Tag - Blackberry
This week, The MacNN Podcast deals with an unusually wide variety of topics, ranging from serious (the future of encryption) to farcical (we'd daresay anyone listening could design a better theoretical Apple Car than what Motor Trend came up with). This is a pretty good week for Apple fans, a bad week for BlackBerry fans, and a goldmine for "what th--?" type news stories. We talk about what we'd do if we ran Apple, the latest DOJ-FBI shenanigans, and much more, along with a very unusual App of the Week.
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.
Canadian phone manufacturer BlackBerry continues to slowly bleed to death. Once again, the company has posted a massive loss, posting a quarterly loss of $238 million on revenue of $464 million, after eking out a small profit in the year ago quarter. Notably, CEO John Chen claimed in a post-earnings announcement interview that the company would have to consider shedding itself of its smartphone division, should things not turn around this year for the department.
BlackBerry is not going to be releasing a smartphone using its own operating system this year, according to comments made by CEO John Chen. In an interview at CES, Chen advised that the mobile phone manufacturer will be releasing at least one new product this year, with the potential for another smartphone, but instead of running BlackBerry 10, new launches will instead be using Android as the operating system, potentially indicating a major change of strategy at the troubled device producer.
The CEO of BlackBerry has attacked Apple for its policy over resisting requests from law enforcement to bypass protections on its devices. In a blog post, CEO John Chen simultaneously asserts that legitimate users need to have more protection, at the same time as claiming to "reject the notion that tech companies should refuse reasonable, lawful access requests" to data that can potentially put someone in prison.
Hand on heart, we started with the episode title and tried to work backwards but failed. This week's episode does indeed feature the new OS X with the daft name but it also features some Android thing with a sillier one. Unless Google has named its next Android operating system Marshmallow as a nod to Veronica Mars: we'd respect that.
BlackBerry has attempted to bolster its enterprise services, by acquiring a competitor in the mobile security business. Good Technology is being bought by the mobile phone producer for $425 million in cash, with the purchase expected to help Blackberry shore up its own enterprise messaging and security platform by using Good's knowledge of iOS, Windows, and Android management and applications security.
Two major employers in the tech industry are preparing to make significant cuts to its employee numbers in the near future, according to reports. BlackBerry will be shedding staff as it attempts to turn its financial fortunes around, while Qualcomm is reportedly planning to cull a considerable number of positions as part of a review of its current strategy, with up to ten percent of its workforce potentially facing the sack.
Matching its performance in the previous quarter, Apple's iPhone again gained nearly two percent market share in the US in the last three months, according to ComScore, widening its lead as the dominant smartphone maker. While Android as a platform continued to hold the top platform position at 52.1 percent, it again suffered an overall decline of 0.7 percent, while iOS surged to 43.5, a 1.8 percent gain matched exactly by losses from Android, Microsoft, and BlackBerry.
The latest update to BlackBerry Messenger for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 devices adds more paid-for security functions to the service. The current timed and retracted messages options have been rolled into a similarly-priced $1-per-month Privacy and Control subscription, with the new Private Chat function able to strip out names and profile pictures after a short period of time, minimizing the usefulness of taking a screenshot of a conversation. The Android version of the app has also received a Material Design overhaul, while iOS users will now find their in-app font sizes will be based on the size selected in system settings.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives