Don’t Let Your iPhone Even Get Near This Cursed Wifi Network

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Gizmodo 05 July, 2021 - 04:00pm 53 views

This week’s top stories: iOS 15 public beta, Apple’s return to in-person work, and more

9to5Mac 05 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

In this week’s top stories: Apple doubles down on its return to in-person work, larger iPads in development, more iOS 15 beta news, and much more. Read on for all of this week’s top stories and more.

Despite backlash from employees, Apple is doubling down on its plan to return to in-person work beginning in September. In a new video this week, Apple’s senior VP of retail and people Deirdre O’Brien said that Apple believes that “in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future.”

Apple says that remote work decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and all future remote work positions will require executive approval.

Apple this week officially began public beta testing of iOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey. This allows anyone to try out the new features coming to iPhone later this year in beta form. iOS 15 brings new features to FaceTime, upgrades to notifications, Focus, SharePlay, and much more.

If you’re interested in signing up for Apple’s public beta testing program, you can do so via Apple’s website right here. Apple’s new software version won’t be complete until the fall, at which point it will be released to the general public. Testers should still expect performance and stability issues when running the iOS 15 public beta on primary devices for the time being.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported this week that Apple is exploring future iPad designs with larger displays. Gurman says that any new iPad screen size change is at least a ‘couple of years down the road’ and has not yet left the exploratory stages.

The new iPads could be between 14-inches and 16-inches, which is a notable increase from the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. As productivity on iPadOS increases, so does the demand for more screen real estate to get work done and aid multitasking use cases.

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

This week on Happy Hour 9to5tMac’s Benjamin and Taylor discuss a bevy of recent iPad rumors, look back on a decade of the selfie, evaluate the new lineup of Apple Watch International bands, and discuss the new features and changes in iOS 15 beta 2.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

It’s the Stacktrace App Store special! What could happen if Apple were to enable sideloading on iOS, and what other changes could Apple make to improve the App Store and its relationship to third-party developers? Also, connecting Combine with async/await, using design tools, alternatives to using analytics SDKs, and much more.

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Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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Switching from Android to iPhone shows me what my friends really think

CNET 05 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

When I chose to switch to iPhone from using an Android phone last month, I didn't think it was going to matter very much. Over the last few years while using Android phones, contacting friends and family has been easy because there are so many non-Apple services that let you text and video chat in 2021. While I was about to get access to iMessage and FaceTime with the switch, I considered it to be solely a perk of having an an iOS device. Surely, I thought, we'd moved past whether someone was a "green bubble" or a "blue bubble" in a text message. But then after I started using my new iPhone, the following messages started coming in from several friends:

iMessage is nice, but it shouldn't be vital.

"I'm so happy you are blue now!!!"

These are all actual statements, whether through texting or in person, that friends being made aware of my switch have told me... and I simply do not understand why.

Yes, iMessage is convenient. Yes, so is FaceTime. While I personally decided to buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max for the redesign and app privacy controls in iOS 14.5, I didn't expect it to make a difference for anyone in my social circle. I especially didn't expect it to matter to the point of displaying fairly intense relief and jubilation.

During the last three years using Android on a Moto Z2 Play and a Pixel 3 XL, the same friends simply "met" me on other services. Many use WhatsApp for texting. Google Duo is my favorite way to video chat -- and frankly already includes many of the new improvements coming to FaceTime this fall in iOS 15 such as invite links, Portrait Mode and chatting inside of any web browser. A combination of Facebook Messenger and Microsoft's Skype hits most other contacts who aren't into WhatsApp or Duo. And even a recent group chat that was trudging along on MMS shifted over to Instagram. (Alas: I wish more people had access to RCS messages....)

Despite the clear comfort people have for these non-Apple services, in the weeks leading into my device swap several of my friends told me their plans to quit those other services once I moved to iOS.

Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET's mobile experts.

"You're the only one I talk to on WhatsApp," confessed a close college friend who previously told me it was super convenient.

Two friends I speak to primarily on Facebook Messenger told me about their excitement for moving our chat to iMessage, and then I realized one of them had never even given me their phone number.

Signal and WhatsApp both offer encrypted messaging, whether or not you use an iPhone.

And another friend rarely had any interest in doing video chats with me when I used Android, but now that they can FaceTime, I get unprompted calls.

My family members, graciously, have not cared whether or not I'm using an iPhone. While I know using FaceTime is a preference for them, one thing was more important: Does it work? So at least with them, video chats over WhatsApp and Skype are still viable.

Even Apple is starting to acknowledge that facilitating a fast and easy conversation no matter what device people are on is what's most important. FaceTime opening up a little bit to include participants on Android, Windows and anywhere a web browser loads is a half-step: ideally when it launches it will let iOS people include anyone they want in a conversation, but actually starting a FaceTime call looks to remain exclusive to Apple devices. In an interview with UrAvgConsumer, Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi acknowledged that opening up FaceTime has become what its customers want.

And while that's great, it's also about being competitive. Apple knows that if it doesn't catch up with rival services like Zoom, even the most loyal Apple customers may turn away from services like FaceTime. 

As for me, making the switch didn't change much. I still communicate with everyone in my life. It's just that now because of my "blue bubble," it's a little bit easier for my friends and family who prefer using an iPhone.

Another access point name has been discovered that can disable your iPhone’s ability to use Wi-Fi

9to5Mac 05 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

Only a couple of weeks after the initial iPhone Wi-Fi bug was found, the same security researcher Carl Schou has found another similar issue.

Schou tweeted today that if an iPhone comes in range of a Wi-Fi network named ‘%secretclub%power’, then that iPhone will no longer be able to use Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi related features. Schuo even says that this bug persists when resetting network settings.

It seems the only workaround for this particular issue would be a hard factory reset of the device. 9to5Mac did not independently test this, nor do we recommend others try.

The earlier issue relied on the iPhone encountering a network name with the SSiD “%p%s%s%s%s%n” and the user attempting to connect to it. However, that bug was fixable by resetting iPhone network settings in the Settings app. This new problem appears more severe as it can trigger as soon as the iPhone comes in range of a malicious public Wi-Fi hotspot using that poisoned name.

Clearly, the underlying bugs are related as both ‘%secretclub%power’ and ‘%p%s%s%s%s%n’ exploit a string format coding error somewhere in the underlying iOS networking stack.

Seriously, I still don’t have WiFi pic.twitter.com/AaF9IQBvCp

— Carl Schou (@vm_call) July 4, 2021

From the perspective of an individual user, the best safety precaution is to simply avoid connecting to Wi-Fi networks that contain percent symbols in their name. Then wait for the inevitable software update where Apple will fix the OS bug that is causing the denial of service.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.

Rumor: iPhone 13 to feature wireless charging upgrades

tvOS 15 brings new video player for Apple TV app

How to downgrade from iOS 15 to iOS 14

Over a decade of selfies, starting with iPhone 4

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