Apple working to encrypt iCloud emails in transit

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 13, 2014

Email encryption is a hot topic right now. A few weeks ago, Google published a report that reveals how much email sent in transit is encrypted and which major providers are taking measures to encrypt their own emails. Then yesterday, the NPR published a more in-depth report (via 9to5Mac) that looks at how well major email providers in the United States are doing at protecting the data of users online.

As it turns out, Apple was among several major email providers failing to properly encrypt its emails sent and received from other providers like Gmail and Yahoo. Following the report, however, the iPhone maker reached out to NPR to confirm that it will be working on encrypting its emails in transit. The company says the change will occur “soon,” but no timeline was provided…  Read More

 

App Store, iTunes and iBooks are down for some users [update: it's back to normal]

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 12, 2014

There are multiple reports on Twitter and elsewhere indicating that the App Store, iTunes and iBooks services are either down or functioning erratically. The downtime appears to be affecting users in the United States, Sweden and possibly other regions. On top of that, the App Store appears to be loading incorrectly for some users as well. Hit the break for the latest updates…  Read More

 

iCloud hackers who held iOS devices ransom detained in Russia

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 9, 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Russian authorities have detained two young hackers for hijacking iOS devices through iCloud and holding them ransom for payment. The suspects, both residents of the Southern Administrative District of Moscow, are a 23-year-old named Ivan and an unnamed 17-year-old that served as his accomplice.

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs announced on Monday that the hackers were detained during the course of “operational activities” by the Russian Interior Ministry. The hackers were caught on closed-caption TV after attempting to withdraw ransom payment from an ATM machine. The ministry also noted that one of the suspects has already been tried before…  Read More

 

Apple introduces new iCloud storage tiers

By Cody Lee on Jun 2, 2014

In addition to all of the other big announcements Apple made during its WWDC keynote today, the company unveiled some significant iCloud changes. The service now has a Dropbox-like front end called iCloud Drive that allows you to access your files across all of your devices.

And that’s not all. Apple also announced some much needed new storage tiers for iCloud that will allow you to store more things in the cloud, for cheaper. Unfortunately, the free tier stays the same at 5GB, but users can now get 20GB of iCloud storage for just $0.99 per month… Read More

 

iOS 8 Photos app syncs full libraries across all devices, adds new search and editing tools

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 2, 2014

Apple has updated the Photos app in iOS 8 with some great changes. Most importantly, Photos now sync with iCloud—a feature called iCloud Photo Library—so that users can access all of their photos from all devices at any time. In fact, iCloud can store more photos on the cloud that your physical device can hold, meaning you can get to all of your photos and any time courtesy of the cloud.

Even the edits that you make on your devices go up live to the iCloud Photo Library, and sync with all devices, including the Mac. Apple is working on a new build from the ground up photos solution on the Mac, which will be shipping later next year.

You can even upload videos, and save the original and full resolution versions of both photos and videos. This is all possible via a new tiered pricing plan, which is detailed inside. Read More

 

Apple introduces iCloud Drive: all your OS X and iOS documents in one place

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 2, 2014

Apple just announced iCloud Drive, which allows you to store files directly into iCloud and synchronize them in folders across your Macs and iOS devices, and even Windows machines.

iCloud Drive will allow you to access not only the personal files that you wish to sync, but it will also allow you to access files from apps synced with iCloud, even if those apps are from iOS devices. Read More

 

Apple says Australian iOS device attacks not caused by iCloud breach

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2014

On Monday, a number of iOS and Mac users came forward with complaints that their devices had been remotely locked by hackers. In most of the cases, a message appeared via Find My iPhone on the locked devices, demanding payment for the hack to be reversed.

As far as we can tell, the attacks have been concentrated on Mac and iOS products in Australia. And among the various theories of how the hackers were able to set a remote lock has been the fear that iCloud was breached. But Apple says it hasn’t been compromised… Read More

 

Some iOS devices hijacked and held hostage in Australia

By Joe Rossignol on May 27, 2014

A growing number of iPhone, iPad and Mac users in Australia are turning to the Apple Support Communities and Twitter to report incidents of their device being remotely locked through iCloud. In some cases, a fraudulent message appears through the Find my iPhone service demanding payment between $50 and $100 to someone named Oleg Pliss for the device to be unlocked…  Read More

 

Hackers create tool to bypass Apple’s ‘Activation Lock’ security feature

By Cody Lee on May 21, 2014

Two hackers have created a tool that they claim can bypass Apple’s ‘Activation Lock.’ It’s called ‘doulCi, and it uses a man-in-the-middle attack to intercept users’ Apple ID credentials as well as unlock devices disabled by the highly-lauded security feature.

The hack utilizes a vulnerability in iTunes for Windows that has to do with verifying security certificates. And apparently, all you have to do to get it to work is plug in the device to a computer, and alter a file, directing it to an alternate server instead of iCloud… Read More

 

Apple updates iWork for iCloud with interactive charts, improved collaboration

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2014

Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud apps with a number of improvements today. The web versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote have each received new features with a focus on enhancing the user’s ability to collaborate with others on a document.

All three apps have been updated to support collaboration with up to 100 people, edit larger documents of up to 1 GB, and support for images of up to 10MB. Additionally, they all now support chart formatting, and allow you to create 2D/interactive charts… Read More

 

Apple talking with ISPs as it prepares to launch its Content Distribution Network

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2014

According to a new report from CDN and Internet Services analyst Dan Rayburn, Apple is going ahead with plans to develop its own content delivery network. Rayburn says the company is working on interconnection deals with Internet Service Providers, as it prepares to take its CDN live.

Apple is said to have spent the last 5 years building its CDN, which would be responsible for carrying out iTunes and iCloud content to customers. Currently, the iPad-maker outsources this delivery to third-party companies like Akamai, which means it has no control over quality of service… Read More

 

Apple expands iTunes in the Cloud support in Germany to movies and TV shows

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2014

Good news for iOS users in Germany today, as Apple has expanded iTunes in the Cloud in the country. The cloud-based sync-and-storage service now supports the streaming of movies and television shows.

What this means is that German users will now be able to access previously-purchased movie and television content on any Apple device, including the Apple TV, by accessing the ‘Purchased’ tab in iTunes… Read More

 

NBC’s ‘Today’ offers peek inside Apple’s North Carolina data center

By Cody Lee on Apr 25, 2014

Continuing with its recent ‘green’ marketing push, Apple offered folks a rare look inside its Maiden, North Carolina data center last night. The company paired up with NBC chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson to do a spot on Thursday’s edition of the ‘Today’ show regarding its various environmental initiatives.

The piece is fairly short—just under 3 minutes—but it’s interesting because it gives you a peek inside Apple’s data center operations, and details some of the equipment used to power the large buildings. Also, it features a brief appearance by the company’s newly-appointed Vice President of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson… Read More

 

Apple gives the press a rare peek into upcoming Nevada server/solar farm

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

In another sign that Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership is opening up a little bit more in a stark departure from the notoriously secretive operation it’d been under the Steve Jobs regime, Wired’s Steven Levy was able to get a rare inside look at Apple’s newest data center in the Nevada desert and a massive solar field in Yerington that “takes up as much space as a sizable suburban backyard”… Read More

 

iWork for iCloud apps updated with Retina support and other improvements

By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2014

Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Office for iPad release, Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud apps with a number of improvements. The web versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote have each received new features, and it looks the changes will soon be hitting the Mac and iOS apps as well.

As a group, all three apps have been updated with Retina display support, as well as the ability to share view-only documents and the option to open documents directly from iCloud Mail. Individually, each app has received updated designs for their respective editors and other enhancements… Read More

 

Google cuts prices for Drive storage, putting pressure on Dropbox and others

By Cody Lee on Mar 13, 2014

Google announced some drastic price cuts for its Drive cloud storage today, dropping its 100GB plan down to just $1.99 per month. The service now significantly undercuts rivals like Dropbox, which charges $10 per month for 100GB, and iCloud, which doesn’t even offer a 100GB option.

To be fair, Google’s Drive pricing was already lower than Dropbox, with a 100GB plan costing $4.99 per month vs. $9.99. But that extra $3 per-month savings equates out to $36 per year, making it even more attractive. Don’t mind paying $9.99 monthly? Drive now offers 1TB at that price… Read More

 

iOS 8: Apple apparently working on TextEdit and Preview apps with iCloud integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2014

After reporting yesterday that Apple is considering moving iTunes Radio to its own standalone app in iOS 8, the same reliable blogger is now citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s initiatives as claiming that the next major revision to Apple’s mobile operating system will bring two apps over from the Mac – Preview and TextEdit – both supporting Documents in the Cloud, a feature that lets software store documents in iCloud to be readily available on all devices.

Preview and TextEdit in OS X Mavericks already have support for iCloud documents so this development indicates Apple’s intent to make iOS 8 and OS X even more tightly integrated… Read More

 

Star Wars KOTOR goes half price, now with iOS 7 controller support and iCloud saves

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 7, 2014

Mac games developer Aspyr released Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) for iPad last May and today the app has received its second major update while slashing the retail price in half. Previously costing ten bucks a pop, the game is now available 50 percent off celebrating this update, or just $4.99 a pop in the App Store. The price drop is valid for a limited time only so bargain hunters should grab the game now before the price goes back up.

As for the new features, the freshly updated versions has an improved support for iOS 7 ‘Made for iPhone’ controllers, such as Steel’s Series Stratus, Moga’s Ace Power Controller and Logitech’s PowerShell. Both extended and standard controllers are fully supported. There are also new languages in this KOTOR update as well as iCloud saves for keeping your progress synchronized across all devices… Read More

 

How to back up and restore Messages on a fresh iOS install

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 6, 2014

Backing up the iPhone has always been an interesting phenomenon. iTunes makes backing up your iOS device inherently easy, and iCloud, when you have enough space to store all of your files, makes it even simpler. Unfortunately, people still seem to have lots of questions about backing up their devices.

One of the main issues that makes backing up such a questionable process, is the way that backups are handled in the first place. For starters, backing up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is basically an all or nothing affair. It’s the clothes, the appliances and the kitchen sink, or it’s nothing.

One of the biggest questions that always seems to come up involves backing up and restoring just the SMS and iMessage messages found in the Messages app. Of course, you can perform a normal iTunes backup, and grab all of your messages and the kitchen sink as well, but that’s not a viable solution for everyone.

With that in mind, what do you do if you want to backup and restore only your text messages (iMessages and SMS messages) and keep everything else clean and fresh? Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t provide a way to do this with either iCloud backups or iTunes backups, but it can be done.

There are many reasons as to why you’d want to create a fresh backup and restore and maintain your messages. Perhaps you’d even like to transfer your messages to a separate device? Maybe you’d like to jailbreak a clean device before Apple kills the Evasi0n7 jailbreak, but you’d prefer to keep your messages in the process?

In this tutorial, we will show you how to backup your SMS messages and iMessages, no jailbreak required. We’ll also show you how to import these messages back to the same iPhone or a different one. Check inside as I walk you through the entire step-by-step process. Read More

 

This free Mac util lets you open iCloud Tabs in any web browser

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2014

Apple’s iCloud is a great way to keep your content synchronized across any number of Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.

It keeps your photos, calendar items, contacts, passwords and more up to date across devices, including Safari items like bookmarks and open tabs.

This useful feature, called iCloud Tabs, unfortunately is limited to the Apple ecosystem and only works with the company’s own Safari browser for the Mac and iOS. As a result, people who rely on a non-Apple browser such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome are unable to access the tabs they have open on their other devices.

That is, unless they consider CloudyTabs, a nifty little utility by Josh Parnham that puts iCloud Tabs right in the Mac’s menu bar… Read More