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Apple says San Bernardino iPhone case is ‘unprecedented,’ cannot be decided in a vacuum

Apple’s crack legal team, led by Theodore Boutrous, Jr. and Ted Olson, in today’s response (via Christina Warren) reassert many of the same arguments posed in an initial response to the California court order, specifically limitations to the All Writs Act and potential infringement of Apple’s First Amendment rights. The case, Apple says, is not about “one iPhone,” but rather precedent for compelling private companies to hand over customer data at the behest of law enforcement officials.

“It has become crystal clear that this case is not about a ‘modest’ order and a ‘single iPhone,’ as the FBI director himself admitted when testifying before Congress two weeks ago,” the filing reads. “Instead, this case hinges on a contentious policy issue about how society should weigh what law enforcement officials want against the widespread repercussions and serious risks their demands would create.”

Apple references a recent congressional hearing on encryption attended by FBI Director James Comey, Apple’s lead counsel Bruce Sewell and other associated parties. Comey at the hearing said he would “of course” leverage any precedent set in the California case to unlock iPhones in other   Read More

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Sales of 2 New iPhone 6 Devices Top 10 Million in First Weekend

Apple’s investors obsess over early iPhone sales like Hollywood producers tracking opening ticket sales for a blockbuster movie.

A big weekend is usually a healthy predictor of consumer demand for the holiday season — not just for Apple, but for the entire consumer electronics industry.

Those Apple watchers can rest easy because the company’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are no bust. Apple said on Monday that it had sold 10 million units of its new and bigger iPhones over the weekend, up from thenine million iPhones it sold last year in the first weekend of sales for the previous generation of iPhones.

The iPhone is still Apple’s biggest cash cow, accounting for about 70 percent of its profit. So early sales can help predict quarterly or even annual results for the company, based in Cupertino, Calif.  Read More

iPhone sinks as Android seizes market share

Android logo

Google’s Android software continues to steamroll the competition in smartphones, posing bigger problems for companies like Apple and BlackBerry.

New data Wednesday from research firm IDC found that Apple’s share of the global market slid to 13.2 percent in the second quarter from 16.6 percent in the year-earlier period. Handsets running Android, meanwhile, jumped to 79.3 percent from 69.1 percent.

The signs are particularly ominous for one-time market leader BlackBerry, despite some high-profile product announcements recently. Devices running its software accounted for just 2.9 percent of global smartphone shipments in the three months ended in June, compared with 4.9 percent for the same period in 2012.

Android is given away free to handset makers by Google, whose strategy is to make money on advertising associated with mobile devices. It has long powered smartphones offered by industry giant Samsung, but has lately also benefited by Chinese companies such as Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE. that are grabbing a bigger chunk of the smartphone market.  Read More

NYPD creates task force specifically for stolen iPhones and iPads

i phone new york

If you’re looking to get your iPhone or iPad stolen, all you have to do is wave it around on a New York subway. The theft of these high-cost mobile devices has skyrocketed in the Big Apple, and now the NYPD are responding with a new special task force. Yes, there is now a team of NYC police that specifically track down stolen iDevices. Lost your Android phone? Keep walking.

When a phone is reported stolen, the police will ask the victim for the device’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) in the case of iPhones and 3G/4G iPads. This data is then passed along to Apple, which can report to the police the exact location of the device — even if it has been moved to a different carrier.

The police will then actually go and find the missing phone or tablet. Tracking WiFi-only iPads is considerable more difficult because they do not have GPS or an IMEI number tracked by carriers. Still, it’s interesting to see the police taking such an interest in recovering stolen gadgets.

According to the cops, this new initiative is not just about returning stolen devices to their owners, but to learn about the patterns of theft in New York. Often tracking down a single stolen device leads to much more stolen property.

A database for phones went live last last year, allowing carriers to block stolen devices via the IEMI number. There is not currently a unified system for tracking those devices, but integrating with law enforcement is another matter entirely. The police usually have more pressing matters to attend to — it’s just the volume of thefts in New York that led to the creation of this task force.  Read More

Microsoft said to have finalized Windows Phone 8 OS

By  for All About Microsoft

Chalk up another one for those Windows Phone tipsters.

 

wp8tilese

 

Back in July, I heard whispers that Microsoft would release to manufacturing (RTM) the Windows Phone 8 operating system in September. The plan, as of then, was that the first Windows Phone 8 devices would ship in November 2012.

On September 14, Microsoft’s phone team shipped the OS, codenamed “Apollo,” according to a couple of my contacts.WPCentral is reporting they are hearing the same. And WMPoweruser has posted pictures via LiveSino.net, of what appear to be Windows Phone team members signing an RTM wall.

I asked a Microsoft Windows Phone spokesperson on September 14 if the OS had RTM’d and was told Microsoft “had nothing to share at this time.”

If the OS has, indeed, been proclaimed “done,” it’s time for handset makers and carriers to do their final testing and preloading of the OS onto new phones.

Microsoft wouldn’t allow its phone partners to let folks try the WP8 devices that Samsung and Nokia recently unveiled. I’d expect at least part of the reason for that was the OS wasn’t yet fully baked. (This also is probably at least part of the reason Microsoft has delayed making the Windows Phone 8 software development kit available to more than just its own employees and a select group of Connect testers.)  Read More

What the New iPhone Connector Means for Your Old Accessories

Your iPhone accessory’s chances of survival are surprisingly good if Apple updates the iPhone’s dock.
Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

 

new report from Reuters adds to the steady trickle of stories that the next iPhone will feature a smaller dock connector with a radically different form factor than the one we’ve come to know over the past nine years. It will give the iPhone’s components more elbow room. Yet the new connection is likely to cause some problems for consumers who have invested in accessories based in the old design over the years. In short, really old accessories are probably not going to work very well. But of course, really old accessories often already have connection issues with the newest iPhones. Newer accessories should work, but will require some sort of adapter.

The latests reports and rumors point to Apple replacing the current 30-pin connection with a 19-pin connection. By losing 11 pins, Apple can make its long-running proprietary connection smaller, which opens up all kinds of design possibilities. iFixit cofounder, Kyle Wiens told Wired: “It’s too big. That’s the fundamental issue.”

Design aesthetics aside, as far as connections go, the 30-pin connection is long in the tooth. Introduced with the third-generation iPod in 2003 as a replacement to the iPod’s Firewire port, the 30-pin connection has been adopted by nearly all of the iPods and all iPhones and iPads. The connection’s size is a result of Apple’s desire to allow backward compatibility with legacy analog connectors, and Apple’s own Firewire connection. Those legacy connections lower the cost of third-party hardware. Building fully compliant USB docks is expensive.

“The primary reason to have all the pins is to make it cheaper for companies to implement accessories.” Weins told Wired: “If your (iPod) alarm clock had to implement a full USB interface, it would cost more. It would be a more expensive device to make.”  Read More

Apple’s iOS 6 to add privacy controls for user contacts

Leaked details from iOS 6 show that Apple has beefed up privacy controls for user contacts, something the company was criticized for earlier this year.

(Credit: Apple)

Apple will offer users a way to manage which applications have permission to access their contact information as part of a new privacy control panel that’s coming in iOS 6.

The feature comes in tandem with a new privacy pop-up that asks whether users want to give a particular application access to contacts, as pointed out by MacRumors today.

Apple said it would add such a feature as part of a “future software release,” back in February, though the company did not specify when exactly that would be.

At the company’s annual developer conference earlier this week, Apple took the wraps off iOS 6,

which will be released to consumers in the fall. That software was given to developers under a non-disclosure agreement, however, details beyond what Apple shared during its press conference have since leaked out.

Demands for a specialized address book privacy settings came after controversy when Path — a popular iOS and Android application — was found to be collecting user contact information without permission. Path quickly issued an apology on the issue, saying that it was using that data to alert users to when their friends joined the social network. The company then introduced an updated version that required users to opt-in to the feature.

Apple responded by saying “apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines.”  Read More

iPhone goes to Virgin Mobile in second prepaid deal

June 7 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc.’s iPhone will be sold to prepaid customers later this month through Sprint Nextel Corp.’s Virgin Mobile USA brand, marking the device’s second deal with a U.S. pay-as-you-go carrier in the past two weeks.

The company will offer the phone with prepaid plans of $30 to $50 a month starting June 29, according to a statement today. The iPhone 4S will cost $649, while the older iPhone 4 with 8 gigabytes will be priced at $549.

The agreement pushes the iPhone deeper into the prepaid market, making it available to more customers who don’t want to take on a two-year contract. Leap Wireless International Inc., another pay-as-you-go carrier, announced plans last week to offer the phone on its network. While Virgin Mobile is selling the phone for a higher price than Leap, which is offering the 4S for about $500, it has lower-cost monthly rates.

Sprint already offers the iPhone to contract customers, and the Virgin Mobile deal may help the company satisfy a $15.5 billion purchase agreement with Apple, said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group in San Francisco. The offer also may help the company compete against AT&T Inc., the carrier that sells the most iPhones in the U.S.  Read More

Google+ for Android adds beautiful layout, easier-to-start hangouts

Google+ for Android adds beautiful layout, easier-to-start hangouts

Google has updated its Google+ app for Android with beautiful new flourishes and the ability to start a video chat Hangout on the go, the company announced today.

The app update makes a lot of sense in light of Google+’s new photo-centric iPhone app and the service’s focus on wanting to be the next Flickr. Google clearly knows it can’t win directly competing against Facebook on status updates so it will try to get people to use Google+ for other things, namely video chat Hangouts and photo-sharing.

My favorite feature of the bunch is Hangouts and that feature has been nicely updated today by letting you start hangouts directly from your phone. Before, you could attend Hangouts in progress but could not create new ones from your phone. To try it out, tap “Hangout” in the navigation ribbon, add a few folks, and tap “Start.”

As for the layout, there is now full-screen media in your river, conversations that fade in, and the ability to +1 content instantly.  Read More

New camera app for iPhone gives only a snapshot of Facebook

Facebook, on the heels of buying Instagram, launched a new camera app for iPhone on Thursday to “share photos in a snap.”

When you open the app, it recognizes you if you’re already logged in to the Facebook app and asks you if you want to continue under that login. And it asks for your permission to stalk you and geolocate your photos.

Facebook Camera

Facebook launched its fourth iOS app Thursday, called Facebook Camera. (Facebook / May 24, 2012)

By Michelle Maltais

It’s very clear from the start that this app is about photos and photos only. Across the top of the home screen you get a camera at top left of a small preview of your phone’s album. Just below you see a feed of your friends’ photos, with the likes and comment tally overlaid.

The edges of horizontal photos extend past the white background of the feed, but you can tap and turn the image to get the full effect. For collections of photos, you see the edge of the next one extending past the white background and you just swipe your finger from right to left to scroll through the album.

The app doesn’t refresh the same way you drag the screen to refresh the main Facebook app. If you try to do it that way, you’ll just reveal your own camera album. The refresh button is under the camera icon. That actually drove me a little nuts. As a Facebook addict, my thumb automatically moves to swipe to refresh the screen.

The app allows you to shoot directly from it and do some minor editing including making slight adjustments to the photo’s orientation. As with every single photo app coming out these days, yes, you’ve got filters — over a dozen of them.

To publish, you tap to create a post and write your text description. You can add more photos, set or remove the location and select what pre-determined group you’ll allow to see your upload.

When it comes to adding more photos to a post, it’s not enough to just select the photo if you shoot it while in mid-post. After you’ve finished tweaking, you actually have to tap the grayed-out checkmark at the top right of the screen when the photo is full screen. Once it turns green, you’re good to go.    Read More

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