iPhone Unlocking is Now Officially Illegal in the US

Ah the good old days, when we could unlock our iPhones ourselves and use them with the carrier of our choice. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that made unlocking your cellular phone completely legal expired on Saturday, January 26, 2013. From now on, you'll need your wireless carrier's permission to unlock.

iPhone unlock illegal DMCA

So will this really make an impact on unlocked iPhones? Actually, right now all Verizon iPhones come from the factory unlocked, and AT&T will unlock any iPhone that's completed its two-year service agreement. You can also purchase an unlocked iPhone for the unsubsidized price out of contract. So what's the big deal?

How to Respring your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

Those who are familiar with jailbroken iOS devices know that a quick respring can solve many problems and make changes take effect without bothering to completely reboot everything. Well now there's a trick you can use that quickly resprings the iPhone without actually jailbreaking at all.

iOS respring no jailbreak

Setting up a shortcut to respring your device at will is simple, and requires taking advantage of a loophole in iOS folders. Follow these steps to set up the respring trick for your iOS device:

How to Hide Any iOS App Without Jailbreaking

We've previously seen tricks on how to hide the Newsstand app icon without jailbreaking. Now there's a new tip that will hide any iOS app icon from the home screen using the Newsstand. If you find yourself interested in hiding icons in an out-of-the-way place, the Newsstand is great because it provides an infinite-sized folder to hold as many apps as you want.

hide apps in newsstand

The only catch is that as soon as you reboot your iPhone, the icons will reappear on your home screen. In the meantime, you can access all of the hidden apps using the Search function on your device. Here are complete instructions on how to hide app icons using the Newsstand without jailbreaking your iPhone:

Stream Millions of Free Songs with HypedMusic on iOS

Looking for a free, legal and advertisement-free way to stream your favorite music on the iPhone or iPod touch? HypedMusic version 1.0 provides just that, with a simple interface that can be synced using a Facebook account (or not). The app makes it possible to create playlists of your favorite tracks.

iOS app Hypedmusic free

You will have to know exactly what you're looking for, since there's no way to browse for artists or songs. Search results are sourced from all over the web, and although sometimes a music server might not work well, available songs play just fine for the most part. Like other music apps, HypedMusic will play your tunes while running in the background.

App Store Game Doubles as MAME Emulator for iOS

Every once in a while apps with hidden features slip into the official App Store, until Apple catches wind of the secret and pulls the app. If you're into retro gaming the free game Gridlee features a built-in MAME emulator, much like the ill-fated iMAME which was previously pulled. These emulators make it possible to play a wide variety of old video games, right on your iOS device without jailbreaking.

Gridlee hidden MAME emulator iOS

According to Touch Arcade, Gridlee is based on the powerful MAME4iOS which provides support for external controllers such as the iCade, advanced visual filters, and support for MAME cheats. Copying game ROMS into a special folder will make Gridlee start up with a list of installed games automatically.

Apple Working on iPhone 5S and iPhone plus, Not iPhone Math

The always reliable Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge has debunked some of the rumors we covered in our first 2013 rumor roundup. Apple is currently developing three iPhones, but that does not mean we will see all three in 2013. U.S. Apple fans will be getting an iPhone 5S this year. It will look like the iPhone 5 and feature a "larger rear flash," according to Horwitz. Apple is also developing a low-cost” plastic-bodied iPhone for China Mobile's 700 million subscribers. It''s unclear if the more affordable iPhone will ever make its way to the U.S..

2013 iPhone 5S Rumors

As for my favorite recent Apple rumor, the iPhone Math is most likely the iPhone+. It's another new model in early prototyping stages which probably won't be released this year, if at all.

"Consider it Apple’s 'just in case / Plan B' hedge against ever-growing Android phone screen sizes," explained Horwitz.

Horwitz did not address the unnamed iPhone with a 12MP camera, which also came from the iPhone Math camp, but it could just be the iPhone 5S.

HipKey Alarm Keeps Track of Your iPhone and Keys

Apple is now offering the Bluetooth hipKey proximity and movement alarm in the Apple Store online. The accessory measures less than two inches across, yet packs a 90dB alarm and internal rechargeable lithium ion battery. With a range of 164 feet and battery life spanning from 2-4 weeks, hipKey watches out for your valuables and iOS device.

hipKey Bluetooth iPhone

With the companion iOS app and built in motion mode, you can leave the hipKey in a purse or bag to be alerted as soon as the bag moves. The proximity sensor can also be used to give a warning when your iPhone is left behind or if someone tries to steal the device. Child mode will send an alert when your child wanders too far away.

iPhone 5S to Feature Home Button Fingerprint Scan?

How convenient would it be to secure your iPhone without ever having to enter a passcode again? One analyst is predicting that Apple will raise the stakes in the smartphone race by adding a fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 5S. AppleInsider observes that Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has a "particularly strong track record" when it comes to predicting Apple's upcoming products.

iPhone black home button

Not only would a fingerprint sensor push Apple ahead of the competition, but Kuo believes it would cause problems for others to catch up. Android and Windows phones typically have multiple buttons below the display. The addition of a fingerprint sensor would cause "intuition issues" for users. In contrast, the iPhone 5S will have only one button, perfect for integration with a fingerprint sensor.

Google Dominates Top Apps of 2012 Rankings

We already pointed out in December that iOS devices seem to be running more Google apps than any other apps available in the App Store. So it makes sense that five of the top six mobile apps In 2012 were made by the search engine giant. Apple's decision to replace Google Maps on iOS 6 is the only reason why Facebook managed to nab the number one spot in 2012, according to the latest comScore Mobile Metrix ranking. Other apps rounding out the chart include Pandora, iTunes, Cooliris and Yahoo! Messenger.

Google Apps

Facebook also dominated in app usage accounting for 23% of time spent on apps. Facebook's redesigned app, which was much faster and user friendly, probably helped with usage. Facebook's sister app Instagram nabbed 3% of the market, while Gmail was the most used Google app. Various Google apps also accounted for 10% of app usage, making Facebook and Google products the most used on mobile devices in 2012.

What to Expect from Apple in 2013: Rumor Roundup

Unlike like the previous couple of years which were filled with dreams of tear-dropped iPhones, the start of 2013 has been pretty quiet for the normally busy Apple rumor mill. The end of 2012 put an end to some the biggest Apple rumors with the launch of the iPad 4, the iPad mini, and the long awaited iPhone 5. This is also why Wall Street is predicting a slow start to the new year for Apple, and why AAPL is down even after the company recently announced a record $54.5 billion in revenue.

2013 Apple Rumors

Apple CEO Tim Cook promised iOS fans some "amazing new products" in the company's quarterly earnings press release released yesterday. Here's what the rumor mill thinks they will be.

iPhone 5S:

Some analysts are promising a 2013 summer release for the iPhone 5S. Apple isn't expected to make any changes to the iPhone's form factor like it did with the iPhone 5, but purported photos of leaked iPhone 5S parts show minor changes to the aluminum chassis. It is also rumored that Apple will offer the iPhone in an iPod touch-like array of colors, and introduce a Home button fingerprint sensor system.

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