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Getting to know AirDrop on iOS 7

We've all seen the Samsung commercials wherein iOS users are constantly made fun of for buying into Apple products. One of the features often shown off in those commercials has been NFC sharing of documents and photos when two users bump the backs of the their latest Galaxy devices -- something everyone knows iOS devices can't do.

Apple took note of the dig at its products and has implemented a feature it assures users will be better than having to run around tapping phones together.

That feature is called AirDrop.

AirDrop may sound familiar to OS X users, … Read more

Touch ID hack verified as legit

Well, that didn't take long. Barely 48 hours after the iPhone 5S hit the streets, its Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been fooled by a Germany-based group called the Chaos Computer Club and confirmed independently.

Independent security researchers confirmed that the successful iPhone hack, by a researcher named Starbug, unlocked the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint that had been transposed onto a thin strip of what appears to be latex. Videos by Starbug and the security researchers who were able to replicate Starbug's methodology don't show how the fingerprint was transposed to the latex, but they do … Read more

How to reduce background motion, Parallax on iOS 7

When Apple unveiled iOS 7 during its annual World Wide Developers Conference back in June, one of the first features shown off was a background that moves as you move your phone. The feature, called Parallax, shifts the point of view of your background image and icons to match how you're holding the phone.

Instead of being a feature that adds needed functionality, this is strictly a feature for good looks. And for those who find it to be a pointless feature, it can easily be lessened. To get started go to Settings > General > Accessibility.

Select the … Read more

The 404 1,348: Where we stop and frisk the iPhone 5S (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- No joke, iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty.

- Contest over: Hackers claim to have defeated Apple's Touch ID print sensor.

- NYPD wants you to update to iOS 7.

- What it took to get the gold Apple iPhone 5S on opening day.

- The hunt for the gold iPhone: Business Insider has evidence that the shortage is deliberate.

- 68 years after World War II, the sheet music of an old German march might be a treasure map to Nazi gold.… Read more

Where did Spotlight go in iOS 7?

Spotlight is a universal search box on iOS devices that makes it possible to quickly search for and find an app, contact, or e-mail directly from the home screen.

In previous versions of iOS, users would swipe to the left of the main home screen to access the search box. In iOS 7, as you may have already discovered, Spotlight is no longer located in the same spot.

Now, instead of swiping to the left of the main home screen, you can swipe down on any home screen to pull down the search field.

This is the same way users … Read more

Surface 2 accessories step up: Backlit Type and Touch Covers, Power Cover, Docking Station (hands-on)

How do you improve upon the Surface, Microsoft's tablet-as-PC that debuted last year? Internal upgrades are always welcome: more battery life, a better display, amped-up graphics. But the real killer apps of the next Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets might once again be the accessories.

The Type Cover was the one part I loved the most about the last Surface Pro, for good reason: it worked great, felt small, and acted as a screen cozy. The Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 make small but very important improvements: they both add backlit keyboards, and the Touch … Read more

Getting to know Control Center on iOS 7

The simple act of enabling Bluetooth, or disabling Wi-Fi on an iOS device has never been truly simple. The process required way too many taps to navigate to a switch buried deep within the Settings app.

With iOS 7 the process to control things such as Wi-Fi, orientation lock, music, brightness, airplane mode, and Do Not Disturb has been streamlined into a convenient panel. Selecting any of the respective buttons for a service at the top of the panel, such as Bluetooth, will toggle the status of said service.

In addition to quick access to the controls mentioned above, you'… Read more

Hackers claim to have defeated Apple's Touch ID print sensor

A day after the iPhone 5S hit the streets, a group of hackers in Germany said they have bypassed the biometric security on Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint sensor by using "easy everyday means."

The Chaos Computer Club announced late Saturday that it defeated the security system by photographing an iPhone user's fingerprint from a glass surface and using that captured image to verify the user's login credentials. The Touch ID sensor, which resides under the home button of the iPhone 5S, can replace the four-digit passcode to unlock the handset and authorize iTunes Store … Read more

7 unexpected features in iOS 7

My review of Apple's iOS 7 went up Wednesday morning, but since then I've been writing posts about what I think are the seven best and seven worst things about the new mobile OS.

Here is the third and final part of this series, covering some unexpected or hidden features in iOS 7.

There are certainly a ton of things that people are finding as they use iOS 7, so this is just a list of things that caught my attention over the past couple of days. If you have other hidden gems, please let me know in … Read more

Sen. Franken questions privacy of iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, has some concerns about privacy issues related to the iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook Thursday night, Franken included a series of questions concerning the safety of the biometric data stored and legal protections Apple might offer for the the fingerprint data.

"Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent," Franken wrote. "If you don't tell anyone your password, no one will know what it is. If someone hacks … Read more