Tim Hardwick

Tim is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. He has been covering technology for a decade, but will write about anything that interests him, from philosophy of mind to his own brand of bad fiction. Originally from Liverpool, England, Tim can sometimes be found accessing a personal wi-fi hotspot from a ferry somewhere on the Mersey.



Apple Pay Cash Likely to Launch in Europe Imminently

Apple Pay Cash, Apple's mobile peer-to-peer payments service, could be available sooner rather than later in some European markets. French tech blog iPhon.fr reports today that an iPhone user in France discovered screens on his new Apple Watch and iPhone XS Max overnight inviting him to set up Apple Pay Cash using a credit card issued by a French bank. Similar reports are also coming in from Apple device owners in other European countries. Apple Pay Cash arrived on iOS devices in December 2017, although it's currently only officially available to users in the United States. The system allows for quick person-to-person money transfers, much like competing services Square Cash and Venmo. In addition to the setup screens shared over social media, an Apple support page for Apple Pay Cash has been discovered localized in German that went live on Apple's servers on September 30. Alerte générale Apple Pay Cash ! C’est dispo en France ?🧐@iPhonfr @MacGeneration @Mac4ever pic.twitter.com/6ObZOzTc7w— Matthieu Fraysse (@Matfraysse) October 2, 2018 Apple Pay Cash can be transmitted via iMessage and funds are instantly added to the recipient's Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app. When new users receive money for the first time, the funds are added to their new Apple Pay Cash card once they accept Apple's terms. The card's funds can then be used to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, in apps, and on supported websites, or withdrawn to a bank account within one to three business days. When Apple Pay Cash does arrive outside the U.S., Apple device owners

Opera Touch Browser Released for iPhone and iPad

Opera Touch was released today for iOS. The "light, fast, and secure" browser is specially designed for all-screen devices with no home button like the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and comes with an interface that's optimized for one-handed use. Thanks to a floating "Fast Action" menu button located at the bottom of the screen, users can touch to access a radial menu and swipe through several actions, enabling them to open and close browser tabs, perform searches, and navigating forwards and backwards through web pages with their thumb. The main screen includes quick access to top and recent websites, and the browser also features built-in ad blocking and comes with protection against disguised online cryptocurrency mining, or "cryptojacking". Elsewhere, the app makes use of Opera's My Flow feature, which allows users to transfer URL links, images, and note clippings between devices running Opera over a secure and private connection. Opera Touch is available for iPhone and iPad in several languages and can be downloaded directly from the App Store. [Direct Link]

First Case Surfaces of Law Enforcement Forcing Suspect to Unlock iPhone With Face ID

A Forbes report has highlighted the first known case of law enforcement forcing a suspect to unlock an iPhone using Face ID. The incident reportedly happened in August when federal agents obtained a warrant to search the house of a man in Columbus, Ohio, as part of a child abuse investigation. Apple marketing image for Face ID According to case documents, FBI agents got 28-year-old Grant Michalski to put his face in front of his iPhone X to activate the Face ID facial authentication. After the device was unlocked, investigators looked through Michalski's chat history, photos, and other files stored on the phone. Evidence discovered on the device was used to charge the suspect later that month with receiving and possessing child pornography. Several previous cases have occurred where law enforcement has gained access to digital data by forcing people to unlock mobile devices using their fingers. One case even reportedly involved trying to use the finger of a dead person to unlock a phone, which ultimately didn't work. However, this appears to be the first case in which Face ID has been used, so it's likely to reignite debate over where the law stands in relation to biometric authentication methods. In the United States, forcing someone to give up a password is interpreted as self-incrimination, which is protected by the fifth amendment and against the law. Nevertheless, courts have ruled that there's a difference between a biometric recognition system like Touch ID and a passcode that you type into your phone. In the case highlighted by Forbes, the

Complex Passcode Bypass Method Exposes iPhone Contacts and Photos in iOS 12

A passcode bypass vulnerability has been discovered in iOS 12 that potentially allows an attacker to access photos and contact details on a locked iPhone. The rather convoluted bypass method was shared in a video by Jose Rodriguez, who has discovered iOS bugs in the past that Apple has subsequently fixed. With physical access to the locked device, the attacker first asks Siri to activate VoiceOver, sleeps the device with the Side button, and then calls the iPhone using another device. Once the call screen shows up, the attacker taps the Message button, opts to create a custom message, and then taps the plus (+) icon in the top right. Next, on the other phone, the attacker sends a text or iMessage to the target iPhone, whose screen is then double-tapped when the message notification appears. This causes an odd behavior in the UI, since it highlights the plus icon underneath. After a short wait, the screen goes white and the notification disappears, but the VoiceOver's text selection box is apparently still tappable and can now be used to access the Messages interface. Following multiple screen swipes, the VoiceOver is heard to say "Cancel," which reveals the original Messages screen. Adding a new recipient to the message and selecting a numeral from the virtual keyboard then reveals a list of recently dialed or received phone numbers and contacts. Further, if one of the numbers or contacts includes an info ("i") button, disabling VoiceOver and tapping the button shows the contact's information. Performing a 3D Touch action on the contact also brings

Telegram 5 Gains In-App Notifications and Swift Code Rebuild for Faster Speeds

Telegram received a major update today that includes new in-app notifications and a complete rewrite of the encrypted messaging app in Apple's Swift coding language, resulting in all-round faster performance and better energy efficiency. On the face of it, the Telegram 5.0 interface looks just like the previous version, but the developers say that rebuilding the app in Swift has made it "faster, sleeker and more battery-friendly," and has also removed a bunch of persistent bugs. The speed improvements should be immediately noticeable, particularly when viewing animations in chat threads and syncing messages across multiple devices. At the same time, the new in-app notifications allow users to keep on top of new messages without leaving conversations. From the Telegram blog: The new expandable in-app notifications will help you focus on whatever you're doing in the app without having to ignore incoming messages. When a notification arrives, pull it down to open the relevant chat. When you’re done with the interruption, simply close it to get right back to what you were doing.Elsewhere, the app now includes streaming support for audio files and improved navigation for busy chats, while the app icon message counter has been tweaked so that it no longer shows the number of unread messages in muted chats, which should make it a lot more informative. Telegram is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link

Overcast Podcast Player Gains New Siri Shortcuts and Apple Watch Complications

Overcast version 5.0.2 was released today, bringing additional Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 and new Apple Watch complications to the popular third-party podcast player. The new Apple Watch complications can be located on the central or corner positions of the Infograph watch face that features on Series 4 models, offering users another way to quickly launch the app from their wrist. For fans of Siri Shortcuts, Overcast now supports three additional options. One lets you quickly enable or cancel the sleep timer, while the other two allow you to generate either standard or timestamped links for the podcast episode you're currently listening to, making for easier sharing. Elsewhere in this update, the Nitpicky Details menu includes an option to reduce the haptic level related to certain functions, and users now have more control over the Auto-Sync to Watch feature, with toggles available for playlists as well as individual episodes. Lastly, this point update fixes a handful of bugs and crashes, and adds a one-tap preset for the previous interval to the sleep timer. Overcast 5.0.2 is available as a free ad-supported app for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

How to Customize the Monogram on Your Apple Watch

The monogram complication on Apple Watch is designed to let you choose up to four letters to appear on your watch's display. Previously it was only available on the Color watch face, but if you're a Series 4 owner, you can also use it on the new Infograph watch face. The idea behind the monogram is to let you add your initials to your watch display, but there's nothing stopping you from adding other characters. Emoji aren't supported, but most unicode characters are, including of course the Apple  symbol. You can find all manner of unicode characters on the web – try searching for "unicode faces" for some fun combinations. You could also download a unicode iPhone app like UniChar for a more complete selection. Just remember that you can only combine up to four characters in your monogram. How to Add a Monogram to Your Apple Watch Copy the unicode character(s) you want to use in your monogram to your iPhone's clipboard. To copy from a web page, highlight the symbol(s) with a long press and then tap Copy from the popup menu. Next, launch the stock Watch app on your iPhone. Tap the My Watch tab if it's not already selected. Tap Clock. Tap Monogram. Paste the character(s) into the Monogram field. Now, return to the main menu in the My Watch tab, and a select a Color or Infograph watch face from My Faces. (If you're not yet using one, you can choose one from the Face Gallery.) If you're using an Infograph face, tap Sub-dial Top and choose Monogram. If you're using a Color face, make sure the Monograph toggle is on.Once that's done, your monogram should

Australian Teen Who Hacked into Apple's Servers Multiple Times Avoids Jail

A Melbourne schoolboy who hacked into Apple's corporate servers on multiple occasions over two years has avoided conviction, reports The Age. The 19-year-old student, who can't be named for legal reasons as his case is being heard in an Australian Children's Court, earlier pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's internal systems several times in 2015 and 2016. The boy's hacking is said to have begun at the age of 16, and involved downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessing customer accounts. His lawyer later told police that the teen "dreamed of" working for Apple. The magistrate dealing with the case reportedly handed down an eight-month probation order, and said that no conviction would be recorded. The court also heard how the private school boy has since been accepted into university to study criminology and cyber safety. That international investigation began when Apple detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions. The company notified the FBI, which passed on the information to the Australian Federal Police, resulting in a warrant being executed at the family home last year. Prosecutors said the raid turned up a "litany of hacking files" in a folder on the boy's computer named "hacky hack hack," as well as devices with IP addresses that matched the source of the intrusions. Following reports of the case, Apple released a statement to assure customers that at no point during the incident was personal data

Chrome 70 Will Allow Users to Opt-Out of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature

Google says it is willing to make changes to its new Chrome auto-login feature, following heavy criticism from privacy-conscious users. In previous versions of the browser, it was left up to the user whether they wanted to log in to Chrome while they used the app. However in Chrome 69, released earlier this month, if you sign in to a Google site like Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube, you also get logged into Chrome automatically, and there's currently no way around it. Google originally claimed the feature was introduced to prevent data from leaking between accounts on shared computers, but the move has been criticized for its potential to make it theoretically easier for Google to upload users' browsing history. Google responded to the criticism in a blog post: "We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on," said Chrome product manager Zach Koch. "Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync."Despite clearing that up, the blowback has apparently been vehement enough for Google to tweak Chrome 70, due in October, which will offer users a clear opt-out for the auto-login feature. While we think sign-in consistency will help many of our users, we're adding a control that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in – that way users have more control over their experience. For users that disable this feature, signing into a Google website will not sign them into Chrome.In

Apple Removes Questionable Web Links From Siri Suggestions

Apple has removed a number of results from Siri Suggested Websites after BuzzFeed highlighted several examples of the feature offering up "debunked conspiracies, shock videos, and false information." Siri Suggested Websites is an optional feature in Safari that serves up auto-completed suggestions based on what the user starts typing into the browser's search bar. Results are curated by Apple and can include links sourced from things like Wikipedia, YouTube, and the iTunes Store. Basically, BuzzFeed News stoked controversy by pointing out that if users typed in, say, "Pizzagate," the Siri feature would return links to YouTube videos by conspiracy theorist peddler David Seaman. From the article: "Such results raise questions about the company's ability to monitor for low-quality information, and provide another example of the problems platforms run into when relying on algorithms to police the internet."Incidentally, the link didn't actually work because YouTube previously removed the video for violating YouTube's terms of service. So whichever way you look at it, Apple's algorithm-driven suggestions aren't doing their job very well. BuzzFeed informed Apple of this and several other "low quality" Siri Suggestions highlighted in the article, and Apple has since removed them. The company also provided the site with the following statement: "Siri Suggested Websites come from content on the web and we provide curation to help avoid inappropriate sites. We also remove any inappropriate suggestions whenever we become aware of them, as we have with these. We will

Report Reveals Apple News Brings Publishers Much Higher Traffic But a Lot Less Ad Revenue

An extensive new report by Slate has revealed the challenges publishers are facing when it comes to profiting from Apple News despite the platform's growing readership. According to the report, page views on Apple News have roughly tripled since September 2017, and the app has now surpassed Facebook as a driver of readership. Unlike Google and Facebook however, Apple News hosts content within the app instead of sending readers to the original website, depriving publishers of ad revenue. In a stark example, Slate revealed that it earns more money from an article that gets 50,000 page views on its own site than it does from 54 million views on Apple News. Apple News has so far offered publishers few opportunities for generating ad revenue, although Apple recently added support for Google's industry standard ad-serving tool DoubleClick. Still, Apple's privacy policy ensures limitations: Google's ad manager can serve traditional banner ads including animated GIF ads, but it can't yet be used to serve HTML5-based ads or pre-roll video ads. Despite the struggle, publishers are reportedly continuing to embrace Apple News in the hope that things will eventually change and given the huge potential opportunities for exposure that the platform offers. The app now comes pre-installed on all new Macs and iOS devices in countries where Apple News is available. Apple has also reportedly urged major U.S. newspapers about adding their content to the Texture magazine app that Apple purchased in March, with a view to eventually integrating the subscription-based

2017 iPhone X Outperforms iPhone XS and XS Max in Battery Life Test

Tom's Guide has published the results of a battery comparison test pitting Apple's new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max against a variety of smartphones, with some surprising results. Both of Apple's latest flagship models failed to reach the heights of last year's first-generation iPhone X using the same battery endurance test, which involved surfing the web continuously over a 4G data connection. Displays were set to 150 nits of brightness, with both auto-brightness and TrueTone disabled. The iPhone XS Max lasted 10 hours and 38 minutes, while the iPhone XS managed 9 hours and 41 minutes. Those figures compare unfavorably to the results of the original iPhone X, which lasted 10 hours and 49 minutes in the same test last year. As far as rival phones go, the iPhone XS and XS Max outperformed the HTC U12+ (9 hours, 13 minutes) and the LG G7 ThinQ (8 hours, 35 minutes), however both Apple models were beaten by flagship devices in the Android category. Google's Pixel 2, for example, lasted 12 hours and 9 minutes, while Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 lasted 11 hours and 26 minutes. However, the overall winner was Huawei's P20 Pro, clocking in 14 hours and 13 minutes. Apple advertises that the iPhone XS can last up to 12 hours during internet use (the same figure given for last year's iPhone X) while the iPhone XS Max can last up to 13 hours on a single charge. However, battery performance can be affected by various factors, including OS version, hardware optimization, and even cellular reception, which is why Apple only offers approximate numbers. Earlier this week, iFi

How to Force-Quit Misbehaving Apple Watch Apps

Apple Watch apps rarely misbehave, but if one becomes non-responsive or fails to refresh data, sometimes force-quitting the app and relaunching it can solve the issue. Fortunately, it's a simple procedure. The following steps show you how it's done on Apple Watch models running watchOS 4 or watchOS 5. Open the misbehaving app on your Apple Watch, either by tapping its complication or selecting it from the honeycomb-style app menu/list view, so that it takes over the display. Now, press and hold the Side button. Release the Side button once the power down menu appears. Next, press and hold the Digital Crown. You can release it once the app is whisked away from view and you're returned to the watch face.And that's all there is to it. The next time you launch the app in question, it will load up as if for the first time, and hopefully play nice again. If the problem you're having still persists, try restarting your Apple Watch from the power down screen, or consider re-installing the related app on your iPhone.

Apple Reallocates iPhone XR Orders Among Suppliers Following Production Issues

Apple is reportedly shifting around iPhone XR orders amongst its manufacturing partners to ensure production issues don't cause supply constraints when the smartphone officially launches late next month. According to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report, Pegatron has lost up to half of its original iPhone XR orders to Foxconn, following delayed shipments of some key components and a shortage of workers at its plants in China. Apple had originally divvied up between 50 and 60 percent of total orders for the lower-cost LCD iPhone to Foxconn, with Pegatron taking about 30 percent of orders. However, Apple has recently lowered the portion of iPhone XR orders allocated to Pegatron to below 30 percent, while ramping up those to Foxconn substantially. On top of that, the supply of LCD panels from Japan Display (JDI) for the production of the iPhone XR has not been steady, according to the report. Pegatron and Foxconn declined to comment. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty cautioned in July that Apple's 6.1-inch LCD iPhone would not launch until October because of issues with backlight leakage, although it's not clear whether the latest LCD supply constraints are down to the same problem. The iPhone XR starts at $749 in the United States. The October launch means Apple will likely lose a few sales to customers this month who are interested in a new iPhone but don't want to pay several hundred dollars more for the iPhone XS and XS Max, which start at $999 and $1,099, respectively. Because of this, Huberty saw Apple delivering a "slightly

How to Use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave

In macOS Mojave, Apple has introduced a range of new Finder Quick Actions that make it easier for you to perform quick edits to files without having to open the apps associated with them. To view available Quick Actions, you need to enable the Preview panel in Finder. To do this, open a Finder window and select the menu bar option View -> Show Preview, or press the keys Shift-Command-P. Quick Actions for Images, Video, and Audio Quick Actions are located in the bottom right of the Finder window, just under the preview of the selected file. These actions will change depending on the file: For images, clicking Rotate Left turns the image counterclockwise, while clicking Markup invokes an enhanced Quick Look window containing a set of markup tools. If two or more images are selected in Finder, the Markup button will change to Create PDF, allowing you to turn the images into a single portable document. If a QuickTime compatible video or audio file is selected, Markup will be replaced by Trim. Clicking this brings up a Quick Look window with an editing ribbon to trim the file. How to Customize Quick Actions You've probably noticed the More... button beside the default Quick Actions. Click this and then select Customize..., and you'll be taken to the Extensions pane in System Preferences, where you'll be able to select other actions to add to Finder's Preview pane. The actions available to you will depend on which applications you have installed and any pre-existing Apple scripts on your Mac. Apple is encouraging third-party developers to add support for

How to Use Quick Look in macOS Mojave

In previous versions of macOS, the Quick Look feature lets you view photos and files without having to open them in an app. In macOS Mojave, Apple has also introduced some convenient new editing tools to Quick Look, allowing you to perform actions specific to the kind of file you're viewing. Let's take a look at how it all fits together. How Quick Look Works For those unfamiliar with Quick Look, the feature can be used for items on the Desktop, in Finder windows, in emails, in messages, and other places. It supports numerous file types, including HTML, PDF, Plain text, RTF, iWork, MS Office, RAW, JPEGs, and QuickTime formats. To activate it, simply select one or more items, then press the Spacebar or force-click using your Mac's trackpad. In the top left of the Quick Look window you'll find the Maximize button next to the Close button. (You can also manually enlarge the window by dragging the corners.) Open with [App] and Share buttons are located in the top-right corner of the Quick Look window, along with a Rotate Left button if you're working with images or video. As before, if you select multiple items, you'll see arrow buttons to navigate through them, as well as a Sheet View button to see the items in an index sheet view. If you opened a document such as a PDF, you'll see a column of thumbnails along the side of the window for quickly navigating through the pages. What's New in Quick Look New to Quick Look in Mojave is the ability to access Markup tools. Simply click the Markup button to reveal the toolset. Quick Look lets you draw on and

How to Use the New Continuity Camera Feature in macOS Mojave

In macOS Mojave, Apple has extended its Continuity features so that now you can use your iPhone or iPad's camera to take a photo or scan a document, and it will be immediately available on your Mac. Continuity Camera works in several native Mac apps, including Pages, Keynote, and TextEdit. The following steps explain how to use it. Bear in mind that both your iOS device and your Mac need to be logged into the same Apple ID for this feature to work. How to Add a Photo Using Continuity Camera Launch the app that you want to import a photo into. Open an existing project or document, or create a new one. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the location where you want to insert the photo. In the contextual menu, click Take Photo under the name of the iOS device that you want to use. Take the photo on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Use Photo on your iOS device, and the image will appear in the open project or document on your Mac. How to Scan a Document Using Continuity Camera Launch the app you want to use and open a project or document, or create a new one. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the space where you want to insert the captured document. In the contextual menu, click Scan Document under the name of the iOS device that you want to use. Using your iPhone or iPad's camera, frame the document in the onscreen viewfinder. The document should turn yellow and scan automatically. You can repeat this step to scan several documents if desired. Tap Save on your iOS device, and your scanned documents will be inserted into the open project or document on your Mac.

Report Claims Apple's Original Programming Efforts Will Avoid Mature Content

Apple is unlikely to produce original content that contains gratuitous sex, violence, profanity, or risqué storylines, according to a report published over the weekend by the Wall Street Journal. The article cites several sources familiar with Apple's original programming plans who say Apple wants to avoid putting its name to anything that could risk tainting its wider brand image. It also relates CEO Tim Cook's alleged reaction to watching Apple's first scripted drama, "Vital Signs," a semi-autobiographical tale of hip hop artist Dr Dre. According to the paper's sources, Cook previewed the show and was "troubled" by scenes depicting drawn guns, sex and drug use, and reportedly told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine that Apple couldn't show it. Across Hollywood and inside Apple, the show has become emblematic of the challenges faced by the technology giant as it pushes into entertainment. Apple earmarked $1 billion for Hollywood programming last year. But in the tone CEO Mr. Cook has set for it, whatever Apple produces mustn't taint a pristine brand image that has helped the company collect 80% of the profits in the global smartphone market. Apple's entertainment team must walk a line few in Hollywood would consider. Since Mr. Cook spiked "Vital Signs," Apple has made clear, say producers and agents, that it wants high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn't want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.Apple's approach is in direct contrast to that of other streaming platforms, which have found great success in producing edgy content like

Skype Calling Features Coming to Alexa Devices Later This Year

Microsoft has revealed that Skype is coming to Alexa devices. The partnership between Microsoft and Amazon means that owners of devices in Amazon's Echo range will soon be able to make outgoing Skype voice and video calls, accept incoming Skype calls, and also make SkypeOut calls to most phone numbers around the world. Announcing the upcoming feature in a blog post, Microsoft said device owners will be able to say something like "Alexa, call Jimmy on Skype," or if Jimmy is calling you on Skype, they'll be able to say, "Alexa, answer." This isn't the first time Amazon and Microsoft has seen fit to merge existing products and services. The two companies partnered on Alexa and Cortana integration last year. "Since then, we've added Alexa integration on Xbox and are continuing to work together to bring the best of Skype and Alexa together to enable intelligent communications for our users," said Gaurav Sareen, corporate vice president for Microsoft. "We're excited to continue bringing the best of Microsoft and Amazon together."Skype calling on Alexa will begin rolling out later this

First Impressions From New Apple Watch Series 4 Owners

With Apple Watch Series 4 models wending their way to Apple customers in the United States and many other countries today, some people have already picked up their orders and are sharing their first impressions of the new smartwatch online. Apple Watch Series 4 owners on Reddit and the MacRumors forums appear to be particularly impressed by the larger screen and redesigned chassis. Image by Reddit user KaiiXiang Reddit user bluebear74 said that "coming from a S0 to S4 is amazing," and expressed surprise at the amount of information the bigger screen is able to display: "There's so many complications I don't know what to do with them all!" Having previously used a Series 1 model, Reddit user KaiiXiang in Singapore said they were "really blown away" by the new watch's screen and responsiveness, although they noted that Siri "still sucks" since it's "either slow or fails to pick up what I say most of the time." Image by MacRumors forum member implacablewombat MacRumors forum member Jasonstevens said his new Series 4 "looks/feels amazing," although he found the haptic feedback on the Digital Crown less impressive: "It feels like it's just tapping my wrist not my finger." Reddit user DisHowWeDo, who has small wrists (170mm) and had never owned an Apple Watch before, said they were "REALLY worried the 44mm would look huge on me," but ultimately found it to be "flipping perfect" and "definitely the right size." Hermès Series 4 image by MacRumors forum member boardiesboi Likewise, MacRumors forum member Suxamethonium was a little worried about the 44mm size