Apple confirms next iPhone announcement on 4 October


Apple iPhone 5

Image by tychay via Flickr

Apple has finally confirmed what we have all known for a while – that on 4th October it will be announcing something big to do with the next iteration of the iPhone. In issuing invitations to various media organisations, as always, it has been tantalising cryptic with just “Let’s talk iPhone” on the invite with some graphics showing the date, time, location and an icon of a phone.

So, what will be revealed on the day (taking place at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, starting at 10:00 AM PT on 4th October)? The jury is still out but when you consider the specification of the Samsung Galaxy SII, it had better be better or Apple will come under fire for failing to impress. We Apple Aficionados are loyal but also hard to please, it has to be said!

Here, in case you have forgotten is what the Samsung Galaxy SII specification is:

  1.  4.3″ SUPER AMOLED Plus display
  2. Dual Core Processor
  3. 16GB/32GB (with MicroSD up to 32GB)
  4. 8MP Camera AF with LED Flash + 2MP Front
  5. Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
  6. HSPA+ 21Mbps/ HSUPA 5.76Mbps
  7. EDGE/ GPRS Class 12
  8. Quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  9. Quad band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100
  10. MicroUSB, 3.5mm Ear Jack
  11. Android Platform 2.3 OS
  12. 1650mAh Battery
  13. A-GPS
  14. Various image and video standards – inc. PEG, PNG, GIF, WBMP, BMP, AGIF, MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV, DivX, Xvid, VC-1 and Recording & Playback 1080@30fps
Samsung Galaxy SIIYes, we know Apple is suing Samsung for copying the iPhone but, whatever the outcome of that legal spat, Apple still has to trump Samsung when it brings out the next iPhone. The version number doesn’t matter, it’s the specification and usability that does. So, what can we expect to see on the day?
My guess is that as always with Apple, it’s not just the actual handset that matters, but also the iOS features. Sure, we should see a better camera and screen resolution than on the iPhone 4. We may also see some integration with Nuance and their voice recognition software, including voice control. I hazard a guess too that we will see some announcement of a so-called iPhone 4S, possibly a cheaper version of the iPhone 4 to broaden the appeal to a wider market.
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Lion OS X available for mere $29.99 from App Store. Arrives July.


OS X Lion revealed at WWDCFinally, Lion OS X was unveiled after much fanfare and expectation at Apple’s WWDC on the 6th June. Perhaps the greatest surprise was the price and the fact that it will be available only though the App Store. The download will be 4GB and you won’t need to reboot! The price will be $29.99 (£20.99) and you will be able to install it all your Macs that are authorised on your Apple account. You will also be able to purchase the Server version for just $49.99 (UK price TBC), a huge reduction on the previous price of $999!

The next iteration of OS X comes with 250+ improvements (though most are minor tweaks). Here is the most important ones (as chosen by Apple):

OS X LIon's new featuresHighlights look to be Mission Control, Multi-Touch Gestures and Resume.

Mission Control:

Mission Control brings together full-screen apps, Dashboard, Exposé and Spaces in one new feature that gives you a bird’s-eye view of everything on your system. With a single swipe on the trackpad, your desktop zooms out to Mission Control. Think of it as the hub of your system: view everything and go anywhere with just a click.

Mission ControlApple has brought together the functionality of Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces and full-screen apps into one place. By using the trackpad or the Mission Control icon in the Dock, you can zoom your desktop and voila, the Mission Control GUI appears! nWith Mission Control, a row of thumbnails appears at the top of your screen. Icons represent Dashboard, desktop spaces and your full-screen apps. The lower part of the screen shows an Exposé view of the open windows on your desktop grouped by app. To get where you want to go, just swipe left or right. Or click a thumbnail. Simple!

You can create new ‘spaces’ easily by just dragging an app to the top row of icons on the screen or by clicking on the + icon in the top row. If you want to move windows to a new space then just drag it from the Exposé area to the icon at the top for that particular space.

Multi-Touch Gestures:

Multi-touch gestures allows you to tap, scroll, pinch and swipe to navigate around your Mac in an intuitive manner.

Multi-Touch Gestures

With Multi-Touch Gestures, when you scroll down on your trackpad or Magic Mouse, your document scrolls down. When you scroll up, your web page scrolls up. When you swipe left, your photos move left. In addition, Lion introduces new animations, making it all seem more fluid and enhancing the whole experience. In addition, in OS X Lion, the scroll bar appears only when you scroll. So it doesn’t get in the way of the content on the screen.

Resume:

Apps resume when launched

When you launch an application, it appears exactly as you left it. All the open windows, palettes and panes — even the cursor position and highlighted text — come back just as they were.

System resume on restart

When you restart your computer, OS X Lion pauses your system so everything comes back just as you left it. All the apps that were running reopen, and windows appear exactly as they were, so you can begin working immediately.

Clean start

Lion lets you choose a clean start, so you return to a fresh desktop after you restart your Mac.

All in all, the next version of OS X looks like it will improve what is already the best user-experience beyond anything in Windows 7 or Linux. Also, the gradual alignment of features in OS X and iOS should help make the whole experience of switching between your Mac, iPhone and iPad all that much more smoother. This can only be a good thing and may actually help sell more Macs. Good news all round basically.

iCloud confirmed by Apple – but what is it exactly?


iCloud ServiceSo, Apple has confirmed what the WWDC will cover but not in detail. So we know that iCloud, iOS and Lion but we don’t much more that is new. All Apple will say about iCloud is that Steve Jobs will be introducing “Apple’s upcoming cloud service offering”. Still, at least its confirmation that MobileMe is about to replaced as there would be no point in continuing it alongside iCloud. Whether iCloud is going to be much more than MobileMe is anyone’s guess (unless you are ‘in the loop’). However, it wouldn’t make much sense if it was offering basically the same service. So, this has led to more speculation about exactly what we will be getting with iCloud and also if we will have to pay for it or will it be free?

The use of the term “cloud services” would seem to indicate that this is going to be something beyond an upgrade to iTunes to allow music streaming from “the cloud”. Could we see a truly seamless service between desktop, iPad and iPhone with one’s date (of all kinds) synced on the go with little user intervention? It would certainly be a step up from MobileMe and iDisk. If DropBox can offer its excellent service that ‘just works’ then Apple should be able to go one better.

Certainly, whatever it will turn out to be, iCloud will no doubt integrate fully with iOS5 and Lion. This will make Apple’s platform even more attractive and should build on the recent continuing success of the iPad and iPhone.

WWDC to see back-to-school promotion?


The brushed aluminum back of the iPad Wi-Fi

Image via Wikipedia

As the time for Apple’s WWDC draws ever closer the rumours about what it may herald grow with each passing day. Of course, most folk expect to see announcements about iOS and the iPhone, along with Lion. However, folk are always looking for a great deal and even though we are all used to paying premium prices for our love of all things Apple, from time to time Apple offers some great deals.

One deal that everyone looks forward to (parents and students alike at least) is the back-to school promotion. Each year Apple offers deals whereby if you buy new Apple kit (usually a new iMac or Macbook) you get a free or heavily discounted iPod. Rumour is that Apple will be offering either a free iPod Touch or $229 towards the purchase of another model of iPod. Question is, with the ever growing popularity of the iPad, will Apple make it possible to use this towards the cost of an iPad? It would certainly be a popular offer and I reckon that many folk would prefer an iPad to any iPod.

I guess we will have to wait and see. At least we haven’t got long to wait. Shame that whatever it will be, its only for educational purchasers.

Safari Gets Security Update, along with iOS and Mac


Apple Safari icon

Image via Wikipedia

Apple has released an update for Safari on both the Mac and Windows platforms. At the same time it has released updates for iOS and the Mac. These are security updates to close an exploit recently demonstrated at the PWN2OWN security challenge. It was Charlie Miller, a security researcher, who  successfully exploited iOS earlier this year by successfully hacking into an iPhone. Apple’s iOS also uses the WebKit rendering engine, which was exploited by VUPEN security in their 5 second attack on Mac OS X.

Here is what Apple says about the Safari update:

Products Affected

Safari 5 (Windows), Safari 5 (Mac OS X 10.6), Safari 5 (Mac OS X 10.5), Product Security

Safari 5.0.5

  • WebKitAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.5 or later, Mac OS X Server v10.6.5 or later, Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later

    Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

    Description: An integer overflow issue existed in the handling of nodesets. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

    CVE-ID

    CVE-2011-1290 : Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers, and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann working with TippingPoint‘s Zero Day Initiative

  • WebKitAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.5 or later, Mac OS X Server v10.6.5 or later, Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later

    Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

    Description: A use after free issue existed in the handling of text nodes. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

    CVE-ID

    CVE-2011-1344 : Vupen Security working with TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative, and Martin Barbella

Note:

Certificates Trust Policy

Several fraudulent SSL certificates were issued by a Comodo affiliate registration authority. This may allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to redirect connections and intercept user credentials or other sensitive information. Safari relies on the certificate store of the host operating system to determine if an SSL server certificate is trustworthy. For Mac OS X systems, this issue is addressed with Security Update 2011-002. For iOS, this issue is addressed with iOS 4.3.2 and iOS 4.2.7. For Windows systems, applying the update described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2524375 will cause Safari to regard these certificates as untrusted. The article is available athttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/2524375

Here is what it has to say about the Security Update for Mac:

This document describes Security Update 2011-002, which can be downloaded and installed via Software Updatepreferences, or from Apple Downloads.

For the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available. To learn more about Apple Product Security, see the Apple Product Security website.

For information about the Apple Product Security PGP Key, see “How to use the Apple Product Security PGP Key.”

Where possible, CVE IDs are used to reference the vulnerabilities for further information.

To learn about other Security Updates, see “Apple Security Updates“.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6, Product Security

Security Update 2011-002

  • Certificate Trust PolicyAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.7, Mac OS X Server v10.6.7

    Impact: An attacker with a privileged network position may intercept user credentials or other sensitive information

    Description: Several fraudulent SSL certificates were issued by a Comodo affiliate registration authority. This may allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to redirect connections and intercept user credentials or other sensitive information. This issue is addressed by blacklisting the fraudulent certificates.

    Note: For iOS, this issue is addressed with iOS 4.3.2 and iOS 4.2.7. For Windows systems, Safari relies on the certificate store of the host operating system to determine if an SSL server certificate is trustworthy. Applying the update described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2524375 will cause Safari to regard these certificates as untrusted. The article is available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2524375

    For mre info on all the recent updates visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

WWDC set for 6th June


Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011

Apple has officially announced the date of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The event will run June 6th through the 10th, and take place at Moscone West in San Francisco.

The strap-line would seem to indicate that the focus of this year’s event will be software and not hardware. That may well mean that we won’t see any new hardware unveiled. So, if you were hoping for the iPad 3, iPhone 5 or new iMacs or Mac Pros you might well be disappointed.

What we may well see is the unveiling of the final release version of Lion OS X and iOS 5. BTW if you were hoping to attend its already sold out!

Read more: http://developer.apple.com/wwdc/

iOS 4.3.1 Software Update available


You can now download the latest (free) iOS 4.3.1 Software Update and get new features that let you do even more with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

You can grab your download for your particular device through iTunes. Direct download links are:

The update has the following fixes:

• Fixes an occasional graphics glitch on iPod touch (4th generation)

• Resolves bugs related to activating and connecting to some cellular networks

• Fixes image flicker when using Apple Digital AV Adapter with some TVs

• Resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services

For more information, please visit this website:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222