Category Archives: Apple News

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Facebook Releases Much Faster iPhone App

Today, Facebook released a completely rewritten iOS app, which took more than six months of work to build. The brand new app is a native app and is twice as fast. Facebook engineers have also dumped the HTML5-based app and rebuilt it using Objective-C programming to make it perform more like a native iOS app. It was built from the ground up using Apple’s iOS SDK. The app update has already been made available.

“Up until now we’ve looked at scale,” iOS Product Manager Mick says, “but we’ve become aware that while we have a great mobile website, embedding HTML 5 inside an app isn’t what people expect.”

In addition to significant speed improvements, Facebook has also added a bunch of features and tweaks straight from the iOS SDK. New animations and gestures are a nice touch too. One new feature is a “New Stories” banner that pops up at the top of your screen while you browse the News Feed. Another new feature is a gesture that enables easier one-handed browsing when you are browsing a photo.

I have been testing out this brand new version and can already notice significant improvements. Finally! Facebook for iPhone is available for free via the App Store. [Direct Link]

Apple Removes ‘Genius’ TV Ads from YouTube and Apple.com

In the past, Apple has made some incredible and unique advertisements in the advertising/tech history. These ads includes the company’s popular “1984” and and “Think Different” ads. However, the latest three “Genius” ads Apple released during the Olympics were very unlike Apple. These “Genius” ads portrayed an Apple Genius employee helping new Mac owners figure out a solution for simple problems. In fact, even people among the Apple community did not like these ads at all. I personally did not like these tasteless ads either.

Earlier this month, we reported that Apple had removed its “Genius” Mac ads from its homepage. Today, Apple has removed the “Genius” TV ads from its YouTube channel and from the Apple.com marketing page for the Mac. The ads were poorly received among viewers and critics even asked if it was a good idea to make potential customers seem clueless. However, some people also thought that the ads were excellent because they demonstrated the support options available to non-technical Mac buyers.

Apple has not removed any older advertisements from its websites and YouTube over time, but the company still has ads on YouTube from as far back as November 2010.

LG Begins Mass Production of Displays Rumored to Be for Next iPhone

Ahead of the new iPhone launch, the rumor mill is in full swing. Today, Reuters reports that LG has officially announced that it has started a mass production of news displays. These displays are rumored to make their way into the next-generation iPhone. In fact, this news follows similar comments from Sharp as MacRumors pointed out earlier this month. This news comes just three weeks ahead of Apple’s expected media event to introduce the new device.

The report also claims that the new iPhone displays will be measured at four inches diagonally and will have in-cell technology to embed touch sensors directly into the display, which would help decrease the thickness of the component. The Wall Street Journal also has a similar report discussing Apple’s plans for the panels.

WSJ’s report also goes on to say that LG, Sharp, and Japan Display are all producing displays with in-cell touch sensors for the next-generation iPhone. It is also reported that these suppliers will be able to meet their production goals despite the challenges of the new technology.

Apple’s ‘Unbreakable’ iOS Device Encryption Highlighted

Technology Review highlights the evolution of security that has occurred on the iPhone. The article notes how Apple has been able to gain acceptance among the government and enterprise by overcoming its initially loose stance on device security  to roll out industry leading encryption options. These options help defeat essentially all attempts at accessing properly protected devices.

At the heart of Apple’s security architecture is the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm (AES), a data-scrambling system published in 1998 and adopted as a U.S. government standard in 2001. After more than a decade of exhaustive analysis, AES is widely regarded as unbreakable. The algorithm is so strong that no computer imaginable for the foreseeable future—even a quantum computer—would be able to crack a truly random 256-bit AES key. The National Security Agency has approved AES-256 for storing top-secret data.

In a a recent white paper (PDF), Apple has highlighted this hardware security. Such hardware security involves the incorporation of a unique AES-256 key fused into each iOS device and which can not be directly read. In addition, access to the device’s software can be restricted via a PIN passcode. In fact, to break iOS passcodes, brutal force attacks are required and needing the device to be run at 80 milliseconds per.

Most of the information in the article is not, but the article does offer an overview of the layers of security Apple has built into its products.

Pre-Orders for Next-Generation iPhone to Start September 12?

Last month, iMore was the first to report that Apple will be holding its media event to introduce the next-generation iPhone on September 12. Now, the blog reports that pre-orders for the device will occur on the same day ahead of the rumored launch date of September 21st.

Usually, Apple’s first launch wave includes the United States and perhaps twenty four other countries. iMore also notes that the upcoming wave of launches after the first launch will bring the device to additional countries is scheduled for the first week of October.

The report also notes that this sequence of events will be similar to last year’s iPhone 4S introduction. Apple’s iPhone 4S was introduced on October 4th and pre-orders began three days later on October 7. Then a week later, the iPhone 4S launched in the United States and six other countries on October 14. Remember, all these dates are speculation and nothing is confirmed until Apple confirms it.

Catch up iPhone 5, iPad Mini Event Online

Apple will reportedly be launching iPhone 5 and iPad Mini on September 12. The event is really important for Apple since they have not released a major update to the iPhone 4 and have yet to enter the 7″ tablet market where Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire are currently going strong.

Last year, Apple had revealed the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. However, both these devices did not see major changes from their predecessor versions. With the release of Samsung Galaxy S III, the mobile market has really taken off and Apple definitely needs to pull off some magic with their next device.

Rumor also suggests that Apple may also launch a 7″ version of the iPad. However, this device may actually eat into Apple’s own profit and compete more with the iPod Touch than other devices. However, Apple has always managed to pull out surprises, so the September 12 event for the rumored launch of iPhone 5 and iPad Mini will definitely be very interesting.

While live videos of the events are not usually available, you can always watch the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini event live at Apple later on at http://www.apple.com/apple-events/.

You can also follow the live updates from the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini event at Engadget Live or The Verge. Mac Rumors will also cover the press conference live and you can view the updates at http://www.macrumorslive.com/. In addition to that GDGT also cover the event at http://live.gdgt.com/.

Audio streams for the iPhone 4 press conference will be available at http://live.twit.tv/, you can also follow the updates on Twitter by following @macrumorslive.

We will update this post when more streams for the event are available online.

iOS 6 Beta 4 Released; Includes Enhanced Privacy Settings And Improved Maps app

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 6 beta 4 to all iOS developers. The new beta of iOS 6 did not contain any new radical change, except for the removal of the stock YouTube app from iOS 6. Considering how ancient the app was, I say it was a good riddance.

Other than this major change, the latest beta only brings a handful of minor changes. Here are the changes as noted by 9to5Mac -:

  • The PassBook app now includes a button to the AppStore
  • On the first boot, users are requested to enter their iCloud account details
  • Improved performance of the Maps app including detailed maps in certain regions
  • Updated Siri information menu with new capabilities of the personal assistant
  • Enhanced Privacy settings
  • Bluetooth sharing

If you find any other change in iOS 6 beta 4, do drop in a comment and let us know!

Apple Drops YouTube App from iOS6 Due to Licensing; Standalone App Coming Soon

The war is officially on between Apple and Google with their competing mobile operating system; iOS and Android. Apple recently built their own Mapping system for iOS 6 and removed the integration with Google Maps. However, the most recent update to iOS 6 also drops the YouTube app.

According to The Verge, the removal of the YouTube app from iOS 6 was done because Apple and Google had come to an end of their licensing terms.

Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.

However, this is not the end of the YouTube app on iOS 6 because Google is reportedly working on a standalone YouTube app for iOS 6. This was mentioned in the Google India event.

YouTube is probably the most popular app on the iOS operating system and Google will definitely come up with a replacement before iOS 6 is shipped to consumers. However, it looks like the default app will still be available on older iOS versions.

Apple’s decision not to renew the license for the YouTube app may be based on their thinking to get rid of as much Google dependency as possible. I won’t be surprised if Apple also decides to go with Bing as the default search engine in future. If that happens, it would be a huge blow for Google because they make a large chunk of their revenue from the search option in iOS.

Apple Removes Its Stupid Mac Ads From Its Homepage

Apple is known for making some of the best and unique advertisements in the advertising/tech history, which includes its popular ”1984” and “Think Different” ads. However, Apple’s latest advertisements about the Mac have received nothing but disappointment from tech blogs and Apple fanboysall over the world.

The three commercials that have been broadcasted during the 2012 Olympics feel downright cheap and un-Apple. The ads portray an Apple Genius Bar employee helping new Mac owners with simple problems, and look downright stupid.

Now, thanks largely due to the amount of criticism these ads have got, Apple might just have got rid of them. Today, the Cupertino based company silently updated its website to remove the three new Mac ads from its homepage.

Apple is known to keep its new ads for much longer on its homepage. Considering the criticism the ads got, this should not come as a surprise.

The stupid ads can still be viewed from the TV Ads section on Apple’s website though.

 

OS X Mountain Lion Crosses 3 Million Downloads In Just Four Days

It has been around four days since Apple released the latest version of OS X, Mountain Lion, on the Mac App Store for $19.99. Today, Apple announced that OS X Mountain Lion has been downloaded more than three million times in just four days, making it unarguably the most popular and successful OS X release in the OS history.

“Just a year after the incredibly successful introduction of Lion, customers have downloaded Mountain Lion over three million times in just four days, making it our most successful release ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Starting with OS X Lion, Apple started releasing OS X releases on the Mac App Store. While the Lion launch was plagued with users complaining about slow download speeds and server capping out, things have been significantly better with Mountain Lion. While users did report of slow download speeds, they were quite a minor percentage as compared to earlier. Also, the slow download issue only last for a couple of hours at maximum, unlike last time where some users had to wait for 2-3 days to download the OS at reasonable speed.