The security content of iOS 10.3 isn’t particularly exciting reading, but gives you an idea of the kinds of “bug fixes” that have some sort of real-world impact. CVEs are referenced to give you a sense of common security issues and vulnerabilities, and of particular note is CVE-2017-2384, which would have allowed a local user to discover websites visited using Private Browsing. Apple improved SQLite cleanup in order to address this issue.
The latest supplier responsibility report from Apple tells us how they’re improving working conditions and protecting the planet by implementing stricter standards for its suppliers. 2016 saw Apple audit 705 suppliers, 95% of which complied with the 60-hour maximum work week, with similar improvements and reductions in waste emissions across the board.
A Beijing court has overturned a ruling that the design of the iPhone 6 copied the design of a Chinese phone. Apple appealed the original ruling, allowing sales of the iPhone 6 and 6s to continue, and now a separate Beijing court has overturned the original decision, finding in Apple’s favour. With more and more smartphones sporting curved edges and rounded corners, is this the kind of thing we’ll see more often? Sure, maybe if companies want to go through the same legal rigamarole that Samsung and Apple did, back in the day.
A new selection of documents uncovered by WikiLeaks reveals the existence of a “Sonic Screwdriver”, an Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter used to deliver a payload to bypass firmware passwords and inject an Apple-specific malware package to the target Mac. Ars Technica notes that none of this is particularly new, given that this Thunderbolt exploit was discovered around two years ago, and many similar scenarios shared by other tools used by the CIA, but the fact that the CIA is building tools based on discovered exploits should be reason enough to keep your stuff up to date.
The Apple Online Store went down overnight, and when it came back up, there were a bunch of new things. For starters, there’s a new 9.7-inch iPad, which replaces the old iPad Air 2. It has very similar dimensions as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but comes without the pro-features such as Apple Pencil support, the A9X processor, the laminated display, True Tone, or wide colour. It’s also not compatible with the Smart Keyboard, comes in 32GB or 128GB capacities, and starts at $469 for Wi-Fi, or $669 for Wi-Fi and cellular. Order one from 2:01AM AEDT on Saturday.
A report from Bloomberg talks up Apple’s plans for augmented reality, with Apple CEO Tim Cook having previously claimed that AR would be a big deal, and eventually as common as having thee meals per day. Bloomberg writes that Apple is working on a number of AR products, including glasses that could provide information overlays to the wearer from their iPhone, but other AR features could make their way into the products like the iPhone sooner, rather than later.
A report from Fast Company claims Apple is looking to the $3 trillion healthcare market as its next big catch. With many patients in hospitals already used to smartphones, having an iPad to manage your own healthcare while you’re admitted is a normal thing, provided you go to one of a handful of hospitals in the US. Apple says the privacy and security of iOS means that hospitals are choosing Apple products to manage all aspects of health care, including remote-patient monitoring and in-patient care.
The latest iPhone rumour claims the new iPhone model will come with a “mostly flat” display, with perhaps a small curve at the edges. The rumours still seem to claim it will feature an edge-to-edge OLED display, and it’s also said to come with 2.5D cover glass that’s been used since the iPhone 6 to give the glass overlay a slight curve and allow it to sit flush with the case.
The Australian banking cartel that want access to contactless payments on the iPhone have called Apple Pay alternatives “unrealistic” in the Australian market. As reported by ZDNet, the latest submission to the ACCC from the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, and Bendigo and Adelaide banks, say that Android Pay and non-NFC payment technologies are unrealistic in Australia, “which has the world’s highest adoption of contactless NFC card payments and one of the world’s highest iPhone market shares, particularly among customers likely to use mobile payments”. It’s almost as if the banks recognise that people want Apple Pay, and not whatever they’re selling, but don’t want consumers to have access to the former without the latter.
An investigation has found that Apple’s Russian arm fixed prices for iPhones illegally. The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service found that Apple Russia contacted retailers, telling them to hold the price of iPhones, saying that it would contact them if they found their prices to be inappropriate, with Apple also suspected of terminating trade agreements with retailers who refused to comply. No penalty has been set, but it could be as much as 15% of Apple’s sales in Russia.