Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts

Monday, 13 March 2017

iPhone Spying Bugs Revealed By Wikileaks Have Been Fixed, Apple Says

 WikiLeaks
Apple iPhone is revered as the most secure device which even government security agencies can get into. But Wikileaks has revealed a number of vulnerabilities in the iPhone which can be easily utilized by the agencies to launch ‘zero day’ attacks. Apple was quick to swing into action which resulted in fixing all the vulnerabilities before can think about using it against millions of iPhone users. Wikileaks also pointed that a number of hacking tools were exclusively developed by the GCHQ which is the infamous British spy agency.
Apple has released an statement where it confirmed to fix all the vulnerabilities present in the 8,761 pages long documentation published by the Wikileaks. These vulnerabilities were not just limited to the iPhone but also the iPad and iOS as a whole.

Some tips to secure iPhone from hackers

  • Make use of PIN or fingerprint security: This will help you in securing the smartphone against unwanted individuals getting inside your phone. 
  • Make use of longer password: Simply going to the settings followed by ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ and turn the ‘Simple Passcode’ off. Now indulge in creating a complex and longer password for your phone which consists of upper and lower case letter along with numbers & symbols. 
  • Boost your privacy settings: Carefully allot the privileges for different apps by simply turning them on/ off by going to the Settings followed by ‘Privacy’. 
  • Don’t forget to activate the self destruct: When someone tries to break into your phone then you can set it for self-destruct where all the data will be deleted instantly. This feature can be activated by simply going to the Settings followed by the enabling the ‘erase data’. This will ensure that your iPhone turns the device cleans after ten incorrect PIN guesses. 
  • Turn of the notification: One doesn’t need to unlock the device in order to read the notification and this can result in revealing too much about you than you wish.
Apple has worked towards fixing the 14 different iOS vulnerabilities and it has been found that most of it was linked to the older version of the operating system. When compared against the Google’s Android operating system Apple iPhone is always considered to be highly secured and protected device. Secondly Apple tends to offer or bring over-the-air security updates to the iPhone more quickly than Google. Android platform isn’t known to be hyper active when it comes to operating system version up-gradation and updates.

Wikileaks has given a dramatic revelation to the world wherein it stated that CIA has dedicated the whole specialized unit of the Mobile Development Branch for the iOS devices. The reason behind is pretty simple as most of the prominent figures in the field of entertainment, politics and business tend to use iPhone than the Android device. Quite incidentally Apple has been in fierce battle against FBI over creating a backdoor in it device which will help agencies get into iPhone.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

How to Try Microsoft Office With Apple’s New Touch Bar

Touch Bar
Science and technology have developed so much that every now and then a new technique is launched at the market. The big and renowned companies are always researching on the fact that how they can continue to rule the world with the help of their new and developed technologies. Apple is one of the most talked about company that is always bent on providing top-notch services to their customers by providing new benefits and privileges to its users almost on a regular basis.

When the executives of Apple launched the latest MacBook Pro in October, they added an incentive to it in order to attract a large number of people. Apple have included a Touch Bar in this MacBook Pro which is considered as a very calculative move that is sure to attract a large number of will and with this innovation Apple will reach up to the highest level of success, where Apple and its products will be the final choice of all the people. They are also promoting this added advantage at a very rapid pace, so as to develop interest among its buyers.

The Touch Bar is displayed at the topmost row as a leaping step ahead towards the users. This touch bar is also supposed to be displayed at the very top row in the keyboard of the laptop and thus enables you to work with Microsoft Office as well which is a third party application. and moreover, Microsoft is the only application that provides this new Touch Bar features.

The whole crux behind this development is that Touch Bar feature allows functioning of Microsoft Word or Excel users even after the application have been removed. It is possible that you will be able to see and work on the last updated document and can also apply the text formatting tools. For using Outlook the Touch Bar is also capable of highlighting your schedule for the day.

This is a very essential feature that is added to this MacBook Pro. As the Touch Bar will ensure its users more productivity as they can see, compare and then choose that what they require to be fastest. Geekwire has noted that after the launch of MacBook Pro, Microsoft can discover toolbars that are sensitive to context.
The privilege of being able to acquire high-priority features, is something that has influenced Microsoft to develop its own Ribbon toolbar even before a decade. The ribbons are the set of icons and symbols that is located at the top of your Word or Excel Screen. But, how effective it is? the answer to this question stands on debatable grounds.

Microsoft was almost facing a dilemma to figure out whether they are over doing or not. As they introduced so many features over the years that they are now worrying whether that will be an added disadvantage as the users will have to think over before getting at the correct feature that they require at the current time. Though, the recent developments resemble a Touch Bar it can still be summed up as another intriguing problem.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

EU to hand Apple hefty Irish tax bill

Reuters

EU Orders AAPL.O to Pay Hefty Tax Bill


Recently, Apple-AAPL.Ohad been orderedby the European Commission antitrust regulators to pay up 13 billion euros around $14.5 billion, by way of taxes together with interest to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland had been illegal state aid. It is said that Commissioner Margrethe Vestager would be holding news conference on antitrust case towards noon (1000 GMT) in Brussels.

In spite of the subject of the case not provided, she was expected to feature her verdict on why a deal which had stimulated the U.S. tech giant to route vast profits through Ireland had broken EU state aid laws apart from government giving some firms unfair advantages.The decision is probably to annoy Washington who hadblamed Brussels of disturbance against the corporate success stories of U.S.

Ireland had been accused by the European Commission in 2014 of evading international tax rules by permitting Apple to house profits amounting to tens of billions of dollars from tax collectors for maintaining jobs. The accusation had been rejected by Apple as well as Ireland and both have stated that they would be appealing any contrary decision.

Decision – Reverse Engineered


The source had mentioned that the Commission would recommend a figure in back taxes, expecting it to be collected though it would be the decision of the Irish authorities to calculate precisely what are maintained. An excess bill of 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) would have been more far more than the 30 million euros each the EU had earlier ordered the Dutch authorities to pull through, for their tax deals, from U.S. coffee chain Starbucks and Luxembourg from Fiat Chrysler.

 It is said that both the companies have appealed those decisions. In 2014, when it had opened the Apple investigation, the Commission had informed the Irish government that the tax decisions agreed in 1991 and 2007 with the iPhone maker amounted to state aid and could have broken the EU laws.

The Commissioner had mentioned that the decisions were reverse engineered to make sure that Apple had the nominal Irish bill. The minutes of meetings between the representatives of Apple as well as the Irish tax officials had indicated that the tax treatment of the company had been inspired by employment considerations.

EU Executive’s Tax Investigations – Departed from International Taxation Standards


Apple tends to hire 5,500 workers or about a quarter of European based staff in the Irish city of Cork where it seems to be the largest private sector employer stating that it paid 12.5% rate of Ireland on all the income which it tends to generate in the country.

The low corporate tax rate of Ireland which had been a cornerstone of economic policy for 20 years, had drawn investors from most of the important multinational companies, where the staff accounts for nearly one in 10 workers in Ireland. Dublin had been urged by some opposition Irish lawmakers to accumulate whatever tax the Commission tends to order.

 However, the foremost opposition party Fianna Fail, supporting the minority administration relies on passing laws stated that it would assist an appeal depending on the reassurances it had been provided by the government so far. Last week the U.S. Treasury Department had published a white paper which stated that the EU executive’s tax investigations had departed from the international taxations standards and could have been an enormousinfluence on the companies in U.S. The Commission had stated that it tends to treat all companies likewise.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Apple to launch its own reality TV show

Planet Apps

Apple Launching its Reality TV Show


Apple is in the development of launching its own reality TV show – Planet of the Apps and a casting call for the event had been put out recently for developers in the age of 18 and above who would be interested in making smartphone apps for the Apple setting. Apple had made an announcement earlier in the year that it intends launching it first original TV series and now the world seems to know a little more regarding what it would look like.

The show is said to be co-produced by a newly shaped company owned by Ben Silverman, a reality TV guru. Apple had partnered with Propagate, a new production company developed by the guy behind `The Biggest Loser’ together with Howard T Owen who had worked on MasterChef Junior with Musician Will.i.am also on board for the said project.

Mr Silverman had informed that the original program would follow on `how apps are developed and created and incubated’. The pair had drawn their vision for the show, in a report that had been published by tech blog 9to5Mac. It stated that `Planet of the Apps will give app creators the chance to break through and share their ideas with the world. This is an exciting format which taps into what is driving culture today. We can’t wait to see the ground-breaking ideas accepted for the show, grow into viable businesses’.

Pursing an Original Content Division


The ascension of Netflix together with the fragmented market of content providers laid by internet based services has been on the rise in companies interested in producing their own original content. When Apple had stated earlier in the year that it intended creating the TV show, the software and service boss of the company, Eddy Cue had mentioned that Apple was not moving wholesale in the production of innovative content.

 He had informed the New York Times in March that this does not mean that they would go into a huge amount of movie production or TV production or anything like that. But last year, rumours have been doing the rounds that Apple has been discovering the notion of pursuing an original content division and had been in talks with various leading television companies regarding launching an internet-based TV service.

Planet of the App – Accepting Online Applications


There is a possibility that the achievement of the forthcoming show would regulate the extent of the potential venture into original content of Apple. Casting call for the show `Planet of the App’ would be accepting online applications till August 26 together with filming set to take place somewhere next year. As per the show’s website, contestants would be receiving `hand-on guidance from some of the most influential experts in the tech community, featured placement on the App store.

The winners probably will get mentorship from tech and entertainment experts and those who would be chosen for the final round would get an opportunity to meet with top-tier VCs investing around $10m over the course of the season. The show is said to be shot in Los Angeles and is planned to be released in 2017.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Apple Gets Patent for Wrap Around iPhone Screen

Apple Patent

Apple’s Patent for 360-Degree Screen


Apple has been granted a patent recently for a 360 degree screen which would be putting a display on all sides of the iPhone, front/back and slide. The back of the iPhone of Apple would now become a thing of the past due to a wraparound display screen. The application states that `the wraparound display considerably tends to increase the available display area which can be utilised for display of icons, data, video, images and such’. The application of Apple states that the360-degree screen would enable customers to play video games or watch videos which could be played on both ends of the phone.

Moreover it would also display a still photo which could appear in a continuous circle around the iPhone. All the switches which are presently found towards the side of the iPhone would be computer-generated instead of physical buttons as per the patent application. The switches namely the volume control can be extended in size. Details pertaining to the actual plans in incorporating this feature into an upcoming version of an iPhone have not been disclosed in the patent application. Often patent have been approved for inventions which are not brought to the market by the patent holder for motives like the cost of new device or issues in getting it to function in the real world.

One of Multiple Continuations of Original Filing


Apple was seen last month getting inventive with screen settlement in its patent filings with some wild as well as wacky iPad setups. In April of last year and just published, a new patent filed describes a system of building a `portable electronic device with a wraparound display’ which seems silly as well as amazing in alike measure. Though the `new’ is a relative term in patents and Apple had first filed this concept way back in 2011, it was granted in 2014.

This is said to be one of multiple `continuations’ of the original filing. From the contents of the patent, it seems that Apple is not patenting any definite screen technology but instead a manufacturing process which tends to stick a flexible OLED display beneath a seamless piece of glass which wraps all the way around the device. The glass could be opaque in some areas in order to conceal any unsightly seams in the display.

Removable End Cap


Since OLED displays tend to lit up per pixel, any sections of the screen which are hidden by the opaque glass would not be wasting power. There is no example of where a rear facing camera could be on a device, in the drawings, probably under the glass in the back. However one of the possibilities could be of a `removable end cap’ which could be swapped for other modules.

 There are various examples of phone with secondary display towards the back and apparently the clear analog here seems to be Samsung’s Galaxy Edge phone that wrap the screen over the sides. The traditional disclaimer here states that Apple patents plenty of stuff which eventually ends up in a product.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hackers Can Silently Control Siri from 16 Feet Away

Siri

Radio Waves – Silently Trigger Voice Commands


A group of French researcher have observed that though Siri may be your personal assistant, it also listens to other voices and obeys the orders of any hacker who tend to talk to her and in some cases, which silently transmit commands through radio as far as 16 feet distance.

A pair of researches at the ANSSI, which is a French government agency dedicated to information security have revealed that with the use of radio waves it could silently trigger voice commands on any Android phone or iPhone having Google Now or Siri enabled with a pair of headphones together with microphone plugged into its jack.

They cleverly hack those headphones’ cord as an antenna, manipulating its wire to convert secret electromagnetic waves into electrical signals which tend to appear on the operating system of the phone to be audio coming from the user’s microphone.

Without conversing, the hacker can utilise that radio attack to tell Siri or Google Now to make calls and send texts, dial the hacker’s number in turning the phone into an eavesdropping device, send spam and phishing messages through email, Facebook or Twitter and send the phone’s browser to a malware site.

Electromagnetic Waves – Laptop Running Open-Source Software GNU Radio


The two French researchers, Jose Lopes Esteves and Chaouki Kasmi have written in a paper published by the IEEE, that the possibility of inducing parasitic signals on the audio front-end-of-voice-command-capable devices could give rise to critical security impacts.

 Or as Vincent Strubel, director of their research group at ANSSI puts it in a simple manner that the sky is the limit here and everything that one can do through the voice interface, can be done remotely and discreetly through electromagnetic waves.

The work of the researchers which was at first presented at the Hack in Paris conference in summer, though received little notice outside a few French websites, utilizes a relatively simple collection of equipment.It tends to produce its electromagnetic waves with a laptop that runs the open-source software GNU Radio, a USRP software defined radio, an amplifier and an antenna.

Minimum Form – Fit in a Backpack/Powerful Form – Fit in Car, Van


According to the researchers, in its minimum form, it could fit in a backpack and their setup has a range of about six and a half feet while in a powerful form which tends to require huge batteries and could only basically fit in a car or van, the researchers state that they could extend the attack’s range to over 16 feet.

The researcher’s silent voice command hack however have some serious limitations and it can only work on phones which have microphones enabled headphones or ear buds plugged into them. Several of the Android phones do not tend to have Google Now enabled from their lockscreen or have it set only to respond to commands when it recognizes the voice of the user.

 iPhones tend to have Siri enabled from the lockscreen through default; however the new version of Siri for iPhone 6s validates the voice of the owner as Google Now does. The other limitation is that attentive users would be likely to see that the phone has been receiving mysterious voice command and cancel them before the activity has been completed.

Without the features of security, Kasmi and Esteves suggest that any smartphone’s voice features can represent security responsibility, either from an attacker with the phone in hand or that which is hidden in the next room.

Monday, 19 October 2015

iPhone 6S Plus Review


iPhone_6S_Plus
iPhone 6S Plus offers better screen, robust performance, longer battery life and an awesome camera but it does have its own shortcomings.

No new improvements in looks and designs

It is very difficult for the users to spot the difference between the two models i.e. 2014 iPhone 6 Plus and latest iPhone 6S Plus. Apple has introduced a new color scheme for the iPhones this year which is ‘Rose Gold’ and it is not available for the last year’s model. If any user possesses this color then he will be able to make the difference otherwise both the phones are undistinguishable from each other. However latest iPhone 6S has a small ‘S’ stamped right at the back cover, happens to be just 0.2 mm thicker and 20 g heavier than last year’s variant.

iPhone 6S Plus is a phablet device which comes with 5.5 inch display at a resolution 1080p along with pressure sensitive touch feature. It has a pixel density of 401 pixels but seems almost similar to the last year’s model.

iPhone 6S Plus offers a splendid performance

iPhone 6S Plus is christened with new Apple’s dual core A9 processor which offers splendid performance. It is loaded with a GB RAM which makes it faster than other iPhone models as they run on A8 processor. Moving from one app to another, multitasking and playing or running system intensive apps is quite great but not as smooth as found on the Android devices with similar specifications.

One thing worth mentioning is that this iPhone remains throughout the software and hardware intensive usage which is a delight for the iPhone users. Battery life as expected is pathetic on this device which fails to offer a full day usage without the need of pluging in the charger. Phone’s battery happens to drain quite steeply when browsing the web but the stand by time has been improved considerably.

Apple’s new iOS 9

Apple has unveiled its new iOS 9 along with bundling with iPhone 6S Plus and updates has been released to bring it on the all the iPhones. This OS is more responsive on the iPhone 6S Plus and comes loaded with a number of iOS 9 features like ever on Siri and minor changes in the user interface. It is quite tricky to make Siri understand your voice pattern and it will require a really quite place to do so.

More features makes iPhone 6S Plus more adorable

3D touch will take a little time to get accustomed to and this feature offers an opportunity to perform various tasks without really opening a number of apps. Touch ID sensor will allow you to add another layer of security to the phone wherein you can lock and unlock your device by simply pressing your thumb on the home button.

Apple has just provided users with a 12 megapixel but it is as good as any other camera even better in some instance. iPhone 6S Plus boasts of the 4k video recording capability but it is extremely memory consuming as a one minute video can take up-to 300 mb of space.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Parallels Can Help You Put Windows on Your Apple Mac


Parallels
Loved Windows and wish if someone can bring it in your Mac laptop? Now there is a company, which is listening to your wishes, and it has brought brand new software, which will offer such exquisite features. Parallels had recently announced its new version of software, which can effectively bring the most loved features of the Windows 10 Os on the Mac devices. This software has been named Parallels 11 and it comes loaded with the capability of running full version of Windows OS on the Mac computers without the need of any rebooting.

Features of Parallel 11

The earlier versions of the Parallels had supported the Windows 10 but this one brings a whole range of new features. Parallel 11 signature feature is the Coherence mode wherein Mac users can easily run the elements of the Windows OS alongside the Apple’s OSX. This wasn’t possible in the earlier versions and this feature is aimed at providing the best of features of both the OS on a single platform in a redefined manner.

Apple’s Siri is only limited to its range of iPhone and iPad devices and it has yet to make its appearance on the Mac series of laptops. But Microsoft had already brought its Cortana digital assistant onto the Windows laptop from along with the Windows Phone platform. Parrallel 11 best feature is the bringing of Cortana on the Mac laptops. This voice controlled assistant can be brought alive wither by going through the Windows taskbar or by just saying “Hey Cortana” on the Mac.

Cortana woks amazingly on Mac

On putting Cortana under limited test in the Mac laptop, this feature happened to work amazingly well without any glitches. Users can easily call up the Cortana and conduct searches, set reminders, check out the weather and traffic conditions as well as hearing some jokes , all of it on their Mac. As usual, the response wasn’t completely perfect as it gives on the Windows laptops but it was extremely good for most of the normal tasks.

Parallels brings huge improvement in software with new version

Parallels latest version of its software is well defined and subtle with the aim of making the task of switching between the two major computer OS i.e. Windows and OSX a breeze. Parallel 11 allows the users to see both the Windows Action Center as well as the Apple’s Notification Center at same time without any hindrance. Users will be surprise to find how well both the Os are working in coherence by just looking in the Apple dock, which will be listing out all the open Windows programs and the Windows taskbar.

Furthermore, Parallels also brought the Mac’s “Quick Look” feature, which allows users to preview by just hitting the spacebar in the Windows mode. One small feature, which is worth mentioning is that right-click on the file resulting in opening of file in Mac works well in the Windows also. Parallels 11 will be made available at a price of just $80 and it will also support the upcoming Apple’s OS called El Captain.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Samsung Looks to Get a Head Start On Apple with Its Next Jumbo Smartphone


Samsung

Samsung had long been the top Smartphone maker which had the highest market coverage over the years with its flagship Galaxy S models. But Apple slowly and surely crept on and finally seized the top Smartphone coverage by sharing it with Samsung this year. Samsung is hoping to make considerable leap in the market by launching its new jumbo sized hybrid between Smartphone and tablets ahead of Apple.

Samsung is set to release the new entrant in Galaxy Note and Galaxy S flagship with Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus. Galaxy Note 5 will possess a metal black body instead of the plastic along with a hugely improved stylus. On other Galaxy S6 Edge Plus will feature a 5.7 inch screen which curves over the sides of the device.

Samsung quietly shifts the launch date

Samsung for a long time had kept introducing its Smartphone at the Berlin based IFA electronic in September but this time it’s releasing much earlier than expected. The reason for releasing the new devices ahead of schedule in its New York is attempt to counter the release of Apple’s next iPhone, which will be unveiled in early September.

The next iPhones will possess bigger screen, which is creating pressure upon Samsung to get into market earlier with its bigger devices and dominate over the market with boosting of sales. In simple words Samsung is saying its customers to look out for its devices to buy this time around. Samsung Note line will be launching ahead of the bigger screen iPhone for the first time in the market with the release of next iPhone in the September 9 event.

Apple goes the bigger way

Apple devices were usually happened to be smaller in size but great in performance. However, Apple even jumped into bigger screen by introducing new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which took away the shine and advantage from the Samsung devices. Going with bigger screen helped Apple churning out immense sales with 47.5 million devices sold in just June quarter, which is 35% hike against the previous year stats.

With bigger screen iPhones Apple made its entry into the phablet business with pomp and success. It should be noted that 13% of Smartphone sold in US in the second quarter were devices with 5.5 inch screen or larger. Apple is on the verge of quickly dominated in the Phablet market which was once dominated by the Samsung Note and Galaxy devices.

Samsung rise up to the challenge

Samsung had made significant changes in its Note line by bringing hardware redesign to lend a more premium feel to the device and divert them from the Apple devices. Though Samsung had not much change to its Galaxy S Smartphone over the years and this time they had introduced much talked curved screen. In order to compete in the highly competitive Smartphone market it is necessary for the Samsung to create buzz among the consumers and get them excited about its Smartphones, otherwise it will be extremely tough to challenge the rise of other Smartphone maker and most importantly Apple.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Watch Out for These Serious Mac Attacks

Apple’s esteemed line of Mac devices are about to go through troubled times with the emergence of new age advanced bugs and glaring loopholes in Apple’s operating system. Security researchers had unearthed a new kind of vulnerability in the Mac devices, which allows the hackers install devious ad-wares like VSearch without even requiring the password. VSearch is a notorious malware, which infects the Mac devices with numerous pop-up ads and redirects the users to different search engine whenever they try to use Google.

VSearch bug reported earlier by vigilant security researcher

A German security researcher named Stefan Esser had made this bug public earlier this week. It should be noted that the generally accepted protocol is to inform Apple about the new bug discoveries not to disclose it to the public and cause a furor. Some of the hackers had already taken advantage of this bug found by the German researcher. They had actively used this newfound vulnerability to attack Macs devices as said by a security company named MalwareBytes in their blogpost.

How this bug works and how it can be neutralized?

This bug is designed to effectively take advantage of the Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) features that determines which programs are allowed to make changes on the computer without the need of password. Yosemite makes a list of those programs and keeps it hidden in a file named Sudoers. However, this bug allows the malware to get listed in the Sudoers file which simply means that the malware gets the capability to install any in any part of the OS without users approval via password.

Esser had provided a fix to solve this malware issue. It should also be noted that next patch for the Yosemite will include the bug fix because even Apple about this vulnerability for a while.

Another deadly bug, which take over the control of Mac device

Another group of security researchers had found a more threatening bug, which has the ability to take permanent control of the Mac device. Users can effectively get rid of most vicious malwares by reinstalling the operating system but this new vulnerability in Mac devices turn the game away from the users. Using this particular vulnerability hacker can easily install the malware directly in the computer’s firmware, which is responsible for booting up the computer.

A team of researchers had developed this worm and named it Thunderstrike 2 which can easily take the advantage of this security flaw in Mac deices.

This worm can be installed on the computer just like any other malware where people happen to click on wrong links or fails to the ploy of phishing scam. Once installed this malware takes a nastier turn and keeps looking for the devices connected to Mac in order to load them with worm. Other users when uses the same infected Ethernet adapter happens to get their Mac devices infected too. This bug has not been fixed till now by the Apple.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Apple Obtains Touch ID-Related Patents From Biometric Security Firm Privaris


Privaris
Apple Procures TouchID Patents from Privaris 

As reported by David Goldman to CNN, Apple has been trying to procure the property assets of Privaris, a Charlottesville, Virginia based biometric security firm. It is probably more likely that Privaris has gone out of business and Apple has obtained the company’s patent portfolio together with other property though the possibility of an acquisition cannot be ruled out entirely.

Privaris mainly makes tiny fingerprint readers which are attached to key chain. Several of the patents of Privaris portfolio are made up of fingerprint and touchscreen technology for the purpose of transaction, control machine and to back up personal data. It was reported that Privaris had recently transferred 26 of its 31 patents to the iPhone maker, inclusive of the 4 patents in December 2012 together with a dozen more in October 2014. The patents are mainly connected to fingerprint and touchscreen technology which could lead to Touch ID enhancement on the future devices.


Updated Touch ID with Reduced Errors

KGI Securities’, well known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in February last, had informed investors that the next iPhone would be having updated Touch ID with reduced errors. For instance, one of the patents of Privaris shields the ability of using a touchscreen and fingerprint reader simultaneously while another invention enables the user to open a door with the iPhone on scanning the fingerprint and holding the phone up to a reader just the way one would pay for items with Apple Pay.

Although the transfer of patents have created achievement rumours, the website of Privaris has not been updated since 2010 and none of the company’s senior officials or employees seem to have updated their LinkedIn profiles with status at Apple.It has been reported that Privaris had raised $29 million in funding, had developed a line-up of PlusID personal biometric devices in order to access computers, websites, networks, software, VPNs, online apps and secured printers. Its products serve as a device to unlock office door and can add to security for an RSA SecureID token before logging into a computer.

Products & Services – Access Control System

Besides this, the company had also provided other products as well as services connected to access control systems, biometric computer security, fingerprint authentication, biometric security software together with access cards, technologies of which fall within the margin of Touch ID. Mikhail Avandy, founder of SmartUp, a company which offers legal advice to startups had commented that they have found Apple’s next acquisition while Goldman reports that Avady who had first discovered that Privaris’ patents had been transferred to Apple had observed that none of Privaris founders had changed their LinkeIn profiles to Apple, presuming that the deal could not have been completed.

Privaris also had some patents which could make the iPhone’s TouchID sensor quite useful. However, it is not clear about Apple’s purpose with the technology. Apple purchases licenses and patents a lot of intellectual property which it never utilises. No comments have been made by Apple and Privaris in this regard. The company has also sold in August 2012, 4 smart card patents to 1PerfecId and has held only one patent of its original 31.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Apple's Researchkit Could Be Gold Mine for Hackers


Researchkit
Earlier this week, Researchkit was announced by Apple. This is an open source framework which will allow the health and medical researchers to gather data via iPhone apps. Apple has confirmed that the Researchkit will be available from the month of April. The Researchkit has already been used for developing apps for monitoring asthma patients and to conduct studies on breast cancer survivors, Parkinson's disease and cardiovascular health.

According to the reports of Sagentia, due to the increasing demand of remote patient-monitoring, nearly 26 billion people can be expected to use health-related apps by 2017 worldwide. Danielle Levitas, a group VP at IDC opines that the healthcare-related market will get boosted by Wearable devices. Apple can be expected to be working on something hardware related which will depict their various healthcare partnerships. Market researchers suggest that Apple should move beyond focusing on fitness and increase the reach of the wearable devices to health and lifestyle.

Global reach: 

Researchers will be able to contribute towards activity modules like gait and memory testing, which are part of the framework. They have the option of sharing their data with the global community. Even though the Researchkit is currently available in app stores for US, the company will be rolling the same worldwide in other countries soon.

Limitations: 

The apps which will be developed based on the Researchkit will be applicable to only those who have access to iPhone, which is not possible for everyone around the world. Apart from this not all the iPhone users will be comfortable in monitoring their health apart from sharing the data to a third party. Even though a massive amount of health data can be collected through this but the collection process cannot be deemed completely reliable.

Security Issues: 

According to Apple even though the data collection through Researchkit will not be at risk but security can be a major concern. Since the mobile security in general is poor, intelligence agencies and law enforcement have little qualm about conducting any surveillance on the mobile devices around the world. For example CIA has been working from years to crack the iOS security.

Meanwhile there has been so many instances of iOS hacking making it very less secure. On the other hand even smartphones are not secure since they require broadcasting personal information with the developers of apps. Researchkit might ask to access to an iPhone's microphone, GPS sensors to monitor patients.

According to the ABI Research, at the moment healthcare sector is not fully prepared for any new cyber-age. With the increasing number of cases pertaining to identity theft and fraud, the value of the personal health information becomes 10 times the value of a user’s finances. Millions of health records have been reported missing from the personal health information.

Despite this the health care industry spends a very less amount towards the cyber-security. The best way to secure data is not collect any data and if the data has been collected, then the user should encrypt the data and ensure the safety of the key.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Apple Buys British Music Data Startup


Semetric
Recently, Apple has acquired Semetric, which is a British music data analytics start-up, as Apple is trying to boost the ability of iPhone for listening trends. This year, Semetric was launched as international beats music streaming service.

According to one person, who is familiar with transaction stated that this U.S. group has paid approx. $50 million for the startup company which is London-based and it has more than 40 employees and now most are working for Apple. But Apple’s officials have declined any comment on the specific deal of Semetric, which was closed at the end of 2014.

We all know that Semetric, is famous for its known brand Musicmetric and it was founded in 2008 to provide data on music streaming and downloads, it also provides data analysis about people’s choice and views about songs and artists through social media. Semetric has some well known clients, record labels and as well as digital music companies such as; Gracenote and Spotify.


This deal was first reported by Music Ally, which is one of the best digital music companies of London, as it includes MixCloud, Omnifone, Shazam and 7digital, the music recognition app, as stated on last week and raised more than 30 million in fresh funding, which make the valuation of British company more than $1 billion. Recently, acquisition of Semetric was attempted by Apple to establish its leadership in digital music that can add value in iTunes downloads that has started to flag over in 2014.

We all are aware about the fact that in May 2014, Beats Music was acquired by Apple in $ 3 billion acquisition deal of headphones maker Beats Electronics, which provides a subscription based streaming service. Apple is planning to bundle Beats Music into its own iOS operating system, so that millions of users can avail the benefit through iPhones and iPads and on the same time it can ramp up the pressure on Spotify, which is market leader in music streaming industry.

According to Alice Enders, who is working as music industry analyst in Enders Analysis stated that Apple is planning to merge Semetric’s data into Beats Music because they want to improve the song recommendations as well as positive connections with their fans. The more he added that its very invaluable analytics to understand that what people are listening and doing online.

This Semetric deal is the part of war race to become one of the strongest digital music company in industry by acquiring the expertise and as well as technology to optimize the way to deliver the best music service. Last year, Spotify was acquired. The Echo Nest, which is music analytics company in ht deal of $ 100 million.

The Echo Nest, is specializes in audio fingerprinting and listening a song to determine the different characteristics such as; the music is up-tempo or down beat or happy or motivated or sad whereas; the resulting data used to determine the song recommendations and to generate playlists. Apple officials declined any comment about that it would continue to supply Spotify or not.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Apple Patent Reveals Expanding Home Button For Games Players


Apple_Patent
Apple’s Patent - `Multi-Function Input Device’

It has been reported that Apple has been granted a patent known as `Multi-Function Input Device’ by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently which was originally filed by Colin Ely and Fletcher Rothkopf on July 9, 2013 who presently are Apple’s product design executive.

This newly revealed application reports plans for a spring loaded home button which pops up to turn into a joystick whenever the need arises. The home button of the iPhone has various functions. The fingerprint sensor on the home button can unlock the iPhone with Touch ID. Siri gets activated on holding down the home button and on tapping on the home button, one is led to the home screen or it indicates which apps are open.

Apple AAPL+5.67% has been granted patent which shows that a joystick could be built for future iPhones in the home button. The mode of the joystick could be activated on pushing down on the home button where a spring mechanism beneath the surface of the home button could pop up the home button. On using the joystick, one can push the home button once again to return the home button to the normal mode.

Small Joystick For Gaming 

The multi-function input device indicates an iPhone or iPad home button which can change into a small joystick for gaming and is believed that it would maintain the present Touch ID fingerprint sensor where a single click could enable it to pop up as well as transform it into a slightly raised joystick.

A mere push of the raised home button back in a flush position with the body of the iPhone tends to bring it to its original position when gaming is done. The patent states that the multi-function input device is functional in at least a first mode and a second mode and in one example, the multi-function input device could have a button mode as well as a joystick mode.

The diagrams that have been included in the application indicate very low-profile joystick. The input device head may not project outward from the surface when not in use as in the case of a joystick, thus avoiding comprising aesthetic appearance of the electronic device, preventing damage to mechanisms used to project the input device head or/and keeping the input device head out of the way when not in use as a joystick.

Tactile Feedback

Apple has also admitted that in some games, a touchscreen would not be ideal. Touch screens which could be appropriate to applications like Internet browser application have some advantages for operating game applications on portable devices though they could also have some shortcomings.

For instance, a user’s finger would need to cover a certain part of the screen while controlling the game and this could interfere with the user’s capabilities to see what is in control and/or other areas of the game display. Moreover, a touch screen could also be unable to provide tactile feedback and to provide tactile feedback at the time of the game could enhance the player’s gaming experience. Some game lovers are of the opinion that realistic game play could not be experienced fully with the joystick and/or the tactile buttons.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Will Apple's 12-inch MacBook Air Use One Port to Rule Them All?

USB
There has been lot of rumors doing round pertaining to the new MacBook Air, which got lot of people full with enthusiasm. However, if you are thinking it is about the Retina Display then you are very wrong. Instead, some of the rumors have indicated that the Apple's redesigned MacBook Air will not only be remarkably smaller, having only a 12-inch screen but also will be having just a single port. According to the reports, these rumors came from Mark Gurman of 9to5mac.com, who stated that the new MacBook Air design is expected to drop their current MacBook Air's USB 3 ports and do away with the SDXC card slot, MagSafe 2 charging connection and Thunderbolt port.

Can a replacement is in place? Well, a single USB Type-C port is capable of connecting to multiple kinds of devices apart from displays and storage. Additionally, the C port will be capable of charging the new 12-inch MacBook Air as well. The idea itself sounds very crazy for many.

Time to get over the old: 

Is it really time people to move on to this new concept? Apple is known for making amendments to the old standards in the pursuit of making thinner hardware design until perfection. When 5.25 inch was very common, the first Mac went ahead with 3.5-inch floppy disk drive. Later on, the company completely ditched the floppy drive concept and moved on with the USB ports and CD drives in their new iMac. Later on Mac Book was completely on its own as the developers left out the CD/DVD drives. Apple has been known for innovation and the example was set by creating the Thunderbolt ports, which replaced FireWire ports in different types of MacBooks.

So what new with the Macbook: 

The new Macbook is not only expected to have smaller screen size, but also be a quarter inch less wide compared to the previous versions. To make the device the company has reduced the bezel and squished the keyboard keys more closely making the keyboard fit the entire laptop body. The function keys have been modified to fit in the power button.

The rumors seems to be confirmed by some of the inside sources of the company. The company always maintains silence in terms of innovation and devices to stun the people with their product and information is released only on need to know basis. However, the company had confirmed the release of their 12-inch Macbook last year but due to unforeseen circumstances, the release was delayed. Reports suggest that with the thinner design it is difficult for the company to add any additional ports.

What should be expected? 

With the device being so small, the customers would like to be able to the same to printers and storage, the company can actually come up with a lightweight hub as accessory. They can add ports in the power brick as an additional means. The product is expected to replace the previous version but still there are questions pertaining to the addition of Retina-class display.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Apple Japan announces annual 'Lucky Bag' promotion for Jan. 2


Lucky_Bag
All of us are aware about Apple and its humungous popularity. The craze Apple generates does not match up to the mania for any other electronic product. This brand has managed to revolutionise the way people thought about electronic goods. With the extreme user-friendliness to the high quality parts used to build the devices, Apple is a class apart. The Apple users are tremendously satisfied with the utility they have got from the Apple products. It is worth every penny you spend on it.

Apple believes in maintaining a cordial and a constant relationship with its customer. It is not only a good business practice but also wins the loyalty of the customers. The customer service is excellent and in case of any defect found in the product, it is fully replaced without the customer having to face any unnecessary hassle.

It is a rarity when a defect is found in Apple products because they are made with extreme care and caution. Be it iPads, iPhones, iPods or Mac books, Apple has managed to take technology to a new level. Each and every product is so user-friendly that as a customer you would never have to struggle to grasp the otherwise extremely advanced technology used in it.

"Lucky Bags" for Japan

Apple maintains a yearly custom of selling Lucky Bags every New Year. The good news for all Apple lovers is that, Apple has announced the promotion of "Lucky Bags" for Japan. This announcement had been made on Friday. The terms and conditions associated with the Lucky Nags Promotion this year were posted to the retail website of Apple Japan.

The festivities of revealing Apple's Lucky Bags will begin from January2, 2015. The Lucky Bags will be available to only those who visit the brick-and-mortar shops of Apple. This is not available to the online buyers of Apple products. Thus the ones who visit the stores can make huge profits. To manage the huge crowd that gather at stores when Apple products are released, many Apple stores in Japan will open 2 hours before the scheduled time. This change was observed by Kodawarisan, a Japanese blog.

More on "Lucky Bags"

"Lucky Bags", when roughly translated to Japanese becomes Fukubukuro. This custom takes place yearly and various leading retailers as well as departmental stores make great sales of these bags which comprise of popular Apple products and some of them are filled with the really expensive ones.

Buying these bags involve a certain amount of risk, as the customers are unaware of the contents of the bag, but it has been seen that generally, the price of the contents of the bag is almost equal to the price paid to buy the Lucky Bag. The pricing for the lucky Bags this year is yet to be announced.

Last year, the bags were sold at 36,000 yen each. Some bags had special gifts like iPad Air, iPad mini (first generation) or the 11-inch MacBook Air.
Since this offer is valid only in the brick-and-mortar stores, the stock is limited. Hence, every customer is allowed to purchase only one bag per day. The items in the bag are provisioned to be returned only if it found defective. Wait for January 2, 2015, 8 a.m. to get hold of your Lucky Bag!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Will Apple's Next iPhone Capture DSLR Quality With 2 Lenses?


Apple
iPhone is one of the most loved brand and trusted among the people around the world and this could be the reason why rumors always keeping along with the brand. Although Apple has just released their latest version, iPhone 6, there are already market rumors that the company is working on the next version of the phone having two lenses on the camera, which will produce images with DSLR-quality.

How it all started? 

This rumor was sparked after a post on podcast entered by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. John is highly respected Apple-focused commentator and well connected in their ecosystem. He is known to have never made any unwarranted predictions. In the month of August, John posted an update indicating that Apple is working on their wearable device thing and it is expected to be released in September. However, as people started getting curious about the same, he later stated that the post was just a joke and was meant to poke fun of the Motorola's smart watch, which resembled a flat tire. Whether rumor or joke; the company indeed unveiled their wearable smart watch in the month of September.

No damage done due to rumors

These rumors have not done any serious damage to the company and been told in a simple statement to the public. It all started with the statement indicating the news of the company working on upgrading the phone’s camera to two lenses. The lenses will be able to capture SLR quality images. As per to John, the new camera will not be able to replicate the SLR quality at technical level, but this sure is a huge step from the company’s end.

So what is special? 

John backed away from any kind of comparison being made between iPhone and SLR or DSLR on technical basis. The main point of this post was to highlight the current iPhone users will be able to migrate to the new high-end camera. Apple’s iPhone is known to capture the best of the images and one of the best camera due to which many people have stopped using the stand-alone camera. If the rumors have to be true, then this giant leap in terms of capturing moving images without any blur and ability to zoom will be enough to encourage many iPhone users to upgrade their iPhone 6 to the newest version.

If Apple is considering this option then, they will not be the first one to try this option out. HTC has already used the dual-camera system in their HTC One M8. HTC phone allows the users to change their focus angle even after snap has been taken.

If Apple is working on taking this new leap in terms of improving the quality of their camera by using CMOS imaging sensor system of Sony, then this move will be wholeheartedly welcomed by their customers. Although it is unlikely that the company has get the DSLR quality in their iPhone, but any change will be enough to spark the excitement in the customers towards upgrade.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Problems of Apple Users to Use AirPrint through iOS


AirPrint
The iOS is a new mobile operating system made by Apple Inc. and allocated mainly for Apple’s hardware. It is such an operating system, which controls a number of the iDevices of company. Originally launched in 2007 mainly for the iPhone, it is extended to hold up other Apple devices for example the iPod or iPad.

Introduction of AirPrint-

In one of the current version of the operating system of iOS, Apple has introduced a new item called AirPrint. It is made to bring an innate printing support to the platform of iOS and this can be available on version 4.2 or also in some other devices for example, the iPhone, or the iPad. There are some steps that should be followed to use this AirPrint to any type of printer that is linked to a Windows computer, comprising Windows server. With the help AirPrint, it seems simple to get full quality image and file printing from the iOS as well as OS X applications. AirPrint is prepared into most accepted printer systems. The features comprise easy discovery, mechanical media choice, and enterprise-class options.

Problems of the Users

However, though some users claimed that iOS is quite useful to them, there are some others who reported that this new operating system of Apple has caused a number of troubles in case of AirPrint, a tool that lets the iOS to print over Wi-Fi. The problem does not allow the users to print.

From the various reviews on the page of Apple’s forum, it is known from the customer that whenever they update they update their iPhone or their handsets to the operating system they found an error message, that is, URF error and consequently the printing gets halted. In the opinion of most of the users, AirPrint functions with devices that are running through iOS 7.

An online discussion with a Support representative of Apple did very little to solve the current problems of AirPrint. The Apple agent has stated that AirPrint is supposed to work well, and thus, the users must get in touch with AppleCare or they can arrange a meeting with the Apple Genius if they are facing difficulties with the wireless printing. Though, Apple has not given a satisfactory response to the request, a British-American website for news, on the other hand, quoted a statement on a discussion panel, which denotes that Apple might fix the trouble with its approaching version of iOS 8.1

However, there could be a hopeful side in this context. On one of discussion forum about Apple , it is said that the company is already aware of the faults and announced that iOS 8.1 will faults very soon.


There are also some other complaints that a number of printers, yet listed under the list of some popular models of Apple are no longer well suited with the Airprint when they update iOS 8. Some other users reported that the printer itself perhaps needs some modifications of the firmware to work properly with iOS 8.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Apple Glass Maker Makes Deal To Exit The Arizona Plant


GT
According to the reports published by New Hampshire-based GT Advanced Technologies, Merrimack on 23rd Oct 2014, the company is looking forward to invest and sell furnaces and want to exit from their glass-making business. On 6th Oct, GTAT had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. According to the company they will be using the proceedings to refund $439 million Apple advanced GT to equip the Mesa, Arizona, plant. Currently this agreement needs approval from the bankruptcy court judge.

According to the recent reports, nearly 20000 furnaces are expected to be removed from an Arizona factory which were installed for making synthetic sapphire glass for Apple company. These furnaces will be sold under a deal that has been made between the company and the tech giant.

The company is currently preparing for producing large amounts of products that will be used in various Apple products. Currently Cupertino-based Apple has retained the rights to purchase the furnaces.

Last November, Apple company had announced that they will be purchasing a vacant 1.3 million-square-foot plant and will be contracting GT technologies for operation as well as making the glass which is currently being used on their iPhones camera lenses, and also on the home buttons.

With speculations surrounding the iPads and iPhone screens, the company was still unsure about the use of the massive source of the glass. On the other hand, GT technologies encountered issues to get the plant running successfully and Apple company has to release their latest iPhone 6 with their standard glass screen this September.

Apple is currently in the process of laying off nearly 124 employees of this plant which is expected to be completely closed by the end of 2014. They are also looking towards closing another small plant in Salem, Massachusetts.

Apple was quite surprised by the bankruptcy filing from GTAT. Apple released an official report on 23rd Oct 2014 stating that they have put forth a lot of energy and efforts towards their grand new sapphire manufacturing process along with GT Advanced Technologies but they are currently not ready for any production.

The company is planning to continue assessing the GTAT's progress pertaining to huge sapphire boule development and might consider other options for their facility. According to reports, Apple is quite concerned about the employees that will be laid off and hence they are looking to get new jobs for the GT employees and also want to remain committed towards Mesa city.

Initially, GT technologies were using the furnaces for making huge amounts of synthetic sapphire which was in turn used for making various components, but now they are concentrating to focusing on making the equipments that are used in the sapphire making process.

According to the Governor of Arizona, they are very happy with Apple’s decision to start a new plant in the City of Mesa as it indicates the efforts of Arizona is paying towards providing a pro-business climate. The state has been offering various incentives to Apple in the form of their existing facilities which was meant for manufacturing of Solar panel.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Apple SIM – The Cupertino Giant is Ahead of the Pack! Yet again!



iPad
Apple has just recently announced what everybody was waiting for – new iPhones and iPads along with a refresh of their MacBook and MacPro lineup. While they do bring in the expected bump in hardware and new version of IOS, the one factor that truly is innovative is the Apple SIM for iPad.

Cellular iPads were available for contract from various service providers up till now. But with Apple SIM, Apple aims to free their customers from the hands of the carriers. Without getting too technical, it is an embedded SIM that is not fixed for any carrier and you can switch carriers according to your likings.

All about Apple SIM

The traditional way of carrier subsidy on otherwise expensive Apple devices works as follows – You buy the device at a hugely subsidized rate but in turn commit to a 1 or 2 year contract for any carrier with a fixed voice and data plan. Thus until your plan expires, switching carriers is not possible without changing the device all together.

However, Apple aims to change this and in a good way. It is following an embedded SIM approach – where in your SIM is independent of any carrier.

You can switch carrier if you don’t like your present one or due to other reason without getting a new device or swapping the SIM – the same SIM works for any network. The specification for such an approach to SIM existed before but Apple is the first to bring it to the market.

What it means to Apple? 

As always, Apple with embedded SIM as set itself apart from the competition. Firstly, Apple is able to show its might over other OEMs – only Apple has the power to convince the biggest carriers from US like AT&T, Sprint, T Mobile and EE in the UK to allow such switching of SIM without actually doing it.

Further, by releasing it only for tablets, it is bound to meet certain amount of success. iPhone users traditionally use data plans anyway but tablet PC users tend to avoid cellular data connection all together. Thus rather than being harmful for the carriers, it represents a better opportunity to promote data plans to customers. Thus, it is a win-win situation for both.

The Future

Apple SIM is not free from its fair share of problems. First and foremost, for smartphones carriers will vehemently oppose it as it involves no contract and users can switch carriers at any point. Secondly, making a single SIM work with 20 different LTE bands across the worlds and bringing all carriers to support it will not be easy.

The software and hardware support is going to have to improve if Apple wants to see larger support for embedded SIM. With this release, Apple not only shows its innovation but also its power. Further, such embedded SIM technology can be utilized to control large-scale distributed devices as well over data networks. Expect a wider rollout of this feature from Apple in near future.