Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica:
Marte Løge, a 2015 graduate of the Norwegian University of Science
and Technology, recently collected and analyzed almost 4,000 ALPs
as part of her master’s thesis. She found that a large percentage
of them — 44 percent — started in the top left-most node of the
screen. A full 77 percent of them started in one of the four
corners. The average number of nodes was about five, meaning there
were fewer than 9,000 possible pattern combinations. A significant
percentage of patterns had just four nodes, shrinking the pool of
available combinations to 1,624. More often than not, patterns
moved from left to right and top to bottom, another factor that
makes guessing easier. […]
Data breaches over the years have repeatedly shown some of the
most common passwords are “1234567”, “password”, and “letmein”.
Løge said many ALPs suffer a similar form of weakness. More than
10 percent of the ones she collected were fashioned after an
alphabetic letter, which often corresponded to the first initial
of the subject or of a spouse, child, or other person close to the
subject. The discovery is significant, because it means attackers
may have a one-in-ten chance of guessing an ALP with no more than
about 100 guesses. The number of guesses could be reduced further
if the attacker knows the names of the target or of people close
to the target.
Interesting research. It’s human psychology — our natural tendency toward laziness — that makes something like Touch ID so much more secure than a passcode in actual practice.
Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:
This morning, analytics company AppSee found an “iPad6,8” with a
resolution of 2,732 × 2,048 in its logs. We asked AppSee to check
what version of iOS the iPad had installed on it, and as it turns
out, it’s running iOS 9.1, suggesting Apple’s work on iOS 9.1
coincides with the development of the iPad Pro.
Rumors this morning have also suggested the iPad Pro will be
entering mass production in September or October, pointing
towards a late October or November launch date. It’s possible
Apple plans to stick to the same October iPad unveiling timeline
it’s used for the past several years, introducing the iPad Pro in
mid-October and shipping it at the end of the month.
More than “possible”, I’d say it’s probable that Apple will introduce new iPads at a second event in October.
First, Apple is a company of patterns. Sometimes they change those patterns, and sometimes (but rarely) they make exceptions to those patterns, but all things being equal, they stick to them. And for the past three years, Apple has held two product introduction events each fall: an iPhone event in September, and an iPad event in October.
It’s certainly possible that Apple could introduce new iPads alongside new iPhones in a single event, but that seems unlikely. My guess is that the September event will be: new iPhones, iOS 9, Watch OS 2.0, and the new Apple TV. Maybe throw in some new bands for the watch, in time for the holidays? That’s a lot to cover in one event, especially if the new Apple TV platform is as ambitious as rumored, with a new UI, new input device(s), and an App Store.
If a brand-new 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” is indeed imminent, there is no way Apple would rush through the introduction in a brief segment in an already crowded September event. They’d hold it for October, just like they did in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and use the second event as an opportunity to show off the release version of OS X El Capitan (10.11).
A new Parks Associates report on streaming media devices reports
four brands — Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku — accounted for
86% of all units sold to U.S. broadband households in 2014. […]
“Roku continues to lead streaming media device sales in the U.S.
with 34% of units sold in 2014. Google is second with 23%, and new
entrant Amazon overtook Apple for third place,” said Barbara
Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates.
I’m curious how they assembled these numbers, given that Apple doesn’t reveal sales numbers for Apple TV, and Amazon doesn’t reveal sales numbers for any of its products. (I presume they conduct a survey, which, like political polling, can be pretty accurate.) But there’s a truthy ring to the basic gist of their story: Apple TV is slipping.
The stakes are very high for Apple with next month’s new Apple TV. In some ways, I’d argue they’re under more pressure than they were for Apple Watch. Apple Watch’s biggest competition is the idea of wearing a watch at all. It doesn’t really compete against other smart watches. If you own an iPhone and want a connected digital watch, Apple Watch is it. If you don’t own an iPhone, you can’t use an Apple Watch.
With TV it’s different. There are serious competitors already ahead of Apple in market share, and their products are generally well reviewed. There are some tie-ins between iPhone and Apple TV — we all presume Apple Music, for example, will be available on the new system. But it’s not like the watch, where they’re tied together. iPhone owners can (and do) easily use Roku or Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV. Apple TV has to win on merit.