Smartphone theft drops dramatically in London, two U.S. cities following kill switch implementation

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:34
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Legal, News, Software

iphone6handsets

This may be better news, but keep an eye on your iPhone when you’re in crowds.

Thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three major cities since manufacturers began implementing “kill switches” that allow the phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen, authorities said on Tuesday.

The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York in the 12 months after Apple Inc added a kill switch to its devices in September 2013. In London, smartphone theft dropped by half, according to an announcement by officials in the three cities.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Johnson, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among numerous officials arguing for new laws mandating the kill switches.

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Updated Touch ID hardware to provide more secure, reliable Apple Pay experience

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Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 13:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

touchid

The Touch ID hardware is about to get better.

A report from well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo released on Tuesday stated that Apple’s new Touch ID model will improve the Apple Pay experience with fewer reading errors.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, projects that Touch ID module shipments will grow 12.4 percent this year to 262 million. His forecast was revealed in a research note to investors.

According to Kuo, the upgraded Touch ID module will “offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors.” He expects companies in Apple’s supply chain to begin ramping up for the new Touch ID module in the second quarter of calendar 2015.

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DexCom device, app to work with Apple Watch upon launch, continuously monitor glucose levels for diabetics

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Date: Monday, February 9th, 2015, 08:46
Category: Hardware, News, Software, Wearables

applewatchhero

This is interesting.

Medical company DexCom says that a glucose monitor made by the company that monitors blood sugar levels will be supported by the Apple Watch. The company is currently working on an app for the wearable that will be able to show blood sugar levels at a glance and can monitor them continuously.

The app has apparently been under construction for some time and while the Food and Drug Administration is generally required to approve new medical hardware, a hands-off approach to the companion app has allowed developers to sink their teeth into its creation for the time being.

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Rumor: Apple to quietly launch updated non-Retina MacBook Air on February 24th

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Date: Monday, February 9th, 2015, 07:35
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, Rumor

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If you’re hankering for an updated MacBook Air, there may be some good news on the horizon.

According to a new rumor, Apple may be refreshing the current MacBook Air as early as February 24th. Swedish web site Leterm svetem Applem, citing sources from the Czech reseller network, states the update will come with no fanfare or keynote presentation, unsurprising considering a lack of major changes for the lineup. Apple also won’t discuss the long-rumored ultra-slim MacBook Air around the launch of the new refresh, hoping the “quiet” update tides users over until later in the year.

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Swatch looking to release smartwatch to compete in wearables market

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Date: Friday, February 6th, 2015, 04:38
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

swatch

It’s been a while since Swatch was considered hip and/or cutting edge, but the company might be seeing something in the wearables market.

Swatch Group AG announced plans to start selling a smartwatch within the next three months, potentially pitting the Swiss maker of colorful plastic timepieces against the debut of the Apple Watch.

The device will communicate via Near Field Communications and won’t have to be charged, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.

Analysts stated that the market for such timepieces, which enable phone or data communication, will probably reach about US$10 billion in 2018, Citigroup Inc. analysts forecast last year, with half of the market coming from traditional watch wearers switching to the devices.

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Apple may be deploying its own mapping vans into the Bay Area

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Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 06:36
Category: Hardware, News, Pictures

applevan

If Google’s mapping vehicles seemed a bit strange, Apple may have their own making the rounds.

A number of minivans with what appears to be camera equipment and a LiDAR sensor mounted to the roof that have appeared around California in recent weeks could be part of a new Apple project, as at least one of the vehicles is registered to the company.

The minivans sport an X-shaped frame mounted to their luggage racks, with dark recesses that likely house cameras at each corner. The California Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed to San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX that a blue Dodge Caravan spotted with the equipment was leased to Apple.

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Judge orders Typo to pay $860,000 fine to BlackBerry for injunction regarding keyboard case

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Date: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, 18:25
Category: Accessory, Hardware, iPhone, News

typokeyboard

This is a win for BlackBerry, which is kind of rare these days.

Also, if a federal judge orders an injunction against you, you should probably obey the injunction.

On Wednesday, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Typo Products owes BlackBerry more than US$860,000 for violating an injunction barring sales of its original iPhone keyboard case.

The contempt finding has to do with BlackBerry’s allegations that Typo continued to sell and market the original Typo case despite a court injunction issued in March of last year. Typo has since released a second product, Typo 2, that it says is designed to avoid intellectual property conflicts with BlackBerry.

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Apple to convert failed GT Advanced Technologies Arizona factory into data center

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Date: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015, 08:47
Category: Finance, Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News

sapphirefactory

Remember that whole sapphire iPhone screen thing? When an idea goes south, you can still use the intended facility for something.

Following GT Advanced Technologies’ plans to file for Chapter 11, Apple appears to be swooping in with a plan to invest US$2 billion to convert their Arizona factory into a data center.

The more than 1.3 million-square-foot building, which was once a solar-panel factory, was a key part of Apple’s efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. after years of relying on Asian suppliers to build the company’s iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. While Apple had promised to bring jobs to the area even after the bankruptcy, the data center will probably employ fewer staff compared with an operation churning out components for iPhones.

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Rumor: Apple to adopt jewelry store protocols, increase security for gold Apple Watch sales

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Date: Monday, February 2nd, 2015, 08:27
Category: Hardware, retail, Rumor, Wearables

applewatchhero

With the Apple Watch shipping in April, Apple may be changing some of its retail methods to match the product.

According to sources, Apple is planning several new features for its retail stores to support the Gold Watch Edition of the device. As reported several months ago, Apple is planning on allowing customers to actually try on the watches and test out different band styles inside of stores. With the high-expected price tag of the gold watch models, Apple will also step up its security features for stores.

Over on 9to5Mac, there’s the following:

Apple will outfit its official retail stores with safes to house the more expensive, gold “Edition” variants of the upcoming Apple Watch. The safes will likely be used to carry both to-be-sold inventory as well as to store demo units from the show floor overnight. The custom-designed safes will be outfitted with Apple Watch MagSafe chargers in order to keep the demo units charged up and ready to go for the next day of business. Apple has already begun installing the safes in some stores ahead of the Apple Watch’s expected release in April…

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In spite of lower year-over-year iPad sales, Tim Cook says not to worry

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Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015, 08:37
Category: Finance, Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, retail

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iPad sales may be on the decline, albeit Apple CEO Tim Cook says not to worry.

Per 9to5Mac and Macworld, Apple’s recent financial report noted “all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store,” while remaining silent on iPad sales. With year-on-year sales down 18%, and a reduction in average selling price meaning revenue was down 22%.

Tim Cook acknowledges that the switch to larger-screened iPhones mean the iPad is being squeezed from both sides.

“There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other,” said Cook.

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