use iPhone as a USB drive

By | October 3, 2009

iPhone USB Drive

Finally, iPhone users have got another important feature to use which most other smartphones have in them since the very beginning.Yes, you can now use your iPhone as a mass storage device. There have been other apps to the issue such as AirSharing, DiskAid, ifunBox etc. to name a few, but all of them either used a Wifi Connection or needed some kind of a support software installed on the computer to work.

The underground developers community has now comp up with a solution to put an end to all those hassles and allow you to use the phone in a true storage device mode, without any other software needed to the Computers. You would need a JailBroken iPhone again to get it working (this should go without saying actually). All you need to do is, just install an app from Cydia called, USB Drive, and you are ready to rock and roll. ‘

As of now this app is in beta and is not recommended to be used with a 3GS. I’ve used it with a 3G and the app looks pretty solid, i am sure it would be available for all the devices pretty soon.

Follow the steps below to install it and get working:

1. Add repo to Cydia :  http://apt.dmytro.me

2. Install the app “USB Drive” from it.

3. Open the app and tap on Create Disk ( this would create a virtual disk, which would be the only storage space available with it)

4. Choose the disk size for the Virtual Disk and tap Create on the top right.

5. It would take a while to create the disk, depending on the size you have chosen.

6. On the main screen, there would be 3 options to choose from

  • Drive + iTunes : To allow mixed mode. If there is iTunes on the target computer, it would open in the regular itunes sync mode, else it would connect as a drive.
  • Default : This is the regular iTunes connectivity mode, when the USB drive would not work.
  • Drive Only : This mode would connect the phone as a mass storage always, irrespective of the itunes being installed or not.

7. Choosing any of these options would cause a reboot to the device.

8. After rebooting, connect to the Computer and it would work as expected.

Let me know if this worked for you.

How about some Virtual RAM for your iPhone

By | September 29, 2009

At the risk of making my blog look like an iPhone special, here I am blogging after ages, once again about the iPhone :).

iPhone_VM

In my last post, I shared a way to increase the performance of your iPhone by removing some unnecessary stuff from it. This time the tweak involves adding a package to increase the memory and improve the performance of the applications a little better.

This application does nothing but creates a swap file on your iPhone. Most linux users must be aware of the Swap file concept, which is nothing but a special area on your storage disk allocated to be used as Random Access Memory, in case the applications need it. This swap file resides on the permanent storage and frequent reading and writing to it can sometimes prove to be very expensive in terms of performance . Hence, this concept usually works well with the applications that run in the background as they don’t need to actively use the RAM.

So how good can this be for a device like iPhone which doesn’t believe in having the background applications ? This app (like most other hacks) can be installed only on a JailBroken device and it can be very useful with the backgrounder app. Those who don’t use the backgrounder would still get the benefit as some of the important apps like, mail app and iPod tend to stay sitting idle consuming memory in the background even if you don’t use them. With this swap file installed, there is a noticeable improvement in the  available RAM for all these scenarios.

To install the app, you need to download the .deb file and install it from the mobile terminal. This doesn’t have any icon or a toggle switch (as of now). However, if you have SBSettings installed, you can notice the difference with the available RAM shown by it. Most users see a substantial improvement in the numbers. This, of course, wouldn’t make so much difference to those who have a 3GS,  as they already have more than sufficient RAM on their devices, but nevertheless they would also notice the increase in the available RAM count. The swap file is of 256 Mb, but the developer suggests that it would automatically add 256 more if its all consumed up at any point.

You can download the file from the link here : Virtual RAM/Swap file for iPhone.

For further discussions and reading, you can checkout the source link to xSellize forum.

Update 1: A few other developers have toyed around with this  concept, and have come up with an even better way to use the swap space..

The second method seems to be a documented feature for the iPhone OS, which is not active by default. There is a plist file “com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist”  which is supposed to be put in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons to get this working. Using this plist would use a built-in program to create a virtual memory swap file to be used. I’m not sure if this was something which Apple has kept hidden on purpose or it got introduced as a result of JailBreak, but the ‘dynamic_pager’ program is already on the iPhone located in /sbin.

This approach creates a dynamic virtual memory swap file ‘on demand’ without any size limit. And this seems to be less buggy than the previous version.

To use this method, download the plist file from here , put it to /System/Library/LaunchDeamons and reboot. Don’t forget to uninstall the previous VM package before using this one.

Update 2: I’ve tried using both the versions, and I like the native plist version much better. With the first Chinese VM app, it used to allow having a lot of free memory, but the phone got laggy while trying to push stuff on the swap space. It sometimes even got stuck at one screen for minutes together before getting the app to work. So it was nice to have free memory, but it didnt please me as the overall system impact was laggy.

With the native plist method, its been a smooth ride so far, no lags whatsoever. I’ve got mail app, ipod, safari running in the background and still have almost 43 MB memory, free to be used. I tried playing GangStar with it, and it was smooth, and didn’t crash even once.

Keep watching this space for more updates :)

Do let me know, if you tried using it and noticed any improvement with the performance.