O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Apple to begin providing better Xcode development tool hosting for Chinese developers in wake of XcodeGhost incident

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Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 07:22
Category: Developer, News, security, Software


In the wake of developers downloading a malware-filled copy of your development tools and inadvertently uploading tons of malware-filled apps to the App Store, it helps to put some money into infrastructure and make sure the slow download speeds for the genuine version of the development tools are sufficient, thus removing the need to download the fake version in the first place.

Apple’s Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said on Tuesday that steps are being taken to prevent any such occurrence of the conditions that caused the XcodeGhost issue in the future.

The source of the tainted apps was a program called XcodeGhost, a counterfeit version of Xcode, the platform used by developers to create programs for iOS and Mac. Developers in China often download Xcode from local sites due to the slow download speeds associated with sourcing it officially from Apple’s US servers. The spurious version of Xcode was slipped in amongst the authentic ones on Chinese sites and downloaded by many programmers, unbeknownst to them.


Apple releases iOS 9.0.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015, 14:31
Category: iOS, News, Software


This is probably worth snagging.

And, with any luck, it’ll take care of some of the larger issues users have been having.

On Wednesday, Apple released iOS 9.0.1. The update, a 34.2 megabyte download (or 1 gigabyte download from a pre-iOS 9.0 version), offers the following fixes and changes:

– Fixes an issue where some users could not complete setup after updating.


Microsoft offers subscription-free versions of Office 2016 for Mac, lays out price points

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015, 07:13
Category: News, Software


If paying US$7 a month or US$70 a year for an Office 365 subscription to use Office 2016 for Mac isn’t your thing, you can now buy the thing outright.

Microsoft is now offering the Home & Student edition for a one-time fee of US$150, and limits users to one Mac and 15 gigabytes of OneDrive cloud storage, versus the 1 terabyte assigned to 365 subscribers. Users can’t fully unlock the mobile version of Office, and lack other perks like free tech support and Skype minutes.


DataMan Complication updated for watchOS 2, offers warnings when data cap is about to be exceeded

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015, 08:36
Category: Apple Watch, iOS, iPhone, News, Software, Wearables


This could be useful.

DataMan Next has just been updated for watchOS 2.

The new version shows a Smart Forecast icon, meaning a tick icon means “safe” and you’re not at risk of overage. This feature works along with DataMan Glance, which gives you a quick way to get your usage stats quickly from your watch face.


XcodeGhost malware affecting hundreds of iOS apps, Apple pulling infected versions from App Store

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 21st, 2015, 07:06
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, News, security, Software


This is where things get a bit messier.

Apple has admitted that it is App Store integrity was compromised as apps were secretly infected by fake Xcode tools before submission to the App Store. The company has now officially acknowledged the problem and is now removing apps affected by the malware from the App Store.

Developers were inadvertently submitting malware by using counterfeit versions of Xcode, Appleā€™s development software, to submit apps. The fake Xcode, dubbed XcodeGhost, would inject malicious code into otherwise-legitimate apps during the submission process.

The malware seems to have infected hundreds of apps on the App Store, Apple releasing the following statement:


Palo Alto Networks cites XcodeGhost malware’s presence in 39 iOS apps

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 21st, 2015, 07:47
Category: iOS, News, security, Software


Well, this is kind of a mess.

Research associate Palo Alto Networks has posted an analysis on a novel malware XcodeGhost that modifies Xcode IDE to infect Apple iOS apps. The report mentions that at least two popular iOS apps were infected. We now believe many more popular iOS apps have been infected, including WeChat, one of the most popular IM applications in the world.

The malware itself seems to stem from the fact that some iOS developers use crowd-sourcing techniques which adds to their apps being more vulnerable.

As last count, roughly 39 iOS apps were infected, some of which are extremely popular in China and in other countries around the world, comprising hundreds of millions users.


Peace ad-blocker app pulled, developer offers refunds, explanation

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 18th, 2015, 11:43
Category: iOS, News, Software


One of the top apps on the App Store was just rescinded by its developer.

Developer Marco Arment has just pulled the Peace ad-blocker application from the App Store. Arment went on to offer the following explanation via his web site:


Apple adjusts iCloud storage plans, bumps 500 GB users to 1 TB

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 17th, 2015, 08:13
Category: iCloud, News, Software


This is kind of a nice bonus.

Apple on Wednesday made its updated iCloud storage plans active, improving some tiers while eliminating another and leaving the free default plan unchanged.

The free tier remained at 5 gigabytes of storage while the US$0.99/month option was bumped from 20 gigabytes of storage to 50. The 200 gigabyte tier is down to US$2.99 a month, the 500 gigabyte plan was eliminated and the 1 terabyte tier went down to US$9.99/month.


Apple releases iTunes 12.3, adds support for iOS 9, OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, 13:54
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, iTunes, News, Software


Amid a day of muchos updates, it should come as no surprised that iTunes has also been boosted a it.

Apple on Wednesday released iTunes 12.3. The new version adds support for iOS 9 and is also designed for OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which is scheduled to arrive later this month.

Other changes include the following:
– Improved Apple Music accessibility with VoiceOver.

-Resolved a problem that prevented ordering of songs within Up Next.


Apple releases iOS 9 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, 12:53
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software


You’ve been waiting for iOS 9.

And it’s here.

Apple released its iOS 9 operating system update today. The update, a 1 gigabyte download available over the air or through iTunes, adds the following fixes and changes:
– New multitasking features on iPad make you even more productive.

– Siri can do more than ever, and new proactive suggestions help you get things done before you ask.