Apple has told a prominent blogger that about 400 iTunes accounts were compromised during the recent rash of hacks that were used to boost sales of one developer’s apps. Clayton Morris, blogger and co-host of The Grizzly Bear Egg Café podcast, says that Apple responded to an earlier inquiry of his, claiming that only 400 of the 150 million iTunes users—less than 0.0003%—were impacted by the scam. Apple also said that the iTunes servers were not compromised in any way, and that Apple is going to have users enter their credit cards’ security codes more often going forward as an added security measure. The Vietnamese developer responsible for the most high-profile hacks, Thuat Nguyen, has been banned from the App Store.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPads Around the World gallery, and shows an iPad resting in a park, reflecting the image of La Tour McGill in Montreal, Canada. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
Apple has released a maintenance update to iMovie for the iPhone 4 addressing several issues with the 1.0 version. iMovie 1.0.1 improves reliability when exporting movies containing photos, resolves issues with music playback within a project and promises additional performance and reliability improvements. iMovie is available from the App Store in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Web Information Solutions has released an update to its Pocket Information calendar and task manager for the iPhone and iPod touch. The version 1.5 update adds support for iOS 4 background alarms, location and syncing on multitasking-capable devices such as the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch. Local Notifications allow calendar alarms to now be set locally rather than relying on a Push Notification server and Pocket Informant can now take advantage of task completion to finish syncing with online services such as Google Calendar and ToodleDo even after the user has closed the app. The update also provides support for location-based task notifications on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Other improvements include resolution enhancements for the iPhone 4 Retina Display, the ability to associate icons with events and tasks and tap-and-hold context menus in month and week views. The update also improves performance and fixes several bugs from the previous version. Pocket Information 1.5 is available from the App Store for $13 and is a free update for current users.
Apple has released an update to its MobileMe iDisk application, adding iPad support and iOS 4 multitasking capabilities. MobileMe iDisk 1.2 is now a universal app providing native support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The update also adds iOS 4 multitasking support for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices with not only Fast App Switching support but also background audio allowing users to stream audio files from their iDisk while using another app. Users can also now open documents from their iDisk directly in compatible third-party applications, send out shared file links using any configured e-mail account or simply copy a shared file URL to the clipboard to paste into another application. The new version also now displays the last file or directory when opening the app and includes various stability improvements over the previous version. Mobile iDisk 1.2 is available from the App Store as a free download.
A lengthy thread on Mac Rumors’ forums dating back to July 4 suggests that AT&T is at best experiencing data difficulties and at worst outright capping uploads speeds of iPhone 4 users. Many users report seeing upload speeds around 100kbps in places where they previously saw speeds of 1.0mbps and higher just a few days earlier. The phenomenon appears to be most common in major metropolitan areas, including, according to the thread, New York City, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, Columbus, and Orlando. One iLounge editor living in the Orlando area has yet to see the problem in testing using the free speedtest.net app; Mac Rumors says that a couple of users have spoken with AT&T and were told that the company is experiencing data issues in much of the country, although no timetable was given for when the problem might be fixed.
Groundspeak has released a major update to its Geocaching application for iPhone and iPod touch users. Geocaching 4.0 adds a number of popular user-requested features including a functionally redesigned user interface and Google Maps integration. Users can also take photos with the iPhone camera and submit them with geocache logs, submit logs for Trackable items and view and edit log submissions. It is now also possible for users to view any list of caches on the map and view their inventory of Trackable items. The update also provides improved support for Pocket Query downloads, an online/offline indicator, GPS status and support for setting a Home location within the app. Geocaching 4.0 is ”>available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for existing users.
The winners of our Sound Earphones Giveaway have been announced. In the giveaway, five iLounge readers won a $100 Gift Card good towards any product at SoundEarphones.com. Congratulations to all the winners! Don’t forget to enter our V-Moda Crossfade LP Giveaway, our Giveaway of the Month for July.
iLounge is pleased to announce the V-Moda Crossfade LP Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for July, iLounge and V-Moda are giving away five Crossfade LP Headphones. In addition, V-Moda is offering the first 100 people who use coupon code “iLounge” on shop.v-moda.com a free set of Remix Remote earphones with the purchase of Crossfade LP Headphones. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on July 31, 2010 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Apple has issued a response to reports of iTunes users seeing their accounts hacked and used to purchase certain apps in order to build App Store rankings. “The developer Thuat Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns,” Apple told Engadget. “Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded. If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes.” It remains unclear how many accounts were compromised, or how, although it has been suggested that it was a very small percentage of the 100 million active iTunes accounts.
Vaja has debuted its first two cases for the iPhone 4. The iVolution Top is a flip-style case with a fold-forward screen cover, a leather exterior, open access to most ports and controls, and embossed interior lining. It is available in a wide range of colors and leathers and sells for $80. The Classic Retro Slim Bag is a sleeve-style case offering a vertical front stripe and opening for the power button for $55. Both of Vaja’s new cases for the iPhone 4 are available for order now.
Gowalla has released an update to its social location sharing app for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding support for iOS 4 multitasking and adding new high-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina Display. iOS 4 improvements include support for Fast App Switching and continuous tracking of nearby spots as well as other improvements in how Gowalla handles location tracking. New users can now sign up for a Gowalla account directly within the app, including the ability to fill in information from the iPhone Address Book and the update also improves the process of connecting to Twitter and Facebook. Gowalla 2.2 is available from the App Store as a free download. A separate iPad version is also available.
Apple has increased its monthly iPad orders to its Taiwanese manufacturing partners to over two million units in July, according to a Digitimes report. Citing Digitimes Research analyst Mingchi Kuo, the report claims that Apple is estimated to have ordered roughly 2.3 million iPads in July with a mix of 58-60% iPad with Wi-Fi +3G models despite the Wi-Fi-only model’s stronger sales in the first half of the year. The iPad is currently available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K., and will launch in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July. [via Mac Rumors]
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is now expected to skip the annual Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, according to new report. The Financial Times claims that Jobs has told some he plans to skip the event, while telling others that he was “leaning against” attending, but remained undecided. This contradicts a BusinessWeek report from late last month that claimed Jobs was expected to appear, and speculated that he would use the gathering of notable CEOs and leaders from both the technology and media industries as a opportunity to convince some executives to offer more content for Apple’s devices. Jobs has attended the conference twice in the past, in 1999 and 2005.
SK Telecom is in talks with Apple about offering both the iPhone and service for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in South Korea. The Wall Street Journal reports that SK Telecom CEO Jung Man-won recently said that the companies were in talks, but admitted that “some noises about problems with the latest iPhone” were worrisome. “We’ve built a solid reputation for offering good after-service for handsets, and we can’t take any risks,” he added. According to the report, SK Telecom has seen significant competition from rival KT due to the latter’s sale of the iPhone; KT plans to launch the iPhone 4 in July, while no plans have yet been made concerning the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in South Korea.
Users of Nike+ compatible iPhone and iPod touch models running iOS 4 are reporting a number of issues using the exercise companion system. Issues reported on a lengthy Nike forum thread include difficulty in linking with sensor, the inability to resume a workout after a pause, lack of spoken feedback, uncomfortably loud spoken feedback, workout distance totals that are double the true distance, failure of new workout distances to be added to workout totals, out of order playlists, and more. A Nike representative is monitoring the thread, and has said a team is “attempting to summarize and quantify this information for internal purposes and for [their] colleagues at Apple.” The representative appears confident that a fix will be available soon for affected users, although it’s unclear whether such a fix can be rolled out independently of a larger software update from Apple. [via Macworld UK]
Ten One Design has posted a demonstration video showing off the company’s pressure-sensitive software for the iPad. Using the software in a demo sketch application, along with a Pogo Sketch stylus, a Ten One designer is able to vary the line width drawn on the screen by differing the amount of pressure exerted. The video also shows off advanced palm and finger rejection, allowing the application to respond solely to the stylus. While the company says it plans to release these capabilities as a free library that can be included in any application, it admits that the library currently uses a private function call to access the required information, and will require an update to the UIKit framework to allow for widespread distribution. Ten One’s pressure-sensitive drawing video is available for viewing on YouTube and can be seen in embedded form below.
A number of iTunes users are reporting that their accounts have been hacked and used to purchase a select group of applications, boosting the App Store rankings of those titles in the process. The Next Web initially reported that the titles in question were Books applications sold by developer Thuat Nguyen, which have subsequently been removed from the App Store. Upon further inspection and based on more reader reports, the site found that several companies are using hacked accounts to boost sales of their apps across multiple categories. Notably, at least one iLounge editor has seen his account hacked within the last month, although the fraudulent App Store purchases made while the account was compromised were not for apps made by any of the companies named in The Next Web’s report.
It is unclear exactly how the companies in question are acquiring the affected users’ account data, however, Mac Rumors points out that similar iTunes account hackings have been reported on its forums since January 2008, and argues that despite the rise in reports, which may be attributed to the added press coverage, the number of accounts being hacked is actually minuscule compared to the 100 million active iTunes accounts.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has indicated that Nintendo will not be bringing any of its games to hardware platforms manufactured by other companies. In responding to a question following a recent investors meeting, Iwata stated that “Nintendo’s software and hardware are the same thing,” and that “[o]ther companies don’t share Nintendo’s values or traditions when it comes to creating devices.” Although Iwata did not specifically mention Apple, iOS devices or the App Store, the general statement is that Nintendo only plans to release its titles for hardware created by the company itself, maintaining its current closed development model. [via TUAW]
In a post on Apple’s iPhone Developer News site the company has provided some additional details concerning the roll out of its new iAd advertising platform. As expected, the rollout began July 1st, however this initial rollout is limited to North America only, with the service scheduled to be deployed outside of North America in “a few months.” Apple also notes that only a few ads will initially be appearing but the number of ads served will be increased over the next few weeks and months. A separate post provides additional information for developers on displaying iAds within their applications and cautions developers to take steps to avoid blank banners appearing when ads are not available, noting that apps that display blank iAd banners will not be accepted by the App Store Review Team.