Mid-cycle iOS Update

Apple shipping new features in iOS 9.3

This latest iOS release adds numerous innovations to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. There are improvements to a wide range of apps, along with great new additions to CarPlay. iOS 9.3 may even help you get a good night’s sleep. And you’ll find a preview of new features that will make using iPad in schools easier and better for students and admins.

[via Apple]

This is the first time since the original iPad and iOS 3.2 that I can recall Apple doing a mid-cycle iOS update with new features. Every September with the release of that year’s iOS there is always a slew of new features, but in the interim it seems Apple’s most popular OS can feel a bit stale. This mid-cycle feature update is by no means indication for a trend, but I might like to see more of it. After all, Google (through a different deployment strategy) is able to stay on top of things throughout the year, so it would be great if Apple started doing this sorta thing.

Night Shift

If you’ve heard of f.lux, either on your Mac or through jail breaking, it looks like Apple is finally Sherlocking this app.

Notes

Notes is finally going secure, either with a password, or with Touch ID. Obviously there are numerous note taking apps out there, but I like Notes best. It’s simple, it syncs among all my devices, and as of iOS 9 has a robust enough feature-set for most. As a privacy-wonk it’s great to see another level of protection applied to the notes app.

Car Play

Apple has been talking the talk about Car Play for a while, but they’re not walking the walk. This year a few companies might be on board, but I doubt this feature is going anywhere.

Apple, stop trying to make fetch happen. Fetch isn’t going to happen.

Education

Shared iPad

When a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible, Shared iPad offers an elegant solution that lets students enjoy the benefits of having their own iPad in whatever classroom they’re in. They simply log in to any iPad, and their content is ready to go.

Folks, especially families, have been pining to multi-user iOS for ages. It is so incredibly common to hear of families and their children sharing a communal iPad that it boggles the mind that Apple hasn’t introduced this feature yet.

This looks like a step in the right direction, but I’m afraid Apple might drop the ball on this and only make it available for educators. It’s all well and good to have an education-centric feature like this, but it would be far far more loved and used by the common person than educators alone. Perhaps it’ll be a pillar of iOS 10.

Availability

The iOS 9.3 developer beta was released today. I’m on the consumer beta track, so I should have access in a few weeks. I’ll make a post about my thoughts after I get a chance to test it out.

Typically the time from dev beta to public release is 4-6 weeks, so tentatively expect 9.3 to be ready in February.


Typed on Octopage

A Terrifying Piece of Paper


Yup! Powerball will be at 1.3 billion dollars by Wednesday’s drawing. At least 1.3 billion dollars.

That’s definitely a dollar amount where winning would become terrifying. If you were to win a dollar amount that’s life-changing but still well below what a dope could squander away, you could choose to remain anonymous and make it stick. The only people who’d know would be your closest friends. And only the observant ones. “Andy never orders guac on his burrito; that’s, like, a $2.50 upcharge” would be the first loose thread that would unravel my cloak of lies.

Andy Ihnatko on Wednesday’s Powerball.

It’s amazing to think of all the good that one could do with that sum of money, but the thought of that much wealth is as Andy says: terrifying.


Typed on Orange Alps64

Turns out Swiss Watchmakers Aren't Original Either


Did you think that was an Apple Watch? You’d be wrong.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Swiss Alp Watch is that it, well, looks exactly like the Apple Watch.You’ve got that beautiful, rounded, rectangular-shaped case that oozes the great Jony Ive-led Apple Design team. But instead of a touch screen with any number of apps, you have a gorgeous grey fume dial, something for which Moser is well known among watch aficionados. The lugs, which look just like the wire lugs found on the higher end Apple Watches, actually use a spring bar, but the effect is there.

Only 50 pieces will be made, all in white gold, and at a price of $24,900 – only a little bit more than the all-rose-gold Apple Watch Edition.

If the watch costs that much, I wonder how much the photocopier was.

[via Hodinkee]


Typed on Octopage

Attack of the Clones


Every year at CES we see various OEMs debut that year’s clones of what Apple did the previous year. Products the OEMs just weren’t original enough to think of themselves. Hell, they don’t settle for copying just the look, they copy the colors too.

What’s being cloned this year? The Macbook.

The photocopier market must be strong.

OEMs, please start coming up with original ideas. There are companies out there who are capable.

[via Macrumors]


Typed on Orange Alps64

Brian Krebs' PayPal Account Compromised Again


The perpetrator tried to further stir up trouble by sending my PayPal funds to a hacker gang tied to the jihadist militant group ISIS. Although the intruder failed to siphon any funds, the successful takeover of the account speaks volumes about why most organizations — including many financial institutions — remain woefully behind the times in authenticating their customers and staying ahead of identity thieves.

[via Krebs on Security]

I consider myself a privacy and security wonk. I take the best measures that are readily accessible to secure my online presence. I use long pseudorandom passwords, I change most account passwords a few times a year, and I employ 2-Factor authentication whenever possible.

The bottom line is that no amount of good passwords and out-of-band security is a match for a determined hacker and poor company policies.

It never ceases to amaze me that financial institutions seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to data security. They are often susceptible to social engineering, they allow passwords to be brute-forcible by limiting password character lengths, and rarely offer any sort of 2-factor authentication.


Typed on Octopage