Apple issues Mac App Store patch for XARA exploits as additional fixes are ‘in progress’

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

A cross application resource attack (XARA) that researchers at Indiana University, Georgia Tech and China’s Peking University publicized last week seems to have been partially addressed as Apple issued a server-side fix on the Mac App Store to block malicious apps and secure app data.

Additional fixes are in the works for the XARA exploits on both iOS and OS X, a company spokesperson told iMore. XARA exploits allow malicious apps to steal iCloud credentials of a user, access private data in apps like 1Password and Evernote, hijack their iCloud Keychain passwords and more. Read More

 

How to remove a child account from iCloud Family Sharing

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 17, 2015

When I was testing out Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing last year, I set up a child account just to see how it worked. That turned out to be a mistake, because there is no way for an end user to remove a child account from a Family Share.

When you try to delete a child account, you’re met with a frustrating error that states “Children under 13 cannot be removed from Family Sharing”. Actually, you can “remove” a child account by transferring it to another family, but you’re still not permanently getting rid of it.

So what should you do? Keep an account that you no longer want or need? Transfer the account? Don’t settle for those options if you want the account gone. Phone up Apple support, and they can delete the annoying child account in a matter of minutes. Read More

 

Major security flaws leave iOS and OS X vulnerable to wide ranging password theft

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2015

Your confidential information ranging from web passwords in Chrome and other browsers to app passwords to banking credentials stored and synced between devices though Apple’s iCloud Keychain service—even data you thought was stored safely in password managers like 1Password and LastPass—can be easily compromised due to a trio of major vulnerabilities discovered in Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems.

As discovered by a team of researchers at Indiana University, Georgia Tech and China’s Peking University and reported by The Register, Keychain’s access control lists, URL schemes and OS X’s app containers contain flaws creating serious attack vectors. Read More

 

Flaw in Mail for iPhone and iPad can be used to hijack your iCloud password

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2015

A serious bug in Apple’s stock Mail application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad permits attackers to fool users into providing their iCloud credentials.

Such phishing attacks can be devastating as iCloud increasingly becomes home for our digital life in the Apple universe, including our photo libraries, notes, contacts and other personal data.

The scam takes advantage of an exploit in the Mail application that makes it easy to deliver convincing-looking pop-ups resembling iCloud password prompts through a simple email message, The Register reported Wednesday.

While such emails look like they’re coming from a real company, they’re spoofed and once an unsuspecting user opens them on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 8.3, the operating system will execute malicious HTML content embedded inside. Read More

 

iOS 9 includes a standalone iCloud Drive app

By Cody Lee on Jun 8, 2015

Since Apple’s WWDC keynote ended a few hours ago, we’ve installed the iOS 9 beta and begun digging for new stuff. Apple previewed a handful of the software’s features at the event, but as usual, there are a number of additions and improvements it didn’t talk about.

One of those features is a standalone iCloud Drive app. It’s not immediately apparent, but while launching an app we received a pop-up asking us if we wanted to install it. We were also able to access it via the Settings app iCloud > iCloud Drive > Show on Home Screen. Read More

 

Apple beefing up iCloud infrastructure ahead of rumored TV push and streaming-music launch

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2015

As it gears up to launch its subscription music-streaming service today and a rumored television service later in the year, Apple’s reportedly been building out a high-speed network to ensure glitch-free delivery of content, Bloomberg reported Monday. But the firm isn’t just building a more efficient iCloud.

In a typical Apple fashion, it’s been pouring billions of dollars into upgrading how it builds data centers in order to speed up content delivery, and optimize services such as iCloud, iTunes and Siri.

Additionally, the initiative should help with iCloud outages that have become the norm lately as web services have traditionally been Apple’s weak spot. Read More

 

How to change your email sender name

By Sébastien Page on Jun 2, 2015

Maybe you made a mistake when initially setting up your email account, or maybe you want to play some sort of prank on someone. Whatever your reason might be for doing so, you sometimes may want to change the name that is displayed as the sender when sending emails. In this post, I will show you how to change your email display name on iPhone, Mac, and iCloud. Read More

 

iCloud down: many Apple services currently unavailable [update]

By Sébastien Page on Jun 2, 2015

Roughly two weeks after suffering a noticeable outage, several iCloud-related services are currently unavailable for some users, although Apple’s System Status page hasn’t been updated yet to reflect the issue.

Update: all services seem to be back online. Read More

 

Poll: how does Google Photos compare to Apple’s Photos app + iCloud Photo Library combo?

By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2015

Among a flurry of yesterday’s announcements at the Google I/O developer conference, the Internet giant launched Google Photos, its brand spanking new photography service available across iOSAndroid and on the web. It offers unlimited storage (with a  few caveats) and has many other compelling features that give Apple’s iCloud Photo Library a fairly good run for its money.

To name but a few: world-class facial recognition that understands aging, sleek design, fast performance, unmatched search and machine intelligence, the ability to create a movie, collage or animated GIF in seconds and more.

The question is, will you be turning to Google Photos as a backup solution for the media you’ve amassed on your iOS device? Or, perhaps you’ll be sticking with Apple’s iCloud Photo Library even though it offers a meager five gigabytes of free cloud storage? Planning on using Google Photos alongside iCloud Photo Library, are we? Not a big fan of either service, you say?

Tell us in today’s poll! Read More

 

More than a dozen iCloud services were unavailable or responding slowly for 7 hours

By Christian Zibreg on May 21, 2015

According to Apple’s status page, multiple iCloud services have been experiencing various issues for six hours straight. “Users may experience slower than normal response when using most iCloud services,” reads a notice on the webpage.

More than a dozen iCloud services were affected at post time, with many services going completely offline.

UPDATE: Apple said that all services were restored as of 6:30am PT, adding that the outages affected a whopping 40 percent of iCloud users. Read More

 

Apple doubles previous iCloud Contacts limit to 50,000 contact cards

By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2015

As indicated in the official support document which was updated last evening, Apple has now doubled the previous iCloud Contacts limit from 25,000 contacts to 50,000 items.

These contact cards can be shared and synchronized with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as well as with Mac and Windows PCs, and can be accessed through any modern web browser at iCloud.com. Read More

 

Apple acquires database company FoundationDB to bolster web services

By Jake Smith on Mar 24, 2015

As it looks to build out its web services, Apple has acquired FoundationDB, a company that specializes in speedy, durable NoSQL databases, Apple essentially confirmed to iDownloadBlog after TechCrunch first reported the news.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in a boiler plate statement it gives when it acquires smaller companies.  Read More

 

Apple issues an apology for iTunes/iCloud downtime, blames outage on internal DNS error

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

Chances are you’ve by now realized that Apple’s content stores and other iCloud services are experiencing widespread downtime.

Earlier this morning, Twitter lit up with complaints from users around the world who reported being unable to download apps, music, movies, TV shows and books, as well as buy in-app content, with some even unable to sign in to online service like iCloud Mail.

In an official statement issued to CNBC, Apple’s apologized for inconveniencing customers and said the multi-hour outage is caused by “an internal DNS error” at the firm. As you could imagine, they’re scrambling to produce a fix.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

App Store, Mac App Store iTunes/iBooks Store and other iCloud services experiencing outage

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

If you’re unable to update your apps or buy books and music on Apple’s content stores, you’re not alone — there’s trouble in iCloud. Apple’s App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store services have been experiencing widespread outage for straight six hours now.

At first, the company’s iCloud Status Page would not acknowledge the downtime. Earlier this morning, the company refreshed the dashboard which now shows the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store as being unavailable “for all users”.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

iCloud Photo Sharing: one of Apple’s best kept secrets

By Oliver Haslam on Mar 2, 2015

If you’re a frequent reader then you may remember my thoughts on Apple’s iCloud Photo Library beta and my lack of faith in Apple and its ability to keep my photos safe. Nobody wants to lose photographs of their kids or loved ones because Apple’s cloud solution had a meltdown one day.

And I just don’t have any expectation of that not happening at some point.

During my time spent testing iCloud Photo Library I rediscovered one feature that I had actually forgotten about since the days of the iOS 7 betas. It was as feature that I never made great use of at the time because some key members of my family didn’t have iPhones, but now that they do, I decided to revisit it.

The feature I am talking about is iCloud Photo Sharing, and it’s really rather good. Read More

 

iWork for iCloud now available to everyone

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2015

Apple today removed the beta tag from its iWork for iCloud productivity suite, which it opened up to non-Apple device owners earlier this month. Now, anyone with a modern browser and an Apple ID can utilize the web-based office apps which include Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

As seen in the above screenshot, users who don’t have an Apple ID can create one by following the “Create one now” link, regardless of whether or not they own a Mac or iOS device. All that’s required is that they give their name, email address, date of birth and pick security questions. Read More

 

Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iOS gain iCloud storage integration

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Windows maker Microsoft today announced it’s bringing out new cloud storage integration to Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone and iPad, including the iCloud file picker on iOS and Office Online integration for viewing and editing.

The much appreciated support for Apple’s cloud-based storage permits customers to store their documents, presentations and spreadsheets to iCloud and access them on their other iOS and Mac devices. Read More

 

Will you trust iCloud with your memories?

By Oliver Haslam on Feb 6, 2015

The big news around the Apple blogs right now is the arrival of the first beta of Apple’s new Photos application for the Mac. Coming as part of the OS X 10.10.3 beta of Yosemite, Photos is the long awaited replacement for the aging iPhoto and to some extent, Aperture. In a world where we create gigabytes of photos each and every year, in part thanks to our iPhones, having a way to keep those images organized is vitally important to many of us. Apple thinks Photos, in combination with iCloud, is how we’re going to do just that.

But is it right? Read More

 

iCloud.com’s Photos web app gets image zoom function and sharing via email

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2015

German enthusiast blog iFun.de has spotted a pair of useful additions concerning the Photos web app on iCloud.com.

Two new features, which were added over the weekend, let you zoom in on an image via a new slider in the toolbar and send photos as email attachments directly from the web UI.

Previously, sharing via email was a tedious multi-step process where you had to download a photo to your computer before attaching it to an email message using a third-party desktop email application or a webmail service. Read More

 

Second Yosemite update looms: Wi-Fi fixes, iCloud Drive in Time Machine and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2015

Despite all the talk of a problematic decline in software quality, Apple is feeling your pain and isn’t standing still.

Currently in testing, a second update to OS X Yosemite is due later this week. First of all, Mac OS X 10.10.2 apparently squashes that annoying bug which manifests itself annoyingly as intermittent Wi-Fi issues.

Another one resolves a bug preventing your Mac from reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep, causing you to manually disable and re-enable Wi-Fi, which gets old fast.

Next, iCloud Drive should be now accessible directly in Time Machine, including the ability to track changes to files and documents.

Moreover, 10.10.2 prevents the so-called ‘Thunderstrike’ hardware exploit which targets Macs equipped with high-bandwidth Thunderbolt ports and also includes other important fixes. Read More

 
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