Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apple AirPod Wireless Earphones Look Crazy, But Work Great


Apple – Three Different Wireless Choices

Apple’s idea of doing away with the headphone jack without any type of replacement seems to make some sense on reconsidering this issue. Together with the iPhone, the company has announced three different kinds of wireless choices, comprising of two new Beats models with enhanced processors having extremely long battery life and the latest Apple AirPods.

The buds white in colour seems like Apple’s EarPods, and the headphones have been despatched with every iPhone. They seem to be much lighter when compared to the other Bluetooth headphones which can be fitted comfortably in the ears. The EarPods tend to be without the cord which means that they do not sound great; it would possibly be adequately good for some of the users.

The AirPods which is the company first ever Bluetooth headphones comprises of an Apple logo which sets it apart and looks precisely like the universal white EarPods. They come with a charging case which tends to double as a pocket-able storage unit together with a battery supporter which could top off the battery life of five hour for an additional 3 hours in just around 15 minutes.

Works with Any Bluetooth Enabled Smartphone/Tablet/Computer

The five hour life of the battery for the earphones is not great though it could be good for the tiny ear-buds. The small dental-floss looking charger packs adequate complete charge for 24 hours though quick charges them which can run it for a day or even two/three.

One only needs to familiarize themselves to swapping the buds back in the case when not inuse. Being a Bluetooth headphones they tend to work with any Bluetooth enabled smartphone, tablet, computer or any other device which is wireless. On pairing them with the Galaxy S7 Edge, they seemed to work well for music and calls.

 However, when used with Apple devices, one tends to get some extra special features like auto-pairing. While in Bluetooth mode with non-Apple devices, the AirPods does not turn on or off when the same is removed from the years. The new headphone has been priced at $159, £159 or AU$229 though the same would not be available till October. The AirPods seems to feel like the regular EarPods though wireless.

Simplified Automatic Pairing

The AirPods is said to contain a secret sauce which several other wireless Bluetooth headphones do not have, simplified automatic pairing across Apple devices which run iOS 10 or MacOS Sierra. In daily use, the pairing process had undergone several hits and misses in the daily use.

In order to link them the first time, you could flip up the case of the lid of AirPod and the iPhone prompts if you desire to connect. On the iPhone 6 and 7 Plus, running a build of iOS 10 software having added compatibility of AirPod, the pairing is said to be automatic.

Several of the Android phones seem to have similar tap to pair task which tends to use near-field communication –NFC on compatible handsets as well as headphones.

Once the same is paired, the headphones seem to function with all the compatible devices of Apple one may own through iCloud. However in order to utilise these devices, you would need to locate a sometimes-hidden button in iOS to pick the audio source and then tap `AirPods’.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

You Need To Update Your iPhone Right Now


Update iPhone to Latest Operating System iOS 9.3.5

Users need to update their iPhone to the latest operating system iOS 9.3.5 and to do it; they could go to Settings app and tap `General’ followed by `Software Update’ and then tap `Download and Install’. According to Motherboard report, security researchers have located a new malicious program which can bypass the security on your iPhone secretly and seize practically all the data inclusive of the texts, emails, phone calls as well as delving in the Facebook and Gmail apps.

 The latest version of its free iPhone software iOS 9.3.5, of Apple seems to fix the security susceptibility which this malware tend to use in attacking the phone. Users are cautioned to be careful while downloading and installing the same. Known as Pegasus, the malware is presumed to be developed by an Israeli intelligence software vendor, called NSO Group, which had been discovered after the UAE human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor had received an unwanted text message last month from an unidentified number provided by a link. On clicking the link it tends to install the malware as per the researchers who had analysed it on a test iPhone.

Followed Digital Trail – Group of Hackers

These researchers comprised of members of CitizenLab, which is a multidisciplinary cyber security and human rights group from the University of Toronto and Lookout, a mobile security firm. The said malware which had been detailed in a report was said to be aserious compromise which had never been observed against iOS devices earlier.The researchers had followed a digital trail back to a group of hackers known as Stealth Falcon believed to have ties to the UAE government.

Moreover they also discovered identical links directing people in Kenya as well as a journalist in Mexico. When the security researcher had discovered about the malware, they had informed Apple where the company had spent 10 days in building an update which would help in fixing the security holes. If a user with an iPhone which tends to run an older version of software would be vulnerable to this particular spyware and hence needs to update it as early as possible. Apple who had issued an urgent iPhone and iPad software update includes a patch for serious security susceptibility.

Exploits Addressed in Latest iOS 10 Seed

Though the majority of iPhone users are possibly iOS 9 presently, they should install that version without much delay. According to spokesperson who had informed The Verge, stated that `the exploits have been addressed in the latest iOS 10 seed’. That is either beta 7 if one is a developer or beta 6 if one is in the public test. Users are recommended to update if they tend to run an earlier iOS 10 beta seed.

The treat dubbed `Trident’ by Lookout, tends to exploit three zero day susceptibilities in iOS 9 forming an attack chain which can break through the secure platform of Apple. A per CitizenLab, Trident is utilised in a spyware product created by NSO Group. CitizenLab and Lookout had become alert of the problem when links with the Trident exploit and the spyware had been sent to Ahmed Mansoor who had not clicked on the links but had forwarded the emails to CitizenLab.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Review: An upgrade, but not a Revolution

iPhone 7

Controversial Alteration – No Headphone Jack

Up to now, the issue with smartphone cameras is that the digital zoom is just no standby for optical and Apple has taken the initiative regarding the same. For longer range images, it is said to be the best phone camera one could get. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have both been upgraded by 7MP front camera for selfies up from 5MP in the latest model.

 The most controversial alteration on the iPhone 7 is that there is no headphone jack. The analogue port of 3.5mm has been a feature in consumer electronics for years and in contrast to the other chargers or wires, the headphone tend to work well. When the iPhone 7 had been revealed, Phil Schiller of Apple had commented that the headphone jack had been out-dated and eliminating it was about `courage’ and Apple had plenty of solutions to it.

The bundled headphone of iPhone 7 tends to connect to the Lightning port while the phone also features an adapter for your old headphones. Geoffrey Fowler, a long time tech reviewer at The Wall Street Journal had claimed that the new iPhone 7 would bring fixes to what had affected the iPhone for years.

Adapt to Haptic Feedback Above Physical Push-Button

Considering it the anti-anxiety iPhone, Fowler tends to call the extended battery life and water resistance the fundamental points to the renovation of the line of Apple. With regards to the camera in the iPhone 7 Plus, Fowler seems to be less excited than most, calling it only equivalence with Samsung Galaxy S7 and Note 7. Though he admires the move to 32GB at a minimum, of Apple, he also tends to criticize Apple on the continued lack of microSD card expansion.

He comments that to `get over the missing headphone jack’, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus seem worth the upgrade for longer battery life, improved low light images as well as water resistance. Reviewer David Pierce has commented that the home button tends to be positive for the phone though may be negative for some, since they adapt to the haptic feedback above a physical push-button.

He had signed the camera in the iPhone 7 as a great one though the iPhone 7 Plus had given him more detail together with richness than any other phone camera he could have ever utilised.

Serious Contenders for Best Smartphones Period

He writes that `the iPhone 7 might not be a revolution, but it could be the catalyst for lots of them’. Reiterating the criticism from others regarding the new iPhone, Chris Velazco from Engadget also comments on the absence of a headphone jack, external design, ease of case damage on the Jet Black finish as well as the adjustment period of the new home button.

But Velazco tends to admire the DCI-P3 Wide Colour implementation of the latest iPhone and seems happy with the family of phone of iPhone 7. The low-light as well as the daylight shots of both the phones were considered much better or on equality with the camera on the Galaxy S7 Edge.

 Velasco writes that if one can get over the accustomed design and the no-headphone jack, then the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus seem to be serious contenders for best smartphones period.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Growing Number of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Devices Affected by Insidious 'Touch Disease'

Touch Disease

Touch Disease – Apple Aware but Unwilling to Resolve

Users of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been facing a manufacturing problem in the form of a grey flickering bar towards the top of the screen and considering the problem, iFixit had described a scenario where the grey lines had appeared and had become glitch or unresponsive or less responsive touchscreen. Known as `touch disease’, it tends to be a obstinate issue which Apple is completely aware of though not willing to do anything regarding the same.

Though it has been detailed by some third party repair specialist, such as iFixit together with a dozen of complaints on its own support forum the issue tends to continue. The issue has come from the faulty controller chip soldered to the logic board by the phone. According to rumours this could also be the same design fault which had caused the `bendgate’ controversy during the release of the phone.

When the user twists or applies pressure gently to the device, the gray bar tends to disappear though temporarily. Finally it reappears and the issue tends to continue to get worse till the touch functionality seems to stop working completely.

Out of Luck if Phone out of Warranty

Those who had been affected and had sought the help at the Apple Store, were told that Apple does not seem to recognize it as an issue and that they were out of luck if the phone was out of warranty. However, the issue tends to be prevalent for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users and the only recourse, if the phone is said to be out of warranty, at that time would be to get help at a third party repair facility.

This does not seem to be perfect but as per iFixit, the only option to halt the problem would be to replace the phone, the logic board or the Touch ICs on the logic board, though none seem to be a good choice. Failure of touchscreens is not accurately rare but what seems rare is that the issue would be likely to come up more recurrently of late and seems to be affecting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users only.

Result of Two Touchscreen Controller Chip

This issue seems to be different. But the investigation of iFixit states that the problem does not seem to be a function of the iPhone display but is the result of two touchscreen controller chip which has been located on the logic board. Jessa Jones from iPad Rehab, a third party Apple device repair shop, has explained that in the case of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Touch IC chip tends to link to the logic board through an array of tiny solder balls like a plate resting on marbles and later on one would notice that the screen tends to be unresponsive though it is quick to come back with a hard reset.

The owner of STS Telecom a board repair shop in Missouri, Jason Villmer, had commented that this problem seems to be widespread adequately and he feels like almost every iPhone 6/6 Plus tends to have a trace of it and seems like ticking bombs just waiting to activate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Apple Mac Virus Can Take Screenshots and See Everything You Type


Mac Users Cautioned – Latest Dangerous Virus

Owners of Apple Mac are being cautioned regarding a latest dangerous virus which seems to view all things typed, takes screenshots every thirty seconds as well as accesses all your documents and the videos.Some years back, Flashback malware had broken a security flaw in Java and managed to infect 600,000 Macs, roughly 1% of the user base. Details regarding the same have been posted on the website of Apple.

Thereafter there have been other issues. The KitM.A backdoor application on OS X had taken screenshots of the desktop of user and recently the Rootpipe exploit seemed to be difficult in fixing it. Bogdan Botezatu, Senior E-Threat Analyst of Bitdefender has clarified that `Mac OS X software has more high-risk susceptibilities than all forms of Windows put together.

Apple markets these products as virus-free and states that you do not need an antivirus since they are aware that people hate antivirus software. These utilities often tend to slow down the computer, so they don’t want to promote them’. The Apple Mac virus is a kind of a malware known as Mokes.A which had been discovered by Stefan Orloff from Kaspersky Labs. Same type of malware had also been discovered earlier this year on windows.

Enables Hackers to Remotely Take Control

Since the virus has the potential of seeing what keys have been typed by the user, it tends to give cyber criminals access to passwords, details of bank account together with other personal information. Stefan warns that it also enables the hackers to remotely take control of a breached Mac.

The detection of this unusual OS X malware came up a week after Apple had been forced to release two major security updates for iOS as well as OS X operating systems. Updates had been released after security analysts found out that the hackers could control a device with only a click of a malevolent link.

 Though the devices of Apple are said to be less vulnerable to malware and the viruses than PCs, this is not the first effort that hackers have attempted to target the Mac computers. Mac users had been targeted, earlier in the year in a ransomware attack which could lock their machine till they had handed over payment to the hackers.

Mokes.A Virus – Infect Macs

iPhone users most recently had been continually under attack in an extensive range of phishing attacks. It was unknown how precisely the Mokes.A virus tends to infect Macs; it seems a complex thing for user to know how to defend themselves from it.

Often users are reminded to utilise the anti-virus software and refrain from downloading software, email attachments or any other files from any unreliable source. Users are recommended to always ensure that their operating system is kept up to date. Since several people refrain from using antivirus software on Macs, it tends to get difficult in handling the size of the risk.

Bogdan clarifies that the absence of adoption of antivirus solutions on Mac OS X is evading the truth since malware is not going to get reported. All are aware of the happenings in the Windows eco-system due to this visibility and threat intelligence, but with Mac OS X there is often no antivirus to report back to base’.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Apple’s iPhone 7 Latest Snazzy Salvo in Encryption War

 iPhone 7

New iPhone 7 – Highest Level of Encryption

The new iPhone 7 which was announced on September 7 in San Francisco by Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to have the highest level of encryption. Being sleek, shiny and water resistant, it has a telephoto lens for sort of zooming normally reserved for real cameras. Very soon, millions of individuals would be going for an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus where each will be equipped with the latest Apple product of super-duper encrypted operating system, iOS 10.

Moreover, millions would be upgrading their older iPhone and iPads to iOS 10 also. This would be great profits for the Silicon Valley tech giant. For the FBI, it would mean big worries. The data on these services would be out of reach for law enforcement agencies almost overnight, across the country.

This is with regards to the latest instance in the dispute concerning the rights of individuals in having secure data and the reach of law enforcement to search out criminals. So far, though it has been a war conducted by lawyers and software engineers, a good resolution could only come from Congress with laws which would strike a consensus.

Apple Committed to Highest Level of Encryption

It has already taken a long time with months passing since the attempt of FBI to force Apple in building backdoor in its software for unlocking the encrypted iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. With Apple’s refusal, the agency had paid hackers to do the same which had placed Apple in the hot seat.

Minus a guarantee of privacy, the company were aware that selling iPhone would be all but impossible and people would not trust its new services like the iCloud Keychain that enables users to store their passwords as well as credit card details in their smartphone. The company has subsequently intensified its encryption efforts, though Tim Cook did not devote time mentioning about it during the annual event of the company, recently. But there were new iPhones and Apple Watches to be disclosed.

 In August, Ivan Krstic, Apple security expert had offered a introduction on the iOS features at the BlackHat USA hacker conference in Las Vegas and Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of software engineering, had reassured developers in June that Apple will be committed to the highest level of encryption.

User Privacy – Vital to Company

At the conference of the developers in June, Apple had stressed on its end-to-end encryption and had conversed on its work on degree of difference privacy. This enables the company to maintain personal privacy at the time of examining as well as knowing from crowdsourced details.

We are aware of what Apple had done in the earlier iPhone in order to protect user information. The present iPhone model, the 6S, tends to keep your personal information locked away with encryption and the company has informed that it puts in a lot of effort not to collect huge amount of data on customers like its peers, Google and Facebook.

As the best-selling product of Apple, the iPhone has been vital to the company’s stance with regards to user privacy. Federighi had mentioned that all this great work in iOS 10 would be meaningless if it came at the expense of one’s privacy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to watch Apple’s iPhone event live today


The Biggest Event of Apple

The biggest event of the year of Apple is finally here. The new iPhones of Apple named the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be launched today and Apple will be hosting a special event at the Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco. The event will be live-streamed on its website. For Indian fans, the time will be 10.30 pm. Users have an option of adding it to your iCalendar directly from the Apple event website. In San Francisco on September 7, Apple would be revealing the new iPhone just in time for the holiday season. Rumours before the event indicate that the new phones would not have an essential design and the iPhone 7 may be totally water-resistant. The next generation iPhone 7 is said to be designed without a headphone jack and would be provided with headphone which will be wireless or plugged directly into the Lightning port. You could watch the event live –

  • The event is said to be scheduled at 10 am Pacific time, 1 pm Eastern time, 5 pm London time and 1 am Hong Kong time 
  • Apple would be streaming the event with a link. 
  • The details of Apple’s live stream can be viewed through a dedicated channel on the Apple TV set top box or on its Safari browser on iOS devices which run on iOS 7 or later and Mac running OS X 10.8.5 or later. The event would also be streamed to second as well as third generation Apple TV devices. In order to watch on a PC, users need to utilise the Microsoft Edge browser from a mechanism running Windows 10. 
  • The stream is not always reliable 
  • Quartz would be covering the entire event as it takes place. Matt Quinn, tech editor would be reporting on the ground. Users could check for live blog which can be done by tuning into The  live blog for the detailed updates, commentary together with images directly from the venue.

Improve Image Quality/Low-Light Performance

The iPhone of Apple, could be a meek update with improved battery, an enhanced Touch ID button together with a simple antenna and a faster processor to be packed in the iPhone design while the iPhone 7 Plus could also get a dual-lens camera. The later upgrade may improve the image quality and low-light performance while the two lenses would also enable the smartphone to utilise the visual depth information for various innovative photographic actions.

The iPhone 7 is predicted to have one less than interesting tweak and the same may be the first smartphone of Apple to ditch the traditional headphone jack. However, the more concern for the possible iPhone 7 users is the early word on the iPhone 8. The next generation smartphone is doubtful of being mentioned at the event though rumours regarding its flashy upgrades appear over its unreleased forerunner.

 According to some reports, the Apple Watch is also expected to get some upgrades and would be having built-in GPS and hence it will be capable of tracking runs together with other activities accurately when it is not connected to an iPhone. This would enable more sophistication location based apps. Moreover, Apple also intends to improve the inadequate computing power of the watch which means that the entire user experience would be getting sharper.