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Apple Accidentally Allowed Downgrades All the Way Back to iOS 6 Early Today

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:40
Apple has quickly corrected a mistake that allowed iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to downgrade to older software versions on early Thursday.


The situation began on late Wednesday when Apple suddenly stopped signing all iOS versions for select devices, including the iPhone 4s and some very old iPad and iPod touch models, according to the website IPSW.me.

Next, it appears that when Apple went to flip the switch back on, it accidentally began signing several older software versions between iOS 6 and iOS 11.1.2 for any compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models.

Not entirely sure why the signing window has opened for iOS 6–10 on various iOS devices, but not gonna complain. Have some iOS 6 pic.twitter.com/Ixfpn8waU6

— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) January 11, 2018
Apple routinely stops signing older iOS versions, which effectively closes the window on downgrading. The company stopped signing iOS 11.1.2 in December, for example, while many older versions haven't been signed in years. Yet, suddenly, users found themselves able to downgrade to over five year old software.

They opened up iOS 6.1.3 shsh signing 😝 pic.twitter.com/FV2watYKxi

— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) January 11, 2018
Many users turned to Reddit to discuss the bizarre turn of events, which transpired briefly during the early morning hours in the United States.I literally ran into my parents room to grab my dad's poor old iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2, both of which were suffering on iOS 11. Now I managed to downgrade them to iOS 7.1.1. I then downgraded my old iPhone 5 to iOS 7.1.1 as well and now my iPhone 7 to iOS 10.3 to jailbreak. I'm so happy right now!While some users rushed to downgrade for the nostalgic factor, the mishap provided others with an iPhone 6 or newer a brief opportunity to revert to iOS versions that aren't affected by Apple's power management changes introduced in iOS 10.2.1 and/or iOS versions that have a publicly released jailbreak.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:08
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers and public beta testers, a few days after seeding the fourth beta and releasing iOS 11.2.2, an update designed to mitigate a serious hardware-based vulnerability called "Spectre."

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Public beta testers can get the beta over-the-air.


iOS 11.2.5 introduces a new feature that allows Siri to play daily news podcasts when queried about the current news. Siri will offer up news from The Washington Post by default, but you can also choose to switch to Fox News, CNN, or NPR.

The new audio news feature, which appears to have been developed for use with Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker, is invoked when using Hey Siri or asking Siri about the news when using CarPlay or with headphones connected - essentially any situation where you're not looking at the display of an iOS device. If you activate Siri using the side button or Home button of a device, standard Apple news headlines are provided instead of the audio-based news highlights.

It's not clear what other new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first four iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.

If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release.

Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced. Should new features be discovered in the fifth beta of iOS 11.2.5, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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CES 2018: Scosche Announces New 'MagicMount Pro' Qi Wireless Charging Accessories

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:00
Scosche today announced new Qi-compatible MagicMount Pro wireless charging accessories that are compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

All of the accessories in the new MagicMount Pro CHARGE line feature the Scosche's MagicMount magnetic mounting functionality, with a 360-degree adjustable cradle that allows them to be mounted in the most convenient position. The MagicMount is designed to mount in cars, on nightstands, on desks, on countertops, and more.


Scosche says the MagicMount Pro products feature 5W or 10W Adaptive Fast Charging for "the quickest charge possible" for all Qi-enabled smartphones. Apple's iPhones use 7.5W charging, however, and compatibility with the faster 7.5W iPhone charging specification is not explicitly mentioned.


There are several vehicle-compatible products in the MagicMount Pro CHARGE family:

  • MagicMount Pro CHARGE Window/Dash - Designed to stick to a vehicle's window or dash using a suction base.

  • MagicMount Pro CHARGE Vent - Attaches to the vent in any vehicle and can also be detached to be used as a kickstand to watch videos.

  • MagicMount Pro CHARGE CD - Mounts in a vehicle's CD slot.

  • MagicMount Pro CHARGE Surface - Attaches to a vehicle's console using a StickGrip mat.


Each MagicMount Pro product includes an AC wall adapter, a micro-USB charging cord, and two MagicPLATEs with 3M adhesive.

Scosche is also introducing a new Qi Dock Powerbank that's able to charge a Qi-compatible smartphone and a powerbank, which can then be used on-the-go to charge mobile devices.

In its standalone MagicMount series designed for mobile devices like the iPhone, Scosche is debuting new MagicMount ELITE products that combine it's well-known magnetic mounting functionality with a more attractive metal alloy finish. As with the Qi accessories, the ELITE series features several products to meet a range of needs.


Scosche's Qi-based products and its new Magic Mount ELITE line will all be launching in the spring of 2018. More information on the upcoming accessories can be found on Scosche's website.

Tag: CES 2018
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FBI Forensic Examiner Stephen Flatley Calls Apple 'Jerks' and 'Evil Geniuses' for Encrypting iPhones

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:58
Senior FBI forensic examiner Stephen R. Flatley spoke at the International Conference on Cyber Security yesterday, and during the talk he discussed Apple and the FBI's differing opinions on the topic of smartphone encryption. According to Motherboard, Flatley described the company as "jerks" and "evil geniuses" for creating iOS device encryption that is so powerful as to prevent Apple itself from entering users' iPhones.

Flatley said that recent updates to Apple device encryption have made password guesses slower, by increasing hash iterations from 10 thousand to 10 million, "making his and his colleagues' investigative work harder." This extended brute force crack time from a few days to two months, leading to Flatley stating that Apple is "pretty good at evil genius stuff." No detailed context was given regarding his "jerks" comment.

Image of Stephen Flatley taken by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai via Motherboard That means, he explained, that “password attempts speed went from 45 passwords a second to one every 18 seconds,” referring to the difficulty of cracking a password using a “brute force” method in which every possible permutation is tried. There are tools that can input thousands of passwords in a very short period of time—if the attempts per minute are limited, it becomes much harder and slower to crack.

"Your crack time just went from two days to two months," Flatley said. “At what point is it just trying to one up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?" he added. "Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff." Flatley's comments come nearly two years after the Apple-FBI dispute began, when a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI enter the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino. The FBI said it wanted Apple's help to enter just Farook's iPhone 5c, but Apple explained that the software it was asked to create could become a "master key" and be able to get information from any iPhone or iPad.

For this reason, Apple denied the request and CEO Tim Cook penned an open letter describing the potential for setting a "dangerous precedent" if the company did go along with the order. The battle eventually ended a few months later after the government discovered an alternative way of entering Farook's iPhone 5c, reportedly with the help of Israeli firm Cellebrite.

Flately mentioned Cellebrite as well during the security conference, describing the firm as "another evil genius" that counters Apple's encryption and can help the FBI when it needs to enter a smartphone. The forensic examiner was described as not clearly stating Cellebrite's name, but "facetiously coughing" at the same time to somewhat obscure the comment.

Although the Apple-FBI dispute has ended, debates over smartphone encryption have remained ongoing the past few years. In October 2017, a report came out stating that the FBI was unable to retrieve data from 6,900 mobile devices it had attempted to gain access to over the previous 11 months. That number accounted for half of the total devices the FBI tried to get into, and FBI Director Christopher Wray described the FBI's inability to retrieve information from these devices as a "huge, huge problem."

At the end of the case in 2016, Apple issued a statement explaining that the company will continue to assist the FBI when it can, but not at the expense of the data protection, security, and privacy of its customers: "Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security, and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: FBI, Encryption, Apple-FBI
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Apple Delays iPhone 6 Plus Battery Replacements Until March-April Due to Limited Supply

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 15:20
iPhone 6 Plus users hoping to take advantage of Apple's discounted $29 battery replacements may have to wait a few months.


Apple says iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries are in short supply and won't be available until late March to early April in the United States and other regions, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week and later obtained by MacRumors.

Apple's internal document quotes a shorter wait of approximately two weeks for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus battery replacements, and adds that batteries for all other models like the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE are expected to be available without extended delays in most countries.

Apple noted that lead times may vary in some regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and Turkey.

MacRumors has already received a few emails from readers with an iPhone 6 Plus who were quoted a late March to early April timeframe for the replacement service to be completed at Apple Stores in New York and North Carolina, in line with the information outlined in Apple's document.

A reliable source at an Apple Authorized Service Provider indicated that they recently received a package with dozens of replacement batteries, the majority of which were for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Apple lowered its battery replacement fee to $29 last month for any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer as part of an apology over its lack of transparency about slowing down some older iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple noted that initial supplies of some batteries may be limited.

As with any supply-demand situation, availability of replacement batteries will likely vary by location. Keep in mind that many Apple Authorized Service Providers like Best Buy, MacMedics, and ComputerCare are able to replace iPhone batteries, so this may be an option worth considering beyond an Apple Store.

Also keep in mind that Apple's discounted rate is available until December 31, 2018, so unless you absolutely need a battery replacement now, you may wish to consider waiting until later in the year to initiate the process.

If you are replacing your iPhone's battery for the first time, the $29 price is available regardless of whether the device passes or fails Apple's battery diagnostic test. To be eligible for any additional replacements at the discounted rate, however, the device must explicitly fail the test or the standard $79 applies.

To get started, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. There's also a mail-in option, but we've heard that Apple's repair center may only be replacing batteries that fail a diagnostic test, and sending back devices that pass.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now)
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Chinese Smartphone Makers Plan for Mini LED Supply as Apple Expected to Control Majority of OLED Production This Year

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:33
Apple's domination of the OLED supply chain is one of the reasons why three Chinese smartphone makers are seeking out alternative display technology in future handsets, according to a report today by DigiTimes.

Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are planning to adopt mini LED-backlit panels in smartphones launched later in 2018. The three companies believe that Apple "may extend use of AMOLED panels" to iPhones coming in 2018 and occupy even more of Samsung Display's production of the OLED displays.


Apple's entry in smartphone OLED displays began with the manufacturing of the iPhone X last year and is expected to increase in 2018 with the second-generation iPhone X and 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus," which should lead Apple to significantly increase OLED display orders thanks to the larger size. The company has also implemented OLED displays into the Apple Watch.

Instead of attempting to fight for OLED display supply against Apple, the China-based smartphone makers are turning towards mini LED this year. The companies have reportedly asked Taiwan-based suppliers to begin producing mini LED backlighting in June 2018 in anticipation of products that would debut in the second half of 2018. Industry sources noted that technological advances in mini LED product designs have the potential to cut production costs, further boosting the smartphone makers' readiness to adopt the technology.

Besides Samsung Display, a report earlier in the month suggested that Apple will add LG Display to its OLED supply chain to help build 6.5-inch panels for the iPhone X Plus. Samsung was the sole OLED supplier for the iPhone X in 2017, and it's predicted that the company will increase supply of OLED panels to Apple with between 180 and 200 million OLED displays in 2018 (for the 5.8-inch device), up from an estimated 50 million in 2017.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: digitimes.com, OLEDBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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CES 2018: SYNC 3-Enabled Ford Vehicles Gaining Waze Support Through iOS AppLink

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:09
This week at CES, Ford provided new details about a partnership with navigation app Waze, which will bring Waze's GPS directions onto the touch screen of SYNC 3 vehicles when connected via USB to an iPhone. Powered by Ford AppLink, the feature will let users operate Waze "completely through a vehicle's touch screen," as well as allow for voice control.

As long as the Ford vehicle includes a SYNC 3 infotainment system, users will be able to plug their iPhone into the USB port while running Waze to see the app projected onto the dashboard's touch screen system. Afterwards, all of Waze's features will be accessible, including crowdsourced navigation updates, liking and disliking user-created warnings, adding a new hazard report, carpool lane navigation, and Talk to Waze voice commands.

“Our goal is to bring a human-centered approach to technology in the vehicle, making it as easy as possible for people to integrate the tools that matter most to them,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With the flexibility of our SYNC 3 software and AppLink, customers can easily use Waze to get all the traffic and navigation help they need – on a big screen and without having to fiddle around with their phones while driving.” The partnership was previously announced at Mobile World Congress last year, and Waze product lead for in-car applications, Jens Baron, mentioned that the company has been working on optimizing the Waze experience on an infotainment system since that time. Using Ford's AppLink SmartDeviceLink (SDL) on iOS, Baron explained that users will "get the most updated version from Waze," and it will be the same as driving with Waze on a smartphone.

Ford explained that the Waze integration will launch in the coming weeks and will be supported on any 2018 model year Ford vehicle that has SYNC 3 version 3.0 or greater. Other vehicles with SYNC 3 will also be able to get Waze via an over-the-air update or update via USB. In addition to Waze, Ford said that other SYNC AppLink integrations will be coming soon, like iHeartRadio.

Ford began expanding its CarPlay support in mid 2016 when it announced its SYNC 3 infotainment system -- which features CarPlay and Android Auto -- would be available across its entire 2017 lineup of cars, SUVs, light trucks, and electric vehicles in the United States. Then in 2017, Ford released a SYNC 3 software update that added CarPlay and Android Auto support to its older 2016 model year vehicles, allowing more users to access Apple apps like Maps, Phone, Music, Messages, and more on their dashboard.

Tags: Ford SYNC, Waze, CES 2018
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Facebook is Testing a New City-Specific 'Today' Feed for Local News and Events

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:42
Facebook is currently testing a new section of its mobile app called "Today in...", which serves up a feed of city-specific events, announcements, and local news, according to TechCrunch.

The company is kicking off the local hub with a small batch of test markets, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Users in those markets can access the feature via the lower-right menu button, indicated by three horizontal lines in the main Facebook app.


The feed will be populated using a mixture of human-curated and algorithmically-plucked content, and is being spearheaded by Facebook's Journalism Project, designed to support news literacy and to serve as a hub for journalists and publishers to learn and share. It also comes on the back of the company's recently announced Journalism Project Initiative, which aims to build local news partnerships as one of its core goals.

This isn't the first time Facebook has dabbled in promoting local content. Last year the social network giant introduced a separate Explore Feed that is said to use live location information occasionally to suggest posts, articles, photos, and videos from local sources a user hasn't followed, but might be interested in.

In another attempt to establish links within local communities, Facebook recently expanded its e-commerce Marketplace service, which lets users advertize and check out region-based private and business listings for things like vehicles, properties, and household goods.

Tag: Facebook
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Apple's Tim Cook and More Than 100 CEOs Urge Congress to Protect Dreamers

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:48
Apple's Tim Cook on Wednesday joined over 100 other CEOs in urging the U.S. Congress to pass a bill to protect young immigrants before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires. For those unfamiliar with the program, DACA gives about 800,000 illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. at age 16 or younger work permits and protection from deportation by two-year deferral. Many of those protected by DACA have been in the United States for most of their lives.

In an open letter to House and Senate leaders, the group called on lawmakers to introduce legislation supporting so-called Dreamers by Friday, which is the deadline for Congress to pass a bill for government funding to avert a shutdown. The DACA program actually expires on March 5, but the CEO signatories say the government needs time to implement a new program before that deadline.
"We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so," the letter reads. "The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country."Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam were additional signatories of the letter, which cited a CATO Institute study that found ending the DACA program could cause a $215 billion decline in the gross domestic product.
"In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs," the group wrote. "While delay or inaction will cause significant negative impact to businesses, hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country are counting on you to work in a bipartisan way to pass permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay."Tim Cook has been consistent in his support for a legislative solution to protect those affected by the end of the DACA program. Following U.S. President Donald Trump's September announcement that DACA would be phased out over six months, Cook sent an email to employees saying Apple would try to help Congress find a solution and would be working with impacted Apple employees to provide support, including access to immigration experts. Apple employs 250 "Dreamers", Cook previously revealed in a tweet.

In December, Cook teamed up with Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch to write an opinion piece in The Washington Post about DACA, asking Congress to work quickly to come up with a solution before the end of the year. That never happened, and the government's stance on the issue now appears to be mired in confusion.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis while legal challenges to the president's decision go forward.

In another development this week, concerns grew among hardliners after Trump met with lawmakers during a freewheeling televised session, in which he signaled he was open to compromise and seemed to express support for a number of legislative options to legalize Dreamers.

Indeed, the president appeared to suggest that the details of a legislative solution didn't matter to him, telling congressional leaders that he would approve whatever they sent him. "I will be signing it," Trump said towards the end of the meeting. "I'm not going to say, 'Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.' I'll be signing it."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Wu-Tang Clan Frontman RZA to Lead Music Lab Session at San Francisco Apple Store

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:27
Wu-Tang Clan lead member and acclaimed American rapper RZA will host a Music Lab session at Apple's Union Square store in San Francisco later this month. First spotted by AppleInsider, the the free-to-attend session called "Developing Your Sound with RZA" will reveal a number of techniques the hip-hop artist uses to produce his music.


Attendees at the January 22 session will begin by brainstorming and sketching out ideas to create their music story and sound profile. Then they'll get to grips with GarageBand for iPad Pro and ROLI Blocks, which will help them learn how RZA developed his trademark beats, which revolutionized hip-hop in the 1990s.

Sadly, the session at Union Square is all booked up, but anyone interested will have other opportunities to attend the same course with a video introduction by RZA. The sessions will be offered at all Apple stores as part of the company's new "Today at Apple" retail program, which involves locations hosting community-building workshop events. Check the link for details on upcoming events in your area.

Tags: GarageBand, Today at Apple
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International User Accounts Swept Up in Chinese iCloud Data Migration

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 09:47
Apple's announcement on Wednesday that its iCloud services in mainland China will be handed over to a Chinese company has already run into controversy, after it emerged that accounts registered overseas are being swept up in the migration.

Apple said yesterday that customers based in China had been contacted and advised to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers, which will be transferred from February 28. Customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD had been given the option to terminate their account.


However, according to some users who spoke to TechCrunch, in the data to be handled by local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), Apple is including iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars, and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts.

STRANGE: my US Apple ID also got the China iCloud Transfer mail... pic.twitter.com/MZvjsbPiYL

— 王博源 Wang Boyuan (@thisboyuan) January 11, 2018
When asked for comment, Apple pointed to its terms and conditions site, which explains that it is migrating iCloud accounts based on the settings of the user's device, not where an iCloud account is registered or billed to.
The operation of iCloud services associated with Apple IDs that have China in their country or region setting will be subject to this transition. You will be notified of this transition via email and notifications on your devices. You don’t need to take any further action and can keep using iCloud in China.

After February 28, 2018, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD to keep using iCloud in China.As it stands, this could result in thousands of users temporarily living in China to study or work having their data migrated to servers under the control of GCBD, which is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China.

The situation is said to have left many users feeling trapped into the migration, but one user has discovered an apparent opt-out. This involves switching an iCloud account back to China before signing out of all devices. The user then switches their iPhone and iCloud settings to the U.S., and after signing back into iCloud, their account should no longer be part of the migration.

"What will Apple do when the Chinese authorities request a backdoor to access data that is encrypted?" Charlie Smith, founder of censorship monitoring site Great Fire, told TechCrunch. "Will they continue to adhere to local laws and regulations and submit to the request? Or are they leaving this decision squarely in the hands of GCBD, their local partner?"

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, iCloud
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Siri Gains Info About Tennis and Golf Tournaments Ahead of Australian Open

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 23:42
Siri has been updated with additional sports information, allowing the personal assistant to provide details about a range of tennis and golf events. Siri's new knowledge has been introduced just ahead of the Australian Open, which is set to kick off this weekend, and it joins other sports data Siri offers for baseball, basketball, hockey, and football.

As noted by 9to5Mac, Siri can provide information on both upcoming tournaments and past events from recent years, along with details on player backgrounds and statistics.


For tennis, the personal assistant can answer queries about the ATP world tour and the Women's Tennis Association, offering up data from 2016-2018. For golf, Siri can provide details about men and women's PGA and LGPA tours.

The new golf and tennis data available from Siri is accessible on iOS devices running the latest version of iOS, and it is also available on Macs, the Apple TV, and the Apple Watch.

Tag: Siri
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Apple Inks Deal for 'See' Futuristic Drama Series Written by Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 21:53
Apple has been snapping up multiple TV shows in recent months, and its newest straight-to-series order is for a drama called "See," which was written by "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight and will be directed by Francis Lawrence, known for his work on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay."

According to Deadline, the show is an epic world-building drama set in the future.

Francis Lawrence and Steven Knight, via Deadline
Little additional information is available on the series at this time, but it comes from Peter Chernin's Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content, which are also behind "Are You Sleeping" another upcoming Apple TV show.

"See" joins several other scripted TV shows that Apple has in the works, including a revival of 1985 Steven Spielberg sci-fi series "Amazing Stories," an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for "Battlestar Galactica," an untitled "morning show drama" starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and "Are You Sleeping," a psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer that focuses on a podcast that reopens a murder case.

Apple has also inked a deal for a docuseries called "Home," which will offer a never-before-seen look inside some of the world's most extra ordinary houses.

Apple has been aggressively pursuing original content since June of 2017, which is when it hired former Sony executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht to form a new video unit. Van Amburg and Erlicht, who produced shows like "Breaking Bad," "The Crown," and "Better Call Saul," are running Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale under iTunes chief Eddy Cue.

It's not yet clear when the first of Apple's original TV shows will premiere, but it's possible at least one series will debut later in 2018.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Now Selling Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi System But Will Continue Offering AirPort Line

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 21:15
Apple recently began selling the Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi System both online and in its retail stores, marking the first router the company has offered aside from its own rather outdated AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and AirPort Time Capsule.

Apple has not updated the AirPort Time Capsule or the AirPort Extreme since June of 2013, and it's been even longer since the AirPort Express was last updated -- 2012. A late 2016 rumor even suggested Apple had stopped development on its line of AirPort base stations entirely, disbanding its AirPort team and moving engineers to other projects.

Two Node Linksys Velop System
Though Apple has not updated the AirPort line in years and is now selling a third-party WiFi system, the company appears to be planning to continue to offer AirPort options for the foreseeable future. In a statement provided to 9to5Mac, an Apple spokesperson said the Linksys Velop is an option being provided to people with larger homes alongside the AirPort.People love our AirPort products and we continue to sell them. Connectivity is important in the home and we are giving customers yet another option that is well suited for larger homes.While Apple is continuing to offer its AirPort base stations for now, the devices won't last forever sans update. Given Apple's move to sell a third-party Wi-Fi product, it's looking like the company does not have plans to update the lineup going forward.

The AirPort base stations provide several unique benefits that are not available with third-party options like built-in Time Machine backup support in the Time Capsule and AirPort functionality for the AirPort Express. It's possible Apple has plans to incorporate these features and Wi-Fi networking functionality into a future product, but if so, there are no rumors suggesting that's the case at this point.

Apple's AirPort lineup
The Linksys Velop that Apple is offering is designed to create a tri-band high-range mesh network able to provide a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the home, putting an end to areas where Wi-Fi signal is weak. The Velop consists of multiple Nodes used to create an extended Wi-Fi network. Each of the Nodes is able to increase Wi-Fi range by up to 2,000 square feet, and because it increases range wirelessly, there are no wires to deal with.

Apple sells the Velop in two configurations, with either two or three nodes, for $349 or $499.

Related Roundup: AirPort
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CES 2018: The Best of ShowStoppers With Nanoleaf, GameSir, iZotope, and More

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 19:56
The last major CES 2018 event, ShowStoppers, took place last night and there were hundreds of companies showing off their newest wares. Much of what was at ShowStoppers was available at other shows, so MacRumors videographer Dan hunted down some of the more obscure and interesting products that were being demoed this time around.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
First up was the Nanoleaf Remote, which is designed to work with the Nanoleaf Light Panels and other HomeKit accessories. The Nanoleaf Remote is a dodecahedron with built-in LEDs and support for touch gestures to activate scenes. Each side represents a different HomeKit scene, and whichever side is facing upwards is the scene that's displayed. It's a nifty little accessory that will be available for $50 later this year.

For kids, the Playbrush attaches to any manual toothbrush and turns brushing into a game, while a new game, Beasts of Balance, turns real-world towers into fantasy worlds on your iPad. It's a sort of modern-day Jenga with appealing visuals and a fun digital component.

Gaming company GameSir was demoing a customizable controller for iOS devices with a trackpad and a unique button layout, Neo, a company that makes smart pens, was showing off its latest offering, and audio company iZotope demoed its Spire Studio, designed to allow musicians to mix and record music while on the go.

Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors for additional CES coverage, because we're hitting up the show floor over the course of the next couple of days. We're highlighting new products and accessories relevant to Apple users over the course of the week, so check out our CES 2018 hub to see all of our coverage.

Tag: CES 2018
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CES 2018: Satechi Announces 75W USB-C Multiport Travel Charger

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:57
Satechi today announced the launch of a new 75W USB-C travel charger that's equipped with multiple ports to charge all of your devices with one simple power adapter.

The 75W Multiport Travel Charger offers four charging ports, including a USB-C power delivery port, two USB 3.0 ports, and one Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 port.


The USB-C port can provide up to 60W of power, making it suitable for the 12-inch MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and similar USB-C devices. It can also charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but as that machine accepts up to 87W of power, it may not charge fully with the Multiport Travel Charger when under a heavy workload.

While charging a MacBook or MacBook Pro, the Travel Charger can also charge your iOS devices at the same time, with up to 75W of total power provided.


When using the USB-C port with a USB-C to Lightning cable, the Travel Charger enables fast charging on supported devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Satechi says the Travel Charger features an input range of 100-240V, allowing it to meet the voltage requirements of multiple countries. It has also been designed with a compact size to make it easy to fit into a backpack or luggage.

Satechi's USB-C 75W Multiport Travel Charger can be purchased for $60 from Amazon.com or directly from the Satechi website for $64.99.

Tags: Satechi, CES 2018
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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 47 With Spectre Mitigations

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:16
Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced more than a year ago in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 47 includes bug fixes and feature improvements with an experimental implementation of the Storage Access API, updates to Service Workers, and improvements to Media, Rendering, Web Inspector, and the Clipboard API.

Today's update also includes mitigations for the Spectre hardware vulnerability that impacts Apple's Macs. Spectre fixes were previously added to the release version of Safari with yesterday's release of a supplemental update macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.
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T-Mobile Announces BOGO Rebate Offer: Get Up to $700 Off Second iPhone 7, 8, or X

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 17:28
T-Mobile today announced a few new offers that will be activated beginning this Friday, January 12, one of which is focused on Apple's latest iPhones, including the iPhone X. With the deal, new and existing T-Mobile customers can buy one iPhone and get up to $700 off another iPhone of equal or lesser value, offered in the form of a rebate received via prepaid card.

The BOGO rebate applies to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X, which must be purchased and activated on one of T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Plans. Other qualifications include needing to port in "at least one new line" on a T-Mobile ONE or select Simple Choice Unlimited plan, and trade in one eligible iPhone, LG, or Samsung smartphone.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with T-Mobile. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

T-Mobile broke down the steps for the offer on its website: - Purchase two new iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, or X devices on equipment installment plans.
- Port in at least one new voice line onto an eligible rate plan to be used with one of the new devices.
- Trade in an eligible device
- Submit a request on the T-Mobile Rebates page (including IMEI entry) using promo code 18Q1APLBOGO within 30 days of second device purchase. Instead of offering the rebate to customers in the form of monthly bill credits, T-Mobile will send those who complete these steps a prepaid MasterCard card with their rebate amount, around six to eight weeks later. While the new deal is not a straight discount since it still requires a standard payment plan, those who take advantage of the offer could eventually get a notable markdown on a second iPhone X, or even receive a cheaper iPhone for free. The rebate extends to Samsung and LG smartphones, so visit T-Mobile's page for the offer for more details.

T-Mobile also added the iPhone X to its "#GetOutOfTheRed" program, in which the company pays off customers' existing Verizon smartphones (up to $650 on a virtual prepaid card) when they choose to switch to T-Mobile ONE or ONE Plus International plans. T-Mobile said that all of the new offers start Friday and can be combined on the same account but not on the same line.

Fore more of the latest offers, sales, and rebates happening in the new year, check out our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: T-Mobile
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macOS High Sierra's App Store System Preferences Can Be Unlocked With Any Password

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:42
A bug report submitted on Open Radar this week reveals a major security vulnerability in the current version of macOS High Sierra that allows the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.


MacRumors is able to reproduce the issue on macOS High Sierra version 10.13.2, the latest public release of the operating system, on an administrator-level account by following these steps:

• Click on System Preferences.
• Click on App Store.
• Click on the padlock icon to lock it if necessary.
• Click on the padlock icon again.
• Enter your username and any password.
• Click Unlock.

As mentioned in the radar, System Preferences does not accept an incorrect password with a non-administrator account.

We're unable to reproduce the issue on the third or fourth betas of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, suggesting Apple has fixed the security vulnerability in the upcoming release. However, the update currently remains in testing.

MacRumors is also unable to reproduce the issue on macOS Sierra version 10.12.6, suggesting the issue affects macOS High Sierra only.

The security vulnerability means that anyone with administrator-level access to your Mac could unlock the App Store preferences and enable or disable settings to automatically install macOS updates, app updates, system data files, and, ironically, even security updates that would fix a bug like this one.

This is the second major password-related bug to affect macOS High Sierra in as many months, following a major security vulnerability that enabled access to the root superuser account with a blank password on macOS High Sierra version 10.13.1 that Apple fixed with a supplemental security update.

Following the root password vulnerability, Apple apologized in a statement and added that it was "auditing its development processes to help prevent this from happening again," so this doesn't look great.We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.Apple will likely want to fix this latest security vulnerability as quickly as possible, so it's possible we'll see a similar supplemental update released, or perhaps it will fast track the release of macOS High Sierra version 10.13.3. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment on this matter.

In the meantime, we can't think of an obvious workaround for this issue, so if you keep your App Store preferences behind lock, you'll want to keep a close eye on your Mac until further notice. If we learn of a solution, we'll share it.

We're still investigating further to confirm if macOS High Sierra versions 10.13 or 10.13.1 are affected. We'll update this article as we learn more.

Related Roundup: macOS High SierraTag: Mac App Store
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Confide Introducing New 'ScreenShield' SDK That Will Allow Developers to 'Screenshot-Proof' Their Apps

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:00
Private and secure messaging app Confide is gaining an interesting new feature that will successfully prevent its users from taking a screenshot within the app, and the team behind Confide is also planning to release the anti-screenshot technology as an SDK that can be used by other app developers.

Called ScreenShieldKit, the new SDK prevents screenshots, screen recording, QuickTime recording, Screen mirroring, Xcode screenshots, and viewing an app's contents in the App Switcher on both the iPhone and the iPad.


There is no dedicated API to stop screenshots from being taken in iOS like there is in Android, so ScreenShieldKit is using a whiteout feature instead. In an app that has ScreenShieldKit enabled, screenshots taken are a blank aside from a single status bar at the top. The same goes for recordings.

Apple does have a feature that prevents screenshots from being taken in apps that stream video content from a server, such as Netflix and iTunes, but since Confide does not stream from a server, Confide's developers tell us it took quite a bit of tweaking and work to develop ScreenShieldKit.


The Confide team used a "collection of technologies" to get ScreenShieldKit to work, and they believe they're the first to come up with this screenshot proofing concept on iOS devices. ScreenShieldKit uses only public APIs, and no private APIs, and it's a seamless experience for end users.

The current version of the Confide confidential messaging app already protects against screenshots by revealing just one line of text at a time, but the new ScreenShield feature is being implemented into the app to provide even more robust screenshot protection.

In the Confide app, ScreenShield will make it so any screenshot captured will show no message content. Confide also already uses end-to-end encryption and erases messages after they've been viewed to provide a secure messaging platform.


While Confide's ScreenShield feature will prevent on-device screenshots, there is, of course, no way to stop people from taking a photo of an iPhone's screen with a secondary device. Still, for on-device use, it's a solid solution that many developers may be interested in adopting.

Confide is offering the ScreenShieldKit feature to developers, with more information available on the ScreenShieldKit website.

The Confide app, with ScreenShield built in, can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: App Store
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