Mobile Phones / Smartphones - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Mobile Phones / Smartphones Category

We apologize in advance if you're suffering from Heartbleed fatigue. It's the biggest issue in tech right now, because it might just be the biggest security failure ever. Remember those annoying email worms? This is worse. This is unlocked doors to secure data, with the majority of the Internet using the broken locks. It effects everything, from online dating, to millions of Android smartphones.

And, of course, where there's a opening, the National Security Agency will work its way in. Two unidentified sources told Bloomberg that the NSA has exploited the bug for years. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence denied the allegations, stating, "Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before 2014 are wrong."

"Consumers want what we don't have."

The title of that slide, from an Apple internal presentation, has been quoted all across the tech blogs and even mainstream newspapers today. It's a glaring admission by Apple executives that their current iPhone strategy is leading nowhere.

Why? Apple's iPhone models fall directly in the segment of devices that is losing market share. Not coincidentally, rumors have been swirling that Apple could introduce new models that are cheaper, bigger, or both later this year.

Apple has Siri, a virtual assistant with more spunk than actual utility. Google has Google Now, which is a lot of substance and absolutely no style whatsoever. BlackBerry's Voice Assist is barely functional, but the company is rumored to be working on a dedicated virtual assistant for the next version of their operation system.

And Microsoft? Microsoft will now have Cortana, an artificially intelligent personal assistant with a feature set that sounds like Google's, but a personality more like Apple's.

We've heard the rumors about Cortana before, a virtual assitant based off a fictional A.I. character in the videogame series Halo, but yesterday, Microsoft made it official, along with a number of other exciting upgrades to Windows Phone 8.1.

Yesterday, we brought you a trifecta of Microsoft updates. Today? There's more news from our favorite underdog, BlackBerry, which has finally stopped hemorrhaging cash and may be primed for a comeback.

BlackBerry? Aren't they the folks who made those keyboarded phones that businesspeople used to love? Yep, and they're bringing the old-school devices back, at least for now.

Meanwhile, for those who have moved on to an iPhone, but miss their QWERTY keyboards, there's bad news: Typo, the company that produced a BlackBerry-esque keyboard attachment for iPhones, may be on its deathbed, after a California court granted BlackBerry's request for an injunction.

In 2011, one of Al Franken's constituent groups in Minnesota, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, reached out to him about their concern over GPS tracking apps or "stalking apps" on mobile smartphones. Since then, Senator Franken has made this one of his top priorities.

In 2012, he introduced the Location Protection Privacy Act of 2012, which came through Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support, but never resulted in a vote. Now, Senator Franken, as Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, is "reintroducing his location privacy bill that would outlaw the development, operation, and sale of stalking apps," according to a press release issued by his office.

It's Friday, and we're ready for the weekend, so we thought a good roundup of legal tech news was in order. Today, we hear a court's concern for the sweeping government requests for searching electronic data, the Government gives procrastinators a break, and Apple gets multicultural -- with its emojis, that is.

Judge Denies Request to Search iPhone

A few weeks ago, a college student found himself in trouble with the FBI after he bragged about making ricin, having learned to make it from an online search on his iPhone. The Government requested a search warrant to search the student's iPhone and Judge Facciola of the District Court for the District of Columbia denied the request for a warrant because the request was overbroad, reports Ars Technica.

So, my new BlackBerry went back. After two weeks, I came to the realization that the software pretty much isn't ready. The operating system is fast and fluid, the browser is spectacular (seriously faster than any browser on iOS or Android), but there are no apps. And the ability to run Android apps, which finally came via the OS 10.2.1 update, is too flaky for daily use. (Plus, running Android apps on the Q10's square-shaped screen was really awkward.)

But, six months from now? With this week's leak of an early version of Blackberry OS 10.3, and a functional Android app store, we might be looking at a comeback. The leaker, on the other hand, might be looking at a courtroom.

Let's give credit where credit is due. A few months ago, President Barack Obama addressed the ongoing NSA privacy issues and proposed what we politely called "mild reforms," including instructing intelligence officials to find a way to preserve the NSA's program of bulk collection of cell phone metadata by March 28.

With only a few days left until the deadline (not coincidentally, the date the court order authorizing the program expires), it seems the White House's strategy has shifted, and the legislative proposal sounds almost ... constitutional.

Apple's iOS8 is not expected to release before fall -- but that hasn't stopped the whispers. The word on the street is that Apple's anticipated iOS8 has new features that has the Internet abuzz with speculation, rumors and purported screen shots. Here's a roundup of what's going round the rumor mill.


Taking a cue from the popularity of health and fitness trackers, Apple is getting in on the action with its own version -- Healthbook. The Apple Healthbook will track everything from bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, nutrition, blood sugar, activity, respiratory rate, weight, and oxygen saturation, according to 9to5Mac. Though it's unclear how this information will be tracked, there's some speculation that Apple may be releasing an iWatch wearable device.

When BlackBerry finally launched their oft-delayed Blackberry 10 "comeback" devices, well ... nothing happened. The delays, immature operating system, and high price of the phones all but ensured nobody was going to buy them.

Plus, the company was on the verge of a collapse, then was almost parted out, then somehow wasn't. Despite a love for QWERTY keyboards, we advised you to stay away from buying a device that was tied to a company flirting with death.

Six months later, BlackBerry, with a new CEO, has new devices in the pipeline, has updated its operating system to solve the app gap (by enabling devices to run Android apps). The future, while not promising, isn't quite as bleak.

That's why I finally picked up a BlackBerry. What'd I find?