In today’s mobile news roundup: Apple’s DND bug to resolve itself; Polaroid to open Fotobars in February; Snapchat raises possibility of sexting; and RIM’s camera patent could end inconspicuous shooting.
Apple’s DND bug to resolve itself
A lot of iOS 6 users who’ve been using the “Do Not Disturb” on their device got a bit of a surprise on New Years Day when the feature was turned on (or off) when it was not supposed to. Though a lot of users took their qualms to Apple’s forum, the company itself could not be bothered to fix the bug. According to Apple, people should just wait until January 7 when the bug will resolve itself, with no further action needed from them or from the iOS 6 users.
“Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off,” Apple said on their support page.
Though it has left people confused as to how sure Apple is of their own response, if you change the date on your device to January 7, you’ll see that the DND bug has been fixed. Some developers have pointed to the cause of interaction with the Unix operating system that underpins iOS. Apple did not provide any explanation in the significance of the date but iOS developer Patrick McCarron simply explains on Twitter, saying “If you use a [Unix] date format string of YYYY (vs yyyy) you get 2012 until Jan 7 when it becomes 2013. Easy mistake to make, I have.”
Polaroid to open Fotobars in February
Before digital photography, the only way to immediately see a photo was to use a Polaroid camera. But with the emergence of social networks, smartphones with HD cameras and digital cameras becoming smarter (and connected), it seems the era of actual photographs are long gone. For Polaroid, that’s not true. To them, providing people with actual, palpable, photos still beats looking at photos on computer screens.
“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” founder and CEO of Fotobar Warren Struhl said in a statement. “Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices.”
In February, they will open their first Fotobar in Delray Beach, Florida and nine more shops will be opened in 2013 in various cities such as New York, Las Vegas and Boston. Fotobars will enable consumers to print photos stored in their smartphones or even those photos stored in apps such as Facebook, Picasa and Instagram. There will be stations where people can edit their photos to remove red eye, add filters, adjust brightness, and so on and so forth. They can even choose what material to use on their printed photo like canvas, metal and wood. And the photos can be shipped to consumers within 72 hours. So if you have the most memorable photo on your smartphone and you feel like it’s better as a printed image, better head to the nearest Polaroid Fotobar when it opens.
Snapchat encourages sexting
Snapchat, the photo-chatting app that has gained popularity because of its self-destruct function, is now being dubbed as a promoter of sexting. We’ve all had those moments when we send someone a photo and immediately regret it and wished that we could take it back or destroy it, never to be seen again. Well, that’s what Snapchat does. It lets you send a photo to your friend/s, set a timer as to how long the photo can be seen (from one to ten seconds), then it gets destroyed after your allotted time. Of course, the recipient can still take a screenshot if he’s quick enough, but Snapchat immediately notifies the sender if a screenshot was made. And that’s what concerns people, because knowing that a photo will be destroyed in seconds, it seems like they are encouraging people, especially teens, to engage in sexting.
Claire Lilley, of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, stated that more and more teenagers are engaging in sexual activities on their mobile devices, and apps such as Snapchat only spur such behavior. Though Snapchat founders stated that they created the app to help people have fun with their friends, it can’t be denied that there are a lot of people using the app to share much more than silly photos. Lilley advises people that instead of using an app that destroys embarrassing photos, better not take and send those photos at all.
RIM’s camera patent could put an end to spy photos
In a patent issued recently, Research in Motion may finally put an end to taking photos inconspicuously, especially at work. The patent states that, “the camera restriction prevents a user from taking a picture of a subject if the device has not been steadily focused on the subject in question for a predetermined period of time.” The predetermined period of time could be set by a company’s IT department, so taking photos of trade secrets may now become a thing of the past. Not only will it prevent employees from capturing sensitive information in a jiff but it also eliminates blurry photos as it will not take photos unless it is properly focused.
The move can be considered yet another way RIM is making an appeal to the enterprise sector, where security reigns supreme. RIM’s been fighting off the encroaching iPhone, iPad and bevy of Android devices for the past three years, and faces even more competition from Microsoft, which has introduced a tablet and a refreshed operating system designed for the workplace.