iOS 9 Bug Impacting ‘Hundreds of Thousands of EU Businesses’

Apple’s iOS 9 mobile operating system that started to roll out earlier this month is causing serious issues for a number of businesses. The issue is so concerning that it could hurt ‘hundreds of thousands of EU businesses.’

iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company that allows merchants to accept card payments from Apple devices says that iOS 9 is causing a serious issue with its system. The firm is advising users to not upgrade to the new operating system until Apple has rolled out a patch for the issue.

The new operating system update allegedly triggers a Bluetooth issue on Apple handsets. Devices powered by iOS 9 aren’t able to connect to the Card Reader Pro, making it impossible to complete transactions. “We have discovered a problem in Apple’s software. The problem causes Bluetooth to be switched off when you try to pair the Card Reader Pro. This means that you can’t pair the card reader with your iPhone or iPad, and consequently can’t use it to take card payments,” iZettle noted on its website (spotted by The Register).

If the devices were paired before you initiated the iOS 9 installation, the apparent bug wouldn’t affect you and you can continue to use the service without any trouble, noted iZettle, which has hundreds of thousands of business clients. The bug is prohibiting other iOS 9-powered devices to connect with the terminal device. The firm noted that Apple is working on a fix. “Apple have acknowledged the problem, and it will be fixed in an update to iOS 9.0. You should not update your iPhone or iPad for now. We’ll let you know when it’s available.”

Over 225,000 Apple Accounts Reportedly Stolen From Jailbroken iPhones

Apple’s iOS is known for its security sophistication. In the eight years of its existence, the company’s mobile operating system has largely remained unaffected to any major security vulnerability. That is until you decide to do away with its built-in security features. Known as jailbreaking, the process gives users the ability to gain full control of the device, and sideload apps. As per reports, malware is being installed via third-party iOS app repositories, resulting in what may be “the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware.”

An iOS malware called KeyRaider, distributed by third-party Cydia repositories in China, has stolen around 225,000 iOS users’ Apple account credentials, certificates, private keys, and purchasing receipts, revealed security firm Palo Alto Networks and Chinese iPhone developers group Weiptech. The credentials were sent to a remote server, and stolen accounts were used to purchase paid apps on other iOS devices. Over 20,000 users have reportedly downloaded the jailbreak tweaks that will give them access to stolen credentials for unauthorised purchases.

“The malware hooks system processes through MobileSubstrate, and steals Apple account usernames, passwords and device GUID by intercepting iTunes traffic on the device. KeyRaider steals Apple push notification service certificates and private keys, steals and shares App Store purchasing information, and disables local and remote unlocking functionalities on iPhones and iPads,” the Palo Alto Networks wrote in a blog post. The firm in conjunction with WeipTech found 92 samples of the new iOS malware family

About 225,000 accounts are affected, and while some users say their accounts show abnormal purchasing history, others say their phones are being held for ransom. The good news is that people who haven’t jailbroken their iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod) don’t need to worry about this attack. About half of the victims have email accounts with qq.com, 163.com, 139.com, popular Chinese email services, suggesting that the attack largely affects Chinese accounts. Researchers found evidence of victims in 18 countries including France, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Israel, Italy, Spain, Singapore, and South Korea.

This is the second major iOS attack we have heard about in the recent past. Infamous Hacking Team also reportedly attacked jailbroken iOS devices.

The report truly serves to illustrate the potential terrible consequences of jailbreaking their devices to iOS users. Experts advise users not to jailbreak their device unless they’re fully aware of the methods the tool uses to bypass Apple’s built-in security, and the legitimacy of the apps they are installing on their devices. No Indian user has been reported to be affected by the vulnerability as of yet. Palo Alto Networks have set up a tool to assist users to check whether their device is affected, and if so, a guide to help them patch the vulnerability.

Android Wear Smartwatches Now Work With iPhone

Google on Monday broke down the wall between Android smart watches and iPhones, taking on Apple Watch on its home turf.

A version of Android Wear smart watch software tailored for Apple’s mobile operating system made its debut, paired for now only with LG Watch Urbane, according to a Google blog post.

“Today, Android Wear for iOS works with the LG Watch Urbane,” Google said.

“All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola will also support iOS, so stay tuned for more.”

Android Wear was modified to work with iPhone 5 models or newer powered by the latest versions of Apple’s mobile device operating system, according to Google.

The move puts Android-powered smart watches in position to compete with Apple Watch to be the computing device strapped to the wrists of iPhone owners.

Android Wear previously worked only with the Google-backed mobile operating system.

Apple news coming
International Data Corporation last week said that Apple’s freshly launched smart watch was a hot commodity in the second quarter of this year.

Apple Watch was hot on the heels of activity tracker Fitbit, the top device in the “wearable computing” market, according to IDC estimates. Apple has not released official smart watch sales figures.

Apple shipped 3.6 million smart watches to rank second behind Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million units during the second quarter of this year, according to IDC.

Overall shipments of wearable computing devices leaped 223 percent to 18.1 million from the 5.6 million units shipped in the second quarter last year, IDC calculated.

“Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole,” IDC wearables team manager Ramon Llamas said in a note released with the figures.

Apple is set to host a September 9 media event in San Francisco, hinting that Siri virtual assistant software in its mobile devices will play a role.

In trademark enigmatic style, the emailed invitations provided little more than the time and place of the event. Beneath graphics based on the Apple logo was written “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

The timing of the Apple event did not come as a surprise since the California-based company is known to host September events to announce iPhone updates.

Rumors about the coming event included the possibility of new iPhone models and news about Apple TV set-top boxes.

Industry trackers expect Apple to unveil new generation big-screen iPhone 6 models.

Improvements are likely to include faster processing power and improved camera capabilities along with screens that can distinguish light touches from hard presses for more nuanced controls.

Apple, Cisco Partner to Boost iPad, iPhone Use In Enterprise

Apple and computer network titan Cisco on Monday announced a partnership aimed at putting more iPhones and iPads to work at businesses.

The companies said in a joint release that they will optimize Cisco networks to provide a “fast lane” for devices and applications running on Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.

“Nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in the release.

“Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”

Businesses have long been dealing with employees using their personal smartphones or tablets to get work done.

Making company computer networks more friendly to iPhones and iPads holds the promise of helping Apple achieve further inroads in workplaces with devices that have been hits with consumers.

Microsoft has long dominated business computing with its software. But it has seen its position threatened by lifestyle shifts to mobile lifestyles in which devices powered by Apple or Android software are the leaders.

Cisco said that its networks, which serve as backbones for company computer systems, will be modified to work more efficiently and reliably with iPhones and iPads with the goal of enabling higher levels of performance.

Improvements will include weaving iPhone into Cisco phone and video systems, according to the release.

“Ninety-five percent of companies in the Fortune 500 count on Cisco collaboration and Cisco networks to help their teams be more productive,” said Cisco executive chairman John Chambers.

“Through this engineering and go-to-market partnership, we’re offering our joint customers the ability to seamlessly extend that awesome Cisco environment to their favorite iOS devices.”

iPhone 6s Packaging Leaks Tipping Name, Storage Variants

Apple is anticipated to launch the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones at the September 9 event. As the launch event comes close, the intensity of leaks surfacing the Web have increased. While the recent leaks and rumours talked about the smartphones’ camera and animated wallpapers, the latest report now claims to show the iPhone 6s’ packaging, possibly confirming the 16GB storage variant and the device name.

The image showing the packaging confirms the name of the smartphone as iPhone 6s. The base model would be featuring 16GB as inbuilt storage. What we can make out from the image shared by @stagueve (owner of @onleaks) on Twitter, is that the box would include the handset, EarPods, Lightning USB cable, and the handset would feature 4G LTE (FDD & TD) connectivity along with Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS.

The information on the iPhone 6s packaging falls in line with a recent leak that tipped the iPhone 6s would arrive in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB inbuilt storage variants.

The Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus handsets are rumoured to sport an upgraded 12-megapixel rear camera along with the ability to record 4K resolution videos. It would also feature improved FaceTime camera and a front-facing flash. Other expected features include front-facing panorama shots and HD resolution slow-motion video recording.

One of the most leaked features is integration of the Force Touch pressure sensitive touch-input technology seen on the Apple Watch and new MacBook. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones are being said to share similar animated wallpapers to that of the Apple Watch. The motion wallpapers could range from sets of animated fish to a koi pond and colourful arrays of smoke.

Besides a stronger metal casing, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models have been tipped to include redesigned wireless system powered by Qualcomm’s Cat 6. LTE chipset. A new Rose Gold colour variant, which is said to be more copper-hued than Pink in actual colour, is said to debut with the yet-to-be-announced smartphones.

Apple Schedules iPhone Event for September 9

Apple has sent out media invitations for an event on September 9. The event, where the Cupertino-based company is expected to launch new iPhone models, will be at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

The company announced its event through an interesting teaser it sent to the media outlets. The caption of the poster reads, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” When say that to Apple’s virtual assistant on an iOS device, Siri wittingly states the launch date in some of the cheesiest ways you could expect from a tech company.

“You’ll have to wait until September 9. I bet you were one of those kids snuck downstairs to open presents early, weren’t you?” one of Siri’s responses read. “The only hint I can give you right now is a hint of lime. And that there’s a big announcement on September 9,” the second one noted.

As for what to expect at the event, much like every year, Apple has tried its best to keep all the juicy information secret from others. But the past news reports suggest that the Cupertino-based company will launch a couple of iPhone models at the event.

(Also see: iPhone 6s Details Tipped by China Telecom Representative; Video Surfaces)

The company is expected to launch the iPhone 6S (successor to the iPhone 6), the iPhone 6S Plus (successor to the iPhone 6 Plus), and the iPhone 6c (successor to the iPhone 5c). Rumour has it that the company also plans to launch a refreshed version of the Apple TV.

(Also see: iPhone 6s Force Touch Features, Stronger Casing, and More Details Tipped)

It seems the company is primarily focused on making its phone’s camera, which is arguably already the best in class, even more better. A new report claims that the iPhone 6S will come with a 12-megapixel rear camera with the capability of shooting videos in 4K resolution.

(Also see: iPhone 6s Rose Gold Image Leaks; iPhone 6c Tipped Again)

Moving forward, quite literally, the selfie camera is said to come with a flash. The report added that the new iPhone will come with Apple Watch-esque motion wallpapers.

YouTube Gaming Launched; Android and iOS Apps to Roll Out Gradually

YouTube on Wednesday strode into an arena dominated by Amazon-owned Twitch, with the launch of a service tailored for the hot trend of video game play as a spectator sport.

The rollout of YouTube Gaming marked the public debut of an online venue where video game lovers can find commentary, live play, on-demand snippets and more.

YouTube Gaming had been in a test phase since it was shown off at an Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) extravaganza in June.

“As promised, and after some excellent road-testing by thousands of dedicated gaming fans, YouTube Gaming is now available,” YouTube engineering manager Frank Petterson said in a blog post.

“Blending gaming videos and live streams, YouTube Gaming brings you closer to the games, gamers, and culture that matter to you.”

An English-language website at gaming.youtube.com was being rolled out in countries where YouTube is available, according to Petterson.

He said that a YouTube Gaming application was being made available in Britain and the United States for mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software, with more countries to be added “soon.”

“Having a destination where you can get all the gaming content you care about is really important,” Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming partnerships, told AFP at E3 while showing off the online venue for live or on-demand video focused on gaming.

“That is why we created this,” he said.

Massive online audiences
Billions of hours of video related to gaming are watched monthly on YouTube, from “walk-through” clips showing players how to handle challenges, to comedic commentary and in-game action, according to Wyatt.

The online arena for video game channels incorporates the search smarts of Google, which owns YouTube, to surface fresh or must-see content.

US online retail giant Amazon last year snatched up Twitch and its huge audience for live-streamed gaming.

The acquisition was one of the largest in Amazon’s history $970 million in cash for the three-year-old Internet company.

Twitch Interactive streams games being played for non-playing viewers to watch, and hosts gaming events.

It allows viewers to chat with the players and others, lending it some of the qualities of social networking websites, and it also sells advertising to generate income.

The takeover came with a boom in online viewing of real-time video game or computer game play as “e-sports” attract growing crowds as spectator events.

iPhone 6 Plus Clicking Blurry Photos? Check If It’s Eligible for Free Camera Replacement

Apple says that the rear iSight camera in “a small percentage” of iPhone 6 Plus smartphones has a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry. If your iPhone 6 Plus is producing blurry photos and falls into the eligible serial number range, Apple will replace your device’s iSight camera, free of charge.

The affected units fall into a limited serial number range and were sold primarily between September 2014 and January 2015, says Apple. You can head over to the iPhone 6 Plus iSight Camera Replacement Program page to see if your unit is eligible for camera replacement by entering the serial number of your iPhone 6 Plus (Review | Pictures).

Finding the serial number of your iPhone 6 Plus is easy. Tap Settings > General > About to see your device’s serial number. You can tap and hold on the number to copy it to the clipboard and paste it in the box provided on the replacement program page. If your device is eligible for replacement, you can head over to the nearest Apple authorised service provider for help.

Apple notes that the company may restrict or limit repair to the original country of purchase. Which means if you bought your iPhone 6 Plus in the US, you may not be able to get its iSight camera replaced in India, even if it’s found to be faulty. The company adds that the program doesn’t extend the standard warranty coverage of the iPhone 6 Plus. Finally, Apple says the program covers affected iPhone 6 Plus iSight cameras for 3 years after the first retail sale of the unit.

Yahoo Weather Now Alerts Users 15 Minutes Before Rain or Snow Is Expected

Yahoo has updated its Weather app with new weather alerts around the world. Additionally, Yahoo Mail has also received a new feature which will now show notifications for package arrivals alongside upcoming events.

With the latest update, Yahoo Weather app will alert users 15 minutes before rain or snow is expected, called near-term updates, giving users enough time to grab an umbrella or jacket. The company announced the update via its blog post and claimed that it is now more accurate than before. Yahoo claims that it has overhauled the way it determines and serves forecasts. The new app update also allows “zoom in on microclimates”. While the company claims that the update is now available for both Android and iOS. We only see the weather alert feature rolling out to iOS users. The Google Play despite being last updated on Thursday doesn’t list the new weather alert in its ‘What’s New’ section tipping that the company may roll out the feature to Android users in the coming days.

In other news, Yahoo Mail has received new features which will now show package and event notifications at the top of the inbox for quick viewing. With the new feature, whenever a new order mail arrives from an online retailer, Yahoo Mail will show package notifications on top of the inbox and will also include a shortcut for shipment tracking and the original email for the order.

For upcoming events, Yahoo Mail will now show a snapshot of the event details and a quick link to the original invite and directions on top of the inbox. Once the user read the event or package notification, it can be simply dismissed. Yahoo currently is rolling out the feature in the US over next few days and adds that it will continue to expand on the types of notifications in the inbox.