MacRumors

A hidden web page has been discovered on Apple servers containing a job description for a "talented engineer" to work on a "critical infrastructure component" and an invitation to apply for the position at the Cupertino-based company.


The web page, originally located at us-west-1.blobstore.apple.com but since taken down, was discovered on Saturday by ZDNet's Zach Whittaker and describes a role within Apple that involves "exabytes" of data and "tens of thousands" of servers, as well as "millions" of disks. The introductory text reads:
Hey there! You found us. We are looking for a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component that is to be a key part of the Apple ecosystem.
Applicants for the role must have the ability to design and implement scalable apps and web services, and be familiar with Java 8, distributed systems, and modern servers, according to the job description. The exact nature of the job is not given, but given that it relates to web services, it could have iCloud, Apple Music, iTunes or the App Store in mind.

It's unclear when the role was actively being sought, but the fact that it is a hidden page suggests Apple was betting on the possibility that potential candidates for the job would have no difficulties uncovering it.
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Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: August 20, 2017, 9:59 am
On Monday, August 21, all of the continental United States will have the chance to view a solar eclipse, and depending on where you're located you might even be able to see a total solar eclipse. The eclipse's "path of totality" -- or the shadow of the moon as it moves in front of the sun -- will begin in Oregon and end in South Carolina, and anyone sitting outside the path will be witness to a partial solar eclipse.

For this reason, NASA is launching a suite of streaming programs covering the best views of the eclipse and its path of totality, giving anyone a chance to watch on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, particularly those who live far away from the path of totality. NASA Television's "Eclipse Across America" will include vantage points of the eclipse on the ground, from aircrafts, and even from the International Space Station.

Images via NASA

To tune into the live broadcast, there are a few platforms you can choose from: the main NASA app for iOS [Direct Link], and the NASA app for tvOS, which you can download from the App Store on the fourth-generation Apple TV. Android users can watch on Android smartphones, Amazon Fire tablets, and Fire TV devices.

A preview show will kick off at 12:00 p.m. ET, hosted from Charleston, South Carolina, and live coverage will last for four hours. At 1 p.m. ET the main show will begin and continuously cover the path of totality the eclipse will take as it travels across the United States.


The partial eclipse will begin in Oregon at around 9 a.m. PT and totality will occur just over one hour later. The eclipse will then end in South Carolina with a partial eclipse hitting just after 1 p.m. ET and totality occurring approximately between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET. For those in the path of totality, the total solar eclipse will last just a few short minutes (between 2 minutes and 2 minutes and 40 seconds), although the exact duration will vary by location.
The lunar shadow enters the United States near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins in the United States in Lincoln City, Oregon, at 10:16 a.m. PDT. The total eclipse will end in Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:48 p.m. EDT. The lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 p.m. EDT. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout the United States.
NASA has created a useful interactive map for finding the times when the eclipse will appear near you, as well as how high the obscuration percentage (percent of totality, with higher being darker) will be in your area.

In regards to eye and camera safety, NASA has a wealth of resources to guide you on viewing and recording the eclipse. The organization suggests that you only purchase solar viewers from its list of reputable retailers and vendors. The safety precautions are particularly aimed at the time of the partial solar eclipse, when sunlight can still be seen in the sky.


There's also a document [PDF] that NASA has created on the subject of eclipse smartphone photography, briefing those interested in capturing the eclipse with various tips on getting the best shots. Without a professional camera, tripod, or telescope, most smartphone shots of the eclipse will likely still come out as images with a tiny bright disc in the sky.

NASA warns that smartphones with wide apertures, between f/1.7 and f/2.0 (in terms of iPhones only the iPhone 7's f/1.8 fits in this range), could face potential damage when pointed directly at the sun for long periods. There are steps that can be taken to avoid such a risk, including simply taking quick snaps of the eclipse, covering the iPhone's lens with solar viewer safety glasses, or investing in telephoto lens attachments.

No matter what, be sure to keep solar glasses on at all times when photographing a partial solar eclipse with either a smartphone or professional camera system.

There are plenty of other apps and platforms that the 2017 solar eclipse will be viewable on, including most major media outlets and their own iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV applications.

Tag: NASA

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Author: Mitchel Broussard
Posted: August 19, 2017, 5:00 pm
iOS 11 patches an exploit that could be used to crack an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus passcode using a $500 hardware hacking solution, Apple confirmed to TechCrunch this afternoon.

The exploit, demonstrated by YouTube user EverythingApplePro yesterday, was never really of any concern to iPhone users because of the extreme parameters required to make it work in a timely manner, according to TechCrunch. It uses a $500 piece of hardware, requires physical access to an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, realistically only works with a 4 digit passcode, and slows down drastically more than 10 minutes after an iPhone's passcode was last changed.


The "box" shown off in the video is similar to tools used by law enforcement officials, and while passcode-guessing hardware like this does not normally work at this speed because iOS devices lock you out after several failed passcode entry attempts, there is a bug in iOS 10 that makes it possible to guess a passcode over and over for a short period directly after the passcode has been changed. TechCrunch explains:
On iOS 10, there is a "bug" for lack of a better term, that allows repeated, rapid guesses of the passcode if you've changed it within the last minute or so. This allows the box to work within that period. Once another threshold is crossed -- say 10 minutes after a passcode is changed -- you no longer have the freedom to guess rapidly.
Without the rapid guessing enabled by the iOS 10 bug, it takes much, much longer for a solution like box to get into an iPhone because it's slowed down by Apple's passcode timeout. A six digit passcode (now the default on iOS devices) that had not been changed recently would take approximately 9.5 years to crack, for example.

According to Apple, the behavior that allows the box to work has been patched as of iOS 11 beta 4.
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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 10:27 pm
We're only a few days away from a major solar eclipse in the USA, and I suspect tons of people will be spending quite a bit of time this weekend either driving to the path of the eclipse on the 21st or waiting for it to actually happen on the day. Few things go better with sitting in a car (provided you're not the one driving) or waiting in general than iOS gaming, so if you're looking for something new and exciting to play be sure to check out our hot games list and our recent top reviews. You'll find enough great games there to last you through even the longest road trip. As usual, there's tons of other stuff going on in the world of iOS games this week.


King of Dragon Pass is an ancient PC game that was ported to mobile back in 2011 that we absolutely loved in our review. It's an unbelievably in-depth game featuring gameplay that feels like a blend of a Civilization game and a Choose Your Own Adventure book. (For more on KoDP, check out this retrospective article from 2015.) Anyway, a spiritual successor was announced three years ago, and since then the developers have gone dark, until this week. Six Ages is now feature complete, which at minimum means an alpha version is ready to go. Fingers crossed for a speedy beta test and release, as we've been waiting for this game forever.


Sonic Mania was released this week for the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, and while I highly recommend picking up the game on any of those platforms if you own one, we dug into the history that made the game possible. Sonic Mania is effectively a fan made game which initially kicked off with a protoype of Sonic CD running on an iPhone all the way back in 2009. The story of that prototype is amazing, particularly when you consider that there's now a real-deal official Sonic title made by the same developer who hacked together a really good mobile Sonic CD port so many years ago. Sure, in its current state, Sonic Mania is only tangentially related to mobile gaming but given the roots of its inception, it seems hard to believe it won't eventually come to the App Store.

#FunFact I designed @miraclemerchant as a pitch for Nickelodeon after @cardcrawl was released. They weren't interested. #gamedev pic.twitter.com/dhyacJ8t39

— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) August 17, 2017

We've mentioned Miracle Merchant in the past, but this week we found out the amusing backstory of the game. Stepping back a bit, if you missed Miracle Merchant the first time around, take a look at our review. It's a solitaire-style card game where you're brewing potions by combining four cards. The premise is unbelievably simple, but the amount of depth that is found in the mechanic is incredible. As it turns out, the game started its life as a pitch to Nickelodeon. Instead of brewing potions, you built burgers inside of the Spongebob universe. I'm super curious if the game would have done better or worse with Spongebob branding, but it's always fun to hear these sorts of origin stories.


Speaking of amusing backstories, Pigeon Wings is another game we really liked, but this week we found out via a postmortem of sorts that the game was built by two people on entirely different sides of the world. The Imgur album is fascinating, digging into how the two developers collaborated online and which tools/methods they used to do it. Also, if you're into early concept stuff, there's a whole heap of that in there too.


Two really awesome games are on sale this weekend: Crashlands and Guild of Dungeoneering. Crashlands is an open world crafting game that even people who don't typically like that type of game managed to enjoy due to several really great quality of life improvements that we go over in our review. To accompany the mobile sale, the Steam version dropped permanently to $9.99. Guild of Dungeoneering is a dungeon building game that hinges on a card mechanic to assemble different areas of your dungeon. It has a totally original soundtrack, so make sure you play with the sound on. For more, read our review.


Square Enix is undoubtedly best known for the Final Fantasy series of games, but they've released all sorts of odd things on the App Store over the years. The most recent game from them that's had us raising our eyebrows is Meshi Quest: Five Star Kitchen. It's a restaurant simulator game which has over 200 different recipes that can be completed for eager customers. Gameplay is similar to Cook, Serve, Delicious! and other quick order kitchen simulation games. It's worth checking out, if for no reason other than to be like, "Huh, so this is from the guys who made Final Fantasy XV, eh?"

We’re retiring Solitaire Blitz (iOS), Peggle Classic (iOS) and Plants vs. Zombies (paid iOS and paid Android) on August 18th 2017. pic.twitter.com/dQ8m1BdjPm

— PopCap Games (@popcap) August 18, 2017

We've been closely following classic 32-bit games that aren't getting updated ahead of iOS 11, and PopCap just confirmed that Solitaire Blitz, Peggle Classic, and the original paid version of Plants vs. Zombies are being removed from the App Store. It's sad to see them go, as Plants vs. Zombies was a very big deal when it first launched on iOS years ago. Meanwhile, we're putting together eulogy posts for some of our favorite games. This week we dug into Dungeon Raid, which still is among the best puzzle games on the App Store.

That's about it for this week, for much, much more news like this and all sorts of iOS game reviews be sure to visit TouchArcade. We work around the clock covering the world of iOS gaming. Oh, and one last thing, if you care at all about Hearthstone esports, don't forget to pick a champion for the upcoming Hearthstone Global Games. It could be good for a few free packs.


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Author: Eli Hodapp
Posted: August 18, 2017, 7:40 pm
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with WaterField Designs to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Zip Laptop Brief, which is one of WaterField Designs' newest products.


Like all WaterField Designs bags, the Zip Brief is carefully constructed right in San Francisco in small batches. It's available in four color combinations and made from either a ballistic nylon or waxed canvas, both of which are high-quality, durable, and long lasting. It features full-grain leather accents and quality splash proof zippers to keep everything inside your bag safe from the elements.


The Zip Brief is available in three sizes and can accommodate up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with multiple accessories. The smallest size is ideal for the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro, an iPad, or the 12-inch MacBook, while the medium and large sizes are designed for bigger laptops.


A dedicated padded laptop compartment keeps your MacBook safe (plus it offers easy charging access), and the bag zips open all the way for easy access to interior pockets. There's a front pocket with a self-locking zipper for stowing items you need to access frequently, an ultrasuede pocket designed to hold an iPhone, mesh accessory pockets, a dedicated slot for an Apple Pencil, a back slot for use with luggage, and waterproof zippered pockets.


Because the bag zips flat, WaterField Designs says it's TSA friendly, and it's easy to carry with either a leather handle at the top or an included removable shoulder strap.


WaterField Designs prices the Zip Brief at $219 to $239 depending on size, but we've got one to give away to a MacRumors reader. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway will run from today (August 18) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on August 25. The winner will be chosen randomly on August 25 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.


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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 6:07 pm
The upcoming "iPhone 8" features super slim bezels at the top and the sides, effectively introducing an edge-to-edge display, raising the question of how cases will look on the device.

Though the iPhone 8 is still unannounced and weeks away from launching, case makers started developing cases for the device months ago thanks to iPhone 8 dummy models that are circulating based on leaked schematics and design details sourced from Apple suppliers like Foxconn.

We got our hands on a couple of iPhone 8 dummies and iPhone 8 cases designed by Yesgo and Olixar, and have created a video to show off what the iPhone 8 might look like in a case.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The cases come in a wide range of styles, but all share a vertical dual-camera cutout for the camera, cutouts and support for an elongated power button on the right side, and appropriate cutouts for the speaker and the Lightning port on the bottom of the device.

Some of the cases include a cutout that displays the Apple logo, and all cases accommodate the volume buttons and mute switch on the left side of the device. Because of the very slim side bezels that remain on the iPhone 8, it supports a case that wraps up around the sides of the display a bit.

These kinds of cases have a bit of a lip that's designed to protect the display of an iPhone, and this sort of case will still be supported on the iPhone 8.

Apple made the iPhone 8 from glass this year to support inductive wireless charging, and while we don't know all the details on how it works, the iPhone 8 is likely able to charge with a case on so long as the case is not made of metal.

We can't be 100 percent sure that the cases and the dummy model in the video are accurate representations of what we can expect when the iPhone 8 launches, but they match up with factory specifications, part leaks, CAD drawings, data culled from the HomePod, and more, so we believe they offer up a clear picture of what we can expect.

There's often a lot of money that goes into these dummy models because it can be lucrative to be first on the market with a case for a new iPhone. In past years, dummy models and case leaks have provided an accurate early look at unreleased iPhones.

Last week, we checked out a dummy model on its own to show off the prospective design of the iPhone 8, so make sure to take a look at that video, too.


With September fast approaching, we've only got a few weeks to go until Apple unveils the iPhone 8 and its companion devices, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus. Based on past dates, it's likely Apple will hold an event during the first two full weeks of September.

Both Yesgo and Olixar are already advertising their iPhone 8 cases on their websites and taking pre-orders, although they won't begin shipping until after the new phone launches. For those looking for other accessories, Yesgo is offering MacRumors readers an exclusive 30 percent off of Apple Watch Milanese Loop bands including ones with integrated bumpers using coupon code T29CENYG.

Yesgo is also offering a 20 percent discount on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases with coupon code YVDYDZ7T, but you can do even better on Amazon, where the cases are available at an extra 30 percent off of already discounted prices using promo code BACDWL4X:

- iPhone 7 Black case
- iPhone 7 Plus Black case
- iPhone 7 Rose Gold case
- iPhone 7 Plus Rose Gold case

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Yesgo and Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 5:32 pm
Apple appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday to argue that it shouldn't be held liable for iPhone-related distracted driving accidents, in response to a lawsuit filed against the company earlier this year.


California resident Julio Ceja filed a class action complaint against Apple in January, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver.

Ceja said his vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle in which the driver was texting on an iPhone.

Apple, however, told the court that it's a driver's fault if they choose to misuse an inherently safe iPhone while operating a vehicle. Apple essentially said it cannot be blamed simply because it manufactures the device, according to court documents filed electronically and obtained by MacRumors.

Just yesterday, a U.S. district court in Texas dismissed a similar distracted driving lawsuit brought against Apple last year. In that case, Meador v. Apple, Inc., the plaintiffs accused Apple of failing to automatically disable a user's ability to operate an iPhone while driving, and of improper marketing.

However, judge Robert W. Schroeder III said the plaintiff's injuries stemmed from neglecting to safely operate her vehicle.
When a driver negligently operates her vehicle because she is engaging in compulsive or addictive behaviors such as eating food, drinking alcohol, or smoking tobacco, it is the driver's negligence in engaging in those activities that causes any resulting injuries, not the cook's, distiller's, or tobacconist's supposed negligence in making their products so enticing.

Similarly, her decision to direct her attention to her iPhone 5 and maintain her attention on her phone instead of the roadway is the producing cause of the injury to Plaintiffs.
Apple has faced similar lawsuits in the past. In response to one filed in Texas in 2015, Apple indicated the responsibility is on the driver to avoid distractions in a statement provided to The New York Times:
"We discourage anyone from allowing their iPhone to distract them by typing, reading or interacting with the display while driving," Apple said… "For those customers who do not wish to turn off their iPhones or switch into Airplane Mode while driving to avoid distractions, we recommend the easy-to-use Do Not Disturb and Silent Mode features."
Ceja's lawsuit mentioned a patent for a motion analyzer that would detect whether a handheld device is in motion beyond a certain speed. A scenery analyzer would then determine whether the holder of the handheld device is sitting somewhere other than the driver's seat. Otherwise, the device could be disabled.

In other embodiments, a vehicle or car key could transmit a signal that disables functionality of the handheld device while it is being operated. To a lesser degree, a vehicle could also transmit a signal that merely sends the device a notification stating that functionality should be disabled.

Apple hasn't gone as far as implementing any of those functions, but in iOS 11 it introduced Do Not Disturb While Driving.


Do Not Disturb While Driving is an optional setting that, when enabled, turns on whenever an iPhone connects to a vehicle via Bluetooth or detects rapid acceleration. While active, the feature mutes all incoming phone calls, notifications, and text messages, and the iPhone's screen stays off completely.

Phone calls are allowed, so long as an iPhone is connected to a car's Bluetooth or a hands-free accessory, allowing drivers to respond without needing to pick up their phone. If not connected to Bluetooth or a compatible accessory, calls will be blocked like text messages and notifications.

For text messages, there is an option to send your contacts a message that lets them know you're driving and will get back to them later. In an emergency, a person who is attempting to contact you via text while you're driving can break through Do Not Disturb by sending a second "urgent" message.

Do Not Disturb While Driving can also be activated manually in Settings > Do Not Disturb or in Control Center.


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Author: Joe Rossignol
Posted: August 18, 2017, 4:49 pm
Deloitte this week announced it has been selected to redesign Chipotle Mexican Grill's mobile ordering app for iOS and Android.


Chipotle plans to launch the new apps in the fall of 2017, and one of the key new features will include in-app support for Apple Pay and Android Pay.

The burrito chain launched its mobile ordering app way back in 2009, allowing customers to order ahead of time and skip the line upon arrival.

Existing payment options include credit cards and Chipotle gift cards.

Chipotle's app is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, and UK.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Author: Joe Rossignol
Posted: August 18, 2017, 1:34 pm
Despite the objections of some cinema chains, the largest Hollywood studios are considering pushing ahead with a plan to offer digital rentals of films just weeks after they appear in theaters, according to Bloomberg.


The report, citing people familiar with the matter, claims Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. remain in talks with potential distributors such as Apple and Comcast on ways to push ahead with the project even without theater chains.

A deal with Apple, which reportedly could happen as soon as early next year, means iTunes could supposedly offer major films as early as 17 days after their theatrical debut for about $50, or four to six weeks from release for $30.

That timeframe would be significantly shorter than the current average of three months between a major film's theatrical release and availability in DVD and digital formats, but it would also cost viewers more than an $8 to $15 movie ticket.

The revenue from the premium video on demand, or PVOD, product would help offset a continuing decline in DVD sales, which were down 10 percent in the first half of 2017, according to research firm The Digital Entertainment Group.

Disney, which plans to remove its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service by 2019, reportedly isn't interested in the PVOD talks.

Bloomberg first reported on the discussions in December, when it claimed 21st Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. were all seeking deals with Apple to create a $25 to $50 premium movie download product.


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Author: Joe Rossignol
Posted: August 18, 2017, 12:41 pm
Images purporting to show the A11 series chip that will power the upcoming "iPhone 8" emerged online today, suggesting that Apple's processor is already making its way through iPhone assembly plants.

All iPhone models coming in the fall are expected to use the A11 chip, including the iterative "S" cycle upgrades to Apple's existing 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. The processor relies on a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the sole supplier of the new chip.

Images via Slashleaks

TSMC was said to have reached the exclusive deal with Apple last year thanks to its advanced device packaging techniques, capable of higher-width memory buses and lower-power operation.

As such, the A11 processor will be faster and likely more power efficient than the current A10 found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, translating to speedier overall performance and better battery life for the upcoming devices.

Apple has a major redesign in store for the iPhone 8, which will feature a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that does away with the Home button, and a new facial recognition system that may well replace its Touch ID fingerprint authentication.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tag: A11 chip

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Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: August 18, 2017, 12:12 pm
A hacker released what he claimed to be a firmware decryption key for Apple's Secure Enclave on Thursday, initially sparking fears that iOS security had been compromised.

Apple's Secure Enclave Processor (SEP) handles all cryptographic operations for the Apple Watch Series 2, the A7 processor that powers the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air, the iPad mini 2 and 3, and subsequent A-series chips. The encrypted SEP is completely isolated from the rest of the system and handles Touch ID transactions, password verifications, and other security processes on a separate OS to maintain data protection integrity even if the kernel has been compromised.

One of the ways the SEP does this is by generating a Unique ID (UID) for each device for authentication purposes. The UID automatically changes every time a device is rebooted and remains unknown to other parts of the system, further enhancing its security.

Beyond that, little is known about how the SEP actually works outside of Apple, but that's by design – the enclave's isolation serves to obfuscate it from the rest of the system, preventing hackers from rifling through its code to make it as secure as possible.

key is fully grown https://t.co/MwN4kb9SQI use https://t.co/I9fLo5Iglh to decrypt and https://t.co/og6tiJHbCu to process

— ~ (@xerub) August 16, 2017

The decryption key posted on GitHub yesterday would not enable hackers to access data stored inside the Secure Enclave, but it could allow hackers and security researchers to decrypt the firmware that controls it and potentially spot weaknesses in the code.

Speaking to TechRepublic, the hacker that released the key claimed that Apple's effort to obfuscate the code was itself cause for concern.
"The fact that the SEP was hidden behind a key worries me," said xerub. "Is Apple not confident enough to push SEP decrypted as they did with kernels past iOS 10?" He added that while SEP is amazing tech the fact that it's a "black box" adds very little, if anything to security. "Obscurity helps security — I'm not denying that," he said, but added that relying on it for security isn't a good idea.

"I think public scrutiny will add to the security of SEP in the long run," xerub said, noting that was also his intention with releasing the key.
Xerub claimed it's theoretically possible that the decryption key could be used to watch the SEP do its work, which could potentially allow hackers to reverse-engineer its process and gain access to its contents, including passwords and fingerprint data. However, he admitted that a lot of additional work would need to go into exploiting the decrypted firmware.

It's still unclear what the longer term repercussions could be, but an Apple source who wished to remain anonymous told TechRepublic that the release of the SEP key doesn't directly compromise customer data.
"There are a lot of layers of security involved in the SEP, and access to firmware in no way provides access to data protection class information," they said. "It's not an easy leap to say it would make getting at customer data possible."
More accurately, it makes research into the structure of the SEP possible, which could allow hackers to find flaws in its workings. Apple said it did not plan to roll out a fix at this time.


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Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: August 18, 2017, 11:29 am
Overall Apple Watch shipments are expected to rise to 4.5 million units in the fourth quarter of this year and could reach 15 million for the whole of 2017, according to sources in the upstream supply chain (via DigiTimes).

Those predictions bode well for Apple as it prepares to launch its third-generation smartwatch, but the figures stand in stark contrast to other vendors of wearable devices, who are seeing increasingly weakening demand.


Xiaomi and Fitbit are both experiencing dropping sales for their current smartwatch ranges, while wearable shipments from Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Motorola remain weak overall. Asustek has already decided to leave the market completely and Intel has been cutting staff and R&D resources involved in its wearable platforms.

High prices, weak battery life, overlapping functionalities with smartphones, and poorly integrated ecosystems are among the reasons cited for the less-than-impressive demand for rival wearables.

Meanwhile Apple's smartwatch continues to ride a wave of popularity, with supply chain sources expecting Apple Watch volume to rise to up to 20 million units in 2018. By contrast the first-generation Apple Watch shipped less than 5 million units in 2015, while the second-generation model has maintained strong sales since its launch in September 2016.

Set to launch next month, the Apple Watch Series 3 is said to be coming in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE models in 38mm and 42mm sizes, according to KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo reckons the cellular-enabled model will have an embedded SIM, but it might support VoIP calling only. Apple Watch Series 3 models will also reportedly have improved performance and longer battery life.

Rumors of a design change for the third-generation watch can't be confirmed, but it's possible some small tweaks to the form factor could be revealed in September, alongside new iPhones and possibly a 4K-capable Apple TV.


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Author: Tim Hardwick
Posted: August 18, 2017, 9:58 am
Each week, Apple chooses an "App of the Week" to highlight, which means it can be downloaded for free. This week's pick is a board game named Tsuro: The Game of the Path, which is normally priced at $2.99. Since its launch in February of 2016, Tsuro has not been made available for free.


Tsuro is tile-based board game where the objective is to slide your stone along the pathway, avoiding obstacles and other players' paths to be the first one to journey across the board. The game is based on the physical Tsuro board game.
This gorgeous digital board game couldn't be any simpler to learn, but true mastery lies at the end of a long and winding path. As fans of Tsuro's tabletop incarnation, we love how faithfully--and beautifully--the experience is re-created here. App-exclusive ways to play add new layers of depth, lessing us get lost for hours among these tricky, twisty trails.
Designed primarily for two to eight players, the game has been lauded for its artwork and its intuitive controls. Our sister site TouchArcade called it a "fun game that trades complexity and challenge for introspection and relaxation."

Tsuro can be played like the classic board game or in one of three new modes: solo, loop battle, and longest path. Both local and online multiplayer games are supported, and there are no in-app purchases.

Tsuro can be downloaded for free for the next seven days, and after that, a new App of the Week will be chosen. [Direct Link]


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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 2:16 am
YouTube's streaming television service, YouTube TV, today expanded to an additional 14 markets, making it available to approximately 50 percent of the homes in the United States.

Areas gaining access to YouTube TV today include Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Columbus, OH, Jacksonville-Brunswick, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Seattle-Tacoma, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, and West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce.


According to YouTube, the YouTube TV service offers the most markets with access to four live local broadcast feeds from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Along with these live local feeds, YouTube TV features more than 50 networks like ESPN, AMC, USA, and FX, plus it includes cloud DVR support and multi-person access.

Along with expanding to additional markets, YouTube TV is also gaining support for Newsy and the Tennis Channel, new channels that are available to all subscribers at no additional cost.

YouTube TV first launched in April, but it was initially limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. It expanded to additional cities in July, and will expand again "in the coming weeks" to 17 markets like San Diego, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Denver.

YouTube TV is priced at $35 per month.


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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 1:18 am
Apple today uploaded several iPad Pro how to videos to its YouTube channel, focusing on new features that are coming to the iPad in iOS 11. Each video is just under a minute in length and all of the videos were made in the same style -- with two hands demonstrating new iPad functionality.

There are six how to videos in total, covering the following features: mark up with Apple Pencil, multitasking, document scanning and signing, file management, drag and drop, and the new dock.




iOS 11 brings a ton of new features to the iPad, essentially introducing a whole new user interface, so it's no surprise that Apple has designed a series of videos to show off its capabilities. Some of these features, like the ones that require Apple Pencil, are limited to the iPad Pro, but others will be available on a wider range of iPads.

Apple's new operating system update is currently available to developers and public beta testers, but should be launching to the public soon. We expect Apple to release the update in September alongside new iPhones.

For a complete overview of what's new for the iPad in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Apple ads

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 12:52 am
Instagram today announced the addition of new ways to reply to photos and videos to improve Direct conversations with friends.

When replying to a direct message of a photo or video sent from a friend, Instagram users can now reply with a photo or a video of their own. Hit the "Reply" button on a message to open the camera and create a photo to send. All replies include a sticker of the image or video you're replying to.

Now you can reply with a photo or video to specific photos, videos, and reshared posts in Direct. Your reply will automatically include a sticker of what you're replying to. Just hit "reply" to open the camera, take a selfie, and send.
Instagram is also adding an option to send a split-screen reply to a friend by tapping on the sticker that's automatically included with every reply. When tapped, the sticker will appear at the top of the screen and your own photo will appear at the bottom of the screen.


Instagram's new features are available in Instagram version 10.34, available immediately from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Instagram

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 18, 2017, 12:24 am
Apple has leased additional office buildings in Santa Clara, California, and has started "a significant reconstruction" of the interior space, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The two buildings under construction are located near the southeast corner of Kifer Road and Uranium Drive in Santa Clara, approximately six miles away from 1 Infinite Loop and five miles away from its new Apple Park campus.

One of the new buildings Apple has leased. Image via San Jose Mercury News
The technology titan wouldn't disclose the purpose of the work, but some industry watchers believe the company needs the space because it continues in hiring mode, which in turn requires more space.

"Apple is bursting at the seams," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Campbell-based Creative Strategies, a market researcher.
The leases and construction were discovered in documents filed in early August with the Santa Clara County Recorder's Office, and an Apple spokesperson confirmed that Apple has leased the buildings.

One building measures in at 43,000 square feet, while the other comes in at 30,000 square feet, for a total of 73,000 square feet of office space.

Along with its two main campuses in Cupertino, Apple occupies many other office buildings in the surrounding areas in Santa Clara, San Jose, and Sunnyvale and has been expanding rapidly in recent years to accommodate its growing workforce.

Apple has leased several additional buildings in Santa Clara, encompassing more than a million square feet of office space, and it has purchased land for a massive office complex in North San Jose.


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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 17, 2017, 11:52 pm
In iOS 11, Apple has added an "Emergency SOS" feature that's designed to give users a quick and easy way to summon emergency services should the need arise. As it turns out, there's a secondary benefit to Emergency SOS - it's also a way to quickly and discretely disable Touch ID.

Emergency SOS is activated by pressing on the sleep/wake button of an iPhone five times in rapid succession. When the requisite number of presses is complete, it brings up a screen that offers buttons to power off the iPhone, bring up your Medical ID (if filled out) and make an emergency 911 call.


Along with these options, there's also a cancel button. If you hit the sleep/wake button five times and then hit cancel, it disables Touch ID and requires a passcode before Touch ID can be re-enabled. Touch ID is also disabled if you actually make an emergency call.

This is a handy hidden feature because it allows Touch ID to be disabled discretely in situations where someone might be able to force a phone to be unlocked with a fingerprint, such as a robbery or an arrest. With Touch ID disabled in this way, there is no way to physically unlock an iPhone with a finger without the device's passcode.

It's also worth noting that there's no real way to tell that Touch ID has been disabled in this manner. Once you hit the sleep/wake button and then tap cancel, it's locked in the same way and with the same message that the iPhone uses when it's been more than 48 hours since a device was last unlocked with a fingerprint.

Apple's Emergency SOS feature will be available on all iPhones that run iOS 11. Along with disabling Touch ID, SOS can also be used to summon emergency services and alert your emergency contacts when an accident occurs.

iOS 11 is available to developers and public beta testers at the current time and will be released to the public in September alongside new iPhones.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 17, 2017, 8:53 pm
Apple and insurance provider Aetna met last week to discuss ways to offer discounted Apple Watch models to Aetna's 23 million subscribers, and CNBC has shared details on some of the topics that were discussed at the meeting, attended by Aetna employees, Apple executives, and health providers from major hospitals.

Aetna is aiming to determine whether the Apple Watch can be used by subscribers to improve health outcomes by encouraging them to exercise, eat better, and better manage health issues. Info on the meeting came from Mandy Bishop, an attendee who founded startup Lifely Insights. Much of the meeting consisted of feedback from Aetna employees who have been testing the Apple Watch.


Data privacy, including who had access to what data, was a major topic of discussion, with Apple explaining that Apple Watch health data can only be shared with third-party apps and companies with express user consent.

The Apple Watch's lack of situational awareness was brought up as a pain point, such as when the device delivers a stand notification when a user is on a plane or in another environment that makes standing difficult. Cost was also a significant topic of discussion.
One theme that emerged during the event, she said, is that many of those who were enrolled in the program wanted to get healthy alongside their families. But many couldn't afford to spend upwards of $1,000 on devices for their spouses and children.

The cost issue wasn't entirely resolved, she said, but it proved to be a sticking point. It remains unclear whether Aetna will extend its discounts from employees and/or members to their family-members.
Apple and Aetna are said to be planning to implement some kind of Apple Watch program in early 2018, which would see the company offering free or discounted Apple Watches to its subscribers.

Aetna already has a program that provides a free Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees and it already subsidizes the cost for some subscribers, with data from that program being used to determine if an expansion is worth it.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tag: Aetna
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 17, 2017, 7:38 pm
Apple today updated its online store for refurbished products to add the new 27-inch iMac models that were first released in June of 2017.

This is the first time those particular machines have been available through the refurbished store since their introduction at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference. The iMacs feature Kaby Lake processors, faster SSDs, and AMD discrete graphics.


Apple has a dozen refurbished iMac models available at the current time, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent. An entry-level model with 8GB RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive, a 3.5GHz i5 processor, and a Radeon Pro 575 is priced at $1,699, for example, a $300 discount off the standard price.

Apple has a range of configurations available, from low-end to top-of-the-line. As with all refurbished products, stock will fluctuate regularly based on the machines Apple is getting in for repair.

All of Apple's refurbished products go through a rigorous refurbishment process before being offered for sale, which includes inspection, repairs, cleaning, and repackaging. Refurbished Macs come with a one-year warranty that can be extended with an AppleCare+ purchase. For more tips on purchasing a refurbished product, make sure to check out our guide.

Related Roundups: iMac, Apple Deals
Tag: refurbished
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

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Author: Juli Clover
Posted: August 17, 2017, 6:56 pm
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