Author Archives: Mike Beasley

Apple agrees to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

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Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:

-A remote-wipe feature (like the one included with the Find My iPhone service)

-A remote-lock feature (like the PIN code setting included with Find My iPhone)

-A restore-blocking feature that can prevent unauthorized attempts to wipe the phone and use it (like iOS 7′s Activation Lock)

-And the ability to restore the original owner’s data upon recovery of the device (such as from an iCloud or iTunes backup)

As you can see from the points above, Apple’s Find My iPhone and Activation Lock services are already in full compliance with the agreement. These security measures must be included with the phone at the time of purchase, or available for download from the App Store or a similar software market.

The following companies that have agreed to this program, as per the CTIA announcement earlier today:

Apple Inc.; Asurion; AT&T; Google Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Huawei Device USA;Motorola Mobility LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia, Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless.

The program is voluntary (for now), though legislators have previously tried to enforce such requirements by law.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Activation Lock, Apple, AT&T, CTIA, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon

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Apple agrees to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

Activation-Lock-02

Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:

-A remote-wipe feature (like the one included with the Find My iPhone service)

-A remote-lock feature (like the PIN code setting included with Find My iPhone)

-A restore-blocking feature that can prevent unauthorized attempts to wipe the phone and use it (like iOS 7′s Activation Lock)

-And the ability to restore the original owner’s data upon recovery of the device (such as from an iCloud or iTunes backup)

As you can see from the points above, Apple’s Find My iPhone and Activation Lock services are already in full compliance with the agreement. These security measures must be included with the phone at the time of purchase, or available for download from the App Store or a similar software market.

The following companies that have agreed to this program, as per the CTIA announcement earlier today:

Apple Inc.; Asurion; AT&T; Google Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Huawei Device USA;Motorola Mobility LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia, Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless.

The program is voluntary (for now), though legislators have previously tried to enforce such requirements by law.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Activation Lock, Apple, AT&T, CTIA, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon

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Screens VNC client for Mac updated to version 3.0, rebuilt from the ground up with a new UI and much more

Library and Connection Windows

Screens, the popular and powerful VNC client for OS X (with an iOS counterpart), has been updated to version 3.0, introducing a host of new features. But the update is more than just a few new features crammed into old software. The entire app has been completely rewritten with an all-new interface, big speed enhancements, and other optimizations for OS X Mavericks.

For the full details on what’s new, keep reading:

Other than the new UI, Screens 3 introduces a variety of new features, including the ability to set it as your primary VNC app for connections through Finder and VNC URLs. You can also find a list of your recent connections through a new menu bar item that will allow you quickly connect to any of them with one click. Additionally, this menu can show any discovered connections that are available.

Also new in version 3 is the ability to remap certain keyboard shortcuts. The controls for features like Mission Control and Spaces, for example, can be remapped to avoid conflicting shortcuts on your local and remote machines. Improved support for the pasteboard allows you to copy and paste anything between remote and local machines using standard OS X commands.

Perhaps even more useful than all of these, however, is the ability to set a logout action for the remote computer. This allows you to setup certain actions, such as logging out the current user or activating the screensaver, when you end your VNC session. The update also allows you to select a specific display on the remote machine to display, giving you greater control over exactly what you see. This capability has been available on the iOS version since it was updated for iOS 7, so this addition brings feature parity between the two platforms.

Screens 3 is a massive revamping of one of the most popular VNC clients available, but the most surprising part of the update isn’t what it includes. It’s what’s missing: an upgrade fee. Anyone who owns the previous version of Screens can download the 3.0 update for free from the Mac App Store right now. The price for new users is the same as the previous version: $34.99.

You can also buy the app from the developers’ website for the first time, but be warned: the version available on the web store does not include iCloud support (because Apple doesn’t allow apps to use iCloud unless they’re sold through the App Store). The Mac App Store build does support iCloud, just like the iOS version (which is available for $19.99).

Connection Window Library and Connection Windows Screens Library Secured Connection System Menu Bar
Filed under: Apps Tagged: screens, vnc

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Latest unverified photos from Weibo claim to show iPhone 6 schematics, production tools

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A new batch of photos appearing on the Weibo social network claim to show new production schematics and die for manufacturing the body of the iPhone 6 inside a Foxoconn facility, as noted by GforGames. A few of the photos (below) definitely show some sort of technical design documents, though we can’t be sure what they show as they are both incredibly technical and written in Chinese.

The molds, as seen above, definitely appear to be designed to produce a smartphone, but there is no confirmation that these will be used for the iPhone 6 as opposed to a phone from some other manufacturer. Apple is rumored to be working on two different models of the iPhone 6 with different screen sizes.  If they are designed for the next iPhone, these molds could be for the 4.7″ or 5.5″ models.

The larger model is reportedly being delayed until later in the year due to production difficulties, so it seems likely that if the above photos are real, the molds will be used for the smaller model. This would match up with reports that the smaller device will go into production this month, according to an earlier report.

Late last month, several new photos that purported to show the body for the next-gen iPhone leaked on Weibo as well.

A final photo shared on a different Weibo post shows what is said to be a fixture for one of the tools used to produce the next iPhone. We don’t have any idea what that could be, and the claim is pretty broad. (Update: Thanks to reader Tristan for clarifying that the part is a die block to hold the phone while it is machined.)

As with most leaks, it’s best to remember that these may or may not be the real thing, and the users who posted these photos haven’t been proven to be connected to Foxconn at all, or have they previously leaked anything.

The technical documents and tool fixture are below:

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Foxconn, iPhone 6, leak, weibo

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Wolff Olins Global CEO Karl Heiselman hired by Apple to take on new marketing role in May

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Following this week’s revelations that Apple SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller is unhappy with the direction of the company’s advertising and agency, and that Apple is considering hiring as many as four new digital agencies to further enhance its advertising efforts, it seems the company has added a formidable new member to its marketing team.

17_london-2012-olympic-logo-pink-blueAd Age reports that Apple has hired Karl Heiselman, who is currently the CEO of the Wolff Olins branding agency. Heiselman will take on an undisclosed role in the company’s marketing arm next month, he confirmed. This won’t be the executive’s first time in Cupertino. Heiselman previously worked for Apple in the ’90s as a design contractor.

At Wolff Olins, Heiselman headed up numerous high tech and high profile branding efforts including Product (RED) for Bono, the 2012 Olympics for London (right) and numerous Microsoft campaigns including the ill-fated Kin. The company also churned out “re-invention” for brands such as Aol, Sony, Skype, Belkin and Firefox…

Apple’s recent hiring spree and Schiller’s testimony during the Samsung patent trial both point to a company struggling to solidify its identity in an ever-growing sea of look-alike competitors. Perhaps Heiselman’s branding expertise will help set the company back on the right path.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: ads, branding, marketing, Phil Schiller, wolff olins

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Apple updates standalone FaceTime app for Snow Leopard users with connection bug fix

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Remember the good ol’ days when FaceTime wasn’t included with each Mac? Back then, you had to download a bit of software from the Mac App Store in order to make video calls to iPhone owners (though iChat could still do Mac-to-Mac calls). Even today, that standalone app is still available on the Mac App Store for $.99—and for some reason it’s still the #5 paid app on the entire store.

Given its apparent popularity three years after its launch, it makes at least a little sense that Apple updated the app today to fix a bug that could prevent users from connecting to FaceTime calls. Of course, if you’re on anything newer than Snow Leopard, you don’t need this update, but anyone still running OS X 10.6 who already purchased the app can get the free update to resolve the problem.

For Snow Leopard users who haven’t already made the purchase, the app is $.99 on the Mac App Store.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: FaceTime, Mac App Store

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Apple rests in patent suit after experts testify Samsung should pay $2 billion in damages

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Apple software designer Greg Christie testifies during the Samsung trial

Apple has made its case against Samsung in the patent lawsuit that never ends, and the company’s attorneys rested today after an expert witness testified that Samsung should pay the full $2.191 billion in damages. As CNET  reports, Quantitative Economic Solutions economist Christopher Vellturo told the court today that Apple’s claim to over $2 billion is valid based on estimated profits lost to Samsung’s infringing devices as well as royalties owed to Apple for use of its protected software designs.

John Hauser, another of Apple’s expert witnesses, testified earlier this week that Samsung’s mobile phones would have been much less appealing to the public if they had lacked features that Apple created, such as the ubiquitous “slide to unlock” gesture. Together the two experts weaved a tale of desperation in which Samsung is depicted as having ripped off Apple’s design when it failed to create a compelling product that could stand its own against the juggernaut of the iPhone.

This case is really only halfway over, though. Samsung’s attorneys will now have a chance to defend against this narrative, providing testimony and evidence to support its own view and argue against the legitimacy of Apple’s software patents. Of course, it’s likely that once this case is over the two rivals will just find another reason to sue each other.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Lawsuit, litigation, Patent, Samsung

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