Security researchers examining the first iOS 10 Developer Preview beta have discovered that Apple has taken the unusual step of leaving the new operating system’s kernel open to examination, according to a new report by MIT Technology Review. The iOS kernel — the heart of Apple’s mobile operating system — has always been encrypted in the past, making it more difficult for security researchers to reverse engineer the software to look for flaws or exploits in the code. While the report speculates that it’s possible this may have been an oversight on Apple’s part for this first developer preview release, it would be difficult to believe that Apple’s engineers would make such a basic error, leading many researchers to speculate that this is actually a bold move by Apple to open up the operating system to more scrutiny by third parties.
A judge has thrown out the class-action lawsuit against Apple over ‘Error 53’ messages that temporarily left some users’ iPhone locked, Fortune reports. After users who had third-party repairs to their iPhone’s Touch ID sensor began seeing their phones rendered useless upon updating to iOS 9 in February, Apple quickly released a patch to fix the issue and offered to reimburse customers who has been forced to pay for out-of-warranty replacements for their devices.
The company that won a major patent ruling against Apple in Beijing last week barely even exists, The Wall Street Journal reports. Last week the Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models infringe upon the design of Baili’s 100C phone. Since that ruling, phone calls to the company in question — Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co. — ring unanswered. The company’s websites are gone and visits to its registered addresses turned up no company offices.
Apple has beefed up its universal search feature in Apple TV, adding support for HGTV, A&E, Food Network, History, Lifetime, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI and Travel Channel. That brings the total number of searchable apps to 31, all of which are listed on Apple’s website. Using Siri or Search in Apple TV will now provide results from all of those apps and iTunes when users go looking for a movie or TV show. Earlier this month Bravo, E!, Syfy and USA were also added to the search.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal is adding weight to several recent rumors suggesting that the next-generation iPhone, expected to be released this fall, will see only subtle changes, essentially breaking Apple’s two-year iPhone redesign cycle. Citing sources familiar with the matter, as well as other recent analysts, the WSJ is confirming with some confidence that Apple’s long-rumored plans to drop the headphone jack are likely to come to fruition with this next-generation model, but that any other large changes will be held back to 2017 — the year that also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPhone.
Starting July 1, mobile games sold in China’s App Store will have to meet the approval of the country’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China’s IT Times reports. The new regulations are a hurdle even for larger companies with the proper connections and resources, but are expected to have a devastating impact on smaller developers who could struggle to come up with the $2,000-$5,000 fee charged by a third-party partner to handle the necessary applications.
The Supreme Court has upheld new government procedures for challenging patents, The Wall Street Journal reports. The upheld ruling is a big win for companies like Apple, which are constantly bombarded by patent lawsuits. The 2011 law in question put in place a quicker and cheaper process for challenging patents, placing the decision-making power in the hands of the patent office instead of a federal judge. Opponents of the law argued that the new process was too friendly to patent challengers and made patents too vulnerable to being overturned.
Starting today, millions of people who bought e-books from Apple will receive credits or checks as part of a $450 million settlement, the law firm Hagens Berman confirmed in a press release. Customers who bought e-books published by HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group Inc. and Simon & Schuster from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 are eligible for payments amounting to $400 million in total.
After months of back and forth, Apple once again seems close to opening retail stores in India after the country relaxed its restrictions on foreign retailers, Bloomberg reports. Apple was denied an exemption to rules that require single-brand retailers in India to source at least 30 percent of their components locally, but on Monday India relaxed restrictions on all foreign investors in an effort to boost investment.
Apple has notified Republican leaders that it won’t be providing any funding or support to this year’s convention in protest to Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments, Politico reports. Facebook, Microsoft and Google are all providing some support to the GOP’s Cleveland convention, but two sources familiar with Apple said the company decided against donating cash or technology over Trump’s remarks about women, minorities and immigrants.
Bank of America is ramping up support for Apple Pay at its ATMs, debuting new NFC readers that allow users to withdraw money using their iPhone. Several Reddit users have experimented with the new machines, finding that they are able to tap their phone to the NFC logo and enter their PIN to take out money. But the new system doesn’t allow for much else, as customers have found themselves unable to make deposits or use cards issued by non-Bank of America banks to withdraw money. Chase and Wells Fargo have confirmed that they are working on similar ATM upgrades, but haven’t provided a timetable for when they’ll be available. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple may have to halt sales of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China after a the company was ruled to violate patent rights of a Chinese company, Bloomberg reports. The Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled the iPhones infringe upon Baili’s 100C phone (which doesn’t look that similar to Apple’s iPhones). The decision only affects Beijing, but it could be used as precedent in China. Apple can appeal the ruling, and the report notes the company “could be allowed to continue selling its phones during the process.”
Apple will be requiring all the apps in its App Store to connect to the web through an HTTPS connection starting on January 1, 2017. TechCrunch reports. The company debuted its App Transport Security feature in iOS 9, but until now developers weren’t required to use it. While the end user won’t really be able to observe any difference, starting next year all connections between apps and servers will be encrypted. Apple has been ramping up its efforts to protect user privacy in iOS after its public fight with the FBI, even though there is still some internal disagreement within the company over how far its privacy mandates should go at the expense of user experience.
This week’s WWDC keynote also saw the unveiling of the next-generation version of OS X — now renamed as “macOS” to match its mobile counterparts (and likely to avoid confusion with iOS 10). macOS Sierra introduced a number of new “Continuity” features to build upon the tight integration between Apple’s Macs and iOS devices. Apple SVP Craig Federighi outlined several new features including automatic unlocking, Universal Clipboard, iCloud Desktop and Documents synchronization, and Apple Pay for Safari, all of which tie a user’s Mac into a closer relationship with their iOS and watchOS devices, and make it possible to work seamlessly across multiple devices. Here’s a closer look at those “crossover” features.
Apple has quietly removed its requirement that all games for tvOS be playable using the Siri Remote. The updated support document for game programmers now states that, “When designing a tvOS game, you may require the use of an MFi game controller, but where possible you should also support the Siri Remote.” Apple had such a suggestion in place when tvOS debuted last year, but soon began requiring all tvOS games to offer support for using the Siri Remote as a controller.
One of the many smaller but welcome new features in iOS 10 that wasn’t mentioned in yesterday’s keynote will be the ability to remove most of Apple’s own built-in stock apps from the iOS Home Screen, using the same process as deleting third-party apps. The ability to remove these apps is seen in the iOS 10 beta and has been noted by Apple. Not all apps appear to be eligible for deletion, however, including both obvious exceptions like Settings and App Store as well as apps that have a more “core” function such as Wallet, Camera, Photos, Activity, Clock, Phone, Messages, and Safari..
Following yesterday’s iOS 10 unveiling, August has announced that it will be one of the first companies to take advantage of increased HomeKit accessory support with its August Doorbell Cam. During yesterday’s unveil, Apple SVP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, revealed that HomeKit would be expanding the list of supported accessories to include devices such as cameras, doorbells, air conditioners, air purifiers, and humidifiers. August added HomeKit support to its Smart Lock in April, however, the August Doorbell Cam lacked HomeKit support simply due to the necessary HomeKit frameworks not being available from Apple. With the release of iOS 10, new HomeKit capabilities will be added to the Doorbell Cam via a free, automatic software update coming this fall once the profile has been finalized and the Doorbell Cam can be certified by Apple. While it is not normally possible to add HomeKit support to existing home automation accessories via a software update, August CEO Jason Johnson explained in a press release that August took the proactive step of developing the Doorbell Cam with the necessary Apple HomeKit chips already in the device, so that it would be HomeKit-ready once Apple introduced the necessary profile support.
Closing off today’s WWDC keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Swift Playgrounds, a new app that Apple is releasing this fall that aims to teach kids — and other users new to programming — how to code in Apple’s new Swift development language. Swift Playgrounds takes users through some very simple interactive coding tutorials before moving on to more advanced topics, in a fun and playful graphical interface, with projects that involve games and fun tasks to keep kids engaged and learning to code. Users will be able to proceed through the tutorials step-by-step, or jump to any tutorial directly from a table of contents, and more advanced freeform coding is also available within the app. Swift Playgrounds will be available this fall as a free download from the App Store when iOS 10 ships.
The big unveil during Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference today in San Francisco was iOS 10, the next generation of Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Dubbing it the “biggest iOS release ever,” Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, outlined ten major enhancements to a number of core iOS applications and APIs, beginning with a significantly redesigned user experience. iOS 10 redesigns the Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Control Center user interfaces, providing much richer notifications and enhanced support for 3D Touch for more comprehensive interaction with notifications. For example, users will be able to stay in Message conversions now from the Lock Screen, rather than simply dashing off a quick reply, more effectively deal with calendar invitations, and more, all via 3D Touch gestures.
During this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco today, Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, provided more details on its next-generation version of tvOS. While Cue conspicuously omitted any kind of version number, he highlighted key features in the next tvOS release, including a redesigned Apple Remote app for iOS that will provide the full capabilities of the Siri Remote, including voice control and accelerometer and gyroscope support for games, the ability to search movies and TV shows by topics, search YouTube using Siri, and expansion of the Live Tune-In feature added earlier this year to more channels. A new Single Sign On feature will improve the authentication process for TV network apps, allowing users to sign in once — presumably with their Apple ID — to authenticate to multiple apps directly on the Apple TV. Apple has also added a new “Dark Mode” to tvOS, which replaces the light background on the main menus with colors more reminiscent of prior Apple TV generations, support for up to four game controllers, and ReplayKit, HomeKit, and PhotoKit APIs to tvOS for developers.