The rift between Apple and Google may be growing as news is surfacing that Apple had purchased Google Maps competitor, Placebase and its accompanying Pushpin API in July.
Placebase and Google Maps are similar in the sense that they both map out various locations with a detailed image. However, Placebase offers different kinds of aggregated data from locations it has mapped such as demographics and crime data.
According to a Tweet from Jaron Waldman and an updated LinkedIn profile indicating he’s started working under Apple’s Geo team, it seems that this has gone under the radar, until now. The final confirmation of Apple’s acquisition came from Computerworld which points out the easily passed up Tweet from Jaron. But the biggest question is what Apple intends to do with Placebase. Many speculate that the Cupertino based company would use it as an alternative should its relationship with Google sour. The change could see the Apple developed Google Maps App on the iPhone and iPod Touch aggregate data from Placebase instead and all that would be required is a simple Software Update. However, Apple could leverage Placebase’s various… more...
As with every new Firmware release from Apple, features as well as security are equally emphasized. It’s no surprise to see at least a few important security fixes included in the latest Firmware update.
Just like it would with any Software update, Apple has issued a knowledge base article detailing what’s changed and what’s been fixed in this latest release. A few of the most important fixes:
MobileMail - Description: Spotlight finds and allows access to deleted messages in Mail folders on the device. This would allow a person with access to the device to view the deleted messages. This update addresses the issue by not including the deleted email in the Spotlight search result. This issue only affects iPhone OS 3.0, iPhone OS 3.0.1, and iPhone OS for iPod touch 3.0. Credit to Clickwise Software and Tony Kavadias for reporting this issue.
Telephony - Impact: Receiving a maliciously crafted SMS message may lead to an unexpected service interruption. A null pointer dereference issue exists in the handling of SMS arrival notifications. Receiving a maliciously crafted SMS message may lead to an unexpected service interruption. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of incoming SMS messages. Credit… more...
AT&T and Apple are always trying to improve the iPhone and the network that powers it. A couple of new features coming our way from AT&T could make the iPhone’s cellular capabilities a little bit more robust.
According to Apple Insider, the new features could arrive by year’s end and are detailed below:
* Overage alerts would notify users via push notification badges, messages, or sounds when they approach their monthly anytime minutes limit.
* New voice mail options would let users disable the custom voice mail greeting (including AT&T’s standard voice mail introduction) and allow them to skip greetings (standard or otherwise) or other automated instructions when calling other AT&T customers.
The features are said to have been influenced by customer feedback such as the ability to disable the computerized voice instructions for leaving a wireless subscriber a voicemail. Recently, there have been community inspired efforts to get rid of said messages, luckily carriers have been listening which could explain AT&T’s continued commitment to improve iPhone usage on its network by further disabling that annoying pre-recorded intro.
AT&T has delayed rolling out its MMS service to iPhone users due to concerns that their network wouldn’t be able to handle the added traffic. The wait was been long and a set date of September 25th was given by AT&T itself but there are some reports that users have MMS enabled early.
MMS (Multi Media Messaging) has been one of the few basic features lacking from the iPhone since day one and it took until Firmware 3.0 for it to even be acknowledged. Apple’s stance was that email would be an adequate substitute considering the iPhone had a robust mail client. This didn’t go over too well with some users and now, the upgrade to MMS is beginning. Two sources, Howard’s Forums and The Consumerist report that users ranging across most parts of the US already have MMS enabled. To meet the requirements, you need a carrier profile of 5.0 or 5.1 (you can view your profile under “Settings > General > About > Carrier”), however mine is the former and I have yet to receive MMS functionality.
If you can’t wait for MMS to officially come… more...
One of the many features included in Firmware 3.1 for the iPhone and iPod Touch is anti-phishing for Safari. However, Apple hasn’t given any indication within the upgrade that anti-phishing is even available. Jim Dalrymple of Loop Insight questioned the matter and got an official response from Apple:
“Safari’s anti-phishing database is downloaded while the user charges their phone in order to protect battery life and ensure there aren’t any additional data fees,” Apple spokesman, Bill Evans, told The Loop. “After updating to iPhone OS 3.1 the user should launch Safari, connect to a Wi-Fi network and charge their iPhone with the screen off. For most users this process should happen automatically when they charge their phone.”
While its convenient to have the list downloaded in the background when our iPhones aren’t in use, I don’t see why Apple could have downloaded the data while syncing to iTunes or at least give you some sort of indication of what’s going on. Some have asked why Apple doesn’t reroute address requests to a web based filtering service such as Google’s anti-phishing tech (which the desktop version of Safari uses) but… more...
Just a reminder that Apple’s iTunes and iPod event is today. If you haven’t already, enter our sister site, Apple Matter’s contest to win a Speck CandyShell case for you iPhone.
Stay tuned for coverage.more...
In another game of cat and mouse, Apple has subjected Manomio’s C64 emulator to a strenuous review process. However, it was finally approved, which brought a glimmer of hope that Apple would be reforming its App Store review policies; but alas, it was null and void as the App was promptly removed.
Manomio’s C64 App was first denied in June of this year due to its ability to execute run time code (it is a Commodore emulator after all) which is expressibly forbidden according to the iPhone SDK 2.0 agreement. However, once Manomio stripped out access to the BASIC interpretor from the App, it gained access in to the App Store only to be cut out again. The reason? While BASIC was removed originally, it was hidden within the App and could be accessed with a simple shortcut. The shortcut to enable BASIC within the emulator is simple according to the The iPhone Blog:
(If you’re dying to get your BASIC on, however, reader Stooovie let us know you can still access it by enabling “always show full keyboard”, starting a game, paging over to the EXTRA keyboard, and then… more...
Apple has banned another App from entering its App Store. The App in question, uMonitor, allows users to check the status of their Torrent downloads on their computer. However, the App does not allow users to download Torrents on to their phone.
The App was denied after sitting in review limbo for well over four months which is far beyond the normal time frame Apps are usually approved but then again, this App touches a sensitive subject in the tech community: Torrenting. While using the protocol itself isn’t considered illegal, the fact that it has become synonymous with downloading pirated media usually causes concerns. However, Apple assumes you will use the App to abuse a third party’s rights while in reality, it just monitors your current downloads.
A quote from Apple reveals that the Cupertino based company believes that whoever downloads this App would automatically use it to download media that would otherwise require being bought and to infringe on third party rights:
“We’ve reviewed µMonitor and determined that we cannot post this version of your application to the App Store at this time because this category of applications is often used… more...
One of the biggest complaints users had about the original iPhone was that it was locked down to AT&T in the states and lacked a diverse amount of carriers worldwide. Since the release of the iPhone 3G, Apple has expanded the supporting list of carriers to over 70, but that still isn’t stopping users from unlocking their iPhones, and if you’re in Finland, you can too.
Users may unlock their iPhones for various reasons such as to increase the resale value of their device by being able to sell it to anyone regardless of which carrier they’re on or to switch to another carrier that offers a better cellular plan. While unofficial methods exist such as unlocks supplied by the iPhone DevTeam and those developed by hacker extraordinaire, George Hotz, Sonera of Finland is offering a special deal to it’s wireless customers.
With the release of the iPhones 3GS earlier this year, users were excited to upgrade their devices but had to pay off their remaining contracts to purchase the newly upgraded iPhone. If a user payed off their contract, their old iPhone was essentially contractless and as a token of goodwill,… more...
After Apple filed it’s response to the FCC, it’s App Store reviewing policies have been revealed, which give more insight into the highly veiled App Store.
According to Apple there are more than 40 full-time reviewers overlooking App Store submissions and updates while an executive board that meets weekly to discuss App store policies and escalated issues. However, this quote by Apple sums up the core breakdown of the App Store:
95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted. Apple generally spends most of the review period making sure that the applications function properly, and working with developers to fix quality issues and software bugs in applications. We receive about 8,500 new applications and updates every week, and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted. In little more than a year, we have reviewed more than 200,000 applications and updates.
Mike Ash of Rogue Amoeba did some math on the numbers released by Apple and gave a basic run down of what kind of process goes behind approving Applications and updates to the App Store.
There are 8,500 App Store… more...