Everything you need to know about iOS’ crippling ‘Error 53’

Apple is in the midst of an all-new controversy, thanks to the mysterious “Error 53” message that is bricking iPhones without warning. The problem can hit DIY types or anybody who has ever had a Touch ID sensor (or other iPhone hardware) replaced by a repair shop not authorized by Apple. When they update iOS, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Virtual Reality Coming to iOS Within 2 Years, Claims Gene Munster

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple plans to put iOS at the center of several forthcoming augmented reality and VR innovations set to launch within the next two years.

In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Munster claims a timeline of recent purchases and hires by the company suggests that iOS support for „mixed reality“ applications could be set for launch as soon as 2018.

The analyst points to a LinkedIn search which reveals at least 141 Apple employees with a background in AR, although it should be noted that the same search returns 425 and 267 people with similar experience working at Microsoft and Google, respectively.

Of particular interest to Apple is the concept of „mixed reality“ wearables, or advanced optics that use embedded cameras and sensors to blend holographic imagery with real-life objects, claims Munster.

Intellectual property gained via research and development projects as well as strategic acquisitions, such as Apple’s purchase of 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, are said to be behind the recent drive.

We believe 10 years from now Generation Z will find reality inefficient. We believe the concept of an ‘inefficient reality’ is evident through smartphone use today — the precursor to mixed reality — offering users the ability to find more information as needed.

The analyst goes on to suggest a natural progression in the personal technology market from smartphones to AR/VR and believes Apple is looking at VR as an iPhone peripheral, much like the Apple Watch. The prospect of Apple releasing hardware on this front in the near term is seen by Munster as unlikely, although by 2018 Apple may be ready to offer developers an official software framework for licensed third-party hardware solutions, similar to the company’s MFi Program for iOS devices.

Munster has made questionable assertions in recent years, with predictions such as Apple’s rumored television set having failed to materialize. Still, the note does follow a recent report by Financial Times claiming that Apple has built a „secret research unit“ in which hundreds of employees are experimenting with AR and VR technologies. The team is said to be made up of, among others, experts plucked from Microsoft and live-action VR company Lytro.

Apple’s interest in virtual reality has gained pace over the last few years, with the filing of multiple patents for VR-related products, like video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS devices, and 3D „hyper reality“ displays. More recently, Apple has made a spate of AR/VR-related acquisitions, including Metaio, Faceshift, Emotient, and image-recognition app creators Flyby Media. Last month, the company hired Doug Bowman, said to be one of the leading VR experts in the United States.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tags: Piper Jaffray, Gene Munster
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Microsoft Allowing OneDrive Users on Free Tier to Keep 15GB Free Storage and Camera Roll Bonus

In November, Microsoft made the controversial decision to reduce its unlimited OneDrive storage to 1TB for Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscribers early next year. OneDrive’s free storage will also be reduced from 15GB to 5GB, and the 15GB camera roll bonus will be discontinued.

Microsoft’s decision was poorly received by OneDrive customers, who created an online petition called „give us back our storage“ with over 70,000 votes. The backlash has prompted the company to apologize and introduce a new offer for OneDrive customers to keep their 15GB free storage and 15GB camera roll bonus.

Microsoft Group Program Manager Douglas Pearce (via The Verge):

In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we’ve heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community. […]

In addition, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your existing 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you’ll be able to keep that as well. From now until the end of January, you can sign up to keep your storage at the link below.

OneDrive users who sign up by January 31, 2016 will be able to keep their 15GB of free storage and 15GB camera roll bonus, even after Microsoft reduces its free storage tier to 5GB next year. OneDrive customers using more than 5GB of free storage will also receive a free Office 365 Personal subscription with 1TB storage for 12 months.

Microsoft is not backing down from its larger plans to discontinue unlimited storage, a decision it made because a small number of users exceeded 75 TB storage, or 14,000 times the average, by „backing up multiple PCs and and storing entire movie collections and DVR recordings.“ The changes take place in early 2016.

Tags: Microsoft, OneDrive
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Mark Cuban wants Apple to boot Twitter out of the App Store

When there are complaints about censorship in the App Store, it’s usually developers arguing that Apple shouldn’t have removed a particular app for infringing on its often-vague user guidelines. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban had something else in mind, however, when he sent a series of tweets claiming that Apple should boot Twitter off the App […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Microsoft Launches Official ‘Cortana’ App for iOS and Android Devices

Microsoft today officially launched its virtual assistant Cortana as a downloadable app for iOS and Android platforms (via Business Insider). Similar to Apple’s Siri personal assistant, Cortana allows Windows users to set reminders, preview the weather, and answer basic questions thanks to integrated internet search abilities. Other Cortana for iOS and Android features include the following:

•Set and get location and time reminders across your PC and phone.

•Track packages, flights, scores, stocks, and other important info across your PC and phone.

•Use Cortana’s Notebook to view, edit and manage your interests

•Get information and answers to all kinds of questions. If you’re looking for it, Cortana can help find it.

•Have a little fun in your down time — ask anything, get jokes, and much more.

Microsoft detailed a few features for Cortana at Business Insider‘s Ignition Conference in New York City, including abilities like asking Cortana for help with your voice without having to open up the app. Unfortunately, most of those features won’t be available to iOS users due to certain developer restrictions that fence off Cortana from becoming fully integrated into iOS.

On the other hand, a few Android smartphones will gain a leg up on the iOS version of Cortana thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and start-up company Cyanogen, which runs a custom version of the OS on select Android devices. With Cyanogen software, Android users will have essentially all of the abilities Windows Phone users have over Cortana, including being able to speak to the personal assistant without opening up the separate app.

After some rumors and speculation earlier in the year, in May Microsoft confirmed that Cortana would be heading to non-Windows Phone platforms later this year. In November, the company opened up beta sign-ups for users to test out Cortana for iOS in a pre-release state.

Cortana for iOS is available to download now for free from the App Store [Direct Link].

Tags: Microsoft, Cortana
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Apple Raises iTunes Match and Apple Music Library Matching Limits

Over the past couple of days, MacRumors has received several reports from users who have been able to upload music libraries of greater than 25,000 tracks to iTunes Match or Apple Music’s similar scan-and-match feature, and Macworld‘s iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn has also noted a number of reports on his personal blog.

Just ahead of the launch of Apple Music in late June, Eddy Cue revealed on Twitter that Apple was working to raise the matching limit from 25,000 tracks to 100,000 for iOS 9, but the increase did not occur in September when iOS 9 debuted.

MacRumors checked with Cue back in October for an update, and he indicated Apple was „definitely working on it“ with the expectation the increase would go live „before the end of the year.“

Apple has yet to update its support page on uploading music Apple Music to document the new limit.

Tags: iTunes Match, Apple Music
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Play Darth Vader with Siri and get some hilarious responses

The whole tech world is losing its mind with Star Wars mania, and Apple’s no exception. Hidden within Siri is a neat reference to George Lucas’ epic space opera — accessible when you use the iconic “I am your father” line from the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Check out some of Siri’s best responses […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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