Apple addresses iOS source code leak, says it appears to be tied to three-year-old software

Earlier this week, iOS source code showed up on GitHub, raising concerns that hackers could find a way to comb the material for vulnerabilities. Apple has confirmed with TechCrunch that the code appears to be real, but adds that it’s tied to old software.

The material is gone now, politenes of a DMCA notice Apple sent to GitHub, but the occurrence was surely notable, given the tight grip the company traditionally has on such material. So, if the code was, indeed, what it purported to be, has the damage already been done?

Motherboard, which was among the first to note the code labeled “iBoot, ” reached out to author Jonathan Levin, who confirmed that the code surely appears real and called it “a huge deal.” While the available code appears to be fairly small, it could certainly offer some unique insight into how Apple runs its magic.

“Old source code from 3 years ago appears to have been leaked, ” the company said in a statement provided to TechCrunch, “but by design the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always foster customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the most recent protections.”

Much of the security concern is mitigated by the fact that it appears to be tied to iOS 9, a version of the operating system released three-and-a-half years ago. Apple’s almost certainly tweaked significant portions of the available code since then, and the company’s own numbers show that a large majority of users( 93 -percent) are running iOS 10 or afterwards. But could the commonalities offer enough insight to pose a serious potential threat to iPhone users?

Security researcher Will Strafach told TechCrunch that the code is compelling for the information it gives hackers into the inner workings of the boot loader. He added that Apple’s likely not thrilled with the leak due to intellectual property fears( consider: the DMCA request referenced above ), but this information ultimately won’t have much if any impact on iPhone owners.

“In terms of end users, this doesn’t really mean anything positive or negative, ” Strafach said in an email. “Apple does not use security through obscurity, so this does not contain anything risky, simply an easier to read format for the boot loader code. It’s all cryptographically signed on end user devices, there is no way to actually use any of the contents here maliciously or otherwise.”

In other terms, Apple’s multi-layered approach to keeping iOS secure involves a lot more precautions than what you’d see in a leak like this, however it may have constructed its route to GitHub. Of course, as Strafach correctly points out, the company’s still likely not thrilled about the optics around having had this information in the wild — if only for a short while.

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Apples $29 iPhone battery replacements are available starting today

Those $ 29 battery out-of-warranty replacings Apple promised are now available for impacted users with an iPhone 6 or afterwards. The company was initially aiming for a late-January timeframe in the Nation when it first offered up the discount, following blowback against its admission that it had slowed down older model phones to maximize performance.

“We expected to need more time to be ready, ” the company said in a statement offered up to TechCrunch this weekend, “but we are happy to offer our clients the lower pricing right away. Initial supplyings of some replacing batteries may be limited.”

In other terms, get’ em while the getting’s good. The steep $50 discount on battery replacement marked a rare public apology for the company, and many users are likely to jump on the opportunity to breathe a little extra life into their phone. The competition has certainly induced the most out of the news. Chief challengers including Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola have all employed the opportunity to note that they haven’t taken similar approaches with their handsets.

Yesterday, meanwhile, iFixit employed the apology as an excuse to discount its own iPhone battery replacement kit to $29, even as the news was already driving a spike in buys. The company quoth the health risks wait time for battery replacings as a reason to jump on its offer.

The delay as the company ramped up battery availability, coupled with the timing of scheduling a Genius Bar appointment have been a source of subsequent annoyance for users already put off by a lack of transparency around the phone slow policy. If you put in for a replacing prior today, the $50 discount would not apply to your telephone.

For now, however, the offer’s good, as least as long as renders last. Apple will be offering more details on the replacing program on its site.

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iFixit drops its iPhone battery replacement to $29, matching Apples apology price

iFixit has never been particularly fond of Apple’s repair policies. The company’s contraptions regularly rack up poor repairability scores on the site. The site’s taking another jab at the tech giant today, dropping the price of its battery replacement kits to $29 — matching the costs of out-of-warranty battery replacements being offered up as succour for its iPhone slowdown policies.

Apple, of course, get in hot water earlier this week, when it fessed up to slowing down iPhones with older batteries and apologized for not being more transparent.

“About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, ” the company wrote in a rare open letter apology. “While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch hours for apps and other reductions in performance.”

iFixit noted in a post today that it’s watched a 3X increased number of battery replacings as the news built the rounds. The company offered Apple a conciliatory “good on them, ” in the wake of the news, but also use the opportunity to sing the praises of replacing one’s own battery.

True, utilizing iFixit’s technique isn’t any cheaper, but if you’re a bit braver and have a steady hand, it entails not having to wait in line at the Genius Bar and deal with whatever turnaround time might be involved. The bargain is probably more appealing, however, for those with older telephones. iFixit has batteries for models note covered by the aforementioned bargain, many of which are even cheaper.

Much of the rivalry, meanwhile, has used the moment to let it be known that they aren’t slowing down older model phones the route Apple has. Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG have all issued statements to that effect.

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Apple apologises for slowing down older iPhones with ageing batteries

US firm admits it introduced feature, that affects the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE, without users consent to cope with ageing batteries

Apple has apologised to clients for purposely slackening the performance of older iPhone models without users’ consent.

The US tech company also announced a $50( PS37) reduction in the cost of iPhone battery replacings, down from $79 to $29, and an iOS( operating system) software update providing updates on iPhone battery health in early 2018.

The apology comes after Apple admitted to slowing down the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE- when their batteries are either old, cold or have a low charge- to avoid abrupt shutdowns.

Apple said the problem was that ageing lithium batteries delivered power unequally, which could cause iPhones to shut down unexpectedly- endangering the delicate circuits inside.

At least eight separate class-action lawsuits have been filed in the US in relation to the admission. Plaintiffs in California, Illinois and New York all argue that Apple did not have consent to slow their devices.

A statement on Apple’s website said:” We’ve been hearing feedback from our clients about the route we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of “youre feeling” Apple has let you down.

” We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.

” First and foremost, we have never- and would never- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive client upgrades.

” Our aim has always been to create products that our customers love, and inducing iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that .”

The post goes on to detail the ageing process of batteries and ways to prevent unexpected iPhone shutdowns, before announcing a $50 price cut and the battery health software update.

Speed problems with older iPhones were recently highlighted by Reddit users, who found that when they replaced the batteries in their devices, they returned to normal performance.

Analysis of performance data by the benchmarking firm Primate Labs clearly proved the artificial inhibition of the iPhone’s performance, which inspired Apple’s admission.

The company said it intentionally slackened the performance of the older iPhones because, when their batteries wear to a certain level, they can no longer sustain the required current demanded by the phones’ processors.

When the processor demands more current than the battery can supply, the phone abruptly shuts down to protect its internal components, as was the case with the iPhone 6S- for which Apple was forced to replace batteries.

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Apple apologizes for not telling customers iPhones with older batteries would slow over time

Apple has today posted a letter on its website and a technical article in its Knowledge Base apologize for not being more transparent about how it deals with performance on iPhones with older batteries. Last week, Apple issued a statement that made it clear that changes it made a year ago were indeed slowing down the maximum performance of iPhones with older batteries.

It will now also offer a battery replacing for older devices affected for a reduced $29.

“We’ve been hearing feedback from our clients about the way we are dealing with performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process, ” the letter reads. “We know that some of “youre feeling” Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”

Apple is now apologizing for not being clearer about how the changes it made to eliminate sudden shutdowns of iPhones would affect iPhone performance. When I published my piece on this last week, even though I clearly, and forcefully , noted that Apple must be more transparent with its users on this issue, readers were incensed over the fact that a long-held conspiracy theory appeared to be confirmed. Apple was slowing down old iPhones and the reason didn’t matter. It is clear that some people will still feel that the reason Apple is giving here is not enough, which is understandable given the intense passion people have for their telephones and how much they use them.

Interestingly, Apple says that it has attributed feedback about iPhone slowness to the process of updating to a new operating system and some bugs that were obviously present in iOS 11 that caused slowdowns.

“Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were find slower performance in certain situations, ” Apple says. “Based on our experience, we initially guessed this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor glitches in the initial release which have since been fixed.”

Apple says that it now believes, in addition to these other factors, that slower older iPhones are also being negatively affected by aged batteries which trigger their power smoothing.

“We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still operating on their original batteries.”

A year’s worth of issues with no reason given from Apple on this also builds it difficult for the company to re-build trust with its users. It’s much easier to be as transparent as possible up front about complex technical fixes than it is to try to explain the adverse effects of those fixings afterward. That’s a repercussion Apple will have to live with.

Apple will reportedly unify iOS and Mac apps in 2018

Apple is said to be working on a style to allow developers to build apps that work with touchscreen input on iPhone and iPad, and with mouse and trackpad on Mac devices, to be implemented next year, according to Bloomberg. The system would unify developing surroundings for both of Apple’s main computing platforms, iOS and macOS, allowing them to target all devices with a single app instead of having to develop separately for each.

According to Bloomberg, Apple intends to roll this out as part of the iOS and macOS autumn updates( version 12 and 10.14, respectively, if numbering remains in keeping with current versions) that usually arrive for consumers alongside new iPhone hardware in the later part of the year. It could begin stimulating the tools available to developers earlier, however, per research reports, in advance of a broad consumer release. Bloomberg suggests we could hear about these plans publicly for the first time at Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference in early summer, should they remain on track.

Common apps, maybe with a single App Store, could go a long way towards helping improve the situation in the Mac App Store, which has not done nearly as well to its implementation of customer reception and library of offerings compared to its iOS equivalent. It would also be a lot easier for users new to both platforms, since they could rest assured that when they get a piece of software in once place, it’ll also work in the other without issue.

It’s including information on tendency to its implementation of the broader industry- Google attained it possible to run Android apps on its Chrome OS desktop operating system earlier this year, and Windows has had a single OS for its tablet/ hybrid and more traditional desktop devices for a while now.

Unifying the app layer of both iOS and macOS has the potential to preface a move some foresee Apple building down the road- building its own ARM-based chips for powering its notebook and desktop computer. The biggest challenge of switching processor kinds is typically making sure that all the same software users want remains available, so front-loading that challenge by combining the app platforms while macOS is still on Intel is a good workaround for that.

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Apple addresses why people are saying their iPhones with older batteries are running slower

Because of a Reddit post and the loose interpretation of subsequent benchmark exams posted by Primate Labs’ John Poole, the “Apple throttles old iPhones” meme has reared its ugly head again.

The gist, as it always is, is that Apple is being super petty and trying to force-out customers to upgrade their telephones by making their old telephones run slower.

As always, the answer is no. It would be beyond stupid and unbelievably short-sighted for Apple to do this and, if it was actually true, would likely lead to tangles of a governmental and legal nature that no company like Apple would ever want to happen.

Instead, Apple is focusing attention on smoothing out the very high and quick peaks of power depict that can cause problems with older batteries.

Here’s a statement that Apple when I inquired about the power profile that people were ensure when testing iPhones with older batteries 😛 TAGEND

Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of furnishing peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over day, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

Last year we released specific features for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now widened that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other produced in the future.

The short-form version of what Poole’s benchmarks are showing is the result of a power curve-smoothing algorithm that Apple rolled out last year to mitigate iPhone shutdown issues. I wrote about it here; you can read that and come back.

Basically, iPhones were hitting peaks of processor power that the battery was unable to power and the phones were shutting off. Apple then added power management to all iPhones at the time that would “smooth out” those peaks by either capping the power available from the battery or by spreading power petitions over several cycles. This is clearly shown in Poole’s charts in his post 😛 TAGEND

Also, to be clear, Poole’s charts appear to be accurate — nor is Apple saying this isn’t happening.

Some users who have had older batteries replaced also said they’ve find improved benchmarks after replacing their batteries. Well, yeah. Of course. As batteries age, they stop working as well. Period.

And that age isn’t just about years or charge cycles — heat is a huge killing factor for batteries, for instance. If your iPhone gets left out in the sun a lot or get hot a bunch, then your battery will kick the bucket a lot sooner.

As that battery ages, iOS will check its responsiveness and effectiveness actively. At a point when it becomes unable to give the processor all the power it needs to made a peak of power, the requests will be spread out over a few cycles.

Remember, benchmarks, which are artificial exams of a system’s performance levels, will look like peaks and valleys to the system, which will then trigger this impact. In other terms, you’re always going to be triggering this when you run a benchmark, but you definitely will not always trigger this consequence when you’re employing your iPhone like normal.

Apple will continue to add this smoothing to more devices over time to avoid shutdown issues, frost and other problems.

It’s important to note that this is a lithium-ion chemistry issue , not an Apple issue. Batteries merely get crappy over time. This is an attempt to construct your phone work for longer with less issues , not to get you to switching away from it.

Last year, Apple also added a notification for the user when the battery gets to a really rough country, but it’s pretty conservative about that, so it will likely not trigger until well after iOS feels it should start capping the max power draw from batteries. Just as an FYI.

Basically, if your phone is cold, has a low battery charge or has an aged battery, it will be unable to supply peak current. Period.

I think there’s an argument here that many people will never, ever see this happening. It is applied only when maximum power describe is required of the battery, e.g. when you are doing something intense with your iPhone like playing a game or utilizing 3D applications. But clearly some people are seeing a pervasive triggering of this limiter.

This will not affect the average performance of your device, and it is emphatically not throttling; it’s capping the peak demands and not allowing them to be as high — and spreading that work out over more cycles rather than one.

However…

I think one thing that can be argued here is that there is a balance to be struck between devoting people too much information and not enough information. If you dedicate a user enough rope they will hang themselves, so to speak, by replacing batteries too early or replacing phones that don’t require replacing.

But, as a matter of transparency, I think that beyond saying very publicly that they are doing this power management( which they have now done twice ), there could be an boulevard here to be more aggressive and transparent with the user about when their battery is immediately affecting the peak performance of their iPhone.

“I think users who are familiar with significant slowdowns due to battery wear would want Apple to be more transparent about this issue, ” says Poole. “A notification stating that the battery requires service would be a simple route to reduce users’ concerns and help them address this problem.”

Roughly, the three points for possible improvement I see here are as follows 😛 TAGEND

Apple should examine whether the gap is too large between when the algorithm starts smoothing out the peaks of performance and when they’re notified that their performance is taking a hit due to battery age. If a person is noticing( and it seems they are, given the discussion threads and social activity on this) that their phone is running slower, then they need to know why.

The point at which iOS will tell you that your battery has gone to hell is currently very, very conservative. Perhaps this can be set to be more aggressive. Then, of course, users will complain that Apple is cash-grabbing on battery replacings, but humans will remain humen.

It’s clear that people just didn’t understand that protecting an iPhone with an older battery was going to directly affect performance. Perhaps this is a failing of Apple messaging or a failure of myself( and other journalists) in not explaining it as clearly as possible.

iOS jailbreak repositories close as user interest wanes

A few years ago jailbreaking your iPhone was all the rage. The cat-and-mouse game of hackers versus Apple was great fun and some of the open source products available to jailbreakers- namely the Cydia alternative app store- added amazing the characteristics and customizability to the iPhone. Some devs even launched merely on jailbroken telephones, thumbing their snouts at Apple’s walled garden.

Now, however, the jailbreak community is shriveling up and blowing away. Now two major repositories have closed, leaving very little for the active jailbreaker to install and run.

First ModMyi has shut, announcing that it didn’t make economic sense to maintain the storehouse 😛 TAGEND

After ModMy, Mobile Nations( ModMy’s parent company) and SaurikIT finished our discussions, there was a clear but sad outcome to the issue of Cydia and storehouses. ModMyi was not plausible to keep going as server costs were insane and the money the repository made was way below the required amount to keep the repository , not with an economic gain, but to even keep it non-profit .

Second, MaCiti closed last week, the result of a “death spiral” in jailbreak popularity.

The latest iOS version has not been jailbroken and, given the insecurities of running a jailbroken phone including unwanted terminal access into the phone itself, it’s not likely many will adopt it. Even the most popular service, JailBreakMe is sitting idle. That said, true fanatics aren’t giving up.

“With all the talking going around about’ jailbreaking being dead’ or how it’s dying, I’m here to reassure everyone that this subreddit’s dissension is still active every day, ” wrote Aaronp6 13 on Reddit. “I know times have been a bit tough for everyone, but that simply means we need to focus on what we have at the moment.”

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Apples hand is down and its $1 trillion dream now rests with consumers

As we head into the end of 2017, it’s fairly safe to say that Apple’s fate — barring any major issue with its telephones — is now in the hands of its consumers.

With the iPhone X now in stores( well, kind of — if you catch them at the right time ), Apple has now laid down its hand and waits to see where consumer demand lands. Its bid to unlock a higher-tier customer could indeed end up creating a ton of value for the company, which has expended the past year looking to reignite growth in its core driver.

While the iPad and Mac continue to contribute, Apple’s fate largely rests on the success of the iPhone X. Apple this year has increasingly looked like it’s on a real pathway to becoming a$ 1 trillion company, and now the holiday quarter is going to show if it’ll be able to pulling that off.

And the signals are definitely there. Apple briefly tapped a $900 billion marketplace cap, though it’s slipped since then. That $ 1 trillion goal is just a jumping of a bit more than 10 percent for the company, though for Apple that means adding more than $100 billion in value. But this year alone, shares of Apple are up nearly 50 percentage as it increasingly looks like Apple is get its act together after a middling 2016.

Mysterious green line of death appears on some iPhone X displays

It wouldn’t be the launch of a first-generation Apple product without a few hiccups — who can forget Antennagate and Bendgate? — and the iPhone X is no different. A handful of users report that a mysterious and inextinguishable green line has appeared on their device’s display.

The above images, from Twitter users mix0mat 0sis, Nate Heagy and Christian Roman, represent a few of the examples of the “green line of death” as the latter called it. No one seems to know what causes it or how prevalent it actually is. I’ve asked Apple for comment.

We can at least theorize on one part of that. iPhone Xs have a new diamond sub-pixel pattern in their showings, and as such all green sub-pixels appear in lines, while red and blue alternating. You can see that in this image taken as part of DisplayMate’s exams 😛 TAGEND

It seems likely that an electrical fault in a few phones is causing voltage to flow to all the green sub-pixels in a line. That it stretches all the way from top to bottom suggests it’s something at the leading edge of the showing that’s sending an incorrect voltage down a few lines of pixels( if it were just one line of sub-pixels, it would appear much thinner ). The line tends to be close to the right or left side of the phone, but that’s harder to diagnose.

This kind of issue always pops up in ambitious devices that use several new various kinds of tech at scale. It happened to Samsung last year, except the line was pink. Even if merely 0.001 percent of the displays they put together were faulty, a frequency that’s nearly impossible to test for, a few users will still end up with a hobo phone.

One such user already reports that their telephone was replaced at the Apple store, so it seems unlikely that this is a software issue. Is your telephone demonstrating this line? Take a painting and let us know. Then take it in to be replaced.

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