Jailbreakers hack iOS on Apple TV to run full-screen iPad apps

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Hackers have developed a workaround that enables full-screen versions of iOS apps for the iPad to run on a jailbroken Apple TV device.



Steve Troughton-Smith and a developer known as "TheMudkip" published over the weekend photos and video of the hack, dubbed MobileX, for Apple's set-top box.



"MobileX is a window manager for iOS that replaces springboard with the added bonus of letting iPhone and iPad apps run on the Apple TV," Troughton-Smith said in the video, adding that "any apps just run and scale up to the 720p resolution adequately."



The hack appears to be in its early stages and has yet to be released to the public. In order to run the utility, the developers first performed the "Seas0nPass" jailbreak on the Apple TV. Apple has warned in the past that the jailbreak process, which allows users to run unauthorized code and apps on iOS, may void a device's warranty.



Given that the Apple TV doesn't include a full-featured input method such as a touchscreen, the pair used a combination of Virtual Network Computing (VNC), Secure Shell (SSH) and the Apple Remote to control the device. According to them, MobileX features a built-in menu that allows users to "quit apps, launch Safari, connect to Wi-Fi or show multiple apps side by side" from the Apple Remote.







Troughton-Smith demoed the iPad version of the FaceBook app and claimed that any of Apple's own apps, such as Safari, Maps and YouTube also work well. VNC did, however, cause some sluggishness in some of the apps, though Troughton-Smith noted that a direct input method such as a remote or a mouse or keyboard would make performance "much smoother."



Rumors of an AppleTV model that would allow access to the App Store have swirled for years, but developers appear to have taken matters into their own hands.



"If Apple isn't going to give us a way to make real AppleTV apps, then I guess we'll have to make one ourselves," Troughton-Smith wrote in the video's description on YouTube.



Credit: Steve Troughton-Smith.



Apple released the latest version of the Apple TV in September 2010. The $99 set-top box runs on the company's A4 processor and is a fourth the size of the first generation Apple TV.



The hack comes even as speculation on an upcoming Apple television set has heightened considerably. The release of late co-founder Steve Jobs' biography set off a flurry of rumors after revealing that Jobs believed he had "cracked" the secret for a connected TV interface. Since then, reports have suggested that an Apple television will run on custom-built chips similar to those powering the iPhone and iPad and may come in three sizes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    I hope that he lives in a country where he can be arrested and put in jail for this. Let's see if he can do a REAL "Jailbreak"!



    /s
  • Reply 2 of 108
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I hope you have bad luck all your life.
  • Reply 3 of 108
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    the issue has been addressed, so please disregard....





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    I hope that he lives in a country where he can be arrested and put in jail for this. Let's see if he can do a REAL "Jailbreak"!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    I hope you have bad luck all your life.



    Really, guys? Do you really need to wish general ill on people that have done nothing to you? I think it says more about who you really are than the people that you hate.
  • Reply 4 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The hack appears to be in its early stages and has yet to be released to the public. In order to run the utility, the developers first performed the "Seas0nPass" jailbreak on the Apple TV. Apple has warned in the past that the jailbreak process, which allows users to run unauthorized code and apps on iOS, may void a device's warranty.



    I thought that was settled law last year? I'm aware Apple after the fact still timidly stated that jailbreaking could void your warranty.

    http://www.cultofmac.com/52463/apple...your-warranty/



    Has it been officially clarified since last year, or has anyone been denied warranty coverage on a jailbroken iDevice since last June?
  • Reply 5 of 108
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Has it been officially clarified since last year, or has anyone been denied warranty coverage on a jailbroken iDevice since last June?



    Are you kidding? Of course they have.
  • Reply 6 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Are you kidding? Of course they have.



    No I wasn't kidding. I've never attempted warranty on a jailbroken iDevice.\



    So "of course they have" what?



    Denied warranty coverage, clarified their position or both?
  • Reply 7 of 108
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    So "of course they have" what?



    Denied warranty coverage?
  • Reply 8 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Denied warranty coverage…



    Thanks. I just found the same in some iPhone forums. They explained that jialbreaking is perfectly legal, but Apple can still deny warranty coverage under their terms of service. Makes sense.



    I also noticed more than one mention of a Genius restoring the OS and honoring warranty anyway as a courtesy. A nice gesture, but others pointed out to just do a restore yourself and not take the chance.



    Certainly clarified things for me.



    Thanks for the followup Tallest Skil.
  • Reply 9 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Thanks. I just found the same in some iPhone forums. They explained that jialbreaking is perfectly legal, but Apple can still deny warranty coverage under their terms of service. Makes sense.



    I also noticed more than one mention of a Genius restoring the OS and honoring warranty anyway as a courtesy. A nice gesture, but others pointed out to just do a restore yourself and not take the chance.



    Certainly clarified things for me.



    Thanks for the followup Tallest Skil.



    It's pretty much moot since nearly all people who jailbreak restores their phones to factory settings before taking it to a genius anyway.
  • Reply 10 of 108
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    I hope that he lives in a country where he can be arrested and put in jail for this. Let's see if he can do a REAL "Jailbreak"!



    Such unwarranted hate. Arrested for what exactly? There's no wrongdoing here such as offering illegal software for download.
  • Reply 11 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    I hope that he lives in a country where he can be arrested and put in jail for this. Let's see if he can do a REAL "Jailbreak"!



    What?? This is awesome! Can't wait to use this.
  • Reply 12 of 108
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    Ah well, it might help boost Apple TV sales if nothing else. Although it looks like the Apple TV is selling quite well this Christmas.
  • Reply 13 of 108
    It would be sick if you could have full screen TV apps and control it with your iPhone over wireless. Apple already has the best (possible) "remote control" on the market = the iPhone.



  • Reply 14 of 108
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,218moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "If Apple isn't going to give us a way to make real AppleTV apps, then I guess we'll have to make one ourselves," Troughton-Smith wrote in the video's description on YouTube.



    For Apple, it's not just about making a solution but a solution that works well and that people want to use. I could be wrong in thinking that people don't want to sit on the sofa with a keyboard and trackpad but I can't recall anyone ever doing this.



    The human-phone/tablet interaction has been figured out. The human-computer interaction needs a little work but I expect Apple is working on this. The human-TV interaction has been very poor up until the Wii came along and the Kinect offered an alternative but they are still not solutions for inputting text reliably.



    I personally think there needs to be a way to input text without a keyboard. This of course is where Siri would excel. You could have a physical Siri button on your remote along with a mic (to prevent accidental input). You press it to speak into your remote and it does its thing. I don't think that's enough though - I think that the remote has to be a Wii-like pointer coupled with a multi-touch surface.



    You turn on the TV and you get the standard UI but the remote pointer acts as a selection mechanism so move it left to right to choose the menu item and use your vertical thumb swipe to scroll.

    If you open a browser, use the pointer to highlight the search box, then push the Siri button:

    "visit Amazon.com"

    Then it loads and you again just hover your remote around. There is no cursor like the Wii though, it's just active selection states like the find option in the browser.

    To zoom in, you either double-tap or pinch-zoom.

    The voice dictation might get a bit tedious to rely on if it's not working right for you but the backup could be a popup keyboard that you use the wand to select the keys (possibly like Swype) or it could use a mapping between the touch surface and the keyboard panel like a Wacom does for your screen (might need proximity sensing though).



    I can't see many useful apps coming until they get the interaction right. People have been experimenting with these concepts and you can see how you would be able to translate iOS apps into that method of interaction:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYuV_MRYbD8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb1J9kHFkyU



    I think the cursor is messy but having a selection state API would work ok. In the case of Angry Birds, you would just point the remote near the bird, it would be highlighted and you'd use the multi-touch pad with your thumb to pull the catapult back. Similarly with Fruit Ninja, just aim and swipe. Racing games should be ok too as you can just point the remote where you want for left-right, swipe up to boost, swipe down to brake. You'd have to rest your hand on your knee for long sessions.



    This Magic Remote (or Magic Wand) would have to have an internal rechargeable battery that would be charged inductively by sitting it on top of the TV. If it ran too low on battery power, it would drop to reduced functionality to allow basic navigation but no Wii-like pointing until charged.
  • Reply 15 of 108
    mrrmrr Posts: 63member
    I want to see iApps running on the MACINTOSH !
  • Reply 16 of 108
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Really, guys? Do you really need to wish general ill on people that have done nothing to you? I think it says more about who you really are than the people that you hate.



    I agree about the ill will and hate. Stupid. However I feel sorry for the types that will try this and wind up bricking their ATV. They of course will try to obtain warranty service and will probably be denied. Who will they blame? Themselves? Nope. It will the evil Apple they blame. Apple takes the hit on customer satisfaction. Apple's name is dragged through the mud. The anonymous hackers are off the hook. On the other hand your are only out $99 if you hose your ATV and Apple tells you to take a hike.



    Jailbreakers are not good for the Apple community n any way.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrr View Post


    I want to see iApps running on the MACINTOSH !



    Me too!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Jailbreakers are not good for the Apple community n any way.



    I'm not a fan of jailbreaking don't do it to my advices, BUT I have to disagree with this. There have been quite a few features/functions that jailbreakers that end up in the official OS and Apple has welcomed some of these jailbreakers into the fold as interns and employees.
  • Reply 18 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrr View Post


    I want to see iApps running on the MACINTOSH !



    That's the last thing I ever want to see.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    I don't see that this is particularly better than AirPlay mirroring. I guess it'd be a bit useful if you don't have a device that can do that, but it seems like a lot of trouble for not a lot of benefit.
  • Reply 20 of 108
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I thought that was settled law last year? I'm aware Apple after the fact still timidly stated that jailbreaking could void your warranty.





    The legal change was that you won't be arrested and can't be sued for it. No where does it require that companies still warranty items that have been tampered with.



    Apple considers this the same as you going on and removing the logic board that shipped with the unit for a 3rd party one. It's not an authorized change so if you screw it up, too dang bad.





    As for this jailbreak, yeah it is nifty to see that someone can do it but is it worth it. Consider the apps we are talking about, 99% of them gain nothing by being on the TV and using them requires a set up that is pretty much building a computer to have any control. Not really worth it for most folks.



    Apple has been selective with what apps they put on the TV but at least the apps benefit from being put there. Via Airplay and AP Mirroring they gave a way for developers to work with the Apple TV off a device so you have the visuals on the tv and still have a working controller. And all without jail breaking. If these guys really want to do something nifty and useful, now about reverse engineering and making an iOS emulator to run at least on Macs. It could tide us over until Apple decides to do it natively in Mac 11/12
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