Apple releases iOS 7.1.2 with iBeacon, Mail attachment, third-party accessory fixes & Apple TV OS 6.2

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Apple has released iOS 7.1.2 to end users today over-the-air with the following changes:

• Improves iBeacon connectivity and stability
• Fixes a bug with data transfer for some 3rd party accessories, including bar code scanners
• Corrects an issue with data protection class of Mail attachments

The update is available over-the-air or via iTunes for the latest iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The fix for Mail addresses a well-publicized security problem regarding attachments. Apple has also released OS X 10.9.4 with various bug fixes and security enhancements.

The build number is 11D257 and it comes in at approximately 30 MB over-the-air on the iPad and 32 MB on the iPhone. The update is approximately 1.4GB for a complete download via iTunes.

In addition, Apple has released Apple TV software version 6.2 (build number 11D257c) without any major changes. The update addresses stability and performance issues:

  • Includes general performance and stability improvements.

Download links below:

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Apple: We’ll ‘soon’ begin encrypting iCloud email in transit between providers

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Following the publication of an NPR article detailing the security of major email services, Apple has informed the network that it is working on an update to its iCloud Mail service that encrypts emails in transit from other providers. As of right now, iCloud emails are solely encrypted in transit from one iCloud email account to another, but an email sent from iCloud to Gmail or Yahoo (as examples) or vice versa is not currently encrypted. This is what will change:

Apple encrypts e-mail from its customers to iCloud. However, Apple is one of the few global email providers based in the U.S. that is not encrypting any of its customers’ email in transit between providers. After we published, the company told us this would soon change. This affects users of me.com and mac.com email addresses.

The enhancement will come into effect “soon,” but Apple is not more specific than that on the timeframe. While the quote above oddly does not specify icloud.com addresses, that newer Apple email domain likely falls into the same category as me.com and mac.com. The lack of end-to-end iCloud Mail encryption with Gmail, for example, is shown on Google’s data protection transparency website:

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Skype for iPhone gets ground-up redesign; top designer talks future iPad & iOS 8 updates

A few years ago, Skype was the rockstar of the messaging world, but now with smartphones and mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, Skype’s iPhone feature-set and application have begun to stagnate. However, the Skype development team has not been standing still. The Microsoft-owned company is revealing today that it is nearing the launch of a completely revamped Skype application for the iPhone and iPod touch. I met with lead Skype designer Guilherme Schneider last week for an exclusive preview and an interview regarding the new software, and the application certainly seems impressive…

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OS X Yosemite introduces iMessage screen sharing, FaceTime Audio conference calls with iOS 8

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Apple has made a few new changes to its first-party voice and text services in the newest versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems. Some users are reporting that iOS 8 now features the ability to create conference FaceTime Audio calls. Previously FaceTime audio calls could only be made from one user to another, but now you can add additional users to a call in progress.

OS X Yosemite sports a new addition to its iMessage capabilities. While screen sharing has always been possible over alternative services like AIM, Apple now allows you to use the built-in screen sharing feature in the Messages app over an iMessage account. Unfortunately the feature seems to be broken in the first Yosemite beta, but it is expected to be functional by the time the software ships.

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A detailed look at the Messages app’s new features in iOS 8 (Video)

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At first glance, you may not notice anything different about the Messages app in iOS 8, but there is definitely a lot more going on when compared to iOS 7. Within the Messages app, Apple added several features including Tap to Talk which allows you to quickly record an audio/video message to send and playback inline within the app and the ability to quick reply to incoming messges.

Along with that, there’s a new Details tab that contains several useful features like an attachment gallery, Do Not Disturb (per message thread), and location sharing abilities. Check out our hands-on video with the new Messages app to get a first look at all of new feature you can expect when iOS 8 is released later this year.

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Apple formally acknowledges iMessage issue, says bug fix coming in a ‘future software update’

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In a statement to Re/code, Apple has acknowledged the iMessage issue which affects customers who switch away from the iPhone, without disabling iMessage. This means that texts to these users are never delivered, as iPhone devices continue to use the iMessage protocol on the phone number that is no longer associated with an iPhone. Aside from a second-hand report by an AppleCare representative, this is Apple’s first official response to the recent criticism.

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