Apple confirms some users experiencing iTunes Store outage

Some users may be experiencing difficulty making purchases on the iTunes Store, according to Apple’s system status page. We’ve heard mentions of issues beginning this morning, and Apple reports trouble starting around 1:30 PM EST. Game Center and FaceTime also experienced issues this afternoon, though the former may be somewhat difficult to notice.

Apple’s iMessage service has been suffering turbulence for days now, which is not reflected on the system status page as it may be limited to iOS 7 users. Apple told the WSJ it is working on a fix for its iMessage issues in a future software update and recommends a workaround in the meantime. Read more

iMessage issues? Apple says fix available in upcoming software update

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 10.52.26 PM

Over the past few days, several iOS 7 users have been reporting issues with sending and receiving iMessages. A quick (partially successful) fix has been to Reset Network Settings inside of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch Settings app. However, this mostly has only been working for outgoing iMessages.

Instead of sending as an iMessage, texts have either been reverting to SMS or just hanging without ever sending. Now, Apple has told the WSJ that it is aware of the issue and it is working on a fix for an upcoming software update:

“We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update,” Apple said in a statement. “In the meantime, we encourage any users having problems to reference our troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare to help resolve their issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes impacted users.”

In the meantime, Apple is recommending that users contact AppleCare. We’re not so sure that will solve anything as this is clearly a software issue that Apple has acknowledged (in the same statement!) will be solved with an actual update. As our own analytics have shown, Apple is widely testing iOS 7.0.3, so perhaps this will be the release with the answers to our iMessage troubles.

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iOS 7 How-to: Blocking FaceTime calls, Phone calls, and iMessages

Before iOS 7 it was rather inconvenient to block a phone number, and there was nothing built into iOS that would allow you do so. If you got phone calls from Telemarketers you can always register your number for free on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you wanted to block specific people, you had to contact your carrier to do so. For example, with AT&T, you can pay $4.99 per month per line to block up to 30 numbers with their Smart Limits. With Verizon Wireless, you are able to block up to five phone numbers per line with no charge. With Sprint you fill out a form on their website and it appears there is no additional fee.

Dealing with your carrier can be a rather tedious, and with the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, you no longer have to…

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Review: Is Chatology the solution for Messages search?

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Messages for Mac is buggy. There’s no denying that fact. At some point, all of us have tried to search for a specific message in the app only to be confronted by everyone’s favorite multi-colored symbol of despair.

Several weeks ago, Flexibits, developers of Fantastical for Mac and iPhone, announced a new project called Chatology that would finally solve this issue once and for all. Today, they unveiled the app to the world. So what exactly is Chatology? Does it solve the problem it sets out to solve? Keep reading to get answers to those questions and more.

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Developer hacks iOS to route notifications through Google Glass (video)

An iMessage sent to Glass

An iMessage notification sent to Glass

Adam Bell (@b3ll), a well-known developer for many software platforms, has figured out a way to route all notifications from an iOS device through Google Glass. The implementation, even in its early stage, seems to work quite well. Bell notes that all notifications, such as iMessages and Tweets automatically are shown via the Google Glass interface. Video and more details below:

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Apple responds to SMS vulnerability by reminding us that iMessage works better than SMS

Engadget got a statement from Apple regarding the latest SMS iOS flaw that affects iPhone users:

Apple takes security very seriously. When using iMessage instead of SMS, addresses are verified which protects against these kinds of spoofing attacks. One of the limitations of SMS is that it allows messages to be sent with spoofed addresses to any phone, so we urge customers to be extremely careful if they’re directed to an unknown website or address over SMS.

Interesting statement from Apple that seems to throw the blame for the SMS vulnerability over to the SMS protocol. That actually might be the case, but Pod2G’s assessment is that Apple could fix it in an upcoming release.

iMessage, though it sometimes goes down for days at a time, is a good means of communication between your Apple-using buddies. However, with Apple not even at a quarter of total phone penetration, SMS is unfortunately something that still needs to be used.

Other ways to avoid the built-in SMS app vulnerabilities are to use third-party SMS applications like Google Voice.

Pod2G’s assessment of the issue below: Read more

Apple posts Messages Beta for the Mac on the heels of Mountain Lion announcement

Just as we are chewing on the news that Apple is working on Mountain Lion, a major new Mac OS X release, the company published Messages Beta for the Mac, an early taste of what is coming in Mountain Lion. Certain code leaks indicated such an application could be in the works and now it is coming. The Messages application lets you send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch user.

You can start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iOS device, and even start a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation. Messages also supports sending photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations and more and it comes with built-in support for iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Jabber accounts. Apple noted that when you install Messages, it replaces iChat—even though iChat services will continue to work.

You can download your copy of iMessges Beta for the Mac here.

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