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Handhelds Hardware Hacking Iphone Build

The iPhone Serial Port Hack 217

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the totally-top-secret dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The iPhone's little known secret, a hidden serial port, is revealed. 'The real benefit in all of this is that there are so many console packages for iPhone in Cydia now that you can have a fully functional computer, as useful as a Linux box, but without carrying around a laptop.'"
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The iPhone Serial Port Hack

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:30PM (#34052716)

    The iPhone's little known secret, a hidden serial port, is revealed. 'The real benefit in all of this is that there are so many console packages for iPhone in Cydia now that you can have a fully functional computer, as useful as a Linux box, but without carrying around a laptop.'

    Personally I think it would be far more practical and useful to use an iPad. The iPhone screen is just too small for practical use, however in an emergency the iPhone could be quite useful. But for somewhat frequent normal use, I have doubts.

  • Re:Or (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anethema (99553) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:15PM (#34053450) Homepage
    I still think the iPhone is much more of a hackers platform than any android phone.

    It is kind of long but I'm going to recycle a recent comment:

    ---

    What's funny is, iOS jailbroken is actually a nerd's paradise. Much more so than android actually.

    On the iPhone, you have a full apt package system, a terminal running bash, OpenSSH/OpenSSL tools, server, client, etc. a full GCC dev environement, etc.

    A lot of this stuff is stuff you just don't get on Android at any level. You get a terminal out of the box with android, but what do you get? Busybox. Guh. Want SSH? You get Dropbear. The package system sucks compared to APT. I've never tried getting GCC running on the phone but I don't imagine it is easy, if at all possible.

    With the iPhone I really feel like I have a full computer running in my pocket. I asked several android hackers why you are limited with these crappy tools on the phone itself, and they replied it was an embedded device so you get embedded tools. I'm sorry but something with 1-2 cores at >1GHz, a GPU that far outstrips anything on my earlier computers, and 32 gigs of NV storage is -not- an embedded device, I don't care how small it is.

    You get all this, PLUS a UI that (only IMO I understand) is far more fluid and nicer to use than Android.

    Don't get my wrong I'm not just yelling across the fence. I had a Nexus one for a good few months. I tried hard to like it, but in the end when the i4 came out, I jumped ship like it was on fire.

    There is of course, hassle. I don't like to restore from backup so Every time there is a major firmware update I actually wipe my phone clean, then sync all my apps over fresh. But thanks to several tools out there it isn't a total restart.

    There is hassle but for me, android has a LONG way to go, especially on the hacker front to be anywhere near the iPhone in terms of UI -AND- geekery.

    ---
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:15PM (#34054506)

    The G2 does not reflash. It just currently reports that something is written when it isn't. It's the same old S-OFF that they've had in the past. I repeat, the G2 does not auto-reflash itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:27PM (#34055814)

    The person who "discovered" the serial port in the article was even using such a break-out board.

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @08:33PM (#34058246)

    > How last century! (...snip...) cut the cable, and get an RS-232 - to Bluetooth adapter

    Spoken by someone who's either a glutton for punishment, or has never experienced the joys of interacting with some piece of embedded hardware at low level through a bitchy, finicky translation layer like Bluetooth that was designed to fail rather than accidentally work without authentication and authorization.

    Remember, people use the phone's serial port to do things that are almost by definition unsupported, undocumented, and might induce Steve Jobs angrily kill newborn kittens in a fit of rage. Under those circumstances, the LAST thing you need is a finicky, brittle abstraction layer standing between you and the bare metal to introduce even MORE opportunities for it to not work.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:26AM (#34061224) Journal
    How hidden is it? It's pretty well documented that some of the pins in the iPod dock connector are RS-232. Quite a few iPod accessories use cheap RS-232 interfaces and only connect those pins up from the dock.

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