AWT News Update: January 12, 2017

The world of Apple Inc was a bit more busy today, so we have some fascinating stories on today's podcast:

  • Go to YouTube.com with Safari and you'll no longer see an option to watch video in 4K resolution
  • Studio Neat's Dan Provost figures out that the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro could pack the same resolution as the 12.9-inch model with the higher pixel density of the iPad mini
  • Sometimes, the hackers get hacked...

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 12, 2017. It’s been quite a slow news day, so this will be a fast one.

Just yesterday, Apple World Today published one of the monthly drone videos of construction at Apple Campus 2 created by YouTuber Matthew Roberts. What you may not have noticed was that the video, unlike all of its predecessors, was not available in 4K on the YouTube website. I personally thought this was odd since I have a 5K Retina display iMac, and I’ve enjoyed watching the drone videos in glorious 4K. Well, it turns out that others noticed this as well, and it turns out that YouTube.com no longer supports 4K video playback from the website in Safari. What happened is that YouTube began encoding uploaded videos using a codec called VP9. VP9 is much more efficient than H.264, so YouTube has been using it for default playback of 4K video. Google’s Chrome browser does support VP9, so going to the YouTube website you’ll be able to see all 4K videos in all their startling resolution. Not so with Safari, which has not yet enabled VP9 support. Instead, if you go to YouTube.com with Safari and try to watch a 4K video, the best you’ll see is 1440p resolution. What’s odd is that if you watched the 4K video in Safari on Apple World Today, 4K was available…it’s just if you go straight to YouTube.com that Safari is limited in playback resolution.

Now we’re looking at the world of rumors, where a lot of stories are saying that a new iPad Pro may come out this year with a 10.5-inch display. The cool thing is that this 10.5-inch iPad would be similar to having two iPad minis side-by-side, much in the way that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is like two 9.7-inch iPads side by side. Dan Provost of Studio Neat figured out that a 10.5-inch iPad Pro would have the same resolution as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro at 2,732 x 2,048 pixels, but the same pixel density of the iPad mini at 326 pixels per inch instead of 264 pixels per inch. As an avid iPad Pro user, I’d love to see the same resolution in a smaller and easier-to-carry form factor. This device is also rumored to have an edge-to-edge display with no Home button and very slender top bezel.

Our last story today is about Cellebrite, the Israeli digital forensics company that was rumored to be the firm that gave assistance to the FBI to break the security on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Well, sometimes the hackers get hacked, and Cellebrite has confirmed that it has fallen victim to a security breach on one of its servers. The breach apparently took place eon an external web server, and the company says that the attacked server was used to hold a legacy database backup of its own end user license management system. Motherboard, which is part of vice.com, says that it obtained about 900 gigabytes of data related to the company from the hackers, and it’s much more than just a backup. The website says that the data includes technical information about Cellebrite’s products as well as evidence files from seized mobile phones. What’s uncertain is if details of the vulnerabilities used to break into the phones were also in the data cache.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.