Wednesday Morning News
There’s new developer betas for all of Apple’s upcoming software releases, with the third beta of iOS 12, tvOS 12, watchOS 5, and macOS Mojave all seeing the light of day this morning. It seems as though AppleInsider’s post originally suggested a macOS Mojave beta was available, but the article was since updated to say that wasn’t the case, despite a third macOS Mojave beta being available according to several sources.
The third developer beta of iOS 12 minor changes to several UI elements and animations, with a few new animated Activity app stickers that don’t require the completion of special challenges to unlock. While there’s no corresponding second beta for the public beta program, we’ll probably see it tomorrow if no show-stopping issues are found today.
New on the watchOS 5 beta is the inclusion of the “Raise to Speak” Siri feature. Enabled by default, the option lets you talk to Siri on your Apple Watch without pressing any buttons or first saying “Hey Siri”. There’s no public beta of watchOS available, likely due to the higher risk of no downgrade path, so this one will have to be for developers for now.
The presence of AvatarKit — the set of Apple APIs that allow Animoji to work — in iOS 12 betas on an iPad indicate Apple will be releasing an iPad with Face ID in the not too distant future. It’s possible that this was purposely left in the beta of iOS 12 to throw us off, given that only iPhone X software has contained AvatarKit thus far, but the rumours have been claiming we’ll see an iPad with Face ID for weeks now anyway.
A security researcher claims the security code autofill feature in iOS 12 exposes users to online banking fraud. While it’s great that Apple are looking to improve the end-user experience for two-factor authentication via SMS, this change also has the potential to reduce the inherent security provided by transaction authentication messages – those little confirmation messages from your bank that let you double-check where and how much money you’re transferring before confirming the transaction by entering a one-time code. If security code autofill presents transaction authentication codes outside of their original context, then users lose that second check of their transaction details.
Speaking of security, a new form of macOS malware targeting cryptocurrency users has been examined by one security researcher and given the prestigious name of OSX.Dummy, because it’s pretty dumb in how it goes about its business. It has a “dumb” infection method, the binary is massive for what it does, has limited capabilities, and if you know what you’re looking for, is trivial to detect at any stage of the infection.
Apple has added another to its video production efforts, with former BBC producer Joe Oppenheimer joining Apple’s original programming team. Oppenheimer will be based in London, reporting to Apple’s European creative director Jay Hunt, who joined Apple in October.
Macworld cautions us against accidentally deleting referenced images, which I didn’t know existed until now. Apparently, referenced images are ones that are included in your Photos library, but haven’t been copied to it, which is why they’re treated a little differently.
The 2.0 version of Fluid for creating Mac apps out of websites is in beta today, noting that it’s a complete re-write from the ground up with new WebKit2 APIs. Once it’s released, the full version will be $5.
Over on Reddit, a topic points out small and interesting features of iOS that make you happy or satisfied. While that’s a pretty strange qualifier, I think we could all use a little more happiness and satisfaction.