Cast is the technology behinds Google’s Chomecast and the standard that apps use to send video and audio to the device. Google has announced there will be a audio only version, so this means you will be able to beam music from your Google play store or any other supported app to Google’s cast ready speakers.
Sony, LG, Denon are just some of the companies that have come on board and the first set of speakers should arrive in spring of this year.
The system will work just like chomecast does now: simply tap on the cast button and it will send your audio to the speakers, and the music will be sent straight from the cloud rather than connecting to your device like AirPlay, This will help save battery life as it takes a lot of the stain off your smartphone or tablet and also means your music wont be interrupted by notifications.
Google have promised additional partners will join later in the year so the Google Cast network can expect more Android TV’s, games consoles and set top boxes, how ever there is no indication Google will release an Audio only version of the Chromecast to add the functionality to older speakers.
The Cast function is very similar to Apple’s AirPlay, but Sony have said that there speakers will support both systems in the future so you wont have to pick one over the other.
Apple Getting Attacked Over iOS 8 Bugs and Phones Bending
Apple are suffering a barrage of criticism and bad press following a buggy launch to their newest mobile operating system iOS 8, it has also been reported that the new iPhone 6 Plus is prone to bending but apple have denied this.
When Apple launched iOS 8 back in mid September, they immediately received reports saying customers were experiencing shorter battery life, poor Wi-Fi connection, they also had to stop apps working with their HealthKit app as there was problems with apps shearing data between them selves and the HealthKit. People that downloaded Apple online storage iCloud Drive were also finding that they were locked out on some devices.
Apple quickly fixed these issues with the 8.0.1 updated but that came with its own set of problems, like some customers not being able to connect to their mobile networks or used the touch ID to log in. The update was immediately pulled and then replaced with iOS 8.0.2 in late September. This has how ever introduced a fresh set of problems, a Twiter user William Petty has said “Top iOS 8.0.2 features so far; alarms that keep going even after they have been turned off, spotlight will not return any apps in their results, crash on un-lock”
There has also been reports of the iPhone 6 Plus bending out of shape when in people pockets, Apple how ever have dismissed this saying only 9 customers have contacted them saying their phones have bent and there is not a design faulty in the 6 Plus, but 9 affected handsets is still to many
The ConsumerReports.org have run tests to see just how bendy the 6 plus is using a compression machine and it showed that the iPhone 6 plus withstood more force that the HTC One M8 and the smaller iPhone 6.
Is this just Apple getting some bad luck or are they pushing out there iOS with out really testing it?
Celebrity Photo Hack has Raise Security Fears for iCloud Users
Has the leak of high-profile celebrities private photos made you think twice about what you store online?
100 celebrities got hacked, which lead to some of them having nude photos being leaked. Jennifer Lawrence, Winona Ryder and Kirstin Dunst were just some of the celebrates that had pictures stolen, and then posted on a message board on 4chan. Some of the photos were confirmed as real by the celebrities, but some clamed the pictures were faked.
At the time of writing, it’s not yet clear just how such a large number of celebrities got hacked in just one go. Initial reports have suggested Apples iCloud was the culprit, as iPhones will automatically sync images to the cloud as part of a back up, and some of the users might not of been aware of this. A security researcher has revealed a way of braking into iPhone accounts that uses a script to guess the password and will not trigger the automatic lockdown if the password is typed in wrong to many times.
In some of the naked selfies that were taken by celebrities, the phone used could be identified as Android and not an iPhone, this suggests the leak was not limited to just the iCloud. The developers behind the iPhone password hack only made the details of the process available the day before the photos got leaked, this left little time to hack so many people, Security experts Rik Ferguson and Trend Micro have suggested the celebrities were victims of a phishing attack instead.
The victims of the hack and people following the story may never get the full answer to how it happened, but the FBI and Apple have both said they will investigate it. Since the hack Apple have added some new security features to their iCloud services called two-step verification to try and stop this in the future. Twitter has suspended several accounts that were posting the stolen nude images, however this did not stop the images from spreading across the web.
How will it affect you?
Don’t try and find or share theses photos as Lawrence has said she will take legal action against anyone that posts the images online, other celebrities may also follow suite.
You might want to consider if your own photos (naked or otherwise) are stored being securely, you should make sure your phone is protected, with a password or PIN. While typing a PIN in every time you want to use your phone might be annoying but if you lose it or it gets stolen you will be glad you took the time to make it secure. When using websites or online services you should always have a complicated password, it might be hard to remember it but you can get password managers like 1Password or LastPass to help you.
If the hack was through iCloud many of the victims might not even realise their photos have been stolen, as they might not know Apple uploads them to its online storage service automatically. You should turn off automated back ups if you have sensitive photos you don’t want leaked.
Go to iCloud
Settings and then disable Photo Stream
Open the Photos app
Auto-Backup and un-tick ‘Back up local folders
What do I think?
We are all smart with the benefit of hindsight, but I bet most of the celebrities that got hacked will be kicking themselves for being stupid enough to take photos they would not want anyone else to see and then not protect them properly. I bet most of us don’t always take the necessary precautions when it comes to online services, how many of us can say they have a strong and unique password for every site or services we use? Hackers may not be hell-bent on finding naked photos of us (we don’t all have Lawrences figure), but we are all targets, whether it’s for our email logins, eBay account or bank details. We should not blame the victims, instead we should reprimand the hackers and criticise the poor or bad security systems. When iCloud or any other big online services gets hacked they are rarely held responsible, instead we blame the victims for using weak passwords.
I think tech companies could do a lot more to protect their users. Hopefully, this invasive and upsetting hack will be enough to make people think twice about what password they use and how important it is to have secure communications and storage, hopefully tech company’s will understand they need to take better care of their customers, we can all hope right?
Apple has even more tricks for the next update to their operating system iOS 8. Hear are just a few of of the new thing you can expect to see when it gets released sometime in September this year
What is it?
Apples newest mobile operating system iOS 8 will be available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch sometime in September this year. When iOS 7 was released last year it introduced a whole new fresh look to their popular mobile operating system, which was courtesy of Senior Vice President of design at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive. iOS 7 already had a mammoth overall but Apple have concentrated on iOS feature set, Apple is saying the newest version is their biggest release since the app store launched.
What’s so different this time?
There are a whole host of new features and apps that will be immediately apparent, one of the most notable being the new Health app. There are also lots of innovative tweaks to their existing features and apps Messages being one. Many of the additions are aimed at developers and these are the most exciting, as they now give programmers the power to get the most out of iOS 8.
iOS 8 New Health App
What is the health app?
The all-new health app brings many of the fitness gadgets on the market together. Instead of having data about your heart rate, blood sugar, cholesterol or numbers of calories burned scattered across various apps, all the information will be stored in one place. Essential data will also be kept on an “emergency card” that can be accessed via the Lock screen.
What gadgets will work with the health app?
Apple has said that the Nike+ and FitBit apps will work and they were also showcased at the WWDC conference when iOS 8 was announced. All the health gadgets will have the potential to be used by the Health App. Developers have access to the HealthKit so they can ensure their devices and apps will be compatible at launch. Different apps will be able to access data from the Health app and send information back to it.
What’s happening with Messages?
When you receive a message notification, on iOS 7 you have to close your current app to read the message and then reply. With iOS 8, you no longer have to stop what you are doing and will be able to respond instantly. You will also be able to send audio and video messages by tapping on the microphone or video button, this makes it a lot easier to attach a recorded message or film. The new Message app will also let you listen to your message by simply putting your phone to your ear.
Will there be group messaging?
Not only will there be group messaging but you will also be able to control the group better by only inviting people you want, you will also be able to name your threads this will help you keep track of them easier and their content, share your location and view attachments in an easy-to-access folder, this means no more scrolling through your threads to find something.
What about self-destructing messages?
iOS 8 will have a built in function that will let you control how long something you send will stay on someone else’s device.
Will email be revamped?
You will now get new swipe gestures that will allow you to delete emails, mark them as read and archive them, there will also be an encryption tool which will give you greater privacy.
What’s Apple doing to the keyboard?
Apple is enhancing their keyboard so while you are typing, three words or phrases will appear saving you time typing, it does this by learning your writing style, it will also be able to detect just who is using the device and adjust suggestions to suite that persons style.
Will I be able to ‘swipe type?’
Android uses are able to type words without ever lifting their finger off the devices keyboard; I had hoped Apple would have adopted this style of keyboard in iOS 8. Instead they are now allowing you to install third-party keyboard, allowing you to use Swype, SwiftKey and Fleksy.
Does iOS 8 have an improved camera?
The camera app will now have a time-lapse function for making videos, but the main additions will be for images you have already taken. Searching will now be easier, allowing you to find an image by date, time, location or the album name. The app also comes with advanced editing functions like straigthing wonky horizons automatically, find the correct brightness, contrast and exposure and even suggest specific crops for the image.
What about backing up photos?
Photos that are stored on one devices will now be available on all your devices via iClouds Photo Library, Images stored in iClould at the original quality, and leaving a lower-res copy on your device this helps save space. Any edits you make will them be saved across all devices. iCloud Drive will also let you upload files making them available on any portable device, Mac or PC, just like Dropbox
What else can be shared?
There is now a feature called Family Sharing that will let family members share there content with each other like pictures, calendars, even phone each other’s phones. You can even monitor and control things better, if another family member is trying to buy content a message will be sent to the main account holder asking for permission, you will be able to have up to six family members on the same account.
What are the developer features?
Developers are now able to take advantage of widgets and the new application programming interface (APIs), as well as Apples new programming language called swift. This will help open the way for third party apps to share data with each other and alter the behaviour of other apps. Developers will now be able to enhance their apps with the use of the TouchID scanner on the iPhone 5s