Update 2: Apple is reporting that the iCloud.com services have also been restored.
Update: Apple is reporting that the availability of some services has now been restored but several features of iCloud are still down and undergoing maintenance.
As noted by Apple’s system status page, a multitude of Apple services are currently experiencing instability and downtime for some users. The affected services include the App Store, Mac App Store, Apple TV services, iTunes In The Cloud and critical features like Find My iPhone. We have also had a few reports of Apple Music downtime, seemingly repeating the outage yesterday, but Apple’s official status report does not mention any problems with Apple Music at this time.
After recently launching on the iPad, Airmail is back today with a free 3.0 update to the Mac version. The latest version adds a long list of features and improvements including smart folders for sorting out your email easier, VIP support for marking specific contacts, and much more.
The fourth generation Apple TV has even been on the market for less than six months and there’s already a massive update ready for it. The new tvOS 9.2 software update is now available and includes several features that previously hadn’t made it from Apple TV 3 as well as features totally new to the platform.
You can now use Siri Remote to dictate text for search queries, usernames, and even passwords, and Bluetooth keyboards are once again supported for easier text entry. Apple TV apps can now be grouped into folders so you can keep games together, and iCloud Photo Library subscribers can view complete photo and video collections on the big screen. Here’s the full rundown on everything new in tvOS 9.2 for the new Apple TV:
The man responsible for leaking explicit photos of dozens of celebrities back in 2014 has been formally charged today. According to a post on the Department of Justice website, a man from Pennsylvania has been charged with felony computer hacking after obtaining access to Gmail and iCloud accounts of more than 100 different people, the majority of whom were celebrities.
I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.
While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.
Just over a week since the last tvOS 9.2 beta, Apple has released tvOS 9.2 beta 6 for developers with the fourth-gen Apple TV. Apple TV gains several new abilities with the upcoming release including iOS-style app folders, a redesigned app switcher user interface, voice dictation input for search and username/password entry, complete iCloud Photo Library support, and much more. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
In a conference call with reporters last week, an Apple exec said it was reasonable to expect the company to continue strengthening the security policies of its products in light of the Apple/FBI battle.
In complementary reports today, The New York Times and Financial Times are detailing that Apple engineers are now actively developing new encryption methods for iCloud backups and iPhone hardware, so that Apple couldn’t even hack itself … if it was asked to again like in San Bernardino iPhone backdoor/unlock case.
Not only would this counter the orders by the FBI in the current court case for future iPhone owners, it would also close a security hole in iCloud backups that various law enforcement institutions have exploited thousands of times before … expand full story
tvOS 9.2 beta 4 for the fourth-generation Apple TV is now available as an over-the-air software update for registered developers testing the pre-release version. Apple TV gains several new abilities with the upcoming release including iOS-style app folders, a redesigned app switcher user interface, voice dictation input for search and username/password entry, complete iCloud Photo Library support, and much more. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
The FBI has released a press statement explaining its motivation for resetting the iCloud password in the San Bernardino iPhone backdoor/unlock case. It seems like a screw-up, which prevented Apple from extracting data from the phone via iCloud. However, the FBI says that the county did it, in collaboration with FBI, in order to gain access to the suspect’s iCloud account. It says it was able to successfully retrieve iCloud backups up to October 19th. However, the reason it wants Apple to create a backdoor into the locked iPhone is because it believes there is more data on the phone relevant to the case yet to be uncovered.
For unknown reasons, the iPhone did not backup anything to iCloud after 19th October. It is possible Syed Farook disabled the feature or the iPhone simply did not return to a known WiFi network whilst being plugged in. It is not known if a later iCloud backup would have yielded more information …
Apple has released the third tvOS 9.2 beta software update to registered developers for testing. Previous versions of the pre-release Apple TV software update have added major changes to the new device including app folders similar to iOS and OS X, Bluetooth keyboard support, a redesigned app switcher, and even full iCloud Photo Library support. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
Apple has quietly added a server-side API to CloudKit, following an announcement on the developer news blog. This will enable developers to add a lot of functionality to apps powered by CloudKit, enabling developers to interact with the iCloud CloudKit database outside of user interaction with iOS, Mac or web apps. The web service API enables developers to run independent code on servers that can add, delete and modify records in the CloudKit stack.
Until now, interaction with CloudKit has been limited to the APIs Apple provided in apps. Although this was useful, it lacked the options for more advanced use — most modern apps rely on servers to perform tasks whilst users are away. With the addition of the web API, developers can create many more types of applications using CloudKit as the backend. For instance, an RSS reader app can now add new feed items to the CloudKit stack from the server. Before, this action could only occur when a user opened a CloudKit-powered app, which was essentially impractical and meant developers had to use other tools.
Airmail, the popular third-party email client for the Mac, has landed today on the iPhone for the first time. The brand new Airmail for iPhone app works with various email services including Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, and Exchange, and even features iCloud sync to keep the mobile and desktop preferences on the same page. Airmail also includes modern features for the latest iPhones, third-party app integration, and email management features missing after Dropbox retired Mailbox.