Articles about Apple

I am slave to Apple Watch no more

Apple Watch 2 Stainless Steel

I suffer from phantom smartwatch syndrome -- an ailment that hopefully will disappear over time. Nearly four weeks ago, I put aside Apple Watch 2 stainless steel and replaced it with the simple but appealing ManchesterWatchWorks Iconik 3. Problem: Almost any shifting movement of the timepiece causes me to reflexively flip my wrist and look down; there is false perception of haptic sensation. Apple has trained me well, and I'm tired of being its dog doing tricks. Woof. Woof. Growl.

I feel free! Gone are the nagging alerts -- and I had them barreled down to a minimum of approved services: Some for breaking news; emails from a half-dozen people; and text messages. Among this still seeming torrent, the Activity app annoyed with congratulatory badges and prompts that one of the four main exercise goals (Calories, Exercise Time, Stands, and Steps) -- Apple's athletic lifestyle version of the four food groups -- would soon be achieved. The badges are about as infantile as gold stars that teachers give kindergarteners and with similar purpose: To make the recipient feel good, whether or not deserved. The achievement badge for Earth Day flipped my goat. Seriously? I ordered the Iconik 3 that evening.

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Siri gets competition as Google Assistant heads to the Apple iPhone

Google Assistant

Yes, the rumors were true (as they so often are when it comes to Google) -- the search giant announced at its I/O developer conference today that its personal assistant is coming to the iPhone.

As you might expect (and as is the case with Microsoft’s Cortana), you won’t be able to replace Siri with Google Assistant, instead you’ll need to summon it through a dedicated app. That’s not the only downside.

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Apple releases macOS Sierra 10.12.5 with proper Windows 10 Creators Update Boot Camp support

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Apple's macOS Sierra is a solid operating system. It is very mature and beautiful, not to mention, it is chock-full of user-focused features. Quite frankly, from a user experience perspective, it is probably the best OS by far. Still, there are other quality operating systems too, including Microsoft's excellent and always-improving Windows 10.

As great as macOS Sierra is, it is not perfect, meaning Apple is constantly looking to make it better. Today, the company releases the newest such version, 10.12.5. While not a revolutionary update by any means, it offers some important bug fixes and enhancements. The most interesting aspect of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 is improved Windows 10 Creators Update support for Boot Camp.

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GNOME Recipes for Linux comes to Apple macOS

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GNOME is not just a desktop environment, but a collection of apps too. Some are useful, while others... not so much. Case in point, GNOME has a new program called "Recipes." It is quite literally a searchable database of cooking recipes. While there is nothing really wrong with creating such an app, it sort of duplicates the functionality of a search engine, like Google or Bing. If resources were unlimited, I'd say more power to the developers. The open source project largely relies on donations, however, and it could be argued that Recipes is a bit unnecessary.

There is one particularly interesting aspect of Recipes -- it is available for macOS. You see, the developers have successfully ported the app to Apple's desktop operating system. While I'm dubious that Mac users will actually want the app, it is still rather cool.

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Hell freezes over: iTunes is coming to the Windows Store

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Yes, you did read that correctly. Today at Build Microsoft announces that iTunes is going to appear in the Windows Store by the end of the year. Apple and Microsoft playing ball together like this is a pretty rare occurrence.

With the recently announced Windows 10 S, the timing is interesting, and in embracing the iPhone, Microsoft is sending out yet another message that Windows Phone is dead -- it's iPhone and Android smartphones that matter.

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Apple's iPhone 6s is the most popular smartphone in the world

iPhone 6s front

Apple may not sell as many smartphones as Samsung, but its iPhones consistently rank at the top of the sales charts, typically edging their Galaxy S rivals by a healthy margin. So, it should not come as a surprise that it is an iPhone that is the most popular smartphone in the world as well.

ScientiaMobile, which recently released a report that crowns the Galaxy S7 as the most popular Samsung-made smartphone in the world, today expands its scope and announces that the title for the most popular smartphone in the world belongs to the iPhone 6s.

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HandBrake for Mac server compromise means downloaders have 50-50 chance of Proton RAT malware infection

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Anyone who downloaded the Mac video transcoder HandBrake in the last few days stands a 50 percent change of being infected with a Trojan. The download for version 1.0.7 of HandBrake was infected after the mirror download server was compromised.

The Trojan allows for an attacker to remotely access an infected computer, and a malware-laced version of the app was made available for download between May 2 and May 6. If you downloaded the app in this window, you're advised to check the SHA1/256 sum, and if you have gone as far as installing the software, there are steps to take to determine if you're infected and remove the malware if you are.

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Qualcomm wants to ban US iPhone imports because Apple's not paying licensing royalties

Qualcomm

Apple and Qualcomm are not on the best of terms. The iPhone maker has sued Qualcomm for overcharging on royalties, demanding $1bn in compensation. The chip maker, in return, has sued Apple for making its modems worse in the iPhone 7 to match the performance of similar Intel cellular radios.

And now Qualcomm wants to take things to the next level, as it considers asking the International Trade Commission to ban iPhone imports in the US. If the ITC agrees, that would potentially lead to billions and billions of lost sales for Apple and affect its plans for the launch of the new iPhone.

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iPhone sales continue to fall ahead of iPhone 8 launch

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Yesterday we debated whether interest in the Apple Watch is falling, but Tim Cook says that sales have doubled over the last year. This is an easy claim to make when you don’t reveal the actual sales figures, but the story is definitely less rosy when we look at the iPhone. For the second quarter ever, sales of Apple's smartphone fell.

This was not only a drop in sales, but an unexpected one. While analysts had been predicting sales in the region of 52.27 million, the reality is that the company shipped just 50.2 million in the quarter ending April 1, 2017. It might not seem like a big difference, but the sustained fall in sales saw Apple's stock to follow suit to the tune of 1.5 percent.

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Logitech SLIM FOLIO turns your 5th generation Apple iPad 2017 into a laptop for productivity

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When you want a tablet for consumption, there is no better product than the iPad. For creation, however, it can be lacking. For typists in particular -- including students needing to take notes -- the lack of a keyboard makes it a tough sell. While the Pro iPads can be used with an official keyboard from Apple, those tablets are very expensive. Luckily, there are third-party offerings for the more affordable traditional variants too.

Today, Logitech announces a new keyboard case for the 5th generation iPad 2017. Called the "SLIM FOLIO," it transforms Apple's inexpensive 9.7-inch tablet into a laptop. It also protects the iPad from drops, bumps, and scratches. Logitech says the keys are quite durable too, as they are rated for 5 million strokes. Its scissor keys offer an impressive 1.5 mm key travel for a quality typing experience.

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Is interest in Apple Watch on the wane? Big-name apps drop support for the wearable

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It would appear that the Apple Watch is losing its shine. A number of big-name apps have dropped support for the wearable, including Google Maps, Target, eBay and Amazon. It's not clear exactly why support was dropped, but as it took a little while for users to notice and start complaining on social media, a general lack of interest is likely to blame.

Google has offered a vague promise that Google Maps will return to Apple Watch "in the future," but gives no sense of timescale, and there are no similar assurances from any of the others who have quietly killed off their apps.

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Microsoft is replacing the password -- what's taking its place?

smartphone hand

It was supposed to have died a long time ago, but, for a near-cadaver, the password has managed to hold onto its last breath for over two decades. Bill Gates declared passwords passé way back in 2004, but it was only late in April that the company he founded introduced a replacement for the outmoded authentication system.

For years, organizations have sought to educate employees about the importance of secure passwords and of resisting phishing attacks -- and both efforts have failed. A Verizon report indicates that 63 percent of confirmed data breaches involved leveraging weak/default/stolen passwords in 2016. Meanwhile, a new report from Proofpoint says that phishing and similar attacks using e-mail were up 45 percent in the last quarter of that year. Clearly, the constant haranguing by security teams of employees to change their passwords and make them more complicated, as well as their pleas not to click on suspicious links/attachments, are falling on deaf ears.

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Uber tracked iPhone users even after they uninstalled the app and Tim Cook wasn't happy

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Uber broke Apple's rules by tagging and tracking iPhones even after users had uninstalled the taxi-hailing app. The New York Times reports that Tim Cook met with CEO Travis Kalanick and warned that the Uber app could be kicked out of the App Store for violating privacy guidelines.

It is said that Uber has been found "secretly identifying and tagging iPhones" not only after the app was uninstalled, but even after phones had been wiped. The "fingerprinting" technique was used -- it is alleged -- to identify individual iPhones, and measures were taken to hide the offending code from Apple.

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This is Apple Watch NikeLab

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Apple Watch is probably the best smartwatch on the market, because, well, it doesn't have much competition. Microsoft's Band is dead, and Android Wear devices are largely ho-hum. With that said, it only works with iPhone, making it a non-starter for most consumers. After all, the majority of smartphone users have Android devices.

If you are an iPhone user, and you still haven't bought an Apple Watch, now might be the time. You see, Nike and Apple have collaborated on a new model of the wearable. Before you get too excited, the Apple Watch NikeLab -- as it is called -- is pretty much just the existing Space Gray Apple Watch Nike+ with a special black and white band.

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While iOS 10 powers 79 percent of iPhones and iPads, Nougat only runs on 4.9 percent of Android devices

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The Android landscape is changing, albeit at a really, really slow pace. That explains why, in early-April, Google reports that Nougat is found on 4.9 percent of Android devices, while the older Marshmallow powers nearly a third -- 31.2 percent -- of the smartphones and tablets that run the most-popular mobile operating system.

Things couldn't be more different if we look at the iOS space, where iOS 10 currently holds a 79 percent share. Meanwhile, its predecessor, iOS 9, can be found on just 16 percent of the iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices in use. Google released Nougat in mid-August, last year, while Apple introduced iOS 10 the following month, in September.

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