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Recently in Mobile Phones / Smartphones Category

iPhone Update Blocks Police Passcode Cracking Tools

Apple really stuck it to the man with its latest software update.

In a move worthy of a counter-culture revolution, Apple released iOS 11.4.1 and took on the Establishment. The operating system blocks tools police have used to crack iPhone security.

It may look like a routine update, but make no mistake about it. Apple rocks.

How Easy Is It for Hackers to Disrupt Mobile Navigation?

So maybe Siri, your cell phone navigator, gives you bad directions. It's an annoyance that anybody with a smart phone and a car knows.

But did you know that hackers could make your GPS steer your car where they want you to go? With a device that costs lest than your cell phone bill, the bad guys could literally take over your life.

It's not like you would follow your GPS into oncoming traffic, probably, but researchers say the technology exists for bad-guy remote control. It's a good thing they aren't the bad guys.

Criminal Defendants Can Get Text Alerts for Court Dates

What if somebody texted reminders to clients to appear in court -- and to keep them out of jail?

That's the idea behind a software program running in various counties and cities, where defendants receive text messages to avoid a "failure to appear." One program, which costs about $20,000, promises to save a lot more in warrants and jail time.

So far, half a dozen cities or counties are using text-message systems. They include some pretty big municipalities from California to New York.

Can Courts Track Sex Offenders With GPS?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently pushed back police who use GPS tracking on cell phones to follow suspects.

The High Court said police generally must get warrants for such searches. At the same time, legal researchers published a study about courts using GPS to monitor sex offenders.

The developments illustrate how the law -- like technology -- is constantly changing. And these days, the law is usually changing to keep up with technology.

Apple and Samsung Settle Seven-Year iPhone Patent Fight

After seven years of back-and-forth litigation, Apple and Samsung settled their epic patent battle over cell phone and tablet designs.

It played out in lawsuits around the globe, as virtually the entire tech industry watched. It outlived Steve Jobs, who reportedly called it "thermonuclear war."

Yet as it happens in most great conflicts, the parties finally laid down their weapons. The settlement terms have not been disclosed, but the cost of the war was certainly part of it.

Ethical Considerations About the New 'Uber for Lawyers' App

So Text A Lawyer wants to be the next Uber.

Yeah, and George C. Parker has a bridge to sell you. Not to be judgmental or anything, but doesn't everybody want to be the next Uber -- without all the lawsuits?

The real question is, can lawyers really make money with this app? Oh, and because of Uber and all that, is it ethical?

What the SCOTUS Decision Does NOT Mean for Cell Phones

While the U.S. Supreme Court said police generally cannot follow people through their cell phones, the justices did not prohibit cell phone companies from doing it.

In Carpenter v. United States, the Court said police violated the defendant's expectation of privacy, but most people surrender it as soon as they turn on their phones. In that way, the decision is notable for what it didn't say.

It may trouble privacy advocates, including the four justices who dissented in the opinion, but the law -- like GPS tracking -- only goes so far.

The latest lawsuit against tech giant Apple claims that its newest signature product, the Apple Watch, has had a significant defect in every single model since debuting in 2015.

The defect claimed in the lawsuit is almost comical and involves the device's screen just popping off. The allegations claim that the problem is a known defect to Apple, but the company refuses to acknowledge it, nor provide warranty support for it (which is usually what the company does when known defects are acknowledged). The lawsuit seeks $5 million dollars in damages.

Lyft Faces Another Class Action

Lyft is catching up with Uber in riders and class actions.

Not that anyone is counting, but Lyft just picked up a new class action over driver pay. It accuses the company of cutting into drivers' fares.

It sounds a lot like a recent complaint against Uber. But in the lawsuit count, this time Lyft is content to be number two.

Mobility Tips for the Legal Road Warrior

Lawyers today carry around computers more powerful than those that sent men to the moon.

The NASA guidance system filled a room, yet now people can put a GPS device in their pocket. By comparison, the moon shot machines literally had the computing power of a pocket calculator.

It's just a footnote in the astonishing evolution of technology. But it's also a reminder that technology moves on -- especially mobile tech.