• Monday Morning News


    To quell fears the NSA would somehow harvest the fingerprints of millions of iPhone 5s users worldwide, Apple has spoken with the Wall Street Journal, giving more details about how the fingerprint recognition works. It seems as though the iPhone 5s won't actually store images of your fingerprints on the device, but just fingerprint data which is then used to unlock the phone and authenticate iTunes purchases. And if, by chance, hackers manage to crack the encryption on the secure storage used for your fingerprint data, they probably wouldn't be able to reverse-engineer your fingerprint. All part and parcel of the fingerprint sensor that's leaps and bounds ahead of the ones you've already seen in laptops.

    It happens every time Apple put out the next big thing. There's always someone that says they're underwhelmed by what Apple announced, or wish they did this, or did that. But if you ask me, this has always been Apple: gradual changes over many iterations which mean that we have one of the best smartphone platforms today. It's the marriage of hardware and software that makes things, you know, just work.

    Speaking of controlling both hardware and software, have you ever noticed how Android photo quality doesn't quite compare to the iPhone? Justin Williams has, and he says Apple will never lose at photography. Sure hardware and software integration has something to do with it, but last week's event proved that Apple still knows where the big improvements are to be had; starting with bigger pixels in the sensor, and ending with true tone flash.

    There's been a small increase in battery life in Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c. The iPhone 5c jumps 5% over the battery capacity of the iPhone 5 to a 1507mAh battery, and the iPhone 5s jumps 10% to a 1570mAh battery. Still, even those modest increases are enough for a few extra hours of LTE browsing and a jump in standby battery life, as the iPhone 5c and 5s specs show.

    Apple has released OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 over the weekend. 10.8.5 spent a little extra time in development, probably beacuse it'll be the last one before Mavericks is expected to hit later in October but like every release of OS X, there are a few bug fixes, including a fix for an issue that would prevent Mail from displaying messages.

    Griffin's MultiDock is a charge-everything monster that's unbelievably practical if you're either a) a gadget-lover with a million devices that can charge via USB, or b) an organisation, business, or school that needs to charge a fleet of devices easily. Even a developer with a few testing devices could benefit from having on of these things around.

    One thing that has changed, however, is Siri. Not only can she tell you what Lady Gaga's been saying on Twitter (or is that tweeting?), but it appears that she has lost her "beta" label. Yes, Apple's personal assistant is no longer in beta and about time too, seeing as there's a lot Siri can do.

    Parallax means slightly larger wallpapers (744x1392, if you're thinking of designing your own) for the iPhone 5, but the real hotness is those dynamic wallpapers. Android users will know what I'm talking about, but dynamic wallpapers never looked as good as they do in iOS 7. Sadly, it doesn't look as though Apple will allow dynamic wallpapers the process for creating them seems rather complicated.

    I've been using iOS 7 for a little while now, so I'm not really looking forward to how fresh and new it all feels. I am, however, looking forward to some truly great app updates which fit into the new look and feel of iOS. One such update is Instapaper, which is coming with a new interface and improved article sorting.

    But as much as I look forward to app updates, there will, inevitably, be some apps that won't be worth the development time to update to iOS 7. I'm not sure that was the case for Consume, but Bjango are choosing to retire Consume to focus on other projects. Consume will live on in the Purchased section of your iTunes library, and, maybe, even on your device, but there won't be any updates to it any more.

    With the Gold Master of iOS 7 released to developers last week and coming out this week for the general public, what's changed in iOS 7 since June? Quite a bit, actually. The Verge has a summary of some of the things that were reworked, tweaked, or improved upon during the beta period sadly, the icons for some of Apple's default apps aren't among them, but thankfully, there's plenty more to like in iOS 7.

    I'm not alone in my hate of those icons, either, because apparently iOS 7 was designed for 13-year old girls. "Most of the icons are a mishmash of pastels that exude emotionally incoherent inconsistency", and "The iOS 7 beta icons practically ooze estrogen!". You know what else was designed for 13-year old girls?
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