Tuesday March 11, 2014 10:35 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Music video and entertainment platform Vevo announced today that it is partnering with Apple to stream this week's iTunes Festival at SXSW. Apple is limiting the service to include the same streaming options offered by its own iTunes Festival coverage, which includes iOS devices, Macs and the Apple TV.
Starting Tuesday, March 11 and ending Saturday, March 15, viewers can launch the Vevo iOS app or open the Apple TV channel to watch live performances from ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Mac owners can view the live stream by pointing their Safari browser to Vevo's iTunes Festival website.
Three performances are scheduled each night, with headline acts to include major artists such as Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, Pitbull an Keith Urban. Select performances will be available for on-demand viewing after the concert is over.
iOS owners who prefer not to use Vevo can watch the daily concert series via Apple's iTunes Festival app [Direct Link], while Apple TV users can open the recently updated iTunes Festival channel. Both sources allow users to live stream the concert's shows as well as view concert lineups, on-demand performances and artist information.
Monday March 10, 2014 5:28 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple has credited the evad3rs jailbreak team with discovering several security issues, according to a new Knowledge Base article that details security issues fixed in iOS 7.1 today. The company also credits a number of individual researchers -- including one named Roboboi99 -- as well as corporate security specialists from Google and FireEye, among other companies.
As is common at many tech companies, Apple credits security researchers who discover vulnerabilities in its products after it fixes them, though the company does not offer a bounty program to financially reward researchers like many other companies do.
In iOS 7.1, Apple fixed security issues with Backup, the Certificate Trust Policy, Configuration Profiles, CoreCapture, Crash Reporting, dyld, FaceTime, ImageIO, IOKit HID Event, iTunes Store, Kernel, Office Viewer, Photos Backend, Profiles, Safari, Settings, SpringBoard, SpringBoard Lock Screen, the TelephonyUI Framework, USB Host, Video Driver, and WebKit.
Of course, with Apple fixing the security issues that the jailbreak team discovered, it has also closed the loopholes that allowed a jailbreak in the first place. For now, the last version of iOS that can be jailbroken is iOS 7.0.6.
iOS 7.1, released earlier today, includes support for existing iPad models along with support for two unannounced models, labeled iPad4,3 and iPad4,6. It is possible that these new model numbers represent minor hardware revisions for existing iPads that will be introduced to the market silently, as a more substantial upgrade would push the model numbers higher.
On occasion, Apple has implemented new hardware components for its iOS devices without a public announcement and these minor changes often go unseen by consumers as they tend to introduce very minor improvements in efficiency. For example, an Apple TV update in January of 2013 revealed a new Apple TV, which turned out to be a minor update with a smaller A5 chip. That change was not obvious to Apple TV purchasers, but it did warrant a model number jump to 3,2 from 3,1.
Existing iPad Air models are numbered 4,1 and 4,2, while Retina iPad mini models are numbered 4,4 and 4,5, suggesting one new iPad Air for the 4,3 designation and one new Retina mini for the 4,6 designation.
As noted by 9to5Mac, it is also possible that iPad4,3 and iPad4,6 represent iOS devices that are optimized for networks in other countries.
The upcoming iPhone 6 has been incorporated into a new concept video by designer Sam Beckett, which was initially posted to The Verge forums. According to the dimensions Beckett provides, his "iPhone Air" concept includes a 4.7-inch display, a 1920 by 1080 resolution and 468 pixels per inch.
Beckett's concept is 8 percent larger than the iPhone 5s and 9 percent thinner. The slimmer profile is in line with previous iPhone 6 rumors, which have suggested Apple has improved its backlighting technology to allow for thinner devices.
The phone is only 8% larger than the existing iPhone 5S, this increase is to accommodate the larger screen. Some extra space could be potentially utilised by reducing the width of the side bezels and by also slimming down the top and bottom of the phone frame too. The depth of the iPhone Air is 7mm, coming in 0.6mm smaller than it's predecessor. This modest reduction in the device depth and larger increase in the width and height could help create a bigger space for the battery and other components.
Like several other iPhone 6 concepts, Beckett's design keeps the same general size and shape of the existing iPhone 5s while doing away with thick side bezels. The design incorporates thinner side bezels with a sapphire crystal display, both features the phone is rumored to include.
Beckett also draws on a number of other rumors for the video, suggesting the iPhone 6 will include a 10-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 and a faster A8 chip, which is reportedly already in production with TSMC.
As with any concept, it is unclear if these ideas and rumors will make it into the next-generation iPhone, but the video does imagine how a larger iPhone could possibly look. Apple is said to be developing two larger iPhones for release in 2014, one near 4.7 inches and one quite a bit larger at approximately 5.5 inches.
Alongside the launch of iOS 7.1, Apple today updated its Apple TV software to version 6.1, adding a much-requested feature that allows users to hide unwanted channel icons from the main screen without needing to access the Parental Controls menu. The hiding feature joins an already existing rearranging feature, letting users further customize their Apple TV home screens as the number of channels has grown significantly in recent months.
Arranging or hiding icons can be initiated by selecting an item in the main menu and then pressing and holding on the Select button of the remote control until the icon jiggles, much as how icon rearranging functions within iOS. Icons can be moved using directional buttons, with Play/Pause available for more options.
Users can download the Apple TV 6.1 software through the Apple TV’s over-the-air update mechanism found in Settings --> General –-> Software Update.
Apple has also updated the Remote app for iOS devices to version 4.2, adding a feature that allows users to browse purchased movies and TV shows within the app and then play them on the Apple TV. The update also includes the ability to control iTunes Radio on the Apple TV and offers bug fixes and stability improvements. [Direct Link]
Monday March 10, 2014 7:47 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
After expanding to France last week, Apple's iPhone trade-in program is now available in Apple retail stores throughout Canada as noticed by 9to5Mac. Though not publicly announced, the launch was confirmed on Canadian Apple Store retail pages and in the Apple Store app.
The in-store recycling program allows customers to trade-in an older iPhone model and immediately receive a gift card up to $275 towards the purchase of a new iPhone. The program encourages customers to responsibly recycle their old iPhones instead of throwing them away. SellCell estimates customers are storing and not recycling approximately $13.4 billion in unused iPhones.
This in-store iPhone recycling program debuted in the U.S. last summer and was expanded to include the UK a few months later. Apple also offers a mail-in recycling program that requires customers to send in their iPhone before receiving a credit. Customers may receive more money for their iPhone via the mail-in program, but they lose the convenience of a no-hassle credit that's immediately available to spend on a new phone.
The new plan will give users 2GB of data, along with unlimited messaging and calling, for $65 per month, down $15 from the previous plan. Adding additional smartphones to the plan will cost $25 per line per month. AT&T slashed the prices of its Mobile Share family plans at the beginning of last month.
AT&T's new plans can also be combined with an existing promotion that offers a $100 bill credit to new and existing customers who add a new line of service. That promo runs through 3/31/2014. AT&T also introduced new messaging and calling rates to international countries late last month.
The move comes in the midst of a marketing war between U.S. cellular carriers, with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint all introducing new deals and promotions to keep their current customers and snatch new ones.
T-Mobile today announced that it was altering its existing Simple Choice plans, adding more data, a new pricing tier and no-added-cost international texting from the United States.
Simple Choice plans still start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited data, talk and text on the T-Mobile network. You only have to decide how much high speed 4G LTE data you want. And now on the core plan, you’ll get a full 1GB of 4G LTE data and tethering – double the previous amounts. Additional lines continue to be $30 for the second line and $10 for up to three additional lines for unlimited data talk and text, and now 1GB of 4G LTE data.
Previously, T-Mobile's Simple Choice plans included 500MB of 4G LTE data in the base $50 per month plan, while users could get 2.5GB of 4G LTE data for an extra $10 per month and unlimited 4G LTE data and 2.5GB of tethering for an extra $20 per month.
Now, users will get 1GB of 4G LTE data in the base plan, 3GB of 4G LTE data for an extra $10, 5GB of 4G LTE data and 5GB of tethering for an extra $20 and unlimited 4G LTE data and 5GB of tethering for an extra $30. In addition, T-Mobile has added unlimited international texting from the United States at no extra cost.
The data changes will take effect automatically on March 23 and the international texting will begin on April 1. While the unlimited 4G LTE data for an extra $20 per month will be removed, users who have the plan before March 23 will be grandfathered into, and allowed to keep, the plan.
The SlatePro TechDesk is a new Kickstarter project featuring a desk that has been designed with built-in docks and cutouts to accommodate several different Apple devices. It comes with multiple display docks that are able to hold an iPad, iPhone, or other mobile device, and air vents in the middle of the desk offer continual cooling for MacBooks.
Designed to fit any size computer or laptop, from a MacBook to an iMac, the desk also comes equipped with a heavy duty mousepad, a filing rack, a pen dock, and a recessed cup holder. There are also built-in cutouts for cords to keep everything organized.
The SlatePro's surface is cut from pure, premium bamboo and protected by a sheet of clear acrylic. It's super strong, very light weight, and it will support your computer with ease. The desk's steel legs are completely hand-crafted. They create the perfect height and are made by some of the best metal workers in the USA.
Some early pricing tiers of the SlatePro have already sold out, but interested backers are still able to pre-order a desk for $448 on Kickstarter. The first desks are expected to ship in May of 2014, while orders made now will ship in June or July.
Jawbone today updated its UP app to version 3.1, adding several new features to improve its Jawbone UP fitness band. Multiple enhancements have been made to sleep tracking, with the app including more information on sound sleep and light sleep periods, plus sunrise and sunset visuals.
There's a new sleep recovery menu that can be accessed if a band was not put into sleep mode, a feature originally introduced with version 3.0 of the app. The app also encourages better sleep through new personalized goals, challenging users to go to bed at the same time each night.
Following the update, reminders can also be set using customizable alerts, allowing users to set alarms for various purposes such as working out and taking medications.
- Reminders: Set customizable alerts with band vibrations to remind you to workout, go to bed, take medication and more.
- Forgot to put your band in sleep mode? Now access sleep recovery from the home screen.
- Added sunrise and sunset visuals into sleep graphs
- Introducing new Today I Will insights
- Bug fixes and sync performance improvements
Jawbone has also introduced an entirely new app, called UP Coffee, which is designed to allow Jawbone UP users to understand how caffeine affects sleep. The app lets users enter how many cups of coffee or other caffeinated foods/beverages they have consumed during the day and then calculates how long it will take to become "Sleep Ready."
Up Coffee interfaces with the existing UP app, so users will see beverage consumption statistics entered into UP Coffee displayed within their UP apps.
Unlock a series of data-based reports on how your body reacts to caffeine. Check in with UP Coffee when you drink, and even when you don’t, for just 7 days to reveal your Caffeine Persona. Keep tracking for 3 more days to reveal the relationships between how much and when you drink with your bedtime, sleep duration and nighttime awakenings. Knowledge is power, so get buzzed.
Thursday March 6, 2014 3:34 am PST by Richard Padilla
In the time of the first Apple v. Samsung trial in 2011, Apple requested an injunction to prevent Samsung from selling its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets within the United States. Apple stated that the 23 products in question violated three of its multitouch software patents, including the scroll-back, tap-to-zoom, and pinch-to-zoom patents. Judge Lucy Koh then denied Apple's request, stating there was no proof Apple would be damaged if Samsung was able to continue the sale of its products.
In November 2013 however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Judge Koh would be required to reconsider her decision to not ban Samsung devices that infringed on Apple products. In December, Apple formally filed another motion calling for a U.S. ban on Samsung products.
Now, FOSS Patentsreports that Judge Koh has denied Apple's new bid calling for a U.S. ban on Samsung products, stating that the company has not proved that its infringed upon patents drive consumer demand for Samsung devices.
To persuade the Court to grant Apple such an extraordinary injunction—to bar such complex devices for incorporating three touchscreen software features—Apple bears the burden to prove that these three touchscreen software features drive consumer demand for Samsung’s products. Apple has not met this burden.
The ruling comes ahead of a second patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung set to begin on March 13, 2014. Notably, Samsung will only be allowed to have four patent claims to bring to the trial, as Judge Koh voided two of its patent claims in January. Apple will be able to bring all five of its patent claims to the trial.
Thursday March 6, 2014 2:21 am PST by Richard Padilla
Science and technology company Azoi has unveiled the Wello health monitoring case for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhont 5s, allowing users to track various human metrics such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and more, reportsGigaOM.
The case itself features a thin design with Bluetooth functionality, and includes a microprocessor along with two sensors on its rear. Users are able to measure their health metrics by placing two fingers over designated holes on the back of the case, with a reading taking a few seconds and appearing on a companion app.
Azoi states that the Wello can sync with accessories such as a Wi-Fi scale and other fitness trackers, and contains a battery that lasts up to two months on a single charge. The accessory also allows multiple users to register their health metrics through the app, as health trends and patterns will be displayed over time.
Apple is rumored to be including health tracking functionality similar to the Wello in its wearable iWatch device, which is reportedly in development for a release later this year. A report earlier this month stated that the iWatch could perhaps incorporate optical sensors to measure physical functions such as heart rate and oxygen levels, as Apple is rumored to be including a"Healthbook" app in iOS 8 that would assist users in tracking health statistics in conjunction with the iWatch and iPhone.
The Wello is available to pre-order for $199, as Azoi plans to launch the product later this year pending approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration. Those who pre-order early will also receive a free spirometer attachment to measure lung functions.
Wednesday March 5, 2014 10:10 am PST by Juli Clover
Google today updated its Gmail for iOS app to version 3.0, adding both simplified sign-ins and background app refresh. With the new update, Gmail will use iOS 7's background refresh capabilities to fetch mail even when the app is not open.
Before the update, users could receive notifications when new mail was received, but opening the app was required to download the messages.
The app also supports a simplified sign-in that allows users to sign into all Google apps when signing into a single app such as Maps, Drive, Chrome, or Gmail.
Background app refresh: Gmail now fetches your mail even when it is not open so it will be waiting for you when you open the app. Requires iOS 7 and at least one type of notification (badge, alert, or banner) to be turned on.
Simplified sign-in: Signing into Google Apps such as Gmail, Maps, Drive and Chrome just got easier. Sign in to one, and you'll be signed in to all automatically.
Note: In some cases, you may need to sign-in to Gmail again after this update.
The new streaming stick is a sequel of sorts to a stick that Roku introduced last year that only worked with select Roku-ready TV's. The new stick comes with a full-fledged remote control and largely replicates the functionality of the full-sized Roku 3 set-top box, though it lacks an Ethernet jack and support for gaming. Users get access to more than 1,000 Roku channels, including Plex, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Spotify, Major League Baseball, Showtime, WatchESPN and many more.
"The new Roku Streaming Stick gives consumers more choice for streaming entertainment to the TV than any other device," said Jim Funk, senior vice president of product management at Roku. "Consumers want a ton of entertainment, an easy way to search for movies and TV shows, and options to control the experience with a remote or mobile device. This new Roku Streaming Stick brings all that and more – and in a tiny form factor."
The Roku Streaming Stick connects to the Internet via 802.11n Wi-Fi and plugs into the USB port present on most modern flat-screen TVs for power. It is available for pre-order for $50 from Roku's website or on Amazon.com. It will begin shipping in April.
TwelveSouth today introduced the new SurfacePad for iPad mini, an compact leather case that's able to double as a viewing stand and a desktop typing wedge.
The case, which is billed as a simple leather wrap, uses an adhesive backing to hold the iPad mini in place, cutting down on bulk and allowing it to function without an enclosing framework.
With hidden magnets build into the inside of the cover, it can be propped into two separate positions for viewing and typing, and as with most iPad cases, the SurfacePad offers sleep/wake functionality.
Slide iPad up along the inside cover and hidden magnets magically reach out to grab the edge of iPad. This cool trick replaces the need for extra sewn-in stops or notches. If the angle's not quite right, slide iPad a little further and a second row of magnets will grab and hold iPad at a second viewing angle.
Another clever feature built into SurfacePad for iPad mini is a small kickstand that turns this sleek cover into a typing wedge and desktop display. Flip down the kickstand, and – as with the hands-free viewing stand – a hidden row of magnets grabs the edge of your iPad.
The new iPad mini SurfacePad follows similar products designed for the iPhone and the Mac and TwelveSouth has plans to release a SurfacePad for the iPad Air as well.
SurfacePad for iPad mini is available in Pop Red, Mod White, and Jet Black. It can be purchased from the TwelveSouth website for $69.99.
Since being introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012, Apple's Lightning cable has been criticized for its poor durability, as it is prone to breakage and fraying near the adapter.
It appears the Lightning cable may be vulnerable to corrosion as well, according to a report from ZDNet's Jason O'Grady, who noticed corrosion on the gold contacts of his Lightning cable after it had been failing to charge his iPhone.
About a month ago the Apple Lightning to USB cable (PN: MD818ZM/A, $19) that I keep in my vehicle for charging my iPhone 5s began to fail. At first charging was intermittent, then within a week the cable wouldn't charge my iPhone at all. A closer look at the male end of the Apple Lightning to USB cable reveals that several of the gold contacts have become corroded.
In addition to O'Grady, several other users on Apple's Support Communities have experienced corrosion issues as well, with reports dating back to 2012. Several users have been told by Apple that it is likely that the cables were exposed to moisture to cause the corrosion, but several reports suggest there was no contact with liquid before the corrosion appeared.
Apple Community user "Brockap3" supplied photos of his Lightning cable under a microscope and suggested that the corrosion was happening primarily on the VBUS/V++/Power pin on the Lightning cable. He offered two explanations for the issue:
1) two gold electrodes placed in an aqueous solution with a positive voltage on one wire and ground applied to the other will corrode the positive gold electrode away
2) electrical arcing causing the corrosion (originally I dismissed this as it is just USB - i.e. 5 V /2 A max)
After examining the male and female sides, it would seem both are likely culprits, but you would have to have some pretty serious condensation on the pins to get this to happen with steam.
Apple does appear to be exchanging Lightning cables that are unusable due to the corrosive deposits, so it is likely that users experiencing issues can have their cables replaced at an Apple retail location or through an Authorized Service Provider.
Open source web and Mac application Cryptocat is now available on iOS. Designed to allow secure online chatting, the app encrypts chat messages to allow users to have single and group conversations that are secure and unable to be intercepted or monitored.
Everyone's favourite privacy-loving cat is now on iPhone! Get an encrypted cat in your pocket, have private chats with friends any time.
Easily have group conversations with your friends without fearing monitoring or interception. Cryptocat is free, open chat that aims to provide an open, accessible Instant Messaging environment with a transparent layer of encryption that's easy to use.
Unlike other secure chat apps, including Confide, Cryptocat does not require usernames, email addresses, or accounts to use, with users entering a one-time nickname to chat. There are also no buddy lists or account history, making conversations ephemeral.
According to the developers, Cryptocat is a native iPhone application that uses iOS APIs rather than web cryptography, but it is designed to work seamlessly with other Cryptocat clients. Along with an iOS app, Cryptocat is also available for the Mac and as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Cryptocat was originally announced for iOS in December, but the app was initially rejected by Apple, a decision that has since been reversed. According to the app's developer, who spoke to The Verge, the issues with Apple have been resolved.
"There was some very important help given by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and we ended up scheduling a conversation with Apple, and after a while Apple was very gracious and understanding,” he said. "I couldn't be happier with Apple right now."
Monday March 3, 2014 6:35 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Starting today, Apple is expanding its iPhone trade-in program to French retail stores, making France the third country to offer Apple's in-store recycling initiative. Though not publicly announced, an Apple spokesperson in France confirmed the launch to iPhoneAddicts.
The program allows customers to trade-in an older iPhone at a retail store and immediately receive up to €215 ($296) in a gift card credit that can be used towards the purchase of a new iPhone. French retail store employees have been briefed on the program and have been told to inform customers of the recycling option when they buy a new phone. Trade-in details already listed on France's Apple Store website.
Apple's in-store iPhone recycling program debuted in the U.S. in August 2013 and was rolled out to the UK a few months later. Apple has a similar online trade-in program that requires customers to send in their old iPhone before receiving a credit. This mail-in program may offer greater value for a used iPhone, but the in-store program offers the convenience of a no-hassle credit that's immediately applied to the purchase of a new model.
As part of Apple's announcement earlier today regarding the launch of its new iOS vehicle integration at the Geneva International Motor Show, the company revealed that it has rebranded the feature from "iOS in the Car" to "CarPlay".
Curious about whether Apple had previously sought to protect the CarPlay name with a trademark application, MacRumors has investigated the situation and determined that Apple appears to have registered a shell company by the name of Carplay Enterprises LLC on November 14, 2013.
Delaware corporate registration for Carplay Enterprises
The company has no obvious link to Apple aside from the fact that it is headquartered at 1209 Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware, where other Apple-related companies have also been listed. The building is, however, essentially a mail stop that serves as the headquarters for hundreds of thousands of companies seeking to take advantage of Delaware's business-friendly laws.
Its occupants, on paper, include giants like American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Wal-Mart. These companies do business across the nation and around the world. Here at 1209 North Orange, they simply have a dropbox.
Less than a week after its formation, Carplay Enterprises began filing for trademarks on the "CarPlay" name, with applications in Australia, Norway, and a number of other countries coming on November 19 and the United States and several more countries following a day later. Apple's U.S. application seeks protection in three classes: Computers (including handheld devices, peripherals, and software), GPS navigation, and Computer programming.
The U.S. application lists as contact information a Gmail address and an attorney by the name of Robert Friedman who has no obvious connection to Apple, while the signatory on the application is listed as "not provided", suggesting that Apple was working quite hard to cover its tracks. Prior to the introduction of the iPad, Apple was discovered to have filed for a trademark on the name "iSlate" under a different shell company, with one giveaway being that the application was signed by an Apple employee.
U.S. trademark filing for "CarPlay"
Apple's apparent efforts to protect the CarPlay name extend back even further, however, as the November trademark applications all cite a May 20, 2013 application in Trinidad & Tobago as priority. Apple commonly uses Caribbean countries such as Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica to establish trademark priority, taking advantage of filing systems that receive little attention and are difficult to search.
Apple introduced "iOS in the Car" at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, but it remains unclear whether that name was simply a placeholder with Apple intending all along to launch the feature as "CarPlay" once relevant trademark applications had been made throughout the world. Alternatively, Apple may have been considering several possibilities for the name and filed the application in Trinidad & Tobago to preserve that option before moving forward with the CarPlay name late in the year.
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