Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Hacking the iPhone


One of the cooler seminars at Barcamp Vancouver 2007 was John Beihler’s rundown on the state of iPhone hacking. Besides explaining ways for Canadians to work around the fact that the phone isn’t available here yet (within limits, you can’t use the phone portion of the device…yet), he also gave a rundown on the various programs you can shoehorn into the iPhone once you’ve unlocked it. Notable coolness came in the form of an NES emulator and a program called iphonefrotz which lets you play old Infocom games. He also said there’s already good progress in hardware workarounds to use the phone with other carriers, and he expects a software solution soon, if current innovation is any indicator.

I finally got to do a little hands-on fiddling with the vaunted beast at the Barcamp party the night before, and I can confirm that it is as cool as it looks. Once someone figures out a way for me to pop my Rogers SIM card into an iPhone, I’ll probably make the short trek across the border and get one. I’d only use the web surfing features with Wifi, because Canadian data rates are so egregious, but even so, it’s an amazing little machine. Especially if I can get in a quick game of Zork.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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