Does Apple Plan an Online iPhone/iPad Backup Service?

Last Updated Jun 6, 2011 7:44 AM EDT There are third-party iOS apps that permit users to back up data to a cloud service and restore it when necessary. However, a patent application made public today suggests that those vendors may soon compete with Apple (AAPL) itself. The application, titled Restoring Data to a Mobile Device, has the following abstract:Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for backing up and restoring data to a mobile device. In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of receiving data from a mobile device to be included in a backup, the data including data associated with one or more mobile device applications; storing the data in a backup archive; generating a backup mapping file for each of the mobile device applications, each backup mapping file identifying each file in the backup associated with the respective application; and using the backup mapping files to restore the corresponding applications to the mobile device. The abstract is separate from the claims, which are what can eventually receive legal protection through a granted patent. And clearly Apple can't patent the overall idea of online backup. However, the abstract does give a sense of the interesting approach that Apple has conceived. As the application points out later, one of the problems with online backup is that it often is an all-or-nothing approach. You restore everything. But that might not be necessary:Data can be lost or corrupted on a mobile device. For example, a user may need to perform a reset on the mobile device that erases some data. A user can also manually delete data from the mobile device, for example, by deleting particular installed applications or files from the mobile device. Why restore everything when the problem might only be a few files? Apple's backup process would track associations between applications Continue Reading

Apple Wants To Store Your History in the Cloud

Last Updated Apr 14, 2011 4:37 PM EDT Most online backup is about keeping the latest and greatest version of what resides on a device, whether a PC, tablet, or smartphone. Online backup is likely part of Apple's plans, as BNET's Damon Brown has noted. There's also that rumor of Apple buying 12 petabytes of storage. Some think the storage would be for iTunes video. But maybe the storage is for far more than just video. Three recent patent filings suggest that Apple has a super version of backup on its mind. Someone would be able to go into an application (like iTunes or the App Store), find what material was available at a previous time, and recover any or all of what once was there. In programming and engineering, a similar concept is called version control. Software tracks the difference between file versions when saved and can recover previous versions. The Apple patent applications discuss something that seems like version control for applications that would run on an iPhone or iPad. The underlying concept isn't new for Apple; the patent applications refer to and incorporate by reference applications that date back to August 2006. One of the new applications became public today, and two more last week:Application-Based Backup-Restore Of Electronic Information User Interface For Backup Management Navigation Of Electronic Backups We won't focus on whether Apple locks up some feature or function. Instead, consider the company's strategic direction. For that reason, here are the application abstracts, rather than the actual claims: Systems and methods for storing and restoring backup data. One method includes receiving, while a current view of an application is displayed in a user interface, a first user input requesting a history view associated with the current view of the application. The history view is displayed in response to the first user input, the history view including at least a first visual representation of an earlier version of the current view of Continue Reading

CBS News Logo Apple left in dark on how FBI hacked San Bernardino shooter iPhone

WASHINGTON -- The FBI's announcement that it mysteriously hacked into an iPhone is a public setback for Apple Inc., as consumers suddenly discover they can't keep their most personal information safe. Meanwhile, Apple remains in the dark about how to restore the security of its flagship product. The government said it was able to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in a mass shooting in California, but it didn't say how. That puzzled Apple software engineers -- and outside experts -- about how the FBI broke the digital locks on the phone without Apple's help. It also complicated Apple's job repairing flaws that jeopardize its software. The Justice Department's announcement that it was dropping a legal fight to compel Apple to help it access the phone also took away any obvious legal avenues Apple might have used to learn how the FBI did it. The Justice Department declined through a spokeswoman to comment Tuesday. A few clues have emerged. A senior law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the FBI managed to defeat an Apple security feature that threatened to delete the phone's contents if the FBI failed to enter the correct passcode combination after 10 tries. That allowed the government to repeatedly and continuously test passcodes in what's known as a brute-force attack until the right code is entered and the phone is unlocked. It wasn't clear how the FBI dealt with a related Apple security feature that introduces increasing time delays between guesses. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss the technique publicly. FBI Director James Comey has said with those features removed, the FBI could break into the phone in 26 minutes. The FBI hacked into the iPhone used by gunman Syed Farook, who died with his wife in a gun battle with police after they killed 14 people in December in San Bernardino. The iPhone, issued to Farook by his employer, the county health department, was found in a vehicle the Continue Reading

CBS News Logo 3 common iPhone battery problems and how to fix them

Is your iPhone slowing down with age? Or, in the case of its battery life, speeding up? One of the first signs of age on an iPhone is the battery not holding a charge as long as it once did. Of course, you might also experience odd battery behavior on a relatively new iPhone, where the battery conks out before the meter hits zero. Here are three common battery problems -- short battery life, shutting off unexpectedly, getting warm while charging -- and how to fix them. My battery dies quickly There could be any number of reasons for why your iPhone's battery is draining quicker than usual, but the first place to start your investigation is Settings > Battery.  Under Battery Usage, you can peruse a list of your apps and see how much battery each has consumed in the past 24 hours or seven days. If you can live without a battery-hungry app, then delete it. Before deleting an app, make sure you read the fine print and see if underneath its name in the above list, you see Background Activity or Background Location listed. An app might be eating more than its fair share of battery resources because it's continually updating in the background or constantly requesting your location. For the former, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and you can disable it altogether or for individual apps. For the latter, head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and, again, you can disable it globally or just for apps that are overusing the feature. I've also read that people have experienced better battery life by turning off "Hey Siri" because it means your iPhone isn't always listening, waiting to spring into action when you utter those two magic words. To disable this feature, go to Settings > Siri and toggle off Allow "Hey Siri." Sudden shutdowns This one is harder to pin down, where your iPhone dies before the battery meter hits zero. I've read advice about calibrating your iPhone's battery Continue Reading

From earbuds to e-hoodies, your student is going to need a lot of tech

If you have a student heading off to college, there seems to be no end to the tech gear that's required. From laptops and chargers to speakers and streamers, we’ve rounded up the latest tech gadgets to put on your Back to School shopping list. Laptops Students headed to college need a sturdy, reliable laptop that will last them, hopefully, right through graduation day. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop gets high grades for being light enough to carry to and from class, powerful enough to tear through spreadsheets and presentations, with enough battery life to get through a full day of classes and studying. It has a 13.5-inch touchscreen display and a built-in HD webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition to automatically log you in and keep curious roommates out. We love the Alcantara material-covered keyboard that adds just a touch of luxury, especially if you get one of the new colors, such as Burgundy or Cobalt Blue. And if you prefer using a mouse instead of a touch pad, the portable Surface Arc Mouse comes in a matching color. The Surface Laptop comes with Windows 10 S pre-loaded, Microsoft’s new OS that’s designed to deliver a more secure Windows experience. However, that security limits you to only using apps from the Windows store, which might feel limiting. If that’s the case, you can switch to Windows 10 Pro for free until the end of the year. Touchscreen If your student has a perfectly good laptop but wants an upgrade to a touchscreen device, save yourself the cost of a new laptop with the AirBar, a slim device that attaches to the bottom of the display with magnets. It emits an invisible light field that senses touch from a finger or stylus, turning it into a touchscreen computer you can pinch, zoom and scroll. Yes, even a 13-inch MacBook Air. There are a variety of different sizes for PCs running Continue Reading

How to set up a new iPhone the right way

You've just got a new iPhone. Now what?If you’re like many smartphone owners, you toss your old device into a drawer and start to set up the new phone – but you might be making the transition more difficult than it needs to be, and perhaps carrying over some not-so-great habits from your old iPhone to your new one.To get the most out of your iPhone 8 (from $699), iPhone 8 Plus (from $799) or iPhone X ($999 up) consider these following suggestions right off the bat.Don’t ditch your old phone just yet. You’re likely going to need it to migrate content to the new iPhone you just bought. If emails I receive from readers are any indication, many people prematurely sell, trade-in or hand-down an older phone, only to realize you didn’t quite get everything you needed off the old device.Unless you’re selling your old iPhone, you can also keep and use your older charger cable and earbuds — though you’ll have to use an adaptor for the earbuds, as there’s no headphone jack on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X.Speaking of keeping things, when you buy your new iPhone, don’t ditch the receipt or box. Some retailers don’t accept returns without boxes. Or if you want to resell your iPhone privately one day — perhaps on eBay, Craigslist, or Gazelle — it’ll help your chances of selling it if you list the box is included. More: How to make the most money selling your old iPhone More: Genius new uses for that old iPhone If you were using an older iPhone and liked your settings and apps, and such, it’s super easy to set up your new iPhone to look and operate like your old one.PC and Mac users can simply plug in the old iPhone into the USB port, and once iTunes opens, choose to back-up its contents to the computer’s hard drive – if iTunes doesn’t do this automatically for you. Once the process is completed, plug the new iPhone into the USB port and in iTunes, Continue Reading

This is how you can recover deleted photos from your iPhone or Android phone

"Delete. Delete. Sh*t. No, I didn't mean to delete that last one!" We've all been over zealous at some point deleting pictures and we've accidentally deleted the perfect picture to Instagram or even worse, we've accidentally delete a whole album of vacation pictures. Thankfully, when it comes to technology there is always a way to recover lost items. Apple made photo-recovery easy with iOS8, but when it comes to recovering deleted photos from Android phones and memory cards you'll need a little assistance from a third-party application. Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android phone, this guide will help you recover deleted photos from your devices. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that once you've deleted the pictures or other files, it is safe to not use your device until the data is recovered. When a picture is deleted it is not deleted permanently, but rather it just opens up space for more data. Any operation on your device then—including taking photos—can generate new data and overwrite that space, which would make lost data unrecoverable. iPhone: Apple made it extremely easy to recover deleted photos in its latest OS. This is how to do it: Step 1: Access your Photos App and go into your albums. Step 2: Scroll to the bottom and tap on "Recently Deleted." Step 3: In that photo folder you will find all the photos you have deleted within the last 30 days. To recover you simply have to tap the photo you want and press "Recover." You can also press "Delete" to get rid of that photo permanently. ***Note: If there's a picture you were looking for that's older than 30 days then you would have to either restore your phone using a saved backup on iTunes or used a third-party photo recovery app. Android: There are various apps in the Android market that will help you recover your lost data. You can try and experiment with several to see which one is better, Continue Reading

Apple fixing iOS 8 update bug plaguing iPhone 6, 6 Plus

iPhones have caught a bug. Apple pulled the iOS 8.0.1 update Wednesday after users found their cell service was knocked out when they downloaded the new version, according to Tech Crunch. Employees are working on fixing the problem, which has plagued only iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners. “We have received reports of an issue with the iOS 8.0.1 update,” said an Apple spokeswoman. “We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can. In the meantime we have pulled back the update.” Installing the update has also affected the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the website. The software update includes a number of remedies, and solved a problem experienced by users trying to download the HealthKit app, which streamlines health and fitness data on the phone dashboard. It’s also supposed to fix a problem that prevented the uploading of photos and videos from Safari, and restores ringtones to iCloud backups, according to USA Today. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Blackberry outage cripples users across United States, RIM working to fix email, message problems

The BlackBerry failures sweeping across the globe hit the U.S. Wednesday, exasperating users and hampering businesses dependent on the sullied smartphones. The annoying glitches, which affect messaging, email and Internet services, struck North America after infecting Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Research in Motion Ltd., the Canadian company that makes the phones, attributed the disruptions to infrastructure problems in Europe and a backup system failure. That led to a mountain of backlogged emails and other messages and RIM officials said they were able to restore some service last night. That wasn't much comfort to hordes of frustrated BlackBerry users in New York and elsewhere. "I run a business off of my BlackBerry, and I can't do anything," said Christine Giachetti, of the upper East Side, who owns an eco-friendly tote bag company. "I think it's time to switch to the iPhone." Loren Schneid, a consultant from Tribeca, was even more blunt. "They're pieces of s--t as far as I'm concerned," said Schneid, 32. "They're a dying dog. They're just not keeping up with the whole consumer-friendly point of view that Apple has taken." Several BlackBerry users took to Twitter to air their outrage. "Dear BlackBerry, sort yourself out. You're meant to be a smartphone!" wrote a user with the Twitter handle, katierosejane. "I have a #BlackBerry, but it doesn't work," wrote benwakeling. "The equipment's there, but it's useless. This must be what it feels like to have a vasectomy." The outage has come at a perilous time for Research in Motion. The firm is under intense pressure from a series of rivals, including Apple, with stronger sales and splashier products on the market. The bug first struck Europe, Africa and the Middle East on Monday. The next day, the data issues spread to BlackBerry customers in Brazil, India, Chile and Argentina. Hours after the problems struck the U.S., Research in Motion's David Yach sought to calm nerves by Continue Reading

How to switch from Android to iPhone, and what you lose if you do

Somehow, for years, you resisted the lure of the iPhone. You happily stuck with Android, while rolling your eyes at Apple fanboys and fangirls camping out ahead of the launch of a new device. You accepted the fact that it’s harder to find fitted cases and other accessories for your less popular smartphone. You even argued with friends about which operating system is better. But as much as you tried to shrug off joining the iSheep, you’ve come to a sobering realization: you want a new iPhone. Like, a lot. If you’re serious about making the switch from Android – perhaps the 10th anniversary of the iconic device is the year to pull the trigger – there are some things you need to know about what you'll give up. And you could probably benefit from learning how to properly transfer everything over to your shiny new iPhone.  More: How to set up a new iPhone the right way More: Try these 10 games on your new iPhone or Android More: Apps that made me say wow in 2017 Before you attempt to switch from Android to iPhone, the first thing you should do is ensure all of your existing phone’s information is backed-up — whether you use a cloud service, microSD card, or transfer data over to a computer for safe keeping – just in case migrating your information from Android to iOS doesn’t work 100%.  More: What's the best way to back up your iPhone or Android? Next, the best way to move your info over from Android to iPhone is with the help of Apple’s Move to iOS app, available on the Google Play store. You’ll need a device running Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), and your iPhone must be an iPhone 5 or later, running iOS 9 or later. If it’s a new iPhone you’re buying, you’re covered. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough storage on your iPhone to handle what’s on your Android, and memory Continue Reading