Apple releases Smart Keyboard software update, seeks to resolve connectivity issues

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016, 07:13
Category: Accessory, iOS, iPad Pro, News, Software

applesmartkeyboard

Following complaints from a number of users that the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard loses connectivity on occasion, Apple has released a software update to address the issue.

The description goes as follows:

If your iPad Pro wakes up from time to time when it’s connected to a Smart Keyboard, here’s what to do. To solve this issue, disconnect the Smart Keyboard from your iPad Pro, and then connect it again. When iOS asks if you want to update the Smart Keyboard, tap Update.

(more…)

Apple iOS encryption battle could escalate to the Supreme Court

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 19th, 2016, 07:48
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

lockediphone5c

Apple’s cryptography fight could go all the way to the tippy top.

Following tim Cook’s reply to the court order instructing the company to assist the FBI in breaking into an iPhone left any room for doubt about Apple’s determination to fight the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, that doubt appears to be removed by further background emerging today.

It’s been reported that Apple plans to press ahead with plans to increase its use of strong encryption.

Cook has since told colleagues that he plans to stand by Apple’s current encryption policies.

(more…)

Apple releases updated iOS 9.2.1 variant to make amends for handsets affected by Error 53

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 13:00
Category: Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News, security

error53

A bit of an apology from Apple following the “Error 53” controversy.

Apple on Thursday released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1, bypassing what the company has admitted to be a factory test of the Home button during start up.

Apple released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 to restore newer iPhones that were disabled by Error 53. This iOS update will prevent future iPhones from experiencing Error 53 if they have their Home buttons repaired by a third-party repair shop. This update can only be installed by connecting the iPhone to iTunes on a Mac or PC, not over the air.

(more…)

Federal judge orders Apple to help FBI unlock San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, 08:19
Category: iOS, Legal, News, security, Software

lockediphone5c

A few months after the San Bernadino shootings, Apple was ordered by a U.S. federal judge on Tuesday to help the FBI unlock the iPhone 5c used by shooter Syed Farook. According to court papers, Apple “declined to provide [assistance] voluntarily.”

The judge ruled Tuesday that Apple had to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the government in recovering data from the iPhone 5c, including bypassing the auto-erase function and allowing investigators to submit an unlimited number of passwords in their attempts to unlock the phone. Apple has five days to respond to the court if it believes that compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome.”

Prosecutors have argued that the “government was unable to complete the search because it cannot access the iPhone’s encrypted content.” The FBI argued that Apple has the “technical means” to assist the government and, in a statement, U.S. attorney Eileen M. Decker said that the order was a “potentially important step” in finding out “everything we possibly can” about the San Bernardino attack.

(more…)

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…

(more…)

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.

< !-more-->
“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.

(more…)

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:

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)