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Apple releases iOS 11.3 with Battery Health, Health Records, Business Chat and more

Apple has announced the final public release of iOS 11.3, featuring a significant number of updates for a point release. Originally previewed in late January, iOS 11.3 promises new augmented reality experiences, new Animoji for iPhone X users, a new Business Chat feature that will allow businesses to communicate with customers via iMessage, a Health Records feature that helps users of participating medical institutions more easily view their medical records, enhanced data and privacy controls, and the Battery Health feature that will ensure users know when their performance is being throttled due to aging batteries on older iPhones.

QR code exploit could use iOS Camera app to misdirect users to malicious sites

Infosec has discovered a potential exploit using the QR code-reading capabilities of the iOS Camera app that would allow one URL to be displayed while directing users to another hidden link. The simple code tweak allows those generating a QR code to set their link to display a safe-looking or familiar URL in the iOS confirmation box that pops up when a QR code is scanned, only to deliver the user to another URL entirely that was placed later in the code. The issue has been reported to Apple but hasn’t been fixed yet.

Pair of patents provide look at waterproof Lightning connector, crumb-proof keyboard

A pair of patents show Apple’s interest in improving the seals on its devices, starting with a Lightning connector that creates a water-tight seal when inserted. Discovered by Patently Apple, one version of the Lightning connector features a tapered shape made of a “deformable material” that molds itself to the Lightning port to lock moisture out and keep the internal connections free from moisture.

Report: Cellebrite has tools that can break into any device running iOS 11, including iPhone X

Cellebrite — the security firm that made headlines after rumors surfaced that it was responsible for breaking into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone in 2016 — is now able to get into any iPhone running iOS 11, even the iPhone X, Forbes reports. The company hasn’t made any flashy public statements about the breakthrough, but its latest marketing materials claim the company can unlock and extract data from “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11.” Sources said Cellebrite is telling customers its engineers have devised ways to get around Apple’s most up-to-date security features, and it’s likely that the company’s tech was used to crack an iPhone X for the Department for Homeland Security last November. Apple hasn’t publicly responded to the news.

Shure hints at iOS 11.3 coming this week in since-deleted tweet

While Apple has only given a “Spring” release timeline for iOS 11.3, audio tool manufacturer Shure seems to have let the cat out of the bag that the update is coming this week, according to PiunikaWeb. In a weekend response to a customer question about problems with a specific condenser microphone, Shure’s Twitter account replied that “iOS 11.3, due out next week, resolves it.” The tweet has since been deleted, so time will tell is Shure was just speculating or actually has inside knowledge of Apple’s release timeline.

New iOS 11 bug crashing iPhones when a special character is received

A bug in iOS 11.2.5 has been discovered that’s will crash the iPhone when a specific Indian-language character is received in a text message or e-mail, The Verge reports. Originally discovered by Italian blog Mobile World, the bug affects iPhones running iOS 11.2.5 as well as Messages and Safari on macOS, and has been confirmed as affecting not only the built-in Messages and Mail apps, but also third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook, and Gmail. The crash is triggered when the device receives the Indian language Telugu character, which will cause the iOS Springboard to crash and prevent the affected app such as Messages to open as a result of trying and failing to load the character, at least until the point at which another message is received.

Apple releases first watchOS 4.3 beta, iOS 11.3 + tvOS 11.3 public betas

Apple has followed up the release of the first iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 developer betas earlier this week with the first beta of watchOS 4.3. Featuring a build number of 15T5165e, the very sparse release notes list only basic background information and “No known issues” providing no insight into what’s actually changed in the newest version.

Apple releases first iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 developer beta

Apple has released the first betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 to registered developers, with the improvements previewed earlier today, specifically new Animoji and the promised improvements to battery health monitoring resulting from the recent iPhone slowdown controversy. iOS 11.3 also brings back the Messages in iCloud feature that was promised for the initial iOS 11 release, with the release notes indicating that it’s currently “for testing and evaluation purposes” and adds that the feature will be automatically enabled — in the beta at least — for users who already have two-factor authentication and iCloud Backup enabled. In addition, the new iOS version also adds a new security protocol that will require users to re-enter their device passcode to authorize a Lighting-connected USB accessory if it has not been connected to the device for more than a week.

Apple releases iOS 11.2.5 with HomePod support, Siri news, enhanced audio control

Apple has released iOS 11.2.5, an update that brings support for the company’s new HomePod speakers along with Siri’s audio news feature and support for remote control of Apple Music playback. The new iOS update will be required to configure the HomePod when it’s released on Feb. 9, allowing users to automatically transfer their Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to the new speaker, likely similar in the way that an Apple TV can be automatically configured from an iPhone or other iOS device. The update also adds the ability to remotely control Apple Music playback on Apple TV and (presumably) HomePod speakers; selecting an audio destination from the Music app or Control Center widget will now display additional compatible playback destinations as separate panels, which can be used to start and control playback on that device directly from Apple Music, independently of whatever is playing on the iPhone itself.

iOS 11.2 released over the weekend with fix for Dec. 2 crash bug, Apple Pay Cash

After online reports of a bug that appeared to be crashing iPhones just after the date rolled over to December 2, Apple rolled out the iOS 11.2 on Saturday, the first time the company has ever released an update on a weekend. Time-based notifications for certain apps began crashing or respringing the devices at 12:15 a.m. on December 2, specifically apps that issue repeated reminders throughout the day. Apple took the unusual step of releasing its iOS update on the weekend to remedy that issue, but seems to have rushed it out with some parts not operational. Apple Pay Cash, the method for using Messages to send person-to-person payments, is included in the release but not yet functional. Users have also reported problems with Face ID in iPhone X after updating, but most have found a reboot after installation clears up the problem.

Apple reportedly integrating streaming sports into TV app next month

Apple’s TV app is set to gain live streaming sports from ESPN next month, 9to5Mac reports. A source from a “major sports network” confirmed the launch date, claiming the update will arrive as part of iOS 11.2 on or around December 4, as well as being enabled on tvOS 11.2 at the same time. The app will gain live games from ESPN along with live scores and game clocks in a single interface. The app also includes the ability to receive live alerts for close games so users can switch back and forth. The feature is not yet live in any of the iOS 11.2 apps we’ve seen so far.

iOS 11.1.2 update released, fixing cold temperature problem with iPhone X screen

Apple has released the iOS 11.1.2 update, which contains a fix for the iPhone X’s screen becoming unbresponsive in cold weather. The update also fixes distortion problems in Live Photos and videos recorded by the iPhone X along with other minor bug fixes.

Apple acknowledges autocorrect bug in iOS 11.1

In a blog post, Apple has acknowledged a problem with the autocorrect feature in iOS 11.1 that is replacing the letter “i” with an “A” accompanied by a symbol. So far it’s the only autocorrect problem that Apple has specifically addressed, but we’ve seen other problems as well — like the word “it” being converted to “I.T.” or “I’d” being changed to “I.D.” — and there’s an entire Reddit thread dedicated to the issue where users have seen everything from strange capitalization suggestions to missing punctuation fixes like changing “im” to “I’m” as it usually does.

Apple releases iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, tvOS 11.1

Apple has released iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, and tvOS 11.1, featuring some notable improvements. The new version of iOS brings back the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, much more fluid scroll-to-top animations and more than 70 new emoji options. The new watchOS gets an improved Music app with full iCloud Music Library access and support for Apple Music and Apple Radio streaming on the Series 3, taking the next step toward making the Apple Watch less dependent on the iPhone. GymKit support for syncing the Apple Watch with smart gym equipment also landed, but the accompanying equipment hasn’t made its way out into the world yet. The update for Apple TV was the least impressive, offering only bug fixes and no real new features.

Apple adds SiriKit support for HomePod in iOS 11.2 beta, releases betas for watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

With the release of iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 and watchOS 4.1 likely imminent given the limited updates in the last round of betas, Apple has moved on and released betas of iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2 to developers. The beta version of iOS 11.2 is of particular interest as it adds SiriKit support for the upcoming HomePod speaker. In a blog post, Apple encouraged developers to make sure that their app’s use of SiriKit — which has been available since iOS 10 — is up to date. The HomePod will include support for Siri commands to third-party apps and send those requests over to a connected iPhone or iPad (where the app is actually hosted) for processing.

Apple releases fifth developer betas for iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a fifth set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers, the third release in under a week. The number for the latest iOS 11.1 beta is only one digit from the previous release, showing that Apple seems to be pushing out minor tweaks to its operating system for testing ahead of the iPhone X release next week. The release notes for both platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, and it’s unclear what new changes were made. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a fourth set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for both platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

Apple releases third developer betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 + watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a third set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for all three platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas. Apple also released public betas for iOS and tvOS for those in the Apple Beta Software Program.

Apple releases iOS 11.0.3 with a warning about ‘non-genuine replacement displays’

Apple has released iOS 11.0.3, a minor update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users that addresses specific issues with iOS 11 on older iPhone models — audio and haptic feedback problems on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and unresponsive touch input on some third-party iPhone 6s displays. The iOS 11.0.3 release notes also include a specific caution against “non-genuine replacement displays” emphasizing that “Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts.”

Apple releases second developer betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 + watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a second set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for all three platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

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