AUXO TWEAK – Best $1.99 Reason To Jailbreak

You would think that Apple would want to look at every tweak that third party JAILBREAK enthusiasts are using. They haven’t updated the keyboard on the iPhone or IOS at all since IOS was built. The Control Center in IOS 7 is an improvement, but to really make it functional, you need to JAILBREAK your phone.


AUXO 2 ($1.99 on Cydia Repository) is a third party tweak that is a MUST.  Like the image above shows, it opens up to control center, but with a few differences. You see the Application Switcher in the middle? You can scroll through open Apps without going back to a HOME screen and switch between them in a flash.

FLIP CONTROL Center  allows you to add additional switches to both the top and bottom rows, for fast easy control of things like toggling the flashlight, go straight to settings or toggle WIFI or Airplane modes.  These are obviously working tweaks and in demand, so why doesn’t Apple just allow folks to use their phones the way we want to?

Apple has kept the iPhone OS very tightly controlled.  I can understand security reasons, but are they that lame that exploits continue to become available with every IOS release?  It’s a Cat & Mouse game they play, sealing up one exploit, only to create others.

And by exploit, I mean to holes in IOS that JAILBREAKS need in order to gain root access to the phone. This enables third party software that Apple cannot produce, the ability to run (all at the risk of the end user violating the EULA).

I TWEAT regularly to @Tim_Cook, “What has happened to ‘Think Different’, the Steve Jobs mantra he introduced upon his return to Apple from exile?”.  When Jobs came back in 1997 and walked onto the WWDC stage to a deafening roar of approval from the crowd for the first time after his return. He promised an open source MAC OS (to become OSX) based on the contributions from thousands of independent UNIX developers.  He promised a commitment to developers that Apple would communicate and cooperate in a new way. It seems the open systems and cooperation Jobs promised, have vanished.

Everything Apple is making has become less field serviceable that ever. Screens are glued on the iMac, no (regular) screws are being used in exterior cases. We get the idea Apple doesn’t want end users inside their devices. Therein is the rub. We aren’t borrowing what we buy. WE PAY FOR HARDWARE!

So why is it so unfathomable that we would want to use the devices, with whatever software we want? The FCC has said that if a device is not under contract, wholly owned by the end user, they are entitled to unlock the phone to use on any carrier of choice. The directive goes further to say that the process of “opening systems” which is also known as ROOTING or JAILBREAKING is also up to and only the responsibly of the end user.

(to be continued)

Swype For iPhone

I updated this article in May 2004. Written originally in 2003. So it only took a little over 12 years for Apple to catch on. Some innovation!

SWYPE for Android allows you to drag your finger around the screen to type. Apple has refused any third party from offering an alternative keyboard. The “Swype” keyboard on Android is far superior input method than Apple’s tiny keyboard.

I had a couple years without an iPhone. Between the iPhone 3G and the release of the iPhone 5, I have been at odds since Apple chose AT&T as the exclusive iPhone provider, as I hate AT&T.


Of course now all the big carriers offer iPhone. Even my pre-pay carrier Virgin Mobile offers the 5S. You have to pay up front for the phone, but you don’t pay through the butt locked in to a two year prison by one of the big three.

IMNSHO Apple has become a much more stodgy and tightly controlled company. I guess I can understand why other companies copy and steal their proprietary software and hardware designs. However, I believe Apple will suffer the same fate they did in the 80’s when they were king of the hill and Microsoft just a glimmer in Bill Gates eye. Smartphone competition has caught up up Apple and Samsung is outselling iPhones worldwide. They offer inexpensive entry level smartphones through highly sophisticated models like the Galaxy S5. Other companies like HTC, Nokia and Motorola are not standing by the wayside. Even Amazon is coming out with an Android powered smartphone. Every Android phone comes with Swype pre-installed.

The keyboard input on Apple IOS devices is terrible. The worst part is having to change screens for the most common punctuations. It’s anti-intuitive to anyone who has ever typed on a computer.

The input software SWYPE now owned by NUANCE, offers a more intuitive keyboard. Not only are most all characters are available under the same keys like a computer keyboard, it offers a natural way to speed up text input. You start with the first letter, then drag around over the letters to spell words. The Intuitive pre-cognition of the software is very good.

Of course it makes mistakes but several choices of words it thinks you mean show up just at the top of the keyboard, just in case the word you were trying to type didn’t come up. It doesn’t automatically enter the word unless you choose to replace it with another selection. I find Apples word replacement annoying, changing abbreviations or just getting the wrong word.

I have seen all of the movies, Pirates of Silicon Valley , Jobs, played by Ashton Kutcher (yuk) and read a few books and the biography by Walter Isaacson of Steve Jobs. Isaacson portrayed Jobs always considering himself a rebel, outside of the corporate fray (until he returned to Apple and ousted then CEO Gil Amelio). That may be why he was ousted from Apple by John Sculley in the early 90’s.

To me Jobs never learned to respect simple people as artists using Apple computers. To Jobs you were either enlightened or an asshole. . I suspect he had just as much contempt for all Apple customers. He always thought Apple products were for the “enlightened” and kept the pricing above all other computers. It made businesses seek more cost effective Dells, HP’s and a host of other clones to run business with.

Apple did not respond well to user groups either. Many evangelists and professional folks grew out of those groups (myself included). But very little enthusiasm for organized groups was shown by Apple. We advocated for Apple in the dark days when the company looked like it was about to throw in the towel.

iPhone 5/5S High Rise Cradle Charges With the Case On

I bought this stand for my iPhone 5S from Amazon called the
Twelve South HiRise for iPhone/iPad mini-brushed Metal Stand Designed to Work with your Apple Lightning Cable.

It’s open style allows you to adjust the stand so you can charge or sync your phone, without removing it from a case. 20140303-201107.jpg20140303-204216.jpg

The top picture shows it supporting the phone without a case. It does NOT come with a cable or a connector at all. It uses your existing USB to Lightning cable in an ingenious way as the price of the stand is less $$$ than the limited Apple dock, which always requires removing the case.

Continue reading iPhone 5/5S High Rise Cradle Charges With the Case On

Apple’s Precision Tolerances Can Make Things Sticky

Apple has had the small footprint Bluetooth keyboard for some time. The battery chamber has a very tight fit. I have one of the original models that takes three AA batteries.

I have had batteries leak and make it almost impossible to get them out.

My daughter had a newer 2 battery keyboard, and upon realizing the batteries were dead, could not get the screw cap off to change the batteries.

On Christmas Day we were fooling with it and her husband and I became obsessed with getting that cap out. We bent several coins, holding them with a vice grips.

Finally we got out a Dremmel and ground at that sucker until we got the batteries out. We tried torch heat to free it frying the Escape key. Once we did all this hacking, we got the old leaking batteries out, popped in some new ones. Amazingly, the darn thing still works. All except the Escape key.



Continue reading Apple’s Precision Tolerances Can Make Things Sticky

iPhone Turned Apple Into a Different Kind of Company

… Is Apple intending to make all Apple devices “disposable”?

I have written about this trend of vertical integration by Apple before. Now OSX Mavericks is “free”. (UPDATE- it is now possible to create a bootable installer on a thumb drive capable of repair or clean install onto any capable MAC)

Those of us who weathered the darker days
when it was surmised Apple was going under, remember (…and Michael Dell commenting about what he would do if he ran Apple. “They should dissolve the company and return the money to it’s shareholders.” – now he has egg on his face!)

A much more open and adventurous OS environment was coming (eventually called OSX). From the very first Mac, Apple intended to keep the “end user” out of the hardware “chassis” making it difficult to open without it’s own special tools. Pre-OSX operating systems weren’t much better.

Let’s face it, all we heavy duty Graphic Arts OS9 users knew we had to save every couple minutes in case the OS crashed, and we would lose all of our precious hard work. We now have a new Mac Pro. It’s a major departure in design, cylindrical shape unlike any other desktop computer. Small footprint but a powerful machine that rivals other commercial workstations and at a lower price.


20140201-105354.jpg Continue reading iPhone Turned Apple Into a Different Kind of Company

Techtool Pro 7 – Sophos AV – Apple Store On-2-One.


Happy start of the mad shopping season!

I plan to buy all gifts online as I have done the past several years. I don’t really enjoy going into the Apple Store mosh pit environment all that much either.

I have noticed Apple store one-2-one advisors tutoring outside of the store. There is no place inside the store that is quiet. It may be different in the Mega-Stores in NYC or Chicago. But you would think that would give Apple a clue to a flaw in their stores totally open design. Continue reading Techtool Pro 7 – Sophos AV – Apple Store On-2-One.

iPad Retina Mini “Quiet Release” Bad Reporting CNBC – Thanksgivikah

Ooops! … A few flawed facts and misstatements about “Apple quiet releases” and about Chanukah being a “High Holiday”.

This short report aired today, riddled with one obnoxious error after another! It doesn’t surprise me these reporters get the facts confused, it’s glamor news reporting at best. CNBC also droned on several times wtoday about Chris Christy NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2016. Steven Colbert on “The Colbert Report at midnight showed Christy on about seven different “news” channels. He said the same thing, I am only interested in being governor of New Jersy. It was hysterically redundant!
Ironically, if you view this video on the web with the iPad App, they have an edited version and cut off the end of the report where the really glaring reporting errors were made.

I should have recorded it and posted it here on my blog, but I started writing and changed the channel. What they said about that the “Apple (stealth) releases never happening…”, then later on saying, “Chanukah was a High Holiday” when it actually it is not – are just not correct. So, I wrote them a terse email, telling them where they were in error and why. Also some additional history about Christianity and Judaism. It’s pretty long winded, SORRY!

The iPad Mini with the new A7 chip and Retina display was released in limited quantity today. Only the 16GB & 32GB WiFi models were released. Both were still available at the Indianapolis Apple store at 2:30pm EST. By 6pm, they were all sold out. The Cincinnati store still had some of the 32GB White Mini available at 6pm but were sold out by 8pm.Other models, the 64GB WiFi and all of the 4G LTE models have delivery dates on the Apple store of 5-15 days. So all models are coming very soon. I expect the limited release was designed to wet the publics whistle, as all models will be (should be) available for Christmas and Chanukah gift buying purchasing.
eMail I sent to CNBC NEWS
Two glaring inaccuracies on your 11/12/13 at 2:03 titled “Apple iPad Stealth Release” reporting on the “soft release” of the Apple iPad Retina Mini. Continue reading iPad Retina Mini “Quiet Release” Bad Reporting CNBC – Thanksgivikah

Microsoft Is Not Going Away / Surface 2 Might Challenge Apple To Stay On Top

Contact Me: Avi Learner


While Apple fans anxiously await new iPad models to be announced at the Oct. 22, 2013 Event, with updated screens and faster processors from Apple, Inc., Microsoft is not sleeping. The MS Surface is alive and selling to Windows customers.  Apple’s lead in the phone and tablet market may soon be threatened not only by Samsung, a formidable adversary, but by Microsoft, apparently moving more into the consumer hardware market with a range of new tablets and accessories,  with it’s new Surface 2 line.

…quoting a controversial report from Julienne Pepitone at [CNNMoney NEW YORK]
“IPad sales are slumping, and Apple’s share of the tablet market is in a tailspin. Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is hoping to reverse the trend on Tuesday. The company is expected to reveal its first revamped iPad in a year during an event in San Francisco.”

Supporting Apple products over the years, has been a privilege and my vocation. Apple respected independent contractors to help service it’s products in the field, even though Apple retail stores have proliferated in major cities around the world with “Genius Help Desks” and one on one training and troubleshooting. There was a void in Apple Support that we consutants filled in the field servicing computers of individuals and corporate installations. They had very stringent qualifications requiring training and passing pretty tough tests, in order to become “certified” and part of the Apple Consultant’s Network.  These are people that Apple would list on it’s website and an end user could find to provide onsite support for individuals or corporate Apple customers. Continue reading Microsoft Is Not Going Away / Surface 2 Might Challenge Apple To Stay On Top

My iPad Fails to Charge During a Cycle After Upgrading to IOS 7

I have read two interesting articles recently.

1) Apple has 10% of all of the industrial “cash piles” of all companies in the US. That is what cash hoard they have in the bank. A lot of that is “offshore” so they avoid paying certain taxes.

2) The European Union might try to force Apple to make phones with micro USB charging connectors to make it one standard in Europe to cut down on electronic waste.
Continue reading My iPad Fails to Charge During a Cycle After Upgrading to IOS 7



Hi All,
My sister likes the absolute latest and best technology, and then usually keeps it for awhile. She wanted to buy a MacBook with Retina display. She also has a collection of over 200 DVDs (movies) and more CDs (music) that she has purchased legally over the years. She also burns CDs and DVDs for music and videos.

However, MacBook with Retina has no optical drive. The optional portable drive only has USB 2, and will not play high quality DVD/Blu Ray movies. She is concerned that USB 2 is too slow – she likes fast speed. And she likes the best picture quality.

So she left the Apple store without a purchase, disappointed because she thought she would buy the MacBook Retina yesterday.

Is there a 3rd party that sells a very high quality Optical Drive that will work with the MacBook Pro Retina that has USB 3 and High Picture quality (Blu Ray)? Or is Apple going to make one anytime soon? I didn’t see anything with Mac Rumors. My techie sister wants the best money can buy.

(On Sep 18, 2013, at 5:18 PM, Amy added)
I totally understand wanting a optical drive with a connection better than USB.
I sent the listserve a email I received from OWC that showed just such an item. And a super duper high quality one at that. USB is ridiculously slow for video transfer..


TO MAKE EXCEPTION AMY, USB 3 is anything BUT slow at 3.2GBps AND is supported on most Macs built after 2011. Maybe not enough for HD video output from Final Cut Pro, but surely fast enough to play or burn Blueray or burn backup files to Blueray Optical drive and as fast as one might need to RIP DVDs.

THAT SAID, IT IS IN OUR GCMUG CLUB CHARTER OR MISSION STATEMENT THAT WE DO NOT PROMOTE COPYRIGHT PIRACY OR SHARING OF COPYRIGHT SOFTWARE. The following is an explanation why you aren’t legally allowed to RIP DVD’s. If there are descriptions of how you “might” do it, it is for educational information ONLY. This ARTICLE, and GCMAC does not promote copyright infringement of ANY KIND
Continue reading DVD COPYING, COPYRIGHT LAW, iPhones in China

Avi Learner’s Apple Mac Repair