By Cody Lee on Jul 13, 2014
Last week, China’s state-run China Central Television broadcasted a report that labeled the iPhone as a “national security concern.” More specifically, the CCTV criticized the “frequent locations” function in iOS 7, which records time and location for the owner’s movements.
Yesterday, Apple issued an official response to the report on its Chinese website. The statement reaffirms the company’s commitment to privacy, and states that the Location Services found in the iOS firmware are only used to help users for activities that require navigation… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014
Foursquare, the popular location-based social networking service, back in May took all the gamified features out of its main iOS client – the mayorships, check-ins, leaderboards, achievements and what not – and created a new app around them, Swarm. As a result, the main Foursquare app is now focused on place discovery , not the check-ins.
The lightweight Swarm app makes it easy to see who’s out nearby, who’s doing what, who wants to hang out later and more. Today, the app has received a refresh bringing out several new features.
Now available to download in the App Store, Swarm 1.0.6 features better check-ins, friend leaderboards, easier sharing, more detailed information about places and more… Read More
By Joe Rossignol on Jul 3, 2014
Apple has filed a new patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an invention that dynamically changes the security, settings and behavior of a device based on its location. For instance, most users may only require a four-digit passcode on their iPhone while at home, but would prefer to use the more secure Touch ID while in the workplace or traveling.
The hardware and software of a device would work in tandem to identify the location of the user and adjust the security levels accordingly, based on its proximity or connection to cellular data towers, local Wi-Fi networks, other cell phones and more. There would be certain thresholds depending on how confident the device is in the security of the surrounding location… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2014
In a move designed to appease privacy watchers and further protect your privacy, Apple has made it that much harder for pesky marketeers to identify your device (and consequentially you as a user) or track your location as you go about your business. As discovered by Swiss programmer Frederic Jacobs, iOS 8 randomizes your device’s MAC address while scanning for networks.
A MAC address serves as a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. By randomizing your device’s MAC address each time it scans for nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, iOS 8 effectively disguises any trace of the real device. Here’s hoping this becomes an industry standard. Jump past the fold to learn more about this nifty feature… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2014
Apple with iOS 8 is advancing the CoreLocation API with new features designed to provide users with even more reliable, faster and precise indoor positioning in supported venues. Currently, iOS determines your location using a combination of GPS, a crowd-sourced location database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and the cellular triangulation technique that determines your rough location based on cell tower signal strength.
As GPS/cellular are often unavailable or perform poorly inside buildings and in underground places like parking lots, iOS 8 can resort to using a combination of iBeacon transmitters, if any, and motion data provided by your device’s accelerometer, compass and gyroscope sensors… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2014
Find My iPhone is a great way to locate your lost or misplaced device – that is, unless a thief was smart enough to find a way to disable it right after you’ve been mugged and your device has been taken from you.
Additionally, if the person has shut down your device or it has run out of battery charge, Apple’s free Find My iPhone app will only display its last known location for up to 24 hours.
The same goes for the web interface over at iCloud.com. After the 24 hour cut-off period, you’re basically unable to locate the device on a world map until it has been restarted and has established a network connection… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2014
Another handy improvement we’ve discovered in iOS 8 deals with location tracking improvements.
Apparently, Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system puts an app icon right on the Lock screen whenever in a vicinity of a location that has a corresponding app in the App Store. Just walk up to a nearby Apple Store and an app icon appears on the Lock screen. Same for places like Tesco and Vons.
“When Location Services is turned on, the device’s current location is used to recommend relevant apps on the lock screen,” as per iOS 8 release notes. Again, you don’t even need to have the app installed on your device. It’s important to note that this feature is unrelated to iBeacons, here are full details… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2014
Earlier this morning, I diligently informed you that the crowd-sourced location platform Foursquare has updated its free iPhone check-in software ahead of the impending launch of a brand new Swarm app later today.
Now available free in the App Store, Swarm for iPhone integrates gamified features from the main Foursquare app to “help people keep up and meet up with their friends”.
It combines all-new mayorships, while introducing intriguing new stuff such as popular stickers. Basically, the app offers detailed insights about your life and lets you connect to friends in your neighborhood to explore their activities.
Swarm arrives ahead of Foursquare’s search-focused revamp due this summer. And when it drops, the Foursquare app will no longer let you check-in to places. If you have updated to the new Foursquare 7.0.8 and have Swarm installed, you should be able to peek at some of the upcoming changes inside the Foursquare app… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2014
Foursquare, the popular location-based social platform, is set to release a brand new Swarm app today which will “help people keep up and meet up with their friends”.
As a result, the existing free iOS client has just been updated with some changes you should know about. Announced two weeks ago, Swarm combines new mayorships, introduces stickers, offers detailed insights about your life and much more.
If you have Swarm installed, the new Foursquare 7.0.8 update includes a peek at some of the upcoming changes to Foursquare ahead of a major search-focused revamp due this summer… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2014
Social networking giant Facebook is bound to stir controversy all over again as it’s just introduced a new friend-tracking feature. Similar to Apple’s free Find My Friends iOS app, Facebook’s Nearby Friends basically notifies you when your friends are nearby.
It’s a rather radical idea, one Facebook said Thursday was designed to encourage people to “meet up and spend time together” in real life. Go figure. Learn more about Facebook’s Find My Friends right below the fold… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014
SXSW, the annual music, film and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas, will use Apple’s indoor positioning and microlocation technology dubbed iBeacons to improve the experience by enabling attendees to pick up badges faster using the official SXSW Go app, a free download in the App Store. Additionally, audience members will be able to use the app and nearby iBeacons to interact in real-time during sessions… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014
Apple’s iBeacons, an indoor positioning system that can detect nearby devices to optionally push promotional marketing messages, has been picking up considerable steam lately. For instance, such brands as Major League Baseball and Apple itself have implemented the system, as did various retailers, theme parks, grocery stores and even car accessory makers.
According to BEEKn.net, Apple has now released detailed specification for the iBeacon platform. Released through Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) initiative, the documents are apparently separate from Apple’s main Bluetooth MFi specification.. Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2014
It appears that an issue in iOS 7 that disabled the geolocation functions on apps that were force-closed by the user is being corrected in iOS 7.1. Developers say that in the latest iOS 7.1 betas, force-closing an app does not disable its location-aware functions.
This has been a major problem for developers since the launch of iOS 7 last fall—particularly for those who had location-based apps. Some devs have even reported that their App Store ratings have plummeted in the last 6 months due to the technical change… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2014
A fresh update to Foursquare’s free iPhone and iPad application has enabled an interesting new feature: from now on, whenever you fancy a bite – be it breakfast, lunch or dinner – you can use either the mobile app or the web interface at foursquare.com to find nearby restaurants that accept orders from Grubhub Seamless, the popular U.S. based online food ordering company.
You’ll notice a new GrubHub or Seamless icon when browsing a place in Foursquare. Just tap it to place your order through GrubHub Seamless. To retrieve a list of nearby restaurants that will bring food to you and your hungry friends, simply search for ‘delivery’ (example: ‘taco delivery’)… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2014
Apple’s indoor positioning technology, iBeacons, is cropping up in some unlikely places. No, I don’t mean grocery stores, trade shows, Apple Stores, stadiums and bars. According to a Dutch blog, one of the country’s theme park will be deploying iBeacons in March to provide visitors with useful information right on their iOS devices.
It’s also interesting that Apple’s finance boss felt the urge to mention during yesterday’s earnings call that the company is now using iBeacons in a number of its retail outlets to beam relevant product information and promotions as customers get near an iBeacon… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2013
Foursquare, the location-based social networking website, has seen the September 18 release of iOS 7 come and go without a matching update to its iOS app on its part.
The company last month issued a fairly significant update that brought out a new recommendations feature which sends you useful location-based information, in real-time, like current specials at a restaurant.
Today’s update finally brings Foursquare for iPhone and iPod touch on par with iOS 7 aesthetics. Foursquare is one of those apps that already had light design of sorts, but now it’s much prettier and easier on the eyes… Read More