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Whiskey Lately

Podcast - iPhone pre-orders, iOS 8, Tim Cook Interview + More

1Password 5 now available for iOS w/ extensions, touch ID support

- App Extensions – Use 1Password to log into a growing list of your favorite apps and even update your passwords—all with just a tap!

- Safari + 1Password – You read that right. Just like our in-app 1Browser, you can now fill 1Password Logins directly within Safari! Ooh, speaking of thumbs…

- Unlock with Touch ID – 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 – We rebuilt iCloud sync using Apple’s new CloudKit and it is awesome. Wi-Fi Sync will be automatic and sync attachments with the forthcoming 1Password 5 for Mac, and it’s just plain also awesomer.

- Adaptive UI – Whether you’re on an iPhone 4S, iPad Air, or a brand new iPhone 6 Plus, 1Password’s interface is dressed for the occasion.

- So much more – 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.

I’ve been looking forward to this update since Apple announced iOS 8. Version 5 requires iOS 8, so you’ll want to update that first. It’s also a free update for iPassword 4 users. The app has a new pricing model where it’s 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 Apple’s thoughts on privacy where they don’t set out to collect customer data as a product.

4 million iPhone orders in first day, up from 2 million for iPhone 5

Apple® today announced a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhone® 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.

Jason Snell:
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. That’s low.

Apple Watch

The big deal here is this won’t be available until early next year. With that out of the way, I’m 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. It’s a departure from the intimate touch-only design theory of iOS devices, but the watch is still a touch device. The trick is it’s simply too small for multi-finger gestures.

So, more to follow on the Apple Watch. We’ll all have a few months to think this one over.

Recent Articles

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

I’ll have to think about this a bit whether I want a phone as large as 5.5-inches. I’m 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 we’ll see.

What’s 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, it’s hard to imagine a big future in gaming consoles.

One nice thing about a larger display is there’s 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. That’s pretty great.

Each generation of iPhone I’m particularly interested in the camera. I use my iPhone camera a lot and it records a lot of important moments for our family. So, I’m happy to hear the focus performance is improving. Kids don’t sit still long for photos. Also improved is the image processing for face and blink/smile detection.This doesn’t 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 I’m OK with that.

Apple Pay

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 isn’t transmitted during purchases. Instead there’s 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 doesn’t know about your transactions. This is where Apple differentiates with Google’s wallet system. Apple’s 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 user’s iCloud username and password with iBrute, he or she can log in to the victim’s iCloud.com account to steal photos. But if attackers instead impersonate the user’s device with Elcomsoft’s 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 someone’s 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 that’s separate from my iTunes account. This sort of happened by accident, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate the advantages.

One big problem with iCloud security is it’s difficult to have a long and complex password on mobile devices. While TouchID makes big strides here, it’s 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 I’ve 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 don’t 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. Don’t email anyone with this account and don’t 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 you’re using for you’re 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 that’s a tough one, so I’d say stick with the trusted hotspots and ensure you’re connecting to the correct network.

Beyond that, you’ll 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 doesn’t support this now, but it looks to with iOS 8 and Yosemite. OS X’s Disk Utility can create sparse bundle images with 256-bit keys that are very convenient and easy to use. In general, you don’t want to depend on a cloud’s 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

That FLIR iPhone heat camera can steal PIN numbers

Interesting. Basically you can decipher PIN numbers within a minute or so after it was entered, pending on the key pad.

Apple special event set for September 9

Simple invite of a piece of Apple’s logo, 9.9.2014 and the tagline “Wish we could say more.” What does it all mean???? Probably nothing.

What is interesting is the event will be at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino. Apple hasn’t held an event there for quite a while and perhaps the people at Apple are feeling nostalgic. The Flint Center is where Apple launched the original Mac 30 years ago.

Dropbox changes to a single 1 TB Pro plan

Dropbox announced this week an overhaul of its paid storage options. The company is replacing its old tiers of storage plans with a single 1 TB option. Pricing is $10/mo or $99. On the old plan that would have bought you just 100 GB, so this is a significant boost.

Other new features are available to Pro customers. New sharing options let you assign passwords and expiration dates to shared links. Also you can share folders as view-only.

One really cool feature is the ability to remotely wipe your sync’d data from devices. This is handy if you lose access to your computer and are concerned about your data.

Another change is Dropbox is altering the pack rat file versioning feature. Pack Rat allows customers to restore previous versions of their data. The feature will now only go back 1 year. The company said most customers don’t restore files that old, although for a limited time it seems current customers can retain the unlimited version control.

The moves are likely addressing storage offerings from Google and Apple. Google also has a 1 TB plan for around $120 and Apple is planning to offer much more competitive pricing for its retooled iCloud storage. iCloud will offer 200 GB of storage for less than $50, which was half as much as Dropbox was offering 100 GB.

August Smart Lock begins shipping

Last year the August Smart Lock was announced and began pre-orders. What was originally due to ship by end of year slipped repeatedly. Now the August Smart Lock appears ready to ship. In a blog post the company announced limited quantities would begins filling pre-orders over the coming months.

The lock works by fitting over an existing dead-bolt door lock. The mechanism physically moves the lock when commanded via Bluetooth. It's priced at $250 for retail. Pre-orders were available for $200.

I ordered one and a over a year later I'm not too sure why. Yeah, it's neat, but it's pricy for a retrofit lock. As is the case with these startup products, by time they ship fast followers are already to market. There are a number of integrated Bluetooth locks available now for the same price or less.

iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

The program is currently available in US and China, and after August 29th will be available world-wide.

Otterbox announces Alpha Glass screen protector

Otterbox this week launched a new glass screen protector. The company says Alpha Glass offers good protection from scratches and impact, but also good clarity. The product also offers easy bubble free installation.

Lightly coat the glass with the provided alcohol wipe, clean the display with the included microfiber cleaning cloth to remove fingerprints and dust, and align the screen protector with the Alpha Glass application card. Gentle pressure safely secures the screen protector and pushes out any air for bubble–free coverage.

I prefer the glass screen protectors over the plastic films simply for the feel. It feels like the regular touch screen. Generally they’re a little thicker, so that could cause complications with cases and accessories, but if I do have a screen protector on my phone, it’s a glass one.

The Alpha Glass protector is available now stand-alone for $29.95.

OS X Yosemite allows screen sharing over iMessage

Mark Gurman for 9 to 5 Mac:
In June, we noted that Apple is adding a handy new feature to the upcoming OS X Yosemite: the ability for iMessage/Apple ID users to screen share via the Messages app. Screen sharing was a hallmark of early versions of Apple’s Mac “iChat” application, but it has always required an Aol Instant Messenger (AIM), Gmail, Jabber, or Yahoo account. With Yosemite, users can have the same screen sharing experience with just an iMessage/FaceTime/or Apple ID account.

This is pretty nifty. There is also the option to have audio chat, which basically turns it into a screencast chat. This can be particularly handy with family tech support situations.

Final Cut Pro suite gets minor updates

Apple Tuesday issued updates for Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Compressor. The changes across the line involve a bug fix related to burning Bluray disks and images. Final Cut Pro specific improvements deal with color correction, minor UX fixes, and improved stability and performance.

The updates are free to current users and bring Final Cut Pro to 10.1.3, Motion to 5.1.2, and Compressor to 4.1.3. Updates are available in the Mac App.

Visual history of Apple designs

A neat slideshow of decades of Apple designs. It starts out with the wood-encased Apple kit and goes through various computers and devices. One of my favorites, the eMate, is missing, I’ve had a version of almost each of these products, especially from the late 80’s on. Not sure what that says about me, but a fun flashback.

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