All Articles Tagged "iPhone"
Your smartphone just might be a lot cooler than our President’s mobile device. While everyone is flocking to Apple to purchase the new iPhone 5S, Barack Obama must tote around a once-popular phone that has grown obsolete — the dreaded BlackBerry, LA Times reports.
During an event promoting the Affordable Care Act at the White House, Obama admitted that he’s forbidden from owning an Apple mobile device. ”I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” he told the crowd. The Secret Service, according to The Week, is less wary of the Blackberry due to its “superior encryption standards.”
It’s important to note that back when Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the Secret Service didn’t even want him to own a BlackBerry either. But Obama begged to keep the business-oriented device; he told the agency that the phone could be programmed so that only 10 people can have access to his personal email. The secret service conceded. (The President does have an Apple iPad.)
If Obama did own an iPhone, his e-mail, GPS coordinates, personal photos, texts, and countless other classified material could easily be hacked by gadget-savvy troublemakers. So although the BlackBerry is seemingly doomed for failure among its rivals, the antiquated smartphone finds loyal customers within the political atmosphere.
Apple has been working on tightening its security measures “like encryption, forced PIN entry, and the ability to wipe your phone remotely if it’s stolen,” said Slate, but White House members just aren’t ready to risk using an iPhone.
Now as Obama’s comments imply that the iPhone compromises privacy, it brings up questions about the NSA and its data gathering practices, used for spying on Americans. It has been revealed that the NSA collects five billion geolocation records daily!
Slate writes, ”Apple was one of several major tech companies identified in leaked NSA documents as being part of the agency’s PRISM surveillance program. And while Apple has insisted that its users’ iMessages are secure, hackers have called those claims into question.”
As for Malia and Sasha, they are totally allowed to own Apple smartphones. Obama’s points out that his phone bill consistently reminds him of his daughters’ iPhone obsession. Those shots of the First Daughters snapping selfies at dad’s inauguration speak to that.
Some news stories actually make you want to start believing in conspiracy theories. Here’s one that might. It seems that wireless carriers may be blocking a relatively simple solution to phone thefts in order to make a profit. About 1.6 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, with nearly 40 percent of all robberies in major U.S. cities involving mobile devices.
Not only do people buy more phones is they need to replace stolen ones, but also customers are more apt to opt for insurance offered by phone companies.
This is actually a lucrative side hustle for carriers — the top four wireless carriers will earn more than $7.8 billion this year in insurance premiums from their customers, according to an estimate by industry trade publication Warranty Week (via Huffington Post). According to Businessweek, Asurion, a phone insurance company that pays the wireless carriers for each policy they sell, made an estimated $98 million in profit in 2010. Typically, phone insurance plans range between $7 and $11 monthly, and they require consumers to pay deductibles as high as $200 for a replacement phone. And most often, these are nor new phones but refurbished used phones ones. Asurion’s insurance plan doesn’t guarantee customers will receive the same model as the one they lost.
“If you do the math, the phone companies are making out like bandits,” Richard Doherty, a director for Envisioneering Group, a market research firm, told HuffPo.
But here’s the kicker. A top prosecutor is accusing phone companies of standing in the way of a solution that could protect consumers from violent robberies just so that they can make more money.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón claims he has obtained emails showing how phone companies are blocking the introduction of a so-called kill switch that would render phones inoperable if stolen. If installed on phones, it would undercut the value of phones being sold on a global black market, which would lead to a sharp reduction in thefts.
“These emails suggest that the carriers are rejecting a technological solution so they can continue to shake down their customers for billions of dollars in insurance premiums,” Gascón said in a statement. “I’m incensed. … This is a solution that has the potential to end the victimization of their customers.”
Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have now demanded that phone manufacturers create new smartphone technology to make the devices less attractive to thieves. Apple and Samsung have already introduced new features this summer that they said would render stolen devices useless.
Phone companies have “worked hard over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem,” the CTIA said in a statement, pointing out that a new database of phone serial numbers is being shared among carriers. Last year, wireless companies agreed to share serial numbers after being pressured by the Federal Communications Commission and police chiefs nationwide to reduce cell phone thefts.
The moment I realized I forgot my iPhone at home, I thought I was going to have a panic attack. How was I going to do anything? How was I going to breathe? But most of all… how was I going to check my Instagram?
For a second I debated going back home to get my phone. But, I was already at the train station, and the train was scheduled to arrive in two minutes. There was no way in hell I would be able to run the four blocks back to my house and then back to the station without missing my train. (This was a moment when I realized jetpacks would be very useful.) I sucked it up and got on the train. iPhoneless. I, a self-proclaimed cell phone addict, was facing digital death.
My twenty-five minute ride to New York City was riddled with anxiety. How many texts had I missed? What if there was an extreme emergency and some long lost cousin of mine was trying to reach me? I glanced around and jealously glared at all the happy commuters, mindlessly texting or watching away on their smartphones. My hands started to feel a bit itchy. With nothing else to do, I closed my eyes and napped. When I got to New York and was heading downtown on the subway, I had nothing to help me block out the muddled sounds and frenzied conversations that make up the busy hum of rush-hour commuter foot traffic.
The first hour at work was normal. I ate my breakfast. Checked my email. Made my to-do list for the day. And then I reached for my phone. Only to find nothing. Another brief panic attack overcame me. Oh no, I thought. I’m probably getting Snapchats from Olivia Pope about urgent information that I won’t be able to respond to. Feeling defeated, I started on some research I was working on. For the next few hours, I channeled my frustrated and angst for my forgotten cell phone into this work document that I would be presenting later in the day.
By lunchtime, I felt a little better. I was halfway there. Normally, this is when I do a full phone haul and respond to notifications that I hadn’t responded to during the day. I ate my lunch. Could others tell I was going through a digital separation? I can do it, I told myself. I can make until the end of the day.
The next few hours flew by so quickly. I was so focused on my work that I didn’t realize it was 5:30 and time to leave. My train ride home was calm. I did something I don’t normally do and took the time to admire the scenery, looking out the glass windows as the sun slowly faded into the horizon. I noticed I was alone in doing this. Mostly everyone else was too engulfed in their digital devices.
As soon as I stepped off the train, the panic hit me again. I don’t think I ever walked home so fast in my life. Some guy tried to hit on me and I gave him a huge smile. He thought I was happy he called me beautiful, but I was really happy that I was only now one block from my house. As I got home, I ran up the stairs to my bedroom to retrieve my beloved child, mi bonita, mi preciosa, my iPhone 5. I hurriedly unlocked it and was shocked:
Nobody cared about me that much.
Although I thought people would be trying to hit me up, I only had one text message and a few Instagram notifications. No phone call from my long lost cousin. No urgent message from Olivia Pope. Nothing interesting. I whined for a little bit, but then it hit me.
Why was I so obsessed with a little 4 inch device that, at the end of the day, wasn’t really that important. It’s just a thing that gives me pleasure but doesn’t really give my life more importance. Why had I made such a big deal that I was phoneless for ten hours?
I’ll admit. It was sorta nice not having a phone. I wasn’t distracted. I was able to focus more at work. I was forced to observe the people and things around me on my commute. I actually was living through me and not through a mobile device. Ten hours without my iphone didn’t turn out to be digital death. Those ten hours were a must needed digital vacation that brought clarity and forced me to self- regulate my anxiety and participate in rational thinking. Also, knowing that my phone was somewhere that I could get it later was also comforting. Now, if my iphone had been stolen for ten hours… I don’t even want to think about that one.
Have you even been iPhoneless (or phoneless) for a day? Share your stories below.
She’s told us if there were thunderstorms in our future. She knows exactly where the nearest Italian restaurant was located. She knows virtually everything. And she’s virtual. If you’ve got an iPhone 4S or later, you know Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant who lives in your device. The voice Siri remained a mystery for two years… until now!
Her name is Susan Bennett, Parade reports. The CNN program “Red Chair” (clip below) revealed that Bennett is a 64-year-old voice actor from Atlanta. Although Apple won’t confirm if CNN has got the right woman, the news network seems all-too-certain that Bennett is Siri.
“Professionals who know her voice, have worked with her and represent her legally say she is Siri,” CNN said. “And an audio-forensics expert with 30 years of experience has studied both voices and says he is ’100%’ certain the two are the same.”
In the interview, Bennett said she began her career has a voice actor nearly 40 years ago. Bennett was the voice behind “Tillie the All-Time Teller,” the first ATM machine. “She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone,” CNN added. Her voice can be heard on countless mobile devices, GPS systems, and even in Delta airport terminals.
So why did Bennett decide to come forward after all these years? Well, tech blog Verge uploaded a video that led many users to believe that a woman named Allison Dufty was the mystery woman behind Siri. Bennett, who spent four hours every day recording her voice to construct Siri back in July 2005, believed it was finally time to end all the speculation:
“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time. And then this Verge video came out … And it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time.”
Unfortunately, with Apple coming out with a new mobile operating system and a new Siri voice, Bennett as the voice of our era is slowly coming to an end. “She is passing the telephonic torch to a new Siri,” CNN added. ”Bennett would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit disappointed, but in her field of work she’s learned to expect evolution — and even revolution.”
Whether it is modifications on Facebook or phone updates, we all have become sick and tired of the changes technology puts us through. No really. Some of us have literally become ill.
According to the New York Daily News, users of the iOS 7 Apple software updates have experienced nausea and headaches. They have also stated that while looking at apps on their iPhone or iPad they have experienced symptoms of car sickness. The iOS7 zooming animation is the cause of the problem.
On an Apple support forum, a user wrote, “I had severe vertigo the minute I started using my iPad with iOS 7, Lost the rest of the day to it… And not happy at all.”
Unfortunately, there is no way to downgrade an iPhone or iPad operating system. Users who became sick decided to buy Apple products that had older versions of iOS installed.
Check out the report out of Cincinnati, OH below. Has this been happening to you? Separately but related, what do you think of the new operating system?
If work isn’t getting done today, it’s because everyone is feverishly trying to download the new iOS 7 operating system. As we type, #iOS7 is trending as users tweet with anticipation about getting all the new goodies on their smartphones and tablets. Apparently, the frenzy is causing a few delays since #thestruggle is also recording some of the issues people are having getting the new system.
ICYMI: Apple’s new iOS 7 system is available to owners of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4 and 4S, many iPad models, and the iPod Touch. You’ll need to prep your device first. It has a new look, new colors, and new features, including “AirDrop, a quick way to send content to iOS users nearby,” says Mashable. The site also warns that Apple servers are going to be working hard today, so expect slower download times.
TIME lists Siri’s gender swapping among the six reasons why you should download iOS 7 ASAP. Also, it’s much more user-friendly, the App Store is improved, and it’s easier to multitask.
However, there are some reasons you might want to consider waiting. Among them, the aforementioned wait to download it (kind of the same reason why you want to wait until the day after a new iPhone is in stores so you’re not sitting on the sidewalk for hours like a jerk) and the “learning curve.” In other words, wait until you’re home on the couch with a bottle of wine so you can play with it a bit rather than messing with it secretly under the desk, out of view of your boss.
Are you one of the lucky ones who got it already? What do you think?
Just as Apple is about to debut the new iPhone on September 10, comes allegations of labor abuses in factories overseas.
Labor abuses really aren’t new for the company. Soon after CEO Tim Cook took over in 2011, he promised to improve working conditions at overseas factories that produce iPhones and other devices. “But for the second time this summer, a watchdog group monitoring labor practices at these factories has released a report charging yet another iPhone factory of discriminatory hiring, unpaid overtime and poor living conditions for dormitory workers,” reports The Huffington Post.
Last week, New York-based nonprofit China Labor Watch claimed it found numerous labor violations at a U.S.-owned factory operating in the industrial city of Wuxi, China. Owned by the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Jabil Circuit, the factory is thought to be manufacturing the cheap, plastic backs that will be used on Apple’s rumored new line of low-cost iPhones.
But Apple claims it is on top of the matter and told HuffPo that it conducted three audits of Jabil Wuxi over the past three years. Apple said the factory has generally complied with Apple’s standard of 60-hour workweeks, but it did find that some factory employees worked more than six consecutive days without rest.
Apple had put some of the labor troubles behind them. “After a string of high-profile suicides at Foxconn factories, Apple agreed to audit its contractors and, in March, it proclaimed that 99 percent of its suppliers complied with the of 60-hour week standard,” reports HuffPo.
Cook seems to be more concerned about foreign workers’ well-being than Steve Jobs, who reportedly never set foot in a Chinese factory making Apple products. (Probably because it wasn’t an issue the media was paying attention to.) But despite this, “Apple apparently has not made headway in some corners of its global manufacturing chain. In addition to Thursday’s report, China Labor Watch found similar abuses at another, Shanghai-based Apple contractor in July,” reports the website.
Here are some of the abuse complaints, according to CLW:
Will you be standing on line to get a new iPhone anytime soon?
This is pretty outrageous.
There a new app that lets people track “ghettos” so they can avoid traveling to those areas. Even worse the app was originally called “Ghetto Tracker,” but because of the overwhelming outrage in the 24 hours after its debut, the makers changed the name to Good Part of Town.
Critics are already slamming it as a racist, classist app for helping the rich to avoid the poor reports The Huffington Post.
The app works by letting locals rate the safety of various parts of an area. The original launch of the app’s page showed a white family of four smiling while the app’s text promised to show users “which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe,” reported The Week.
After the app makers received complaints, they not only changed the name but also dropped all mention of the word “ghetto.” And as part of its damage control, the website now features an ethnically diverse family on the homepage.
But the reason for the changes seem a bit off. In an email sent to Gawker, the app’s team claims to have changed the name in response to emails from a woman whose family had been contained in an actual World War II ghetto and one from a man who grew up in a struggling area but overcame his upbringing.
“I can’t be held responsible for the assumptions people may make in regards to factors like race and income,” the letter to Gawker stated. “I’ve seen comments on blogs and in Twitter that are trying to say this is encouraging racism or social stratification and that was never our intention.”
Sounds like a lot of spin to us. Your thoughts?
The addictive Facebook and iPhone game makes $850,000 a day. Why? The supposedly free app has a lot of extra fees for players who want to advance in the game.
Basically, Candy Crush is a “freemium” app, meaning it’s free to download, but users can purchase in-game upgrades for more moves, more lives, more levels, and other add-ons, reports E! These extras are raking in the dough for the folks behind that game that people just can’t seem to stop playing.
AppAdvice.com (via Buzzfeed) revealed last month that Candy Crush developer King.com was earning $633,000 per day, earning upwards of $230 million annually. This makes the app the number one grosser in the App Store.
And it just keeps getting better for King.com. This month, as the game celebrates its one year anniversary (it debuted September 2012), Candy Crush earns $850,000 per day, according to data at ThinkGaming.com. It’s still the top grossing app in the App Store and has held that top spot for months.
Nearly 7.7 million people play the game every day, with hundreds of thousands of new users installing it daily. When you break it down, it comes out to about 11 cents per user, reports E! The cheapest extra is 99 cents.
So one would think that many of those players are spending at least a few bucks to make it to the final level. But King claims 70 percent of users on the last level have never paid a cent.
We’ve never played, but to see the people engrossed with the game on the subway, it’s clearly entertaining. How much do you spend on Candy Crush?
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably noticed that the popular Emoji symbols are lacking faces of color. To be more specific, there is not a single brown face. While some probably see this as a minuscule discussion in a world with much bigger issues, others find it to be rather slighting. Earlier this week a petition was formed on DoSomething.org requesting that Apple executives Tim Cook and Jony Ive produce more faces of color for their Emoji app.
“If you look at Apple’s Emoji keyboard, what do you see? Two different camels. A smiling turd. EVERY PHASE OF THE MOON,” the beginning of the petition reads.
“But of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation,” the writer continues.
“Apple has been one of the biggest pioneers of Emojis, from offering them as full-color images to introducing them to the American market in the first place. And, the company has already taken steps to make Emojis more inclusive: iOS6 debuted same-sex couple Emojis. That’s why we’re asking Apple to take the lead again and diversify their Emoji typeface, recognizing people of color as people…and Emojis. Everyone deserves to feel visible and represented.
Apple’s new iOS7 is launching this fall, so let’s speak up and get this changed. Tell Apple to update their iOS7 Emoji keyboard to include at least four faces with some melanin: a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl.”
Some have tried to combat the petition with explanations that Apple does not actually own the Emoji app, but the petition’s organizers had a response for that as well.
“Some have responded to the petition saying that Apple doesn’t “own” Emojis. That’s true, but Apple can still change their Emoji options:
Emoji is a set of codes that are then displayed as pictures – faces, animals, etc. While the codes were developed in Japan, there are several corresponding “fonts” – including Apple’s, which was groundbreaking. Not only did they add full color and customize certain images (one’s even an iPhone!), but their version is quickly becoming the Emoji standard.
Now we’re asking Apple to take another pioneering step and make darker-skinned faces a priority in their typeface (perhaps over certain symbols that aren’t really used).”
So far the petition has acquired 1,768 signatures.