Monday, January 25, 2016

Future iPhones could feature Li-Fi, a technology 100 times faster than Wi-Fi


Li-Fi Transfer Information at Over 100 Gigabits

Due to the researchers at universities which include St. Andrew, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Strathclyde, Li-Fi has been in development for many years which uses light emitting diodes – LEDs in order to beam information through air and the same is received by a light sensor.

In 2011, Professor of the University of Edinburgh, Harald Haas had been credited with its creation, when he had demonstrated it with a flickering light from a single LED wherein he could transmit more data than a cellular tower. While the out-dated Wi-Fi has the capability of transmitting data around 7 gigabits per second –Gbps, Li-Fi test have portrayed that it can transfer information at over 100 Gbps, with theoretical productivity of 224 Gbps.

This means that high definition films can be downloaded on device through Li-fi connection within seconds. Fitting any type of light device comprising of a humble light-bulb with a microchip can transform the same into a wireless data transmission point according to Professor’s Hass in his TED talk. Presently Li-Fi is in highly progressive stage which means that it is very unlikely to feature in the iPhone 7 that is expected to be released in September.

New Li-Fi to Overtake Wi-Fi Connection

The new Li-Fi technology is being geared up to blow the prevailing Wi-Fi connection by providing speeds of up to 1 Gbps. It tends to work by transmitting information through light rather than radio waves which means that it needs light source, like an LED light bulb together with an internet connection.

The term had been introduced initially by Professor Harald Haas and is presently being tested in Europe and is expected to be available to consumers within four years. The possibility of the technology is that it is restricted in its present form as visible light is unable to travel through walls and a device is needed to be within direct sight of a receiver, within a radius of about three meters. It also means that it could only be utilised in rooms that are lit.

According to Spectrum IEEE, devices in future would be capable of sidestepping this limit by using a tracking as well as location system which means that a user can place a laptop at a spot on a table and allow the system to locate it and create a link.

Pilot Project in Various Industries

Presently, Estonian company Velmenni is testingthe product and it has stated that it has been tested in an office as well as in an industrial space. Deepak Solanki, Chief executive had informed International Business Times that they were doing a few pilot projects in various industries wherein they could use the visible light communication – VLC technology.

Presently a smart lighting solution for industrial environment has been designed wherein the data communication is being done through light. A pilot project with a private client is also being done where setting up a Li-Fi network in order to access the internet in their office space. But the system seems unlikely to completely replace Wi-Fi and it could be utilised along with the prevailing technologies in order to provide more efficient systems.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to Secure the Notes App on iOS 9.3


iOS Update – Features Like Night Shift

A preview of the upcoming iOS update had been announced by Apple recently. Included in the forthcoming iOS 9.3 update, Apple has been adding features like Night Shift which it states would help you to fall asleep easily in spite of staring at the screen after sunset.

Apple is attempting in helping users to get better rest at night with Night Shift which is a setting that tends to change the colours on the screen at night. Researchers are of the belief that the blue light produced by LED screens tends to stop the production of melatonin, the hormones which informs our brain to sleep. Changing from bright white and blue undertones to warmer colours is considered to be easier on the eyes enabling the body to fall asleep naturally.

Other features comprise of enabling multiple users accounts on an individual iPad, CarPlay improvements together with the ability to password protect personal musings in the Notes app can be located in the update. With the option to protect a note, probably comprising of details of bank account number, health information of perhaps a daily diary, it feels like it should have been in the Notes app from the beginning.

Secure Note in the Notes App

Though it is not so, Apple intends fixing the same. Users need to be aware that in order to lock a note they would have to be using the developer or public beta preview of iOS 9.3. One could learn more on the risks of running a beta version of an iOS on their device and where to sign if one intends to do so, by visiting the beta page of Apple. Those already on iOS 9.3 or planning to do so, the following needs to be done in order to secure a note in the Notes app:
  • At first, begin by selecting a note, if one would like to lock down using a password of Touch ID 
  • Tap on the share button towards the upper-right hand area 
  • Opt for Password Protect Note from the list of options

Presently available as Developer Preview

Should it be the first time of selecting this option, the password would be needed and a hint to the password. Observe the warning below the password unit.User would be unable to access any secured notes on non-iOS 9.3 or Mac OS S 10.11.4, also in beta devices. If one prefers to use Touch ID in addition to a password, the switch should be left in the `On’ position.

On the other hand, one could set up or change the Notes password by introducing the Setting app on the iOS device and go to Notes > Password Protection. Here you could also change the password for your Notes, if desired. Using the password set, the next time the Password Protect Note is selected from the share menu, the note would be placed behind your password and you will be able to identify which notes seem to be protected while viewing the list of notes in your account due to a lock icon seen below the title.

Presently the iOS 9.3 is made available as a developer preview which means that it is not fully completed. No information has been provided about its arrival on the iPhone or iPad, though Apple naturally releases a preview only a few months prior to the final version.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

iPhone 7 to Feature Wireless Charging and Waterproof Body


Apple’s Next iPhone – Wireless Charging

According to a report, the next iPhone of Apple would be the first to have wireless charging. A source has informed Fast Company that as support for the QI charging technology which tends to charge phones when they are placed on an inductive pad, would feature in the new model.The iPhone 7 would have a waterproof body due to the chemical coating and would do away with the headphone jack of the iPhone, as reported earlier.

If the wireless charging tends to be introduced, the iPhone 7 would be joining several Android models, inclusive of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 flagship that have the potential of charging by placing them on pads rather than being physically plugged into cables.

 It is said that the technology does not permit charging to be done over the air though it requires phone to be placed on distinct surface. The company’s first product with inbuilt inductive charging was the Apple Watch which utilises a magnetic connector that snaps onto the back of the device and recently had created a bigger magnetic charging dock based on the same design as its inductive charging puck.

New Wireless Headphones/New Handset

Inductive charging tends to work when electricity is transferred between two objects, the charging pad and the phone, for instance, through two coils such as a transmitter and a receiver. Alternating current is passed through the transmitter that tends to generate a magnetic field which in turn induces voltage in the receiver that can be utilised to power to charge a battery or a mobile device.

If Apple intends to incorporate the technology, owners of iPhone can benefit from Ikea’s wireless charging furniture range together with charging hubs in Starbucks as well as McDonalds all over the country. The option to remove the headphone jack for the purpose of creating a thinner body would ascertain to be a controversial one.

The company would probably include new wireless headphones together with new handset or a pair of headphones that tend to link to the phone through a lightning connector. The source has also mentioned that the company would incorporate noise-cancelling technology from Wolfson Microelectronics, a UK audio company that aims to eradicate background sound.

Technology Incorporated in Various Devices

Since June 2014, third parties were capable of creating lightning connector headphones, when Apple had extended its Made-for-iPhone licensing programme. The new iPhone was scheduled for release in September and signify an important moment in the history of Apple.

 It is said that the company had reportedly slashed production levels of the iPhone 6s as well as partner unit, 6s Plus by a third, due to fears of slowing demand for the `fallow year’s models, inspite of initial sales of over 13 million units in the three day of availability.

The iPhone 7 would have to have more innovative hardware changes in order to entice the legions of fan to purchase it since the developing markets tend to reach increasing levels of saturation as economy tends to shift from a purchase to an upgrade cycle.

Some of the smartphones as well as smartphone accessories have wireless charging abilities built in and this technology is being incorporated into various types of devices, appliances and much more.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Simple Code Gives Access to iPhone’s Secret Settings


iPhone’s Field Mode Concealed – Useful Tool/View Extra Information

The iPhone is one of the most impressive tool with several excellent features though there are many hidden features as well as tricks which one may have not realised that existed till now. Some of these features seem to be buried in the Settings menu while there are others that are hidden in plain sight.

The iPhone though being one of the bestselling handsets presently in the market; security researchers have condemnedthe handset due to its weak safety. A security error had been discovered in 2008 on the iPhone which enabled users to bypass the lock screen easily to access mail, bookmarks and contacts. The bug was later accepted by Apple who had issued updated software resolving the problem.

 However, access to hidden information on iPhone and enabling a user to make changes to its private setting can be done by using a simple code. Using the short code helps the user in accessing a huge amount of information on how good your signal tends to be while others could be utilised in changing hidden settings. The iPhone’s Field Mode is generally concealed though a useful tool which enables the user to view extra information on how the phone tends to get connected to the internet.

Valuable Feature – Detailed Signal Strength Indicator

Users can enable the tool on dialling *3001#12345#* followed by pressing the call button. The phone tends to switch away onto a grey screen and thereafter one will see the extra information. The most valuable features is a detailed signal strength indicator that must appear towards the top-left hand area and anything more than -80 is alike full bars on the normal scale. Anything below -110 could be one or no bars and one is unlikely to make a phone call easily.

The maximum strength to have ever achieved is about -40 and no reception is available around -120 but it could go all the way to -140. Should you need to keep that number in the corner, instead of the usual dots, then one needs to hold down the power button and the message to turn the phone off tends to appear after which you could press the home button. Thereafter the feature needs to be enabled.

Switch between Two Ways – Viewing Signal

You could switch between the two ways of looking at the signal by pressing on the display towards the top left hand area. A range of other codes tend to offer other information. By using *#33# one will get the status of the call barring setting and that tool could be turned on and off by using *33*pin# as well as #33&pin#, Swap PIN for Sim PIN. On using *#43# one will know if the call waiting is turned on or not. This feature enables user to queue up when someone tends to ring you enabling the phone to send alert if a caller has been trying to get in touch while the user is already on a call.

This could be turned on by using *43# and turned off again using #43#. Using *#06# will provide your IMEI identifier number which is very useful since it could be utilised in shutting down your phone remotely if ever it is stolen. However it could also be accessed from the Settings app or from the phone’s box.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Apple Filed a Patent for Waterproof iPhone Ports


Apple’s Patent – Methods for Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture

Apple’s patent titled `Methods for shielding electronic components from moisture’ hints at the possibility of a patent which may lead to future weather-proof Apple devices such as the iPhones, iPad, Apple Watches and much more. Though the company had filed its paperwork in June 2014, it was only revealed publicly recently. The paperwork focuses on `self-healing elastomer’ or rubber which could lose and regain its shape in order to protect the delicate inner-workings of a device.

The patent clarifies that the rubber seal on the external jacks such as the ones for headphones or a power cord, tends to open up when a plug seems to be inserted. When it is removed, the covering then reshapes and goes back in protecting the opening of the device.

Some types of the elastomer can shield from debris, dust, gas and water, besides other things and soon we might be able to take a sick dust storm selfie without routing the iPhone. There are other companies who have already been using waterproof ports for their devices.

For instance, Sony’s Z5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Active have both been using waterproof headphone and power ports which do not need special covers. Though the patent does not mean that users would get a fully water-resistant device, since Apple already holds a patent for a waterproof logic board, there is a spongy black material surrounding the circuitry for protection.

Phones Built with Logic Boards

The iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus are built with those logic boards, however, the devices are not completely waterproof though they are more resistant to water than the earlier iPhone.As per the patent filed by Apple on March 31 2014 and published on March 5, 2015, it states that `several electronic devices are susceptible to water damage since they are fully sealed and include various openings for charging, connecting peripherals, inputting and outputting audio’.

To overcome the risk of water, the patent explains that a hydrophobic or water-repelling coating having a thickness of one to ten microns, would be thin enough to preventthe intrusion with the operational opening in an electronic device. The hydrophobic coating can be applied to the printed circuit board of the device – PCB with plasma supported vapour deposition – PACVD process that charges the surface of the substrate in order to bond the coating to the charged surface.

Plasma Settles on & Adheres to Component

According to the patent, that addresses other approaches to waterproofing electronic devices, `the plasma settles on and adheres to the component, providing a robust, water-resistant, corrosion-resistant protective seal for the component’.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had mentioned last month that the Apple Watch could be worn in the shower, meaning that it is water resistant though not essentially waterproof. Though there are various cases of waterproof for iPhone 6, the patents records that if water tends to find its way through a protective case, it is game over for the phone.

Samsung had taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with the water resistant Galaxy S5 as an opportunity to mock the lack of water resistance of iPhone, but had left the water resistance from the list of features for Galaxy S6 as well as the Galaxy S6 Edge phones.