Apple responds to iPhone 4 wireless signal complaints, offers advice to avoid issue

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Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 02:26
Category: iPhone, News

Following a slew of well-publicized launch day complaints regarding the loss of signal strength when held a certain way, Apple has released official advice for iPhone 4 owners to overcome the problem of the device losing signal when held by the lower left corner.

Per the BBC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to a query about the problem from one owner by saying: “Just avoid holding it in that way.”

The official advice is to “avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band”.

Alternatively, said Apple, customers could buy a case to shield the antenna.

In a statement, Apple said: “Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas.”

Steve Jobs issued his response in a message responding to an e-mail from the Ars Technica news site. Mr Jobs wrote that “All phones have sensitive areas”.

The problem is thought to be particularly acute for left-handed owners who naturally touch the phone in the sensitive area.

The casing of Apple’s latest phone is made of stainless steel, which also serves as its antenna.
Apple sells a rubber “bumper” that shields the sensitive area.

Richard Warner, one of the first to buy an iPhone 4, contacted BBC News, saying that he thought the phone was “useless in its current state”.

“Apple have created a phone that has an antenna on the bottom left-hand side of the phone.”

“This means that when you hold it in your left hand, the signal bars slowly fade until there is no signal,” he wrote.

A number of videos have been posted on video sharing site YouTube complaining about the reception issue.

One video had an American user running a speed test, with hands on and hands free.
In it, the user ‘awington’ says that, while holding the phone “it won’t even run the test when I am holding the phone… once I let go, it makes a connection and runs the test.
“Hold it a second time, and the upload test will not start.”

The issue might stem from the way the integrated antenna is constructed. One section provides mobile reception, while another is for wi-fi.

Some users have speculated that touching the bottom of the phone bridges this gap, affecting signal strength.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen the issue on your end, please let us know.

Some iPhone 4 users report dropped signal bars, yellow tint on screen

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Date: Thursday, June 24th, 2010, 03:06
Category: iPhone, News

Apple’s iPhone 4 hits the shelves today and while the handset has received good reviews across the Web and in print, there may be some issues to contend with.

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a number of customers have commented that their shipped iPhone 4 units are experiencing problems with yellow tinted displays and disappearing signal bars.

Specifically, some users who received an iPhone 4 early found that the Retina Display on the new handset has a discoloration in the bottom corners of the screen.

“In the bottom 10% of the screen there are three blotches about the size of shirt buttons that discolor the screen a brown/yellow color,” one user wrote.



The issues are remniscent to a problem that plagued early adopters of the iPhone 3G who found their whole screen had a warmer, yellower hue than the original iPhone. Apple later said that the color tint was a deliberate decision.

In addition, others have said that the iPhone 4 occasionally drops signal bars when held in the hand. The same issue was also noted by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal in his iPhone 4 review. He said the device sometimes registers no bars, or fewer bars than the iPhone 3GS, even though a call can still be placed.

“Apple says that this is a bug it plans to fix,” Mossberg wrote, “and that it has to do with the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call. And, in fact, in nearly all of these cases, the iPhone 4 was able to place calls despite the lack of bars.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

Apple confirms June 23rd delivery date for some iPhone 4 orders

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Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:42
Category: iPhone, News

Representatives from Apple confirmed on Tuesday that some iPhone 4 pre-order customers will receive their new combination iPod and smartphone on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch.

Per The Mac Observer, the confirmation e-mail Apple sent to some pre-order customers stated “This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.”

The official launch date for the iPhone 4 is Thursday, June 24th. Apple will be opening its stores at 7 AM for customers that reserved iPhones after the pre-order program kicked off.

The iPhone 4 offers several improvements over the iPhone 3GS such as a thinner body, a higher resolution multi-touch display, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, support for capturing 720p video, a front-facing video call camera, a built-in gyroscope, and more. It is priced at US$199 for the 16GB model and US$299 for the 32GB model.

If you’ve gotten this e-mail on your end, let us know.

Customers receive shipment dates, expected arrival times for iPhone 4 handsets

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:00
Category: iPhone, News

Just a couple more days and you’ll have your mitts on it.

Per iLounge, Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the handset last week.

According to shipment details seen by one customer, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from readers, some shipping estimates list June 23rd instead of June 24th; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date.

Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24th.

If you’ve heard about the arrival date on yours, please let us know.

Apple quietly installs specific anti-malware code into Mac OS X 10.6.4 update

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Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

There’s something to be said for an operating system succeeding and gaining market share: people will make more of an effort to write viruses and malware for it.

Per CNET, Apple’s recent Mac OS X 10.6.4 update includes software to protect Macs from a Trojan horse that has been distributed by attackers disguised as iPhoto, but which opens a back door on the machine, security firm Sophos said on Friday.

When Apple released OS X 10.6.4 on Tuesday, the company said it addressed certain compatibility issues with VPN connections and other things, but failed to mention anything about adding an anti-malware update.
Buried in the code is an update to the XProtect.plist file, which contains signatures of malware written to target the Mac. The signatures now detect malware dubbed “HellRTS,” Graham Clulely of Sophos wrote in a blog post.

HellRTS, which Sophos detects as “OSX/Pinheard-B,” is a Trojan that has been around several months. It lets attackers use infected computers to send spam, take screenshots, access files, and pretty much take control of the computer, Sophos said.

“Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done,” Clulely writes. “You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an anti-malware security update like this was for marketing reasons. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!”

Representatives from Apple have yet to return any requests for comment on the issue.

Rumor: Verizon/CDMA-compatible iPhone in production

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Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 06:20
Category: iPhone, Rumor

verizonlogo.jpg

Maybe it’s a “Braveheart” thing; you can’t kill a legend. Or at least a rumor.

Per DigiTimes, Apple is allegedly manufacturing a CDMA iPhone compatible with the Verizon network, the report alleging that the handset will begin shipping to Apple in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Thursday that Pegatron Technology has received orders from Apple for a CDMA iPhone 4, according to industry sources. Those orders are expected to help the company grow its revenues in 2011.

“Pegatron will also start shipping a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 to Apple in the fourth quarter and is currently using its plants in Shanghai, China to produce the products, the sources noted,” the report said. “The company is also working on gaining orders for MacBooks and iPads from Apple.”

Pegatron manufactures products in a number of markets, including notebook and desktop computers, TV set top boxes, cable modems, game consoles, LCD TVs, digital music players, handsets, tablet PCs and e-book readers.

The latest DigiTimes rumor stated that Apple was working on two new phones: the iPhone 4, to be launched next week, and a new Verizon-compatible CDMA phone that the newspaper said would go into mass production in September. The report also stated that Pegatron Technology would handle the manufacturing of the CDMA iPhone.

In May, DigiTimes reported that Pegatron had won the contract from Apple to produce a CDMA iPhone. Previous iPhones were built by Foxconn, which also assembles Apple’s Mac mini, iPods and the iPad, and is the company’s main supplier.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

2010 Mac mini teardown report posted, interesting discoveries found

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Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 06:13
Category: Mac mini, News

Apple’s slim new 2010 Mac mini received the royal treatment/acceptance into the tech world recently via a complete teardown by tech firm iFixit shows.

A teardown report by iFixit shows how Apple fit the slim system’s power supply inside the unibody aluminum case and reveals a variety of new innovations.

Rather than needing an external power supply, the new unit ships with simply an AC power cable (similar to Apple TV and Time Capsule), and Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. The new model also includes a built in HDMI port for delivering audio and digital video to an HDTV display over one cable.

The new Mac Mini includes an SD Card slot just like recent MacBook Pros, and includes four USB 2.0 ports, along with the standard Gigabit Ethernet and a FireWire 800 port. After taking a new unit apart, iFixit discovered the following new changes:

- The Mac mini’s unibody top enclosure is machined from a single block of aluminum, with a twist off rubber base that exposes RAM components for easy access. “Removing the RAM is very simple this time around, requiring only the simple prying of two clips.” The bottom cover also provides a radio window in the metal case for WiFi and Bluetooth.

“There are two blind holes in the case of the Mini that are meant for the ends of Apple’s custom U-shaped logic board removal tool. We just used two Torx screwdrivers. We call them the ‘Mac mini logic board removal tool.’”

- The new Mac mini’s power supply provides “a minuscule 7 Amps at 12V. Compare that to the 25.8 Amps at 12V cranked out by the 27 inch iMac, and you can understand how they fit the power supply inside the Mini.”
“The fan doesn’t have too much work to do, since the new Mac Mini is the most energy-efficient desktop, running on less than 10 watts at idle! In keeping with its space saving design, the fins directing air toward the vent hole are slanted to allow for better fan placement.”

- The fan cools the CPU and CPU via a wraparound heat sink tube that wicks heat toward the fins and blows it out the wide slot on the back panel.

iFixit notes that the Mac mini’s 3/8 inch woofer dome “won’t be popping ear drums anytime soon” and may be a bit underpowered for some audiophiles.

iPad hacker faces multiple drug charges, spotty past following FBI arrest

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Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 05:16
Category: iPad, News

Some hackers just have no luck.

Per CNET, one of the hackers in the group that snatched more than 100,000 iPad owner email addresses from AT&T’s servers was arrested Tuesday on felony drug charges after the FBI searched his Arkansas, US home.

Andrew “Escher” Auernheimer was arrested by Fayetteville, Ark., police and was booked into the Washington County Detention Center Tuesday afternoon, where he is being held on bonds totaling US$3,160.

Auernheimer, 24, faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor drug charge. During the raid, police reportedly found drugs that included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and Schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals when they searched his home.

Auernheimer, who also goes by the hacker nickname “weev,” is one of 10 members of Goatse Security, a hacking group that used an automated script to collect 114,000 iPad email addresses from AT&T through a public feature of the carrier’s Web site.

Goatse revealed its e-mail harvesting after AT&T closed the hole, then defended its actions as “responsible disclosure” (the term given to security revelations made public only after a vendor has patched a bug). In a letter to customers apologizing for the email address disclosure, however, AT&T said the group “maliciously exploited” its Web site and promised it would “prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law.”

In recent interview, Auernheimer argued that Goatse’s attack was “ethical” and denied that they did anything illegal . “We love America and did this in the public interest,” Auernheimer said at the time.

Wednesday, the Fayetteville Police Department declined to comment on the charges against Auernheimer, instead referring all questions to the FBI.

Special Agent Bryan Travers of the FBI’s Newark, N.J., division confirmed that the agency had served a search warrant at Auernheimer’s home, but declined to answer any other questions, including whether agents removed computers from Auernheimer’s residence. “This remains an open investigation,” Travers said in an email.

The FBI launched an investigation into the Goatse attack last week, saying then that it was trying to determine if the group broke any laws.

Auernheimer is no stranger to drugs, according to Brian Krebs, a former reporter for the Washington Post and now the author of the Krebs on Security blog. In 2006, said Krebs, Auernheimer started a talk at a security conference by telling the audience that he was tripping on acid.

He has also regularly posted anti-Semitic statements on his LiveJournal blog, where he has claimed that the FCC is “Jewish-run” and that Jews “have long made a sham of the nobel [sic] prize.”

Auernheimer was arrested last March, according to a report by Fayetteville television station KHBS-TV , which noted that city police said he had given them a false name when they responded to a parking complaint.

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in Washington County Circuit Court.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iTunes 9.2 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 13:26
Category: News, Software

blueituneslogo.jpg

On Wednesday, Apple released iTunes 9.2, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 102 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go.
- Sync and read books with iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1.
- Organize and sync PDF documents as books. Read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.
- Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes.
- Faster back-ups while syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.
- Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library.

iTunes 9.2 is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple releases Security Update 2010-04 for Mac OS X 10.5.x users

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 07:05
Category: News, Software

applelogo_silver

Late Tuesday, Apple released Security Update 2010-04 for Mac OS X 10.5.x (“Snow Leopard”). The update, a 218.6 megabyte download, adds a slew of security fixes and changes, as summarized here.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and can be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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