∅ the empty set

My 2 cents worth of iPhone tips for Switzerland

Hooked

Important note: please bear in mind that this post relates to a first generation iPhone running 1.x software.

It's almost a month now that I've received my iPhone, and I thought it might be time to share a few tips related to its use in Switzerland where it still isn't officially available despite the rumours (Feb 29th, April 4th, etc.).

I bought a couple on eBay where you'll find an impressive list of new jailbreaked iPhones with the latest firmware readily available for sale. The prices have risen over the last weeks, but with a weak dollar, they remain reasonable compared to what is sold in Switzerland. Your best bet remains to find someone that can pick one up in a US Apple Store for you.

So here are a few tips we managed to work out that might help you if you've just received a jailbreaked iPhone v1.1.4 from the US.

For more information on the jailbreak process itself, please check ZiPhone's Blog and please don't forget to make a donation to Zibri - thanks.

EDGE configuration

The first thing you'll want to do is to setup the phone's EDGE configuration. You'll find these settings under Settings > General > Network > EDGE. These settings depend on your operator.

For Swisscom

APN: gprs.swisscom.ch
Username: (nothing)
Password: (nothing)

For Sunrise

APN: internet
Username: internet
Password: internet

For Orange

APN: internet
Username: (nothing)
Password: (nothing)

Important note: Orange Switzerland doesn't offer EDGE, and several friends of mine haven't managed to establish a GPRS connection either, while others have. The situation isn't clear.

Next, you are going to want to install third party applications to enhance your iPhone's experience. Like sending and receiving MMS for example. But before that, there was a couple of issues we nedded to tackle.

BSD Subsystem

Before you start installing anything, make sure you have BSD Subsystem installed on your iPhone. You can check by selecting Installer > Uninstall and looking if it's the list of installed applications.

BSD Subsystem is required before installing many other applications and patches and therefore should be the first package you install on your newly jailbroken iPhone. Many third party application and tweaks rely on it being installed.

Check iClarified for information on how to proceed to install BSD Subsystem.

Caller ID recognition

The first issue that arose was the non recognition of the caller ID. Although the SMS senders were correctly identified by their name, the phone calls we not. Only numbers were displayed on an incoming call. More specifically, they were only if you hadn't specified the international code in your address book. So 079 123 4567 was recognised but not +41 79 123 45 67. Bummer.

It turns out that iClarified had the answer in the form of AppSupport which fixes Dialer Crashing and Caller ID problems (thanks timschuerewegen).

Again, check out their excellent tutorial.

Turn predictive typing off

Next I noticed that my iPhone's keyboard settings offered the option of turning off the autocorrection, but that it wasn't present on all iPhones. Autocorrection can be a drag depending you the language you are writing in and the keyboard layout you are using. I write in French or English, but use a German layout (QWERTZ).

Once again, there's a tool to install (KB.app).

The install process is more than easy once you have Installer.app which you should if you've received you phone jailbreaked.

  • Open Installer icon on your iPhone.
  • Navigate to Community Source and install it, of course if you have it already installed skip that step.
  • You gonna see that now you have a lot more applications available through Installer.app.
  • Navigate to Tweaks > KB.app and install it.
  • You are ready to go.
  • Now you can Enable or Disable the Autocorrection by the new option available in Setting > General > Keyboard.

Watch the installation on YouTube.

MMS setup (iPhone OS 1.1.4 / SwirlyMMS 0.3.8)

The next step was to reinstate MMSs on the iPhone. Sending and receiving MMSs may not be too popular in the USA, but is widely used in Europe. I love them personnaly.

Luckily once again an application is available the enables you to send an receive MMS on your iPhone: SwirlyMMS. It still is a little rough, but you can send and receive with it. Install it through the Installer > Productivity > SwirlyMMS (or directly from the developer's by adding swirlyspace.com/SwirlySpace.xml as source in the Installer). Remember, you must restart the iPhone before using it (turn the phone off by pressing the power button for several seconds).

SwirlyMMS Settings for Swisscom

MMSC : mmsc.swisscom.ch
Proxy : 192.168.210.002:8080
APN : event.swisscom.ch
Username : <empty>
Password : <empty>

SwirlyMMS Settings for Sunrise

MMSC: mmsc.sunrise.ch
Proxy: 212.35.34.75:8080
APN: mms.sunrise.ch
username: mms
password: mms

SwirlyMMS Settings for Orange

MMSC: 192.168.151.3:8002
Proxy: 192.168.151.002:8080
APN: mms
Username: <empty>
Password: <empty>

Now you can send and receive MMSs. Just wait until the upper right square in the status bar becomes green before attempting to send or receive.

Sending is straitforward: type in a title, select a recipient, select an image and click send.

Receiving is straitforward too. When an MMS is wating, just click the upper left button in SwirlyMMS called Fetch. The number of MMS to fecht will be displayed next to the Fetch button label.

On the other hand, you'll need a couple of other applications to select and view the image you have just fecthed. As of the time of writing SwirlyMMS v0.3.8 only supports images (no movies).

If you are having trouble getting this app to work, check the forum for FAQ and tips.

Then you need to install MobileFinder and MobilePreview to navigate in the filesystem and view the received image and MobileTextEdit if you want to view the received text. These applications are available through the Installer > Productivity section.

The images you receive are stored in ~/Media/MMSFiles. Open MobileFinder and click on the upper right ~ button. That will take you to your home directory. Double click (yes, double click) on the Media folder, and you'll find the MMSFiles folder where your images are stored. Double click an image to view it.

If you move them to your camera folder and rename them like the camera folder pictures you will be able to sync them and se them in the cameraroll (Good if you want to send them by MMS), but you will not get a thumbnail of the picture. Only a white background. If you want to see the picture in the camera roll, just save it again like you did to get the white thumbnail, but with "THM" extension (for example: IMG_0001.JPG, then save it again with IMG_0001.THM).

MobileFinder take some getting use to, but once you've figured out how to navigate the filesystem, move, copy and delete files, you're done.

Use Image Capture or iPhoto (or some other photo management software) to transfer them to your Mac.

IMAP your mailboxes

When you setup your e-mail accounts in your Mail application, I strongly suggest you choose the IMAP protocol. It is so much powerful. There is an interesting post on setting up your GMail account on the iPhone on 5ThirtyOne.

Apple has a technote on setting up your accounts: iPhone and iPod touch: Email Account Setup.

Backup your SMS

Getting your data in and out of the iPhone is trivial except for the SMSs. Luckily there are a couple of applications on the Mac that do just that. Namely Syphone and MobileSyncBrowser. It turns out that Micromat's product Syphone is still too buggy (v0.99b) to be reliable. I needed to remove the preferences before launching the application otherwise it crashed on launch. Moreover, it doesn't display accentuaed letters properly. MobileSyncBrowser on the other hand rocks. It will backup your SMSs, contact info and call history.

Both these applications allows you view the backup files iTunes creates from your iPhone. Everytime you synch your phone, iTunes keeps a local copy of the information contained in your iPhone's SMS and Notes applications as well as your recent call history. MobileSyncBrowser allows you to refer to these files and copy the information for archive or reference purposes.

Choose a data plan

If you start using EDGE, I suggest you check with your operator if he offers data plans that might suit your consumption. I opted for Swisscom's Surf Option 50Mb. It gives me 50Mb of data for CHF 10/month. Without this option you are billed 0.10 CHF/10 KB by Swisscom. We'll see how well that suits my needs. Check out the other operators for their offers.

And finally, what is yours called?

I don't know about you, but one of the first things I do when I buy a new Mac, iPod or now iPhone is to choose a name for it. I'm allergic to the default "John Doe's Computer" or "John Doe's iPhone". My relationship with my hardware is far too personal to leave it like that (but that is the topic of whole new blog post).

I named my iPhone Jaya, what is yours called?

Ø permalink: https://davidroessli.com/logs/2008/04/my_2_cents_worth_iphone_tips/


Reponses to “My 2 cents worth of iPhone tips for Switzerland”

#1 by Enrique

08:33 on 6 April 2008

Mine is called a "phone" and I just want it to work out of the box. :)

#2 by Adam

14:26 on 7 April 2008

David,

Thanks for gathering all this info in one place (and for writing it in English..).

I noticed that the link to MobileSync Browser is broken. I think there is some extra characters at the end that shouldn't be there.

Thought I'd let you know.

#3 by David Roessli

14:42 on 7 April 2008

@Adam: thanks! Yes there was invisible trailing characters..
and yes, I suppose I should publish this post in French too.

I'll give it a think.

#4 by ksharp

14:53 on 7 April 2008

I had a flawless experience when ordering one from NextWay (http://www.nextway.ch). It worked out of the box. I think they must have done most of the patching themselves (adn added a button to their online store on the desktop).
:)
Highly recommended.

PS: any idea when will the 3G model will ship and will it be available in Switzerland?

#5 by David Roessli

21:36 on 7 April 2008

@ksharp: your guess is mine ;)

(but I agree on NextWay - it rocks)

#6 by camilo

16:33 on 18 April 2008

thnks.

I tried installing mobilefinder etc but says error: needs BSD subsystem package. install first. any ideas? thanks camilo

#7 by David Roessli

21:40 on 18 April 2008

@camilo check my post above. Just after the EDGE configuration section or visit iClarified for information on how to proceed to install BSD Subsystem.

#8 by Djeni

22:05 on 22 April 2008

Hello,
thanks for all great information :) I have this problem with Syphone you mentioned, it crashed on launch. What do you mean with "remove the preferences before launching the application". And MobileSyncBrowser asked me to make a donation befor he allows me to backup anything.
Djeni

#9 by David Roessli

22:39 on 22 April 2008

@djeni the idea is to remove the file named "com.micromat.Syphone.plist" from your ~/Library/Preferences folder before launching the application.

Yes MSB does ask for a donation before letting you backup anything. But it's worth it. Just give him what you think the application deserves. It's a great little application, stable and does just the job. It exports the data in a tab separated format for reuse in a spreadsheet or by any other programme.

Check out also Ecamm's MegaPhone which lets you access your iPod Touch/iPhone directly. You can also use it to export SMSs, call log etc. I find it ideal to transfer the images I received by MMS from my iPhone to my Mac. Brilliant.

#10 by Djeni

20:52 on 23 April 2008

Thank you :)

#11 by Steve

21:36 on 10 June 2008

Hey I configured my iPhone for mms as said above... and i have Swirly mms installed... however It doesnt recieve them...

I just get a message from Swisscom telling me I have a mms and a link to a website pickup....

Any help to help me recieve them through Swirly would be good...

steve :s

#12 by David Roessli

14:16 on 11 June 2008

@steve check your MMS settings. These can be tricky. What operator are you using?

#13 by Steve

22:11 on 12 June 2008

Hey David.... I am with Swisscom... like i Say... everything is as above... just the fact I can only send and not receive is weird...

#14 by David Roessli

12:41 on 17 June 2008

@Steve - sorry, I didn't read properly.

Hmm.. it sounds like an operator setting to me. The first time I fired up my iPhone, I received the following from Swisscom:

Les paramètres de votre portable ont été modifiés. Les MMS sont sauvegardés sur www.swisscom-mobile.ch/mms. Swisscom vous souhaite du plaisir avec MMS.

Nevertheless, configuring Swirly with the above parameters worked for me. The upper right icon must go green before you can send or receive anything. But that must be the case if you can send…

Very weird indeed. Sorry, but I'm not of much help here.

#15 by David Roessli

12:45 on 17 June 2008

@Steve: try the following:

APN address: event.swisscom.ch
Username:
Password:
MMSC: http://mms.natel.ch:8079
Proxyserveradress: 192.168.210.2:8080

Found on http://www.modmyifone.com/wiki/index.php/Carrier_APN_Settings#Swisscom

#16 by David Roessli

20:42 on 2 July 2008

Apparently, Orange _doesn't support EDGE_ on their network, so forget about the above settings.

Sorry about that - I was sure it worked though.

#17 by Adam

13:10 on 14 July 2008

Installing BSD Subsystem crashed my installer and I cannot use it any more. Would you please have a solution.

Adam

#18 by Anila

17:49 on 21 September 2008

Hi David,
thank you for posting this information .

I am having a weird problem. my phone was unlocked to use in Switzerland. recently I've connected iphone to mac and it installed some software.
it was working fine and after a week when I 've to charge it , it was not taking the power(my phone is not getting charged). You have any idea how to overcome this problem?

thank you..

#19 by David Roessli

08:01 on 22 September 2008

@Anila: I'm not sure. Does it not charge when connected directly to the USB port of a computer? Or via the power adapter?

Try swapping it with a recent iPod's power adapter, or try another cable to make sure the problem doesn't come from the accessories rather than from the phone itself.

#20 by madeleine diaz

08:55 on 1 August 2009

From the Public Relations Office of MobileSyncBrowser: As your website is in touch with the news about iPhone Technology and Applications, I'm writing to tell you about the release of MobileSync Browser (MSB) 3.0, as well as MSB 3.1b1, the exclusive pre-release version of this application.
MobileSyncBrowser is used to retrieve data automatically stored inside iTunes every time the iPhone was synchronized to the computer. MSB will recover all information, notes, contacts, call history and SMS messages, in case the device gets lost, broken or stolen. Visit MSB at: http://homepage.mac.com/vaughn/msync/
Users all over the world contact developer Vaughn S. Cordero to thank him and praise MSB for helping them evade the negative effects of losing all their information.
I'm attaching the press release and/or an informational document that outlines all the useful characteristics of MSB, now in its third generation. You are welcome to download the free trial; and please, would you kindly write a review or use the attached information to let your readers know about MobileSyncBrowser?
In addition to English, MSB includes Spanish, French and German support when it runs on systems in those languages. Be aware that MSB will work for iPhones in any language; however, the application contains those four to display the menus and the text. For instance, if you use MSB for an Italian iPhone, the information will display in Italian because MSB does not include that language support.
If you have questions or comments, please write back directly to Vaughn at audiobinder@mac.com, or reply to my email. Thank you for your help. -- Madeleine D. Quilichini, e: mad_copy@yahoo.com
MORE INFO:
Recent Versions, Press Releases MobileSyncBrowser 3.0 is the latest and most advanced version of the iPhone backup utility. Reviews for MobileSyncBrowser have been consistently positive, and when a user encounters a glitch, MSB's developer, Vaughn S. Cordero, avails himself by phone or email to help the customer step by step. Who uses MSB? Setting aside the argument that it is better to have a backup and not need it, than to need it and not have it, the original MSB users ranged from business executives who need to keep track of and produce hard-copy evidence of their communications, to the iPhone owner whose device was stolen or broken, to concerned parents wanting to keep track of their children's online contacts and friendships, and there's a commercial version being developed for grand-scale use regarding levels of information gathering, geared towards people who need MSB for legal proceedings or investigations. MobileSyncBrowser 3.0, available adds compatibility with iPhone OS 3.0 and was completely rewritten to provide better performance and enhanced stability. Technical Contact: Vaughn S.Cordero, email audiobinder at mac dot com
MobileSyncBrowser 3.1b1 This upgraded version of the application is available as pre-release software and has been said to be "better, faster, and more stable". It appeared barely five weeks after the release of MobileSyncBrowser 3.0. This latest edition of MSB, provides a multi-threaded experience, and is noticeable more stable and faster than the previous generations. MSB 3.1b1, marks a second milestone, leveraging the modularity to add background processing and caching so there's no waiting involved due to the extended scanning required for MSB Plus features. 3.1b1 also presents a cache file to the device backups which speeds subsequent visits to an unchanged backup; it alsoincludes fixes for cosmetic reasons and functional purposes. These include an improved handling of similar and alphanumeric addresses in the SMS Convo Lists; improved navigation on systems with 9+ backups where portions of the Categories list would scroll up out of view making them seem "unavailable"; the user should know that single click, double click and alt-click actions have different responses and a little experimentation is required. MobileSyncBrowser (MSB) 3.1b1 has been tested for iPhone OS 3.1b2 and iTunes 8.2.1 compatibility. An important thing to remember is that, as a prerelease software, 3.1b1 could behave in surprising ways; users are encouraged to take sensible precautions before and while operating. The developer assumes no responsibility whatsoever for the use of prerelease software, so prospective clients should try out MSB before purchase in order to familiarize themselves with its interface, and ensure the application works for them. MSB 3.1b1 is stable and recommended for developers and general users who have specific issues with the current MSB. Feedback is always appreciated.

#21 by madeleine diaz

07:45 on 5 August 2009

Just thought you'd like to know in case you want to revisit and review:
Recent Versions, Press Releases MobileSyncBrowser 3.0 is the latest and most advanced version of the iPhone backup utility. Reviews for MobileSyncBrowser have been consistently positive, and when a user encounters a glitch, MSB's developer, Vaughn S. Cordero, avails himself by phone or email to help the customer step by step. Who uses MSB? Setting aside the argument that it is better to have a backup and not need it, than to need it and not have it, the original MSB users ranged from business executives who need to keep track of and produce hard-copy evidence of their communications, to the iPhone owner whose device was stolen or broken, to concerned parents wanting to keep track of their children's online contacts and friendships, and there's a commercial version being developed for grand-scale use regarding levels of information gathering, geared towards people who need MSB for legal proceedings or investigations. MobileSyncBrowser 3.0, available adds compatibility with iPhone OS 3.0 and was completely rewritten to provide better performance and enhanced stability. Technical Contact: Vaughn S.Cordero, email audiobinder at mac dot com
MobileSyncBrowser 3.1b1 This upgraded version of the application is available as pre-release software and has been said to be "better, faster, and more stable". It appeared barely five weeks after the release of MobileSyncBrowser 3.0. This latest edition of MSB, provides a multi-threaded experience, and is noticeable more stable and faster than the previous generations. MSB 3.1b1, marks a second milestone, leveraging the modularity to add background processing and caching so there's no waiting involved due to the extended scanning required for MSB Plus features. 3.1b1 also presents a cache file to the device backups which speeds subsequent visits to an unchanged backup; it alsoincludes fixes for cosmetic reasons and functional purposes. These include an improved handling of similar and alphanumeric addresses in the SMS Convo Lists; improved navigation on systems with 9+ backups where portions of the Categories list would scroll up out of view making them seem "unavailable"; the user should know that single click, double click and alt-click actions have different responses and a little experimentation is required. MobileSyncBrowser (MSB) 3.1b1 has been tested for iPhone OS 3.1b2 and iTunes 8.2.1 compatibility. An important thing to remember is that, as a prerelease software, 3.1b1 could behave in surprising ways; users are encouraged to take sensible precautions before and while operating. The developer assumes no responsibility whatsoever for the use of prerelease software, so prospective clients should try out MSB before purchase in order to familiarize themselves with its interface, and ensure the application works for them. MSB 3.1b1 is stable and recommended for developers and general users who have specific issues with the current MSB. Feedback is always appreciated. Important note: 3.1 beta releases (e.g. 3.1b1) users should bear in mind that, as pre-release test copies, they are limited to running for a maximum of 15 days, when the next test cycle begins. If a user prefers the 3.1 versions, they should download release 3.1b2 currently on the beta page for MSB at http://mobilesyncbrowser.com/beta or download the current 3.0.11 release which does not have this testing limit.

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