Microsoft Translator Can Now Translate Text From Images

Isn’t it just annoying when you go away on Holiday or spot something and sit there for five minutes wondering what the text even says? Microsoft is looking to make it a little easier on us with a Translator that won’t just do text but can also translate text from images.

While it was available on the Windows Phone since 2010 and managed to provide quick and accurate translations from just looking at a menu. Now the feature is coming to Android (with iOS getting the feature back in February), giving you the ability to quickly load and understand any of the 21 languages the app supports.

The Android app is getting a few other boosters alongside the new feature, with inline translations giving you the ability to hover over text and translate to any of the 50+ online libraries while an additional 30 libraries bring the offline language count to 43 in total.

While Google’s translate app has had the feature since 2012, the fact that even more apps are getting translators built it, for both text and Skype getting to translate calls via its universal translator, it could be only a matter of time before languages online mean nothing but a setting on your PC.

Apple Denies Handing Over Source Code to China

During an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing earlier this week, entitled “Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives,” which discussed the feud between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone tied to the San Bernardino shootings, Indiana State Police Captain Charles Cohen, Commander of the Office of Intelligence and Investigative Technologies, accused the Cupertino company of releasing its iOS source code and user data to China, while refusing to do the same thing for the US.

“I saw several news stories that said Apple provided the source code for the iOS [operating system for iPhone and iPads] to China,” Cohen said.

Following Cohen’s claims, for which he provided no evidence, Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel, confirmed that the company had “been asked by the Chinese government” for the source code, but that “we refused.”

Apple was also accused of possessing a key to access encrypted user messages and data – which would mean the company’s claims of end-to-end encryption were fraudulent – which it disposed of at the end of 2014.

“We have not provided source code to the Chinese government,” Sewell countered. “We did not have a key 19 months ago that we threw away. Those allegations are without merit.”

Image courtesy of Shelley Palmer.

Apple WWDC 2016 Dates Revealed

Every year in June, Apple hosts their WWDC event and this year is the same. During the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple usually announces new OS X, iOS and other OS revisions. After running from June 8 to 12, this year’s event will go from June 13 to 17. Interestingly, the first about the dates came out from Siri when she was asked about the event.

Since Siri spilled the beans earlier today, Apple has since updated their event page, officially confirming WWDC will run from the 13th to 17th. Registration begins now till April 22nd with a $1,599 price tag for the San Francisco event.

This year, Apple is planning make major announcements for OS X, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Some reports are suggesting that OS X might get a brand update to MacOS to bring it in line with the rest of Apple’s lineup. In addition to renaming the OS, there may be updates to Mac hardware as well due to newer Intel CPUs.

With a June event timetable, we may hopefully see some new GPUs in Macs as well. Computex will be happening 2 weeks prior so we may well get Polaris or Pascal GPUs in the refreshed Macs. We’ll bring you more information on WWDC as it comes out.

Suspect iPhone 7 Leak Could Actually be True

Whenever Apple develops a new product, there’s usually various leaks and theories about the company’s future direction. This is especially when case when the latest iPhone is upon us and creates a media frenzy. Often, the leaked designs are innovative renders which are simply not possible to produce on a mass scale. Recently, a leaked image claimed to show the rear unibody of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 handset. The image was rightfully met with scepticism because the three dots near the bottom look like a Smart Connector. According to the reliable Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara, which was reported by MacRumors,  “the possibility is great” that both the image of the iPhone 7 Plus housing and the design sourced from Catcher are “the real thing.”

The images also suggest that there won’t be a huge difference in the device’s form factor compared to current offerings with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Previous rumours have hinted at Apple’s plans to remove the headphone jack and introduce dual stereo speakers. The source goes into detail about the possibility of two new sensors positioned at the top of the device. It’s uncertain what these will do but it could revolve around adjusting ambient lighting based on an environment’s temperature. Another consistently reported rumour is the introduction of dual cameras on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Clearly, it’s difficult to deduce if the leaked image is authentic, but MacOtakara has a reputable history when disclosing details about upcoming Apple products. As the release date dawns nearer, more rumours from multiple sources should appear. If the widespread report regarding the lack of a headphone jack is true, I’m really interested to see the reaction among consumers. Apple probably perceives this is a bold, revolutionary step to streamline the iPhone’s design. However, this surely is coming at the expense of basic functionality.

D-Link DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera Review

Introduction


Home security is an ever growing trend as technology gets smaller and better, and at the same time, it has also become a lot for affordable for the everyman. Today I’m taking a look at one of the best options in this category as I’m having D-Link’s DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi camera in my testing area.

Where most home surveillance cams still come with a 720p resolution, the D-Link DCS-2630L adds on top of that and goes for the full 1080p HD experience. While 720p already was a great step up from the old 480p CCTV resolution, it just doesn’t beat the full 1080p experience. The Wi-Fi camera doesn’t just feature a higher than usual resolution, it also has a wider field of view, allowing you to monitor an up to 180-degree wide area. Basic cameras only feature 90 or 120-degree view, which allows the DCS-2630L to monitor a lot more real estate that might prevent you from having to set up multiple cameras. The wide-view feature is also a lot better to look at than a traditional wide view fisheye view that distorts things.

Recording video during daylight is an easy thing, but you’ll also want to monitor what is going on when it is dark. After all, that is the time of day we usually associate with the need for protection. D-Link added night vision capabilities to the DCS-2630L with the help of infrared LEDs. The camera is able to see in the dark at a distance of up to 5 meters (16 ft) with as little as 0 Lux light. The IR LEDs can be turned on manually, but the camera also features a light sensor that determines when the LEDs are needed.

Next to the six infrared LEDs it also features two PIR sensors that detect infrared radiation when a person or animal passes for an enhanced motion detection. And that is another one of this cameras features next to just being able to show and record what is going on. With motion and sound detection, the camera is able to start recording automatically and also push notifications to your Windows, Android, and iOS device to let you know that something is going on.

D-Link didn’t just built-in a high-quality microphone to picks up on loud noises like the breaking of glass and the ability to send notification alerts about this to you, it also features 2-way audio that lets you send audio back. A high-quality speaker lets you respond to what you see using your mobile device.

The Full HD sensor features a 1/3-inch 3-megapixel sensor to deliver images in sharp and rich detail while the camera lens is made of glass for the best possible results. All this coupled with the de-warping technology provides you with a clear and ultra-wide 180º field of view surveillance. The camera comes on a wall mountable metal stand with flexible tilt for the perfect angle. It also allows for 360-degree camera rotation to ensure that your video is perfectly level no matter where you mount it.

It isn’t just an ordinary camera on the Wi-Fi field either and it sports a proper IEEE 802.11ac dual-band connection for reliable connection and streaming. It also features a convenient WPS button for quick and simple connection with the rest of your network infrastructure. Everyone can press a button. Besides the wireless connection, the DCS-2630L also features a micro SD/SDXC card slot with support for up to 128GB memory cards. This is enough for up to a week of continuous clip recordings in 1080p.

A status LED lets you know what your camera’s doing, which is a simple but very useful thing. The whole camera in itself is very power effective and only requires a USB connection, portable battery, or power adapter to run. That also allows for a very flexible placement.

Feature Highlights

  • 180-degree Ultra-Wide-View
  • Full HD 1080p video
  • Night vision up to 16-feet
  • Sound & motion detection triggers e-mail / push alert notifications
  • 2 PIR Sensors – Enhanced motion detection senses when a person or animal passes for accurate
  • notifications
  • microSDXC card slot – Record continuous, scheduled, or detection triggered video clips directly to a
  • microSDCX card up to 128 GB
  • Unique De-warping technology maximizes the video quality with less distortion to eliminate a fish-eye view
  • Built-in two-way audio
  • mydlink app support for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows phone

Specifications

Packaging and Content

The D-Link DCS-2630L is a consumer camera and the package is made to be as eye-capturing as the camera catches images. The front displays the camera and usage scenario as well as the product highlights such as 1080p and wide eye lens.

On the rear, you will find more detailed information about the functions and features, all in full colour.

Each of the two sides is full of information too. On one side you find the features listed above the minimum requirements for usage.

On the other side, you’ll find a simple representation of the camera’s easy setup and usage as well as what’s inside the box.

Besides the Wi-Fi camera itself, you also find the Quick Install Card with default information and QR-code for easy setup as well as the quick install guide, a GPL code statement, and an assistance card if you should have trouble.

There’s also an AC/DC adapter included with a plug fitting the region where you bought it. Due to the clever usage of micro-USB, the camera is also easily powered otherwise.

Orbweb.me Now Also Supported on All Thecus Linux NAS’

It has been a little over half a year since Thecus introduced the support for Orbweb.me on their WSS-based NAS’. That was so successful that the support now has been extended to all of Thecus’ Linux-based NAS’ too. Whether you run the older Thecus OS 5.0 or the recently released Thecus OS 7.0, you can now have easy access to your NAS and everything that’s connected to it from anywhere.

Some might say, I already have access to it all from everywhere, that’s the point of a NAS. But the ease of which you have access to it, how easy it is to use, and the security behind it isn’t always the same. The Orbweb.me application brings a new remote access experience to Thecus Linux NAS from any web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox as well as mobile devices powered by iOS and Android.

Orbweb.me is a P2P (Peer To Peer) module that allows users to easily view, stream and manage files in their NAS anytime and anywhere. Best of all, you don’t need to know your IP address and it works well over shared connections too.

Orbweb4.0 offers several features including webcam monitoring with timeline view and snapshot. All these features further increase Thecus NAS functionality. The Orbweb.me application is also available to download for any windows PC in its basic version, but because of the partnership between Thecus and Orbweb, Thecus NAS include a subscription for the Orbweb.me Ultimate Version that otherwise require an annual $69.99 subscription fee.

Thecus NAS uses an arsenal of security protocols and features to maintain user´s data safety. To prevent data from coming under attack when data is being transferred, Orbweb.me uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all data traffic.

iOS Lock Screen Bypass Vulnerability Fixed By Apple

Apple has reportedly fixed a security flaw in the iOS operating system that would allow attackers to be able to bypass passcode lock screens on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus that are running version 9.3.1 of iOS. The bypass would have allowed malicious parties to be able to access the address book and photos of a targeted device, which could expose a lot of private data.

German security firm, Evolution Security, were responsible for discovering the bypass, which takes advantage of the integration of Siri with apps such as Twitter or Facebook, as well as the new 3D Touch feature that is included only in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Even while the device is locked, an attacker would be able to request information on @ tags from Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo. From there, the 3D touch’s hard push feature can be used to bring up the context menu for a string such as an email address. This menu provides the ability to add the data to a contact in the phone’s address book and from there, by accessing the choice to change user pictures, the photo gallery can be launched.

According to the Washington Post, the vulnerability was patched by Apple on Tuesday without users needing to install a software update. Considering the high level of security on the iPhone that led to Apple’s protracted battle with the FBI, it is surprising that so much user data can be exposed by a flaw in the lock screen, which is often the first and last line of defense for the security of the data on the device.

Visual Studio Will Now Include Xamarin

Microsoft recently brought out Xamarin, software based on letting people create programs using C# and .NET operating systems which can then be ported to both iOS and Android. This meant that using the Microsoft based languages you could develop software for a variety of phones. It’s now been revealed that if you are interested in using the software, all you will need is Visual Studio.

With this announcement you can enjoy Xamarin for free as part of Visual studio, and not just any Visual studio but every single version of the development software. With Visual studio offering a free community edition you could soon find the development tools available as part of the free suite of tools, with no restrictions either.

With the original releases of Xamarin featuring a restriction on the free version of the software, limiting just how large the software you created could be before requiring a paid license. Enterprise-orientated features of Xamarin will be restricted to Visual Studio Enterprise subscription users.

If you were looking at using it for OS X or iOS development you’ll need to have access to an OS X machine. In another step for Microsoft, the Xamarin SDK will be made open source and released on Github for all to see and use, including the Xamarin Forms library for creating quick and easy user interfaces.

iOS Mobile Device Management Protocol Can be Abused to Load Malware

 

Apple has worked hard to make it difficult to allow users to unwittingly install unauthorized and malicious apps onto their devices. Despite this, there is still one way in that attackers are still able to exploit: the mobile device management protocol. Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies will be demonstrating the hack as part of a presentation at the Black Hat Asia security conference on Friday.

The technique to inject malware onto iOS devices involves taking advantage of the communication between MDM products and iOS devices being vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks and can be performed with minimal user interaction. MDM products are used by companies to configure, control and secure the devices of employees remotely, as well as providing access to private app stores for easy internal app deployment. Of course, this attack relies on the target device being registered to an MDM server in order for there to be a connection to hijack.

Initially, a user would have to be tricked into installing a malicious configuration profile on their device, which could be easy to slip in with a number of the profiles that corporate users are used to installing such as VPN, Wi-Fi, email and other important settings. The malicious profile would then install a root certificate to route the device’s internet connection through a proxy. This can be used to route all traffic through a server under the attacker’s control and engage the man-in-the-middle attack. From there, the attacker is free to push malicious apps to the device using a stolen enterprise certificate or a malware app could be disguised as an app the user expects. A user must still accept the choice to install the app, but even if it is refused, the attacker is free to push the request repeatedly, essentially locking the device up until the install is accepted.

Check Point have named this vulnerability Sidestepper, due to the fact that it effectively side-steps the new restrictions for enterprise app deployments in iOS9. Misuse of enterprise certificates is nothing new either, with Check Point finding that in one Fortune 100 company, over 300 sideloaded apps signed with over 150 enterprise certificates existed. So while MDM technologies may be great for businesses, users must be just as much on their guard against attacks targeting those deployments as any other app or profile they may install.

Sony Looking To Make Mobile PlayStation Games

The days of needing to go visit and arcade to play video games have long since past, you don’t even need to be at home in front of your TV thanks to mobile gaming consoles like the 3Ds and PS Vita. The most common platform to play games on those is the very same thing you have in your pocket, your smartphone. With this in mind, it looks like Sony is looking to make mobile games in order to benefit from the new market.

Smartphones these days can be used for everything from Clash of Clans to being used in virtual reality systems like Google cardboard. In order to fill a gap in their market, Sony has created the ForwardWorks Corporation, which will begin working on April 1st, 2016.

In their release statement Sony state that:

“ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones to users in Japan and Asia”

So you could soon be seeing Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Killzone Helghast storming  your phone screen as you sit waiting for a bus or a friend at the cinema. Are you excited by this news? Do you play games on your phone and if so which franchise from Sony would you be excited to join the mobile games catalogue?

Apple Releases New 9.7 inch iPad Pro

While we were expecting a new iPad to be revealed at Apple’s event, the new iPad Pro was not what we expected. Coming in at 9.7 inches, the new tablet will supplement the current 12.9-inch model. As an iPad Pro, the new release combines some of the features of the new iPad series with the slimness and form factor of traditional iPads.

At 0.24 inches, it is as thin as the iPad Air 2 and has pretty much the same dimensions, sporting a similar 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 resolution screen. The screen is an improved True Tone model though and boasts a 25% increase in maximum brightness as well. Compared to the old iPad Pro, the new release has the same Apple Pencil support and 4 speaker array. The processor remains the same with the A9X.

In terms of upgrades, the most notable are the cameras which get bumped to 12MP for the rear with 4K video recording while the front FaceTime camera goes up to 5MP with a Retina-display flash. Storage options are also expanded with a 256GB option, a move the 12.9-inch model also mirrors. Of course, a 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard and a host of Lightning accessories are available. Pricing comes from $599 for the 32GB model up to $899 for the 256GB one. Prices for the rest of the entire iPad lineup will be falling as well.

ASUS RP-AC56 Dual-Band Wireless AC1200 Range Extender Review

Introduction


When you invest in a wireless network repeater in order to increase your range and cover dead spots in your home, you can either go for a run-of-the-mill unit that provides you with the basic functionality or you can go all out and get a device like ASUS’ RP-AC56 wireless dual-band AC1200 range extender and access point. The ASUS RP-AC56 is anything but ordinary and today I’ll take a closer look at everything this little device has to offer.

The ASUS RP-AC56 can extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps and thanks to its two external antennas it will have a great ability to enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere. But it does a lot more than that, it also comes with a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port for even more connectivity as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for music streaming.

The dual-band repeater supports both the legacy 2.4GHz band and the newer 5GHz band for AC1200 speeds. The two external antennas support MIMO for the best connection even when multiple devices use it at the same time. With speeds up to 867 Mbps on the 5GHz band you can get close to what a wire connection has to offer, at least with the proper signal strength and isn’t that just the reason that we want a device such as the RP-AC56.

ASUS made sure that the setup is as easy as it can be, all it takes is a push of a button thanks the easy WPS setup. Hit the button on your router and then on the repeater, wait for a little bit, and the connection will be established. And that really is all you need to do, but you can do more. The LEDs on the front don’t just show which network band is being used, they also show the signal strength in three steps (Red, Yellow, Green) which in return allows you to find the perfect position for maximum coverage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf-0m-BMyo0

As previously mentioned, the RP-AS56 comes with a convenient Gigabit Ethernet LAN port built-in and the function of it depends on the usage of the RP-AC56. The flexibly designed device can work as a normal repeater, but it can also work as a wireless access point or as a media bridge. In access point mode it can be connected to any wired network and create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. In media bridge mode it can be connected to any Ethernet-compatible device to give it Wi-Fi capability where it didn’t before.

The LAN port can also be used for easy access to the web-based configuration menu without the need for any driver disc or application, but it isn’t something that is needed. You can naturally also set it up wirelessly from devices such as your tablet or smartphone.

You can also connect speakers directly to the RP-AC56 wireless repeater and stream your favorite music direct from any mobile device that has the ASUS AiPlayer app installed. It is compatible with a wide range of multimedia formats and delivers a smooth and effortless streaming experience. The AiPlayer app is available from the App Store and Google Play and it also works for streaming without extra software when used from a Mac and iOS device.

Additionally, the RP-AC56 also supports ASUS’ ExpressWay feature that uses the dual-band capabilities to create an efficient connection with improved reliability. In normal mode, the repeater uses the two bands simultaneously for connecting to devices for the widest compatibility. ExpressWay can dedicate one band for connecting to the router and the other band for connecting to the device as long as one of them supports the 5GHz band. It also features the hassle-free Roaming Assist technology. With this enabled, you never have to switch connections manually between RP-AC56 and your ASUS router as you move around the home. Your device will connect automatically to the strongest Wi-Fi signal whether it’s from the router or the repeater.

Features

  • Extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps.
  • Two external antennas enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere.
  • Quick and secure setup with just a press of the WPS button.
  • Smart LED signal indicator helps you find the best location for optimum Wi-Fi performance.
  • Rotating mains plug for flexible positioning in any power socket. (Not in all regions)
  • ASUS AiPlayer app for streaming music, with multi-protocol support.
  • ASUS ExpressWay uses full-speed device connections to boost performance.
  • Roaming Assist helps you to get a stable connection everywhere in the home or office.

Packaging and Accessories

The ASUS RP-AC56 comes in a great looking retail box that shows how the device looks on the front where it also shows the main features and highlights the Android and iOS support.

The rear of the box explains what the device does and how you can utilize it. It also showcases the AiPlayer for wireless streaming and more details on the features. Overall it’s a great box where you shouldn’t be left with any questions as to what the device you’re holding in your hands can do.

Inside the box, we find a quick start guide and ASUS VIP Member Warranty Notice in multiple languages as well as a 3.5mm audio cable to connect the repeater to an amplifier or speaker set.

Windows Phone Won’t Be Getting Ported Android Apps

Microsoft is known for their software, with Windows 10 being offered as a free upgrade, with everyone from offices to the Pentagon. Windows 10 isn’t the only software Microsoft hopes people will pick up. Windows 10 mobile was destined to be great but recent sales and rumours could see the mobile phones ending. One of the issues for Windows 10 mobiles bad sales was the small number of apps you can find. Now it sounds like one of the last hopes for the mobile OS could also be gone.

In hopes of boosting sales, Microsoft was working on a project to port android apps across to the windows mobile operating system. The hope was that any phone you can get on android could instantly be accessible, Project Astoria was there to help make the phones more appealing.

The project has now been terminated, with Microsoft Directory Kevin Gallo writing that they had received “a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary”. This doesn’t mean they’ve given up hope for mobile operating system, with plans to bring iOS based app to the app store and Android through their purchase of the company Xamarin. Xamarin is known for their ability to write software once and deploy to all major mobile operating systems, Windows phone included.

Windows Phone Market Share Falls

Microsoft’s entry into the smartphone market has been extremely challenging due to the popularity of Android handsets, and Apple’s loyal user base. Despite the company’s best efforts to hone a user-friendly operating system, it’s really struggled to make an impact. Unfortunately, Windows Phone users are a niche, and many app developers like Snapchat refuse to support the platform because of the small community. This makes sense because it’s not financially prudent to use resources for such a small market share. It’s such a shame because the Windows Mobile operating system doesn’t require a huge amount of power, and is quite intuitive.

According to the latest research from Gartner, Windows Phone global shipments have more than halved in the last year. More specifically, handset sales in Q4 2015 fell to 4.4 million units, which equates to a market share of 1.1 percent. This is a huge reduction from the 2.8 percent share in Q4 2014. Overall, smartphone shipments grew by 9.7 percent but this is the lowest recorded figure since 2008. I’m not surprised by this, because many users are content with their current model, and don’t see the need to upgrade.

Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said about the data:

“Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,”

“An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.

“For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices.”

Fellow research director Roberta Cozza added:

“Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

An an ideal world, I’d love to see more users give Windows Phones a try, but I doubt it’s going to happen as low-cost Android devices offer compelling value. I’m not entirely sure what Microsoft can do to change the future of their mobile operating system given its current market position.

Apple Releases Software Update to Fix ‘Error 53’

Some iPhone users recently encountered a very worrying message which disabled their handset. The ‘Error 53’ code occurs when an unofficial repair shop replaces the connector between the Touch ID sensor and iPhone home button. Usually, it’s quite easy to acquire a replacement handset from Apple if any problems arise. Although, this depends if the phone is within the warranty period and the store might ask for a proof of purchase. In these situations, customers have to resort to repair shops who charge a fee for their services. As you can imagine, this error code caused a great deal of panic and anger among loyal Apple customers.

Thankfully, Apple has released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 but you can only find this version via iTunes. This will restore the functionality of any iPhone rendered useless by the ‘Error 53’ code. In a statement, Apple said that the

“…error 53 occurs when a device fails a standard security test designed to ensure that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is working correctly.”

The company also added:

“We apologise for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.”

“Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”

Mobile analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight provided an insight into the reasons why Apple enforced such as strict security measure:

“To me, there was a lot of logic in what they said around the ‘error 53’ element,”

“If you’re using your fingerprint to unlock sensitive data or make payments and there was the ability for someone to replace the screen and modify the module to take control of your phone – that’s not a good thing at all.”

This makes sense because cyber-criminals might alter the sensor to find any personal information on a stolen handset. Given the amount of online banking and wireless payments, it seems like a logical idea. On the other hand, Apple has a reputation for restricting their devices and trying to keep total control.

SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Wireless iOS Controller Review

Introduction


Finding the right gaming controller for your device can be tricky. There are a lot of options on the market and that number is growing every month. There’s the cheap aftermarket options and there are premium grade specialist controllers, plus everything else in between; it can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. The issue is made ever more complicated when it comes to Apple devices, as you have to find something that is compatible too, as we all know how strict Apple can be with their regulations, not that this is a bad thing for the consumer though if it means you get a fully compliant product.

Steelseries are no stranger to mobile device controllers, as we’ve seen in the past with their Stratus iOS controller. However, the Stratus was small and it was pretty darn expensive too, so what does the new one have to offer that’s so special? Well for starters, it’s bigger, more akin to a console controller, so it should feel right at home for most gamers. Then there’s the other perk, it’s competitively priced, and that should make your wallet feel a little safer too. With support for Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, it should fulfill all your iOS gaming needs and more. Obviously, the main one here is Apple TV, as Apple continue to move into the living room market and when you’re kicking back on the couch to play a few games, the Nimbus looks set to be the perfect partner for Apple TV.

“The SteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller lets you play hundreds of your favourite controller-supported games on your new Apple TV, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. This full-sized controller’s ergonomic design is perfect for gaming. It gives you 40-plus hours of game play with just a quick charge using the Lightning connector, along with LED notifications, an easy-to-navigate menu button, and pressure-sensitive buttons for the most precise gaming controls.” – Apple Store

Features

  • Pressure-sensitive buttons for precise gaming control
  • Console-style left and right analog triggers
  • Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity
  • Lithium-ion battery recharges via Lightning connector for 40-plus hours of gaming
  • Four LEDs display your player status during multiplayer gameplay
  • Colour-coded action buttons
  • Comfort and ergonomics of a full-sized controller

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Power: Lightning connector for charging
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  • Height: 6.32 cm / 2.49 in.
  • Width: 15 cm / 5.91 in.
  • Weight: 242 g / 8.54 oz.
  • Length: 11 cm / 4.33 in.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the controller on the front, showing off the main features, as well as a brief show of the overall device support.

Around the back, a few more specs such as the pressure sensitive d-pad, rechargeable battery, lightning connector and pressure sensitive buttons.

The side of the box has a more comprehensive run down of device support, and as you can see, it’s pretty versatile.

Aside from the right device, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right version of iOS (or above) for the controller to work.

One thing I always like to see, good packaging. The controller is very well protected in padded foam and the box should even double as a protective case when you need to store it away.

In the box, you’ll find the usual quick start guide, as well as a couple of stickers should you like showing off the branding a little.

Apple Recalls Two-Prong Adapter Over Shock Concerns

Nevermind VR or high-tech PC gear, it seems like power adapters and their cables are the hardest things for companies to do right. This is the case with Apple who has started voluntarily recalling their two prong AC power adapters from Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil. According to Apple, the defective Mac and iOS power plug may break and have the potential to cause electric shock; adapters from 2003-2015 are effected.

Luckily users of the Type-A and Type-G adapters are not affected. This means users areas like North America, UK and Japan won’t have to worry about their adapters shocking them. Affected users will have their adapters replaced free of charge. In order to determine if a unit is a defective model, the inside slot of the adapter will either have a 4 or 5 digit code or no code at all. Redesigned and unaffected models will have a region code (e.g. EUR) there instead.

In order to not get shocked, it is probably best to get and defective adapters replaced as quickly as possible. This snafu comes after Microsoft launched their own recall for defective Surface Pro AC cables. For more detailed instructions, check out Apple’s page here.

Private Collector Opens Apple Museum in Prague

Apple’s style and appeal are now iconic worldwide, with their products enjoying a strong market share across the globe. Not all nations have access to official Apple stores, one such country being the Czech Republic. This hasn’t stopped an Apple fanatic and private collector opening an Apple Museum in their capital city, Prague.

Holding almost every Apple product ever made, dating back to 1976, as well as paraphernalia relating to visionary Steve Jobs, the Apple Museum comprises of a whopping 472 exhibits spread across three buildings in Prague’s old town. As well as the museum itself, there are plans to open “Steven’s Food”, a raw vegan restaurant, likely serving meals that would appeal to Steve Jobs himself.

The museum may not be a permanent affair either, with its website stating that Prague is “the first city where you can see this unique exhibition.” Whether this means that the museum is planned to go on tour or not is ambiguous, but there could be even more chance to show these pieces of Apple history to its fans if it were available in other locations too.

While this is far from the only Apple museum in the world, with other such as the Italian “AllAboutApple” also boasting an extensive collection, Apple has no official museum of their own history, with Jobs closing the last one back in 1997.

If you’re in Prague or planning a holiday, the price to see these pieces of computing history is £8/€11, with all the proceeds going to charity purposes.

See more photographs from their trip to the Apple Museum here.

Silicon Power Introduces the Complete Lineup of Apple Storage Solutions

Apple devices are highly popular, but they do in most cases come with one flaw and that is the upgradability. Luckily there are ways to increase this for the most part and Silicon Power has now introduced a new complete line of Apple storage devices for all sorts of different devices. With USB flash drives, expansion cards, portable hard drives and external SSD, the SP Apple Series is about to satisfy all kinds of memory expansion needs.

The need for extra storage on apple devices is great, especially considering the markups you pay for the models with more storage and the number one complaint from Apple users is “not enough storage available”.

Among the new products is the SP xDrive Z30 Lightning USB drive that features a dual-interface design with both USB 3.0 and Lightning for easy connection to iOS handsets as well as desktop systems. Not every device has a lightning connector and that is where the second new flash drive comes into play, the SP Mobile C80 dual USB drive that features a USB 3.0 and a Type-C USB connector.

The storage issue isn’t limited to portable iOS devices, Mac computers have the same issue. For this, SP introduced the xDrive Series expansion cards L12 and L13 as well as the rugged external Armor hard disk drives. The xDrivev expansion cards are tailored to fit seamless with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models while the A65M and A85M external hard disks offer a shockproof and waterproof design for users on the go.

The final category is for those who need that extra speed and where every second counts. We’re naturally talking about external SSDs for Mac systems. SP’s Thunder T11 external SSD offers a two-channel Thunderbolt interface with a data transmission of up to 10GB/s throughput in each direction. Sadly that doesn’t result in the blazing fast speeds one could hope for with a rating of just 340MB/s reading and 280MB/s writing, but it should improve the latency and access times over the slower USB 3.0 interface.

Ballmer Wants Windows Phones to Run Android Apps

After release, Windows phones have experienced some difficulty. From hardware issues to software difficulties, Windows Phone has gone from windows 8 mobile, to 8.1 and now with Window 10 coming to mobiles Microsoft are more determined than ever to help improve the experience for their users. Project Astoria was an idea by Microsoft to run Android and iPhone apps on Windows phones, running apps from all the stores in a single place would give them a unique advantage. Would seem that this dream is still not dead for Steve Ballmer.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO, has voiced his opinion on the Satya Nadella, the current chief’s, answer regarding a question posed about the lack of apps for their mobile platform.

Nadella was asked by an audience member, what Microsoft will do about key apps like the Starbucks app. Nadella responded by talking about their plans to create universal applications that can run on phones, tablets and computers.

Ballmer commented on the speech saying, “that won’t work”. Ballmer continued by saying that the company needs to enable windows phones to “run Android apps”. With a big difference between the platforms, currently though Microsoft has made it easier for developers to port their android app’s across to the windows platform.

Do you use Android, iOS or Windows Phone? Do you think that Windows Phone would benefit more from additional apps?

New Augmented Reality App Lets You See Radio Waves

In the modern era, radio waves are everywhere, from crisscrossing Wi-Fi signals, cellular signals, GPS, Bluetooth and many others. Yet we often aren’t aware of them, with human perception limited only to the visible light spectrum of electromagnetic waves. However the new augmented reality app, Architecture of Radio, seeks to give us a glimpse into the invisible world of data around us. When you point a device running the app in a direction or move it around, it creates a view of spherical waves emanating from radio wave sources, overlapping and crossing over each other, like waves in the sea.

The app works by compiling data about radio wave sources from public databases, including 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and a number of satellites. Access to this data allows the app to provide the user with a display of the signals in their area. Unfortunately, this relegates the app to more of an artistic curiosity than a truly useful application, as the app does not gather data in real-time from nearby devices, meaning that potential uses of such an application, such as testing ranges on wireless hardware are nonexistent. However, the app is still technically impressive, as collating and visualizing the volume of data stored in its source databases is no simple feat.

The app is to be featured as a piece at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany, by its designer Richard Vijgen. However for those who want a little bit of invisible art for themselves, the app can be downloaded now on iOS, with a version for Android in the works.

Image credit to Architecture of Radio

Futurama is Coming Back as an iOS Game

Good news everyone! Futurama is back after 20th Century Fox signed a deal with German game developer Wooga to create Futurama: Release the Drones. While it’s not the new series everyone hoped for, I’m just pleased to see Futurama return. Initially, I was concerned the game would be a shameless cash-in and reskinned version of The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Thankfully, this isn’t the case as Wooga hired Dave Grossman, the writer behind The Secret of Monkey Island, Sam & Max and Telltale Games’ Tales of Monkey Island. Here is a brief snyopsis of what the game entails:

“The game takes players on a journey with the Planet Express crew as they fight a desperately imbalanced trade war against longtime shipping rival MomCo. While delivering dangerous cargo to hazardous locations under ill-advised circumstances, players connect groups of delivery drones to solve an array of fiendish puzzles as they venture into iconic environments from the FUTURAMA universe.”

Futurama is one of my favourite TV shows of all time, and I’m desperate to see more episodes or another feature film. I wouldn’t mind trying out the upcoming Futurama iOS game, and hope it eventually comes to Android. Perhaps if it’s successful enough, a PC/console release could become a possibility and maybe lead to another series. Although, I’m probably being overly optimistic here. Always remember:

“You’ve watched it! You can’t unwatch it!”

Do you have a favourite Futurama episode?

QNAP Releases Qphoto Mobile App with CloudLink for iOS

QNAP’s Photo Station is one of the best solutions for easy storage of all your media with access and share functionality, and now Apple iOS users will be able to use that even better with the freshly released Qphoto mobile app for iOS. The new app will provide a great experience on both iPads and iPhones. With an app that has been specially designed for such a small amount of devices, we know that the experience will be great and optimized.

Qphoto includes various ways for managing photo collections. Users can quickly search for photos by dates or tags, flexibly browse photos and videos via time line, thumbnails, lists and folders, and also instantly up and download media to and from their QNAP NAS. Social media fans aren’t left out as they easily can share photos by email or social networks.

“The new Qphoto for iOS uniquely provides a customized design for vertical and horizontal layouts on iPad. It is convenient to use an iPad with the vertical display while being easy to browse content in a horizontal view,” said Cherry Chen, product manager of QNAP. “Qphoto’s customized user interface can bring the best browsing experience for users no matter what display orientation they use their iPad with.”

Qphoto for iOS also adds support for the CloudLink remote access service, allowing users to easily browse photos and videos on their QNAP NAS when away from home or office. A feature that has been requested a lot from the users. The new Qphoto supports iOS devices with iOS 7 and newer and you should have the latest QNAP NAS firmware (QTS 4.2 or newer) and Photo Station 5.0 or newer for the best experience and all features.

Hyundai Introduce New Augmented Reality User Manuals

Car user manuals are usually uninspiring things. A thick collection of pages, half of which may not apply to your specific version of the car, usually relegated to taking up room in the glovebox after the first week. And that’s why Hyundai are offering a new take on the user manual, and it’s entirely digital. It’ll even fit in your pocket, by virtue of it running on your smartphone, with both Android and iOS versions available.

The main aim of this manual is to make it more accessible to the user, with an AR interface making it far easier to find information on a particular part of the car than scouring a manual for a matching picture. At launch, the AR manual will only support the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, though it is intended to be expanded to cover more models soon. The app won’t be a slouch compared to the hefty old paper manual either, featuring interaction with 45 parts of the car, from buttons and dials in the cabin to the sections of the engine bay. And across these parts will be spread 82 how-to videos, six 3D overlay images of parts in the engine bay and over 50 informational guides.

This isn’t Hyundai’s first foray into using mobile apps to enhance the user experience of their vehicles, having been one of the first companies to support Android Auto on the center console infotainment system as well as developing a smartwatch app that allowed supported cars to have a number of their features be used remotely, right from the watch.

This innovation could just be a nail in the coffin of the paper user manual, after all, simply pointing your smart device is more compelling than rifling through your gearbox and flipping pages in this era of technology. Would these innovations make you consider Hyundai for a future car purchase, or are you just hoping that these ideas come to your favored manufacturer? At any rate, it makes you wonder what they’ll come up with next.

Million Dollar iOS 9 Hack Bounty Claimed

It was announced today by Zeronium that their recent bounty of $1 million for a hack that would remotely compromise an iPhone running iOS 9 has been claimed.

The bounty for the hack was posted back in September, and with merely hours left on the bounty, it was revealed on Twitter that a winning team had come forth and claimed the bounty. With no details on the team in question or the hack itself, the legitimacy of the claim is uncertain, with the possibility of it being a PR stunt by Zeronium considered by some. However Chaouki Bekrar, owner of Zeronium, is a notorious exploit trader and iOS 9 being hacked isn’t unbelievable.

The reason for the bounty on the hack being so high is due to its very specific nature, and with iOS having no publicly announced remote jailbreaks since iOS 7, it was not an easy challenge. The specification of the hack is as follows:

“The whole exploitation/jailbreak process should be achievable remotely, reliably, silently, and without requiring any user interaction except visiting a web page or reading a SMS/MMS”.

This means that it not only required the finding and leveraging of an iOS bug, but also chaining it together with an exploit in a web browser of the iPhone’s own messaging app. This would mean that an attacker could then remotely install apps onto the device or access its data, which is a worrying prospect for Apple and their claims of security and encryption of data on their latest mobile OS.

Despite this news, Bekrar went on to tweet that he was unconcerned about continuing to use his iPhone, despite the hack, feeling assured in how hard it is to execute. But with this hack presumably sold to the highest bidder, are you worried that your phone may not be as secure as you think?

Snowden-Endorsed IM App Signal Arrives on Android

A private instant messaging app that has the approval of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has finally been released for Android devices. Signal, developed by Open Whisper Systems, has been available for iOS since 2014, combining its previous two apps RedPhone and TextSecure, and is considered the most secure messaging and voice call app available, also garnering the support of online privacy advocates the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Signal is open source, available on GitHub, and uses advanced end-to-end encryption protocols to secure data for both sender and receiver, and allows message verification via key fingerprints and call integrity through checking matching words on both ends. The app also supports group chat, with none of the metadata related to group membership stored by Open Whisper Systems.

“As always, Signal uses your existing phone number and address book. There are no separate logins, usernames, passwords, or PINs to manage or lose,” the Signal webpage reads. “We cannot hear your conversations or see your messages, and no one else can either. Everything in Signal is always end-to-end encrypted, and painstakingly engineered in order to keep your communication safe.”

Snowden is a famous advocate of Signal, reaffirming his support following the release of the app for Android:

Signal is available for download from the Google Play store now.

New OS X El Capitan Update Should Fix Microsoft Office Crashes

Apple fans get yourself ready, as Apple today has released OS X 10.11.1, the first update for its El Capitan operating system. Also included is the long awaited fixes to Microsoft’s Office 2016 for Mac that resolves problems that Mac users have been reporting for months now.

Microsoft has taken a battering on its Office 2016 for Mac support forum since its release in September and quite rightly so. Not only did Mac users have to wait longer for a release of Office 2016 but they also had to pay a premium. For example Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016 for Mac retails for around £119.99 as on windows based machines you’re looking at a retail price of around £103.90. Regardless of the premium and the prolonged release date reports continued to escalate  with users having trouble running Excel, OneNote, Outlook and PowerPoint on the new OS X.

Although most users blamed Microsoft for the unpolished program, neither Microsoft nor Apple acknowledged fault. Today, a pair of Microsoft product managers simply urged users to update El Capitan to 10.11.1, without admitting blame or pointing fingers.

The update is available on the  Mac App Store, also does the following:

  • Improves installer reliability when upgrading to OS X El Capitan
  • Fixes an issue where outgoing server information may be missing from Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented display of messages and mailboxes in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevents certain Audio Unit plug-ins from functioning properly
  • Improves VoiceOver reliability
  • Adds over 150 new emoji characters with full Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 support
  • Resolves an issue that caused JPEG images to appear as a gray or green box in Preview

Additionally, the update contains the long-awaited security improvements in the Safari browser. Any of our users experienced any of these problems? Let us know in the comments below.