AWT News Update: June 1, 2015

After an inadvertent 3-day weekend, the AWT News Update is back with all of the Apple News you need to know:

  • A security researcher is reporting a vulnerability in Mac firmware that could result in rootkit malware infections
  • The Typo keyboard case for iPhone touted by Ryan Seacrest won't be available, thanks to the results of a second lawsuit by BlackBerry
  • Chase Bank embraces Touch ID for its mobile app
  • Apple is sweetening the pot during June for folks who want to trade in an older iPhone for credit
  • The Wall Street Journal confirms that Apple will launch its new music service at WWDC next week

The text version of the podcast script is available below for your reading pleasure.

Text Version

I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for June 1, 2015.

In case you missed the AWT News Update on Friday, May 29… well, don’t feel bad — we did, too. This week should be a bit more normal than last week… we hope.

A security researcher who studies Mac security is reporting that he’s found a vulnerability in the firmware of older Macs that could be used to infect them with malware. Pedro Vilaca found that it is possible to tamper with a Mac’s UEFI or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. That code is usually sealed off from users, but Vilaca found that the code is unlocked after a computer goes to sleep and awakens, which allows it to be modified. It’s then possible for an attacker to install a rootkit, a type of malware that is not only hard to detect with security products, but very difficult to remove. Any Mac made before mid-2014 is vulnerable. Apple has not commented on either the findings or when they expect to patch firmware on older machines.

Remember the Typo keyboard case for iPhone? It was a product backed by TV personality Ryan Seacrest that looked a lot like a keyboard from a BlackBerry device. BlackBerry sued Typo last year, winning an injunction against sales of the device and collecting damages. Typo came back with another design that it said did NOT infringe on BlackBerry’s patents, but BlackBerry came right back and took Typo to court again. The case has apparently been settled — Typo agrees that it will permanently withdraw its iPhone keyboard cases from sale. The company will be able to continue selling its iPad mini keyboard.

Chase Bank customers no longer need to remember their passwords to log into the mobile banking app. The app has been updated with support for Touch ID on iPhones and iPads, allowing easy login with just a touch.

If you've been thinking about trading in your iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPhone 5S for a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, drop everything and head on over to your local Apple Store. Apple is raising the trade-in price on the three older models in order to boost sales of the newest models. For the month of June, trading in an iPhone 4S will get you $50 of gift card credit (up from $35), an iPhone 5 captures $100 of credit (up from $85), and that nice iPhone 5S you have? You'll get $200 of credit for trading it in (up from $175). These deals are only available in the United States. Of course, if you've thought about finally trading in that Samsung smartphone for an iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has a trade-in program for folks who don't currently own iPhones. Remember, there are also a number of third-party trade-in programs from other companies like Gazelle, Nextworth, and Amazon, the last of which offers some of the more impressive trade-in values for your consumer electronics.

The Wall Street Journal is confirming that Apple will launch its new Apple Music service at WWDC next week. There will not only be a new $10 per month streaming music service designed to compete with Spotify, but iTunes Radio will be updated with channels that are programmed and hosted by human DJs. We’ll have a lot more details next week after the June 8 keynote.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.