Sprint announces ‘iPad for Life’ 24-month lease for iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3

Sprint-iPad-for-life

Sprint today announced it’s now offering an ‘iPad for Life Plan’, much like its similar offering for the iPhone, that allows customers to get an iPad for $0 down and monthly payments over the course of a 24 month lease. The deal is available for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with monthly payments varying depending on the storage capacity. Read more

Review: Kenu Stance is a must-have miniature iPhone tripod

Kenu Stance compact tripod

The Stance compact tripod, Kenu’s latest accessory for iPhone, is one of my favorite gadgets I’ve tried out lately. It’s a tiny, pocketable stand for holding up your iPhone during video recording, FaceTime calling, and more. The Kenu Stance attaches to your iPhone or iPod touch by connecting to the Lightning port where you charge your phone, and it locks in securely for standing up iPhone in either landscape or portrait orientation. Check out my hands-on with the Kenu Stance below… Read more

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Google Nexus 6 – Full comparison (Video)

nexus-6-vs-6-plus

It’s not always the easiest task to compare an iOS device with one running Android. Most people choose one platform or another as a personal preference or an investment into the ecosystem that provides what they need. Today we’re comparing the Motorola-made Google Nexus 6 to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. There are benefits to each side, but which one is right for you?

We’re going to be comparing the design, specifications, features, and camera performance between these two flagship phablets. If you’re looking for more, check out 9to5Google’s Nexus 6 review and our iPhone 6/Plus review. There may not be a clear winner at the end of the day, but I’ll leave that discussion for the comments section below…

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US-China trade deal set to reduce manufacturing costs for Apple, aims to cut prices for consumers

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges …  Read more

Apple surprises with A8X GPU, uses exclusive ‘semi-custom’ 8 cluster design

A8X-Mockup_575px

New chip analysis of the A8X powering the iPad Air 2 has revealed that it is even more powerful than it initially appeared.

Further analysis by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die. A die shot sourced by AnandTech confirmed this theory, although the site is unable to publish the image. Shown above is a mockup of what is going on internally.

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Overcast 1.1 adds CarPlay, iPad layout and landscape mode on iPhone

Overcast 1.1 is out now, bringing several big improvements to the podcast client. The update adds rotation support for the iPhone, which is particularly helpful for people with car docks that enforce landscape device orientation. Arment tastefully uses popovers for the playback settings, a UI element that is generally underused on the iPhone.

For iPad, the app is now truly optimized for the larger canvas, making liberal use of split views and modal sheets. Given that Overcast prides itself on a clean appearance, a native iPad UI for navigation is very welcome indeed. Like the stock Mail app, a list view sits side-by-side with episode details like artwork and show notes. 9to5Mac reviewed Overcast when it originally launched, so check that out if you are looking for more details about the app’s functionality.

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Pangu jailbreak for iOS 8.0-8.1 now “stable enough” for use, says Cydia creator

Cydia creator Jay Freeman (better known as Saurik) has tweeted that the Pangu jailbreak for iOS 8.0 to 8.1 is now “stable enough” for use.

We first saw a developer version of the jailbreak last month, with a user version released a week later, complete with Cydia installer. The installer is Windows-only, but it’s an untethered jailbreak, so once it’s done you won’t need to reconnect to a PC following a reboot …  Read more

Apple blocks WireLurker malware apps from opening, but needs to do more, argues security researcher

wirelurker

Apple has now blocked the launching of Mac apps infected with WireLurker malware, after earlier revoking security certificates to prevent them being installed on new devices. WireLurker was capable of infecting non-jailbroken iOS devices when connected to a Mac running one of the compromised apps. Over 400 Mac apps in a third-party Chinese app store were affected.

In a written statement, an Apple spokesperson said:

We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching. As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.

However, a security researcher says that it would be easy for other attackers to exploit the exact same weakness …  Read more

Passcode vs. Touch ID: A Legal Analysis

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[Ed. note: Jason Stern is a Criminal Defense Attorney in private practice in New York City]

8:34 am. A college professor receives a text message threatening to blow up the history building. The professor immediately contacts law enforcement, who trace the origin of the call to a student who lives off-campus.

When FBI agents arrive at the student’s residence, they arrest the student and seize his smartphone. In an attempt to search the device to recover evidence of the crime (and perhaps stop other related crimes), they find the smartphone is protected by fingerprint security measures.

With the suspect in handcuffs, the agent swipes the student’s finger across the phone to access his call history and messages. Once the FBI swipes the suspect’s finger and bypasses the biometric security, the phone asks for the student’s passcode. The FBI agent asks for his password but the student refuses to speak. How can the FBI agent access the phone? Whereas a fictional Federal Agent like Jack Bauer would simply pull out his gun, jam it in the suspect’s mouth and scream, “WHERE IS THE BOMB?”, in our example, the FBI agent would hit the proverbial brick wall.

Yes, the phone could be brought back to the lab for analysis and hacking by forensics personnel, but the suspect in this case could not be forced to disclose the password on the phone… Read more

Report: US carriers experience huge surge in VoLTE with iPhone 6/6Plus, 3G calls down one-fifth

iPhone6_VoLTE_increase_Nov2014

Following the introduction of Voice-over-LTE technology with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which increases call quality by routing calls through an LTE network opposed to last generation 3G networks, US carriers have experienced a big increase in VoLTE calls. That’s according to a new report from Newfield Wireless that highlights a decrease for calls over 3G by about one-fifth compared to previous generation iPhones and other LTE-capable devices:

The majority of voice calls made on other 4G-enabled devices are currently routed through legacy 2G and 3G networks, due to the fact that not all networks and devices are optimised to deliver next-generation voice services. iPhone 6 devices are VoLTE-compatible and as a result, U.S. networks have experienced a surge in VoLTE calls since the September launch.

The report also shared some other data points from its research noting a few stats for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus uptake compared to previous generations: Read more

Report claims Apple developing 3D iPhone display tech & software that doesn’t require glasses

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A 2012 Apple patent application showing a 3D GUI

According to a report from Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News citing supply chain sources (via UDN), Apple is working on a 3D iPhone display of sorts that doesn’t require the use of special glasses. The translated report also claims Apple is actively developing 3D “software ecosystems.” Read more