Tag - Carrier IQ
Energy and Commerce Committee members GK Butterfield and Henry Waxman sent a letter to Apple Wednesday asking it for more information over ongoing app privacy concerns. The two said that a reply given by Apple on March 2 "does not answer" some of the questions they had asked about what privileges apps have over photos and tracking. Apple was asked to provide representatives who would brief staff on the committee about Apple's efforts.
Congressman Ed Markey, known for criticizing Carrier IQ and the carriers that support it, has now proposed a draft bill (PDF) that aims to protect the privacy of cellphone users. The Mobile Device Privacy Act would order companies to publicly disclose whether they are using tracking software such as Carrier IQ, according to a Monday report found in the The Hill. It would also require them to reveal what information is collected and give users a consent option.
Sprint has confirmed that it is set to release over-the-air updates for Samsung's Epic 4G handset and HTC's Evo 4G and Evo Design 4G models. The updates primarily focus on removing Carrier IQ's controversial tracking software, though the company suggests it has also "bundled up a few other fixes."
On the heels of a discovery that an update to the Evo 3D pulled Carrier IQ, HTC has confirmed in a statement that all of its Android phones on Sprint will have the controversial diagnostic tool removed. It promised The Verge "maintenance releases" starting this month that would drop Carrier IQ at the same time as they provided security fixes and overall updates. How long it would take to update every phone wasn't mentioned.
A recent update for the HTC Evo 3D handset has removed the controversial Carrier IQ software, users over on the Android Central forum have found. The update was expected, and backs Sprint's earlier statement that it will back off from actively using the app. The HTC IQAgent and IQRD apps are now showing up as 0KB in the Manage Applications screen.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a call to action this week that prompts users to check which Carrier IQ profile is preloaded onto their smartphones. It wants to collect all the different profiles of Carrier IQ in the field and is asking users who find it on their phones to send them a copy. Other than the copy, they need to know which phone and network it was from and where on the phone's file system it resided.
After speaking with Carrier IQ and its customers, including carriers and handaset makers, Senator Al Franken has reportedly concluded that the central issues relate to awareness and control. In an interview with The Verge, the Minnesota senator suggests consumers should be informed of what information is being gathered from their cellphones.
Sprint in a statement Friday said the carrier had stopped collecting Carrier IQ data from phones. Representative Stephanie Vinge-Walsh explained to Android Central that the software was still in place, but the company had stopped picking up cellular data. She drew a direct link between public reaction and the move, noting that the carrier had "weighed customer concerns" before making the switch.
Following a formal petition from Senator Al Franken to handset makers and carriers in early December regarding their use of the Carrier IQ tracking app, AT&T, HTC, Samsung and Sprint have all submitted responses. Franken had written to the companies concerned that the Carrier IQ software pre-loaded on certain phones was a threat to user privacy. Although each party offered up a range of responses to the 13 questions Franken had asked, Franken still had a number of concerns arising out of the information he was provided.
Canadian BlackBerry smartphone maker RIM maintains it never gave carriers permission to install Carrier IQ software on its devices and has now detailed how users can get rid of it. T-Mobile installs the software on three BlackBerry handsets, including the Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 and the Torch 9810. Users need to download an app called IQ Agent, which will also detect and remove other third-party apps.
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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