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  1. Outlook is quite popular, both in organizational and personal environments. Microsoft regularly introduces new features to the Outlook client across various platforms to meet the growing needs of this market. We recently learned that Outlook on Android and iOS is getting the ability to deliver emails in a delayed manner, and now, Microsoft has unveiled a whole set of UX changes and functionalities coming to the client on the same platforms. For starters, there is a new tab bar at the bottom is more modular and customizable. The "More" button has been added to the tab bar, which will allow you to access Contacts and Files in its first iteration, followed by Apps at a later date. Basically, any installed Teams apps that also support Outlook will start to appear in the Apps section, but a dedicated mobile store is in the works too. Rollout will begin with Android, followed by iOS. Additionally, Search is being renamed to "Feed" based on the multipurpose role it plays. Apart from discovering content such as files and emails, it will also surface a scrolling feed of To-Do items, news, and more. File and Contacts will be migrated to the tab bar instead of being directly in Search. Finally, the Fast Action Button (FAB) in the inbox view currently allows an action of "New email", but it will soon have a caret button ("^") that will allow you to perform other actions such as creating a new event too. Although Microsoft hasn't defined concrete timelines for the respective rollouts of these features, it has mentioned that most of them will come first to Android, rather than iOS. Based on the announcement and the screenshots, it doesn't seem like Outlook customers on these platforms will have to wait too long. Here are some of the new features coming soon to Outlook on Android and iOS
  2. Microsoft recently announced a plethora of new features for Office 365 users, and the company is also focussing on bettering one of Outlook's existing functionality, namely Delay delivery. According to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap page, Microsoft is planning to bring the "Schedule and send" feature to Android and iOS users, allowing them to delay the delivery of emails. The capability is very similar to how "Delay delivery" works on Outlook.com and Outlook desktop apps. Once it goes live for everyone on iOS, users can choose the date and time they want their emails to be sent. Microsoft hasn't explained the exact flow of the UX for Android and iOS, but it is quite simple in Outlook for macOS: you need to bring the drop-down menu from the "Send options" and select "Schedule and send" to select when you want your emails to be sent. Notably, Microsoft is set to introduce the "Schedule and send" to Outlook iOS clients first, which is happening this month. Android users will have to wait until December to see it in action on their handsets. "Schedule and send" in Outlook for Android "Schedule and send" in Outlook for iOS Ever since Microsoft added an option to delay the delivery of emails in Outlook web and desktop apps, users on the Microsoft Tech Community website have been asking when it will be available for the Outlook iOS and Android apps. This wait will finally be over for many this month. In all likelihood, the feature will be rolled out via an update via the App Store and the Google Play Store in the said months. What else is Microsoft Outlook getting this month, you ask? Well, Microsoft will also introduce the reactions feature to the Outlook Windows client, according to the roadmap page. The functionality is already available on Outlook for Mac. Which upcoming Outlook features are you excited about the most? Let us know in the comments. Microsoft to add this widely requested Outlook feature to Android and iOS soon
  3. Intel has announced a new software solution to deliver seamless connectivity between your Windows PCs and phones, including iPhone models. Launched as Intel Unison, Intel’s latest software solution promises to offer a simple pairing process across operating systems. Intel Unison is Intel’s take on Microsoft’s Phone Link. The former will allow users to connect their phones with PCs to stay updated with all the latest phone notifications right on their computers. It will also support file transfer between PCs and Android or iOS devices, which means you can now take a photo or shoot a video to seamlessly edit them on your PC. Users will also get full access to their phone’s contact lists using the new software from Intel. Making and receiving voice calls will be possible on your PC. Also, users can send and receive text messages using Intel Unison. All these features are already available on Microsoft’s Phone Link, except that it does not support iOS devices. Phone Link is meant to connect your PCs with your Android devices. While Intel Unison has a slight edge over Phone Link, as the former supports iOS devices, the latter offers a lot better in terms of feature counts. Another major downside is that Intel’s solution only supports select Intel Evo laptops based on 12th Gen Intel Core processors from Acer, HP, and Lenovo for now. The company has promised to make it available for 13th Gen Intel Core-based designs starting early in 2023. While Phone Link might sound better for those who use Android and a Windows PC, Intel says it will continue to add support for more form factors, functionality, and operating systems in the future to make Intel Unison better than what it is at launch. Intel has not given us a demo of how its new software solution will seamlessly connect PCs and Android/iOS devices. But hopefully, we will hear more regarding those details from the company sooner rather than later. Intel Unison can deliver seamless connectivity between your PCs and iOS devices
  4. Apple released the next major iterations of multiple operating systems for its devices. However, among the latest versions, the company has also sent out some small incremental updates for previous versions of iOS and macOS. Apple has begun seeding watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and iOS 16. Around the world, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iPhone devices should start receiving these updates. However, Apple has also released several smaller updates for older operating systems, including iOS 15.7, iPadOS 15.7, and macOS Monterey 12.6. The iPadOS and macOS updates include security-related patches from the newer OS versions. Incidentally, unlike the iPhone and Macs, iPads haven’t received a major update along with the other devices. Compatible Apple iPad devices will receive iPadOS 16, and Macs will get the macOS Ventura later this year. Apple clearly did not want these devices to remain exposed to the security vulnerabilities, which are patched in the new versions of the OS but aren’t yet fully ready for deployment. The iOS 15.7 update, on the other hand, ensures the older iPhones that can't run iOS 16, are updated with security patches. Specifically speaking, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 series, along with the original iPhone SE, among others will be patched, but won’t receive the iOS 16 update. Additionally, these incremental updates for iOS 15 give people who don't want to upgrade to iOS 16, a way to get security updates. Apple adopted a similar approach when it released iOS 15. The company had sent out iOS 14.8 to supported devices. This allowed people to defer the iOS 15 update without risking their devices and data. It is quite possible that Apple could push all iOS users to update to iOS 16 in the next few months. Source: Apple via: Ars Technica Apple sends out iOS 15.7, macOS 12.6 security updates with patches already in iOS 16
  5. Google Maps, News, and Chrome will have iPhone lock screen widgets, too Google has revealed a series of new lock screen widgets for the iPhone, including one for Gmail, timed along with the release of iOS 16. A refreshed lock screen is the most obvious change to iOS in this latest update (even if it’s not a new thing for Android users), and Google’s major apps will support it, but you’ll have to wait a little while. While some developers are pushing updates to their apps today with new widgets, Google says you can expect these to arrive “in the coming weeks,” so until they’re available, we’ll walk you through the showcase. Lockscreen widgets for several Google apps shown on iPhone screens. Image: Google The Gmail lock screen widget includes several different displays with clean, to-the-point updates, pulling information from your inbox. One is circular and simply indicates the number of new / unread messages in your inbox, while another view is a bar that can display detailed counts for specific sections, like unread messages, promotions, social, unread Google Chat messages, or a simple bar with the date and number of new messages. Gmail has several widgets designed for the iOS 16 lock screen. Image: Google For Google Maps, the widget can automatically surface ETAs for places it thinks you’ll need to go, including public transportation details and location reminders. It also has options for single-tap shortcuts that can show you nearby restaurants, shopping centers, coffee shops, and hotels. Google Maps widgets include restaurant, shopping, coffee shop, and hotel searches. Image: Google Google search has one-tap widget buttons, too, that can open up a search box, prep your phone to search using the camera, go to voice search, or open directly into tools like Google Translate, Google Shopping, and Google Scholar. Other widgets in the works include several for Google Chrome to open the browser, head to voice search, dive directly into an Incognito tab, or open up the dinosaur game. The Google Drive widget can give you access to starred folders with one click and also notify you when a folder or document has been shared with you, while Google News has a widget to compete with Apple’s own News app, promising you a preview of a headline and story. Google search widgets include the search bar and shortcuts to Google Lens, Translate, voice search, and more. Image: Google Google Chrome widgets include a shortcut to the app, voice search, Incognito mode, and Chrome Dino Run. Image: Google Gmail’s iOS 16 lock screen widget looks great, but it’s not coming today
  6. The latest iPhone update is now available for download, complete with a revamped lock screen, editable Messages, and more. the time has come to update your iPhone. Apple has officially released the final version of iOS 16, which builds on many of the new features introduced in iOS 15, like SharePlay and Focus, and adds greater customization. Below we dive into all the major capabilities now available on your iPhone and how to download the new operating system. We've included details on iPadOS 16, too, but the update for iPads won't be available until October. Be sure to read our MacOS Ventura feature roundup for all the new features available for Macs—which will also be released next month. Updated September 12: We've added details on how to download iOS 16. Is Your iPhone or iPad Compatible? With iOS 16, Apple is ending software support for the following devices: the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Basically, if you have an iPhone 8 (2017) or newer (including the second- and third-gen iPhone SE), you can download and run iOS 16. That doesn't mean every feature in the update will be available on your iPhone, though, as some features like Live Text work only with iPhones powered by an A12 Bionic chip or newer. It's a little more complicated for iPads since they don't have sensible naming conventions. Here are the generations that will receive iPadOS 16. You can figure out which model you have by following the directions here. iPad: 5th-gen and up iPad Mini: 4th-gen and up iPad Air: 2nd-gen and up 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro 11-inch iPad Pro: First-gen and up 12.9-inch iPad Pro: First-gen and up How to Install iOS 16 Before downloading iOS 16, we highly recommend backing up your iPhone. It's easy if you do it via iCloud. Go to Settings, tap on your name at the top and then select iCloud. From there, tap on iCloud Backup and toggle it on. Then, tap Back Up Now to trigger a new backup. You also have the option on the previous iCloud page to toggle off specific apps that you don't want included in the backup. If you don't have enough iCloud storage or you just want another method, you can check out our How to Back Up Your iPhone guide for alternative options. Once that's done, you're ready to install iOS 16. Since this is a hefty update, you should plug your iPhone or iPad into a charger. Then, make sure your devices are connected to Wi-Fi. Next, head to Settings > General > Software Update. You should see an option to download the update. Tap on Download and Install. When the download is complete, you'll need to tap Install Now for the iPhone to begin updating. When your device restarts, the update is complete. The whole process can take some time, so run the update when you won't need to use your iPhone. What’s New in iOS 16? Here, we've highlighted the top new features currently available in iOS 16. We'll be adding more continuously as Apple releases updates for the OS. Lock Screen Overhaul New lock screens. Photograph: Apple Apple redesigned the lock screen completely in iOS 16. Notifications now appear on the bottom of the screen so as to not clutter up your beautiful lock screen photo. The clock widget cuts behind the subject of your photo, giving off a cool depth effect, and you can customize its design, from the typeface to the color—just press and hold the lock screen to go into editing mode. You can add more widgets below the clock, like weather, activity rings, and the calendar. All the way at the bottom, where the notifications live, you can also pin certain kinds of live activities. For example, if you're following an NBA game, you can see the scores via a pinned notification at the bottom. You can also pin things like Uber rides, workout activities, and Now Playing controls, which can expand to the full lock screen to show album art. There's a new wallpaper gallery with tons of designs to choose from, including a live weather lock screen that mimics the real-time weather conditions, or suggestions using photos from your very own camera roll. Apple lets you set up multiple lock screens, and it's easy to cycle through them, just like how you can easily switch watch faces with a swipe on an Apple Watch. More Focus Improvements More customization in Focus. Photograph: Apple Your lock screen can also be tied to a Focus, meaning you can set a lock screen for your Work Focus and a different one—with a more personal photograph—for your Personal Focus. Swiping to the relevant lock screen will simply trigger that Focus. iOS 16 also adds Focus Filters in apps like Safari, Calendar, Mail, and Messages. This means when you open Safari with your Work Focus turned on, you'll only see work-related tabs. The same goes for the other apps that support these filters, and Apple says developers can take advantage of an API to add support. Messages, but Editable Poof. Video: Apple Twitter is finally coming around to letting you edit tweets and Apple is getting onboard too. You can edit messages in the Messages app after you've sent them, though you only have a 15-minute window and you can edit them up to five times. You can even “undo send” to recall messages, though this feature expires after two minutes. (The thread indicates when a message was edited or deleted.) Also new is the ability to mark any thread as unread so you can check back on messages at a later time. Apple also added SharePlay support to the Messages app. Now, you don't need to FaceTime a friend just to watch a synced movie together—you can start the action in the Messages app and chat with synced video and shared playback controls. Frequently chatting with Android users? You'll be happy to learn that Apple has gotten rid of reaction texts. Google got rid of this in a recent update on the Android side, and now you won't get bombarded every time your friends like another message. If you're a fan of dictating your messages instead of typing (fewer “ducks,” am I right?) then you'll appreciate the improvements to dictation. Now, the keyboard will stay open during dictation so you can easily move between voice and touch. You can tap text to select it and replace it with your voice, and even send emojis without taking forever to find one. Safari Tab Groups and Passkeys You can create tab groups in Safari already, such as a collection of tabs for work, but in iOS 16 you can share these groups with other people. You'll also be able to see what tabs people are viewing in real-time. Everyone wants to get rid of passwords, and Apple is one step closer with Passkeys. These are unique digital keys you can create via Touch ID or Face ID; there's no password to generate or type in, and Apple says they are virtually immune from being phished or leaked in a data breach. They sync across your Apple devices via iCloud Keychain and will work across apps and the web. Apple says it's working with the FIDO Alliance for a cross-platform solution for those who also use non-Apple devices. Read more about how Passkeys work. Updates to Live Text Visual Look Up Real-time visual translation. Photograph: Apple Live Text, the feature that lets you grab the text in any photo (before or after you snap it), now works with videos. Just pause on any video and tap the text to copy it. There are a few new quick actions when you select particular kinds of text, such as converting currency and translating text. Visual Look Up is a different feature Apple introduced last year that offered up more information on the photo you were looking at, such as details about a landmark or similar web results. It now supports birds, insects, and statues, but you can also use it to grab the subject from a photo (much like using the Lasso tool in PhotoShop) to paste anywhere, like in a conversation thread in Messages. Medication Tracking Apple updated the Health app with a new Medication tab to help make it easier to track your medications. You can use it to add medications you need to take and set reminders (and receive them on the Apple Watch). You can manually type in these medications or just scan the label of the bottle with your phone's camera. The data includes Critical, Serious, or Moderate interactions with the pills. You're able to log when you've taken your medications, too. You can share this health data with family members. Use Your iPhone as a Webcam Photograph: Olivia Bee/Apple You can use your iPhone as a MacBook webcam (the rear cameras, which are significantly better than the webcam cameras), and without needing to plug anything in—your Mac will automatically detect the rear camera and use it for your video calls. (Any MacBook that can run MacOS Ventura will support this feature.) You'll be able to use features like Center Stage, which has the camera following you around a room, and Portrait Mode, which blurs the background to block out the mess behind you. There's even a Desk View mode that utilizes the ultrawide camera to show folks what's on your desk, though I don't want anyone seeing that. Apple says it's working with Belkin on custom mounts to outfit your iPhone on top of the MacBook. Apple Maps Goes to Vegas Apple has been slowly redesigning select cities in the US to show off richer data. The company has added Las Vegas, Nevada, to the list, along with six more cities coming by the end of the year. Other Maps updates include the ability to add up to 15 stops before your final destination, which is great for long-distance road trips (and you can set this up on a Mac and send it straight to your iPhone). If you're using public transit, you can now see fares, add transit cards, see low balances, and reload transit cards. Lockdown Mode Photograph: Apple In an effort to help protect your devices from “highly sophisticated cyberattacks,” Lockdown mode adds an extreme layer of additional protection to your iPhone and iPad. When enabled, features, apps, and websites will be limited for security purposes to help keep the malware or spyware from accessing and compromising specific data. You can learn more about Lockdown Mode and how to turn it on here. Safety Check This new tool lets you quickly remove all access that you might have granted to anyone in your circles, and includes an emergency reset that will sign you out of iCloud on all other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to the device you have in your hand. It also shows you who has access to your devices and apps. Family Sharing Photograph: Apple There's now a simpler process for setting up devices for kids. Just bring your iPhone close to your iPad and choose your kids' account. It'll set it up with all the parental controls you configured before. You can even grant screen time extensions in the Messages app instead of having to go into the device's settings. There's also a Family Checklist tool for suggestions like turning on location sharing, tweaking settings as your kids get older, and more. Other New Features There are tons of other iOS 16 features. Here are a few more worth calling out: Mail: You can now schedule emails, unsend emails (within a short period of time), get reminders to add an attachment if you mention the word, snooze emails, and get follow-up suggestions. Apple says it has overhauled the search function, too, so you should have an easier time finding old emails. Home: The Home app has been redesigned from the ground up. It'll support the upcoming Matter standard, and you can now see your entire home in a single feed. Handoff FaceTime Calls: When you're FaceTiming on your phone, bring the device close to your MacBook or iPad and the call will transfer to your large-screen device. This works with any MacBook that can run MacOS Ventura. Fitness: Yes, that's right. The Fitness app is finally available to anyone with an iPhone. No Apple Watch needed. You'll be able to close your rings without needing to wear your Apple Watch. There are also a bunch of new WatchOS features made for tracking runs. Apple News: A new My Sports section lets you follow your favorite teams and players in one area of the News app. You can see scores, schedules, standings, and highlights. It's available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, and you'll get premium coverage if you subscribe to Apple News+. CarPlay: Apple is working with carmakers on a redesigned CarPlay experience. That includes a customizable odometer, buttons to control every facet of the car, and a unified interface. The first cars to launch with this new experience will be announced late in 2023. Accessibility: A few top accessibility features include Door Detection, which lets people who are blind or have low vision use iPhones to see the area in front of them. Apple Watch Mirroring allows anyone with physical and motor disabilities to fully control the Apple Watch from the iPhone. Quick Notes: This iPad feature is now available on iPhones. You can create a note anywhere by accessing it from the Control Center. Nintendo Controller Support: iOS 16 adds support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Cons, so you can play games with them. iOS already supports PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers. Coming Soon All of the aforementioned features are currently accessible in iOS 16, but there are a couple that will be released with future updates. Apple hasn't given us an exact date on when to expect them aside from later this year or in a future update. Pay It Later With Apple Pay You can afford it. Really. Photograph: Apple Services that let you buy now but pay later have received some pushback from consumer analysts, but Apple is barreling ahead with its own take called Apple Pay Later. In a future update, you'll be able to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase over four equal payments spread over six weeks with zero interest and no fees. You'll also have the option to apply for Apple Pay Later when you're checking out with Apple Pay (Apple says it will do a soft credit check), and you'll need to have it backed with a debit card. Apple says it's available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app. You can also see order tracking directly in Apple Pay, though this is available only with participating merchants. And if you're a small business owner, you'll be able to accept Apple Pay payments via iPhone instead of having to use a separate terminal. Over in Apple Wallet, you can already add your digital driver's license if you're in Maryland or Arizona, and Apple says support for 11 other states is on the way. You're able to use this ID for apps that require identification, and Apple says it only shows necessary information, such as the fact that you're over 21, instead of your full birth date. You can also simply share your home, hotel, office, and car keys through messaging apps like Messages, WhatsApp, and Mail. Apple says it's working on a standard to support sharing these keys with folks that don't have an iPhone. Freeform Apple is currently working on debuting an app called Freeform. Think of it as a virtual whiteboard. You can start a FaceTime and hop into Freeform to collaborate with or without an Apple Pencil. It'll be available on iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS. iCloud Shared Photo Library Photograph: Apple You'll soon be able to set up an iCloud Shared Photo Library, similar to how you can set up shared photo libraries in Google Photos. Just add up to five other people to a library and everyone can add and edit family photos. You can choose which photos to share, including whether to base them on a start date or via face detection. There's also a toggle in the Camera app that you can turn on to automatically send the photo you capture to the shared library. If you're all on vacation, these photos can even automatically show up in the shared library based on your proximity to family members. iPadOS 16 iPadOS shares a lot of DNA with iOS, so many of the iOS 16 features mentioned above will apply to iPadOS 16, too. Here are a few more tablet-specific features coming next month. Easier Collaboration Photograph: Apple Sharing projects can be a pain, what with adding email addresses and granting access. In iPadOS 16 (and iOS 16 and MacOS Ventura), you can use the Share button in Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari, and just share access via Messages to the relevant thread. Everyone will immediately get access, and will be able to see updates and quickly start FaceTime calls with folks who are in a collaborative project. The Weather App Arrives Photograph: Apple No, it's not 2010. The iPad is finally getting a default weather app. Need I say more? Next, maybe Apple will finally bring the calculator app to the tablet. Desktop-Like Multitasking Photograph: Apple The iPad is continuing to behave even more like a desktop computer. With Stage Manager, you can see apps and windows on the left side of the screen and switch through them with just a tap. Your apps will appear as floating windows, and you can resize them and have them overlap, much like on MacOS. Unfortunately, Stage Manager only works on M1-powered iPads, which is a small subset of slates. Reference Mode Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro (from 2021) has a Mini LED screen that can be utilized as a reference monitor. Basically, creators need color-accurate screens, and a new Reference Mode will let professionals use this iPad screen to ensure consistent image quality. The Top New Features in Apple’s iOS and iPadOS 16 (May require free registration to view)
  7. iOS 16, announced in June 2022 on WWDC22, is now available for download. Apple has started rolling out its latest major update with various new features, fixes, and security enhancements. In addition to iOS 16, Apple is rolling out watchOS 9 for compatible Apple Watch models (Series 4 and newer). What iPhones support iOS 16? You can download iOS 16 on the following iPhone models: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus iPhone X iPhone XS and XS Max iPhone XR iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max iPhone SE (2nd generation, 2020 model) iPhone 12 and 12 mini iPhone 12 and 12 Pro iPhone 13 and 13 mini iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max iPhone SE (3rd generation, 2022 model) This year, Apple has left behind several old iPhone models: the original iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, and iPhone 7, alongside its plus-sized variant. What is new in iOS 16? Here are some of the biggest changes in iOS 16: Redesigned lock screen: users can now personalize fonts, add widgets, and create multiple lock screen designs. iOS 16 lets you link a specific lock screen to a focus profile, so the look and feel of our iPhone match what you do. Redesigned notifications and Live Activities: notifications now appear at the bottom of the screen for better accessibility. Also, Live Activities let you get updates and "stay on top of things" without leaving the lock screen. Editable and delectable iMessage: similar to popular messengers, iMessage now lets you edit or delete a sent message, plus mark messages as unread. Other iOS 16 improvements for iMessage include SharePlay via Messages and improved collaboration. Passkeys: a new sign-in method "that is end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks." Mail improvements: the built-in Mail client lets you undo send, schedule an email, and add rich links. Smarter Dictation: it is now easier to move from voice input to the keyboard, plus Smart Dictation can automatically add commas, periods, question marks, and even emojis. Intelligent features: iOS 16 can "lift" a subject from an image and remove the background, and the Live Text feature now works in videos, allowing you to copy text from any video. Health improvements: the built-in Health app lets you track medication intake or share medical information with your loved ones or caregivers. Also, the Fitness app is now available for all iPhone users without requiring an Apple Watch. Wallet and Apple Pay: Apple Pay customers can use the service to split the cost of purchases into four payments over six weeks and then track receipts and orders directly in Wallet. Many more. How to download and install iOS 16? Launch the Settings app on your iPhone. Go to General > Software Update. Wait for your iPhone to detect the update, then tap iOS 16 at the bottom of the screen. Note that you can stay on iOS 15 and continue receiving updates for it, even if your iPhone supports a newer release. Proceed with on-screen instructions. What about iPadOS 16? Apple is not ready to ship iPadOS 16 today, but it says the latest iPadOS release will be available in October 2022. Apple could reveal the exact release day alongside new iPads rumored to arrive later this year. Are you installing iOS 16 today, or are you waiting for Apple to release a few more fixes? Share your thoughts in the comments. Apple starts rolling out iOS 16 with redesigned lock screen, iMessage improvements, more
  8. VPNs on Apple mobile devices reportedly keep connections open and expose data. A security researcher says that Apple's iOS devices don't fully route all network traffic through VPNs as a user might expect, a potential security issue the device maker has known about for years. Michael Horowitz, a longtime computer security blogger and researcher, puts it plainly—if contentiously—in a continually updated blog post. "VPNs on iOS are broken," he says. Any third-party VPN seems to work at first, giving the device a new IP address, DNS servers, and a tunnel for new traffic, Horowitz writes. But sessions and connections established before a VPN is activated do not terminate and, in Horowitz's findings with advanced router logging, can still send data outside the VPN tunnel while it's active. In other words, you might expect a VPN client to kill existing connections before establishing a secure connection so they can be re-established inside the tunnel. But iOS VPNs can't seem to do this, Horowitz says, a finding that is backed up by a similar report from May 2020. "Data leaves the iOS device outside of the VPN tunnel," Horowitz writes. "This is not a classic/legacy DNS leak, it is a data leak. I confirmed this using multiple types of VPN and software from multiple VPN providers. The latest version of iOS that I tested with is 15.6." Security blogger Michael Horowitz's logs show a VPN-connected iPad reaching out to both his VPN provider (37.19.214.1) and Apple Push (17.57.144.12). The Apple connection is outside the VPN and could potentially expose his IP address if seen by an ISP or other parties. Privacy company Proton previously reported an iOS VPN bypass vulnerability that started at least in iOS 13.3.1. Like Horowitz's post, ProtonVPN's blog noted that a VPN typically closes all existing connections and reopens them inside a VPN tunnel, but that didn't happen on iOS. Most existing connections will eventually end up inside the tunnel, but some, like Apple's push notification service, can last for hours. The primary issue with non-tunneled connections persisting is that they could be unencrypted and that the IP address of the user and what they're connecting to can be seen by ISPs and other parties. "Those at highest risk because of this security flaw are people in countries where surveillance and civil rights abuses are common," ProtonVPN wrote at the time. That might not be a pressing concern for typical VPN users, but it's notable. ProtonVPN confirmed that the VPN bypass persisted in three subsequent updates to iOS 13. ProtonVPN indicated in its blog post that Apple would add functionality to block existing connections, but this functionality as added did not appear to make a difference in Horowitz's results. Horowitz tested ProtonVPN's app in mid-2022 on an iPad iOS 15.4.1 and found that it still allowed persistent, non-tunneled connections to Apple's push service. The Kill Switch function added to ProtonVPN, which describes its function as blocking all network traffic if the VPN tunnel is lost, did not prevent leaks, according to Horowitz. Horowitz tested again on iOS 15.5 with a different VPN provider and iOS app (OVPN, running the WireGuard protocol). His iPad continued to make requests to both Apple services and to Amazon Web Services. ProtonVPN had suggested a workaround that was "almost as effective" as manually closing all connections when starting a VPN: Connect to a VPN server, turn on airplane mode, then turn it off. "Your other connections should also reconnect inside the VPN tunnel, though we cannot guarantee this 100%," ProtonVPN wrote. Horowitz suggests that iOS's Airplane Mode functions are so confusing as to make this a non-answer. We've reached out to both Apple and OpenVPN for comment and will update this article with any responses. Horowitz's post doesn't offer specifics on how iOS might fix the issue. He also doesn't address VPNs that offer "split tunneling," focusing instead on the promise of a VPN capturing all network traffic. For his part, Horowitz recommends a $130 dedicated VPN router as a truly secure VPN solution. VPNs, especially commercial offerings, continue to be a complicated piece of Internet security and privacy. Picking a "best VPN" has long been a challenge. VPNs can be brought down by vulnerabilities, unencrypted servers, greedy data brokers, or by being owned by Facebook. (Update 2:58 pm ET: Updated to address notion of split tunneling and VPN expectations.) iOS VPNs have leaked traffic for more than 2 years, researcher claims
  9. When you pull down to refresh your feed, you might hear some new noises A few of us at The Verge have noticed something new about Twitter’s iOS app: when you pull down to refresh your feed, you might hear a couple of new noises. One is a little windup trill that plays when you first pull the feed, and after your feed is done refreshing, you might hear a short confirmation chirp. (Though the sounds are more robotic than any real-life bird I’ve heard.) I made a recording so you can hear what I’m hearing. It’s a little different from the short “pop” you might have heard when refreshing before. We’re not exactly sure when the change kicked in, but we first noticed it Friday afternoon, and we’ve seen a bunch of tweets about the new chirp from Friday as well. There are also a handful of tweets mentioning a chirp over the past couple of weeks, which could mean that Twitter has been rolling it out slowly ahead of a bigger release. This seemingly isn’t an iOS-only change. One Verge staffer on Android is occasionally hearing the second new noise I described, and a few of the tweets I’ve found about the chirp were sent from Android. If you want to hear the noise for yourself on your phone, just try pulling down to refresh your feed. If you don’t hear it, try force closing the Twitter app and opening it again (this is what worked for me), and make sure you’re on the latest version of the app. We’re not sure how widely this is rolled out, so you may not have the sounds just yet even if you try those steps. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to refresh the app to hear the lovely new sounds again. And again. Maybe just one more time. Last time, I promise... You’re not hearing things — yes, the Twitter app chirps now
  10. Google has announced five new major features coming to its browser on iOS. They focus on making Chrome on iPhone and iPad faster, safer, and more personalized. According to a post on the official Google blog, the next update for Chrome on iOS will include the following features: Enhanced Safe Browsing. This is a feature Google plans to bring from the desktop version of its browser to mobile devices. It provides improved security by keeping users safe from phishing, malware, and other web-related threats. Chrome will warn its customers about potentially harmful websites or login/password leaks. Improved auto-fill. Like Microsoft Authenticator and Edge, Chrome users will be able to utilize the browser as the default password provider on websites and third-party apps. No more storing passwords in the standard Notes app. A better home page. Google says improvements to the home page will make it easier to discover relevant content, access recent tabs, and open bookmarks, reading list, history, or the frequently visited websites. Enhanced translation. Google Chrome on iOS will utilize on-device machine learning for better website translation. The upcoming update will improve language identification so that the browser can detect the needed language more accurately and figure out whether it needs to translate it. Chrome Actions. Here is another feature that will come straight from desktop Chrome to iOS. The browser will let its users use natural language commands to get things done faster, such as "clear browsing data," "open incognito tab," or "set Chrome as the default browser." A similar feature recently appeared in Microsoft Edge on desktop. Google promises to add "even more innovation" to Chrome on iOS in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you can check out what is new in Chrome 103 that Google released earlier this week. Chrome for iOS will autofill passwords in other apps
  11. Microsoft has started pushing a major update to the Microsoft Remote Desktop Mobile app on iOS. The update adds a plethora of new features, including the ability to dynamically change the orientation of the remote session while connected to Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and later. To support portrait orientation, Microsoft has redesigned the on-screen keyboard. The latest update also includes many more changes, which you can read in more detail below. Changelog What’s new The update also offers several improvements to make the app experience better. You can see the improvements below. Improvements Microsoft updates Remote Desktop Mobile app on iOS
  12. Microsoft has pushed an update to its task management app called Microsoft To Do on iOS. If you are using an IOS device, look for the update that carries version number 2.70. Apart from taking the version to 2.70, the update adds an important new feature to help users add notes to tasks. The latest version of the To Do app has a new Notes icon, which you will see while adding tasks. You will need to tap on the new Notes icon to add notes to your tasks. According to Microsoft, this will add more context. You can read the complete official changelog below. Changelog In other Microsoft To Do news, Microsoft recently added a new feature for To Do users on Windows, which now performs additional automatic commands in setting up users’ reminders. You can read about the feature in detail here. In February last year, Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft To Do widgets for iOS 14 devices. You can view your to-do lists from your home screen with the new widgets. Microsoft will continue to add new features to its task management app in the future to make the app even better. Meanwhile, you can download the Microsoft To Do app from click here to go to the App Store download page directly. Microsoft To Do for iOS gets updated with a new feature
  13. The ability to view status updates in the chat list is a feature that is coming to the WhatsApp desktop. We reported about this a few days ago. We also mentioned that the company could add the same capability to iOS and Android users at a later date. Today, publisher WABetainfo has confirmed that status updates in the chat list are in the works for WhatsApp iOS client. WhatsApp currently has a separate section in the app to let users view status updates, but with the arrival of status in the chat list, users will never have to worry about missing updates as they will be right in front of their eyes in the chat window. If you’re using Instagram, you are already familiar with the feature. WABetainfo has also shared a screenshot of the UI, showing how the feature will work on the instant chat messenger iOS client. The website also confirms that status updates in the chat list will also be available on WhatsApp Android in the future. Hopefully, the website will soon post images showing how the same thing will work on Android. However, it shared nothing on the availability of the feature. Image: WABetainfo Status updates in the chat list are still in the development phase, so don’t expect them to appear on your WhatsApp iOS app. Since the feature has been spotted on the app, the company shouldn’t take much longer to make it available to the public. We will, of course, let you know when that happens. In other WhatsApp-related news, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including Message reactions, Communities, the ability for admins to delete inappropriate messages in a group, File sharing improvements, 32-person audio calls, and more. These features are coming to WhatsApp in the coming weeks. You can read about them in more detail here. WhatsApp iOS app will get status updates on the chat list too
  14. Twitter is currently working on what many people have been asking for a very long time. The micro-blogging site is finally working on an Edit button. However, it is not the only major feature Twitter users will get in the future. As spotted by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, the micro-blogging site is also working on a new feature that will allow users to attach photos, GIFs, and videos to a tweet at the same time. Paluzzi has also shared the screenshot of the UI, which explains how the feature works. Twitter seems to have started working on this feature a long time ago. The reverse engineer first found the reference for this in the Twitter Android app back in 2020. But for some reason, the company has taken two years to materialize the idea. It shouldn’t take much longer from now to launch the feature for the general public since the company seems to be giving it the final touch. Paluzzi has also found references for this feature in the iOS app today, a big enough hint that it could also become available for iOS users when it is ready. To sum it up for you, the feature will likely be available for both Android and iOS users. However, the reverse engineer said nothing about whether it will be available for the Twitter web client. It is worth pointing out, though, that the ability to attach photos, videos, and GIFs to a tweet at the same time is still in the development phase. We are hoping that the micro-blogging site will release it to the public in the coming few months. We will, of course, notify you once it becomes available for everyone. What do you think about this new feature? Is it something that you find useful on Twitter? Let us know what you think in the comments section. Twitter may allow users to attach photos, videos and GIFs to a tweet at the same time
  15. Twitter has announced that they’ve begun rolling out a new “CC” button, allowing iOS and Android users to easily turn on or off closed captions. Rolling out to iOS users for testing now, and Android users whenever “soon” might be, the new CC button to turn on or off closed captions appears in the top right corner of videos on Twitter, as the company displayed in their own tweet announcing the feature. In Twitter’s own tweet about the new feature, the social media giant didn’t explain exactly why they are adding this much-requested feature, but in their defence, they didn’t really need to either, as closed captions are an obvious and major win for accessibility, regardless of if you use them or not. Alongside this feature to better suit your closed captioning preferences, Twitter also recently implemented alternative text badges (ATL), allowing users to add detailed descriptions of any photos they upload in order to aid screen readers and further improve accessibility. Additionally, under the impending threat of Elon Musk taking over the company, Twitter is also finally working on an edit button for tweets. Reportedly rolling out to paid Twitter Blue subscribers first, the edit button is said to also have an “immutable” quality to it, meaning the original unedited tweet won’t be deleted after changes are made. Twitter is getting a new closed captions button for videos
  16. Apple's landmark App Tracking Transparency may not be as tough as some people think. Last year, Apple enacted App Tracking Transparency, a mandatory policy that forbids app makers from tracking user activity across other apps without first receiving those users’ explicit permission. Privacy advocates praised the initiative, and Facebook warned it would spell certain doom for companies that rely on targeted advertising. However, research published last week suggests that ATT, as it’s usually abbreviated, doesn’t always curb the surreptitious collection of personal data or the fingerprinting of users. At the heart of ATT is the requirement that users must click an “allow” button that appears when an app is installed. It asks: “Allow [app] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” Without that consent, the app can’t access the so-called IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), a unique identifier iOS or iPadOS assigns so they can track users across other installed apps. At the same time, Apple also started requiring app makers to provide “privacy nutrition labels” that declared the types of user and device data they collect and how that data is used. Loopholes, bypasses, and outright violations Last week’s research paper said that while ATT in many ways works as intended, loopholes in the framework also provided the opportunity for companies, particularly large ones like Google and Facebook, to work around the protections and stockpile even more data. The paper also warned that despite Apple’s promise for more transparency, ATT might give many users a false sense of security. “Overall, our observations suggest that, while Apple’s changes make tracking individual users more difficult, they motivate a counter-movement, and reinforce existing market power of gatekeeper companies with access to large troves of first-party data,” the researchers wrote. “Making the privacy properties of apps transparent through large-scale analysis remains a difficult target for independent researchers, and a key obstacle to meaningful, accountable and verifiable privacy protections.” The researchers also identified nine iOS apps that used server-side code to generate a mutual user identifier that a subsidiary of the Chinese tech company Alibaba can use for cross-app tracking. “The sharing of device information for purposes of fingerprinting would be in violation of Apple's policies, which do not allow developers to ‘derive data from a device for the purpose of uniquely identifying it,’” the researchers wrote. The researchers also said that Apple isn't required to follow the policy in many cases, making it possible for Apple to further add to the stockpile of data it collects. They also noted that Apple also exempts tracking for purposes of “obtaining information on a consumer’s creditworthiness for the specific purpose of making a credit determination.” Representatives from Apple and Alibaba didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment. Based on a comparison of 1,685 apps published before and after ATT went into effect, the number of tracking libraries they used remained roughly the same. The most widely used libraries—including Apple’s SKAdNetwork, Google Firebase Analytics, and Google Crashlytics—didn’t change. Almost a quarter of the studied apps claimed that they didn’t collect any user data, but the majority of them—80 percent—contained at least one tracker library. On average, the research found, apps that claimed they didn’t collect user data nonetheless contained 1.8 tracking libraries and contacted 2.5 tracking companies. Of apps that used SKAdNetwork, Google Firebase Analytics, and Google Crashlytics, more than half failed to disclose having access to user data. The Facebook SDK fared slightly better with about a 47 percent failure rate. Enabling the data hoarders Not only do the discrepancies underscore the limitations of ATT, but they also reinforce the power of what the researchers called “gatekeepers” and the opacity of data collection in general. The researchers wrote: Our findings suggest that tracking companies, especially larger ones with access to large troves of first party, still track users behind the scenes. They can do this through a range of methods, including using IP addresses to link installation-specific IDs across apps and through the sign-in functionality provided by individual apps (e.g. Google or Facebook sign-in, or email address). Especially in combination with further user and device characteristics, which our data confirmed are still widely collected by tracking companies, it would be possible to analyse user behaviour across apps and websites (i.e. fingerprinting and cohort tracking). A direct result of the ATT could therefore be that existing power imbalances in the digital tracking ecosystem get reinforced. We even found a real-world example of Umeng, a subsidiary of the Chinese tech company Alibaba, using their server-side code to provide apps with a fingerprinting-derived cross-app identifier... The use of fingerprinting is in violation of Apple’s policies, and raises questions around to what extent the company is able to enforce its policies. ATT might ultimately encourage a shift of tracking technologies behind the scenes, so that they are outside of Apple’s reach. In other words, Apple’s new rules might lead to even less transparency around tracking than we currently have, including for academic researchers. Despite its flaws, ATT remains useful. I can’t think of any real benefits from allowing one app to track my usage of all other apps installed on my phone over months or years. The easiest way to enforce ATT is to access iOS settings > Privacy > Tracking and turn off “Allow Apps to Request to track.” People who want additional iOS privacy should uninstall any apps that are no longer needed or consider buying an app such as the Guardian Firewall. Ultimately, though, tracking and device fingerprinting are likely here to stay in some form, even in Apple’s walled garden. Your iOS app may still be covertly tracking you, despite what Apple says
  17. If you’re brave enough to use a beta password manager 1Password released an early access version of 1Password 8 for iOS on Wednesday, which brings a redesigned interface and new backend to iPhone and iPad users. The new version of the app, which 1Password says will eventually make its way to all its supported platforms, has been available in early access mode for Mac since August, and was released for Windows in November. As a longtime user of 1Password 7, the redesign was immediately obvious when I opened the beta version of the app. As far as I can tell, almost every icon has been changed to be a little more fun and colorful, and the interface feels more modern now. 1Password 7 1Password 8 The settings screen shows the difference between 1Password 7 (top) and 8 (bottom) very well. 1Password 7 opened to a favorites screen with a few recently used passwords. Other than marking or unmarking logins as favorites, there wasn’t much you could do to customize the screen. This was always a little frustrating for me, because I basically never had any use for the screen, and would immediately bounce to search. 1Password 8, on the other hand, has a home screen that lets you access things like your vaults, categories, and lists of recently created or modified passwords. You can also change it to fit how you organize and access your passwords — if you’re a big user of categories, favorites, and tags, you can move those options to the top. If you dump everything into one folder, you can hide everything but “All Items”. Some of the home screen items are collapsable lists. Image: 1Password The old (well, current) version of the app would let you know if one of your passwords had been compromised, and could alert you if the login you were viewing had a reused password, but there wasn’t a single screen that let you manage your overall security. The new version of the iOS app adapts the desktop version’s Watchtower section for mobile, which also gives you an overall security score. Watchtower brings 1Password’s full security checkup to the app. Image: 1Password There’s been some controversy around 1Password 8, after the company announced that its Mac app’s user interface would be powered by Electron (the web browser tech behind apps like Slack, Evernote, and Discord) instead of native code like SwiftUI or AppKit. Some user s worried that the change would make the password manager more resource-intensive to run, or that it would feel less like a real Mac app. However you feel about that change, it’s not really a factor with this iOS app, which 1Password has said uses SwiftUI for the interface, and Rust for the core. Of course, there are other reasons you may not want to use an early access version of a password manager. While it’s been okay for me so far, there will probably be a few bugs for testers to catch. If your phone’s password manager is absolutely critical to your work and / or life, it’s probably best to wait until an official release, especially since this update is a major change from the previous version. If you’re okay with increased odds of flakiness, though, and want to try the redesign for yourself as soon as possible, you can join the TestFlight using the link in 1Password’s blog post. You can now try 1Password’s customizable redesign on your iPhone and iPad
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  19. Why a small Facebook bug wreaked havoc on some of the most popular iOS apps Facebook’s near-ubiquitous SDK broke yesterday, taking major mobile apps with it Illustration by William Joel / The Verge Sometime around 6:30PM ET on May 6th, popular iOS apps from major companies like DoorDash, Spotify, TikTok, and Venmo suddenly starting crashing. The culprit didn’t remain a mystery for long. Developers on Twitter and GitHub quickly discovered the cause to be an issue with the software development kit (SDK) from Facebook, which is interwoven into the operation of countless mobile apps from companies large and small. The problem, while resolved rather quickly by Facebook, illustrates the scope of the social network’s platform and how even minor issues can have major ripple effects throughout the mobile software industry. “Earlier today, a new release of Facebook included a change that triggered crashes for some users in some apps using the Facebook iOS SDK,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge yesterday in a statement. “We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologize for any inconvenience.” The Facebook SDK is a bundle of software tools for developers that helps power features like signing in with a Facebook account and providing share to Facebook buttons. So the issue was not unique to iOS; it could have happened to the Android SDK and, in this case, simply affected Apple’s platform. Yet Facebook didn’t exactly say what the issue was or how the new release of the SDK could have triggered the crashes. It also wasn’t clear why so many apps were so detrimentally affected, even when the user experiencing the crash didn’t log in with Facebook or even when the app itself didn’t make ample use of the SDK or rely on Facebook features. According to app developer Guilherme Rambo, the issue lies with the way Facebook markets its developer toolset. “Facebook really pushes developers into installing their SDK, likely because they want the very rich data they can collect on those app’s users. The SDK is offered as a convenience for both developers and marketing teams, since it can also be used to track the conversions of ads run through Facebook,” he explained to The Verge over email. (Rambo also has an analysis of his own posted to his website here.) For instance, he says, if you want to run an ad campaign for your mobile app through Facebook, the only way to get valuable insight into the campaign’s performance is to install the company’s SDK. “Another major reason is the infamous ‘sign in with Facebook’ we see in many apps, which can be implemented without using their SDK at all, but since using the SDK is more convenient, many companies end up going through that route instead,” he says. But if there’s an issue with the SDK, as was the case yesterday, then it has the potential to take everything down with it. Facebook pushed a server-side change to its SDK, which meant no developer had any say in whether their app would be communicating with the older, stable version or the newer broken one. And because an app communicates with the SDK every time it is opened by a user, the result was a cascading series of errors that led to full-blown app crashes. “The issue was that the SDK was expecting a server reply in a certain format, which on Wednesday, the Facebook servers were not providing,” wrote ZDNet’s Catalin Cimpanu, who cited technical analyses of the situation on GitHub and HackerNews. “Without the proper response, the Facebook SDK crashed, also bringing down all the apps that used it.” It also appears that, once affected, there was little any developer could do to restore service until Facebook fixed the issue on its end. Rambo says there should be ways to prevent this from happening, including developers deciding to implement sign-in with Facebook without using the company’s SDK. But other system-level protections are decisions Apple would have to make regarding the permissions it grants third-party SDKs. “The way it works today is if you install an app and that app includes third-party code (such as the Facebook SDK), that third-party code has the same level of permissions and access as the app itself does,” he says. “If you grant the app permission to access your location, contacts or calendar, the third-party code it embeds can also get that information. The only way to fix that would be to implement some form of sandboxing model that separates third-party SDKs from an app’s own code,” he adds. “It’s a big challenge, but I hope Apple’s engineers are working on something like that.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment. That said, developers did not seem especially pleased about the situation. “From what I’ve seen, developers are really frustrated about this, especially because the engineers who have to deal with these types of problems are usually not the ones who have decided to add such an SDK to the app they work on,” Rambo says. He adds that the decision to integrate with Facebook’s developer tools is usually a top-down decision, “many times from the marketing or product teams who only see the benefit of using those types of SDKs (more data, more analytics).” But those types of employees at tech companies “don’t see the enormous amount of engineering hours spent dealing with the problems they can cause in an app,” he says. “Crashes caused by SDKs in major apps are not that uncommon, but I’ve never seen something of this magnitude where an SDK affected so many apps at the same time. I’d say this was an unprecedented event and it shows that something must be changed in the way apps integrate third-party code.” Source: Why a small Facebook bug wreaked havoc on some of the most popular iOS apps (The Verge)
  20. Apple releases iOS 13.6 with a bunch of Apple News improvements Today, Apple is introducing iOS 13.6, iPadOS 13.6, macOS 10.15.6, watchOS 6.2.8, and tvOS 13.4.8 to everyone. They've been in testing since the beginning of June. For a minor update that's arriving while a major update is in beta, iOS 13.6 actually packs some new features. For one thing, it includes Apple's new CarKey feature that lets you unlock a car with your phone, but more importantly, there are a bunch of Apple News improvements, which the firm announced today. iOS 13.6, iPadOS 13.6, and macOS 10.15.6 will include audio stories for Apple News+. Starting today, Apple says that it's going to release roughly 20 audio stories every week from outlets like Esquire, Essence, Fast Company, GQ, New York magazine, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Note that this is exclusive to the paid Apple News+ subscription service. What's not exclusive to Apple News+ is Apple News Today, which is more or less a news show. It's an audio briefing that includes Shumita Basu and Duerte Geraldino that covers "fascinating stories in the news". Apple News Today is free for everyone, and it's available in the News app. The Cupertino firm also noted that it's lighting up the News app for CarPlay, so you can listen to all of this content while you're driving. There's also a big focus on local news, even if it's not available in a wide array of locales. For now, this is supported in the Bay Area, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The new curated local news will include local publishers, major newspapers, sports, dining, weather, and so on. If you're not in one of the above areas, you can still get local newspapers like The Charlotte Observer, the Idaho Statesman, The Kansas City Star, the Miami Herald, The News & Observer, and The State. These updates are available now to everyone. Note that if your iPhone doesn't support iOS 13, Apple did release iOS 12.4.8 today, although it doesn't include the new features. Apple releases iOS 13.6 with a bunch of Apple News improvements
  21. Face ID doesn’t work when you’re wearing a mask—Apple’s about to address that Not every beta feature makes it to release, but this one seems likely. Enlarge / The TrueDepth sensor array on the iPhone. Samuel Axon 103 with 70 posters participating Apple's Face ID method for authenticating on recent iPhones offers a number of security benefits, and it's a neat trick to boot. But in a pandemic-stricken world where many people either opt to or are even required to wear protective masks, users have discovered that Face ID doesn't usually work when they need it to. Those masks interfere with the iPhone's ability to read your face, and at the moment, there's no easy solution. That might change with the next release of iOS. This week, Apple released the third beta of iOS 13.5, the next major feature release for its mobile operating system. Among other things, the beta introduces new Face ID behavior when users are wearing protective masks. Apple hasn't come up with some magical way to make the phone read your face through the mask, of course. Rather, the update fast-tracks you to passcode entry. Right now, raising the iPhone to use it results in a quick scan with the front-facing TrueDepth sensor array to allow you to access your files, messages, and apps. If your face is obscured, the lock indicator shakes and the phone vibrates, indicating there's a problem. After Face ID times out, you're then prompted to swipe up to get to the screen where you can enter your passcode instead. The iOS 13.5 beta skips a step. Now, it will give you the option to swipe up and enter a passcode without waiting on Face ID to finish failing. This is especially important for Apple Pay; contactless payments are a good way to minimize direct contact during the pandemic, but Face ID made them something of a hassle for mask-wearers. Apple hasn't said when iOS 13.5 will be finalized and released to the public, but it's likely not too far-off at this point, judging from past updates' timelines. Not every feature that shows up in an iOS beta gets included in the final release, but this one seems like a necessary change, so it's likely to make it to the finish line. iOS 13.5 will also introduce Apple's contact-tracing API, meant to help with efforts to tackle the coronavirus by tracking contact with people who are confirmed to be infected. Source: Face ID doesn’t work when you’re wearing a mask—Apple’s about to address that (Ars Technica)
  22. iOS 14 could get native call recording for phone and FaceTime calls Apple will hold its virtual WWDC event starting June 22, and during the event, it is expected to unveil the next major iOS update, iOS 14. Some features and changes that might make it to the update have leaked in the past, which include a new all apps screen, a new multitasking UI for iPhone, and the ability to experience parts of an app without installing it. Image: ITHome Another feature that might also make it to this release is a call recording feature that will let users record both, phone calls and FaceTime calls. A leaked engineering image accessed by the jailbreak community (via ITHome) provides a look at the settings page for the said feature. The page lets users simply turn on or off the ‘Audio Call Recording’ feature. Once turned on, it will record both incoming as well as outgoing calls automatically. Additionally, the screenshot suggests that the Cupertino giant will include verbiage that asks users to notify recipients when calls are being recorded and also cautions users from letting others use their phone when the feature is enabled. It is not clear if the firm will go one step further and add a form of audible indicator to notify the recipients of the call. iOS 14 will reportedly be supported on all current iOS 13 devices. It will be interesting to see what other features make it to the release, considering that the company is said to be pushing back some features for iOS 14 owing to the buggy release of iOS 13 and its efforts to make the update more stable. iOS 14 could get native call recording for phone and FaceTime calls
  23. Apple releases iOS 13.6 beta with more automatic software update controls Today, Apple is releasing what it's calling the second developer beta of iOS 13.6 and iPadOS 13.6, even though the first one was called version 13.5.5. It also comes alongside macOS Catalina 10.15.6 beta 2, and the first betas for watchOS 6.2.8 and tvOS 13.4.8. There are two key new features coming in iOS 13.6. One is that users will now have more control over automatic software updates in Settings. As it stands right now, the OS will automatically download updates, and then you can set whether or not you want them to install overnight. With version 13.6, there will be two separate settings, one for automatic downloads and one for automatic installations. The other new feature is that HealthKit is getting new data types to track symptoms like headaches, chills, sore throat, and more. The change in version number isn't unprecedented. The exact same thing happened with the last update. The only difference was that during that beta cycle, a pandemic happened, so Apple had to add a new contact tracing API, requiring the use of a new SDK. Presumably, the new HealthKit data types require the same thing. Apple releases iOS 13.6 beta with more automatic software update controls
  24. Signal can now transfer your chat history to a new iPhone Transmitting your data directly between iOS devices Signal’s new transfer feature in action. Image: Signal Encrypted messaging app Signal now lets you transfer your account data, including your conversation history, to a new iPhone or iPad from your existing iOS device. The feature rolled out in the app’s version 3.9.1 update last week, but the company formally announced the new feature in a blog post published on Tuesday, which also outlines the steps of how the process works. “This is the first time that upgrading to a new device without losing any information has been possible on iOS,” according to Signal. The new process is an attempt to find a balance between convenience and security. The process works via a QR code, which your new device generates and your old device scans. Then, your devices establish a direct Wi-Fi connection (or Bluetooth if Wi-Fi isn’t available), and transfer your data through your local network without the data ever passing through a third-party cloud server. Because the transfer happens locally, even large transfers can be completed quickly, Signal says. Secure messaging apps like Signal typically store conversations only on local devices because of the risk of compelled decryption. But this has created a long-standing problem of how to transfer logs between devices without potentially exposing all the conversations a given user has had. WhatsApp, for example, can back up your chat history to Google Drive or iCloud depending on your device, but it warns that these backups currently aren’t protected by its end-to-end encryption. iMessage backups work in a similar way: they’re encrypted if you choose to back them up to Apple’s iCloud servers. But Apple currently holds keys to those backups, and it often provides decrypted backups to law enforcement in response to valid warrant requests. Signal’s new iOS transfer feature attempts to offer convenience, while still keeping keys in the hands of users. The connection between the two devices is end-to-end encrypted, and the app will use a variety of checks to make sure it’s only receiving the data it’s expecting. Once the process completes, you should be left with a more or less identical app on the new device. Signal users on Android have been able to transfer their data between devices for a little while now, but the process is more convoluted and relies on you having to manually move an encrypted local backup between the internal storage of your Android devices. The new QR code-based transfer is not currently available on Android. There are important caveats with how the new feature works that you should be aware of. The first is that you’ll need your old device if you want to transfer your Signal data from it. In other words, if you wipe your Signal data from your old phone before setting up a new one, then you’ll lose your message history. The feature also doesn’t work between iOS and Android. This is just the latest feature that Signal has introduced that helps users transition between devices. Last month, the messaging service introduced PINs — which let you encrypt data like profile information, account settings, and who you’ve blocked — and back it up to Signal’s servers so you can restore it on a new device. Crucially, however, the functionality doesn’t let you back up conversations, unlike the new iOS transfer feature. Signal can now transfer your chat history to a new iPhone
  25. GitHub's iOS and Android apps are now generally available Microsoft owned GitHub today announcedits that apps for iOS and Android are out of beta and generally available to users of those platforms starting today. The code hosting service announced the beta version of its app for iOS at the GitHub Universe conference in November 2019, followed by a release for Android in January 2020. The apps can be used to triage issues, browse through repositories, communicate with team members, manage tasks, and even merge code. However, it does not provide a complete development environment. The company states that beta testers have “commented on, reviewed, and merged nearly one hundred thousand pull requests in the last few weeks alone”. The firm adds that there have been tens of thousands of team interactions since the betas were released. Below are the main advantages of the mobile apps that the company lists: Organize tasks in a swipe: Get your inbox to zero in no time—swipe to finish a task or save the notification to return to it later. Give feedback and respond to issues: Respond to comments while you’re on the go. Review and merge pull requests: Merge and mark pull requests to breeze through your workflow, wherever you are. The mobile apps also feature the new notification experience that the firm announced last month. You can head to the Play Store here or the App Store here to download the Android and iOS apps respectively. Source: GitHub's iOS and Android apps are now generally available (Neowin)
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