| Bendgate helps Apple?
A curious take from Apple Insider's Daniel Eran Dilger:
HTC also jumped at the opportunity to take a potshot at Apple, claiming its One M8 flagship was "designed to withstand the most demanding environments. Like your pockets."
However, when Consumer Reports tested the 5 inch HTC One M8 against Apple's new phones, it held up worse than either the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, which has both a larger display and is significantly thinner (7.1) than HTC's phone (9.35mm).
HTC's flagship bent at 60 pounds of force and cracked open at 90, while the iPhone 6 Plus didn't bend until 90 pounds of force, and didn't crack open until the test reached 110 pounds.
Consumer Reports takes on iPhone bending
The reports stated that Apple applies 25 kilograms (slightly more than 55 pounds) of force to an iPhone 6 Plus to test flex. What does 55 pounds mean in context? Using our Instron, we found that it's approximately the force required to break three pencils.
Consumer Reports' tests pushed the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus much further than 55 pounds....
Consumer Reports is always happy to jump on the viral destruction of electronics. Even their URL utilizes "bendgate" to maximize SEO.
Anyway, these are some interesting results that quantify the situation better than anyone else. It is interesting, however, to hear the same people who scoffed at Consumer Reports' negative tests of the iPhone 4 now prop them up when they say something more to their liking.
A look at making launch day iPhone cases
Erika Adams for Racked:
In keeping with Apple's impossibly secretive ways, the company does not disclose specifications for its new devices before its big events. If case manufacturers want to have new iPhone cases ready to sell by launch date (which, this year, was 10 days after the announcement), they'll have to rely on leaked specs, inside sources, and, ultimately, a costly gamble on measurements not officially confirmed by Apple. If they guess wrong, the manufactured cases become worthless and the company eats the cost.
It's a big gamble since Apple doesn't release specs in time for the launch. If, however, you have cases in stores for the launch, it's a big pay day.
Podcast: Thoughts on iPhone 6/6+, Hot Thighs and Tights Pants, What's Wrong with iPhone Lines
How to get photos on to iOS 8 iCloud Photo Library with PhotoSync
A quick video on how to move photos from your computer to your iPhone/iPad once iCloud Photo Library has been enabled iOS 8. Tip uses the PhotoSync App.
iPhone launch weekend sees 10 million sold
Apple today announced it has sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, a new record, just three days after the launch on September 19.
Apple didnít break down sales between iPhone 6 and 6+, but all observations seems to be that the 6+ was in short supply. Not only did it sell out quickly online in the pre-sale, but individual stores reportedly got slim supplies.
The 10 million sold compares to 9 million sold last yearís launch. The iPhone 6/+ is seen as a major upgrade in Appleís tick-tock upgrade cycle. One big difference over last year, however, is the iPhone 6/+ was not available in China at launch. This Friday the iPhone 6/+ will launch in 26 additional countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. By the end of the year, Apple expects to expand to 115 countries.
Thoughts on iPhone sizes
As discussed in some length in the podcasts, I chose the iPhone 6 over the 6+. Brian ended up getting the 6+. Over the weekend I certainly had a lot of time with the iPhone 6, but also went out and got some hands on time with the 6+.
One of my main concerns was the ďpocketabilityĒ of the iPhone 6+. I donít want to carry a special bag for my phone, wear it on my belt, or any other accessory. Nor do I want to hold it everywhere I go. I want to carry my phone like I always do, which is in my pants pocket. I felt the iPhone 6+ would force me to change from that. To my surprise, it actually fits OK in standard fit jeans. Itís also not uncomfortable to sit with the iPhone 6+ stored. I think the general thinness of the phone plus rounded corners help compared to what I was expecting with a supersized iPhone 5s.
Holding the phone itself isn't bad either, although it makes one hand operation more awkward than the iPhone 6. Of course, the 6 is more awkward than the 5/s, which is more so than the 4/s. I came away thinking that had I ordered the 6+, Iíd be OK with it, but I think I still prefer the iPhone 6.
On the iPhone 6, itís a significant size upgrade over the iPhone 5/s. So, either way, I feel Iím getting substantial upgrade. When grocery shopping, we keep our lists on our phones using AnyList, so Iím pushing a cart while holding the phone. I felt the iPhone 6 is getting a little big to do this and I think the 6+ would force me to change how we shop to some extent. Again, Iím not excited to compromise just to have a larger phone.
Lastly, I rarely use an iPad anymore. I just use the iPad away from the family room it to watch video with the TiVo app. My workflow is pretty much iPhone, MacBook Air, and large screen iPad, so a 6+ doesnít really take away a job from a device. If I preferred the iPad mini, then I think I would be more drawn to the 6+ because I could remove a device from my workflow. As it stands, however, the iPhone 6 simply makes everything I do with the iPhone better with no compromises. At least for this upgrade cycle.
Apple TV and HomeKit
Aaron Tilley for Forbes:
The person, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with Apple, said the updated software Apple released to Apple TV today is the same update that iOS 8 developers received last week, which included in the release notes that ĒHomeKit support is built into the Apple TV firmware now,Ē he said.
When HomeKit was announced, I thought the Apple TV would be an interesting application. Microsoft, Sony, Google, and others have put a lot of resources in trying to be the entertainment hub for the living room. Apple TV is perhaps a little more subversive and far reaching. Right now thereís not much supporting HomeKit, but as devices come on line, the Apple TV could become a central hub thatís always available on your network.
iPhone lines and the black market
Casey Neistat over the weekend posted a mini documentary on those waiting on line for the iPhone 6 in New York City. Early big Apple launches were overrun with Apple enthusiasts and now appears to fuel a seedy black market. I wouldnít feel as bad about these scenes if I thought all these people were opportunists looking to make a quick buck.
I feel like Apple exploits launch lines for publicity. A lot of people lining up and doing goofy things like literally camping out makes for good local news stories. Those stories help drive the hype. That fine, but this type launch day thing may have run its course. Perhaps Apple should do only pre-orders for launch days and people can pick up their order at their leisure.
Podcast - iPhone pre-orders, iOS 8, Tim Cook Interview + More
1Password 5 now available for iOS w/ extensions, touch ID support
- App Extensions Ė Use 1Password to log into a growing list of your favorite apps and even update your passwordsóall with just a tap!
- Safari + 1Password Ė You read that right. Just like our in-app 1Browser, you can now fill 1Password Logins directly within Safari! Ooh, speaking of thumbsÖ
- Unlock with Touch ID Ė After unlocking with your Master Password, get back into your vault in 1Password, Safari, and your favorite apps with just your thumb on devices with Touch ID. Check Settings > Security to learn how this works and pick your auto-lock time.
- Sync now goes to 11 Ė We rebuilt iCloud sync using Appleís new CloudKit and it is awesome. Wi-Fi Sync will be automatic and sync attachments with the forthcoming 1Password 5 for Mac, and itís just plain also awesomer.
- Adaptive UI Ė Whether youíre on an iPhone 4S, iPad Air, or a brand new iPhone 6 Plus, 1Passwordís interface is dressed for the occasion.
- So much more Ė Resume editing items after unlocking 1Password. A brand new Welcome Aboard process makes it even easier to set sail with 1Password. Backup restoration has you covered. And all that is just page one.
Iíve been looking forward to this update since Apple announced iOS 8. Version 5 requires iOS 8, so youíll want to update that first. Itís also a free update for iPassword 4 users. The app has a new pricing model where itís free and you unlock Pro features with a one-time in-app purchase. 1Password 4 users get those Pro features for no charge.
iCloud data gets 2-step verification, new app-specifc passwords
Starting today, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, two-step verification also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud. For more information, read the Two-Step Verification FAQ.
If you use iCloud with any third party apps, such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or BusyCal, you can generate app-specific passwords that allow you to sign in securely, even if the app you're using doesn't support two-step verification. Using an app-specific password also ensures that your primary Apple ID password isn't collected or stored by any third party apps you might use. Starting on October 1, 2014, app-specific passwords will be required to sign in to iCloud using any third party apps.
Obviously this is in response to the celebrity photo thing. Before two-step verification protected your account, but now Apple is wisely extending the option to your iCloud data. Also the added third party support is interesting. The system will support up to 25 apps.
Apple posts Android switcher guide
Ready to make the switch to iPhone? Here are some tips for moving your photos, music, documents, and more from your Android phone to iPhone.
Similar to Apple's early efforts to woo Windows users to the Mac, Apple has posted a user-friendly guide for those looking to move from Android to iOS.
Charlie Rose Tim Cook Interview
A two part interview is now available online. There are four clips highlighting some comments from Cook. The first is on the Apple TV and in general the things Apple choses its focus.
Another clips highlights comments on Steve Jobs where Cook said he thinks about him every day. Cook said his office has gone untouched and his name is still on the door.
A third clip is on buying Beats. Cook said he was interested in Beats because of the people, their relationships, Beats music subscription service, and their business.
The fourth clip available looks at privacy and Apple Pay. Cook outlined Appleís thoughts on privacy where they donít set out to collect customer data as a product.
4 million iPhone orders in first day, up from 2 million for iPhone 5
Appleģ today announced a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhoneģ 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, with over four million in the first 24 hours. Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October. Additional supply of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available to walk-in customers on Friday, September 19 at 8:00 a.m. local time at Apple retail stores.
For the iPhone 5, Apple saw two million pre-orders. So since it's last major revision, the company doubled the pre-order total, which is impressive. Last year Apple reported 9 million in sales for the first weekend, which didn't offer a pre-sale.
Podcast: iPhone 6, Watch, Apple Pay, etc, etc
New iCloud storage plans rolling out
Back in June Apple announced new iCloud storage options with much more attractive pricing. Wednesday the new plans became active and current users are seeing their accounts receive pro-rated credits for the new plans.
Your plan has been upgraded from 25 GB of total storage at $40.00 a year to 25 GB at just $11.99 a year. You will receive a prorated refund of $11.89, which is based on the price reduction and the remaining months on your subscription. On February 11, 2015 this 25 GB plan will automatically renew and you will be charged $11.99.
The new plans offer 20 GB for 0.99/mo, 200 GB for $3.99/mo, 500 GB for $9.99/mo and 1 TB for $19.99/mo. 5 GB is still included for free. These prices are much better than the old which started out at $1.66/mo for just 10GB and only offered up to 50 GB for $8.33/mo. Still these prices aren't as competitive to other cloud with Google Drive and the new Dropbox. Those services offer 1 TB of storage for around $100/year or 8.33/month.
One big reason to consider upgrading is the new iCloud drive and iCloud Photo Library features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
Macworld Magazine ends, continues online
On Wednesday a large number of the Macworld staff lost their jobs. The word is the print Magazine is ending while there are plans to continue is some form online. Boutique magazines must be a tough business, but technology news moves at an impossible pace for the conventional magazine format.
The fall is always an exciting time for people who follow Apple and tech in general. Just yesterday I was at an Apple event alongside my partners in crime Dan Moren, Philip Michaels, and Serenity Caldwell. Today we're in a very different place, but the news never stops! I am sure you will be hearing from us soon.
So, they keep them on for the big Apple announcement to get one last big push of content and then fire them. Thatís low.
The big deal here is this wonít be available until early next year. With that out of the way, Iím not quite sold on the looks. I need to see it in person I think before I can get on board with the look and feel. It seems a little thick to me, but again, i need to see it in person.
As far as technical design, user interface, and general user experience, the demo was off the charts. The app spring board is really cool. The whole user interface is modern, playful, and fun. And of course there are many options available with different band styles.
Pricing is $349. I was expecting it to start at $299. That $349 is the entry model, so if you want a little more fancier body certainly expect to pay more and even more for the upscale bands. There are three models with the regular Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. The Edition is 18-karat gold, the sport is anodized aluminum and the regular watch is stainless steel. There are also two size models in 38mm and 42mm bodies.
The new wheel interface is interesting. Itís a departure from the intimate touch-only design theory of iOS devices, but the watch is still a touch device. The trick is itís simply too small for multi-finger gestures.
So, more to follow on the Apple Watch. Weíll all have a few months to think this one over.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
Iíll have to think about this a bit whether I want a phone as large as 5.5-inches. Iím a little concerned about how useable it will be with one hand and fitting in my pocket. It is a bit thinner though, and a different design, so weíll see.
Whatís remarkable is the constant march of improved CPU and GPU performance in each phone generation. The A8 is 25% faster CPU and 50% graphics than the iPhone 5s. And without affecting battery life. Just in general mobile processing power is keeping an impressive pace. The 6 Plus is a native 1080p resolution at 401 pixels per inch. Even if the video is exported to an external display, itís hard to imagine a big future in gaming consoles.
One nice thing about a larger display is thereís an opportunity for a larger battery. The iPhone 6 Plus is to offer 16 days of standby, up from 10 on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. 3G talk time is 24 hours on the 6 Plus and 14 on the 6 vs 10 on the 5s. Faster, bigger display, and better battery life. Thatís pretty great.
Each generation of iPhone Iím particularly interested in the camera. I use my iPhone camera a lot and it records a lot of important moments for our family. So, Iím happy to hear the focus performance is improving. Kids donít sit still long for photos. Also improved is the image processing for face and blink/smile detection.This doesnít seem to be a revolutionary improvement but yet another iterative step over the iPhone 5s.
The lineup is a bit interesting. We finally get the 128 GB version. Interestingly Apple drops the 32 GB from the lineup. I would have expected Apple to either tack on another $100 for the 128 GB model or drop the 16 GB. So, for the iPhone 6 we have $199, $299, and $399 for the 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus is the same configurations for $100 more. For me the 64 GB is the sweet spot, so Iím OK with that.
Kind of goofy name, I think, but I guess if it requires and Apple device, then might as well brand it by the company name. This seems pretty interesting concept. The actual credit card info isnít transmitted during purchases. Instead thereís a one-time security code issued for that payment. That would seem a great leap in account security.
There also seems to be a lot of attention on privacy as Apple says it doesnít know about your transactions. This is where Apple differentiates with Googleís wallet system. Appleís goal appears to maximize the value of its platform to attract and retain device customers, not sell ads or marketing information.
It seems to be well supported in the USA with American Express, MasterCard, and Visa that Apple says accounts for 83% of U.S. card purchases. Apple is also working with department stores, retail stores, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants. The key will be whether stores support the appropriate point of sale equipment.
Podcast: iCloud security tips, TheFappening, Apple Event, plus more
Wired on how iCloud accounts may have been hacked
Andy Greenberg for Wired:
If a hacker can obtain a userís iCloud username and password with iBrute, he or she can log in to the victimís iCloud.com account to steal photos. But if attackers instead impersonate the userís device with Elcomsoftís tool, the desktop application allows them to download the entire iPhone or iPad backup as a single folder, says Jonathan Zdziarski, a forensics consult and security researcher. That gives the intruders access to far more data, he says, including videos, application data, contacts, and text messages.
Basically it seems first you need someoneís account email and then bust their password. Using a dedicated/private email address for iCloud, a strong password, and 2-factor verification would seem to make this sort of thing very difficult.
My iCloud security tips
The biggest tip from my setup is I have a dedicated email address for iCloud thatís separate from my iTunes account. This sort of happened by accident, but over the years Iíve come to appreciate the advantages.
One big problem with iCloud security is itís difficult to have a long and complex password on mobile devices. While TouchID makes big strides here, itís still a real pain to keep typing in a quality password. And you do need a quality password for an account holding important things such as your device backup, phone location data, calendars, device kill switch, and of course photo stream. Certainly it would suck if someone got my AppleID, but Iíve got protection from my credit card on fraud. No one has my back on the iCloud stuff. So by having a separate, dedicated, and secret email for iCloud not only does it make it more difficult for someone to get my login info, but I can secure it with a proper password and not be a major inconvenience.
The key here is you donít want to link your iCloud and AppleID as a backups. Also, you want to make sure this is a dedicated email address so no one can scrape it or phish it from you. Donít email anyone with this account and donít use it for a login anywhere else. I highly recommend 1Password for password management and keep the account in there. You can just cut/paste when you do need to use it.
The other stuff is pretty obvious, I think. Utilize 2-step verification. Your password is only as strong as the recovery system, and this is a good counter-measure. Also use 2-step verification on whatever email system youíre using for youíre iCloud account. Also, make use of the Notification Email Address. Send it to a work address or some other address not tied to your Apple accounts. This will at least alert you if someone makes changes to your account. And use the pin lock on your phone and keep track of your phone. Another thing to consider is avoiding free public WiFi, but thatís a tough one, so Iíd say stick with the trusted hotspots and ensure youíre connecting to the correct network.
Beyond that, youíll want to limit what is stored in the cloud. The cloud is super convenient, so one way to deal with privacy and cloud storage is to utilize encrypted disk images. iCloud doesnít support this now, but it looks to with iOS 8 and Yosemite. OS Xís Disk Utility can create sparse bundle images with 256-bit keys that are very convenient and easy to use. In general, you donít want to depend on a cloudís encrypted system because if their security is compromised, an intruder may also have compromised their encryption system. But ultimately, how you use the cloud directly correlates to your risks.
Lastly, Apple can do better. On a recent podcast we talked about the idea Apple needs the ability to see what devices are active on the account. And then have the ability to revoke access via the AppleID system. Dropbox works similar to this. Not only does it give an overview of which devices currently has access, but lets users control that access.
Podcast: Brown M&M, Apple event, wearable, tattoos, Dropbox vs iCloud + More
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