• Monday Morning News


    Shortly before the turn of the new year, a report emerged that detailed exactly how the NSA had been able to capture live data from compromised iPhones as early as 2008, including a stream of the camera feed, GPS, and more. "The NSA could install special software onto iPhones as part of a program called DROPOUTJEEP, that provides significant access to user data and other relevant information", reports MacRumors, but a statement released from Apple refuted any claims it worked with the NSA to create backdoors in the iPhone, nor were they aware of the alleged snooping program.

    In lighter news, Queensland is all set to get its fourth Apple store, with the MacArthur Chambers location finally getting some official signage to, you know, make it all official, and stuff. Gary Allen from ifoAppleStore says it should be opening sometime this week, but we'll wait and see what happens.

    If there will be a 12-inch iPad like the rumours say, then Apple will likely release it sometime around September this year. A report from analyst Patrick Wang says the 12-inch iPad will be focused on the Enterprise market, and will include features such as an upgraded CPU, more RAM, and perhaps even be a hybrid of the MacBook Air and iPad.

    Did you know that you could use the new Mac Pro on its side? There's an official Apple support document that says you can. (But how do you stop it rolling around?) In related Mac Pro news, Apple released the updated Environmental Report for the new Mac Pro, OWC upgraded the CPU in it just to prove it was not only possible, but entirely feasible, and if you want to co-locate a Mac Pro, you'll soon be able to do so. Likely not in Australia, mind you, but still 270 Mac Pros will be a sight to behold.

    The iOS Fitbit app now turns your iPhone 5S into a fitness tracker of sorts. Whilst you don't have the same features as a dedicated Fitbit unit like the Flex or the One, you can still do some "basic activity tracking", whatever that includes. It might just be enough to tide you over until the Fitbit Force lands in Australia, which, according to my own research, should be within the next couple of months.

    Apple has hired the lead designer from the New York Times Magazine. Arem Duplessis worked for the 'Times for 10 years designing the cover of the New York Times Magazine, and now he's headed to Apple as a creative director.

    News is Apple has acquired SnappyLabs, the people behind the functional (read: useful and engineered, but ugly) SnappyCam. SnappyCam was great because it let you take rapid-fire photos for as long as you held down the shutter, at up to 20-30 frames per second. A pretty impressive feat, considering the images were also captured at full resolution.

    An letter penned to Apple SVP Retail and Online Angela Ahrendts details a sub-par experience in the Apple Store. Anyone that's been to an Apple Store will tell you how crazy they become due to all the people everywhere, but what you have to remember is that like Walt Mossberg says, it's not a church, it's just an Apple Store. (I don't think Mossberg gets it, but he's entitled to his opinion.)

    Dan Rodney has an impressive list of Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts for you to peruse. And speaking of keyboard shortcuts, I was delighted over the weekend to fix an issue which had been plaguing me for months: Mavericks resolutely refused to sync my text shortcuts with my iPhone, and all because Documents and Data was unchecked in the iCloud preference pane. One small check in a box later, and my text shortcuts were back.

    Peter Cohen thinks we should get rid of App Store ratings. Keep the reviews, because the reviews can be informative, but at the moment, many apps are begging for reviews because it's a way to push themselves higher in the charts. Maybe the App Store should adopt a YouTube-like thumbs up or down scale, instead of the star-based rating system it currently has.

    If you're a part of the jailbreak scene, AppLocker lets you lock individual apps with Touch ID. Seems incredibly useful if you have sensitive info you want to keep from prying eyes, but I don't think I'll be jailbreaking my phone specifically for this.

    Remember the time when Nokia removed their HERE maps app from the App Store because they thought the design of iOS 7 harmed the user experience? Oh, wait, that was actually a thing that happened. Nevermind, then move along, nothing to see here.
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