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Instagram policy fiasco- Some Suggestions

Instagram Mailed a change of policy three days back and what the new policy means for a user like you and me is explained very well here.

Ever since then there has been a backlash on the internet and the Instagram has responded with a detailed blog post here making a few clarifications as well saying that they will review and modify the new policy in best best interest of the company and its Users US.
While the new policy gets reviewed and updated, if you are a little not sure how things are going to end up, you might just want to move your pics from Instagram to Flickr or something similar using a site like Free the Photos and use an IFTTT recipie like this one so just in case you decide to delete your instagram account in the future, you can just safely delete the account with out worrying much as your pics are already backed up on Flickr. You can use any other photo sharing site instead of flickr, you just need to find the right service that can transfer the pictures from Instagram to your favorite photo sharing site.

Apps I love on my iphone

I have close to 60 apps installed on the phone and have tried more than 100 odd apps on the app store, though that doesn’t make me an expert to review the apps store or how the apps work, I definitely would like to share a list of the few favorite apps that make my life easy and wouldnt want to have an iPhone without these apps.

All these apps are elegant and simple while easily setting the standards in their categories respectively.

  1. Instapaper:- have loved and had this on my home screen for over 2 years now, very simple and elegant app that helps you manage and read articles at a later time.
  2. Reeder :- The most popular and my favorite feed reader app that syncs with Google reader . For my detailed review see here.
  3. Camera+:- easily among the best camera App replacement I have tried. The post editing that u can do with the pictures taken is just awesome, fell in love the first time and fits my needs perfectly.
  4. OmniFocus :- The best GTD app available for the iPhone and iPad. I am a newbie to GTD learning things at my own pace. The App suits everybody, be a guru at GTD or a beginner, the app has a ton of features, but u can decide to use what you want to use for yourself.
  5. Instacast:-The only other podcast app i tried besides Apple’s own Podcasts app. I didn’t have a lot of feature needs, I just wanted a simple and easily manageable podcast client and this just fits my needs perfectly.The original Podcasts app by Apple is very pleasing to look and feels great us, but still doesn’t cut the deal on managing the podcasts and files quite the way I want it.
  6. Fast Analytics:- Ever since the blog has been self hosted, I have been using this App for tracking analytics. If you are a number junkie, this shows every important number u might want to look up in your Google Analytics account.Sadly it doesn’t do any graphs and that’s why I use Analytics. But i guess you cant get everything perfect in a free app can you.
  7. Analytics :- The App gives a simple representations of your Google Analytics data in graphs and numbers. I only wish somebody had a mix of both Fast Analytics and Analytics in one app that can do the deal for me.
  8. Byword:- My goto markdown/text editor on the iPhone/iPad. For a detailed review on why I like it please read here.
  9. TweetBot:- My favorite Twitter client on the iPhone and is easily the best twitter app ever made and the most loved twitter app by the Nerds ūüôā
  10. Daily Tracker:- my default tracking app mostly used for Expenses tracking, health tracking, and sometimes sleep tracking. The App is very flexible and u can track almost anything u want to track and use it as a daily journal as well and is integrated with iCloud.

These are some of my favorite apps which are frequently used on my iPhone and iPad apart from the few essential apps like DropBox, Facebook, Skype,Instagram and Strava without which my phone feels incomplete.

How to download torrents and watch movies on Iphone or Ipad

UPDATE (18-09-2014):- This post is very old, around 3 years now. Please do understand that I haven’t tried these on my iPhone for over 2 years. My phone is not Jailbroken since the past two years. That said the logic to download the torrent on an iPhone or iPad remains the same. The steps are as follows.
1. Jailbreak your iphone/iPad (Google should be handy with finding the right tutorial for you).
2. Download the torrent downloader app like iTransmission/ safari torrent download Plugin.
3.Use the Vlc app/ or your favorite move player to watch video the file.
I gave up on Jailbreaking because the iPhone is designed to work awesome within the Apple ecosystem and hampering that creates too much of a hassle, some time some basic functions like Phone/celluar network fails, which is not my cup of tree. I prefer to keep my phone working rather than worrying if it was the Jailbreak that caused the restart of the phone or the battery drain. You are better off using an app like dropbox or Bittorent Sync and syncing an already downloaded movie from your laptop to your phone. That said I learnt a lot of things hacking and jailbreaking the phone, So I won’t stop you from trying to download a torrent directly to your iphone or iPad.

I’ve always been¬†fascinated¬†by how much one can actually do on the mobile phone, after getting my iPhone last year. This time as well, I ¬†tried some thing as much that blew me away and that’s what am here to write about. Yes I downloaded a movie from a torrent, watched an .avi file on the iPhone all with out using a computer. ¬†It took almost 3 hours figuring out how to get it done. Not many tutorials were really helpful, so I am going to save you those precious 3 hours with which you could watch a movie on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch ūüėČ

Setting up  the device to download and watch. 

Firstly this tutorial is for those who have their iOS devices jailbroken ¬†or are willing to take the efforts to jailbreak. ¬†Based on the versions of iOS you are running on your device (you can find yours by ¬†navigating >settings> general>about, look next to Version) jailbreak your device first if you haven’t already. (look up for a tutorial on redmondpie¬†to get it done for your version).Make sure you are getting Cydia installed on the device while jailbreaking.

Open up Cydia and search for ” torrent downloader safari plugin”. Get it installed. ¬†Next search for the package iFile in Cydia and get it installed.

Open the Installous  app to search for Vlc player, yes the impeccable player has an iOS app, sadly it has been pulled out of the App store, hence we are forced to download the player from the alternate app store. If you dont have the installous app, look a tutorial here. Please be reminded that it is illegal to install the app. On the Installous app search for VLC player  and install it. Do not install the VLC streamer app, look for the VLC player App and install it.

Screenshot Torrent Downloader Plugin Screenshot of iFile Screenshot of VLC player on Installous

Downloading torrents.

Now that we are all set to download  from torrents and watch movies, Let me go through how to download so that  it gets easier and quicker.  Just go to a torrent site like Piratebay or  Isohunt , Search for the torrent and click the download button.  once a torrent file is downloaded the torrent downloader plugin automatically kicks in and prompts that the torrent is loaded, press the start button to download the file/movie. As far as i have tried, it does support pausing and resuming the  torrent. It downloads even if the screen gets locked,  Quite neat  i must say.  Once the download is done, open up the iFile app that we downloaded from Cydia.  Browse to /var/mobile/Library/ you would find your download file/Movie here.  If the file is a pdf or a txt or audio or video or  you can directly open with  a suitable app, and you can as well archive or compress the file which is nice. If it was a movie in Mp4, you could use the default Quicktime player to watch it.

Screenshot downloading torrent Screenshot of torrent loaded Screenshot of torrent downloading

Watching AVI files with VLC.

What happens if the movie doesn’t play on Quicktime, thankfully we downloaded the VLC player app which supports most¬†codecs. ¬†VLC App is done in a such a way that you need iTunes to share a specific video file so that the VLC player can access it, which is a lengthy ¬†process and requires a PC/Mac. My whole idea of downloading the movie directly on the iPhone was not to rely on the computer. So here is the workaround for it. Select the movie file from /var/mobile/Library/ (could be where ever you have saved your download) by pressing the edit button in the iFile app. Cut or copy it by pressing the ¬†clipboard icon. Now ¬†browse back to /var/mobile/Applications/ . You would see a list of folders with jumbled letters and numbers, the trick is to find the VLC player among these. As of now, manually opening each folder is the only option to find out which folder has the VLC app. How you find ¬†the VLC app folder is by looking for a folder with a name VLC.app. So once you find out, just remember ¬†or make of note of the folder name (Mine was something like A65A27……, Also remember the folder name is randomly generated and might change if you upgrade your iOS ) so that at least the next time its just a tap away. ¬†Inside this folder ¬†you could find the documents folder open it and tap the edit again, you will see the clipboard icon highlight again, tap to paste the file. ¬†Now the file is inside the documents folder of the VLC player app.

Screenshot of  Select to copy Screenshot of Copy/cut Screen shot of Vlc  app Folder

Just open the VLC player app and you already have the movie you downloaded to¬†watch. I must mention that VLC does use a lot more battery than QuickTime, that ¬†should be acceptable ¬†given you are trying to use your iOS device as a replacement computer ūüôā

Screenshot of VLC player playlist

You can use an app like iExplorer¬†from you PC/Mac to back up the movie if you want ūüôā

Hope it was easy for you to follow the tutorial. Feel free to let me know if you  liked the tutorial, or share your queries in the comments section below.