Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor

9to5Mac / 9to5Google / 9to5Toys / Electrek.co

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac. He covers Google for 9to5Google.com, the best gadgets and deals on 9to5Toys.com, and delivers a weekly roundup of EV and solar news on Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series covering music making with Apple devices and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints:  

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September 23, 2013

CNN reports that the childhood home of Steve Jobs could soon become a protected historical site as a Los Altos Historical Commission is set to perform an evaluation of the property today. The property, located at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, was Jobs’ childhood home since the seventh grade and its garage later became the location where Jobs, Steve Wozniak and other early employees would build the first Apple computers before officially forming the company in 1977.

The seven-member Los Altos Historical Commission has scheduled a “historic property evaluation” for the single-story, ranch-style house on Monday… If the designation is ultimately approved, then the house on 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, will have to be preserved… expand full story

9to5toys 

September 20, 2013

Tim CookOther Apple executives have been on Twitter for a while, and today CEO Tim Cook sent out his first tweet mentioning that he visited retail stores in Palo Alto for the retail launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Cook has been a member of Twitter since July, but his account is not yet verified by Twitter. Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller retweeted Cook’s tweet earlier today proving that the account is indeed run by the Apple CEO.

Earlier today Cook, along with Apple executives Phil Schiller and Eddie Cue, made an appearance at Apple’s Palo Alto retail store in California to greet customers that queued up for the launch of the new iPhones today.

Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller sometimes tweets about issues related to the company. For example, back in March Schiller tweeted the words “Be safe out there” along with a link to a study showing a much higher number of security threats on Android compared to iOS. expand full story

Image (1) Senator-Al-Franken.jpg for post 63066

U.S. Senator Al Franken, who has questioned Apple and other technology companies several times in the past, just published a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook questioning the privacy implications of the TouchID fingerprint sensor feature included in Apple’s new iPhone 5s. In the letter (below), Franken says that “important questions remain about how this technology works, Apple’s future plans for this technology, and the legal protections that Apple will afford it,” and requests that Apple explain more in-depth how it’s storing fingerprint data:

It’s clear to me that Apple has worked hard to secure this technology and implement it responsibly. The iPhone 5S reportedly stores fingerprint data locally “on the chip” and in an encrypted format. It also blocks third-party apps from accessing Touch ID. Yet important questions remain about how this technology works, Apple’s future plans for this technology, and the legal protections that Apple will afford it. I should add that regardless of how carefully Apple implements fingerprint technology, this decision will surely pave the way for its peers and smaller competitors to adopt biometric technology, with varying protections for privacy.

Franken is asking that Apple answer a number of questions related to how the fingerprint data is collected and stored, but also wants to know Apple’s future plans for the technology. For example, if it has plans to allow third-party developers access to the fingerprint sensor and how it considers fingerprint data related to government requests in legal situations:

Under American privacy law, law enforcement agencies cannot compel companies to disclose the “contents” of communications without a warrant, and companies cannot share that information with third parties without customer consent. However, the “record[s] or other information pertaining to a subscriber… or customer” can be freely disclosed to any third party without customer consent, and can be disclosed to law enforcement upon issuance of a non-probable cause court order. Moreover, a “subscriber number or identity” can be disclosed to the government with a simple subpoena… Does Apple consider fingerprint data to be the “contents” of communications, customer or subscriber records, or a “subscriber number or identity” as defined in the Stored Communications Act?

While Apple is yet to issue an official response to Franken, it has published a support document on its website outlining security features of TouchID and explaining some of the safeguards in place: expand full story

9to5google 

September 19, 2013

As online sales for the iPhone 5s begin to go live in Australia, Asia, and now the UK, lines outside of Apple stores around the world are starting to grow in anticipation the September 20th, 8AM retail launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Shipping times for the 5c have been slipping since preorders went live last week, but Apple seems to be in even shorter supply of the iPhone 5s as shipping times are starting at 7-10 days in most countries where online orders have already kicked off.

If you’re expecting to queue up to get your hands on an iPhone 5s like the many customers pictured below, you might want to get in line soon. We learned earlier today that retailers, including Apple stores, are getting little to no Gold and white iPhone 5s units, and will mainly have just the new Space Grey model available in store. However, as we’ve seen following launches in other countries today, the 5s in all colors seems to be in shorty supply even for online orders.

The September 20 iPhone 5s and 5c retail launch will take place in the US, Australia, China, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, UK, and Japan.

Head below for a look at the long lines starting to form outside Apple Stores around the globe: expand full story

electrek 

Above and below we might be getting a look at teasers for the first gaming controllers that will take advantage of Apple’s new MFi game controller frameworks. The first, above, comes to us from ClamCase. The company posted the teaser above for what appears to be a new controller, dubbed “GameCase”, that would attach to both an iPhone and an iPad (an iPad mini, at least). We spoke with the company who told us that the new controller would indeed follow Apple’s new MFi standards for game controllers.

The second teaser comes to us from Logitech (below). While we don’t actually see the controller in Logitech’s teaser, it appears to hinting at the controller that the company first showed off to developers during WWDC. expand full story

While the iPhone 5c will begin selling in stores tomorrow starting at $99 on contract through most retailers, we’ve just learned that Target will be matching the $79 offer that Walmart recently announced for preorders of the iPhone 5c. It will also throw in an extra 5% off for those with a Target REDcard.

Target will begin selling the iPhone 5s in its stores tomorrow as well (as will Apple and many other retail stores), but it doesn’t seem to be matching the $189 offer Walmart announced for that device.

Preorders for the $79 iPhone 5c are available starting today through Target Mobile centers. Like Walmart, it will still be charging the full $199 for the 32GB model of the 5c.  expand full story

With Australia, alongside other countries in Asia included in the initial September 20 iPhone launch, the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, a repair company in the country has just posted the first teardown of the two new iPhones. The iExperts Team out of Australia has taken apart both devices, revealing new components but not yet giving us a look at what we expect will be a Samsung made A7 chip.

The first thing noticed in the teardown was a new connector for the TouchID fingerprint sensor assembly. Lining up with leaks leading up to the launch of the iPhones, it also found a 5.92Whr battery in the 5s (up from 5.45Whr in the iPhone 5), and a 5.73Whr battery in the iPhone 5c. Internal layouts for the two new iPhones also seem to line up with part leaks we seen in recent months. Interestingly, the site notes that the batteries are stamped with “Apple Japan.”

Many of the teardown shots below also include an iPhone 5 next to the 5s and 5c for comparison.

iExperts notes that Apple has fixed an issue from previous generation devices by adding an extra coating to switches “that should help hold them together to prevent the failures prevalent in the other models.”

We don’t learn much more from the teardown, which is likely still in progress as the site analyzes new internal components, but we’ll be learning a lot more as others pry into their new iPhones in the hours ahead. The teardown also gives us a good look at Apple’s new home button/fingerprint assembly: expand full story

9to5toys 

Following the launch of an all new Google Wallet app for Android that brought the service to all Android devices in the US and customers on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, today Google has launched an official Google Wallet app for iOS devices.

Since in-store payments are still limited to a handful of Android devices in the U.S. with NFC, the new app, available on the App Store now, includes many of the new features that Google announced in its latest Android update. That includes the ability to send money to any friend in the US with an email address, support for adding loyalty cards, and integration with Google Offers for redeeming discounts based on location using the app. The app will let iOS users in the U.S. scan to add debit and credit cards for sending money and making purchases online. expand full story

It appears Apple has decided to let Jony Ive and Craig Federighi make the rounds with media today ahead of tomorrow’s official launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Apple’s head of design and software chief joined CEO Tim Cook for a wide-ranging interview this morning published in Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today has now published its own interview with the pair that mostly focuses on Apple design guru, Jony Ive.

In the interview, Ive expands on his thinking behind design changes in iOS 7 and the removal of skeuomorphism, noting that, “there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally”:

“When we sat down last November (to work on iOS 7), we understood that people had already become comfortable with touching glass, they didn’t need physical buttons, they understood the benefits,” says Ive. “So there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally. We were trying to create an environment that was less specific. It got design out of the way.”

Ive continued by showing off iOS 7’s new translucent Notification Center: “Look at that,” says Ive. “The lovely thing about translucency is you’re not sitting there going, ‘Where have I just been taken?’ because your world is still there.” Federighi added: “Before, the shadowing effect we used was a great way to distract from the limitations of the display. But with a display that’s this precise, there’s nowhere to hide. So we wanted a clear typography.”

Ive and Federighi also discussed the new camera system in the iPhone 5s with Federighi pointing out that other “companies are chasing megapixels” while Apple is focused on delivering a better photo taking experience. Ive agrees, noting, “This is terribly important and at the heart of what we do. We care about how to design the inside of something you’ll never see, because we think it’s the right thing to do.”

What would Jony be doing if he was no longer needed at Apple? Designing cups perhaps? Ive avoids giving a direct answer but tells the publication that “It feels like we’re just getting started”: expand full story

9to5google 

September 18, 2013

As noticed by BusinessInsider, Apple’s release of iOS 7 today is causing havoc for the networks of several college campuses and other schools where a large number of iOS device users are attempting to download the new OS. Some schools, including Ohio University, is even urging students to delay upgrading to iOS 7 as the network experiences network problems due to the high amount of traffic.

Others having WiFi issues today include New York University, Michigan University, and Western Connecticut State University. Those three schools haven’t confirmed iOS 7 is the cause of network outages today, but students on Twitter have noted that iOS 7 is likely the culprit… expand full story

electrek 

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