Category: Mobile apps

Key iOS feature borked

chef-appleA feature from Apple which was supposed to push apps to its iCloud is broken and the fruity cargo cult has pulled it.

App slicing is a good idea on paper.  It allows users to save resources on their shiny toys by splitting the Apple data  between the phone and the cloud.

Of course it requires some clever programming to make it work and Apple is having a lot of problems with the iOS9 operating system.

According to Apple its App slicing is currently unavailable for iOS 9 apps due to an issue affecting iCloud backups created from iOS 9 where some apps from the App Store would only restore to the same model of iOS device.

When a customer downloads your iOS 9 app, they will get the Universal version of the app, rather than the variant specific for their device type. TestFlight will continue to deliver variants for your internal testers.

Apple assures us that App slicing will be enabled with a future software update, although it is possible that having pulled it, we will never see its like again.

IBM introduces cloud security technology for apps

IBM logoTech giant IBM said that it has introduced cloud technology that secures enterprise data.

Cloud Security Enforcer combines cloud identity management – which it dubs identity as a service – that helps enterprises uncover outside apps accessed by employees, including on mobile devices.

IBM said that employees using apps are exposing enterprises to potentially dangerous security exposure.

It said a third of employees at Fortune 1,000 firms share and upload corporate data on third party cloud apps.

Risky things include people signing in with personal email addresses.

IBM claims that 40 percent of mobile apps aren’t secure before they’re made available to the public.

Big Blue said it has built this security feature into software including Box, Office 365, Google Apps, and salesforce.com.

IBM claimed that the product uses “deep threat analytics” from its global intelligence network, IBM X-Force, which monitors the internet and analyses over 20 billion global security events daily.

Mobile security risks increase

burglarGartner said that while security threats on the mobile landscape haven’t essentially changed, the severity of the consequences has changed.

Dionisio Zumerle, a research director at Gartner, said that smartphones now hold much more sensitive data than before.

Doctors are increasingly using tablets to process patient records and finance brokers exchange sensitive information.

“A device that falls in the wrong hands and does not have adequate protection can be the source of a major data breach,” he said.

Apps are also invasive and often ask permission to use peoples’ contact list and location while in enterprises many use file sharing apps with corporate data and don’t offer “enterprise grade security”.

He said that mobile devices are now subject to many malware attacks, including those that can spread across the enterprise.

IT chiefs need to implement enterprise security policies to the use of smartphones in an organisation.

Cyanogen creeps up on big mobile players

1315eb4Android outfit Cyanogen appears to be creeping up behind the main mobile players faster than many expected.

The company has announced that it has more than 50 million users at the moment – which is more than Windows Mobile and BlackBerry combined.

That is not bad for an outfit which started out as a simple ROM for Android devices which started out as a hobby by current CTO Steve Kondik in 2009.

The outfit was incorporated as a company in 2013 and now provides its Android-based software as pre-installed Cyanogen OS in devices like Yu Yureka and Yuphoria.

While Cyanogen OS was also originally pre-installed on the OnePlus One, the bitter falling-out between the two companies last year has resulted in OnePlus going with their own version of Android called Oxygen OS with the newly-announced OnePlus 2.

Cyanogen is basically Android without Google products and services. Recently it added a default email and calendar app.

The company has also teamed up with manufacturers to preload their software, such as OnePlus and India’s Micromax.

Enterprise mobile apps are in short supply

mobileThe ability of enterprise IT departments to create mobile apps id duvh yhsy demand for the services will be five times more than they can deliver.

Gartner estimates that mobile phone sales will hit 2.1 billion units by 2019 and that will create enterprise app demands IT departments won’t be able to supply.

The problem is that hiring programmers with good mobile skills is difficult and also expensive.

So creating enterprise mobile apps will continue to be a problem, Gartner believes.

Its research shows that employees in a digital setting use as many as three different devices daily and that will rise to five or six devices when the internet of things and wearable devices go mainstream.

Last year, Gartner found that most organisations have developed and released less than 10 apps.

Android beats Apple on gaming front

Apple blossom, Mike MageeA report said that an analysis of the global installed base for smartphones and tablets showed that the Google Play shop is doing better than Apple’s iOS Apple Store.

IDC’s report said that Android devices represent nearly 75 percent of the worldwide installed base, with iOS and other devices losing share.

Although people with Apple devices spend more on their apps, nevertheless worldwide spend on Google Play grew by 50 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to Apple’s growth of 30 percent.

Games, in the first quarter of this year, represent 30 percent of all downloads on Apple devices and 40 percent of downloads from Google Play.

And it’s multiplayer games that rule the roost, IDC said. They account for 60 percent of spend.

Top scoring mobile games in the first quarter are Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, and Game of War: Fire Age.

Tame Apple Press knives Microsoft’s Windows 10 plan

windows-10-start-menu-customised-live-tilesMicrosoft’s push into mobile might be stalled by the lack of apps as developers are only interested in writing for Android and iOS, at least that is if you really believe  the Tame Apple Press.

Microsoft put the fear of god into Google and Apple by making its new version of Windows accept tweaked Apple and Android apps. But Apple’s favourite news agency, Reuters claims that will not work because Apple is great and has all the developers while Microsoft smells of Nintendo.

The posting reads like a classic Tame Apple Press hatchet job on a potential Apple rival, the only difference is that it does mention Android every time it mentions Jobs’ Mob.

Reuters talked to “a dozen” of “unnamed developers” and found few were going to convert their apps to Microsoft’s new Windows 10.  Four, who already had windows apps said they would do so eventually but “eight said that they were not developing apps for Windows 10 at all”.

Buried at the bottom of the story is a line which confirms why this might be the case. Microsoft hasn’t actually unveiled its new set of tools to turn apps into a Windows format, and so developers don’t know if it is going to be easy or not.

That’s King.com, which ported its popular Candy Crush Saga game from iOS to Windows 10 “with very few code modifications” and will be installed automatically with upgrades to Windows 10.

A Microsoft spokesman said that “it is still early” and many software companies want to explore the tools over the coming months.

Also buried at the bottom of the story was a comment from Jason Thane, general manager at General UI, a mobile app developer based in Seattle who said that if Microsoft has a way for his customers to cheaply and easily upgrade Android and iOS apps for Windows 10 they will have a lot of people wanting to do it.

The rest of the story was all historical about how Microsoft has failed to interest developers in the past. The format of the story is identical to a format peddled in the early days of Android, when the Tame Apple Press would say that there was not enough Android Apps out there to compete with Apple.

Given what Microsoft is proposing, as the response from the Tame Apple Press, there is a fear that Microsoft might be on the right track and will take control of Apple and Android’s app store cache practically overnight.

Company used Apple App to spy on worker

poison-appleApple gear is being used by autocratic companies to spy on the activities of workers, a US court has been told.

A Central California woman claims she was fired after uninstalling an app that her employer required her to run constantly on her company issued iPhone. The app that tracked her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plaintiff Myrna Arias worked for money transfer service Intermex, Her boss, John Stubits, fired her shortly after she uninstalled the job-management Xora app that she and her colleagues were required to use:

After researching the app Arias and her co-workers asked whether Intermex would be monitoring their movements while off duty. Stubits admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty.

He bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she installed the app on her phone. While the Arias had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours.

The suit, which claims invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and other allegations, seeks damages in excess of $500,000 and asserts she was monitored on the weekends when she was not working.

Arias’ boss “scolded” her for uninstalling the app shortly after being required to use it. Her attorneys said the woman made $7,250 per month and that she “met all quotas” during a brief stint with Intermex last year.

The app was not used to protect the phone from theft, because Intermex was using it to log the routes taken by employees and the mileage of their journeys.

Ubuntu might beat Windows to phone convergence

ubuntu-wallpaper2It is starting to look like the Linux OS Ubuntu might beat Windows to true phone convergence.

One of the headline OS’s features for Windows 10 for PCs and Windows 10 for phones won’t be is true phone convergence. But it looks like Ubuntu might beat Vole to the punch.

Canonical’s Box Mark Shuttleworth said that the Unbuntu smart phone will fit in your pocket; which will be a phone; and which will give you a desktop experience.
“So, that pocket PC experience is real on Ubuntu. And, while I enjoy the race, I also like to win. And I bet you do too. And so it will be lovely for us to drive free software first into the convergence world,” he said.

Shuttleworth said that Ubuntu Phone’s application platform already allows for applications that can resize to fit various screen sizes, from smartphone-size to windows on your desktop. After focusing on Ubuntu Phone’s unique interface and design to get it out the door, Canonical is beginning to talk about convergence.

So just like Microsoft is doing with Windows 10, Ubuntu is aiming for convergence across all device types. But unlike Vole it is going to move a bit faster.

Word on the street is that while Windows 10 for PCs will ship this summer Windows 10 for phones will be much later.

The release date slip gives Ubuntu a chance to beat Microsoft to launching this feature. Both projects are scrambling to get the software done with a release date of sometime in 2015.

However there are also signs that Canonical might also have problems. The Unity 8 desktop interface and Mir are still in fairly rough.

Unity 8 and Mir were supposed to have been part of the default Ubuntu desktop image for several releases now, but this is clearly taking longer than expected. Unity 8 and Mir may be ready for Ubuntu 15.10, “Wily Werewolf,” in October.

Tattoos break the iWatch

goldie_allesameApple’s software designers have apparently come up with a feature which identifies if a user is too tough to wear Apple gear.

Apparently the new iWatch detects if its owner has a tattoo and disables some of the key features.

This resolves the problem of people who are too tough being seen with Apple gear usually worn by mummy’s boys and being knifed by their friends.

The feature was first reported in Australia where a lot of blokes and Sheilas have tattoos and have discovered that their inked skin confuses the sensors on the underside of the device.

Apparently there is a hashtag #tattoogate where tattooed Apple fanboys are venting their spleen. The problem is compounded by the fact that most of the posters were warned by their mums never to have tattoos in the first place which leads to a Freudian psychological crisis..

One anonymous user on Reddit, an entertainment, social networking, and user-generated news website, said the device’s locking mechanism, which should disengage when the watch detects it is being worn, failed to work on decorated skin.

“My hand isn’t tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink, the watch would automatically lock again,” the user wrote.

This Reuters reporter, who has a black tattoo on his left arm, also found that the watch locks on tattooed skin and does not deliver the soft pings that alert a user to incoming messages. The heart rate readings were also significantly different on the tattooed and untattooed wrists.

An Apple support article says the watch uses green LED lights paired with light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist and calculate the frequency of heart beats. We guess that blue ink interferes with this.

A website support page from the company says tattoos can interfere with readings from the heart rate monitor, but does not mention interference with other functions.

Apple of course is denying everything.

But that is not the only problem the iWatch is facing. The Wall Street Journal has found that the reason why the iWatch is in “short supply” is because some taptic engines, which produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, are falling to bits fast.

The report said the problem had been detected in some of the parts supplied by AAC Technologies.