Apple said to debut voice-activated Siri AirPods in 2018, water-resistant model in 2019

 Apple is preparing a couple of updating models of AirPods, according to Bloomberg. The popular fully wireless earbud-style headphones that Apple introduced last year are currently on track for a refresh in 2018 with the addition of a new version of the “W” line of chips that Apple created specifically to manage and improve Bluetooth-based connections between gadgets. The 2018… Read More

Apple in Talks to Buy Key Battery Ingredient Cobalt Directly From Miners

Apple is in talks to purchase long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners to ensure a steady supply of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage, according to a report by Bloomberg today.

The companies that make batteries for Apple’s iPads and iPhones depend heavily on the availability of cobalt, but Apple is said to have taken the issue into its own hands, prompted by fears that the electric vehicle boom could see supply of the raw material dwindle.

Apple is seeking contracts to secure several thousand metric tons of cobalt a year for five years or longer, according to one of the people, declining to be named as the discussions are confidential. Apple’s first discussions on cobalt deals with miners were over a year ago, and it may end up deciding not to go ahead with any deal, another person said.

About a quarter of global cobalt production is used in smartphones that use lithium-ion batteries, according to Bloomberg. Smartphones are said to use around eight grams of refined cobalt, but the battery for an electric car requires over 1,000 times more. That means Apple will be in fierce competition with carmakers like BMW and Volkswagen as well as battery producers like Samsung as the firms seek to secure supplies into the future.

With two thirds of all supplies sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a history of political instability and child labor, the price of cobalt has more than tripled in the past 18 months and now trades more than $80,000 a metric ton.

In recent years, Apple has responded to criticism from human rights groups for its metal supply chain, which in the past has bought cobalt from mines that use child labor. Last year the tech giant published a list of companies that supply the cobalt used in its batteries for the first time, and said it would not allow cobalt from smaller Congo mines into its supply chain unless they could prove that “appropriate protections” to safeguard against child labor were in place.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Shares Three New iPhone Photography Tutorials

Apple this afternoon updated its YouTube channel with three new tutorials designed to walk people through using various photography features on the iPhone.

The videos cover shooting an overhead photo on iPhone using the level feature, shooting in black and white, and adjusting slo-mo timing on iPhone to change the slow motion effect of a previously captured slo-mo video.







Each video is approximately 30 seconds in length and shows step-by-step instructions on using each feature, with the actual recording done on an iPhone’s display to effectively demonstrate each action.

Apple regularly shares iPhone photography tutorials in this ongoing tutorial video series to provide users with tips and tricks on using various Photos and Camera features. Like many of Apple’s tutorial videos, these new tutorials are aimed at people who aren’t particularly familiar with the feature set of the iPhone.

Apple does, however, sometimes highlight features that even some seasoned users might not be aware of or remember, so these videos are often worth the 30 seconds it takes to watch them.
Discuss this article in our forums

Swype is reportedly bidding the consumer keyboard biz farewell

It may be time to find a new go-to keyboard if you're still using Swype after all these years. Swype parent company Nuance told XDA Developers that the development of Swype with Dragon Dictation for Android has been discontinued. No more future updat…

Apple updates all of its operating systems to fix app-crashing bug

It took a few days, but Apple already has a fix out for a bug that caused crashes on each of its platforms. The company pushed new versions of iOS, macOS and watchOS to fix the issue, which was caused when someone pasted in or received a single India…

Update for iOS and Macs negates text bomb that crashed devices

 Last week we reported a major bug in Apple operating systems that would cause them to crash from mere exposure to either of two specific Unicode symbols. Today Apple fixes this major text-handling issue with iOS version 11.2.6 and macOS version 10.13.3, both now available for download. Read More

Apple could be rethinking its release cycle for iOS and macOS

 According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is switching things up for this year’s major updates. Instead of meeting a tight deadline and ticking all the boxes on the checklist, development teams will be able to push back some features if they’re not polished enough. Axios and Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was focusing on stability with iOS 12. You can still expect… Read More

iPhone Source Code Was Leaked by Low-Level Apple Employee

Earlier this week, source code for iBoot, a core component of the iPhone’s operating system, leaked on GitHub. The code was old, for a version of iOS 9, and it was quickly pulled from GitHub after Apple issued a DMCA takedown notice, but it left many wondering how such sensitive code ended up publicly available.

To answer that question, Motherboard got in touch with unnamed sources who were involved in the leak and investigated screenshots, text messages, and more, to determine just how it happened.



As it turns out, the code originally came from a low-level Apple employee who took the code from Apple in 2016 to share with friends in the jailbreaking community. This employee wasn’t unhappy with Apple and didn’t steal the code with malicious intent, but instead was encouraged by friends to obtain the code to benefit the jailbreaking community.

The person took the iBoot source code–and additional code that has yet to be widely leaked–and shared it with a small group of five people.

“He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot,” a friend of the intern told me. Motherboard saw screenshots of additional source code and file names that were not included in the GitHub leak and were dated from around the time of this first leak.

The original group of five people who were provided with access to the code didn’t intend to share it, but it somehow got out. From one of the original people involved:

“I personally never wanted that code to see the light of day. Not out of greed but because of fear of the legal firestorm that would ensue,” they said. “The Apple internal community is really full of curious kids and teens.I knew one day that if those kids got it they’d be dumb enough to push it to GitHub.”

The code began circulating more widely in 2017 and picked up in popularity late in the year before ending up on GitHub this week. Many in the jailbreaking and iPhone research communities attempted to stop sharing, but the major public leak couldn’t be avoided.

According to the unnamed people who spoke to Motherboard, what leaked wasn’t the “full leak.” “It’s not the original leak-it’s a copy,” said one source.

Following the leak, Apple confirmed the authenticity of the code in a statement to MacRumors and pointed out that it’s for a three-year-old operating system that’s been replaced by iOS 11 and is in use only on a small number of devices.

“Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, 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 encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections.”

The iBoot code leak should not be of concern to the average user because Apple has many layers of protection in place, like the Secure Enclave, and does not rely on source code secrecy alone to keep its users safe. The leak could, however, make it easier for people to locate vulnerabilities to create new jailbreaks.
Discuss this article in our forums