Minecraft Is Getting Cross-Play On Multiple Platforms

With the upcoming release of the Better Together this summer, Mojang will unify the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One with mobile and Windows 10 PC versions of the game under the Bedrock Engine family. (excluding Java Minecraft which will continue to be supported as an independent version)
Continue reading Minecraft Is Getting Cross-Play On Multiple Platforms

Can I run iOS 11?

iOS 11 is compatible with these devices.

iPhone

  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

iPad

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

iPod

  • iPod touch 6th generation

New iOS 11 Features

  • Files across services like iCloud Drive, Dropbox and Box
  • New Smart Dock
  • Multitasking via  Split Over or Split View
  • Drag and Drop
  • Apple Pencil for Screen Markup, Notes and Drawing
  • Document Scanning from Notes, sign with your Apple Pencil
  • ARKit – Augmented Reality
  • Redesigned App Store
  • Customizeable Control Center
  • Privacy at the forefront

iOS 9 is out in the wild

Apple released iOS 9 into the wild and it looks awesome. I don’t run an iDevice so I can’t comment on it as far as performance and overall satisfaction but I will be checking in with friends that do to get their feedback.

If you use an iDevice and want to know if you can install iOS 9, here is the list of compatible devices:

iPhone iPad iPod
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4s
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad 3rd generation
  • iPad 2
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch 6th generation
  • iPod touch 5th generation

Noteworthy features

Notes

  • The Notes app has always been great for jotting down your thoughts. And now it’s great for so much more.
  • Turn lists into checklists – Add bullets with a tap to create checklists. Make a grocery list, a wish list, or a to-do list — and check off items as you go.
  • Sketch your thoughts – Use the tip of your finger to draw right in your note. A selection of drawing tools lets you choose different brush styles and colors. And a handy ruler helps you keep things straight.
  • Note it with a photo – Now you can take a photo from within the Notes app. Or tap to access your photo library and add an existing photo or video to a note.
  • All your notes across all your devices – Notes works with iCloud so you can access your notes no matter which device you’re using.

Maps

  • Transit – Maps now features Transit view, bringing you public transit information with routes and directions.
  • Nearby – When you search in Maps, you’ll see a list of categories including Food, Drinks, Shopping, Fun, and more.

Multitasking

  • Slide Over – Now you can open a second app without leaving the one you’re in.
  • Split View – With Split View, you can go a step further and have two apps open and active at the same time.
  • Picture in Picture – While using FaceTime or watching a video, press the Home button and your video screen scales down to a corner of your display.

Even longer battery life.

Across the entire operating system, apps and key technologies have been made more efficient to trim battery usage wherever possible — so you get more battery life for the things you do every day.

Smaller, more convenient updates.

iOS 9 does even more to efficiently stream new updates to your device without having to first download and unpack them — which means you don’t need as much free space to update.

  • iOS 9 – 1.3GB
  • iOS 8 – 4.58GB

Faster and more responsive.

The apps in iOS 9 now take advantage of Metal, making more efficient use of the CPU and GPU to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation, and better overall performance.

Improved security.

Keeping your devices and Apple ID secure is essential to protecting your personal information — like photos, documents, messages, email, and so much more.

Six-digit passcodes

The default for passcodes on your Touch ID–enabled iPhone and iPad is now six digits instead of four.

Two-factor authentication

A password alone is not always enough to keep your account secure. That’s why iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan have built-in support for two-factor authentication.

The infinite loop of iOS 8

There’s a bug in Apple’s iOS 8 that allows nearby attackers to send apps—and in some cases the iPhone or iPad they run on—into an endless reboot cycle that temporarily renders the devices useless, according to researchers who demonstrated the attack Tuesday.

The exploit uses a standard Wi-Fi network that generates a specially designed secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to exploit the bug, according to the researchers, who work for Israel-based Skycure. The encrypted communication causes whatever apps happen to be connected to the booby-trapped Wi-Fi network to crash. The vulnerability was introduced in version 8 of the Apple mobile operating system.

After sustained connections to the malicious signal, the OS itself will crash, in some cases in a way that causes the devices it runs on to spiral into a repeatable reboot cycle. Making the attack particularly vexing, even if users know the endless crashes are generated by the Wi-Fi network they’re connected to, they can’t disconnect because the repeated restarts make it impossible to access the device’s user settings, as demonstrated in the following video:

The Skycure researchers said the exploit can be combined with one they uncovered two years ago that forces iPhones to automatically connect to rogue Wi-Fi networks. The combination allows attackers to form a “NO iOS Zone” that after luring all iOS devices to join the Wi-Fi network, sends them into an endless crash cycle. Targets hit by the attack would have few options to stop the attack as long as they’re within range of the Wi-Fi access point. Skycure documented the vulnerability in a blog post published Tuesday and demonstrated it the same day at the RSA security conference in San Francisco.

Until there’s a patch, iPhone and iPad users should make sure they’re using iOS 8.3, since it appears to have mitigated some of the effects of the bug. Users should also keep Wi-Fi on their device turned off except when it’s needed.

Minecraft to get Story Mode in 2015

Telltale Games has announced on its blog that it’s working with Minecraft developer Mojang to create a series of games set in the world of the hit franchise.

Minecraft: Story Mode will be an all-new narrative-driven game series developed by Telltale in collaboration with Mojang. Set in the world of Minecraft, the series will feature an original story, driven by player choice. It will not be an add-on for Minecraft, but rather a separate stand-alone product that will premiere in 2015 on consoles, computers and mobile devices.

Telltale has made games in the Walking Dead, Back to the Future, and Game of Thrones universes, to name a few.

Time Lapse on your phone

Time lapse is an awesome technique that is used in cinematography with high end equipment, now you can bring that awesomeness to your phone.

What Is Time-Lapse Photography?

Time-lapse photography is the process of capturing lots of photos over a period of time, and then assembling them together to create seamless video footage that appears sped up. It’s the opposite of slow motion videos where time appears to be moving more slowly.

From Wikipedia:
Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, then played back at 30 frames per second; the result is an apparent 30 × (24 [cinema] / 25 [PAL] / 30 [NTSC] frames per second) times speed increase. Time-lapse photography can be considered the opposite of high speed photography or slow motion.

So anything that moves or changes slowly are good candidates. These are a few subjects you can use:

  • Clouds
  • Flowers opening
  • Candles burning
  • Animals grazing
  • Changing tides
  • Movement of the moon and/or stars

To get really creative try some fast moving things. Maybe find a busy highway or shopping center or children playing in a park. Continue reading Time Lapse on your phone

Getting ready for iOS 8

The newest release to Apple’s iOS will be rolling out any time now and we want to make sure you are set for when it does.

Can I upgrade?

This is the question that you will need to answer first and to help you out, here is the list of compatible devices:

  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPod touch 5th generation
  • iPad 2
  • iPad with Retina display
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini with Retina display

Note: Make sure you are plugged in and that your battery is fully charged.

Don’t Enable iCloud Drive When You Upgrade to iOS 8 Yet

I put this first so you are aware before doing anything else as this is important. If you accidentally upgrade, there is no going back and you will not be able to sync your iCloud documents with your Mac until OS X Yosemite debuts later this fall.

Apple is pushing it hard but iCloud Drive is only compatible with iOS devices running iOS 8 and Macs running OS X Yosemite, which is not yet available. What does that mean for you?

“As OS X Yosemite is still pre-release (and not yet available) upgrading to iCloud Drive will prevent you from syncing with Clear for Mac until both OS X Yosemite is released and you upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Developers cannot work around the choice made when upgrading to iOS 8, so please make sure you pay close attention to the iCloud Drive screen shown after you update to iOS 8.”
– Nick Fletcher of Realmac Software

After updating to iOS 8, one of the steps in the setup process will ask whether you want to enable iCloud Drive, at which point you should select “Not now.”

Later, once Yosemite is available you can enable iCloud Drive from the main settings menu in iOS by going to Settings ⇒ iCloud ⇒ iCloud Drive. At this point, the actual syncing process may take some time, Fletcher said, as Apple will have to move your data to new servers.

Clean up the crud

Over time we’ve installed apps that we no longer use. Now could be a good time to clean up your system to reduce the number of apps that could cause problems for you. Not to mention backing up your device will go faster. To remove an app simply press and hold any icon on the screen until the icons start wiggle with an x in the top left corner click that x on each app you want to remove and then confirm. You can also do it by going to the app system setting where you can also see what’s using up the most space Settings ⇒ General ⇒ Usage ⇒ Show All Apps

Backing it up

The most important part of prepping for an upgrade. You can use iTunes of iCloud. iTunes allows you to recover your device in the event of a crash or failed upgrade so I’d suggest doing that either way, even if just a fail safe for this one time.
iCloud backs up photos and videos in your Camera Roll, various device settings, your app data, the organization of your home screens, iMessage and text messages, ringtones and Visual Voicemail. To turn on iCloud go to Settings ⇒ iCloud ⇒ Storage ⇒ Backup and toggle iCloud Backup to ON. If you backup with iTunes, use the encrypted option. That way it will also back up the username/passwords you’ve saved on your device.

Checking for the update

Once you get your device ready you can feel free to update. Keep in mind, nothing is guaranteed to work flawlessly which is why we got ready but even that is not guarantee. To update, go to Settings ⇒ General ⇒ Software Update then follow the instructions.

Things to remember

  • Most apps will work, but the full experience won’t land just yet
  • Upgrading will kill your jailbreak. A new one could take a while
  • Early adopters may experience a few bugs, quirks, and hiccups
  • Using a work phone? Your IT department might not be ready
  • Older devices aren’t fully equipped, may experience slowness
  • Downgrading can be tricky, if not impossible

Edit

You can apply for Apple’s OS X Yosemite Beta program and update your Mac to the beta version of OS X Yosemite as well.

Let us know how it goes and what you think about the update.

 

Microsoft to acquire Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5B

Microsoft confirmed it will acquire the studio that created the hit “sandbox” game Minecraft for $2.5 billion, a move that could help bolster the company’s Xbox and mobile ambitions.

In a statement released Monday, Microsoft says the deal will close by the end of this year.

“Minecraft is more than a great game franchise,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. “It is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

Launched in 2009 for PCs, Minecraft is an open-world game where players roam a simple landscape with forests and beaches, breaking apart the environment and building new objects like a digital Lego set.

It has surged in popularity over the last five years. Microsoft says the game has topped 100 million downloads. Although it’s been available on Apple’s iOS devices for nearly three years, it’s currently the second most popular paid app for iPhone. Retail versions of the video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were the third best-selling titles in the U.S. last month, according to NPD Group.

“The Minecraft players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations,” says Mojang CEO Carl Manneh in a statement. “The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story.”

Microsoft says Minecraft will remain available on all its current platforms, including PlayStation, a rival to the company’s Xbox brand. Continue reading Microsoft to acquire Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5B

Thousands of Apple devices being infected with AdThief malware

Security researcher Axelle Apvrille recently published a paper about AdThief, a malware aimed at hijacking ad revenue from a reportedly 75,000 infected devices. First discovered in March 2014, and also known as “spat,” the malware, which comes disguised as a Cydia Substrate extension, was found to replace the publisher ID of publishers with the one of the malware creator, effectively attributing all ad revenue to him.

iOS/AdThief!tr
iOS/AdThief!tr hijacks advertisement revenues and redirects them to accounts owned by the attackers.

A publisher ID is used to identify a publisher’s account on an ad platform, which helps track revenue generated by said publisher. By being able to swap the publisher’s publisher ID with his own, the malware creator was able to hijack revenue from about 22 million ads. In effect, when clicking on an ad, an infected user would generate ad revenue for the attacker instead of the developer of the application or website.

  • Infected devices: ~75k
  • Total activate times: ~22m
  • Daily activate times (around 3/20/2014): ~22k

The malware was designed to target ad kits from 15 ad networks, including Google-owned AdMob and Google Mobile Ads, both representing a large share of mobile advertising at least here in the US. Other American companies targeted by AdThief are AdWhirl, MdotM, and MobClick. The remaining targeted ad networks were all from China or India.

TARGETED ADKITS

A list of mobile adkits targeted by the malware is provided in a report: YouMi, Vpon, MobClick, Umeng, AdSage/MobiSage, MdotM, InMobi, Domob, AdWhirl, AdsMogo, Google Mobile Ads SDK, AderMob, Weibo, MIX SDK and Poly SDK. The majority of these are Chinese, four are based in the US, and two in India.

In his report, Xiao remarks that Weibo is a popular social network in China, but is unable to attribute MIX SDK and Poly SDKmore precisely. In fact, Sina Weibo, introduced in 2013, is an advertisement SDK, so that solves one mystery.

MIX SDK can be attributed to GuoHeAD. It probably refers to the GuoHe MIX platform for cross-promotion of mobile games. This is also backed up by the name of a source file found in the malware: /Volumes/MacOsStore/Project/IOS/SpAd/SpAd/AD_GuoHe.xm.

Finally, Poly SDK is not a new adkit: it corresponds to AderMob. This is confirmed when downloading the AderMob iOS SDK.

Hijacked advertisements in iOS/AdThief

AderMob http://adermob.renren.com/ China
AdMob and Google Mobile Ads http://www.admob.com/ USA
AdsMogo http://www.adsmogo.com/en China
AdSage/MobiSage http://www.adsage.com/mobiSage China
AdWhirl http://www.adwhirl.com USA
Domob http://domob.cn China
GuoHeAD http://www.guohead.com China
InMobi http://www.inmobi.com India
Komli Mobile http://www.komlimobile.com/index India
MdotM http://www.mdotm.com USA
MobClick http://www.mobclix.com USA
UMeng http://www.umeng.com China
Vpon http://vpon.com China
Weibo http://us.weibo.com China
YouMi http://www.youmi.net China

Implementation details of adkit hooks found in iOS/AdThief.A!tr

Adkit source Filename Typical class names
AderMob AD Ader.xm AderSDK*
AdMob and Google Mobile Ads SDK AD AdMob.xm GAD*
AdsMogo AD AdsMongo.xm AdMoGo*
AdSage ? MobiSageAd*
AdWhirl AD Adwhirl.xm AdWhirl*
Domob AD DoMob.xm DM*
GuoHeAD AD GuoHe.xm MIXView*
InMobi AD InMobi.xm IMAd*
Komli Mobile AD KomliMobile.xm APIManager*
MdotM AD MDotM.xm MdotM*
MobClick ? MobClick*
UMeng AD UMeng.xm UMUFP*
Vpon AD Vpon.xm VponAdOn*
Weibo AD Weibo.xml DXAdHWB*_
YouMi AD Youmi.xm YouMi* – delegated to Google Ads

Conclusion

iOS/AdThief is a technical and malicious piece of code which hijacks revenue from 15 different adkits. It is built on top of the Cydia Substrate platform, available for jailbroken devices, which provides it with an easy way to modify advertisement SDKs. With Substrate, the malware needs only to focus on the call and implementation of each hook.

At first, the identification of every adkit the malware targets was difficult because the code mentions only class names used by each adkit SDK. However, the fact that the malware author did not strip out debugging information helped us to identify all 15 adkits. In particular, this is how support for Komli Mobile and GuoHeAD was detected.

Links

  • Get the bulletin here
  • Read Claud Xiao’s report here

iPhone 6 rumors that alread already being done by others

The 4.7-inch display

When the iPhone debuted in 2007, its 3.5-inch screen was the big kid in the schoolyard. By the time the iPhone 5 arrived in September 2012, however, its upsized 4-inch display was unremarkable in size, having already been surpassed by numerous Android and Windows Phone models. Well, rumor has it the iPhone 6 will come in two flavors, including a “smaller” unit with a 4.7-inch display. It’s no surprise that Apple is finally joining the game. The HTC One X, LG Optimus G, Motorola Razr HD, Samsung Galaxy S3 (actually 4.8 inches), and other phones went this big about two years ago.

The phablet

The larger iPhone 6 model reportedly will have a 5.5-inch display, placing it smack-dab in phablet land. The phone/tablet hybrid, of course, isn’t new. Its origins date back a few years to oversized mobile phones such as the Dell Streak/Mini and the first-generation Samsung Galaxy Note. The Android-based Dell phablet came in 5- and 7-inch models. It didn’t last long; critics slammed it for being bulky, acting buggy, and having a lousy display. The Galaxy Note, despite withering early reviews, proved a global hit with consumers seeking an all-in-one mobile device. The original Note had a 5.3-inch screen; the latest Note 3 model measures 5.7 inches, and some devices have passed the 6-inch mark.

Battle of the thinnest

The iPhone 6 is expected to be Apple’s thinnest smartphone to date, with some reports claiming its svelteness will rival that of the 6.1-millimeter iPod Touch. (By comparison, the iPhone 5s is a relatively chunky 7.6 mm.) But even if the iPhone 6 matches the iPod Touch’s boney build, it won’t be the world’s thinnest phone. Two Android handsets from China are thinner, in fact: The 5.5-mm Gionee Elife S5.5, and the 5.75-mm Vivo X3. And the iPhone 6 may tie for third place with the Huawei Ascend P6, which is just under 6.2-mm thick. Each of these phones is ridiculously thin, of course, so any “world’s thinnest” boast might seem silly, particularly if the slimness impacts the performance of other essential tools, most notably the camera.

Full HD resolution

The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 reportedly will have a full HD display, or 1,920-by-1,080 pixels (401 pixels per inch). The 4.7-inch model is expected to have a 1,334-by-750 pixel display (326 ppi). Good specs, certainly, but not enough to earn Apple high-res bragging rights. Today’s smartphone with the highest screen resolution is the LG G3, which starts shipping this month. The G3’s 5.5-inch display has an amazing 2,560-by-1,440 resolution (538 ppi). If you’re shopping for 4K smartphones, sorry — looks like you have to wait until next year.

Curved display

Here’s an April rumor that seems increasingly unlikely as the iPhone 6 launch date nears: The device will feature a curved display with rounded corners. The perceived benefits are that a curved shape would fit better in the human hand or a rear pocket, and would offer better viewing angles. If true, the iPhone 6 wouldn’t be the first curvaceous smartphone. The LG G Flex is a curvy phablet with a 6-inch OLED screen, and the Samsung Galaxy Round shows the time and other notifications when you tilt the phone to one side (when the home screen is off). Bottom line: Don’t expect a curved iPhone 6. A recent flurry of images from Apple-centric rumor sites show a more conventional, flat design.

Optical image stabilization

A report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a prolific and generally reliable source of Apple rumors, says the larger (5.5-inch) iPhone 6 will include optical image stabilization (OIS), a feature that reduces image blur by shifting the camera lens to adjust for movement of the device. OIS would be a first for iOS devices, but not for smartphone cameras. For instance, the Nokia Lumia 1020, which debuted in July 2013 and is best known for its jaw-dropping 41-megapixel sensor, features OIS. So did the now-discontinued Nokia Lumia 920, which arrived in November 2012. One challenge for Apple is how to improve the iPhone’s camera while reducing the device’s thickness. In April, 9to5Mac reported that some analysts believe Apple has chosen an ultra-thin frame over OIS. Might it achieve both?

At long last, NFC?

Another year, another prediction that Apple will add near field communication (NFC) technology to the iPhone. NFC hasn’t exactly fulfilled its potential at becoming the next big thing in mobile payments or data sharing. It’s pretty much been a dud, in fact, despite being embraced by a wide mix of merchants, banks, and Android device vendors. Apple, quite conspicuously, has been absent from the roster of NFC backers; rather it has been promoting its Bluetooth Low Energy-based iBeacon technology as a mobile payment solution. But that may change with the iPhone 6, according to MacRumors, including KFI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. If the rumor is valid, an NFC-enabled iPhone would come three years after early adopters like the Android-based LG Optimus Net (above).

Source: InformationWeek