Katie's Week in Review: March 13, 2016

It’s a little quieter week for Apple, but things will be heating up soon as we’ve got a pending showdown with the FBI and a Special Event. Here are a few links of note for the week ending March 13, 2016:

  • Apple has officially scheduled a special event for March 21st. The invitation reeds “Let us loop you in” The event will be live streamed on Apple.com at 10am. I can’t wait.
  • The Apple/FBI dispute over iPhone unlocking. Prosecutors filed their reply to Apple and are pushing back. Russel Brandom at the Verge has more analysis as well as a link to a copy of the Pleading.
  • While the legal battle is ongoing, the public relations is perhaps being fought just as fiercely with both sides taking shots at the other. Apple chief legal counsel Bruce Sewell held an conference call with reporters shortly after the reply was filed and called the FBI’s tone “Openly Hostile.” As reported by Ben Chapman of the New York Daily news, NYPD counter-terrorism Chief John Miller called Apple out for “aiding criminals” by refusing to unlock iPhones. Meanwhile. Apple Vice President Craig Federighi write an Op/Ed in the Washington Post arguing the FBI wants to roll back safeguards that keep us a step ahead of criminals.
  • In another case, Jeff Gamet of the Mac Observer reports the DOJ has filed an Appeal in the New York case where a New York Judge denied their request to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone in a drug-related case.
  • Finally to wrap up the legal news for the week, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined cert to Apple in a different case involving a dispute over a $450 e-book Settlement, effectively bringing this legal drama to an end. Mitchel Broussard at MacRumors has the details.
  • The first Mac ransomware is spotted in the wild. As reported by Thomas Reed of the Malwarebytes blog, the BitTorrent client Transmission was infected with ransomware which after three days begins encrypting the user’s files. Apple has added the detection of this specific ransomeware to its XProtect anti-malware definitions last week, shutting down this problem. But that doesn’t help users who were infected prior to the patch. Now’s a good time to check your backups.
  • Google finally updated their iOS apps, kinda. As reported by Jason Snell at Six Colors, Google took a “baby step” towards bringing iPad Pro support to Google Docs and Google Sheets. The Apps an now support full resolution and the native keyboard. However, still no support for other key iOS 9 features like split view.
  • 9to5Mac brings us confirmation of what we long suspected, quitting multitasking apps does not necessarily offer better battery life. One of 9to5 Macs readers, Caleb, asked Apple CEO Tim Cook, if he quit his iOS multitasking apps frequently and if this was necessary for better battery life. Though Tim didn’t answer, Apple SVP Craig Federighi did respond with a resounding “No and No.”
  • In what is perhaps the greatest Apple Pencil review yet, Serenity Caldwell of iMore reviews the Apple Pencil by drawing a comic with the Apple Pencil. You have to see this.