iOS: Remove broken and already-removed apps in Cydia Installed list

In case you installed a misbehaving app via Cydia, manually removed it using iFile or Filza, but can’t seem to remove it from the “Installed” list/section, here’s what you can do:

1. Using your preferred file manager — in my case, Filza — navigate to “/var/lib/dpkg/status”
2. View the app with “Text Editor”
3. Click anywhere inside the text, and click on “Edit” on the top-right
4. Search for “My3G” and delete the whole section (i.e. com.sull…)
5. Save and reboot your phone (not really needed, but it “feels” cleaner)

That’s it! Enjoy your jailbroken phone once again.

iTunes: Move backup location to an external hard drive

I got a new MacBook Pro with a 256 GB SSD, so not enough storage to back up all of my family’s iOS devices, to say the least. The solution was to back up to an external HDD. Here’s how to do it:

1. With iTunes closed, open the terminal and cd to ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/
2. Delete or rename “Backup” folder within (i.e. rm -rf Backup or mv Backup BackupOld)
3. Create the symlink like so:

ln -s /Volumes/<Your External HDD>/MobileSync/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

4. Open iTunes and back up your device
5. Verify that it’s copied to ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
6. Enjoy free space on your MacBook

iPhone 4 fix when “Home” button not working

I purchased my iPhone 4 around July of 2010, so it’s almost 2 years old. It’s been rock-solid until about a month ago when the “Home” button was working intermittently (i.e. pressing it didn’t activate the phone); tried hard-resetting many times, doing restores, etc., without success.

What fixed it was merely:
1. Get a dust blower or use your and lung power
2. Blow into the power slot (in the bottom) and into the “Home” button. (Note: Press the “Home” button and blow into it from different angles.)
3. Repeat #2 a number of times.
4. Voila! That’s it!

If it worked, the button should have that “clicking” feel once again (I didn’t notice/realize this until after I started having the problem).

Bottom line: Dust in your phone (or everywhere else), especially, in the controls is not your friend.

UPDATE (3/21/12): It started acting up again, despite the fix mentioned above. This is what I found this time, so keeping my fingers crossed (it’ll cost around $150 to get the button replaced at the Apple Store):

Worked for me….

1. Open any application, e.g. Messages.

2. Press and hold the power button until the slide to shutdown bar appears.

3. Release power button.

4. Press and hold Home button with normal pressure and wait until screen returns to icon screen.

5. Enjoy your functioning Home button!

From what I’ve read, this procedure recalibrates the Home button after normal wear or heavy use.

Must-have iPhone traffic app

waze logoThe built-in Apple Maps app is just lacking and annoying to use, don’t you think?  Well, there’s an app I’ve been using called Waze and, so far, I’m impressed with how accurate it calculates and recalculates the ETA to your destination.  On top of that, it’s smart enough to change it’s route based on traffic.  I’ve been using it daily – just even to know how long it will take me to arrive at my destination.  That says a lot.

Field Test for iPhone Signal Strength Returns in iOS 4.1

Archived from Mac Observer.

When Apple released iOS 4.1 for iPhone Wednesday, the company once again included a utility that allows you to measure your signal strength on your device, a utility that that had been available before the release of iOS 4, but was not included when iOS 4 was introduced earlier this year.

The utility is called Field Test, and it is accessed by dialing *3001#12345#* (followed by the “Call” button). When you do that, a blank “page” launches with a title bar that reads “Field Test,” along with a Refresh button, as you can see in the image below. The Field Test part is that your signal bars will be replaced with a negative number that measures signal strength as expressed in decibels of noise in the signal.

To that end, the higher the number, the stronger the signal. -80db would represent a stronger signal than -90db, and -102db would be worse still (for instance, this reporter has particularly foul coverage at his office). TMO staff around the country found signal strengths ranging from -82db to about -120db, with any number lower than that representing little or no practical signal.

From user posts at Gizmodo, which first noted the return of Field Test, any Field Test near -70db represents something close to full signal strength. One staff member with an AT&T 3G Microcell got a measurement of -67db from one meter away from his microcell.

Pressing the Home button on your iPhone will end the Field Test and return your display to normal. Locking your phone (or allowing it to self-lock) with the Field Test still running will leave the Field Test numbers in your menu bar until you come back and quit the app via the Home button.