How To: Get Netflix Picture in Picture Mode on Pre-iOS 9.3.2 Devices

June 14, 2016

After Apple announced Picture in Picture mode for iOS in iOS 9, it has become a extremely useful feature for those who like to multitask as they work on their iOS device. Most entertainment apps finally caught up over the following months by adding PiP support to their apps, however Netflix still didn’t offer this feature, albeit more difficult as they weren’t using the stock iOS video player. This all changed today when Netflix announced their latest app update with the addition of PiP but only for devices running the latest 9.3.2 firmware. Knowing that the PiP APIs were introduced back in 9.0, I decided to take a look and see if this version restriction can be bypassed and it can for anyone running a jailbroken device.
Netflix iOS

If you are running a jailbroken device then following these instructions should enable the feature for you without any issues, however as always follow the instructions carefully and any damage caused is entirely your responsibility. This has only been tested on iOS 9.1, but should work on any 9.x firmware.

  1. Install OpenSSH or MTerminal
  2. Log in or SSH into your iOS device as root (default password is alpine)
  3. If you are planning to keep OpenSSH installed on your device then please change your root password, instructions on how to do so can be found here.
  4. Navigate to the following directory: /System/Library/CoreServices/
  5. If you are using SSH then use your preferred editor to open SystemVersion.plist, I used nano to edit the file.
  6. If you are using MTerminal then you will need to install your preferred editor on Cydia.
  7. Open the file and navigate down to the ProductBuildVersion key and change the string value to 13F72.
  8. Go down to the Product Version key and change the string value to 9.3.2, as shown below.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 20.08.12
  9. Now save and exit out of the editor, uninstall OpenSSH if you don’t plan on using it again. (Note: if you are using Pangu 9.0.x Untether then it will try to uninstall this when using Cydia as it thinks the system version is in fact 9.3.2 and therefore unsupported)
  10. Reboot your device, it will appear as if you have upgraded your device and ask you to log into iCloud, however everything is still in tact and you are still running the original version of the OS.
  11. Ensure you are on the latest version of the Netflix app and choose a title to watch, press the home button and now you should have a PiP view of the title.

PiP Mode on iOS 9.1

 

 


How To: Hack Blackboard to Show Your Grades

June 7, 2016

blackboard-newAlthough Blackboard the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is known for it’s bugs here and there, one that is either down to user error or an issue with the platform is the My Grades tab disappearing from module shells, this simple hack has come in very useful in the past as it allows you to check your grades as long as they have been published without waiting for the My Grades tab to be enabled. There are valid reasons why this tab will sometimes be hidden, such as marks not being moderated and finalised at board level, depending on the level of education.

To access the My Grades tab for any module it is a simple task of URL manipulation, below is the usual format for the My Grades tab, however do note that it varies based on institution.

https://vle.xxx.ac.uk/webapps/bb-mygrades-bb_bb60/myGrades?course_id=000000_1&stream_name=mygrades&is_stream=false

The two parts that need changing are presented in bold, the first being the institution domain and the second is the course ID, this will be different to the course code but can be found by navigating to the shell for the module you want to get the grades of, you then enter the course ID into the URL and the My Grades page will be shown.

If you know the My Grades tab should be visible, then inform your lecturer of this as it is usually just down to user error that it is not shown at the right time.

 


How To: Recalibrate iOS Device Home Button

January 18, 2012

One of the most notable issues over time with iOS device users is that after months of use the home button becomes un-responsive, it affects all iOS devices over time and can affect some more than others, generally based upon the use of the device. One way to fix it would simply to return it to Apple and get a replacement, if your device is still in warranty and they allow you to exchange it. However as it’s a mechanical part they may not replace the device itself.

A simple way that fixes the issue for most people, is something you can do yourself and all you need is your device itself. Following these simple steps will in most cases fix the problem and makes your home button a lot more responsive.

  1. Launch one of the stock iOS applications on your device, for example the settings app.
  2. When the app is open, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the device until the ‘Slide To Power Off’ slider appears.
  3. Press and hold the iOS home button. Keep the button pressed until the slider disappears and the application quiet back to the Springboard.
  4. The home button is now re-calibrated and should be a lot more responsive.



How To: Disable iPhone Balance Notifications

April 25, 2011

iPhone balance notifications are probably the only downside to having an iPhone on Pay As You Go, every time you send a message, make a phone call or use data without having a data package in place, you will have to dismiss your balance every time. It may be nice to sometimes see your balance, but if you send a lot of SMS messages like me then it soon gets frustrating.

I decided to research the subject a few months ago to see if there was any way of removing it, a few threads on some forums but no conclusive answer. I got in touch with O2 to get it removed but back then they told me that you couldn’t remove it. There was nothing in Cydia to get rid of it either. But yesterday I got in touch with O2 again, after reading that the carrier can turn it off at their end and I woke up this morning without having to see the balance notification screen. So to remove the balance screen just get in touch with your carrier, whether it be O2 or any other carrier worldwide and they should be able to disable it for you. I hope this has helped and leave your success stories in the comments.


How To: Enable HD Video Recording on The iPhone 3GS

November 1, 2010

Mike Pan has successfully modified system files on the iPhone 3GS to record HD video at 30fps.
The video is recorded at 1080×800 at up to 20Mbps, this is a big improvement from the default 640×480 at 3Mbps. The unusual size is used to keep the video at the right aspect ratio when recording. You can also change the resolution to 960×720 if you so prefer.

It does take a little longer for the 3GS to focus and the quality won’t be as good as that on the iPhone 4 but it’s a nice improvement especially if you’re not moving the phone a lot.

First of all make sure you have a jailbroken iPhone 3GS on iOS 4.1, then ensure you install OpenSSH and you know your iPhone’s IP Address. Next download the relevant patch files, depending on your resolution prefenrence.

1080×800 Patch
960×720 Patch

Once you have downloaded the relevant patch extract it. In the extracted folder you should have the following files:

Launch your favourite SSH client and connect to your iPhone. Once you’ve connected navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app/
Now locate the file N88AP.plist, rename it and add .bak to the end of the filename, this will act as a backup file so that you can revert to the original setting.
Now drag the N88AP.plist that you downloaded and put it in the same folder as the original was in.

Now navigate to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Celestial.framework/N88/
Now locate the files:
– AVCapture.plist
– CameraRollValidator.plist
– MediaValidator.plist

Rename them all and add .bak to the end of the filenames.
Now drag the AVCapture.plist, CameraRollValidator.plist, and MediaValidator.plist files that you downloaded and put it in the same folder as you just navigated to.

Now just restart your iPhone 3GS and your HD video recording will be enabled.


How To: Protect Your iDevice From PDF Exploits

August 4, 2010

For all those of you who have used the JailbreakMe.com method of jailbreaking then you took advantage of a PDF exploit in the Safari application. This is good that you can jailbreak your device so easily but it also means anyone with the right know how can run code on your iDevice. This means that if in the wrong hands it could be used for malicious purposes.

The iPhone Dev-Team or Apple will eventually patch the PDF hole, probably the latter. For now you need to make sure your device is protected so that you don’t fall into any malicious traps. You need to install a Cydia package called PDF Loading Warner, this package displays a pop-up when your device is about to open a PDF. It won’t stop this exploit but it will let you choose not to open a PDF that might be malicious. It has caused some issues with iBooks when opening PDF files as you have to dismiss the pop-up numerous times. However it’s a small price to pay for such an easy jailbreak.


How To: Change Your iPhone’s SSH Password

November 3, 2009

As many have been prompted by the recent icident, including Dutch iPhones on T-Mobile, the SSH on the iPhone has a default password which most people do not change, leaving themselfs unprotected. Here’s the quick guide to change your root password on your iPhone.

MobileTerminal

Please note that some guides will change the mobile password, however this will still leave you unprotected so ensure you follow these instructions carefully.

  • Download ‘MobileTerminal’ from Cydia.
  • Run MobileTerminal
  • Type ‘passwd’
  • Enter your new password
  • Enter it again
  • Type ‘su root’
  • Then Type: ‘alpine’ (iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS) ‘dottie’ (iPhone 2G)
  • Press Return
  • Type ‘passwd’
  • Enter your new password
  • Enter it again
  • Now your iPhone is secure from SSH hacking