Apple: We’ll ‘soon’ begin encrypting iCloud email in transit between providers

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Following the publication of an NPR article detailing the security of major email services, Apple has informed the network that it is working on an update to its iCloud Mail service that encrypts emails in transit from other providers. As of right now, iCloud emails are solely encrypted in transit from one iCloud email account to another, but an email sent from iCloud to Gmail or Yahoo (as examples) or vice versa is not currently encrypted. This is what will change:

Apple encrypts e-mail from its customers to iCloud. However, Apple is one of the few global email providers based in the U.S. that is not encrypting any of its customers’ email in transit between providers. After we published, the company told us this would soon change. This affects users of me.com and mac.com email addresses.

The enhancement will come into effect “soon,” but Apple is not more specific than that on the timeframe. While the quote above oddly does not specify icloud.com addresses, that newer Apple email domain likely falls into the same category as me.com and mac.com. The lack of end-to-end iCloud Mail encryption with Gmail, for example, is shown on Google’s data protection transparency website:

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Mailbox goes beyond iOS, now available on Android and coming soon to OS X

Dropbox announced today that Mailbox, the popular gesture-heavy email client it bought last year, will soon be launching a desktop version of its software.

The company also announced a set of new features like Dropbox account sign in and syncing and delete automation coming soon to the iPhone and iPad versions that will debut first in a version available for Android; this marks the first time the email software will be available on another platform aside from iOS as Mailbox is available on the Google Play Store today.

Users interested in using the beta version of Mailbox for OS X (screenshot preview below), which is said to be very minimal and rely on the trackpad for gesture-based interactions, can sign up on Mailbox’s website to learn more about the upcoming beta. Read more

Nuance announces Dragon Dictate 4, with pre-recorded transcription features and Gmail integration

Nuance has just announced the next major version of its Mac dictation software, Dragon Dictate 4. The new version improves recognition accuracy as well as several new features, including the ability to machine transcribe from a pre-recorded audio file. You no longer have to be recording a voice live to get transcription.

Screenshot 2014-03-04 08.07.43We’ve had a quick play with the software and the accuracy is almost scary good compared to older versions of the software. Speaking in a normal voice gives you almost 100% accuracy and even mumbling seems to work. While Mavericks uses the same Nuance speech engine, Dictate 4 has a better interface for transcription and tons of extra features as outlined in the videos above and below.

Dragon Dictate software has also been updated for modern system architectures — it is a 64-bit app now.  This results in better performance and better memory management over its predecessors. The company says it has drastically reduced latency when interpreting speech.

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OS X 10.9.2 breaks AirPlay Mirroring and desktop extensions to external monitors for some users

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A number of Mac users in an Apple Support Communities thread are reporting that Apple’s 10.9.2 update to Mavericks has broken AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV and the ability to extend desktops to external monitors.

I just updated to 10.9.2 and now when i try and airplay mirror to my Apple TV, it sends the audio but just shows a black screen and i can’t drag anything to it. It doesn’t show any of the options for external displays in the displays section of System Preferences …  Read more

Apple provides instructions for dealing with recurring OS X Mail ‘no new email’ bug

Since OS X Maverick’s launch last year, there have been complaints from users of the official Mac Mail app with Gmail accounts. Apple has fixed up many of the bugs in various patches, but one of the still recurring bugs prevents the Mail app from loading up new messages.

Instead of releasing another patch today, Apple has outlined a fix on its support website:

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