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Posts tagged with "iPhone"

iOS 10: Wishes and Concept Video

iOS 10 concept.

iOS 10 concept.


(Full-res)

I almost can't believe there was a time when the iPad didn't have Split View. Or that, for years, I thought Apple would never bring split-screen multitasking to iOS.

More than any other iOS update before, iOS 9 has fundamentally reinvented the role of the iPad in my computing life. As I've written in my iOS 9 review and look at the iPad one year after my decision to stop using my Mac, iOS 9 and its multitasking improvements have catapulted the iPad away from the old limitations of iOS into a different league.

With iOS 9 and the iPad Pro, the list of tasks I can't perform on my iPad is down to a single item.

I've never been happier with an iOS device and operating system than I am with the iPad Pro and iOS 9. Getting my work done is faster; using apps in Split View is a treat compared to iOS 8; and the software keyboard (despite some problems) continues to impress me with the addition of trackpad mode and the Shortcut Bar. The iPhone 6s, too, has been a pleasant surprise thanks to its superior performance and 3D Touch.1

There's never been a better time to be an iOS user. But that doesn't mean that everything's perfect. When it comes to iOS, happiness is often a fleeting moment – a temporary satisfaction with the current state of things before the inevitable longing for something deeper. Such is the constant pursuit of the future.

Every year, I put together a list of the changes I'd like to see in the next version of iOS. I've been doing this for several years now. This year, I wanted to prepare something bigger. The tenth version of iOS due to be released later this year will be a major milestone for Apple and iOS users. It only felt appropriate to celebrate the occasion with a different take on my annual iOS wish list.

For the past few months, I've been collaborating with Sam Beckett (author of a fantastic Control Center concept we linked to a while back) to visualize my iOS 10 wishes with a professional concept video and static mockups. Sam and I discussed my ideas for a couple of months, and he was able to visualize2 what I would like to have in iOS 10 – both for the iPhone and iPad – with a style and attention to detail I'm extremely happy with.

Below, you'll find a collection of my iOS 10 wishes, organized in tentpole features (the ones also shown in the video) plus additional sub-sections. Some of these wishes have been on my list for years; others are a consequence of the features Apple shipped with iOS 9.

Let's get started.

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  1. I use 3D Touch heavily every day. Peek previews for tweets and links in Tweetbot, Home screen actions, keyboard cursor control, and channel shortcuts in Slack are gestures I intuitively perform daily. ↩︎
  2. He was also very patient. As you can imagine, I sent him a lot of ideas and comments before signing off on the final version. I can't recommend working with Sam enough. ↩︎

Sean Malto Skateboard Documentary Shot on iPhone

Ghost Digital Cinema released a documentary about professional skateboarder Sean Malto that was shot entirely on an iPhone using an app called FiLMiC Pro, which is just $9.99 on the App Store. The filmmakers supplemented the iPhone with equipment like professional lenses, a gimbal and a drone, but the heart of the operation was an iPhone and a $10 app.

In addition to the documentary, Ghost Digital Cinema posted a behind the scenes video explaining how they made the Malto documentary. The amazing things that people make on their iPhones never never ceases to amaze me.


FBI Accessed San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone Without Apple, Drops Litigation

Sheera Frenkel and Hamza Shaban, writing for BuzzFeed:

The Justice Department (DOJ) announced Monday that it had successfully accessed data on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and that it was dropping its case against Apple to help unlock the phone.

Investigators are no longer seeking Apple’s help to penetrate the device, according to a court filing by the DOJ Monday.

A week ago the Department of Justice successfully postponed a court hearing after revealing that the FBI had been approached by a third party who had a possible method to unlock the iPhone (subsequently rumored to be Israeli firm Cellebrite). That method appears to have paid off, with the Department of Justice asking the court to vacate the order compelling Apple to assist the FBI and writing in its Status Report to the court that:

The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court's Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.

In response to the Department of Justice's Status Report, Apple issued a response to The Verge and other media outlets:

From the beginning, we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government's dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.

We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.

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Court Grants the Justice Department’s Request for iPhone Hearing to Be Postponed

A hearing scheduled for Tuesday, 22 March 2016, between Apple and the Justice Department was unexpectedly cancelled on Monday after a request from the Justice Department. In its application requesting Tuesday's hearing to be postponed, the Justice Department stated that a third party approached the FBI on Sunday with a possible method that could unlock the iPhone, without requiring assistance from Apple.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.

Judge Sheri Pym granted the request after Apple did not object, and the Justice Department will now have to file a status report by 5 April 2016. The court order compelling Apple to assist the FBI has also been stayed by Judge Pym "pending further submissions" because Monday's submissions from the Justice Department have resulted in "uncertainty surrounding the government's need for Apple's assistance".

It is not clear who contacted the FBI with the possible method, and on a call with BuzzFeed and other reporters, a law enforcement official refused to name them, other than saying that it came "from outside the U.S. government". Apple's attorney told reporters that it did not know what the supposed vulnerability is, but that fixing it will be "an urgent priority for the company" and that they will insist that the government share details of the exploit if the case moves forward.

As The New York Times points out, it is unlikely that this is the last we will hear about this case, particularly if the FBI concludes that the new method will not work. In any case, we will learn more when the Justice Department files their status report in the coming weeks before the court imposed deadline of 5 April 2016.

“This will only delay an inevitable fight over whether the government can force Apple to break the security of its devices,” said Alex Abdo, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, an advocacy group.

For the Justice Department, cracking the iPhone would be a mixed blessing. While it would give investigators access to data that they see as crucial to a terrorism investigation, it would cut short the encryption debate that the F.B.I. had been trying to start for years before the Apple case came along.

Courtesy of BuzzFeed, you can read the Justice Department's motion to vacate here, and the Court's order here.

[via BuzzFeed and The New York Times]


Some Post-Event iPhone Extras

After today's Apple Event, we've compiled some interesting hands-on coverage and links that you may find interesting:

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The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future

Farhad Manjoo, writing for The New York Times:

Consider all the technologies we think we want — not just better and more useful phones, but cars that drive themselves, smart assistants you control through voice or household appliances that you can monitor and manage from afar. Many will have cameras, microphones and sensors gathering more data, and an ever more sophisticated mining effort to make sense of it all. Everyday devices will be recording and analyzing your every utterance and action.

This gets to why tech companies, not to mention we users, should fear the repercussions of the Apple case. Law enforcement officials and their supporters argue that when armed with a valid court order, the cops should never be locked out of any device that might be important in an investigation.

But if Apple is forced to break its own security to get inside a phone that it had promised users was inviolable, the supposed safety of the always-watching future starts to fall apart. If every device can monitor you, and if they can all be tapped by law enforcement officials under court order, can anyone ever have a truly private conversation? Are we building a world in which there’s no longer any room for keeping secrets?

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Apple, FBI, and iPhone Security: A Roundup of News and Links

Apple made headlines around the world last week when Tim Cook announced, in an open letter to their customers, that Apple would oppose a court order requiring it to circumvent iOS security features. Since then, new developments in the story have broken and many have contributed with explanations of why the outcome of this battle between Apple and the FBI is significant.

Our relative silence on this topic at MacStories is not because we don't think this story is important. To the contrary, we believe it is incredibly important and we applaud the principled stand that Cook's Apple has decided to make. But we are hesitant to wade into this important debate, which can be incredibly technical, when there are far smarter minds out there who better deserve your time and attention.

To that end, we've compiled a list of useful news articles, opinion pieces, and other resources that we believe are worth a few minutes of your time.

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Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ Campaign Continues

Josh Raab, reporting for Time:

Following last year’s Shot on iPhone 6 campaign, Apple is bringing back the concept for the iPhone 6s.

The new ad campaign features 53 images from 41 amateurs and professional photographers from around the world.

While the previous campaign included a variety of photographic subjects – from landscapes to extreme close-ups – this time, Apple has put the focus on portraits, most of them photographed in subtle, everyday moments.

Some great shots in this updated campaign for the iPhone 6s. Billboards have started going up around the world today – I assume a new World Gallery webpage is launching soon, too.

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Italy, America, and the iPhone

Fascinating analysis by Matt Richman on why the iPhone is less popular in Italy than in the United States:

From September 1st to December 19th of last year, I studied abroad in Rome, Italy. The experience changed my life for the better. Starting as a complete beginner in a foreign country and leaving it 110 days later able to read, write, and speak basic Italian was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Anyone with the chance to study abroad should do it.

One of the first things I noticed in Rome was that the iPhone is less popular there than I unconsciously assumed it would be. Coming from the US, where iPhones are extremely prevalent in rich and cosmopolitan areas, I was shocked and confused to see so few of them in Rome.

And I didn’t see too many of them elsewhere in Italy, either. In Florence I saw iPhones in the hands of tourists but rarely in the hands of Florentines, and in Todi, a small town in central Italy, I didn’t see a single resident with an iPhone.

As someone who's lived in Italy his whole life and writes about Apple for a living, the topic is close to me. I only partially agree with Matt's points on retail and the iPhone as a status symbol.

While we don't have chains with thousands of locations such as Walmart or Target in Italy, we do have chains with dozens of stores such as Unieuro and Media World – which often feature their own in-store mini Apple stores with iPhones, iPads, and Macs laid out on Apple Store-like wooden tables. And, it's easy enough to find iPhones at any electronics or carrier shops inside malls, not to mention smaller independent stores in towns like Viterbo, my hometown. I wouldn't say that Apple has a third-party retail penetration problem speaking from personal experience – if anything, I'd argue that Apple's own stores should have a wider presence. It's relatively easy to find an iPhone at a non-Apple location these days.

As for the status symbol discussion, Matt's points about fashion and prioritizing other purchases seem likely to me, but I don't have experience with other countries to compare what I see here. However, I don't completely buy the argument that iPhones aren't an important status symbol in Italy. Again, speaking from anecdotal experience, I know and I've met lots of people who buy the latest iPhone just because it's an iPhone – it doesn't matter which new features or improvements it offers. Having an iPhone is, for better or worse, a fashion statement (I also see that reflected in how many choose to customize their devices with branded cases or other blingy accessories).

I think Matt is absolutely spot-on about iPhone prices. In Italy, iPhones (and Apple devices in general) are expensive, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that, statistically, fewer Italian households can afford an iPhone (or multiple ones) compared to American ones. The recession hit Italy hard, and the iPhone is as close to a luxury smartphone as you can get – especially if you choose to buy any iPhone above 16 GB unlocked with no contract.

This last aspect ties into a point Matt didn't cover: Samsung and Android smartphones (and, to a lesser extent, Windows smartphones). Based on what I've seen in Rome and traveling around Italy, Samsung has enjoyed great success with their Galaxy devices over the past few years. Samsung has been quite aggressive with ad campaigns and promotions (discounts) in partnership with the aforementioned chains. Galaxy smartphones aren't cheap, but there's usually a good chance you'll find pretty good deals around; also, there's a lot of choice in the Galaxy family, which you don't get with only two new iPhone models released every year.

What I've also noticed, particularly in the last two years, is that decent Android smartphones have gotten really cheap here – I have many friends who moved from an iPhone to Huawei phones (another company that's been running TV commercials aggressively) simply because they needed a new phone but didn't have the money for a new iPhone and Huawei had a good enough option for much less. If you apply this to hundreds of other Android devices sold in malls and electronic chains, it would explain why, anecdotally, I'm seeing more types of smartphones in the streets of Italy compared to a few years ago.

Matt has raised some interesting points in his article. The more I think about it, though, the more curious I am about stats for used iPhone sales in Italy. Every time I had to sell an iPhone – either to close friends or by posting it online – it took me less than 48 hours.