Apple removes Secret from Brazil’s App Store following court ruling

Apple has removed anonymous social network Secret from the Brazilian App Store, following a preliminary injunction by a court in the country. A Brazilian court ordered the app removed following a ruling that Secret was in violation of Brazil’s free speech laws. While the removal from the store was part of the preliminary injunction, court has also asked Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, to remotely wipe the apps from user’s phones.

From CenárioMT (translated):

In addition to determining the suspension of the application, the court also ruled that companies must also remotely remove those applications from smartphones of people who have already installed them. This was also a request from the MP-ES, signed into action by the prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner. The court has fixed fine of £20,000 for each day of noncompliance.

What do you think of Brazil’s ruling? Let us know below in the comments.

Source: CenárioMT, via GigaOM



Posted Friday August 22 2014 16:20 in News | Comments (0)

iMore show 416: Antisocial networks

The iMore show brings you everything you need to know about the week in iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple! On this episode Apple mice, keyboards, and alternatives, social network polls, Photos for Mac, typing on iPad, scanner apps, Mailbox for Mac, and more! With Rene, Peter, and Ally.

Support the iMore show: Go to GoDaddy.com and enter promo code IMORE30 to save 30% on your order. Go to lynda.com/imore to try lynda.com free for 7 days. Go to naturebox.com/imore to save 50% on your first month.

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Posted Friday August 22 2014 16:20 in News | Comments (0)

iPhone 6 screens rumored to be back in production after rumored setback

Suppliers have supposedly re-established the production of iPhone 6 screens after a supposed minor setback. Production of components has been ramping up for the imminent launch, but display suppliers are reportedly working to make up for lost time caused by the backlight being revised by Apple. That’s all according to Reuters:

Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July. One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.

But the new configuration was not bright enough and the backlight was sent back to the drawing board to fit in the extra layer, costing precious time and temporarily idling some screen assembly operations, the source said.

Companies making the screens include Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp, and they’re now working “flat out” to make up for lost time.

It’s not uncommon for Apple to hold tough demands and requirements on suppliers for its products as it competes with other tech companies with thinner, lighter and more advanced components. It’s also not uncommon for mainstream publications to get stories like this entirely wrong.

Similar stories surface every year and yet, every year so far, Apple has gotten the iPhone out right on time. We’ll have to see what happens this year when the iPhone 6 is announced. That announcement is widely expected to be made at an iPhone event on September 9.

How important is the thinness of the next iPhone to you? Does it need to be the thinnest in the world again?

Source: Reuters



Posted Friday August 22 2014 16:20 in News | Comments (0)

Apple Adding Samsung as RAM Supplier for iPhone 6

Samsung will reportedly supply Apple with RAM for the iPhone 6, according to a report from Digitimes. Samsung’s return to Apple’s list of RAM suppliers for the iPhone comes after it was excluded from the list in 2013, with Apple electing to partner with SK Hynix and Elpida Memory for the iPhone 5s.

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The logic board of the iPhone 5s featuring 1GB of RAM

Apple made a drastic move to begin expelling Samsung from its supplier list for a number of key components, including application processors, mobile RAM, NAND flash chips and batteries, starting 2013, the sources noted.

The report adds that Elpida and SK Hynix have become unsatisfied with Apple’s buying price for the components. With Elpida and SK Hynix reluctant to increase their shipments because of the dispute, Apple has once again added Samsung into its RAM supplier list to ensure a steady launch supply for the iPhone 6. Samsung had also previously supplied RAM to Apple for the iPhone 5 in 2012.

Apple has diversified its supply chain in recent years in an attempt to reduce its reliance on its rival Samsung, however the Korean company’s reputation for mass producing components with quality has made them a favorable choice. It was reported recently that Apple’s supply chain diversification has hit Samsung’s chip manufacturing business, as Samsung has been Apple’s only manufacturer of Apple A-series processors over the past few years.

The iPhone 6 will be unveiled at an event on September 9, and will likely be sold about a week or so later. It is also possible that the 4.7-inch version will launch ahead of the 5.5-inch version, as the latter is said to be experiencing production issues. In addition to a larger display, the iPhone 6 is expected to feature a thinner chassis, a faster A8 processor, an improved camera and iOS 8. While it is not known how much RAM the iPhone 6 will contain, some features in iOS 8 may require Apple to give the handset an adequate amount of RAM for smooth performance.

Posted Friday August 22 2014 15:40 in News | Comments (0)

GT Advanced Reportedly Producing Between 1.3 and 2.2 Million Sapphire Displays for 5.5-Inch iPhone 6

Apple partner and sapphire glass manufacturer GT Advanced is estimated to produce anywhere from 1.35 to 2.25 million sapphire covers for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 by the end of 2014, according to a report from Digitimes Research.

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GTAT started sapphire production in August 2014 and expects revenue contributions from sapphire to begin in the fourth quarter, and Apple’s fourth down payment is due in October 2014, these conditions signal that GTAT’s sapphire production will not reach a large scale by the end of 2014, Digitimes Research indicated. However, GTAT is likely to ship sapphire at a large volume beginning the first quarter of 2015.

A yield of only 1.35 to 2.25 million sapphire glass covers for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 would likely mean that Apple would delay the launch of the larger device until next year or release it in extremely limited quantities.

Such a small yield would also contrast earlier reports about the iPhone 6′s record-setting initial production run, as Apple was said to be preparing between 70 and 80 million 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 units for this year. Reports of Apple’s production issues with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6′s display and metal casing may also suggested that the larger device will launch in 2015.

Analyst estimates of the use of sapphire in the iPhone 6 have varied widely, with some claiming that the material will only be limited to high-end versions of the iPhone 6, while others have stated that Apple will have more than enough supply for all models.

Previously, Digitimes Research claimed that GT Advanced would only be supplying 9% to 16% of iPhone 6 sapphire displays, or roughly 6.3 to 11.6 million cover units. Those numbers were discredited by analyst Matt Margolis, who discredited the repot due to a lack of any specific revenue disclosures from GT and unrealistically high estimated cost per display.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9. It is most certain that the company will reveal the 4.7-inch version at its event, however it is unknown if the 5.5-inch version will also be revealed. Both models will likely feature a thinner profile, a faster A8 chip, an improved camera, and more.

Posted Friday August 22 2014 13:00 in News | Comments (0)

Best Mac apps for instant messaging

There are a lot of instant messaging services out there. There are fewer instant messaging clients that are actually capable of supporting multiple services and protocols. Here are the best for the Mac.


Adium

Adium is a free app for the Mac that can connect you with quite a few different instant messaging services. It works with AOL Instant Messenger, XMPP (so it works with Google Talk and Facebook Chat), MSN Messenger, ICQ, Twitter, IRC, and more.

Adium supports features like tabbed windows, integrates support for OS X’s own Contacts apps, and lets you theme your message windows so you can customize the look and feel. It’s a nice alternative to Apple’s own Messages application, especially if you’re dependent on instant messaging systems that Messages doesn’t support.

Messages

Apple’s default messaging app is a vital tool, especially thanks to its integration with Apple’s iMessage ecosystem, making it possible to trade messages, audio and video with anyone who uses a Mac or an iOS device. It supports other messaging protocols, too: AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber and Yahoo. For many people, Messages is the only instant messaging app they need.

Where Messages comes up short is in supporting protocols like IRC, ICQ and some others. That’s where Adium comes to the rescue.

Trillian

Like Adium, Trillian supports a broad number of protocols: Google Talk, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Facebook, Yahoo and others. It does a great job of integrating with social networks. Trillian’s also available for iOS, so you can have the same messaging experience regardless of what device you’re using.

Trillian is free to download, but to get the most out of it you’ll have to pay. It’s available for a one-time charge of $60, or a 20/year “Pro” subscription, both of which net you lots of other useful features like cloud history, tabbed chats and integration with email, so you can do basic mail management or just get alerted to new messages as they come in.

The bottom line

I’ve left off other applications that people certainly use for instant messaging, but don’t fit the multiprotocol mode. Skype is used by hundreds of millions, for example, but it’s not designed to support other systems besides Skype. I’ve also avoided IM systems that depend on a browser to work.

But still I imagine I might have left some out. If there are Mac instant messaging apps that you can’t live without, give ‘em a shout out in the comments!



Posted Friday August 22 2014 07:20 in News | Comments (0)

How to find the owner of a lost or stolen iPhone

Every once in a while I have a reader ask me what they should do with a lost or stolen iPhone they’ve somehow come across. In most cases their biggest concern is finding the original owner, as it should be. Unfortunately that task sometimes proves to be a little tougher than some people imagine, especially if the owner has enabled a passcode lock. However, if the iPhone you have found is fully functional, we’ve got some tricks that can help you get in contact with the original owner faster than you may think!


How to get in contact with the owner of a lost or stolen iPhone

If you somehow end up in the possession of a lost or stolen iPhone, it’s not always clear what the best thing to do is. Sadly, turning an iPhone in to a public establishment sometimes gets it stolen by a not so honest person behind the counter, or by a customer that saw you turn it in. If you’d rather take matters into your own hands in order to make sure the rightful owner ends up with it again, here are some things we’d recommend trying in order to contact them directly.

1. If there’s no passcode lock, check their recent calls

No one likes invading anyone else’s privacy but at the end of the day, there’s got to be a little bit of an exception if you’re serious about returning the iPhone. I’ve found two iPhones in the past that were both abandoned, one being at a local Starbucks. The first time, there was no passcode lock so I launched the Phone app and went through their recent calls. I looked for a number that they communicated with regularly. In this case, it was labeled as “Home”. That was easy enough. I called it, the person’s spouse answered and I explained who I was and why I had the phone. They showed up 20 minutes later to pick it up. Problem solved.

Unfortunately, things get a little more complicated if someone has used a passcode lock.

2. If there’s a passcode, ask Siri for help

Most people don’t realize that even if you have a passcode lock on your iPhone, you can bypass it to do things like place calls or send messages — unless of course they’ve disabled this functionality in Settings. However, it never hurts to grill Siri a bit. Here are some things you can try asking Siri by holding down the Home button from the Lock screen:

  • “Call home.”
  • “Call mom.”
  • “Call dad.”

If the owner had relationships set up, you can also try things like “Call my wife.” to see if that gets you any bites. The second lost iPhone I found was successfully reunited with its owner thanks to Siri and its ability to call a contact labeled “Home* without me knowing the passcode.

3. Keep the device powered on and answer incoming calls

The one thing you absolutely want to make sure you do is keep the iPhone charged and powered on. More often than not, once the owner realizes their iPhone is missing, they’ll try calling it from someone else’s phone. As odd as it is to answer a phone that isn’t yours, it’s in both of your best interest. If someone is calling them, odds are they have more relevant information that is of use to you. And if you’re really lucky, it’ll be the owner on the other side of the line.

4. Find the IMEI or MEID and contact their carrier

Every iPhone has a unique number called an IMEI (or MEID for some CDMA phones) imprinted somewhere on it. The owner’s carrier can use this information to track the owner down and hopefully contact them. It’s best to just visit the carrier’s store where they can then take possession of the iPhone and handle it from there. If you can’t, you can always call the carrier over the phone and start from there. While they can’t release information about the owner, they most certainly can help you track them down. If the iPhone is powered on, you can tell what carrier they have by looking at the carrier name in upper left hand corner of the screen. The carrier name appears immediately to the right of the signal bars, or dots. The only thing you need to give the carrier is the IMEI or MEID number.

Here is where you can find IMEI or MEID info for each model iPhone ever made:

  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5: Printed on the back casing towards the bottom
  • iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G: Remove the SIM tray and you will find the IMEI or MEID printed, as well as the serial
  • First generation iPhone: Printed on the back casing towards the bottom

If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM tray from an iPhone, you can follow our guide:

For even more help finding and recognizing an IMEI or MEID number, or any other identifying number for that matter, Apple has a great support article complete with photos you can take a look at:

You’ll notice that the IMEI printed on all iPhones is 15 digits. If the iPhone owner in question has a CDMA carrier just as Verizon or Sprint, the MEID is the first 14 digits of that number, so simply leave off the last digit and you’ve got the MEID you need to give to the carrier.

Keep in mind that even if you found an iPhone that won’t power on, you can always try calling different carriers in your area to see if they have a record of the IMEI or MEID. Since there aren’t a huge amount of carriers in any one area, this process should still be relatively easy even without knowing the carrier off-hand.

A final note about lost or stolen iPhones

Keep in mind that many iPhone owners can either use Find My iPhone to track their device or they can call their carrier and report it lost or stolen. If the latter happens, that phone can then not be activated on many cellular networks, at least in the United States. There is no finder’s keepers rule when it comes to lost property such as cell phones. If you find it and don’t turn it in, it can still be considered theft. If Find My iPhone is activated and the owner successfully tracks you, they may have gotten law enforcement involved. So keep this in mind if you happen to stumble across a misplaced iPhone. The decisions you make from the second you pick it up can affect you too.

Your advice for finding the owner of a lost or stolen iPhone?

If you’ve ever come across a lost or stolen iPhone, how did you go about reuniting it with the owner? Did you perform any of the steps above? And if so, were any of them successful for you? Be sure to let me know in the comments!



Posted Friday August 22 2014 07:20 in News | Comments (0)

‘Hearthstone’ Curse of Naxxramas Review – Easily The Best Way New Collectable Card Game Cards Have Ever Been Released

If you’ve been following along with TouchArcade for the last half a decade, I’ve mentioned a bunch of times how much I love collectible card games. I’ve been playing the physical version of Magic the Gathering for no joke, over 20 years now, and I’ve never found a digital collectible card game (Short of just playing Magic online, of course.) to even begin to compare until I got in to Blizzard’s Hearthstone [Free (HD)]. Like any CCG, I’ve had more love/hate moments with Hearthstone than I could even count, but at minimum, just playing even a couple matches has turned in to part of my daily routine. We’ve already got a review of the core game on the site, so I’m not going to focus on that as much as I am the new expansion. If you don’t know what Hearthstone is, or much about it, definitely start there first.

Back at PAX East Blizzard announced plans for a vague “single player campaign” for Hearthstone called Curse of Naxxramas. Hearthstone leans entirely on the World of Warcraft universe for its cards and lore, so it made a lot of sense for them to implement additional content in the card game based on existing content in the MMO. Naxxramas is an infamous raid instance that was featured both in the original pre-expansion World of Warcraft and then re-released as part of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Blizzard got a lot of flak for recycling content, but, so few people ever even zoned in to the original Naxxramas that it made a lot of sense. If your only exposure to the WoW universe is Hearthstone, it’s worth watching the original Naxxramas reveal trailer from May, 2011:

Needless to say, the production value of Blizzard’s expansion trailers increased exponentially when they revealed the Curse of Naxxramas trailer in July:

Collectable card games, like most multiplayer games are built around the idea of intentional imbalance. (Check out this awesome video for a great explanation of what that means.) Hearthstone has a metagame that was constantly evolving, but felt like it was on the verge of beginning to get stale right around the time Curse of Naxxramas was on the verge of release. After all, with a small initial card pool, there are only so many reasonable possibilities for putting together competitive decks.

Curse of Naxxramas added much needed cards to spice things up a bit, both providing answers for some of the more popular decks as well as expanding deck building strategy with additional cards which when paired with cards that were previously seen as under powered could turn in to some killer combos. Typically, in the CCG world new cards are released as an entire set that you need to chase down by opening up packs of cards. In the world of Magic, this makes for an awkward couple of weeks as people without the time, money, and desire to track down all the new best cards are at a significant disadvantage to casual players who just buy a couple packs here or there and don’t dabble in trading or buying individual cards from dealers.

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Hearthstone did things totally differently, and is without a doubt the most clever way I’ve seen new cards injected into an existing CCG card pool. Instead of chasing packs, the playing field was leveled in to five wings, each with their own cards that everyone who played through it would unlock. There’s no chasing down play sets, getting frustrated because you’re opening every card but the one you want, you just get everything.

The pricing structure is great too. Hearthstone is a free to play game, I’ve dropped some cash on it, but I’ve got many friends who I play with competitively who haven’t spent a cent on it. Similarly, the expansion content can be entirely unlocked via spending in-game gold earned through completing daily quests. Better yet, you can spend a mixture of in-game currency and real-world currency to get the expansion content. Each wing costs 700 in-game gold, or $6.99, and the more wings you buy with in-game gold the cheaper unlocking the rest of the content gets. It’s totally agreeable, and in an era of the App Store where it seems like its in fashion to endlessly abuse player through infinite consumable IAP, it’s great that it’s just a buy once and get everything sort of affair.

7742To unlock the cards, you’ve got to play through different boss battles, all following the World of Warcraft Naxxramas theme along with specific class challenges for each of the nine classes included in the game. Each wing has three bosses, with the exception of the Construct Quarter with four and the Frostwyrm Lair with two.

The normal boss battles are a lot of fun, and seem pretty flexible regarding what kind of deck you need to beat them. Most fights involve trying them out with your favorite deck, seeing if the hero power of the boss you’re fighting requires you to tweak it or try something else, then going back again and unlocking your cards. The overall difficulty level of these fights in normal mode ranges from pretty easy to sort of tricky, but if you’ve been playing Hearthstone and have a decent understanding of the game, you shouldn’t have much issue.

What’s fascinating, and honestly somewhat unexpected, is the amount of flavor Blizzard was able to jam in to these battles. As someone who experienced the WoW iteration of these fights, it’s an incredible feat of game design that they managed to make these multiplayer raid encounters feel strikingly similar in a single player card game. Notorious boss gimmicks are all there, with Hearthstone flair, providing both a fun challenge for players who have never played World of Warcraft and a nod to those who did.

Something I hope they explore more in future expansions is multi-phase fights like Kel’Thuzad. All of the most memorable boss encounters in WoW had all sorts of tricks you needed to know, especially as the fight evolved to different stages. The first time Kel’Thuzad steals your turn away is an awesome experience, and getting legendary cards as your “loot” for vanquishing these bosses is even better.

7747My gripes with the expansion start with some of the class challenges and the heroic side of things. Some of the class challenges are a ton of fun. The hunter one, for instance, gives you an entire deck full of minions which give you a random beast card when they die. This was so awesome I wish it was its own game mode that I could play with friends.

Alternatively, some of the class challenges, namely the warrior and paladin feel like you’re just brute forcing the random number generator. Luck in card games is a cruel mistress, and while there’s obviously strategy involved in a CCG, you’re also depending on getting the cards you need to respond to threats while your opponent gets screwed out of answering your threats. In some of these challenges, the decks you’re forced to use feel so clunky that you’re basically just slamming your head against getting the god hand in your opening draw, then continuing that trend for the rest of the game. Lose momentum at any moment, and you might as well start over.

Heroic difficulty, much like the WoW raids of the same name, are intentionally designed to be way harder. Thankfully, unlike WoW, there’s not any better “loot” to be had in the heroic side of things aside from a snazzy looking card back to show off.

The difference between WoW heroic raids and Hearthstone heroic bosses is that instead of the flawless execution required through player skill in WoW you’re again brute forcing the random number generator. Some fights take hours of retrying to win, while you lose because an enemy’s random hero power somehow manages to nuke the one minion of all the minions on your side of the board that you needed to win.

7740Player perception when it comes to random number generation is a tricky thing to deal with. People were so sure that the iOS version of Monopoly [$0.99 / $6.99 (HD)] featured AI that cheated they went as far as to add a heat map for dice rolls in the game to prove that it’s not. I’m not sure what Blizzard can do to fix this, or if it’s even something that can be fixed, but conversations with friends on Hearthstone since the expansion has been released have definitely shifted from discussing decks to sharing tales of how bad the random number generator screwed you over as you were one turn away from winning and the boss drew exactly the card they needed to end the game.

But, hey, the whole point of heroic mode is it’s supposed to be hard, so it makes sense that these fights are tuned to require a perfect game to win. I suppose it’s better than the alternative of making them as easy to beat as the normal bosses and being disappointed that the single player content included was so short. One thing that’s desperately needed for heroics is a way to edit your decks from the actual expansion menus. Continually navigating all the way out of and back into the Curse of Naxxramas area to just swap out a card can be a little tedious.

The way the release was staggered with each wing unlocking over the course of five weeks was awesome. I’m definitely going to be bummed next Wednesday when I open Hearthstone without being greeted by a popup telling me a new wing has been unlocked. That’s alright though, as all the cards that have been released will keep deck builders busy and the metagame shifting for months to come.

Overall, I really couldn’t have possibly asked for more in a Hearthstone expansion. Curse of Naxxramas was flawlessly executed. The new cards are great, the boss encounters were clever, and while some of them along with the class challenges had their moments of pure frustration, that also came with the excitement of victory. Kel’Thuzad taunting you the entire time was highly amusing, and I seriously cannot wait to see what Blizzard comes up with next.

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If you’re even remotely interested in Hearthstone, unlocking Curse of Naxxramas is a no-brainer. Technically speaking, it’s a better “value” if you buy it with cash, as you get more cards by spending your gold on packs compared to buying that same amount of packs with money, but it really doesn’t matter. However you end up unlocking Curse of Naxxramas, whether it’s gold, money, or a mixture of the two, just be sure you do.

Posted Friday August 22 2014 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

Nival’s ‘Etherlords’ Brings World-Building and RPG Battling to the App Store on September 4th

Nival, creators of Defenders [Free], known as Prime World: Defenders outside of iOS, and King’s Bounty: Legions [Free], have announced Etherlords, coming September 4th for iOS, boldly forgoing the “Title: Subtitle” format of their previous games. As well, they’re trying to make a free-to-play game that is much more player-friendly than similar titles.

Etherlords features two distinct phases: a 3-on-3 RPG battle system, where players use their creatures to try and win matter. Combat is somewhat automated, but with various character abilities that can be triggered every so often. Then, there’s the world-building portion, where earned matter can be used to build out each level, discovering new creatures and progressing further to new battles. It’ll be possible to fight other players and fuse creatures to make them stronger.

Etherlords Announce 03 Etherlords Announce 09

Etherlords will be free-to-play, but will eschew some of the most annoying tactics that games of the business model tend to use: Nival is promising that the game will have no energy mechanic at all. A constant internet connection will be unnecessary, too: even for PVP modes, which will work a kind of development trickery to work offline.

The game is scheduled to release for free on September 4th, and should prove to be a bit more interesting of a free-to-play RPG battler than most in the genre.

Posted Friday August 22 2014 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

Tim Cook proud of iPad’s use in patient care at VA Hospital

Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to humbly brag about the iPad’s use in patient care at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Taking to Twitter to announce the use of the iPad in medicine and patient care, Cook posted a picture of himself and staff at the medical facility with the iPad.

“Honored to meet doctors & Veterans with @RepAnnaEshoo at @VAPaloAlto, now using iPads to help treat Vets & families,” Cook said in his tweet mentioning California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

The use of Apple’s iconic tablet has been seen in diverse industries from airline transportation to medicine. Its portability, ease of use, and abundant selection of apps make it a good choice for professionals.

Source: Tim Cook, Twitter



Posted Friday August 22 2014 04:20 in News | Comments (0)

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