Sunday, April 27, 2014

Apple offers to replace faulty iPhone 5 on/off buttons for free

by Luke Dormehl

Luke Dormehl (1:06 am PDT, Apr 26th)

Does your iPhone 5 suffer from a dodgy power button? If so, Apple will repair it free of charge, according to a new announcement made by the company.

“Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple states. “iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue.”

iPhone users experiencing the problem can visit Apple’s website, enter their phone’s serial number and — hey presto! — see if their device is one of the faulty ones Apple is referring to.

Replacing devices isn’t usually Apple’s style. The move isn’t unprecedented, however.

Following the “Antennagate” incident of 2010, Apple gave iPhone 4 users free cases to alleviate the problem. In 2011, Apple issued a recall of MacBook MagSafe power adapters that were prone to splitting. And in October last year, the company recalled flash memory drives for certain models of MacBook Air.

North American customers can take advantage of the iPhone 5s replacement program this instant. People in other countries need to wait until May 2. Users can take their iPhones into their local Apple Store or other authorized Apple dealer, or else mail them in.

There is one extra note, though: if you have otherwise damaged your iPhone by, for example, cracking its screen, and see this as a chance for a no-questions-asked fix, Apple points out that other issues will need to be resolved (possibly at a cost) prior to the sleep/wake button replacement.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Here’s more evidence that the next iPad will have a fingerprint scanner

by Brad Reed,

April 25 01:42 PM

With Apple looking to get more deeply into the mobile payments game, it makes all the sense in the world that the company would equip its iPads with Touch ID fingerprint scanners like the ones found in the iPhone 5s. MacRumors points us to some new evidence uncovered by French iOS developer @bp_unicorn, who has discovered references to the iPad in the latest Touch ID code in iOS 7.1.

Although this reference to the iPad has been present in past iOS updates, MacRumors says that it’s still an indication that Apple is working on getting Touch ID support ready for the iPad. And really, there’s no reason to think otherwise, especially since Amazon has had such success turning its Kindle Fire line of tablets into lucrative shopping portals for its online retail operation.

Apple revealed during its quarterly earnings report this week that it now has more than 800 million users with iTunes accounts and the vast majority of them have registered their credit cards with the online store. Many analysts have said that this is a major potential untapped resource that could help Apple generate even more revenue if it can successfully figure out how to make its smartphones and tablets into popular mobile payment devices.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Apple's Own Trademark Now Includes Protection For Jewelry And Watches

by Bryan M. Wolfe,

April 21

Since last June, Apple has been acquiring the “iWatch” trademark in a number of countries, no doubt in preparation for the release of its long-rumored wearable device. Cupertino has also expanded the use of its own Apple trademark in recent months to reflect its likely move into jewelry, according to MacRumors.

Internationally, there are 45 different classes of trademarks. One of these, Class 14, is exclusively for jewelry, clocks, and watches.

The report notes, “Watches and other jewelry are part of Class 14, which is focused on precious metals/stones and products made from those materials. While some of Apple’s trademarks on the Apple name have previously included some goods from Class 14, the company is now broadening and cleaning up its trademark applications in those areas.”

The iWatch is likely to unveiled later this year. The wearable device could feature a flexible
AMOLED display, and 3-D protective glass. It may come in two different sizes – one with a 1.5-inch screen, and the other with a 1.3-inch display.Apple has added Class 14 protection to their trademark in Ecuador, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Interestingly enough, Chapter 14 is not covered by the Apple name in the United States.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

7 interesting findings about seniors’ Internet use from Pew Research

by Stephanie Baum,

April 18 01:11 PM

Senior Americans’ grasp of the Internet and mobile devices is more complex than most people may realize, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. About six in 10 Americans aged 65 and older use the Internet and about 47 percent say they have broadband access at home. But age and income make a big difference in that user base.

The report on seniors’ Internet use was based on a survey of more than 5,000 Americans aged 65 and older. For those in the business of developing health IT and mobile health tools for this demographic, here are some of the most interesting findings.

A little more about age: Once seniors hit the 75-79 age group, Internet adoption falls to 47 percent and broadband adoption decreases to 34 percent.

Income and education level play a role: Pew’s report highlights two distinct groups of seniors. Retirement aged Americans that tend to use the Internet fall between 65 and 75, are highly educated and affluent and tend to have a positive view toward online platforms. But older, less affluent seniors with health and disability challenges tend to be disconnected from the digital world “both physically and psychologically,” according to the report.

Social networks: Here are some interesting stats for entrepreneurs and companies with a healthcare marketing strategy around seniors. About 46 percent of seniors who go online also said they use social networks like Facebook. More women aged 65 and older use social networking sites (52 percent), but only 39 percent of men in the same age bracket said they did. The younger they are, the more likely they are to tap social networks. About 54 percent of Internet users in the 65-69 bracket use social networking sites, compared with 27 percent of Internet users ages 80 and older. But they’re not big on Twitter — only 6 percent said they used it.

Smartphones: Although 77 percent of seniors own a cell phone, which is a big jump from 69 percent just a couple of years ago, only 18 percent use smartphones.

Comfort level: Older Americans generally are not comfortable learning new technology on their own. Personally, I think one of the biggest reasons for this is they think they’ll break something or do something wrong. Most of my Internet navigation experience is based on making mistakes, so I am inclined to think this is a generational issue. At the same time, the report points out that there’s definitely a willingness to learn how to use devices such as tablets and smartphones with assistance. About 77 percent said they would need someone to help them vs. 18 percent who said they’d learn on their own.

Frequency: Among seniors who use the Internet, 71 percent said they go online every day or almost every day compared with 11 percent who said they use the Internet three to five times per week.

Health condition challenges: The survey also looked at seniors who said they either had a condition that made reading challenging or have a disability, handicap, or chronic disease that prevents them from fully participating in many common daily activities. About 39 percent fall into one of these two categories, and it means they are less likely to use the Internet or mobile devices than other seniors. Just under half said they used the Internet (compared with 66 percent of seniors in general). Still, the ownership rate for tablets and e-books was pretty similar compared with older Americans who don’t have these physical challenges (22 percent vs 30 percent).

Copyright 2014 MedCity News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple Says iOS, OSX and “Key Web Services” Not Affected by Heartbleed Security Flaw


April 10 03:42 PM

Apple said Thursday that its mobile, desktop and Web services weren’t affected by a major flaw in a set of security software used by hundreds of thousands of websites.

The flaw, codenamed “Heartbleed” and first reported by Web security firm Codenomicon, was discovered in a technology called “OpenSSL” — a set of encryption software used by Web companies to safeguard user information. Sites that use OpenSSL will display a small “lock” icon in the top left-hand corner of your Web browser’s address bar (though not all sites showing this lock use OpenSSL); the technology is used on more than two-thirds of websites across the Internet.

“Apple takes security very seriously. IOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key Web-based services were not affected,” an Apple spokesperson told Re/code.

Apple’s statement comes in the days after the disclosure rocked companies and Web security wonks across the world; security expert Bruce Schneier called Heartbleed “catastrophic” in a blog post this week. “On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11,” he wrote.

Major Internet firms scrambled to issue patches to fix the flaw in their Web services in the following days, but companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo all admitted periods of time in which their services could have been susceptible to the Heartbleed flaw.

Security experts have reminded users to update passwords across any sites that may have been affected, but only after the companies have updated their security software.

It has also been suggested that people start using password management tools like Lastpass, 1Password and Apple’s own Safari Browser password generator in order to keep track of multiple passwords across various accounts, rather than using one single password phrase for every account.