Rumor: iOS 7.1.2 update to include fixes to Mail, security issues, iBeacon support

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 23rd, 2014, 10:46
Category: iOS, Rumor, security, Software

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Apple’s forthcoming iOS 7.1.2 update may fix an email attachment encryption issue, a lock screen vulnerability and improve iBeacon support along with other minor bug fixes.

Per MacRumors and AppleInsider, an anonymous source has claimed that Apple has distributed iOS 7.1.2 to carrier partners for testing ahead of a release sometime within the next two weeks.

The update supposedly contains a number of bug fixes and security patches, including a resolution to an email encryption issue discovered in April. Security researchers proved the flaw, which prevents email attachments to be saved with proper encryption protection, exists in recent iOS releases as far back as iOS 7.0.4.

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British iOS device repair firm finds connection between third-party USB adapters and damage to iPhone 5 power management components

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 20th, 2014, 11:03
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

You know those nice, cheap third-party iPhone cables you can buy for dirt cheap at the check out line at the convenience store? They might be capable of damaging a power management component in the iPhone 5 handset.

Per iOS device repair firm mendmyl, a series of damaged power management components in Apple’s iPhone 5 handset has been traced back to unofficial USB adapters as well as USB-to-Lightning cables.

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The working theory, though not officially confirmed, is that the third-party charging accessories do not properly regulate electrical current as it flows into the handset, which will then either burn out or render a power distribution component labeled “U2″, which is located just beneath the A6 processor on the iPhone’s logic board. The U2 component routes power to the iPhone 5′s battery and integrated charging controller as well as the sleep/wake button and controls certain USB functions for the handset.

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Will Siri have to answer to Samsung?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 08:01
Category: Apple, Business, iPhone, Mac, News, Samsung, Siri, Software

siri-icon-ios7According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the voice-recognition tech company behind Apple’s Siri assistant may be in talks with Samsung to sell its technology to Apple’s most notorious competitor. Nuance has reportedly been in talks with several potential buyers as the company seeks to sell off its highly sought after voice-to-text translation software. According to some sources familiar with one of the companies involved, Samsung and other private-equity firms have been part of discussions surrounding a possible sale of the company. In addition to Siri, Nuance provides the technology behind Dragon Naturally Speaking software for both Mac and PC, as well as Samsung’s own phones, tablets, and wearable devices.

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2nd Gen Apple TV support is dropped in iOS 8

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 08:18
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Hardware, iOS, News

2ndgenappletvBeing an owner of said version of the Apple TV (also formerly of the 1st gen), I find this very disappointing, but not altogether unexpected. The second beta of iOS 8 dropped on Tuesday and according to those who like to dig out any hints of the future that new code may reveal, there is no sign of the 2nd generation Apple TV. For those of you who didn’t know, starting with the release of the first black, hockey puck sized Apple TV, Apple started using the same A4 chip (or a version of it) that was used in the iPhone 4.

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Amazon introduces Prime Music – more value for your $99

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 13th, 2014, 08:49
Category: Amazon, Announcement, iOS, Mac, music, Opinion, Review, Services

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Amazon just announced the latest service in its Prime family, Prime Music, which together with Prime Instant Video and Prime Shipping will cost $99 a year. Earlier this year, Amazon increased the the price of a Prime subscription from $79 to $99, but at the time there was no indication that there would be any new features to offset the higher price-tag (unless you count the promise of a sky full of drones).

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Apple is pushing music downloading apps out of the App Store

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:38
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, music

music-download-appIn what appears to be an aggressive move to promote iTunes purchases and iTunes Radio, and possibly a Beats-related subscription service, Apple has been systematically removing any music downloading apps from the App Store according to MacRumors. Any search previously for “music download” in the App Store would show a number of apps that could download music and audio files from websites such as Soundcloud and YouTube, obviously taking a bite out of iTunes sales. Now the same search displays a message inviting users to try out iTunes Radio, with the first few results for apps include those for streaming services such as Spotify and other music-based apps that lack downloading capabilities. Apple has also asked developers to remove audio downloading functionalities from their apps. 

 

 

Doctor sets the bar for Apple’s Health app

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Apps, Features, Health, iOS, Software

482887779JS023_APPLE_HOSTS_Do a search for “health tracker” in the App Store and you’ll get a list of 500 apps before the search truncates the list. Health apps are a dime a dozen. The apps track everything from diet (calories, weight) to activities (running, biking) to vital body readings (blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate), some integrated with hardware such as Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. When Apple finally releases its Health app, what will make it any different or more valuable than the other 500 apps? Well, according to Dr. Thomas J. Morrow who holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at Next IT, developers of virtual assistant technology for healthcare, Apple needs to include 3 vital functions if the Health app is to set itself apart from the crowd.

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Pebble releases Pebble firmware update 2.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Accessory, Features, iOS, Software, User Interface, Wearables

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Last Wednesday, Pebble deployed the latest update to the firmware of the Pebble smartwatch. The Pebble iOS app was updated the week before on May 27th bringing it to version 2.2, not to be confused with the firmware for the watch itself which is once again in sync with the app’s version.

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PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.

 

 

Your next Apple headphones may have a Lightning connector

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:50
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Lightning, music

iPhone5-lightningAccording to 9to5Mac, Apple has quietly introduced a new specification in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows headphones that connect to iOS devices use a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. The ability to use such hardware doesn’t exist on iDevices yet, but a software update sometime in the future will likely enable this function. The advantage of using a Lightning connection would be to create “smarter” headphones.

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