Apple continues coverage push
Apple has expanded its 3D Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to more of California, AppleInsider notes. Flyover has long been available for cities like San Francisco, but now covers areas such as Anaheim, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, and Moreno Valley. Some significant pieces of scenery include Disneyland and the Santa Monica pier.
Other regions might also have new 3D terrain
Apple has extended Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to Paris and several surrounding areas, reports say. Aside from Paris, other new detail regions include Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris, and L'Ha˙-les-Roses. Flyover renders scenery in a rough 3D state, clarifying maps and giving a better sense for what an environment will look like in person.
A cryptographic component in iOS 6 has received FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 Level 1 security certification from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, says TUAW. In particular, the NIST says that when running in FIPS mode, iOS 6's CoreCrypto Kernel Module 3.0 "generates cryptographic keys whose strengths are modified by available entropy." The module is identified as "a software cryptographic module running on a multi-chip standalone mobile device and provides services intended to protect data in transit and at rest."
Continues trend of targeted iOS updates
In an unexpected move, Apple has released a new version of iOS exclusively for iPhone 5 owners. iOS 6.1.4 upgrades the audio profile for the device's speakerphone, and so far doesn't appear to make any other changes. The update applies to both GSM- and CDMA- equipped iPhones.
Platforms getting separate approval
The US Department of Defense should grant two separate security approvals to iOS 6 devices and Samsung Galaxy phones in the coming weeks, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. Apple's iOS 6 is expected to be vetted as safe for non-classified data uses, namely email and web browsing. Galaxy phones, meanwhile, will allegedly be judged as conforming to the DoD's Security's Technology Implementation Guide, allowing use by some military agencies for sending and receiving internal email.
May be sign of behind-the-scenes talks with VirnetX
Apple has partially reversed course on its decision to change the way iOS 6 handles VPN connections, a modified Apple support document reveals. "Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The 'Always' option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices," the company says.
New firmware expected later this month
A forthcoming version of iOS will change the way the OS handles VPN connections, according to a support document on Apple's website. On devices with VPN On Demand, the "Always" setting will instead behave as if it were "Establish if needed." In essence, VPN On Demand will only be established if iOS can't resolve the DNS name of a host. The new firmware is scheduled to appear sometime this month.
Looks to improve global accuracy of Maps
Apple has begun hiring for Maps "ground truth" workers in several more regions around the globe, expanding beyond recent Australian recruiting. The new regions include the US, eastern and western Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and the Middle East and Africa. In each case Apple is searching for a manager whose team is expected to test new code and data, comparing remotely-collected maps against "known truths" about a region's geography, as well as content in rival mapping applications. In the US, a team must use "local expertise" to gather additional feedback.
Only affects iPhone 4
A new lockscreen bypass has been discovered in iOS 6.1.3, notes iPhoneinCanada. Unlike the tricks discovered in iOS 6.1, the new one appears to affect only the iPhone 4. It also, unusually, involves popping out an iPhone's SIM card while using Voice Control to dial an emergency number.
Japanese users get additional Maps improvements
(Updated with Apple TV 5.2.1 info) Apple has released the final version of iOS 6.1.3 to the public as an over-the-air update, with an iTunes distribution likely to arrive later today. The firmware is a minor update, mainly solving a lockscreen bypass made possible via a glitch in the iPhone's Emergency Call function. When used, the bypass would give people access to private data like contacts and voicemail messages.
6.1.3 update still in beta
At least some promised Maps upgrades are reaching Japanese iOS users even though iOS 6.1.3 isn't available to the public, says Japanese site Macotakara. The improvements were originally slated to debut in v6.1.1, but were postponed when Apple had to deal with several major glitches. It's not clear how the v6.1.3 changes are propagating without new firmware, but at least some changes might be possible via updated map downloads.
Could allow pulling data via USB
Another lockscreen bypass vulnerability has been discovered in iOS 6.1, says Vulnerability Lab CEO Benjamin Kunz Mejri. The second is similar to the first one, in that it involves iOS' Emergency Call feature. "The vulnerability is located in the main login module of the mobile iOS device (iPhone or iPad) when processing to use the screenshot function in combination with the emergency call and power (standby) button," Mejri writes. "The vulnerability allows the local attacker to bypass the code lock in iTunes and via USB when a black screen bug occurs."
Could potentially force hackers to start 'from scratch' on new app
iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 -- seeded to developers late last week -- wrecks the evasi0n jailbreak, one of the members of evad3rs tells Forbes. David Wang elaborates that it closes at least one of the five exploits evasi0n currently depends on, specifically a glitch in iOS' timezone settings. Wang says he is still testing v6.1.3, but notes that if "most" of the v6.1.2 exploits have been fixed, evad3rs will have to start "from scratch" on opening up the new firmware.
First beta was actually 6.1.1
Apple is seeding iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 to developers. The first beta was originally released under the v6.1.1 header, but Apple quickly turned that version around to solve problems with 3G access on the iPhone 4S. The v6.1.2 update quashed an Exchange bug.
Vulnerability linked to bug, source says
A "Don't Allow Changes" option introduced alongside iOS 6 is currently broken, a report says. The feature is supposed to allow people to block changes to an account linked to an iOS device. It's particularly important for schools and other institutions that need to ensure a device is tied to a particular account, and/or can't download unauthorized apps.
Expected to fix Exchange glitches, lockscreen vulnerability
iOS 6.1.2 is already in development and should go live early next, say sources for German website iFun. The site adds that the firmware will probably go live before February 20th, and that it's expected to close the lockscreen vulnerability discovered in iOS 6.1, along with Exchange problems. It could conceivably fix other issues as well, but these aren't mentioned by iFun.
Not first instance of lockscreen glitch
(Updated with Apple response) A vulnerability in iOS 6.1 allows people to bypass the iPhone's lockscreen without entering a passcode, reports say. To accomplish the hack, a person has to go to the Emergency Call screen, begin to power off, but then cancel and make a call which should also be cancelled. The phone next has to be put into standby, woken up, and then swiped; the bypass is finally possible by tapping the Emergency Call button after holding down the power button for three to four seconds. The home button has to be hit right away to prevent the phone from shutting off, and users are still blocked from email, messaging, and browsing.
Problem identified, causes excessive resource use on both ends
A bug in iOS 6.1 that played havoc with battery life and resources on the iOS device and caused excess logging and usage on Microsoft Exchange-based servers when syncing with iOS devices has been identified, Apple reported on Wednesday. The company says a fix will be made available in a forthcoming update, but doesn't give a firm timeframe. Under iOS 6.1, devices that try to sync with a site running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 cause errors and problems on both the device and the server.
Firmware overloads servers
Microsoft has posted a support document explaining how to work around trouble with Exchange support in iOS 6.1. "When a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server (CAS) and Mailbox (MBX) server resources are consumed, log growth becomes excessive, memory and CPU use may increase significantly, and server performance is affected," the company begins. "Additionally, Office 365 Exchange Online users receive an error message that resembles the following on an iOS 6.1-based device: 'Cannot Get Mail The connection to the server failed.'"
May be traceable to Exchange glitch
[Updated with info from AOL on the "meeting managment" bug] Some iPhone owners are complaining about battery life and/or overheating after upgrading to iOS 6.1, according to multiple threads on Apple's support forums. The exact cause of the problems is unknown, but one owner notes that their phone appears to have been running something in the background, and that a factory reset fixed the situation. Some reports specifically suggest that the problem is related to Mail's handling of Exchange.
Users were having issues with weather, boot times, more
Following the popular release of the evasi0n "jailbreak" tool for devices running iOS 6 and higher, the team behind it have released at least two updates to fix problems caused by the jailbreak, which has been claimed to have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times since its release on Monday. The most common bug was that the jailbreak caused the stock Weather app to crash or (on iPads) revealing a hidden but outdated iPhone version of the app.
Attempts to fix problems with Maps in Japan
Apple is seeding an initial beta of iOS 6.1.1 to developers. In notes for the release, Apple explains that the update is meant to fix problems with the Maps app in Japan. This includes several improvements to navigation, such as better pronunciation of road names, preference of highways over narrower roads, and warnings about toll routes.
Note updated in light of issues with latest iOS 6.x jailbreak
Apple has reviewed and updated a Knowledge Base article on the potential hazards of jailbreaking iPhones, following the release on Monday of the evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 6.x. While jailbreaking is not illegal, issues with the jailbreak (and previous jailbreaks for earlier iOS versions) have been reported, and Apple is within its rights to refuse service on a jailbroken phone. Minor issues have been reported with the evasi0n jailbreak, and the article has likely been updated simply as a reminder.
Tied to planned subscription service?
(Updated with AppleInsider info) Buried code in iOS 6.1 may hint at a future radio feature, notes 9to5Mac. After applying the evasi0n jailbreak, the site says it discovered code for a radio button hidden in the iPad Music app, even though the app is only equipped to play local files or content from iTunes Match. One possibility is that Apple is planning to implement support for Internet broadcasts, as with the desktop version of iTunes.
Update expands LTE support, tweaks Siri, iTunes Match
(Updated with security, Apple TV info) Apple has officially released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update is available through iTunes or as an over-the-air download, and makes several important tweaks. For instance, it enables LTE on the extended number of carriers Apple announced last week; an official list has been posted on the company's website.
Final version of iOS 6.1 could arrive as soon as today
A public jailbreak for iOS 6 could be coming soon, according to tweets by prominent hackers. One hacker, planetbeing, says that "tons of progress" has been made in recent days, and that "the future is looking bright for jailbreaking." He claims in fact that an exploit of his is already working, but that he's been testing it to ensure no "unpleasant side-effects."
Could be released as soon as today
Apple is doing internal testing of a new and possibly final developer build of iOS 6.1, with plans to release it soon, says a source for iFun. The person adds that if all goes according to plan the beta may even become the official gold master, essentially the same version of the OS to be released to the public. The new build could come out as soon as today or Monday.
People will have to wait for a bug with the "Do Not Disturb" mode in iOS 6 to resolve itself, according to a new Apple support document. The webpage notes that the glitch should disappear after January 7. Problems began yesterday, when Do Not Disturb started staying on past scheduled times. At the moment, the only way to still use the feature is to disable scheduling and manually flip Do Not Disturb on and off.
Feature initially left out of iOS 6
Apple has reimplemented the ability to gift apps to people via an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, observers say. While the feature has never disappeared from the desktop iTunes version of the App Store, it mysteriously vanished from iOS in the upgrade from iOS 5 to iOS 6. To bring up the option, a person has to tap the Share button on a title's App Store page. A form lets users pick the email address to send to, a custom message, and when the app will be delivered.
Map mistake forces government rescue operations
(Updated with news of Apple fix) Police in Victoria, Australia have issued a bulletin warning people about an error in iOS 6 Maps which is leaving people stranded. The bulletin notes that during the past few weeks, rescue operations have been needed for a number of people using iOS 6 to drive to the city of Mildura. The firmware is instead leading people into a part of Murray-Sunset National Park over 40 miles away.
Claims executive shakeup was about 'collaboration'
In the Business Week interview in which he talks about US manufacturing plans, Apple CEO Tim Cook also addresses several other topics, such as the firings of iOS head Scott Forstall and recently-hired retail chief John Browett, which forced a reorganization of duties. Although not referring to the other executives by name, Cook claims that the shakeup was meant to foster "collaboration," which he calls "essential for innovation" and a core value at Apple, something co-founder Steve Jobs allegedly believed in.
Firmware nears final release
Apple is seeding a third beta of iOS 6.1 to developers. The firmware should be available through the iOS Dev Center, as well as in the form of an over-the-air update. Apple is promising that the code "contains bug fixes and improvements," but as usual has not gone into depth on any feature changes.
Cue said to be bringing in new leadership for Maps group
Apple's senior VP for Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, has fired the executive in charge of iOS 6 Maps, Richard Williamson, according to Bloomberg sources. Although it's unknown if a replacement for Williamson has been lined up, one of the sources claims that Cue is planning to install a new leadership team in the Maps group. Meanwhile, another source says that a team is dedicated to fixing mapping mistakes, for instance upgrading UK satellite imagery or the labeling for US landmarks. The group is allegedly concentrating on the most obvious problems first.
General Motors has announced that it will be the first car maker to integrate Apple’s Siri into its vehicles. The Chevorlet Spark and the Sonic LTZ and RS models will be the first to integrate Siri’s voice control capabilities via their built-in MyLink infotainment systems. The capability is dependent on owners having a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 or higher.
Apple on third promised deadline
Apple has failed to supply the iOS 6 source code as promised, Google-owned Motorola has complained to the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In the lawsuit it is pursuing against Apple, Motorola says it needs the code to perform infringement analysis. The company first made a request for source code on May 30th, and specific iOS 6 demands on August 7th, October 25th, and November 6th, the last tagged with a request that Apple provide a "date certain." The new complaint notes that Apple has repeatedly promised to provide the code, but missed September 21st and November 9th deadlines it set; another one was recently set for November 30th.
Showcases Shared Photo Streams, iPhone 5's noise-cancelling mic
Apple has launched a pair of new TV ads, both showcasing the iPhone 5 in different ways. In "Turkey," the iPhone is used to take pictures from a Thanksgiving dinner, then shared using Shared Photo Streams, a feature in iOS 6. The second, "Orchestra," highlights a hardware feature in the iPhone 5: its pair of microphones that allow for active noise-cancelling. The spot points out that most smartphones don't offer the feature (though most Bluetooth headsets do), saying that the iPhone 5 will let you hear and speak more clearly in noisy environments.
Release of iOS 6.0.1 fixed media-stream re-downloading glitch
Users of iOS devices who haven't upgraded from iOS 6.0 to the latest version have another good reason to do so: a bug that was causing previously-unidentified data overages and other issues has been identified, in which an iOS device on iOS 6.0 may re-download media streams over and over, perhaps even while on 3G or LTE connections. The issue, which was fixed in iOS 6.0.1, could conceivably cause users to incur data overage charges. At present, Apple has not claimed responsibility for the bug or any resulting charges.
Numerous different versions of 6.1 seed available
Apple is seeding a second beta of iOS 6.1 to developers. The release follows just two weeks after the first beta, and is available in numerous different editions covering all versions of the iPad, iPad 2, and iPad mini, plus the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, and 5, and fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touches. Launching in parallel is an updated version of the Apple TV firmware, and Xcode 4.6 Developer Preview 2.
iOS 6.1 features yet to be exposed
In the wake of the public launch of iOS 6.0.1, Apple has also released the first betas of iOS 6.1 and Xcode 4.6 to developers. While the Xcode release is likely meant to support iOS 6.1, it's not clear what most of the changes in the latter include.
Over-the-air iPhone 5 update requires unusual intermediary patch
[Updated: specific security fix information added] Apple has posted iOS 6.0.1, a firmware update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The software focuses on fixing problems with the iPhone 5, namely a glitch that can prevent over-the-air updates. If a person does try to update directly from their iPhone, they must first download a special intermediary patch that allows v6.0.1 to be delivered.
Leak pegs Maps app in alpha, vector-based maps
A new version of Google's iOS Maps app is reportedly in the alpha stage of development, and it will bring a number of improvements when it is eventually released. Screens from the app have appeared on the website of an independent developer, showing off some blurry shots of the iOS 6 app in action. The developer says that the app has been significantly rebuilt and it will take advantage of the 4-inch height of the iPhone 5.
Lightning port more of a concern than iOS 6 Maps
Demand for the iPhone 5 remains very high in spite of two potentially serious issues with the device, according to new data from 451 Research and ChangeWave Research. 19 percent of a group surveyed last month said they were "very likely" to buy an iPhone 5, while 13 percent said they were somewhat likely. A poll from October 2011 for the iPhone 4S generated respective figures of 10 percent and 11.5 percent.
Apple has agreed to pay Swiss Federal Railways, better known as SBB, for the use of its clock design in the iOS 6 Clock app. Shortly after iOS 6 debuted, SBB and watchmaker Mondaine -- an SBB licensee -- said they were considering some form of action against Apple, since the analog-style displays in Clock are verbatim replicas of an SBB design. A few days later, SBB mentioned that talks with Apple were impending.
Developers alerted Apple about Maps woes as far back as June
Apple knew of iOS 6 Maps problems as far back as June this year, says CNET. After the first beta of iOS 6 was seeded to developers, feedback on errors and inaccuracies in the new app were supplied by numerous parties. Developers filed bug reports, emails were sent to specific employees, and frustration was also expressed on developer-only message boards viewed by Apple.
New 3D imagery added to areas like New York, Los Angeles
Apple is moving quickly to fix mistakes in the iOS 6 version of Maps, users say. Several Appleinsider readers comment that the company changed mapping data almost immediately after receiving their complaints. In one example, a person near Auckland, New Zealand says that Apple addressed a problem with a highway exit; in the UK, the company has corrected the location of the town of Uckfield.
Switch to vector tech leaves more data in memory
The iOS 6 version of Maps is more useful than its predecessor in terms of offline navigation, AppleInsider observes. Because the new app uses vector data instead of bitmaps, it consumes roughly 80 percent less space, and a greater area appears to be stored in memory when in Airplane Mode or outside of cellular or Wi-Fi service. iOS 5 Maps, based on Google content, would typically only save map tiles within a 10-mile radius at a couple of zoom levels.
Passbook version has iPhone 5 4-inch Retina support
After been seen demonstrated by Apple as an example of how Passbook works back in June, Starbucks updated its iOS app for iOS 6 support and the ability to store and use a Starbucks loyalty card on Passbook, Apple's "virtual wallet" application that is built into iOS 6. The update allows users to store their virtual card information in both the app itself and Passbook, the latter of which can prove more convenient for presentation as it can be accessed automatically as the user enters the venue, even over the lock screen.
Aggressively pursues fix for public complaints
Managers at Apple Stores are asking their subordinates to help spot mistakes in iOS 6 Maps, according to Twitter posts by ifoAppleStore's Gary Allen. The initiative is said to be voluntary, but no other details have been mentioned. Over 40,000 people work at Apple Stores around the world, and Apple may be hoping to use this base to accelerate Maps fixes.
Apple co-founder became vehemently anti-Google
Former CEO Steve Jobs was responsible for Apple's push away from Google content in iOS Maps, according to "Apple insiders" quoted by Bloomberg. By the time of his death Jobs is said to have come to hate Google, which he accused of copying iPhone features while at the same time withholding turn-by-turn directions, a key feature of the Android version of Google Maps. Sometime before then he put iOS chief Scott Forstall in charge of the project, creating a secret workgroup on the third floor of Building 2 at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
Strong debut compares to sluggish Android 4.x rate
Android's fragmentation issue -- where different devices are limited to different versions of the OS, and most users are dependent on their carrier to decide when or if they will get updates -- has limited adoption of the Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and later versions of the OS to just 25 percent of Android devices. By comparison, Apple's iOS 6 has managed to reach a staggering 60 percent adoption rate on the iPhone and 41 percent on the iPad just over a week after it was released, according to statistics from website conversion provider Onswipe.