July 23

Apple Pride

Apple is officially putting its weight behind new LGBT anti-discrimination legislature currently being proposed in Congress. The company said in a statement to the Human Rights Campaign that it actively supports the Equality Act.

At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.

Apple’s support for the bill that would expand federal protections in the workplace to LGBT Americans in all states follows several years of Apple CEO Tim Cook calling on Congress to pass such legislation, and Apple’s backing is in line with its own company policies. expand full story

July 21

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With iOS 9 coming out later this year, there will once again be a number of articles proclaiming that jailbreaking is now unnecessary because so many of the most popular tweaks have been added as native features. While jailbreaking may not be as popular as it was in the iOS 4 days, there are still a lot of great reasons to give it a try.

I recently downgraded from iOS 9 to jailbreak my phone again. Here are just a few reasons I recommend you consider jumping off of the beta bandwagon.

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July 17

Image: n3rdabl3.co.uk

Popular iOS and Android apps from companies like Walmart, ESPN, Slack and SoundCloud have been found vulnerable to password cracking, according to a recent report from AppBugs. The security firm found that dozens of the most popular apps are lacking, in that they allow you to make any number of attempts to login without restriction. These clearly opens up a gap for attackers who have the means to guess those passwords and gain access to your accounts.

The most secure apps will force you to reset your password if you don’t enter it correctly, or they’ll lock you out after you’ve made a certain number of attempts.

AppBugs tested the most popular apps to see how they stacked up. It checked 100 popular apps which support password-protected web accounts and limited themselves to apps which had been downloaded at least 1 million times. Of those 100 apps, 53 were found to have the vulnerability.

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July 14

jailbreak

Editors note: Will Strafach (@chronic) runs a mobile security services firm helping enterprises protect their employees and confidential data from mobile threats. Fast and thorough analysis of the compiled binaries found within the HackingTeam dump was possible using their upcoming cloud-based iOS application analysis platform, using highly advanced pattern-matching and heuristic techniques to detect threats and privacy leaks within applications installed on enrolled mobile devices. He can be reached at will@wstraf.me if any readers have further questions or concerns regarding HackingTeam or other iOS malware. 

Written by: Will “Chronic” Strafach

There has been a lot of mixed information and speculation in the media recently in regards to the HackingTeam leak and what it all means for iOS users. Do the surveillance tools the group has reportedly provided to governments and law enforcement present a risk to the average iPhone and iPad user? That’s a question we’ve been getting a lot, so I will attempt to present all of the facts based on the recently leaked documents detailing the HackingTeam’s tools, as well as my opinion on the impact of certain aspects for iOS devices. Advanced users will already be aware of what I am about to state, but for everyone else, here’s what we’re dealing with:
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July 11

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In an interesting development, Pitchfork reports that Apple is making music videos for artists in-house. It claims the music videos for Pharrell William’s ‘Freedom’, Drake’s ‘Energy’ and Eminem’s ‘Phenomenal’ were all made by Apple content studios. These artists have certainly helped with the Apple Music launch (with both Pharrell and Drake having their own radio show on Beats 1) so it wouldn’t be out of the question that Apple is ‘compensating’ them with produced music videos. It certainly seems like a good way of brokering a deal for music exclusivity.

Of course, the idea of Apple content creation is weird — especially in such a niche area of music videos. Pitchfork is adamant however and says that Apple is working with more artists including Purity Ring, Diddy and James Bay. Another Apple Music exclusive launching on Monday from ‘M.I.A’ is also said to feature a music video been produced entirely by Apple’s internal team.

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July 6

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Last week, we noted that Apple’s latest iOS 8.4 release with Apple Music removes support for the long-existing Music Home Sharing feature. This function allows an iOS device user to stream music from a computer running iTunes on their own WiFi network. Today, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services noted on Twitter that Apple is “working” to restore Home Sharing functionality in iOS 9. It is likely that Home Sharing was removed in iOS 8.4 due to changes necessary with the record labels to launch the new streaming music service. Cook previously revealed details on this week’s iOS 9 beta, streaming bit rates, and more via Twitter.

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July 5

In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we will take one final look at some of the new additions to Logic Pro X 10.1. We have already gotten a taste of a number of very helpful new features including custom plug-in menus, Track Stacks, the Brush Tool and the powerful new Drummer features, but today Retro Synth is on tap.

While Logic already had a number of classic synth-inspired virtual instruments like ES1, 2 and more, we are talking about instruments that have been around for 10 years+. A serious breath of fresh air for Logic users, Retro Synth (RS) wraps all the major synthesis disciplines of yesteryear – classic subtractive, hard sync, FM and more – into one, neatly packaged virtual instrument. Not only does RS standup to many of the basic analog synth emulations out there, but the LPX 10.1 wavetable updates just put it toe-to-toe with many of the $200+, third-party flagships: expand full story

July 1

The first in-depth video preview trailer for the upcoming, official Steve Jobs movie has gone live. The movie features Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, and it was written by Aaron Sorkin. The film is based off of Jobs’s official biography by Walter Isaacson. Earlier this year, the first teaser trailer for the movie appeared, but it did not provide an extensive look into the story or characters. The movie starts showing in theaters in October 9th.

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Back when white earbuds dominated the market, Beats by Dre proved that mainstream customers were willing to pay $300 for large wired headphones and nearly $400 for wireless versions — even plasticky, overly bassy ones. The subsequent shift towards big headphones nearly killed makers of premium in-ear models, leading many audio companies to mimic Beats’ formula. But there were holdouts: iconic audio companies including Bowers & Wilkins refused to compromise their materials or change their sonic signatures to match Beats. Instead, B&W offered premium-priced headphones made from premium-quality materials, and let customers pick between plastic Beats or metal and leather alternatives.

Today, Bowers & Wilkins is debuting P5 Wireless ($400), a Bluetooth version of last year’s luxurious P5 Series 2 (and the since-discontinued original P5). Mixing chrome, brushed aluminum, and ultra-soft sheep’s leather, P5 Wireless is virtually indistinguishable from P5 Series 2 apart from its ability to operate with or without a 3.5mm audio cable. Classy in ways that even the top-of-line Beats Pro can’t match, P5 Wireless is the first Bluetooth headphone I would recommend to fans of classic premium audio gear…

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June 30

yosemite

In addition to iOS 8.4, Apple has now publicly released OS X 10.10.4 to all users. The point update focuses on security and stability improvements with a fix for notable networking issues with OS X Yosemite as well as fixes for Mail, improvements to Photos migration from iPhoto and Aperture, and more. Apple first began testing the update to the Mac with developers in late April. expand full story

beats-1-trent-reznor

Speaking to Rolling Stone about creating Beats 1 radio, Trent Reznor said he wanted to recreate the feeling you got when walking into a really good independent record store.

I want that feeling of walking into an independent record shop, if there are still any that exist, like Amoeba [Records], and being delighted by the choices and the way music is presented to you with love and care. It’s exciting. And you leave with stuff you wouldn’t have dreamed you wanted and you’re excited to listen and share it and experience it.

Reznor, who was previously Chief Creative Officer at Beats Music, said that listening to Zane Lowe’s BBC radio show totally inspired him …  expand full story

June 26

adblockers

Ads are things we all love to hate. While some can be amusing, and others can be useful, drawing our attention to products or services we weren’t aware of, mostly we view them as things to tolerate at best – and to be profoundly irritated by at worst.

Some think they have a simple solution to this: using an adblocker. Adblocking software has existed for desktop browsers for many years, but to date there haven’t been any effective blockers for iOS.

All that could change with iOS 9, however, with content-blocking capabilities built right into the platform. If Apple chooses to allow adblockers into the App Store (and we don’t yet know yet for sure that it will), that could require advertisers, ad networks, publishers and readers alike to up their games …  expand full story

June 23

taig

TaiG has released an untethered jailbreak for iOS 8.3 – but Cydia Substrate isn’t yet working, meaning that many third-party add-ons won’t run. MS Tweaks likewise don’t work at present.

The release notes suggest that the jailbreak installation may take several attempts.

If jailbreak failed, turn off WIFI and try again. If failed again, please use TaiG Pro to restore and try to jailbreak again.

If you’re not yet running iOS 8.3, TaiG Pro allows you to perform the upgrade as part of the data backup process …  expand full story

June 22

touch-id-screen

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

The idea of replacing the iPhone’s physical Home button with a pure touch one embedded in the display has been around for quite a while now, but a report from the variably reliable DigiTimes claims that Apple is already working on the technology.

Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.

The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.

While the report doesn’t specifically reference embedding the home button into the display itself, referring only to ‘a whole plane design,’ this would seem to be what the report hints at … expand full story

June 18

June 17

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Mercury News reports that Samsung has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider the U.S Federal Circuit Court’s decision to uphold damages from Samsung to Apple over the company copying the iPhone. Samsung is asking that the Court of Appeals and a 12 judge roster to rehear its case, claiming that the 3 judge setup used earlier this year failed to adequately rule on the case.

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