Hack test shows Apple improved security and reliability of (still not perfect) Touch ID sensor in iPhone 6

touch-id

You may recall that the Touch ID sensor was successfully hacked last year, using a technique where fingerprints were lifted from the phone’s casing followed by sophisticated lab techniques used to create artificial copies of the print to activate the sensor.

The bad news is that the sensor in the iPhone 6 is vulnerable to the same methods – the good news is that security researcher Marc Rogers found the iPhone 6 version to be both more secure and more reliable …  Read more

Sketchy rumor of 13MP camera in iPhone 6, as earlier battery power rumor backed by claimed photo

both

GforGames is citing a Chinese web forum for a rumor that the iPhone 6 camera will get a bump from 8MP to 13MP as Apple switches to to an improved version of the Sony Exmor sensor. The Sony Exmor IMX220 is a larger 1/2.3-inch sensor that can support up to 20MP, but Apple is said to be planning to use it in its 13MP incarnation.

While a Chinese web forum is generally as unreliable a source as you can get, GoforGames claims that this one has a good track-record with Sony-related rumors …  Read more

HealthKit supports some Bluetooth products natively, lets accessory makers skip app development

Withings-Wireless-Blood-Pressure-Monitor

Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Apple’s new HealthKit platform and Health app for iOS 8 acts as a central location for users to store and share health data from third-party apps, but Apple is also supporting some Bluetooth accessories natively in the Health app. That means that some accessory manufacturers will be able to skip the process of developing a companion app for their product and instead allow HealthKit to automatically connect to and control the device itself.  Read more

Apple opens up Touch ID fingerprint sensor to third-party app developers

 

Apple just announced during its WWDC keynote that it’s opening up its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone to third-party app developers. Apple showed off the personal finance management app Mint (pictured above) using the Touch ID feature to allow users to login instead of using the keyboard to enter a password. Previously Apple limited this feature to its own App Store and iTunes purchases as well as unlocking the device itself.

Apple also shared some stats on Touch ID noting that it has improved security by getting a much higher number of users using a passcode to protect their device: Read more

Apple Store employees switching from iPod touch to iPhone 5s for EasyPay POS system

Apple-EasyPay-iPhone5s-01

Apple is in the process of updating the iPod touch units used by Apple Store employees as a mobile point-of-sale system to the iPhone 5s, according to sources familiar with the roll out. 

Apple first started using its iPod touch as an “EasyPay” system for employees in its retail stores back in 2009 and currently uses 4th gen iPod touch or previous models for staff. It uses a point-of-sale attachment for the iPod touch that adds a magnetic stripe reader, barcode scanning functionality, and more. It’s not clear the exact motivation behind Apple’s move to the iPhone after long using the iPod touch, but the device does provide a few advantages.  Read more

Should Apple open the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? [Poll]


With Touch ID in the iPhone 5s, Apple wasn’t the first to integrate a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, but it certainly popularized the feature as other manufacturers race to build similar technology into their next-gen iPhone competitors. HTC is packing in fingerprint sensors in its latest flagship devices and Samsung announced its new Galaxy S5 earlier this week with finger scanning as one of the standout upgrades. The verdict is still out on how Samsung’s tech compares to Touch ID, but it is interesting to see how others are using fingerprint sensors while Apple keeps it closed to developers and offers very limited applications. With Samsung letting app developers access the new S5’s fingerprint scanner for mobile payments and more right out of the gate, should Apple open the fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? Read more

Apple mood-based advertising patent is another hint of company’s new obsession with body sensors

Image: techbeat.com

Image: techbeat.com

An intriguing patent application by Apple to deliver mood-based advertising contains what could be read as a strong hint that the rumored iWatch will, as we’ve speculated in the past, major on sensor technology.

In addition to describing ways of assessing mood by such clues as likes in social media, type of applications used and music playing, the patent also lists physical characteristics that could be used:

Mood-associated physical characteristics can include heart rate; blood pressure; adrenaline level; perspiration rate; body temperature; vocal expression, e.g. voice level, voice pattern, voice stress, etc.; movement characteristics; facial expression; etc …  Read more

Apple completes buyout of PrimeSense, the 3D body sensor company responsible for Microsoft’s Kinect

Globes reports that Apple has completed its purchase of PrimeSense, the Israel-based firm behind the technology in Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, and Apple confirmed the acquisition to AllThingsD. As noted earlier this year, the deal will cost Apple somewhere between $300-350 million. PrimeSense previously denied any talks with Apple.

On Friday, the acquisition of Israeli gesture recognition company PrimeSense Ltd. by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was closed. The deal, which has not been formally announced, was made at a company value of $300-350 million, and follows lengthy negotiations by PrimeSense with several potential buyers.

The sensor firm is no longer working with Microsoft, as the Xbox manufacturer has moved to all in-house work for its latest Kinect-based technology. With Apple reportedly working on a gesture-controlled 3D interface, possibly for some sort of television-related product (or a media hub to rival the Xbox One, perhaps?), the PrimeSense purchase makes perfect sense.

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Designing an iPhone 5c/5s case? Here are your official Apple schematics

iphone-5s-smalliPhone 5s schematic, click to enlarge. 5c below

Apple has updated it guidelines (PDF) for case manufacturers to include specific requirements and schematics for the iPhone 5s and 5c. As expected, the 5s schematics are similar to the iPhone 5 since the outer shell is largely unchanged.

The 5c design is more distinct from the 5, because while the internal layout is nearly identical, the exterior plastic casing is very different. See below for the 5c’s schematics.

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Apple details Fingerprint Sensor/Touch ID security, 48 hour wipe standard

touchid

Via the Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokesperson fleshes out some of the finer details surrounding the fingerprint sensor and Touch ID.  To use Touch ID, it is mandatory to also set up a passcode. This acts as a fallback in case the fingerprint sensor fails temporarily or experiences a permanent hardware fault. iOS may necessitate a passcode under some other conditions, as well.

Only that passcode (not a finger) can unlock the phone if the phone is rebooted or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours. This feature is meant to block hackers from stalling for time as they try to find a way to circumvent the fingerprint scanner.

By having the sensitive data expire fairly quickly, Apple is hoping that hackers will not have enough time to decrypt the data and have it still be useful. However, the time is long enough that it should not inconvenience users very often.

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iPhone 5S will come in gold & likely sport fingerprint sensor, iPad iOS 7 running behind

gold

Gold iPhone image created by Shop Le Monde

As Apple’s September 10th event iPhone event approaches, we’ve learned some additional details and have independently heard some of the already-floating around information regarding the upcoming announcements.

We’ve long been expecting Apple to launch an iPhone 5S at this upcoming event, an iPhone that looks almost identical to the iPhone 5 but with improved internals. For past iPhone “S” upgrades, like the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, Apple has retained the same design and colors as the previous models. Black and white units in both of those cases.

But, we’ve heard, 2013 will be a bit different. Color will be a differentiator. Much like the much-rumored plastic iPhone will see Apple expand its color palette for iPhones, the iPhone 5S will move beyond the black/slate and white/silver options offered for the iPhone 5…

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