MacRumors

AT&T today sent out emails to customers who continue to have a grandfathered unlimited data plan for the iPad, informing them that its unlimited status is essentially being eliminated on May 24, 2017.

Going forward, customers with an unlimited tablet data plan may see their data usage throttled when using more than 22GB of data during a single bill period. According to AT&T, data may be slowed down during times of network congestion.

While that's in line with AT&T's policy for its newly announced unlimited data plans, it's a big change for iPad owners who are not used to having a data cap in place. Prior to the change, iPad owners with the grandfathered unlimited plan have not been subject to restrictions.

AT&T briefly offered unlimited iPad data plans after the original iPad was released in 2010, but phased them out just months later. Since then, customers who managed to purchase one of the plans have been able to hold onto them, making the unlimited plan highly coveted.

The plans required no contract and cost $29.99 per month, with customers able to transfer them to new iPads and even sell them to other iPad owners. With the change coming on May 24, the original unlimited iPad data plans will be much less attractive.

(Thanks, David!)

Tag: AT&T

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 29, 2017, 12:51 am
Last November, longtime Mac vendor OWC was among the first wave of companies to announce Thunderbolt 3 docks designed to expand the capabilities of the new MacBook Pro. It's taken a while to finalize the product design, testing, and manufacturing, but OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock is now just about ready to ship and we've had a chance to spend some time with a production-ready unit.


Priced at $299, OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock includes an array of 13 ports to allow you to connect a host of devices to your MacBook Pro. It all comes in a package measuring about 9 inches by 3.5 inches and an inch thick, with brushed aluminum around the sides and glossy black plastic on top and bottom.

The design is relatively unobtrusive, although the OWC logo and "Thunderbolt 3 Dock" text on the front are fairly prominent. The dock is powered through a decently large external power brick, which cuts down on the size of the dock itself but means there's one more piece of equipment to tuck away with all of your other cords.

As for the functional aspects of the dock, OWC has elected to put three frequently used ports on the front: an SD card reader, a combo audio in/out port for headphones and microphones, and a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port that delivers up to 1.5 amps of current. It's a handy set of ports that are most likely to need regular access for connecting and disconnecting peripherals or swapping out memory cards.


The rear of the dock includes ten more ports plus the DC power input from the external brick. There are four more USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one of which is another 1.5A high-power port while the other three offer the standard 0.9A of current. Also included are an S/PDIF digital audio output port, a FireWire 800 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.


Next is a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which is used to connect to your MacBook Pro while the other can be used to connect a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C display and/or additional Thunderbolt devices. Adapters can also be used to connect devices with other connectors. Finally, there's a Mini DisplayPort to support additional displays.

Powering On


There is no power switch on the Thunderbolt 3 Dock, so as soon as you plug in the power brick and connect it to the dock, the unit becomes powered and a blue light comes on on the dock. Similarly, once you connect the dock to a computer, a green light comes on to signify the dock has an active data connection.

The blue and green LEDs are actually located on the bottom of the dock and so they can really only be seen as reflections off of the desk or other surface under the dock, as the dock is elevated slightly on small feet. The design makes it somewhat difficult to see whether the lights, particularly the green one, are on unless you're in a dim environment. In day-to-day usage, however, things should just work and you shouldn't need the lights, so having them on the bottom keeps them unobtrusive.

Data Transfer


I connected a USB 3.0 external hard drive to the dock and saw read and write speeds right around 100 MB/s, which isn't the fastest connection but will likely be fine for many users. If you need faster speeds, you'll want to use a drive with the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard and connect it directly to your MacBook Pro.


I do not typically use wired networking in my home, but connecting my MacBook Pro to my AirPort Time Capsule via the Ethernet port on the dock I was able to max out my 200/20 internet connection just fine. The Ethernet connection was seamlessly recognized by my Mac from the dock.

Display Support


In line with Thunderbolt 3's capabilities, OWC says its dock can support a single 5K display or two 4K displays. I connected an LG UltraFine 5K display via the dock and experienced no problems running the display and the dock's hub capabilities simultaneously over a single cable.


OWC is still testing out various configurations, but you should be able to connect two 4K displays via the dock, one through a Thunderbolt 3 port (potentially with an adapter) and one through the Mini DisplayPort.

Charging Capabilities


With the dock using the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C standard, it can deliver power to your MacBook Pro through the same cable used for data, although the dock only supports up to 60 watts. That's enough for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but the 15-inch model can draw up to 85 watts, so it would charge more slowly through the dock than from its power adapter or even continue to drain depending on load.

On the USB-A side, the high-powered 1.5A ports are helpful for charging devices more quickly than a standard USB port or iPhone adapter, but don't quite match the 2.1A or 2.4A you can get from an iPad power adapter.

Tidbits


I'm not sure if it's something unique about my unit or my setup or if it's a general issue, but the dock I received makes a quiet high-pitched hissing sound when powered on and connected to my MacBook Pro depending on what else I have connected to the dock. It's not terribly bothersome and I'm sure it's something I could get used to, but I did notice it and so it's something to be aware of if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.

Interestingly, the noise stops if an SD card is inserted into the dock, so one potential solution for those experiencing the issue might be to just keep a card in the slot at all times. Similarly, connecting a display to the second Thunderbolt 3 port also stopped the noise.

OWC does include a Thunderbolt 3 cable along with the dock, but it's only a 0.5-meter cable. On the potential downside, that limits how far from your computer you can put the dock, particularly if you want to put the dock to the left of your computer and much of the cable's length is then taken up simply reaching across the back of the dock. On the positive side, if you want to keep the dock close to your MacBook Pro, you won't have a lot of excess cable to deal with on your desk.

Wrap-up


At $299, OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a significant investment, but it's not out of line with other full-featured Thunderbolt 3 docks that should also be hitting the market soon. It offers a wide variety of ports for maximum compatibility, a major plus for those encumbered by Apple's decision to include only Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro. It also makes it easy to connect everything on your desk through just one cable so you can quickly pick up your computer and go.

Support for the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds would have been welcome, but when you're potentially saturating the Thunderbolt 3 connection with displays and other accessories, it's perhaps understandable that not everything can run at the highest speeds.

OWC is still awaiting official Thunderbolt 3 certification from Intel and Apple, and so these pre-certified review units may require a firmware update to bring them up to the final shipping version, but OWC is confident that it will receive the necessary certification and that the current advance units will reflect the performance of the final retail units.

Due to the pending certification, OWC isn't yet able to commit to a specific launch date. The units are otherwise ready to go, so once Intel gives the approval and any final firmware changes are made, OWC will be able to begin shipping and we'll keep you updated on that progress.

Note: OWC provided the Thunderbolt 3 Dock to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.


Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Eric Slivka
Posted: April 29, 2017, 12:23 am
Apple today informed retail store employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers that it is extending the service coverage for first-generation Apple Watch models experiencing battery problems to three years.

In an entry in Apple's repair database (via 9to5Mac), the company explains that coverage is extended for original Apple Watch models that are seeing swollen or expanded batteries. A public announcement about the service extension has not been made, and it's not clear if Apple will offer reimbursements for customers who have already paid for battery replacements or have done battery replacements themselves.

Image via MacRumors forum user Rosepod5

Customers who have an original Apple Watch afflicted with a swollen or expanded battery will now be able to have the device repaired for up to three years after its purchase date, even when AppleCare was not purchased for the watch. From the repair database:
Apple has extended Service coverage for eligible Apple Watch (1st gen) models with an expanded/swollen battery to three years after the original date of purchase. Eligible devices will be covrered for two years beyond the original 1-year Limited Warranty.
Complaints about swollen batteries on the original Apple Watch have been circulating for a few months on reddit, the Apple Support Communities, and the MacRumors forum.

Reports are rare, but it does appear to be an issue affecting a small number of original Apple Watch users. The battery problem causes the Apple Watch screen to pop away from the casing, rendering it unusable.

The first-generation Apple Watch, first introduced in April of 2015, recently reached its second birthday on April 24.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: Apple retail
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 28, 2017, 11:51 pm
Apple has asked the California DMV to alter the rules that require it to publish detailed public reports about the success of Apple's self-driving car tests, according to papers shared by the DMV. If the DMV complies with Apple's request, less information would be included in the reports. [PDF]

In a letter, Apple says it is "investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and goes on to say the company is "excited" about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.

One of the SUVs Apple is using to test its autonomous driving software, courtesy of Bloomberg

The company then proposes that the DMV "amend or clarify" its positions in the areas of disengagement reporting, definitions, and testing without safety drivers. Apple is concerned that inconsistency in how permit holders reports disengagements can lead to media coverage that causes public confusion and misunderstanding. Apple wants disengagement reports to cover times when a driver takes control of a vehicle to prevent a crash or traffic violation, and little else.
Apple suggests the following changes to the disengagement reporting requirements to achieve an objective set of data to accurately and clearly inform the public about the safety of the automated vehicles being tested

A disengagement should be defined as an unexpected event or failure that requires the safety driver to take control of the vehicle in order to prevent a crash or traffic violation.

A disengagement should not be reported for the following:
- Operational constraints where either the safety driver has been trained to disengage the system, or when the system detects the constraint and disengages automatically. For example, a system that requires the safety driver to navigate through a construction zone.
- System errors or failures. For example, a software bug or sensor dropout that does not affect the safe operation of the system.
- Discretionary decisions made by the safety driver. For example, when the safety driver perceives a vehicle is approaching too quickly and opts to disengage the system.
- Any tests that are planned to result in a disengagement.
- The end of a test or experiment.

Additionally, the proposed requirement in §227.50(b)(3)(B)(vi) to describe the type of incident that would have happened without the disengagement should be removed. It requires speculation about future events that have not occurred.
Apple two weeks ago was granted a permit for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, and has already begun to do so. The company has three Lexus SUVs equipped with sensors and cameras, presumably running the autonomous driving software the company has been working on for the last several months. Those SUVs have been spotted on Cupertino roads this week.

By participating in the DMV's Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program, Apple will need to publicly share many details about its testing process, which will make it difficult to keep development on the software under wraps.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 28, 2017, 6:17 pm
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Pearl Automation to give MacRumors readers a chance to win the Pearl RearVision iPhone-connected wireless car backup camera system.

Priced at $499.99, the Pearl RearVision is a backup camera kit that's designed to be installed on a car's rear license plate, giving iPhone users a simple way to get an aftermarket backup camera.


This system, compatible with cars made in 1996 and newer, is designed to work with an iPhone 5 or later, and it includes a Camera Frame, Car Adapter, and Phone Mount for use with the iPhone. It's easy enough to set up that it doesn't require a professional - it's similar to installing a license plate cover.

Once the Camera Frame is installed, it connects to an iPhone running the accompanying Pearl app and displays whatever's behind the car in either portrait or landscape mode using two wide-angle 180 degree HD camera lenses, one with infrared for night vision capabilities. The Car Adapter also plugs into the car's OBD port, and the whole thing connects to the iPhone over WiFi and Bluetooth.


Pearl RearVision includes collision detection and gives audible and visual alerts when objects, including cars and people, are in the way of the car. The warning noise varies based on how close an object is to the camera.

Using the iPhone's screen, it's possible to pan left and right to get a better view of what's behind the car, and the frame itself is both water resistant and theft resistant. A built-in solar panel provides power, allowing the device to be wire-free, while a built-in battery stores power.


We have one Pearl RearVision to give away to a MacRumors reader. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (April 28) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 5. The winner will be chosen randomly on May 5 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Tag: giveaway

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 28, 2017, 6:13 pm
Merriam-Webster recently announced that it has added "sheeple" to its dictionary, an informal word that it defines as "people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced" and thereby "likened to sheep."

The first example of the word in a sentence is pretty unremarkable…
James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock. — Sara Rimer and James Bennet
…but then there's this:
Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for. — Doug Criss
Merriam-Webster, which dates back to 1843, says the first usage of the word "sheeple" was in 1945, long before the advent of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple as a company altogether. For what it's worth, the word's popularity apparently falls within the bottom 10 percent of its dictionary.

Wake up!

'Sheeple' is in the dictionary now. https://t.co/pbXVADEoBm

— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 27, 2017

Sadly, this is not the Onion.
Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Joe Rossignol
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:29 pm
Uber today announced that it will begin rolling out a simplified way for users to permanently delete their personal information from the app over the next few weeks (via The Verge). The news follows a few months of protests against the company that included Uber's perceived opportunistic business tactics during the immigration airport protests in January, the questionable actions of CEO Travis Kalanick, and the app's location sharing practices.

Prior to the update, users could delete the app from their phone, but any data Uber had obtained from its users would remain on its servers unless customers personally emailed or called the company's support team. Now, users will be able to go through this process within the app itself thanks to a new "Delete Your Account" screen, which will immediately deactivate user accounts and then permanently delete everything after 30 days.


Uber said this protracted deletion period is a way for users to reverse their decision if they change their minds. Data deleted will also affect any information that was entered in Uber's food-related spin-off app, UberEats.

Late last year and early in 2017, Uber faced a series of backlashes from the public related to the app's tracking of user data up to five minutes after a trip ends, as well as multiple reports related to Kalanick and his relationship with President Donald Trump. Uber claims that the new account deletion update isn't in response to any of those previous reports, and that it's been in the works "for more than a year."
Uber insists today’s changes aren’t a response to those campaigns. A spokesperson said today’s release has been scheduled for several months, and the changes have been in the works for even longer. “We’ve been working on improving this [account deletion] experience for more than a year,” said an Uber spokesperson.
The update will also include more customizable notification settings, as well as a few tweaks to location sharing settings when friends ask to hail a ride from where you're located. The actual main location sharing feature is still a black and white choice, so users who opt-out will have to manually enter their location each time they want to request a ride.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Uber

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Mitchel Broussard
Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:55 pm
Apple is widely rumored to be working on a Siri-based smart home device with a speaker, and Australian leaker Sonny Dickson has shared new details about its possible design and features on Twitter and with MacRumors.

Apple's smart speaker could take design cues from the Google Home

Dickson said that Apple is currently "finalizing designs" for the Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor, which he expects to be marketed as a Siri and AirPlay device. "It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology," he added, while noting that the device will run a variant of iOS software.

It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology, and is expected to run an variant iOS

— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 27, 2017

Dickson later told MacRumors that the device, allegedly codenamed B238 internally, will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls. His source, which he told us is "someone inside Apple," described the device as "fat" like the Google Home with speaker mesh covering the majority of the device.

Dickson was told Apple's smart speaker could be unveiled at WWDC 2017 in early June, but as always, the company's plans could change.

In September 2016, Bloomberg reported that Apple's smart home device had entered prototype testing, including both a larger and a smaller model in line with Amazon's current Echo lineup. However, at the time, the report cautioned that Apple's early efforts do not guarantee that a finalized product will be released.

The report said Apple's smart home device would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains through Siri voice commands. It added that some of the prototypes in testing include facial recognition sensors, backed by an earlier CNET report claiming the device could have a built-in camera for facial recognition.

Dickson is best known for leaking various iPhone and iPad parts from overseas sources, such as these iPhone 5c rear casings in 2013, but his latest information supposedly comes from a source directly within Apple, an area where his track record is less established. His sources have proven incorrect at times.


Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Joe Rossignol
Posted: April 28, 2017, 2:41 pm
Ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing has raised more than $5.5 billion from investors in China, marking the largest amount of funding earned by a technology company ever in the country. Didi, which Apple invested $1 billion into last year, is believed to use its new funding to expand beyond China, invest in artificial intelligence initiatives, and even look into various driverless and automated vehicle technologies (via Bloomberg).

Specific investors for this round of funding were left unidentified, but people familiar with the investments suggested the likes of SoftBank Group, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, China Merchants Bank Co. and one arm of Bank of Communications Co. were all backing Didi. The company's total valuation is said to have been raised from $34 billion -- which it earned after acquiring Uber's business in China -- to now sit at $50 billion.

Tim Cook catching a ride with Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu

The funding places Didi ahead of Xiaomi's $46 billion valuation, and makes the company the world's second most valuable startup after Uber's $68 billion.
Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing raised more than $5.5 billion from investors, scoring the largest round of funding ever for a technology company to bankroll an expansion beyond China and into driverless technology.

That price tag would surpass smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.’s and make Didi the world’s most valuable startup after Uber. Didi amassed $10 billion in cash and equivalents last year, but the deal yields more ammunition as it prepares to challenge Uber and Alphabet Inc. in automated driving, and buys the company time to carve out new revenue streams.
Didi's expansion beyond hailing cars is believed to become "increasingly important," due to China's increasingly strict regulations regarding qualifications for the users who drive Didi vehicles. In places like Beijing and Shanghai, the company's drivers are required to be local residents, preventing what is estimated to be thousands of potential Didi Chuxing drivers from nearby towns and countryside to work for the startup.

As a potential major pillar of its expansion, Didi executives hope that investing into driverless technology research will assist in overcoming hurdles related to China's human driver restrictions. The further Didi investigates and tests driverless technologies, the more data Apple receives on the subject, since the companies are now working together and sharing notes related to autonomous innovations one or the other might make.
Cheng and President Jean Liu hope that adopting driverless technology will help overcome such hurdles in the future. Didi wants to take advantage of data on 400 million users across some 400 cities to aid research into AI and autonomous vehicles. It opened an artificial intelligence lab in Mountain View, California last month, called Didi Labs. And it’s already lured dozens of stalwarts in the field including former Uber auto-security expert Charlie Miller, known for remotely hacking into a Jeep Cherokee in 2015.
While Didi works on implementing driverless rides for its users, Apple is said to be working on a self-driving platform of its own, with a deadline of late 2017 when the company will officially decide on the "feasibility" of its progress on the tech at that time. Just this week, a Lexus SUV was spotted leaving an Apple facility in California, coming equipped with various sensors and cameras and believed to be one of the vehicles Apple is using to test self-driving cars on the road.


Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Mitchel Broussard
Posted: April 28, 2017, 2:15 pm
About two weeks ago, Qualcomm reported that Apple suppliers were underpaying royalties in the second fiscal quarter of 2017, as a way for Apple to regain the unpaid royalties owed to the company by Qualcomm. At the time, Qualcomm wasn't sure whether or not Apple would continue to pay royalties at all, and today the manufacturer -- which provides LTE modems for iPhones -- has said that Apple will not pay its iPhone suppliers for royalties related to sales in Q1 2017.

Furthermore, Qualcomm stated that Apple has "indicated it will continue this behavior until its dispute with Qualcomm is resolved." The royalty cut-off hurts Qualcomm because the manufacturer's licensing deals are directly with iPhone suppliers.


The total loss of royalty revenue is estimated by Qualcomm to be about $500 million, which is expected to hit the company hard in terms of share prices and investors watching the dispute between the two companies. In its report adjusting the financial guidance for the third quarter of 2017, Qualcomm's previous estimate of $5.3 billion - $6.1 billion in revenue has been marked down to $4.8 billion - $5.6 billion, amid the ongoing suing and counter-suing actions taking place between Qualcomm and Apple.

In a statement, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said that the company will continue to "vigorously" defend its business model as the legal dispute continues.
Qualcomm Incorporated today announced that it has been informed by Apple Inc. that Apple is withholding payments to its contract manufacturers for the royalties those contract manufacturers owe under their licenses with Qualcomm for sales during the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Apple has indicated it will continue this behavior until its dispute with Qualcomm is resolved.

"Apple is improperly interfering with Qualcomm's long-standing agreements with Qualcomm's licensees," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. "These license agreements remain valid and enforceable. While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm's valuable intellectual property, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts. Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade. Apple's continued interference with Qualcomm's agreements to which Apple is not a party is wrongful and the latest step in Apple's global attack on Qualcomm. We will continue vigorously to defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry."
The legal dispute between the two companies follows a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, stating that Qualcomm used anticompetitive tactics to remain on top of the LTE modem supply chain for smartphones. Another contributing factor to the bad blood between the companies centers around Apple's decision to start using modem chips from Intel in some of the iPhone 7 devices launched last year, instead of tapping Qualcomm exclusively like it usually does.

Apple claimed that Qualcomm was charging unfair royalties "for technologies they have nothing to do with," since the manufacturer provides only one part of the whole of the iPhone. "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined," the Cupertino company stated in its lawsuit.

Update: In a statement to Axios, Apple confirmed that it will not make further royalty payments to Qualcomm until a court steps in to figure out how much is owed.
"We've been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years but they have refused to negotiate fair terms," Apple told Axios in a statement. "Without an agreed-upon rate to determine how much is owed, we have suspended payments until the correct amount can be determined by the court. As we've said before, Qualcomm's demands are unreasonable and they have been charging higher rates based on our innovation, not their own."



Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Mitchel Broussard
Posted: April 28, 2017, 12:54 pm
A malware research team has discovered a new piece of Mac malware that reportedly affects all versions of MacOS and is signed with a valid developer certificate authenticated by Apple (via The Hacker News).

The malware has been dubbed "DOK" and is being disseminated through an email phishing campaign which researchers at CheckPoint say is specifically targeting macOS users, making it the first of its kind.


The malware works by gaining administration privileges in order to install a new root certificate on the user's system. This enables it to gain access to all communications between the host Mac and the internet, including traffic flowing through connections encrypted with SSL.

The initial email pretends to be informing the recipient of inconsistencies in their tax return and asks them to download a zip file attachment to their Mac that harbors the malware. Apple's built-in Gatekeeper security feature reportedly fails to recognize it as a threat because of its valid developer certificate, and the malware copies itself to the /Users/Shared/ folder and creates a login item to make itself persistent, even in a rebooted system.

The malware later presents the user with a security message claiming an update is available for the system, for which a password input is required. Following the "update", the malware gains complete control of admin privileges, adjusts the network settings to divert all outgoing connections through a proxy, and installs additional tools that enable it to perform a man-in-the-middle attack on all traffic.


According to the researchers, Mac antivirus programs have yet to update their databases to detect the DOK malware, and advises that Apple revoke the developer certificate associated with the author immediately.

Back in January, researchers discovered a piece of Mac malware called Fruitfly that successfully spied on computers in medical research centers for years before being detected.

The latest discovery of malware, which appears to target predominantly European users, underlines the fact that Macs are not immune to the threat as is sometimes supposed. As always, users should avoid clicking links or downloading attachments in emails from unknown and untrusted sources.

Tag: security

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: April 28, 2017, 11:31 am
Google made its puck-like, mesh-network based wireless home router available in Canada this week, following availability in the U.S. since December and its U.K. launch earlier this month.

Google Wifi is made to boost internet coverage throughout any home regardless of the layout, similar to products like the Linksys Velop. It achieves this by using a multi-unit set-up in which the routers communicate with each other to create a wide area of network coverage with no dead spots.


The Google Wifi router aims to be easier to manage than other routers and extenders, through the use of an accompanying mobile app, which lets owners prioritize available bandwidth for certain devices in the network, control access to specific devices or groups of devices, designate network administrators, and more.

The dual-band devices also automatically select the fastest available band using machine learning algorithms that can predict busy periods on certain bands and select the optimal one accordingly.

Google Wifi in Canada starts at $179 for a single router or $439 for a pack of three. The product is available on the online Google Store as well as at Best Buy, Staples, and Walmart, with more retailers in Canada to follow.

(via TechCrunch.)

Tag: Google

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:33 am
Google is rolling out an update to its search engine for iOS users that aims to make it easier to discover media content like songs and movies online (via TechCrunch).

Whenever a Google search is performed for a piece of media, the new feature shows users icons for services that offer the content, such as iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and Spotify.


Clicking the new icons in the Knowledge Panel at the top of a search result takes the user straight to the associated service, where they can immediately start watching it or listening to it. Google will also display pricing information for the content on various services, where applicable.

Music searches will show links to streaming services like Apple Music and Pandora, but obviously there are restrictions on playback depending on whether users subscribe to the services in question.

The company says the new service links for iOS should start appearing on both the mobile web and Google Search app, which is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:44 am
Mobile phone leaker KK Sneak Leaks posted an image on Twitter this morning purporting to show one of the first third-party protective cases for Apple's upcoming redesigned OLED iPhone, which isn't expected to launch until at least September.

The transparent case has a few features that are consistent with recent schematics purporting to depict the front-running design of the so-called "iPhone 8". Most prominent is the cutout on the upper left of the case which indicates vertically aligned dual cameras, as opposed to the horizontal alignment on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Purported third-party case for "iPhone 8" via KK Sneak Leaks

Conspicuous in its absence however is any sort of opening for a fingerprint sensor located on the rear, suggesting Touch ID will remain a front-facing feature. Apple is rumored to be trying to build Touch ID into the iPhone's display, but the company has reportedly been struggling with perfecting the technology, suggesting it could resort to putting the sensor on the rear of the device.

The pill-shaped volume buttons shown in the picture on the right side appear to be in their normal places, but the power button on the left looks longer than on previous iPhones, which is something we've also seen on recent dummy models. Elsewhere, the bottom of the case indicates standard speaker grille locations either side of what will presumably be an all-in-one Lightning connector.

Early case leaks have historically been fairly accurate indicators of new iPhone designs, with some exceptions, but this is a uniquely challenging year for third-party case manufacturers looking to nail down the final design.

Apple is still thought to be testing multiple prototypes for its upcoming "10th anniversary edition" iPhone, and rather than be privy to the final design, case makers may simply resort to following the most likely one based on the same leaks covered by rumor sites, so bear those caveats in mind.

Apple's 4.7-inch OLED iPhone is likely to be sold alongside two standard "S" cycle iPhones with LCD displays, which are said to be similar in size to the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Rumors suggest the leading candidate for the final chassis is a stainless steel frame sandwiched between front and rear symmetrical glass. Apple is also supposedly working on an inductive wireless charging solution for its "premium" handset model.

Rumors also suggest Apple's "iPhone 8" supplies may be highly constrained when the new range of phones launches, making it harder to obtain in the first few months of release, although this is not an unusual claim in the months preceding a new iPhone launch.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:55 am
Apple is teaming up with popular music video app Musical.ly to promote Apple Music, reports Re/code. Apple will soon provide song snippets and clips to the service, which is designed to let users create and share their own music videos.

Apple Music content will be replacing content from UK-based provider 7digital as soon as tomorrow.


Through the partnership with Apple, and with Apple's access to licensing deals, Musical.ly will be able to expand the number of countries where it is available from 30 to 120.

Musical.ly, which calls itself an entertainment social network, has been around since August of 2014, but has recently seen a surge in popularity among teenagers. In exchange for the right to use Apple Music content, Musical.ly will promote the Apple Music service to its users and will let Apple Music subscribers listen to full songs within the Musical.ly app.


Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:42 am
Apple recently obtained a permit allowing the company to test its self-driving software on public roads in several Lexus SUVs, and now Bloomberg has shared details on the equipment Apple is using after one of the vehicles was spotted leaving an Apple facility.

Earlier this week, a white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen leaving an Apple building and was captured in a series of photos by an unnamed source who shared the images with Bloomberg. The vehicle is equipped with multiple sensors, cameras, and radar.

The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.'s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from suppliers, rather than custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos.
The vehicle is distinct from the vehicles used for Apple's mapping project, which uses a series of Dodge Caravans to capture data across the United States for the purpose of improving the Apple Maps app.

Apple was first granted a DMV permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads on Friday, April 14. At the time, a DMV spokesperson said the company had registered three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs to be driven by six Apple employees with expertise in autonomous vehicles.


Apple's permit application and the appearance of the SUV confirm its work on a car-related project. Rumors originally suggested Apple was developing its own autonomous electric vehicle, but Apple is said to have since transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a complete car.

In California, where Apple is testing its vehicles, companies that participate in the DMV's Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program must file Disengagement Reports that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicles and whether any accidents occurred, so Apple won't be able to keep much of the testing on public roads a secret.

Apple's car team, led by Bob Mansfield, reportedly has until the end of the year to prove the feasibility of an Apple-designed autonomous driving system.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 27, 2017, 10:35 pm
Apple's third retail store in the United Arab Emirates opened today at the Dubai Mall, and Apple has shared several photos from its debut on the official Apple news site.

Apple Dubai Mall, located in downtown Dubai, features massive windows with an impressive view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world, along with the Dubai Fountain below. It spans two stories and offers the design that's been seen in newer stores like Apple Union Square, plus it includes carbon fiber "Solar Wings" and a 186-foot curved storefront.


The new Dubai store features "Today at Apple" sessions focusing on art, design music, photography, videography, and coding, a feature that debuted at the Apple Store in San Francisco last year and will soon expand to all Apple retail stores around the world.


Today at Apple sessions are primarily taught by Creative Pros, which Apple has described as the "liberal arts equivalent" to its more technical Geniuses, but in select cities, well-known artists, photographers, and musicians will also teach classes.

Apple Dubai Mall is the company's third Middle Eastern store, joining stores at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 27, 2017, 9:46 pm
Nike's latest Apple Watch, the Apple Watch NikeLab, is now available for purchase from the Nike website, Nike Lab stores, and the Apple Watch pop-up shop at the Isetan department store in Tokyo.

First announced last week, the Apple Watch NikeLab pairs a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 aluminum case with a black and cream perforated Nike band.


According to Nike, the Apple Watch NikeLab is limited edition and designed to be the "ultimate style companion" for runners. Like the existing Apple Watch Nike+, the Apple Watch NikeLab features a Nike watch face and integration with the Nike+ Run Club app.

Apple Watch NikeLab has the same pricing as an aluminum Apple Watch Sport at $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model. The new watch is available exclusively from Nike and the Isetan department store, marking the first Apple Watch that is not available in Apple retail stores and from the Apple website.

Apple and Nike first teamed up in September of 2016 for the Nike+ Apple Watch that launched alongside Apple's own set of Series 2 Apple Watch devices. Apple offers two Apple Watch Nike+ models in Silver and Space Gray aluminum along with standalone Apple Watch Nike+ bands.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:31 pm
Apple today sent out an email to developers announcing App Store pricing increases in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency. The new pricing changes will go into effect before the end of next week, with Apple citing changes in foreign exchange rates as the reason behind the price hike.
Due to foreign exchange rate changes, prices for apps and in-app purchases (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) will increase in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency in the next 7 days. Auto-renewable subscription prices will not be affected. You can change the price of your subscription at any time in iTunes Connect with the option to preserve prices for existing subscribers.
French site iPhoneAddict has shared a chart listing the new pricing tiers in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, and Slovakia. In those countries, app pricing will now start at 1.09 euros, up from 0.99 euros. Similar pricing increases will be seen in the other affected countries.


Along with the App Store price change, Apple has announced that a value added tax (VAT) rate of five percent will go into effect for customers in Taiwan starting on May 1, 2017. Apps and in-app purchases will be affected.
On May 1, 2017, a value added tax (VAT) rate of 5% will go into effect for customers in Taiwan buying apps and in-app purchases. We will administer the collection of taxes from customers and the remittance of taxes to the appropriate tax authority in Taiwan. Your proceeds will be reduced accordingly, and will be calculated based on the tax exclusive price.
Apple's App Store price hike in Denmark, Mexico, and countries that use the Euro comes just a few days after Apple announced a significant decrease in its affiliate program commission rate. Sites linking to the App Store used to receive a 7 percent cut when someone purchased an app, but that number will drop to 2.5 percent next week, impacting many websites that rely on App Store commissions.

Tag: App Store

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:15 pm
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the fourth iOS 10.3.2 beta and a little over a month after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System. Apple also released a minor iOS 10.3.1 update in early April, which focused on security improvements.

Registered developers can download the fifth iOS 10.3.2 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.


Apple doesn't provide detailed release notes for its beta updates, so we don't yet know what features, improvements, or bug fixes might be coming in iOS 10.3.2, aside from some fixes for SiriKit car commands that were outlined in the release notes for the first beta.

As a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect iOS 10.3.2 to offer bug fixes and performance improvements rather than outward-facing features. No notable changes were found in the first four betas, but if anything new is found in the fifth iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.

Update: iOS 10.3.2 beta 5 has also been released for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

Discuss this article in our forums

Author: Juli Clover
Posted: April 27, 2017, 5:00 pm
The DePorres Pages © 2015 Frontier Theme