When CarPlay was debuted in March of 2014, a variety of automobile manufacturers signed on to support Apple’s in-car offering. One of those launch partners was Honda and despite the manufacturer having promised to support the platform from the beginning, it has yet to release any car model with support for CarPlay. Today, however, Honda announced at an event in Silicon Valley that it will begin shipping cars with support for CarPlay in 2016.
Apple today has launched a new page on the App Store dedicated to showcasing apps that take advantage of the Accessibility features on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Apple says that the section is meant to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Accessibility featured page on the App Store is further broken down into sections for Vision, Hearing, Speech, Learning and Literacy, and Physical and Motor Skill.
IDC has just released its smartphone market share data for Q2 2015, and at least one thing is clear: Samsung is still struggling, and Apple is still doing really well. The Korean company’s smartphone market share dropped from 24.8% to 21.7% year-over-year, a 3.1 percentage point drop. Conveniently, while other manufacturers made gains as well, Apple’s numbers are up about the same number — 2.4 percentage points year-over-year to 14.1%… Read more
Apple is today launching its Back to School promotion for 2015. This year, it will give away a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac. Customers must either purchase an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro with education pricing to qualify, including build-to-order configurations. The Mac mini does not participate in the deal.
Alternatively, customers can upgrade for an additional $100 to a pair of wireless Beats Solo2 headphones, rather than the usual $299 price. The announcement is not yet being advertised on Apple.com apart from a small mention on its rebates page. It is surprising that there appears to be no Back to School promotion for iPads this year, despite Apple pushing the tablet into education markets.
Roughly two weeks after the initial release, Apple has pushed out an update to users testing the iOS 9 public beta on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The latest public beta release follows the earlier release of iOS 9 beta 4 for registered developers developing for the upcoming operating system update. iOS 9 is set to be completed and shipped to all users later this fall. iOS 9 public beta 2 mirror’s yesterday’s iOS 9 beta 4 release. Read more
Microsoft has today launched Send, an experimental iPhone app that offers a kind of cross between email and instant messaging. Microsoft says that it is designed for “brief, snappy communications” where you want an instant response but also want to retain a record of what was said within Outlook. The app was previously leaked as Flow by Outlook.
While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don’t have your co-worker’s cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. And we’ve heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook—even if they send them from other apps. This is where Send comes in! Send gives you the simple, quick text message-like experience while allowing you to reach all co-workers and have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later.
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.
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
Apple has just published two new software betas for developers on its Developer Center. The new betas cover both OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, with what appear to be bug fix releases on each platform. You can find the change logs below. We’ll also include a running list of changes.
Apple recently distributed iOS 9 beta 3 to developers and beta testers, and OS X 10.10.4 to the general public. iOS 8.4 was released around the same time to introduce Apple Music support on mobile devices.
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 email@example.com 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:
As we reported would happen, Apple Pay will be going live in the U.K. today. The service launches in the country with support from more than 250,000 stores, including Waitrose and Transport for London on its transportation networks. Currently, 8 U.K. banks support Apple Pay. Those banks are American Express, First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Notably missing from that list is Barclays, who is said to still be in negotiations with Apple to support the platform.
Earlier this month, Greece instituted new regulations amid the country’s financial crisis that blocked users from renewing iCloud subscriptions and buying from iTunes and the App Store. At the time, this left many users wondering what would happen to their iCloud data, seeing that they legally couldn’t pay to keep their subscription alive. Now, however, it appears that Apple is stepping up to ensure that user data remains intact during Greece’s financial crisis.