Thursday Morning News

10319-2478-ip6-batt-lThe iPhone leaks continue leading all the way up to next week’s iPhone event. There’s a larger battery on show for the larger iPhone, which shows a capacity nearly twice that of the iPhone 5s. Meanwhile, people have already started camping out for a phone that doesn’t even exist.

This celebrity photo leak is turning out to be a bigger deal than I previously thought. It’s a public relations nightmare for Apple that comes at the worst possible time — before the launch of a new iPhone — and their press release yesterday assured customers iCloud security was not compromised at any point, seemingly contradicting an earlier report which claimed a brute-force attack on Apple’s Find My iPhone service was to blame. “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone”, they said, instead shifting the blame towards a “very targeted attack on usernames, passwords, and security questions”.

Which is kind of strange, given Wired reports the tool used to steal images was designed specifically to download and access full iPhone backups. Posts on an anonymous internet forum suggest the two-pronged attack of using the aforementioned script to crack the password of any iCloud account, then using the Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker tool to download data from iCloud backups. I’m not really surprised such a tool exists, but kind of surprised so much light has been shed on something usually reserved for secretive Government agencies and the like.

We don’t really discuss the cultural side of tech here at AppleTalk (at least not on the blog), but it’s kind of clear from this security scandal that phones (and technology in general) are no longer tools to make us more productive, or more connected, but merely “weapons to be used against us“. Some might argue that it’s always been that way, but as John Gruber writes, the trade-offs in tech mean breaches of this kind happen far less often than irreversible data loss. Either way, perhaps it’s time for Apple to be more transparent about security, as Matthew Panzarino suggests.

If the rumours of Apple discussing mobile payments with multiple providers are true, mobile payments will be the highlight of Apple’s event next week (along with the new iPhone, of course). I have no idea Apple are going to make mobile payments work in a world that’s currently a mess of standards and payment methods — here in Australia we use chips and PINs as standard, while chip and PIN adoption in the US is lagging behind) — but if anyone can, it’s Apple. Quartz tells us why Apple’s solution might actually work.

Apple are said to be ramping up component production for the iPad Air 2, which MacRumors reports is thinner and faster than the current iPad Air. It’ll also have a Touch ID-enabled home button. It’s extremely unlikely we’ll see a simultaneous launch of the new iPad and iPhone at Apple’s event next week, but I guess anything’s possible. Component production of Apple’s wearable has also begun, with the device currently sitting at the Engineering Verification Test stage. It still has to go through Production Verification Testing before entering mass production, though.

Apple has released the seventh Developer Preview of OS X Yosemite, and if my calculations are correct, the official launch won’t be too far away now. MacRumors has a summary of the new changes in the seventh Developer Preview. Apple has also released the first iCloud for Windows beta, with support for iCloud Drive.

“If your App doesn’t do something useful, unique or provide some form of lasting entertainment, or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted”. That’s the word from Apple’s updated App Store Review Guidelines, which have been updated ahead of the official launch of HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions in iOS 8.

VMWare Fusion 7 launched yesterday, bringing many of the same features as Parallels 10 did before it. The new version adds compatibility for OS X Yosemite, as well as virtualisation support for OS X Yosemite and Windows 8.1. It’s available now.

Wrapping up today is a few Terminal tips from Craig Hockenberry. Assuming you’re using the default bash shell in OS X, his tips point out how to quickly edit commands, set up your environment, as well as a few other bash tips and tricks.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au