Australia


'Australia' Articles

Apple Criticizes Proposed Anti-Encryption Legislation in Australia

The Australian government is considering a bill that would require tech companies like Apple to provide "critical assistance" to government agencies who are investigating crimes. According to the Australian government, encryption is problematic because encrypted communications "are increasingly being used by terrorist groups and organized criminals to avoid detection and disruption." As noted by TechCrunch, Apple today penned a seven-page letter to the Australian parliament criticizing the proposed legislation. In the letter, Apple calls the bill "dangerously ambiguous" and explains the importance of encryption in "protecting national security and citizens' lives" from criminal attackers who are finding more serious and sophisticated ways to infiltrate iOS devices.In the face of these threats, this is no time to weaken encryption. There is profound risk of making criminals' jobs easier, not harder. Increasingly stronger -- not weaker -- encryption is the best way to protect against these threats.Apple says that it "challenges the idea" that weaker encryption is necessary to aid law enforcement investigations as it has processed more than 26,000 requests for data to help solve crimes in Australia over the course of the last five years. According to Apple, the language in the bill is broad and vague, with "ill-defined restrictions." As an example, Apple says the language in the bill would permit the government to order companies who make smart home speakers to "install persistent eavesdropping capabilities" or require device makers to create a tool to unlock

Australian Teen Who Hacked into Apple's Servers Multiple Times Avoids Jail

A Melbourne schoolboy who hacked into Apple's corporate servers on multiple occasions over two years has avoided conviction, reports The Age. The 19-year-old student, who can't be named for legal reasons as his case is being heard in an Australian Children's Court, earlier pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's internal systems several times in 2015 and 2016. The boy's hacking is said to have begun at the age of 16, and involved downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessing customer accounts. His lawyer later told police that the teen "dreamed of" working for Apple. The magistrate dealing with the case reportedly handed down an eight-month probation order, and said that no conviction would be recorded. The court also heard how the private school boy has since been accepted into university to study criminology and cyber safety. That international investigation began when Apple detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions. The company notified the FBI, which passed on the information to the Australian Federal Police, resulting in a warrant being executed at the family home last year. Prosecutors said the raid turned up a "litany of hacking files" in a folder on the boy's computer named "hacky hack hack," as well as devices with IP addresses that matched the source of the intrusions. Following reports of the case, Apple released a statement to assure customers that at no point during the incident was personal data

Proposed Apple Store Location in Australia Gets Temporary Heritage Protection

Apple's plans for its first flagship store in Australia have been dealt another blow, with The Age reporting that the proposed location in Melbourne has won Heritage Protection status until late 2018. The Victorian branch of Australia's National Trust is said to have nominated Federation Square for protection earlier this month, shortly after Apple submitted revised blueprints for the planned store on July 19. Apple's revised Federation Square design The Heritage Protection status means no work on the square can take place until December 21, 2018 without explicit permission from the National Trust. With Apple not hoping to start construction until next year, the date on its own isn't a problem, but the move by Heritage Victoria suggests that permanent protection is the final goal. The construction of the new store would require the demolition of the well-known Yarra building, which has infuriated Melbourne residents and led to major protests suggesting the public space should not be given over to a corporation. In February, Melbourne's City Council backed a motion to lobby for a new store design, and Apple's revised plan was positively received by the Federation Square leadership, but it looks as if public community groups have yet to be convinced. "The interim protection order allows us to take stock and think about what makes Fed Square truly special," said Citizens for Melbourne president Tania Davidge, speaking to The Age. "Hopefully, after eight months of discussion behind closed doors, Victorians will now have the opportunity to have a say about the

Melbourne Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple Servers and Accessing Customer Accounts [Updated]

A Melbourne schoolboy has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's secure network after the company notified authorities of the intrusion (via The Age). The teen, who can't be named for legal reasons, appeared at an Australian Children's Court on Thursday facing allegations of hacking into Apple's servers on multiple occasions. Details of the case are still sketchy, but the boy's hacking is said to have begun at the age of 16, and included downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessing "authorized keys" that grant login access to users. The boy is said to have attempted to hide his identity using a number of methods including "computerized tunnels", a system which had "worked flawlessly" until the teen was caught. That chain of events began when Apple apparently detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions. It subsequently notified the FBI, which passed on the information to the Australian Federal Police, resulting in a warrant being executed at the family home last year. Prosecutors said the raid turned up a "litany of hacking files" on a computer laptop and hard drive, as well as a mobile phone with an IP address that matched the source of the intrusions. The boy's lawyer said the teen was a fan of the company and had "dreamed of" working for Apple. His lawyer also asked the magistrate's court not to disclose some of the details of the case because the boy is well-known in the hacking community and it could put him at risk. The magistrate's court acknowledged the guilty plea, and the case has been adjourned until

Apple Fined $9 Million for Misleading Some Australian Customers Over 'Error 53' Device Repairs

The Australian government today fined Apple $9 million for misleading some customers into believing they could not have their iOS devices fixed by Apple if they had been previously repaired by a third-party repair shop, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Today's ruling comes after the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) launched an investigation into Apple after the ACCC received complaints over "error 53," issues. Error 53, widely publicized in 2016, caused some iPhone 6 users who had the Home buttons on their iPhones fixed by a non-Apple technician using non-original parts to see their iPhones bricked following a software update. When the error code first surfaced, Apple said that error 53 was a protective security feature meant to prevent "malicious" third-party components from potentially compromising a user's iPhone, but after public outcry, Apple released a software update restoring functionality to bricked iPhones. Following the software update to unbrick iPhones, Apple claimed that the error 53 issue was meant to be a factory test and never should have impacted consumer devices. Amid error 53 investigations led by the ACCC, Apple admitted that between February 2015 and February 2016, at least 275 Australian customers had been told in store or over the phone that they could not have their iPad or iPhone fixed if it had been repaired by a third party, such as in the error 53 situation. Apple's refusal to provide repairs to Australian customers who had previous repairs done by third-party shops violates Australian Consumer Law,

Australia Prepares Laws Forcing Tech Companies to Help Police Access Encrypted Data of Criminals

Australia is gearing up to release new laws that will force Australian telecommunications companies and global tech companies to comply with law enforcement agencies, when such agencies ask for access to encrypted data on the smartphones of suspected criminals (via ABC News Australia). The laws are the latest in an ongoing global data battle that hit a fever pitch in the United States in early 2016 when the FBI asked Apple for a backdoor into the smartphone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Specifics in regards to the Australian laws have not yet been shared, but they are said to affect companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google, which would face "significant fines" if they choose not to comply with encrypted data requests. Australian telecommunications companies affected under the law include Telstra and Optus. Cyber security minister of Australia Angus Taylor was asked if the laws would allow surveillance codes to be implanted into smartphones and "avoided directly answering," stating a lack of preparation to get into technical details. Notably, one detail Taylor did confirm is that the government would not ask companies to install a backdoor into their apps and equipment, nor would they be asked to "provide law enforcement agencies with an encryption key." Because of this, it's unclear exactly how the Australian government's demands would need to be met by companies. "There's been ideas around for decades that you should create some kind of key that law enforcement can get access to, to access any data at any time — that's not what we're proposing

Citibank Now Offers Apple Pay in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong

Citi today announced that its credit cards issued in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong can now be used with Apple Pay, followed by Taiwan later this year. Citi cardholders can activate Apple Pay by opening the Wallet app, tapping the plus sign in the top-right corner, tapping the continue button, and positioning the credit card into the on-screen frame or entering the card details manually. Apple Pay is accepted at thousands of locations with contactless payment systems in each country. A compatible iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is required. In related news, Apple today announced that Apple Pay will soon be offered by BBVA, the second largest bank in Spain. Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, also remains listed as coming soon on the localized Apple Pay page for Spain.

Apple's Planned Flagship Store in Melbourne, Australia Faces Backlash From City Council Over its Design

In December, Apple announced its plans to open a new flagship retail location at the Federation Square shopping center in Melbourne, Australia in 2020. Since that announcement, many locals have come out against the store and the demolition of the existing Yarra building, arguing that the public space in Federation Square should stay that way and not be "given up" to a corporation. This week, Apple's planned store has faced new backlash in regards to its design, coming from the Melbourne City Council (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). During a city council meeting on Tuesday it was reported that Apple's design proposal for the location was "overwhelmingly" rejected by the community through about 800 public submissions disliking the look of the store. Image via Federation Square's website. Melbourne councillors then "unanimously backed" a motion to lobby the government for a new store design and public consultation on the project, and now await to see if the government will accept or reject its proposal. Councillor Nicholas Reece was said to have described the proposed store as a "Pizza Hut pagoda." If the Government rejects the council's proposal, then the administration will encourage Upper House MPs to disallow the planning scheme amendment enabling the project. Councillor Leppert said the council lacked the power to block the development from going ahead. "This is one of the strongest positions we have taken," he said. "It reminds me of a Pizza Hut pagoda and I just think it's like something that's rolled off an Apple Store production line," Cr

AppleCare+ for Mac Now Available in Australia and New Zealand

AppleCare+ for Mac, previously limited to the United States and Japan, is available to purchase in Australia and New Zealand starting today. AppleCare+ extends a Mac's in-warranty hardware coverage to up to three years from its original purchase date, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of AU$149 or NZ$169 for screen or external enclosure damage, or AU$429 or NZ$499 for any other damage. AppleCare+ for Mac also includes 24/7 priority access to software support by chat or phone. It replaces the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac, which was essentially the same as AppleCare+, but didn't include accidental damage coverage like Apple has long offered for devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The plan itself also has an upfront cost, which varies based on the type of Mac: Australia Mac mini: $119 iMac and iMac Pro: $199 12-inch MacBook: $299 MacBook Air: $299 Mac Pro: $299 13-inch MacBook Pro: $329 15-inch MacBook Pro: $449New Zealand Mac mini: $149 iMac and iMac Pro: $249 12-inch MacBook: $349 MacBook Air: $349 Mac Pro: $349 13-inch MacBook Pro: $379 15-inch MacBook Pro: $539AppleCare+ for Mac benefits are in addition to any legal rights provided by consumer law in Australia and New Zealand. Apple offers warranty coverage on most Mac parts for up to 24 months after its limited one-year warranty period, under consumer law in each country, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors last month. AppleCare+ can

Apple Launches 'Back to University' Promo in Australia/New Zealand: Free Beats With Mac or iPad Pro

Apple today launched its annual Back to University promotion in Australia and New Zealand, offering the choice of a free pair of Beats Solo3, BeatsX, or Powerbeats3 headphones to qualifying students, teachers, lecturers, and educational staff members who purchase an eligible Mac for a limited time. Eligible models include any MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro, including custom configurations. As usual, the Mac mini and refurbished Macs are excluded from the promotion. The promotion also offers free BeatsX wireless headphones with the purchase of any 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, or students can pay AU$59/NZ$70 extra for Powerbeats3 Wireless or AU$200/NZ$230 extra for Solo3 Wireless headphones. Apple's lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini 4 models do not qualify. The promotion is available at Apple's retail stores in Australia, and through Apple's online store in both countries, and is in addition to Apple's regular educational discount. Alternatively, customers can call 133-622 in Australia or 0800-692-7753 in New Zealand to take advantage of the deal by phone. Apple's Back to University promotion starts today and ends March 15, 2018 in Australia and New Zealand. Apple's terms and conditions [AU/NZ] outline the complete eligibility requirements for the promotion in those countries. In Australia, qualified purchasers are defined as lecturers, teachers, staff members, and full-time or part-time students aged 18 or over, with a current student union card or student identification card, at an accredited Australian university

Apple to Open New Flagship Store in Melbourne, Australia

Apple is planning to open a new flagship retail location in Melbourne, Australia, at Federation Square, a shopping center, public square, and mixed-use space located in the heart of the city. The Federation Square website says the new location will be an "Apple Global Flagship Store" that will open up in 2020. It will be Apple's most significant store in the Southern Hemisphere, with workshops, classes, and live music events. Apple's Melbourne store will create 500 square meters of new public space, connecting Federation Square with the Yarra River and Birrarung Marr. Apple will construct a new building to replace an existing Yarra building, and based on renderings shared by Federation Square, the store will have multiple levels with glass walls and a viewing deck that overlooks the Yarra River. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts told The Australian that the store will feature a "bespoke design concept" and "extensive landscaping.""Apple Federation Square respects the original vision for the plaza, with a bespoke design concept and extensive landscaping bringing increased opportunities for the community to enjoy this renowned cultural hub." "We're thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne's Federation Square and would be honoured to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbours," Ms Ahrendts said.Construction on the new store, which will "enhance Federation Square's world renowned architecture," will start in

Macs Effectively Now Have a Three-Year Warranty in Australia and New Zealand Under Consumer Law

If you bought and own a Mac in Australia or New Zealand, your computer effectively now has warranty coverage for up to three years from its original date of purchase, even without purchasing optional AppleCare+ coverage. Apple will now offer warranty coverage on most Mac parts for up to 24 months after its limited one-year warranty period, under consumer law in each country, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors. Apple is complying with existing Australia and New Zealand laws giving consumers the right to ask for a repair or replacement free of charge if a product experiences failure within a "reasonable" amount of time after purchase. Mac owners can inquire about service under Australian and New Zealand consumer law at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, but we can't guarantee that every employee will be knowledgable about this policy. The change in policy is effective from today—that's December 13, 2017. Eligible parts include the display, battery, SSD or hard drive, RAM, logic boards, GPU, internal cables, power supply, and other electronic components, so virtually every aspect of a Mac is covered, according to the document. Apple provides a summary of consumer law, its limited one-year warranty, and its optional AppleCare+ coverage on its website in Australia and New Zealand

Bendigo Bank Announces Apple Pay Support in Australia

Starting today, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in Australia is offering support for Apple Pay. The announcement means account holders in Australia can now use Apple Pay with their Bendigo Blue Bank cards. People who use Apple Pay with their Bendigo Bank MasterCard will continue to get the rewards and benefits that their Mastercard credit and debit cards provide. Eligible cards also include:Act. Mastercard® debit Basic Black Mastercard credit Blue Mastercard debit Business Mastercard credit Business Mastercard debit CSB b-entertained Mastercard CSB b-packaged Mastercard Low Rate Mastercard Low Rate Platinum Mastercard Platinum Mastercard Pokitpal Mastercard debit Qantas Platinum Mastercard Ready Red Mastercard credit RSPCA MastercardBendigo and Adelaide Bank was one of several banks that lost a fight in March to gain access to the NFC chip used in iPhones so they could offer their own integrated digital wallets to customers. They also unsuccessfully lobbied the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to be allowed to collectively bargain with Apple and boycott Apple Pay. (Thanks, Adam!)

First Australian Apple Store Gets Modern Redesign as Thieves Rob Apple Regent Street in UK

Apple recently announced that its retail location within the Chadstone Shopping Center in Melbourne, Australia will be getting a grand reopening on November 24 at 9:00 a.m. local time. The newly relocated Apple Chadstone location will be triple the size of the previous store, and mark the first Australian store to gain Apple's modern retail layout. Apple Chadstone first opened nearly ten years ago in 2008 with 69 employees, and will now grow to more than 240 with the grand reopening (via Herald Sun). Image via Herald Sun Apple Chadstone will now feature a Genius Grove, a "boulevard" of window product displays, a boardroom for business meetings with local entrepreneurs and developers, a meeting place for "Today at Apple," and more. According to Apple senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, Apple Chadstone will lead the way for the rest of Australia's Apple retail locations. “We’re thrilled to open Apple Chadstone in a stunning new location and introduce Australians to our latest store design,” she said. “We look forward to continuing to build on our 22 stores in Australia.” In other retail news, Apple Regent Street was robbed today by ten individuals who stole "thousands of pounds worth of laptops and iPads" (via Evening Standard). To get into the store, the robbers drove mopeds through the glass storefront in the early morning hours of Monday, and then in less than three minutes managed to take various products from display stands before escaping on more mopeds waiting outside. In total, police said the thieves stole iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and

ANZ Eftpos Access Cards Now Support Apple Pay in Australia

Eftpos, a debit payments network in Australia, today announced that ANZ eftpos Access cards now feature support for Apple Pay. ANZ is the first bank in Australia to make in-store eftpos mobile payments available to 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders through Apple Pay. Visa, American Express, and MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in Australia by participating banks already supported Apple Pay, but the addition of eftpos is notable as it's widely used in the country."Today marks a significant milestone for eftpos as we move from our traditional card based payment method into mobile, enabling consumers with an iPhone or Apple Watch to choose the eftpos account they wish their mobile payment to be made from, being either their eftpos CHQ/SAV account. Customers can set their account preference out of CHQ/SAV and then save themselves entering their account each time they pay. After providing trusted, secure card-based payments for 30 years, eftpos can now also be used to make mobile payments," Mr Jennings said. "About 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders now have the opportunity to make payments on an iPhone or Apple Watch, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to make in store mobile payments before. As Australia's most used debit card network, we are thrilled to be providing ANZ eftpos Access customers with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and comfort."As Business Insider points out, support for eftpos reduces fees for both customers and retailers compared to other payment methods. Support for eftpos is now

Apple's 'TV' App Showing Up for Canadian and Australian Users Ahead of iOS 11 and tvOS 11 Launch

Ahead of tomorrow's launch of iOS 11 and tvOS 11, the "TV" app has begun showing up for some Canadian and Australian users on iOS devices and the fourth-generation Apple TV. While the TV app appears to be rolling to users in Canada and Australia starting tonight, it is not yet available for all users, nor is it functional. MacRumors reader John, who is from Australia, said the TV app has shown up on his fourth-generation Apple TV but isn't loading content as of yet. Apple last Tuesday announced that the TV app would expand to Australia and Canada "later this month," but did not specify exactly when it would be released. Presumably, the app will become functional tomorrow after iOS 11 and tvOS 11 become available to the public. The TV app, which has been available in the United States since December of 2016, is designed to provide a centralized way to access all of the different television channels and content available through dedicated apps from major networks like HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, and more. The TV app allows users to play TV shows and movies with a single click, and it syncs content across devices so it's always possible to pick up a TV show or movie being watched on one device on another device. Apple has also introduced content recommendations to help users discover new TV shows and movies to watch. More than 60 services are supported by the TV app, but with the expansion to new countries, Apple plans to add support for additional local content Later this year, Apple plans to expand the TV app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the

McDonald's Generates Buzz With Ad Showing iPhone 8 Mockup

McDonald's is generating lots of buzz today after it used an iPhone 8 mockup in an ad promoting its mymacca's mobile ordering app in Australia. McDonald's promotional email courtesy of MacRumors reader Amir T. The ad, emailed to many customers on Thursday, clearly shows a rendered iPhone with a nearly full front display, beyond a notch for the front-facing camera, earpiece, and sensors for expected facial recognition functionality. Needless to say, this isn't an official iPhone 8 image. Benjamin Geskin‏ tweeted that the render is his. McDonald's poorly cropped the image, and used circles for the signal strength indicator, which Apple switched to bars in iOS 11. However, whether it was intentional, by mistake, or simply a McDonald's graphic designer being clever, the ad has proven to be an effective publicity stunt, as several users have shared it on social platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and the MacRumors forums. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the iPhone 8 will be available in September in extremely limited

Apple Maps Transit Directions Expand to Brisbane, Perth, and Surrounding Areas in Australia

Apple Maps has been updated with transit data in Queensland and Western Australia, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions in large cities such as Brisbane and Perth, and surrounding areas. In Brisbane, supported vehicles include TransLink buses and Queensland Rail trains, with routes extending to, from, and within the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast suburbs. Apple Maps also supports G:link trams in the Gold Coast. Travel north to smaller cities like Rockhampton and Townsville and Apple Maps provides routes for Sunbus buses. Of note, long-distance train routes along the Queensland coast don't appear to be available at this time. Many other regions of Queensland are now supported, so check the Public Transport tab in Apple Maps if you live somewhere else in the state. In Western Australia, the biggest addition is Perth. Transperth buses and trains routes extend to suburbs like Mandurah and Rockingham. Long-distance Transwa train routes are also supported between several Western Australia destinations. Apple Maps transit directions were already available in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney prior to today's expansion. Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times. At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since

Changes to iCloud Put Apple on Collision Course With Governments Seeking Access to Encrypted Messages

Apple has sent its top privacy executives to Australia twice in the past month to lobby government officials over proposed new laws that would require companies to provide access to encrypted messages. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple privacy advocates met with attorney general George Brandis and senior staff in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office on Tuesday to discuss their concerns about the legal changes, which could compel tech companies to provide decryption keys to allow access to secure communications such as that provided by WhatsApp and iMessage. Apple has consistently argued against laws that would require tech companies to build so-called "back doors" into their software, claiming that such a move would weaken security for everyone and simply make terrorists and criminals turn to open-source encryption methods for their digital communications. While Apple's position is clear, the Turnbull government has yet to clarify exactly what it expects tech companies to give up as part of the proposals. A source familiar with the discussions said that the government explicitly said it did not want a back door into people's phones, nor to weaken encryption. However, given that encrypted services like WhatsApp and iMessage do not possess private keys that would enable them to decrypt messages, a back door would seem the only alternative. "If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can't provide it," CEO Tim Cook said in 2014. "It's encrypted and we don't have a key." As it happens, Cook's comment only applies to iMessages that

Australia Proposes Law That Would Compel Tech Companies to Decrypt Messages

Australia on Friday proposed new laws that would require companies like Apple to provide law enforcement authorities with access to encrypted communications (via Reuters). Australia's proposed legislation will compel companies to help security agencies intercept and read messages sent by suspects. It appears to take cues from the U.K.'s Investigatory Powers Bill, which includes provisions that require technology companies to bypass encryption where technically feasible. "We need to ensure the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law," Australian Prim Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney. "The reality is, however, that these encrypted messaging applications and voice applications are being used obviously by all of us, but they're also being used by people who seek to do us harm."The proposal will be introduced when parliament resumes in August and could be adopted within months, according to lawmakers. Other nations have said they will introduce similar laws. Apple, along with Facebook, Google, and other major tech companies, have historically opposed such law changes, which they say threaten online security protocols. For example, Apple claimed the U.K.'s recent bill would "weaken security" for millions of law-abiding customers. "The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers," Apple stated in December 2015. "A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys