John Gruber: ‘The Whole Thing With 3D Touch and Haptic Touch Is Confusing’ →

April 29, 2020 · 10:21

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

But the whole thing with 3D Touch and Haptic Touch is so confusing, and has been handled so poorly by Apple in terms of how 3D Touch was used in iOS and which devices had it and which did not […] that you can’t possibly expect regular iPhone buyers to understand that the reason the new SE doesn’t support long-pressing notifications […]

The single thing I still miss most in my iPhone is 3D Touch. It’s been a few years now and Haptic Touch — long-pressing something — still feels so amazingly awkward, while slowing down the interaction at the same time. One of my favourite uses of the feature was to position my cursor precisely where I wanted to, when editing text. This is still possible by long-pressing the Spacebar and then moving the cursor to the desired location. The problem with the latter is that I often have to let go and restart this interaction, because I ran out of space on the screen to continue my drag. I really hope 3D Touch comes back one day, but I won’t be holding my breath.


Reuters: Flaw in iPhone and iPads May Have Allowed Hackers to Steal Data for Years →

April 22, 2020 · 21:11

Christopher Bing:

The bug, which also exists on iPads, was discovered by ZecOps, a San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company, while it was investigating a sophisticated cyberattack against a client that took place in late 2019. Zuk Avraham, ZecOps’ chief executive, said he found evidence the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins. 

An Apple spokesman acknowledged that a vulnerability exists in Apple’s software for email on iPhones and iPads, known as the Mail app, and that the company had developed a fix, which will be rolled out in a forthcoming update on millions of devices it has sold globally. 

Apple declined to comment on Avraham’s research, which was published on Wednesday, that suggests the flaw could be triggered from afar and that it had already been exploited by hackers against high-profile users.


Vulnerability in Safari Allowed Unauthorized Websites to Access iOS and macOS Webcams →

April 3, 2020 · 23:55

Ryan Pickren:

This vulnerability allowed malicious websites to masquerade as trusted websites when viewed on Desktop Safari (like on Mac computers) or Mobile Safari (like on iPhones or iPads).

Hackers could then use their fraudulent identity to invade users’ privacy. This worked because Apple lets users permanently save their security settings on a per-website basis.

If the malicious website wanted camera access, all it had to do was masquerade as a trusted video-conferencing website such as Skype or Zoom […]

[…] Apple considered this exploit to fall into the “Network Attack without User Interaction: Zero-Click Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Data” category and awarded me $75,000.


Study Claims Features Like Night Shift and Dark Mode Might Actually Be Worse for Your Sleep →

December 18, 2019 · 22:34

Chance Miller:

Several years ago, Apple introduced its adaptive color temperature feature “Night Shift,” while iOS 13 includes system-wide Dark Mode.

These features are designed to change the temperature and color of your display based on what time of day it is. New research suggests, however, that features designed to reduce blue light before bedtime might not be as effective as initially thought.

I never accepted what F.lux did on Mac before Night Shift was conceived and I haven’t used the latter since it was introduced. I also have no trouble falling asleep, even while holding my iPad and reading. I do like Dark Mode though — it’s so much easier on the eyes.


November 28, 2019 · 14:12

I was listening to @atpfm today, when I paused the audio to talk to a person at the post office. Not more than 30 seconds later I pressed play to resume and instead of hearing the podcast, I heard a random song from my music library.

Perhaps the number 13 in iOS 13 really is that unlucky?


Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut →

November 21, 2019 · 21:04

Mark Gurman:

Software chief Craig Federighi and lieutenants including Stacey Lysik announced the changes at a recent internal “kickoff” meeting with the company’s software developers. The new approach calls for Apple’s development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.

I expected the iOS 13 betas to be as stable as last year’s iOS 12 betas. Unfortunately, we’re at iOS 13.2.3 and I’m still encountering problems, especially on iPad. I really hope they go back to what made iOS 12 so great.


Safari Sends User IP Addresses to Chinese Tencent

October 13, 2019 · 21:38

From ‘About Safari & Privacy’ in iOSes Safari Settings:

When Fraudulent Website Warning is enabled, Safari will display a warning if the website you are visiting is a suspected phishing website. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to steal your personal information, such as usernames, passwords and other account information. A fraudulent website masquerades as a legitimate one, such as a bank, financial institution or email service provider. Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These safe browsing providers may also log your IP address.

  1. You can disable this by toggling off the Fraudulent Website Warning setting.
  2. This is complete unacceptable.

via Tom Parker


A Message About iOS Security →

September 6, 2019 · 19:17

Apple:

Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.

Second, all evidence indicates that these website attacks were only operational for a brief period, roughly two months, not “two years” as Google implies. We fixed the vulnerabilities in question in February — working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after we learned about it. When Google approached us, we were already in the process of fixing the exploited bugs.

We now have two sides to the story. Where does the truth lie?


iPadOS 13 (beta 5) — My Gripes and Comments When Using An External Keyboard

August 2, 2019 · 12:13

I have tried using an external keyboard with an iPad since 2010 and while it is possible, it’s nowhere near as good as on MacOS. I have tried various keyboards over the years, including Apple Wireless Keyboards, Magic Keyboards, third-party keyboards, but I am currently using a mechanical Doro67, which is fully user-programmable, connected via USB-C.

Below are some immediate gripes and comments I have regarding external keyboard implementation in the current beta of iPadOS 13:

  • Sometimes, when I Cmd + Tab into an app, e.g. into Ulysses from Safari, I can immediately continue writing where I left off. The keyboard is active and the cursor is waiting for input. At other times it is not. There is no key that I can press to resume writing without first physically touching the screen with my finger.
  • When Cmd + Tabbing into Safari, sometimes everything works as intended and I can use the Cmd + L shortcut to input the address I want to open or Control + Tab to the Tab I need. I can then use the arrows, PgUp, PgDn or Spacebar keys to navigate webpages. Unfortunately, sometimes iPadOS and/or Safari behave as if there is no keyboard connected and I have to touch the screen to make it active again.
  • Sometimes the keyboard just behaves like it’s not connected at all and I have to touch the screen to get it to work.
  • When switching between apps, there is a small delay, which I need to wait out before I can start typing. This delay is extremely frustrating.
  • Sometimes iOS/iPadOS thinks the Cmd key is stuck, especially after quickly Cmd + Tabbing through your list of previously used apps.
  • When using the Alt/Option + Shift + Left/Right Arrow to select text in e.g. Ulysses, the selection stops at the end of a word, omitting the space and/or punctuation marks after the word. When doing the same thing in Safari (editing text in WordPress), the word and the space behind it are selected. If there’s a comma or full stop after a word, and then a space, those get selected automatically too. This is inconsistent and Safari’s implementation is wrong. Perhaps this has something to do with WordPress and is not Safari’s fault but I don’t know that.
  • The above problem also happens when moving the cursor when editing text. E.g. Cmd + right arrow will move the cursor to the end of the word in Ulysses (correct) or to the beginning of the next word in Safari (wrong).
  • Ulysses has a typewriter mode, which often loses my set position. iA Writer has the exact same problem. I hope it’s not something the developers of those apps can’t fix.
  • My PgUp and PgDn keys often don’t work, e.g. in text editors such as Ulysses. Fn + Arrows don’t work either. Curiously, Safari is fine.
  • It is (mostly) possible to use both MacOS and Windows without taking your hands off the keyboard. There’s basically a way to do almost everything without using a mouse or trackpad. I have been a keyboard-shortcut user for the past three decades, since the DOS days, just because it’s faster. iOS is woefully behind in this regard.
  • I use the character picker almost constantly on MacOS (Control + Cmd + Space, to add arrows, etc. when needed. There is no way (that I know of) to do this under iOS/iPadOS (the emoji keyboard doesn’t have all of the symbols that I use, e.g. the arrow I used below).
  • If you use an external keyboard with your iPad, please make sure to go into Settings → Keyboard → Hardware Keyboard to turn auto-capitalisation and auto-correction on or off (off in my case).
  • If you use more than one keyboard language in iPadOS, you can use the Control + Space shortcut to switch between your languages — just hold Control and tap the Spacebar to cycle between them.

Keyboard support has been getting better over the years but it’s getting there at a glacial pace and is still far behind MacOS. I really hope they focus more on it in the future, perhaps even before iPadOS 13.0 rolls out this Autumn.

Photo: 11-inch iPad Pro with a Vortex Race 3.


Jason Snell’s First Look at macOS Catalina Public Beta →

June 25, 2019 · 11:55

Jason Snell, on Six Colours:

Catalina takes the Mac in a new direction. I’m encouraged by the fact that Apple is cranking up its focus on security and privacy without locking Mac users out from running the software they want, when they want to. I’m of the belief that the introduction of Catalyst will result in the influx of some really good software from thousands of iOS developers who have been using the Mac all this time without the wherewithal to develop software for it.

I’m curious to see how the current crop of iOS/iPadOS-only apps will compete with traditional Mac apps once the former are Catalysed.


I Emailed Craig Federighi →

June 12, 2019 · 08:09

Yours truly:

I’d love to see iOS also alternate between dark and light mode depending on the available light (as determined by the ambient light sensor). I often find myself in a dark environment during the day, when the sun is shining full blast, yet I want Dark Mode to activate in those types of scenarios. Tweetbot has it. I hope iOS 13 gets it.

I rarely feel strongly enough about something to take the time to contact a company about adding a feature, but I did this time. The iPhone and iPad are incredibly powerful and simple automation is a task they should handle easily, without us having to waste time by manually turning Dark Mode on or off. So I emailed Craig Federighi, with a 🤘🏻 emoji and everything. Hope he’s better at reading his email than Marco Arment.


Dark Mode in iOS 13 Is Missing a Feature →

June 11, 2019 · 10:42

From the iOS 13 feature preview page:

Have Dark Mode turn on and off at a certain time or based on sunrise and sunset, which is great when you’re outside at night or using your iPhone before you go to bed.

I’d love to see iOS also alternate between dark and light mode depending on the available light (as determined by the ambient light sensor). I often find myself in a dark environment during the day, when the sun is shining full blast, yet I want Dark Mode to activate in those types of scenarios. Tweetbot has it. I hope iOS 13 gets it.


Translating an ARM iOS App to Intel macOS Using Bitcode →

May 18, 2019 · 12:22

Steven Troughton-Smith, on High Caffeine Content:

Of course, the specter of macOS on ARM has been in the public psyche for many years now, and many have pondered whether Bitcode will make this transition more straightforward. The commonly held belief is that Bitcode is not suited to massive architectural changes like moving between Intel and ARM.

I was unconvinced, so I decided to test the theory!

Of course he did. Since this is Steve, the results are predictable.

That was easy!

This means, in theory, that if Apple wanted every iOS app on the App Store to run on the Mac, today or in the future, they have a mechanism to do so transparently and without needing developers to update or recompile their apps.


Lenovo Shows Off the World’s First Foldable PC →

May 15, 2019 · 14:30

Chaim Gartenberg, reporting for The Verge:

As for how you use the device, Lenovo is envisioning a variety of use cases. You can use it completely unfolded like a large tablet or partially folded in a book-esque form factor. A built-in kickstand lets you prop up the display on a table for use with an included wireless keyboard and trackpad.

And, perhaps most interestingly, you can turn the device on its side and use it in a traditional (albeit smaller) laptop style form factor, using the bottom surface as a digital keyboard or writing pad, similar to Lenovo’s two-screened Yoga Books. Cleverly, the right side of the display (which serves as the “bottom” portion when used in laptop mode) contains the entire battery, which keeps it weighed down so it won’t topple over.

Since I like prefer physical keyboards to their on-screen counterparts, I don’t envision using this PC without their external keyboard, which I would need to take around with me. In that situation, I may as well just carry a regular MacBook or something like a Surface Pro.

What interests me however, is what this kind of computer would look like if Apple made it, assuming they’ll even get in on this bendable screen trend. Imagine getting foldable iPhones or iPads in a few years time, running iOS. At the same time, MacOS on MacBooks will be running iOS apps via Marzipan. Will MacBooks get touchscreens, which could be useful for those Marzipan apps (at the very least)? Will Apple opt for making foldable MacBooks too? Would you prefer to use a foldable iPad running iOS, or a foldable Mac running MacOS with Marzipanified apps? Will iOS (or iPadOS) and MacOS merge together, despite what Apple has stated in the past? How would all of this even work?

Photo credit: The Verge


Valve’s New ‘Steam Link Anywhere’ Service Streams PC Games to Mobile Devices, Excluding Apple’s →

March 18, 2019 · 09:35

Mitchel Broussard, for MacRumors:

Valve today announced an expansion of its game-streaming app Steam Link, now named Steam Link Anywhere (via The Verge).

The original Steam Link app let users stream PC games on Steam to a mobile device within their home, but Steam Link Anywhere lets users stream games from their PC to any compatible device with internet service, excluding Apple devices.

Perhaps Apple has a good reason for blocking Steam Link Anywhere, but we’re the ones paying the price. I would also like to know what that reason is.