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Apple Maps Now Has Cycling Directions for All 50 U.S. States

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 19:34

Today is a good day for both bike riders and iPhone users, as Apple Maps cycling directions are now officially available in all 50 states.

The news arrives from Apple Maps enthusiast Justin Obeirne, and according to the news, Apple has finally finished bringing cycling directions to all 50 U.S. states. In terms of holdouts, it was Hawaii that was the last to receive directions. According to Obeirne’s tracker, Hawaii was finally added in August.

Apple Maps Now Includes Cycling Directions for All 50 States

Now, as long as cycling directions are possible in the area, Maps users will be able to find destination no matter their location in the country. Interestingly, Obeirne provides this information through an animated map, showcasing the evolution of Apple Maps’ cycling directions. From the information gathered on the map, it seems Apple spent most of 2022 completing this task.

AppleMapsAllFiftyStatesIntextAug2022 Going the Distance

Of course, thanks to iOS 16, which is currently in the a public beta, users will be able to set up multiple stops for biking directions. Additionally, multiple stop routing will also be a feature for driving and walking. The feature is especially helpful for those planning a more complicated trip, or it can be especially useful for those that run deliveries.

Users will be able to add up to 15 stops to their trips, and can automatically sync routes from Mac to iPhone.

Additionally, iOS 16 is bringing transit updates to Maps. Users will be able to view the total cost of their journey, add transit cards to their Wallet, see low balances and replenish transit cards all within Apple Maps.

Furthermore, Apple Maps also alerts users if part of their route entails walking. Users can also see the elevation gains in a route in order to determine the complexity of the route. According to reports, the cycling directions are already available in Apple Maps, so users do not need to install the beta just for Maps.

iOS 16 is likely to see a release relatively soon, with the expectations being this fall.

What kind of directions do you use Apple Maps for? What are you excited about in iOS 16? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Rumors Suggest Base iPhone 14 Will Keep iPhone 13 $799 Price Point, Lose mini

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 18:50

Today rumors are indicating that the base model iPhone 14 will keep a $799 price point, despite issues with the supply chain and increased price of components. Additionally, the iPhone 14 series will likely get rid of the mini.

With the device likely to see an announcement next month, more concrete information should begin to surface.

iPhone 14 to Possible to Continue $799 Price Point

User yeux1122 on the Korean Blog Naver stated that Apple will keep the base iPhone 14 price point at $799. This is despite both supply chain issues and price increases. The user mentions that the decision was from the “top executive level” according to translations.

Yeux1122 argues that this decision arrives in thanks to the global mobile phone market stagnation as well a decline in demand. Keeping the base iPhone 14 models at a fixed price will keep Cupertino’s sales numbers up, so the logic follows.

While the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 would then be the cheapest option for the latest iPhone. However, there are some things to take into consideration. If the rumors are true, the base model iPhone 14 would start at the same price as the regular iPhone 13, starting at $799. It would then be likely that the iPhone 14 Plus/Max would then start at $899. This is if Apple decides to start at a $100 increase.

Potentially, it seems this price decision would see massive influence from how severe supply chain issues have been. Ultimately, productions costs will play a big factor in price point. However, the $799 price tag for the base iPhone 14 may be reasonable, as it looks like there might be some big differences between the base iPhone 14 and the Pro models.

Gathering Evidence

For example, the base iPhone 14 is likely to retain the A15 bionic chip used in the iPhone 13 models. Additionally, it is likely that the other differences between the regular and the Pro models of iPhone 14 will also concern pixel quality, finish, third camera lens, LiDAR Scanner and new design. Taking in these possible factors, there may be some credence to the price staying the same for base models.

Of course, Apple may keep the price point the same just to run the base iPhone 14 as a loss leader. While the company may lose revenue on each purchased device, they would likely be able to recoup this loss (and then some) through the Apple App Store. Apple expanding ads in the App Store could also potentially support this theory.

However, in regards to yeux1122’s theory that Apple would keep the price the same due to market decline may be a bit off, as Apple reported a stellar 2Q22, seeing 48 million iPhone shipments.

Concerning the price point, time will tell. With there being a high-probability that the iPhone 14 will see a Sept. 13 keynote, rumors will crystalize into facts as the weeks progress.

Do you think the iPhone 14 will retain the same price point? Do you plan on upgrading to the iPhone 14? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Apple Adds Eight Old Mac Models to Its Vintage Products List

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 18:45

Apple updated its vintage product list by adding eight more older Mac models. The Mac models include MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac released in 2015 and 2016.

Eight Older Macs Become Vintage

As we reported earlier, Apple added eight older Mac models to its vintage products list. Apple has stopped selling these products for more than five and less than seven years. Essentially, when Apple adds products to the vintage list, it becomes more difficult to service the products. This is due to the scarcity of parts, since Apple has stopped supporting the products. Still, in some rare instances when parts are still available, some Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers may accept them for repair.

Also, just as we noted in our previous report, the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was among the products added to the list. Apple released this MacBook Pro in 2016 with a completely redesigned form factor. Since then, Apple has completely removed the Touch Bar starting with high-end MacBook Pro models. Interestingly, the recently released M2 MacBook Pro still has the Touch Bar. So, Apple has not completely abandoned it after all.

The full list of Apple products that joined the vintage products on July 31 include:

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac (27-inch, Retina 5K, Late 2015)

Additionally, Apple also added the 9.7-inch iPad Pro released in 2016 to its vintage products list. The updating of the vintage products list came weeks after Apple started selling its current MacBook line-up, the M2 MacBook Pro and M2 MacBook Air.

Vintage Products Are Different from Apple Obsolete Products

It should be noted that the Apple vintage products is different from Apple’s obsolete products. According to Apple:

Products are considered obsolete when Apple stopped distributing them for sale more than 7 years ago. Monster-branded Beats products are considered obsolete regardless of when they were purchased.

Apple discontinues all hardware service for obsolete products, with the sole exception of Mac notebooks that are eligible for an additional battery-only repair period. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.

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Upgraded AppleCare+ With Theft or Loss Coverage Becomes Available in France, Italy, and Spain

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 17:57

Apple Care+ with Lost or Stolen Coverage is now available in France, Italy, and Spain. Previously, the upgraded AppleCare plan was available only in Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Upgraded AppleCare+ Is Now Available in France, Italy, and Spain

Customers in France, Italy, and Spain can now avail themselves of the upgraded AppleCare+ offer. Aside from accidental damage coverage, AppleCare+ now includes theft and loss coverage. It offers iPhone replacements for up to two incidents of theft or loss per 12-month period. Apple requires a 129 euro service fee per insurance claim. Apple will replace the iPhone after the customer pays the 129 euro service fee.

Practically speaking , the upgraded AppleCare+ with Lost or Stolen Coverage seems like a good investment. By paying the 229 euro fee for a two-year term, customers won’t have to purchase a new iPhone if theirs is lost or stolen. Customers not wishing to pay the upfront fee can pay 1149 euros per month instead. AIG handles all claims for theft or loss of covered iPhone units.

Upgraded Plan Costs a Bit More than the Standard Plan

Compared with the Standard AppleCare plan, the upgraded plan cost up to an extra 60 euros upfront or 3 euros per month. Apple’s policies require customers enable “Find My” on their iPhone when it is lost or stolen and throughout the claims process. While going through the claims process, customers will be required to erase their missing iPhone, disable it, and transfer ownership. Only then will they receive a replacement iPhone from Apple.

Aside from the provided theft or stolen iPhone incidents, the upgraded AppleCare+ also covers two incidents of accidental damage per 12-month period. Apple collects an additional charge of 29 euros for damage to the screen or glass back. All other types of accidental damage require an additional 99 euros. The warranty starts on the date of purchase of the upgraded AppleCare+ plan.

More information about the AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss Coverage can be found on the iPhone page in France, Italy, and Spain.

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Rumors Suggest Apple TV+ May Be Looking to Brazil for New Content

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 22:21

Reports indicate that Apple is in talks to begin producing content made in Brazil. While most Apple TV+ content arrives from the U.S. and Canada, Cupertino has been known to reach across the globe to expand its content.

The news arrives from Flavio Ricco, a Brazilian journalist that reports on exclusive news concerning local TV in Brazil. According to the report, Apple TV+ has an interest in developing new content in Brazil. While more details are unclear at this point, Ricco stated that the company is looking to “prioritize quality and authenticity” concerning the new local production.

Apple TV+ Looking to Produce Content in Brazil

Should the rumors be true, this will be the first content for Apple TV+ originally recorded in Brazilian Portuguese according to reporter Filipe Espósito. Right now, Apple TV+ is currently available in Brazil, with the entire catalog featuring dubbing in Portuguese.

Concerning Apple TV+, the first non-English content on the streaming service was the spy-thriller Tehran, directed by Daniel Syrkin. Most of the dialog in Tehran is in Hebrew and Farsi. Additionally, psychological thriller Losing Alice by Sigal Avin was recorded in Hebrew and dubbed into English for its release on Apple TV+.

As both shows were originally productions for a local TV company in Israel, Apple eventually acquired them for worldwide streaming. Likely, Cupertino will take a similar approach in Brazil.

While Brazilian content for Apple TV+ may be a rumor, Apple is no stranger to producing content in other languages. The series Pachinko, for example, tells historical stories across Korean, Japanese and English. Additionally, the streaming service has confirmed they have a first-look deal with AR Productions, which will produce Russian-language and multilingual content. Apple TV is also producing the show Liaison, which will be the first series to premiere in French.

Keeping Things Inclusive

In terms of Apple TV+ content, Cupertino has been doing a great job with diversity. From promoting features that focus on those with disabilities–such as the kid-friendly Best Foot Forward and See, which makes sure to be inclusive by hiring blind staff and actors–to Apple expanding to developing content in other countries, this move is likely to help the streaming service find even more Award nominations.

It’s great to see Apple expanding into other countries; seeing the perspectives and stories that arrive from outside a typical Hollywood perspective is not only a nice change of pace, but a refreshing one at that.

Are you excited for more international content coming to Apple TV+? What are you watching right now? Let us know in the comments.

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Latest Linux Version Released…From an M2 MacBook

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 22:00

Linus Torvalds recently pushed out a new stable Linux version, kernel version 5.19. Ordinarily, this isn’t something we’d report on here at The Mac Observer. However, the occasion marks the first time Linux has been released from an ARM64 laptop. The release was tagged and seeded from Torvalds’ M2 MacBook Air.

Linux Founder Says He’s Been Waiting ‘For a Looong Time’ to Release Version From an ARM64 Laptop

Within the release announcement, Torvalds took a personal spin to explore his Arm-based MacBook usage. Thanks to the work of the Asahi Linux project, Torvalds seeded the Linux 5.19 kernel from his M2 MacBook Air.

This isn’t the first time the programmer has run Linux on an Arm-based laptop. Nor is it the first time he’s used Apple hardware for development. Previously, he points out, arm64 hardware wasn’t really usable as a development platform. Now, however, it is.

Torvalds explains that years ago, he used a PowerMac G5 machine to do PowerPC development. More than a decade ago, he did development on an Intel-based MacBook Air, because it was the “only real thin-and-lite around.”

Using the M2 MacBook Air for Linux Development

Of course, given the M2 MacBook Air only recently came available, Torvalds hasn’t yet had time to use it for any serious work. However, he has done test builds and boots, and now tagged the actual Linux 5.19 release.

That being said, the developer says he’s looking forward to taking the M2 MacBook Air with him when he travels, doing more “real” work from it. As he calls it, “dogfooding the arm64 side” of Linux development. For those who don’t know, tech gurus describe working out the bugs and glitches of software as “dogfooding.”

Naturally, Torvalds praised the team behind the Asahi Linux project for making it all possible. That group of developers has been busily reverse engineering Apple Silicon to allow running Linux on the newest Macs in a meaningful way. The team recently began supporting the Mac Studio and M2 MacBooks. I’ve successfully installed Asahi Linux on my own Mac Studio, and hope to offer my thoughts on its progress within a few weeks.

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Hands-On With Enhanced Dictation in iOS 16

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 21:30

One of the greatest improvements in iOS 16 is with the dictation engine. Apple has greatly enhanced dictation in iOS 16 to make it even smarter and more useful. This applies not only to the iPhone, but also the iPad, Mac (via macOS Ventura) and Apple Watch.

Adding Punctuation to Your Dictation

Previously, inserting punctuation when dictating through iOS required you to speak the punctuation aloud. This would raise a number of eyebrows if someone was listening in while I dictated.

Under iOS 16, this is completely different. Not only does the dictation engine intelligently determine where it should include a comma, but also question marks. The software seems to be using context clues along with the raised vocal pitch indicating a question.

Keeping the Keyboard Around While You Type

Apple has also changed what happens to the keyboard as you dictate. In previous versions, Dictation would take over everything. If you wanted to stop speaking and switch to the keyboard, you had to turn off Dictation mode. It’s much more seamless now.

The keyboard continues to hang around even while you’re dictating. If you want to switch to typing, just start tapping. iOS 16 Dictation continues to listen, and picks back up when you start speaking again. When you’re ready to turn Dictation off again, all you need to do is tap the microphone icon next to the keyboard.

Emojis and iOS 16 Enhanced Dictation

It might be time to learn the names of all those emoji, if you’re a fan of dictating your messages. Enhanced Dictation in iOS 16 will let you describe the emoji, then insert it into your message.

I haven’t tested the feature with every available emoji yet, but I can confirm that the ones I have tried work just fine. This is definitely going to be helpful when you want to dictate a text message with the smiley faces, but don’t want to switch keyboards.

If you’d like to see the enhanced dictation in action, check out the video below. You should also explore our other iOS 16 videos, which we’re placing in a dedicated playlist.

As we continue exploring the new and improved features of iOS 16, which are you most curious about? Let us know in the comments below.

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‘Clash of Clans’ Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary with Alternate-History Documentary, More Surprises

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 21:21

Today Clash of Clans is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. While you usually celebrate 10-year anniversaries with tin or aluminum, developers Softcell is choosing to go for the gold. With over 3 billion total downloads across the IP, Clash of Clans is celebrating 10-years with in-game events and rewards. This includes the 10-day Clash Boss campaign, which begins today.

Additionally, Clash of Clans also has some rather interesting surprises in store.

‘Clash of Clans’ Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary With Bevy of Surprises

Originally launched in 2012, Clash of the Clans has found a permanent home within the App Store charts. The game has also created a universe celebrated by fans. With the Clash of Clans world expanding into other games, such as Clash Royale, Clash Quest, Clash Mini and Clash Heroes, all told the IP has amassed millions of players in its 10-year span.

Concerning the Clash Boss campaign, each day will feature a new challenge for special prizes that are added to the game. These special prizes are based around some of the best content in Clash of the Clans during each year of the game.

ClashofClansTenYearsBattleChallengesInTextAug2022

Challenges will take the Clash community through a stroll down memory lane as each challenge features units and strategies that have defined each year of Clash of Clans. Each challenge is sure to give players a nostalgic look through 10 years of the landmark strategy game.

Additionally, the 10-year anniversary will also allow players to go on a journey with a time-traveling Barbarian all the way back to the 1980s and 1990s. Players will have access to a new series of mini-games directly within the Clash of Clans app. Players will get to explore the mythical history of Clash in a fun and exciting way.

More Surprises Along the Way

Other surprises also include a new documentary featuring what would it be like if the game were made in the 1980s, which you can watch below. Developers Supercell are no strangers to excellent cross-promotion, as their 2015 Super Bowl ad featuring Liam Neeson was rated no. 2 by YouTubers as best ad at the Super Bowl.

Furthermore, the company has teamed up with General Mills to produce a cereal called Barb’s Choco Boom-Booms, which is available at Walmart. For even more of a nostalgia kick, Supercell has also teamed up with Topps to produce a series of Garbage Pail Kids-style cards for Clash of the Clans. These cards are also available at Walmart.

In a press release, Community Manager Darian Vorlick stated:

We could only ever have dreamt about a community as passionate, loyal and vibrant as the Clash community has become. It’s always been our goal to create games that are loved by many, played for years and remembered forever, so we want to thank all of our players who make this possible with this epic celebration and tons of rewards.

Lastly, there are also two projects from the Clash team currently in open beta. These include Clash Quest and Clash Mini.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the Garbage Pail Kids-style cards. The originals were fantastic, so it will be great to see how Topps and Softcell reimagined this card series for Clash of Clans.

You can download Clash of the Clans through the Apple App Store.

Do you play Clash of Clans? Excited for its 10-year anniversary? Let us know in the comments.

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Studio Display Speaker Problems Caused by Software Glitch, Apple Says

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 20:37

More and more Studio Display problems are starting to experience speak problems. The issue manifests as choppy audio before everything goes silent. The only solution seems to be rebooting the Studio Display, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. For its part, Apple has acknowledged the Studio Display speaker problem is software-related, which is the good news.

Studio Display Speaker Problems Show Up Every Few Weeks

Most of those Studio Display owners suffering the strange speaker problems say they recur every few weeks. One says it’s every five to six weeks, starting with “choppy” audio before the speakers go completely mute.

Some consumers using MacBooks plugged into their Studio Display isolated the problem to the external monitor. Switching between the MacBook speakers and the Studio Display confirms the issue is isolated to that external monitor. The only fix anybody’s found so far is to power cycle the display.

The bad news is this isn’t as simple as it sounds. Most displays have a power button, but the Studio Display does not. Furthermore, because the power cable isn’t designed to detach from the back of the Studio Display, you’re left with one option.

You have to trace that power cord to the electrical outlet, and unplug it. Wait about a minute, most agree, before plugging it back in.

Software Fix Should Resolve the Issue, but When?

Apple has acknowledge the issue, and says it’s a software problem. That means the company could fix it with the next firmware update to the Studio Display. Unfortunately, there’s no ETA on such an update.

In the meantime, it seems the best advice we can offer is to power cycle the Studio Display periodically. Owners have found this can help with other issues, too, such as an unresponsive camera or microphone.

If you’d rather not crawl on the floor each time you need to power cycle your Studio Display, you may consider putting it on a smart electrical outlet. One example we recommend is the Eve Energy, which has the added benefit of being Thread-capable for when the Matter standard releases in fall 2022.

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Apple Shares Video On How to Switch to iPhone for Android Users

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 19:58

Apple has shared a video taking aim at Android users who may be considering making the switch over to iPhone. The four-minute video walks viewers through common questions switchers may have. This incudes transferring contacts, photos, messages, trade-ins, long-term updates and more.

In terms of making the switch, the video also covers the durability and features of the iPhone. This includes the iPhone’s water resistance, battery life, security, as well as privacy protections for personal data. Additionally, the short YouTube video also covers the reliability of iOS.

Apple Video Cheekily Informs Users How to Switch from Android

Essentially, the video is a condensed version of Apple’s “Switch to iPhone” website. The website walks users through everything a user needs to know about upgrading to an iPhone. Additionally, Apple also maintains a dedicated “Move to iOS” Android app that makes it easy for users to transfer data.

Of course, this video may be a bit cheeky on Apple’s end, as just at the end of July, reports came out that Apple posted a June quarter revenue of $83 billion. During an earnings call after the 3Q22 report, CEO Tim Cook stated, “Turning to iPhone. We set a June quarter for both revenue and switchers to iPhone”.

In response to so many users switching from Android to iPhone, Cook attributed this to high levels of customer satisfaction and 5G. He also stated:

And we continue to execute across some significant geographies where there’s a very low penetration of iPhone. Some of those were called out in the opening remarks between Indonesia and Vietnam, and India, where we did quite well, and iPhone tends to be the engine for those markets, particularly at the beginning of creating the market there for Apple products. And so, we’re really looking at all of these things from the installed base to the number of switchers to the geographic distribution.

Additionally, despite global smartphone shipments falling by 7% to 291 million units in 2Q22, Apple still hit its best second quarter performance in over the past ten years. Despite this decline, Apple managed to ship 48 million iPhone units worldwide. This gave Apple 16% of the global market share in 2Q22, rivaled only by Samsung’s 22%.

Personally, I’ve written about my journey switching to the iPhone in the past. Were it not for AT&T having a five-year contract with Apple for the original iPhone, it would be interesting to know how many Verizon users would have been early adopters.

Did you ever have to “make the switch?” Have you always used an iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Apple Donating to Relief Efforts Responding to Kentucky Flash Floods

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 19:42

Apple is no stranger to helping with humanitarian crisis relief efforts. When Haiti was struck by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, the Cupertino-based tech giant chipped in. Responding to flood devastation in Western Europe, Cupertino offered financial aid. The company also responded in kind when U.S. Midwest and Southern states were wracked by 30 tornadoes in December 2021. As the U.S. state of Kentucky gets torn apart by flash floods, Apple is once again opening its coffers.

Apple Helps Kentucky Deal With Worst Flash Floods in Decades

Within the Appalachia region of eastern Kentucky, at least 37 people have already lost their lives to the flash floods. The death toll is expected to grow even more, BBC reports, given the fact that hundreds of people remain missing.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear called the flooding “the deadliest and the most devastating of my lifetime.” Beshear went on to reference the region’s ongoing struggles, saying, “If things weren’t hard enough on the people of this region, they’re getting rain right now.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced the tech giant will donate to relief efforts for the region. Taking to Twitter, Cook expressed his sadness and sympathy for all those affected by the flooding.

Our hearts are with everyone impacted by the devastating floods in Kentucky and surrounding states. To everyone in harm’s way, please stay safe. Apple will be donating to community relief and recovery efforts.

A Company With a Strong History of Helping In Times of Need

Looking through our archives, you’ll see that Apple has a long history of rising to the occasion when disaster strikes. Most recently, Cupertino donated to help with relief and recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana. As Germany, Belgium and other parts of Western Europe suffered devastating floods, Apple chipped in to help.

On top of aiding with relief and recovery, Apple is already making progress is helping to stave off future disasters of this nature. Many scientists believe climate change is triggering more extreme weather events like the Kentucky flooding.

Efforts to become carbon neutral, scientists believe, could reverse or at least slow down this climate change. Apple’s goal is to be 100% carbon neutral across its business and supply chain by 2030 to help in this movement.

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Over 3,200 Apps Leak Twitter API Keys, Many Allowing for Full-Account Hijacks

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 19:21

Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a set of 3,207 mobiles apps that expose Twitter API keys to the public. This can potentially enable a threat actor to overtake a users’ Twitter accounts that may have association with the app.

According to BleepingComputer, Cybersecurity firm CloudSEK is responsible for the discovery. After implementing BeVigil, a security search engine for mobile apps, the firm also scrutinized large app sets for data leaks and discovered 3,207 apps leaking a valid Consumer Key and Consumers Secret for the Twitter API.

Of the 3,207 apps, 230 of them were leaking all four Auth Cred to fully take over a Twitter account.

Cybersecurity Firm Finds Developers Leak Twitter API Keys

Essentially, when developers integrate mobile apps with Twitter, they receive authentication keys, or tokens, allowing mobile apps to interact with Twitter API. When a user links their Twitter account with the mobile app, the keys also enable the app to act on behalf of the user. Thus, the app can log them into Twitter, create tweets, send DMs and more.

TwitterAPIExposedInTextAug2022

Since authentication keys can allow anyone to perform actions as an associated Twitter user, this is why keys should never be stored directly within the mobile app. According to CloudSEK, leaks of API keys are typically due to mistakes by app developers. If developers forget to remove authentication keys in the Twitter API, the app becomes compromised and exposed to threat actors.

According to the report from CloudSEK, the most prominent situation for abuse is for threat actors to use the exposed tokens in order to create a Twitter army of trustworthy accounts featuring a large number of followers. These accounts could then promote fake news, malware campaigns, cryptocurrency scams and more.

Starting a Bot War

So while individual users accounts are likely okay, the real concern is that big name accounts may start peddling crypto or conspiracy theories.

In a report from CloudSEK, they stated,

The Twitter bot army that we will try to create can fight any war for you. But perhaps the most dangerous one is the misinformation war, on the internet, powered by bots. Time Berners-Lee, the founding father of the internet said that it is too easy for misinformation to propagate because most people get their news from a small set of social media sites and search engines that make money from people clicking on links. These sites’ algorithms often prioritize content based on what people are likely to engage with, which means fake news can “spread like wildfire”

Additionally, CloudSEK recommends that developers implement API key rotation in order to protect authentication keys. CloudSEK also suggests developers start ensuring the accuracy of its versioning and hiding or disguising keys.

To complicate matters, CloudSEK did share the list of impacted applications with BleepingComputer. However, neither BleepingComputer nor CloudSEK is releasing the list publicly. Currently, many of the apps are still vulnerable to exploitation and account takeover.

Unfortunately, most applications that are currently exposing their API keys publicly have yet to acknowledge CloudSEK’s notices. This is despite the firm notifying them over a month ago. The only exception was Ford Motors which fixed their ‘Ford Events’ app after discovering it was leaking Twitter API keys.

Furthermore, last month, a hacker was selling a database allegedly consisting of 5.4 million users. The breach came after an exploit was found in January. Twitter has since patched the exploit.

You can read the full report from CloudSEK here.

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Apple Starts Accepting Applications for Its Next Entrepreneur Camp in October

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 19:00

Apple began accepting applications for its next Entrepreneur Camp slated for October. The Apple Entrepreneur Camp supports underrepresented founders and developers of app-driven organizations. These include female, Black and Hispanic/Latinx founders.

Apple Supports the Underrepresented

Apple announced the applications on its developer site, saying the Entrepreneur Camp aims to help underrepresented founders and developers in building the next generation of cutting-edge apps.

Apple Entrepreneur Camp supports underrepresented founders and developers of app-driven organizations as they build the next generation of cutting-edge apps and helps form a global network that encourages the pipeline and longevity of these entrepreneurs in technology.

Those founders and developers who belong to what Apple called underrepresented groups can apply for a slot in the upcoming Entrepreneur Camp. Apple said that attendees would receive one-on-one code-level guidance courtesy of Apple experts and engineers. In addition, attendees will receive mentorship, inspiration and insight from Apple leaders. They will also have unprecedented access to Apple’s engineers and leaders.

Perks of Joining the Apple Entrepreneur Camp

Upon completion of the event, Apple will provide feedback on the participants’ projects. Apple will also give selected attendees a free one-year membership in the Apple Developer program. Submitting apps to the App Store requires membership in the Apple Developer Program. This membership normally costs $99 a year. It also comes with access to Apple’s beta software, advanced app capabilities, extensive beta testing tools and app analytics.

In addition, members of the Apple Developer Program get code-level support from Apple engineers during the membership year. Participants will also be given a chance to present their work and chat with some of Apple’s most senior leaders.

The application for Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp closes on August 24, 2022. You may check the details on eligibility requirements and the applications process for Female founders, Black founders and Hispanic/Latinx founders from the Apple Developer website.

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Apple No Longer Requires Its Corporate Employees to Wear Face Masks

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 17:42

Apple has lifted the mandatory wearing of face masks of its corporate employees at “most locations.” The Cupertino-based company is not, however, discouraging the use of face masks while in the office. On the other hand, it encourages employees to respect co-workers who prefer to continue wearing face masks.

Apple Does Not Discourage Employees to Continue Wearing Face Masks

In an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Apple wrote to employees, “Don’t hesitate to continue wearing a face mask if you feel more comfortable doing so.” The email noted, “Also please respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not.”

Interestingly, Apple’s decision to drop its mask mandate for corporate employees arrives despite the reported BA.5 variant of the COVID-19. The Bay Area transit system reinstated its own mask mandate because of this new variant. Apple first dropped its mask mandate for corporate and retail stores in March. During that time, COVID-19 cases started decreasing. But in May, COVID-19 cases rose again, prompting Apple to reinstate its mask mandate for corporate and retail stores.

Apple Does Not Specify Which Locations Still Require Face Mask

Another interesting thing to note in the email, written by Apple’s COVID-19 Response Team, is the fact that it does not specifically say which locations will still require employees to wear face masks. The email also cited that the decision to lift the mask mandates was “in light of recent circumstances.” It did not specifically state what those circumstances were.

Lifting its mask mandate for corporate employees could be taken as Apple’s little way of encouraging its employees to return to the office. In April, Apple started requiring employees to return to the office. However, the plan elicited various reactions from employees. Some were even forced to quit. In May this year, Apple decided to slow down its RTO order and allowed employees to continue their WFH setup. Those who decided to return to the office were required to wear a face mask.

Now, it seems employees who returned to the office may have been inconvenienced by wearing face masks. This could possibly be one reason for Apple’s decision to drop its mask mandate. It’s too early to tell whether this new policy will encourage more Apple staff to return to the office. Or perhaps Apple might reconsider, given the current COVID-19 situation in the U.S.

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How to Keep Tabs On Your Pets Using Your iPhone

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 00:21

For many of us, our pets are family. Our fur babies are just as important as our human children, but they bring unique challenges. Unlike your teenager, your cat or dog can’t tell you where it’s going when it slips out of the yard. Fortunately, there are several handy ways you can keep tabs on where your pets are, using your iPhone and an accessory or two.

The Pure Apple Approach to Tracking Your Pet, the AirTag

The first option that comes to mind is an Apple AirTag. These tracking devices are inexpensive, you can have them engraved, and they “just work” with your other Apple devices. Implementing one of these to keep track of your wandering pet is easy, especially if you live in a more metropolitan area.

All you need is the AirTag and a way to affix it to your pet’s collar. While Apple does offer several attractive options for this, including leather loops and key rings, they may not offer the protection you want. For one thing, anything that only protects the edges of your AirTag is missing out.

Apple AirTag Leather Key Ring

Let me explain. I had an AirTag on my boxer-shepherd’s collar, protected by the quite excellent OtterBox Figura Series case. Dakota, the dog in question, got involved in a bit of rough play with another dog who evidently thought the dangling AirTag was a chew toy.

To make a long story short, the intense strength the other dog showed chewing the AirTag killed the tracking device. Had I enclosed it in another, more comprehensive, case, it might have been a different story.

Still, the distinct benefit to using an AirTag, especially in an urban environment, is the network used. In the city, Dakota would be hard-pressed to go more than half an hour without coming within range of an iPhone, iPad, or even a Mac connected to the Find My network.

Alternative Trackers May Still Use the Find My Network

Okay, let’s say you need a slightly smaller, more lightweight option. However, you still want to use your iPhone to track your pet on your iPhone in the Find My app. Since the iPhone maker has opened up that network to third-party tracking devices, that’s a good possibility.

One such option, which I use for my smallest dog, is the Chipolo ONE Spot. This small tracking device uses the Find My network, just like the AirTag. However, it offers a bit smaller form factor, a somewhat rugged case in and of itself and a key ring hole.

Like the AirTag, this is a viable option if Fido is going to take off wandering where other Apple devices might be found. On the other hand, you may want an option that will work independently of being near other devices.

Tracking Devices Featuring Built-In Cellular to Keep Tabs On Your Pet from Your iPhone

Another good option, especially if you worry about your fur baby straying too far from civilization, is the Jiobit Smart Tag. This is a costlier option, but could be worth if if your pet may take off somewhere too far from Apple devices to use the Find My network.

See, the current Jiobit Smart Tag has built-in cellular capability. This means that as long as your pet is within range of a cell tower, you can track it. The most basic plan will cost you $14.99 per month without a contract, but you can bring that down to $8.99 monthly under a 2-year contract.

The tracking tag itself is larger than most, but not horribly so. It also comes with several ways to secure the tag on your pet’s collar, including one that takes a good bit of prying to remove.

This option won’t work with the Find My network, mind you. However, the Jiobit app is robust in and of its own rights. You can quickly check where your pet is, set it to alert you when the animal leaves a trusted location and even set a Wi-Fi fence to extend battery life.

Jiobit Tracking History

If your pet goes missing, you can quickly put it in Live mode to track. By default, Jiobit even offers 30 days of tracking history. This means you can easily keep tabs from your iPhone on when and where your pet has disappeared to for hours on end.

Choosing the Right Way for You

Each of these options has pros and cons. I much preferred the AirTag tracking for Dakota, when we lived in a more urban area. I didn’t have to charge it every two weeks and it worked right in my Find My app.

When I moved to a location that wasn’t quite so populous, I switched to the option with built-in cellular. This way, if Dakota wanders down the street and nobody’s home with an iPhone to relay her location, I can still track her.

On the other hand, the smaller tracking device on the Find My network is just fine for my chihuahua, who rarely gets up the nerve to leave the yard.

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Leaker Claims iPhone 14 Will See Performance Boost Despite Sticking With A15 Chip

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 22:58

Even though the standard iPhone 14 models will use the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13, one leaker believes the devices will still enjoy better performance. While Apple has not officially announced the iPhone 14, most analysts and research firms agree the base model will continue using the same processor found in the iPhone 13.

The iPhone 14 Will Keep Previous Model’s Processor, But Offer More Memory, Better Supporting Components

In March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the iPhone 14 Pro models would be the only variants with the new A16 chip. The base iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max would be equipped with the same A15 processor currently used in the iPhone 13.

Other sources have agreed with this prediction, but have gone a little bit further. Even though the new smartphone will use the older processor, it will offer more memory. Recent supply chain leaks have pointed to all iPhone 14 devices shipping with 6GB of memory, 2GB more than previous models.

On top of this, leaker ShrimpApplePro suggests there will be an overall performance boost for the non-Pro iPhone 14. The increased memory will help, but the new phone is also expected to feature a new, more efficient modem. This upgraded chip is said to be physically, smaller, use less power, and offer better performance.

New iPhone 14 Models to Offer Slight Performance Boost

Think of it like adding more memory and an improved network card to your PC. Sure, you’re still using the same CPU, but the additional memory will usually speed things up a bit. On top of that, the better network card allows everything else in your computer to perform more efficiently.

The same should hold true for the iPhone 14. Even though it will be using the same processor as the iPhone 13, additional memory will boost performance. Similarly, the more efficient supporting chips will help. Now, this may not be a huge improvement over previous models of the iPhone, but it should still be at least somewhat noticeable.

Naturally, we take these sorts of leaks with a grain of salt, and so should you. We won’t know for certain what the new iPhone 14 offers until Apple officially announces it. Current expectations are that Apple will hold that keynote in mid-September.

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Review: Insulated Touchscreen Gloves Provide Protection, Style and Functionality (Mujjo)

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 22:39

Today we’re going to look at the Insulated Touchscreen Gloves from Mujjo. Mujjo makes a series of stylish touchscreen gloves to help users protect their fingers and thumbs while still allowing users to have access to the technology they use.

Are these gloves worth your money? I think so. Let’s take a look at why.

Braving Winter

Before we truly dive in, let me rant for a moment. I understand that oftentimes, Ohio is typically the butt of jokes. With a persnickety government and a football team that seemingly refuses to win (sorry, Browns fans), it’s easy to say the state gets its fair share of laughs. However, there’s a lot to appreciate in this state, especially is you live in the northeast. Having a national park in your backyard is quite lovely, and I am sure more than one reader has caught my fascination with Cedar Point.

With that being said, I am not a fan of winter in Ohio. In fact, I am not a fan of winter in general.

I have problems with winter. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to enjoy about the season, but when you live in Ohio, there’s plenty to gripe about as well. Ohio is famous for having temperamental seasons: it’s no joke to say that Ohio will go from beautiful sunny weather to a snow storm in the same week. There’s nothing worse than waking up before work only to realize you’re going to be late because a snowstorm fell while you were sleeping. It can be frustrating, to say the least.

Insulated Touchscreen Gloves from Mujjo Offers Warmth and Connectivity

With that being said, despite it just now being August, that’s no reason people shouldn’t start looking ahead to winter. Gloves can be a game changer during particularly brutish weather, which is why I was excited to review the Insulated Touchscreen Gloves from Mujjo.

MujjoTouchScreenGlovesInTextAug2022

Mujjo is largely known for producing sustainable luxury leather tech accessories, and the company truly pays attention to the details. Mujjo uses high-quality materials to ensure ease of use and quality products. Generally designing products suited for the iPhone 12 and 13, the company also produces cases for Macs as well. Mujjo closely works with individual suppliers as well as tanneries to deliver a product that is of a high standard, and I would definitely say Mujjo delivers with these gloves.

Going for the Look

Trying them on, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly warm the gloves are. The package states that they are for “moderately cold” weather, but I could see me using these gloves in even the worst Ohio weather. The XL gloves fit snugly on my hand. Though, remember that Mujjo is based out of the Netherlands, so double check your measurements before ordering. Across national borders, not all hand sizes are the same.

InsulatedTouchscreenGlovesInText2Aug2022

Of course, the gloves were not only warm, but they functioned just as expected. The Insulated Gloves feature the ability to interact with touchscreens using all four of your fingers and thumb, and the gloves work just as advertised. It did take some getting used to not using my naked hand to interact with my phone; the padding that helps insulate your fingers does take some time getting acquainted with, however, this process did not take me long. Interacting with my phone in the gloves became as easy as interacting with my phone without the gloves.

The gloves from Mujjo also provide a great grip, meaning they’re perfect for either going outside and shoveling some snow, or spending a day playing Pokémon GO in the middle of a freezing January. Whatever your needs, these gloves will likely have you covered.

The Final Word on Mujjo’s Insulated Touchscreen Gloves

In terms of looks, the gloves have great aesthetic appeal as well. Even though I don’t really care how I look when dressing for winter weather, the sleek black of the gloves would accessorize just about any winter apparel, and there are different options, including leather, for those that truly love accessorizing.

In terms of drawbacks, I’m not really seeing any. As long as you make sure to buy the right size, you should be good to go. With regular use, I could see these gloves lasting quite a long time. Of course, Mujjo also provides instructions on how to take care of your gloves. Overall, I would say they’re durable, dependable and stylish, which is a win in my book.

Whether you’re standing out in the cold waiting for the latest tech to drop, or, you’re like me and love playing Pokémon GO no matter what the weather is outside, these gloves are going to have you covered.

 

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Secret Service Mulls Disabling iMessages to Avoid Repeat of Jan. 6 Controversy

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 22:13

The United States Secret Service is currently facing considerable backlash over deleted text messages on Jan. 6. To try avoiding a repeat of that controversy, the Secret Service may turn off employees’ ability to use Apple’s iMessages service on work-issued iPhones.

Missing Text Messages From Jan. 6 Raise Eyebrows

In the aftermath and investigation of the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., a major challenge has shown up. As the investigation proceeded, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general informed Congress the Secret Service had lost text messages related to the attack.

The deletion, authorities claim, happened while erasing employees’ phones as part of a change in device management procedures. The Secret Service rolled out a new mobile device management platform. Such software allows employers to centrally manage devices like iPhones and iPads. Organizations use MDM  to centrally manage and preserve apps, emails, photos and other data.

The one thing an MDM cannot manage, however, is a device’s iMessage history. Text messages sent using Apple’s iMessages service are encrypted and stored on users’ devices. Regular text messages, on the other hand, are stored unencrypted. This makes it easy to back them up with MDM software.

Secret Service to Consider Disabling iMessages on Employee Devices

To avoid a repeat of this controversy, the Secret Service is studying the feasibility of disabling iMessages on all agency-owned iPhone and iPad devices. The key, however, is making sure such a measure doesn’t affect operations in a bad way.

According to Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi, Director James Murray ordered a study to see if disabling iMessages would pose any problems for the agency. “We want to make sure whatever policy action we take does not adversely impact our protective or investigative missions,” Guglielmi said.

Former U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Chris Krebs pointed out that DHS leaves iMessages enabled. The Secret Service follows that department’s protocols as a matter of course. Krebs also pointed out, though, that the White House has disabled the service within its own policies.

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio Team Up with Apple TV+ Once Again for ‘The Wager’

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 21:15

Reports indicate that Leonardo DiCaprio is set to work alongside Martin Scorsese and Apple TV+ once again for the film The Wager. This news arrives as fans still eagerly anticipate the film Killers of the Flower Moon, based off a non-fiction work by David Grann.

Additionally, reports from Deadline indicate that the new project between the two is also an adaptation of another Grann book, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder.

‘The Wager’ Brings Scorsese and DiCaprio Back to Apple TV+

Set in the 1740s, the film involves the story of the British naval ship the Wager and its wreck on a desolate island just off the tip of South America. The captain and crew of the Wager then struggle to survive and maintain order; they must not only battle extreme elements, but human nature itself.

Right now, it is not exactly clear who is handling the screenplay adaptation for The Wager, however, Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas serve as producers for Imperative Entertainment. Scorsese produces through Sikelia Productions, and DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson for Appian Way productions. Richard Plepler of Eden Productions serves as executive producer.

For Dicaprio, it is likely the next time fans will see him will be in Killers of the Flower Moon, arriving to Apple TV+ in May 2023. Killers of the Flower Moon depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation. This follows a series of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Dicaprio’s latest appearance was for the film Don’t Look Up, directed by Adam McKay for Netflix.

For Oscar winner Scorsese, he most recently released the Netflix miniseries Pretend It’s a City, which focuses on Fran Lebowitz. Scorsese is also responsible for the Netflix crime drama The Irishman.

What Else is On Apple TV+

Television fans may be familiar with Imperative Entertainment, as they not only produced Killers for Scorsese, but also produced Black Bird for Apple TV+. Black Bird has been doing fantastic in terms of ratings, and the series will end with the finale arriving Aug. 5.

In terms of Apple TV+, the company announced a plethora of season renewals last week during San Diego Comic-Con. This includes season four of For All Mankind, as well as the final season of See.

While it may be awhile before The Wager arrives on Apple TV+, fans of course can still wait for Killers of the Flower Moon.

Are you excited for The Wager or Killers of the Flower Moon? Let us know in the comments.

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Kuo Reports Sunny Optical Is Current Main Supplier for iPhone 14 Main Camera Lenses

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 20:13

In his latest analysis, Ming-Chi Kuo states that Chinese-manufacturer Sunny Optical currently stands as the largest supplier of 7P wide-camera lenses for the iPhone 14 series. This analysis exceeds market consensus, which put Largan and Genius as the most important suppliers for the next generation of iPhone.

In terms of working with Cupertino, Sunny Optical is still relatively new. Just last year, the company became a part of Apple’s supply chain for the iPhone. Now, according to Kuo’s analysis, the firm will be responsible for most of the 7P wide-camera lenses for the iPhone 14 series.

Kuo Says Apple Looking to Sunny Optical for iPhone 14 Lenses

Kuo states that Sunny Optical’s 7P high-end lenses will see use in two high-end iPhone 14 Pros, and lower-end 7P lenses will see use in lower-end iPhone 14s. In terms of shipment allocation, Sunny Optical has seen 50-60% for high-end lenses and 55-65% with the lower-end lenses. According to Kuo, this remains around the same in terms of proportion supply for Largan and Genius.

Kuo goes on to say that in thanks to Sunny Optical’s significantly increased capacity, the company will be able to further a price war in order to obtain more Apple orders while also raising utilization.

In terms of iPhone lenses, the wide lens maintains the highest contributor toward profit. For Kuo, this means that the impact of Sunny Optical’s market share gain over Largan and Genius is based on profit, not revenue. However, according to Kuo, Largan’s wide 7P lens ASP is 15-25% higher than that of Sunny Optical and Genius. This means that it is likely that Sunny Optical’s market share gain has a lower negative impact on Largan’s profit.

Looking Ahead

In terms of the camera for the iPhone 14, Sunny Optical may become the main supplier for the ToF lens for the iPhone 15 in 2023. With Genius being the current main supplier of the ToF lenses, they will see more of a negative impact than Largan.

It is highly anticipated that the iPhone 14 series will have notable improvements to its cameras. Many analysts, for example, are expecting a 48MP wide sensor. While the 48MP camera will greatly help with recording 8K video recording, it is likely that the iPhone 14 will still shoot photos in 12MP. Additionally, the regular iPhone models will likely stick with a 12MP sensor in all lenses.

During June, Kuo stated that the iPhone 14 will be Apple’s most significant front-facing smartphone camera upgrade in years. Furthermore, the analyst also predicts that the new camera will feature autofocus. The new autofocus should likely result in better quality in terms of capturing photos and videos when compared to the current fixed focus camera. Lastly, Kuo also expects a larger f/1.9 aperture.

With the keynote for the iPhone 14 expected in September, are you looking forward to the iPhone 14? Excited about the camera? Let us know in the comments.

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