Apple says most vulnerabilities in Wikileaks docs are already patched

Wikileaks today published a trove of documents, allegedly taken from the CIA, that detail the government’s efforts to hack popular devices like iPhones, Android phones, and Samsung smart TVs. But Apple is pushing back against claims that the CIA’s hoarded vulnerabilities for its devices were effective.

The documents, if they are indeed legitimate, include charts that detail iOS exploits that would allow the CIA to surveil iPhone users and, in some cases, control their devices. Some of the exploits may have been developed in-house, while others appear to have been purchased, copied or downloaded from non-governmental sources.

However, Apple says that many of the iOS exploits in the Wikileaks dump have already been patched and it is working to address any new vulnerabilities.

“Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers’ privacy and security. The technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers, and we’re constantly working to keep it that way. Our products and software are designed to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with nearly 80 percent of users running the latest version of our operating system. While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities. We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security updates,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.

 The Wikileaks documents also contain exploits designed for Android. A Google spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

This isn’t the first time the CIA has targeted mobile phone manufacturers in an effort to spy on certain customers — the Intercept reported in 2015 that the agency had worked to compromise iPhones and iPads.

If you’re concerned about the security of your device, it’s always a good idea to keep your software up-to-date.

4-Inch iPhone 6c Leaked in 3D Renders and Live Images

4-Inch iPhone 6c Leaked in 3D Renders and Live Images

A new set of leaked renders have surfaced claiming to show the 4-inch iPhone 6c. Additionally, the long-rumoured handset for the first time has been purportedly spotted in live images.

A report claims that the iPhone 6c may sport colour models similar to what we’ve already seen on iPod touch, while maintaining the physical design of the iPhone 6 (and iPhone 6s). 9to5mac has shared a bunch of mocked-up renders claiming to show the unannounced iPhone 6c in various colour variants.

In a separate leak, Steve Hemmerstoffer of Nowhereelse.fr has shared few live images purportedly showing the iPhone 6c. In the leaked images, the handset is seen sporting circular edges similar to the current generation iPhone models while sporting a smaller screen size. The rear panel of the iPhone 6c looks identical to the one seen on the iPhone 6. The rear camera bump is also visible in the leaked images. The front panel images purportedly show that the iPhone 6c will retain the signature iPhone design and will sport a circular home button which will most likely hold the fingerprint scanner.

Apple in 2016 is said to break away from September launch cycle which saw iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch in 2014, and iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus launch in 2015. The Cupertino-based company is said to launch the iPhone 6c in April, which was recently corroborated with a leaked China Mobile 2016 phone roadmap. The April launch time-frame is also in line with a previous rumour that indicated a mid-2016 launch of the 4-inch iPhone.

Some of the specifications tipped for the smaller iPhone 6c include a 1642mAh battery, which if comes out to be true will be bigger than the battery seen on previous 4-inch iPhone 5c. Other details rumoured for the iPhone 6c include an A9 processor, 16GB of inbuilt storage, Touch ID, and 2GB of RAM.

iPhone 7 to Ditch 3.5mm Jack; Apple to Launch Wireless Headphones

iPhone 7 to Ditch 3.5mm Jack; Apple to Launch Wireless Headphones: Report

Another rumour is pointing to the demise of 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7. A report coming out of iPhone supply chain with allegedly “confirmed” information added that Apple will release wireless earphones alongside.

Citing people in the iPhone supply chain, Andrews Forum reports that the iPhone 7 will not have a 3.5mm jack. This, however, doesn’t mean that your existing EarPods won’t be compatible with the iPhone 7. The report adds that Apple will make available a Lightning “convert up” to allow headphones with a 3.5mm outlet to be used with the Lightning connector.

Last year, a report claimed that Apple was planning to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in an attempt to make the iPhone thinner by 1mm. The new report has corroborated he reasoning, adding that Apple also plans to promote its wireless headset. The previous report also claimed that the Lightningconnector will retain the same size, and will also come with a digital-to-analogue converter for backwards compatibility with wired headphones.

The removal of headphone jack might not sit well with users. Almost every smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop currently ships with this audio port. But considering Apple’s past record, removal of the 3.5mm port doesn’t seem unlikely. The company ditched the compact disk drive from its computer lineup with the MacBook Air, and soon many rival manufacturers were doing the same. Last year, the company launched the MacBook which has just one USB Type-C port for data transfer and power input.

Besides, the Cupertino-based company has been hinting at its dislike towards the 3.5mm jack for a while now. In 2014, the company introduced the MFi (Made for iPhone) program specifications to allow third-party manufacturers to make earphones that could be connected to the iPhone or iPad via a Lightning cable. Philips Fidelio NC1L, which features battery-free active noise cancelling technology,connects to an iPhone via a Lightning cable.

Apple introduces the Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader

Soon after launching the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6s, Apple has unveiled a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader that allows users to easily download photos and videos to their iPhone and iPad.

Apple SD Card Camera Reader

According to Apple, the SD Card Camera Reader can support data transfers up to USB 3.0 speeds on the iPad Pro. The updated adapter also works with the iPhone 5 and newer models, and the third-gen iPad and newer. However, as per the brand, the iPhone 5 and iPad 3rd-gen model offer transfer speeds up to USB  2.0 at the moment.

After inserting the SD card into the reader, the accessory opens the Photosapp on the connected Apple device. It has been priced at $29, which roughly translates to Rs 1,950, and is currently available in the US from Apple’s online store.

Apple releases iOS 9.2 and watchOS 2.1 updates to the public

Apple has released the iOS 9.2 update to the public. The size of the update is around 260MB, and it is being rolled out in phases to iOS users across the globe. The update brings bug fixes, Apple Music improvements, and upgrades to the News app, among others. It is available for supported iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch units. In addition to the iOS 9.2 update, Apple has released the watchOS 2.1 update as well.

Apple iOS 9.2

In the new iOS 9.2 update, Apple’s voice-assistant Siri now supports Arabic in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Apple Music, News, Mail, andiBooks have all received new features. Apple Music now allows you to create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist, download albums or playlists from iCloud Music Library, check which songs have been downloaded with the new download indicator next to each song in My Music and Playlists, and find music, composers and performers while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalogue.

In the News app, now users can stay up to date with the most important news of the day in the US, UK and Australia. Users can use Mail Drop in the Mailapp to send large attachments. iBooks now supports 3D Touch for peeking and popping pages from the table of contents, notes and bookmarks. Additionally, the update brings support for listening to audiobooks while browsing the library, reading other books and exploring the iBooks Store.

As far as the watchOS 2.1 update is concerned, the update brings support for system languages in Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Malay, Portuguese and Vietnamese. It comes with a right-to-left user interface, the ability to switch between Latin and Hindi numerals for Arabic, support for Islamic and Hebrew calendars, support for dictation in English (Malaysia), Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Portuguese (Portugal) and Vietnamese, and some other bug fixes.

Apple introduces Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6s

In a surprise move, Apple has introduced its first external battery case. The case is designed for the iPhone 6 and 6s. The Smart Battery Case as Apple calls it, can increase the battery life of the iPhone up to 25 hours. The battery capacity hasn’t been disclosed though. The case is made of silicone, and unlike most third-party cases which charge via a micro-USB port, utilises a lightning port to juice up. Users will be able to charge their iPhone and the case simultaneously.

pple iPhone 6S battery case

The Apple Smart Battery Case features an unsightly bump at the back where the battery resides. Instead of employing LED indicators to indicate battery level, the case shows users the remaining power on both the iPhone’s lockscreen and drop-down notification pane.

The Smart Battery Case has been priced at $99, roughly Rs 6,600, and will be available in Charcoal Gray and White colour options. The case is currently on sale in the US, and we expect it to be launched in India in the near future too.

Apple iPad Pro reportedly launched in India

Apple has reportedly launched the iPad Pro in India. The news comes from the Mumbai-based independent retailer Mahesh Telecom, which suggests that the slate will be available in the country via Apple authorised retailers in the coming days.

Apple-iPad-Pro-1_thumb.jpg

The Apple iPad Pro was unveiled in September this year alongside the newiPad Mini 4. It is the Cupertino tech giant’s largest tablet, featuring a gigantic 12.9-inch display with a resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. The slate offers iOS 9’s multitasking features that include running apps side-by-side.

The iPad Pro is powered by Apple’s newest A9X SoC, aided by the M9 motion processor. It comes with an 8MP iSight camera at the back, and a FaceTime front shooter. The tablet also gets Apple’s TouchID fingerprint sensor integrated into the home button. Similar to the previous iPads, it comes in Wi-Fi-only and 4G LTE cellular editions.

As per Mahesh Telecom, the Wi-Fi only models of the iPad Pro come in 32GB and 128GB internal memory variants that are priced at Rs 67,900 and Rs 79,900 respectively. The slate’s LTE edition with 128GB of storage will be available for Rs 91,900. The company has reportedly also launched the new Apple TV in India with Siri assisted controls that costs Rs 13,500 for the 32GB edition and Rs 17,900 for the 64GB model.

Apple slashes price of the iPhone 5s in India

In September this year, Apple’s best-selling smartphone, the iPhone 5sreceived a price drop of Rs 12,000 in India. Now the company has reportedly slashed the price again, bringing it down to almost half in a span of three months.
iPhone 5S Interface

According to TOI, the Apple iPhone 5s prices in India now start at Rs 24,999 for the 16GB edition, down from Rs 44,500 in September this year. It makes the Indian price of the phone one of the lowest across the globe, suggests the report. As per the retailers, the iPhone 5s accounts for almost 50 percent of the total iPhone sales in the country. However, Apple is yet to officially announce the price drop on the device.

To recap the specs, the iPhone 5s offers a 4-inch Retina display, and is powered by the Apple A7 chip, coupled with 1GB of RAM. It sports an 8MP iSight rear camera that can shoot full HD and slow-motion videos, and a 1.2MP front facing shooter that can record upto 720p videos. It also comes with a fingerprint sensor, and is upgradeable to the latest iOS 9. The smartphone is fuelled by a 1,560mAh battery.

The iPhone 5s was launched in India towards the end of 2013 for Rs 53,900 for the 16GB model. Analysts suggest that the latest price cut of iPhone 5s is part of its strategy to build a stronger portfolio in the mid-budget smartphone market.

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus receive price cuts of up to 16 percent in India

Earlier this month, Apple dropped the price of the iPhone 5s in India to Rs 24,999 for the base 16GB edition. Now according to a report by Economic Times, the company has slashed the prices of the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (review) in the country by up to 16 percent.

Apple-iPhone-6s-Plus-ss

As per the report, the iPhone 6s 16GB model that was launched in October for Rs 62,000, is now available for between Rs 52,000 and Rs 55,000 via major retailers across the country. The iPhone 6s Plus that was launched for Rs 72,000 has also received a similar price drop of up to 16 percent in the country, and is available starting for around Rs 60,500. The price drops are available across storage variants for the new iPhones.

“The reduction also narrows the gap with prices of iPhone 6 devices launched in 2014, making an upgrade more attractive for customers. The price difference between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s was a lot, so many customers are not willing to upgrade to the new model,” reads the report.

As per the report, with the price cut on the latest iPhones, the company is trying to revive demand for the October-to-December quarter, which is the brand’s strongest sales quarter due to its flagship launches in September each year. It’s worth noting that both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have been available at reduced prices on online stores for a few weeks now.