Friday Morning News
The New York Times reports Apple is planning to close technical loopholes that allow third parties and law enforcement agencies to gain access to the contents of an iPhone without the owner providing a passcode. By disabling the Lightning port after a device has not been unlocked for over a hour, Apple effectively prevents devices like Grayshift’s from accessing the contents, which is a sore blow to every legitimate agency or shady organisation that purchased one.
Despite all the reporting you may read on the subject, Apple isn’t looking to thwart law enforcement with the USB restrictions in iOS 12. At least, not just law enforcement, given that any exploit or security hole that legitimate law enforcement agencies can use to access data on locked iOS devices is the same one that can be used by illegitimate ones. There’s no such thing as a security hole that only the good guys can access, so it’s in Apple’s best interests to ensure their devices are as secure as they can possibly make them.
Now that we’ve had it for a few weeks, there are definitely a bunch of great things about AirPlay 2. Audio latency is dramatically reduced, multi-room audio playback from any iOS device works as advertised, and controlling the whole setup via Siri is convenient. But there’s always room for improvement, and 9to5Mac points out the potential changes to stereo pairing HomePods, using the Apple TV as a AirPlay 2 speaker, and improvements to macOS support for AirPlay 2 that would make it that much better.
A surprise update to Apple’s iWork suite across iOS and macOS adds the ability to record audio directly into iWork documents. You can also import existing audio files, although I’m still thinking of ways this is useful; audio notes for someone else working on your document, perhaps? Other minor changes across both platforms are detailed by MacStories.
Macworld’s review of 1Password 7 for Mac tells you that it’s certainly one of the most fully-featured password managers out there. While the biggest changes in this release come in the form of a new look and feel, there’s plenty of functional changes to how you can interact with your passwords, too, including a bigger and better mini-interface, integrations with third-party security websites to help you identify potentially compromised or insecure passwords, and more.
Over at Quora, Alan Kay answers a question about what Steve Jobs meant when he said Apple was fundamentally a software company. Kay — who used to work at Apple, once upon a time — explains that this philosophy was based on other fledgling tech companies at the time, who discovered that the best way to progress was to imagine new software which required new hardware, as opposed to the backwards development of new fantastic hardware, which then had to have software developed to show off its capabilities.
Following the very public rejection of its Steam Link app from the App Store, Valve has removed the ability to purchase Steam games from within the app. While it’s unclear if this was the specific reason the app was rejected, it’s hoped that this change will allow the app to be resubmitted and approved for App Store distribution.
Unfortunately, AppleInsider tells us that the Mac gaming remains dire with no improvements in sight. Support for external GPUs seems to be more focused on productivity-based gains than gaming, provided you can even afford one in the first place, and while Apple has partnered with HTC and Valve to feature plug-and-play support for the HTC Vive Pro in macOS Mojave, we’ll need a lot more support for developers and publishers before Mac gaming becomes mainstream.
The PowerMac G5 was notable because it introduced cheese-grater space-heating technology to the rest of the world. Or at least, that’s what Apple should have marketed those machines as, given that some models ran hot enough to require liquid cooling, which was pretty wild for consumer tech of 2004/2005. MacStories tells the plainer version of the story of the PowerMac G5.
Apple continues the World Cup fever with five new how-to photography videos with a soccer focus. How to shoot pano, burst mode, slo-mo, backlight, and a more general one on how to shoot soccer are all worth watching.