Apple Hosting Developer Workshop at Station F Parisian Incubator

Apple next week plans to host a workshop for developers at the Station F startup incubator in Paris, France. The event will take place on Friday, March 23 according to French site Mac4Ever.

A limited number of French developers have been invited to attend the workshop, which will consist of a two hour workshopping session followed by a question and answer period.

This special workshop will teach you to create amazing apps for Apple platforms and make the most of your presence on the App Store. After the workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with Apple experts and fellow participants.

Station F is one of the largest centers for entrepreneurs in Europe, and Apple first became involved with the incubator in October of 2017 following Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit to Paris.

Apple reportedly has a small team at Station F to help developers create, validate, and manage their iOS apps. Station F memberships start at €195 per month, but there are discounted yearly memberships available along with a free program for those who can’t afford the fee.
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‘GrayKey’ iPhone Unlocking Box Used by Law Enforcement Shown Off in Photos

Last week, news of a previously-unknown iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey surfaced, and today, MalwareBytes shared photos and additional information about the product, which is designed for law enforcement officials.

Created by a company named Grayshift, GrayKey is a small, portable gray box equipped with dual Lightning cables.

Two iPhones can be connected to the GrayKey at once, and need to be connected for about two minutes to install proprietary software that’s designed to guess the passcode for an iPhone. Once the software is installed, it will work to crack the passcode, a process that can take as little as a few hours for a short passcode or several days for a longer six-digit passcode.

Once the GrayKey software has cracked the passcode, it’ll be displayed right on the screen of the iPhone. The iPhone can then be plugged back into the GrayKey to download all of the data on the iPhone, including the unencrypted contents of the Keychain, which can then be accessed using a computer.

Based on screenshots, the GrayKey can crack modern iPhones running modern versions of iOS. It works with the iPhone X and iOS 11.2.5, the version of iOS that was likely available when the screenshots were captured. It probably also works with iOS 11.2.6, unless Apple has managed to block it in the latest operating system update.

Grayshift presumably designed the GrayKey for law enforcement professionals, and it’s relatively expensive. A $15,000 option requires internet connectivity and is geofenced to a specific location once set up, while a $30,000 option requires no internet connection and can be used anywhere.

MalwareBytes worries that the portable version of the GrayKey could easily fall into the wrong hands. It uses two-factor authentication, but given that people “often write passwords on stickies and put them on their monitors,” it’s possible the token could be kept in the same location as the device.

What happens if the GrayKey becomes commonplace in law enforcement? The cheaper model isn’t much of a danger if stolen–unless it’s stolen prior to setup–but at 4″x 4″x 2″, the unlimited model could be pocketed fairly easily, along with its token, if stored nearby. Once off-site, it would continue to work. Such a device could fetch a high price on the black market, giving thieves the ability to unlock and resell stolen phones, as well as access to the high-value data on those phones.

How the GrayKey works is not known, but it’s believed to be using some sort of jailbreaking process that could damage iPhones in some way. It’s also not known how the GrayKey device itself is protecting data that’s stored on it, and whether or not the data could be remotely accessed by hackers.

It’s also unknown who Grayshift is selling the devices to. It’s possible that sales are limited to law enforcement officials in the United States, but it’s also possible that it’s being offered abroad. Other devices of this type have slipped out of the hands of law enforcement and have become widely available, so the same could happen with the GrayKey.

Apple is continually working to fix the kinds of exploits used by devices like the GrayKey, so it’s possible whatever mechanism the box uses will be fixed in a future update. The average iPhone owner likely doesn’t need to worry about the GrayKey, but as MalwareBytes points out, it is troublesome knowing such a device could fall into the hands of malicious entities.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple Adds New ‘Families’ Section to its Website With Tips for Parents

In the wake of urging from investors to do more about smartphone addiction among children, Apple has added a new “Families” section to its website that outlines parental control tools and information that parents should be aware of.

The mini site is broken into several sections that highlight a range of kid-friendly features that Apple has put into place like app recommendations, in-app purchase controls, restrictions on apps that can be downloaded, internet limiting tools, Find My Friends, and more.

Apple highlights the Kids section of the App Store, for example, which the company says parents can use to find carefully curated content that’s appropriate for children. The site provides links to tutorials for enabling Ask to Buy so parents can approve app downloads, and it lets parents know how to turn on restrictions to limit in-app purchases and which websites are available to children.

Another section of the site points out tools like Find My Friends for keeping track of a child’s location, and recommends setting up group chat for the whole family in Messages.

Apple also provides details on Family Sharing, which is designed to let members of the same family share apps, music, books, iCloud storage, and more, and there’s a section on tips for the whole family, with feature recommendations like Do Not Disturb While Driving, Bedtime, Medical ID, Night Shift, and Emergency SOS.

Apple also recommends products like the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity to “reach kids in an emergency” and to help the whole family stay fit, and there’s a dedicated section on privacy controls. Parents who have children that use iOS devices will likely want to give the new site a look.

Apple has promised to introduce more robust parental control tools, and rumors have suggested the company will introduce the features in iOS 12. Apple is said to be planning to debut a Digital Health tool that will let parents know how much time their children have spent using iOS devices.
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How to Quickly Delete Numbers in the Calculator App

There are a lot of hidden little tricks and tips for all of the native apps on the iPhone, including the Calculator app. If you’re typing in numbers and make an accidental mistake, you don’t need to start all the way over — there’s a simple gesture to delete a single number.

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To make the correction, simply swipe left or right on the numbers displayed at the top of the calculator to remove a single number at a time.

You can do a few other things with the Calculator app. To copy a sum that you’ve calculated, simply press a finger over the number displayed on the calculator until the “Copy” option pops up. And in case you’ve never turned your iPhone to landscape mode while using the Calculator app, give it a try. You’ll see a lot more functions to work with.
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Overcast adds a smarter way to dive back into a podcast

Marco Arment's Overcast has a reputation as the podcast connoisseur's iOS app of choice thanks to its inclusion of features you don't even find in Apple's official client, such as the automatic removal of dead air. That trend is continuing with the n…

Apple Engineers to Discuss AR/VR, Display Technology at Display Week in May

Apple engineers are slated to join in on several discussions covering display technology and augmented/virtual reality at Display Week, which is set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 22 to May 25.

Apple’s Cheng Chen, a director of Display Optics and Platform Technologies, will kick off the event chairing a keynote session that covers three discussions: “OLED Leading to the New Experience of Display,” “Reactive Displays: Unlocking Next-Generation VR/AR Visuals with Eye Tracking,” and “Blue LEDs and Transformative Electronics for Developing Sustainable Smart Society,” with speakers Deqiang Zhang (CEO of Visionox), Douglas Lanman (Director of Computational Imaging at Oculus Research), and Hiroshi Amano (Director of the Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics), respectively.

Engineers from Apple will also chair and co-chair a range of discussion sessions, outlined below:

  • AR/VR I Display Systems
  • OLED Driving and Compensation
  • Micro-LED Epitaxial Semiconductor Materials & Manufacturing
  • Image Processing (Display Electronics)
  • Micro-LED Device Processing and Hetero-Integration
  • Novel OLEDs
  • Micro-LED System Integration and Applications
  • Capacitive-Touch Displays
  • Projection: Screen Technology
  • QD Electroluminescence I
  • Fingerprint Sensing and Optical Sensing Displays
  • Color Gamut
  • Enhancements to AR/VR

Apple engineers will also serve as moderators at two Monday seminars, including “SE-8: Artificial Intelligence: Image Recognition and Visual Understanding with Deep Learning Techniques” and “Quantum-Dot Displays: Advances and Outlook.”

Apple has always been a notoriously secretive company, but over the course of the last several years, Apple has been loosening restrictions and allowing its engineers and researchers to publish papers and share their work in an effort to contribute to the research community. This decision also allows Apple to continue to attract top employees who might not otherwise join the company without being able to share their research.

The Display Week event is designed for and limited to professionals who are part of the display industry. It is hosted by the Society for Information Display and will be attended by many of the world’s most prominent technology companies.
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How to Create a Custom Ringtone Vibration on Your iPhone

You can create custom sounds and ringtones for alerts, texts, phone calls, and more on your iPhone, but did you know the same functionality exists for vibrations?

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Instead of using the set vibration patterns Apple has available, you can create your own vibrations using simple touch gestures. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Select Ringtone, Text Tone, or another alert option from the list.
  4. Choose “Vibration” from the very top of the screen.
  5. Scroll down to “Custom.”
  6. Choose “Create New Vibration.”

From here, you can use taps to create short vibrations and a press to create longer vibrations, varying the two to create a unique vibration pattern.

Choose “Play” to test out your vibration pattern, and choose “Save” to give it a name and save it. Custom vibrations are available for all of the different native alerts on your phone, including ringtones, text tone, voicemail, mail, sent mail, calendar alerts, reminder alerts, and AirDrop.
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The day that changed your phone forever

 Whether you’re a developer who’s working on mobile apps, or just someone enjoying the millions of apps available for your phone, today is a very special day. It’s the 10-year anniversary of the original iPhone SDK. Read More