Apple today releases updates for all its major operating systems, introducing iOS 10.2.1, macOS Sierra 10.12.3, tvOS 10.1.1 and watchOS 3.1.3. The latest builds do not add any new features, as the focus is on improving the existing functionality and squashing bugs.
Mac users are treated with the lengthiest changelog, and users of the latest MacBook Pros (October 2016 models) should be particularly interested in it. That's because Apple improved graphics switching on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and fixed graphics issues that occurred while using Adobe Premiere Pro to encode projects on both 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pros.
The financial turbulence that followed the UK's vote to leave the European Union has seen the value of the pound tumbling. With the pound and the dollar almost reaching parity, Apple has again been forced to increase prices.
While the US and UK currencies may not quite have reached parity, the price of apps in the two regions will very soon do just that. Apps that cost $0.99 in the US would have cost £0.79 in the UK pre-Brexit -- now this will jump to £0.99. Information about the price hike came in an email to developers, and it will take effect over the next seven days.
Cellebrite -- the Israeli security company famed for helping the FBI crack the iPhone at center of the San Bernardino case -- has been hit by hackers. The attack resulted in the theft of 900GB of data.
While the website Motherboard -- which was handed a copy of the data -- reports that "the cache includes customer information, databases, and a vast amount of technical data regarding Cellebrite's products", the company has downplayed the incident.
It is no secret that iOS is a tightly controlled ecosystem. There is not a whole lot that users can do to customize their iPhones, and there are not that many options for developers wanting to sell their apps outside of the App Store. In fact, if you do not want to reach a very small audience, who likes to jailbreak their devices, your one and only bet is the App Store.
A number of customers believe that that is a problem so serious that they sued Apple over its perceived iOS app distribution monopoly. A complaint was filed all the way back in 2011, but only now did a court allow the lawsuit to go forward.
Apple traditionally enjoys very strong iPhone sales after it launches new smartphones. And this is certainly true of the three months ending November 2016, when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus topped the sales charts in US and helped iOS close in on Android in Great Britain.
In US, it is actually an all-iPhone podium, with the iPhone 6s joining the newer models in the top three, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report. Apple saw its share rise to 43.5 percent, while Google's Android dropped to 55.3 percent of the market.
Android Wear devices are hardly lighting the world on fire. Heck, smartwatches in general are not particularly popular. With that said, some consumers find real value in more basic wrist-worn wearables such as the fitness-focused Fitbit. Still, there are fans of more advanced smartwatches, such as Apple Watch, too.
While Samsung has created Android Wear devices in the past, its new focus is Tizen-based "Gear" wearables that work with its Galaxy devices -- and other smartphones running Google's mobile OS. Today, Samsung announces iOS support for three of its Tizen-based Gear devices -- Gear S2, S3, and Fit2. Will iPhone users really pick this over the Apple Watch, though?
Chinese New Year 2017 starts on January 28th, and this time, the Rooster is the representative animal. On that date, there will be parties all over the world, and many collectibles featuring that fowl will be sold.
To celebrate the upcoming new year, Apple releases five free "Nianhua" folk art-inspired wallpapers for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. All of the images were created by Chinese artists using Apple hardware, such as the MacBook Pro, iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil. The software used for the creations? Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Savage Interactive Procreate.
Welcoming the new year with a trumpet of doom, WhatsApp is bringing misery to many users. If you're using old versions of iOS, Android or -- heaven forbid -- Windows Phone 7, Facebook's popular messaging tool no longer works.
There is a brief stay of execution for anyone still packing a BlackBerry, but as of June 30 these will also be cut off. WhatsApp says that "BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60" will stop working by the middle of the year, but it is the hundreds of thousands of Android and iOS users that will be hardest hit.
The Congressional Encryption Working Group (EWG) was set up in the wake of the Apple vs FBI case in which the FBI wanted to gain access to the encrypted contents of a shooter's iPhone. The group has just published its end-of-year report summarizing months of meetings, analysis and debate.
The report makes four key observations, starting off with: "Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest". This is certainly not a new argument against encryption backdoors for the likes of the FBI, but it is an important one. EWG goes on to urge congress not to do anything to weaken encryption.
When Apple first announced the AirPods, I was intrigued. The technology looked incredible -- for those that own Apple devices, that is. Unfortunately, I sort of had a feeling that I would not like them as soon as I saw them. Why? They are the same shape as Apple's wired EarPods. This is a problem, as those headphones hurt my ears. I pretty much decided on day one that I would not buy them.
But then I went ahead and bought them anyway. Because they were delayed so often, and because stock was so limited, I bought them as soon as they went on sale as I knew they would sell out. Since Apple makes it easy to return products, I figured I'd buy them, try them, and make a decision. Well folks, I am returning them. Here's why.
New York City is a wonderful place to visit. There are countless great restaurants, not to mention museums, Madison Square Garden, and of course, Broadway shows. True, it is a very expensive city, but it is totally worth it for the culture.
One of the worst things about New York City, however, is driving. Traffic is unbearable and totally chaotic -- it can be maddening. Even worse is parking your car. If you can even manage to find a spot (they are hard to find), you have to deal with meters -- some of which still use coins. Today, Mayor de Blasio announces that paying for parking in New York City is getting much more convenient. The all-new 'ParkNYC' app for Android and iPhone lets drivers pay to park using their smartphone.
Many educators won't agree, but perhaps students will: The PC, whether desktop or notebook, is obsolete in the classroom. This reality, if accepted for what it is, presents Apple opportunity to retake the K-12 market from Alphabet-subsidiary Google's incursion and sudden success with Chromebook among U.S. schools. If the fruit-logo company doesn't seize the moment, a competitor will—and almost certainly selling devices running Android.
Chromebook's educational appeal is three-fold: low cost, manageability, and easy access to Google informational services. For buy-in price, and TCO, no Apple laptop or tablet running macOS or iOS, respectively, can compete. Think differently! Providing students any kind of computer is shortsighted, by narrowly presuming that schools, or their parents, must buy something. I suggest, in this time of budgetary constraints, that educators instead use what the kids already possess (or want to) and what they use easily and quickly: The smartphone.
A jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled against Apple in a lawsuit about wireless patent infringement. Core Wireless was awarded $7.3 million in damages after Apple was found to have violated two patents owned by the company.
Apple was found to have infringed upon Core Wireless' patents in iPhones and iPads, taking advantage of technology that "provide innovations that improve battery life and signal quality in mobile phones". The company is expected to appeal against the ruling, but this is not the only case it has lost.
I laughed so hard and so often at IDC's smartphone forecast, my response took nine days to write -- okay, to even start it. The future isn't my chuckable -- that data looks reasonably believable enough -- but the past. Because 2016 was supposed to be the year that Microsoft's mobile OS rose from the ashes of Symbian to surpass iOS and to challenge Android.
In 2011, IDC forecast that Windows Phone global smartphone OS market share would top 20 percent in 2015. The analyst firm reiterated the platform's No. 2 status for 2016 in 2012 as well. Not that I ever believed the ridiculous forecasts, writing: "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2015, I'll kiss Steve Ballmer's feet" and "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2016, I'll clean Steve Ballmer's toilet". The CEO's later retirement let me lose from those obligations had I been wrong. I was confident in my analysis being truer.
It is a couple of weeks since Apple announced a battery replacement program for iPhone 6s handsets suffering with random shutdown issue. At the time, the company gave nothing away about what the root cause of the problem was, but now it has opened up.
In a posting on its Chinese website, Apple confirms that the shutdown problems were indeed related to a battery problem. Specifically, the company explains that it was "a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been".