22 November 2011

We love you, Steve!

A lot has been written about Steve's life and death over the past six weeks, and rightly so. His vision and clear thinking have guided thousands of people and companies across the globe. Orbicule is definitely one of them. 'No respect for the status quo', our company's tagline, has literally been 'taken' from the Think Different campaign Steve launched upon his return to Apple in 1997.

It's not just about slogans though, we try to let the Steve-mindset and attention to detail permeate everything we do. It's even safe to say that without Steve, Orbicule would not even exist. That's quite an accomplishment for someone we never met in person. Fortunately we were lucky enough to attend and enjoy many of his Stevenotes, being in the same room with the reality distortion field.

Needless to say, we were deeply saddened when we learned about Steve's passing and we felt we should do something to remember him. Just hours after the news broke, the Belgian national television asked us to participate in a short movie to remember and honor Steve. Of course, we accepted immediately.

As a tribute to Steve, we are posting the resulting movie below. Part of it was filmed at Orbicule, and you might recognize the entire Orbicule team in the final shot.

It's our way to say: "thank you Steve, we love you!'.

13 October 2011

Swedish MacBook recovered in Henderson, Nevada

One of our clients from Sweden just wrote a blog post describing his experiences with Undercover. Thanks to Undercover, the Henderson (NV) police was able to recover the stolen MacBook and - probably equally important - roughly 1500 photos taken during a three week road-trip through California and Nevada.

23 September 2011

Our newest cat

We recently introduced Fluff, a side project that is totally different from our current security lineup.
Fluff is an iOS app that tells the story of a lovable little kitten exploring the beautiful but dangerous outside world. Written for kids aged 2 - 6 years old by Den, the story has been illustrated by our resident graphics designer Winnie Trekker. Fluff has been specifically designed for the iPad, but it works just fine on the iPhone and iPod touch. If you have (grand)children, you should check out Fluff right now!

25 July 2011

What you need to know about Undercover on Lion

Apple released Lion 5 days ago and many of our users have already upgraded their Macs or are planning to do so soon. In this post, we would like to address some common questions and misconceptions about Undercover on Lion.

Reinstalling on Lion
We recommend all our users to download Undercover 4.5 and run the installer, even if Undercover has been installed previously. This will make sure you are running the very latest version. Reinstalling Undercover on a Mac will not use additional license seats if you have a household or site license.

FileVault 2
With OS X Lion comes FileVault 2, an update of Apple's data encryption program. In FileVault 2 a Mac cannot boot unless an admin password is entered. Therefore, third party apps such as Undercover (and Undercover copy-cats) cannot run. Basically in OS X Lion, you must choose between using FileVault 2 or having the chance to recover your Mac using Undercover. We are sorry to have to write this, but this is how Apple designed FileVault 2. If you want to continue using Undercover and data encryption is important to you, there are many other file encryption apps available.

Location menu item
In Lion, a new location menu is present in the upper right corner of the menubar (the arrow icon). This menu lists all apps that have accessed your location in the last 24 hours. Since Undercover uses location, it will show up there as well (under the uclocator name). If you think this menu gives a potential thief too much information, you can easily remove the menu item: drag the com.apple.locationmenu.plist file in /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ out of the LaunchAgents folder. You can always bring the menu item back by moving the plist file back to its folder.

Firmware password
Setting a firmware password will prevent thieves from formatting your startup disk, as the password is needed to boot from another disk than your default startup disk. That's why we recommend to set a firmware password when using Undercover. You can access the firmware password in Lion by booting from the recovery partition.

Update: added information about the firmware utility on the Lion recovery partition. Thanks to everyone who pointed this out.

Update 2: corrected information on FileVault 2

24 July 2011

Undercover tracks MacBook Air in Hampshire, UK

Undercover helps recovering another MacBook Air in the UK. Our favorite quote from the story:
When officers turned up at the thief's home in New Milton, Hampshire, 100 miles away, they were even able to match the wallpaper in his living room with that in the background of the photograph.

Read the entire story in the Daily Mail.

19 July 2011

ZipRage thinks Witness is hot

ZipRage just reviewed Witness: "I could see it being a fantastic option for those of you living in a dorm room". Read the review...

15 July 2011

Witness 1.2 ready for Lion

After releasing Undercover 4.5 two weeks ago, we are now completing our Lion compatibility lineup with Witness 1.2. Besides providing full compatibility with Lion, Witness fixes a couple of other issues. We recommend all our Witness users to upgrade to version 1.2. Simply download the installer from the Witness website and run it.

UPDATE: Some users are reporting issues with alarm activation on Lion. We are looking into these issues, and we will release a fix as soon as possible.

08 July 2011

First Witness success story

Only about three months after its introduction, Witness managed to witness its first theft. It snapped pictures of an iPad theft at a hospital in Virginia, US. Thanks to Witness, our customer now has his iPad back, and the police have arrested the thief who had previously stolen money at the same the hospital. Read the entire story...

28 June 2011

Undercover likes Lion

We just released Undercover 4.5. This update makes Undercover fully compatible with the yet to be released Lion (Mac OS X 10.7). In addition, the new version improves location tracking on Snow Leopard and Lion.

Undercover 4.5 is compatible with Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion. You should install it on all your Undercover-equipped Macs. Simply download the installer from the Undercover page and run the installer.

04 May 2011

Witness this!

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook (and you should ;), you probably already know that last month we introduced Witness, our latest app. Witness turns your Mac into a home alarm system. As soon as your Mac detects motion, Witness sends a push notification to your iOS device, including mugshots of the thief, and even video.

Although we were pretty happy with the end result, we could have never imagined that in its first month, Witness would shatter the monthly Undercover sales record. That's quite a feat, given that Undercover is five years old now and is an extremely successful product. In fact, we have been so busy selling, supporting and updating Witness that we did not even manage to write a blog post about the 1.0 version!

In the meantime, Witness has been featured on or reviewed by Wired, TUAW, Mac360 and numerous other websites. Our favorite review, however, comes from MacStories:
There are many tweaks and hacks available online to turn your iSight into a security system, as well as utilities to lock your Mac from an iPhone or iPad while on the go. I bet many of you have heard of these methods or at least tried to follow one of those tutorials once. Witness, however, does exactly what a great app has to do: it combines multiple functionalities into a beautiful, easy to use and full-featured package that requires minimal setup and just works.
I highly recommend Witness not only because of the beautiful interface approach and usability — it’s the “just works” factor that combines a utility to lock a computer and turn it into a home alarm system that truly impressed me.

Today, we are introducing Witness 1.1, fixing some smaller issues that are inevitably part of a 1.0 release. If you haven't checked out Witness yet, now would be a good time to do so. With the 30-day money back guarantee, there is nothing to lose.

11 February 2011

Beta-testers wanted

During the past months, we have devoted most of our time to an exciting, super-secret Orbicule project. As we are almost done, we would like to have some feedback from outside the company.
If you are interested in helping us make this project succeed, feel free to drop us an email at beta@orbicule.com. We are especially interested in beta testers owning both a Mac and an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).

Please include the following information:
- Your name and address
- Other software you helped beta-test
- Mac OS X version
- iOS device type and OS version
- iOS UDID (see this post for instructions)

The beta program will start on Tuesday 15 February. Selected testers will receive the first version on that day.

UPDATE: We are no longer looking for testers, thanks for the enthusiastic response!