iCloud

Has iOS 10.3 randomly turned on your previously disabled iCloud services in Settings?

Released nine days ago, iOS 10.3 appears to be randomly re-enabling iCloud features that users previously disabled in Settings. The software update consolidates the various iCloud and Apple ID-related features under one central place at the top of the Settings app. The new organization has nothing to do with this behavior. It’s a bug, Apple told customers in an email message obtained by MacRumors, that affects a small number of users.

Rumor: iOS 11’s Siri will learn from user behaviors, gain iMessage integration & iCloud syncing

A sketchy rumor released Monday by the Israeli outlet The Verified claims that Siri will gain some interesting new capabilities when iOS 11 launches this fall. For starters, Apple’s personal digital assistant will tap into machine learning deeper than ever before to learn from user behaviors within the context of individual apps. Moreover, Siri will integrate with Apple’s iMessage service and sync data via iCloud.

Apple responds to ransom threat: iCloud, Apple ID and other systems have not been breached

Yesterday, a hacker group known as “Turkish Crime Family” told Motherboard it had obtained access to hundreds of millions iCloud and Apple ID accounts. They’ve threatened to reset passwords and remotely wipe Apple devices of all their data, including photos, videos and messages, unless the company pays a ransom of either $75,000 in the Bitcoin/Ethereum cryptocurrencies or $100,000 in iTunes Gift Cards, by April 7. Today, Apple denied the hacking claims, telling Forbes that iCloud, Apple ID and other systems haven’t been hacked into directly.

Hackers tying to extort Apple over dubious claims, threatening to remotely wipe iOS devices

As reported Tuesday by Motherboard, hackers that go under the code-name “Turkish Crime Family” have allegedly obtained, through unknown means, access to hundreds of millions of Apple email accounts, including iCloud inboxes with email addresses on @icloud and @me domains.

They’re threatening to remotely wipe iOS devices unless Apple pays a laughable ransom. It’s notable that iCloud has never been hacked into directly and other reasons make this story hard to swallow.

How to check Activation Lock status via Apple’s support pages

In January, Apple took down a web tool that allowed anyone to check status of the theft-deterrent Activation Lock feature. While the link to the iCloud Activation Lock webpage is now dead and the associated support document detailing Activation Lock no longer references the tool, UnlockBoot has discovered that potential buyers in the market for a secondhand iOS device can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple’s Support website.

iCloud was storing deleted browsing histories, but Apple fixed the issue

A Russian forensics firm named Elcomsoft has discovered that Apple was storing users’ Safari browsing histories in iCloud going back more than a year, possibly much longer. This was happening even after users had asked for any deleted records to be wiped from their iCloud-connected devices. Soon after Elcomsoft announced a way to extract deleted browsing histories from iCloud, Apple applied a server-side fix to stop the retrievals and apparently purged all records older than two weeks.

Apple likely took down iCloud Activation Lock to stop hacks relying on stolen serial numbers

As we reported, Apple recently took down its tremendously useful Activation Lock webpage for reasons unknown. The theft-deterrent tool allowed legitimate iOS device owners and just about anyone else to check the status of the Activation Lock feature by entering a serial number. Apple provided no explanation for the removal, but all checks point to it being a precautionary measure meant to prevent hacks relying on stolen serial numbers, as a reader pointed out in comments.

For reasons unknown, Apple takes down theft-deterrent Activation Lock web tool

Apple recently took down its web tool for checking if a used iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch was stolen. The firm gave no explanation for the move.

The link to the Activation Lock webpage no longer works and the support document detailing the feature does not contain any reference to the web tool as of January 24. It was unclear at post time if a new version of the tool might be returning in the future in one form or another.

iOS 10.3 brings support for Verizon Wi-Fi Calling on other iCloud-connected devices

U.S. wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have supported Wi-Fi Calling for some time now, with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile also supporting Wi-Fi Calling on other iCloud-connected devices like iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Mac. According to user reports on MacRumors’ forums, iOS 10.3 beta 1 supports Integrated Calling on Verizon.

With this handy feature, compatible iCloud-signed devices can make and receive calls using your carrier’s account even when your iPhone isn’t nearby.

A guide to using Travel Time in Calendar on iPhone and Mac

Travel Time is a nifty addition to Apple’s Calendar, capable of precisely estimating the duration of your upcoming trip based on parameters such as milage and traffic. Used properly, it can notably ease some of your daily scheduling woes, but paradoxically, a large contingent of regular Calendar users still routinely overlook the feature.

Formerly introduced as frequent locations and traffic conditions widgets, the service has only slowly gained traction amongst users. Travel Time today however has come of age and is now neatly integrated into one of the most popular productivity applications both on iOS and macOS. So if you didn’t get the memo on the virtues of Travel Time in Calendar, here’s what you need to know.

How to create Memories based on specific photos

Not too many years ago, compiling a personal slideshow on your iOS powered device was still a pretty big undertaking. Thankfully, we have come a long way since then and owing to the combined power of iOS 10 and Siri intelligence now have a wealth of so called Memories at our fingertips, sometimes so many it’s hard to keep up with. Despite the baked-in features to personalize these slideshows, there is still a degree of creativity you surrender to Apple’s algorithms, most crucially in picture selection.

If this happens to be your main beef with Memories too, maybe the time is now to give the able feature a chance to get (back) in your good books. Because counter to common perception, there is an easy way to manipulate the picture selection process and generate Memories as beautiful and personal as a hand-picked slideshow. Here’s how to use the brainpower of Memories while remaining completely in charge of the photos starring in the slideshow.