Claims suit fails to show harm
Apple has asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to block a motion to turn an iPhone and iPad location tracking lawsuit into a class action, Bloomberg reports. The company says that the plaintiffs haven't shown that any personal information was collected by apps, and hence that any harm was caused. On top of this Apple alleges that the plaintiffs' lawyers have abandoned damage claims because they can't show any injury, and are just trying to recover legal fees.
iOS 4 crippled speeds on older hardware
A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit accusing Apple of intentionally crippling the iPhone 3G with iOS 4, according to mocoNews. A San Diego resident, Bianca Wofford, claimed in the case that after installing the iOS 4 upgrade, her 3G and others were turned into "iBricks" that ran incredibly slowly. While such complaints were indeed widespread in online forums and the media, Wofford made the additional assertion that Apple's motive was to push people into buying the iPhone 4.
Dragon speech-to-text SDK on all major platforms
Nuance Communications, Inc. announced it is adding developer support for Windows Phone and a three tiered service structure to its NDEV Mobile Developer Program. The company's Dragon Mobile SDK is now available for all major mobile platforms, including Windows Phone 7.1+, iOS 4.0+ and Android 2.1+. A HTTP web services interface is also available. In addition, the company said all three service tiers will have access to eight new languages for voice recognition.
Faithfully reproduces many Lion functions
Jailbroken iPhones have long had access to a wide variety of "themes" to change the look of iOS, but a ModMyI user Timothy Elliot has upped the ante by making a high-quality, high-functionality "Lion" theme for iOS 4 called Lion Ultimatum that faithfully replicates many of the basic functions of the Mac OS X Finder and gives users the closest experience possible to "running Lion" on an iPhone. Elliot reports being overwhelmed with requests for the theme, the latest build of which is available by donation only.
Fixes PDF vulnerabilities, wrecks JailbreakMe
Via iTunes, Apple has released iOS 4.3.4, a minor update of its firmware for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update appears to concentrate primarily on security issues, namely the possibility of exploits using malicious PDF files. Vulnerabilities were present in FreeType's handling of TrueType and Type 1 fonts. A hole in IOMobileFrameBuffer, meanwhile, theoretically allowed an attacker to get system privileges.
Initial threat may be limited
A group of Russian forensic experts, ElcomSoft, has successfully cracked both the hardware and firmware backup encryption for iOS devices, reports say. Partly to increase appeal to corporate buyers, Apple began introducing hardware encryption with the iPhone 3GS, later improving the system with iOS 4. The firmware lets people assign a passcode for the hardware encryption keys, making it even more difficult for an attacker to see data.
Connections weak, disappearing, missing
Some iOS devices are once again having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, accounts say. Both media reports and posts on Apple's support forums indicate that after applying the iOS 4.3.3 update, an iOS device may start spontaneously dropping connections, repeatedly disconnect and reconnect, or even fail to connect at all. In some cases Wi-Fi status is misreported, or a stable link may involve staying too close to the router.
iPad 2 still unsupported
Untethered jailbreaking and carrier unlocking is now available for iOS 4.3.3, the unofficial iPhone Dev Team says. redsn0w and PwnageTool have been updated to support jailbreaking the firmware, which was released by Apple on May 4th. Unlocking requires ultrasn0w, and carefully avoiding certain pitfalls. Only certain iPhone 4, 3G and 3GS basebands are supported for example, and people must skip using redsn0w, turning instead to a custom IPSW file to update to iOS 4.3.3 while preserving a compatible baseband.
More changes to come
(Updated with info on Verizon tech) Apple has released a relatively minor update of iOS, 4.3.3. The upgrade does however fulfill an earlier promise by improving the security of location data. The size of the location cache file has been reduced, and the cache should no longer be included in iTunes backups. When Location Services are switched off, the cache is deleted entirely, Apple says.
Security fixes combined with battery, iPod patches
Apple's promised short-term iOS security update is known as iOS 4.3.3, and should arrive in two weeks or less, a source with the company says. The person notes that as expected, it should reduce the size of the location cache, and prevent the file from being backed up to iTunes. The cache should be deleted entirely when Location Services are off.
Apple to comply with gov't. testimony requests
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reiterated some of the company's official positions on iOS tracking in a new interview. "We haven’t been tracking anyone," Jobs tells All Things Digital. "The files they [researchers] found on these phones, as we explained, it turned out were basically files we have built through anonymous, crowdsourced information that we collect from the tens of millions of iPhones out there."
Promises improved security in future updates
Apple is not tracking the location of iPhone users, the company insists in an official FAQ responding to worries about a location history file in iOS 4. "Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," part of the FAQ reads. "Providing mobile users with fast and accurate location information while preserving their security and privacy has raised some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite. Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date."
Few details available
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple regarding location tracking on iPhones and 3G iPads, according to Bloomberg. Two customers have reportedly filed a federal complaint in Tampa, Florida, alleging privacy invasion and computer fraud. More details of the case should emerge in the near future.
Apple remains mute
The Korea Communications Commission is now probing for possible legal violations by Apple in regard to iOS 4, says Bloomberg. Concern revolves around the location history file recently made public at Where 2.0. The KCC has requested that Apple explain how often location data is collected and saved, and whether or not the public has a choice to save or delete it. The company is further being asked to say why the information is saved, and if it's being stored on Apple servers.
Rep. Markey adds to US scrutiny
The French and Italian governments have become involved in examining the location history file found in iOS 4, reports say. The Italian Data Protection Authority has opened a formal investigation into the matter, although Reuters notes that the probe is an expansion of one into how mobile apps deal with personal data. France's CNIL is reportedly verifying the security issue, and says it will send Apple France a letter asking for an explanation next week.
'A string of open questions' exists, says gov't.
The German government has joined groups requesting an explanation for an unprotected location history file in iOS 4, says Reuters. The country's consumer protection ministry is asking Apple to answer "a string of open questions," namely "where, for how long, and for what purpose the data is saved, who has access to it, and how it is protecting against unauthorized access." An Apple Germany spokesman has so far refused to comment.
File may actually be location cache
The controversial location history file in iOS may simply be a mistake on Apple's part, says Daring Fireball's John Gruber. Citing an unidentified source, Gruber suggests that consolidated.db is actually intended to be a cache for location data. The data should be culled automatically, but iOS is thought to be leaving it alone because of a bug or a simple oversight on Apple's part.
Asks for 'prompt response'
The unprotected location history file in iOS 4 has drawn attention from Minnesota senator Al Franken, says CNN. Franken has reportedly sent a two-page letter (PDF) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, arguing that the file represents a potential security threat. "Anyone who gains access to this single file could likely determine the location of the user's home, the businesses he frequents, the doctors he visits, the schools his children attend, and the trips he has taken over the past months or even a year," part of the letter reads.
Content is unsecured, event speakers claim
iPhones and 3G iPads are regularly saving position data to a hidden file, say two presenters at today's part of the 2011 Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California. The file, consolidated.db, is reported to have a "long list" of stored locations and time stamps, and moreover carry it over between backups and device migrations. A history can potentially hold "tens of thousands" of data points stretching back to the introduction of iOS 4.
iOS 4.2.7 reaches Verizon iPhones
Apple is now seeding the iOS 4.3.2 update through iTunes. As anticipated, the firmware primarily addresses two problems. The first is blank or frozen video during FaceTime calls, while the second involves being unable to connect to a 3G network using an iPad. Apple claims that the latter affects "international" iPad owners, however, despite public complaints from Verizon subscribers.
Verizon iPhone update news still MIA
The iOS 4.3.2 update will, at a minimum, address a pair of critical problems that have arisen since v4.3 and v4.3.1, an Apple source informs. The first is with FaceTime, which has been suffering from freezes and out-of-place images suddenly appearing. The second relates to Verizon iPad 2s, which may have trouble connecting to the carrier's 3G network.
Could be meant to fix battery issues
Hot off last Friday's iOS 4.3.1 release, Apple is already in the middle of developing iOS 4.3.2, says a source connected to the company. The release is expected to hit iPhones, iPads and iPod touches within about two weeks. There is no word though on whether the update will apply to CDMA iPhones, which are still stuck on v4.2.6.
Carrier unlock still unavailable
Hackers have reportedly already managed to jailbreak iOS 4.3.1, despite the firmware being released just last Friday. The main technique so far requires a Mac running a special bundle of PwnageTool 4.2 including Universal Ramdisk Fixer, as well as a utility called tetheredboot. iTunes must already be updated to v10.2.1.
Verizon iPhones left out of update
As expected, Apple has released iOS 4.3.1, a minor firmware update for its handheld devices. The patch appears to be aimed strictly at bugfixes, for instance correcting graphics glitches on the iPod touch that were spawned by iOS 4.3. It similarly copes with flickering on some TVs when using the Apple Digital AV adapter.
Suggests minimal changes
A claim of hands-on time with iOS 4.3.1 appears to support the firmware's existence. BGR explains that an "Apple connect" recently installed a pre-release copy on an office iPhone, and that the site has actually been trying out v4.3.1 for the past two days. The code so far only seems to make bugfixes, as anticipated, BGR writes.
Expected to quash bugs, undo jailbreaks
iOS 4.3.1 is already in the works, and it should be ready for the public in as little as one to two weeks, a report claims. The release is said to be a minor one, fixing issues such as a problem with Springboard and/or third-party apps failing to detect the gyroscope on the iPad 2. Also in the firing line are memory corruption when reading large files in the USIM filesystem, and a glitch with NTLM authentication in apps and on websites.
Only some interface elements affected
Some iPod touch owners have been suffering graphic glitches since the introduction of the iOS 4.3 update, talk on Apple's support forums reveals, backed up experiences at MacNN. Affected people will see "snowy," corrupted and/or blinking graphics appear in the iOS interface. Making the bug especially odd is that it only affects some portions of the interface, such as status icons and pop-up notifications. It is also inconsistent, showing at some times but not others.
iOS update copes with Safari, networking flaws
The new iOS 4.3 and Apple TV 4.2 updates address a host of security vulnerabilities, official notes show. The majority of the fixes are associated with v4.3, and in particular Safari and/or its underlying WebKit rendering engine; Apple remarks for example that in iOS 4.2.1, clearing cookies sometimes has no effect. The v4.3 update also copes with vulnerabilities in FreeType, TIFF images, libxml, Wi-Fi networking and the handling of IPv6 addresses.
Early rollout could dodge server overload
The iOS 4.3 update will mostly likely arrive tomorrow, according to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. A rumor had the firmware arriving as soon as today, but the predicted release window has since come and gone. Dalrymple claims however that the actual date should be Wednesday; he tells MacNN that the information comes from various sources.
Compatibility with iPad 2 still unclear
Just hours after Apple released its iOS 4.3 golden master (GM) build to developers, the release was reportedly jailbroken using the same method that had worked for the initial betas. A Cult of Mac report suggests devices running iOS 4.3 can be jailbroken using a more advanced process, which requires users to create a custom IPSW, or a simpler method that only works as a tethered jailbreak.
Essential for iPad 2 launch
Apple has begun seeding the iOS 4.3 gold master to developers by way of the iOS Dev Center. Separate downloads are available targeted by device, including the iPad 1, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, or third- or fourth-generation iPod touch. The iPad 2 is missing from the list, but only because the tablet will ship with the firmware pre-installed.
ATT says its iPhone Personal Hotspot due March 11
AT&T on Wednesday night confirmed with Electronista that it would start supporting the Personal Hotspot feature in sync with the launch of iOS 4.3. Subscribers will have the same support as Verizon customers when the update pushes out to the GSM iPhone 4 on March 11. Pricing should stay the same as for basic tethering and will need its new DataPro hotspot/tethering plan, which combines 4GB of total data with connection sharing for $45.
Release follows iOS 4.3, iPad 2 unveilings
Following Apple's iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 unveiling, the company has released an iTunes update to accommodate the new mobile software. iTunes 10.2 will support new features in iOS 4.3, including the Home Sharing capabilities that allow an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to browse and play content from iTunes libraries over local Wi-Fi connections.
iPhone release initially limited to GSM phones
iOS 4.3 said finished
An Apple tipster claimed on Thursday that iOS 4.3 had reached the gold master stage. The final build is believed to be 8F190. BGR didn't glean release timing but speculated that it could show next week, just in time for Apple's iPad 2 event.
Could hint at iOS 4.3 release date
The quickest possible end of The Daily's free subscription period may be coming sooner than expected, a tip to MacNN suggests. A German website recently observed that the deadline had been pushed out to February 28th, well past the shortest planned two-week window. A MacNN reader notes however that he has received in-app notification of a February 23rd cut-off.
iOS 4.3 delayed?
News Corp. has extended the free subscription period for the The Daily through February 28th, notes German site Macerkopf. The new date is listed in the Account Information section of the iPad app. When The Daily first launched on February 2nd, free access was only scheduled to last two weeks.
Affects only phones based on 4.2.5
Apple has reportedly begun widely distributing iOS 4.2.6, a minor firmware update. The release only impacts the Verizon iPhone 4, formally launched today. It may also be redundant in many cases, as a number of Verizon iPhones have been shipping with v4.2.6 pre-installed instead of v4.2.5.
iOS 4.3 makes gaming references
New code unearthed in iOS 4.3 beta 3 may have shown the first signs of gaming for the Apple TV. Several references exist to "ATVGames" that imply some sort of interactive play. The Engadget tip caught mentions of scheduling, sorting by date and standings, implying a Game Center style ranking.
Untethered Greenpois0n reaches Windows
Some people are already successfully jailbreaking the Verizon iPhone, according to reports. The Verizon device notably uses a proprietary version of iOS, 4.2.6, an upgrade from the current v4.2.1. It is also an extremely recent piece of hardware, as shipments to Verizon subscribers only began arriving this weekend.
Apple may push iOS 4.3 on Valentine's Day
Fresh rumors on Friday asserted that Apple might push iOS 4.3 on Valentine's Day. The update would follow Apple's usual mid-day update schedule and have the firmware live at 1PM Eastern on February 14. MacStories didn't mention whether there would be any changes from beta 3.
Quick release schedule continues
Apple has released a third beta of iOS 4.3 via the iOS Dev Center. As anticipated, the new code is listed as build 8F5166b. Developers can download a bundle of Xcode 3.2.6 and the new SDK, as well as separate firmware distributions for the iPad, the iPhone 4 and 3GS, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch.
Apple potentially driving for quick release
Apple is already planning to release a third beta of iOS 4.3, which should come out later today, a source at Apple claims. Although the code is allegedly using the build number 8F5166b, nothing is so far known about the content of the update. It would represent the third beta in as many weeks, however, suggesting that Apple is bent on making the firmware available as quickly as possible.
Calendar may hint at iPad 2 reveal
Is slightly extending Ping hooks with iOS 4.3, code from the latter's second beta shows. The service will now be able to trigger push notifications on Apple handhelds, presumably to update users on profile activity by friends and artists. As with other apps, people will be able to toggle sounds, alerts and badges for notifications using the appropriate Settings panel.
PhotoBooth for iPad 2 and iPhone 4 also added
The latest developer-only release of Apple’s iOS 4.3 Beta 2 has added to the mounting evidence that Apple’s next iteration of the iPad will feature front and rear facing cameras. A developer has uncovered a new file (homeScreenOverlayFaceTime~ipad.png) that clearly shows the addition of three new standard photo apps in FaceTime, Camera and PhotoBooth.
New features mimic existing services
Apple appears to be set to expand iOS functionality with several new features focused on social networking and content sharing. The iOS 4.3 file system includes a new section labeled "Media Stream," which contains another folder titled "Photo Streaming," according to a 9to5Mac report.
Four-, five-fingered gestures not in final OS
Apple has posted a second beta of iOS 4.3 for developers by way of the iOS Dev Center. Any new features and code references are so far undiscovered, but the release is accompanied by matching versions of Xcode and the Apple TV firmware. Still missing is support for running v4.3 on the iPhone 3G or second-gen iPod touch, suggesting that Apple is indeed leaving v4.2.1 as the last iOS update for the devices.
Cases could shut iPad off automatically
The next-generation iPad could include a means of automatically locking or unlocking the system based on the presence of a case lid, the iOS 4.3 beta reportedly indicates. Buried in code for the Settings app are noted to be two unusual strings, "PAD_CASE_LOCK" and "PAD_CASE_LOCK_FOOTER." The value description for the former simply says "iPad Cover Lock / Unlock," while the latter's reads "Automatically lock and unlock your iPad when you close and open the iPad cover."
Tiny fraction continue to use iOS 2.x
Around 90 percent of iOS handheld owners are using iOS 4.0 or better, a pair of developers say. Bump is offering the most precise statistics, noting that 89.73 percent of its iOS base is on v4.x, whereas 10.25 percent is using v3.x. A sliver, 0.02 percent, is still on v2.x. The OS dates back to the iPhone 3G, and was the very first version of the platform to support apps. Because the statistics are app-based, it's unknown how many people may still be on iOS 1.x.
Number of alerts now customizable
Two more minor changes have been uncovered in the iOS 4.3 beta. AppleInsider notes that under the "Message" section of the Settings app, users can now change how often an alert tone is played for texts. Alerts can be set to occur once, twice, three times, five times or even 10 times. This compares to iOS 4.2.1, in which people can only set "Repeat Alert" to trigger two extra alerts for new messages.