Category Archives: iPhone/iPad News

Current iOS version and update news, apps, rumours, trends and projections for iPhone, iMac and iPad.

Touch ID Encryption key, new security features in iOS 11 and screen inversion

Encryption key for iPhone 5s Touch ID exposed, opens door to further research — Just prior to a hacker’s conference, a participant has revealed that the iPhone 5s Secure Enclave has been hacked, and the decryption key for it has been revealed. However, at present, there is nothing for iPhone users immediately worry about.

New security feature in iOS 11 will allow users to temporarily disable Touch ID, quickly call 911 — The latest beta release of iOS 11 includes a new security feature, with a few button presses making it impossible to unlock your phone with Touch ID, as well as giving a quick option to dial 911. Here’s how to use it. iOS 11 will also introduce a new Smart Invert viewing mode, which you can see in this video. It intelligently inverts all screen colours except for those in displayed media, such as photos, videos, and icons. The feature might be used to extend battery life on an upcoming OLED-equipped ‘iPhone 8.’

World’s most popular smartphones. Beijing transit blow, avoid iMessage scam, Cypress iCloud, Apple Pay extended

Apple’s iPhone 7 & 7 Plus top Q2 smartphone market, beating Samsung’s Galaxy S8 — The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus held on as the world’s most popular smartphones in the June quarter, according to research data published on Wednesday, handily relegating Samsung’s newer Galaxy S8 flagship to third place.

Apple was just shut out from Beijing public transportation mobile fares — Apple continues to face difficulties in China, as the company’s iPhone just got shut out of mobile payments for Beijing’s public transportation system. Yikatong, the payment card operator for that system, just launched an Android-only app for paying for fares and no plans for an iPhone app have been announced.

A new iMessage scam is going around; here’s how to protect yourself — A new iMessage scam has been going around in which the scammer sends a message with a URL, which is a malicious link that sends you to a fake website. This is called a phishing attack, and aside from not tapping on that link, there might be something else you can do.  A contact called ‘iMessage’sends people an SMS message that says: “Your iPhoneID is due to expire today. Tap <link> to update and prevent loss of services and apps.”
There is no such thing as an ‘iPhoneID’ of course, but some Apple customers may not know that. Additionally, Apple doesn’t text people with this sort of warning. The company has a support page in place for just this situation.

Cypress ads iCloud support to its IoT development platform — Cypress Semiconductor Corporation specialises in wireless connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT. Cypress has announced an updated version of its turnkey development platform for the IoT that simplifies the integration of wireless connectivity into smart home applications.

Apple Pay expands to 22 US banks, institutions in Russia, China and more — Apple this week updated its Apple Pay availability website for the second time in August, noting additional support has rolled out

Popin the service’s domestic US market, as well as in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Russia and the UK.

iOS Public Beta 5, locking down AirDrop, ARKit demos

Mac Observer has placed all the Apple ARKIt demos it can find in one YouTube List

Apple releases iOS 11 Public Beta 5, speeding up the release cycle — Apple has released iOS 11 Public Beta 5. Mac Observer noted earlier that Apple released developer betas just one week after the last developer betas. That, plus a same-day release of a new public beta shows that Apple is speeding up its release cycle. Apple release iOS 11 Public Beta 4 last Tuesday, just six days before.

How to secure AirDrop on your iPhone to prevent unwanted photos — Reports have circulated that miscreants are sending unsolicited, inappropriate images to people in US public venues. While Apple’s default settings prevent this, AppleInsider shows you how to check the setting, and lock it down, if you’ve changed it for some reason.

Watch lots of ARKit Demos in one place — ARKit, Apple’s answer to augmented reality (AR) on iOS, has become tremendously popular already. Folks have posted quite a few ARKit demos on YouTube since Apple’s announcement of of the software development kit at WWDC 2017. Mac Observer will add to it as more ARKit demonstrations come on our radar.

High-tech iDevice guitar, Smart Connectors, Sony CarPlay, Apple and Aetna

Self-contained, Smart Fusion guitar launches with iPhone/iPad integration — The line of US$1399 Fusion Guitars are now available online to musicians in the US. Billed as “the world’s most advanced electric guitar” they allow musicians to unplug, learn and create music just about anywhere. Incorporating a built-in amp, speakers and iPhone integration for access to tones, guitar effects and apps, these next generation musical instruments have lots of features. [Not exactly slim-line, though…]

Apple says more Smart Connector products for iPad Pro are coming — A recent conversation with manufacturers mostly points the finger at Apple for slow rollout of Smart Connector peripherals, but Apple itself says that vendors have products in the pipeline using the technology.
Apple’s Smart Connector debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015. At present, the connector is seen on the entire iPad Pro line, including the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. It has yet to debut on the iPhone, despite being rumored for inclusion in the iPhone 7.
The only peripherals for it at present are made by Apple itself, or Logitech.

Upcoming Sony in-car audio systems will support Apple CarPlay — Sony Electronics has announced its XAV-AX200 and MEX-GS820BT in-car audio systems, which include support for Apple’s CarPlay. Both will be available by year’s end, but pricing hasn’t been announced.

Apple, Aetna, major hospital chains allegedly teaming up for customer discounts on Apple Watch — Apple reportedly held a number of discussions with Aetna in the beginning of August to see how to best bring the Apple Watch to the 23 million customers of the insurer.

More about coming iOS 11, AirPods control expanding, silent song successfully expresses frustration, Watch GoT heart rate spikes

How to use Apple’s native Screen Recording feature in iOS 11 — One potentially useful feature coming to this next iOS 11 is a native Screen Recording option on the iPhone and iPad. Here’s how you will be able to make use of it, including embedding results into a video.

Also in iOS 11, AirPods controls will expand with separate left/right earpiece taps, skip track ability — Apple’s AirPods are currently limited to a trio of controls on both earpieces, but their functionality will be greatly enhanced this southern spring (northern autumn) with the release of iOS 11, giving users the ability to give each wireless pod a separate, customizable function with a double tap.

Song meant to spoof car audio systems climbs into top 50 on Apple’s iTunes charts — A track consisting of nothing but 9 minutes and 58 seconds of silence is currently sitting at 49th place in Apple’s iTunes charts, apparently out of frustration with the way many car audio systems work. Called A a a a a Very Good Song, the NZ$.1.79/US99-cent track released by Samir Mezrahi copes with the fact that many audio systems will simply play tracks in alphabetical order whenever an iPhone connects via USB. [The lyrics are very meaningful. Well, at least as meaningful as most of the crap available, anyway, while being easier to listen to.]

Apple Watch app tracks viewer heart rate spikes during Game of Thrones Fans of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones are more excited by dialogue than by action scenes, according to a study by heart monitoring app Cardiogram of Apple Watch users. Four out of the top five scenes to cause high pulse rates in viewers centred around drama between characters, rather than violence, the Cardiogram app found. [I find that strangely encouraging!]

Five Tip Friday ~ for iOS and Apple Watch

1/ Change the Playlist pictures in iOS Music — By default, playlists within the Music app use the albums’ artwork as their identifying image. But you can take a picture to use or grab one from your Photos library: here’s how on iPhone/iPad.
Open the Music app, and then click on the Library tab to visit the Playlists section.
Touch the one you’d like to change the picture on, and tap the Edit button at top right on the subsequent screen.
In this editing mode, you’ll see a small photo icon appear on the playlist’s image at top left – tap that.
You’ll be given an option to either take a photo or choose one from your library.Choose, or take, and tap Done to finish the job.
The change will sync to your other devices if you’re using iCloud Music Library. Cool, right?

2/ Use your Apple Watch to auto unlock your Mac — Apple added a feature in macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 called Auto Unlock. This lets you automatically unlock your Mac by waking it up. It’s handy to use and easy to set up if you have an Apple Watch running watchOS 3 and a mid-2013 or newer Mac running macOS Sierra 10.2 or newer.
First you’ll need to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, as this doesn’t work with two-step verification. Apple has a support page to switch from verification to authentication (Mac Observer has an article on setting up 2FA here).
Once that’s set up, turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your Mac. You’ll also need to be signed into your Watch and Mac with the same Apple ID and your Mac can’t be using Internet Sharing. Check to make sure in System Preferences > Sharing. Next, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
Both your Mac and Apple Watch need to be set up with a passcode. On your Watch, go to Settings > Passcode > Turn Passcode On. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Change Password.
Now on your Mc, click on the Apple icon () in the upper left corner of your screen.
Click System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.
Check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
It will take a couple of seconds to activate. Now, the next time you need to wake up your Mac, Apple Watch auto unlock will automatically unlock it. It’s just magic.

3/ Ditch the Honeycomb App Grid in watchOS 4 — Along with the Developer Beta 1 of iOS 11, Apple also recently released the first preview version of watchOS 4. This developer beta (so still not generally available to everyone) brings some under-the-hood enhancements, new watch faces and more intelligence and fitness features. It also includes something that wasn’t announced – you can now ditch the awkward honeycomb app grid and instead get a list of your installed apps:
Press the Digital Crown to get to your Apple Watch Home screen. Then, Force Touch the screen and a brand new configuration panel shows up.
Choose between grid view or list view.
Once you’ve made the switch, you can scroll normally through your apps in a list, sorted alphabetically. You can also rotate the Digital Crown to move through your apps, which are sorted alphabetically.
There isn’t any way to rearrange your apps in List View, at least for now. Bear in mind, though, this is still only Developer Beta 1 of watchOS 4 so more changes may be yet to come in future beta versions of the wearable operating system. The developer beta is available now, and the full release is expected in northern autumn 2017.
(It’s also worth noting that watchOS 4 will leave some iPhone owners out in the cold. It requires a paired iPhone 5S or later with iOS 11 to download and install. This is because Apple has removed 32-bit device support in iOS 11. Devices like the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5C are only 32-bit devices, so they aren’t supported by the latest version of the operating system.)

4/ iMazing — You know how getting files off an iPhone or iPad onto a Mac can be a mission, mostly because AirDrop only works sometimes? An app for macOS called iMazing changes all that. It’s not cheap though: a single license for iMazing costs US$39.99, a universal license is US$49.99, or you can get five licenses US$69.99 (for both Windows and Mac). all you need to do to unleash this power is plug your iPhone/iPad into your Mac with the charge cable (since it’s USB at the end that goes into the power charger). For example, via iTunes, it’s easy to transfer music from Mac to iPhone or iPad. What if you want to export tracks off your iOS device? That’s not possible in iTunes, but it’s a snap with iMazing: select the media files you want, whether they’re songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts, or audiobooks, then click Export to Folder, and iMazing will happily transfer them to your hard drive. It’s even smart about it, recognising the tracks you already have in iTunes and leaving them alone.

5/ Archive and even print Messages — If you want to save your text messages and iMessage conversations to your desktop, or even print them, with iMazing you can. It doesn’t matter if you want a PDF, text document, comma-separated values (CSV, like a spreadsheet) file, or a full printout of your messages, this app can handle it. You can also export attachments separately, for those times when you want to get a bunch of images out of your text message history.

There’s lots more about this app at Mac Observer.

Portrait mode, Titanfall Assault, Ristar, AirPlay 2, Wicked Brainstorm allows brainstorming within Messages

Apple’s Portrait Mode in iPhone 7 Plus and iOS 11 exits beta, allows effect to be turned off after the fact — In the latest iOS 11 beta, Apple has taken the Portrait Mode camera setting out of beta, and has altered how the camera roll handles the pictures to allow for the effect to be removed from a picture using it at any time.

Titanfall: Assault real-time strategy title lands on iPhone, Sega Forever drive expands with Ristar — Two major titles have arrived on iPhone and iPad as free-to-play titles this week, with Nexon’s Titanfall: Assault introducing real time strategy to the battlefield-based franchise, while Ristar has been ported to iOS a full 22 years after its first release on the Sega Genesis.

Watch: AirPlay 2 delivers speaker integration with HomeKit, Siri support, more — When iOS 11 launches this fall, Apple will roll out a revamped version of its AirPlay protocol featuring speaker support for HomeKit, multi-room audio, shared up-next playlists, Siri integration and more, as you can see in the video at this link.

Wicked Brainstorm lets you brainstorm up a storm in iOS Message — It can be very handy to be able to brainstorm with folks. However, it hasn’t been practical using Messages on your iPhone or iPad.
Now it is, thanks to Wicked Brainstorm. Before using the app, brainstorming buddies would see all ideas mixed in with every other text message. With Wicked Brainstorm, those ideas are gathered together, yet still kept within Messages. When you’re done, you can turn the brainstormed list into a checklist and even vote as a group on the best ideas. It’s a free app, too.


Unreal for ARKit in iOS 11, Carpool Karaoke, Kanex GoPlay uses Lightning, 4K and TV terminology

Unreal Engine updated with preliminary support for Apple’s ARKit in iOS 11 — The new version of Epic’s Unreal Engine provides basic ARKit support for iOS, developed in collaboration with Peter Jackson’s Wingnut AR.
The updated version of Unreal Engine, version 4.17, was released on Monday. Alongside improvements in virtual reality creation and presentation, the update includes an “early, experimental” implementation of Apple’s ARKit.

Apple’s Carpool Karaoke: The Series now available for streaming on Apple Music — As promised, Apple on Tuesday released the first episode of Carpool Karaoke: The Series to Apple Music subscribers, the firm’s second attempt at original episodic programming.
Karaoke’s 16 episodes are slated to feature a laundry list of celebrities including Metallica, Shaquille O’Neal, John Legend, John Cena, Ariana Grande, Game of Thrones co-stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, the Cyrus family, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Joe Jonas, Ice Cube and more.

Kanex GoPlay Sidekick pocketable MFi gaming controller recharges via Apple’s Lightning cable — The new Kanex GoPlay Sidekick is the second Made for iPhone gaming controller on the market to feature a licensed Apple Lightning port. But it stands out from the competition with an ultraportable design and carrying case that doubles as an iPhone stand.

Apple TV, 4K Mania: HDR10, Dolby Vision & HLG Explained — Now that we’re fairly certain Apple is planning a 5th generation 4K Apple TV, it may be time to brush up on some terminology.

New Betas, iOS 11 Beta 4 changes

Fourth public betas of iOS 11, tvOS 11 — Apple has issued a fourth public beta of iOS 11, available to anyone with a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Also out are fourth public betas of tvOS 11 for the Apple TV. The iOS 11 update should be an over-the-air download for users of the third public beta, or available fresh by enrolling in Apple’s Beta Software Program. As with the fifth developer seed, the Messages in iCloud feature, which syncs conversations between devices, should be missing, but Apple has promised to restore it in a later update.

Video tour of changes in newest iOS 11 Betas — Cult of Mac and YouTube channel EverythingApplePro have released videos highlighting the changes between iOS 11 beta 4 and 5. I thought I was quick to update. These guys must have been up all night comparing the two versions of the beta software. Let’s take a look at what they uncovered in iOS 11 Beta 5.

Apple Instagram, CarPlay rises, iOS 11 and Notes, sharing iCloud storage

Apple launches its official Instagram account — Apple has created an official, followable Instagram account. The account will exclusively feature curated and credited photos from iPhone users all over the world. Apple says product photo galleries, commercials, or other company marketing will never appear on the account (although Apple’s separate ads will probably remain). The tech giant’s account is stocked with nine videos; there’s one introductory post and seven artist-narrated galleries.

Digital music is overtaking in-vehicle infotainment — Consumers who have long been interested in portable digital media and streaming internet radio are now beginning to use these outlets regularly in cars, according to Strategy Analytics. Compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models, CarPlay provides a simplified way to use your iPhone interface on a car’s touch screen, giving users access to Siri voice controls, as well as Apple Maps, Apple Music, Phone, Messages, and a variety of third party apps.

How to Scan Documents in iOS 11’s Apple Notes — Apple is supercharging Notes in iOS 11 with new features like scanning documents. If you’re trying to go paperless, it’s easier than ever to make Apple Notes your one-stop repository for everything. Here’s how to scan documents in Apple Notes on iOS 11.

How to share iCloud storage with family members not yet running iOS 11 Beta — This post teaches you how, exactly, to use your iCloud Family Plan to share your iCloud Storage with family members that aren’t yet running (or can’t run) the iOS 11 beta. Listen, learn, and then subscribe to MGG if you want to hear tips shared like this every week!


Siri and the Rock speak Mandarin, Love of big iPhones, iOS 11 Control Center, iPad Pro and Pencil, Carpool Will Smith, more HomePod hints, Single Sign-On, LiquidText, Service Workers

The Rock and Siri speak Mandarin, turn on the gym lights — Apple released two more short-form commercials featuring Dwayne The Rock Johnson promoting Siri. In the first piece, Do Not Disturb, The Rock speaks Mandarin. This is cool in and of itself, but Apple wants you to notice that Siri understands him. In the second piece, The Rock uses Siri’s HomeKit abilities to turn on his gym lights.

Love for big-screen iPhones — Larger screens lead to higher iPhone sales, according to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The research firm estimates that Apple’s domestic installed base has 141 million units as of this quarter; that’s up from 124 million in the year-ago quarter. Larger screens prove most popular with the 6 Plus, 6s Plus, and 7 Plus accounting for 53 million units, says CIRP. The year-old iPhone SE saw 6% growth in the US installed base.

How to use the iOS 11 Control Center — Mac Observer has a look at how to use the iOS 11 Control Center. Apple has changed it quite a bit, adding capabilities and giving it an almost complete makeover.

See instant markup and notes with Apple Pencil in iOS 11 on iPad Pro — The Apple Pencil will become more powerful and useful than ever with this fall’s release of iOS 11, giving users the ability to instantly begin drawing and taking notes as soon as the stylus is in hand. AppleInsider offers a closer look at how the new feature will work on the iPad Pro.

Apple Music previews Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Will Smith — Apple Music has a new preview video to promote Carpool Karaoke. The series officially debuts August 8th. It features Carpool Karaoke creator James Corden and Will Smith. It starts off with a smidgen of Parents Just Don’t Understand, and there’s also a marching band and a helicopter. [Could also be called The Ego Has Landed.]

Apple TV with 4K UHD, 10-bit HDR and Dolby Vision revealed by HomePod firmware — Apple’s own firmware for the upcoming HomePod speaker has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving for enthusiasts, this time revealing a next-generation Apple TV will boast support for 4K video, as well as high dynamic range in both 10-bit and Dolby Vision formats.

Apple’s single sign-on feature gains nearly 440 new providers, expands to Guam and US Virgin Islands — Apple’s running list of providers offering support for single sign-on streaming authentication has grown exponentially with the addition of 438 cable and satellite television companies, including firms offering services in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

LiquidText 3.0.11 changes how you annotate documents on the iPad — It’s hard to go back to an more ordinary PDF annotator after using LiquidText, but it is not the ultimate PDF tool for the iPad.

Apple may integrate Service Workers into WebKit, support next-gen web apps in Safari — Apple has begun work toward integrating Service Workers, an API that lets browsers run background scripts, into WebKit, suggesting the company might one day support a form of next-generation web app in iOS.

The Rock ads, Apple & Education, iPhone/iPad sales, iVac, Cochlear streaming, Echo vulnerability

Apple shares three new iPhone 7 ads featuring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson — Apple has posted a trio of ads starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson to YouTube, with the short spots featuring extended scenes taken from the Rock X Siri: Dominate the Day mini movie.

Apple in education: what’s the truth? During Apple’s Q3 Earnings Report, Tim Cook was able to crow a little about iPads in education. He could do that because, for the first time in four years the general decline in iPad sales has been halted. But if he’d made those same very positive claims a year ago, or a quarter ago, it all would have fallen on deaf ears. Failure is a shaky platform to boast from.
First, when Apple has a big iPad sales win with a school district or two, it can sound impressive. See: “Apple iPads in Education are Stronger This Quarter.” But 19,000 or even 40,000 iPads doesn’t tell the whole story. The duration of the commitment isn’t provided. And then 40,000 iPads is a drop in the bucket compared to 11.4 million total sales. Mac Observer investigates.

Apple beat Street estimates with strong Q3 on iDevice sales — Apple reported better than expected earnings for its third fiscal quarter of 2017, raking in $45.4 billion in revenue led by strong iPhone sales of 41 million units and a return to growth for iPad. AppleInsider breaks down the performance in this video.

Tidying up with the iPhone-controlled Ecovacs Deebot N79 vacuum cleaning robot — Apple World Today has checked out a floor cleaning robot from Ecovacs. The Deebot N79 (US$199.98) is designed for deep-cleaning of carpets and other surfaces, and the feature that makes it of interest to Apple World Today is that an iPhone app can be used to control and schedule cleaning.

Apple has developed new BLE Audio streaming tech for users with cochlear implants — Apple is work on Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, a new technology that streams digital sound directly to hearing air implants, enables people with hearing impairments to communicate and use their iPhone as mic via iOS 10’s Live Listen feature.

Amazon Echo vulnerability allows hackers to eavesdrop with always-on microphone — A security researcher has shown off the potential danger of internet connected speakers being used to listen in on private conversations by publishing details of how to hack earlier models of the Amazon Echo via a hardware-based vulnerability that cannot be fixed with a software patch.


1.2 billion iPhones, Watch & AirPods, non-democracies ban VPN, iPad sales rise, HomePod sounds, 64-bit Earth, Red Raven exclusive

(Image from Financial Express)

Apple has sold over 1.2 billion iPhones — In a conference call regarding Apple’s financial results for its fiscal 2017 third quarter that ended July 1, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple has now sold over 1.2 billion smartphones. Many markets in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East grew iPhone sales by over 25%, according to Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri.

Apple Watch sales up 50%; AirPods so popular Apple still can’t meet demand — In a conference call regarding Apple’s financial results for its fiscal 2017 third quarter that ended July 1, CEO Tim Cook said that sales of the Apple Watch were up over 50% in the June quarter, helping it maintain its position as the top selling smartwatch.
Cook also boasted that the AirPods have a 98% customer satisfaction. Alas, while Apple is “working hard to get them to customers as quickly as possible,” the company is still not able to meet demand, he added.

Tim Cook says Apple followed Chinese law in removing VPN apps from App Store — Responding to criticism surrounding Apple’s recent removal of VPN apps from the Chinese iOS App Store, CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday said the company was simply following new government regulations, as it would for any country in which it operates. Russia has followed suit – how can you tack dissent when people can mask themselves online?

iPad quarterly sales grow year-over-year for the first time since 2013, best non-holiday quarter in two years — Apple’s most recent quarter of iPad sales is not only the first time that iPad sales have grown year-over-year since 2013, but its best non-holiday quarter for sales of the tablet for two years.

The pleasantly alarming sounds of the Apple HomePod — We know what some of the alarm tones are going to sound like on the upcoming HomePod. [You can listen too, at that link.]

Google Earth iOS app updated to 64-bit, adds new features — iOS 11 will drop support for 32-bit apps, and one app that had a lot of users concerned was Google Earth for iOS. The free app was sadly showing up as 32-bit, as it hadn’t been updated in quite a while. Today, Google finally updated the app with 64-bit compatibility and added a bunch of new features at the same time.

Apple to be exclusive retailer of ‘Red Raven’ camera kit — Professional digital cinema camera company Red Digital Cinema on Tuesday announced Apple will be the exclusive retailer of its US$15,000 Red Raven kit, which includes the Raven camera body, Sigma lens, carrying case and more. Along with the camera brain itself, which features a 9.9 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of up to 120fps capture at 4.5K resolutions, the kit contains Red’s DSMC2 4.7-inch Touch LCD monitor, DSMC2 Outrigger Handle, V-Lock I/O Expander and 120GB Mini-Mag SSD. Also included are two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger, G-Technology ev Series Mini-Mag Reader, Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens and custom Nanuk carrying case.
Apple’s contribution to the set is a redemption code for Final Cut Pro X.