Charging Cables Are Still Apple's Worst Product

ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley Hughes does not like Apple’s charging cables. At all.

I’m not sure what it is about Apple cables, but the brilliant white rubber coating the company uses just doesn’t seem to be all that robust. After about six months of use — you know, the regular stuff like plugging and unplugging it — the outer starts to get soggy and discolored, and then over time becomes more and more fragile, until one day it starts peeling off, and then it is game over for the cable (unless you want to go through the pantomime of patching it, which buys you a little time). While I’ve long given up on using Apple cables for my iPhone and iPad — and even for my Apple Watch — I had hoped that the USB-C-to-USB-C charging cable for my MacBook Pro would be OK. I mean, how badly can you mess up a USB-C-to-USB-C cable? Pretty bad, if you’re Apple it seems.

Netflix Says No to macOS Catalina, Won't Port its App Over

With the release of macOS Catalina and Catalyst, many developers are now porting their iOS apps to the Mac. But not Netflix.

Last year, Apple Inc. software chief Craig Federighi said developers would be able to easily bring their iPad apps to Mac computers, essentially letting coders write an app once and deploy it across millions more devices. So far, the reality has fallen short for some developers and is even leaving consumers paying twice for apps. Major app developers and service providers like Netflix Inc. are also demurring on taking part, at least at this early stage.

I’ll be interested to see if Hulu ports their app over.

Oops! Twitter Accidentally Used Your Phone Number for Ads

Twitter admitted yesterday that it “unintentionally” used some email addresses and phone numbers for advertising purposes. These phone numbers were specifically used to keep your account safe with two-factor authentication.

We recently discovered that when you provided an email address or phone number for safety or security purposes (for example, two-factor authentication) this data may have inadvertently been used for advertising purposes, specifically in our Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences advertising system.

This is exactly why SMS-based two-factor authentication needs to go away. SMS is inherently insecure, as the FBI recently noted. Funnily enough, I recently removed my phone number from Twitter, although it’s probably too late.

Lightning Cable That Allows Hackers to Remotely Take Over Your Computer Being Mass Produced.

The O.MG. Cable, a Lightning cable that allowed hackers to remotely take over a victims computer, was demonstrated last summer at Def Con. Now, Fast Company reported, it is being mass-produced.

The O.MG Cable was first reported by Motherboard’s Joseph Cox when the security researcher who created it, a person known as “MG,” first demoed his handmade prototype at the Def Con hacking conference last summer. The O.MG Cable looks like an ordinary Apple-made Lightning cable and works exactly the same—it will charge a device and transfer data to and from the device just like an authentic Lightning cable. However, the O.MG Cable also contains a built-in wireless hotspot. This allows attackers to remotely run commands on the Mac or Windows PC the cable is plugged into, which allows them to do, well, pretty much whatever they want—including reading or even deleting your data… The good news at the time was that the O.MG cable needed to be handmade and was relatively expensive—$200 a pop. But now MG says that he’s found a way to mass-produce the cable in a factory, which will allow thousands of them to roll off an assembly line.

Our Deal for iMazing 2 for Mac and Windows is Back: $19.99

We have a deal on iMazing 2, the Mac and Windows app that lets you manage your iPhone and iPad data and files. You can browse and manage your backups, extract and print your text messages, drag and drop songs to your iPhone—all without jailbreaking your device. We love iMazing at TMO, and I am pleased to be able to offer this deal. You can get your iMazing 2 universal license for Mac and Windows for $19.99 through our deal.

Tile Reveals Adhesive Sticker to Track 'Dumb' Objects

Tile revealed its later product, Sticker, Thursday, to help make ‘dumb’ objects traceable, Techcrunch reported. It comes amid rumors Apple will unveil something similar in the near future.

Today, the startup unveiled Sticker, a new, waterproof tracking device that uses adhesive created in collaboration with 3M to attach to objects to be able to track them by Bluetooth to a range of 150 feet, or further using Tile’s community network by way of its app. Alongside this, the startup is also announcing enhancements to its existing range of Tile tracking devices. The Slim is now in the shape and thinness of a credit card, designed for wallets and other places where you might insert card-shaped information (for example, in luggage ID compartments), and its range has been extended to 200 feet with a battery life of three years. And the Mate and Pro tags — the square-shaped fobs that Tile is most famous for — are also getting their ranges extended respectively to 200 and 400 feet.

Tim Cook Does Not Get Enough Credit

It is eight years since Steve Jobs passed away.  A little over that since Tim Cook succeeded him as CEO of Apple. At Forbes, Chuck Jones argues that Mr. Cook is still not getting the credit his deserves.

Analysts say that there hasn’t been any innovation at Apple over the past eight years, that Cook needs to be replaced and that the company should acquire at least one or more large companies to “take it to the next level.” They seem to ignore some new products that are generating tens of billions of revenue every year… In fiscal 2011 Apple generated just under $3 billion in Services revenue vs. a projected $46 billion in fiscal 2019. Cook has also announced a goal of approximately $50 billion next year, which the iPhone reached in fiscal 2011 or four years after it became available.

Zane Lowe Talks About The Future of Apple Music

Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe talks about where Apple Music is headed in a new interview. When it comes to Beats 1, Apples radio show, the team found something interesting.

It turns out users are four times more likely to complete an album if they’d pre-added it to their collection, 1.5 times more likely to listen to it again and they listen to music four times longer than other Apple Music subscribers. In short, Apple is trying to build a better hype machine than its rivals to counteract the popular, but depersonalised playlists that have come to dominate music streaming.

The Death of iTunes is a Problem for DJs That Relied on it

Many people rejoiced when we learned that macOS Catalina was going to be the end of iTunes. However, the Verge reported, it is going to be a problem for some DJs.

According to Apple, along with Catalina’s removal of iTunes, users are also losing XML file support as all native music playback on Macs moves over to the official Music app, which has a new library format. XML file support is a popular organizational feature for DJs who use it to sort tracks into playlists and utilize the “Share iTunes Library XML with other applications” option to seamlessly transmit data between apps. Tons of popular DJ apps, like Rekordbox and Traktor, read XML files, and over the years, iTunes became the de facto way for lots of DJs to sort through their massive file libraries and quickly find tracks while performing.

Create a macOS Catalina Bootable Drive for Installation

Roman Loyola shares a tip for Apple users looking to upgrade: Creating a macOS Catalina bootable drive.

An external drive that you can use as an installer for macOS Catalina is a handy thing to have. If you have multple Macs to upgrade, it’s a lot more efficient to plug in the USB installer drive and run the installer than to log into the App Store, download the 6.5GB OS installer, and then run it.