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But we now find ourselves at the center of an extraordinary circumstance. The FBI has asked a Court to order us to give them something we don’t have. To create an operating system that does not exist — because it would be too dangerous. They are asking for a backdoor into the iPhone — specifically to build a software tool that can break the encryption system which protects personal information on every iPhone.
As we have told them — and as we have told the American public — building that software tool would not affect just one iPhone. It would weaken the security for all of them. In fact, just last week Director Comey agreed that the FBI would likely use this precedent in other cases involving other phones. District Attorney Vance has also said he would absolutely plan to use this on over 175 phones. We can all agree this is not about access to just one iPhone.
The FBI is asking Apple to weaken the security of our products. Hackers and cyber criminals could use this to wreak havoc on our privacy and personal safety. It would set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of its citizens.
Hundreds of millions of law-abiding people trust Apple’s products with the most intimate details of their daily lives – photos, private conversations, health data, financial accounts, and information about the user’s location as well as the location of their friends and families. Some of you might have an iPhone in your pocket right now, and if you think about it, there’s probably more information stored on that iPhone than a thief could steal by breaking into your house. The only way we know to protect that data is through strong encryption.
Every day, over a trillion transactions occur safely over the Internet as a result of encrypted communications. These range from online banking and credit card transactions to the exchange of healthcare records, ideas that will change the world for the better, and communications between loved ones. The US government has spent tens of millions of dollars through the Open Technology Fund and other US government programs to fund strong encryption. The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, convened by President Obama, urged the US government to fully support and not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial software.
Encryption is a good thing, a necessary thing. We have been using it in our products for over a decade. As attacks on our customers’ data become increasingly sophisticated, the tools we use to defend against them must get stronger too. Weakening encryption will only hurt consumers and other well-meaning users who rely on companies like Apple to protect their personal information.
Today’s hearing is titled Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy. We believe we can, and we must, have both. Protecting our data with encryption and other methods preserves our privacy and it keeps people safe.
The American people deserve an honest conversation around the important questions stemming from the FBI’s current demand:
Do we want to put a limit on the technology that protects our data, and therefore our privacy and our safety, in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks? Should the FBI be allowed to stop Apple, or any company, from offering the American people the safest and most secure product it can make?
Should the FBI have the right to compel a company to produce a product it doesn’t already make, to the FBI’s exact specifications and for the FBI’s use?
We believe that each of these questions deserves a healthy discussion, and any decision should be made after a thoughtful and honest consideration of the facts.
Most importantly, the decisions should be made by you and your colleagues as representatives of the people, rather than through a warrant request based on a 220 year- old-statute.
At Apple, we are ready to have this conversation. The feedback and support we’re hearing indicate to us that the American people are ready, too.
We feel strongly that our customers, their families, their friends and their neighbors will be better protected from thieves and terrorists if we can offer the very best protections for their data. And at the same time, the freedoms and liberties we all cherish will be more secure.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to answering your questions.
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Apple’s new voice input-based digital assistant, Siri for the iPhone 4S pits the iPhone against Android’s Voice Actions, a popular feature for Android phones running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. Both Siri and Voice Actions promise to make your life easier by letting you speak–rather than type–your messages, web searches, notes, and navigation.
There are a number of features in which Siri and Voice Actions can do the same thing–such as dictating text messages and emails, playing music, calling contacts from your address book, searching the web, and dictating notes. You can also open webpages using both services, though Siri first routes you through a web search and makes you select a result. Android can open a webpage directly using commands such as “Go to Wikipedia.”
Some of these voice command features, such as calling a contact or playing music, were also part of the iPhone’s previous voice control features. However, in my experience, the iPhone’s pre-Siri voice control wasn’t particularly reliable. My iPhone 3GS, for example, is obsessed with playing Radiohead, no matter what I ask it to play. Apple appears to have improved its voice command features with Siri, at least for iPhone 4S owners.
Google’s Got The 411
Perhaps the most novel new voice-command feature in Ice Cream Sandwich is the “open microphone experience,” which lets you activate voice input just by talking to your phone–instead of pushing a button. Siri lacks this feature, which is also present in other voice-input services such as Sensory’s Trulyhandsfree technology. ICS also has a new voice input engine that Google says will let users employ a more natural language approach to voice commands. The new Android OS also has a spell checker that will gray out possible dictation errors as you speak so you can go back through your SMS, email or note and quickly correct any problems.
Where Apple starts to really pull away from Voice Actions is with Siri’s personalization features. For example, Siri is able to process a lot of natural language requests to give you the information you need. You can ask Siri if you will need an umbrella on Monday and it will understand that you are looking for weather information. Android’s Voice Actions currently requires direct commands such as “navigate to…” or “note to self,” and it’s not clear if Voice Actions will be able to process such natural language commands in Android 4.0.
Siri can also process and store your personal relationships. You can tell Siri who your mother is, who your siblings are and so on. And, as long as those people are in your address book, Siri will call them upon request. So you can say, for example, “Call Mom” instead of “Call Joan Smith” (or whatever you mother’s name happens to be).
Siri also offers a number of extras that Voice Actions currently doesn’t have, such as the ability to schedule calendar events, get stock info, retrieve basic facts and figures from Wolfram Alpha, and set alarms and timers.
To overcome these deficiencies, Android users can augment Voice Actions with a number of third-party apps such as Vlingo (free), Speaktoit Assistant (free) and Voice Actions Plus ($2.99) by Pannous. These apps claim to add more Siri-like functionality including the aforementioned alarm settings, adding calendar events, and asking for basic facts and figures. Vlingo even lets you open other apps on your phone with your voice, update your Twitter and Facebook statuses or check-in on Foursquare (a version of Vlingo is also available in the iPhone App Store). Speaktoit Assistant claims it can process natural language similar to Siri.
Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.
A German court ruled invalid Apple’s patent for a sliding touchscreen unlocking image, marking another win for allies of Google’s Android mobile operating. In its ruling in favor of the Google-owned Motorola, the country’s Federal Patent Court slammed the iPhone maker’s slide-to-unlock patent as devoid of “technological innovation.” Still, a long-running patent dispute which began in 2011 may still live on as Apple’s legal team prepares for a round of appeals, according to Friday reports…
Software which involves only a swiping gesture across an unlock image “is not patentable in Europe unless it solves a technical problem with technical means,” wrote Judge Vivian Sredl.
Why is this not a big deal?
Because Apple has already asserted that patent numerous times and Android vendors have mostly either introduced workaround solutions or implemented their own ways of device unlocking.
Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent is titled “Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”. Filed on June 2, 2009 and granted on October 25, 2011, it describes a device with a touch-sensitive display that may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display.
The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device.
The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture. In addition, there is a need for sensory feedback to the user regarding progress towards satisfaction of a user input condition that is required for the transition to occur.
And here’s Steve Jobs showing off the feature for the first time at the January 2007 iPhone introduction.
Now, the court’s ruling may be most known for its long history, rather than any strategic importance in the battle between Apple’s iOS and Android, observers say.
“This patent isn’t even remotely as strategic as it is famous,” writes patent guru Florian Müeller on his blog, FOSS Patents, adding:
Every user of a smartphone with a touch screen needs to perform this gesture frequently, but the patent does not cover all slide-to-unlock mechanisms but only some, and Apple’s rivals have all deployed workarounds.
Unlike U.S. patent law, which allows “everything under the Sun made by Man” (as long as new and different), European patent law requires something called “technicity.”
This is why the German court stressed Apple’s unlocking patent involved no real technology – simply a hand gesture on an image displayed on a device screen.
Mueller notes that the Swedish mobile phone Neonode N1m was not considered as prior art in the U.S. patent application, but did hold weight in European patent debates. Indeed, a Dutch judge cited the N1m in its 2011 denial of Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction centered on the unlock patent.
A year later, HTC won a judgement in its favor when an England and Wales High Court noted the Swedish patent. Here’s a video of the Neonode N1m handset showing a similar slide-to-unlock feature which existed back in 2004, way before the iPhone was introduced.
Today’s judgement for Motorola follows a Munich court’s ruling in Apple’s favor, ordering a permanent injunction against the Google company’s slide-to-unlock method.
However, both Apple and Motorola could guess the outcome, when in March a Mannheim Regional Court dismissed a lawsuit against Samsung, ruling Apple could prove no infringement. A ruling on a broader infringement claim by Apple was held until the outcome of the Federal ruling.
Potentially pointing to how Apple’s appeal of this latest patent court loss: fourteen amendments by Apple to the slide-to-unlock patent claim viewed as hopefully saving the lawsuit were rejected by the German court today.
Like the slide-to-unlock doormat image at the top?
When Apple announced sales of 5 million iPhone 5 units this morning for the device’s launch weekend, we noted the number was significantly under the up to 10 million predicted by many analysts. While Apple previously announced pre-orders for iPhone 5 doubled the iPhone 4S with 2 million in 24 hours, sales only grew roughly 25 percent from the 4-million iPhone 4S units sold in its opening weekend. The chart above, courtesy of BusinessInsider, shows Apple’s launch weekend sales experienced a large slow down this year. Sales from iPhone 4 to 4S were up 135 percent compared to the 25 percent growth between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 launch, despite the new device selling in an additional two countries. However, according to one of the analysts, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, Apple’s numbers did not include up to 1 million units pre-ordered and expected for delivery in October (via BusinessInsider):Related articles
We believe there are two factors that negatively impacted the number. First, our sales expectation assumed that Apple would include all phones pre-ordered online. We believe that this may have been up to 1 million additional units as units pre-ordered after the middle of the first day were projected to be available in October.
The Wall Street Journal reported today on the shortages of iPhone 5s hitting suppliers around the country. The report noted that various retailers, such as BestBuy, were unable to fulfill pre-orders due to a shortage of launch day supply, and the situation is similar at many Target, Sprint, and RadioShack stores. How many iPhones 5s could Apple have sold? Munster noted the launch weekend could have been closer to 8 million units if it was not for retail supply constraints:
Second, we noted 1.25 days of Apple Retail inventory compared to 2.5 days during the 4S launch. Our 8 million estimate assumed full weekend availability and the counting of all online pre-orders. We believe that if supply were not a constraint and Apple included all pre-orders, the launch weekend number would have been closer to 7-8 million, assuming ~1 million October pre-order sales and an additional 1-2 million units at retail.
Simply not being able to make them fast enough might not be Apple’s only problem. An increasing number of iPhone 5 customers have reported their devices arriving with scratches or light scuffs on the coated aluminum back. AllThingsD noticed the issue: “The most easily damaged area appears to be on the chamfered edges of the device, wearing away the anodized surface and creating a ‘shiny’ look, as the uncoated metal peeks out.” Reports indicate the issue is affecting many users worldwide, but it is unclear what this means for supplies going forward or whether Apple plans to address the issue.
Apple might face further troubles in its supply chain with reports this morning from the BBC about a riot that broke out at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plan in northern China involving approximately 2,000 workers. Foxconn said the incident does not appear work related, but production at the plant has apparently stopped as the company investigates. Foxconn told Reuters the plant will remain closed for today, and an employee apparently confirmed to the publication that the plant does indeed “assemble and make parts for Apple’s iPhone 5.” Local reports (via MICGadget) claim up to 10 people were killed in the incident, but Foxconn is denying those reports.
Update Sept. 25: Bloomberg reported today, citing various analysts, that supply shortages of iPhone 5 is likely due to the device’s new in-cell display technology. Suppliers LG Display, Sharp, and LG Display are having difficulties producing enough displays.
With initial supplies of the iPhone 5 sold out, and many pre-orders from prior to the device’s public launch scheduled for delivery in October, Apple confirmed this morning that it still plans to roll out the device to an additional 22 countries on Sept. 28:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.Related articles
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The iPhone 3GS was a hit back in the day because it is the first iPhone to use a 32GB memory. With the introduction of Apple Store with the iPhone 3 a year earlier, it was clear that 16GB will not cut it. Even in China, iPhone 3GS sales were massive. On Oct 31st, 2009, the first official sales of this smartphone held at Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing. There was a total shutdown that day with a host of people trying to buy this device.
Ten years later, the iPhone 11 series launched by Apple last year has become an “arcade,”. The hardware configuration and software functions of both smartphones are a world apart. If two iPhones separated by ten years are put together, perhaps we can more clearly see the progress of the iPhone over the past ten years.iPhone 11 Pro Vs. iPhone 3GS – Design & Display
The iPhone 3GS uses a 3.5-inch multi-touch screen with a resolution of 480 × 320. With a compact and sleek body design, there is no pressure on the one-hand operation. The iPhone 11 Pro, on the other hand, can boast of a 5.8-inch display. The resolution is 1125 x 2436 pixels which is a massive increase from ten years ago. While Apple increased the size of the display, the one-hand operation on the iPhone 11 Pro is still cool.
Of course, there is another huge improvement in the iPhone 11, the body material. While the iPhone 3GS manages a rough-texture plastic body, the iPhone 11 Pro uses a glass body + stainless steel middle frame design. No doubt, it is easier to operate the iPhone 3GS with one hand due to its small size. However, the texture and operability of the entire iPhone 11 Pro is a huge leap from 10 years earlier.Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramiPhone 11 Pro Vs. iPhone 3GS – Camera
The first-generation iPhone (2G network) and the second-generation iPhone 3G uses a 1.2MP camera. However, the iPhone 3GS comes with an upgrade, it uses a 3.2MP camera from OmniVision. It also adds video shooting and auto-focus functions. Ten years later, the iPhone 11 Pro still uses these features, not much improvement if you ask me. However, let’s look at some image samples
It can be seen that even in a well-lit scene, the look and feel of the photos taken by the iPhone 3GS are still full of “age”. The low pixels, lack of HDR, and other congenital defects are clear to see. Furthermore, there are often shortcomings in the highlights of its images. The details are not clear and in the dark, it is completely lost.
In low light conditions, the image quality of the iPhone 3GS will quickly collapse, accompanied by a lot of noise. With the iPhone 3GS, forget about taking a picture in the dark because what is waiting for you will be an almost black photo. After all, the iPhone 3GS does not support the so-called “night mode”, and there is no flash fill light. What can be photographed at night depends entirely on “God’s Will.”
The upper and lower limits of the iPhone 11 Pro’s recording capabilities are far higher. Even in scenes with almost no natural light sources, iPhone 11 Pro relies on the “night mode” software optimization. It can also achieve recording, no matter what. Furthermore, there is a rear flash that can act as a supplementary light source.iPhone 11 Pro Vs. iPhone 3GS – Hardware & Software
In terms of software, the iPhone 3GS comes pre-installed with iPhoneOS 3 and has been upgraded to iOS 6.1.6. The new flat design iOS 7 excludes the iPhone 3GS from the list of supported devices, so iOS 6.1 .6 is also the last iOS version supported in iPhone 3GS history.
As the “endpoint” of quasi-materialization, we look at what iOS 6 offers, and it is indeed a bit embarrassing. You get thins like the classic sliding to unlock sound effects, the rolling shutter animation when opening the camera, etc.
As for the processor, the iPhone 11 Pro comes with a Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+) processor. However, the iPhone 3GS uses a Samsung APL0298C05 65nm chip. I guess many people do not know that there was ever a 65nm process.Conclusion
Just as we would expect, there is a significant upgrade over the past 10 years. We see upgrades in almost every aspect. From hardware to software, design to display, there is a significant improvement. Ten years is a mark, a summary of the past, and a vision for the future again. Perhaps ten years later, we will look back at the current iPhone 11 Pro.
Apple has plenty of new AirPods features ready for your enjoyment, all you need to do is install iOS 15 and other software updates on your Apple devices. Here are all of them in one place.
Let’s check out together all the new capabilities that are available to AirPods owners by updating to Apple’s newest software updates, listed in no particular order.New AirPods features in iOS 15 and other Apple OS updates
The following new capabilities for AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are available with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, watchOS 8 and macOS 12 Monterey.
Announce notifications with Siri
Aside from announcing your incoming calls like before, Siri on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 can also announce your incoming notifications. With the feature turned on, the smart assistant automatically announces incoming notifications in your ear. You can elect to have only time-sensitive incoming notifications announced or both regular and time-sensitive ones.
This works on the second-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max in US English.
For those wondering, time-sensitive notifications are a new kind of notification available to developers that can break through system controls such as Notification Summary and Focus. You can turn off the ability for time-sensitive notification interruptions in Settings.
The Siri smart assistant can now announce your due reminders when you’re wearing any AirPods model or Beats headphones powered by the Apple H1 chip.
As a result, this accessibility feature makes it easier for folks with mild hearing issues to follow along in face-to-face conversation. Conversation Boost is accessible to anyone wishing to use it by pressing the volume slider in Control Center.
The original and second-generation AirPods are unsupported by Conversation Boost.
Find your AirPods with iPhone disconnected
The Find My network now supports AirPods Pro and Max, tying them to your Apple ID.
This lets you receive a separation alert when you forget to take your AirPods with you, as well as use the Find My app to find misplaced or stolen earbuds. You’ll first get an approximate location of your missing earbuds, with the Find My app showing you their last known location, until you get closer. This works even when your AirPods are disconnected from their iPhone, which wasn’t possible before. So what kind of dark magic is this?
It’s quite simple, honestly.
Just like AirTags, AirPods ping nearby devices via Bluetooth. If anyone with an iOS device comes within Bluetooth range, their device picks up the signal and reports the refreshed AirPods location to the Find My network. Once you do get within the Bluetooth range of your AirPods, you can play that high-pitched sound like your normally would and locate them.
Because this feature depends on crowdsourcing, it has its limitations. While the Find My network comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices, you only need one of them to pass by your lost AirPods for this to work. Conversely, you may find the reported location useless or unreliable if you lost the earbuds- somewhere in the woods or a similarly remote location with very slim chances of having other Apple users passing by nearby.
Spatial audio comes to M1 Macs
With macOS Monterey, you can get the multidimensional experience afforded by Apple’s spatial audio feature. Previously limited to iPhone and iPad, this brings a theater-like faux surround sound experience with your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max connected to a Mac.
Spatial audio works on Apple silicon Macs and is unsupported by Intel-based models. The original and second-generation AirPods are also unsupported.
Spatial audio on Apple Music, now with dynamic head tracking
In July 2023, Apple Music launched support for spatial audio and lossless audio.
Spatial audio applies various filters and effects to an Apple Music song encoded using the Dolby Atmos multi-channel codec in order to simulate a 360-degree soundscape, with sounds appearing to come all around you. It works better on some tracks than the others, but one feature was missing from the original announcement: Dynamic head tracking.
Thankfully, the Music app in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 has picked up support for dynamic head tracking. Start playing a Dolby Atmos track and rotate your head or walk around the room to hear the difference for yourself. With dynamic head tracking, the sound field stays mapped to your device. You get to hear the surround sound channels in the right place no matter how you turn your head or move your iPhone.
This feature is only supported on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
You will also need at least an iPhone 7 or third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro or 11-inch iPad Pro or third-generation iPad Air or sixth-generation iPad or fifth-generation iPad mini or later.Why some features don’t work on original AirPods
The reason for this is not planned obsolescence or a similar nefarious scheme on Apple’s part.
Apple generally has a certain chipset in mind when developing features—that’s why capabilities like Live Text only work on devices with the Apple A12 Bionic chip, for example.
For more info, visit the iOS 15 preview page on the Apple website.
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