Mac Headlines

Viber Updates iOS App with Redesigned User Interface, Multiple Media Sharing [iOS Blog]

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

Popular messaging service Viber today updated its iOS app to version 4.2, bringing a redesigned user interface for iOS 7 in addition to various new features. The app now includes multiple media sharing that allows users to send multiple photos and videos at once, in addition to the ability to block users and send longer video messages. A cross platform typing indicator has also been added.

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- Completely redesigned for iOS 7! The new look and feel is consistent with the aesthetic of iOS 7 that iPhone users have grown accustomed to.
- Multiple media sharing in one flow. No more back and forth media sharing! Now you can send and edit up to 10 photos and videos at a time!
- Block list. Users can now block contacts they do not know and those that they do not wish to be contacted by. To learn more about managing your block list, click here.
- Send longer video messages. You can now send videos of up to three (3) minutes long.
- Typing indicator. Know when your contacts are typing a message to you on Android tablet, Linux, Mac, PC or Windows 8.
- Bug fixes.
According to the most recent statistics, Viber has over 105 million monthly active users and receives 550,000 sign ups daily. The service was acquired by Japanese Internet company Rakuten in February for $900 million, and launched a new desktop application for Mac and PC last February.

Viber is a free download for iOS devices and can be downloaded through App Store. [Direct Link]






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Sprint to Make All Devices Launched After February 11, 2015 Unlockable

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

sprint_logo-250x124 In an updated unlocking FAQ found on its website (via Android Police), Sprint has stated that it will make all of its devices released after February 11, 2015 unlockable for use on other domestic networks such as AT&T or T-Mobile.

The move is a part of the agreement that the five major U.S. wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission signed in December in order to allow customers to unlock their devices and switch carriers if they wish.
I've been told by another carrier that Sprint needs to unlock my SIM slot in order to use my phone on the other carrier's network.

For eligible devices, Sprint will unlock the SIM slot, to the extent that a device SIM slot is capable of being unlocked. It is important to note that not all devices are capable of being unlocked, often because of the manufacturers' device designs, and that even for those devices capable of being unlocked, not all device functionality may be capable of being unlocked. Specifically, devices manufactured with a SIM slot within the past three years (including, but not limited to, all Apple iPhone devices), cannot be unlocked to accept a different domestic carrier's SIM for use on another domestic carrier's network. Sprint has no technological process available to do this. In accordance with Sprint's voluntary commitment contained within CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service (“Unlocking Commitment”), Sprint is working to ensure that all devices developed and launched on or after February 11, 2015 are capable of being unlocked domestically.
Last year, the Library of Congress ruled that it was illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their phone unless given permission by their wireless carrier. However, the Obama administration filed a petition with the FCC last September asking that carriers be required to unlock mobile devices, which was then followed by the agreement [PDF] between the FCC and the five major U.S. carriers.

Sprint's move to implement domestic unlocking in all of its future devices will likely be followed by similar moves from other U.S. carriers, as all wireless providers pledged last December to implement the changes within 12 months.






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New Renders Show Off ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6c’ Concepts [iOS Blog]

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

Following a concept that showed off a possible look at the iPhone 6 based on recent leaked info, French website Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] and graphic designer Martin Hajek have once again teamed up to showcase renders for an "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6c", which are based off of Apple's current iPhones and alleged iPhone 6 design drawings posted by Japanese magazine MacFan.

iphone6s6c3xx
The renderings show iPhone 6s devices in gold and space grey colors, which retain the same tint as seen in the corresponding iPhone 5s models but adopt the thin, rounded profile that has been rumored for the iPhone 6. Like the previous renders, the power button is located along the upper right side of the device, with the iPhone 6s sporting rectangular volume controls similar to that of the fifth-generation iPod touch.

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Renders for an iPhone 6c concept are also shown, which depict the device in the same blue colorway adopted by the iPhone 5c. Like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6c appears to have the same rounded profile with similar button placements, but is shown with a glossy plastic enclosure instead of an aluminum one. The concept is also similar to iPhone 6c renderings done by designer Ferry Passchier, who we commissioned to rethink the rumored design of the iPhone 6 as if it were modeled after the iPhone 5c with colorful plastic backings.

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Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 later this year in two different sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Recent reports have noted that the smaller 4.7-inch version will ship in the third quarter of 2014, while the larger version may ship later this year or early next year due to issues with the device's display and battery.

Along with a larger screen, both models of the next-generation iPhone are said to feature a thinner profile, new A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor and an improved camera with optical image stabilization. According to a claim from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple is also negotiating with carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.






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Apple Fixes FaceTime on Older Versions of OS X, iOS 6 Still Not Working

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

facetime_ios_iconApple tonight released an update for FaceTime on OS X [Direct Link], which resolves connections issues and is recommended for all FaceTime users currently running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The connection issues are presumably related to the problems reported last week which affected both older versions of OS X and iOS 6 versions of FaceTime.

Apple, however, has not yet addressed the problems with FaceTime that are in iOS 6. While it is encouraging that Apple released an update for FaceTime for OS X 10.6, Apple support's recommendations for iOS 6 users has been to upgrade to iOS 7. One user has quoted Apple support as saying that the only fix for iOS 6 is to upgrade to the latest version of iOS 7, with no current plans to release a fix on iOS 6 or iOS 5.

According to Apple's updated FaceTime troubleshooting page, users who are still having trouble with the application are recommended to update to the latest version of iOS or OS X.






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Apple Fixes FaceTime on Older Versions of OS X, iOS 6 Still Not Working

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

facetime_ios_iconApple tonight released an update for FaceTime on OS X [Direct Link], which resolves connections issues and is recommended for all FaceTime users currently running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The connection issues are presumably related to the problems reported last week which affected both older versions of OS X and iOS 6 versions of FaceTime.

Apple, however, has not yet addressed the problems with FaceTime that are in iOS 6. While it is encouraging that Apple released an update for FaceTime for OS X 10.6, Apple support's recommendations for iOS 6 users has been to upgrade to iOS 7. One user has quoted Apple support as saying that the only fix for iOS 6 is to upgrade to the latest version of iOS 7, with no current plans to release a fix on iOS 6 or iOS 5.

According to Apple's updated FaceTime troubleshooting page, users who are still having trouble with the application are recommended to update to the latest version of iOS or OS X.






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Apple Debuts New ‘Powerful’ TV Ad Focusing on iPhone 5s [Updated]

April 23rd, 2014 by AppleInsider

Apple has debuted a new TV ad alongside Marvel's Agents of SHIELD tonight on ABC called "Powerful". The ad, which was first spotted by 9to5Mac, showcases iPhone 5s owners using the device to enhance their lives in multiple ways.


With "Gigantic" by the Pixies [iTunes] playing in the background, the app has users using the iPhone 5s to check their health, check for directions, create short monster movies, record videos, create art installations and more, including a band preparing to play a song. The ad ends with the tagline "You're more powerful than you think".

Apple has not aired an iPhone 5s ad since the seasonal holiday ad "Misunderstood", which has since been removed from its YouTube channel. In the meantime, Apple has instead focusing its advertising efforts on the iPad's "Your Verse" ad campaign.

Update 8:31 PM: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the ad as "Gigantic". It has been corrected to its proper name, "Powerful". Apple's official YouTube video for the ad has also been swapped in.






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Steve Jobs’ Infamous Temper Lives on at Apple in Bug-Wrangler Kim Vorrath [Mac Blog]

April 23rd, 2014 by Jordan Golson

Steve Jobs was infamous for his temper, with a famous story about him blowing up at the MobileMe team following a rocky rollout of that service in 2008.

However, Jobs isn't the only employee at Apple with a short fuse. A profile in The Information studies Kim Vorrath, Apple's vice president in charge of "program management" for both iOS and OS X. She supervises Apple's thorough testing process to discover bugs and is the final arbiter of deadlines to ensure that software updates come out on time.

iOS 8
One story in particular, relayed by Business Insider, tells of Vorrath's displeasure when she found out a co-worker was leaving work early before the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Ms. Vorrath, who has worked on all seven iOS releases, generally operates by asking lots of questions of engineers, sticking to the facts and getting them to explain in plain English why a particular feature should be included in the operating system. She’s easy to get along with, say former colleagues, who recall playfully mocking her 1990s feathered hairstyle and late 1980s fashion sense. But she isn’t known for chitchat and has been known to “blow up” on occasion when people miss deadlines or make excuses, colleagues say.

During a tense time before the first release of iOS software in 2007, Ms. Vorrath grew irate when a colleague was heading home early before another marathon weekend meeting. She slammed her office door so hard that the door knob broke, and she locked herself in. Mr. Forstall grabbed a baseball bat to try to break her out, people who worked at Apple at the time recall.
The Information says Vorrath has been working at Apple since 1987, starting as an intern and eventually becoming chief of staff for Scott Forstall. Now, she is said to be working directly beneath Apple executive Craig Federighi, who is in charge of Apple's software engineering teams.






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iWatch May Ultimately Replace iPod, No iPod Updates Expected in 2014

April 23rd, 2014 by Jordan Golson

A research note (via Barrons) from Christopher Caso, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, reiterates previous analyst reporting about the iWatch, saying Apple is looking to enter production with a pair of screen sizes in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Caso says Apple has production targets of 5-6 million units, but believes the iWatch will "essentially replace the iPod in the consumer portion of AAPL's product lineup" and will see lowered iPod sales as a result of customers choosing the iWatch instead. The note says the iPod is not expected to be updated this year.

Ipodfamily
Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that the iPod "is a declining business", with sales dropping to under $5 billion in 2013, down from a peak of more than $8 billion in 2008. Apple's iPod lineup has not seen a significant update since Fall 2012, other than a minor color change to match the rest of Apple's portable offerings. The iPod Classic has not been updated in several years.

Apple has worked hard to have products at a variety of price points, from the $49 iPod Shuffle up to the 128GB iPad Air at $799, and then to the various Mac products.






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Apple Releases AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.7.3 With Heartbleed Fix [Mac Blog]

April 22nd, 2014 by AppleInsider

airport_utility_iconApple today released AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.7.3 for AirPorts with 802.11ac. The update includes security improvements related to SSL/TLS.
AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.3
Available for: AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac

Impact: An attacker in a privileged network position may obtain memory contents

Description: An out-of-bounds read issue existed in the OpenSSL library when handling TLS heartbeat extension packets. An attacker in a privileged network position could obtain information from process memory. This issue was addressed through additional bounds checking. Only AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac are affected, and only if they have Back to My Mac or Send Diagnostics enabled. Other AirPort base stations are not impacted by this issue.
Earlier this month, an OpenSSL bug known as Heartbleed made headlines, with Apple releasing a statement noting that iOS, OS X, and its "key web services" were unaffected by the security flaw, but it appears that the company's AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule were vulnerable.

The 7.7.3 update is recommended for all models of the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule that support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, other AirPort base stations do not need to be updated.






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Google Covering Defense Costs and Damage Awards for Four Patents in Apple/Samsung Case

April 22nd, 2014 by Jordan Golson

Google is covering lawyer fees and potential damage awards with regards to four patents in the ongoing Apple/Samsung patent case, according to a report from Re/code, quoting deposition testimony from a Google attorney that Apple introduced in court today.

Google's contractual obligations to defend Samsung relate to a "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement" between the two companies related to the distribution of Google applications, including Gmail on Samsung's Android devices. Samsung called several Google employees as witnesses as part of its defense.

The case between Apple and Samsung is seen by many as a proxy for the larger battle between Google and Apple over the company's respective mobile operating systems.

apple_samsung_logos
Apple played deposition testimony from Google lawyer James Mccoun, who verified e-mail in which Google agreed to provide partial or full indemnity with regards to four patents as well as to take over defense of those claims.

A Samsung representative said he could not immediately say which if any claims in the case for which Google is in fact providing the defense and indemnity.
Yesterday, Samsung argued that, if it lost at trial, it would only owe Apple $40 million in damages, substantially less than the $2 billion that Apple says it is owed for infringement of five of its patents.






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