Securing Your Security with iOS 9.0

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, October 06, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iOS 9 Privacy
After Apple released its new iOS 9 operating system for the iPhone and iPad, everyone was excited about the assortment of new and exciting features.

However, the new software also brings a few small but notable compromises when it comes to the operating system’s priorities regarding user privacy and security. This minor security threats compelled Apple to works on how it approaches privacy and how it keeps users informed on how their data is handled.

Russell Brandom reports for The Verge that when Apple first unveiled iOS 9 this summer, one of the biggest selling points of the new operating system was a smarter Siri. With iOS 9, Siri is more deeply integrated into apps and services, pulls more data from a wider variety of sources, and offers users recommendations before they even ask for something.

But researchers have discovered a drawback to Siri’s new intelligence. iOS 9 enables users to access Siri from the lock screen. If users know how to manipulate that access, they can use it to add contacts or to access the photos that are stored on the device. While the vulnerability is unlikely to exploited widely, some critics are speculating that police could use it to inspect a suspect’s phone, even without knowing the passcode that locks it.

Fixing the vulnerability is simple; users can disable Siri access on the lock screen in the Touch ID & Passcode section of the Settings app. Unfortunately, as Brandom notes, most users won’t bother to change the default, if they find out about the vulnerability at all. That means that the iPhone’s lock screen protections just got a little bit weaker.

The lock screen vulnerability isn’t the only iOS 9 feature that should give security-minded users pause. For instance, the operating system is “promiscuous” when it comes to desktop tethering. An unlocked iPhone can tether to a computer with a single click, no password necessary, which enables the computer to copy emails, photos, and texts whenever the phone is connected, even if it’s locked.

Neither the lock screen vulnerability nor the tethering practice is particularly scary on its own. But as Brandom reports, their appearance in iOS 9 reveals an uglier truth about Apple and the priority it supposedly places on users’ privacy and security.

While Apple champions better forms of encryption and responsible handling of user data — and security experts find a lot to like with Apple’s software — Cupertino sometimes opts to trade security for convenience. According to Jess Bolluyt of CheatSheet, this is extremely unsettling for users who thought that Apple left such practices behind with the Celebgate leaks, which were enabled by an overly cooperative iCloud systems.

While iOS 9 still offers some features that prioritize convenience over security, Bolluyt added that Apple is taking important steps to keep users informed about how its software handles their data, and how they can make their devices more secure.

Matthew Panzarino reports for TechCrunch that Apple recently updated its privacy site, adding new information about iOS 9, the latest version of OS X, and the wide array of services and features offered to users. The section on how to “manage your privacy,” in particular, offers clear explanations of what you can do to improve your security, (use a complex passcode, enable TouchID, turn on Find My iPhone, and control the data you’re sharing with apps and ad exchanges, for starters).

Panzarino points out that privacy is something that everyone should care about, but studies continue to indicate that people either aren’t aware of the compromises they make or unaware of the implications of their choices. By expanding its privacy page and presenting information in clear language and with supporting data, Apple is making it easier for users to understand how the company is protecting their information.

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Apple iPhone with Curve Screen

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, October 05, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Curve iPhone Screen
When it comes to the iPhone screen, Apple will spare nothing to make some significant changes. While these screen alterations have been substantial — such as the move from the glass back of the iPhone 4/4s to the all-aluminum design of Apple's most recent iPhones — the basic form factor has stayed the same.

However, Apple has seriously considered an idea that would radically change the way their clients use your iPhone. The company may adopt the recently granted a patent for an iPhone design in which the screen curves all the way around the phone.

The patent, which was published on 29 September 2015, is a continuation of various patents Apple has filed in the past. It's not necessarily a new idea — Apple has been filing similar patent applications since 2013. Regardless, it's still interesting to speculate that the company may still be experimenting with these types of ideas.

In the document, Apple says that a design like this could change the way their clients use their iPhones. If the screen of the iPhone were extended, users wouldn't be limited to interacting with the device's screen only on the front of the phone.

Apple notes that other aspects of the device found along the side — such as the mute switch, power, and volume buttons — can't be used with apps since they're only programmed to perform one task.

The type of design Apple proposes in its patent would change this. Here's what the company writes in the patent:

"Unfortunately, this popular form factor, leaves the sides and rear surfaces of the device unused or at best configured with buttons and switches with fixed location and functionality. Since many of these buttons and switches have fixed functionality they cannot always be incorporated into third party applications.

Therefore, there exists a need for an improved form factor for portable electronic devices which allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device."
That doesn't mean everyone should expect to see an iPhone that looks anything like this in the near future. Apple patents different types of technologies and products all the time, and it doesn't mean it has any plans to bring these concepts to market. Patents just give us an idea of what Apple may be experimenting with.

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Some Small and Cool iOS 9.0 Features

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, October 04, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Small and Cool iOS 9 Features
When iOS 9 was released, many Apple users were already familiar that the new version of operating system is much more intelligent than its predecessor. Not only is Siri made more smarter and more aware — she can set up reminders, for example.

There is also the highly publicized new feature called Proactive. It’s a new assistant that will learn user behaviors and predict what they are interested in doing with their phone.

However, there are other small features that should be considered as cool in Apple standards, but were hardly noticed this early. Below are just chronicled some small-but-significant iOS 9 changes flagged by Reddit’s Apple community that will improve the device’s overall usefulness and functionality.

Reload a site with ad blocking enabled. If you’re looking at a website with truly obnoxious ads, you can long press the refresh icon in the search bar and it will bring up the option to refresh the page with ad blockers enabled.

Siri now vibrates instead of beeps when you long press the Home button. This is a small change that will nonetheless be useful for people who want to activate Siri without drawing attention to themselves.

Swipe out of attachments in Messages: If you’re done looking at an attachment in Messages, you can simply do a downward swipe that will bring you back to the original message.

Notification light no longer turns on when the phone is upside down: This is likely a feature you’ll never notice, but if you have your iPhone turned upside down on your nightstand while you’re sleeping, the notification light will no longer blink at you incessantly when you have an incoming message.

Easily go back to the last app you were using: If you’re in one app and you click on a link that opens up a different app, you’ll be able to go back to the original app you were using by clicking a special icon that appears in the notification pop-up bar at the top of the display.

Shuffle All makes its triumphant return: Apple for some unknown reason ditched the Shuffle All option from My Music, but now it seems it’s back, much to music lovers’ delight.

Swipe to delete alarms in the Clock app: You no longer have to ask Siri to dismiss all your alarms but can simply swipe them away.

Battery display for all Bluetooth-linked devices in the Notifications Center: This one will be good for not just Apple Watch owners but anyone who has a device paired with their iPhones via Bluetooth. You’ll now be able to see just how much power your Bluetooth-linked devices have on the iPhone’s notifications screen.

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Bug From iOS 9.0 Mutes iPhone Apps

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, October 03, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iOS 9 Bug
When iOS 9 was rolled out recently, it encountered a few bugs early on, but it has proven to be less problematic compared to iOS 8 was last year. There are still problems, but it is not something that will shut down everything just to have it fixed, until now.

A new bug was just identified that appeared to be related to WhatsApp and even Facebook, and it is causing a bit of a headache for some users.

WhatsApp and Facebook are two of the most popular apps on all mobile platforms, so when there's a bug linking a new version of a major operating system with them, people are sure to complain. Thus far, however, it appears as if only foreign language websites are reporting it.

An reports that many iPhone users, after downloading and installing iOS 9, have emailed and complained that iOS 9 shuts off the volume on their phones while doing certain activities. Some say when they're listening to music or a podcast and then switch to WhatsApp or Facebook, suddenly the sound shuts off. They say that prior to switching, everything is running normally. Upon looking at the volume on their phones, they discover that it has suddenly been turned down to zero. also reports on what appears to be a variation of the same bug. In this version of the bug, when iOS 9 users send an image using WhatsApp to a contact, the volume on the iPhone is suddenly moved to zero.

It's unclear at this point whether the problem is with iOS 9 or if it's occurring because of bugs in the other apps. However, as there are reports of this volume problem affecting both Facebook and WhatsApp, it appears as if the issue might lie with iOS 9.

Since upgrading to iOS 9, users have been reporting several relatively small bugs. To be sure, this issue with the volume is annoying, but at least it's not earth-shattering. So far there are at least four other bugs, each varying in their level of seriousness.

One of the newer bugs that has been discovered was that iOS 9 shut off cellular access for third-party apps, which of course means users had to be on Wi-Fi to use them. This issue is bigger than the volume one because there's no way to turn cellular access back on for some third-party apps.

However, there appears to be a subset of users impacted. According to Forbes, the bug appears to only be impacting people who had cellular access for any of their mobile apps shut off on iOS 8 when they installed iOS 9.

The other problems include random crashes (which is to be expected with every new version of iOS in the early days) and a bug that locked up an iPhone on the slide to upgrade screen.

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An Affordable iPhone 6c is in the Works

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, October 02, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple has not yet released any variant of their low-end iPhone since it released the iPhone 5c way back in 2013. However, the wait may soon be over and one could be made available in a few months, according to Ananda Baruah at Brean Capital.

In a recent note, Baruah wrote that Apple could launch a new low-end iPhone as early as this spring. That would fall outside of Apple's typical product cycle, since the company has only unveiled new iPhones in the fall over the past several years.

Here's the snippet from Brean Capital's note that discusses a cheaper iPhone:

"A new lower-end iPhone – either a smaller functional iPhone model or a skinny (our term) iPhone 6 sized phone. This would allow AAPL to tap into emerging market / lower functional ASP-sensitive areas of the smartphone market."
This isn't the first time analysts have brought up the idea that Apple could be planning to release a cheaper iPhone before it launches its next flagship phone, which will presumably be called the iPhone 7.

Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri previously told Business Insider that Apple once considered making a smaller 4-inch version of the iPhone 6, but had scrapped the idea. He added that his sources and supply chain research indicated Apple was planning to make this smaller phone, which he referred to as the iPhone 6c, as recently as March 2015. But, as of July, evidence of this phone had disappeared from the supply chain.

Lisa Eadicicco of Business Insider said in her report that it would be a smaller iPhone that provides a low-cost option for those who want an iPhone with Apple's more modern metal design but don't want to splurge on Apple's larger phones.

There are also rumors that the iPhone is about to go into production with a November on sale date likely. Foxconn is apparently ramping up its assembly lines to build the iPhone 6c which a view to the new, smaller iPhone handset going on sale in November.

The contract manufacturer says that it has received shipments of 4-in screens that are earmarked for the device, according to GForGames and ChinaTimes.

This rumor suggests that Apple will get the handset out just in time for Christmas, but it would be the first time the company had released a phone independently of the other handsets.

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Break Apple Record Sales

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, October 01, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 6s Sales
Everyone had suspected it for some time now, but last 28 September, Apple confirmed that it had sold more than 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Pluses during their first weekend of availability in 12 markets. The number is significant to note because it sets a record for its marquee product.

Although sales surpassed analysts’ expectations of 12 million to 13 million units, shares of Apple fell more than 1 percent. This suggested investors remained skeptical that Apple can improve on the demand for the previous iPhone, which propelled the company to its most profitable quarter ever, said IDC analyst John Jackson.

"Topping what the iPhone 6 achieved looks like a tall order, even for Apple, with its history of outdoing itself," he said.

The iPhone 6 had set the previous record of 10 million unit sales in its first weekend, but the figures did not include China, where regulatory problems delayed the gadget's debut last year.

Analysts had said Apple was virtually assured to set a first-weekend record for iPhone sales with the inclusion of China, which many expect will soon be the company’s largest market.

But several analysts said the 6s figures, which also included the United States, Australia and the UK, suggested Apple was on pace to lift iPhone sales slightly from last year.

Analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research said that she was impressed by Apple’s ability to drum up consumer interest in a device with relatively modest improvements over the iPhone 6, whose new, larger screens touched off a sales frenzy.

"It’s indicative of the strength of Apple that you have at least as many people wanting the iPhone 6s," she said in the show of Julia Love at Yahoo! Finance.

The sales figures gave a glimpse of Apple’s performance in China, whose economic downturn has been a source of great angst for investors.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives estimated that Apple sold more than 2 million iPhones in China over the weekend.

"Demand out of China looks white-hot," he said.

The weekend also marked the debut of Apple's upgrade program, which allows users to receive a new iPhone each year for monthly installments starting at US$ 32, regardless of their carrier.

Many customers over the weekend appeared to be participating in the program, Cross said, although the plan may prove more popular among the earliest buyers of the new iPhones.

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said the program could help boost sales as consumers begin to put off replacing their smartphones.

Apple is also benefiting from a weak field. New phones from chief rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have received a lukewarm reception, and other manufacturers seem to be stuck playing catch-up, Jackson said.

Apple said the new iPhones would be available in more than 40 additional countries starting 9 October, reaching more than 130 by year-end.

The new phones have improved cameras and a display technology called 3D Touch, which responds based on how hard users press their screens.

Apple relies heavily on sales of the iPhone, which generated nearly two-thirds of its revenue in the latest quarter.

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