Apple, Bug Evangelism, iPhone

iPhone 5 shuts off when opening Camera

I’ve experienced a strange iPhone 5 or iOS 6.0.2 bug three times in the last week. Here are the steps to reproduce:

  1. Use phone until battery level is at the most 40%.
  2. In in an environment with a temperature below 50º Fahrenheit, play music through the phone speakers for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Confirm that the battery level is above 15%.
  4. Open Camera app, with or without stopping the music playback.
  5. Phone immediately shuts off as if the battery was dead.
  6. Attempt to turn phone on; screen shows “no battery” symbol.
  7. Plug phone in to a power source. The phone will turn back on after a few seconds, showing at least 15% battery power.

These specific steps are the result of me using my phone as a stereo while I work on projects in my garage in Minnesota in the winter.

I’ve reported the problem to Apple; has anyone else experienced this? I don’t know if the temperature, music playback, or actual battery level are relevant, but it’s definitely due to opening Camera.

Facebook, iPhone, Mahalo, Programming

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Apple, iPhone

Does the iPhone encourage insecure passwords?

It is common knowledge that a strong password contains characters from the largest character set possible; that is, a password made up of letters (A-Z) is weaker than a password consisting of letters and numbers, which is weaker than a password that contains letters, numbers, and symbols such as $, @, or &. This is because the larger the character set, the longer it will take to guess or crack the password.

History has shown that users will choose passwords that have the following qualities, in order of importance:

  1. Easy to remember.
  2. Easy to input.
  3. (If at all) hard to guess.

A memorable password is worthless if it takes more than a few seconds to type, and an easily typed password is worthless if it can’t be remembered. So typically, savvy computer users will pick a password that strikes a balance between the first two qualities, and some might take a moment to make it harder to guess by appending an arbitrary letter or number to the end. This is what causes passwords like password4 or vikings96.

But when using the Apple iPhone to enter text in a password field, what characters is the user presented with?

Keyboard with only letters and the space bar

Letters only, with numbers and symbols hidden in secondary and tertiary keyboards. The extra effort needed to find and type a number (or an underscore, in the third keyboard removed) each time they enter a password will cause some people to either change their current passwords to be alphabetic or at least do so when choosing new passwords. If Apple wanted to encourage good password selection, the keyboard for a password field should at least look something like this:

Alternate iPhone keyboard with A-Z and 0-9

The shift key would transform 0-9 into their traditional shift alternatives, and all of the keys would still be available in a secondary menu, if desired. However, if Apple wanted to make a truly game-changing move, they’d make the default password keyboard look like this:

iPhone keyboard consisting of only symbols

Of course, that might be a little drastic. :-)