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
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
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
As 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
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
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
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
What’s the most annoying thing to happen at a party or get-together in your home? When your friend sets a frosty drink down on your wooden coffee table without a coaster, of course! No one wants to see rings on their furniture. Unfortunately, drinks may not be the only culprit! According to various reports, Apple’s HomePod smart speaker allegedly leaves white rings on wooden surfaces in less than 20 minutes of use.
The $349.00 device, which launched February 9th, has reportedly caused early users a lot of grief when it came to their wooden tables and surfaces. Many have taken to Twitter to express their discontent.
One user – @Guvinsf415 – said “#homepod left rings on my wood furniture in less than 20 minutes of use. Thanks #apple I am glad a (sic) paid $400 to make perfect etched circles on my more expensive furniture. Guess I can not move it now to cover up the mark. Evil geniuses you are.”
Another user, Casey Newton, took a guess at the cause of the problem, tweeting, “Congratulations to everyone on their beautiful HomePods and sorry it secretes a deadly acid that destroys your furniture.”
On its HomePod support page, Apple has addressed the frustrating issue. It says that it’s “not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces” and that “the marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface.”
Apple hopes the marks will disappear on their own “after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface.” But in the meantime, the company says “If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.
Source: pcmag.com – Apple’s HomePod May Leave White Rings on Wood Surfaces
Published: February 14, 2018
For years, Apple has used a mixture of Qualcomm and Intel baseband chips for its iPhones. But according to a report published this week, Apple will be ditching Qualcomm and moving exclusively to Intel for future smartphone designs.
CNET amounts this move to tensions between the Apple and Qualcomm. The two companies have been locked in a legal battle over how much Apple should pay Qualcomm for the use of its chips and technology licenses. In December, Intel “accused Apple of infringing on a number of its patents, while Apple charged that Qualcomm illegally used its battery management technology.”
Qualcomm chips in the iPhone serve important functions such as controlling the device’s antenna feature. The report says that “Intel can meet Apple’s technical requirements for chips, which will include improved 4G transmission speeds, as well as offer more competitive prices than Qualcomm.”
Don’t be too concerned for Qualcomm, though. According to KGI analysts, Qualcomm is ahead of Intel in the 5G game, giving it quite the competitive edge.
Source: cnet.com – Apple reportedly ditching Qualcomm chips for future iPhones
Published: February 5, 2018
If you were thinking Apple would have trouble selling the anticipated number of iPhone X devices for $999 USD, you were right. According to an article in The Vancouver Sun, Apple will be halving its production of the iPhone X this quarter to 20 million units. Following its announcement of this cut early on January 29, shares decreased more than two percent.
Reportedly, the cut comes after slower-than-expected holiday sales in Europe, the United States, and China. Analysts have suggested what you might have already guessed; the reason the for the slow sales is the high price.
Analysts at UBS say that “a survey of people planning to buy the iPhone showed that the percentage of them looking to buy the iPhone X has dropped to 37 per cent from 43 per cent in an earlier survey.”
Verizon has also chimed in on the issue, saying “their postpaid device activations were lower than last year as people were keeping phones longer.” Longevity of devices, making the new iPhone less relevant, could also be a reason for slower sales.
The iPhone X has been on sale since November, and has been making media buzz for a long time. But at these prices, analysts predict 2018 won’t be a “super-cycle” year for Apple.