O'Grady's PowerPage » iOS

Apple quietly releases Deregister iMessage web tool to remove phone numbers from iMessage

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 10:42
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Apple just included a web-based tool that removes your phone number from the iMessage system and could help the company avoid legal action somewhere down the road.

According to The Verge, Apple has quietly released a new Deregister iMessage tool to make switching between iOS and other smartphones a bit easier. The new web tool lets you instantly deregister your phone number from Apple’s iMessage system. The tool should also help the problem of disappearing text messages.

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Touchpress releases Molecules by Theodore Gray science application

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Date: Friday, November 7th, 2014, 11:34
Category: iOS, News, Software

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It’s a sort of huge app – and it chews up more than 700 megabytes of space – but it’s also beautifully made and useful as anything.

Touchpress has announced that its Molecules by Theodore Gray app, which was initially used by Steve Jobs to demonstrate the power of the iPad in 2010. Now, its sequel is set to shape the future of the next generation of apps. Created for science enthusiasts and experts alike, Molecules is a fascinating, invaluable guide behind the scenes of our world.

Based on Theodore Gray’s book of the same name, Molecules combines beautiful photography with compelling stories, and adds state-of-the-art simulations so, for the first time, anyone can experience what it’s like to touch, stretch and twist molecules.

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Microsoft releases Office apps for iOS, now allows basic editing features for free

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Date: Friday, November 7th, 2014, 04:54
Category: iOS, News, Software

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If you’re going to get your product out there, it never hurts to release a decently functional version of it for free.

Per 9to5Mac, Microsoft announced on Thursday that it’s rolling out standalone Office apps for iPhone after releasing the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps exclusively for iPad earlier this year. Microsoft previously had an “Office Mobile” app for iPhone that integrated features of all three Office apps, but today’s release of standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPhone are officially replacing Office Mobile as Microsoft’s Office solution for iPhone.

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WireLurker security paper released, discusses potential next generation of OS X, iOS malware

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Date: Friday, November 7th, 2014, 02:30
Category: iOS, News, security

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Not that you should be entirely paranoid about malware on your OS X and iOS devices, but a little caution couldn’t hurt.

Per Palo Alto Networks, a new paper has been published on WireLurker, a family of malware targeting both Mac OS and iOS systems for the past six months. It’s believed that WireLurker could herald in a new generation of malware on Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms given the following characteristics:
- It is only the second known malware family that attacks iOS devices through OS X via USB.

- It is the first malware to automate generation of malicious iOS applications, through binary file replacement.

- It is the first known malware that can infect installed iOS applications similar to a traditional virus.

- It is the first in-the-wild malware to install third-party applications on non-jailbroken iOS devices through enterprise provisioning.

WireLurker was used to trojanize 467 OS X applications on the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China. In the past six months, these 467 infected applications were downloaded over 356,104 times and may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.

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Google Maps to see significant update, new features, OpenTable and Uber support over next few days

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Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 08:36
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Over the next few days, Google Maps will receive a significant update and start sporting some neat new features.

Per the company’s blog entry, Google Maps will start displaying the following changes in its user interface:

- Bold colors and textures to match the Material Design style being used in many of Google’s applications.

- A new info layer at the top of the screen showing you photos, reviews, and more.

- OpenTable support in the U.S. to reserve a table at nearby restaurants.

- Uber support, including pickup times, prices and walking and transit directions.

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Swype receives iOS 8 update, support for 20 additional languages, other changes

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Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 06:56
Category: iOS, Software

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Nuance Communications announced on Tuesday that its popular Swype keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users with iOS 8 is now available in more than 20 languages. Other new features include new intuitive emoji support, as well as new keyboard layouts. And iPad users can now access all available Swype themes. Swype’s pioneering continuous touch technology has changed the way people input text on smartphones, and was the top paid third-party keyboard within 24 hours of launching on the App Store.

The new version includes the following fixes and changes:

- Expanded Language Support: In addition to English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, Swype is now available in more than 20 languages, including Czech, Danish, Dutch, UK English, Finnish, Greek, Hinglish, Hungarian, Irish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish.
Intuitive Emoji Input: Stoked about the upcoming game this weekend? When you message your friends about your excitement, Swype will now automatically suggest the right emoji. Swype will predict emojis based on the words you enter – so if you’re feeling happy, confused, tenacious or satisfied, Swype’s got just the right emoji for you.

- New Keyboard Layouts: Swype now features QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users running iOS 8, as well as a new layout specifically designed for iPad – making it easier than ever to Swype however you hold it.

- Additionally, iPad users now can enjoy all Swype’s themes – free.

Swype retails for US$0.99 and requires iOS 8.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

CurrentC exclusivity contract at MCX merchants to expire in matter of months

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 11:34
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, retail

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The conflict between MCX’s CurrentC and Apple Pay may be short lived, as an exclusivity agreement that has caused some merchants involved in the MCX consortium — notably drug store chain CVS — to abruptly pull support for NFC-based payment systems, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet, is set to expire in “months,” according to a new report.

Per Re/code, the consortium, which is made up of a number of major retailers including CVS, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart, instituted the exclusivity contract to provide “breathing room” for the development of the CurrentC ecosystem, said MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson. That contract is set to expire in “months, not years,” Dekkers added.

Confirmation of the exclusivity agreement comes one week after the arrangement was first uncovered, following reports that CVS had disabled NFC terminals in its stores to prevent customers’ use of Apple Pay.
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Apple Pay fans tears down CurrentC’s App Store rating, MCX suggests possible switch to NFC technology

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Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 11:53
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Software

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The most recent volley in the NFC payment war between Apple Pay and the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service has been fired.

And it has a lot to do with app reviews.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users have expressed their displeasure with the CurrentC app, at the time of writing, the app having accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …

The movement to boycott merchants who are members of the MCX consortium also seems to be growing in popularity, gaining a Boycott MCX website with a full list of members. When you click on the name of a consortium member (CVS Pharmacy in the example shown below), a list of competing stores who accept or plan to accept Apple Pay is displayed.

Having been criticized for its clunky use of QR codes, MCX said yesterday that CurrentC may “pivot to NFC over time.” The company had earlier said that it was “entirely possible” that it would do a U-turn on its current exclusivity requirement and allow merchants to accept both CurrentC and Apple Pay at some point in the future, though no certainty or timeframe was offered.

MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson also expanded on yesterday’s less than convincing assurances about data security, saying that the recent hack “does not impact the rollout of CurrentC at all” – that the company expected attacks and will “deal with them.”

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Hours after citing capable security, CurrentC announces unauthorized access of users’ email accounts

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 16:35
Category: Finance, iOS, News, security, Uncategorized

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Hubris, anyone?

Just hours after publishing a blog post answering some questions about its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments system and touting the security of its cloud-based storage of sensitive information, the company behind the effort, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has alerted users of unauthorized access to their email addresses.

Per MacRumors, the company released the following statement:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

Details on the unauthorized access have not been disclosed, but reporter Nick Arnott of iMore took some time earlier this week took a look at some of the personal information being collected by MCX and CurrentC and noted that he could ping CurrentC’s systems to look for valid registered email addresses on the system. While he did not find valid addresses, the system appeared capable of returning a substantial amount of personal information about such accounts.

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Microsoft releases updated Office 365 APIs, iOS SDKs to development community

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Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 11:48
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Not that the competition between Apple and Microsoft will ever truly go away, but this could herald in slightly better relations between the two companies, especially given how long it took Microsoft Office to come to iOS.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Microsoft has released a new series of tools for developers looking to improve integration between their apps and the company’s Office 365 service. For iOS users and developers, the main point of interest will be the new 365 APIs for mail, files, calendar, and contacts. There is currently more than 400 petabytes of data stored via Office 365, and these news tools will allow developers to access that information from their own apps.

These API’s will provide better options for connecting apps to users who need to use Office 365. Microsoft hopes to see travel reservation apps that connect to your 365 calendar and sales automation apps that integrate with your mail and files to save and send receipts.

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