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iOS dev finds unimplemented one-handed keyboard in iOS code

iOS Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has tweeted about a new discovery of a one-handed keyboard mode hidden within the iOS code. Troughton-Smith notes that the code has been in place going as far back as iOS 8, although Apple has chosen for whatever reason to not actually implement it yet. It appears the left/right one-handed keyboard mode is designed to be activated by swiping from either edge of the screen, compressing the spacing of the normal keyboard keys to make them easier to reach with a single thumb, while also bringing up cut, copy, paste, and undo buttons to the right or the left side. The presence of the feature as far back as the iOS 8 code base suggests that it was implemented for testing purposes with the original larger-screened iPhone models released that year, although Apple chose to never actually activate the feature. Troughton-Smith also posted a video to Twitter demonstrating the feature in the iOS Simulator; it would theoretically be possible to hack a jailbroken iPhone to enable the feature as well. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.1 to developers

Apple has released the fifth beta of iOS 10.1 to registered developers today, featuring minor bug tweaks to the new operating system. We anticipate that the official public release of iOS 10.1 — which contains the Portrait camera mode for iPhone 7 Plus users — is not far off, based on this release and rumors of an Oct. 25 launch date from this morning.

Report about Apple Pay in Japan hints at Oct. 25 release for iOS 10.1

Local media in Japan is reporting an Oct. 25 launch date for Apple Pay in the country, leading to speculation that iOS 10.1 will also launch that day, according to the Ata Distance blog. Apple’s partners Docomo iD and JR East are both taking their systems down for “unscheduled system maintenance” on the morning of October 25, leading to the conclusion that the necessary software update will also come out that day. All iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2 models sold in Japan already have the hardware to support the country’s FeliCa Type-F NFC mobile payment systems, but will require iOS 10.1 updates to make use of them. [via Apple Insider]

Apple releases fourth beta of iOS 10.1 to developers

Apple has released the fourth beta of iOS 10.1 to registered developers today, hours after releasing the iOS 10.0.3 update to iPhone 7/7 Plus users. We anticipate that the official public release of iOS 10.1 — which contains the much-ballyhooed Portrait camera mode for iPhone 7 Plus users — is not far off.

Apple releases iOS 10.0.3 to fix cellular connectivity bug in iPhone 7/7 Plus

Apple has released iOS 10.0.3 for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The update for the new iPhones fixes a bug which could cause a temporary loss of cellular connectivity. The update is currently available as an over-the-air download. It shouldn’t be much longer until Apple releases a bigger update with iOS 10.1 — last week, the company released its third beta for that upcoming update.

Apple Watch 2, iPhone 7 to launch in more countries this month

Through its regional websites, Apple announced it is expanding the rollout of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2, bringing its devices to several new countries this month. Israel and Egypt will get the iPhone 7 on Oct. 20, and the company will make the phone available in Korea, Columbia, Thailand, Madagascar, Morocco, Uganda and Maurice the following day. Korea and Columbia will also be getting the Apple Watch 2 on Oct. 21. Cameroon, Botswana, Kenya and Mozambique will get the iPhone 7 the following week on Oct. 28. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple begins sale of ‘SIM-free’ unlocked iPhone 7 models in the U.S.

Apple has started selling SIM-free iPhone 7 models in the U.S. online Apple Store, allowing customers who wish to purchase an unlocked iPhone outright without signing a carrier contract the opportunity to do so. A new “SIM-free” option now appears on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus ordering pages as an alternative to the traditional carrier selection options. As the SIM-free iPhone models are not subsidized by carrier contracts, customers will pay the full retail purchase prices, ranging from $649 for a 32GB iPhone 7 up to $969 for a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus. SIM-free models appear to be the A1660 and A1661 versions, which include CDMA support for use on Sprint or Verizon Wireless in addition to AT&T and T-Mobile.

Apple releases iOS 10.1 beta 3 to developers

Apple has released the third beta of iOS 10.1 to registered iOS developers today. The company also released its third beta for tvOS 10.0.1. These new releases come less than a week after the second beta releases were released to developers.

FBI looking to crack Minnesota mall terrorist’s iPhone

The FBI is attempting to gain access to the iPhone that belonged to Dahir Adan, the culprit in the recent stabbing attack in a Minnesota mall, Wired reports. Last month, Adan randomly stabbed 10 people in the mall before being shot by police; at a press conference today in St. Cloud, Minnesota, FBI special agent Rich Thornton noted that the agency has obtained Adan’s iPhone, which is locked with a passcode, and is “in the process of assessing our legal and technical options to gain access to this device and the data it may contain.” Thonton did not reveal any details about the iPhone such as the model or version of iOS being used on the device, which will be key factors in whether the FBI will be able to circumvent its security measures.

Apple releases second iOS 10.1, watchOS 3.1, tvOS 10.0.1 developer betas

Apple has now released a second set of developer betas for iOS 10.1, watchOS 3.1, and tvOS 10.0.1 to registered iOS developers. The documentation accompanying the new betas lists few significant changes, suggesting the new versions are primarily focused on fixing bugs and improving performance. Registered iOS developers can download the new betas from Apple’s Developer site.

Apple patents fingerprint sensor that works through display

Apple has patented scanning technology that would allow a fingerprint sensor to function through an iPhone’s display, lending new credibility to rumors that the company will be doing away with the home button in next year’s iPhone. The new technology uses a series of electrostatic lenses to focus fingerprint scans that would otherwise become too blurred to use for identification purposes. While the new system would allow the sensor to be placed behind the display, Apple notes a “drive ring” is still needed to supply voltage to a user’s finger for the scan, presenting a quandary for the company if it wants to entirely eliminate the stationary home button in favor of expanding the usable surface area of the screen.

College student’s iPhone 6 Plus reportedly ignites in his pocket

College student Darin Hlavaty said his iPhone 6 Plus burst into flames in his back pocket and burned a hole in his jeans, 6ABC reports. Hlavaty said, “I felt this crazy, hot burning in my leg” while sitting on his phone in class, reaching down to find his phone on fire and smoking in his pocket. “Out of nowhere, we heard a fizzing and a popping sound. Suddenly a great mass of smoke comes out from his pocket,” said Rebecca Bookbinder, a fellow student.

Black hat security firm triples exploit bounty to $1.5m in wake of improved iOS 10 security features

Black hat security company Zerodiium has tripled the bounty its offering for zero-day iOS 10 exploits to $1.5 million, according to a new report by Arstechnica. The company’s founder Chaouki Bekrar, explained that the higher bounty is in direct response to the improvements that Apple has made in iOS 10 that have made iOS devices “much harder to exploit than their previous versions.” Notably, Zerodium also increased its bounty for Android 7 exploits to $200,000, explaining that the lower price compared to iOS 10 represented a mix of both demand for iOS exploits and the difficulty in finding exploits in iOS 10 as compared to Android 7.

BMW acknowledges Bluetooth problems with iPhone 7

BMW has acknowledged an issue with Bluetooth compatibility between the iPhone 7 and at least some of its in-vehicle infotainment systems, according to a report by MacRumors. Users are reporting issues ranging from audio cutouts to connectivity issues, which require restarting the iPhone to temporarily fix, although the problem subsequently recurs. BMW issued a statement saying it’s working with Apple to address the issues, and that customers should look for an update from Apple to resolve the problems.

We are aware of the concerns you speak of and we are currently working directly with Apple to ensure iPhone 7 compatibility in our vehicles. At this time, the Apple iPhone 7 is not an approved device for our vehicles until testing has completed. We do not currently have an estimated time frame regarding the completion of iPhone 7 testing. Please continue to look for an update from Apple for a new iOS and our update website to help resolve your concerns: We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Apple has also reportedly told some customers that a fix will be included in an upcoming iOS update, although the issue has still been found on the current iOS 10.1 betas. BMW owners are also being advised to update to the latest version of ConnectedDrive to prepare for the coming fix. The problem appears to be limited to Bluetooth and does not affect CarPlay systems, as these use a wired connection.

Hackers expose security flaw in iOS 10’s local backups

Apple has acknowledged claims that iOS 10 has weaker password security for local backups and promised it is looking into a fix, Forbes reports. Russian forensics company Elcomsoft discovered that the new iOS uses weaker password protection than previous versions when it comes to manual backups via iTunes. “We discovered an alternative password verification mechanism added to iOS 10 backups,” Elcomsoft’s Oleg Afonin wrote in a blog post. “We looked into it and found out that the new mechanism skips certain security checks, allowing us to try passwords approximately 2500 times faster compared to the old mechanism used in iOS 9 and older.”

Apple releases iOS 10.0.2 to fix headphone controls, iCloud Photo Library

Apple has released iOS 10.0.2, a minor update that fixes a problem with headphone controls on Lightning EarPods reported earlier this week, as well as an issue with enabling iCloud Photo Library and some app extensions. The update follows Thursday’s release of the iOS 10.1 public beta.

Apple releases iOS 10.1 public beta

Following yesterday’s release of the iOS 10.1 developer beta, Apple has now released a public beta version of iOS 10.1 through its Apple Software Beta Program. The iOS 10.1 public beta notably adds the “Portrait Camera” depth of field effect for iPhone 7 Plus, which Apple demonstrated at its event earlier this month — an enhancement that may encourage iPhone 7 Plus users to sign up for the public beta program to take an early peek at the feature. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions now; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site.

iOS 10.1 beta adds ‘Portrait’ Depth of Field effect

Apple has brought the promised “Portrait Camera” depth of field effect to the iPhone 7 Plus as part of the iOS 10.1 beta released earlier today, suggesting that the company will likely exceed most expectations on its goal to deliver the feature “later this year.” The new feature places an additional “Portrait” mode on the slider in the camera app, between Photo and Square, and seems to require a higher level of lighting to make the feature work. There appear to be no additional controls related to the feature, although it automatically requires the use of the second 2X lens and requires the subject to be approximately two to eight feet away from the camera.

The feature is presently labelled as being in “beta” although even in this state is appears to work quite well in our preliminary testing, as these photos indicate. It’s unclear whether this designation only represents the state of iOS 10.1 itself or may continue following the public release of the iOS update, as other features like Visual Voicemail Transcription have.

Apple releases first iOS 10.1, watchOS 3.1, tvOS 10.0.1 developer betas

Only a little more than a week following the general release of iOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10, Apple has now seeded the first developer betas for all three platforms — iOS 10.1, watchOS 3.1, and tvOS 10.0.1 — to registered iOS developers. The documentation accompanying the new betas lists no significant changes, suggesting the new versions are primarily focused on fixing bugs, improving performance, and polishing up the major iOS 10, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10 releases. Registered iOS developers can download the new betas from Apple’s Developer site.

Apple working on fix for Lightning EarPods glitch

After iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners started taking to Twitter to complain that the volume controls on their new Lightning EarPods stopped working, Apple said it is working on a fix, Business Insider reports. Some users have noticed that after a while of being plugged into the Lightning port, the EarPods keep playing music but the volume control dongle stops working, preventing them from using it to change the volume, answer calls or activate Siri.

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