Tag - IOS 9
We're weeks away from the public beta of iOS 10, and months from the proper one that will roll out to iPhones and iPads in the fall. Yet the instant the new version was mentioned, suddenly iOS 9 seemed old; even old-fashioned. Before it passes into history for approximately 90 percent of us within a week of iOS 10's release, let me give a tip of the hat to 2015/16's iPhone and iPad operating system.
With just one week to go before its major Worldwide Developers Conference that is -- among other things -- expected to show off the next major upgrades to OS X, iOS, and various other software (and potentially hardware) items, Apple has released second betas of OS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.3, and tvOS 9.2.2, along with a first beta of watchOS 2.2.2 for developers, with public-tester versions of the OS X and iOS betas expected to arrive tomorrow. While no user-facing changes have yet been revealed, each beta brings with it small tweaks and changes to improve stability, performance, and security.
On Tuesday, one week after the last one, Apple has issued a third developer betas of iOS 9.3.2 for testing. The main obvious change in iOS 9.3.2 over previous versions is the fixing of a frequent Game Center bug that would cause some games to go to a white screen and become unplayable, and which has been a frequently-reported issue for months. The latest iOS beta also re-introduces the ability to use the Night Shift screen-coloring feature in Low Power Mode.
The iPhone is less than 10 years old, and yet in that time we've gone from not knowing why we would need one to nearly everyone in the developed world (and much of the rest of the planet) having one -- well, an iPhone or a cheaper knock-off of one. That's right, we said it: just as all mankind in all its color and diversity likely stemmed from a single African ancestor, so to do all modern smartphones stem from the iPhone. Now we're in a position where we can't live without them, and rarely even look up from them. This has led to a new problem: our reliance means we constantly struggle to make them last up to 18 hours a day.
A new exploit has been discovered by a pair of security researchers that could have maliciously exploited an old, previously-thought-patched "date bug" in iPhones and iPads by using common network names (like "attwifi" or other "default" router network names) to substitute a malicious network that the phone would then join because the name is a "trusted" connection. Once substituted, the network could conceivably "brick" (render non-operative) iOS devices running up to iOS 9.3 by setting up a malicious network time server that would reset the device's "clock" to January 1, 1970, causing devices to count time backwards until they crashed at a 1965 date. The NTP flaw was presumed fixed in iOS 9.3, and the entire network exploit has been addressed in the current iOS 9.3.1 release.
On Wednesday, Apple released the first beta of iOS 9.3.2 to developers, following the update of 9.3.1 to correct some important security and bug issues. The company also released the first betas of OS X 10.11.5, watchOS 2.2.1, and tvOS 9.2.1, all developer-only at present (though a public beta of the iOS and OS X updates are expected in the next day or two). As usual, Apple has not listed any notable changes from the previous beta, though small updates, tweaks and other changes are usually reported by developers over the first few days in the process of testing.
Thanks to a motion to unseal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), it has been revealed that the FBI is again trying to use the All Writs Act, a law from 1879 that can in some circumstances be used to ask companies render technical assistance to law enforcement, to force Apple to decrypt an iPhone (believed to be an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 9.1) in a gang-related case. Since the case that the FBI later dropped in San Bernardino became public, it has been revealed that the FBI, contrary to its claims, has attempted to use the AWA some 63 times to try and force companies to decrypt encrypted communications.
Late Monday afternoon, Apple released a seventh beta of iOS 9.3 to both developers and pre-registered public testers, a day before expected similar beta releases of OS X 10.11.4. Interestingly, the developer release and public-tester release are one build number apart -- 13E5233a for developers, 13E5234a for testers. The new beta was issued by itself, rather than in a group with other betas as has been the usual practice of late, though last week's sixth beta of tvOS 9.2 lagged behind the iOS, OS X, and watchOS betas by almost four days.
On Monday, Apple updated its various OS platforms to the fourth developer beta for the respective systems, with public-tester betas of OS X and iOS likely to appear in the next day or two. For OS X, the fourth beta of the imminent 10.11.4 update has no immediately obvious changes, but the update generally will bring several changes. The fourth iOS 9.3 beta sports another change to the Night Shift icon, a feature that adjusts the color temperature of the display. The new watchOS and tvOS betas also offer minor changes, with all four expected to be release on or around a rumored mid-March Apple event.
We've spoken before in the Pointers column about the usefulness of Siri, and about the Reminders app (both of which are available nearly everywhere: on the Mac, on iOS devices, on the Apple Watch, and even on PCs and such using the iCloud.com website). Oddly enough, we've not written much about how massively useful Notes is, even after it got a major upgrade in usefulness with the arrival of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. In this Pointers, we'll address that, and get you to use both it and Reminders more with and without Siri, and even more so with and without an Apple Watch -- the latter of which turns out to be something of a "killer feature."
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE