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Safari Supports NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-Compliant Security Keys in iOS 13.3

The iOS 13.3 update that is currently available to developers and public beta testers has a new Safari feature that supports NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys.

This option was activated in the first beta of iOS 13.3, but in the second developer beta, Apple has added details about it in the release notes.

Now supports NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari, SFSafariViewController, and ASWebAuthenticationSession using the WebAuthn standard, on devices with the necessary hardware capabilities.
With the iOS 13.3 update, Safari will support physical security keys like the Lightning-equipped YubiKey, which can be used for more secure two-factor authentication.

Yubico announced the YubiKey 5Ci back in August, but at the time of launch, it was of limited usefulness because it did not work with Safari, Chrome, or other major browsers, though it was compatible with apps like 1Password.

With Safari support, the YubiKey 5Ci is a legitimately useful tool that can be more convenient than software-based two-factor authentication because there's no need to enter a security code -- you simply plug it in to an iPhone or Mac (there's also a USB-C connector) to authenticate. Support for FIDO2-compliant USB security keys using WebAuthn was previously added to Safari 13 in macOS.

Other NFC, USB, and Lightning-based security keys will also work with Safari following the iOS 13.3 update. There's no word yet on when iOS 13.3 will be released, but we may see it sometime in December after a few more weeks of beta testing.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Bug in Facebook App Accesses the Camera in the Background

The Facebook for iOS app appears to be accessing the iPhone or iPad's camera in the background when the app is in use, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

The sliver of brown in this demo photo is the Facebook app accessing the camera behind the timeline.

When scrolling through the Facebook timeline, several users saw the camera activated in the background, as demonstrated in the tweets below.



One Facebook user found it through an interface bug that shows a small sliver of the display when looking at a photo, while another found it when rotating a device.

Both The Next Web and CNET were able to reproduce the issue and confirmed that the camera is activated in the background when using Facebook on iOS. The issue appears to impact iPhones running iOS 13, including the newest release version of ‌iOS 13‌, iOS 13.2.2. Devices running iOS 12 do not appear to be impacted.

Facebook vice president of integrity Guy Rosen this morning said that it "sounds like a bug" and that Facebook is looking into it, but Facebook has not officially commented on the issue.


Security researcher Will Strafach told TechCrunch that it appears to be a "harmless but creepy looking bug."

For the Facebook app to access the camera in the background, camera and microphone access must be enabled in the Settings app. Those concerned about the bug can disable Facebook's access to these features on the iPhone and the ‌iPad‌, or delete the Facebook app.

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Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.3 updates to developers, one week after seeding the first beta and two weeks after the release of iOS 13.2 with new emoji, Siri privacy controls, Deep Fusion, and more.

iOS and ‌‌‌iPadOS‌‌‌ 13.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed.


iOS 13.3 introduces Communication Limits for Screen Time, a feature that Apple promised would be coming in an iOS 13 update. Communication Limits allow parents to control who their children are able to contact both during downtime and during Screen Time.

Communication Limits include FaceTime, Phone, and Messages, along with iCloud contacts. Calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

The iOS 13.3 update also appears to address a multitasking issue where iOS 13.2 users were seeing poor RAM management that caused apps like YouTube and Safari to reload more frequently than normal.

After installing iOS 13.3, affected users are now seeing fewer refreshes when accessing these apps, doing another task, and then opening them again.

In the Keyboards section of the Settings app (under General), there's a new toggle that prevents Animoji and Memoji stickers from being displayed as an option on the Emoji Keyboard.

Apple has also tweaked the Apple Watch app icon, changing the color of the Digital Crown from black to gray.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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16-inch MacBook Pro Announcement Expected by Tomorrow

Apple plans to announce its widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro this week, according to a tweet from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


In another tweet, Gurman suggested the announcement will be made by Wednesday. The news would likely be shared in the form of a press release on the Apple Newsroom and would also likely coincide with early hands-on impressions of the 16-inch MacBook Pro from select media outlets and YouTube channels.


9to5Mac recently reported that Apple appears to be holding private press briefings of some kind at its luxury loft mansion in New York City this week, likely to facilitate those 16-inch MacBook Pro first impressions. Multiple out-of-town tech reporters have tweeted that they are in or headed to New York City over the last few days.

Rumors suggest the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature slimmer bezels around the display, a more reliable scissor switch keyboard, a standalone Touch ID sensor, and possibly a much-requested physical Esc key. Pricing is unknown, but would likely be higher than the $2,799 high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro.

For what it's worth, 15-inch MacBook Pro models with AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics options became available to order on the Wednesday of this week a year ago, along with a (PRODUCT)RED version of the Apple Watch Sport Loop. Apple also launched its annual holiday gift guide on the same day.

After rampant rumors, supply chain clues, and leaked imagery from macOS Catalina, the 16-inch MacBook Pro might be 24 hours or less away.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)
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Apple TV+ Drama Series 'Truth Be Told' Premieres in Los Angeles Ahead of December 6 Debut

Apple premiered its limited drama series "Truth Be Told" at The Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles, California, on Monday night.

Octavia Spencer

Set to debut on Apple TV+ next month, the show stars Octavia Spencer in the role of Poppy Parnell, a podcaster who aims to reopen a murder case that she was involved in solving 18 years earlier that put Warren Cave (played by Aaron Paul) behind bars.

Spencer's character is unsure if she made a mistake when she helped put Paul's character (Warren Cave) in prison, and with her podcast, she tries to discover the truth and determine whether Cave was wrongfully convicted.

Based on the novel by Kathleen Barber, "Truth Be Told" is said to offer a unique glimpse into America's obsession with true crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.

Beginning December 6, the first three episodes of "Truth Be Told" will be available to watch on ‌Apple TV‌+ in over 100 countries and regions around the world, with new episodes rolling out weekly, every Friday. You can watch the trailer for the series here.


Left to right: Haneefah Wood, Mekhi Phifer, Ron Cephas Jones, Annabella Sciorra, Elizabeth Perkins, Reese Witherspoon, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, Michael Beach.


‌Apple TV‌+ costs $4.99 per month with a family of six able to watch for that price point. Apple is also providing customers who purchase an ‌Apple TV‌, Mac, iPad, or iPhone with a free one-year subscription.

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Disney+ Streaming Service is Now Available to Watch on iOS, tvOS, and More

Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, is now available in the United States and can be accessed across a range of supported devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android smartphones, Roku streaming boxes, Amazon Fire TV, and more. You can download the Disney+ app on iOS and tvOS, sign up for the service at $6.99/month or $69.99/year, and then begin watching your favorite Disney shows and movies.


At launch, Disney+ already has one of the biggest back catalogs of content among the major streaming services, stretching back over a half century to include classic Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Bambi, and Miracle on 34th Street. Disney+ content ranges from 1937 to 2019, essentially including every film produced under The Walt Disney company umbrella, as well as its subsidiaries including Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

In addition to classic content, Disney is producing new shows, movies, and documentaries for Disney+. Today you can watch new TV shows like The Mandalorian, Encore!, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Original movies include Noelle starring Anna Kendrick and the Lady and the Tramp reboot starring Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson. There are also behind-the-scenes looks at aspects of the Disney company, including One Day at Disney, which highlights daily routines of cast members at Disney Parks.

Disney+ is launching just a few days after Apple debuted its own streaming TV service, which also uses the "plus" naming style, called ‌Apple TV‌+. On Apple's service you can pay $4.99/month to watch a handful of original TV shows like The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Dickinson, See, Ghostwriter, Helpsters, and Snoopy in Space. Apple plans to add new shows and movies monthly, next up including Servant from producer M. Night Shyamalan and The Banker with Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie.

Disney+ is compatible with the ‌Apple TV‌ app, so all of the TV shows and movies you stream in the Disney+ app will be updated and added to Up Next in the TV app, which also syncs to iOS. For more information on Disney+ and all of the content that you can watch inside of the new service, check out Disney's website and head to the App Store to download the app on iOS today.

Disney+ is also now available in Canada and the Netherlands. The service will launch in Australia and New Zealand on November 19, 2019, followed by the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain on March 31, 2020.

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New AR Sensor Coming to 2020 iPad Pro and iPhone Models, AR/VR Headset as Soon as 2021

Following a report from The Information this morning summarizing a recent internal Apple meeting that pegged the release of Apple's augmented reality headsets for the 2022–23 timeframe rather than the more aggressive 2020 window that has previously been rumored, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has shared additional information on the company's AR roadmap that will initially focus on the iPad and iPhone before the glasses come to fruition.

"Apple Glasses" concept

Gurman says Apple is working on "a range of augmented and virtual-reality devices" based around a new 3D sensor system, which will arrive first on a new iPad Pro slated for release in the first half of next year, and followed by the 2020 iPhones later in the year.
A new ‌iPad Pro‌ for release as early as the first half of 2020 will feature a new module with two camera sensors, up from one on the current model, and a small hole for the 3-D system, letting people create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant also plans to add the sensor to new high-end iPhones later in 2020, along with 5G networking capabilities, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.
Moving beyond existing devices, Apple is said to be targeting 2021 or 2022 for the release of a combination VR and AR headset focused on "gaming, watching video and virtual meetings." A lighter weight set of AR glasses could follow as soon as 2023.

The 3D sensor system to be used in the upcoming is said to be a more advanced version of the current Face ID sensor, and Apple's engineering teams are working on creating linkages to the new "rOS" operating system for these headsets that will let them work with existing iOS devices.

For more on Apple's AR/VR project, check out the full report over at bloomberg.com.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
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16-Inch MacBook Pro Production Reportedly Underway as Launch Timing Remains Uncertain

Apple's widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro is likely still coming based on recent supply chain checks by IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani and Forbes contributor Brooke Crothers, but release timing remains unclear. Crothers is a former contributor to CNET, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal in Asia.

16-inch MacBook Pro concept

"We were expecting an announcement in October," Ubrani said in an email, according to Crothers. October came and went without an announcement, but Ubrani added that his research firm is "starting to see early signs" of the notebook within Apple's supply chain. "However, the timing of this is still uncertain," he said.

Crothers said he has heard similar, writing that "a source in Asia who talks to the Apple supply chain told me over the weekend that the 16-inch [MacBook Pro] is in production but the release date is unclear."

This information lines up with a recent DigiTimes report that claimed Apple will begin receiving volume shipments of the 16-inch MacBook Pro this quarter, possibly to sidestep a 15 percent import tariff on notebooks slated to take effect December 15. If accurate, mass production is likely underway.

Rumors suggest the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature slimmer bezels around the display, a more reliable scissor switch keyboard, a standalone Touch ID sensor, and possibly a much-requested physical Esc key. Pricing is unknown, but would likely be higher than the $2,799 high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)
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Kuo: Apple Watch Series 6 Models to Feature Faster Performance and Improved Water Resistance

While the Apple Watch Series 5 lineup was released less than two months ago, rumors are already looking ahead to next year.


In a research note with investor firm TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that 2020 Apple Watch models will feature faster performance, improved water resistance, and improved wireless transmission for potentially faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds.

Kuo believes all of these advancements will be made possible by Apple's switch to liquid crystal polymer or LCP material for the flexible circuit boards in next year's Apple Watch models, expected to launch in the second half of the year as usual. Series 5 models and earlier use a material known as polyimide or PI.

Dongshan Precision, Avary Holding, and Flexium Interconnect will be the primary LCP suppliers, according to Kuo.

It would not be surprising if so-called Apple Watch Series 6 models feature a faster Apple-designed S chip, as the only known differences with the S5 chip in Series 5 models compared to the S4 chip in Series 4 models is a built-in compass and a new always-on display driver, so a performance bump will be due next year.

As for water resistance, Apple Watch Series 2 models are already suitable for swimming or showering and can be submerged to a depth of up to 50 meters. With further improvements, perhaps Series 6 models could be certified for some high-velocity water activities such as scuba diving or water skiing.

Previous reports have suggested that 2020 Apple Watch models may also feature sleep tracking and MicroLED displays.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Apple Honors Veterans Day With Website Banner, Activity Challenge on Apple Watch, and More

Today is Veterans Day in the United States and, as usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook has thanked veterans around the world for their service.


Apple is also showing its support for Veterans Day with a short message on its website: "Here's to the brave ones. We're proud to honor America's veterans and service members this Veterans Day and every day."


As noted by Kyle Seth Gray, Apple Watch users can earn a special Veterans Day badge in the Activity app today by completing any workout for 11 minutes or longer. The annual Activity Challenge, limited to the United States, also awards users with a Veterans Day sticker for use in the Messages app.


Last, Apple has highlighted how iPhone app Healium AR is helping veterans manage anxiety. The augmented reality app was created by former TV journalist Sarah Hill, who is profiled in the Apple Newsroom story.

November 11 also marks similar Remembrance Day or Armistice Day commemorations in many other countries.

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Apple Said to Release AR Headset With 3D Scanning in 2022, Followed by Sleeker Glasses in 2023

While noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg, and others have claimed that Apple plans to release an augmented reality headset as early as 2020, a new report suggests that the head-mounted device may be a few years away.

Apple currently aims to release an augmented reality headset in 2022, followed by a "sleeker" pair of augmented reality glasses by 2023, according to The Information. The report claims the timeline was shared by Apple executives in an internal presentation to employees at Apple Park in October.

Interestingly, the meeting is said to have been large enough to fill the 1,000-plus seats at Steve Jobs Theater, suggesting that Apple may have a large team working on the project. The report claims the discussions were led by Apple's recently appointed AR/VR head Mike Rockwell, a former Dolby executive.

Google Glasses

The meeting is said to have reflected on some of the headset's planned features, including "3D scanning" and "advanced human detection."

The report claims Apple's headset will resemble Facebook's Oculus Quest virtual reality headset released earlier this year, but with a sleeker design, adding that Apple wants to "make heavy use of fabrics and lightweight materials" to ensure its headset is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

The headset is said to feature a high-resolution display and cameras that will allow users to "read small type" and "see other people standing in front of and behind virtual objects." During the meeting, Apple executives allegedly said the technology will be able to map the surfaces, edges, and dimensions of rooms with greater accuracy than existing devices on the market.

"To illustrate these capabilities, attendees at the October meeting were shown a recording of a demonstration in which a virtual coffee machine was placed on a real kitchen table surrounded by people in a room," the report notes. "The virtual coffee machine obscured people standing behind it in the room."

Apple executives said the company plans to reach out to third-party software developers as early as 2021 to encourage them to build apps for the device, so the headset could end up being previewed earlier than 2022.

The headset, allegedly codenamed N301, appears to be only one of Apple's ongoing AR/VR projects. The other is said to be a pair of AR glasses codenamed N421, with current prototypes said to resemble high-priced sunglasses with "thick frames that house the battery and chips." The final design could change.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
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Regulators Looking Into Claims of Gender Discrimination in Apple Card Credit Decisions, Goldman Sachs Responds

Goldman Sachs and Apple have become involved in a controversy over credit decisions for Apple Card, amid complaints that those decisions appear in some cases to have been made in a discriminatory manner on the basis of gender, reports The New York Times.


The firestorm kicked off late last week when Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson indicated on Twitter that his ‌Apple Card‌ credit limit was twenty times that offered to his wife, even though the couple has been married for many years, file joint tax returns, and live in a community property state where all income and assets acquired while married are considered jointly owned.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also weighed in, reporting that his ‌Apple Card‌ credit limit was ten times that offered to his wife, with the Wozniaks in a similar financial situation where all assets are jointly owned.

In response, New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell has announced that her office will be looking into the situation, and she offered additional information in a Medium post today.
I responded, announcing that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) would examine whether the algorithm used to make these credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. For the rest of the day, numerous Twitter users responded to David’s initial tweet, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who indicated his credit limit is ten times higher than that of his wife), describing similar instances where men received higher credit limits than women. Confounding this is the “black box” problem, in which consumers have little visibility into how a decision is made or why they have been rejected.

New York law prohibits discrimination against protected classes of individuals, which means an algorithm, as with any other method of determining creditworthiness, cannot result in disparate treatment for individuals based on age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected characteristics.
Goldman Sachs today responded to the controversy, maintaining that "factors like gender" are never used in credit decisions and explaining how members of a family could receive very different credit decisions. The statement did not, however, directly address Hansson's situation, which is understandable given financial privacy issues.
With ‌Apple Card‌, your account is individual to you; your credit line is yours and you establish your own direct credit history. Customers do not share a credit line under the account of a family member or another person by getting a supplemental card.

As with any other individual credit card, your application is evaluated independently. We look at an individual's income and an individual's creditworthiness, which includes factors like personal credit scores, how much debt you have, and how that debt has been managed. Based on these factors, it is possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions.

In all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender.
Goldman Sachs also noted that it is "looking to enable" the ability for users to share Apple Cards with other members of their families, although the company did not specify when that might occur.

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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