Why I stopped wearing my Apple Watch

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 12th, 2016, 05:16
Category: Android, Android Wear, Apple Watch, iOS, Opinion

I’ve been a Mac user since 1984 and iOS user since 2007. In 2016 I’m switching from iPhone and Apple Watch to Android and Android Wear as an experiment. This blog post is one in a series from a lifelong Apple/iOS user  switching to Android.

The Huawei Watch is a sharp-looking timepiece.

Like many of you I ordered an Apple Watch at midnight on April 10, 2015 and received it on April 24, 2015. To say that anticipation was high might be the understatement of the year.

Before the arrival of the smart watch, I wore a Breitling watch daily (and a Tag Heuer before that). I don’t consider myself a horologist or even a watch snob, I just have thing for nice watches. A watch is one of the few accessories that men can wear and I have a fondness for fine Swiss movements.

I dutifully wore my Apple Watch from April 24 until December 25, 2015 when I received an Android Wear watch as a gift – more on that later. As a daily Apple Watch wearer for eight months, switching to Android was disruptive and sometimes unsettling but, pardon the pun, the time had come.

I’m quite happy with Android Wear in my first six weeks of wearing it full time. There are four killer features in Wear that trump watchOS…

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Proposed bipartisan bill would prevent individual states from mandating backdoor access to encryption protocols

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2016, 09:42
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

encryption

The plot may yet become even more intricate when it comes to states require backdoors into encryption.

A bipartisan bill introduced to the U.S. House of Represenatives on Wednesday would bar individual states and localities from requiring backdoors in encryption, something often demanded by law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies.

The ENCRYPT Act, sponsored Democrat Ted Lieu and Republican Blake Farenthold, was crafted in direct response to proposed rules in New York and California that would require companies to be able to decrypt smartphones.

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“It is completely technologically unworkable for individual states to mandate different encryption standards in consumer products,” said Lieu. “Apple can’t make a different smartphone for California and New York and the rest of the country.”

Support for the bill has been said to have originated from FBI Director James Comey, who has regularly stated that encryption could interfere with investigations and police observation. On Tuesday, Comey appeared in front of a Senate panel, where he said that investigators were still unable to access the contents of a phone belonging to one of the shooters responsible for the Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino, Calif.

Companies like Apple have put their own pressure on U.S. politicians, arguing that leaving holes in encryption would simply make intrusion easier for malicious hackers and/or government surveillance.

The encryption in iOS 8 and iOS 9 is so stringent that even when served with a warrant, Apple claims it can’t crack a passcode-protected device. Later versions of Google’s Android OS support similar levels of encryption, though it may sometimes have to be enabled manually.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Reuters

iPhone 6 users cite “Error 53” issue, Apple cracking down on third-party repairs

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 5th, 2016, 11:25
Category: Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News

error53

Well, this is a royal mess.

A large number of iPhone 6 users are claiming that Apple’s latest operating system permanently disables the handset if it detects that a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician.

The issue, an “Error 53”, appears when the Touch ID button has been replaced by a “non-official” outfit or technician. The error, according to at least one report, “will kill your iPhone”.

The issue only comes to light when the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software, iOS 9, is installed. Indeed, the phone may have been working perfectly for weeks or months since a repair or being damaged.

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Apple adds new data for 20 locations to Apple Maps

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 08:14
Category: iOS, News, Software

applemapsicon

It never hurts when a new clump of data is added to the Apple Maps database.

On Wednesday, Apple announced that 3D Flyover, traffic and point of interest data had been added for 20 locations to its in-house mapping solution, including popular locales like the Virgin Islands and Taiwan.

The company listed the following locations:

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Mossberg weighs in on Apple’s app shortcomings of recent years

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 14:31
Category: iOS, News, Opinion, Software

about_walt

There’s a pretty interesting piece over on The Verge in which the mighty Walt Mossberg cites some apparent shortcomings in Apple’s apps in recent years.

He points out that Apple’s products are often considered the best you can buy and that this is part of the Mac and iOS user experience.

“In the last couple of years, however, I’ve noticed a gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps, on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform. It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to these core software products, while it pursues big new dreams, like smartwatches and cars.”

He might be right.

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Microsoft purchases SwiftKey, states that iOS and Android versions will continue to be developed

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 09:01
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software

swiftkey

Microsoft confirmed via a blog post that the company will be buying SwiftKey, the developer of a popular software keyboard for Android and iOS phones—even though it already has its own software keyboard, Word Flow.

SwiftKey and Word Flow allow users to slide their finger from one letter of a keyboard to another, drawing the shape of the word while an analytical pattern works to identify the word they’re trying to type.

Microsoft’s executive vice president for technology and research, Harry Shum, confirmed the deal in a blog post Wednesday morning.

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Rumor: Apple working with partners to develop wireless charging feature for next-gen iOS devices

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 29th, 2016, 11:42
Category: battery, Hardware, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Rumor

wireless_charging_diagram

It’s about time for wireless charging to come to your iOS devices.

That being said, Apple is rumored to be working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology that could be deployed on its mobile devices as soon as next year, according to sources close to the story.

Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the sources said, asking to remain anonymous. Apple is apparently looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed.

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CrashSafari.com site spreads, points out bug in Safari web browser

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 27th, 2016, 13:19
Category: Android, iOS, News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

You’re going to want to avoid this.

A recent link to CrashSafari.com has been circulating around Twitter and other web sites, the site itself doing what you thought it would do and crashing Apple’s Safari mobile web browser on your iOS device.

If you tap on the link on your iOS device, your iPhone will start rebooting right away. On a Mac, you’ll see the spinning wheel of death, but not a complete crash. Some links will point you to CrashChrome.com instead of CrashSafari, which will cause Chrome to crash on any device you use, including Android, but it won’t cause a reboot.

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Apple Maps now includes four new Flyover locales, updated local traffic data

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 22nd, 2016, 08:35
Category: iOS, News, Software

ios6maps

If nothing else, Apple Maps is getting fleshed out.

Apple announced that its Maps application now included four new Flyover locales, public transit data for Los Angeles, a European expansion of Nearby POI suggestions and Traffic data for Hong Kong and Mexico.

The additions include new Flyover support in Aomori, Japan; Bruges, Belgium; Lake Powell, Utah; and Limoges, France. Counting the four cities, Flyover is now available in 220 locales around the world.

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Apple releases Music Memos app for musicians/songwriters on the go

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2016, 08:51
Category: iOS, News, Software

musicmemosappicon

This is kind of a neat thing.

Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new Music Memos app designed to help musicians and songwriters store ideas on the go.

The app uses the iPhone’s built-in microphone can be used to record instruments in a lossless format, and the resulting recordings can be analyzed for rhythm and chords.

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