Just days after the launch of Apple's iPhone 5s, German security and privacy group Chaos Computer Club, claims to have found a way to bypass the Touch ID fingerprint reader. The group says that this demonstrates that "fingerprint biometrics is unsuitable as an access control method" but the "hack" is longwinded enough to mean that it is unlikely to be of concern to most people.
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) goes as far as explaining precisely how it managed to bypass Touch ID using a fake fingerprint fabricated from a photo of a print.
Apple stole the limelight from just about everyone else this week. The big news was, of course, the release of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. Just about as soon as online orders opened up, delays in shipping started to lengthen; Joe was somewhat skeptical about the limited supplies.
Before the new hardware hit the stores, iOS 7 was released to mixed reviews -- I hated it, Wayne loved it. A couple of security holes were found in the operating system including one that allowed for Siri to be used to post messages and access phone details even on locked handsets. There was also a new iOS 7 inspired look for iCloud and the addition of a bookmark syncing option.
The number of people who are running iOS 7, either by buying a new iPhone or by downloading the update from Apple, is high. Very high. But shortly after the excitement of the new operating system, a security flaw with Siri emerges -- and it's not one to be taken lightly. Security firm Cenzic reveals details of a vulnerability that enables anyone to bypass the lock screen of an iPhone using Siri.
The voice activated assistant is better known for providing answers to questions and allowing for hands-free operation of iPhones. But Cenzic researchers show that it can also be used for more sinister purposes. You would think that when your phone is locked it should not be possible to do anything, besides answering calls, until you unlock it.
If you own a smartphone it’s likely you download apps for it, and given the proliferation of mobile devices, it’s not surprising that the volume of app downloads is continuing to rocket.
According to Gartner, mobile app stores will see annual downloads reach 102 billion in 2013, up from 64 billion in 2012, with free apps accounting for a whopping 91 percent of the total downloads this year.
When I bought the first-generation iPad in 2010, I intended to use it for taking notes in college classes. Unfortunately, the iPad didn't come with an office suite and Microsoft's was not available. And so, I was forced to try a bunch of alternatives. Ultimately, I found one that stood out among the rest -- Quickoffice. I found it to be complete and a pleasure to use.
While my iPad is long gone, Quickoffice has followed me to Android with great results. However, Google bought my beloved Quickoffice in June 2012 and I became very nervous. My concern was that the software development would cease under Google's leadership. I am happy to say that my concerns were for naught -- Google announces today that QuickOffice has been updated and is now free.
Just in time for iOS 7, Google has announced the release of Chrome 30 for iOS. Or for iOS 6-7, anyway -- the search giant has shifted its minimum requirements, so anyone still on iOS 5.x is now out of luck.
If you missed the release of Chrome 29 -- hardly surprising, as it only appeared last week -- then that extended searching with what Google called "intelligent pronoun understanding". And basically this gives your searches some context, so if you ask "Who directed Star Wars?", then "Where was he born?", you’ll get sensible answers in each case.
Anyone who manages to get their hands on an iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s on Friday will find that it comes with iOS 7 pre-installed. But if you’re not planning on investing in new hardware, head over to Apple's update server right now and you can grab yourself an upgrade free of charge.
The OS revamp is available as of 10am PST / 6pm BST, and if you jump on the download straight away you may well find it a slow and frustrating experience as the world and its dog tries to do exactly the same. But hang on in there... it'll be worth the wait.
Today is iOS 7 day! But there is more than just a new operating system for your iPhone, iPad and iPod to look forward to; Apple also has a redesigned iCloud website for you to use. Unsurprisingly the new design takes heavy inspiration from the look of iOS 7, mimicking the floaty, layered styling that graces the new mobile OS.
Log into your account and you'll immediately be greeted by a muted, blurry background, over the top of which various icons appear to float. Apps including Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders and Find My iPhone all now sport the iOS 7 look, but the beta editions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote retain their older design. It looks as though there might still be a little work to do -- not all icons have been redesigned, for instance.
Today Bump becomes the latest addition to Google's portfolio. In a blog post, Bump CEO David Lieb reveals that the company has been acquired by the search giant. Bump is known for two tools -- the eponymous Bump file transfer service, and Flock for sharing photos.
But it is the Bump transfer app that is most famous, making it possible to shift files from one device to another with a gimmicky bump together -- using "a matching algorithm" rather than NFC. The blog post assures users that "Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now", and it is the "for now" part of this announcement that is intriguing. Google has yet to make an announcement of its own, so it is not yet clear whether Bump's tools will live on under the same name, get rebranded, or disappear into Google's fat folds.
Today, Apple announced two new iPhones, the 5S and 5C. Sadly, through various leaks and rumors, the wind was taken out of the fruit logo company's sails; the element of surprise was lost. Surprise or not, either way, both new smartphones look really well made, attractive and full-featured. There is only one problem -- no one cares.
Well, "no one cares" is an exaggeration. I'm sure existing iPhone users care and these phones will sell well. Unfortunately, it won't be enough to lure the people Apple really needs to target -- first-time smartphone buyers and Android users. In other words, Google will continue to erode Apple's market-share, one chomp at a time.
There were so many leaks prior to today's announcements at Cupertino that we pretty much already knew what to expect. Apple has taken the wrapper off the latest version of the iPhone and the company has stuck to its recent release schedule of following up a major iPhone with an S edition -- the iPhone 5S. Visually, things are very much the same as before, but in addition to black and white models, there's also the light gold colored model -- colors we now know should be referred to as space gray, silver and gold.
The promise to "brighten everyone's day" seems to have meant not only an addition to the color options for the iPhone 5C and 5S, but also new features. While the 5C retains the same processor as in the 5, the 5S boasts a new A7 processor which is the world's only 64-bit chip in a smartphone. iOS 7 has been re-engineered as a 64-bit operating system, but the chip is capable of running 32-bit and 64-bit apps. Apple claims the processor is double the speed of the iPhone 5 according to the graph they showed. And the processor now supports OpenGL|ES 3.0, the same as Nexus 7.
Apple changed the smartphone market dramatically with the original iPhone, which launched in mid-2007. The company took the world by surprise as it reenvisioned the basic smartphone concept by forgoing the (typical) unintuitive user interfaces and adopting a simpler, hardware and software, design instead. The iPhone had turned Apple into the top smartphone vendor, a title which the Cupertino, Calif.-based corporation can no longer claim today. Why?
The short answer is "Android". The long one is a bit more complicated. Apple began changing the smartphone market in 2007, but the smartphone market changed as well since then. The iPhone was and still is a flagship product, a high-end handset with the price to reflect it. Consumers, however, have been slowly moving away from that price range and type of device to cheaper, mid-range and low-end products. According to an IDC report from June, the smartphone average selling price (ASP) dropped from $443 in 2011 to $372 in the first half of 2013, and is expected to drop even further, to $309 by 2017. That is a price-bracket that Apple could not tap into, as it had no product to fight with. The iPhone 5C, that the company just unveiled during a special event, is designed to change that.
Nearly a year after it debuted Xbox Music, Microsoft has introduced iOS and Android apps for its impressive music service, and sent out a clear warning to the likes of Spotify with the introduction of free web streaming.
iOS and Android users with an Xbox Music Pass can now enjoy unlimited access to 30 million songs for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. When you add a song to your music library on Xbox, it will be instantly available on the mobile device.
Microsoft is locked in a battle for your note-taking needs on mobile devices. Evernote is the perceived king of the field, but OneNote is certainly a strong competitor and today the software giant announces improvements to the iOS version of the Office app.
The latest update allows users to create notebooks on the iPad as well as create, delete and rename sections. Microsoft claims this was one of the most requested features from customers already using the previous version, but it is also not the only enhancement made to this build.
Spotify users with both an iOS device and a premium subscription -- oh, and at least one set of compatible speakers -- will soon be able to take advantage of a new Chromecast-like feature. Spotify Connect allows for a seamless music experience, transferring music playback between devices and sound systems. Everything can be controlled using an iOS app, turn your iPhone into the ultimate music remote.
The new service is showcased in a YouTube video that demonstrates the ease with which music can be transferred from one set of speakers to another. Walk home from work listening to your favorite album on your iPhone earphones, and as soon as you step through the front door you can push the music to your home stereo.