AWT News Update: July 17, 2015

For this Friday, some Apple news that you need to know:

  • iPhone processor manufacturer TSMC says its power-efficient 10-nanometer process is on track for mass production of processors in 2017
  • A number of popular iOS apps have a password vulnerability
  • It's confirmed; your iPod nano and shuffle won't work with Apple Music

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for Friday, July 17, 2015.

One of the holy grails of mobile computing is to make smaller and more efficient processors. Apple has been working with chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC on iPhone chips for the past several years, and TSMC announced this week that its 10-nanometer FinFET processors are on scheduleto begin mass production in early 2017. The existing A8 chip uses a 20-nanometer process, and it’s rumored that the A9 — which will probably be used in any iOS devices released this fall — may use a 14-nanometer process. These smaller processors are more efficient, allowing mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad provide more computing power but with improved battery life. One interesting point is that microprocessor giant Intel also announced this week that its own 10-nanometer process had been delayed until the latter part of 2017.

A number of popular iOS apps from companies as varied as Walmart and Slack are vulnerable to password cracking according to a new report from AppBugs. The issue? These apps allow unlimited numbers of attempts to login, meaning that brute-force cracking techniques can be used by hackers to guess passwords and gain account access. Of 100 popular apps that support password-protected web accounts that have been downloaded over 1 million times each, AppBugs found 53 to have this vulnerability. A number of companies were warned by AppBugs of the issue, and only Dictionary, Wunderlist, and Pocket have fixed the issue by either forcing users to reset their password if entered incorrectly or locking users out after a certain number of incorrect attempts.

And our last item for the day has to do with the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. These two members of the largely-ignored iPod family got a little bit of a refresh this week in the guise of new colors, but it’s been confirmed that users won’t be able to use Apple Music with the littlest iPods. Sure, it’s not surprising since neither has Wi-Fi, but users won’t have the ability to store offline Apple Music collections on either device. The reason? Apple doesn’t want users to take the three-month free Apple Music trial, download a pile of offline songs, and then move those to iPod shuffle or nano. iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch can communicate with the iOS Music app and Wi-Fi can authenticate that an Apple Music subscription is active. Whether or not Apple will change the software on these two iPods to allow for monthly authentication through iTunes or just get rid of the nano or shuffle soon is anyone’s guess.

We’ll be back on Monday for another edition of the AWT News Update. Have a great weekend.