettings too. In fact iRetina++ theme is just about to be released and looks much better than the orginal theme.

Here’s the preview recently tweeted by @iSurenix,

Iretina++ theme for uisettings

How to Install UISettings Widget in iOS 5:

You’ll obviously first need to install iOS 5 beta and then jailbreak iOS 5.0 with Redsn0w to get Cydia. Once Cydia is installed add the UISettings repo http://qwertyoruiop.com/beta and then search for UISettings or just tap on the new repo you just added.

Uisettings widget first jailbreak tweak for ios 5  1

Respring your iPhone after install and check it out by pulling down the Notifications Center. To disable or enable these options you’ll need to hold them for about 3 seconds.

Readers, how do you like it? Are you going to replace SBSettings with UISettings?

How to Downgrade iOS 5 Beta to iOS 4.3.3 on iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

This tutorial will help you downgrade your iOS device back from iOS 5 beta to iOS 4.3.3 or older. There might be several reasons for downgrading. Be it a bricked iOS device stuck at Apple logo or maybe you want to downgrade back because of the bugs in iOS 5 and lack of an untethered jailbreak. No matter what the reason be you will be able to go back to iOS 4.

We hope you have your SHSH blobs saved using TinyUmbrella but even if you haven’t you can still go back to iOS 4.3.3 at least since Apple is still signing that firmware and will continue to do so until iOS 5 is out of beta and released officially.

If you want to downgrade to a firmware older than iOS 4.3.3 like 4.3.2 or 4.3.1 then you need to have saved SHSH blobs previously. The procedure is same as what’s mentioned below except that you need to first launch TinyUmbrella and click on start TSS Server before following this tutorial.

Tools required to Downgrade iOS 5 beta to iOS 4.3.3:

You just need iTunes 10.3 or iTunes 10.5 beta installed on your computer and also the iOS 4.3.3 firmware file using the links below:

How to Downgrade iOS 5.0b1 to iOS 4.3.3:

Connect your iPhone to the Mac and then place it in DFU mode. It’s pretty simple actually. Just press and hold the home and power button till the iPhone turns off and leave power button just before the apple logo is about to reappears. The iPhone screen will remain black but iTunes will detect it. In case you are facing difficulties use our guide to put iPhone into DFU mode.

iTunes will alert you that an iPhone is detected in recovery mode.

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Now press alt/option on your Mac’s keyboard (Shift key for windows users) and then click on Restore. iTunes will ask you to browse for the firmware file. Point it to the file we downloaded a few steps earlier.

How to downgrade ios 5 to iso 4 3 3  4

iTunes will ask for a confirmation to erase and restore your iOS device to iOS 4.3.3. Click on Restore to proceed.

In around five to ten minutes the restore process will be done and your iPhone will restart.

How to downgrade ios 5 to iso 4 3 3  5

Please note that the result may not be the same for you. The iPhone used in this tutorial had a rebel sim and therefore did not get any error. If you get any iTunes error like 1013, 1015, 1604, 3002 etc. don’t panic. The firmware has been downgraded from iOS 5 beta already.

Itunes error 3002

Now you just need to bring your iOS device out of recovery. Use RecBoot or TinyUmbrella to exit recovery. Exit iTunes and launch TinyUmbrella and then click on Exit Recovery.