Wednesday Morning News
A variant of the Fruitfly malware that was blocked by Apple after its initial discovery earlier this year has been seen in the wild, and infects at least 400 Macs worldwide. According to Ars Technica, a security researcher was investigating the Fruitfly variant and discovered some hard-coded domains which hadn’t been registered — when the researcher registered the domains, almost 400 Macs connected, meaning that there may be many more out there which could be then used to spy on their users, capable of capturing screenshots, and recording keystrokes and webcam images. What’s even scarier is that the method of infection is currently unknown, as is the malware’s original purpose.
Like clockwork, Apple has released the third open beta release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. You can grab the update now via Software Update on your iOS device, or via the Mac App Store if you’re on a Mac. In particular, iOS 11 appears to fix things that were broken in the previous release while breaking entirely new things, making it hard for developers to know what to fix.
MacRumors highlights some of the user-facing changes in the third open beta of iOS 11. But there’s new icons (also broken), Notification Centre improvements to allow better interaction with notifications, a setting that allows you to change your AirDrop privacy, and very minor visual changes elsewhere. The new icons for Reminders, Notes, and Contacts improve on their previous beta counterparts.
A change is being made to the way iOS 11 devices connect to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi networks with poor network connectivity won’t be automatically joined by your device, which hopefully means that open networks which require you to bypass some kind of captive portal before granting you internet access will no longer cut the mustard.
Apple has added several new services to the Apple TV’s Single-Sign-On providers in the past few weeks, with some of those making the jump to the TV app and Universal Search. For once, the changes aren’t all US-centric; Australian Apple TV users now get access to AnimeLab and DocPlay within Universal Search.
US President Donald Trump claims Apple will be building three manufacturing plants in the US. A Wall Street Journal claims Trump was speaking about business-tax reform and business investment when he shared the news, although there was no timeline given or any further details about Apple’s plans for manufacturing in the US.
Adobe has announced the sunsetting of Flash technology, with the company ceasing the distribution and updating of Flash at the end of 2020. Adobe encourages companies to embrace new open formats, but those won’t be including Flash moving forward.
The latest update to Google Chrome on the Mac adds support for the Touch Bar found in new MacBook Pros. Version 60 of Chrome provides basic navigation functionality within the Touch Bar (i.e. back/forward, reload), as well as being able to focus the Omnibox, add a bookmark, and create a new tab.
The Verge tells us how to pick between Apple’s two base-model Mac laptops. While they’re not the $1,299 that they are in the US, the base model MacBook and touch-less 13-inch MacBook Pro are both extremely capable machines that have few flaw, but none that are particularly deal-breaking. Each has their pros and cons.
Wired gives us the advice to turn off all your push notifications. Things that require your immediate attention can be left on, but besides phone calls and text messages, turn everything else off and marvel at how much more productive you can be.