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Apple says it couldn’t read your iMessages even if it wanted to

Apple says it couldn't read your iMessages even if it wanted to

Research firms QuarksLab claimed on Thursday that Apple can theoretically intercept users’ iMessages and read them or hand them over to authorities, but Apple responded that that’s simply not true.

“iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages,” an Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD.

“The research discussed theoretical vulnerabilities that would require Apple to re-engineer the iMessage system to exploit it, and Apple has no plans or intentions to do so,” the spokesperson continued.

Just a theory

QuarksLab presented its findings at the Hack in the Box conference that took place this week in Malaysia.

The group said that while Apple’s end-to-end encryption is secure, Apple “can change a key any time they want, thus read [sic] the content of our iMessages.”

The security and hacking community so far has reportedly found few faults with QuarksLab’s theory, which is apparently quite complex.

However, the researchers emphasized that they’re not claiming Apple does read your iMessages; only that it can if it chooses to.

To iMessage or not to iMessage

iMessages are messages sent between iOS devices that Apple has long claimed are more secure than standard SMS messaging.

The iMessaging service supposedly even thwarts U.S. law enforcement agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Then again, the service clearly isn’t foolproof.


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Sony working on faster wireless charging for Xperia handsets

Sony working on faster wireless charging for Xperia handsets

Samsung isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer looking to shake up wireless charging, as Sony is rumored to be working on technology capable of charging its Xperia handsets in one hour flat.

Pocket-lint.com today reported that Sony engineers may be working on a way of speeding up the process of wireless charging, with an eye toward implementing the technology into next year’s Xperia smartphones.

According to a report from Nikkei, Sony’s new device uses only 10-15 watts of electricity, but supplies twice the amount of current wireless chargers.

The result is that, come late 2014, a compatible Xperia smartphone could be charged in half the time, reducing a two-hour wireless charge down to only an hour.

Charged up

Sony’s work is reportedly based upon specifications now being finalized by the Wireless Power Consortium, and will be implemented as part of the existing Qi international standard.

Similar work is also underway by Rohm Co., who are developing the microchips necessary to charge with the increased 10-15 watts of power without overheating.

Earlier this week, a separate report revealed that Samsung is also eyeing improvements for wireless charging for inclusion in next year’s Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Samsung’s technology would allow handsets to be charged from a distance by using magnetic resonance, even when the source charger isn’t actually making contact with the device.

  • Don’t forget to check out our exhaustive review of Apple’s new iPhone 5S!


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LG G Pad 8.3 release info revealed, but only online at Best Buy for now

LG G Pad 8.3 release info revealed, but only online at Best Buy for now

Large (sort of) and in charge, LG is finally unleashing its answer to the iPad mini upon unsuspecting US dwellers – but you’ll need to head to the Best Buy website if you want to be among the first to get your hands on it.

LG announced today the US availability of the LG G Pad 8.3, which the company is marketing as the “perfect companion” for an Android smartphone.

The G Pad features a 8.3-inch Full HD 1920 x 1200 IPS display loaded with 273 ppi. It’s powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Beyond the hardware, LG’s latest tablet also includes the unique ability to sync with other Android 4.1 or later devices, including the company’s latest LG G2. It’s all possible using QPair, which let’s the tablet access recently opened apps or even incoming phone calls and text messages.

Best Buy pre-orders

LG teamed up with Best Buy to launch the G Pad 8.3, and the retailer will exclusively offer the tablet on its website for the next couple of weeks.

Starting Sunday, Nov. 3, the G Pad 8.3 will be available in Best Buy retail stores nationwide, with other as-yet-unnamed retailers promised in the weeks after.

The US release date comes 10 days after LG announced it would begin shipping the smaller tablet to its South Korean home turf starting October 14 .

Available in black or white, the LG G Pad 8.3 is now available to pre-order from BestBuy.com for $349.99.

  • Don’t forget about our full review of the new Google Nexus 7 tablet!


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T-Mobile CEO hints new iPads could be heading carrier’s way

T-Mobile CEO hints new iPads could be heading carrier's way

T-Mobile only just began carrying iPhones this year, so the question on Apple-using Un-carrier fans’ lips is when iPads will join the ranks as well.

There’s no official word yet, but T-Mobile CEO John Legere blasted out a tweet to his nearly 14,000 followers what seems to be a not-so-subtle hint that iPads are finally coming to T-Mobile.

“What has two thumbs and is excited for October 22? #thisguy,” Legere tweeted, with a link to a USA Today article speculating new iPads will be unveiled at an Apple event scheduled that day.

If that’s not a hint then we don’t know what is.

New iPads ahoy

The iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 are all but confirmed for Apple’s October 22 event.

For the new full-sized offering, we’re expecting a thinner and lighter iPad with a slimmer bezel as well.

As for the smaller one, a high-res iPad mini Retina display could debut, though there’s speculation that a shortage of Retina panels could result in two versions of the iPad mini 2 appearing next week – one with and one without the sharp screen.

Both new iPads could appear in a “space gray” shade that matches that of the iPhone 5S.

Lastly, given how hued Apple’s invitations were, we’re hoping to see more new iPad colors – if not for the iPad 5 then at least for the slightly more whimsical iPad mini 2.

A true mystery

With the question of when T-Mobile’s iPads will arrive more or less answered, the new question is naturally, “Why would the carrier rely on its CEO’s slightly enigmatic tweets to get the news out rather than just issue a press release?”

Sadly, we’ll never know the answer to that question, as the inner workings of a tech company’s PR department are far too complex for the average human mind, including ours, to comprehend.

Regardless, this isn’t the first time Legere has hinted at plans for T-Mobile iPads. “I think there’s a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying,” Legere said back in August. “We will expand what we offer from them.”

Way to stay true to your word, man.


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In depth: Following the Bay Trail: 5 Intel tablets to make you drool

In depth: Following the Bay Trail: 5 Intel tablets to make you drool

If you’ve been keeping one eye on the current spate of smaller Windows tablets cropping up on the market, you’ll know that many of them house Intel’s latest Atom Bay Trail CPU.

Though you could say that the chipmaker was a little late to the mobile party, it appears to be making up for lost ground now with the diminutive processor, allowing for more portable, powerful and affordable devices that consume less power.

And they’ve arrived at the right time too, funnily enough. Now that Windows 8.1 has landed, Bay Trail-toting tablets will ship with a host of new features out of the box. Here are some of the ones to have caught our eye.

Acer Iconia W4

Pricing: $329.99, around £204 exc VAT, or AU$432

Acer Iconia W4

Acer’s Iconia W3 attracted criticism for its appallingly bad capacitive display, but it’s an entirely usable device that’s also super portable when combined with its Bluetooth keyboard dock.

Love it or hate it, the W3′s white bezel has returned on its successor, the Iconia W4, which has been equipped with an IPS display (1280 x 800 pixels) to widen the viewing angles to 170 degrees.

The W4′s 1.8GHz Bay Trail CPU should make it nippier than its predecessor and its touted 10 hours’ battery life gives it the legs to go the distance and then some.

We’ve not had the chance to use the W4′s new Crunch Keyboard and Cover accessories, but it’ll be interesting to see if they make us hungry for some marathon typing sessions.

Lenovo Miix2

Pricing: 32GB – $299, around £185, or AU$310. 64GB – £349, around £215, or AU$362

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Lenovo is aiming to do things a little differently with its Miix2 slate, which bolts a hinge to the left-hand side of the device to give it iPad mini-style protection in a snap. The cover even folds over itself to form a small triangle to prop the tablet up.

It’s promising to be one of the most diminutive 8-inch outings yet, measuring just 8.1mm thick, meaning you won’t have to be a clown to carry full-fat Windows 8.1 around in your pocket. It weighs just 0.77lb too, which only adds to its portability.

Again, it gets a 1200 x 800 pixel-resolution display that’s powered by an Intel Bay Trail-T Quad Core processor. On the negative side, we’re a little cautious about a stylus pen being bundled with a device this affordable, and Lenovo’s claim of seven hours of battery life falls short of the competition.

Dell Venue 8 Pro

Pricing: $299.99, £349 exc VAT or around AU$310

Dell Venue 8 Pro

Dell has entered the Bay Trail fray with its 8-inch Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, a no-nonsense device the company is offering to business users with full enterprise support and an optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for rock solid security.

That’s not to say that its appeal is limited to tablet-toting executives rocking up at meetings with slates up their sleeves. With an IPS display, optional HSPA+, Wi-Fi connectivity, a folding keyboard accessory and free Microsoft Office, there’s a lot for anyone to like.

The tablet, which measures 8.9mm thick, also gets a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a front-facing sensor and a stylus pen, meaning you can take a photograph of yourself and draw on a big moustache afterwards. And who wouldn’t want to do that? OK – just us then.

Asus Transformer Book T100

Pricing: $399.99, UK/AU pricing TBC

Asus Transformer Book T100

Whereas other entries on our list seem to offer keyboards because they have to, Asus’ Transformer Book T100, as with previous devices bearing the Transformer name, makes its an integral part of the package.

The tablet itself snaps onto the keyboard, which dons a small trackpad roughly the same size as those on Microsoft’s Surface Touch and Type covers, alongside a powered USB 3.0 port for charging other devices.

Its 10-inch IPS display differs slightly by offering a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution but, on the plus side, Asus is claiming 11 hours of battery life thanks to extra juice provided by the dock, making it suitable for marathon sessions on the road.

Better yet, i ts maximum 64GB of internal storage can be doubled thanks to a microSD card slot, giving you a spacious 128GB to play with.

Toshiba Encore

Pricing: $329, £249 or AU$361

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Toshiba’s Encore isn’t really a looker – it features a similar design to the company’s Excite range of devices styled with black bezels and silver plastic back panels.

It does, however, offer a range of pluses including an “instant on” feature that Toshiba claims allows it to come to life in under 300ms.

But that’s not all – like the Transformer Book T100 – it features a microSD card reader that lets you bump up storage, along with dual mics, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera that’s “Skype certified” for tip top video calling.


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