Category: Apple

Apple to use Drones to Improve Apple Maps

Apple is one of 10 companies to be approved for a US Department of Transportation project that will allow for the use of drones beyond the current FAA limits.  Apple, who will be using drones in South Carolina, has indicated that they will be using drones to capture aerial images for the improvement of Apple Maps.

The announcement yesterday by the DoT also named Microsoft and Intel as two of the other companies that had been approved.  In all, 149 companies applied for the project with only 10 selected.  Amazon was not selected for the program.

Apple Removing Apps That Share Location Date with Third Parties Without Consent

Apple seems to be getting serious about apps sending location data without user consent.  Over the course of the past few weeks, Apple has sent developers emails if their apps are in violation of two key parts of the legal section of the App Store Review Guidelines.  Those have to do with the sending of location data to third parties without the users explicit consent to do so.

The sections in question are 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, both in the legal part of the guidelines.  Those sections of the guide call out data collection and transmission guidelines which is what Apple is cracking down on with these apps.

iOS 11.4 to Bring a Lockdown of Lightening Connection to Charging Only Without Passcodes

It appears that once again Apple is upping device security with the upcoming release of iOS 11.4.  In a new report on Elcomsoft indicates that when the new build of iOS rolls out, it will come with a Lightening Connection lockdown that requires the device to unlocked or the password/fingerprint to be entered every seven days.  The feature is meant to prevent tethering a device to a PC or Mac and brute force cracking the device to gain access.

The feature first appeared in iOS 11.3 but was dropped during the beta testing.  It reappeared in 11.4 and, to this point, has pretty much gone unnoticed until now.  What this means is after 7 days, if the device hasn’t been unlocked either with biometrics or a password, the Lightening connector becomes a charging port only.  No data is transmitted to or from the device by the connected laptop.

Fitbit for iOS Update Brings Improved Female Health Tracking

Fitbit for iOS has a new update rolling out that finally brings one of the most requested features of female users of the fitness tracking app and devices.  With the new update, women can opt-in to a new Female Health Tracking which will allow women to track their monthly menstrual cycle to better understand their bodies and their cycles, something that is unique to every women.

Fitbit announced the new feature last month and it is rolling out to iOS users today while it should hit Android users later this month.  Once you have the app update and have identified yourself as a female in the app, you should get a pop-up to opt into the new feature.  It is only available for women 13 years and older.

Apple To Require Apps Built With The iOS 11 SDK and iPhone X Display Support Starting in July

Apple has posted an update to developers of iOS that requires them to use the iOS 11 SDK and to support the display of the iPhone X.  The policy change goes into effect in July and any apps submitted or app updates submitted must comply with the new policy or they will be rejected.

The requirement for using the iOS 11 SDK is not a surprise.  It has been available since September of last year and Apple likes to make sure that apps, just like iPhones and iPads, are up-to-date.  Part of that SDK is supporting the Super Retina Display of the iPhone X, including its notch.  That is now required too.

Fourth MacOS 10.13.5 Beta Build Released to Testers

The fourth beta of the upcoming update to MacOS High Sierra has been released to private as well as public beta testers.  The newest build of MacOS 10.13.5 doesn’t specifically call out any new updates or features and comes a week after the 3rd beta was released.  The update to the beta build coincides with the update of the beta for iOS 11.4, which released earlier today.

The timing of the fourth beta is a bit strange and suggests that perhaps Apple ran into a significant bug with the 3rd beta released last week.  That isn’t 100% certain of course as Apple is notoriously tight lipped about things like that, but the timing suggests it at least.

Fourth iOS 11.4 Beta Released to Testers

A week after the third beta of iOS 11.4 was released, a fourth new beta of the next update to Apple’s mobile platform has been released to testers.  For those who have a device registered in the Apple Beta Program, you should see the update as available to download to your compatible device.

The beta released today is a bit of a surprise given Apple usually spaces out their updates several weeks during beta testing.  The quick release likely indicates that an issue was discovered and needed to be patched quickly but Apple has not confirmed this fact.

Apple HomePod Set to Gain Calendar Access When iOS 11.4 is Released

It looks like the Apple HomePod is about to get a much needed feature:  Calendar access.  Right now HomePod isn’t able to access your calendar.  It can access your Messages, Reminders and Notes, which is handy but having calendar access is key to increasing the productivity of users of the smart speaker.  It looks like it is going to be changing pretty soon.

In the 3rd beta of iOS 11.4, when you go through the process of setting up an Apple HomePod, you now will see an icon for Calendar along with Messages, Reminders and Notes.  It is the strongest indication yet that calendar support is coming – although Apple hasn’t said anything on the topic to date.

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