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Weekly news recap – February 26, 2016

The latest news of the week. A round-up of the news over the past week so you can be sure of staying up to date with what’s happening in the world.

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Apple Pay will be available in France already this year

apple-pay-france

Apple Pay will be launching in France by the end of this year. However, it is expected to take from 3 to 5 months to make the service available in the whole country. The beginning of integration will possibly start by September 2016.

Currently, French banks negotiating with Apple regarding the transaction amount for each time customer pays with Apple Pay. Common payment with a debit card generates 9 cents for the affiliates, while Apple Pay takes 5 cents per transaction.

Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft will support Apple in court

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Technology giants may be competitors, but when an undeniable threat from the state steps in the industry, companies show a remarkable solidarity. Today it became known that industry representatives are ready to provide support for Apple and not only by words.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are planning to submit a petition to the court to make a statement on the part of Apple.

Head of Google Sundar Pichai said publicly that supports Tim Cook, and that the history of the FBI can create a disturbing precedent.

“We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices and data. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy. Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue.” – Google’s CEO said.

“I don’t think that the creating of backdoors is the right way, so we sympathize with Tim and Apple” – said Mark Zuckerberg.

applevsfbi-tim-cook

“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone. Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.” – said Tim Cook.

Siri for OS X

The personal assistant Siri is present on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch, but this year it will also be available to Mac users. Apple will add the voice assistant in the next version of OS X 10.12, which will be presented in June 2016.

iPad Air 3 might be just a new version of iPad Pro

Apple’s next-generation 9.7-inch iPad has been presumed to be dubbed “iPad Air 3” in line with the last several generations of the device, but let’s look into details. The iPad Air 3 is very similar to the iPad Air 2, but will become more powerful. It is difficult to imagine that it can become even thinner, then should appear new features and capabilities. Which? Support for Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and a doubling number of speakers? How in this case, the new iPad Air will be different from the iPad Pro, except for the screen size?

Apple is also reported abandoning production on iPad mini 2 and original iPad Air models, allowing the company to simplify its tablet lineup to include the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and 7.9-inch iPad mini 4 as its main devices, with the iPad Air 2 likely remaining available as an entry-level model at the middle size.

FBI wants to hack additional 9 iPhones

applevsfbi

The FBI has not yet managed to gain access to one iPhone and already require Apple to hack into other nine smartphones. The New York Times got court documents that testify about several cases across the country and each of them requires iPhone hacking. Let me recall, the FBI wants to oblige Apple to create special software to eliminate restrictions on the number of password attempts without losing data on the device. Apple’s CEO do not agree with the position of the security services and believes that hacking even one iPhone will become a threat to the security of personal data of users around the world.

Hackers from McAfee offered to hack the iPhone without the intervention of Apple

John McAfee

John McAfee has offered to help the FBI to access the information on the iPhone with the help of his private company. He said that hacking can take about three weeks, but McAfee doesn’t doubt in the success. For hacking will be used primarily social engineering and the FBI doesn’t have to force Apple to create a backdoor for their devices.

McAfee has offered to eat his own shoes if his team fails. That’s looks very similar to the PR of the entrepreneur and his new team of hackers, therefore the FBI didn’t accept his offer. It is unlikely that his words could be taken seriously. It seems impossible to hack the iPhone without a backdoor.

Fourth beta versions of iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4, watchOS 2.2 and tvOS 9.2 became available

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iOS 9.3 beta 4

A few minor changes were made, in particular, the icon of the Night Shift mode in the Control Center has changed. Also, updated icons in the Music app. Also, fixed error that could “brick” the iPhone after changing date to 1970.

OS X 10.11.4 beta 4

Notes app received password protection for notes and function that allows to import notes from Evernote. Also, the process of working with Live Photos was simplified – now you can view them in Messages app.

watchOS 2.2 beta 4

Apple Maps application has been totally revamped and now it’s required to use iOS 9.3 beta’s new multi-watch feature. Recalling that on iOS 9.3 you will be able to pair a few Apple Watches.

tvOS 9.2 beta 4

The fourth beta version brought a firmware update for the remote controller as well as the configuration section “What’s New?”. In the new version of the operating system will be support for folders on the home screen, the new switch between applications menu, support for iCloud library and dictation function for entering search queries and more.

iOS 9.3 allows third-party applications to add songs from the Apple Music to your catalog

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Ben Johnson, the developer of application Music Tracker and many others, drew attention to one feature of iOS 9.3. We are talking about the new opportunity, which is hidden from users and is designated for application developers. It turns out that with the release of iOS 9.3 third-party applications can add songs to user’s Apple Music library and play them.

If a third party application can add a track that is already in the Apple Music, into your personal library, by just pressing one button, it can be quite handy. As an example we can take the Shazam app that explicitly created to save freshly-recognized songs. Without leaving the application, this can be done in just a single tap.

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