Hackers Could Crash Your iPhone Over Wi-Fi

Remember when we told you that your iPhone could crash if you set it to a certain date? Well, even though you would have to perform the date changing manually in order to trigger this bug, it looks like hackers could still abuse it via Wi-Fi. Apple has issued a fix in the beta version of the iOS 9.3 operating system in order to address the glitch, but two researchers named Matt Harrigan and Patrick Kelley have exploited the tendency of iOS devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks that they recognize in order to prove a point. The exploit involved creating a new network with the same name but with a hostile time server that would cause nearby iPads to reset their time and refuse to reboot. Fortunately, the team worked with Apple to release a fix for this bug before they published their findings.

“The reboot caused all iPads in test to degrade gradually, beginning with the inability to unlock, and ultimately ending with the device overheating and not booting at all. Apple has confirmed this vulnerability to be present in 64 bit devices that are running any version less than 9.3.1.”

The same method is much harder to implement on iPhones, as they receive network time updates differently when compared to iPads. Still, the researchers have stated that it is definitely possible to brick an iPhone using Wi-Fi as well. In order to protect yourself, you should make sure that your iPhone and iPad are running iOS 9.3.1, and you should definitely avoid using internet connections without safety certificates or Wi-Fi networks that are not password protected. Just in case you want to see the glitch for yourself, you can have a look at the following video.

TSA Spent $47,000 on a Random Lane Picker

Governments and companies often contract out work to help create app’s and software to make systems. The problem is that the app’s and software comes at a price, it would now seem that the TSA spent quite a bit on a random lane picker.

It’s being reported that the TSA spent $47,400 on a piece of software that would help TSA staff pick lanes to separate and ease up congestion at Airport terminals, as shown in the video below.

The information comes as part of a freedom of information request revealed by Kevin Burke, revealing a contract with IBM totaling $336,413.59. Included in this documentation was a document relating to “randomizer software”.

The deal could have included more than just the software, with the iPad’s and tablets used for the software possibly also included in the deal. People are hoping this is the case, with the software being considered entry-level programming. The app itself was a random number generator, assigning people to the right or left lane (1 or 2) at airport security.

It’s got to be embarrassing that such a simple piece of software would come at such a high cost, all while governments are being scrutinized for their spending, higher taxes and budget cuts. The app is no longer in use, with the process of being randomly allocated lanes also being removed from their processes.

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.

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.

Brydge Mobile Accessories @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Tired of using your touchscreen for typing those long emails or Facebook posts? The latest range of accessories from Brydge certainly solve the issue! The cases attach to your iPad or tablet of choice, offering a firm connection and a high-quality design. The cases have a built-in high-quality keyboard, allowing to to turn your tablet into what looks more like a Macbook, albeit at a fraction of the cost of buying a macbook and an iPad.

The build quality is fantastic and as you can see, they look pretty great too.

There’s a whole range of sizes on offer too, covering all the popular sizes, including the iPad mini’s.

I really like these keyboards, they’re a lot better to type on than I had expected and they’re in a different class compared to the huge range of clip-on keyboards that currently flood the market. We’re hoping to get one of these into the office for further testing in the near future, but would you use one of these with your iPad?

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.

Tim Cook Describes Microsoft’s Surface Book as ‘Deluded’

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook appears to be on the warpath of late and becoming quite outspoken about the PC platform and Microsoft’s hardware endeavors. Only yesterday, he described PCs as ‘pointless’ and an outdated premise compared to the iPad Pro. There’s a huge sense of irony here as the term PC refers to computer hardware, and Apple’s role involves creating their own operating system for heavily restricted PCs. These remarks have made Tim Cook look extremely foolish, and I cannot understand his bizarre thought process.

Microsoft’s Surface Book is certainly one of the most impressive hardware reveals I’ve seen for some time. However, Tim Cook disagrees and made some fairly disparaging remarks about the device during an appearance at an Irish college. He criticized the product and said:

“It’s a product that tries too hard to do too much,”

“It’s trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It’s sort of deluded.”

For all Apple’s posturing about their “really good” relationship with Microsoft, Tim Cook isn’t speaking on amicable terms and behaving in an appalling manner. It’s hilarious to think the iPad Pro is a different, more streamlined device than the Surface Book. If anything, the Surface Book has even more potential and I believe it’s probably the best piece of hardware Microsoft has designed. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Apple and Tim Cook, but it seems the company’s aggressive attitude is coming to the forefront.

Apple Guilty Of Using University of Wisconsin’s Patents Without Permission

We all use technology every day, and within those thousands of pieces of technology we find thousands more built up with designs and ideas from hundreds and thousands of areas. To protect companies interests in these designs and ideas they use patents, and the normal process is that if you wish to use a patents idea or the technology it protects then you request the owners permission. Sadly it would seem that some big companies use technology without supporting the little ones and in this case, Apple has been found guilty of just such a misuse.

The University of Wisconsin holds a patent that covers some technology designed to improve chip efficiency and given that almost every piece of technology these days use chips it’s obviously something that could support the university for long time into the future. In this case, though it would seem that the courts have voted in favour of the University of Wisconsin and has found Apple liable for using the technology without their permission, specifically in iPhones and iPads. The case is set to reappear in court, with the judge stating that it could cost Apple around $862.5 million, which isn’t the worst news for them given that just last month they had another case brought against them regarding the same technology but in the iPhone 6’s and the iPad’s A9 and A9x chips.

This isn’t the first time that these issues have been brought up, in 2008 Intel had the same charges brought against them, but this was immediately settled out of court. Although I doubt Apple is too worried about the money in the long-term.

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Apple Reigns Supreme at US Tax Avoidance

The legality and moral outrage surrounding tax avoidance has been a hotly-discussed topic throughout the world. Many leading corporations from Apple to IBM exploit loopholes in the tax system to reduce their bill and hold assets offshore from their US base. As a result, this net revenue isn’t taxable and allows for increased profits. Sadly, many companies refuse to publicly disclose the nature of moving assets offshore, but new data provides evidence regarding the top 30 US companies who didn’t object to this information going public.

In the US, this data was collated by the Center for Tax Justice’s analysis of SEC filings. As you can see from the graph, Apple came in 1st place moving $181 billion of taxable assets offshore to avoid paying taxation. This is a significant margin ahead of other companies but might simply refer to Apple’s financially strong situation. The chart contains a wealth of technological companies and signifies how tax avoidance is commonplace in the industry. In recent years, governments have promised to clamp down on tax avoidance due to public pressure.

However, very rarely does this result in any meaningful change. Only recently did Amazon start paying corporation tax in the UK after a long period of employing complicated tax schemes. I highly doubt the data will deter people from buying Apple products but it emphaizes how their company and similar technology behemoths are run. From a business standpoint, if a company can maximize their profits, they will within the confines of the law.

How do you feel about technology companies avoiding taxation?

Thank you Quartz for providing us with this information.

Apple Set to Screw Users With Proprietary Earphone Jack

In an effort to corner the market on everything that interacts with its devices, Apple has filed a patent for its own earphone jack. The D-shaped jack has a 2.0mm width on its smallest side, which is effectively a regular audio jack with a flat edge on one side.

The patent, discovered by Apple Insider last week, mentions that standard headphone and earphone jacks are limiting how thin devices such as smartphones and tablets can be made, pitching the new D-jack as the solution to that problem. The patent reads:

“Electronic devices such as MP3 players and smart phones are continuously being designed to be thinner and smaller and/or to include video displays with screens that are pushed out as close to the outer edge of the devices as possible. The diameter and length of current 3.5 mm and even 2.5 mm audio connectors are limiting factors in making such devices smaller, thinner and allowing the displays to be larger.”

While Apple’s reasoning is sound – if a smaller audio jack can facilitate more efficient devices, then that is a positive thing – the fact that the patent is held by Apple is worrying. It means that the company, infamous for its micro-managerial control over its hardware (see the Lightning connector), can make its new jack the standard for its new iPhones and iPads, by which it can seize control over the earphone market, either through extortionately-priced headsets it produces itself – likely under the Beats brand – or rake in money from licensing the rights to the produce D-jacks to third-party manufacturers. A smart business move, but a huge disadvantage to consumers.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information.

TT eSports Contour iOS Mobile Gaming Controller Review

Introduction


The explosive growth in the mobile gaming market has legitimately challenged handheld consoles and rapidly become a huge money-maker for publishers. From iconic core games from the past such as Max Payne to newer classics like Hearthstone, there is something to suit everyone. While a huge proportion of games on the Android Play Store and App Store are very basic, there is a huge scope for visually demanding titles in the future. Unlike the console sector, mobile technology is constantly being improved upon and handsets could feature 6GB RAM in the next few years.

Touch-screen controls can produce a wonderful tactile experience and certainly expanded mobile gaming’s appeal with a casual audience. Despite this, many games desperately need a controller as the touch-control scheme is counter-intuitive and overly complicated. Thankfully, Thermaltake has you covered with the TT eSports Contour controller which utilizes Bluetooth and connects to any Apple device. Additionally, the Contour’s battery life is rated beyond 10 hours with a single charge and contains a rather nifty stand. The stand is able to transform an iPhone into a bonafide handheld gaming device. The question is, how does it feel in the hand?

Specifications

Packaging & Accessories 

The TT eSports Contour comes in an aesthetically pleasing red and black box which contains a clear section to view the product. Furthermore, the styling fits with Thermaltake’s gaming theme and the box’s size provides ample protection while making the internals easy to remove.

In terms of accessories, the Contour is fairly barebones and only bundled with a charging cable and user manual. This isn’t necessarily a negative point, as it cuts down on clutter and uses more environmentally friendly packaging.

A Closer Look

Here we can see the controller’s build quality and subtle Thermaltake logo which adds some flair without being too extravagant. The device’s layout is excellent and each button is positioned perfectly within a finger’s reach. Notice the extremely soft thumbsticks which feel lovely and a complete joy to use. In this closed position, the Contour looks like a regular controller and can be used with any model of iPad.

From this angle, we can see the four rear-triggers, USB connector and contoured design. Unfortunately, the L1 and R1 buttons are quite mushy and don’t leave a good first impression.

The controller houses both power and Bluetooth connectivity buttons which allow for fast pairing and virtually instant power states. I found it remarkably easy to press these dedicated buttons and felt it was more intuitive than using the Xbox’s traditional Guide function.

The back portion contains basic product identification and a clasp for lifting the integrated stand. On another note, the plastic feels rather sturdy and evokes a sense of confidence in the overall build quality.

Thermaltake decided to opt for an adjustable stand which exceeds 3.75 inches in height. As a result, most modern iPhones should fit without applying too much force. To test this, I even tried my aging iPhone 3G which just about slotted into position. Initially, I was concerned that the large degree of adjustment would lead to a fairly weak mechanism. Thankfully, this isn’t the case, and every phone I tried didn’t move at all after the initial setup.

Exploit Trader Offers $1 Million Bounty for iOS 9 Hack

A security industry firm that sells hacking methods to government agencies is offering a huge reward for anyone who can develop a zero-day exploit for compromising the security of iOS 9, the new operating system for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Zerodium has publicly put a $1 million bounty on such an exploit, in what it has dubbed The Million Dollar iOS 9 Bug Bounty, which is a bold move for deals that are usually conducted in the shadows.

“Due to the increasing number of security improvements and the effectiveness of exploit mitigations in place, Apple’s iOS is currently the most secure mobile OS,” Zerodium’s statement reads. “But don’t be fooled, secure does not mean unbreakable, it just means that iOS has currently the highest cost and complexity of vulnerability exploitation and here’s where the Million Dollar iOS 9 Bug Bounty comes into play.”

Chaouki Bekrar, founder of Zerodium, has a long history of trading in zero-day exploits, having also founded the more well-known French company Vupen, which has been very vocal in the past regarding its role in selling hacking methods to government agencies.

“Zerodium’s main goal is to capture the most advanced zero-day exploits and the highest risk vulnerabilities which are discovered, held, or sometimes stockpiled by talented researchers around the globe,” Bekrar told WIRED.

Apple should take the huge, public bounty being offered for an iOS 9 zero-day exploit as a compliment, as it suggests its newest operating system is a tough nut to crack. With $1 million on offer, though, expect many to try.

Thank you WIRED for providing us with this information.

iOS 9 ‘Slide to Upgrade’ Bug is Bricking Apple Devices

The latest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system has received a number of complaints from users during the upgrade process. Essentially, iOS 9 suffers from a major glitch mid-way through the update and can cause Apple devices to lock up. Any iPhone or iPad has to be forcibly reset to factory settings and re-attempt the upgrade procedure. Unfortunately, this means all of the user-data will be unrecoverable which is bound to annoy even the most devoted of Apple fans.

One reader told The Register:

“I have just updated my iPad to iOS 9 and found to my horror that once it has ‘successfully’ installed and then gone through the initial setup phase, I cannot progress past the second request to ‘slide to upgrade’ page.”

“The setup order is ‘passcode’ – ‘slide to upgrade’ – ‘select Wi-Fi’ – ‘slide to upgrade’ at which point no further actions are possible.”

I’ve also witnessed first-hand reports from Apple customers who are unable to even begin the update process and greeted with technical errors. Supposedly, the problems occur when updating from iOS 7 to iOS 9. From a PR perspective, this is fairly terrible news for Apple given the record-breaking sales of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.

PQI Announces iConnect External Storage for iPhone And iPad

Apple’s entire product range is sorely lacking in internal storage and incurs a significant price increase to purchase the 64GB and 128GB variants. However, PQI has engineered a rather interesting solution which massively increases either your iPhone or iPad’s storage without resorting to buying a new device. The iConnect attaches via Apple’s proprietary Lightning port and allows you to store photos, videos, music, contacts and other user-data. This could be a vital purchase on the 6s due to 4k video recording and its extremely large file sizes.

The iConnect comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models which provides more than enough storage for most people. Furthermore, the external storage is capable of 30 MB/s write speeds and maximum read of 15 MB/s. Also, the iConnect opts for USB 3.0 functionality to achieve fast transfer speeds when backing up your data to a PC or Mac. According to the press material, the iConnect will be sold in gold, silver and metallic gray while featuring a two-year-warranty. Unfortunately, there’s no release date for Europe, but it’s already for sale in the USA via Newegg.

In terms of pricing, the MSRP is $59.99 for 16GB, $71.99 for 32GB, $107.99 for 64GB and $179.99 for 128GB. Compared to the hassle of selling your handset, and acquiring one of Apple’s upgraded storage models, the price is quite reasonable. Stay tuned for an in-depth review in the near future.

Samsung is Reportedly Making an 18.4-Inch Android Tablet

Tablets appear to be increasing in size at an extraordinary rate and sources close to SamMobile suggest Samsung is working on a massive 18.4-inch device, codenamed Tahoe. Apparently, the 18.4-inch screen features a resolution of 1920×1080 and powered by a rather hefty 5700 mAh battery. Other specifications include an octa-core 64 bit 1.6GHz Exynos 7580 CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot supporting capacities up to 128GB.

Additionally, there will be an 8-megapixel main camera and 2.1-megapixel secondary camera. Although, I’ve never been impressed with the visual quality on integrated tablet cameras. The device’s dimensions are 451.8 mm wide, 275.8 mm tall, and 11.9 mm thick. At this time, there is no information regarding the product’s final name, launch price or release date. However, the source is quite reliable and should be accurate. This brings up the question, who is the target market for such a huge tablet? Tablets are designed to be portable and comfortable to hold as you browse the internet in your armchair.

Would you ever consider buying a tablet of this size? It does make me wonder if Samsung will manufacture a new mobile product line featuring larger screens than the Galaxy Note range. Perhaps this is a bit far-fetched as the handset will struggle to fit in your pocket.

Thank you SamMobile for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Notebookcheck

Aidmics to Release Fertility Gadget For Your iPad

This story is certainly not going to be a typical iPad feature, but I can promise you it’s unique. iPads are versatile and can be used to run a multitude of applications for a vast array of industries. You know the phrase “think outside the box” Well, Taiwanese startup by the name of Aidmics has invented a device which connects to an iPad with the aim to measure sperm.

I know, I can hear the editor of eTeknix crying as well, but let’s continue, Aidmics is hoping to cash in on the $40 billion global human fertility market with the iPad compatible gadget. The early concept of this design has been sold to livestock farmers, with the outcome being 200 sets sold since August 2014. The aim for this product is to re-market the device for the commercial mainstream.

The price point at which this device is to be sold to the general public would be between $100 – $200 (£64 – £128), so how does it work? Well, I did research this and I do wonder what Google now thinks of me, but it operates by utilizing a tiny microscope which enlarges the contents of a few drops of sperm from inside a pipette which is backlit. The light beams the moving image to the iPad camera, and algorithms then analyse the sample for total sperm count and motility and how fast sperm can swim; more details are below.

It’s a useful invention which does have real world potential to assist couples in their quest to have a child, but woe betide anyone who has their iPad hacked into.

Thank you Aidmics and Reuters for providing us with this information.

Apple May Ditch the Home Button in Next-Gen iPhones

Apple introduced a revolutionary smartphone design when it first came out. Back then, phones had an abundance of buttons, but the company wanted to make it more simplistic. Thus, they came up with the Home Button.

Apple’s Home Button is used on both iPhone and iPad devices to minimize applications, bring up the multitasking menu, activate Siri and other user specific actions. But now, Apple is rumoured to ditch the Home Button too.

According to a report from Digitimes, the Cupertino giant is integrating the Home Button functions in its display by developing a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip. This means that the Home Button will now be displayed on the screen, rather than having it as a physical button.

We’ve seen the company make the same move with the trackpad on its latest MacBook series, so it’s highly likely that we will see the same approach on its mobile devices too. However, we are fairly certain that the latest iPhone models being released this fall will not bear the TDDI technology.

In addition, the company is working to integrate the fingerprint sensor directly on the display too. This means that your smartphone’s display will be able to read and interpret your fingerprints as well.

As always, Apple is not going to officially confirm rumours outside of their annual conference, so we might see the company announce the new tech next year. Until then, we might even see other manufacturers taking the same ‘all-display’ approach. As far as I know, the old Nokia N9 is a good example of such a ‘buttonless’ smartphone (except for the volume physical buttons of course).

Thank you Digitimes for providing us with this information

Apple Drops the Original iPad Mini from Sale

The Apple iPad Mini has been around for three years now. Since the launch of the first iPad, they have sold more than 258.6 million tablets.

According to the Daily Mail, this totals up to a whopping $8.9 billion dollars in revenue. That is a lot of tablets and a whole lot of money too. No wonder Apple are rolling in money!

The iPad mini original was the last iOS device Apple had available for purchase without a Retina display, with its display panel pumping out a measly 1024 x 768 or 163 pixels per inch. The device was also the last iPad running on a 32-bit framework.

In March last year, Gartner said customers bought nearly 121 million tablets running Google’s Android operating system, which accounted for 61.9 percent of the market.

Apple reportedly dropped from a 53-per cent share of the market to 36 percent with 70.4 million sales.

However, refurbished iPad minis are still available to buy on the multi-billion dollar retailers website while resellers will still have some stock available for the time being.

The decision has followed Apple deciding to remove the iPod from its website menu, with users now having to click on the Music part of the site to find more details about the mp3 playing device.

Last year, Apple put the final nail in the coffin of the iPod Classic by deciding to quietly retire the device.

Thank you to DigitalSpy for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch.

iOS Flaw Makes it Easier than Ever to Steal Your Apple ID

Apple’s iOS is widely recognised as one of the most secure mobile operating systems on the market today but is that really true? Well, maybe it is, but what I can tell you for sure is that nothing is unhackable in today’s world.

A security researcher claimed that it is now easier than ever to get hold of any iPhone or iPad user’s Apple ID account with a simple HTML injection. The security specialist claims to have built a tool that would allow just about anyone to make use of a well-known flaw in an Apple’s iOS Mail app and trick the user into giving his or her Apple ID credentials.

The tool mentioned above is said to create an HTML popup that mimics Apple’s own popup that asks you to re-enter your Apple ID credentials. As a regular iPhone user, you are likely to be so used to it that you won’t notice the difference and just type in your credentials as usual.

Once you tap OK on the popup, the credentials are sent to the hacker’s remote server. This likely puts everyone using an iPhone or iPad at risk, so do take care and remember that the Apple ID prompt appears only when you perform an action that requires your authorisation and not just out of the blue.

The issue is said to have been filed and acknowledged by Apple, but no fix has been released just yet. So how worried are you? Will you think twice before entering your Apple ID credentials?

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Apple Trims App Fat with iOS 9

While iOS 9 features a number of key improvements, there’s one addition all Apple users will love. Beginning with iOS 9, 3 features under the App Thinning label will work to reduce storage requirements for iOS apps. These storage space use reductions come on top of the already reduced footprint of iOS 9 and it’s relatively small OTA update.

The first and the biggest addition is App Slicing. Right now, each iOS binary downloaded contains all the assets for the various compatible devices. With App Slicing, the app store will only allow the necessary parts be downloaded. So iPhone 6 Plus won’t download 32bit code and 2x assets while the iPhone 5C won’t download 3x assets and 64bit code. Cutting out nearly half the resources in some cases will make installing and updating apps a much quicker and less data intensive operation.

The next feature is On-Demand Resources. Just like the name implies, resources can be tagged by the developer as not necessary at install and only downloaded as needed. After the user is done with the assets, they can be removed again. For instance, apps with in-app purchases won’t download those assets until the user has bought it and tutorials can be removed once played. Game levels or assets will only be downloaded once the user is near to obtaining them and maybe even removed once the user clears the level. The executable code will not be able to be marked as ODR, but images and media files can. It’s not known how ODR handles the lack of an internet connection right now.

Bitcode is the final feature and is related to App Slicing. Instead of submitting pre-compiled binaries, developers hand in an “intermediate representation” of their app. This allows the App Store to compile the app based on the installing device, improving performance and reducing app size. It also means that Apple can make its own compiler tweaks at install, as well as strip out the unnecessary code, enabling App Slicing. This is not unlike Android’s ART or Dalvik which compiles the app either at install or runtime though Android has yet to remove unnecessary assets.

With all of these space saving addition, 8GB iTouch and iPhone 4S users will be sure to be able to stop juggling their storage. Even users with 16GB of space will stand to benefit hugely from reduced app sizes. It’s possible to always remove pictures and media after their taken but having to uninstall and install apps can be more of a pain. While not perfect, this is one answer to the lack of expandable storage with Apple devices. Maybe Google can take a cue this time around and start trimming down Android app sizes as my Nexus is starting to get full.

Statistics Show That Apple Dominates the Online Video Streaming Shares

We’ve all heard that Apple will not continue with its Apple TV products, but the latest statistics coming from Adobe prove that Apple might not need a new TV device after all. Statistics now show that the company already owns the majority of online video streaming shares as it stands, so this places it on a very important position in this market.

The old Apple TV now jumped from 5% to 10% shares and is now over Roku with only 1%, which means that people still enjoy their old Apple TV, even after all this time. Furthermore, iOS video streaming has now grown from 43% to 48% in shares, leaving Android behind at 15% shares.

If we are to break down iOS devices into iPhones and iPads, we see that 30% of video streaming comes from the iPad and 18% from iPhones. This is not good news for Microsoft too, since its Surface came in with just 2% shares.

Adding the Macs to the equation, we see that Apple products accounts for 62% of all online video streaming shares. To be noted is that Apple did not come on top in Browser video streaming shares, having Safari touching only 15% shares.

The latter market is still dominated by Google Chrome with 18% shares, but for how long? WWDC is coming and we are bound to see a lot of stuff aimed at getting Apple on top of everything in the end.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information

Apple WWDC 2015 Could Bring 12-inch iPads and Dual-App View Mode

We are nearing that time of the year when Apple will unveil its stuff at the annual World Wide Developer Conference. Out of all rumours, the most interesting ones consist of 12-inch iPads, dual-app view mode and a multi-user login feature.

Since Microsoft released their Windows 8 and provided split-screen app support for both desktop and Surface devices, Apple has been keen on adding the same thing to their iPads. However, up until now, the feature gave the Cupertino-based company a lot of headaches, which eventually forced them to push back the feature release date.

The latest iOS 9 firmware is now rumoured to bring the aforementioned feature, which might debut at the WWDC in June. Word is that the feature will support 1/2, 1/3 and 2/3 views and could be shown on current iPad models.

Aside from the above, Apple might introduce two new 12-inch iPads codenamed J98 and J99, which could be the long anticipated iPad Pros we heard about in the past. Due to their size, Apple is now rumoured to be working on tweaking the iOS and resizing core apps and features such as Siri, the Notification Centre and others in order to make them display properly on the larger displays.

Last but not least, Apple might even introduce support for multiple users. Similar to the Macintosh OS, users will be able to sign into their own accounts and have access to their own personal apps and files. Rumour has it that the feature will not come with the first iOS 9 build, but since Apple is strongly considering to enter the business and education sector, we might see the feature added in an update by the end of the year.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information

Apple Might Add Transit Maps in iOS 9

Since Google was dropped as the official provider of map data, Apple hasn’t been able to provide users with any Transit data. Word is that the Transit system should have been added in iOS 8 last year, but it was eventually cut shortly before WWDC 2014.

The Transit service is said to give users the ability to navigate bus, subway and train routes from the official Maps app, similar to what other map apps have built into their features. In addition to the latter, Apple is said to alter the icon size inside Maps for users to easily spot airports, subway and train stations.

Apple was faced with a lot of problems regarding the data and small coverage for the Transit feature, so they decided to pull it right before it was announced. Previous iOS 8 betas are reported to present the feature, but nothing eventually landed in the final iOS releases.

This time around, Apple is said to have added more cities, a new push notification feature and perfected its data. This means that we might see the Transit Maps integrated and revealed at this year’s WWDC.

Besides the Transit feature, Apple is rumoured to be working on some indoor mapping project that would allow users to navigate office buildings, landmarks and other indoor points of interest. But the project is still at its early stages, so it’s highly unlikely we will see something like this added this year.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information

First Apple HomeKit Devices Get Their Launch Date

Nearly a year ago, Apple revealed its revolutionary way of controlling smart appliances with the help of your iPad or iPhone. However, nearly a year has passed and we have yet to see any devices that we can actually use with Apple’s tech. Why? Well, big ideas don’t really work as well in real life as they do on paper.

Rumour has it that iOS devices required a substantial amount of memory to control smart appliances, so the company had to trim the code down a bit. This inevitably led to delays, but nothing official came from Apple itself, so we won’t really know what the real deal is. What we do know is that rumours pointing to an August or September launch date for smart appliances have now been scrapped.

Instead, the first HomeKit smart devices will now be launched as soon as next month. Yes, you will be able to browse around store looking for things to control with your iOS device as early as June. One of the main reasons that influenced an early release date seems to come Apple’s partners, who wish to push out their own contraptions as early as possible, even though the first certification program for the HomeKit was introduced late last year.

What all of this means is that we are likely to be hit by a variety of HomeKit-enabled iOS controllable smart devices by the end of the summer. How exciting is this? Are you going to be among the first who buy one of such devices? Let us know!

Thank you The Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Pixmule

iPad Software Glitches Lead to American Airlines Flight Delays

Last night there were more angry American Airlines travelers than there should have been, and it can be blamed on iPad software. Delays were caused for flights due to issues with software on the iPads that the airline uses in its fleet of airliners that were to take the place of manuals that could weight up to 35lbs.

The software issue proves that making things better with technology can also really come back to bite you. The iPads the pilots use in the cockpits replaces up to 35 pounds of manuals in each airliner, making a decent fuel saving in the fleet as a whole. But last night the iPads experienced issues with planes having to return to gates for a Wi-Fi connection in order to fix their issue.

On one of the flights, passengers were told that the pilot’s and copilot’s iPads went blank. On another cross country flight passengers were told that the iPads had to be “completely rebooted”. An American Airlines spokesperson said, “We’ve identified the issue, we’ve identified the solution, and we are working on it right now.” They claimed that the issue only affected “a few dozen flights”.

Maybe it is time for American Airlines to look into Android tablets, you think?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of wikipedia.

Researchers Find iOS Flaw That Can Crash Any Device in Range

Researchers from the security firm Skycure have found a new flaw in the IOS system that effectively allows you to put any iOS 8 device in range into a never-ending boot cycle. The flaw was demonstrated at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, but the good news is that the company didn’t disclose all the details on how to perform the hack and they are working with Apple to fix the issue.

The vulnerability takes advantage of a bug in the SSL system and the researchers showed how they could make iOS devices crash as soon as they connected to a ‘bad’ hotspot. This wouldn’t be so bad as you could choose not to connect to unknown wireless networks and hotspots, that is if it wasn’t for another security issue.

The researchers combined the SSL flaw with an older exploit dubbed WiFiGate. iOS devices are pre-programmed by the carrier to automatically connect to certain networks and there isn’t a thing that you can do about it, except maybe turn your WiFi completely off. For example, AT&T customers will automatic connect to any network called attwifi and there is no way to prevent this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmgI0LaFYLA

Using those two flaws in a combination and the researcher could put any iOS device that entered the range of their manipulated hotspot into an endless boot cycle. The only way to stop it and get access back to your phone is to get out of the range of the hotspot. This might just be an annoyance if deployed at a university campus or school, but if such a thing is let lose in a financial district, then it could create some serious havoc.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

YouTube Ending Support for Older iPads, Apple TVs, Smart TVs, and More

As of this week, YouTube is ceasing support for many older tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs, with the first-generation iPad, iPhone 4, second-generation Apple TV, version 2 Google TV, and other aging devices that use the YouTube app losing its functionality.

Version 2 of the YouTube API is the build that is being retired. This iteration of the app was built into iOS up until version 6, so any device from this generation is susceptible to problems. However, though Google warned that any device carrying version 2 of YouTube would no longer be able to access the app from this week onwards, PC World reports that YouTube was still functional on a first-generation iPad, running iOS 5.1.1, as of Tuesday morning. A follow-up blog post from Google suggests that, although support has been pulled, the version 2 API could continue working for a couple of weeks.

What can be done about this? Affected iOS devices will still be able to view YouTube videos through the mobile site, but Apple TV and Google TV users will have no way of accessing YouTube through their respective device. Any device that supports the YouTube app that was manufactured after 2012 will be unaffected. More information can be found on Google’s help page.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information.