In the aftermath of the big App Store security breach, today Apple reminds developers where they should obtain Xcode. It's not rocket science—from sanctioned distribution sources. I received an email this morning from the company, dispatched to members of its developer program.
To recap: As the new week dawned, Apple rushed to remove content from its Chinese App Store loaded with XcodeGhost malware. Developers using a counterfeit version of Xcode caused the first, major, widespread security crisis for the seven year-old App Store.
Apple's App Store is a very trustworthy place do get apps. In fact, most people choose iOS because they can mindlessly install apps without having to worry about malware. Sadly, this proved to be slightly false, as a bunch of apps have been found to be infected with some nastiness due to developers using a non-official version of Xcode.
The good news, however, is that these "infected" apps have largely been found in the Chinese version of Apple's App Store only. Earlier today, however, it was announced that Angry Birds 2, a wildly popular game, was among the infected apps. People in the USA, including myself, were worried. Thankfully, our worry was for naught, as Rovio confirms that only the Chinese version has the malware.
On Sept. 16, 2015, Apple released iOS 9, which enables users of iPad and iPhone to disable ads. The company claims the capability improves the overall user experience. As someone covering the tech industry for more than two decades, I perceive it as something else, too: Competitive assault against Google and means of pushing publishers to iOS 9's new News app. There is nothing friendly about Apple's maneuver. It is aggressive and tactical. But does it really matter?
Stated simply: More than 90 percent of Google revenue comes from contextual and search-related advertising. Apple derives about the same figure from selling devices and supporting services. At the same time, mobile is the future of Internet advertising and the battleground where the two meet. The entities' respective mobile platforms, Android and iOS, long ago put the tech titans on a collision course. Conceptually, what Apple can't gain from iPad and iPhone sales, it can take by shaking pillars supporting its rival's business.
A vulnerability has been discovered in iOS and OS X that could be used to install apps without permission, using AirDrop. The feature exists to provide a way for people to quickly send files from one device to another, but security researcher Mark Dowd has been able to exploit the vulnerability to push apps to iOS even if the user does not accept the file that is AirDropped.
Dowd has reported the vulnerability to Apple, but the company has failed to patch the problem so it still exists in iOS 9. Using a combination of techniques, it is possible to bypass the security screen that asks if an app is to be trusted or not, meaning that a malicious app can be installed without permission or notification.
We are in the golden age of television and entertainment. True, some of the best comedies are in our past, such as Seinfeld, All In The Family, and Family Ties to name a few, but shows such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are some of the most riveting entertainment ever. Of course, YouTube is also home to some wonderful videos from people like PewDiePie.
If you want to easily control all of this entertainment in your living room, investing in a solid remote control is a good idea. A coffee table littered with remotes is not only unsightly, but inconvenient too. Logitech's Harmony line of remotes have been wildly popular, and for good reason -- they are well-made and work brilliantly. Not to mention, some models can handle home automation and connected-home appliances. Today, the company announces the latest such remote, Harmony Elite. This is perfectly timed for football season!
Remember Microsoft Zune? Yeah, the last ounce of it is set for a demise later this year. The company has announced that it will be retiring the Zune music service on November 15.
The company's attempt to take on Apple's iPod music players, will not allow users to stream or download content from Zune after November 15, says Microsoft. Content purchased with DRM might not also have playback support if the license of it could not be renewed, but MP3 files you own should mostly work without an issue.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has addressed one of biggest annoyances in the otherwise excellent iPhone. Cook has said that the company is aware that not everybody is a big fan of several stock apps -- more popularly known as junkware, crapware, bloatware -- in the iPhone lineup, and it intends to step back and (almost certainly) give users the ability to remove them.
In a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed News, the company's chief executive talked about privacy concerns with the new iPhones, the company's claim of iPad Pro being a desktop replacement, and more importantly, why it doesn't allow users to remove stock apps -- for example, Calculator, Stocks, Tips, Watch -- from their iPhones or iPads.
Travel apps have evolved to make life easier for users, with regular updates and enhancements to features and usability. But new research highlights inadequate security in the 10 most popular mobile apps for travel on both Android and iOS devices.
The study by self-defending app specialist Bluebox looked at more than a dozen security parameters in the 10 most popular travel apps on the App Annie iOS Top App Charts and Google Play Top App Charts and revealed that critical flaws were present in all of the apps examined.
Listening to music on a smartphone speaker is passable, but to truly enjoy your tunes you should invest in good headphones and/or a Bluetooth speaker. While I enjoy bobbing my head while wearing my Beats Solo 2 headphones, sometimes I want to relax on my couch, lawn chair, or bed with nothing on my head. For this, I connect to one of my favorite portable Bluetooth speakers, the UE BOOM.
Today, Ultimate Ears announces a successor to that portable Bluetooth speaker -- the unimaginatively named UE BOOM 2. Yes, this popular speaker is getting an upgrade. The best part, however, is that the price stays exactly the same. Sweet!
The first weekend of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus preorders are behind us, but Apple already looks ahead. This morning, the company presumably sought to quell last week's Wall Street jitters in statements to CNBC, Financial Times, and MarketWatch, among other news services popular with investors. This is perception-management at Apple's finest, and it is metaphor for success selling smartphones and why most competitors flounder by comparison.
I didn't receive the statement and so cannot attest to its veracity. But presuming esteemed financial news services accurately report, misdirection isn't much better than this. Apple doesn't give an exact figure, instead stating: "We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25". How circumspect is that? Ten million the first weekend two weeks later?
For a company with its own mobile operating system to worry about (yes, there is a new build of Windows 10 Mobile on the way soon) Microsoft shows an awful lot of interest in the competition. After making an appearance at Apple's iPad Pro and iPhone 6s launch event, Microsoft has made an Android-related acquisition.
The newly-purchased Echo Notification Lockscreen is the second Android lockscreen app that the company now has to its name; Echo Notification Lockscreen joins Microsoft Next. The company says it is about taking "productivity to the next level" and improving users' experience.
After some time in the beta stage, Adblock web browser for iOS and Android is as of today officially available in version 1.0.
"Adblock Browser for Android was in an open beta for a while now, and thanks to the amazing feedback we received there, we were able to evolve it into something we’re proud to release", it says in the official news post following the release.
We have come to expect new iPhones to be introduced in September, and today Apple does not disappoint as it takes the wraps off the new iPhone 6s and its bigger brother, iPhone 6s Plus. Typical of "s" models, both smartphones retain the design first seen in the previous generation while improving upon their predecessors in a couple of key areas.
With the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has focused its attention on build quality, cameras, display, and performance. Both flagships, of course, ship with a new version of iOS, which will be generally available later this month, on September 16.
Microsoft has rolled out a major refresh of its Skype mobile apps with the release of Skype for iPhone 6.0, Skype for iPad 6.0 and Skype for Android 6.0.
All three apps come with a redesign aimed at making them easier to use as well as improved search tools. iPad users also gain all iPhone features, while Android users also benefit from some platform-specific improvements.
Apple and Cisco have, through a joint statement, announced a partnership which will see Apple’s apps and devices become more productive in enterprise networks.
The goal of the partnership is to optimize Cisco’s networks for iOS devices and apps and integrate the iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments. That will create a "fast lane" for iOS business users, Apple has said in a press release.