A handy guide to the iOS 8 upgrade

News and commentaries, Technology

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 8 and Twitter exploded in what could only be a first world problem with a multitude of complaints. As of this writing, #iOS8 is still trending, which begs the question, should you or shouldn’t you? If you want to join the modern age of Android users where you can use Swype keyboard, act on notifications *within* the notifications window, instantly edit/share pics “in seconds”, send messages by voice, project your device screen on TV, use a camera timer – then you need to upgrade. To be fair, iOS 8 offers other nifty features which I will outline below.

But first, you need 5 GB of available storage
This is probably the loudest complaint. You will not be able to download iOS 8 unless you have 5 GB sitting free on your device. You can start deleting those baby videos and awesome selfies, which I found to be the fastest path to free storage or you can go the roundabout way and download the update through your computer. By the way, this doesn’t mean that the upgrade will take up all the space, the iOS itself is ~900 MB (on the iPad) but it needs that much free space in order to download.

iOS 8 is compatible with the following devices
Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 10.14.52 AM

Most exciting features so far
Other than the ones I mentioned above, here are some notable features, some of which Android users will be salivating over (features can be had through third-party apps and not built in to Android):

  • The new Health app which will probably make your Fitbit redundant
  • Searchable photo library by date, location (geo-taggging has to be enabled), album name (I tried the same feature on my Nexus and was also able to search for “sunglasses”, “baby” – a little eerie)
  • Revamped iCloud Drive allows for seamless editing between devices
  • iOS users already shop more than their Android counterparts (I do shop more in my iPad because there’s a lack of shopping apps for Android) and this feature will drive that even more – scanning your credit card within Safari:

IMG_0136

  • Time-lapse video mode to capture “the experience of the sun setting” (similar to Instagram’s Hyperlapse)
  • Family Sharing allows for up to 6 people to share purchases from iTunes, iBooks and the App store – you can set it up via Settings>iCloud>Set up Family Sharing
  • HomeKit programming protocol for developers will allow for third-party devices to connect with your Apple device

The kinks so far and miscellaneous notes
Before you upgrade, consider the following:

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Apple’s iCloud hack and the weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (nothing wrong with that, by the way), you would have read/heard of an iCloud hack that led to exposure of several nude celebrity photos. Somehow, almost every article on this prominently features Hunger Games’ and X-Men actor, Jennifer Lawrence, who is simply one of many victims. 4Chan, the fringe and meme-generating site where the photos were posted, subsequently changed its policy to be more DMCA-compliant and will now remove content after an “infringement notice”. It’s most likely a defensive move against possible lawsuits from the victims involved.

I used to have the iPhone, from the first generation up to the iPhone 4s. When iCloud was launched in 2011, I was quite skeptical of Apple as a cloud storage company and did not even think of turning it on my phone. In 2012, around the time when I upgraded to the 4s, I considered turning iCloud on until I read an article about a writer whose digital life was pretty much erased due to security loopholes in his Amazon and Apple iCloud account. To be clear, the author’s way of daisy-chaining several online accounts were far from ideal but that cemented the idea in my mind that Apple’s iCloud is far from secure.

The recent hack turned out to be a targeted effort to gather the celebrities’ usernames, passwords and security questions and not a breach of iCloud itself. However, it brings us again to the vulnerability of using security questions to recover passwords. In fact, just a few days before the hack, security researchers released a Python script on GitHub that would allow for brute force to guess passwords via Apple’s Find My iPhone service. Apple has since patched the vulnerability but denies security flaws with the iCloud. On that note, whenever available, use multi-factor authentication for your online accounts – the pain is more than worth it.

Read on for this week’s most relevant news in tech and retail.

In Tech:

  1. Celebrity iCloud accounts hacked in a targeted attack leading to nude photo leaks; no security breach on iCloud according to Apple*
  2. United States installs a new Chief Technology Officer: Google(x)’s Megan Smith
  3. Motorola’s Android Wear Moto 360 launched and ready to ship while Apple gears up for possible iWatch and iPhone 6 launch next week
  4. Google rebrands Google Enterprise into Google for Work
  5. Healthcare.gov was breached; no consumer data were taken or viewed

In Retail:

  1. LVMH will relinquish most of 23.2% stake in Hérmes after a four-year battle and will not acquire any shares for the next 5 years; LVMH also ends a 10-year dispute over Google’s search results on counterfeit goods online; the two companies will sign a cooperation agreement to fight sales of counterfeit goods online
  2. Eyewear company, Safilo ends license deal with Gucci two years early after signing a deal with Kering
  3. Permira sells €850M worth of Hugo Boss shares equivalent to 11.2% of share capital; Hugo Boss AG shares fall
  4. Amazon partners with US Mail to deliver groceries in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco
  5. European fashion retailer Zalando, currently valued at $5.3B, announces IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange later this year; IPO offering will sell 10-11% of the company

*For such a large tech company that increasingly handles large amounts of data (iCloud, me.com, mac.com, iTunes), Apple is not transparent about the security features of its services. Worse, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has found that Apple does *not* encrypt email transfers in what is known as the STARTTLS protocol. For all its might, Apple is still a hardware company and they better catch up soon especially when it comes to security.