What’s up with Face ID timeouts?

The Loop posted a great summary of Apple’s Face ID security whitepaper.

Two points about how the timeout works really baffled me. Face ID is disabled when:

  • The device hasn’t been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The passcode hasn’t been used to unlock the device in the last 156 hours (six and a half days) and Face ID has not unlocked the device in the last 4 hours.

If the phone hasn’t been unlocked for 48hrs, it’s a good assumption that the phone has been lost or stolen. But why bother disabling Face ID? Is Apple nervous about it’s real-world effectiveness? Nervous that a thief may be able to unlock the phone with their face?

The second timeout seems more arbitrary. Why 156 hours? If I generally only use my phone once every 4hrs 5mins, then after 6.5days I will have to re-authenticate with my passcode? Why? It seems completely arbitrary.

Any smarter security minds out there have any thoughts?

TeeVee for WP: building Apple TV apps with WordPress Plugins

Imagine you create tonnes of great video content every day and publish it all through WordPress. Your viewer can watch your amazing shows everywhere…on iPhones, iPads, iMacs, but not their TVs. Wouldn’t it be great to have a branded Apple TV app so that all your viewers could watch your content in full screen glory? Well I’ve got just the WordPress plugin for you…

Behold, TeeVee for WP!

A straightforward WordPress plugin I created to allow content creators to use WordPress as a data source Apple TV apps. TeeVee for WP attaches video metadata to blog posts. The metadata is used to to generate TVML1 which gets ingested by a custom/branded TvOS app.

Screenshot 2015-12-06 21.01.03


On the xCode end you simply create a new TvOS single-view application, with an AppDelegate that looks something like this:

Modify the `TVDomain` to point the domain where TeeVee for WP is install and the rest is show business.

The project is up on github here: https://github.com/ohryan/teevee.

Contributions would be much appreciated.

If you have any questions or suggestions hit me up on twitter at @ohryan or email me ryan@ohryan.ca.

  1. TVML is this cool little XML apple created for basic layout – check out Apple’s documentation for more information. []

48 hours with Apple Music

I’ve been a subscriber to rdio for a couple of years, streaming music isn’t anything new to me. So I was very interested to check out Apple’s implementation.

Here’s my take after using it for the last couple of days.

The Good

Playlists:
The curated playlists are feature I didn’t expect to use much, but I’ve spent more time listening to these than anything else. Apple is doing a great job of both selecting playlists I’d be interested in based on my music preferences and selecting tracks.

The only weird thing is that the playlist seem to skew heavily towards older music. I’m not sure why this might be, I don’t typically listen to a lot of old music.

Library:
The selection of available artist and albums is comparable to rdio. I have yet to look for something I couldn’t find.

Streaming Tech:
Apple is doing a much better job of varying the stream based on available bandwidth. We have a few mobile internet dead zones near our place that always trip up rdio, Apple Music has not had any problems in these zones.

Apple Music also seems to be doing a good job of buffering. There is no delay in switching to the next track.

The Bad

Desktop Client Does Not Work: 
I can’t get Apple Music to work in iTunes, period.

App UI:
Rdio has a really great mobile app. Apple, not so much. I find it really confusing and hard to use. More on this in a future post (maybe).

Beats 1:
Beats1 plays the ultra poppy music you’d expect a beats wearing teenager to eat up. It’s not for me.

Encryption, The Best Feature of iOS8

With today’s launch of iOS8, Apple has begun to encrypt all your things. As detailed in the new “privacy” section on apple.com, all iCloud data is now encrypted end-to-end. On Apple’s servers, in transit and presumably on your device. In other words, it’s technically impossible for Apple to comply with government or legal surveillance requests. And more importantly to the average law-abiding-citizen, a phone thief will not be able to access the data on your phone, through any means, without your passcode or finger print.

In my opinion, this definitively ends the Google vs. Apple war, period. At least until Google can change their business model such that it’s not dependant on collecting your personal information to target you with ads, etc.

Good show Apple, good show.

Apple iPhone 5S & 5C Canadian vs US Prices

In a followup to yesterday’s post about the eLitePhone 5S, here’s a chart comparing the US iPhone prices to the Canadian prices. Unlocked of course, carrier contract deals have not been announced yet.

Canadian US Difference
iPhone 5C 16GB $599 $549 (CA$567) $32
iPhone 5C 32GB $719 $649 (CA$670) $49
iPhone 5S 16GB $719 $649 (CA$670) $49
iPhone 5S 32GB $819 $749 (CA$773) $46
iPhone 5S 64GB $919 $849 (CA$876) $43

Edit: added conversion rates.