AT&T today removed the option for unlimited cellular data for all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users, but has said eligible users will once again be able to select the plan. On June 7, AT&T changed its data plan pricing structure, removing the $30/month unlimited option which had become familiar to iPhone users and replacing it with a max plan offering 2GB of data for $25 a month. The company quickly clarified that iPhone and iPad users on existing unlimited plans would be able to keep their plans indefinitely, and promised that all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users who ordered their device by June 7 would be able to opt in to the unlimited plan as well. Engadget reports that following today’s removal of the unlimited option, the company said that everyone who is eligible “will be able to select the unlimited plan,” and that “details will follow.”
Apple has released iBooks 1.1, the first major update to its e-Book reading and purchasing software for iOS devices. As revealed by Apple in its WWDC keynote address, iBooks 1.1 offers compatibility with the iPad as well as any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4, and features several noteworthy improvements, including PDF support, the ability to highlight text, add notes, and bookmark, the latter two of which are reflected in the book’s Table of Contents, wireless syncing of notes, highlights, and page position between devices, and, interestingly, support for iTunes Digital Booklet files once they’ve been marked as a Book in iTunes. iBooks 1.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
According to the latest data from Millennial Media (PDF Link), Apple’s share of overall U.S. mobile device ad impressions is on the decline. In May, Apple devices accounted for around 25% of all impressions, down sharply from 35% the month before. The report gives no indication as to whether Apple’s changes to the iOS developer agreement, which banned the sharing of user and device data with third party ad networks and analytics tools, had any affect on the results. Also of interest in the report is a new section on mobile developer trends. The report claims that 90% of all U.S. developers are single-platform, with 56% of those focused on iOS development, followed by 29% that are focused on Andoid. Millennial Media’s numbers are based on impressions served on its network of mobile sites and apps, which reaches 82% of the U.S. mobile audience, according to the company.
Last night Apple rolled out a number of updates to its MobileMe service. Most notably, the company brought its enhanced MobileMe webmail application out of beta, giving the web app a more iPad-like interface. Improvements include widescreen and compact views, the ability to use mail rules to automate organization, faster performance, support for sending mail from a different, non MobileMe address, and improved junk mail filtering. Also new is the navigation screen, which replaces the old row of icons at the top of the page with a single cloud icon. When clicked, or when evoked using the key combination of Shift-Esc, it brings up a Mac OS X-like application switcher that lets the user move between applications. These updates join the new Find My iPhone application, which was launched alongside the updates.
Andrew Auernheimer, a key member of the Goatse Security group that recently went public with its exploitation of an AT&T security hole that exposed the email addresses of tens of thousands iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G customers, has been arrested on a number of unrelated felony charges. Cnet reports that Auernheimer was arrested following the execution of a FBI search warrant, and is charged with four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor possession charge, with the drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals. Auernheimer, writing under the first name Escher, recently penned a response to AT&T regarding the security attack, claiming that AT&T “would have never fixed” the problem if his group hadn’t gone public.
In an interview with CNBC, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made several comments relating to the iPad and iPhone. When asked about the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G and its potential in the enterprise market, Stephenson said, “I think this is going to be really a significant product for enterprise. You think about, you know, our objective is just to mobilize everything. Whether it’s in the home or the workplace, this is a device that really lets you think differently about mobilizing all of the applications that you see in business. And we’re getting a strong interest from our large business customers on bringing this device into their environments, and whether it’s working with the salesforce, whether it’s order takers, any number of areas, are really excited about bringing this device in.”
When asked about the iPad users’ data usage, he explained that “it obviously generates a lot of data usage, which is a good thing from our view point, but the beautiful thing about this device is[..] when you’re in a Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s running on the Wi-Fi network, when you’re out roaming, you’re on the AT&T 3G network.” Stephenson was also asked about the company’s relationship with Apple, describing it as “terrific” and said of the iPhone that “we feel like together we’ve kinda changed the telecom industry,” before adding that in the last three years data usage is up 5,000%.
Finally, he addressed the question of voice quality, describing the uptake and demand for mobile broadband “dramatic,” and admitting that it had an effect on voice quality. “We have been going hard at the voice quality issue in New York, and made tremendous progress,” he added. “And so, we’re getting to a point where voice quality is getting to where it should be, and mobile broadband is the fastest in the nation. as measured by any number of independent people.” The video of Stephenson’s interview is available from the above link or in embedded form below. [via Mac Rumors]
Escher Auernheimer, a member of the security group Goatse Security, has posted a public response to AT&T’s customer email regarding the recent exposure of over 100,000 customer emails and SIM ICC-ID numbers. He claims that if the group and the third parties had not exposed the security hole, AT&T “would have never fixed” the problem, and that the company “had plenty of time to inform the public” about the problem before Goatse went public, but it did not, and also pointed out that the potential for exploitation of other vulnerabilities still exists. “AT&T is not highlighting the potential for a skilled attacker to use a Safari exploit, or other iPad application exploit based on this dataset to takeover the iPad,” Auernheimer said. “A complete list of iPad 3G customers (which could have been generated from this vulnerability) would have the ideal bit of data for those in the RBN with zero-day Safari exploits to acquire.”
Editor’s Note: Although it’s not prevalent, there is a small amount of foul language towards the end of Auernheimer’s post, making it possibly NSFW.
Good.iWare has released another update to its highly popular PDF reading application for the iPad, adding a number of enhancements to PDF reading. GoodReader for iPad 2.8 introduces horizontal page turning for PDF files for a more book-like reading experience. The new version also provides the ability to rotate PDF files, automatically crop margins for a full-screen view of text and display two-page spreads in landscape view. GoodReader also now pre-caches PDF files for better performance when turning pages and adds support for Apple’s iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, allowing documents to be displayed on a secondary monitor, TV or digital projector. GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for $1 and is a free update for existing users.
Silvio Rizzi has released an iPad version of his popular Reeder RSS client for iOS. Reeder for iPad brings over all of the features from the iPhone and iPod touch version, including Google Reader sync, browsing by feed or folder, starring and sharing items, image caching, and integration with third-party services such as Instapaper, Twitter, Delicioius and Pinboard. The iPad version introduces a redesigned interface for the iPad with a split-screen reading view and feeds and folders shown as thumbnails. Users can open folders using a pinch gesture—individual feeds appear as thumbnails and expand outward with the same effect as opening albums within the iPad Photos application. Reeder for iPad is available from the App Store for $5.
AT&T has sent out an email to its iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G customers explaining the situation surrounding the recent exposure of over 100,000 customer emails and SIM ICC-ID numbers. Titled “Important Information About Your iPad 3G,” the email from AT&T Senior Vice President Dorothy Attwood states that a group of “unauthorized computer ‘hackers’” used a web address that’s part of the iPad log-in process to determine users’ iCC-ID numbers and get their email addresses. It also states that AT&T took “swift action to prevent any further unauthorized exposure of customer email addresses,” and that [w]ithin hours, AT&T disabled the mechanism that automatically populated the email address.” “I want to assure you that the email address and ICC-ID were the only information that was accessible,” Attwood writes. “Your password, account information, the contents of your email, and any other personal information were never at risk. The hackers never had access to AT&T communications or data networks, or your iPad.” The publication of details relating to the matter recently led the FBI to launch an investigation into the matter.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an inquiry into the recent security breach on AT&T’s website that led to the exposure of more than 100,000 iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G customers’ email addresses and SIM IDs. “The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyber threat,” FBI spokesman Jason Pack told Reuters. The security hole, which was found and exploited by a group called Goatse Security, has since been closed, claims AT&T. The investigation isn’t surprising, the report claims, quoting an unnamed telecommunications executive as saying ““if there’s a high profile data compromise it’s not unusual to get a phone call from government officials.”
A security hole on AT&T’s website has led to the exposure of email addresses and SIM ICC-ID numbers for 114,000 iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users. Gawker reports that a security company known as Goatse Security discovered a script on AT&T’s website, accessible by the public, through which it obtained the data. While the security group did notify AT&T of the breach, and the company subsequently closed the security hole, the group admits it shared the PHP script it used to harvest the data with several third-parties prior to AT&T’s action, meaning that the accounts of all 114,000 known users, and possibly more, have potentially been compromised. Included in the breach were the email addresses and ICC-ID numbers of a number of high-ups in the media, tech, and financial industries, as well as a number of senior government officials, allegedly including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Despite the leak, a notable security expert at the University of Virginia told Gawker the exposure of ICC-ID information “has no direct security consequences.” AT&T and Apple have yet to comment on the matter.
Cisco has reached an agreement to license its iOS trademark to Apple. During its WWDC 2010 keynote address, Apple announced that it would be changing the name of iPhone OS to “iOS,” which was covered under a Cisco trademark relating to its “IOS” network infrastructure software. “Cisco has agreed to license the iOS trademark to Apple for use as the name of Apple’s operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad,” Cisco said in a statement reprinted on a company blog. “The license is for use of the trademark only and not for any technology.” Notably, Cisco was also the owner of the iPhone trademark when Apple first introduced the phone in January of 2007; the dispute over the name led to a lawsuit which was eventually dropped when the two companies came to an agreement to share the iPhone name.
Apple today renamed its mobile device operating system, replacing the former iPhone OS moniker with “iOS.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the change during his WWDC keynote address, and used the opportunity to highlight some of iOS 4’s previously revealed features, including multitasking, folders, the unified Mail inbox, rotation lock, and enterprise features like Exchange Server 2010 support, wireless app distribution, mobile device management, data protection, and SSL VPN support. In an update on the new iAd advertising service, Jobs mentioned a number of large brands that have signed on to the service, including Nissan, Citibank, GE, Sears, Target, Best Buy, and others; the service will go live on July 1 for all iOS 4 devices, with $60 million committed for the second half of 2010.
New to the OS will be an option to use Bing search instead of Google or Yahoo!; Jobs also revealed that the 100 millionth iOS device will be sold this month. Developers can download the gold master of iOS 4 beginning today by visiting the iPhone Dev Center; iOS 4 will launch on June 21 as a free upgrade for all applicable products, including the second- and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS.
During today’s WWDC keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed several enhancements to the iBooks app for the iPad. The new version will offer highlighting and note taking, with an option to bookmark a page and have the bookmark appear in the table of contents. In addition, the new version of iBooks will offer support for reading PDF files. Jobs noted that the iBookstore has seen five million downloads in the first 65 days, for an average of 2.5 books per iPad, and offers books from five out of the six largest publishers in the U.S., taking a 22% share of eBook sales in just eight weeks. The updated version of iBooks will be released later this month.
Appremix has released an update to its Boxcar Push Notification application for the iPhone platform. Boxcar 3.0 is now a universal app, adding iPad support and a revamped inbox with a pull-down-to-refresh feature, the ability to delete individual notifications and five new notification sounds. Notably, all push notification services offered by Boxcar are now free—previous versions provided one service at no charge and required users to purchase additional notification services via in-app purchase for $1-$2 each. Instead, the new version appears to be ad-supported, with a $5 in-app purchase option for users who would like to upgrade to the ad-free version. Ads are not yet appearing in the application and it is unclear whether or not existing users who have previously purchased additional services will be required to purchase the ad-free upgrade separately. Boxcar 3.0 is available from the App Store as a free download; existing users should receive the new version automatically.
Lexcycle has released a Universal update to Stanza, its acclaimed e-book reader application. Stanza 3.0 adds native iPad support as well as support for PDF, DjVu and Comic Book Archive formats. iPad users can now transfer e-books directly onto their device using the iTunes File Sharing section as well as opening support book formats directly from web pages and e-mail attachments. Additional language support for Turkish and Bulgarian users has also been added. Stanza continues to provide support for a wide variety of e-book formats, including ePub, eReader and Mobipocket as well as direct integration with a number of e-book services from directly within the application. Stanza 3.0 is available from the App Store as a free download; existing users should receive the universal update automatically.
AT&T is considering letting customers who have pre-ordered an iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G sign up for an unlimited data plan. The New York Times reports that AT&T is contemplating the move in the face of widespread iPad shortages that may leave some customers interested in the unlimited data plan unable to sign up prior to the data plan switch over on Monday. “We are looking into this situation and how we can accommodate these customers,” an AT&T spokesperson told the NYT. According to the report, AT&T would allow customers who have paid for, but not yet received, an iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G to sign up for unlimited data ahead of when the device actually arrives; until such a solution is announced, iPad users have until 11:59 on June 6 to sign up for unlimited data, which will then need to be automatically renewed each month in order to not fall back on the company’s new data plans, which max out at 2GB for $25 a month.
Update: AT&T has confirmed that customers who pre-order the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G by June 7 will be eligible for the $30 unlimited plan. “[N]o need to worry,” a company spokesperson wrote on AT&T’s Facebook Wall, “we will honor the $29.99 unlimited data pricing for customers who order iPad by June 7.”
Following AT&T’s decision to introduce new “smartphone” plans that will impact iPhone and iPad 3G users, the company has been flooded with negative sentiments from angry customers. The company’s Facebook Wall is filled with comments ranging from well-mannered and sensible sentiments—“Just imagine the good PR you guys will get if you offer the tethering for free with the [DataPro] plan, it won’t change anything in your service since everybody will use the same data that [they are] already paying [for]”—to bolder and frequently brutal ones, such as “AT&T is showing their true colors… They really truly suck.” Many users, including iLounge readers, have focused about the abrupt change in iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G service terms after only a month on store shelves. “Bait and Switch,” says iLounge reader Liz. “They pumped the iPad 3G for months on the unlimited data plan with no contract and now they’re taking it away only what 2 months or less since the 3G launched? Screw AT&T I’d rather pay the big cash to another carrier and use MiFi instead.”
A quick search of Twitter for the hashtag “#attsucks” turns up numerous recent tweets, for obvious reasons all negative. “I’m sure of two things: as of 6/7 I’m giving $15 less to AT&T each month,” writes user davehiggins1. “As of 11/20 I’m giving $0 to AT&T each month.” Twitter user HelloTasmin writes, “Does it actually make it better that I pay slightly less for a service that becomes sh!*!ier every day?” It remains to be seen whether the backlash will force AT&T’s hand to remedy some of the newly-created issues; however, as iLounge reader Devo points out in a comment on our editorial on the matter, there is some precedent for iPhone-related customer outcry leading a carrier to change its policies.
“When Apple finally announced that Canadians [were] going to get their chance to get their hands on a (legitimate) iPhone, Rogers communications (our AT&T equivalent provider north of the border) announced some pretty lousy data plans,” Devo writes. “In fact, some of them had (have) ridiculously low caps. I think they started [at] 100MB! Canadian customers were so [put] off that Americans were being offered unlimited data that a petition was started to try and force Rogers to offer the same, an unlimited plan at a fair ($30) price. What we got was a limited time offer of 6GB for that $30, and yes I signed up for that. Then last summer, Rogers got wise and when Apple offered tethering on the iPhone, customers could use that service, free of any additional charge, and any data usage incurred would count towards that month’s allowed data. Now AT&T wants to make the same mistakes as Rogers, and hopes to get away with it? What are they thinking? Who in the world thinks it’s a good idea to offer worse service at a higher price, than was available to consumers in the past. They must think you’re all idiots.”