Friday Morning News

The chairman of the FCC has released a public statement, calling on Apple to enable the FM radio in iPhones for use in times of crisis. Ajit Pai’s reasoning is that FM radio signals are more easily received than internet-based streams, especially in light of damaging hurricanes which public safety is the number one priority. To be clear, many smartphone manufacturers disable the FM radio found in devices, but there are a growing number of companies that ship with FM tuners enabled, too.

Apple has released a security white paper on Face ID. As pointed out by The Loop, even though the white paper claims users will be able to use a longer, more complex passcode as it will be used less frequently, there are still a number of cases where you’ll have to use your passcode, making the practicality of using a longer, more secure passcode limited.

The latest government data request transparency report from Apple covers the period from 1st January 2017 to 30th June 2017, and while the number of overall requests are down compared to the same period last year, Apple has received more requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and National Security Letters. Both in the US and abroad, Apple provided data to government authorities about 80% of the time.

While we’re still talking about privacy, a privacy loophole allows any app with Photos permissions to get a complete history of your whereabouts, based on photo and video metadata. Once you grant permissions to your photo library, apps get full metadata access, and just based off that, without analysing the contents of photos, there’s some pretty scary things you can figure out about a user.

The first public betas of iOS 11.1, macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, and tvOS 11.1 are now available for those who wish to sign up. It’s widely expected that these releases will bring AirPlay 2, Apple Pay’s Cash card, and Messages in iCloud to the masses — all which were announced as part of iOS 11, but never made it into the final release.

Network speed tests of the iPhone 8 by PCMag say the newest iPhone is faster than its predecessors, although still not as fast as some of its Android counterparts when it comes to mobile network speeds. While iPhone 8 devices on Telstra get access to 80MHz carrier aggregation, they lack the 4×4 MIMO tech that is required to reach the dizzying speeds of LTE Category 16, or Gigabit LTE.

Over at Macworld, Jason Snell writes about how Apple is threading the needle with the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. If you’ve ever wanted the larger screen and dual cameras of the Plus-sized iPhone but felt that the form factor was a little too big, then the iPhone X is the Goldilocks iPhone for you. But how will that impact sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus? Only time will tell — but I can tell you now that I don’t remember the last time an iPhone shipped within 3 business days a week after launch.

In case you’ve missed something in iOS 11, TechCrunch rounds up 15 of the biggest changes. I’m yet to try out flick keys on the iPad, but the new proximity-based features are definitely the ones with the most “wow” factor.

The first big update to Super Mario Run adds a new gameplay mode which takes snippets from existing levels for a new challenge every time you play. When you eventually unlock Princess Daisy, you’ll be able to use her in any of the other gameplay modes. There’s a new world to explore, and what’s more, the in-app purchase is 50% off for a limited time.

If that all sounds too much, maybe you’ll enjoy Flower, from thatgamecompany. Despite being released back in 2009 for the PlayStation 3, Flower’s beautifully calming gameplay takes advantage of tilt controls to direct flower petals using the wind. Flower is $7.99, on the Australian App Store.

Notable Replies

  1. I think Apple is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to activating the FM radio in their (newer) phones.

    The FM radio chip in mobile phones relies on using the headphone port as an antenna port and the headphones as the actual antenna and since the 7, 8 and X have no headphone ports it would require a substantial redesign to actually pick up a signal.

    There isn’t space in the case for an FM band antenna (due to the lower frequency of FM radio the antennas need to be larger hence the use of the long head phone cable) and passing FM via the lightning port has all sorts of engineering challenges.

    So… not simple.

  2. kyte says:

    This wouldnt apply, surely, if you have not allowed Camera to have your location? I never give it permission to use my location.

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