iCloud compromised?

Bad, bad timing for Apple.

The latest rumours swirling round about the personal photos allegedly stolen from iCloud come at the worst time possible for Apple, with the new iPhones being announced in a week or so and the likelihood of a new payments system being introduced.

iCloud security really needs to be perceived as water tight.

Some thoughts on the latest debacle.

Personal photos are personal and the outcry about people not taking certain kinds of photos is misguided. People should be allowed to take what ever photos they want, but they do need to take responsibility in protecting them. Extra precautions are needed if the photos are of a highly personal nature, or could cause issues if they fell into the wrong hands.

It’s still not confirmed that the source of the stolen photos (stolen – not leaked or hacked), was in fact iCloud.

There has been information that a brute force vulnerability has been exposed in Find My iPhone but this has since been patched by Apple.

If this was the source of the theft, then Apple is partially to blame in that a brute force vulnerability should not have been allowed to be present – brute force attacks rely on repeatedly trying and re-trying to access an account using multiple passwords.

It looks like that the stolen photos may have been obtained by a brute force attack on accounts having weak passwords.

However, the owner of the account is also to blame by not securing their account with a strong password, or even better a strong passphrase. In the case of iCloud, it’s also possible to further protect your account with two factor authentication.

So this will reflect badly on Apple (if it is proven that iCloud was in fact compromised), but we all have a responsibility to look after our own stuff.

Do yourself a favour and get a copy of 1Password and if you’re really concerned about security, switch on two factor authentication on those primary services that support it.

My god, It’s full of stars

Just in case you missed this over the weekend.

The drone video of the new Apple Campus is just stunning.

I knew it was going to be big but WOW!

Just look at the amount of floor space in the main ring. According to the schematics, the basement is two levels deep, then there’s another 4 levels on top of this.

The thing that really impresses me about the new campus is the vision and future projections of the size of Apple. This must have all been planned years ago, just as the iPhone was taking off, well before the iPad.

With all the talk of future wearables and payment systems, I’d love to see the internal projections of how Apple see themselves growing over the next 10 years.

Looks like the campus can deal with some pretty stratospheric growth.

Excited about iOS 8 yet?

You should be!

Although there has been no public beta of iOS 8 (unlike Yosemite), it’s hard not to notice some of the excellent work being done by some of our favourite developers.

1PAssword ipadFirstly, 1Password (the awesome password manager) spills the beans on their 1Password App Extension for iOS. This new functionality allows you to use TouchID to unlock 1Password and access your 1Password database. With TouchID working so well on the iPhone 5S, this is a huge deal. Especially with TouchID presumably coming to the next generation of iPads – that makes it an even a bigger deal. Seamless syncing of your passwords with the Mac and iOS 8 and now integration with TouchID, fantastic!

TextexpanderThen last night, Smile software announced the availability of the new TextExpander Snippet Extension for iOS 8. My favourite snippet manager is now able to work in any application on the iPad or iPhone – including built-in Mail. For the uninitiated, TextExpanded allows you to use abbreviations in your text, which trigger the insertion of snippets of text or images into your application. As it already syncs seamlessly with the Mac and iOS, the ability to use my snippets on both platforms across all applications is huge.

To be fair, it’s no surprise as we anticipated such functionality from these premier applications, but it’s so good to see them close to delivering.

And these are just two applications that we know about.

What other delights or surprises from the developer community will we see when iOS 8 launches.

Can’t wait!

PS If you’re a developer working on some new features on your app utilising Continuity or similar, drop me a line over at don@screencastsonline.com. No promises, but I might be able to work it into a future ScreenCastsOnline show.

The Fabled 12″ MacBook Air

MacbookairI love the 13″ MacBook Air.

I also love the 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

I’m fortunate enough to have access to both.

But for some reason, the prognostication of a Broadwell based 12″ MacBook Air with Retina Display fills me with absolute delight.

It’s probably due to the combination of a truly portable laptop with a stunning display, incredible battery life and power by the bucketful. Throw in operating in complete silence too.

The 12″ MacBook Air has the potential to be the perfect laptop.

My original thoughts were that it could well be released during the WWDC keynote, but that wasn’t to be. It’s not like they didn’t already have a ton of stuff to announce with iOS 8 and Yosemite, I think it’s more likely that the chips and or retina displays were not yet ready.

However, rumours are flying that the fabled machine is nearing production for a late 2014 or early 2015 launch.

My gut feel is that we’ll see it before Christmas.

If they manage it, the 2014 last quarter numbers for Apple with new iPhones, new iPads and a new MacBook Air will be off the charts.

Hyperlapse Sooner Than Expected!

Following on from my recent blogpost, it looks like Instagram have beaten Microsoft to the punch with the release of “Hyperlapse” technology.

I can’t see this on the UK App Store yet but it shouldn’t be long. In the meantime, check out this video…

Can’t wait to try this out!