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Thread: Some basic things I'd like to be able to do. Please help?

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Hi I'm a complete iphone noob. I have original iphone with 3.1.3, jailbroken. After a few days with the phone, there are some key things I'm trying to figure out
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  1. #1
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    Default Some basic things I'd like to be able to do. Please help?
    Hi I'm a complete iphone noob. I have original iphone with 3.1.3, jailbroken.

    After a few days with the phone, there are some key things I'm trying to figure out how to do WITHOUT touching itunes (I run ubuntu 10.04 on my pc, so no itunes)

    1. How can I load a graphic-intensive pdf file to my iphone and view it? Pdf files that I use are typically around 75mb, with some as large as 400mb. I just want to drag and drop pdf files onto my phone, and then easily locate/view them on my iphone. Can it be done?

    2. How can I load movies onto my iphone and then watch them? I have heard about converting etc, and would like to avoid format conversions if possible (but will do if absolutely necessary). I have a USB app which allows me to drag and drop movies onto my iphone like a USB stick, but I don't know how to play those movies on my iphone. Again I'd like to be able to just drag and drop, not go through this 'syncing' business via some additional application.

    3. How can I load music onto my iphone via drag and drop, such that it is easily accessible by a music player? It is annoying and cumbersome to 'sync' in a 3rd party program on my pc; I'd rather just drag and drop into a folder, as is standard with modern MP3 players.

    4. How can I make phone calls over wifi, while using the built in microphone of my iphone? I tried skype, but skype says I need to connect a microphone and headset for it to work. WTH! Why can't I just hold the phone to my ear and then talk through skype, as I thought I could do when I bought the phone! If there is another app which allows this basic functionality I would appreciate it. The point of this is to call landline phones using the internet rather than a cellular network. I'm open to non-skype apps; I don't care what company it is, as long as it does this basic task properly. Not sure if the gmail phone call feature would work? Or if there's an app that makes gmail phone calling work (note: this is not the same as google voice, which I can't use)?

    Could you please indicate exactly which apps are necessary and how I get them. Still not that comfortable with cydia. Many thanks!

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    What's Jailbreak?
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    Sry, have I asked in the wrong forum?

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    Green Apple rob_squared's Avatar
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    I could only answer part of this. dtunes from cydia and avplayer from the app store can do music and videos without itunes syncing. You'll also need a way to browse your iphone file system:

    How To Mount Your iPhone Filesystem On Your Desktop In Ubuntu | fsckin w/ linux

    How to connect iPhone/iPod Touch (Using USB) in Karmic/Jaunty/Intrepid/Hardy|Ubuntu Geek

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    1. It depends on how the specific app tries to load the PDF file. If it tries to load the entire thing into memory before displaying the first page, then you're out of luck. I honestly don't know how the various apps with PDF capability compare in this regard.

    2. You can try getting VLC or mplayer from Cydia, but keep in mind that these are more workarounds than anything. The iPhone isn't all that powerful, which is why you typically have to convert to MP4 format and sync it over. The iPhone has hardware specifically designed to decode MP4 files quickly, whereas VLC and Mplayer must make do with just the CPU for decoding the video file. iFile will play any video the iPhone can natively supporty (namely MP4) while the other two programs will attempt to play whatever you give them, with mixed success.

    3. Similarly, this is the price you pay for using an Apple product. In order to use the native iPod app to play your music, you must sync it from within iTunes. Now you can move standard .mp3 files over as you'd like, but you can't use the iPod app to play them. Someone suggested dTunes, and I'd like to add iFile to that list as a potential mp3 player. I wouldn't want to use it as the default player though, as it's missing many major features that the standard iPod app has.

    4. You are correct in that the Google Voice app cannot be used to make VOIP calls. Likely this was done simply so that AT&T wouldn't get too pissed off at Google. However, there's a 3rd-party app called Talkatone (requires iOS 4.x) that makes use of the Google calling protocol to allow you to make VOIP calls over Wifi or 3G. I have not used it myself so I cannot comment on its quality, but I've heard it's decent. Do keep in mind that Google has only promised free US/Canada calls through 2011, so they could very likely start charging for the service in the future. T-Mobile is the only carrier that offers (or at least used to offer) wifi calling as a standard feature on the phones they supplied.

    Also regarding a couple of your questions, you can look into Zumocast as a side option. It has a server application that sits on your home PC and streams files to your iPhone as needed. For video files, it will transcode the video files in real-time on the host computer and stream the iPhone-compatible version to your phone over any data connection. It will do the same for mp3 files when you're connecting via 3G, encoding them to a slightly lower bitrate for traffic reasons.

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    Green Apple rob_squared's Avatar
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    I'd listen to Dan on this one, he obviously has more info than me, skipped right past the model of iPhone you have

    VLC won't install on it, and if it does it'll be dog slow. Only the iPhone 4 and sometimes the 3GS will be able to decode other video formats fast enough for it not to be painful to watch.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    Oh I didn't even notice the model, just the iOS version. In that case, Talkatone isn't really an option since you can't upgrade to iOS 4. Also because you didn't install VLC from Cydia back when it was iOS 3.x compatible, you won't be able to install either it or "OpenStreamer" which replaced it for a while. I would *really* like to upgrade to an actual version of VLC but sadly the upgrade requires 3.2+ and I too am at 3.1.3 for the moment.

    Regardless, my suggestion for free calling would be to use AT&T's "A-list" if your plan qualifies for it. Get a Google Voice number and add it to your A-list, and use Google Voice to initiate all your calls using the "callback" method, in which Google simultaneously calls both you and your party, and connects the two once you both pick up. By doing this, all outgoing calls will appear as incoming calls from a single number (your GV number) so you make free calls. The main drawback here of course is contacting each and every one of your contacts and telling them to add your new GV number to their contact list so that they know who's calling.

    Failing this, consider the AT&T Microcell for your home. It's a bit of hardware that essentially acts as a very tiny cell tower for your home and connects directly to your broadband Internet connection. It's mostly useful for areas that have low cell coverage, but I believe AT&T gives you free calling for any calls made over it (which makes sense as it takes load off their actual cell towers). I do not know however if this requires U-verse service to work or if it will work with any standard Internet connection. Also it might be an additional charge per month. I honestly don't know, as the only one in my family who makes use of this is my dad back at my parents' house, while I'm 30 miles away in a college dorm, so I don't know the full details about it.

    Worst case, grab a couple of headsets with microphones off of DealExtreme, assuming their description of the product is accurate (which tends to be questionable), and use this with Skype to make your calls. I'd suggest $5.90 - Genuine Stereo Earphones for iPhone 3G/3GS (3.5mm Jack/110cm Cable) - Earphones but there are so many similar products on the site that I can't say for certain which ones are legit.

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    Thansk for the info. This is really disappointing. Everyone told me iphone could just be used with skype over wifi, without ever using a phone company. I don't use the cellular network ever, except in an emergency perhaps 4 times per year for 3 minutes. I'm on prepaid with Telestial which is excellent for my needs.

    What I want is a mobile phone which allows me to make calls over wifi using the phone itself; not with a headset and mic, as I've been using at the computer for the last 8 years. Could be via skype, or via google talk, or some other provider, but the bottom line is that it should cost roughly 2 cents per minute to call most developed nations. I generally don't do business with AT&T nor do I enter into contracts with these types of companies.

    Also I was hoping to be able to read a simple 75mb pdf file without undue stress. Perhaps iphone is the wrong phone for me? What would be a better choice?

    I picked the iphone because I found one for 150 bucks unlocked and jailbroken with no contracts or anything and in excellent condition. However it seems this phone may not be able to do what I need afterall.

    If anyone can suggest a phone which is similar to this price, but does what I need it to, please let me know.
    Last edited by nauru; 03-04-2011 at 04:48 PM.

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    MMI's Official Devil Dog santacruzlocal's Avatar
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    Yes I can tell you a phone to buy ... an iPhone 3GS (50 Dollars right now) or i4 ... then watch a YouTube video on how to JB and Unlock !!!

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