A small number of users have been noticing issues with Apple’s iMessage service since the iOS 7 update was released last month. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company acknowledged that there was a problem and said that it would be fixed in an upcoming software update.
œWe are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update,” Apple said. œIn the meantime, we encourage any users having problems to reference our troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare to help resolve their issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes impacted users.”
We haven’t had any iMessage issues with our own iDevices since updating to iOS 7, but according to several posts on the Apple Support Communities forums (this is one representative thread) affected users are able to receive messages, but unable to send them. Some report that rebooting the device or signing out of and then back into the iMessage service will fix the issue, though that fix is apparently not always successful.
There’s some evidence based on server logs that an iOS 7.0.3 update is being tested internally at Apple, and based on this statement, the update may be intended to fix the iMessage issues for the customers who are having problems. If these logs are genuine, this would be the third minor update to the software after iOS 7.0.1, which was released only for the new iPhone 5S and 5C, and iOS 7.0.2, which fixed some high-profile lock screen bugs. We’ll keep an eye out for this problem in the release notes for future iOS updates.
Pandora Radio 5.1: Wake up to your favorite station
In the face of stiff competition from Apple's iTunes Radio and a variety of other streaming radio services, Pandora Radio added some new features to its iOS app today. The best new feature? You can set song or artist stations as your alarm clock sound.
If you've ever used the iOS Clock app to set an alarm, you know that in addition to a lot of standard alarm sounds you can also choose a song from your music library as your wakeup cue. Unless you change that song every day, waking up can begin to seem like the movie "Groundhog Day."
Pandora's station alarm will provide you with a song from your favorite station, so you'll hear either a different song from your favorite artist or something from that same genre every day. Pandora thoughtfully provided a snooze button to the alarm screen as well. The updated app also gained a very iOS 7-like interface. Pandora fans should have the updated app on their iOS devices today.
Pandora Radio 5.1: Wake up to your favorite station originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments Read More →
G-Technology G-DOCK ev: Thunderbolt and two removable drives for ultimate flexibility
G-Technology's new G-DOCK ev ($749.95 with two 1 TB G-DRIVEs) is a different animal. Think of having two removable, portable USB 3.0 drives that you can take into the field with you, and then being able to plug those drives into a Thunderbolt dock for high(er) speed transfer of data when you're back in the office or studio, and you've figured out the idea of this device. Unfortunately, the concept and reality of the G-DOCK ev are two separate things.
The G-DOCK itself isn't exactly portable, measuring 7.87" x 5.12" x 3.54" and weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces. The removable drives, however, are little self-contained units that are perfect for popping into the pocket of a jacket or a computer bag. The G-DRIVE ev USB 3.0 drives are quite a bit more compact, measuring just 5.14" x 3.29" x .65" each and tipping the scales at 10.2 ounces each. Those drives have a USB 3.0 port on the back of them for use in the field, as well as a SATA port covered by a small removable (and easily lost) plastic door. To use the drive in the G-DOCK, you remove the door and then slide the drive in until it locks. To remove the drive(s), there are two large buttons on the front of the device next to the drives.
It should be noted that you don't just push the button to safely eject the drives, something that isn't immediately obvious. One would hope that G-Technology would have figured out a way to safely dismount the G-DRIVE ev drives automatically with a push of the button; instead, you need to be sure to drag the drive icons to the OS X trash to dismount them first. Likewise, G-Technology doesn't include any utilities for setting up the two G-DRIVEs as a RAID pair, instead pointing users in the direction of Apple's OS X Disk Utility.
The G-DOCK can be set up as two individual drives or as one RAID 0 or RAID 1 array. For the purposes of testing, I used it as two individual drives for initial testing and then set it up as a RAID 0 (a stripe set of two 1 TB drives) for the final benchmark.
Benchmarking of the G-Technology G-DRIVEs and G-DOCK ev was done with Intech Software's SpeedTools QuickBench 4.0 software. To ensure accuracy in testing, I performed a 100-cycle complete test. This subjects the drive to sequential and random read and write tests with file sizes from 4K to 100 MB, then graphically or textually displays that information to show the "sweet spots" for a specific drive or array. For example, if your work involves shuffling around a lot of very large files, you'll probably want a drive that has peak read/write speeds for files around your average file size.
I first tested an individual G-DRIVE connected via USB 3.0. The standard tests (first four results) use nine different file sizes between 4 KB and 1024 KB. The large tests use transfer sizes between 2 and 10 MB, while the extended tests look at file sizes between 20 and 100 MB. These test results were not compared to any other devices, as TUAW has not recently tested any non-RAID devices with the QuickBench software.
- Sequential Read: 110.628 MB/Sec
- Sequential Write: 113.286 MB/Sec
- Random Read: 21.857 MB/Sec
- Random Write: 28.756 MB/Sec
- Large Read: 131.540 MB/Sec
- Large Write: 125.343 MB/Sec
- Extended Read: 135.542 MB/Sec
- Extended Write: 135.014 MB/Sec
Next, I performed the tests on a G-DRIVE in the G-DOCK ev through a Thunderbolt connection:
- Sequential Read: 117.730 MB/Sec
- Sequential Write: 120.449 MB/Sec
- Random Read: 22.769 MB/Sec
- Random Write: 28.896 MB/Sec
- Large Read: 134.485 MB/Sec
- Large Write: 130.679 MB/Sec
- Extended Read: 135.313 MB/Sec
- Extended Write: 134.928 MB/Sec
I found it odd that the differences in speed between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections were negligible. Next, the two G-DRIVEs in the G-DOCK ev were set up as a RAID 0 volume approximately 2 TB in size, and benchmarks were run using a Thunderbolt connection:
- Sequential Read: 189.675 MB/Sec (140.504 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Sequential Write: 197.831 MB/Sec (93.245 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Random Read: 22.432 MB/Sec (116.435 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Random Write: 38.360 MB/Sec (70.410 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Large Read: 272.062 MB/Sec (341.327 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Large Write: 262.744 MB/Sec (282.060 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Extended Read: 266.927 MB/Sec (255.953 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
- Extended Write: 264.170 MB/Sec (262.864 MB/Sec for Drobo 5D)
The RAID 0 benchmarks showed some interesting results. Random Read/Write of smaller-sized files was surprisingly slow, while the G-DOCK ev performed admirably when reading and writing larger files. This indicates that the RAID configuration would work well for use cases involving large file sizes. It should be noted, though, that once you create a RAID array (either mirrored or striped) with the two G-DRIVEs, you can no longer pop them out for portable use. Essentially, you need to decide ahead of time whether you want a pair of portable drives that you can pop out of a Thunderbolt dock or a Thunderbolt RAID 0 or RAID 1 array.
That's why I think the G-DOCK ev is kind of an odd duck. For portable Thunderbolt drives, it's possible to get two 1 TB drives for about $300 -- much less expensive than the G-DOCK ev with its two 1 TB removable drives. If you're looking for Thunderbolt RAID setups, you can buy one of G-Technology's own 8 TB G-RAID arrays for about the same price as the 2 TB RAID 0 (or 1 TB RAID 1) G-DOCK ev -- but of course you lose the portability.
The G-Technology G-DOCK ev provides fast read/write of large files as a Thunderbolt RAID array and the removable USB 3.0 G-DRIVEs are reasonably fast as well. However, most users would be better served by selecting their most common use case -- need for large RAID storage or need for portability -- and purchasing a single solution that fits that need. The users would save money and most likely gain capacity over this odd "portable / RAID" hybrid solution.
- Excellent construction, sturdy devices made of aluminum
- Relatively fast performer when reading and writing large files, although no faster than competing devices
- Expensive compared to dedicated RAID arrays or separate portable drives
- Doors for removable drives are small and would be easy to lose
- No speed advantage of putting the removable USB 3.0 drives into the Thunderbolt dock
- Drives do not perform well with small file sizes
- Removable drives should dismount automatically when the drive button is pushed; instead, the drives need to be dismounted manually
Who is it for?
- Due to the cost of the G-DOCK ev, it's relatively common performance, the fact that the removable USB 3.0 G-DRIVEs aren't any faster when placed in the Thunderbolt dock, and the fact that it's really an either/or solution (RAID or portability), we cannot recommend purchasing this product.
G-Technology G-DOCK ev: Thunderbolt and two removable drives for ultimate flexibility originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments Read More →
Apple’s App Store Hits One Million Apps in the United States
Apple's U.S. App Store has reached one million live apps, according to data from app discovery platform Appsfire. Our own app discovery site AppShopper lists the same one million milestone, with a total of 1,006,557 apps available for download at the time of writing.
While Apple noted that it had a million apps in its worldwide catalog back in October, this marks the first time that various app platforms have seen the U.S. numbers climb above one million.
Apple has approved a total of approximately 1,439,451 apps since the App Store opened in 2008 and over the course of the year, has been creeping towards the million milestone. Of the 1 million apps available for download, more than half a million are available for Apple's iPad, and over 900,000 are available for the iPhone. The company has now paid out more than $13 billion to App Store developers.
In May of 2013, Apple hit 50 billion worldwide app downloads, which it celebrated with a promotion for a $10,000 gift card for the person who downloaded the 50 billionth app. Currently, those numbers have climbed to 60 billion downloads, putting Apple well on its way towards its 100 billion download milestone.
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Home page of Apple.com displays Mandela tribute
The splash page of Apple's US website changed this evening from the usual product displays and content links to a spare, elegant black and white portrait of Nelson Mandela. The South African activist, decades-long political prisoner and statesman who served as the first black president of a post-apartheid nation died Thursday at age 95.
The tribute page appears only on the US site at this time as far as I can tell, although it may end up on Apple's international web pages soon. While this "takeover" style of front-page tribute is unusual, it is not unprecedented on Apple's site. Founder Steve Jobs took over the home page in the days following his passing in 2011 and again on the first anniversary of his death. Longtime Apple board member Jerry York was memorialized on the front page in 2010, and other notables (cited by 9to5Mac) include dancer Gregory Hines, civil rights icon Rosa Parks and musician George Harrison.
Musical legends get memorialized via the iTunes splash page when they shuffle off this mortal coil. Soul singer Isaac Hayes was remembered there in 2008, and Lou Reed in October this year. The iTunes tribute practice may be considered somewhat crass, as it does capitalize on the surge of consumer interest when a performer dies.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments Read More →
Apple Remembers Nelson Mandela on its Homepage
Apple has removed all product placements on its homepage tonight and has instead replaced them with an image of Nelson Mandela, honoring the late South African president's life a day after he passed at the age of 95.
Apple executives had previously commented on Mandela's death on Twitter, with SVP Phil Schiller tweeting a quote from Mandela. CEO Tim Cook also tweeted a quote, but offered thoughts on the passing of Mandela as well:
Amazing human being. Champion of freedom and human dignity. He set an example for all of the world. RIP Nelson Mandela. We miss you already.This is one of the few times Apple has honored someone's life on its homepage, with the others being people such as Rosa Parks, board member Jerry York and Steve Jobs.
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FBI surveillance malware in bomb threat case tests constitional limits
"Internet link" targeting suspect's Yahoo account used to track his Web movements.
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A shopping trip with iBeacon, Apple’s secret weapon for navigating stores
Apple today quietly switched on what many consider to be a secret weapon of iOS 7: iBeacons. The technology allows […] Read More →
Are We Ready for the Post-Snowden Internet?
Revelations from classified documents acquired by Edward Snowden are showing us how mobile technology and the open Internet have been co-opted into history’s largest government surveillance network. Is there any way to “take back the net,” or will national powers start breaking up the Internet into separate fiefdoms?
Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.Read More →
Apple paid its lawyers over $60 million to beat Samsung in court
The damages retrial for last year’s Apple vs. Samsung legal battle recently wrapped, and new court documents reveal how much […] Read More →
Apple’s US smartphone share climbs to 40.6%
Apple's share of the US smartphone market climbed from July to October of this year, but only by a small margin, according to new data from comScore. The newest report showed a .2% increase in for Apple, moving from 40.4% to 40.6%, and the company remains the top smartphone manufacturer in the states by a very wide margin.
Samsung was the biggest mover on the chart, climbing 1.3% to 25.4% of overall share, with Motorola grabbing a 0.1% bump to 7%. Meanwhile, HTC and LG both lost share, dropping 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively. In terms of platform market share, Android is still king with 52.2%, while Apple remains in second place at 40.6%.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments Read More →