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    Facebook looks to build friend lists with 'Discover People' feature on Apple's iPhone & iPad

    By Caiden,

    In a bid to encourage new connections between users and keep them engaged with the social network, Facebook is now gradually rolling out a "Discover People" feature across its apps for iOS and Android.
    Once available, the option is located in the the app's navigation menu, TechCrunch said. Tapping it prompts a person to update their profile, particularly their bio and featured photos, then browse lists of past and upcoming events, work colleagues, or simply people who live in the same city.

    Selecting one of these will show profiles to swipe through one-by-one, each highlighting things in common such as mutual friends and liked pages. Notably, people can't choose to be excluded from "Discover People" —the feature will, however, only show public profile content.

    The option was originally tested in Australia and New Zealand towards the end of 2016, but is this week opening up to the broader userbase.

    While it could be used for making friends and work/business contacts, it might also be intended for dating, diverting people from apps like Tinder, Bumble, and OKCupid.

    That could raise concerns about stalking and harassment, since Facebook users aren't necessarily interested in dating and women are already sometimes subject to unwanted advances on the service.

    Facebook is currently trying a number of tactics to cement its position and deter people from using alternatives. It is for instance copying Snapchat's Stories feature, and even preparing a video app for devices like the Apple TV, which might steer people away from similar offerings by Twitter and YouTube.

    Apple display supplier Sharp turns first profits in years under Foxconn control

    By Caiden,

    Japan's beleaguered Sharp, a regular Apple LCD supplier, generated its first quarterly net profits in two years during the December quarter —its first under the management of Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn.
    Sharp turned $37.14 million in profits, a vast improvement over the $219.5 million it lost in the Dec. 2015 quarter, Reuters reported on Friday. The company in fact raised the profit forecast for the whole of its fiscal year —ending in March —from $228.4 million to $331.5 million.

    Under Foxconn, Sharp has been consolidating production lines, streamlining distribution, and exploiting new parts procurement abilities, allowing it to cut down on expenses.

    At the same time the company is said to be benefiting from reduced LCD production by Korean firms, leading to industry shortages and higher prices.

    Sharp is spending hundreds of millions on switching to OLED manufacturing, presumably with Apple in mind as a major customer. It's not expected to have any serious production capacity until 2019 however, which may relegate the bulk of any near-future Apple OLED orders to Samsung.

    Apple is rumored to be shipping an "iPhone 8" or "iPhone X" towards the end of 2017, possibly using a 5.8-inch "fixed flex" OLED display by Samsung.

    Apple and Foxconn are weighing the possibility of a $7 billion display plant in the U.S., allegedly because demand for bigger panels makes production there most cost effective than transporting from China. The companies are also likely worried about U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatned to make it more expensive to import Chinese products.

    Spotify's former head of label relations recruited for identical role at Apple Music

    By Caiden,

    Apple on Thursday confirmed the hiring of Steve Savoca, once in charge of Spotify's label relations, as it looks to equip Apple Music and/or iTunes with a more competitive catalog.
    Savoca signed on in January, a spokesperson told Business Insider. The site added that under his new bosses he will run Apple label relations from an office in New York, concentrating on independent labels, with a special focus on international markets.

    The executive was with Spotify for over five years, but left in August. Prior to that he was the head of digital at Domino Records, and did marketing stints at music companies like Zomba, Jive, and London-Sire Records.

    Apple Music has often relied heavily on exclusives from artists like Drake, Frank Ocean, and Taylor Swift to distinguish itself from Spotify. The services otherwise share many similar features, though they serve content differently and Apple Music is built into iOS and macOS, which offers advantages like Siri voice commands.

    Spotify, however, is often the de facto choice for artists and labels, owing to its larger audience. While Apple does have over 20 million subscribers, Spotify has at least 40 million paid customers plus another 60 million using its free ad-based tier.

    Apple wants to use lasers to polish future ceramic iPhones

    By Rusty,

    Apple has invented a method for carrying out a “laser polishing” technique which could be used to help create future ceramic iPhones.
    The company’s patent application covers an industrial process designed “for polishing a ceramic component using a laser.” The technique could be used to “produce a polished surface” on a wide range of materials, ranging from the white ceramic used for high-end Apple Watch Series 2 models to glass materials, like the reported casing being used for this year’s iPhone 8.
    There are multiple reasons Apple may choose to embrace these materials. In the case of the glass enclosure for the iPhone 8, it is reported that it may be related to Apple’s wireless charging technology, which is expected to be a big selling point of this year’s iPhone refresh.

    The ceramic Apple Watch Series 2 in all its glory.
    With ceramic materials like the high-end ceramic Apple Watch Edition replacement it offers almost unparalleled hardness, making devices impervious to scuffs and scratches. As my colleague Killian Bell noted in an article on why a ceramic iPhone would be good, zirconia ceramic — which is what Apple uses for the new Watch Edition — is rated 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. In comparison, steel is rated 4.5, while aluminum is rated just 2.5 to 3.
    With ceramic materials like the high-end ceramic Apple Watch Edition replacement it offers almost unparalleled hardness, making devices impervious to scuffs and scratches.
    As my colleague Killian Bell noted in an article on why a ceramic iPhone would be good, zirconia ceramic — which is what Apple uses for the new Watch Edition — is rated 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. In comparison, steel is rated 4.5, while aluminum is rated just 2.5 to 3.
    Source // Patently Apple

    iPhone 8 Concept Envisions a Dual-Screen Device

    By Caiden,

    The iPhone 8 is rumored to be a noteworthy update for the iPhone family, seeing as it’s the tenth-anniversary handset.
    And while there have been some interesting rumors that have surfaced up to this point, the steady belief now is that Apple will (finally) include features like wireless charging into the upcoming flagship. The iPhone 8 could also boast an embedded Touch ID sensor later this year as well. There are a variety of rumors to sift through, but over at ConceptsiPhone, they’ve put together a nice look at some pretty crazy, albeit awesome, ideas for what Apple could launch this year.
    The concept video for the iPhone 8, which is called “iPhone 8 Commercial,” shows a handset that features a rounded, metallic frame, and an all-glass design. The volume rockers on the side, along with the side switch, are reminiscent of the original iPhone, even as the concept also embraces a pretty radical dual-screen approach as well.
    While some of these things are already present in other handsets out in the market, like the dual-screen functionality, there doesn’t seem to be any belief that this is one feature Apple will launch for its own smartphone lineup..
    Still, the concept is well done. You can check it out below. What do you think of it?

    Apple Broke Its iPhone Sales Record

    By Rusty,

    Familiarity breeds comfort.
    At least, that's the case with the iPhone 7. Apple hardly changed the body of its flagship phone, yet consumers cozied up to the device like never before.
    Apple sold more iPhones than ever before -- 78.3 million -- and snapped a three-quarter streak of iPhone unit sales declines. Analysts had expected the company to sell 78 million iPhones in the period, Apple's biggest of the year. The results fueled its highest-quarter revenue and per-share earnings ever.
    "We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release.
    "Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline."
    Apple's fortunes, as always, swing with the iPhone. The company generates about two-thirds of sales from the device. And a lot of revenue not directly from the iPhone, like services, is also tied to the phone. But Apple, like other handset makers, is facing waning excitement over phones, something that led its iPhone sales to drop for the first time ever in 2016.
    While the iPhone 7 isn't quite the blockbuster that the 2-year-old iPhone 6 was, it still offered some features that drew in the Apple faithful. The iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus added features like better cameras and water resistance, all in that familiar body.
    Cook noted the company saw especially strong demand for the iPhone 7 Plus, the bigger version of the phone that also has a more advanced camera with two lenses. A higher percentage of the total iPhones sold came from the Plus model than in the past, he said during a call with analysts.
    The iPhone 7 helped Apple take back the title of the world's top smartphone vendor in the December quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Globally, 18 percent of phone shipments in the period came from Apple. Samsung, which faced a massive Note 7 recall due to faulty batteries, dropped to second place, the firm said.
    "This was the iPhone's Most Unexceptional performance for over a year, as Apple capitalized on Samsung's recent missteps," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said.
    There's hope the upcoming "iPhone 8," the 10th anniversary device, will make people excited about phones again.
    "The smartphone is still in the early innings of the game," Cook said. "I think there's lots more to do... We've got some exciting things in the pipeline. I still feel really, really good about it."
    Everything Else
    iPhone sales might have been strong, but iPad demand continued to falter. Apple sold 13.1 million iPads during the quarter, down from 16.1 million a year ago. Analysts expected Apple to sell 14.8 million iPads. This is the 12th straight quarter of lower iPad sales despite Apple's efforts to revitalize the market with its Pro models. The pricier iPad Pros work with optional styluses and keyboard cases.
    Consumers bought 5.4 million Macs in the three months before and including December, compared with analysts' projections for 5.2 million. A year ago, Apple sold 5.3 million Macs. Apple in October made the first major changes to its MacBook Pro line in four years, adding a Touch Bar and other features to modernize the computers.
    Revenue from Apple's services businesses, like iTunes and AppleCare, continued to jump in the quarter, up 18 percent to $7.2 billion.
    Cook said he expects services revenue to be the size of a Fortune 100 company this year. Already, Apple has 150 million paid customer subscriptions for its own services and paid third party content, he said during a call with analysts. "The goal is to double the size of our services business in the next four years," Cook said.
    The company doesn't break out Apple Watch sales and unit numbers, but Cook said both set a record in the quarter. Holiday demand was "so strong we couldn't make enough," he said.
    Apple's net income slid to $17.9 billion from $18.4 billion. Per-share earnings, though, rose to $3.36 from $3.28 a year ago. Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance expected Apple to report earnings of $3.22 a share. Apple had fewer shares in the market, which boosted the per-share earnings.
    Overall revenue climbed 3.3 percent to $78.4 billion. Wall Street anticipated revenue of $77.4 billion. (In October, Apple projected sales of $76 billion to $78 billion, above analysts' estimates at the time.)
    Apple expects revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion for the current quarter.
    Before Tuesday, analysts had projected a second-quarter of $54 billion, up 6.9 percent from a year ago.
    "While March [quarter] guide is modestly below the Street... we think this was largely expected from investors and to some extent given upside to December [quarter], March [quarter] guide will be viewed as likely conservative," RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani noted.
    Apple shares rose 2.6 percent to $124.50 in after-hours trading.
    Source // CNET 

    New vulnerability exploits password recovery system on Netgear routers & modems

    By Caiden,
    Most of Netgear's home and small business router and modem models are affected by a vulnerability in their password recovery system, which could potentially let a hacker assume control or install a botnet, according to a security firm.
    An attack would normally require physical access but could be delivered via the internet if a person flips remote management on, Trustwave explained. That option is typically off by default.

    The scale of the threat could be significant, since Trustwave said that it has discovered over 10,000 remotely accessible units, and estimates that the real number could be "in the hundreds of thousands, if not over a million."

    The issue has already been submitted to the U.S. government's National Vulnerability Database, and acknowledged by Netgear, which has put up a list of exposed models. The company has also issued updated firmware which should close the vulnerability, but only on some devices.
    The full list of patched hardware includes: 
    R8500 R8300 R7000 R6400 R7300DST R7100LG R6300v2 WNDR3400v3 WNR3500Lv2 R6250 R6700 R6900 R8000 R7900 WNDR4500v2 R6200v2 WNDR3400v2 D6220 D6400 C6300 (available via ISPs)  
    Still unpatched are the following routers and DSL gateways:
    R6200 R6300 VEGN2610 AC1450 WNR1000v3 WNDR3700v3 WNDR4000 WNDR4500 D6300 D6300B DGN200Bv4 DGN2200v4  
    or devices in the latter category, Netgear is asking people to manually enable password recovery and make sure remote management is disabled. This should prevent any remote attacks.

    In December a vulnerability was uncovered that could subject some Netgear routers to a command injection attack, simply after visiting a malicious website. That vulnerability also remains unpatched on some hardware as well.

    Apple's routers remain safe from this, and nearly all other, exploits. However, the future of the AirPort line is unclear with Apple reportedly making moves to disband the stand-alone Airport hardware division, and reassigning the engineers to other departments.

    The internal departmental changes suggest that Apple has no plans to update its existing lineup of routers, including the AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, and AirPort Express, but do not discount the possibility of the functionality being added to a different product. Apple's AirPort Express network extender and AirPlay audio target has not even been updated to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification.

    Without specifically confirming the dissolution of the AirPort hardware division, AppleInsider was told by our contacts within Apple corporate that the AirPort ecosystem back to the 802.11n version of the AirPort Extreme basestation would be made "as safe as possible for as long as possible."

    Google open-sources Chrome browser for Apple's iOS, promises faster development

    By Caiden,

    Google on Tuesday announced that the iOS version of Chrome is now open-source, something which could potentially aid developers and accelerate official releases of the browser.

    Chrome for iOS was previously kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project because like other iOS browsers, Apple requires it to use the same WebKit rendering engine found in Safari, according to a blog post. On other platforms Chrome relies a different engine, called Blink.

    Supporting both engines "created some extra complexities" that the Chromium team wanted to avoid in the code base. In the past few years however the team has made unspecified changes, and the iOS version is now in the open-source respository, available for compiling. 

    iOS development for Chrome is expected to go faster because tests are now available to the whole Chromium community, and should run automatically any time code is checked in.

    Chrome remains one of the most popular downloads on the App Store, despite Safari being built into iOS. That may be attributable to Chrome working across several platforms —Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS —and syncing bookmarks, histories, and preferences.

    Only parts of Safari —such as WebKit —are open-source, and the browser is limited to iOS and macOS. A Windows version did exist, but updates stopped after May 2012.

    32-bit apps may no longer work with future iOS versions

    By Caiden,

    A beta of iOS 10.3 that was seeded to developers last week comes with an updated app compatibility warning which cautions users that 32-bit apps may no longer work with future iOS versions, suggesting iOS 11 will likely stop supporting non-64-bit apps. In June 2015, Apple warned developers that all apps and app updates submitted to App Store must include 64-bit support alongside 32-bit code.
    When a user launches a 32-bit app, iOS 9 puts up a warning saying using 32-bit software on a 64-bit device may affect system performance. The wording of the prompt has changed in iOS 10.3 beta 1 and now specifically states that 32-bit apps may stop functioning on future iOS editions completely.
    The new prompt reads as follows:
    For comparison’s sake, here’s the previous prompt:
    iOS devices with the Apple-designed A7 or newer processor are 64-bit, including the sixth-generation iPod touch and every iPhone and iPad from the respective iPhone 5s and iPad Air models onward. This is a long overdue change because running legacy 32-bit apps alongside modern 64-bit apps does indeed slow down the system.
    On a 64-bit device, the system uses 64-bit versions of the kernel, libraries and drivers. When a user launches a 32-bit app, separate 32-bit versions of the system frameworks are also loaded which strains the memory and consumes resources.
    If iOS 11 stops supporting 32-bit apps as suggested, developers will be motivated to put out compatibility updates to avoid being removed from App Store. By enforcing 64-bit apps only, iOS 11 will theoretically use less memory overall because it may never need to load 32-bit frameworks in the first place.
    Apps would launch faster and multitasking should be smoother.
    “Because all of the built-in apps already support the 64-bit runtime, it is to everyone’s benefit that all apps running on 64-bit devices be compiled for the 64-bit runtime, especially apps that support background processing,” Apple told developers in 2015.
    Beginning February 2015, Apple required that all submitted apps support 64-bit architecture.
    Due to the fact that a lot of apps on App Store haven’t been updated for compatibility in ages (we’re looking at you, 32-bit apps!), Apple in the past few months began quietly removing tens of thousands outdated or incompatible apps.
    Apple provides a transition guide to developers that details porting apps to 64-bit architecture.

    Apple TV 4 jailbreak for tvOS 10.1 is under way

    By Caiden,

    Although the signing window for tvOS 10.1 closed yesterday along with that of iOS 10.2, those who are still on the penultimate firmware for the Apple TV 4 may also be receiving some jailbreak love in the near future. A tweet from software development consultant Jonathan Levin confirms that one of the exploits used in the yalu102 jailbreak for iOS 10.0-10.2 can be run on tvOS 10.1, and that as a result, development of a jailbreak is under way.
    As recently reported by Sébastien, the exploits utilised in Luca Todesco’s yalu102 tool had been thought largely applicable to its tvOS counterpart, tvOS 10.1. This news confirms that suspicion, with CVE-2017-2370 being shown successfully targeting the device. This is one of Ian Beer’s vulnerabilities from Google’s Project Zero, and it provides kernel memory read-write access. However, it is not yet clear whether the other vulnerabilities which make up Todesco’s tool are similarly applicable, or whether workarounds will have to be found in order to create a complete jailbreak solution.
    This development means that with a bit of luck and ingenuity, the yalu102 tool could be adapted to yield a jailbreak for the Apple TV 4 on firmwares up to and including tvOS 10.1. Suspecting this to be a possibility, we posted a guide detailing how to restore your Apple TV to tvOS 10.1 a few days ago, and advised moving to the firmware in our comprehensive jailbreak advice guide. Hopefully, many of our readers will be sitting pretty on tvOS 10.1, in anticipation of a forthcoming tool.
    We’ll keep you up to date with any further happenings regarding the Apple TV 4 and its jailbreak eligibility. In the meantime, if you don’t know what version of tvOS you’re on, have a check; if it’s tvOS 10.1 or below then stay there, and be sure to turn off automatic firmware updates for your Apple TV 4. Users who restored to tvOS 10.1 before the signing window closed should also ensure these updates are disabled.
    And now we play the waiting game. Hopefully, we’ll see a jailbreak tool take shape in the coming weeks. Is your Apple TV 4 on tvOS 10.1? Are you excited at the prospect of a jailbreak for the oft-neglected device?

    iOS 10.2 no longer being signed by Apple makes it impossible to downgrade

    By Caiden,

    In the last few minutes Apple closed the signing window for iOS 10.2. That means that you can no longer upgrade, downgrade, or restore to that firmware, either over-the-air or through iTunes. You also can no longer save blobs for iOS 10.2 through any tool.
    Since the release of iOS 10.2.1 last Monday jailbreakers everywhere had been racing the clock to either save blobs for, or restore to, iOS 10.2, before Apple closed the door on them forever. In the end, they were given only seven days in which to make their move. Hopefully, many users were able to follow our guide in time, advising them to save their blobs and in some cases, to restore to iOS 10.2.
    Those who have their blobs safe but did not restore to iOS 10.2 in time can now rest relatively easy, knowing that in theory tihmstar’s tool Prometheus will allow them to upgrade to iOS 10.2 at a later date. I myself will be doing this in the near future, and will put together a guide for any of our readers who wish to do the same; look out for that!
    Anyone who already made the jump to iOS 10.2, well done! Be cautious with your jailbreak now, and careful with the tweaks you install, until the jailbreak has reached a final build and all tweaks are updated. A mistake now could mean a restore to iOS 10.2.1.
    If you didn’t make the jump in time and have no blobs saved, my commiserations to you. Although there have been suggestions that this will be the last jailbreak we’ll see for a while, you never can tell. Stay on the lowest firmware possible from now on, and hope for a new tool to come our way.

    iOS 10.2 Yalu Jailbreak Now Supports All 64-bit Devices except iPhone 7 and iPad Air 2

    By Caiden,

    Just a few days back, famed hacker Luca Todesco released the Yalu jailbreak for iOS 10.2. The jailbreak supported a limited range of iOS devices such as iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPad Pro.
    The good news is that Luca released an update for the jailbreak today to support all 64-bit devices, except iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Air 2. The latest jailbreak update brings support for the following 64-bit devices:
    iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE
    iPad Air, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad Pro
    iPod Touch 6
    The update is still in beta and may contain bugs that could create issues on your iOS device. If you’re willing to take the risk and jailbreak your iOS 10.2 device, you can download the latest Yalu beta from its official website.
    The following guide will help you to jailbreak iOS 10.2:
    How to Jailbreak iOS 10.2 on iPhone, iPad or iPod using Yalu & Cydia Impactor
    Just like the iOS 9 Pangu jailbreak, the Yalu jailbreak is also semi-tethered, which means that you’ll have to re-jailbreak using the Yalu app every time your device reboots.
    If you plan on jailbreaking your compatible 64-bit device, keep in mind that you have to be extra careful with the tweaks you install. Installing an incompatible tweak can create issues on your device, put it into a bootloop and even force you to restore. To avoid facing issues, make sure to check out this list of compatible iOS 10.2 jailbreak tweaks.