Facebook Messenger adds iOS 8 extension, WordPress gains WYSIWYG editor & image features

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Facebook is out with a useful update to its Messenger app for iPhone and iPad today adding an action extension for sharing content from other apps on iOS 8. This adds the ability to have deep Facebook Messenger integration with other apps including Safari and Photos just like Apple’s own Messages app.

Once enabled, you can do things like share images and videos from the Photos app or links from Safari directly to your contacts on Facebook Messenger without having to jump back and forth between apps. Facebook Messenger version 22.0 is rolling out now on the App Store.

WordPress’s mobile blogging app for iPhone and iPad also received a new update bringing the experience closer to that on the desktop … 

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Inside Apple’s Massive New Store in China

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

Apple Stores are always painstakingly designed, but the Cupertino company’s latest efforts in China take it to a whole new level. Cult Of Mac has published photos of Apple’s latest store, located in Hangzhou. Its defined by its huge glass facade, and minimalist staircases.

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Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary Today of App Originally Created on a Macintosh Plus

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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Adobe is today celebrating the 25th anniversary of Photoshop, which first launched as a Mac-only app on 19th February 1990.

What went on to become the industry standard image editing app started life in 1987, when John Knoll, a computer vision doctorate student at the University of Michigan, began developing it on his Mac Plus. Known then as Display, the app was designed to do nothing more than display grayscale images on the Macintosh’s black-and-white monitor. As Adobe showcases in the video below, the app has come rather a long way since then … 

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Apple Granted Patent for Virtual Reality Headset

Originally posted on TIME:

Apple may be experimenting in the virtual reality space. The company has been granted a patent for a head-mounted virtual reality device that would use the iPhone screen as the display. Apple first applied for the patent back in 2008, meaning VR has been on the company’s mind for a while.

The functionality of the product in the Apple patent seems to have the most in common with the Samsung Gear VR, a headset Samsung developed in conjunction with Oculus that uses the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phablet as a display. These devices are a bit more complex than Google’s current solution, which slots a smartphone into a headset made out of cardboard.

Apple’s patent also calls for a separate remote control that would be able to manipulate the headset in some way.

Virtual reality isn’t the only new mode of interaction Apple is exploring. The tech giant had a…

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Apple’s not-so-secret weapon in streaming music

Originally posted on Quartz:

Electric cars and smart watches may be getting all the attention right now, but don’t forget there’s another ancillary business Apple is involved in—one that it has already revolutionized once, and stands a good chance of revolutionizing again. It’s called music.

Music is important to Apple. It was the iPod that kicked off the company’s renaissance under Steve Jobs, setting the stage for its incredible, decade-and-a-half rise, which recently pushed its market value above a record $700 billion.

The company’s current CEO, Tim Cook, has also staked some of his credibility on music: After all, the biggest acquisition in the company’s history, its $3 billion purchase of Beats, a headphones and streaming music operator co-founded by the rapper Dr. Dre, happened on his watch.

Now Apple is gearing up for its next big push in music, with a long-awaited foray into streaming subscriptions, and all signs indicate that the company is taking this venture very, very…

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Apple Is Now Worth Over $700 Billion

Originally posted on TIME:

Apple’s closing price Tuesday gave it a market value of $710.7 billion, making it the first-ever U.S. company to close at over $700 billion. That’s nearly double the next largest company on the list, Exxon Mobil.

The milestone is a significant one for the company, which previously breached the $700 billion mark in intraday trading but hasn’t closed above that point until now. Apple shares ended the day trading at $122.02.

Investors have shown nothing but love for Apple following its stellar first quarter earnings report, which revealed the company made $18 billion on $74.6 billion in revenue. Those results mark the most profitable three months ever recorded by any company.

Market value, or market capitalization, is determined by multiplying a company’s share price against the number of shares it has outstanding.

Here’s a quick look at how Apple has performed since 1998, the first full year after late…

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[VIDEO] Here’s What Happens When You Pour Molten Aluminum Over an iPhone 6

Originally posted on TIME:

In this video, Ukrainian YouTube celebrity TechRax pours molten aluminum over an iPhone 6 — what he says are a few drops of hot liquid made from melting soda cans. Not surprisingly, dark circles form around the blobs, and the screen quickly changes colors before going blank. In fact, it kind of looks like they form a creepy face on the phone, like something out of a horror film.

The Internet star’s previous stunts include boiling one of the devices in Coca-Cola and baking it inside a turkey.

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Swatch Planning Cross-Platform Smartwatch & Mobile Payments to Compete with Apple Watch, says CEO

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Swatch CEO Hayek Late Swatch co-founder Nicolas Hayek

While Swatch certainly won’t be partnering with Apple on the iPhone maker’s upcoming Watch despite an ill-fated rumor that surfaced last year, the watchmaker does plan to go toe-to-toe with Apple promising its own version of a smartwatch due out soon. Bloomberg reports that Swatch plans to bring its answer to the Apple Watch to market in the next 90 days.

The device will communicate via the Internet “without having to be charged,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.

It’s unclear if Swatch intends for its own smartwatch to be compatible with iPhones like the Apple Watch or if the company is only targeting competing platforms, but Swatch CEO Nick Hayek’s claim that its Internet-connected watch won’t need to be charged will be interesting…

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Protest Preparedness Kit


Judge Rules Suspect Can Be Required To Unlock Phone With Fingerprint

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Apple and Google have taken steps recently to let users protect information stored on smartphones – even from law enforcement. It turns out there may be a fingerprint-sized gap in that plan.

A Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday that police officers cannot force criminal suspects to divulge cellphone passwords, but they can force them to unlock the phone with a fingerprint scanner.detached-digits

If applied by other courts, the ruling could become important as more device makers incorporate fingerprint readers that can be used as alternatives to passwords. Apple introduced the technology last year in its iPhone 5S and Samsung included it in its Galaxy S5.

When those phones arrived, lawyers said users might be required to unlock the phones with their fingerprints. More recently, Apple and Google said they had changed the encryption scheme on the newest phones using their operating systems so that law enforcement can’t retrieve the data. FBI Director James Comey criticized the companies, saying were allowing users to “place themselves above the law.”

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives people the right to avoid self-incrimination. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Christian Bale to Play Steve Jobs

Aaron Sorkin has confirmed that Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in Sony’s upcoming biopic about the Apple co-founder. Sorkin penned the script and Danny Boyle is attached to direct….(more)

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Nude Celebrity Leak Panic on Horizon as Mainland China Attacks Apple’s iCloud

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Apple iCloud users in mainland China have a cyber issue on their hands as the service is hit by an attack that could allow access to personal data

WSJ‘s Scott Thurm reports: Apple Inc. ’s iCloud service for users in mainland China has been hit by an attack that could allow perpetrators to intercept and see usernames, passwords and other personal data, activists and security analysts said.

“It’s evident that it’s quite massive.”

—Erik Hjelmvik, analyst

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“That’s what she said.”STAMP-panic-red

– Primatologist

Though the perpetrator’s identity was unclear, the attack came as tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments have simmered over accusations of cyberespionage and hacking attacks.

The online censorship watchdog GreatFire.org claimed Chinese authorities were behind the attack, though other experts said the source couldn’t be determined. A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said she was unaware of the matter and reiterated Beijing’s position that it opposes cyberattacks.

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Apple said in a statement on its website that it is aware of “intermittent organized network attacks” aimed at obtaining user information from iCloud.com. The company added that the attacks don’t compromise the company’s iCloud servers and don’t affect iCloud sign-in on Apple devices running its iOS mobile software or Macs running OS X Yosemite using its Safari browser.

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Apple said users should not sign into iCloud.com if they receive a warning from their browser that it is not a trusted site. This suggests that the user has been compromised.

Apple did not mention China in its statement. Read the rest of this entry »


Surveillance-Proof

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First Apple and then Google announced that they would use encryption on new phones that wouldn’t permit them to help police execute warrants to examine data on a cell phone or other device.

For City Journal, Judith Miller writes: Law enforcement officials in New York and Washington criticized technology superpowers Google and Apple this week for selling cell phones and other devices that cannot be accessed by the government, warning that such technology jeopardizes public safety.

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Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute

In his first major policy address, FBI director James B. Comey called on Congress and the Obama administration to counter the expanding use of such devices, which he and other law enforcement officials assert endanger efforts to prevent terrorism and fight crime. Without lawful government access to cell phones and Internet devices, Comey warned, “homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered.”

“Law enforcement officials many legitimate ways to obtain the data stored on our devices. Weakening the security of smartphones and trusted communications infrastructure should not be one of them.”

– Nuala O’Connor, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology

Comey, who became FBI director last year, said that he understood Americans’ “justifiable surprise” at former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance practices. Read the rest of this entry »


8 Most Expensive Pieces of Gadget History

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After last week’s auction of an Apple I motherboard for hundreds of thousands of dollars, we wondered: Just how much could you wind up paying for a technology relic?

For PopMech, Jared Newman writes: The Kenbak-1 doesn’t bear the mark of any industry heavyweights. You might not even have heard of it. But the machine, which debuted in 1971 for a reasonable $750, is widely considered to be the first “personal computer.”

To keep costs down, the Kenbak’s program-running capabilities were limited to a handful of standardized input switches and output lights. Nevertheless, it was a hard sell to non-professionals, and creator John Blankenbaker only produced 40 machines, mostly for schools, before folding his company a couple years later. Read the rest of this entry »


Joanna Stern: OS X Yosemite Review

Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal.

Macs and iPhones finally speak the same language.

I can begin replying to an email on my phone, then walk over to my laptop and finish it off there. While my phone charges on my nightstand, I can pick up calls from my mom with a mouse click at my desk. And when someone texts me a photo, it’s already on my laptop, where I can quickly jazz it up in Photoshop then tweet it.

With the Thursday release of the Mac’s free OS X Yosemite updateApple is finally getting its devices to behave like a real, happy family—a family that not only talks to each other but even looks very much alike. The Mac operating system has acquired apps and features from iOS—and vice versa—over the past few years, but this is the biggest leap toward each other yet.

The advantage is so big that if you are an iPhone or iPad owner but don’t have a Mac, Yosemite might get you to consider buying one. It makes living in Apple’s ecosystem harder to resist. But before you fall into the Apple trap, keep in mind that there are still plenty of reasons to play with Google (and even Microsoft ) on a Mac or iPhone.

An iOS-Inspired Face-Lift

With an iPhone running iOS 8.1, users can receive and send standard-carrier text messages from a computer. Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal

OS X’s icons have been revamped to look flatter and more modern.  Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal.

Late one night, Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, threw on the “White Album,” took out a bucket of translucent primer, mixed it together with some of his rainbow-colored iOS paint and tossed it at the computer screen. At least, that’s how I imagine the Mac operating system got its new look.

There are traces of iPhone and iPad design everywhere you look. Icons have been revamped to look flatter and more modern. The edges of windows are translucent so you can see what’s behind them. The red, yellow and green window-position buttons look like a futuristic traffic light. Even the notification pane now has a “Today” view that is identical to the iPhone’s. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] OS X Yosemite: Top 5 Features

Top Five Features Of OS X Yosemite

Subscribe for more iOS & OS X videos

 


Detroit Man: iPhone 6 in Exchange for House?

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A man from Detroit has offered to sell his house for an iPhone 6

The unnamed individual originally listed his three-bedroom property for $5,000 (£3,100) in June, but has now slashed the price to either $3,000, or the latest version of Apple’s iconic smartphone. He would also accept a 32GB iPad, and is willing to negotiate, according to his estate agent, Larry Else.

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The three-bedroom house in Detroit which can be bought for the price of an iPhone 6

“Detroit’s not a monster. It’s just ahead of the curve”

– Kevin D. Williamson

The 2,400-square foot house is in poor condition, with broken windows and peeling paint, in one of Detroit’s poorest districts. Even so, the trade has highlighted the contrast between America’s thriving technology industry in Silicon Valley and the economic blight still affecting other parts of the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Phone Apps Spy on Hong Kong Protesters

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Security experts say China is a leading source of hacking attacks aimed at foreign governments and companies to computers in China

HONG KONG (AP) — The Chinese government might be using smartphone apps to spy on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, a U.S. security firm said.

“The Xsser mRAT represents a fundamental shift by nation-state cybercriminals from compromising traditional PC systems to targeting mobile devices.”

The applications are disguised as tools created by activists, said the firm, Lacoon Mobile Security. It said that once downloaded, they give an outsider access to the phone’s address book, call logs and other information.

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The identities of victims and details of the servers used “lead us to believe that the Chinese government are behind the attack,” said a Lacoon statement.

China is, along with the United States and Russia, regarded as a leader in cyber warfare research. Security experts say China is a leading source of hacking attacks aimed at foreign governments and companies to computers in China. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Despite Apple’s Privacy Pledge, Cops Can Still Pull Data Off a Locked iPhone

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A reminder to iPhone owners cheering Apple’s latest privacy win: Just because Apple will no longer help police to turn your smartphone inside out doesn’t mean it can prevent the cops from vivisecting the device on their own.

“I am quite impressed, Mr. Cook! That took courage. But it does not mean that your data is beyond law enforcement’s reach.”

–  iOS forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski

On Wednesday evening Apple made news with a strongly-worded statement about how it protects users’ data from government requests. And the page noted at least one serious change in that privacy stance: No longer will Apple aid law enforcement or intelligence agencies in cracking its users’ passcodes to access their email, photos, or other mobile data. That’s a 180-degree flip from its previous offer to cops, which demanded only that they provide the device to Apple with a warrantto have its secrets extracted.

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In fact, Apple claims that the new scheme now makes Apple not only unwilling, but unable to open users’ locked phones for law enforcement. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access [your personal] data,” reads the new policy. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

“I can do it. I’m sure the guys in suits in the governments can do it. And I’m sure that there are at least three or four commercial tools that can still do this, too.”

But as the media and privacy activists congratulated Apple on that new resistance to government snooping, iOS forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski offered a word of caution for the millions of users clamoring to pre-order the iPhone 6 and upgrade to iOS 8. In many cases, he points out, the cops can still grab and offload sensitive data from your locked iPhone without Apple’s help, even in iOS 8. All they need, he says, is your powered-on phone and access to a computer you’ve previously used to move data onto and off of it. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple will No Longer Unlock User’s Mobile Devices for Police, Even with Search Warrants

Obama Big brother

The Washington Post reports: Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

big-brother-halfThe move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

As the new operating system becomes widely deployed over the next several weeks, the number of iPhones and iPads that Apple is capable of breaking into for police will steadily dwindle to the point where only devices several years old — and incapable of running iOS 8 — can be unlocked by Apple.

Apple will still have the ability — and the legal responsibility — to turn over user data stored elsewhere, such as in its iCloud service, which typically includes backups of photos, videos, e-mail communications, music collections and more. Users who want to prevent all forms of police access to their information will have to adjust settings in a way that blocks data from flowing to iCloud. Read the rest of this entry »


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