Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category


Just less than two weeks ago, Facebook started enabling their Photo Sync feature for a limited audience for testing. The feature allows users with iOS devices to have any photos they take with the device automatically uploaded to a private album on their Facebook account to help make sharing the photos easier than ever before. The way the photos automatically go to this album works a lot like Apple’s Photo Stream.

Today, Facebook users should begin seeing the banner above in their news feeds. Facebook has enabled the Photo Sync feature for all users, enabling them to join in on uploading their life to Facebook as it happens. You can tap “Get Started” to begin using Photo Sync, or you can tap cancel to opt out of using it.

Since the photos are uploaded to a private album on Facebook, no one will see the photos that are automatically uploaded until the owner of the Facebook account has a chance to choose the ones that are posted and the ones that are not going to be posted. It’s important to note that even though the photos in this private album aren’t being shared with your friends, they are still going to be stored on Facebook’s servers.

You will not find an update to the Facebook application in the App Store with the new Facebook Photo Sync feature included, as Facebook has managed to pack the feature into the current version of the Facebook application.

Sources: Facebook via MacRumors


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Just as antivirus researcherscongratulated Apple for keeping the iPhone free of nasty apps five full years after its release, spammers seem to have finally tarnished that spotless record.

Antivirus researchers at Kaspersky say they’ve spotted an app known as “Find and Call” in both the iPhone App Store and Google’s Play market that secretly uploads all of a user’s contacts to a remote server and then sends text message and email spam to every number and email address listed in his or her phonebook.

Those messages, written in Russian and first reported by Russian mobile carrier MegaFon, simply advertise the app and include a link to a download site. But the app, which advertises itself as a tool for aggregating and simplifying contacts, doesn’t warn users it plans to upload their entire phonebook and mass-text and mass-email everyone they know. Add in the fact that it also spoofs the user’s number so that text messages appear to come from a trusted sender’s phone, and “Find and Call” almost certainly qualifies as the scummiest app to ever find its way past Apple’s significant security measures.

“It’s not for the first time when we see incidents related to user’s personal data and its leakage” in the iOS app store, writes Kaspersky researcher Denis Maslennikov in a blog post. “[But] it’s for the first time when we have a confirmed case of malicious usage of such data…Yes, these pieces of malware are not that ‘cybercriminalistic’. But malware is malware and in this case it steals user’s phone book and uses it for SMS spam.”

In a followup interview, Maslennikov told me that most or all users currently plagued by the spam app seem to be Russian, based on Russian-language complaints in the comments on the app in Google and Apples’ app markets. But there’s nothing to prevent users from other countries from downloading the app and having their contacts spammed, Maslennikov warns.

“The program sends the messages without notifying the user. Don’t download it!” reads one Russian comment on the app in the App Store. “Unbelievable,” reads another. “The application sends the SMS to all contacts from the contact list. Please delete it from the App Store!”

Maslennikov says Kaspersky has contacted both Google and Apple about the malware and expects that it will be removed from both app platforms soon. I also reached out to the two companies but haven’t yet heard back from either.

Update: Apple seems to have removed the app from the App Store.

A screenshot from Wealth Creation Laboratory, the company to which Kaspersky traced the “Find and Call” spam app.

Unlike more clearly criminal malware, the company behind “Find and Call” advertises itself in the open, including on acorporate website. That site doesn’t say much about the app’s creators. But by making a payment to the app’s PayPal account, Kaspersky traced the program to another company called Wealth Creation Laboratory, which lists a Singapore address and a director and co-founder named Sergey Bogatyrev. I called the company and will update this post if I hear back.

Update: I spoke by phone with Bogatyrev in Singapore, who tells me he has no connection to “Find and Call” and couldn’t offer any explanation as to how Kaspersky traced the app’s payment account to his website.

“Find and Call” hardly represents a real threat to iPhone users–more of a aggressive marketing annoyance at worst. And for Android, it’s barely an abberration, given that Google-targeted malware appears on a regular basis. But for Apple, it represents a rare chink in iOS’s armor. The only malicious apps to ever affect the company’s mobile platform in the past have either been mere proof-of-concept experiments created by researchers or were targeted at jailbroken phones.

So what’s new in iOS6?

Posted: June 12, 2012 in FaceBook, Facetime, iOS6, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTunes
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If you were looking for new mobile features, then iOS 6, which Apple unveiled on Monday at WWDC, does not disappoint.

At WWDC 2012, Scott Forstall took the stage to unveil iOS 6to developers. iOS 6 features more than 200 updates and improvements when compared to iOS 5. iOS 5 already boasts more than 80% adoption rate across devices and Apple boasted figures about iMessage, Twitter stats, Game Center and push notifications.

So what’s new in iOS 6?


Siri


  • Siri can now launch apps
  • Siri can now Tweet
  • Siri is smart about sports. It can pull in scores, game summaries and player stats.
  • Siri integrates with Yelp and OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations
  • Siri in iOS 6 will also integrate with Rotten Tomatoes for movie times and reviews.
  • Siri is also available in a slew of new languages.
  • Siri will get hands-free integration in lots of in-car systems.
  • Siri is coming to the new iPad.

Facebook Integration


This is a big one. Just as Twitter received a big boost with its deep integration with iOS 5, Facebook will get the same treatment in iOS 6.

Users can login to their Facebook account in iOS 6 and have instant access to Facebook in apps, the web browser and Siri. Developers can also easily add access within their apps.

Facebook contacts will get integrated in iOS 6, but for us, the bigger news is that events and birthdays can also sync with the calendar.


New Phone App Enhancements


In the phone app, Apple has added a new mode that will make it easy for users to remind themselves to call or text-back later, if they can’t take a call right now.

There is also a “Do Not Disturb” mode. Messages will still come to your phone, but the screen won’t light up or make any noise. There are also new ways to group contacts and control how their calls are handled.

FaceTime Over Cellular

Look out Skype, FaceTime will now work over cellular connections. Even better, if someone calls your phone, you can choose to answer on your iPad or Mac.


Safari


Safari is getting offline reading lists, making the feature more Instapaper-like. These lists will also sync with the Reading List in Safari for OS X.

Another new feature is the ability to add “App Banners” to a website. This allows developers to easily show-off their native app. Users can touch the banner to get the app — and if, the app is installed, they can go directly to the app and open it up in the right place.


Photos


Users can now share groups of photos to their friends over iCloud. Think of this as a cross betweenGlassboard and Path, but just for your photos.

Users can comment on photos too.


Mail


There is a new VIP feature that will highlight mail from people you really want to hear from. I get way too much email, so I love this feature.

Apple is also adding the ability to open password-locked documents in mail and pull-to-refresh for messages.


Passbook


Think of this as an app that replicates the loyalty card tracker from Google Wallet. It collects all of your loyalty cards, ticket information and other info into one neat place for easy access. Even better, it’s location-enabled so it knows what to show based on where you are (so you can get your movie tickets at the theater or your plane ticket at the airport).

Passbook looks great.


Maps


Another big one. Google is making good on some of its mapping acquisitions and launching its own mapping app.

The new Apple Maps integrates with Yelp. Apple is also building its own traffic service that can offer anonymous, crowd-sourced and real-time incident reports.

Moreover, Apple is bringing turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone. It’s vector-based and voiced by Siri. Say goodbye to your TomTom and just use your iPhone!

From the on-stage demo, it looks like the level of detail on the maps and places is intense — and the rendering happens super-fast.

iOS 6′s Maps app will also highlight developer mapping apps inside the app, pointing out the best transit apps in the app store.


When Can I Get It?


Developers will have access to the first beta on iOS 6 later this afternoon. Customers can expect to see iOS 6 on their devices in the fall.

It will support the iPhone 3GS and later, the second and third generation iPads and the fourth generation iPod touch.

All-in-all, this looks like a fantastic release!

Via