Clinton Archive

So Long Apple – Thanks For Nothing

After nearly three years, this will be the last post on AlliOSNews.  This weekend I experienced customer service so shockingly poor – so utterly unacceptable that I can no longer support Apple.  It is disappointing but having spent the last two days in a red mist of anger, it is time to kiss them off pretty much the same way they have kissed me off.

It started with me waking up and checking my email.  at 4:44 AM someone changed my password on my iCloud account.  Now I have enabled two-factor authentication on the account and, logic dictates, that even if someone managed to get the password, they would have to have my other information (recovery key, the physical devices in hand) to get into my account.  Clearly that was not the case.

With a bit of a panic I went to AppleID.Apple.Com to find out what was going on.  I tried to log in and failed and then was prompted for my recovery key.  I entered that assuming all was well.  No.  The Recovery Key was wrong.  Now I’m in a formal panic.  I call Apple and I’m informed that my account has been compromised.  How was this even possible with two-factor authentication?

I spend the next few hours trying to sort out what’s going on and speaking to Apple all the time.  The nutshell of it was that my account had been compromised, the Recovery Key had been changed, and the account was fully locked and encrypted.  There was no way to get any of my data back.

Now I know this is the case with data.  I get it.  I signed up for two-factor Authentication for a reason.  To prevent this very scenario.  But clearly there is something not right with how Apple has implemented it.  Somehow, some way, my account was compromised despite it being enabled.  I was okay with losing the data.  To be honest, aside from some contacts, most of what I have was in other services.  Something in the back of my head told me not to fully trust iCloud.

Here is the really bad part of the story.  Actually, it’s the shitty part of the story.

Because my Apple ID was tied to my iPhone, iPad Air and iPad Mini, they are, in Apple’s words, bricked.  Without being able to get into the account, these devices are tied to my Apple ID (which is now completely locked down and unavailable to anyone including, apparently, Apple) and cannot be tied to any other Apple ID.  The Apple support persons exact – and completely careless comment to me:  “Yeah, you are pretty much cooked”.

So let me get this straight Apple.  I’ve spent thousands of dollars with you.  I’ve done what you have suggested (or forced me to do) by tying my devices to my Apple ID.  I’ve then enabled two-factor authentication – which you say can’t be broken – and because of your issue, I am no longer able to use any of my devices?  Thanks for that.

The only way I’m told by Apple to get all of my devices back and register them with another Apple ID is to show proof of purchase.  Despite the fact that the Apple support people could see the devices I had and I repeatedly told them I had them in my possession, they said because of security they would have to have proof of purchase and engineering may decide to let me back into them in 6-8 weeks.

Awesome.  Pure Awesome.

The data is one thing but to render my devices useless is unacceptable.  This was not my fault Apple.  Even if it was, your poor security is pretty draconian when it comes to paying for a mistake.  Seriously – I forget my password and you lock me out of everything?  Including my iPad and Mac?  Wow.  Just. Wow.

The moral of the story is two fold peeps.  First, if you are going to use Apple products I would not enable two-factor authentication.  It’s clearly broken and clearly able to be compromised.  Run the risk of single-factor and come up with a really, really, really good password and hope for the best.

Second, if you can avoid Apple products, do it.  Clearly no matter how much you spend with them they do not care.  Their lack of a back door to prevent this kind of thing from happening is simply unacceptable.  Their poor security implementation has rendered my devices constantly nagging me for a password I can never hope to know or unable to activate.

As for me, I’m composing this on my re-formatted MacBook Pro running Windows 8.  Next to me is my Lumia 1320 Windows Phone.  My data is safe and secure in services other than iCloud.  And on the book case in front of me sits an effectively dead iPad Air, iPhone 5S and iPad Mini.

I’ll let you know if engineering decides to be nice and let me have my devices again.  Regardless of the outcome, I’m done with Apple.

So long.

Apple Event Set for October 16

The invitations are out and the next big Apple event is only a few days away.  On October 16 Apple will be holding their second major event in as many months with the expected release of a new lineup of iPad offerings as well as a refreshed Mac lineup.  What exactly we will see will be a mystery until the event but these will be the headlines of what is expected.

The event, which will be held at the Cupertino company’s campus, will also be live streamed for those who have Macs and Apple TV.   Here is to hoping it goes better than the iPhone 6 live stream! :-D

iPhone 6 Bendgate Blow Out of Proportion. Imagine That…

The last week in tech news, particularly Apple news, has seemingly all been around the iPhone 6 Bendgate saga.  It started with one YouTube user (I refuse to post who it was or link to the original video) and it went viral at a rate only the Interwebs can produce.  It culminated yesterday with a story on the site Consumerist of two teens bending iPhone 6’s (or attempting to at least) in an Apple store here in the UK.  It took them several tries but they finally got one to bend.

Peeps, it’s time to move on.  Do you know how many reports Apple has had of bent iPhone 6’s?

9

That’s right folks.  10 million plus units sold and they have had nine reported as bent.  That is an amazingly low number and if you believe the hype on the Internet, you would have thought 9 million had bent.  And what makes matters even worse, bend tests by Consumer Reports indicate that the iPhone 6 is no worse than any other device and in fact performs better than some devices when they are bent.  In an even funnier twist of fate, several manufactures who posted adverts pointing out the iPhone 6 bendgate issues, actually performed worse than the iPhone 6 on some of their devices when they were bent.

I don’t necessarily fault blogs and sites for posting on the bendgate saga.  There are a lot of sites out there, all clamouring for your attention, and a post on people having bent iPhone 6’s will almost guarantee a bump in traffic – which is a bump in potential ad revenue.  But we have purposely not posted on this until some more reasonable facts came out about it.  No I’m not saying we are more ethical or another site is less ethical.  It is our choice not to post rumours.  We rarely post on anything that is floating in the rumour mill or isn’t independently verified.  It’s just a stance we have taken.  Like it?  Great, happy you do.  Don’t like it?  Sorry, not going to change it.  The ethos of AlliOSNews is to help you, not confuse you.  We firmly believe that rumours and unverified reports do cause confusion and unnecessary worry.  So we don’t contribute.

iPhone 6 Bendgate is old news & overblown folks.  Time to move along to the next viral disaster.

 

 

Apple Releases Shellshock Security Fix for OS X

OS X users now have a security patch available to address the Shellshock security flaw that was discovered in recent weeks.  The update, which is available on the Apple Support website, is available for OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion.  It is presumed that the issue is already addressed in OS X Yosemite or will be updated in a patch during its current beta cycle.

If you aren’t familiar with what the Shellshock security flaw is exactly, Apple provided the following statement to MacRumors last week on it.

Bash, a UNIX command shell and language included in OS X, has a weakness that could allow unauthorized users to remotely gain control of vulnerable systems. With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of bash unless users configure advanced UNIX services. We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced UNIX users.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind on this flaw.  First, you likely aren’t impacted so no need to panic at the disco.  Second, even if you never use Terminal and the shell commands, you should update anyway.  Better to be safe than sorry later.

HealthKit Apps Begin Appearing in The App Store

One of the big things that Apple addressed in iOS 8.0.2 last week was the bug that was impacting HealthKit.  In fact it was discovered so late that developers were literally having their HealthKit compatible apps pulled from the App Store hours before iOS 8 was released.  Whatever the issue was – I’ve not seen a full disclosure on what it was exactly – it now is fixed and HealthKit apps are starting to appear in the App Store.

iOS 8.0.2 Now Available

Apple has released iOS 8.0.2 today for compatible iOS devices, fixing a number of issues with iOS 8 and the debacle that was iOS 8.0.1 earlier this week.  The update is available now via an over-the-air (OTA) update or by connecting your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your Mac or PC via iTunes.

The headline fixes in this update include a fix for the issue that impacted cellular and Touch ID issues with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus earlier this week with iOS 8.0.1.  iOS 8.0.2 addresses those issues and new iPhone users shouldn’t have any further issues.  The second big thing this update does is fix the bug in HealthKit that prevented apps from being able to use the service on your iPhone.  This now means that app developers can push their information into HealthKit so it can be a true repository for your medical, diet and exercise information.  With this now being out, I would encourage you to check for updates from your favourite health and fitness apps to get the updates that allow them to access HealthKit.

How iOS 8.0.1 Bug Could Have Killed ApplePay

The release of iOS 8.0.1 yesterday was anything but successful for Apple.  The update, which was aimed at fixing several issues with iOS 8, cause mobile service issues and disabled TouchID on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.  It was another ugly step in what has not been Apple’s finest hour when it comes to releases.  Starting with the live stream of the iPhone 6 launch event and leading up to the debacle of the issues with iOS 8.0.1.

The bigger issue for Apple however, and why a Quality Assurance failure like iOS 8.0.1 cannot happen again, is that this issue could have been a crushing blow to ApplePay.  The new payment solution introduced this month is highly dependent on TouchID for authentication along with the security mechanisms in the iPhone 6 models.  Without TouchID, there are no purchases to be made through ApplePay.  That, if the timing had been wrong, could have been hard for Apple to overcome as they try to push this new payment process.

iOS 8 Performance On Older iPhones and iPads

First the good news:  iOS 8 can be installed on a whole range of iPhones and iPads, making sure you can use some of your older devices with the latest version from Apple (albeit with a few less features)

Now the bad news:  Well, there actually may not be any.

In previous upgrade cycles of iOS, the latest version always seem to bog down older devices.  In fact most owners of iPhones or iPads have experienced this.  For me, the worst was when I upgraded my original iPad to iOS 6.  It basically ground it to a halt and I ended up having to do a bit of trickery to get back to iOS 5.

I fully expected iOS 8 performance issues on older devices but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it is done on an iPhone 4S and original iPad Mini.  While the 4S has suffered a little bit with it, the iPad Mini has pretty much not missed a beat.

Is Your iPhone Battery Life Better or Worse with iOS 8?

One of the never ending challenges it seems with iOS upgrades is battery life.  Almost every time there is an upgrade there is a percentage of users that are impacted by worse battery life on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch than with the previous version.  iOS 8 is no exception I’m sure… but I’m not hearing it as much.

I’ve upgraded all three of my primary iOS devices – iPhone 5s, iPad Air and original iPad Mini.  While I’ve not really seen much of a change on my iPads when it comes to battery life, I’ve seen a huge change on my iPhone battery life.  And it is for the better.  In fact it is substantially better.  On a typical day I would be at sub-50% battery life by midday.  Now I’m usually in the 60-70% remaining range.  That is significant given the amount of calls I make on my iPhone (usually at least 1.5 hours by midday each day).

Tell us what you are seeing by taking our simple poll below.  We’d love to hear how your iPhone battery life has improved or not improved on iOS 8

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iOS 8 Adoption Rate Nears 50%

On the Apple Developer site, the company has published statistics showing that the iOS 8 adoption rate is at 46%, nearly matching the pace of the iOS 7 adoption rate last year.  The statistics come to Apple via the App Store where the device’s iOS version is identified upon connection.  The iOS 8 adoption rate is critical for Apple as it assures them that the majority of iOS users are running the latest version but also helps developers know that support for iOS 8 is critically important.

Just prior to the iOS 8 launch, iOS 7 enjoyed an adoption rate of 90% and since the release has dropped down to 49%.  Only 5% of all iOS users are using a version older than iOS 7.