Wednesday Morning News
It’s macOS Sierra release day, and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it. If you’re planning on upgrading today, there’s a guide on a few things you should be thinking about doing before making the jump. Provided your Mac runs macOS Sierra (there are additional requirements if you want to have your Apple Watch unlock your device or play with Apple Pay or the Universal Clipboard), you should at the very least be doing a Time Machine backup in case things go wrong.
Ars Technica has instructions on making a bootable USB drive of macOS Sierra, in case you have to install it on a few Macs or want to blow away your existing installation and start from scratch. Once you’ve downloaded the macOS Sierra installer, you have a couple of options to make a bootable USB, and they’re all pretty simple.
Both Six Colors and MacStories have short and sweet reviews of macOS Sierra. I say that, but they’re still reasonably lengthy, as you’d expect from a yearly OS release from Apple. Not only has Apple decided to integrate your Mac with the rest of your iOS devices, Photos and numerous minor improvements are also there for those of you who are still Mac-only.
One of the features of macOS Sierra is Optimised Storage, but what is it and how does it work? Apple feels confident enough to enable it by default on macOS Sierra so it must work well enough for the vast majority of users, but if you want an explanation of what it does then Tidbits has you covered. As it turns out, Sierra’s Optimised Storage is a mish-mash of a few difference space-saving aspects.
While we’re on the subject, I’d also caution against turning on iCloud for your desktop and documents folders. Having your desktop and documents available on all your devices via the magic of iCloud Drive might seem like a good idea, but I just don’t think Australian internet connections are built to handle that kind of stress. If you’re on the NBN you can go nuts, otherwise maybe give this one a miss, too. Plus, it takes up iCloud Storage space, so if you’re on the free 5GB tier, you might not have enough iCloud storage for both your desktop and documents.
How Dropbox hacks your Mac is that it pops up a dialog box which sorta, somewhat, spoofs the usual one asking for your credentials to put itself into the Accessibility list in System Prefs. But why? Dropbox’s explanation is that it helps the Dropbox app work better with your files, but there are plenty of other apps that don’t require this kind of access. And what’s worse, removing it from the Accessibility list is difficult.
In other security news, apparently it’s possible to bypass an iPhone passcode with a NAND mirroring attack. A security researcher from Cambridge has proved the FBI wrong, with the hack proved possible on devices up to the iPhone 6 Plus.
A software glitch affecting Apple’s new Lightning EarPods means audio continues to play, but the remote control stops working. Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, according to Business Insider.
A take-apart of the Lightning EarPods and Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter has revealed digital-to-analog converters in both, as expected from devices that have the capability to transmit audio signals.
While Australians are still waiting on their Jet Black iPhones, The Verge shares traumatising photos of the kind of micro-abrasions Apple warns you about. If you want the new shiny iPhone, you’ll have to learn to love the scratches.