OK, we have a lot of news to get through this morning before it gets buried under the influx of whatever Apple reveals tomorrow morning, so let’s get into it. Bloomberg says Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn have broken a Chinese labour law by using too many temporary staff to assemble this year’s iPhone. Chinese labour laws stipulate that no more than 10% of a workforce can be comprised of temporary/dispatch staff, with Foxconn having closer to 50% dispatch staff in August, according to undercover investigators. Apple has confirmed the issue, and now says they’re working with Foxconn to ensure the proper resolution.
A leaked internal document paints a picture about what next week’s Apple event will have in store. It looks like the rumoured "iPhone 11" and "iPhone 11 Pro" nomenclature are a lock, if the document is anything to go by, although AppleInsider notes that there are parts of the 10-page document that are inconsistent with previous leaks, putting the overall document into question. In any case, the doc does tell us what will be revealed next week: three new iPhones, four new Apple Watch models, and the release of iOS 13, macOS Catalina, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13 on September 23.
There’s an increasing amount of evidence Apple will launch AR glasses or an AR headset in the future, with code in iOS 13 giving us clues about the development process. Internal builds of iOS 13 include the "STARTester" app which can switch in and out of a head-mounted mode, which MacRumors says is likely to replicate how an AR experience may differ if you’re holding your device in your hand or whether it’s mounted to your head in some way, and multiple references to some kind of "StarBoard mode" suggest that Apple’s AR headset has the Star codename, at least internally.
Apple says that in very rare circumstances, a crack may form around the rounded edge of your aluminium Apple Watch Series 2 or Series 3. If your Apple Watch exhibits this issue, you’re eligible for a replacement display from your local Apple Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider, free of charge. Apple’s Screen Replacement Program for Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 covers devices for three years from the first retail sale, or one year from the start date of the program, whichever is longer.
Every month, we’ll be bringing you a handful of hastily handpicked, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Whether they’re explainers on the current state of play when it comes to iOS zero-day security exploits, what happens when you’re locked out of Apple’s walled garden, or ways Apple could be better dealing with providing user information without resorting to the alert hammer for every potential security/privacy issue, they’ll all tell a story that probably won’t have already been shared in the daily news cycle. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- Wired has a brand-new article on Google’s disclosure of long-standing websites hacking iPhones. By performing complex exploit chains that work on several different versions of iOS, these websites have been silently compromising iOS devices for years, with the idea being that we now know of a serious security issue we don’t really think about when we think of traditional hacking of any kind, iPhone or otherwise. But given the prevalence of the web on basically any device you can connect to the internet, maybe it’s time we did. It’s an eye-opener, for sure.
The attack is notable not just for its breadth, but the depth of information it could glean from a victim iPhone. Once installed, it could monitor live location data, or be used to grab photos, contacts, and even passwords and other sensitive information from the iOS Keychain.
Apple has announced the independent repair provider program, which will allow independent phone repair shops to have the same access to genuine parts, tools, and resources as Apple Authorised Service Providers. To qualify, any business wishing to apply to become an independent repair provider needs to have an Apple-certified technician, which Apple says is free, just like becoming an independent repair provider. While the program launches in the US, Apple has plans to bring it to other countries, which should make it easier for Apple customers to get repairs from anywhere.
Apple has announced improvements to Siri’s privacy protections, following online backlash over the news that Apple contractors were listening to audio snippets caused by Siri activation. Apple’s statement on the issue begins with some preamble about how Siri protects your privacy, and how any captured data was only used for the express purpose of making Siri better, but the bottom line is that Siri audio recordings will no longer be retained. If you choose to opt-in to help improve Siri, your audio recordings will only be listened to by Apple employees, who will have no way to identify any individual from the recording itself, and you’ll be able to opt-out again at any time you choose.
Just like that, Apple has patched a security vulnerability that allowed the jailbreaking of devices running the latest version of iOS. The iOS 12.4.1 update resolves a kernel vulnerability that allowed apps to execute code with escalated privileges, that somehow became un-patched with the iOS 12.4 release despite being fixed in iOS 12.3. Corresponding updates tvOS 12.4.1, watchOS 5.3.1, and macOS Mojave 10.14.6 supplemental update goes along with this morning’s iOS update, although the release notes for those versions make no mention of any such security issue.
A rumour from Bloomberg says Apple will launch its streaming video service AppleTV+ in November. Pricing for Apple’s original video content will start at US $10 per month, although it’s also possible Apple will be offering an extended free trial period while it builds its content library. A small selection of shows will be offered when the service launches globally, with additions to its library coming over the next few months.
The latest watchOS 6 has given us the first hints of new Apple Watch hardware, with images of the Apple Watch setup screen clearly showing two new variants of Apple Watch that we haven’t seen before. The new 44mm titanium and ceramic cases described in the images give us a taste of what could be just around the corner for the Apple Watch, and I know quite a few people that will be excited to see the return of the ceramic Apple Watch, but titanium should be pretty interesting to see, too.