Apple outlines diagnostic capabilities in response to iOS ‘backdoor’ concerns

By Cody Lee on Jul 23, 2014

Forensic expert, and former jailbreak hacker, Jonathan Zdziarski caused quite a stir earlier this week when he published a report accusing Apple of building backdoors into iOS that could be used for government surveillance.

Apple of course came out and denied the claim, saying that these so-called ‘backdoor services’ are actually used for troubleshooting. But this wasn’t a good enough explanation for a lot of users, so tonight it delved a little deeper… Read More

 

iTunes software and services fastest growing part of Apple’s business this year

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

During Apple’s Q3 earnings call this afternoon, Tim Cook praised the success of its iTunes software and services arm. The CEO said the division was the fastest-growing of the company’s business in the first 9 months of its fiscal year 2014.

The segment generated $4.5 billion in revenue during the 3-month period, an increase of 12% YoY (or year over year). And Cook attributed the growth to a number of factors, including growing interest in China and strong App Store numbers… Read More

 

Apple has acquired 5 companies since April, 29 in past nine months

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

One of the more interesting tidbits from today’s earnings call was a revelation about Apple’s recent acquisitions. Tim Cook said the company has purchased 5 companies since the end of the March quarter, and a total of 29 companies during the past 9 months.

Apparently these numbers do not include the Beats Electronics deal—Apple’s largest acquisition to date—because it has not completely finalized yet, and isn’t expected to until later this quarter. So who are the other companies? These are the ones we know about… Read More

 

$165 billion cash pile and other interesting bits from today’s earnings call

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

Apple announced its financial results for Q3 2014 this afternoon, and for the most part it met the Street’s expectations. The company sold 35.2 million iPhones and pulled in $37.4 billion in revenue during the three month period, and iPad sales fell short at just 13.2 million.

We’re just finishing up the conference call, where Tim Cook, CFO Luca Maestri and other members of the executive team have discussed Apple’s performance, and offered some insight into its future. As usual, we’ve rounded up the to 15 most interesting points for you below… Read More

 

Apple Q3 2014 earnings: 35.2M iPhones, 13.2M iPads, $37.4B revenue

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

As expected, Apple is out with its financial report for Q3 2014 this afternoon. In a press release issued just a few moments ago, the company announced that it sold 35.2 million iPhones, 13.2 million iPads, and pulled in $37.4 billion in revenue during the three month period.

Apple beat its own guidance, and met projections on just about everything but iPad numbers. It would seem that the problems continue with the popular tablet line, as sales came in more than 1 million units less than expected. We have a full breakdown of the numbers below…
Read More

 

How to extract Mac icons as full-resolution transparent PNG image files using Preview

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2014

Our new contributor Timothy Reavis last Monday posted a nicely done how-to explaining how one can easily change app icons on the Mac using Finder and a little bit of Terminal trickery.

I myself often get asked about extracting high-quality Mac icons for use in blog posts, on websites and elsewhere. Granted, it’s easy to navigate to your Applications folder and screenshot a desired icon in the Finder’s CoverFlow or Icon view.

On the downside, doing so removes icon transparency and fails to produce a pixel-perfect replica of the original icon. This tutorial will teach you how to export any Mac app icon in its original size as a transparent PNG file… Read More

 

Apple granted ‘iTime’ patent for smart wristband

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

With no physical evidence supporting the ongoing ‘iWatch‘ rumors, we continue to search for other forms of proof that Apple is indeed working on a smartwatch. And today, we are adding a new piece to the puzzle with the ‘iTime’ patent.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the Cupertino company a patent today for a new device called the ‘iTime.’ It’s described as a smart wristband that contains various sensors and wireless radios, so it can talk to other devices… Read More

 

Are you ready for iPad mini Air?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2014

When Apple last October introduced an update to its full-size iPad, nobody expected a name change but that’s exactly what transpired as the fifth-generation iPad became known as the iPad Air.

The rebranding conveys the device’s thin appearance and sleek design. With Fall fast approaching, Apple is about to refresh its tablet lineup.

A fresh report from China now hints at the possibility of a dramatically thinner appearance for the third-generation iPad mini, suggesting the device might even borrow the “Air” moniker from its bigger brother… Read More

 

Poll: should iPhone 6 have a lit Apple logo?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2014

A pair of high-quality photographs of an alleged rear shell of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 obtained by uSwitch are making the rounds this morning. The popular theory is that the device may have an illuminated Apple logo on the back, similar to the logo cutout on iPads and just like Apple’s MacBook series of notebooks.

Rumors of iPhones outfitted with a lit Apple logo have persisted for years, but this is the first time a concrete part has surfaced that suggests an Apple logo-shaped cutout on the back.

In today’s poll, we’re asking if you think whether the next iPhone should come with the glowing Apple logo on its back… Read More

 

Apple airs new ‘Stickers’ MacBook Air ad

By Cody Lee on Jul 21, 2014

Apple tonight aired a new commercial for its MacBook Air line called “Stickers.” Interestingly enough, it doesn’t talk about features or specs, or even show the laptop in use. Instead, it shows an Air being customized with various decals.

Apple says the ad, which features music from Hudson Mohawke, is a “celebration of all the many ways people love the MacBook Air.” And it ends with a side view of the thin computer and a powerful tagline: ”The notebook people love.” Read More

 

WSJ: Apple gearing up for record production of 70 to 80 million iPhone 6 units

By Cody Lee on Jul 21, 2014

Apple is gearing up for its largest initial production run of iPhones ever, according to a new report this afternoon from The Wall Street Journal. The Cupertino company is betting big on its larger-screened handsets, which it believes will garner record sales.

Citing sources “familiar with the matter,” the outlet says that Apple has asked suppliers to manufacture somewhere between 70 million and 80 million units combined of two larger display iPhones, one 4.7-inch model and one 5.5-inch, by the end of December… Read More

 

Former jailbreak hacker accuses Apple of building surveillance backdoors into iOS

By Cody Lee on Jul 21, 2014

Former iPhone jailbreak hacker Jonathan Zdziarski recently gave a presentation at the HOPE/X conference regarding iOS device security. He said that the platform is reasonably secure from attacks by malicious hackers, but noted there are several backdoors built-in for surveillance.

In the presentation, called ‘Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices,’ Zdziarski detailed a number of undocumented high-value forensic services running on iOS devices, and suspicious design omissions in the OS, that appear to be for snooping…  Read More

 

How to get HBO and HBO Go without paying a ridiculous $100+ cable bill

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2014

For all the talk about television networks and cable providers jumping into the 21st century with apps for accessing premium entertainment on the go, through just about any device, cable cutters are all to painfully aware of one huge caveat – you have to be subscribed to your cable or satellite television provider in order to enjoy premium television shows on your devices.

HBO, by and large the most prominent provider of original television shows, has an excellent HBO Go service available on multiple platforms, but again – you need to be a cable customer which means paying a ridiculous cable bill of hundred bucks per month or more.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Turns out you can in fact enjoy shows like Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Leftovers, Silicon Valley and more, without committing your soul to a cable provider. You only need to know the magic word to keep HBO without paying for the additional 500 channels you never watch… Read More

 

Best Buy offering $100 iTunes Gift Cards for $85

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2014

Best Buy, the Richfield, Minnesota headquartered American multinational consumer electronics retailer, is seemingly offering discounts on Apple products on a weekly basis. To boot your week, the company is now offering $100 iTunes Gift Cards for just $85, representing a saving of fifteen bucks on your software and digital media purchases on iTunes.

These physical cards usually leave Best Buy’s warehouse in 1 business day and the retailer is throwing in free shipping to sweeten the deal a bit more… Read More

 

Apple announces London iTunes Festival featuring Pharrell, Beck and others

By Cody Lee on Jul 20, 2014

Apple this morning announced its eighth annual iTunes Festival in London. The 30-day event will feature over 60 acts, and once again take place at the legendary Roundhouse throughout the month of September.

Headlining this year’s Festival will be Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams, Beck and David Guetta, and Apple says that it will once again be streaming all of their performances to iOS devices, iTunes and the Apple TV for free… Read More

 

Security firm warns of new iMessage spam campaign

By Cody Lee on Jul 20, 2014

iPhones users—particularly those in larger US cities—may want to start keeping an eye out for odd iMessages. According to security firm Cloudmark, there has been a dramatic uptick in recent months of spam directed at Apple’s iOS messaging system.

Cloudmark says that the new spam campaign, which appears to be peddling counterfeit goods, accounted for 34% of US-based SMS spam during the past two months. Activity seemed to be particularly high in New York City, L.A., San Diego and Miami… Read More

 

New in iOS 8: App Store trending searches

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2014

At WWDC back in June, Apple announced several nice-to-haves aimed at improving the oft-criticized app discovery with new App Store features. Among them: trending searches.

It should be noted that first mentions of this feature being active date as far back as a week ago. It’s however unclear whether everyone on the latest iOS 8 beta is seeing hot searches or just a subset of Apple’s registered iOS developers.

Be that as it may, trending searches are tremendously useful and bound to help developers get their apps found in the App Store. As the name suggests, the feature surfaces hot search queries at any given time… Read More

 

EU officials upset as Apple remains mum on proposed IAP policy changes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

In-App Purchase, a way overused feature which provides a way for supposedly free games and apps to ask users for cash in order to enable advanced features or unlock virtual items, is increasingly drawing ire of regulators across the globe.

In-App Purchases are notorious for fooling less-informed adults and kids into downloading so-called freemium apps so it’s no wonder the European Union officials have repeatedly warned that companies like Apple and Google should stop labeling free-to-download apps that contain In-App Purchases as “Free”.

Companies could soon be forced to make the “true cost of apps” unambiguously clear before purchase, according to a complaint the European Commission filed today… Read More

 

Epic Games builds support for iOS 8 Metal deep into Unreal Engine

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

Though Metal isn’t among the headline user-facing features of iOS 8, its impact on games with snazzy visuals can’t be overstated.

Introduced at WWDC 2014 alongside a number of other features aimed at developers, Metal is billed as a new graphics runtime that wants to replace OpenGL ES by trimming the fat to provide what Apple calls the lowest-overhead access to the A7 chip’s GPU.

And now, Epic Games – which makes the tremendously popular and powerful graphics engine that powers many premium games – has announced that the latest version of Unreal Engine (version 4.3) adds Metal support… Read More

 

Watch Amazon’s inaugural TV ad for its upcoming Fire Phone

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

Last night, the online retail giant Amazon has begun airing the first television commercial for its Fire smartphone ahead of its debut next Friday in the United States.

Rather than take jabs at competitors as Amazon did with its launch ads for the Fire tablets, the Fire Phone commercial instead zeroes in on the fact that it comes with a full year of Prime membership, bundled free of charge.

It’s a major selling point which cleverly takes advantage of Amazon’s diverse interests in digital media and its continuos focus on undercutting the value proposition of its rivals… Read More

 
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