Monday Morning News

The Melbourne teenager that hacked into Apple’s systems between 2015 and 2017 and downloaded 90GB of files from Apple’s network has received no conviction and no jail time, reports The Age. Instead, eight month’s probation is all the unnamed teenager was hit with, which is more like a slap on the wrist than anything else, although that’s probably a good enough deterrent to prevent any repeat occurrences, especially against such high-profile targets.

Security researchers have exploited Apple’s Mobile Device Management APIs to glean information about a company’s internal networks, the MDM, and devices connected to it. By enrolling devices into a company’s MDM using Apple’s own Device Enrolment Program API and spoofing serial numbers, researchers were able to introduce rogue devices into a company’s trusted network, potentially providing some kind of gateway to further company resources or even a VPN connection.

Owners of the new iPhones are complaining that their devices do not charge when the screen is turned off. While the issue seems to be more common with the iPhone XS and XS Max, the finger is being pointed at iOS 12’s USB Restricted Mode, which Apple has said before shouldn’t prevent a device from charging, although experimentation has proved that turning off USB Restricted Mode doesn’t seem to help affected devices. Either way, if it’s an issue that affects more devices then Apple should release a future iOS software update to resolve the problem.

Speed comparisons of the new Apple Watch Series 4 show it blowing its predecessors out of the water. Not only does the Series 4 boot much faster, but it’s also somewhat snappier when performing basic tasks. Why, just the other day I set a timer for ten minutes, only for it to finish in just over seven — now if that’s not a feature worth upgrading for, I don’t know what is. Meanwhile, speculation says that the more difficult process of getting the ECG feature approved for the UK market is countered by alternate approval process that could see Apple getting it approved at an EU-level, which would allow Apple to introduce the ECG feature to all EU countries at the same time.

Apple’s pro apps have been updated, with Final Cut Pro X getting official eGPU support as part of an update coinciding with a macOS Mojave compatibility update, making the app capable of preferring an external GPU for various playback and rendering tasks. And Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 also received updates, mostly to do with both apps now allowing sound libraries to be moved to an external storage device.

Mac app HazeOver has been out for years, but it’s getting a look here because the background-dimming macOS app has been powered up to work better with Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. While fading out background windows may or may not be useful depending on your particular workflow, being able to further reduce bright websites and windows when using Dark Mode, so there’s more of a contrast between what you’re working on and what you just have open.

Dosdude has released a Mojave version of his patching tool to make Mojave compatible with Macs that don’t officially support it. Bear in mind that running an unsupported version of macOS on your hardware has side-effects, so make sure to read through all the known issues and decide if those trade-offs are worth it for you, although I’d hope that if you’re even considering installing Mojave on your unsupported Mac you have a bloody good reason for doing so.

Ben Brooks has compared a few iOS content blockers, putting them through their paces in a variety of scenarios. He evaluated the setup process, speed, customisation, usability, and whitelist capabilities, with his innovative “Ben Scale” being a human-friendly scoring system.

Something that didn’t get shared in this month’s Good Reads (but totally could have been) is The Verge asking us whether we’ll ever get tired of buying iPhones. I mean, there’s got to be a point where people stop buying new iPhones every year, right? But when? When prices are too high? When they’re no longer considered a necessity for modern life? Or perhaps when the next big thing comes along, rendering the iPhone obsolete?

Apple’s Growth Spurt is a fun ad showing off the biggest screen ever in an iPhone, although it’s advertising both the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Notable Replies

  1. This whole Apple Watch ECG thing is fascinating.

    I find it nothing short of crazy that Apple are selling hardware based (at least partly, anyway) on the promise of future features. Obviously this is nothing new in the software world, where software updates can bring new features all the time, but for Apple to include hardware in the Series 4 that does literally nothing until enabled by a future software update is pretty wild. And it’s not as if this is some internal component or processor that no one was ever going to see, either, this is something that you can see on every Series 4 just by picking it up and looking at the back.

    What’s next? An iPhone that has a breathalyser that’s disabled until some future version of iOS? Being able to use your iPad as a wireless charger for your other devices — also disabled until a future software update?

    Like I said, pretty wild, and I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything of the sort from any other tech company.

    The only recent example I can think of is Google’s Pixel Visual Core in Pixel 2 devices, but even that might have been used for something before being enabled officially for computational photography purposes.

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