Earlier today it was reported that, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple would return to an all-glass enclosure with the iPhone. But that the change will occur in 2017, not this year. In light of Apple's tradition and what we (think we) know about inductive charging, a really good mystery has surfaced.
Apple could turn to a page from yesteryear when it comes to the next major form factor change in the iPhone, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo [via 9to5Mac]. The analyst said that Apple is planning to ditch aluminum for an iPhone refresh and return to an all-glass enclosure—but interestingly he says Apple will do so in 2017.
Apple reportedly has a secret team working on improving search and discovery in the App Store. This is a significant challenge for every company on the planet, and Bryan Chaffin looks at what Apple and its small team might be able to accomplish.
On April 13th, The White House announced that it has named the members of its non-partisan commission charged with making detailed recommendations on actions to ensure the public safety and empower Americans to take control of their digital security. The members have a strong and wide range of technical expertise.
The San Bernardino iPhone unlocking court battle is over, and FBI Director James Comey said he's glad for it. He also said the very public battle had an "unintended benefit," and lamented the fact it became an emotional issue—right before he added fuel to that fire by equating the encryption fight to the emotions he sees in the gun control debate.
The Obama Administration is a house divided when it comes to encryption, and it's clear that thinking on the issue is an ever-evolving state. This was highlighted this week when Reuters reported the White House would not be supporting a bill empowering judges to order companies like Apple to aid law enforcement help in accessing locked and encrypted devices.
There's been much fuss lately about the desire by the FBI to be able to break into any iPhone it needs to. But the FBI is just one government agency. The interesting backstory here is that the Federal Government, in general, won't buy products that don't meet certain cryptographic standards. It's called FIPS 140-2 certification, and Apple has just announced that the cryptographic modules in iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 have obtained that validation. It's delicious irony.
The FBI has had access to the encrypted contents of Syed Farook's iPhone 5c for at least a week and when asked about the status, FBI general counsel James Baker said they're still analyzing the data and the agency won't talk about what may or may not be there. That's government talk for, "We didn't find anything useful on the iPhone."
When websites started showing how to use Siri on locked iPhones to access photos and contacts some people called it a Siri security flaw, others called it a poorly thought out feature. Either way, Apple addressed the issue quickly without requiring an iOS update. The problem is that the incident underscores Apple's tendency to favor convenience over security.
Well done, FBI. In its fight to kill encryption-based privacy and security, public awareness is on the rise, and now WhatsApp expanded its built-in encryption to all supported devices all the time. The end result is that everyone—honest people and criminals alike—have yet another way to keep their private conversations from snoopy friends, bad guys, and the government.
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