Tuesday Morning News

Wired tells us about all the ways iOS 12 will make your iPhone more secure. That’s not saying there aren’t security benefits for iPads, but that there’s at least one of them that’s applicable to the iPhone, where you’re more likely to get two-factor authentication codes via SMS. Less ad tracking, stronger password suggestions, encrypted group video chat, and USB Restricted Mode make up the rest of the list of iOS 12 security features.

For something so simple as being able to place your iPhone near something and have it transmit whatever audio it picks up to AirPods, the Live Listen feature in iOS 12 is a great accessibility feature for the hard-of-hearing. It means being able to have your parent watch TV with you at a normal volume, which is kind of a big deal.

A piece from TechCrunch says Siri Shortcuts, also in the upcoming release of iOS 12, or available for testing right now if you’re a registered developer, will open up a whole new world of potential for Siri. Siri Shortcuts will allow for a much richer Siri experience if you spend a little effort setting up a few shortcuts to start off with. It’s one of the best upgrades to Siri in years, especially since Siri Shortcuts will work on any platform that Siri currently does.

Sharecuts is a quick way to share pre-made Siri Shortcuts with other users, kind of like public IFTTT recipes. There aren’t many Sharecuts to start off with, given that access to the Shortcuts app is still fairly limited, but I’d check back on this website once iOS 12 goes live to see what kind of awesome actions people have been coming up with.

In software update news, Apple has released macOS 10.13.6, bringing AirPlay 2’s multi-room audio-streaming capabilities to iTunes. Minor issues are also fixed in this release, including a fix for Photos not recognising AVCHD media, and an issue that could have prevented Mail users moving Gmail emails to another account.

Following a decent beta period, iOS 11.4.1, tvOS 11.4.1, and watchOS 4.3.2 have also been released this morning. They’re all minor bug-fix releases, given that most of Apple’s engineering resources would be dedicated to the upcoming iOS 12, watchOS 5, and macOS 10.14 releases currently in developer and public beta, but if you’re not running a beta OS, then it’s time to upgrade.

A corresponding HomePod 11.4.1 update includes the usual stability and quality improvements, which is about the extent of the release notes.

New in iOS 11.4.1 is the addition of USB Restricted Mode, which isn’t called that in Settings. The USB Accessories setting under Face ID and Passcode (or Touch ID and Passcode) lets you control whether data connections are allowed when your iPhone hasn’t been unlocked for over an hour, although it will still allow your device to charge. It’s the same place in the iOS 12 beta, if you’re looking for it there.

With this week being the tenth anniversary of the App Store, we’re probably going to see a few dozen articles about how the App Store changed mobile devices. Macworld starts us off by saying the App Store changed smartphones forever, by allowing us the kind of choice and variety that was only previously bettered by the open web.

The latest Face ID ad from Apple is in the form of a game show, where the contestant remembers their internet banking password because their face is their password, at least when using Face ID.

Join the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au