New Pad & Quill Apple Watch bands turn Sport into classy for $86

Apple-watch-pad-quill-bandsPad and Quill, one of our favorite Apple accessory makers, today introduced a set of Apple Watch bands with their trademark quality leather and stitching combined with two options of metal: Stainless Steel and Polished Black. At $86 (save 5% w/code 5forSUMMER), this turns an Apple Watch Sport into something you can wear with business casual to formal attire. Paired with a standard Apple Watch, it adds more color options to your Stainless Steel arsenal.

Not just any leather, but the luxury full grain leather used to craft all of Pad & Quill’s handmade goods. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation italian leather tannery artisan. His tannery uses  legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.

We’ll have a review in the next week or so but if you can’t wait, you can order yours in 38mm or 42mm today for delivery starting in mid August. Check out our hands-on impressions with each of Pad and Quill’s full lineup of Apple Watch accessories in the meantime. Read more

Apple increasing R&D spending by $1.5B as it cuts capital expenditure

aapl

An SEC filing by Apple shows that the company plans to increase this year’s spend on product development by $1.5B, reaching a total of $5.9B by the end of September, reports Business Insider. At the same time, Apple is cutting its forecast capital expenditure by $1B, which the company told the WSJ was due to efficiency savings.

A company spokeswoman said Apple lowered the forecast because it was able to spend more efficiently for tooling equipment and facilities. “There are no changes in our product plans,” she said.

Apple explores a great many potential new product ideas, and the increased spend on product development could conceivably indicate that the company is choosing to invest more heavily in one of these, BI speculating that it may be the long-rumored Apple car …  Read more

Apple’s tough security requirements for Bluetooth LE are delaying HomeKit roll-out, say manufacturers

homekit-security

If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  Read more

Tim Cook believes China will be Apple’s biggest market – and it’s not hard to see why

china

One of the most remarkable numbers revealed yesterday by Apple was that revenue in Greater China – the term used to describe mainland China plus Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – more than doubled in the past year. Year-on-year revenue in the region more than doubled, compared to Apple’s already impressive worldwide growth of 33% …  Read more

Fortune: AAPL earnings likely to beat analyst expectations for 9th straight quarter

aapl-q3-2015

With Apple due to report its fiscal Q3 (calendar Q2) earnings later todayFortune notes that the company has beaten Wall Street expectations for eight straight quarters – and strong iPhone sales mean that today’s earnings report is likely to make it nine.

iPhone sales typically drop in June as consumers hear more rumors about the next model and many decide to wait. But with Q3 sales estimated at close to 50M phones, representing a massive 40% year-on-year increase, that would put Apple’s revenue well in excess of the company’s own guidance of $47B and above the Wall Street consensus estimate of $49.5B …  Read more

Large tech companies side with Samsung in its appeal against award for infringing Apple’s patents

apple-samsung-trial

In the latest news in the patent case that feels like it will never end, a number of tech giants have taken Samsung’s side in its appeal against the damages it was ordered to pay for infringing Apple’s patents.

It’s almost three years since Apple was awarded $1B in damages after a jury found that Samsung infringed five of its patents. $450M of that award was later vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – for a revised total of $930M. The US appeals court later ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone. The court now needs to once again revise the amount awarded.

The amount awarded in part reflected the profits Samsung was deemed to have made by infringing the patents, and it is this aspect that Google, Facebook, Dell, HP, eBay and other tech companies say is unreasonable …  Read more

Analyst estimates for Apple Watch sales all over the place, ranging from 3-6 million units

Watch_OS-time-travel

Since its launch, Apple Watch sales estimates have either shown it as doing incredibly well, or that it’s doomed to failure. Tim Cook hasn’t announced any figures yet, and may not even report them during tomorrow’s quarterly earnings call. But that won’t stop analysts guessing. If recent “estimates” are anything to go by, the financial wizards in charge of looking in to these numbers have no idea what’s going on. Estimates are all over the place… Read more

Dozens of popular apps found ‘vulnerable to password cracking’

Image: n3rdabl3.co.uk

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.

Read more

European lawsuit over iWatch name shows why Apple had to choose ‘Apple Watch’

apple-iwatch-2015

A European trademark holder has filed a lawsuit against Apple over the name ‘iWatch‘, despite the fact that the company’s own product was ultimately named Apple Watch. The issue it seems is paid promotion on Google search ads when the term “iWatch” is searched. Since Apple’s smartwatch was long rumored to be called the iWatch, and many regulars (including Tim Cook) still refer to it as such, Cupertino figured people would search for ‘iWatch’ when looking for its new device and took out some Google ads for the keyword to take advantage. Search for ‘iWatch’ yourself and you’ll almost certainly see a link to Apple Watch as the top result… Read more

Apple to release new iPod touch today: gold option, 8MP camera, 64-bit, 128GB + new Nano/Shuffle colors

Apple will be rolling out a refreshed line of iPods today, according to sources. As indicated by new colors recently found in iTunes on the Mac, the new iPod touch, shuffle, and nano will come in new darker blue and pink colors. A gold color will be added as well for all three iPods.

The new Nanos and Shuffles won’t get new features, but the iOS-based iPod touch will see a considerable upgrade. Here’s what we’re hearing is coming to the touch:

  • Major camera upgrade from 5 megapixels to 8, matching the count on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.
  • New 64-bit chip for faster operation and better graphics for gaming. Will also help it plow through future iOS versions beyond iOS 9.
  • “M” chip from the iPhone for fitness, steps, and elevation tracking.
  • Pre-loaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music following the June 30th launch.
  • New 128GB model for $399, still starting at $199 for 16GB. There will also be a $299 model with 64GB of space.

As indicated by the references last month in iTunes 12.2, the overall designs and screens of the new iPods will remain the same as their predecessors. These are the first major iPod upgrades since 2012, and with Apple’s focus on the iPhone and iPad, these will likely also be the last for some time. Read more

The truth about HackingTeam, jailbreaking and iOS – and how to keep your device safe

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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Former iAd exec leaves Apple, suggests company platform is held back by user data privacy policy

iAd Producer MacBook

Winston Crawford, a former advertising executive, has left Apple to join Drawbridge. The move comes at an interesting time given Tim Cook’s recent comments on user data and privacy.

Drawbridge is a relatively new company which helps marketers track user data across multiple mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. He joined as COO to help expand the tracking technology to new areas like offering the ability for retailers to show the same online shopping cart to a single customer across multiple devices.

What’s interesting about this move is Crawford’s comments about Apple’s way of doing ads. Going back to those thoughts shared by Tim Cook about not being in the business of harvesting user data for profit, and looking at what Drawbridge does, it’s quite a startling contrast between the two.
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