Apple fixes Critical Security flaw in Macs with OS X 10.9.2

Last month, Apple has released a small update to iOS, patching a security vulnerability. Just like how Mac and iOS share a lot of things, it turns out they share this vulnerability too.

The bug is now patched in OS X too. Along with the bug fix, 10.9.2 brings FaceTime Audio to Mac and more.

10.9.2

If you got a Mac running Mavericks, update to 10.9.2 right now. Why is it so serious? Read on.

The bug lies in SSL protocol implementation on iOS and Mac devices. It lets an attacker to track and modify data exchanged in sessions protected by SSL.

So let’s say you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot and are doing a bank transaction (HTTPS) – an attacker can use a network analyser (like Wireshark) and decode packets of data that are being transmitted. This is a huge flaw.

It seems, the bug is a result of single bad ‘goto’ line. Check out this Wired article for in depth analysis on this silly bug.

Bug fix aside, OS X 10.9.2 finally brings FaceTime Audio for Mac. Ideally, FaceTime Audio should have been included in Mavericks itself, but it didn’t. iMessage app now has a ‘blocked’ list allowing you to block messages from people.

You can check the full list of change log on Apple’s website.

3 Reasons why Indians shouldn’t buy iPhone 4 at 23K

Apple didn’t bring a cheap iPhone 4 earlier. Now, the latest reports by many leading technology blogs claim that Apple is likely to re-launch iPhone 4 at 23,000 INR in the Indian markets. iPhone 4 is the fourth generation iPhone in the series and was announced roughly three years back.

Apple has stopped producing iPhone 4 last August and still has many unsold iPhone 4 devices in it’s inventories worldwide. This is why Apple has decided to bring these devices to the Indian markets. Initially reported to sell at 15,000 INR, it is reported that Apple might place the price tag at 23,000 INR with EMI, and carrier tie-ups.

Though it looks cheap, there are many reasons why Indians should not choose the iPhone 4.

Outdated hardware

The smartphone industry has come a long way since iPhone 4’s launch. Compared to the latest 2014 smartphones, the 1 GHz cortex-A8 processor powered iPhone 4 looks pretty lame. It comes with 5 MP camera, 512 MB RAM, 3.5 inch display and 1420 mAh battery.

Combine these specs with iOS 7 aka the memory hog and you have a phone which struggles to do simple things.

Related : Comparing Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S

Stripped iOS 7 on iPhone 4

When it was launched, the iPhone 4 came with iOS 4. It later got upgraded to iOS 6.1.4 and now, iOS 7.0.4 is available for the iPhone 4.

But, this version of iOS 7 doesn’t do any magic. Most of the iPhone 4 users have started complaining about the lag while using apps, reduced functionality and speed of the device.

iPhone 4

Also, this version of iOS doesn’t bring AirDrop or filters for Camera app on iPhone 4. No Siri either. Also, once you upgrade to iOS 7 on your iPhone 4, there is no option to downgrade to iOS 6.

The outdated hardware on iPhone 4 simply doesn’t withstand iOS 7.

Better competitive phones are available now

The Lumia 1320 from Nokia is a good option if you love Windows Phone. With a 6 inch display, Dual core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, it is a good smartphone that you can choose. It is priced at 23K, the same as the about-to-relaunch-iPhone 4.

If you want to go the Android way, there are many devices from Samsung and the Indian manufacturer Micromax. Samsung Galaxy Grand, Micromax Canvas A116 HD are good choices. The Galaxy Grand from Samsung is available at just 15K!

Remember Moto G launch? Motorola promised to bring Moto G to the Indian markets in the month of January. It should happen any time now.

The Moto G comes with the latest Android KitKat, 1 GB RAM 4.5 inch display, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and a 5 MP camera.

What’s your thoughts on the upcoming re-launch of iPhone 4? Are you an Indian and do you wish to buy the iPhone 4, or opt a better smartphone?

if you still wish to buy the iPhone 4, it’s already available on Flipkart at 22,649 INR.

Round up of Apple’s Fall Event: New iPads, Macs and Free OS X Mavericks

Apple’s Fall event is usually when the company announces the good stuff before the major holiday season (AKA shopping season) kicks off. Apple had already unveiled the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s over a month ago but the new iteration to the iPad, iPad Mini and MacBook Pro was eagerly awaited. Apple came out firing on all cylinders and here is a round-up of all devices announced at the Apple event.

iPad Air

What was the new iPad going to be called. Apple has had some mixed up naming convention, like after iPad 2 came the New iPad which was technically iPad 3. The new name suits it well and its called iPad Air (obviously borrowed from MacBook Air).

iPad Air

  • This tablet is light as in it weighs only 1 pound (0.45 kgs).
  • The display screen is 9.7 inch and support resolution of 2048 x 1536 and over 3.1 million pixels. It is with retina display.
  • It will run on the A7 chip and support 64-bit architecture, which will be a first for iPad.
  • iPad Air camera will take 5 MP photos with 1080p HD video recording and the front facing camera takes 1.2 MP photos with 720p HD video.
  • It will be available in space grey and silver. The device will also be available in WIFI only and WIFI+Mobile versions.

Pricing

The iPad Air Wifi with 16 GB storage is available for $499. The price of the iPad Air Wifi + Cellular with 16 GB storage is available for $629.

iPad Mini with retina display

iPad Mini with retina display has been hotly debated. With Google unveiling a powerful Nexus 7 (2013) earlier in the year, it was no surprise to see iPad Mini get the retina display tag. iPad Mini with retina display will be released in November.

iPad Mini RD

  • The iPad Mini with retina display packs the 7.9 inch display screen while supporting 2048 x 1536 resolution.
  • It will run on the A7 chip supporting 64-bit architecture.
  • iPad Mini camera will take 5 MP photos with 1080p HD video recording and the front facing camera takes 1.2 MP photos with 720p HD video.
  • The device will be available in grey, silver, white and black colours.

Pricing

The iPad Mini with retina display like the iPad Air will ship in two varieties. The iPad Mini Wifi with 16 GB storage will cost $399 and the Wifi + Cellular with 16 GB storage is priced at $529.

What happens to the older version of iPad and iPad Mini?

The older iPad Mini will still be around and sold at $299. The older iPad 2 will be sold at $399. Both prices are for devices with 16GB memory. This is a good idea by Apple as it gives it basically 4 tablet devices out there in the market.

MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro lineup has also been refreshed. The new 13-inch and 15-inch display screen MacBook Pro laptops will ship with retina display. The 15-inch MacBook Pro without retina display has been discontinued. The device will ship with the newly released Mavericks OS X.

MBP - retina  - 2013

  • The MacBook Pro laptops will run on Intel Haswell chips. The 13-inch device will pack a 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The device will ship with 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB storage variants.
  • Similarly the 15-inch MacBook Pro will run on  2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for the 256 GB storage variant and 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for the 512 GB version.
  • MacBook Pro laptops will contain 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port. The battery for the 13-inch MBP will last for 9 hours and 8 hours for the 15-inch MBP.

Pricing

The pricing of the 13-inch MBP with 128 GB storage is $1299 and for the 15-inch MBP for 256 GB storage is $1999. The MacBook Pro laptops should be available right away.

OS X Mavericks released and for free!

Apple’s big announcement was the release date for OS X Mavericks. The new OS X version is already available for Mac users. Most importantly Apple is releasing this update free of cost. That means every user will probably save $20 that it took to buy the new update.

Read the full article by Vibin on OS X Mavericks being free and some issues with the update.

The free upgrade this time around means that most future upgrades will also be given away free. That is a big challenge for companies like Microsoft who depend on selling new OS updates as a business.

Complete Tech Specs

Apple to live stream its Media event on Web and Apple TV

Today is a great day for Apple fans around the globe, not just because of Apple’s media event, but because of the fact that Apple is livestreaming it. They don’t normally do this, except for WWDC and other special events.

col

As most of you already know, Apple will be updating its iPad lineup (both full-sized and Mini), MacBook Pros, Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks.

I’m personally looking forward to OS X Mavericks (the price and final list of features will be announced today). But you apparently know what you’re most excited about.

The event is going to start in a few hours from now. Here’s a list of timings to help you figure out the time for your zone.

13:00 — New York, New York
10:00 — San Francisco, California
04:00 — Sydney, Australia (Oct. 23)
02:00 — Tokyo, Japan (Oct. 23)
01:00 — Shanghai, China (Oct. 23)
22:30 — New Delhi, India
21:00 — Moscow, Russia
19:00 — Rome, Italy
18:00 — London, England

Apple has even updated its homepage with a gigantic image notifying fans about the event.

The event will be streamed live, from Apple’s site, and it requires Safari on OS X, iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.

Link: Apple Events

Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c to be launched in India on 01 Nov

Apple fans in India have some good news coming their way. Apple will launch its flagship iPhone 5s and a the cheaper model iPhone 5c in India on 1st November. Along with India the two phone models will also be available in more countries.

Apple is perceived to have not taken the Indian market very seriously but lately they are definitely launching the products a lot sooner than previous times.

iPhone 5c

The price of iPhone 5s will be definitely on the higher side and could be over Rs. 45,000 or even cross Rs. 50,000. The iPhone 5s with its fingerprint scanner and 64-bit processors. Though all eyes will be on the iPhone 5c model. The phone will ship in different colours and is more or less considered the iPhone 5 with a plastic casing.

The phone will be a lot cheaper than what a new iPhone model usually is. It is expected to be around Rs.35,000. iPhone 5c could be a major factor in Apple’s strategy to get newer smartphone buyers into the iOS ecosystem. Even today,  most Indians prefer a Android phone simple for its range and prices.

Apple will be releasing the new iPhone models just in time for this years Diwali season which is a very wise thing to do. While Apple seems to be finally taking India more seriously, Google has not rested on the success of Android in India. It has also opened new Android stores in Bangalore and Delhi and will be soon opening more across India.

(via Apple)

Apple to hold event on October 22nd updating its iPad lineup, Mac Pro and OS X

Apple has got one more event left for their fans, before the year ends. Few months back, they’ve released their most ‘future-proof’ phone yet and it has apparently been sold in scores.

This time, it’s the turn of iPads, Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and probably even MacBook Pros.

Mac Pro

The report comes from John Paczkowski of AllThingsD, and as he writes, Apple is going to release updates for a lot of products in this event.

iPads of course, will take the centre stage and Apple will make way for iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. Apple supposedly will bring the 64-bit A7 chip and fingerprint sensor to the iPad 5, and a more slimmer design.

For the Mac enthusiasts, there’s quite a lot of stuff to get excited. Mac Pro, the most powerful, extensible Mac of all time will be released. It should be interesting to see how the sales will be.

I’m genuinely excited about OS X Mavericks. It’ll bring Finder tabs/tags, better battery life, a more faster OS X and lot more small stuff.

Finally, they must be releasing MacBook Pros with haswell processors – which means a huge bump in battery life.

All these are just predictions, though. Apple might just release a crazy new product which no one ever expected. But that’s not the typical Apple.

Link: AllThingsD

What is Apple upto with iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s?

Apple had it’s iPhone event last night and for the first time did something very different. Apple introduced two smartphones, one called the iPhone 5c and the other being the more expensive iPhone 5s. Apple has always introduced just one phone every year unlike its competitors who sold multiple models for different types of users.

iPhone 5c: A colourful iPhone 5

iPhone 4cThe iPhone 5c will feature with more or less the same specifications as the iPhone 5 from last year (except iPhone 5c is plastic), except it will feature iOS 7 and also show up in many different colours.The phone features a A6 processor and a 4-inch screen with Retina Display. I think this phone will probably end up exciting current iPhone owners but might not impress the high end Android owners as much. I mentioned Android phone users because this phone was supposed to be the cheaper iPhone with an eye towards capturing a big share of emerging markets like India and China.

The phone though might have been dubbed as the cheaper iPhone for emerging markets like China and India. The phone is being priced competitively in the US for $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32 GB model. But those prices are with a 2-year phone contract and the phone without a contract is $549. That at today’s exchange rate will be over Rs. 35,000 in India! That is not a cheap phone by any means. If Apple was hoping to capture the emerging market with iPhone 5C, it might have got it wrong.

iPhone 5s – the real iPhone upgrade

iPhone 5sWith iPhone 5s, Apple has sort of escaped the iterated improvements on their phones. The phone will ship in 3 different colours, featuring a 4 inch diagonal screen with retina display. The camera will support taking photos in burst mode and also supports slow motion capture.

It will pack two processors. The A7 chip and M7 motion co-processor. The A7 chip supports 64-bit architecture and that makes iPhone 5s an extremely powerful device. The M7 motion co-processor basically will track data from gyroscope, accelerometer and the magnetometer on the phone. This data capturing should allow developers to introduce some really useful contextual apps in the future.

If 64-Bit architecture was not enough, iPhone 5s has made the home button in a fingerprint sensor. This sensor can be used to unlock your phone. People tend to not use pass codes because it involves typing 4 digit numbers everytime we open the phone. I suppose fingerprint sensors will make life a lot more easy. It will also disincentive theft of iPhones.

So what is Apple really upto?

Some tech blogs have mentioned that Apple is now following the likes of Samsung by releasing two different phones. I do not think that is the case, otherwise the iPhone 5c would have been cheaper. Apple on the other hand is taking a leaf out of its laptop business.

The MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air are two variants of the mac laptop. The MBP is the premium one and is probably one the most costly laptops around just like iPhone 5s will be the most costly smartphone around. The competitive pricing of MacBook Air is being replicated with the slightly cheaper but still packed with good software and hardware iPhone 5c.

The real coup for Apple would be for the iPhone 5s selling in its millions (it probably will) in developed countries but wring away or arrest the total domination of Android in emerging markets with iPhone 5c. The real possible danger Apple faces is if iPhone 5c eats into market-share of iPhone 5s.

Links: iPhone 5c | iPhone 5s

Rumor: OS X Mavericks to get unveiled in late October

This might come as a surprise to some of you Apple/Mac enthusiasts. According to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, Apple is not going to release the final version of OS X Mavericks on 10th September.

Mavericks

A few days back, Apple has confirmed their special event on September 10th, where in they’re going to release the long rumored iPhone 5C aka the cheaper iPhone and iPhone 5S. While the iPhones will suck all the limelight, that doesn’t mean Apple’s going to not care about Macs.

As the rumor suggests, Apple will probably host a special event just for unveiling all Mac related stuff. This includes the all new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and Haswell-powered MacBook Pros. Not to forget, Apple also has to share its earning report for Q4. So it seems all this is perfectly aligned.

OS X Mavericks was demoed at this year’s WWDC and brings handful of features including Finder tabs, better Memory compression, iBooks, better Notification center and more.

So to sum it up, don’t hold your breath for OS X Mavericks, Apple will probably release 1-2 more Developer Previews before the final release.

Source: 9to5Mac

iOS 7 beta: Apple has got lots of things to fix

Apple has finally unveiled its much anticipated next generation of iOS at WWDC. Apparently, due to the rumours that circulated for months, people expected a radical change – nothing surprising in that, it happens at every WWDC event.

iOS 7

But what’s surprising is, this time Apple has actually delivered. iOS 7 is indeed the biggest change to Apple’s mobile operating system.

The biggest change is of course the change in user interface. Talking about design, it’s like they started all over again.

If you’re a long time iOS user, you’ll be surprised to see that there are no faux wood, leather, stitches and other skeuomorphic elements. The new interface looks minimal, focused on content – it’s great, on a whole.

But it’s buggy, it feels like Apple’s design team has rushed to ship this product. It doesn’t feel perfect. Here’s why.

Not exactly Flat

This is not a bug, this is a misconception from people.

Flat design. If you know very little about design but want to make up stuff, this is the best way to do it – call everything as flat design.

Flat design has been a trend in graphic and web design for a while now, and there’s nothing wrong about that. What’s stupid though is, complaining everything as flat.

Layers

iOS 7 is not exactly flat design. Few reasons:

First up, in Flat design, gradients don’t come into picture at all. The icons in iOS 7 have gradients as background. Some of those gradients look lame, but yeah, they exist.

iOS 7 shows off a new thing called Parallax effect – it creates a 3D illusion on your iPhone when you tilt it. There’s no way 3D illusions can come into flat design.

Transparency is everywhere in the OS. Pull the Control Center from down and you see the transparent rainbow colours as background. Again, transparency doesn’t come in Flat design. That’s the reason Microsoft removed Aero from Windows 8.

Now let’s see what Apple has got wrong.

Icons

Icons are the worst thing about iOS 7. There’s just no sense of unity among them.

icons

Take a look at Mail icon – there’s a gradient going from dark blue to light blue (cyan). Next see the App store icon, the gradient goes from light blue to dark blue.

Grad

Opposite gradients, seriously?

That’s not all, thought. Take a look at the Phone icon. It looks there is a solid colour as background, right? No, it’s a gradient. A very subtle gradient. Then there is the Camera icon which looks like clipart.

The Stocks icon looks as if the colours are inverted, and the Settings icon doesn’t even look like a gear.

Apple says they have put a lot of effort and made all these icons on a new grid
system, which is nice, but they looks plain ugly.

Control Center

Control Center in iOS 7 is very exciting. That’s because you can quickly toggle settings without opening the Settings app. But let’s look at the design.

Control Center

At the first look, it looks beautiful. As you start examining closely, you’ll get a doubt on whether you’re looking at an Android ROM. Because, there are so many settings in this very single window.

There are two types of icons here – the first ones are circular and the second ones are rounded rectangles. There are three sliders here. Three, I repeat. One for brightness. One for volume. And the last one for Music. Seriously, Apple?!

Also, who needs a Camera inside this, when you already have it on lock screen? Also, I have no idea what that second icon in the last row means. A timer may be? I don’t know. The calculator app is pretty useless, too.

Also, while we’re at Control Center, it’s important to notice that the new Notification Center still doesn’t fix the small x’s. Enjoy tapping those minuscule buttons.

Consistency is missing

You’ve just seen the design of Control Center, now take a look at the design of Share feature.

Share

Why are the icons drawn as outlines? Why not draw them as filled ones like Control Center? Also, even the stroke width seems to be lesser. The Camera icon doesn’t convey any meaning, it doesn’t look like a Camera at all.

Photos

There’s no consistency in buttons. Take the Photos app for example, here you have Select and Share buttons at top right. Yeah, those are buttons, not pieces of text (Hello, Windows Phone!). Buttons in iOS always used to be distinct – with a unique gradient and shadow. That makes it easily distinguishable. Not anymore.

These buttons co exist with “Install” buttons in App Store which look like the old buttons.

At the end of the day, iOS 7 is still just a beta update. The design community largely being consistent of iPhone users, I’m sure (or at least hope) Apple will take suggestions from them and fix these things in the stable release.

Apple Brings New MacBook Air Models to India: Price and Specs

Apple announced new upgrades to their MacBook Air computers at WWDC 2013 keynote. The new MacBook Air will feature all day battery life. The all day battery life basically means it covers upto 9 hours for the 11 inch version and 12 hours battery backup for 13 inch version.

Here are some of the basic specs and pricing for new MacBook Air computers in India.

 MacBook Air 11  MacBook Air 13
11 – inch MacBook Air  13 – inch MacBook Air
Display: 11.6 – inch widescreen display screen.Resolution: 1366×768 (native) Display: 13.3 – inch widescreen display screenResolution: 1440X900 (native)
OS: Mac OS X Mountain Lion OS: Mac OS X Mountain Lion
Processor: 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor: 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Battery: Up to 9 hours of surfing the web. 8 Hours iTunes film playback. Battery: Up to 12 hours of surfing the web. 10 hours of iTunes film playback
Price:

  • Rs. 67,900 for MacBook Air with 128 GB Flash Storage.
  • Rs. 74,900 for MacBook Air with 256 GB Flash Storage.
Price:

  • Rs. 74,900 for MacBook Air with 128 GB Flash Storage.
  • Rs. 88,900 for MacBook Air with 256 GB Flash Storage.

Price Source: ThinkDigit

The price of the new MacBook Air are actually a bit lesser than last year’s pricing. That is very surprising considering the US Dollar to Indian Rupee ratio is at an all time high. Though it might also mean that there are simply a lot more MacBooks being sold in India.

Looking at the pricing, it makes very little sense to buy a 11-inch MacBook Air with 256 GB storage as it is the same price as that 13-inch MacBook Air, albeit with half the memory storage size.

The new MacBook Air will also get the OS X Mavericks update later in the year.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Apple India ( MacBook Air Specs)