Posts tagged ‘Apple’
Apple was just awarded a 3rd patent for it’s Slide-to-Unlock feature, and while the internet is still abuzz with it, I just fail to see any reason to get excited.
Yes, Apple looks to be greedy and is apparently more than happy competing with HTC and Samsung in courtrooms rather than the open market–but we all knew this already.
Yes, Apple is patenting something so generic it may apply to ALL slide gestures on an unlock screen? — but we all knew the patent system in the US is whacky and open to abuse.
Yes, Apple is protecting it’s patents and Android manufacturers are defending or at least responding. –nothing new here.
What’s more important is this — which idiot is using Slide-to-Unlock on his smart phone?
Why Slide to Unlock is a Bad Idea
If you have a smartphone like an iPhone (which you’ve spent a couple thousand ringgit on) you’re going to use that smartphone as more than just a phone. It will contain your emails (both personal and private), your browsing history, your contact information and most importantly–your high score to Angry Birds. Do you really want all of this data to be accessible to someone by simply ‘sliding’ their finger across your phone screen?
In the past, when phones were JUST phones, the biggest worry you had were losing your contact information and someone making long distance phone calls on your bill. Those days are LOOONG gone.
A smartphone has far more data on you than regular phone, because it has more services (facebook, Google..etc) and has more memory–therefore you don’t delete any data. Remember the days when your phone could only store 20 sms’s and you had to delete them. Your children will never experience the need to delete anything because they’re running out of ‘space’.
These days, your phone is almost an extension of you, on a regular iPhone you have nearly every personal and private detail of you:
1. Information of your contacts (including emails and phone numbers–possibly even photos)
2. Facebook, GMail, Twitter, LinkedIN and other social network login credentials (and all the information in them)
3. Your photos (some of which may be ‘very’ personal)
4. Your whatsapp and sms message trails (not such a big problem when all you could store on your phone were 20 sms, but when you store all messages to someone for a period of 2 years–that’s a lot of private information)
All this additional data requires additional security
That additional data requires additional security
In my opinion you require at the very least a 4-digit pin, and probably even a 6-digit pin for most people. This may not completely protect the data on your phone, but it does help slow the attacker down. No one can access your phone without expending some effort and time– and in that time:
1) You can attempt a remote wipe on your phone, wiping out all data;
2) You can call up your phone company and have them cancel the number and your sim card.
3) You can change your passwords to GMail, Facebook..etc, preventing the phone from accessing these social networks.
4) Change your Google Play/Amazon App Store/iTunes credentials so the attacker can’t buy apps and songs, sticking you with the Bill.
A 4-digit password entered by hand takes some time to brute force or guess, a 6-digit password would be completely unthinkable. I’m not sure of any hacks to bypass the Pin Entry, but even if such hacks exist they require time and effort, and that gives you enough time to limit the damage a lost phone can do.
Now if you don’t password protect your phone, but instead rely on Slide-to-Unlock, an attacker with your phone can easily access your GMail/Facebook logins and change the passwords–preventing YOU from accessing your own data. The attacker could begin a shopping spree on your iTunes account footing you with the bill. The attacker could start posting stuff on Facebook/Twitter in your name, and if those were malicious and slanderous enough, get you in a lot of trouble.
Is it negligent to use Slide to Unlock only?
It is negligent to not protect your phone with at least a PIN, but from a legal perspective I believe it isn’t. Just like not protecting your Wi-Fi is not a good idea, but it isn’t exactly negligent either. We have to accept that smartphones and Wi-Fi connections have become a necessity for daily life for some, and most of those have no idea of good security practices and even technology in general.
That being said, while you can’t be held responsible for what someone else with your phone or Wi-Fi connection, rest assured that if you don’t take the neccessary steps to protect these things, someone will attack it, and you will be paying the price for it.
I’m not the biggest fan of Apple, I consistently compare my Galaxy S3 (which is great) to my wifes Iphone 4 (which is not so great). So when I first heard the news that Apple was suing Samsung for a ridiculous amount of money because of things like ‘slide to unlock’, ‘pinch to zoom’ and even ‘bouncing effect while scrolling’, I thought it was just a signal that Apple was afraid of someone stealing it’s dominance in the Smartphone market.
However, out of sheer coincidence I came across the 2007 keynote address for the iPhone by Steve Jobs. This was the original keynote for the original iPhone (5 years before the iPhone 5), and I was astounded. It was like attending a history lesson for one of the most defining moments in technology. One of the great things about the keynote though, is it ‘enlightened’ me on the lawsuit, and allowed me to see the lawsuit through Apples–or more specifically Steve Jobs–eyes, and it’s only through his eyes did I understand why Apple was suing Samsung, I still don’t agree with it, but I can definitely see why Apple is going through great lengths to make life miserable for Samsung and Google. More…
It was a long wait since my first iPod, but finally the iTunes has landed in Malaysia. Apple made a rather quite launch of the iTunes Store in Malaysia, meaning the days of logging into iTunes with US accounts and gift card purchases are over. Malaysians now have access to an entire treasure trove of songs available for the same prices as they are in the US. That’s about $0.99 – $1.69 per song, or $9.99 per album (roughly).
I was so excited, I immediately logged onto iTunes with my Malaysian account to check out the details, it took a while, since I’d forgotten my Malaysian account password, but soon after I was greeted at the iTunes store by Jason Mraz himself. I was also informed that the iTunes Store in Malaysia had more tailored local content these include songs from P. Ramlee, Man Bai, Chinese songs as well as Hindi songs (kuch kuch hota hai for $0.69 anyone?). It’s also good to see that Kau Ilhamku by Man Bai was Top of the Charts, signifying locally driven content. Where else would you see Belaian Jiwa and Moves Like Jagger on the same charts?
Also there are more P. Ramlee songs on the Malaysian iTunes store than there is on the US iTunes store, so it’s tailored to Malaysian taste.
Of course that raises the questions, are there more ‘American’ songs on the US store than Malaysia? More…
Thinking of being the next big app to hit the appstore.
Only one problem, developing applications for the iPhone and iPad require a Mac or more specifically a machine running Mac OS X. It could be you actually own a Mac, you could go and buy yourself an RM1800 Mac Mini, or you could try a hackintosh, although just creating a hackintosh would be a small project in itself.
Now Hackintosh is actually way beyond the scope of this article, so rest assured I’m not asking you to do anything ridiculously technical or suspiciously illegal. (although those are my favorite type of things to do)
If you’re reading this though, chances are you have a windows PC at home, or even Ubuntu, that’s quite standard and sufficient if you wish to develop Android apps, and they rake in money too.
iOS apps however, are a different beast all together and require a Mac OS X device, which is pretty easy to purchase in Malaysia, but they don’t come cheap. You may want to think hard before plunking down an extra 2-3 thousand ringgit just to ‘try’ your hand at app development. Just like you wouldn’t want to buy 3 year subscription to your neighborhood gym only to go 5 times in the first month — and then never again! More…