Apple Highlights: New A6 Processors, Jailbreaking and App Piracy
So what's so important that merits this update? In no certain order, the top three highlights are:
I try and keep the Apple love here at The VAR Guy at an acceptable level, and not all Apple news is channel-worthy, but a few things have turned up during the last couple of weeks that are worth tracking. If the rumors are true, Apple could be gearing up for some very interesting mobile moves in the near future. Plus, if you’re an App Store developer, you might want to check on your app piracy. Read on for the details.
So what’s so important that merits this update? In no certain order, the top three highlights are:
- Mobile CPUs: Amid the Samsung vs. Apple intelectual property disputes, Apple has allegedly decided to use Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC for the new Apple A6 chip. How powerful will it be and what kind of devices will it drive? I think we’ll have a better idea if the iPad 2 HD+ Pro makes an appearance this fall. Bigger picture here: Apple is firing on all cylinders, pushing production times and production levels to the maximum. I believe the constant influx of new Android devices is what’s pushing Apple in developing new CPUs. Interestingly, we haven’t seen Apple release an iPhone with the A5 CPU (yet) — the A5 currently exists inside the iPad 2 only. Is Apple skipping a generation of CPUs to ensure the iPhone 5 is up to snuff against its competitors, or will the A6 blow everyone out of the water? Rumors peg the CPU for a 2012 launch.
- Jailbreaking for safety: iOS 4.3.3 was successfully jailbroken recently using the Jailbreakme.com browser method, which exploited a security flaw in the way the iPad handled PDFs. This was also the first legitimate jailbreak for the iPad 2, marking one of the longest stretches of time that an iOS device was un-jailbreakable. But jailbreak developers aren’t evil hackers, they’re actually just open-minded software developers who believe in open devices. That clandestine nature means they were nice enough to actually patch the hole they exploited, right after users installed the exploit. Apple has since responded with a 4.3.4 release.
- Jailbreaking for piracy: But, of course, not all jailbreakers are looking to do friendly things on their iPhones. Outside of OS tweaks and third-party software, jailbreaking can also allow for pirated applications to run on a device. What’s worse, Apple can’t tell the difference between a legitimate app and a pirated one. The proof comes as Apple’s Game Center reports 15,950 user scores for the iOS game FingerKicks. Problem is, developer Gameized reported selling only 1,163 copies. That means there are at least 14,787 pirate versions of the game currently being enjoyed by iOS users. Yikes! Apple may want to address this in iOS 5 if it wants developers to continue to support the platform. The only thing limiting piracy right now on iOS is Apple’s ongoing software updates to kill jailbreaks. Perhaps a little low-level DRM would be good? Bigger picture for the channel? App developers and ISVs may want to jailbreak their own app and find out if it’s available on a jailbreak site (the most infamous being Installous). At the very least, they may want to think about circumventing pirates by offering some form of subscription or login pay-wall instead of using a pay app.
If you’re a jailbreaker, let us know why. I’m often interested in the reasons, as everyone’s motivations and use cases are different. Plus, let us know your thoughts on the Apple A6. Is it bound for a new iPhone or a new iPad?