Archives for Apple

Do the new iPhones have connectivity issues?

According to Business Insider, new owners of the iPhone XS and XS Max, which were released on September 21st, are complaining the devices have poor WiFi and cell signal strength.

Business Insider says, “Some are reporting that their older iPhones like the iPhone 7 and iPhone X had better reception strength than their new iPhones — or, simply, that the new iPhones don’t impress with their wireless reception.”

These reports seem to be coming from all carriers, meaning it is not a question of network or region. In seeming confirmation with the user reports, wireless technology blog WiWavelength found that “demonstrating in a laboratory environment how the signal strength on the iPhone XS is significantly weaker than it was with last year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X devices.”

If you’ve been following the new iPhone devices, you might remember that the XS and XS Max have one more antenna band than the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The poor connectivity is coming to a surprise to those who expected better from this new generation of devices.

Worried about the new iPhones? Business Insider says to be patient: “These new iPhones have only just begun to roll out into the real world, and Apple could potentially fix the signal strength issues with a software update after gathering user data. Something similar happened once before, with the iPhone 7, and Apple was able to successfully fix it with a patch.”

Source: businessinsider.com – iPhone XS and XS Max buyers are complaining that their new devices have bad WiFi and cell signal
Published: September 24, 2018

iPhone prices are likely to rise

There are always new promotional deals on iPhones, so it might seem like you are getting some kind of steal on the newest devices. However, according to TheStreet, “the average selling price for the phone will be higher in the second half of 2018 than analysts anticipated.”

Analyst firm Nomura has been tracking the average selling price – or ASP – of the iPhone. While it expected the newest variations of the device to be selling for USD $780 during fiscal 2019 – Wall Street estimated $757 – it turns out the device has actually been selling for between $800 and $830. The ASP is rising internationally as well.

At the same time, TheStreet says “U.S. telecom companies like Verizon Communications Inc.  and AT&T Inc. have been slightly more aggressive for the iPhone XS and XS Max this year than they were last year for the iPhone 8.”

While the phones are growing more and more expensive, companies are pushing promotions to try and entice you to get the newest iPhone anyway.

Nomura told TheStreet that “The common offer is a credit up to $700 with an additional line of service.”

Source: thestreet.com – iPhone Prices to Rise Even as Telecoms Offer More Aggressive Promos
Published: September 17, 2018

You get six months of free Apple Music with a Verizon unlimited data subscription

On August 8th, Verizon announced it would be launching a “new and exclusive” partnership with Apple, so that customers who subscribe to one of the carrier’s three unlimited plans are eligible to receive six months of free Apple Music. According to Apple Insider, this promotion goes into effect on August 16th. It will also apply to all subscribers to Verizon’s unlimited plans, whether “they are new to Apple Music, cancelled the service, or are a current subscriber.”

Apple Insider points out that means any Verizon subscriber is “able to stream all of Apple Music’s 45 million tracks over Verizon’s 4G LTE network without worrying about data caps.”

This isn’t an unusual move for carriers. T-Mobile has made a similar partnership with Netflix, Sprint has bundled Hulu and Tidal with its offerings, and AT&T offers WatchTV. However, the Apple-Verizon deal is valid only for six months, whereas the other carriers’ deals don’t expire.

Nonetheless, Apple Music is a very popular service right now, and this new bundle might just attract new subscribers. As Apple Insider mentions, “In April, it was revealed that Apple Music had 40 million paid subscribers and in July it was said to have overtaken Spotify in paid subscribers in the U.S.”

Source: appleinsider.com – Apple, Verizon partnership gives unlimited data plan subscribers six months of free Apple Music
Published: August 8, 2018

iOS 12 will share your location with first responders when you call 911

If you’re an iPhone user, the upcoming iOS 12 has a safety feature you might be interested in. If you’re ever in trouble and call 911, Apple has announced that your phone will automatically share its location data with first responders.

According to CNET, this feature has been in the works since 2015 when Apple launched HELO, or Hybridized Emergency Location. HELO “uses a combination of cell data, GPS data and Wi-Fi access points to estimate the caller’s whereabouts.” The technology available via iOS 12 is called RapidSOS, and will securely share HELO data with 911 operators. Apple has promised that this data will only  be used in emergency situations.

This feature could be potentially life-saving. Without the process of the 911 operator having to figure out a location from the caller, this feature will allow responders to be dispatched more quickly and more accurately. As we all know, in an emergency, mere seconds can be the difference between life and death.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the feature on June 18th, stating that “Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal. When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

iOS 12 will be released this fall.

Source: Apple’s iOS 12 will automatically share location data with 911 responders
Published: June 18, 2018

Your iPhone X might have a notable defect

One of Apple’s biggest boasts when selling its iPhone X device starting last November was Face ID. Face ID is a sophisticated AI that uses 3D-sensing for facial recognition. Unfortunately, many iPhone X owners may have noticed that the Face ID on their device is faulty, and according to BGR, Apple has “instructions for its stores and authorized service providers to repair or replace faulty devices.”

The solution is strange. If you take your iPhone X in tomorrow, citing these issues, chances are that the first thing they will do is try a repair procedure on the rear facing camera. However, the rear face camera does not impact Face ID.

To explain this procedure, MacRumours was able to find a copy of the instructions Apple gave its service providers:

“In order to provide the best customer experience, if a customer reports that their iPhone X is having Face ID issues, you may be able to resolve the issue with a rear camera repair. Run AST 2 on the customer’s device to check the camera. If the diagnostics find issue with the camera, perform the repair to see if the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, perform a whole unit replacement instead of a same-unit display repair.”

Speculating on these instructions, BGR has said, “It’s unclear what the link between rear and front camera is, but it sure looks like an issue with the dual-lens camera on the back might hinder Face ID functionality.”

And if your Face ID simply isn’t working, back camera repaired or not, then Apple doesn’t seem to know exactly what’s wrong.

Source: bgr.com – Apple confirms a serious problem with the iPhone X – and an unlikely solution
Published: May 7, 2018

Apple might be releasing a news subscription service

Last month, Apple acquired Texture, a magazine subscription service comparable to a Netflix payment model. Now, according to The Verge, Apple might be working on its own “premium news service.”

The Verge says that “a new Apple News app will reportedly launch within the next year, and offer a subscription with a percentage of revenue shared to publishers.”

Apple’s previous attempts at breaking into the news market have not been successful. For example, it created The Daily, an iPad exclusive publication that was shut down after only two years due to lack of an audience. But perhaps creating something more tailored that allows users to choose material of interest to them will prove a better business model; especially when considering the success of Apple Music.

As of publication, Apple has not disclosed how much publishers are set to receive from Apple News’ potential revenue.

Source: theverge.com – Apple reportedly launching subscription news service
Published: April 17, 2018

Firefox blocks website tracking for Apple users

firefox for iosAs of April 13th, Firefox users on iOS can update their app to a version that includes tracking protection by default. This will prevent websites from tracking user data while on their iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device.

The option to block tracking has been around for a while, but it’s activated through settings – meaning those not so tech savvy might have trouble using it. This is the first time that the feature will be available by default, protecting every user as soon as the app is updated. If you don’t use iOS, the block user tracking feature is also available for Android users, just not on by default.

Apart from user privacy, Firefox might have a competitive advantage, says Mobile Syrup. “By blocking user tracking, there’s a chance that websites will be able to load a bit faster which could give Firefox another leg up over other browsers.”

The update released April 13th also includes new iPad features such as drag and drop links, reordering tabs, and new keyboard shortcuts.

Source: mobilesyrup.com – Firefox blocks website tracking by default in latest iOS update
Published: April 13, 2018

Mac targeting malware is on the rise

Macs have long been considered a secure PC option, given that less malware is created to attack the less-used operating system. But that might be changing. Anti-malware security vendor Malwarebytes is warning users that malware attacks targeting the platform jumped 270 percent in 2017.

In particular, security experts warn that four new malware exploits have been identified by Mac users in 2018. One Mac user found that their Domain Name Server settings (DNS) had been changed, and they were blocked from changing them back. According to Computer World, this malware “also installed a trusted root certificate on the person’s Mac. The threat left the user vulnerable to fraudulent phishing websites posing as the real deal and man-in-the-middle attacks.”

Malwarebytes researchers have also found a new Java-based exploit for Macs that they believe was likely developed “for nefarious purposes” by an undisclosed nation state. Another attack found by the security vendor “included deployment of malicious links on a popular software downloads website.”

While Apple platforms tend to be very secure, the truth is that they are not impenetrable. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of Mac users’ lax sense of security.

“Apple’s macOS includes some good security features that are helpful, but they are easily bypassed by new malware,” Malwarebytes told Computer World.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Computer World gave a pretty comprehensive list. It recommends:

  • Avoid clicking links if you don’t know the sender.
  • Use strong passcodes.
  • Understand the risk of public Wi-Fi, and don’t access confidential or financial services using such networks.
  • Do not download software from unapproved App Stores.
  • Run a virus scan now and then.
  • Use two-factor authentication when possible.
  • Learn to use and understand Apple’s new privacy protection tools when they appear in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4.
  • Read the Mac and iOS security guides.

Source: computerworld.com – Warning as Mac malware exploits climb 270%
Published: March 12, 2018

 

 

Macs reach ten percent of global computer usership

It’s one of those milestones that is supposed to be great –  but also shows just how dominant Microsoft truly is in the personal computer market. According to Computer World, Apple’s Mac computers account for one in every ten personal computers used to access the internet over the last two months. A year ago, the number was 6.2% of the global user share.

Chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, Bob O’Donnell, told Computer World why he believes Apple has finally reached this milestone. “It’s due on some level to growth driven by BYOD. Over the years, companies have been more willing to let employees bring their own devices in. I presume that has something to do with [Mac growth].”

O’Donnell also noted that recent security concerns could have contributed to the company’s growth. “Macs are generally considered to be more secure because of fewer attacks [aimed at them].”

Another reason for the rise in popularity may have something to do with longevity of devices. On average, Mac owners tend to hold onto their PCs for longer than Windows owners. Although this means that more Windows systems are being purchased, Apple’s share would slowly build against them.

Source: computerworld.com – Macs now account for 10% of active personal computers
Published: March 13, 2018

Apple to release its largest iPhone ever

After all the hullaballoo surrounding the release of the iPhone X last November, you might not be ready for news about the next generation of the popular Apple smartphone. But, as it turns out, Apple is. Company insiders announced that the California-based tech goliath is preparing to reveal a trio of new iPhones this fall.

The trio includes what will be the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded version of the current iPhone X, and a less expensive version of the iPhone X that includes all of the original’s key features. According to The Toronto Star, “Apple wants to appeal to the growing number of consumers who crave the multi-tasking attributes of so-called phablets while also catering to those looking for a more affordable version of the iPhone X.”

Is Apple trying to make up for lackluster sales with the iPhone X? Statistics have shown that Apple sold far below its projections of 80.2 million phones in the final quarter of 2017, reaching only 77.3 million units. The cheaper version of the iPhone X suggests that Apple listened to customers who were unhappy with the original device’s thousand dollar selling point.

Some experts suggest that the screen increase is another good move for Apple. “This is a big deal,” Gene Munster, a co-founder of Loup Ventures and a long-time Apple watcher, told The Toronto Star. “When you have a measurable upgrade in screen size, people go to update their phone in droves. We saw that with the iPhone 6, and we think this is setting up to be a similar step up in growth. The market that will see the biggest jump in sales is likely Asia. That market has many single-device consumers, and they love big phones.”

Apple has not commented on the situation officially, so we will likely have to wait until fall to see these new phones.

Source: thestar.com – Apple to release trio of new iPhones, including its largest ever
Published: February 27, 2018