A new bill from Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) that was written after FBI briefings on encryption and the agency's stated desire to be able to unlock smartphones at will, and which has been widely criticized in its current form will get a filibuster if should reach the floor of the Senate, one senator has vowed. The bill, said Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would "effectively outlaw tech that Americans use to protect themselves," and would leave citizens "more vulnerable" if it were to pass. The White House has also indicated it will not support the bill in its present form, and also threatened a veto to another legislative proposal that would gut the Federal Communications Commission's ability to regulate rates charged by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Blizzard is hit by a DDoS attack on game servers, Rockstar responds to the $150 million lost royalty lawsuit, the latest Humble Bundle includes a collection of Telltale Games titles, and an independent game store fails to get itself listed within the Steam marketplace.
The App Store is a constantly-changing place, with new apps joining the catalog, while others adjust their prices to encourage some new sales. App Deals for iOS aims to point you in the direction of apps for your iPhone or iPad that have been reduced in price, making them an essential purchase, or in some cases, even free.
Every so often, people browse the Internet and the Mac App Store to try and find useful things to add to their app arsenal, but sometimes it's hard to find discounted apps that you really want to get. For App Deals for OS X, the MacNN staff has compiled a list of apps for your Mac that are either a great bargain, or even free for a short while.
Detroit resident Daisy Washington-Gross is suing Apple and Nike over wearable computing. In a federal court filing from last week, the woman is seeking $5 billion combined between the pair for violating her patent from the '90s on the broad topic of a "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch."
While the Mac version of QuickTime continues be well-supported and protected from security flaws, Apple has quietly revealed that it will no longer update QuickTime for Windows and is "cutting the program loose," according to Trend Micro. The data security and anti-malware company says that while there are no attacks in the wild at present exploiting the critical QuickTime flaws, users can only prevent future attacks by uninstalling the program. Trend Micro reported the two flaws it found to Apple, and was told that the company will not fix them on Windows.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN search through online retailers to find the best discounts, sales, and offers to provide to our readers. The old deals have been removed from the list and replenished with new items, including the refurbished GoPro Hero3+ Silver action camera for $150, the refurbished Apple Watch Sport from $230, and $100 iTunes credit codes for $85.
The FBI, in a new case involving a murder, has applied for a new warrant to renew expired ones in an effort to extract further data from a seized iPhone 5s running an unknown version of iOS which the agency believes has further information than it originally extracted with the help of its contractor Cellebrite. The latter company was able to obtain location data from the iPhone, according to the court filing, but failed to go further, which caused older warrants to expire. The FBI now seems to be planning to use its recently-obtained new tools and its own San Diego forensics facility to unlock additional location information.
Canadian law enforcement has had backdoor access to BlackBerry devices, it has been revealed, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police obtaining the global encryption key for BlackBerry devices since 2010. Information revealed in court documents relating to a murder involving a Montreal crime syndicate shows law enforcement as being able to intercept and read approximately one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages as part of an investigation.
After relative silence following a confirmation at CES, Samsung now appears nearly ready to offer iOS support for its Gear S2 smartwatch, based on an unfinished app that appeared on an Internet forum. While the leaked app could be fake, the company did confirm that it planned to offer iOS support for the watch, which launched last August, at some point this year. The Gear S2 is a round-faced smartwatch with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED 360x360-resolution display, powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor running Samsung's own Tizen OS, rather than Android Wear.
GoPro is planning to get its cameras used in more areas, not just for recording activities and sports events, by launching a new scheme to try and encourage more companies to try using them. The GoPro Developer Program is the camera producer's attempt to make it easier to use GoPros in various applications, both in the creation of software that interfaces with the imaging devices, and in terms of hardware to mount them as part of another product.
Many people like taking photographs with their smartphones, but some may feel the need to upgrade to a proper camera. If you want to do just that, and you've seen the MacNN Deals giveaway that provides one winner a Canon EOS 7D Mk II DSLR with an included lens, a Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash, and a one-year subscription to Adobe's photography bundle, you had better enter soon, as the giveaway is ending this Sunday.
Based on various rumors and other speculation about a possible "Apple Car" the company is allegedly working on, automotive trade publication Motor Trend on Thursday published a multi-page but fact-free speculative spread on what such a vehicle might be like. A number of 3D renders of the alleged project, designed by Garrett DeBry and rendered by Mind Over Eye, appears to envisage a car version of the iPhone and iPad designs, including the gold colors. The fanciful illustrations imagine Tesla-like "wing" doors, LED-based ambient interior lighting, and wireless charging for the electric vehicle.
Apple is changing the way parents can monitor the spending habits of their children in iTunes and the App Store, removing one key feature next month. The iTunes Allowance function, that allowed for parents to designate a monthly iTunes Store credit for specific users to use while preventing high costs, will no longer be supported on May 25, with Apple suggesting users use facilities such as Family Sharing to manage their children's spending habits instead.
It's not as if there aren't several alternatives to Apple's Mail app and it's not as if a jump from a 1.0 to a 1.1 version is ever significant. Except today. For Airmail 1.1 for iOS doesn't really add more than one tiny feature that's important, but it's important. As of this version, Airmail is now designed for iPad as well as iPhone –– and it is designed very well.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all things you can use to make your travels that little bit easier, including a slimline notebook case, a way to charge from practically any outlet, a mount for your smartphone in a vehicle, and the ability to get Internet access while on the move.
Apple's Safari browser is now the second most popular browser in the U.S., according to the federal government's Digital Analytics Program (DAP). capturing a 21.9 percent share. It moves ahead of Microsoft's once dominant Internet Explorer, which now drops to third place with a 20.1 percent share. The leading browser is Google's Chrome, which retains the number one spot with a 43.1 percent share.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has yet to find anything of "real significance" buried within the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino encryption row, according to a report. The iPhone, unlocked last month, is said to have provided very little data to the law enforcement agency as part of its investigation, which involved attempts to force Apple to cooperate in a very public battle, one the FBI cut short after seemingly finding its own solution.
We were ready to go all profound – wait, that is different from profane, isn't it? –– over what's been happening with William Gallagher's beloved TextExpander. Before we'd opened our gobs, though, makers Smile Software walked back a lot of the problems and reacted to its customers in a way that you can only applaud. So well done them and we are pleased, but we had a great pun ready for you with the word 'TextExpander'.
There's a saying that goes something like "bad artists steal from one, good artists steal from many," which basically means that if you're going to create something, you should take all your favorite ideas and create something new, rather than just recreating something that's been done before. This seems to be the philosophy the developers of our new favorite puzzle game, Stencilsmith, have followed.
Microsoft has provided more details about Marmalade, a new cross-platform SDK that it has created to bring more apps to its unified app environment for Windows 10. The new tool is aimed at game developers, and works in combination with its Visual Studio developer package. Using Marmalade, developers can simultaneously code games for iOS, Android, and Windows using C++. A key attraction for developers is that Marmalade uses a platform abstraction API that hides a lot of the complexity of coding for native platforms.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE