Apple’s two-step verification rolling out to additional countries: Canada, Argentina, Netherlands, Russia, Mexico, Poland, Brazil, more

Two-step-verification-apple-ID

Update 2: It looks like Apple prematurely rolled out the feature to many countries and quickly removed it. The only officially supported countries listed on Apple’s website include “U.S., UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.”

Update:  Mexico, Germany Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Italy & Poland too. Let us know in the comments if the feature is now available in your country.

Apple appears to have recently started rolling out its new two-step verification feature for Apple IDs to users in additional countries. When Apple first launched the service in late March, it was initially only available to users in  U.S., UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Today we’ve confirmed that Canadian users now have access to the feature, while we’ve also received tips from users in Argentina & Pakistan signalling that the feature is beginning to roll out in other countries as well.  Read more

Staples to begin selling iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks too?

staples_apple_training_2

After it began selling Apple accessories including Apple TV, Airports, and more through its online store last month, Staples now appears to be gearing up to possibly sell other Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Macs. While we already knew that the company was planning on bringing the accessories to its brick and mortar locations, today MacRumors posted the internal document above showing Staples is also training sales staff on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks.

The training materials have a completion date of March 26 or 27, and with Staples already confirming plans to bring Apple TV and other products to stores by early next month, it’s a possibility other iOS devices and MacBooks could be included in the roll out. We’ll keep you updated if we get official word from the company.  Read more

Canadian Bell and Virgin Mobile customers can now unlock any model iPhone…for $75

Canadian iPhone users can now unlock their iPhone on Bell and Virgin Mobile for $75. Mobile Syrup obtained more information on a previous report and discovered that Bell and Virgin’s unlocking programs are available for all Bell and Virgin iPhones, but a customer must not be on contract, must be a post-paid Bell or Virgin customer, and must pay a one-time $75 fee. The unlocking program began today, according to the leaked documents, and it can be completed by contacting Bell’s Credit & Prevention line or Virgin Care. The unlocking program will be “launched in a phased approached,” while “the next Phase in 2013″ will come where they will “expand the eligibility guidelines.”

Before this month, Canadian iPhone users could only unlock their iPhones via TELUS ($35), Rogers ($50), and Fido ($50), according to Apple’s support page. Unlocking the iPhone allows customers to use a SIM card from any carrier with the same bands, allowing for easy mobile travel around the world. Pretty cool, eh?

SourceMobile Syrup, iPhone in Canada

Read more

Angry Birds Seasons, Opera Mini, Square in Canada, Music Unlimited, more

Angry Birds Seasons version 2.3.0: Rovio updated its Seasons edition of Angry Birds with 30 new levels for Halloween and much more. The HD iPad version gets the same update.

BOO! The pigs are hiding in their spookiest location yet: a haunted house! The Angry Birds will have to brave ghosts and ghouls to get their eggs back — if they can survive the house first! Are your eyes playing tricks on you or did that painting just move?!

-Explore the scary secrets of the brand new haunted house!
-Try to survive 30 all new spooky levels!
-Shiver and shake to the ghostly new Halloween music!
-Use the brand new ghost bricks for fun trick shots!
-Say hello to Frankenswine and the other pigs, all dressed up for Halloween!

Square Register version 2.4: Square is officially rolling out its payment service internationally today with the Canadian launch and an updated Square Register iOS app. Full details in the company’s press release here.

- Square Register is now available in Canada!

Opera Mini version 7.0.5:

 – Integration with iOS Facebook framework (iOS 6+)
– Improved performance when saving large images
– Fixed freeze after sharing via email
– Fixed video playback on youtube.com (iPhone and iPod)
– Performance and stability fixes
– Added support for iOS 4.2.1
– Various iOS 6 related fixes

Music Unlimited version 1.2: The iOS app for Sony’s subscription music service gets a decent update today with the ability to “Create channels inspired by your favorite artists” and more:

· My Channels – Create channels inspired by your favorite artists.
· Playlist management – Create and edit playlists on your mobile device.
· Some features have been improved.

Lumify version 2.0: One of our favorite new social video apps gets a big update: Read more

iTunes in the Cloud for movies rolling out in 35+ countries (Updated)

Following the launch of iTunes Match in Poland and Hungary today, Apple also appears to be opening up its iTunes in the Cloud for movies in at least the United Kingdom, Canada, and Colombia, which previously only had access to music, music videos, apps, and books (and TV shows in Canada and the U.K.). There are also various other reports coming from Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland that claim the feature is going live.

Apple’s list of supported countries for the feature has not been updated to reflect the new countries. Let us know in the comments if you notice the feature rolling out in your country.

MacRumors has been tallying the updated list:

Australia, Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., Venezuela, and Vietnam

Read more

Apple eBook price-fixing lawsuits hit Canada following DOJ suit

Following an investigation into alleged eBook price-fixing, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishers Macmillan and Penguin earlier this month, who refused to settle. Other publishers, including Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, settled and reached an agreement to return Amazon to its previous wholesale model and dismantle Apple’s agency model. The settlement also included agreements with select states that would see $51 million in restitution paid to those who purchased eBooks through Apple’s platform. Now, several Canadian publications are reporting class-action lawsuits were filed against Apple and the five publishers throughout Canada.

Lawyer Normand Painchaud spoke with The Montreal Gazette about his class-action suit filed in Quebec Superior Court and talked about two others filed in Ontario and British Columbia:

Read more

Are 600,000 infected Macs, including hundreds in Cupertino, part of a global botnet?

ArsTechnica quotes a Russian antivirus company called “Dr. Web” that claims hundreds of thousands of Macs are infected with the Flashback Trojan detailed earlier this week. The attack takes advantage of an old Java vulnerability that Apple just patched this week.

Variations of the Flashback trojan have reportedly infected more than half a million Macs around the globe, according to Russian antivirus company Dr. Web. The company made an announcement on Wednesday—first in Russian and later in English—about the growing Mac botnet, first claiming 550,000 infected Macs. Later in the day, however, Dr. Web malware analyst Sorokin Ivan posted to Twitter that the count had gone up to 600,000, with 274 bots even checking in from Cupertino, CA, where Apple’s headquarters are located.

Dr. Web said over half of the infected computers were in the United States (including 274 in Cupertino), and 20 percent were in Canada. The malware self-installs after you visit a compromised or malicious webpage. Obviously, it would be a good idea to update any Macs in your control.

If you think one of your machines may be infected, F-Secure has instructions on how to use the Terminal to find out. If these numbers are true, chances are some 9to5Mac readers are infected. Update: A reader comments that he was infected (599,999 more to go):

Tim Cook convinces AT&T to unlock customer’s iPhone

We get many emails on Apple’s customer support experience. While not always positive, some are excellent examples of Apple going beyond the average company. Today, a reader and trusted tipster reached out to us and explained that a personal email to Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who is known to keep up Steve Job’s long-time tradition of answering customer emails, resulted in AT&T making a “special one-time exception” to fulfill a request it previously refused.

The reader was reassigned to Canada for work and decided he wanted to use his iPhone 3GS (which was on AT&T at the time, but has since finished its contract) on a Canadian carrier’s pay-as-you-go plan. AT&T refused to unlock the device, insisting only Apple could. Apple suggested the reader call AT&T again, because only the carrier could authorize the unlock. When he did, the only advice the reader received was to “Just jailbreak your phone.” We heard reports of many similar situations and both the carriers and Apple often give inconsistent information related to unlocking iPhones, which result in confusion among consumers. Frustrated, the reader sent an email to Cook asking him for help (full email below).

While the reader never received a personal response from Cook, he did receive a response from AT&T Partnership Operations that informed him it received his email from Cook requesting to unlock the iPhone. 9to5Mac confirmed the emails are authentic. After AT&T confirmed the IMEI’s for the device, an AT&T representative told the reader that the carrier made an exception to unlock the iPhone. The reader was given instructions to tether his iPhone to iTunes to complete the unlock. According to the reader, he also received a call from Cook’s assistant to make sure AT&T followed through with the request:

Read more

Apple advertises Boxing Week iTunes sale in Canada, 69-cent songs and albums from $5.99

Apple does not often have or advertise sales on Boxing Day, a holiday recognized in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. On the holiday, retailers discount products similar to Black Friday in the United States. However, this year, Canadians are getting a Boxing Week sale on iTunes.

As of right now, Apple is running a promotion in at least the Canadian iTunes store with a selection of 69-cent songs and albums from $5.99, including: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex, Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, and Take Care (Deluxe Version) by Drake.  Each album is selling between $5.99 and $7.99. Altogether, there are 30 or more albums offered.

There is also a selection of 69-cent song collections consisting of the top-selling songs from 2011, best songs of 2011, classic hits, and more.

It is unclear whether Apple will have a Boxing Day or Week sale in its Canadian, U.K., or Australian online and retail stores. Canadian retailers typically run Boxing Week sales from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, but Boxing Day is traditionally recognized on Dec. 26. It appears the iTunes sale has not popped up in the U.K. or Australian stores, but let us know in the comments if it does.

Read more

Netflix updates iOS app with new iPad UI for all regions, now available in Latin America for iPhone and iPad

Netflix has just updated its iOS app with a nicer user interface following an overhauled Android app from a month ago. Netflix version 2.0 with a prettified appearance is now available in all regions, Netflix said, including the United States, Canada and Latin America. The new interface provides access to twice as many television shows and movies available for streaming.

Interestingly, the app is now available in Latin America for both the iPhone and iPad just as Apple announced the arrival of both the iTunes Store with iTunes Match in Latin America and Apple TV in Brazil. Netflix for iOS is a free download (a Netflix subscription is required). Video out is supported on the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and fourth-generation iPod Touch 4G. Full release notes after the break.

Read more

Did Apple pull television shows from new Apple TV software in Canada?

Just two days after Wednesday’s release of an updated software for the Apple TV set-top box that brought the new TV Shows menu option, we’re hearing Apple pulled that option from the device’s menu, reports iPhoneinCanada.ca. Originally, the firmware update (which was deployed silently) added the new TV Shows choice to the Apple TV main menu.

However, it doesn’t work as iTunes Canada users  report being unable to purchase television shows. For some, the TV Shows menu option disappeared on its own 24 hours following the firmware update. Others report that the option gets deleted from the main menu upon choosing it. It could also be a software glitch rather than a deliberate move on Apple’s part and there’s already a thread on Apple’s support discussions forum.

According to the publication:

Read more

Get watching: Apple finally brings TV show downloads to Apple TVs in Canada (Australia and UK too)

While TV shows have been available through iTunes in Canada, the Apple TV has not been a source of TV show downloading. Now, Apple appears to have sent an over-the-air update to Apple TV boxes in Canada, and TV show downloading is now available. Episode downloads cost between free and $2.49 a pop and are actually full downloads, not rentals. Apple recently traded single TV show episode rentals for a TV show downloads service. Episodes you purchase will be streamed with no limit from the iCloud storage locker. More photos after the breakThanks, iH8Sn0w!

Update: We’re also starting to receive multiple tips from Australia and UK as well.
Read more