Monday Morning News

Last week, a part of Apple’s proprietary source code that controls starting a trusted version of iOS was posted to GitHub. Despite the iBoot code being for iOS 9 and being two years old, it’s a significant leak that represents a major security breach for Apple. Motherboard writes it was a low-level Apple employee — likely an Apple intern — with ties to the iOS jailbreaking community that originally stole the source code from the company, although it wasn’t supposed to leave a close-knit circle of friends. But inevitably, it got out, and now iPhone researchers are calling it the biggest leak in the history of the iPhone.

Apple confirmed to multiple outlets that the iBoot code posted on GitHub is real, saying that despite the leak, the security of Apple’s products is not dependent on the leak of source code, with multiple layers of hardware and software security protecting Apple products. That being said, Ars points out if a vulnerability is found in the iBoot source code, that could be a potential attack vector for jailbreakers. As for its part, Apple has filed a DMCA takedown to have GitHub remove the source code.

The HomePod isn’t available in Canada, but that hasn’t prevented iMore’s Rene Ritchie from posting a not-a-review review, following a week of hands-on time and multiple impressions. The HomePod isn’t for everyone, and you’ll probably know whether your home has room for a great little speaker that ties into Apple Music and can be controlled with your voice, but there’s a lot to like about the HomePod, too.

Interestingly, the Sonos co-founder and former CEO has praised the HomePod’s audio quality, noting that it is a little heavy on the bass. In a series of tweets, John McFarlane also notes that HomePods needs to offer tie-ins with other apps and streaming music platforms (like Spotify), noting that while Sonos has multiple products to fulfil a whole-home solution, HomePod does exactly one thing.

If you’re a new HomePod owner and wondering how to do a specific thing, Apple’s HomePod user guide available on the web should help you out. If Apple knows about Siri’s limitations, they’re not showing it, brazenly saying that Siri on HomePod can set a timer for you (but not two, as you’ve probably heard). Still, being able to play a specific podcast or get the news headlines seems like decent features to have.

And if you’re using the HomePod in a home where multiple people are likely to request all kinds of music, you may want to consider turning off your listening history. That way, any music played on the HomePod won’t influence your personalised Apple Music recommendations or appear on your public Apple Music profile, you have one of those setup.

The YouTube Apple TV app has gotten a redesign since its launch in 2015. Unfortunately, that’s just about where the good news ends, with MacStories calling the update a bit of a mixed bag given that there’s basically only navigation changes and an easy way to link your iPhone to your Apple TV for one-tap casting.

Security researcher Felix Krause is back at it, with a new post telling us that sandboxed Mac apps can take screenshots and record your screen at any time without your knowledge. On its own this doesn’t seem like a terrible idea, and there are legitimate use cases for apps doing this. But in combination with OCR software, this becomes a real hazard to personal information security, and even worse, there’s no way to protect yourself (besides using as few third-party apps as you can).

Apple is said to be investigating a case of AirPods that allegedly caught fire in Florida. White smoke started pouring out of the AirPods, and by the time the user got back from getting help, one of the AirPods was destroyed.

New videos from Apple this week are unsurprisingly about the HomePod, with Apple posting three new HomePod how-to videos on its Apple Support YouTube channel.

Notable Replies

  1. AVC says:

    The new redesign (as is the case with most of the big tech companies now) is a steaming turd of a thing. Slow, laggy and totally unintuitive.

    While the previous YouTube app retained some UI elements common to tvOS, the new version makes no attempts to feel native to the Apple TV, instead adopting an interface that’s consistent with its presence on other platforms, such as Android TV.

    So before it was familiar to all those using AppleTV, because the interface was a standard tvOS interface. Now they have decided that for familiarity (because everyone who uses an AppleTV also uses AndroidTV, right?) it should be consistent across all platforms. What a joke.

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