Archive for the ‘iOS’ Category

Facebook pulls its privacy-invading VPN app from Google Play store

February 22nd, 2019
Facebook logo on a phone.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images )

Facebook has pulled its privacy-invading Onavo Protect VPN app off the Google Play store and will reportedly stop gobbling up data from users who still have the app on their devices.

Facebook "will immediately cease pulling in data from [Onavo] users for market research though it will continue operating as a Virtual Private Network in the short term to allow users to find a replacement," TechCrunch reported yesterday.

Facebook's Onavo website still exists, but links to the Android and iOS apps are both broken. Facebook pulled the app from the iPhone and iPad App Store in August 2018 after Apple determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules. Facebook purchased Onavo, an Israeli company, in 2013.

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Posted in Android, Biz & IT, Facebook, iOS, onavo, Policy, VPN | Comments (0)

Beyond HoloLens: Microsoft expands its augmented-reality vision with iOS, Android apps

February 21st, 2019
Remote Assist, with its green augmented reality arrow pointing out something of interest, on an Android phone.

Enlarge / Remote Assist, with its green augmented reality arrow pointing out something of interest, on an Android phone. (credit: Microsoft)

With HoloLens 2's big reveal just around the corner, Microsoft has broadened its augmented-reality (AR) ambitions with new apps for Android and iOS.

Remote Assist is an app designed for service engineers operating in the field, letting them show what they can see to a remote expert, who can then use a mixture of voice and AR drawing and annotation on what they see to provide guidance, troubleshooting, and instruction. This feature is already available for HoloLens and is being used by real service engineers. A preview of Remote Assist is coming to Android; while it won't offer the same hands-free convenience as the HoloLens, it also won't require the $5,000 headsets, instead running on a smartphone.

Product Visualize is a sales app that salespeople can use to show customers the products that they're buying in context, letting them see how big machinery and equipment is, check if it will fit in the space they want to use it, and so on. It's similar to, but simpler than, a HoloLens app called Layout, which similarly allows 3D models to be placed and laid out in the real world. A preview of Visualize is being released for iOS; an Android version may follow, depending on customer demand.

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Posted in Android, augmented reality, enterprise, hololens, iOS, microsoft, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

February 20th, 2019
Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

A new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggests that Apple is serious about combining apps across the iOS and macOS App Stores. The iPhone make is reportedly planning on expanding Project Marzipan, a multistep initiative that will allow developers to create an app only once and have it work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Apple may reveal the first steps of this program as early as June 2019 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

We first heard about Marzipan back in 2017, but this is the first hint of Apple's tentative schedule for its rollout and application. The company may debut an SDK later this year that will allow developers to port iPad apps to Mac computers. While they will still have to submit two separate apps to the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store, the SDK reportedly makes it so developers only have to write the underlying code once.

By next year, Apple plans to expand the SDK to include iPhone apps, meaning developers could port iPhone apps to Macs in the same way. By 2021, developers may be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps, creating one application that works across all of those Apple devices (what the report calls a "single binary"). At this stage, developers will not have to submit multiple versions of apps to different app stores—and Apple may be able to merge its separate stores into one, all-encompassing app store.

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Posted in apple, iOS, ios apps, ipad, iphone, Mac, Mac Pro, MacOS, project marzipan, Tech | Comments (0)

Gambling, porn, and piracy on iOS: Apple’s enterprise certificate woes continue

February 15th, 2019
Apps on an iPhone X.

Enlarge / Apps on an iPhone X. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Rival tech giants like Google and Facebook aren’t the only companies abusing Apple’s enterprise certifications to distribute unapproved apps in the Apple App Store on iOS, according to reports from Reuters and TechCrunch.

Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program is intended to facilitate distribution of apps across devices internally within corporations, governments, and other organizations. Apple explicitly forbids its use for any other purpose in its terms of service.

But the Reuters report describes the use of enterprise certificates to distribute pirated versions of popular iOS software like Minecraft, Spotify, and Pokémon Go. For example, a free version of Minecraft (which is normally a premium app) is distributed by TutuApp using the method. Another pirate distributor, AppValley, offers a version of the Spotify app with the ads that support Spotify and the music artists stripped out completely.

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Posted in App Store, apple, Apple Enterprise Developer Program, Enterprise Certificates, gambling, iOS, piracy, Pornography, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple pushes fix for “FacePalm,” possibly its creepiest vulnerability ever

February 7th, 2019
Apple pushes fix for “FacePalm,” possibly its creepiest vulnerability ever

Enlarge (credit: Apple)

Apple has patched one of its creepiest vulnerabilities ever—a flaw in its FaceTime messenger app that made it possible for people to eavesdrop on audio and video captured by iPhones and Macs.

The bug in Group FaceTime, a feature that allows conference-call-style chats, made it trivial for someone to eavesdrop on someone else simply by initiating a FaceTime call, swiping up and choosing “add person,” and entering their own number to add themselves as a participant in a Group FaceTime call. While people on the receiving end would see a call was coming through, they would have no idea that the person trying to connect could already hear nearby audio and, in many cases, see video.

Apple security under the microscope

Privacy advocates and ordinary users were shocked when details of the eavesdropping vulnerability first broke 10 days ago. When it emerged that the bug was discovered by a 14-year-old and that Apple had failed to act following multiple emails sent by the teen’s mother, people demanded answers. Since then, New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched a probe into the incident, according to Reuters. Some critics now refer to the bug as FacePalm.

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Posted in apple, Biz & IT, eavesdropping, FaceTime, iOS, MacOS, vulnerabilities | Comments (0)

Emoji 12.0 brings us waffles, more diversity, suggestive “finger pinch” glyph

February 6th, 2019

Emoji version 12.0 has been finalized by the Unicode Consortium, and for 2019 we're getting 230 new emoji. Although the standard is finalized, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other platform vendors still need to create artwork and integrate these new glyphs into their respective platforms. Today we have a preview of what to expect thanks to Emojipedia, which put together a list of the new glyphs with example artwork.

There's a push for more diversity with this new emoji release. We have emojis for deaf people in three genders (male, female, and genderless) and five skin tones, an ear with a hearing aid, people in motorized and unmotorized wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs, a guide dog and a service dog, and people with a probing cane. There are actually only 59 distinct new emoji types in this release, but everything that depicts a human comes in five skin tones and three genders, which pumps up the numbers. You can really see this with the "People holding hands" emoji, which is completely configurable for a total of 70 possible combinations.

The emoji that's causing the most buzz is "pinching hand." Emojipedia's example shows a thumb and pointer finger with a small distance between them, which could also be interpreted as a hand signal for "small." People are already coming up with uh, "suggestive" uses for such a glyph, and if the actual implementations follow Emojipedia's design, the glyph could end up on the naughty list next to peach and eggplant.

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Posted in Android, emojis, emojis emojis emojis, iOS, MFING EMOJIS YOU GUYS, Mobile, Tech | Comments (0)

Nintendo bringing Dr. Mario to iOS, Android this summer

February 1st, 2019
The logo for <em>Dar. Mario World</em>.

Enlarge / The logo for Dar. Mario World. (credit: Nintendo / Twitter)

Nintendo announced last night that it will be bringing the classic color-matching puzzle game Dr. Mario to Android and iOS devices in 60 countries as Dr. Mario World early this summer.

Nintendo said the game will be "free to download with optional in-app purchases," but didn't go into detail on how exactly the monetization system would work. Many mobile puzzle game (such as the Candy Crush series) use timer-based "energy" systems to limit the amount you can play without paying in a certain period. Nintendo has used similar cooldown timers in games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes, though other Nintendo-developed mobile titles have used other monetization methods.

Dr. Mario World is being co-developed by Line, a Japanese mobile developer mainly known for the messaging app of the same name. Nintendo had previously partnered with Line for sticker packs in that app, but had relied on a partnership with DeNA for games like Super Mario Run and Miitomo. Nintendo also owns a five percent share of mobile developer Cygames, which released action-RPG Dragalia Lost with Nintendo last year.

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Posted in Android, dr. mario, Gaming & Culture, iOS, Mobile, Nintendo, puzzle | Comments (0)

Bloomberg report reveals details about iOS 13, plus iPhones and iPads through 2020

January 31st, 2019
The iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max.

Enlarge / From left to right: the iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Bloomberg reporters Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, who have a track record of accurately reporting major Apple product features before they are announced, published a new report today describing features in 2020's iPhones and iPad Pros, as well as some new features expected in iOS 13 and new iPhones later this year. They also added to a growing number of reports that claim an updated base iPad and a long-awaited iPad mini follow-up are expected this spring.

Citing several people familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg wrote that Apple plans to add a rear-facing 3D camera to the iPhone and iPad Pro. The 3D camera will scan the environment and create 3D models of it in a similar way to how the front-facing TrueDepth camera on recent iPhones scans a user's face and tracks their expressions, but it would use a laser scanner instead of the dot-projection technology in current iPhones. This is because the dot-projection tech is not suitable to longer ranges; the new rear-facing 3D cameras would have a range of up to 15 feet.

The camera would add useful depth-sensing data to photos and make augmented reality applications more powerful and more accurate, which Apple has made a major priority internally and in its communications with app developers.

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Posted in apple, Bloomberg, Debby Wu, iOS, iOS 12, ipad, iPad mini, iphone, Mark Gurman, Tech | Comments (0)

Hands-on with the new Gmail for Android (and iOS)

January 30th, 2019

Google is pushing a big redesign to the mobile Gmail app on Android and iOS. The update was announced yesterday, and after spending some time with the new app, we're going to comb through the finer details and see what has changed between New Gmail and Old Gmail.

For now the release is only out on Android, but like the old Gmail design, it should look identical on iOS. If you're on Android, you want Gmail version 9.x (the old design is Gmail 8). If the Play Store isn't serving you the update and you're into sideloading, APKMirror has a safe download. The iOS version is still wending its way through the App Store approval process, and should be out sometime this week.

The new design is a good match for the new desktop Gmail design that came out in April, along with all the other apps using the "Google Material Theme" design language. Everything is really white—an homage to the Google homepage—and everything uses rounded corners. The horizontal line dividers are gone, leaving nothing but white space to separate your messages. Control iconography is changed to Google's new outline style, and while message text remains in the Roboto font, everything else now uses Product Sans (the same typeface as the Google logo).

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Posted in Alphabet, Android, apps, gmail, google, iOS, Mobile, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple releases macOS 10.14.3, iOS 12.1.3, watchOS 5.1.3, and tvOS 12.1.2

January 22nd, 2019
A software update in macOS Mojave.

Enlarge / A software update in macOS Mojave. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple pushed software updates for macOS and iOS today. They are minor releases that simply offer a few bug fixes and security updates, with no new features—and there are no new features in any of the beta releases for these versions of the operating systems, either.

iOS 12.1.3 fixes a scrolling bug in Messages, an iPad Pro-specific audio bug, and a graphical error in some photos, and it addresses some CarPlay disconnects experienced by owners of the three new iPhone models released in late 2018. It also fixes two minor bugs related to the company's HomePod smart speaker.

Apple's release notes for iOS 12.1.3 are as follows:

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Posted in apple, iOS, iOS 12, iOS 12.1.3, MacOS, macOS 10.14 Mojave, macOS 10.14.3, Tech | Comments (0)