Alleyside Daily #6: 5.0.1 Jailbreak, Stolen PlayBooks, Google’s Tablet, iPad Keyboard, MAME

iPhone Alley introduces a brand new way to stay up-to-date on all things happening in the world of iOS. Alleyside Daily is a roundup of news headlines, applications, and products delivered in a unique IM-style, opinionated format.

The goal is for one article to provide everything you need to know about iPhone 5GS while also hyping up an amazing new time travel app and an indestructible case, along with everything in between – first. In addition, our seasoned editors’ knowledge adds insight. Interviews, giveaways, and special guests are coming very soon down the line. Keep in mind that the concept is very much still in “beta,” so we’ll need your help shaping Alleyside Daily into the ultimate collection of daily iOS information.

|News Headlines

pod2g’s Untethered iOS 5 Jailbreak Video Releases
Michael: One step closer to iOS 5.0.1 and I’m about to.. jailbreak

Nikhil: Some people were skeptical about whether or not an untethered jailbreak was coming out, and it definitely is
Michael: Or rather, pod2g is
Skeptical? It seems to always come with some time.
Nikhil: The skeptical part comes in when people were unsure whether or not the jailbreak would support older devices
Michael: However, the jailbreak excludes the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
Nikhil: Hmm, guess that they decided to support older devices rather than new.
Well anyways, a demo video was released today showing the jailbreak on an iPhone 4
Michael: It actually seems like there are more codes to crack (excuse the pun) and hoops to jump through to create a jailbreak for newer devices.
Nikhil: Apparently, the untether is currently failing because of the iPhone 4S’ having processor cache issues
Either way, the jailbreak should be available within the next few days for devices prior to the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2


App Store Revenue Far Surpasses Android Market
Nikhil: Apple’s App Store is still superior to the Android Marketplace and other app store alternatives for other OSs
Michael: As if we didn’t already know, the iOS App Store is where app developers looking to make money need to be.
Nikhil: A new report from Distimo shows that Apple’s App Store brings in four times as much revenue as much as Android’s Marketplace does
Certainly an indication that a developer’s application has the most potential for success in iOS
Michael: There are also a lot more apps available on the App Store
Nikhil: Yep, a comfortable few hundred thousand
Michael: 150,000 on Android vs over 500,000
So it actually seems developers could make the same average in both stores.
Nikhil: Even though a lot of the App Store is junk, the amount of applications that have been earning are surpassing Android
Well, yes Android does also hold potential, undoubtedly
They’ve got a lot more users than iOS because of the amount of Android devices
Michael: Android doubled its catalog while Windows Phone 7 quadrupled theirs
The App Store is still king but it seems the others are tagging along fairly quickly.
Nikhil: Oh, and another interesting piece of information courtesy of the report from Distimo shows that China is catching up to America in terms of app downloads


5,200 BlackBerry PlayBook Tablets Stolen
Nikhil: We were just talking the other day about how Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was failing immensely in comparison to the Apple iPad and other Android tablets
Nikhil: Also, a few days further back, we posted about robbers not wanting to steal BlackBerry devices and Android phones to an extent that they left them as is in comparison to the iPhone
Michael: A driver had 5,200 units of the PlayBook? Where was he sending them, a garbage facility?
Nikhil: Ha! Funny, but no he was shipping them to retailers in Canada
Nikhil: When he took an hour break, robbers took the entire truckfull of devices
Michael: So Canadians have to suffer? At least the device’s pricing begins at $199 now.
Nikhil: I saw it as a bright point for RIM considering they got rid of a chunk of their inventory easily
Michael: Though the hardest part of the robbery will be selling the PlayBooks for more than $15
RIM really needs to just sell them at cost, schools and such could really benefit
Nikhil: So if you’re offered one for cheap, don’t accept it because: 1) It was probably illegally acquired and 2) No one really wants them


Google Working on a Nexus iPad Competitor
Apple may face another challenge in the tablet market, this time from Google
Michael: Google is expanding its Nexus lineup to include a tablet.
The Nexus lineup is designed by Google itself.
Nikhil: Though I’m not sure how well the supposed tablet will compete
Hence the Nexus name
Michael: It will be very high quality.
It seems Google wants to create an Android tablet that is the best of its breed.
Nikhil: With so many Android tablets, I’m finally happy to see a company want to take charge like that
Michael: Google develops Android so it’s a no-brainer.
Nikhil: There are too many options right now, and a tablet that completely dominates among its other Android kin will provide buyers with an easy choice.
Anyways, the tablet is supposedly going to launch during the middle of 2012, a few months after the rumored iPad 3 launch
We should see a great race in terms of popularity come that time
Michael: The new, critically-praised Android 4.0 will reportedly power the Nexus tablet. All other details are unknown. Though Eric Schmidt has indeed confirmed it.
Nikhil: Although, I have faith that Apple with its incredible fanbase, quality and marketing will pull through again


|Applications

iMame – ROM Emulator Teasing Apple’s Approval Process
Nikhil:If you’re an oldschool gamer, appreciate minimalistic, completely retro graphics, and would appreciate an emulator for iOS, act quickly
Released today, but inevitably going to be removed from the App Store, is iMAME
MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is usually an emulator available with thousands of older titles to preserve their quality and popularity
The reason for iMAME currently sitting on the fence, is the fact that it’s unofficial. As such, it was not approved by the original MAME creator not the current owner
Michael: The Christmas app rush must have made a reviewer let this slip.
Although not Apple may very well be cozying up to the idea of emulators. Doubtful at this point though.
Nikhil: Well, it has previously happened, and I seriously don’t think that an Apple employee would let it slip
Well, they obviously did, but the holiday rush is dying down now with the close tomorrow
Updates are being approved within hours/1-2 days
Incredibly short compared to usual
Regardless, the emulator currently offers 9 titles with a custom-built UI to represent arcade control mechanics
The plus, is that 1) it’s free and 2) there is a way to add more titles to the application so you can play oldschool gamers on your iPhone
Michael: Guessing you could use your own ROMs with it as well, right?
Nikhil: Yep, Touch Arcade has a guide to that, which is the same as a previous emulator (Link)


Vocal – Vocally control your computer
Nikhil: Without Apple even releasing the API for Siri, a developer has thought of something simple, yet so clever. Michael, care to brief us on the application?
Michael: Now that Siri has Sired its way into your hearts and iPhones, an app could use Siri to control your Mac
That app, simply titled Vocal, uses Siri’s voice recognition and its own proprietary Mac software to have commands control elements of your Mac.
Nikhil: I wish I could try it out, but I’m not able because I don’t currently own a Mac. And you don’t own an iPhone 4S quite yet, but there’s another feature that allows you to use the application’s functions
Michael: All it does is offer a couple available commands (such as Google _ or Open _)
Now that Apple includes a voice recognition button on the virtual keyboard, apps like this can take advantage of Siri simply.
Nikhil: It’d be difficult to control the cursor just via voice or text, so I’m guessing the application is own useful for opening applications and skipping/playing music
Michael: It’s really just a text input interface that brings a few Mac-controlling commands to the table.
It’s all in the name, it doesn’t do anything specifically based around Siri besides utilize the voice recognition available to all 4S users.


|Products

BookBook for iPhone
Nikhil: This product, dubbed the BookBook, is the perfect solution to reduce pocket clutter
Available for the iPhone 4 and 4S (all capacities), the case pays homage to technology’s predecessors: books
Taking the shape of a weathered book, the case opens up to reveal the iPhone housing area as well as multiple slots for the contents of your wallet
Michael: Besides how it appears to be a Bible at first glance, it does look pretty snazzy.
Nikhil: Yeah it appears like that in the pictures, and they’re not misleading at all
Michael: Not a new concept but we appreciate the wallet/case combo.
Nikhil: I own the BookBook right now, and it’s the perfect way to minimize the amount of space taken up by your pocket-stuff
Michael: It’s also interesting how they mention you have “Find Your Wallet” available
Nikhil: Yeah, that’s another feature not limited to the BookBook
Michael: Because of Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app, as long as your iPhone is in your “wallet,” you effectively can track your wallet via GPS
Nikhil: The only downside to the case that I see right now is that the price is slightly steep compared to other cases and that the flap gets in the way of you using your iPhone comfortably. Additionally, there’s no strap to keep the case closed, but otherwise it’s great


TouchFire iPad Keyboard Enhancer
Michael: TouchFire transforms your iPad keyboard into a clickable surface – but only when typing.
Nikhil: I’d like to point out that one of the designers has previously worked for Speck, an indication that the TouchFire is going to be great
Michael: Soft and surprisingly springy, TouchFire appears to be nothing more than a key cover.
Nikhil: It looks really slick, and I know that I currently have trouble typing on the iPad
Michael: Then it becomes apparent that this is indeed quite practical and is something new.
Nikhil: Other than the fact that the keyboard is larger than my liking, the lack of any texture to help you visualize the key placement makes it worse
Michael: The twist is that you can easily slide TouchFire on and off for whenever you need it.
Nikhil: And, it’s easy to attach it to your iPad 2′s Smart Cover
So you can easily carry it anywhere you go without adding extra bulk
Michael: With pair of included clips! Well thought-out design
Nikhil: It looks really slick and another indication that it’s popular is that the funding goal on Kickstarter reached $200,000 from an initial $10,000 goal
Michael: It’s also easy to flip TouchFire on and off
of the display.
Michael: Yup, people really want this enough to pre-order on Kickstarter!
Nikhil: Sadly I won’t be able to try it out, but if you do, keep us updated!
Michael: In fact, over 3,000 have pre-ordered TouchFire already.
Michael: The initial batch of TouchFire units are beginning their roll-out this month.
While it will be publicly available sometime between February and March for around $44.95.


Michael: The cake is a lie.
Just had to put that out there.
Nikhil: Sorry man, I sent one out today for you (readers: not really)
Michael: See what I mean?
Nikhil: Christmas is nearing ever so closer so if you still want to be considerate you can send both of us cake as a gift. I like vanilla
Michael: Too bad. I love chocolate.
Fine, how about an iPhone cake that’s black and white?
We’ll let you know if we receive it tomorrow. There are surprises involved if we do.
Nikhil: Yesss, there definitely are.
(what are the surprises?)