iPhone Life magazine

Werner Ruotsalainen is an iOS and Java programming lecturer who is well-versed in programming, hacking, operating systems, and programming languages. Werner tries to generate unique articles on subjects not widely discussed. Some of his articles are highly technical and are intended for other programmers and coders.

Werner also is interested in photography and videography. He is a frequent contributor to not only mobile and computing publications, but also photo and video forums. He loves swimming, skiing, going to the gym, and using his iPads. English is one of several languages he speaks.

(IMHO) Best card game “Spectromancer” receives major update!


While not having published a Strategy Guide (as opposed to Orions, the previous “big hit” on both iOS and the preceeding Windows Mobile), I've often mentioned I consider the quite new iOS port of “Spectromancer” (AppStore links: small-screen devices; iPad HD) the best card game on iOS. Opinions may differ, of course – I just prefer the way Spectromancer (and the very closely related Orions) is played to that of Magic (the Gathering) 2013 does.

Excellent media player nPlayer adds hardware MKV playback – and drops AC-3 support


So far, I haven't recommended nPlayer (initial review; second major article) for (at least high-resolution) MKV playback as its H.264 decoder is considerably inferior to that of the, in this regard, best players. An example of the latter is yaPlayer – which, incidentally, has still not been let back to the AppStore.

Media player news: new versions / tests / removals of AnyPlayer, EC Player, iMedia Player, HD Player Pro, yaPlayer [UPDATED]


1,  AnyPlayer

Answering a question HERE, I've thoroughly re-tested the current version (1.5.3) of AnyPlayerHD and found out that it's equally bad (very low-performance decoders, no hardware MKV acceleration etc. etc.) as was the one I reviewed HERE, in late May. That is: this player is still not worth bothering with as there are much-much better players - even for free (for example, iMedia Player introduced below). Stay away!

2,  EC Player

30+ fps video recording with the iPhone 5? Currently impossible, it seems [UPDATE: 4S: no 30+ fps under iOS6, either!]


As you may already know (see for example THIS), the previous iPhone model, the iPhone 4S, couldn't truly record video with more than 30 frames per second (fps) without, by 50%, decreased vertical resolution and (with the 1080p-native 4S) switching to 720p resolution. Now, let's take a look at how the iPhone 5 behaves in this respect! Can it record 30+ fps video at all?

Directly installable versions of my iPhone 3GS and 4 Video Camera Enhancer tweaks released


I've created a directly deployable .deb installer file of my  iPhone 3GS and 4 Video Camera Enhancer tweaks for iOS5+ (see THIS and THIS, respectively, for an explanation, quick tutorial and sources). They allow for installing the tweaks without having to have access to a desktop Xcode. I've also made sure the installers themselves set the right write permissions of the configuration file (and its enclosing directory) they modify upon tweaking the video recording parameters. This means installing them has become orders of magnitude easier.

My iPhone 4 Video Enhancer for iOS5+ is here at last! [UPDATED: Binning implemented]


I've been constantly asked (see for example the more recent posts HERE) for the iOS5 version of my iPhone 4 Video Camera Enhancer (latest, dedicated article), which, as with the 3G S-specific enhancer released earlier today still has some neat features the, otherwise, highly recommended CameraTweak doesn't let for setting; for example, the video bitrate.

iOS5+ compliant version of my iPhone 3GS video camera enhancer released (full source)


I've constantly been receiving requests for the iOS5+ compliant version of my iOS 4-only iPhone 3G S / 4 video camera enhancers (latest, dedicated article). This tool is still unique in that it's the only GUI-based tool (read: no need for manual plist copying) to quickly and easily do the following:

- change the video bitrate to allow for, for example, long-time recordings using low bitates

- change to the special resolution of 1080*800, which does deliver considerably better resolution than the default 640*480.

Audio DSP-wise excellent media player "TTplayerHD" loses Dolby support - remember to backup before updating!


Another, audio DSP-wise excellent (see THIS for my review) player has ended up dropping Dolby (AC-3, E-AC-3 and TrueHD) support: TTplayerHD. This, as has been pointed out in the introduction of my yesterday's article, renders tons of typical video recordings (for example, direct digital TV recordings in the US or all AVCHD videos) unplayable.

Here's the AppStore update list (Dolby audio dropping annotated by me):

iPhone 4: Stay away from CameraTweak's 30+ fps mode in 720p!


Today, I (finally) had some time to thoroughly test how the excellent Cydia tweak “CameraTweak” runs on the iPhone 4. (Dedicated, earlier review with thorough iPhone 3G S, 4S and iPod touch 4 tests HERE)

As with the earlier-tested models (iPhone 3G S, 4S and iPod touch 4), the still shooting tweaks (one-shot timer mode; making a shot every second after a settable timeout; locking the white balance / setting the exposure independent of the focus point etc.) all worked just fine.

Warning: HD Player Pro, RushPlayer, VM Player HD all drop Dolby audio support


Unfortunately, more and more players (my last, three-day-old, related article reporting on no less than five(!) players' doing the same) end up dropping AC-3 (and related) audio support, meaning the inability to play back the audio in a lot of videos: all AVCHD ones (camera MTS files etc.), about half of MKV's (AC-3 is very popular with MKV's, the other popular audio format being DTS), all ATSC (U.S.) digital TV broadcast recordings, a lot of AVI's etc. - as is also mentioned by THIS, RushPlayer-AC-3-drop-related post.

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