Technology » Technology Review The latest Technology news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:35:02 +0000 en hourly 1 Your Facebook Wall Just Got More Interesting Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:54:27 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb ht facebook stickers mt 141013 16x9 608 Your Facebook Wall Just Got More Interesting

(Image Credit: Facebook)

Facebook’s emoji-like stickers, which have been a hit in private and group messages, can now be used in wall posts, comments and events.

The update is expected to be rolled out within the next day, according to Bob Baldwin, a Facebook engineer who worked on the project.

If you’re eager to try it out the update, just tap the smiley face icon in the bottom right of any comment field, choose your favorite sticker and post to your heart’s content.

Baldwin said the idea was born during a hackathon — and grew into a larger project after he saw how popular it was.

“You can now easily show your excitement for a post with good news, cheer up a friend who’s feeling down, and express a variety of more nuanced reactions,” he said.

Now, your stale old message of “let’s do lunch” can be so much more interesting when paired with the smiling burger and fries sticker.


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Twitter CEO Burns President of Iran in 140 Characters Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:27:42 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb Twitter CEO Dick Costolo took on Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani the way he knows how to best:

In 140 characters or less.

Rouhani has been a prolific tweeter since he arrived in New York for an annual United Nations General Assembly. However, the website remains banned in his home country.

As of this afternoon, Rouhani had yet to respond to Costolo’s tweet.

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Jony Ive, the Man Behind Apple Watch Design, Says Device Has ‘Millions’ of Versions Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:06:37 +0000 Lauren Effron

The Apple Watch, which was unveiled today in Cupertino, California, has “millions” of different versions, Apple Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive told ABC News’ David Muir in an exclusive interview.

“When you actually do the calculations, it’s millions and millions,” Ive said. “We’ve always tried to make products that people don’t begrudgingly use but want to use, and I think that the bar for that is very high when it’s something that you wear and it’s something that you’re going to wear all day, every day.”

RELATED: How the Apple Watch Could Do for Fitness What the iPod Did for Music

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It was Ive’s voice that narrated the pre-recorded video demonstration for the smartwatch during today’s big unveiling at the Flint Center in Cupertino.

The watches, Ive said, come in three collections and a range of faces, which can differentiate between a touch and a press.

“The way that we treated this from a design point of view was that you had hardware and then software,” Ive said. “Our experience as customers, as users, is they’re the same. They’re one and the same. So in terms of this, we designed the user interface, gave people multiple choices.”

The watch is also customizable. Users can choose watch faces that include minute and second hands, digital time and more options for personalization. For people who don’t wish to wear a large device, Apple developed a smaller watch, 38 mm in height compared with the 42 mm option, with matching smaller straps.

“We worked extremely hard to make it an object that would, one, be desirable but to be personal because we don’t want to wear the same watch,” Ive said. “One of the reasons it takes us a long time [is] because, I think, people are very discerned. A lot of people don’t wear a watch, at the moment.”

 Jony Ive, the Man Behind Apple Watch Design, Says Device Has Millions of Versions

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb contributed to this report

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly framed the meaning of Jony Ive’s quote to say that the Apple Watch went through “millions” of different versions before it was unveiled, when in fact, Ive was saying that the Apple Watch has “millions” of different looks and combinations.

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ABC News’ David Muir Gets 1st Look at Apple Watch with Tim Cook Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:15:26 +0000 Lauren Effron

ABC News’ David Muir spoke with Apple CEO Tim Cook moments after he introduced the new Apple Watch and got an exclusive first look at the company’s latest device.

The watches, which come in three collections and a range of faces, can differentiate between a touch and a press, said Apple senior vice president of design Jony Ive in a pre-recorded video. While talking with Muir, Cook was sporting an Apple Watch with a white band.

“You can do a lot with your wrist,” Cook said. “A lot more now.”

RELATED: ABC News’ David Muir’s One-on-One with Tim Cook: ‘I Think Steve Jobs Is Smiling Right Now’

RELATED: Apple (AAPL) Introduces the Apple Watch

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During his demonstration on the Flint Center stage in Cupertino, California, Cook said the watch is a customizable timepiece. Users can choose watch faces that include minute and second hands, digital time and more options for personalization. For people who don’t wish to wear a large device, Apple developed a smaller watch, 38 mm in height, compared with the 42 mm option, with matching smaller straps.

“[The wrist is] a very interesting place because it’s, you can obviously glance with it, you can’t glance at a lot of other places on your body,” Cook told Muir. “You can measure a lot of things from there and you can just get, honestly, a tidbit today of what all it can do. But I think it’s huge.”

In addition, the watch will have the newly-introduced payment system Apple Pay. It uses a new chip embedded in the device called the Secure Element, which stores users encrypted payment information and allows them to pay for items with a simple swipe.

“It’s incredibly safe,” Cook said. “I feel incredibly certain that it’s very secure — the most secure thing out there.”

Cook made today’s big unveiling announcement from the same stage where the company’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, unveiled the Mac computer 30 years ago. When asked if he felt like a revolutionary, Cook brushed off the notion, saying it was the work of the company as a whole he was proud of.

“It’s such a privilege to get to work with all the people I get to work with,” Cook said. “So the work you saw out there is the culmination of everybody’s efforts and so that’s the lens I see it through, and I’m just proud as I can be to stand up there and show their work.”

Apple Watch, which starts at $349, will be available in early 2015.

ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb contributed to this report

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ABC News’ David Muir’s One-on-One with Tim Cook: ‘I Think Steve Jobs Is Smiling Right Now’ Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:22:57 +0000 ABC News

ABC News’ David Muir went behind the scenes today with Apple CEO Tim Cook to try on the new Apple Watch and learn more about the company’s groundbreaking announcement.

“We believe this product will redefine what people expect from its category,” Cook said today during the company’s much-anticipated event in Cupertino, California.

EXCLUSIVE: Apple made its groundbreaking announcement on Tuesday — and ABC News’ David Muir will be the only anchor there with an exclusive, on “World News Tonight

Related: Apple introduces “one more thing”: the Apple Watch

Related: Apple introduces the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

In addition to the watch, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6, as well as the iPhone 6 Plus, both with larger screens than previous iPhone models, as well as other new features.

“Today, we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhones,” Cook said.

But how will these new products change people’s daily lives? Will credit cards become extinct? Will the Apple Watch replace the cellphone?

Muir spoke exclusively, one-on-one with Cook to answer all those questions.

Cook made today’s big unveiling announcement from the Flint Center stage in Cupertino — the same stage where the company’s late co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled the Mac computer 30 years ago.

“I think about Steve a lot. I love Steve dearly and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him, and this morning, being here, I especially thought about him,” Cook told Muir. “I think he would be incredibly proud to see that the company that he left us, which I think was one of his greatest gifts to mankind was the company itself, be doing what it’s doing today, I think he’s smiling right now.”

Although Cook said his team started working on the Apple Watch after Jobs died in 2011, he felt his friend still left an impact on the new product.

“The foundation that he left, you can see in all the things that we’re doing today, and the way we look at things,” Cook said. “So to me it’s not as a big deal whether he personally saw something or didn’t, his thinking and his taste and his incredible perfectionist kind of view, and his view that you should always innovate, all those things are alive and well in the company and I think they always will be.”

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‘Red Alert Israel’ Will Send a ‘Yo’ for Every Predicted Rocket Attack Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:18:59 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb The “Yo” app is being used to alert followers of the user “RedAlertIsrael” every time a rocket attack is predicted within Israeli territory.

The app, which has raised millions of dollars of funding, has been called everything from pointless to amazing for its simple premise — allowing users to send a “yo” to friends with just one tap.

Photos: Israel Under Fire

The ‘Yo’ App Explained

While a simple “yo” provides virtually no context, the app has been harnessed as a way to provide interested people around the world an idea of what is happening on the ground in Israel.


The new use for the “Yo” app — which shows a barrage of reported rocket attacks — is meant to complement the existing Red Alert Israel app developed by Ari Sprung and Kobi Snir, according to the Times of Israel.

The “Red Alert Israel” app sounds an alarm on users’ smartphones every time rockets, mortars and missiles are fired into Israel. Each alert also specifies what area is believed to be at risk.

The English version of the app, which was released June 29, has a five-star rating in the App store, where users called it “annoying because it goes off so often” but praised it for providing a way people abroad “can better understand the horror of the situation.”


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Don’t Ditch Your Broken Smartphone, Fix It: ‘Real Money’ Tells You How Mon, 07 Jul 2014 21:56:08 +0000 Gio Benitez

From spills to cracked screens, damage to a cellphone can be costly.

ABC News recently put a few popular cellphone cases to the test but what do you do when your cell phone case fails?

Related: How good is your cellphone case?

Related: How to dry out your smartphone and waterproof it.

Related: ‘Real Answers’ on how to protect your smartphone.

Americans have spent about $13 billion on damaged smartphones, according to Square Trade, a tech insurance company.

The company says that 30 percent of Americans will damage their iPhone in the next 12 months. And one in 10 are currently using phones with cracked screens.

It can cost $450 or more to replace a phone but before you throw your cellphone out, there are places that will repair it for about $100.

After cracking the screen on her smartphone again, Chandon Jones of New York teamed up with the “Real Money” team to drop her phone off at a Radio Shack.

This month, Radio Shack rolled out its new “Fix It Here” program, in which consumers can spend $40 to $200 to have their cellphone fixed in an hour.

And other companies are getting in on the craze as well. You can ship a phone to JCD Repair in Chicago and the company will fix it and send it back five days later for around $100. The company iCracked will even meet the cellphone owner wherever they are.

“You’re actually going to end up paying probably less to get an iPhone fixed by someone than you’ll pay for the deductible to the insurance company,” said Matt McCormick, CEO of JCD Repair.

All of these companies offer warranties and cost about $100 on average.

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Vine Can Now Measure Your Addiction to Looping Video Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:53:09 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb ht vine loops kb 140701 16x9 608 Vine Can Now Measure Your Addiction to Looping Video

(Image Credit: Vine)

Vine, the six-second looping video platform owned by Twitter, has figured out a way to let you know if your videos are “popular and interesting.”

Or, conversely, if you have the (understandable) habit of being mesmerized by looping videos, like Norman, the dog that can ride a scooter like a human.

Starting today, a loop counter will be added to all Vines, allowing people to see how many times a video has been looped, no matter where it is embedded online.

Watch: Vine Star Hits No. 1 on iTunes Overnight

Loop counts won’t impact Vine’s “popular now” section, however users will be able to see  just how transfixing a Vine truly is by checking out the loop counts in the iOS and Android apps as well as an

Vine said in a blog post it has been tracking loop counts since April 3. However, with the metrics being introduced today, some popular videos may have a “+” symbol next to it, meaning that there are likely more loops than listed.

Now, if only there was a way we could find out how much time we’ve spent watching those crazy World Cup GIFS again and again.


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WhatsApp’s Co-founder Is Upset About Apple’s New Messaging Features Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:47:12 +0000 Yazhou Sun GTY Craig Federighi TG 140602 16x9 608 WhatsApps Co founder Is Upset About Apples New Messaging Features

Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple rolled out a few new features for its iMessage app, including audio and video messages, and group messaging capabilities.

Not all tech junkies were happy about Apple’s innovation.  Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, tweeted out this message after Apple’s announcement:

For those of you who don’t use WhatsApp, Apple just added features that WhatsApp users have been able to use all along. WhatsApp users could always record audios and videos, and share location data easily through messages.

WhatsApp has more than 500 million users. Apple’s intention is clear–it wants all iPhone users to use its in-house app, instead of downloading and using other app, such as WhatsApp–which was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.


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Hackers Use ‘Find My iPhone’ App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom Tue, 27 May 2014 20:56:02 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb

Some iPhone and iPad users in Australia had a rude awakening this morning when they discovered their devices had been locked and held for ransom by a mysterious hacker going by the name “Oleg Pliss.”

The people impacted by the breach reported via tweets and the Apple forum that they received messages indicating their devices had been hacked and they needed to make a payment in order for them to be unlocked.

Read More: What’s Up Apple’s Sleeve for WWDC 2014?

HT applehack mar 140527 16x9 608 Hackers Use Find My iPhone App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom

(Image Credit:




“More than likely, in Australia, there is a breach that has nothing to do with Apple,” Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert with McAfee, told ABC News.

Siciliano said the hack could have began in a single place, such as at an university or an online retailer, where people may log on using their icloud, mac or me domain email addresses and use the same password.

Even more alarming, Siciliano said hackers can use iCloud credentials to essentially “own that person” and create exact clones of their devices, including personal photos, videos, emails and any other information backed up to the cloud.

Siciliano recommends people immediately change their passwords and set up two-factor identification for their Apple accounts.

The bottom line, he said, is that “critical accounts should always have different passwords.”


GTY apple iphone mar 140527 16x9 608 Hackers Use Find My iPhone App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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