Jonny Evans

About the Author Jonny Evans


10 reasons why Apple should acquire Shazam

TechCrunch claims Apple will purchase leading music recognition service, Shazam. This hasn’t been confirmed but here are just ten reasons such a deal makes sense:

Shazam’s Apple story

Founded in 1999, Shazam first came to prominence on Apple’s platforms as a great tool for iPod users. Years later it became one of the first apps to appear on the App Store, and was one of the first available iPad apps too.

“Shazam was one of the inaugural apps available when the App Store launched nearly two years ago and we are delighted to be available for iPad at launch as well,” said Andrew Fisher, then CEO of Shazam at the time.

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Apple’s HomeKit security blunder exposes the risk of smart homes

The expression “safe as houses” will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week.

Not so ideal home

The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains. While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes.

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Apple’s HomeKit security blunder exposes the risk of smart homes

The expression “safe as houses” will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week.

Not so ideal home

The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains. While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes.

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Sometimes it’s hard to be Apple’s Siri

It’s hard to be Apple’s virtual assistant because lots of people complain about what you do, even when you’re actually quite good at lots of things, recent data shows.

Speak to the future

Virtual assistants are destined to do much more than send memos, capture shopping lists, or tell cheesy jokes – they will become one of the primary ways we interact with the ambient AI that will surround every part of our lives in the not too distant future.

That’s what Apple’s Steve Jobs saw in these technologies way back when he relentlessly pursued the purchase of Siri. He saw the potential of the interface to enable new platforms.

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iPhone X drives Apple’s ‘best ever’ year for smartphone sales

Apple has just begun its best ever year for iPhones, setting new records over the holiday quarter, according to IHS Markit analyst, Ian Fogg.

A new iPhones record

Fogg is incredibly bullish on Apple’s performance, writing:

“We expect Apple will enjoy its best ever year for iPhone,” anticipating 88.8 million iPhone sales in the current quarter and year-on-year increases in each subsequent quarter in contrast to the same time last year.

(Don’t forget, on launch, Apple sold around 3 million iPhone X units in just 20 minutes, around 150,000 phones per minute and 2,500 iPhone X sales per second.)

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Apple’s iPhone users are running to Bitcoin

A string of breathless media headlines reporting Bitcoin’s new highs and lows means the cryptocurrency has captured popular imagination, the appearance of the Coinbase iOS app within the top 40 lists at the App Store helps confirm the notion.

Bite of the Bitcoin

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, recently said he thinks Bitcoin is a better standard of financial value than gold or the dollar.

While we have to accept that the inherent value of the digital currency is hard to understand, it’s clear that millions of people do believe in it and that consensus has driven the digital estate to new highs.

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Apple apologizes, issues Mac login security patch

With great apology, Apple has rushed to respond to the appalling macOS High Sierra security flaw, issuing a software update that has been made immediately available for download and will be automatically installed in existing Macs.

‘We greatly regret’

Apple has shared the following statement:

“Security is a top priority for every Apple product, and regrettably we stumbled with this release of macOS.

“When our security engineers became aware of the issue Tuesday afternoon, we immediately began working on an update that closes the security hole. This morning, as of 8:00 a.m., the update is available for download, and starting later today it will be automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra. 

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What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw

Complacency and incompetence are the biggest computer security threats, and Apple’s latest Mac security flaw seems to combine both of these. The flaw means anyone with physical access to your Mac can get inside the machine and tinker with it.

UPDATE (29 November  9:30am PDT): Apple has issued an apology and a patch to rectify this problem, more details here.

What’s the problem with macOS High Sierra?

The problem (which first got disclosed here) was first revealed in a Tweet by Lemi Orhan Ergin, who wrote:

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What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw (updated)

Complacency and incompetence are the biggest computer security threats, and Apple’s latest Mac security flaw seems to combine both of these. The flaw means anyone with physical access to your Mac can get inside the machine and tinker with it.

UPDATE (29 November  9:30am PDT): Apple has issued an apology and a patch to rectify this problem, more details here.

What’s the problem with macOS High Sierra?

The problem (which first got disclosed here) was first revealed in a Tweet by Lemi Orhan Ergin, who wrote:

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What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw

Complacency and incompetence are the biggest computer security threats, and Apple’s latest Mac security flaw seems to combine both of these. The flaw means anyone with physical access to your Mac can get inside the machine and tinker with it.

What’s the problem?

The problem (which first got disclosed here) was first revealed in a Tweet by Lemi Orhan Ergin, who wrote:

Dear @AppleSupport, we noticed a *HUGE* security issue at MacOS High Sierra. Anyone can login as “root” with empty password after clicking on login button several times. Are you aware of it @Apple?

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10 (more) iPhone X gesture tips

Apple has launched its own YouTube channel of iOS tips, meanwhile iPhone X is attracting massive interest and changing how we use the device. Here are ten more usability tips to help you turn yourself into an iPhone X pro.

Make Face ID gaze again

If Face ID fails to recognize you for some reason you can make it try again by dragging the home indicator bar up a tiny bit and then down.

[Also read: Life after the Home button: The iPhone X gestures guide]

Get the battery percentage

You used to be able to set iOS up to provide a percentile figure to show you how much battery power you had left (Settings>Battery). The iPhone X doesn’t let you do this any – but you can still check what percentage battery you have by swiping down on the right side of the notch to invoke Control Center, where you’ll then find the percentage top right.

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The new Apple iPhone X troubleshooting guide

Apple’s new iPhone isn’t having too many problems, but everybody needs to know what to do if a problem strikes. The disappearance of the Home button means some traditional troubleshooting techniques need to change.

Force restart iPhone X

In many cases a force restart of an iPhone X will solve any problems you may meet, but because iPhone X lacks a Home button, you need to follow these steps to make this happen:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button
  • Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

Whatever problem you encounter, always try a force restart first.

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Google puts a little of Apple’s Swift in its future OS

The never-ending Apple/Google story takes a new turn on claims the Android maker wants to put a little Apple inside its new OS, albeit the Open Source Swift language.

Google’s secret Swift plan

On what appears to be a quest to dump Linux, Google is allegedly developing a new mobile OS called “Fuchsia”. We don’t know much about the OS. We don’t know if it will replace Android, Chrome, or turn out to be some other kind of animal. We have been told it could potentially run computers as well as smartphones.

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Apple once again confirms it wants to iPimp your ride

Who dies? What happens when an autonomous car needs to make a decision between crashing into another car, or that child crossing the street? How long will it have to take that decision? Who dies?

Making cars is really complicated

While iPhones are pretty complicated, cars are both complex and life-threatening.

A software glitch in a smartphone is annoying, but poor car code could threaten lives. That’s what makes Apple’s recently published autonomous vehicle research paper very interesting.

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8 great gifts for Apple MacBook/MacBook Pro users

We’ve already looked at gifts for iPhone users. It seems appropriate to also grab a glance at a few great gift ideas for notebook Macs.

A home hub: Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock

MacBook Pro users will want an Elgato Thunderbolt 3 dock (c.$300). Not only does the powered dock recharge any devices even when you take your Mac away, but it provides a seamless and efficient way to continue to use all those old USB devices – all through a single port. Not only this, but you can run an external monitor and recharge your iPhone. Using just one cable from your Mac. You can run external storage, connect using the HDMI port and plug your Ethernet into the dock.

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10 great gifts for Apple iPhone users

What better for a slow news day than a quick and easy guide to some of the best iPhone-related accessories you can get for the Apple user in your life this season?  

A Bluetooth speaker: JBL Flip 4

If you want a Bluetooth speaker system that’s high on audio quality and connection stability, take a look at this relatively affordable system from JBL. Not only is it highly portable, but it’s waterproof enough to be thrown into three feet of water for up to half an hour and still work fine. (The manufacturer’s claim.) You can even purchase two of these systems and twin them together as stereo speakers.

There’s also a built-in mic so you can use it as a speaker phone or even to ask Siri questions, such as: “Why is HomePod delayed?” It picked up four stars from sister site, TechHive.

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Strong and stable: The iOS security guide

Apple’s smartphones are highly secure, but if your private or enterprise data matters to you, it’s essential to ensure your iPhone (or iPad) is as secure as possible.

Why security matters

Just because almost all mobile malware targets Android doesn’t mean iPhone users can be complacent.

Quite the reverse:

We need to be even more alert in case attackers use complacency against us. What follows are a few simple tips to help you secure your iPhone (and iPad).

There’s no way to deny that iPhones are in the ascendant, particularly in enterprise IT. Beyond business, you’ll see them used by educators, doctors, police and politicians and in each one of those cases the information on those smartphones is confidential and must not be abused.

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7 things you’ll want to try first with your Apple Watch

Black Friday is coming and lots of Apple fans will probably search for cut price deals on the popular Apple Watch and its vast medley of straps. Here are some of the first things you’ll want to do with the Apple wearable (other than set it up, of course).

Use Apple Pay

Apple Pay on the watch is one of those things that may not sound like much, but the simple convenience of being able to wriggle your wrist to pay public transit charges, buy groceries, or make other small payments quickly becomes something you don’t want to be without. Not only is it safer to use than pulling out your card or iPhone in a crowded place, but you are far less likely to accidentally leave it behind.

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Lock it down: The macOS security guide

Apple’s systems are highly secure, but if your private or enterprise data matters to you it’s essential to ensure your Mac is as highly secured as possible. This quick guide should help you do just that.

Keep it zippy

Malware is everywhere and Macs are not immune. You can ignore the potential threat if you choose, but if you are an enterprise user holding confidential data, an educator in possession of private data, or even a Bitcoin collector who maybe clicked a few too many links on one of those dodgy faucet websites, you should know to get your Mac secured.

Common sense first

Before we get into some of the security technology inside your Mac (including a wide range of security improvements in High Sierra) it is also important to point out that the biggest threat your computer faces is the person using it. Cyberattackers are highly sophisticated and can piece together lots of information about you, or companies associated with you by simply getting a little more data a little at a time. Make it hard for those people by following simple tips, including:

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‘Hey Siri, buy $100 Bitcoin for the burglar guy’

Apple will apparently bring FaceID to its long-awaited HomePod smart speaker systems next year, but voice assistant tech may be a weak link in domestic and enterprise security, fresh research claims.

The imitation game

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland claim that voice impersonators can fool smart speaker systems into thinking they are an authorized user of those systems.

It’s known that you can undermine voice authorization systems using speech synthesis, voice conversion or even dubbing recordings of a target voice.

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What problems will Apple’s AR glasses need to solve?

The Next Big Thing (NBT) in Emerging Apple Rumor seems to be fresh claims that Apple is developing AR glasses, and an OS to make them useful. What would you need such these things to do to convince you to purchase them?

The known unknowns

While he didn’t let any of Apple’s secrets slip, Allen Horng, the chairman of Catcher Technology, sparked off these claims when he said:

“Based on what we have learned, [new AR products] need to look good and be light enough to wear … that makes the casings for such device very complicated to manufacture and there are still a lot of challenges to overcome currently.”

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This is why iPhone X is Apple’s most important product

Have you ever wondered just how much interest there is in iPhone in comparison with Apple’s other products? Or wondered which of the company’s other products is likely to become a mass market hit next? These charts from SEMRush (based on search volume) will show you what you need to know:

Apple’s biggest product

On launch, Apple sold around 3 million iPhone X units in just 20 minutes. That works out to be around 150,000 phones per minute and 2,500 iPhone X sales per second. That’s by far the biggest product Apple — or anyone — has to sell right now.

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19 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need

I’m sure most Mac users know Command-C means copy and Command-V means paste, but there’s a host of other useful shortcuts that make a Mac user’s life much easier. I’ve assembled this short collection to illustrate this truth:

Command-W

Closes the active window you are currently in. Use Option-Command-W to close all currently active app windows.

Command-M

Press this combination to minimize the front app window to Dock, or press Command-Option-M to minimize all the windows belonging to the front app.

Command and Option

If you can’t see your desktop for all the open applications, just hold Command and Option down and click anywhere on your desktop. You may just want to get to all the open windows for a specific app, in which case hold down the same keys and click on any available window for that app.

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Apple Pay Cash and stateless cryptocurrency

Apple must by now be close to launching its promised Apple Pay Cash service, and when it does it will be taking a big step toward building its own kind of multinational cryptocurrency.

Money, money, money

While it’s only funny in a rich man’s world, the chasm between money as a tangible asset and cash as an item on a digital balance sheet isn’t hard to see.

From the trillions spent by future generations to bail out the banking system to the eye-watering cost of property loans, so much of this cash is invented by itself in a closed loop system and then traded by consent.

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These are the iPhone X tips Apple wants you to know

Along with extensive product descriptions, Apple is publishing a range of articles, support notes and video to help new iPhone X users learn how to get the most from their brand new device.

A new generation

With an eye on the next ten years of smartphone evolution, Apple is adopting a new approach with the launch of the new device.

This extends beyond seeding a few vbloggers with demo units or using quotes within iPhone X marketing – the company is also working to make sure new users can access the best possible advice to help them make use of the product.

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Apple engineers the return of iPhone mania as its harvest season begins

Queues form worldwide as consumers vote with their wallets for this year’s most anticipated smartphone release. The Apple harvest has begun. Australia’s first rush of iPhone X sales have been and gone, but as dawn breaks across the U.S. queues outside Apple and partner carrier retail stores suggest its hold on smartphone consumer imagination is as strong as ever, despite all the cynical noise.

The next decade

Apple’s on a roll.

September’s iPhone 8 releases have already driven higher-than-anticipated sales, the company is approaching a billion dollars a day in services revenue, and it is seeing growth across all its product range.

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8 things you’ll want to try first with your iPhone X

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Apple Watch Series 3: Apple’s other hit product

Apple’s decision to put a cellular connection inside the Apple Watch Series 3 has confirmed my prediction that doing so would massively boost people’s interest in the device, which I now think will become the most popular “iPhone X-out-of-stock” consolation prize this season (other than an iPhone 8).

Tuning up

While remaining coy about the actual figures, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has previously observed that Apple Watch is not only the biggest-selling smartwatch, but has also become the biggest selling watch.

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