Articles about Apple

Apple releases watchOS and iOS updates to fix connectivity and crackling problems

Apple's launch of the iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3 has certainly not been without its problems. Buyers of the latest addition to the iPhone range have complained about crackling audio, while owners of the new smartwatch have been less than impressed by problematic LTE and battery life.

Now Apple has pushed out a couple of updates that should help with the issues -- watchOS 4.0.1, and iOS 11.0.2.

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Europe demands €250m in tax from Amazon, sues Ireland for Apple's €13bn tax bill

The European Union has ordered Amazon to repay €250m ($294m) after it ruled that the retailer was granted illegal state aid by Luxembourg. The tax advantage dates back to 2003, but Amazon says that it is considering making an appeal.

At the same time, the European Commission has announced that it is going to sue the Irish government for failing to collect €13bn ($15.3bn) in tax from Apple. The Irish government will need to defend itself in the European Court of Justice for failing to gather money from the iPhone-maker following a 2016 ruling by the commission.

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iPhone X's TrueDepth camera is years ahead of the Android competition

The iPhone is rarely the first smartphone to bring a new technology to market, but when Apple decides to implement a novel feature it typically gets it right from the start. This also seems to be the case with the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X, which is said to be a few years ahead of the Android competition.

TrueDepth works as an iris scanner and front-facing camera on the iPhone X and, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's rivals will need around two and a half years to offer the same level of functionality on their Android smartphones.

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FBI won't have to reveal details of hacking tool used to crack San Bernardino iPhone

A judge has ruled that the FBI will not have to reveal any details about the hacking tool it bought to crack the iPhone at the center of the San Bernardino shooting case back in early 2016.

Following a Freedom of Information request by Vice News, USA Today and the Associated Press, federal judge Tanya Chutkan ruled in favor of the FBI, meaning that the agency will be able to keep this information secret.

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Apple releases source code for ARM-optimized iOS and macOS kernel

For some time now, Apple has regularly released the source code for the shared iOS and macOS kernel. That the company has done so again might not be news, but Apple has, for the first time, released the source code for the ARM versions of the kernel.

Pushed to GitHub, the source code gives anyone who likes the idea of seeing exactly what makes iOS and macOS tick the opportunity to do just that.

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The FCC wants Apple to enable the iPhone's non-existent FM radio

In the wake of big storms recently, the National Association of Broadcasters and the FCC has piled the pressure on Apple to enable the FM radio in iPhones so they might be used for emergency broadcasts.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai went as far as issuing a statement saying that "Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted" enabling FM chips in its phones. There's just one problem, as Apple points out. The iPhone simply doesn't have an FM chip to enable.

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Failed updates leave Mac computers at risk from targeted attacks on firmware

The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) has steadily replaced BIOS in recent years as means of booting and controlling hardware devices.

Mac systems have used EFI since 2006 but an analysis by Duo Labs, the research arm of Duo Security, of more than 73,000 Mac systems finds that in many cases the EFI is not receiving security updates, leaving users vulnerable to attacks.

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Apple launches new privacy page and reveals all about Face ID

Apple has launched a revamped privacy page proclaiming that its products are "designed to protect your privacy." Describing privacy as "a fundamental human right," the page explains the privacy functions of apps, Siri, Apple Pay and Touch ID.

The company describes not only how it protects personal data with encryption, but also how it responds to government and legal requests for data. Apple has additionally published a paper which goes into some detail about how the Face ID feature of the iPhone X works -- and reveals its limitations.

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Apple is working on a fix for iPhone 8 earpiece crackle

A number of iPhone 8 owners have complained of a crackling sound in their phone's earpiece during calls. The problem is not specific to any particular carrier, and it also affects the iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple says that only a "small number of cases" of the audio problem have been reported, but there are lengthy threads on Reddit and Apple support forums with comments from those suffering with the issue. The good news is that there is a fix in the works and it's going to be delivered as a software update -- so it would seem there is not a physical problem with hardware.

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Chinese investment firm buys Imagination Technologies

Mergers and acquisitions message displayed on a tablet, with a coffee cup and pen nearby

Leading UK technology company Imagination Technologies is being acquired by a Chinese investment firm in a multi-million pound deal.

CBFI Investment Limited (owned by Canyon Bridge) is shelling out £550m to acquire the hardware maker, based in Kings Langley just outside of London, the parties confirmed late last week.

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How to create a bootable macOS 10.13 High Sierra USB drive

There are times when you may not want to use the App Store or the recovery mode to install macOS 10.13 High Sierra on your Mac. So Apple gives you the option of creating a bootable USB drive. You can use it anytime and anywhere to quickly get the operating system running on any compatible Mac. An Internet connection is not even required as everything you need is already on the drive.

Creating a bootable macOS 10.13 High Sierra USB drive is very easy. All you need is a Mac, as the tools provided for the process are only available on OS X and macOS, and a USB drive with a capacity of 8GB or more. I will also explain how to use a dedicated third-party tool, in case you decide that this option suits you better.

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Apple now collects data from Safari using differential privacy to identify problem websites

With the launch of macOS High Sierra, Apple is making some changes to Safari. One of the key changes is the introduction of differential privacy technology which gathers data about the websites users visit in order to identify those that are problematic because of high memory usage or crashes.

As the name of the technology implies, as well as gathering useful data from users, one of the key features of differential privacy is that it respects the privacy of individuals. The AI-powered technology keeps, according to Apple's Craig Federighi, "the information of each individual user completely private" while still collecting data that will enable Apple to decide the priority with which it should tackle problematic sites.

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macOS High Sierra launch blighted by password-stealing keychain 0-day vulnerability

Apple has only just released macOS High Sierra, but before the update was even out of the door, a 0-day vulnerability had been discovered. A flaw in the Mac keychain makes it possible for malicious applications to steal the contents of the keychain, including plaintext passwords. It affects not only High Sierra, but also older version of macOS.

The way keychain works means that it should not be possible for the keychain to be accessed without providing the master password, but the vulnerability bypasses this requirement. The problem was discovered and demonstrated by security researcher Patrick Wardle from Synack, who is also a former NSA hacker.

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Apple releases macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and it is gloriously boring

Today, Apple releases macOS 10.13 High Sierra to the public after a series of beta releases. It has some cool new aspects, but for the most part, its is a very boring release. Don't get me wrong, the new APFS file system and the ability to use an eGPU, for instance, are both very big deals, but let's be honest -- the average user probably won't care.

Overall, the apparent differences are few and far between -- mostly in applications such as Safari and Photos -- and you know what? That is a good thing. The fact that High Sierra is largely uneventful for end users just shows how mature and refined Apple's Unix-like operating system is. Heck, this is probably why the operating system barely got a new name, only going from Sierra to High Sierra.

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iOS 11 is causing massive battery drain problems

A study conducted by security research firm Wandera shows that iOS 11 is causing iPhone and iPad batteries to drain faster than ever -- much faster. The difference between iOS 10 and iOS 11 is anything but minor; batteries can drain in half the amount of time following the upgrade.

Wandera's report shows how, on average, an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 takes 240 minutes of usage to drain the battery from 100 percent to zero. With iOS 11 installed, this number plummets to just 96 minutes -- over twice as fast.

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