Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Custom 5G Apple Modem has Goal of 2022 Release

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Reports say that Apple has moved its timeline for a custom 5G Apple modem to 2022.

It won’t be easy. In fact, bringing a new modem to the finish line in two years is really pushing it, my source said. After all the design work is done, and the fabrication of the chips themselves is underway, an arduous testing and certification process still awaits.

Right now I think 5G is overhyped and even the previous rumor of a 5G iPhone in 2020 didn’t make sense.

iOS 13.2 Will Let You Delete Your Siri Audio History

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The latest Apple betas like iOS 13.2 have a feature that lets you delete your Siri audio history in settings.

In addition to offering an explicit opt-in, Apple has promised that only employees, and not contractors, will be involved in reviewing the audio clips. However, this doesn’t stop the automated text transcriptions of your Siri requests from being transmitted to Apple, irrespective of whether you opt-in or -out, although they will pseudonymized and dissociated from your Apple ID. What’s more, these transcripts could be reviewed by employees and contractors.

I’m glad that Apple is adding this feature, and given its privacy stance I’m surprised it’s a feature we don’t already have.

Your Kids' Photos Power Surveillance Technology

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Kids lining up against the wall with smartphones

The New York Times has a nice feature out today about how a mother found photos of her kids in a machine learning database.

None of them could have foreseen that 14 years later, those images would reside in an unprecedentedly huge facial-recognition database called MegaFace. Containing the likenesses of nearly 700,000 individuals, it has been downloaded by dozens of companies to train a new generation of face-identification algorithms, used to track protesters, surveil terrorists, spot problem gamblers and spy on the public at large. The average age of the people in the database, its creators have said, is 16.

I can’t imagine the gross feeling you get when you see your kids in a database like this.

Alleged Apple Employee Says 'Things are so Broken Here at Apple'

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A conversation on Hacker News from an alleged Apple employee says that things are broken at Apple and no one communicates.

Broken management structure. I have had many managers (a red flag in itself) but even worse none of the managers take suggestions from engineers. Everything is purely top down. If an engineer realizes there is a problem on a macro scale they cannot fix it. It is literally impossible to unite more than 1.5 teams to get anything done.

Obviously there is no way to tell if they are real or not (At least, my surface research for these linked teasers can’t tell). Another commenter mentions “overt sexism that I’ve been witness to in iCloud management…”

Amazon Music Now Featured on Apple TV

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Amazon Music now joins Spotify as third-party features available on Apple TV. Download the Amazon Music app to get started.

For now, the tvOS Amazon Music app is available for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD users in thirteen countries: the U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and India.

Amazon Music is a free download from the App Store.

#BoycottApple Trends on Twitter After Company's Recent Moves

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The hashtag #BoycottApple is trending on Twitter after Apple removed the HKMap and Quartz apps from the App Store at the behest of China.

Just after Apple removed the apps, #BoycottApple has been trending on all the social media platforms with users voicing their discontent with Apple’s move. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Apple has been under fire for pulling something like this. Back in 2017, the company pulled The New York Times app from the App Store stating that the Chinese government had requested the app’s removal because it was “in violation of local regulations.”

Phil Schiller: “Courage.”

Apple Releases Trailer for 'Truth Be Told' Based on Are You Sleeping

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Today Apple shared a trailer for its upcoming series Truth Be Told based on a novel by Kathleen Barber called Are You Sleeping.

Every truth has a consequence. When new evidence compels podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation, she comes face to face with Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Her investigation navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race. Truth Be Told is created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and stars Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood and Ron Cephas Jones.

You can watch the trailer on YouTube here.

EyeQue Launches Vision Monitoring Kit

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Today EyeQue has launched a vision monitoring kit that includes the EyeQue VisionCheck, PDCheck, and the new EyeQue Insight Plus.

The EyeQue Vision Monitoring Kit is available now on Indiegogo, with pledge levels starting at $119 (retail value: $205). The product is slated to ship to backers by the end of November 2019, in time for the holidays (limited quantities). Learn more about EyeQue at eyeque.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more updates.

10 Features in macOS Catalina You Need to Know

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MacMost has a good video on YouTube where he shares 10 macOS Catalina features. They’re smaller features that don’t get the same attention or shoutout by Apple, but they’re good to know. The first one he mentions is a feature that I noticed but was annoyed about. When you hover or long-click the green fullscreen button in Safari, it now brings up a menu window to enter full screen or tile the window to the left or right. While it makes this capability more obvious it also adds an extra step, when just dragging the window by the green button was faster. In any case the video is pretty helpful and you can watch it here.

New York City Partners With Cellebrite to Hack iPhones

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Documents reveal that New York City law enforcement has a partnership with Cellebrite to hack iPhones.

Previously, if law enforcement wanted to get into newer devices, they had to send the phones to one of Cellebrite’s digital forensics labs, located in New Jersey and Virginia. But Cellebrite’s new UFED Premium program gave law enforcement the ability to “unlock and extract data from all iOS and high-end Android devices” on their own, using software installed on computers in their offices.

I’ve always wondered if eventually Apple will remove the Lightning port from the iPhone once wireless charging becomes the norm. Side effects may include better waterproofing and worsened hacking.