Monday, December 29, 2014

Apple’s iCloud Photo Library

With Apple’s announcement of discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto for Mac, the iCloud Photo Library stores which was first introduced during WWDC, for photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, will be available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch as well as Macs through iCloudPhoto Library beta is made available with iOS 8.1, a new iCloud Photos app, available to all users within

This will function with the Photos app which Apple is developing for Mac and is probably expected to come in early this coming year. Till iCloud Photo Library comes out of beta with proper OS X counterpart, next year, the prevailing photo experience on iOS as well as the Mac would be confusing and users have the liberty of turning on iCloud Photo Library – Beta, though they also have the option to keep Photo Stream which is likely to disappear at some point of time somewhere next year.

Should the user opt to leave iCloud Photo Library off, the old Photo Stream paradigm would stay in place which will save the last 30 days of photos to the cloud or atleast the last 1000 pictures, whichever would be more, that may not have been counted against iCloud storage and Photo Stream may have not saved videos.

Photo Stream – Compatibility on all Devices

The advantage of Photo Stream is its compatibility on all devices which includes Mac and any new photo that may have been taken on iPhone or iPad, would show up in the Photo Stream in iPhoto, Aperture or any other IOS devices that are associated with the account.

 Its limit is 1000 photo/30 day though if one remembers to open iPhoto and enable Photo Stream syncing;all the photos tend to get saved on the Mac and not just the previous 30 days. The present form of iCloud Photo Library would save all the photos as well as the videos to the cloud and is limited only by the current available iCloud storage.

Photos would tend to sync between the iOS device such as Photo Stream though will not show up in iPhoto or Aperture on the Mac and users could access their iCloud Photo library through the web and upload photos from the web interface. To enable iCloud Photo library, users could go to the Settings app on the iOS device and opt for iCloud and then tap on the Photos section beneath the iCloud Drive in the list.

Full Quality of Photo Saved to the Cloud/Device

Before enabling iCloud Photo Library, note that it is presently a beta product. Then move the top slider, enable iCloud Photo, which will update the photo library on the device thatwill take a few minutes. When the same in enabled, users could choose to have the full quality photo saved to the cloud as well as an optimized version kept on the device for preservation of space.

Should one continue to use Photo Stream on a Mac, enable `Upload to My Photo Stream’, on the menu and the Photo Stream can be viewed on the device though it will be available in iPhoto and Aperture on Mac. Once iCloud Photo Library is enabled, the Photos app on iOS device will tend to appear in a different manner.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Which is the right iPhone model for me?

With millions of proud owners around the world, the iPhone is one of the most widely used smartphones on the market. Over 20 versions of the phone have been released since its initial introduction, and the most current models available, the iPhone 6 and 6+, both bring a slightly different set of features to the table. Although the iPhone 6+ may be the absolute best device Apple has to offer, the iPhone 6 is an extremely capable device as well and may be the perfect solution for some users.

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 claims 14 hours of talk time along with 10 hours of music, making a single daily charge all a user needs for a typical day’s adventures. It also has a camera designed to function better in low light with improved auto focus and facial detection, so users largely satisfied with what the iPhone 5 or a similar device has to offer but looking for a superior camera will find an ideal answer in the iPhone 6.

The most talked-about difference in the iPhone 6 is the improved screen, which upgrades from the old 4.0in display to a 4.7in display delivering 326 pixels per square inch. The iPhone 6 is both slimmer and lighter than the previous version and includes enhanced 4G LTE support, making it an outstanding choice for those who want to keep things as similar as possible while still having access to all the current generation iPhone features such as Hey Siri and Apple Pay.You can grab an iPhone at iiNet, check out their site & read about their plans.

iPhone 6+

The iPhone 6+ adds even more features to the already ample package provided by the iPhone 6, making it the undisputed choice among users looking for the best from the manufacturer. The 4.7 inch screen of the iPhone 6 is replaced with an enormous 5.5 inch display capable of 401 pixels per square inch for images and video unrivaled in sharpness. This makes the iPhone 6+ an easy choice for those who enjoy videos or games on their devices regularly.

The biggest question concerning whether the iPhone 6 is right for an individual user concerns the size of the device itself. The larger screen and higher capacity battery create an unusually large smartphone, making it somewhat difficult to handle for some and inconvenient to store in many pockets. The large size of the battery does bring the benefit of 24 hours’ talk time and over 12 hours of Internet browsing, the fact that the device is simply much larger than other phones may make it unsuitable for some users.

Apple has gone to great lengths to ensure that there is a current generation iPhone for virtually everyone, and have done just that with the iPhone 6 and 6+. Those looking for the latest in iOS convenience and utility in an approachable form factor will probably prefer the iPhone 6, but for the ultimate in mobile entertainment, the iPhone 6+ is tough to beat.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Apple’s First Automatic Security Update

Apple has gone ahead with its first automatic security update for OS X to handle newly identified bugs which researchers have warned would enable hackers to control devices remotely. According to Apple spokesman, Bill Evans, the company has developed the software fix to deal with critical security issues which could affect Unix-based system including OS X and the issue was with the NTP – network time protocol, which is used to synchronize computer system clocks.

The bug was revealed to the public in security bulletins late last week, by the Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. Dozens of technology companies which includes Apple and whose products could be vulnerable were identified by Carnegie Mellon.

Apple had earlier, released security patches through its regular software update system which usually needs the user’s approval and introduced the technology to deliver the automatic security updates couple of years back though it had not been used till date.

Reuters was informed by a company spokesperson that it had made a decision in using the technology in order to protect the customers at the earliest, due to the severity of the vulnerabilities and the `update is seamless’ and `does not even require a restart’.

Attackers Executing Arbitrary Code Utilising NTPD Process

The update surfaced to address an issue which was focused by the U.S. Government on December 19 and earlier discovered by the Google Security Team where the vulnerability has the capabilities of enabling an attacker to execute arbitrary code utilising the privileges of the NTPD process.

Apple had earlier faced vulnerabilities during the 2014 the most recent being on releasing an OS X bash update in September to fix the `Shellshock’ security flaw. Current day’s security update could be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Neel Mehta and Stephen Roettger, Google Security Team researchers had coordinated various vulnerabilities with CERT/CC with regards to the NTP – Network Time Protocol and as NTP is used widely in operational Industrial Control Systems deployments, NCCIC/ICS-CERT has been providing the details for US Critical Infrastructure asset owners as well as operators bringing about an awareness as well as to identify mitigations for the affected devices. Updated release on additional information, when available would be provided by ICS-CERT.

Mac Users to Install Security Patch

Products utilising NTP service earlier to NTP-4.2.8 could be affected and no specific vendor is specified since this is an open source protocol.

 Mac users should pay heed to the advice from Apple and install the security patch and users running OS X Yosemite – 10.10, OS X Mavericks – 10.9 and OS X Mountain Lion – 10.8 would find the available updates in the Software Update mechanism of OS X, which is accessible from the Apple menu as well as by opting for `Software Update’, which is only 1.4MB and also installs in a quick manner.

 If one has automatic updates enabled for system software and security updates, the NTP would probably be installed already, though checking manually could be done. According to Apple spokesmen, Bill Evans, comments that Apple though, does not know of any cases, where vulnerable Mac computers were targeted by hackers looking to exploit the bugs.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Apple’s New Position for ApplePay Site Reliability Engineer

The latest Apple mobile payment service was launched in October with a few official partners and has signed on around 500 new banks since the announcement of Apple Pay. It was reported that Apple has recently advertised a new position in Shanghai for an `ApplePay Site Reliability Engineer’ and the 40 hour per week role would need collaboration with the peers in the U.S as well as in Europe to what has been identified by Apple as a `follow-the-sun team’.

Since Apple Pay was debuted in the U.S, presently the NFC based contactless payment service remains only for America, though a series of new hires indicate that Apple would be planning a quick global expansion of the fledgling service. Besides the Shanghai based engineer position Apple Pay job listing of another kind for a London based intern was also reported where a core Apple Pay team for EMEIA operations had been set who are now looking out for support with more routine legal aspect of the project.

The advertisement revealed Apple’s plans to launch Apple Pay across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The advertisement reads `specifically to support execution of multiple NDAs and contract with third party partners’. It is said that the Shanghai post would be focusing on the `front line customer experience according to Apple as well as back end integration of systems with network and banking partners.

No Indication of Time Frame on Apple Pay Launch – Outside US

The position description states that `as a member of the Apple pay SRE team, one is expected to not just find the issues, but to write code and fix them. They will be in all phases and layers of the application and have a direct impact on the experience of millions of customers’.

The requirements needed for the post is a minimum of five years’ experience on engineering in Java or any other object oriented language as well as five years with relational databases and no-SQL. Besides this the candidate should have a degree of Bachelor of Science in computer science or an equivalent industry experience.

Though the company is gearing up for an international debut of its mobile payment system behind the scene, it has not indicated any time frame on when and where Apple Pay would be launched outside the U.S.

Apple Pay Compatible with Global Systems

Most of the focus is on China where Jack Ma, the Chief Executive of Alibaba is keen on pushing in for a partnership between Apple Pay and his company’s AliPay service. Since Apple is dependent on established near field communication technology, consumers have realised that they can use the capability internationally, at some NFC terminals though they may have found out that the tap-to-pay functions found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can function only if the device is set up with American credit cards.

However the fact remains that Apple Pay is compatible already with global systems highlighting the fact that the international roll-out service of mobile payments system of Apples’ is not hampered by technology or point of sale system and Apple should forge an agreement with the banks as well as credit card issuers making it compatible all across the globe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TAG Heuer – Plans to Bring Branded Smartwatch in Market

TAG Heuer, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has recently announced their plans to bring a branded smartwatch in the market with unnamed tech companies, which is a move to spur on in part with Apple Watch. It was reported how Tag Heuer had been pushing ahead to release its own smartwatch with the other Swiss watchmakers on the same track.

They had earlier dismissed the threat faced from smarwatches and have softened their stand since then. For instance, they had recently declined of planning to launch its own smartwatch though only a couple of months back, Claude Biver,LVMH’s Business Head, had informed a Swiss newspaper that the company had plans to launch a Tag Heuer smartwatch in the summer of 2015 though they could not afford to follow in the footsteps of Apple.

According to Reuters reports, during the press conference at the headquarters of TAG Heuer in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland, Biver, had admitted that he had recently changed his mind on fielding a smartwatch after being dismissive of the `smart device’, sector. He had stated that they had started on the project four months back and had done several partnerships and would also consider acquisitions.

Smartwatch Represent a Challenge to Swiss Watch Industry 

When questioned as to whether the company had approached Google or Intel as their partners, Guy Semon, General Manager had refrained from commenting though the reports have been coming up that Intel would be supplying the microprocessor for Tag Heuer’s smartwatches. Semon’s comments clearly indicated his apprehension of losing to high tech and more user convenient smartwatches.

He further commented that `Smartwatch represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology and that they cannot ignore this tsunami which is coming closer’. He gave no indication of any specific launch date for a Tag Heuer smartwatch though added that the company would be presenting one, only if they were `first, different and unique’.TAG did not disclose prototype design at the meeting though reports claim that the watch would be a hybrid digital/mechanical design which would be powered by an Intel processor.

Biometric Sensors to Measure Metrics of Heart Rate

Moreover, it was also reported that it had inclusion of biometric sensors to measure metrics like a user’s heart rate. Hewlett-Packard had used a similar design without the sensors in its Choronowing collaboration with designer Michael Bastion.

The present news is different from the news of September when Biver had slammed Apples’ recently unveiled Apple Watch stating that the product `had no sex appeal and that it was too feminine, looking too much like the smartwatches which are already on the market’ and later on, he reversed course.

Biver had commented saying that they want to launch a smartwatch at TAG Heuer but would not copy the Apple Watchor followthem. TAG seems to be the latest traditional watch maker to incline against a steadily growing smartwatch market which has been led by tech innovator.

Apple is ready to disrupt it with its Apple Watch probably early next year and some expectations on some high models which would be priced in the range of TAG Heuers’ present offers.