Australian teen pleads guilty to hacking Apple

An Australian teenager pleaded guilty today to charges over repeatedly hacking into Apple’s computer systems, The Age reports. He reportedly was able to access authorized keys, view customer accounts and download 90GB of secure files before being caught. Once alerted to the repeated intrusions, Apple blocked the teen and notified the FBI of the breaches. The agency in turn contacted the Australian Federal Police who raided the teenager’s home last year, seizing two Apple laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: The Age

Turkey’s president calls for a boycott of US electronics

As tensions mount between the US and Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now calling for the country to boycott US electronics. He even called out the iPhone specifically — a product he’s often seen using. “Every product that we buy in foreign currency from outside, we will produce them here and sell abroad,” Erdogan said during a speech given in Ankara, “We will boycott the electronics products of the US.” He added, “If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side. And we have our own telephone brands.”

Via: New York Times

Verizon looks to Apple and Google for live TV over 5G

Following a rumor last month that Verizon could partner with Apple or Google for TV tie-ins on its rollout of 5G wireless internet, the company announced it has deals with both. The 5G Residential Broadband service it will offer in Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Indianapolis will offer promotional packages with an Apple TV 4K box, and a tie-in with the streaming YouTube TV service. While Verizon did not announce details, according to Bloomberg sources customers will either be able to choose a free box or a free subscription. The report indicates customers can also choose streaming packages from the NFL, NBA or (the Verizon-owned parent company of Engadget) Oath.

Indianapolis is a new addition to the list of cities where 5G will launch later this year, initially for fixed receivers before mobile devices begin to roll out in 2019.

Source: Verizon (1), (2)

iOS 12 won’t launch with FaceTime group chats

We hope you weren’t planning a group FaceTime chat the very moment iOS 12 and macOS Mojave reached your devices. The release notes for Apple’s latest iOS 12 and Mojave developer betas reveal that group FaceTime won’t be available in either operating system on launch, and will instead arrive in an update “later this fall.” Much like Apple Pay Cash, you could be waiting weeks or months to try the tent pole feature.

Source: 9to5Mac

The nine headphones that made our back-to-school guide

So you’re headed off to college in the fall. What are you going to use to help you focus when you’re on deadline? To tune out the rowdy partiers down the hall? Whether you need a pair of earbuds, a set of sound-cancelling cans or just a pair of budget headphones that don’t suck, our annual back-to-school guide has you covered.

If you can only afford one pair, Jabra’s Elite 65t wireless earbuds are our go-to recommendation. Athletes will appreciate the Jaybird Run earbuds or perhaps the wired Beats X ‘buds, while market leader Bose remains our top pick in the noise-canceling category. (Go with the QuietComfort QC35 II.) And if you’re looking for an over-the-ear-style headset, we have picks from Audeze, Blue, TMA-2, Corsair and Even, including a few models designed for gamers. Find all that and all our other picks in Engadget’s full back-to-school Continue reading “The nine headphones that made our back-to-school guide”

Apple Music’s latest visual album is a full-length opera

Apple Music has added a new visual album, and it’s one classical music fans would love. Cupertino has teamed up with Deutsche Grammophon, one of the biggest classical music labels, to launch a curated channel that highlights the company’s best recordings. One of the portal’s first offerings is the 2008 Salzburg Festival staging of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette featuring star tenor Rolando Villazón — and, yes, the service is making the full-length performance available as a 32-track visual album. You can watch them all at once or just choose parts to play if you can only stomach specific arias. Apple Music has other visual albums you can stream, most notably, Frank Ocean’s Endless, but this is the first time the platform is offering a full-length opera in the format.

Source: Apple Music

Former Tesla engineering lead Doug Field is back with Apple

Tesla confirmed in July that instead of returning from a six-week break, senior engineering VP Doug Field had departed the company. The timing was interesting as it came during Tesla’s push to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan, which was the kind of issue we’d expected Field to address after he joined in 2013. Whatever the reasons for his split from Tesla, Daring Fireball writer John Gruber has confirmed with Apple PR that Field is back with the company he left five years ago.

Going a step further, Gruber said that he has heard from sources that instead of returning to Mac engineering, Field is working on Apple’s rebooted Project Titan vehicle team — a move that could suggest it has bigger plans than just an add-on self-driving car kit. Normally, we’d be on alert for a snarky tweet or two from Elon Musk about the shift (three Continue reading “Former Tesla engineering lead Doug Field is back with Apple”

Verizon bundles Unlimited plans with six months of Apple Music

Verizon has added a new perk to its unlimited plans, and it’s thankfully a straightforward one that won’t make the carrier’s rather complex choices and tiers even more confusing. Starting on August 16th, you’ll get six months of free access to Apple Music with an unlimited plan. Even better, it doesn’t sound like an add-on simply meant to attract new subscribers, because you can sign up for the freebie whether you apply for a new unlimited line or whether you already have one.

Source: Verizon

Twitter doesn’t have the spine to ban Alex Jones

It seems like every major tech company has had enough of Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist and propagandist behind the controversial far-right site InfoWars. Well, almost everyone. The obvious holdout: Twitter. On Monday, Twitter said InfoWars and its associated accounts, including Jones’, were not currently violating its rules. And last night its CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, tried to explain the decision. He said Twitter is going to “hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account,” but that it isn’t “taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”

The nine speakers we recommend in our back-to-school guide

Though our back-to-school guide includes plenty of headphones, we threw in just as many speakers. Whether you intend to host a few parties or just want the convenience of a smart speaker, we found a number of models that we feel earn their space in your dorm. As you might expect, our list of nine picks include plenty of smart speakers, including usual suspects like the Apple HomePod, Google Home and Sonos One. Our feeling is, if you’re going to invest in bookshelf or desktop speakers, you may as well have the option of using voice commands.

That said, nearly half of our recommendations are portable, with highlights from JBL, Bang & Olufsen and the category leader, UE. As a warning, not everything on this list is cheap (we’re looking at you, Klipsch), but some, like the UE Wonderboom are much cheaper, with a street price of around Continue reading “The nine speakers we recommend in our back-to-school guide”

Apple says the iPhone doesn’t listen to your conversations

Last month, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee fired off a letter to Apple following reports that phones and other devices, such as smart speakers, can listen in on conversations. Now, the tech giant has sent the Representatives its response: iPhones, it says, don’t listen to people’s conversations and don’t share people’s spoken words with third-parties. In what could be interpreted as a dig at its staunchest competitors, Cupertino explains in the letter (courtesy of CNET) that the customer is not its product and that its business model “does not depend on collecting vast amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertisers.”

Source: Reuters, CNET

Apple develops series based on hit historical novel ‘Pachinko’

Apple’s ever-expanding show library may scratch the itch if you’re the literary sort. Deadline and Variety have learned that Apple has landed the rights to a series based on Min Jin Lee’s bestselling 2017 novel Pachinko. The historical epic details the story of four generations of a Korean immigrant family as it makes its way from its homeland to Japan and the US. Min Jin Lee will serve as an executive producer alongside Soo Hugh (producer for The Terror and Under the Dome), who’s also writing the potential show.

Source: Deadline, Variety

North Carolina elementary teachers will get iPads to bolster reading

Apple’s renewed push for iPads in schools appears to be paying dividends. North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has unfurled plans to give the state’s K-3 teachers iPads to help improve and track student reading. Educators will use the tablets to “reduce burdens” and boost interaction as kids advance their reading levels. Johnson didn’t outline the cost per tablet, but the state will pay $6 million out of a $15 million pool of unused money from previous budget years.

Source: WRAL

InfoWars fans flock to apps following recent bans

While a number of tech companies have purged their sites of Alex Jones podcasts and accounts over the last couple of days, not all InfoWars-related content has been taken down. And what’s still available continues to attract interest. CNBC reports today that the InfoWars app, which is still available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, is being downloaded quite a bit, taking the fourth spot in Apple’s chart of top free news-related apps. As of writing, the app was number 12 in Google’s chart of top free news and magazine apps.

Via: CNBC, 9to5Mac

Apple Music’s ‘Friends Mix’ is a playlist of your pals’ top tunes

Apple is giving your friends the keys to your Music account. Okay, not really, but every Monday, it’ll compile 25 songs your friends are listening to into a playlist dubbed, you guessed it, “Friends Mix.” 9to5Mac notes that this doesn’t seem to be tied to a specific iOS update. From the sounds of it, the new trick relies heavily on the social features (seeing your friends’ listening history, specifically) announced last June.

Of course, this isn’t the only playlist feature Apple Music has going for it. There’s also “My Chill Mix” and the weekly new release mix. Editorial and personalized playlists have been Spotify’s bread and butter for awhile, and Apple Music is keen to take a few notes from its competitor. The feature is currently in a staggered rollout so, if you don’t see the mix pop up in your For You section, or Siri doesn’t respond when Continue reading “Apple Music’s ‘Friends Mix’ is a playlist of your pals’ top tunes”

Logitech’s wireless iPhone charging stand helps you watch movies

Wireless chargers are often finicky things: they tend to require that you place your phone just so, and stands usually preclude you from using your phone in anything but a vertical position. Logitech and Apple think they can lick both of those problems at once. They’ve teamed up on Powered, an iPhone-oriented wireless charging stand that promises to keep your device topped up no matter how you’re using it. The cradle design both simplifies placement (just drop it in and go) and lets you charge while the phone is turned sideways — helpful if you’re determined to finish watching a movie when you return home.

Source: Logitech

Apple Pay Cash leads Consumer Reports’ first payment service test

Peer-to-peer mobile payment services are all the rage these days (eMarketer expects a 24 percent jump in US adoption in 2018), but which of them is actually the safest to use? Consumer Reports might have an idea. The publication has conducted its first head-to-head test of payment services, and it’s clear that some services are better picks than others. While all of the payment platforms were “good enough to use,” Apple Pay Cash was the victor due to its stronger-than-usual privacy and security.

Source: Consumer Reports