Chinese Mac and iOS users targeted by new ‘WireLurker’ malware capable of infecting non-jailbroken devices

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Update: Apple confirmed the security issue in a statement provided to iMore. Apple has also revoked the certificate to prevent the apps from being installed on new devices.

The New York Times reports that a security firm called Palo Alto Networks has uncovered a new form of Apple-focused malware that is capable of infecting non-jailbroken iOS devices. Typically when such software pops up, as it does from time to time, one of the key factors that allows the malicious code to run on iOS is whether the device is jailbroken. The new “WireLurker” malware, however, is installed on the mobile device over USB by an infected Mac.

These infected Mac apps are reportedly coming from the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party software storefront operated in China. Palo Alto Networks says over 400 apps in the store are affected, and have been downloaded over 356,000 times total, potentially resulting in hundreds of thousands of infected devices.

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WhatsApp update shows read receipts, leaked image suggests future VOIP feature

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Although this isn’t an actual update to the app, WhatsApp is now sporting a nifty new feature that—although small—might make a big difference in how users of the messaging app stay in touch with their friends. The Facebook-owned app, which would previously show double check marks if a sent message had been received, now goes one step further and turns those check marks blue if the message has been read.

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Microsoft adding Dropbox integration including syncing and sharing to Office for iOS

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Microsoft and Dropbox announced a new partnership between the two companies today and a commitment to bring integration between Dropbox and Office apps on iOS and Android. Currently Office users rely on local storage for saving files or Microsoft’s own OneDrive service for saving and syncing files, but the newly announced partnership will allow Office users to use the popular Dropbox service as an additional storage and syncing option and introduce new features between the productivity apps and syncing service. Read more

Disney’s ‘Movies Anywhere’ app comes to Android, brings cross-platform purchases to iTunes, Google Play, and web

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Back in February, Apple and Disney teamed up on a new app called Movies Anywhere that allowed iOS users to access their library of purchased movies—whether bought on the iTunes Store, DVD, or other media (with the appropriate redemption code in the box).

Today, Disney has launched the same service for Android users. Movies Anywhere owners will now be able to access their movie library featuring titles from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel from any of their devices. Because this is a cross-platform solution, movies previously purchased on the iTunes Store will now be available to users on Android devices, and iOS users will be able to watch Disney movies they’ve purchased from the Google Play Store.

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Apple seeds first iOS 8.1.1 beta: bug fixes and performance boosts for older devices

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Apple tonight has released the first beta of iOS 8.1.1 to developers. This update is packed with bug fixes, according to the release notes. Most notably, “this release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.”

This marks the first time in recent history that Apple is seeding a beta for a patch update. A new seed for the Apple TV is also available. Apple released the first OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 beta earlier today. iOS 8.1.1 is the follow-up to iOS 8.1, which includes Apple Pay support, SMS forwarding to Yosemite, and iCloud Photo Library Beta.

Apple is also developing iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 for release next year.

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Apple Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts: Apple Watch launching in “Spring,” after Chinese New Year

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The Apple Watch’s launch is scheduled to occur in the “spring,” according to Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts, later in 2015 than some had originally anticipated. Ahrendts stated the timeframe to retail employees in a video message, a transcript of which was provided by a source. While explaining that employees need to conserve energy for upcoming shopping seasons, Ahrendts stated, “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring:”

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Android Wear Devices won’t be iOS or Mac compatible this year

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Google invited us to check out their new line of Nexus products running Lollipop earlier today.   The Motorola Nexus 6 is about the size of the iPhone 6 Plus with a slightly bigger screen and thicker/heavier profile. On the other hand, the HTC Nexus 9 is smaller than the iPad Air with a 9-inch display and stereo speakers. Both run Android 5.0 Lollipop which has a new Material Design. The new products will go up against Apple’s iOS devices for global electronics consumers’ holiday shopping money.

However, one set of devices won’t be competing for Apple users’ shopping dollars. An Android Wear project manager told me that there were no current plans to make Android Wear compatible with iOS but that they were continuing to evaluate other platforms because they wanted to get Wear devices into as many hands as they could. When I pressed and said something to the effect of “if ever there was a time to sell these to Apple users, it was the holiday season before the Apple Watch is released”, the product manager said something akin to  “Our Christmas lineup of announcements is set and over”.

On one hand, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard. After all, Google eventually got Google Glass to work on iOS devices.

Microsoft, on the other hand, just announced its new Fitness Band which will work with Android, iOS and of course Windows Phones.

Macworld today suggested that you take a $99 Pebble for a spin to see if it could act as a smartphone gateway drug until users get their Apple Watch fix next year.  Read more

‘WatchSpring’ tweak brings functional Apple Watch-style layout to jailbroken iOS devices

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Last week 9to5Mac‘s own Michael Steeber wrote about his idea for an Apple Watch-inspired home screen interface for the iPhone. Within a few days a developer had created a standalone app that simulated the interface, but due to Apple’s restrictions on iOS, there was no way to make it work as a true home screen replacement.

Now, a new jailbreak tweak called WatchSpring has actually brought this functionality to the iPhone. The modification replaces the current iPhone home screen with a fluid grid of circular icons that can be zoomed in or out to show as many apps as you’d like. It can also open apps natively (no need for URL schemes or anything like that), though it doesn’t seem to support folders just yet…

Video and more below…

Phone 2 Go app brings Time Warner Cable home phone service to mobile devices for no additional cost

Time Warner Cable today announced a new smartphone app that will let its customers use their home phone service on mobile devices for no additional fees. That means that users with a Time Warner Cable home phone service, which starts at $10/month, can now text and call through the new Phone 2 Go app on smartphones and tablets. The service requires a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and will also work for international calling and texting: Read more

Apple in talks to expand NFC in iPhone 6 beyond Apple Pay, replace building keycards and transit tickets

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The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

In fact, Apple has already announced a similar partnership with Starwood Hotels, where Apple users can replace hotel keycards with their Apple Watch, although this uses Bluetooth rather than NFC technology.

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Preorders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus top 100,000 in South Korea, ‘outpacing’ Galaxy Note 4 on Samsung’s home turf

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The WSJ is reporting that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on preorder in South Korea on Friday, following their official launch this Friday, October 31st, as part of the next wave of iPhone rollouts. Analyst estimates show that presales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus topped 100,000 units. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 recorded a third of that number (around 30,000) in preorders in a similar timeframe when it launched in September.

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Apple shortens iBooks review times, allows more promo codes for authors

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Apple today emailed out registered authors for iBooks to announce some interesting changes and enhancements to the program. Some notable enhancements, via Apple’s email:

  • To help you get your book to readers quickly, we review 95 percent of all book submissions within one business day. Note that you do not need an ISBN to deliver a book to iBooks.
  • You can now request up to 250 promo codes per book. Promo codes allow you to provide free copies of your book to reviewers, bloggers, or others to build momentum for your book.
  • Screenshots can now be delivered or updated after a book is available for sale on iBooks.

The email to authors also tells developers about recent updates to both the iTunes Connect app on iOS and the iBooks Author application on the Mac. Like it usually does for App Store app developers, Apple tells authors how to prepare for the upcoming break for book reviewers. “To account for an anticipated increase in book deliveries during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday week, books scheduled to go live between November 24, 2014 and December 1, 2014, should be delivered by Friday, November 14, 2014,” the notice reads.

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