iOS 11.2 Arrives

Yesterday released iOS 11.2, the second major update to the iOS 11 operating system available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 11.2 comes a month after iOS 11.1, the first major update to iOS 11, and it follows several other smaller bug fix updates.

The iOS 11.2 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.

iOS 11.2, as a major 11.x update, brings several new features and important bug fixes. It introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers, like Square Cash or Venmo.

You can quickly and easily send and receive money through iMessage conversations with Apple Pay Cash. Cash is sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app and can be used for purchases or transferred to a bank account.

For the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus iOS 11.2 appears to introduce faster 7.5W wireless charging speeds through compatible Qi-based wireless charging accessories. At 7.5W charging speeds, the three new iPhones are able to charge faster wirelessly than with the standard 5W wired iPhone power adapter.

When it comes to the iPhone X interface, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the status bar icons located at the upper right side of the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device.

In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from the Control Center.

iOS 11.2 introduces a new Sports section in the dedicated TV app, which offers up access to live sports games through integration with the ESPN app. The Sports app can be accessed through a new “Sports” tab at the bottom of the app, and it offers up custom content based on team preferences and current sports seasons.

There are multiple bug fixes in the update, including a fix for an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result.

The update also addresses a date bug that caused continual crashing in iOS 11.1.2 after December 2. The problem was linked to local notifications, and according to a support document, it is fixed in iOS 11.2. iPhone and iPad users experiencing this bug should turn off notifications and then install iOS 11.2.

Other new features in iOS 11.2 include redesigned camera emojis and other emoji tweaks, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and Live wallpapers for the iPhone X. For developers, the update introduces a new feature that allows them to offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions in the App Store. Full release notes for the update are available below:

iOS 11.2 introduces Apple Pay Cash to send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Apple Pay Cash (US Only)
Send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay in Messages or by asking Siri

Other improvements and fixes
– Adds support for faster wireless charging on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X with compatible third-party accessories
– Introduces three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X
– Improves video camera stabilization
– Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
– Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
– Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
– Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
– Improves stability in Calendar
– Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
– Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
– Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
– Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
– Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
– Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
– Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
– Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
– Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
– Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store, and Music
– Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

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Apple Resolves Recent ‘Root’ Problem

Apple has just released a security update for macOS High Sierra and you should update right now (Apple will automatically push the security patch later today). This update fixes yesterday’s very concerning vulnerability that let anyone log into your Mac without your password.

In order to install the update, open the Mac App Store and click on the “Updates” tab. Interestingly, the release notes say “install this update as soon as possible.” Apple has worked long hours to fix yesterday’s flaw as soon as possible. But it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

The security flaw affected all Macs running the latest version of High Sierra (at least version 10.13.1 — 17B48). On the login screen or in the preference panel, you could bypass all security screens by entering the root username and no password. Multiple persons at TechCrunch tested the flaw and could replicate it effortlessly. After that, you can see everything on the computer even if it’s not yours. It even works with a screen sharing session. For hackers, it’s a great way to access your emails, personal data and more.

The patch release notes are quite short. “A logic error existed in the validation of credentials. This was addressed with improved credential validation,” Apple says.

Apple will automatically roll out the update later today for everyone who is affected.

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MAC’s New Root Problem

The username is the “root” of all problems for Apple’s latest operating system.

It turns out you don’t need a password to log in to a locked Apple device using MacOS High Sierra — just the username “root.”

By heading to your device’s System Preferences, under Users & Groups, you can click on the lock and get hit with a prompt asking for a username and password to change settings. Then, instead of entering a password, you can type in “root” for the username and leave the password field empty.

After clicking unlock several times, it should eventually open up, no passwords necessary.

The simple exploit means anybody with physical access to your MacOS High Sierra device can log in on your computer, no matter how secure your passwords are.

Image result for mac root problem

The bug works for every aspect of the OS that would normally require a password, which means someone could also get access to your Keychain, containing all your passwords.

MacOS High Sierra was also plagued with a password issue when it launched, after a former NSA hacker showed that he could extract sensitive data from Keychain using an app downloaded online.

There’s a workaround for the “root” flaw until Apple fixes it. You can turn guest users off, or change the root password from your directory utility.

Another reccomendation is creating the username “root” and setting a password to solve the blatant issue.

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Microsoft Apps on Your Android or iOS Device

Although Microsoft’s Windows Phone is a distant memory and I often get choked up missing my old Windows Phone – Microsoft has done a great job embracing both Apple & Android. There are several awesome Microsoft productivity apps that you can download on your smartphone that will help you work better and get that awesome Microsoft tingly feeling (or maybe that’s just me).

Here are my favorite productivity apps that you will want to make sure are installed on your device.

Microsoft Office

Although small screens are not the best UI for major editing jobs, having the ability to tweak a presentation or other document when you are waiting to meet with a customer is valuable and these apps will give you that capability.

In addition, being connected to your e-mail and calendar is critical during the work day and having Outlook on your device for that is a no brainer. The latest versions of Outlook for iOS and Android include the Focused Inbox feature to help you stay focused on the important communications.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote has become my second brain and allows me to take all of my notes and other information everywhere I go. It is laid out to use a heirarchy of Notebooks which then have Sections and then those areas have Pages which can then be organize with all of the data that enters our daily existence.

Microsoft To-Do

Although this app is not nearly as full featured as Wunderlist which it replaced, much to the chagrin of Wunderlist loyalists, it does integrate with Outlook and enables you to keep track of all the items on your work list.

Microsoft OneDrive

As the cloud continues to become an integrated feature in our work flow having access to it and everything stored there is what makes this app a must on your device. It has recently undergone a significant UI update while makes the experience across iOS and Android nearly the same which reinforces the companies effort to make your experience mobile no matter what platform you use.

Microsoft Authenticator

If you are not using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your accounts then you are behind the security power curve. What I love about the Microsoft Authenticator app is that it is platform agnostic, What I mean by that is I am able to setup the app as a second factor of authentication for any platform that supports 2FA. There are options for entering the account data manually or using a QR Code to automatically set 2FA in action.

Bonus Apps to Help You Work

Microsoft Edge

This recommendation reaches both iOS and Android and while Microsoft Edge is still in beta preview mode on iOS and Android (public preview). iOS users can sign-up to begin testing Edge through the Apple TestFlight program.or

This app is a key element of productivity for anyone who is using the latest feature update for Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, with these two mobile platforms. Within the Edge app there is a method to send a website link to your Windows 10 device which can be opened right then or stashed in your Action Center as an alert that can be opened later. This feature, Share to PC, is some of the early steps Microsoft is working on for their Windows Timeline feature that will make this process easier by sharing activities between a users ecosystem of devices.

Microsoft Launcher

I wish it was possible to tell everyone that this app is accessible on both iOS and Android but unfortunately Apple does not support alternate launchers on their platform so this one is just for those on Android devices.

Microsoft Launcher is one way that users can transform their phone into a pseudo Microsoft device by not using the default Android launcher options and then installing any and all of the Microsoft apps that they want on their handset.

There are options to configure wallpapers, themes, icon packs and many other aspects of the app. In addition, by tying in your Microsoft Account you can easily access your calendar, documents, and other activities. Just like the Microsoft Edge app there are also capabilities built in to share items to your Windows 10 device that uses the same Microsoft Account.

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iOS 11.1.1 Arrives with Bug Fix

Apple has released iOS 11.1.1 for all iPhone and iPad customers. The latest software update includes bug fixes and improvements including a fix for the notorious ‘i’ autocorrect bug that resulted in an A and [?] character appearing.

Users can find the update available through the Settings app under General and Software Updates. The fix has already been available for developer and public beta testers running iOS 11.2 beta.

Apple previously asked customers to create a text replacement workaround for the ‘i’ autocorrect bug as a temporary fix. With iOS 11.1.1 and later, the workaround solution is no longer required.

Here are the full release notes:

iOS 11.1.1

iOS 11.1.1 includes bug fixes for your iPhone or iPad. This update:

  • Fixes an issue with keyboard auto-correct
  • Fixes an issue where Hey Siri stops working

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Viewing Your iTunes Purchases History Made Easy

Starting this week Apple is making it easier for users to view purchase history directly from their iOS devices. The company revealed in an updated support document that you can now view your App Store and iTunes purchase history in the Settings app on iOS.

Previously, as the support document notes, this functionality was only available through iTunes on Mac and PC. While you could view purchase history via the App Store and iTunes Store on iOS, it was purely for re-downloading purposes and didn’t show detailed pricing information.

In order to view purchase history on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, simply head into the Settings app and follow Apple’s steps below:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID, then tap View Apple ID. You might be asked to authenticate your Apple ID.
  3. If you use Family Sharing, you’ll see in your purchase history what you bought using your Apple ID, but you won’t see what other family members bought. To see what other family members bought, sign in with their Apple ID.
  4. Scroll to Purchase History and tap it.

Apple further explains that purchase history is grouped by “the date that they were charged to the payment method that you have on file.” Items that have not yet been processed by your bank will appear under a “Pending” heading at the top of the interface.

If you tap on an item in the purchase history ledger, you’ll see more details such as the purchase/download date and the name of the device from which the content was purchased. You can also easily address discrepancies by clicking the “Report a Problem” button.

Furthermore, you can request a new email receipt to your inbox by tapping the “Resend” button, should have you accidentally deleted the first one.

For more details about this new functionality, head to Apple’s support webpage now. This is certainly a welcome change as having all of the information in one place makes managing your purchases and downloads considerably easier.

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Spell Check with iOS

Spelling and grammar check is a staple feature of any word processor. Pages, Google Docs, and Word all have spelling and grammar check. In fact, productivity apps that aren’t word processors include this feature too. For example Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint all have a spelling and grammar check feature. If you use predictive text on iOS, then you know it helps you correct your spelling. If it reads a misspelled word, it highlights it in red. It’s not very good at predicting the correct word once you’ve misspelled it. If you’re looking for better, smarter spelling and grammar check in iOS, install the Grammarly keyboard.

Image result for grammarly ios

Grammarly is a very old, very famous writing tool. It’s particularly popular among writers but a lot of people outside that niche use it as well. Some even consider it to be better than the system wide spell check on both macOS and Windows 10. The service constantly learns from how its users type and it’s pretty intelligent. They’ve just released a keyboard for iOS which can run a spelling and grammar check on any text you type, as you type it, on your iPhone or iPad.

Enable Grammarly Keyboard

Install the Grammarly keyboard app and sign in. Once you’ve signed in, you need to enable the keyboard. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General>Keyboard. Tap Add keyboard, and select Grammarly. Once Grammarly has been added as a keyboard, tap it again and turn on Full Access.

Spelling & Grammar  Check

Open any app that you can type in, for example, the Notes app. Switch to the Grammarly keyboard; tap and hold the globe icon on the on-screen keyboard. From the little menu that appears, select Grammarly. Start typing. Every time you make a mistake, the G in the prediction bar shows a red badge and begins to count the mistakes in the text. With each mistake, the keyboard gives you an alternative that fixes it.

To replace your incorrect word with the one Grammarly suggests, simply tap the suggestion. If you change your mind later, you can tap the undo button. Grammarly can handle multiple mistakes at once i.e. you can type an entire sentence or paragraph and the keyboard will keep a list of all the mistakes in it. Once you’re done typing, you can go back and review the suggestions from Grammarly.

The keyboard is pretty smart but a bit slow so it’s best to type what you need to, and then review the spelling and grammar mistakes in the end. By then, Grammarly will have found them all, and it will have taken the time to understand the context the words are used in.


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iOS 11.1 Arrives with New Emojis & More

Apple has released iOS 11.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The latest software update adds hundreds of new emoji characters including new expressions, vampires and zombies, dinosaurs and many more. Other changes include the return of the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, a smoother scroll-to-top animation, and other bug fixes and improvements.

Apple first previewed these new emojis over the summer then teased them again in recent betas. Now iOS 11.1 is available to all customers. You’ll need iOS 11.1 to both send and receive the new emoji characters, otherwise you won’t find them in the keyboard picker and you’ll only receive generic blocks and broken up emoji in place of the new characters.

iOS 11.1 also restores the popular 3D Touch multitasking gesture on iPhone 6s and later. This lets you touch the left edge of the display with pressure to enter multitasking or pull with pressure from left to right to switch between two apps. Apple previously removed this gesture (which works differently on iPhone X) but modified it and restored it with iOS 11.1.

Reachability has also improved so you can reliably double tap the Home button to lower the screen in more places, and there’s a smoother animation when tapping the top of the display to return to the top of a window.

Stay tuned for full release notes and grab the latest software update from the Settings app on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Be prepared. This update can take up to 45 minutes. So plan accordingly!

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Forgetting Your iPhone Passsword

With the latest generations of iPhones featuring all sorts of fancy unlock mechanisms like Face ID and TouchID, the reliance on a good-old passcode is going downhill.

As you’re less accustomed to entering it now, the chances of forgetting your passcode shoot up significantly. Forgetting your iPhone’s passcode can be a very frustrating experience. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can use to reset your passcode.

Before we dive into those methods, try using the following tip to recall your password.

Try Using This Tip to Recall Your Password

It might sound obvious, but try recalling your passcode keeping this tip in mind. It can save you from the hassle of having to explore other ways to remove your passcode.

forgot iphone passcode

It’s a common misbelief that only 4-digit passcodes can be set on the iPhone. We wouldn’t blame the users though, as the option is buried inside the Passcode Settings. In reality, you can set a custom numeric code or a custom alpha-numeric code.

It’s possible that you might have set a custom numeric or alphanumeric passcode, but are trying to recall only potential 4-digit numbers. So, try recalling your passcode with this increased scope of digits. Be careful though, as entering the wrong passcode six times disables your iPhone.

If that doesn’t seem to work or your iPhone is disabled; no worries. Let’s look at some of the ways to reset your iPhone’s passcode.

The Fix: Erase Everything on Your iPhone

Apple makes it very clear that the only way to fix a forgotten iPhone password is to erase everything on your iPhone. Unless you made a backup before you forgot your passcode, there’s really no way to save your iPhone’s current data. It might not sound pretty, but it’s a trade-off you’ll have to make if you ever forget your iPhone’s passcode.

There are three ways to erase the data on your iPhone, remove the passcode, and start from scratch.

1. Erase Your iPhone Using iTunes

If you’ve previously synced your device with iTunes, you can use a recent backup to restore your iPhone and reset its passcode. Here’s how to erase your device using iTunes.

forgot iphone passcode

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer you previously synced with.
  2. Open iTunes. If iTunes lets you in without prompting for a passcode, you can proceed. However, if it prompts you for a password, then try connecting your device to any other computer you might have synced with. If you have never synced with any other computer, this method won’t work for you. In that case, skip to the “recovery mode” section to learn how to erase your iPhone using recovery mode.
  3. Assuming that iTunes didn’t prompt you for the passcode, wait for iTunes to sync your device and make a backup.
  4. When the sync completes, click on Restore iPhone and let the restoration process complete — iOS will be reinstalled from scratch.
  5. When complete, the iOS setup screen should pop-up on your iPhone. Here, tap on Restore from iTunes backup .
  6. Choose the latest backup to restore from.

Doing so will restore your data to that point in time when the backup was made. Also, it will remove the passcode, thus giving you a chance to set up a new one.

2. Erase Your iPhone Using iCloud

If you sync your iPhone with iCloud and not iTunes, and you have Find My iPhone enabled on your locked device, you can erase your iPhone using iCloud. You can also use this method if you don’t have physical access to your iPhone. Note that your locked device should be connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data. If it isn’t, you can swipe up from the bottom to open Control Center and toggle these.

In the rare case that you’ve disabled access to Control Center on the lock screen, and you do not have an active internet connection, this method won’t work for you. Fortunately, you can still reset your iPhone using the instructions given in the next “recovery mode” section.

Having verified all the prerequisites, here’s how to erase your iPhone using iCloud.

  • Open iCloud dashboard and log in using your Apple ID.
  • Click on All Devices at the top and then select your iPhone.
  • Click on Erase iPhone.

Your iPhone’s data should be wiped remotely, thus erasing everything and removing the password. On the setup screen, you can choose between restoring from an iCloud backup or setting up your iPhone as a new one. Select the one you want. Then, you can set a new passcode.

Note: You can also use the Restore method in iTunes, then choose to recover from iCloud when iOS boots back up if you want to.

3. Erase Your iPhone Using Recovery Mode

If you have never synced your device with iCloud or iTunes, erasing your iPhone using recovery mode is your only option. Doing so will erase your iPhone’s data permanently and basically set it up as new. Here’s how to erase your iPhone using recovery mode.

forgot iphone passcode

First, connect your iPhone to a computer and Open iTunes. The hardware key combination required to enter recovery mode varies between different iPhone models. Here’s an excerpt from Apple’s support page on how to enter recovery mode:

  • On an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top(or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.

When you enter the recovery mode, iTunes will prompt you to either Restore or Update your iPhone. Click on Restore.

forgot iphone passcode

iTunes should begin downloading software for your device. If the download takes more than 15 minutes, the iPhone will exit the recovery mode automatically. In this happens, just repeat the above steps. Once the process is completed, you can set up your iPhone and set a new passcode.

Unfortunately, without a backup your data will be lost.

Other Methods You Can Try

Apple takes pride in the fact that it values user security and privacy. While there’s no denying that Apple’s security infrastructure is top-notch, it’s also true that it isn’t bullet-proof. For instance, a developer used a $500 box to exploit a vulnerability in iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11 beta to perform a brute force attack and bypass the lock screen.

The brute force method could take days to work, depending on the complexity of the password. Fortunately, Apple patches such vulnerabilities swiftly.

Perhaps this might be the most impractical method to bypass your passcode, not just because of the price of the box, but also because you’d have to be really unlucky (lucky?) to be running a vulnerable version of iOS. If you have some really important data that you cannot afford to lose, but you still need to reset your passcode, you might want to give it a try.

The Aftermath

Now that you’ve successfully removed your iPhone’s passcode, it’s time to go back to the basics and learn from this experience. In no particular order, here’s what you should do.

  • Keep your iPhone backed up: The importance of backup cannot be stressed enough. If you had to reset your passcode and didn’t have a backup, you might agree that losing precious data is a dreadful experience.
  • Keep your iOS updated: A few brute-force boxes that exploit a vulnerability in iOS have popped up in the past. Apple often acts quickly and patches the vulnerabilities. Therefore, it’s best to keep your iOS updated.
  • Create a strong yet memorable passcode: A strong password doesn’t necessarily have to be tough to remember.

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Amazon’s Kindle App Gets a Makeover

Amazon today announced the all-new Kindle app for iOS and Android devices. This update comes with new design that provides easy access to the most popular Kindle features. It will allow readers to effortlessly move between the pages of their book, their library, their personalized bookstore and more.

The updated Kindle looks lust like my Kindle device. Well done Amazon.

  • All-New Look—The Kindle app features a new look and feel inspired by books. Details include larger book covers, new fonts, a new app icon, and new light and dark background themes to choose from.
  • One-Tap Access—New bottom bar navigation automatically shows an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier than ever to get back to reading at any moment. The bottom bar also provides quick access to Kindle’s most popular features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more.
  • Easy Search—The search bar is now always available throughout the app, so whether a book is in your library or among the millions of titles in the Kindle Store, it’s easier than ever to find it.

The new Kindle for iOS app also comes with Goodreads integration. With this integration, users can browse the new Community tab to keep up-to-date with what friends and readers they follow are reading. When they find a book they are interested in, they can add it to their Want to Read list for quick reference when they are ready to start their next book. This Goodreads integration will be coming to Kindle Android app in the future.

“We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle. “It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time.”

So far I agree.

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