Even those readers who are most skeptical of Apple products will like this Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled iOS app tutorial from [Akio].
With everything being “connected” these days smartphone applications are of course a ubiquitous part of our existence. We’ve seen plenty of examples connecting your Bluetooth-enabled projects to an Android device, but comparatively fewer tutorials for connecting to iOS devices. This mostly has to do with Android’s much larger market share and also Android’s more open-source friendly business model. Nevertheless, if you do much IoT development either as a hobby or professionally, then you probably find yourself interacting with Apple devices more than you like to admit.
[Akio’s] app is essentially updating a chart, in real-time, with data read from an Adafruit nRF52832 Feather board. He then walks you through all the basics of creating a user interface (UI) using Apple’s Storyboard interface, a simple drag-and-drop scheme similar to something you’ve probably used in many other contexts. [Akio] shows readers how to add buttons for allowing users to interact with the app, labels for displaying data to the user, as well as walks you through Apple’s odd methodology of connecting UI elements to code using IBAction and IBOutlets. The highlight of his tutorial is showing readers how to add charts to their iOS apps which seems to take a few more steps than you might imagine.
[Akio] does a really good job detailing all the relevant functions so that readers will hopefully understand what each piece of the code is doing. And we really enjoyed him adding individual video tutorials for some of the trickier programming steps. He also readily admits that some folks may opt to develop their UI exclusively in code as opposed to the Storyboard but he argues that the Storyboard is still important for beginners and is really handy when the UI is fairly simple.
Of course, in true open-source fashion, [Akio] provides all his code on his GitHub repository so you can clone the repo and run the code yourself as well as credit some of the resources he used while making his app. Two things we really love to see. Hopefully, [Akio’s] tutorial will make connecting to iOS devices seem much less onerous than it once was.
Apple iPhones ship with the company’s Lightning cable, a capable and robust connector, but one that’s not cheap and is only useful for the company’s products. When the competition had only micro-USB it might have made sense, but now that basically all new non-fruity phones ship with USB-C, that’s probably the right way to go.
[Ken Pilonell] has addressed this by modifying his iPhone to sport a USB connector. The blog post and the first video below the break show us the proof of concept, but an update in the works and a teaser video show that he made it.
We’re a bit hazy on the individual iPhone model involves, but the essence of the work involves taking the internals of a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and hooking it up to the phone’s internal Lightning port. The proof-of-concept does it by putting the Apple flexible PCB outside the phone and plugging the cable part in directly, but it seems his final work involves a custom flexible board on which the reverse-engineered USB-C converter parts are mounted along with the USB-C socket itself. We see a glimpse of machining the slot in the phone’s case to USB-C dimensions, and we can’t wait for the full second installment.
It’s purely coincidental, but this comes against a backdrop of the European Union preparing to mandate USB-C on all applicable devices.
Continue reading “Why Wait For Apple? Upgrade Your IPhone With USB-C Today!”
Compared to most small LCDs sold to makers, smartphone screens boast excellent color, brightness, and insanely high resolution. Unfortunately, driving them is rarely straightforward. In an attempt to make it easier, [peng-zhihui] set about developing tools to allow such screens to be driven from a simple HDMI feed. For those whose Chinese is a little rusty, the Google Translate link might prove useful.
The first attempt was using Toshiba’s TC358870XBG ASIC, capable of driving screens over MIPI DSI 1.1 from an HDMI input. [peng-zhihui] designed a simple test module for the chip based on the company’s evaluation board design, with [ylj2000] providing software to help get that solution off the ground.
However, for now that solution is imperfect, so [peng-zhihui] also experimented with the Longxun LT6911 HDMI to MIPI driver. While cheap, information on the part is scarce, and the company’s own source code for using the hardware is only accessible by signing an NDA. However, [peng-zhihui] made pre-compiled firmware available for those that wish to work with the hardware.
[peng-zhihui] has put these learnings to good use, building a power bank with a MIPI screen using what appears to be the Longxun chip. The device can supply power over USB and also act as an HDMI display.
While it’s early days yet, and driving these screens remain difficult, it’s great to see hackers getting out there and finding a way to make new parts work for them. We’ve seen similar work before, using an FPGA rather than an off-the-shelf ASIC. If you’ve found your own way to get these high-end displays working, be sure to drop us a line!
[Thanks to peterburk for the tip!]
[SamsonMarch] designs electronic products by day and — apparently — does it in his spare time, too. His latest is a pair of really cool shades that give him turn-by-turn directions as he walks around town. Unlike some smart glasses, these get around the difficult problem of building a heads-up display by using a very simple interface based on colored LEDs visible to your peripheral vision in the temples of the frames.
The glasses themselves look great; designed in Fusion 360 and cut out of wood, no one would give them a second glance. [Sam] says you could 3D print them, too, but we think the wood looks best even if the stock is a cheap bamboo cutting board. He also cut the lenses out of acrylic.
The slots in the temples are where the action is, though. An iPhone app takes input and talks to Apple services to get directions. A lot of thought went into making the app work even though the phone keeps trying to put it to sleep. Each PCB hosts an RGB LED for indicating left/right turn and destination. They talk to the app using BLE and include accelerometers which put the boards — powered by coin cells — into sleep mode when no movement is detected.
Overall a fun and good looking project. There are even covers to hide the boards during normal use. The files you need to reproduce it are on GitHub. Usually, when we see smart glasses, they have some sort of screen which is harder to do. Of course, it is impossible to avoid comparisons to Google Glass.
Continue reading “Turn-by-turn Smart Glasses Give You Direction”
Electronic devices can be surprisingly leaky, often spraying out information for anyone close by to receive. [Docter Cube] has found another such leak, this time with the speakers in iPhones. While repairing an old AM radio and listening to a podcast on his iPhone, he discovered that the radio was receiving audio the from his iPhone when tuned to 950-970kHz.
[Docter Cube] states that he was able to receive the audio signal up to 20 feet away. A number of people responded to the tweet with video and test results from different phones. It appears that iPhones 7 to 10 are affected, and there is at least one report for a Motorola Android phone. The amplifier circuit of the speaker appears to be the most likely culprit, with some reports saying that the volume setting had a big impact. With the short range the security risk should be minor, although we would be interested to see the results of testing with higher gain antennas. It is also likely that the emission levels still fall within FCC Part 15 limits.
Continue reading “Listening To An IPhone With AM Radio”
In the connected age, every day it appears privacy is becoming more and more of an idealistic fantasy as opposed to a basic human right. In our latest privacy debate per [TechCrunch], apparently the FBI is taking some shots at Apple.
You may recall the unfortunate events, leading the FBI to ask Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to a person of interest. Apple did not capitulate to the FBI’s request on the basis of their fundamental commitment to privacy. The FBI wasn’t really thrilled with Apple’s stance given the circumstances leading to the request. Nevertheless, eventually, the FBI was able to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.
You may find it somewhat interesting that the author of the news piece appears to be more upset with the FBI for cracking the phone than at Apple (and by extension other tech companies) for making phones that are crackable to begin with.
Maybe we should take solace in knowing that Apple stood their ground for the sake of honoring their privacy commitment. But as we saw, it didn’t really matter in the end as the FBI was able to hire a third party to help them unlock the phones and were later able to repeat the process in-house. The article also noted that there are other private companies capable of doing exactly what the FBI did. We understand that no encryption is 100% safe. So it begs the question, “Is anything really private anymore?” Share your thoughts in the comments below.
It is hard to find anyone that does any kind of software development that doesn’t have some interaction with GitHub. Even if you don’t host your own projects there, there are so many things to study and borrow on the site, that it is nearly ubiquitous. However, when you’ve needed GitHub on the run, you’ve probably had to turn to your phone browser and had a reduced experience. GitHub for Mobile is now out of beta and promises a more fluid phone-based GitHub experience.
In addition to working with tasks and issues, you can also review and merge pull requests. The app sends your phone notifications, too, which can be handy. As you might expect, you can get the app for Android or iPhone in the respective stores.
Continue reading “GitHub On The Go”