The first report came Sunday from an Indian security researcher named Hemanth Joseph, who started investigating possible bypasses after being confronted with a locked iPad he acquired from eBay.
The activation lock gets enabled automatically when users turn on the Find My iPhone feature via iCloud. It links the device to their Apple IDs and prevents anyone else from accessing the device without entering the associated password.
One of the few things allowed from the activation lock screen is connecting the device to a Wi-Fi network, including manually configuring one. Hemanth had the idea of trying to crash the service that enforces the lock screen by entering very long strings of characters in the WPA2-Enterprise username and password fields.
The researcher claims that, after awhile, the screen froze, and he used the iPad smart cover sold by Apple to put the tablet to sleep and then reopen it. This is supposed to restore the state of the tablet from where it was left off, in this case, loading the WPA2 screen again with the long strings of characters filled in.
“After 20-25 seconds the Add Wifi Connection screen crashed to the iPad home screen, thereby bypassing the so-called Find My iPhone Activation Lock,” he said in a blog post.
Hemanth said he reported the issue to Apple on Nov. 4, and the company is investigating it. He tested the bypass on iOS 10.1, which was released on Oct. 24.
Last week, a researcher named Benjamin Kunz Mejri, from German outfit Vulnerability Lab, posted a video showing the same bypass, but on the newer iOS 10.1.1 version.
Kunz Mejri’s method is similar and also involves overflowing the Add Wi-Fi form fields with long strings of characters but also requires rotating the tablet’s screen in order to trigger the crash after the smart cover trick.
Apple has not yet confirmed that issue and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nokia smartphones are gearing up for a comeback after former managers at the Finnish company licensed the handset brand from Microsoft and struck up partnerships with Google and phone manufacturer Foxconn.
Nokia was once the world’s dominant cellphone maker but missed the shift to smartphones and then chose Microsoft’s unpopular Windows operating system for its “Lumia” range.
Nokia quit smartphones in 2014 by selling its handset activities to Microsoft to focus on mobile network equipment. Microsoft continued selling Lumia smartphones under its own name but this year largely abandoned that business, too.
Success will require a dash for scale by stealing business from Apple, Samsung and dozens of other players in a cut-throat industry.
“Consumers may be carrying different smartphones now, but are they really in love and loyal to those brands?” said Nummela in an interview.
The Nokia consumer brand lives on as the badge on cheaper, entry-level “feature phones” sold mainly in Asia, India and Eastern Europe, though Microsoft invested little to market the name in recent years. Smartphones typically cost anywhere from ten to 30 times as much as these basic phones, which sell for as little as $20.
“For a new entrant, having an established brand provides it with an instant on-ramp,” said mobile phone analyst Ben Wood of CCS Insight, who suggested that phone vendors with weaker brands should not take the new challenge lightly.
“The barriers to entry for the Android phone space are low,” said Wood. “What HMD has is the Nokia brand and management experience. The key to its success will be driving scale.”
CEO Nummela, who was once responsible for Nokia’s sales and product development, does not lack ambition.
“We want to be one of the key competitive players in the smartphone business,” he told Reuters.
HMD President Florian Seiche previously worked at Siemens, Orange, HTC and Nokia. Chief Marketing Officer Pekka Rantala is a former CEO of Rovio, the maker of the Angry Birds game, as well as a Nokia veteran.
“We are not going to skip any markets in the long term,” Seiche said, adding that HMD had already set up offices in 40 locations around the world.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed new guidelines that is requesting automakers to create a way to block applications on smartphones or tablets that can distract drivers.
Currently no safety guidelines exist for mobile devices when they are used while driving, the NHTSA said.
The new guidelines, which were published last week and are in a comment period, instruct automakers to create a “Driver Mode” similar to Apple’s Airplane Mode on iPhones, which takes the smartphone offline.
The new guidelines are the latest effort by the federal government to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving.
Of the 5.6 million non-fatal, police-reported crashes in 2014 (the most recent year for which this data is available), 16% were distracted-driving-related crashes and resulted in 424,000 injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving activities to include using a cell phone, texting, and using in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) technologies such as navigation systems.
In 2013, the NHTSA published Phase 1 Driver Distraction Guidelines that focused on visual-manual interfaces of electronic devices installed as original equipment, such as infotainment centers.
Those phase 1 guidelines included a definition for distracted driving as any “single average glance” that takes a driver’s attention away from the roadway for more than two seconds or “where the sum of… individual glances” are 12 seconds or more while performing a testable task, such as selecting a song from a satellite radio station.
The Phase 1 guidelines recommended that interfaces and tasks determined to be more distracting than its specified levels should not be accessible to a driver on the road.
The social network has rolled out a feature that allows users to play hugely popular games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, the company’s latest attempt to get users spend more time on its messaging app.
The new feature, initially rolled out in 30 countries with 17 games, will be available on the latest versions of iOS and Android operating systems.
Facebook made Messenger a standalone app in 2014, a move that initially irked many users. The app, however, gained popularity after the company added a host of features to it.
The social network has also added instant video and payment facilities to the app.
Facebook boasts of having more than one billion users for its messaging app, making it one top three apps in the world.
Its main Facebook app is the most popular, followed by Messenger and WhatsApp, the messaging service it bought in 2014.
Next year, smartphone production volume is expected to grow by 4.5 percent to reach 1.4 billion units, according to the latest market forecast.
Global market research firm TrendForce says the double-digit growth in smartphone shipments that once took place in previous years is not expected to happen in 2017, as smartphone manufacturers currently face innovation hurdles and a shortage of new useful applications.
The report says that around 45 percent of all smartphones produced this year belong to Chinese brands, or 634 million units, mainly owing to growth from Oppo and Vivo shipments. However, these vendors may face flat growth in 2017 as their sales efforts now hinge on developing foreign market presence. This will require obtaining necessary IP and the support of local wireless companies or risk of being confined to home markets.
Apple and Samsung attempt to salvage sales this year
Meanwhile in the US, Apple is expected to post an 11.5 percent annual decline in iPhone volume production for 2016 as sales become sluggish over an iterative product design that has some customers prolonging their smartphone upgrade cycles. Samsung has also made an effort to salvage its Galaxy S7 device from the eyes of the public by promoting a new ‘glossy black’ color option, similar to the iPhone 7 ‘Jet Black’ color option that has attracted the most sales among retailers. The report notes that these manufacturers and other international brands are facing noticeable shipment shortages that constrain growth in the market’s overall volume production.
AMOLED smartphone market to reach 28 percent next year
The forecast says that consumers now expect noteworthy advances in mobile display technology next year because market leader Apple did not equip its latest iPhone 7 with an AMOLED panel design.
Samsung currently enjoys a monopoly over small-size AMOLED panel supplies, which limits the ability of other manufacturers to offer the technology in their own devices. TrendForce predicts that the panels will have a 28 percent adoption rate in 2017, followed by a 40 percent adoption rate in 2018 after LG Display begins to manufacture and supply its own small-size AMOLED panels.
At DisplayWeek 2016 in San Francisco, Samsung unveiled a foldable 5.7-inch AMOLED display to be used in an upcoming “foldable” Galaxy smartphone lineup. Back in December 2015, we reported that the company will start using OLED screens for iPhones starting in 2018 and is expected to order them from Samsung and LG.
Troubled maker of smartphones HTC has denied rumours that it could be about to flog off its smartphone business.
The rumours had been picked up largely because HTC has not been doing very well, the company was not Apple and the Tame Apple Press does love to pretend that only Jobs’ Mob makes money from smartphones.
Now according to the Taiwanese media HTC has denied those rumors and is refusing to ever speak of it again. So to make up for this lack of a quote the Tame Apple Press has continued to rubbish HTC and implied that it really is going to flog off its smartphonebusiness but “the official stance” is that isn’t.” Apparently, HTC’s alternative is to go into VR – yeah that will sort it out.
We feel sorry for HTC because it generally makes good gear, has Google’s Pixel as a contract, but does not seem to get a lucky break.
Hopes that Apple might sex up its iPhone 8 with OLED technology could be dashed by the fact that its suppliers can’t make enough of the technology.
After producing an iPhone 7 which was more or less the same as the last one, Apple had been expected to do something special with the iPhone 8. OLED screens were being touted as a way that the tax-dodging cargo cult might pull that off.
However according to the IB Times suppliers may not be able to meet the demand.
This could force Apple to release limited next-gen iPhone units in 2017 with the rest using the older LCD technology. In other words it will be regurgitating the same technology it has used for years meaning that the iPhone 8 will look and feel like the iPhone 7, which looked suspiciously like the iPhone 6, which was not much of an advance from the iPhone 5.
Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display cannot mass produce enough units as demanded by the smartphone industry. OLED screens are difficult and time-consuming to produce and it is likely that this constraint will spill over to 2018.
Samsung is reported to be the chief supplier for iPhone’s OLED panels in 2017 but it is facing low yield rates along with its high demand. Apple ordered an initial round of 100 million units for 2017 but Samsung is likely to produce only a portion of that.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple may resort to releasing a fair amount of units featuring screens that use older LCD technology.
The issue, described in August as “touch disease” by repair guide website iFixit, is characterized by a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen. The issue affects both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, according to iFixit.
Apple appears to consider it a problem with the way users handled the phone rather than a defect. It said Thursday that the company has determined that the smartphones may exhibit display flickering or Multi-Touch issues “after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”
The company is offering to repair the problem for a service price of $149 if the phone is in working order, and the screen is not cracked or broken.
A proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users was filed in August, alleging a design defect in the iPhone 6 series phones.
Apple has offered to reimburse the cost difference to those iPhone 6 customers who have already repaired the phone earlier for the same issue either through Apple or through an authorized service provider. Those who have paid for a repair believed to be related to the issue but have not been contacted yet by Apple, are asked to get in touch with the company.
I had fun playing on Microsoft HoloLens this week.
That’s significant because the last time I went hands-on with the intriguing, expensive AR technology (at E3 2015) I was left palpably disappointed.
Part of that was because Kanye West had cut into the line and forced my group to wait an extra 30 minutes to play on it, but it was also because the restricted field of view meant that the ‘Halo experience’ (which is what we played) was underwhelming and only really worked well if we didn’t move our heads and stood exactly where we were meant to.
I could comfortably imagine how this device might work in the education, retail and manufacturing spaces, but it didn’t seem remotely suitable for video games. After playing HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, a piece of gaming technology where the illusion was ruined if I stood too close to an object just wasn’t good enough.
Microsoft seems to understands that. HoloLens, as it stands, is not a consumer product, it is not even a gaming device – not really. The demos we were shown at the firm’s Lift London studio last week mostly involved retail projects – the ability to dismantle a watch you might be buying, or to change the colours on a car you are interested in, or to make virtual changes to your kitchen. There were education uses, too, such as a nice demo where you can explore and analyse the human body. NASA has even invested in the tech so its engineers can wander around a virtual Mars Rover.
“It causes me great consternation every time HoloLens is shown at a gaming conference, because all journalists want to talk about is games.”
Leila Martine, Microsoft
It is here, in the commercial space, where HoloLens is most promising. We should all try to forget that Minecraft demo that over-excited the games business on stage at E3 2015.
“If you are in the gaming industry, it is things like E3 where you will have been exposed to this,” says Leila Martine, director of new device experiences in the UK.
“I am probably saying something out of turn, because I’m not sitting in the room when they’re making these decisions in Redmond, but I do know that it causes me great consternation every time they go to a gaming conference and they show HoloLens. Because when that happens, all that journalists want to talk about is games. I have Case Western University, which is one of these most phenomenal case studies [with its education product that teaches anatomy]. But they’ll get like 300,000 YouTube views, which is still great for a B2B scenario. But Minecraft… are you kidding me? Those views are in the bazillions.”
Martine says that games is ‘definitely a piece of the long-term vision’ for HoloLens, it’s just not there yet. However, Microsoft remains interested in attracting games studios. HoloLens utilises Unity technology, which means that video games developers are uniquely placed to build HoloLens applications – even if it’s not games that they end up making.
“We are definitely seeing games developers in demand,” says Martine. “Part of that is because Unity is a core way to be able to build on this right now. With their heritage in gaming and with the demand coming from these new places, it is a pretty hot place for these games developers to be. Then we are seeing who has the appetite to move outside of gaming and capture opportunities that are coming from, quite frankly, places they haven’t worked with before. It could be a power plant looking to visualise their plant, or training simulations for pilots or engineers. With the Unity capability, these opportunities are there for game makers.”
The HoloLens Minecraft demo at E3 2015 was viewed by millions
One of the key stumbling blocks for HoloLens right now, particularly for smaller independent games teams, is its price. HoloLens dev kits will set you back $3,000.
“Unlike some of the other ones that are out there on the market, you don’t need a high performance computer to go with it,” defends Martine. “Everything you need is right on that device. And that device is really unique in terms of it capabilities, and the team has done a tremendous amount to bring it to market in a very short amount of time.
“As we think about all the things that it can enable, there are a lot of companies right now that are going: “We need to be in this space”. This is not the final form factor, this is not a consumer device, there is much more on the roadmap, but right now, the focus is making sure that we’re getting it into the hands of people and doing stuff that isn’t trivial, but actually matters to companies… and we are seeing really good progress in that area.
“But this is not the end.”
Because we asked nicely, and promised not to tell people that HoloLens is anywhere close to being a consumer games product, Microsoft did let us try out one of its games it had experimented with.
The title in question was RoboRaid, which is a mixed reality demo where aliens drill through the walls in you room, and you have to shoot small flying robot invaders out of the sky. Over three levels, you’ll battle bosses, shoot around shields and dodge fireballs. It’s hardly a game that would inspire consumers to buy HoloLens, and it isn’t particularly dissimilar to the sort of experiences that you can find in VR. but it was definitely entertaining, it worked well within the device’s limitations and proved that maybe, one day, HoloLens might succeed in the world of video games.
Recently, iPhone customers in the country have complained about the problem to the China Consumers Association, the group said in a statement on Tuesday. The shutdowns occur when the phone’s battery charge drops to between 60 and 50 percent.
The problem will persist despite upgrading to the latest version of iOS. It will also occur in both cold environments and at room temperature. After the automatic shutdown, the phones will also fail to turn on without connecting to a power supply.
A “considerable number” of consumers have contacted the China Consumers Association, and many have the same problem, the group said. It made the statement as the local press in the country have written stories about the shutdowns.
Apple hasn’t publicly commented on the matter.
Prior to Tuesday’s statement from the consumer association, affected iPhone users in the country also took to local social media services to express their complaints.
“When the battery is at 60 percent it shuts down,” wrote one user on Sina Weibo. “On restart, the phone will display no battery. Then when I turn it on again, it will be normal, only to automatically shut down again.”
Local Chinese media have posted the letter the China Consumers Association sent to Apple. It asks that the company reply within 10 days.
The association is asking Apple what the problem is, whether the phone’s battery is responsible, and what steps the company will take to address the issue.
Taiwan wants Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pull apps of Uber Technologies available in Taiwan on their app stores, a government official said, upping pressure on the ride-hailing firm that is locked in a dispute with the island.
Uber operates in Taiwan as an internet-based technology platform rather than a transportation company, which Taiwanese authorities have said is a mis-representation of its service and has ordered it to pay back taxes.
However, Uber has said it is communicating with Taiwan authorities and complies with local regulations.
Liang said the request would include the removal of UberEATS app, which Uber launched in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of its effort to expand beyond its core taxi-hailing business around the world.
It is unclear if the move would succeed in hampering Uber in Taiwan as removing the app would not prevent alternative ways to download it. It is also not clear how apps that have already been downloaded by users will be dealt with.
Uber and Apple did not immediately respond with comments.
One of the most popular means of communication, Facebook’s WhatsApp, had included fully encrypted video calling to its messaging app as of Monday, a move that comes as privacy advocates worry about the potential for stepped-up government surveillance under a Trump administration.
WhatsApp, which boasts more than a billion users worldwide, adopted end-to-end encryption early this year, making it technically impossible for the company or government authorities to read messages or listen to calls.
The new video calling service will thus provide another means for people to communicate without fear of eavesdropping though WhatsApp does retain other data such as an individual’s list of contacts.
“We obviously try to be in tune with what our users want,” Koum said at the company’s unmarked Mountain View, California headquarters building. “We’re obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones.”
Koum told Reuters that improvements in phone cameras, battery life and bandwidth had made the service viable for a significant proportion of WhatsApp users, even those using inexpensive smartphones.
Apple Inc offers its FaceTime video calls to iPhone users, and Microsoft Corp’s Skype offers video calls on multiple platforms. But WhatsApp has built a massive installed base of mobile customers and has been steadily adding more features to what began as a simple chat applications.
Ireland’s government plans to formally submit its appeal this week against the European Commission’s multi-billion-euro demand for back taxes from Apple, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced.
Ireland’s cabinet agreed in September to join the iPhone maker in appealing the Commission’s order that the U.S. tech giant pay up to 13 billion euros to Dublin after ruling the firm had received illegal state aid.
Dublin is seeking to protect a tax regime that has attracted many multinational employers. The European Commission decision has also angered Washington, which accuses it of trying to grab tax revenue that should go to the United States.
“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis and the decision left no choice but to take an appeal to the European Courts ,” Noonan told a European Parliament committee in Brussels.
Apple has made life slightly less expensive for buyers of new MacBook Pros. The company has lower the prices for many of its USB-C adapters, which are necessary for users who want to connect their devices to the new laptop.
The new MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, which have a different connector than that of USB-A devices and cables like the iPhone sync cable. That means you need to buy an adapter. Depending on your devices, you may need to buy several adapters.
The prices reduction were first reported by The Loop. “We recognize that many users, especially pros, rely on legacy connectors to get work done today and they face a transition,” Apple said in a statement to The Loop. “We want to help them move to the latest technology and peripherals, as well as accelerate the growth of this new ecosystem. Through the end of the year, we are reducing prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as well as the prices on Apple’s USB-C adapters and cables.”
Some of the USB-C adapters in the Apple Store include:
- USB-C to USB Adapter ($9; was $19)
- USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) ($29; was $35)
- USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) ($19; was $25)
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter ($29; was $49)
Prices have also been cut on some non-Apple adapters that are available in the Apple Store:
- Belkin 2.0 USB-C to USB-B Printer Cable ($14; was $20)
- Belkin USB-C to Micro-B Cable (USB 3.1) ($22; was $30)
- Belkin USB-C to VGA Adapter ($29; was $40)
- Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter ($26; was $35)
- SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader ($29; was $50)
Refer to our MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide to figure out what adapters you need.
Alienware has updated its 13-inch Alienware 13 notebook by equipping it with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM, making it both VR Ready and giving it a significant boost in graphics performance.
Starting at US $1,199.99, the Alienware 13 is built around a 13.3-inch screen and at this price, you’ll get 13.3-inch HD 1366×768 TN screen, Intel’s Skylake quad-core Core i5-6300HQ CPU clocked at 2.3GHz base and 3.2GHz Turbo, 8GB of RAM, 180GB M.2 SATA 6GBps SSD storage and Alienware HD+IR presence detection camera, which is a standard on all models, same as the GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
As was the case with most Alienware notebooks, the new Alienware 13 can be upgraded and taken over US $2,099.99 quite easily. The upgrade options include 13.3-inch FHD 1920×1080 IPS screen or high-end 13.3-inch QHD 2560×1440 OLED anti-glare touchscreen, Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core CPU, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and up to 2TB of PCIe SSD storage – 1TB for Boot and 1TB for storage.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Alienware 13 is both thinner (22mm) and lighter (2.6kg) and comes with the new Alienware TactX keyboard with 4-zone multi-color RGB AlienFX lighting. It also comes with a couple of USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports as well as both Thunderbolt 3 port (USB Type-C) and dedicated Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port.
The new Alienware 13 is certainly an ultimate small gaming notebook that can be further beefed up with Alienware’s external graphics box, the Graphics Amplifier, but as always, such things come with a hefty price tag.
The Alienware 13 is already available and you can check out basic offers as well as customize your own over at Alienware.com.