1Password 6.4 for iOS is now available and has cool feature for users of Touch ID. The password vault app can now be unlocked by Touch ID after a device reboot. Previously, users were required to enter the full unlock password.
If users prefer the added security of requiring a full password to unlock 1Password, this can be set in the setting.
Other new features with version 6.4 include improve import functionality from 1Password 3 and improvements to the Families and Teams subscription service, in addition to other features.
Dropbox Project Infinite
Dropbox today previewed a new feature they're calling Project Infinite. Essentially it will allow users to see both sync'd and unsync'd files side by side on the desktop.
With Project Infinite, we're addressing a major issue our users have asked us to solve. The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity. While teams can store terabyte upon terabyte in the cloud, most individuals' laptops can only store a small fraction of that. Getting secure access to all the team's data usually means jumping over to a web browser, a clunky user experience at best.
That pretty much sums things up for me on laptops. With SSD storage, it's obviously impractical to sync everything in a paid account that could reach to 1TB, for example. So, I juggle stuff with selective sync and if I need something I log into the webpage.
This sounds a much better solution. It could possibly be a little confusing, but it appears Dropbox is trying to make the experience seamless. When talking smaller files on fast Internet, it should work well, but otherwise pulling down files on-demand may be a more frustrating experience to the point of essentially doing a selective sync.
Anyway, Project Infinite is currently being tested with select customers. There is no timeline given for a general release.
Apples iPhone upgrade program now available for online sales
Last fall, Apple launched an upgrade program to encourage faster upgrade cycles. Essentially you enter into a monthly installment loan and when you're ready for a new phone, Apple will accept the device as payment for the balance of the loan.
Retail upgrade programs like Apple's can be a convenient way for users to upgrade every year without having to deal with private sales or other trade in schemes. To date, Apple's program required you to go into an Apple retail store to signup for the program. That appears to have changed this week.
Chance Miller for 9 to 5 Mac:
Starting today, if you visit Apple's website and go through the process of buying an iPhone, you'll see a new option alongside the traditional carrier installment, contract, and outright purchase options. At the very top of the list is the iPhone Upgrade Program and its installment pricing. In fact, when you go through the process, the iPhone Upgrade Program is now the default choice.
This sounds great to me since I'm a nerd and like to get new iPhones at launch. I don't however, want to deal with the circus of Apple retail during launch weekends. If I can do this online, that makes Apple's trade in program much more attractive.
Apple's program likely isn't the best deal, however, it's easy. Again for iPhone launches, Apple has historically prioritized direct sales and retailers get limited stocks to ration out.
2016 MacBook gains on MacBook Air benchmarks
I'm not really in the market for a new laptop, but eventually I'll be looking to replace my MacBook Air. When the MacBook was refreshed last week I was curious how the latest Skylake Core M5/M7 processors would compare to the Core i5/i7 found elsewhere in Macs.
Joe Rossignol for Mac Rumors:
Meanwhile, the top-end Skylake-based 1.3GHz Intel Core m7 built-to-order configuration earned average 64-bit single-core and multi-core scores of 3,023 and 6,430 respectively, which is between 9% and 17% faster than the equivalent Broadwell-based 1.3GHz model released in 2015.
That's just shy of the top end 2015 MacBook Air. Likely when the MacBook Air gets refreshed the gap will be larger, but point being at least now the new MacBook is in the ballpark of a current Mac.
Average webpage may be bigger than Doom
As webpages get ever bigger with richer graphics and fatter scripting, we might have a relatable means of measuring the bloat. Apparently the average webpage has exceed the size of 1993 classic 3D first person shooter Doom. The original Doom weighed in around 2.25 MB.
Recall that Doom is a multi-level first person shooter that ships with an advanced 3D rendering engine and multiple levels, each comprised of maps, sprites and sound effects. By comparison, 2016's web struggles to deliver a page of web content in the same size. If that doesn't give you pause you're missing something.
Key point here this is average webpage size, so some really big sites likely skew things. Also, Cremin notes that the most popular sites are slimming down.
Also, based on that metric we long passed Wolfenstine 3D and Sim City 2000 in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
Government no longer needs Apple's help in NY drug case
A drug case in New York has risen to become a second high profile tangle between Apple and the U.S. FBI/DOJ. This New York case predates the San Bernardino case.
The DOJ Friday withdrew its request to compile Apple to comply with a warrant to assist in unlocking an iPhone. The government gained access to the device using a code provided by someone who apparently knew the code.
In a statement issued Friday night, Emily Pierce, a Department of Justice spokesman, reiterated the government's claim that such cases "have never been about setting a court precedent."
"In this case, an individual provided the department with the passcode to the locked phone at issue in the Eastern District of New York," she wrote. "Because we now have access to the data we sought, we notified the court of this recent development and have withdrawn our request for assistance. This is an ongoing investigation and therefore we are not revealing the identity of the individual."
Apple transition Apple Watch apps to native online
Benjamin May for 9 to 5 Mac:
Apple has announced that it is ending support for the original watchOS SDK and original Apple Watch 1.0 apps, which required a phone to even open. From June 1st, Apple will require developers of new Apple Watch apps to use the native SDK, which came with watchOS 2. The requirement was posted on the Apple Developer news page last night.
When the Apple Watch launched, everything was ran off of the tethered iPhone. It was less than an ideal system, but it seemed to allow for quick app adoption. The trade off is it can be slow to pull everything from the iPhone rather than run natively on the device and just pull any required data.
FBI director suggest agency paid over $1.3 million to hack iPhone
The FBI may have paid a unprecedented fee to hack the iPhone connected to the San Bernardino shooters. Based on comments from Director Comey, the FBI may have paid over $1.3 million. Reportedly nothing substantial was found on the phone. The disclosure came from Comey during a Q/A at a security conference.
Julia Edwards for Reuters:
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London, Comey was asked by a moderator how much the FBI paid for the software that eventually broke into the iPhone.
"A lot. More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months for sure," Comey said. "But it was, in my view, worth it."
Comey has a salary of $183,300, and if his specific timeframe is accurate, that puts fee at about $1.34 million.
Roundup of WWDC rumors
9 to 5 Mac has an inventory of early rumors for this year's WWDC. We learned this week Apple's annual developer conference will be the week of June 13.
Some highlights of the rumors... iOS 10 is expected to get a new app store and the ability to hide stock Apple apps. For OS X, we may get a new name MacOS and Siri may be making its way to desktops
Other topics include some potential news for iCloud security, Apple Pay, and Apple TV
Apple's Organizational Crossroads
Ben Thompson wrote an interesting piece on Apple's corporate organization and its challenges with services. While Apple excels at hardware and software cycles, Thompson argues the same machine is ill equipped to handle services.
The problem in all these cases is that Apple simply isn't set up organizationally to excel in these areas:
- Apple values integration and perfection, which results in too many services being over-built and thus more difficult to iterate on or reuse elsewhere
- Service releases (and software) are not iterative but rather tied to hardware releases
- Apple's focus on secrecy means many teams end up building new services from scratch instead of reusing components
The root problem in all these cases is the lack of accountability: as long as the iPhone keeps the money flowing and the captive customers coming, it doesn't really matter if Apple's services are as good as they could be. People will still use the App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud, simply because the iPhone is so good.
The third bullet seems highly speculative, I think the first may be accurate.