News – iDrop News Apple News, How Tos and Culture. Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:07:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 News – iDrop News 32 32 Huawei Steps Closer to Overtaking Apple’s iPhone Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:02:21 +0000 Though one recent report suggested that iOS is gaining in popularity among Android converts in key markets around the world, data from analysts at International Data Corp. (IDC), paints a much more cautious — if not outright threatening — picture of Apple’s current status as the world’s No. 2 smartphone shipper by volume.

Specifically, according to IDC’s most recent data, it’s the up-and-coming, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei who’s overwhelming growth and popularity has skyrocketed in recent years — to the point, says IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo, that the company could easily knock Apple from its position within the next year.

“They will probably overtake Apple in the smartphone business, either this year or next year,” Jeronimo, IDC’s European-based director of mobile devices, recently told CNBC News. “This is a huge challenge for Samsung because Huawei aims to become number one.”

Samsung is currently the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor by volume, with Apple following closely in second place, and Huawei at No. 3.

  • Jeronimo points to the most recent sales data from the second-quarter of this year. Apple’s market share rose to 12%, based on total shipments of 41 million iPhones.
  • Huawei’s market share, though only 11.3%, actually rose year-over-year by a whopping 20%. The Chinese smartphone-maker shipped 38 million handsets in Q2, according to Business Insider.


Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has made a name for itself in mainland China for creating an arsenal of high-quality devices offered at affordable price points. Recent years, however, have seen the burgeoning smartphone-maker create a slew of more high-end devices like the generously-equipped Honor 8, which was clearly designed to go head-to-head with similar high-end offerings like the iPhone and Galaxy Note.

While it remains to be seen if Huawei’s attempt at overtaking Apple is ultimately successful, it’s definitely worth pointing out that “marketshare,” or rather the monopolization thereof, is not and never really was a driving force up in Cupertino. Certainly, Apple would like to sell as many iPhones as it possibly can, however, far more integral to the tech-giant’s sustained success is not the iPhone itself, but the sale of everything else that goes along with it — whether that be apps, digital content like movies and music, accessories, or otherwise.

And besides, even if Huawei ends up selling more smartphones than Apple next year (which it feasibly could), that’s certainly not to suggest the Honor-maker will bank anywhere near what Cupertino stands to. In fact, according to the latest data collected by market research firm Strategy Analytics, between just the two of them, Samsung and Apple took home an unprecedented 94% of the smartphone industry’s overall profits last year.

Nearly All Wi-Fi Networks Are Vulnerable to New KRACK Exploit Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:48:41 +0000 A serious vulnerability in basically every Wi-Fi network has been discovered. The security flaw could leave millions of networks and devices prone to attacks.

The weakness exists within the WPA2 security protocol that protects and encrypts Wi-Fi networks and their data. The vulnerability could allow attackers to access passwords, e-mails and other data that were once presumed to be secure. In some cases, hackers can inject malicious code or ransomware into a website that a user is visiting.

“This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on,” researcher Mathy Vanhoef wrote. “The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks.”

The exploit was discovered by security researchers weeks ago, but its revelation was kept a secret until this morning’s scheduled disclosure. A website detailing the vulnerability — and the researcher’s proof-of-concept exploit called KRACK — is now online. According to the site, the researcher’s exploit can be used to steal a plethora of sensitive data.

Vanhoef also uploaded a video showing off the KRACK proof-of-concept exploit attacking a Google Android device. It works by forcing the device to reinstall an all-zero encryption key, rather than the actual key provided by the WPA2 protocol.

In addition to Vanhoef’s public disclosure, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team has already distributed an advisory to about 100 organizations.

The WPA2 flaw allows attackers to target both Wi-Fi access points, as well as smartphones, computers and other devices connected to vulnerable networks. iOS and Windows are less susceptible to the most severe attacks, but Linux and Android are especially prone to them.

Additionally, Vanhoef said that, while using websites protected by HTTPS can offer another layer of security, these encrypted sites can be improperly configured. This can allow attackers to force the sites to drop back to transmitting standard HTTP data. HTTPS has previously been bypassed in iOS, macOS, Android and even when browsing using a VPN.

Luckily, Vanhoef added, the flaw doesn’t necessarily signal the need for a rollout of a WPA3 standard. The researcher said that WPA2 can be patched via backwards-compatible methods. Due to this, it’s recommended that users update all of their devices and Wi-Fi access points when security updates become available.

As of Monday morning, Apple told iMore’s Rene Ritchie that the vulnerability has been patched in the newest beta versions of iOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS. Presumably, the official new versions of Apple’s operating systems will contain the patch when they roll out.

How to Protect Your Devices

Currently, it’s recommended that all users update to the latest available software versions, as they’ll render KRACK and similar exploits less effective. While developers and public beta testers will be able to download the newest Apple beta versions, regular users should keep an eye out for upcoming emergency updates. Additionally, here are a few assorted tips to help keep your data safe.

  • Update all of your devices that can connect to Wi-Fi as soon as possible.
  • Find out if your Wi-Fi router has been patched. If it has, download and install its firmware update.
  • Use the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • Forego Wi-Fi networks in favor of ethernet connections when possible.
  • Consider turning off Wi-Fi on your smartphone. Instead, rely on cellular data which is not prone to the KRACK exploit.
  • Don’t rely solely on a VPN. While they can be great for security, KRACK and related exploits can bypass them in certain circumstances.
Nearly All Wi-Fi Networks Are Vulnerable to New KRACK Exploit A serious vulnerability in basically every Wi-Fi network has been discovered. The security flaw could leave millions of networks and devices prone to attac KRACK,Security,WPA2 Protocol
Brooklyn Man Says Apple Watch Detected Abnormal Heart Rate, Saved His Life Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:02:21 +0000 A mass-market wearable might not seem like the likeliest of heroes, but one man said that his Apple Watch saved his life.

Podcaster James Greene of Brooklyn, New York tweeted about the incident on Oct. 13. Reportedly, the device alerted him of a spike in his heart rate, which prompted him to call his doctor. At the time, he said didn’t know that the notification sent by his “stupid lil wrist computer” he had bought two years prior would save his life.

It turns out, Greene said, that he had a pulmonary embolism — a potentially life-threatening condition caused by blocked arteries in the lungs. The risk of death, however, is greatly reduced by prompt treatments to break up those clots, according to Mayo Clinic.

In a separate tweet, Greene specifically thanked the makers of Heart Watch, a third party app that sends a notification to users when it detects heart rate abnormalities using the Apple Watch’s built-in heart rate monitor. By default, the app can notify users if their heart rate spikes above 120bmp when they’re at rest.

Greene said that he was later discharged from the hospital and sent home after the incident. And although he added that he will be on blood thinners “for life,” he hopes that this is the last time that it happens.

According to one study conducted by Stanford University and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Services, the Apple Watch has the most accurate heart rate monitor of any fitness tracker. Another study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco showed that the Apple Watch can detect heart issues with around a 97 percent accuracy.

Apple has placed increasing focus on the Apple Watch’s health and wellness uses. Earlier this year, Apple announced that it was working with clinicians at Stanford University and experts at American Well to determine if the wearable’s heart rate monitors could detect abnormal heart rhythms, or cardiac arrhythmias, CNBC reported in May.

It isn’t the first time an Apple Watch owner has said that the wearable helped save their life. In 2015, a teen said that the Apple Watch’s heart monitor alerted him of a dangerously elevated heart rate. And earlier this year, a man involved in a car accident said that his Apple Watch helped him contact first responders in the wake of the crash.

Apple Releases Third Betas of iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1 and tvOS11.1 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:40:44 +0000 Apple on Monday released the third beta versions of iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1 to registered developers, just one week after releasing the last batch of beta testing software.

iOS 11.1

iOS 11.1 beta 3 presumably includes a number of bug fixes, under-the-hood changes and performance improvements to the operating system. No major outward-facing features have been discovered in the latest beta version, but the update includes significant new features added in iOS 11.1 beta 2.

  • iOS 11.1 adds a slew of new emoji in the new Unicode 10 standard. With 56 new options in all, Unicode 10 adds various emoji such as new animals, dinosaurs, mythical creatures in male and female genders, several gender-neutral faces, and food and clothing options.
  • In addition, iOS 11.1 beta 3 includes the long-awaited reintroduction of the popular 3D Touch App Switcher gesture. Intentionally removed in iOS 11 due to technical issues, the gesture was added back into Apple’s operating system in last week’s iOS 11.1 beta 2.
  • Currently, it doesn’t look like Apple has added AirPlay 2 or Apple Pay Cash with iOS 11.1 beta 3, but those features might be added to the OS before the official release of iOS 11.1 — which is expected later this fall.

iOS 11.1 beta 3 is now available to registered developers via an over-the-air update, provided that the proper configuration profile is installed. It’s also available through the developer’s portal. It’s also likely Apple will release the public beta version this week.

watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1

Apple also issued third beta versions of watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1. Like iOS 11.1 beta 3, these two updates focus on under-the-hood changes and bug fixes, as no major outward facing changes have been discovered.

  • watchOS 4.1 will bring support for Apple Music content streaming via LTE to the Apple Watch Series 3.
  • It will also include the 56 new Unicode 10 emoji, and a new Radio app with access to Beats 1 and other Apple Music stations.

watchOS 4.1 beta 3 can be downloaded via the dedicated Apple Watch app on a connected iPhone.

tvOS 11.1 is more of an incremental update with the addition of bug fixes and performance improvements to the set-top box operating system. tvOS 11.1 beta 3 can be downloaded via a profile installed with Xcode on a Mac.

Foxconn Ships 46,500 iPhone X Devices, Supply Concerns Persist Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:42:03 +0000 With the highly-anticipated iPhone X just a few weeks away from going up for pre-order, it’d be reasonable to assume that Apple’s assembly partners are churning them out like butter by now. A new report, however, is claiming this morning that Foxconn has only just recently shipped its first batch of iPhone X devices, totaling a paltry 46,500 units.

Furthermore, the inaugural shipment was allegedly split with some of the devices traveling from Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou and Shanghai provinces, respectively, to The Netherlands and to the United Arab Emirates, according to a Chinese supply chain source quoted by DigiTimes. Both of those countries are among the over 50 markets in which Apple will launch the iPhone X on November 3.

“Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai) has started shipping iPhone X devices, with the first batch of 46,500 units already being shipped out from Zhengzhou and Shanghai to the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates,” the report said, while cautioning that “The first-batch shipments of the iPhone X units were much lower than the previous iPhone models, which apparently will make the iPhone X one of the most difficult-to-find smartphone these days.”

Supply and Demand

Of course, we’ve known for quite some time that iPhone X availability would be limited at launch; however this morning’s report gives us a pretty good idea of what we can truly expect moving into the holiday season and beyond. Though the report cites that Foxconn has quadrupled its iPhone X production yields from 100,000 to 400,000 units per day, this otherwise substantial sum is actually a spit in the bucket so far as iPhone X supply will ultimately relate to demand.

Thus far, multiple reports have suggested that the main obstacle hindering iPhone X production is the device’s all-new TrueDepth camera system, which has proved much more of a challenge to produce than Apple expected. The TrueDepth camera on iPhone X will facilitate 3D image processing, advanced augmented reality applications, and the company’s next-generation of biometric security dubbed Face ID.

At this point, it would seem that iPhone X availability is going to be far, far more restrained at launch than even the analysts expected. The historically accurate Ming-Chi Kuo, for instance, recently predicted that Apple will ship as many as 35 million iPhone X devices by the end of 2017; however, it’ll be interesting to see how the company is able to reach this goal at its current production rate.

Of course, while your best chance of scoring an iPhone X on launch day (Friday, October 27th) remains waking up and logging on at 12:01 am to pre-order,  just be forewarned that shipping estimates and availability will likely extend weeks, or even months, into the future shortly thereafter.

Qualcomm Sues Apple to Stop iPhone Production and Sales in China Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:44:41 +0000 Qualcomm has filed a series of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in China, seeking to halt iPhone sales and manufacturing in the world’s largest smartphone market, according to Bloomberg. If successful, Qualcomm could cripple Apple, whose iPhones are mostly produced in China and constitute its primary source of revenue.

The latest lawsuits were filed by Qualcomm in September 29 in Beijing’s intellectual property court, alleging that the current iPhones infringe on three patents covering power management and Force Touch technology.

“Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them,” a Qualcomm spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Apple has denied the claims, and argues that the patent suits are meritless. “Apple believes deeply in the value of innovation, and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed and in fact were only granted in the last few months,” an Apple spokesperson said.

It’s just the latest salvo in a bitter legal battle that began earlier this year when Apple ordered its manufacturing partners and subsidiaries to halt royalty payments to the smartphone chip manufacturer. The iPhone manufacturer accused Qualcomm of charging an exorbitant amount for use of patents necessary to make the iPhone. Qualcomm promptly launched a series of patent countersuits in a legal dispute that stretches from South Korea to the US, where it is also seeking to halt iPhone sales.

Qualcomm has also been dealt massive fines by government regulators in various countries for anti-competitive practices. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission handed Qualcomm a $773 million fine for monopolistic behavior. Earlier this month, a South Korean court upheld a $912 million fine for antitrust violations.

However, it’s not likely that Apple will allow the lawsuits to disrupt iPhone production. The chipmaker’s true aim is to draw Apple back into negotiations and force it to restart royalty payments.

New Data Shows Apple Is Stealing Android Users in Eight Regions Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:24:57 +0000 iOS’s share of the mobile operating system market is steadily increasing, as the Apple ecosystem saw gains in eight territories over the summer, according to new data published by Kantar Worldpanel.

In the three month period between June and August 2017, Apple’s mobile OS saw growth in Spain, China, the U.S., Germany, France, the EU, Australia and Italy compared to the same time period last year.

In the United States, iOS’s share of the mobile ecosystem jumped from 31.3 percent to 35 percent over the last year.

Although Android still dominates the U.S. market with 63.2 percent, its lead has dropped by several percentage points over the same time period.

“Apple maintained strong momentum in the US one month before the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar’s Global Business Unit Director. He added that iOS will likely continue to see positive growth into the holiday period.

iOS Marketshare Gain (in Percent)

  • Spain +4.4
  • China +4.3
  • U.S. +3.7
  • Germany + 2.3
  • France +1.7
  • EU +1.2
  • Australia +0.9
  • Italy +0.4

It’s a slightly different story in Great Britain, however. According to Kantar’s data, iOS’s share dropped in the UK by 2 points as Android’s share increased from 58.9 percent in 2016 to 65.3 percent in the three-month period ending in August 2017.

Kantar did note that iOS’s share would probably see a bump once new iPhones are accounted for. Apple also saw a market share decrease in Japan, although arguably a negligible one: between 2016 and 2017, its share dipped 0.1 percentage points.

However, with the iPhone X’s launch looming on the horizon, things are looking up for Apple and iOS. Anticipation for the premium OLED handset is strong, and many analysts believe Apple fans and prospective buyers are holding out until it launches — citing fairly low first-weekend sales for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Don’t Miss This Giant Robot Battle Scheduled for Oct. 17 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 21:28:23 +0000 If you needed proof that we’re living in the future, how about this: there’s a giant robot battle scheduled for later this month.

Yes, you read that right. The MegaBots vs. Suidobashi duel (which is being hailed as the world’s first giant robot fight) is officially scheduled for Oct. 17. It’s been a long-time coming, too. The project has been in the works for about two years, since MegaBots first challenged Suidobashi to a duel in 2015. There’s been a number of false starts along the way: the battle almost happened in August, but was canceled last minute due to “logistical issues.”

Robot battles are nothing new, but this one is different. When they say giant, they really mean giant.

Just look at this promotional image of the MegaBots robot, with its engineering team thrown in for scale. These are big robots on the scale of what we’ve only seen in movies.

The duel will see the Eagle Prime robot (pictured below), built by Bay Area engineering company MegaBots, face off against Kuratas, a robot built by Japan-based Suidobashi Heavy Industries. For size reference, Eagle Prime is 16 feet tall and weighs 12 tons, Kuratas is only a bit smaller at 13 feet tall and clocking in at 6.5 tons.

The American MegaBots has long envisioned a televised giant robot battle league, but its dream has been slow to come to fruition. Building enough giant robots to warrant an entire league is no small feat. But the engineering team has been steadily moving toward that goal, documenting its progress with a web series and making an appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt earlier this year.

How to Stream MegaBots vs. Suidobashi Duel

  • MegaBots vs. Suidobashi will take place at 7 p.m. Pacific Time (10 p.m. Eastern) on Tuesday, Oct. 17. You can stream it live, worldwide, via Twitch.
  • If you can’t watch it then, the duel will be viewable on YouTube and Facebook immediately after it wraps up.
Samsung’s ‘Unprecedented Crisis’ Leads Veteran CEO to Resign Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:33:21 +0000 It appears that yet another crisis is unfolding at Samsung. We’re not talking about the company’s self-described “dismal state”, or another Galaxy Note device gone up-in-flames, or the tech-giant’s latest debacle, which saw its chairman Lee Jae-yong imprisoned for five years following his sentencing on charges of bribery, corruption, and perjury..

This is a completely unrelated issue, apparently, which came to light earlier this week courtesy of a report which asserted that Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s acting Chief Executive Officer of 32-years, will be resigning in March, 2018, citing an “unprecedented crisis” of vague proportions.

“As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry,” Oh-hyun said in a letter to Samsung employees, a copy of which was obtained by The Telegraph. “It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off.”

While details about this ‘crisis’ are noticeably scant, it would appear from Oh-hyun’s statement that he’s merely looking to “pass the baton,” so to speak, onto the next-generation of leaders and innovators in the tech space. What’s interesting, is that while the company has clearly and unmistakably been put through the wringer over the last few years, most recent reports suggest that, for once in a long while, things may be turning around for Samsung.

For instance, the Galaxy-maker is expected to report a significant, year-over-year growth in revenue of 62 trillion won ($54 billion) for the current quarter — in comparison to the 47.8 trillion won ($42 billion) generated during the same quarter last year.

And while Samsung’s operating profits are expected to be as much as three-times higher than usual (due to its role in supplying so many components for iPhone, as well as the popularity of its own flagship smartphones), we’d find it hard to believe the company’s veteran CEO would simply get up and bounce like that. Then again, with no successor plans currently in place — and Samsung’s other executive powers simmering in the slammer for a few more years — perhaps the company is merely looking for a new direction to help it navigate the ever-evolving tech space.

NYPD Seeks Help Identifying Thief Who Stole $58,000 Worth of iPhones Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:25:21 +0000 We’ve covered many incredibly devious iPhone thefts across the world, from California, to Massachusetts, to China; and now the New York Police Department has added its own massive iPhone heist to the growing list.

At an Apple retail store in Manhattan, the unidentified man acted as a “messenger,” relaying to one of the Apple store employees that he was there for a pickup.

The employee then handed over three large boxes, containing roughly 100 iPhone 7 devices worth approximately $58,000 USD.

The man fled the scene “in a white Ford van with unknown license plates” according to the Associated Press.

A video of the incident was released by the NYPD, and again has asked the public for help to identify and ultimately catch the criminal.

According to the New York Post it could’ve been an inside job. “Police…believe the suspect had prior knowledge of the way pick-ups are handled at the store. The man is described as bald, 5-foot-10 tall, approximately 195 pounds and 45 to 55 years old.” See the surveillance video below.

Here’s How Much iPhone Internals Have Changed After 10 Years Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:02:48 +0000 The iPhone’s form factor and design have obviously changed quite a bit since the very first Apple flagship debuted ten years ago. But what’s less apparent is how much the iPhone’s internals have changed.

To illustrate just how much the iPhone has progressed internally, Bloomberg has partnered with popular device teardown site iFixit to put together an interactive web page that lets users take a peek at almost every iPhone’s internals. The results are interesting, and provide a high-resolution glimpse at the guts that make your beloved Apple flagship work.

Original iPhone (2007)

As an example, the above image is one of the internal components of the original iPhone — first debuted by Steve Jobs himself in 2007. To contrast, the image below is of the brand new iPhone 8, unveiled and launched by Apple in September.

iPhone 8 (2017)

At a glance, the difference is readily apparent. But they become even starker when you look at some of the specifications of each device.

Original iPhone

  • The original iPhone had a bulky, yellow lithium-ion battery rated for 1,400 mAh.
  • The device sports a 2-megapixel rear-camera. It lacks an LED flash and a front-facing camera.
  • The first iPhone supported 2G, or EDGE, cellular connectivity. That’s so outdated that AT&T doesn’t even operate a compatible network anymore.
  • Screen-wise, the original iPhone had a 3.5-inch display with a less-than-stellar 320×480 resolution.
  • Storage options included 4GB, 8GB or 16 GB.
  • The iPhone ran on a single-core processor with just 128MB of RAM.
  • It used Apple’s 30-pin adapter, replaced by Lightning in 2012. It did have a mechanical Home button and a 3.5mm headphone jack, however.

iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

  • The iPhone 8 has a much slimmer — yet taller — black lithium-ion battery rated for 1,812 mAh.
  • Cameras have come a long way. The iPhone 8 sports a 12-megapixel camera (with a dual-lens module for the larger iPhone 8 Plus). It also has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and True Tone LED Flash.
  • Obviously, the iPhone 8 supports 4G LTE network connectivity — it’s also the fastest iPhone for network speeds.
  • The iPhone 8 sports a 4.7-inch LCD display with a 1334×750 resolution. The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, has a 5.5-inch 1080p display.
  • Storage options include 64GB or 256GB.
  • The iPhone 8 runs on Apple’s new A11 Bionic six-core processor with 2GB of RAM. Notably, it’s currently the fastest smartphone processor by far.
  • The iPhone 8 has a capacitive Home button, no 3.5mm headphone Jack and a Lightning adapter.

If you’re a tech or Apple enthusiast, Bloomberg’s page is well-worth a visit. Although the publication hasn’t added certain iPhones — like the iPhone 5c or various “s” model devices — it has plans to. Additionally, the publication said it will continue to update the page as new iPhone models come out, meaning that it could be a good reference for Apple fans and tech news followers alike.

Original-iPhone-Internals Original iPhone (2007) iPhone-8-Internals iPhone 8 (2017)
New iPhone X Spyshot Reveals a (Temporary) Problem Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:38:16 +0000 Apple’s premium iPhone X is just a few weeks away from being made available for pre-order, and while initial supply is expected to be limited through the end of the year, Cupertino has apparently given its employees the thumbs-up to start using their iPhone X devices in public.

In any event, we have an even newer photo of an iPhone X in the wild to share with you today, which was published last night to Reddit by user EddiOS42. See the image below.

If you take a real close look at it, you’ll notice what is unmistakably an iPhone X — upon which the user (who’s presumably an Apple employee) is playing Pokémon GO. Obviously the handset itself looks great, we have no complaints there. But if you center your focus specifically on its massive, 5.8-inch edge-to-edge Super Retina display, you might perhaps be taken aback by those pronounced, blacked-out portions of the screen.

But why are they even there? you might wonder. And the answer is because Apple changed the handset’s aspect ratio considerably, employing a taller, more narrow display than its ever used on an iPhone before.

In comparison to the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus models (which all feature the same 16:9 aspect and ~67.4% screen-to-body ratios), the iPhone X boasts a considerably more unconventional aspect ratio of 19.5:9 with a whopping ~82.9% of it being pure OLED.

The good news about Apple’s use of such a gorgeous and pixel-dense (albeit elongated) display is that iPhone X users will enjoy a plethora of immersive, full-screen content through their favorite apps. However, the bad news is that until app developers begin updating their titles to take full advantage of iPhone X’s new aspect ratio, essentially any program (except for Apple’s system apps like Message, Health, Notes, Settings, etc.) will be hindered by those giant black bars.

All we can really do is hope developers get to work on their updates sooner than later, and perhaps a good portion of titles will be fully-compatible with iPhone X by the time it launches. Either way: should you encounter these black bars when running apps on your own iPhone X, remember you’re just a simple app update away from a fix.

Apple and Others Pledge Millions for Wine Country, Bay Area Fire Relief Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:55:18 +0000 Some of the largest tech firms in the country are pledging a combined $2.5 million to aid fire relief efforts in the wake of devastating blazes across Northern California.

The Cupertino-based Apple is donating $1 million to relief efforts in the area, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday. In addition, Apple said that it will match employee donations two-for-one — though it did not specify which organizations the funds would go to. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is currently abroad, tweeted Tuesday about the effort.

Google, based in Mountain View, is also donating $500,000 to relief efforts in the wake of fires — and will work with its longtime partner, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, to distribute the funds to local nonprofits.

The Menlo Park-based Facebook also announced earlier this week that it would be contributing $1 million to local nonprofits, including the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, according to a local NBC affiliate.

“I’m thinking of all our neighbors in harm’s way and I hope everyone stays safe,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. Facebook is also in a unique position to facilitate relief efforts, as its Safety Check features allow locals to mark themselves safe and its community message boards offer users a chance to pledge their own contributions and assistance.

The three tech companies are all headquartered in Silicon Valley in the Bay Area, meaning that the fires are raging close to home.

The fires, which first started late Sunday night, continue to rage in Wine Country areas such as Sonoma and Napa. Other blazes have devastated suburbs and neighborhoods in Santa Rosa and throughout the Northern Bay Area. At least 24 people have died as a result of the blazes and 20,000 have been evacuated. There are thousands more missing or unaccounted for.

Fires are not uncommon in Northern California in October, when dry weather and hot Santa Ana winds can make for risky fire conditions. But these are the worst fires that the area has seen in years, destroying more than 3,500 homes and businesses and scorching roughly 265 square miles. Several fires remain almost entirely uncontained Thursday, and thousands of people are still in the midst of evacuations.

TrueDepth Camera Production Issues Plague iPhone X Supply Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:31:06 +0000 You might just have to be extremely lucky to get your hands on an iPhone X this year — at least, if several new reports are any indication.

Taipei-based analyst Jeff Pu of Yuanta Investment Consulting has revised his iPhone X production forecast — and it’s not looking good for many prospective buyers. Specifically, Pu cut his forecast from a predicted 40 million units shipped this year down to 36 million in a new investment note distributed to clients on Thursday.

Back in September, renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities made a similar prediction. While he estimated that Apple would ship 40 million iPhone X units in 2017, he added that supply won’t be able to fully meet the high demand until 2018. So while it won’t be impossible to purchase an iPhone X this year, it’s going to be a lot harder than previous years.

To those who have been following the iPhone X for some time, that’s not exactly news. We’ve heard for months about a “multitude of production issues” and severe supply shortages plaguing the device’s launch. But as for why, Apple’s new TrueDepth Camera might be to blame.

Reportedly, Apple suppliers are still struggling to perfect the manufacturing process of the company’s new high-tech camera module, a tech executive familiar with the iPhone X’s production told Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday. Particularly, suppliers are running into trouble with the TrueDepth’s dot projector system and 3D sensors. Those production woes were first highlighted by Kuo a few weeks ago.

Kuo said that it’s taking more time to assemble the TrueDepth’s infrared dot projector (codenamed “Romeo”) than the infrared camera that analyzes the dot pattern (which is, fittingly, codenamed “Juliet”). Together, these two modules allow Face ID to create and analyze a precise depth map of a face — allowing it heightened security over Touch ID and other facial recognition systems.

The technology behind the TrueDepth system is undeniably cutting-edge. Previously, Kuo said that the tech that makes the facial recognition platform work is “years ahead” of Apple’s competition. He added that Android makers would need two and a half years to develop similar technology to make such a platform feasible.

The iPhone X is likely the most highly anticipated smartphone slated to launch this year. And it represents the largest leap forward for Apple’s flagship device in years. It’s expected to spur an “upgrade super-cycle” for Apple, that is, once supply can meet demand.

Despite supply issues, Pu said that the iPhone X will enter mass production in mid-October. It will begin shipping out from China to launch countries in the next week. The iPhone X will become available for pre-order on Oct. 27, just about two weeks from today, and the device will officially launch the following Friday: Nov. 3.

How to Detect and Prevent the iPhone Password Phishing Scam Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:35:12 +0000 Apple’s iOS is vulnerable to a new phishing attack, which is even more troubling because it’s extremely difficult to detect.

The malicious iOS app pushes a pop-up requesting your iCloud password that looks identical to a legitimate pop-up, leaving iOS users vulnerable to having their Apple ID passwords stolen and giving access to their iCloud accounts to hackers.

Felix Krause, founder of Fastlane, explains in his blog post that this iOS security loophole is very easy to abuse has been present for years. Krause declined to publish the actual source code of the pop-up, but noted that it is “shockingly easy to replicate the system dialog”.

It’s very simple to exploit the flaw due to the fact that users are used to being asked for their passwords very often, including when they are making app purchases, buying games, or accessing iCloud data.

The phishing scam doesn’t even require hackers to know your email address, Krause notes, because Apple sometimes sends password requests to users without mentioning their email addresses.

“iOS asks the user for their iTunes password for many reasons, the most common ones are recently installed iOS operating system updates or iOS apps that are stuck during installation. As a result, users are trained to just enter their Apple ID password whenever iOS prompts you to do so,” Krause said.

“However, those popups are not only shown on the lock screen, and the home screen, but also inside random apps, e.g. when they want to access iCloud, Game Center or In-App-Purchases.”

How to Detect and Prevent Apple ID Password Phishing

Thankfully, there’s a simple way to make sure that you are entering your password into an official dialog box instead of a phony one.

  • Krause explains that all you have to do is hit the home button any time a pop-up box appears.
  • If hitting the home button closes the app, then it was a phishing attack. If it remains on your screen, it’s a legitimate one.
  • To be safe, users should perform this test before entering any characters of their password into pop-ups.


Update to iOS 11 to Prevent Other Attacks

Security researchers have discovered a critical vulnerability in iOS 10 that could allow hackers to hijack an iPhone over Wi-Fi networks. All that’s needed for an attacker to hijack a handset is the device’s MAC address, which is easy to obtain over local networks. Click here to continue reading.

Learn More: 12 Important iOS 11 Security Tips You Should Know


Taiwan’s FTC Slapped Qualcomm with a $773 Million Fine Thu, 12 Oct 2017 16:30:51 +0000 The Free Trade Commission (FTC) of Taiwan has handed down a $773 million judgment against Qualcomm over what the Island-nation’s high court declared as systematic anti-trust violations, which have allegedly been taking place over the last seven years, according to a Bloomberg report.

It’s during that period of time, court documents state, Qualcomm collected an estimated $13.2 billion from local, Taiwanese companies.

“Qualcomm holds big number of standard essential patents in CDMA, WCDMA and LTE segments and is the dominant provider of CDMA, WCDMA and LTE baseband chips,” Taiwan’s FTC wrote, while adding that the chip-maker “abused its advantage in mobile communication standards, refused to license necessary patents.”

In addition to its whopping, multi-million dollar judgment, Taiwan’s FTC ruled that Qualcomm must also remove any terms — including names, numbers, shipping quantities and/or pricing details — from its products that are pertinent to previous licensing agreements. And of course, the greatest penalty of all is that this ruling could ultimately have major implications for Qualcomm’s myriad of ongoing legal battles with Apple.

Apple vs. Qualcomm

Of course, if you’ve been following the news this year, you’ll likely know this is but the latest in a long and complicated saga of Qualcomm’s courtroom drama — and while this case, in particular, appears to relate more so to the company’s overall business practices, it’s certainly worth noting that Apple has played a major role in bringing Qualcomm to its knees.

The whole fiasco began earlier this year when Apple, backed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, filed an injunction against Qualcomm for what the iPhone-maker alleged were unfair and monopolistic practices, claiming that the modem-maker withheld almost $1 billion in rebates from its partners because of an ongoing South Korean anti-trust investigation.

Alleging that the San Diego, Calif.-based chip-maker uses its “monopoly power” to leverage control over the market, Apple then accused Qualcomm of trying to undermine fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) patent commitments in order to maximize the royalties its customers owed for using Qualcomm-built chips.

Qualcomm and Apple each followed up with their own array of claims and damning accusations, including subsequent anti-trust lawsuits filed in Beijing, China, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. And, without relent, the incessant cat-and-mouse game has been unfolding ever since.

For its part, Qualcomm has adamantly denied all of Apple’s accusations — chalking their disagreement up to a matter of Cupertino merely colluding with its other contract-based suppliers to put pressure on it. However the chip-maker also claims in its counter-arguments that Apple is in breach of contract since the company hasn’t been paying its fees, while encouraging its closest partners to follow suit.

We’ll just have to sit tight and see how this massive fine affects the other lawsuits currently going on, but on the surface, it would appear from this latest development that Qualcomm might be nearing its tipping-point.

Report Warns of ‘FREE iPhone’ Scams – But They’re Not All Bad Wed, 11 Oct 2017 23:30:20 +0000 While Apple’s shiny new iPhone 8 flagships continue trickling into consumers’ hands, and while the rest of us wait in eager anticipation for the company’s all-new iPhone X, an alarming new report published this morning by social media security firm, ZeroFox, revealed that so-called ‘FREE iPhone’ scams — those promising a gratis iPhone handset in exchange for one or multiple ‘favors’ — are more prevalent now than ever before.

Methodically, ZeroFox conducted a survey of the internet’s largest social media platforms including Google+, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, which revealed there are no fewer than 530 of such pages offering deceptively simple, ‘hassle-free’ promises of an iPhone in exchange for likes, follows, or personal information as part of a more illicit scheme researchers have dubbed “fame farming.”

What Is Fame Farming?

For example, one of such ‘fame farming’ scams discovered by ZeroFox offered to send an iPhone 8 to “one lucky user” (chosen in a drawing among many entrants) who both subscribe and refer 50 friends to a viral, Indian-based news channel. Another, such as this completely bogus “Free iphone 8” group on Facebook, merely refers users to the equally bogus, third-party referral site, Xpango.

According to ZeroFox’ findings, approximately 74 of the total pages discovered contained direct links to known malware, while the majority of pages also required users to enter their personal information such as their name, email, address, and phone number. Unfortunately, while offering this information may seem instrumental in ensuring bogus giveaway moderators  get back to you if you’ve won, you will, even more unfortunately, never actually win — and sadly, your collected information could ultimately be used in the illicit acts of social engineering or identity theft.

How to Spot a ‘FREE iPhone’ Scam

Though most of these pages were fairly easy to point out, ZeroFox researcher Phil Tully noted that those hoping to score a free iPhone should always proceed with caution and never simply “give away” their personal info. “Any time someone is offering an iPhone for free, it’s going to raise a red flag,” Tully said, adding that “The chance that is going to be a legitimate deal is pretty low.”

When reached for comment on the report, Facebook noted that it uses a series of complex, automated systems to help target and shut down fraudulent pages — however the social media-giant is also doubling-down on its efforts to warn users that they should be vigilant of suspicious people, groups, or pages they come across. To that end, the company posted a bulletin earlier this week in which its users are warned to be particularly cautious of anyone asking for money, promising free goods, and/or attempting to move a conversation off of Facebook.

Tully, however, believes more can be done.

“I think [platforms] are pushing a lot of resources into the problem, but you’re limited by the creativity of the scammers” he said, while adding that “Just taking down one of their posts won’t stop them. They’ll adopt really creative methods to find a way around that filter.”

He also added that social media sites like Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only platforms scammers resort to, noting specifically that a simple Google search for the clause “free iphone” is currently averaging about 10 hits per day, according to Google Trends. Of course, while the results generated by such a broad search will likely be headlined by more well-known entities including wireless carriers and retailers who might actually be offering a free iPhone, if you simply scroll down the first page you’re bound to find sites (such as “ProductTestingUSA”) which are complete baloney.

Are There Legitimately Free iPhones?

Of course, these findings encourage us to address the broader question at-hand: Is the promise of a FREE iPhone simply too good to be true? And the answer to that is yes and no.

Bottom Line:

On one hand, though tempting as they may seem, even the majority of legitimate “FREE iPhone” offers (such as through your wireless carrier) come with extra costs or “value-added services” attached.

Free giveaway legitimacy boils down to reputation. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Does the website have a positive history or large fan base?
  • Does the website have more to offer than just the giveaway?
  • Does the website provide a record of previous winners?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, the giveaway is likely legitimate. If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, we highly recommend that you enter the giveaway with caution, or turn away from it entirely.

There are still a number trustworthy websites out there offering legitimately free iPhones with no strings attached — including right here at iDrop News, your source for the latest in Apple news, how tos, and everything tech. So be sure to enter for your chance to win an iPhone, or any of our other great Apple product giveaways. See our previous winners below.

Wozniak: Aspects of Steve Jobs’ Personality Were ‘Very Trumpish’ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:27:55 +0000 Late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs had at least a couple things in common with U.S. President Trump, at least, according to another Apple co-founder.

Apple co-founder and original engineer Steve Wozniak gave a talk at Carnegie Music Hall on Tuesday Night, as part of the 10th Conference of the American Middle East Institute. There, Wozniak told the audience that aspects of Jobs’ personality were, in fact, “very Trumpish, according to BizJournals.

Wozniak expanded vaguely on those comments, stating that Jobs, although brilliant, had a reputation for refusing to listen to others and saying less-than-kind things to people. In one case, Jobs allegedly cheated Wozniak out of some money for a project when the two worked together at Atari.

The former Apple co-founder also said that the Steve Jobs biopic by Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin managed to nail Jobs’ personality, adding that the portrayal was “right on the mark.” During his talk Tuesday, he said that he learned to never argue with Jobs and to avoid conflict overall.

It’s not clear what Apple thinks about the recent comments, but it’s likely that they won’t be very well-received. The Cupertino-based company — and specifically, CEO Tim Cook — has often found itself at odds with aspects of the 45th president’s agenda. Wozniak, too, doesn’t seem to be a fan of the president. In 2016, Wozniak told Time that the then-Presidential candidate was a “very rude person.”

Similarly, there’s little information on how well Steve Jobs and Donald Trump knew each other over the years. But the President has expressed his admiration for the Apple CEO on many occasions via Twitter, as Motherboard points out.

Wozniak founded Apple in April 1976 alongside Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Notably, he invented and built many of Apple’s first computers himself. He worked alongside Jobs for years, before leaving the company he had co-founded on somewhat bad terms in 1985. He sold most of his stock in Apple, since he felt the company “had been going in the wrong direction.”

He also has a history of making somewhat-critical and attention-grabbing comments about Apple, once calling the Apple Watch a “luxury fitness band” and saying that Plus-model iPhones were “three years late.” In early 2014, Wozniak joked that Apple should make an Android device.

Despite some of his more critical comments, Wozniak said that Jobs achieved some great things at Apple once he returned to the company for the second time — he gave the world the iPad, iTunes and the iPhone. “Steve made the iPhone not for you and me; he made it for himself, … It had to be simple and elegant, which were design flaws,” Wozniak said.

Wozniak also expanded on other topics, including his support for net neutrality and internet freedom (Wozniak helped to form and fund the Electronic Frontier Foundation). On artificial intelligence, specifically whether it will eventually threaten humanity, Wozniak said that “if there is any danger, it’s decades off … I think, centuries off.”

Russian Hacking Traced Back to Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus Software Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:58:37 +0000 Kaspersky Lab, makers of popular anti-virus software, are at the center of cyber-security chaos as allegations of Russian hacking are being tied back to the company’s product.

According to the report, Kaspersky software, which is installed on over 400 million PCs around the world, allowed the hackers to search the contents of computers using the anti-virus tools, in order to find potentially sensitive government data.

The report also indicates that while the hacking initially took place in 2015, it was discovered that it continued until the spring of last year.

In a response to the report, Kaspersky Lab issued a statement on their website, saying:

“Kaspersky Lab has not been provided any evidence substantiating the company’s involvement in the alleged incident… and it is unfortunate that news coverage of unproven claims continue to perpetuate accusations about the company.”

“However, as the trustworthiness and integrity of our products are fundamental to our business, we are seriously concerned about the article’s implications that attackers may have exploited our software. We reiterate our willingness to work alongside U.S. authorities to address any concerns they may have about our products and respectfully request any relevant information that would enable the company to begin an investigation at the earliest opportunity…Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russia…”

While Kaspersky Lab claims they did not work with any governments, former N.S.A. operator Blake Darché says “Antivirus is the ultimate back door… it provides consistent, reliable and remote access that can be used for any purpose.” Another security expert, Andrei Soldatov, insists customers should be “very, very skeptical” of the claim that the government cannot access Kaspersky anti-virus data.

Unfortunately for Kaspersky Lab, the damage may already be done, both in regards to personal data and public perception of the brand. It is also a stark reminder that software can be used against you in the wrong hands.

Apple Ranks Behind Google, Amazon, Microsoft in ‘Ideal Employer’ Survey Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:28:33 +0000 Apple seems like a great place to work. But, interestingly, the company has ranked fourth in a recent survey of ideal employers — trailing behind Google, Amazon and Microsoft (first, second and third, respectively).

Dice, an online careers website, conducted the online survey from June through August 2017. The company polled 5,477 tech professionals, who were asked to give their top three choices for the most ideal tech firm to work for, as well as important attributes for those firms to have. While Apple ranked fourth, it managed to edge out Facebook, IBM, Disney and Tesla — in that order.

As far as what matters most to them in a company, the respondents listed competitive salaries, challenging work, benefits, organizational culture and good communication are the most important factors.

In addition to ranking the company, Dice also highlighted several of Apple’s key strengths, which included equity awards, industry innovation and its progressive stance on diversity and social issues.

The survey results are, of course, very subjective — and they likely focus on executive and corporate positions, rather than individuals who work for Apple’s retail arm. Despite that, Apple employees stand to benefit from a generous compensation package and the chance to work on products that CEO Tim Cook believes “change the world.”

While Dice’s survey offers a tiny glimpse into what it’s like to work at Apple, former employees have revealed more of the company’s culture. For example, two former managers at Cupertino said in an August interview that the work ethic (particularly among upper management) is “crazy.” Those former Apple employees also said that many people who work there “are nuts” — not mean or spiteful, “just intense.”

Dice isn’t the only firm or platform that ranks companies based on their employees’ experience. This year, Apple ranked 36th in the best place to work in the U.S. by Glassdoor, a popular anonymous workplace review site. Apple has an average 4 out of 5 star-rating on the platform, and CEO Tim Cook has a 93 percent approval rating.