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May 28 2015 2:00AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
ZURICH (Reuters) - No longer is schmoozing over long lunches and fine wines enough; Swiss private bankers are turning to video games and virtual reality to attract a new generation of skeptical clients and see off digital rivals.

May 28 2015 1:48AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will prepare a five-year cybersecurity plan to protect state secrets and data, the official China Daily said on Thursday, citing a senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

May 28 2015 12:19AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

In today's Apple Daily, a string of characters in iMessage is causing some iPhones to crash. In other news, Apple updated its official WWDC app to support the Apple Watch, and Apple regained its top spot in a widely known ranking of valuable brands.

Script-Based iMessage Bug Causing iPhones to Crash

Earlier today a user on Reddit posted that a string of mostly Arabic letters could cause an iPhone to crash if received through the Messages app, and after the news spread throughout the Internet, Apple has already sent a statement to Reuters claiming that it's aware of the problem and attempting to fix it.

Specifically, the Cupertino company announced that it's "aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of Unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update."

Source: MacRumors

It's a particularly nasty bug in that it will continue to crash your system if you keep trying to open your Messages app in list view. While it won't crash immediately if you open the relevant conversation in conversation mode, it will crash if you try to switch to another conversation. It's reportedly not affecting every iOS user, though, leading one Reddit poster to suggest that it's being caused by problems with how Unicode text is processed in banner notifications.

MacRumors has compiled a helpful list of things to do if you happen to be affected by the issue, such as sending a message to yourself, either through Siri or through the "Share" function in another app. Once that meesage is opened, you can reportedly delete the offending message.

This isn't the first time strings of random Arabic characters have caused problems Apple's systems. Back in 2013, another string caused both iOS and Mac OS X to crash when it appeared on-screen, but Apple issued a patch not long after. As was the case then, this is one of those cases where calling attention to the problem only worsens it (and indeed, the original post claims the bug has been around since iOS 6), as trolls and pranksters are taking to sending the string to other iOS users.

Here's to hoping that the software update in question comes during the next couple of days and not, say, during WWDC.


Apple Updates WWDC App with Support for Apple Watch

Speaking of which, Apple's 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference is coming up on June 8-10, and today the company updated its official WWDC mobile app. The update is noteworthy because it confirms that the keynote address for the event will take place on Monday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST, and because it's the first time that app has been available for the Apple Watch.

The release notes for the app claim that the latest update allows users to add sessions to the Calendar app, listen to audio from sessions after you’ve left the app or locked your device, and to "give feedback" on videos from the event directly through the Videos tab.

The event itself is expected to focus on the announcements of iOS 9 and Mac OS X 11, in addition to the possible public reveals of a new Apple TV and its long-awaited streaming music service. As always, we at Mac|Life will be on hand to relay the news as it's announced.


Apple Regains Title As World's Most Valuable Brand

Apple typically tops the list on Millward Brown's annual BrandZ brand value report, but last year it lost that distinction to Google. Following the massive success of the iPhone 6, however, our favorite Cupertino company is back on top on account of what Millward Brown sees as a massive 67 percent rise in brand value to $246.9 billion. Over the last year, the report says, Google merely achieved a 9 percent increase in value.

"Apple continues to 'own' its category by innovating and leading the curve in a way that generates real benefits for consumers," says Doreen Wang, Millward Brown’s Global Head of BrandZ, in the report. "It meets their rational and emotional needs, and makes life easier in a fun and relevant way. Apple is clear on what it stands for, and never stops refreshing its message to sustain the difference that makes it so desirable."

Millward Brown compiles the rankings based on "the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, alongside financial data." Technology and telecom companies took up most slots in the top 10, although Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Marlboro took up the 8th, 9th, and 10th slots respectively.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

May 27 2015 9:07PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, Calif./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Live streaming-video app Periscope and media companies are discussing how to address piracy on the new service, but Periscope says technological fixes many programmers want are difficult to do in real time.

May 27 2015 9:05PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Nielsen NV announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with Tencent Holdings Ltd to measure its digital audience in a move that could direct more ad dollars from companies in the United States to China's biggest social network.

May 27 2015 7:28PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc executives are exploring whether to launch an online video service as part of its combination with larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc, in what would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry.

May 27 2015 6:50PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Emoji is great for expressing your feelings without words, but why not say it in a more personal doodle instead? This is an alternative iOS keyboard allows iPhone owners to sketch simple drawings and animated GIFs inside any app.

After switching to this keyboard, the lower third of the screen turns into a small sketchpad where artistes can squiggle graphics in a handful of colors and stroke widths. (A text keyboard is also included.) Once completed, tapping the green checkmark clears the canvas and copies your latest little masterpiece to the clipboard, ready to be pasted into a new missive.

Animation controls allow users to add/remove frames and preview motion, although the keyboard crashes back to the Apple default after adding more than nine frames. Pro tip: a long press when adding new frames duplicates the previous entry for more fluid animation.

The bottom line. Fun for doodling quick animated GIFs, as long as you keep them short.

Review Synopsis


Squiggly Sketching Keyboard


Apptitude ApS





iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 8 or later


Fun for adding personality and doodles to your text messages. Can create simple animations, too.


A bit rough around the edges.

May 27 2015 6:24PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Wearable fitness tracking device maker Fitbit Inc is being accused by rival Jawbone of attempting to steal core confidential data about Jawbone's business, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

May 27 2015 5:35PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
But the message must contain a specific series of Arabic characters, so you're likely to receive it only as a prank. And there are ways to resolve the problem.

May 27 2015 5:00PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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May 27 2015 4:49PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
But the message must contain a specific series of Arabic characters, so you're likely to receive it only as a prank. And there are ways to resolve the problem.

May 27 2015 4:48PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Avago Technologies Ltd is close to an agreement to acquire fellow chipmaker Broadcom Corp, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, in a deal that could boost Avago's clientele of top-tier smartphone companies.

May 27 2015 4:35PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
But the message must contain a specific series of Arabic characters, so you're likely to receive it only as a prank. And there are ways to resolve the problem.

May 27 2015 4:32PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Wearable fitness tracking device maker Fitbit Inc is being sued by rival Jawbone, which accused Fitbit of "plundering" confidential data, the New York Times reported.

May 27 2015 3:48PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. telecommunications regulator wants to make it harder for telemarketers and other businesses to place unwanted robocalls and text messages under changes to autodialing rules proposed on Wednesday.

May 27 2015 3:08PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Avago Technologies Ltd is close to an agreement to acquire fellow chipmaker Broadcom Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

May 27 2015 2:43PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
But the message must contain a specific series of Arabic characters, so you're likely to receive it only as a prank. And there are ways to resolve the problem.

May 27 2015 2:36PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Chipmaker Broadcom Corp is in talks to be bought by Avago Technologies Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

May 27 2015 2:31PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, Calif (Reuters) - A senior Apple executive said developing a car would be the "ultimate mobile device" when asked about new products at a technology conference on Wednesday.

May 27 2015 2:08PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge ordered Yahoo Inc to face a nationwide class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegally intercepting the content of emails sent to Yahoo Mail subscribers from non-Yahoo Mail accounts, and using the information to boost advertising revenue.

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