Over the past three years, security researchers and real-world attackers have found iMessage remote code execution (RCE) bugs and abused them to develop exploits that allowed them to take control over an iPhone just by sending a simple text, photo, or video to someone’s device.
As reported January 28, 2021 by ZDNet “With the release of iOS 14 last fall, Apple has added a new security system to iPhones and iPads to protect users against attacks carried out via the iMessage instant messaging client.”
“Named BlastDoor, this new iOS security feature was discovered by Samuel Groß, a security researcher with Project Zero, a Google security team tasked with finding vulnerabilities in commonly-used software.”
“Groß said the new BlastDoor service is a basic sandbox, a type of security service that executes code separately from the rest of the operating system.”
“While iOS ships with multiple sandbox mechanisms, BlastDoor is a new addition that operates only at the level of the iMessage app.”
“Its role is to take incoming messages and unpack and process their content inside a secure and isolated environment, where any malicious code hidden inside a message can’t interact or harm the underlying operating system or retrieve with user data.”
Michael Tasi in a blog post today pointed out a change in the toggle for iOS and iPadOS Automatic Updates that I was unaware of. Before 13.6, there was a single toggle to turn Automatic Updates on or off. I always have it turned off.
In 13.6 there are new toggles for Customizing Automatic Updates
You can now decide whether or not your iPhone or iPad can automatically download iOS updates when connected to WiFi, and when those updates are installed. There’s a Download iOS Updates toggle for turning on automatic downloads over WiFi and an Install iOS Updates toggle for installing software updates overnight as an iPhone charges.
As I mentioned, above I always have automatic OS updates off on all my devices. I like to wait for a few days to make sure there are no issues with the update before I install it. And yes, we all know issues do happen.
Unfortunately for me, I ran into the same problem as Jeff Johnson:
PSA: If you previously had iOS and iPadOS Automatic Updates turned off you’ll want to take a minute and review your Automatic Update setting and adjust it accordingly.
I had been writing an article in Ulysses for the last couple of days and was just about done with it. Last evening while lying in bed I was reviewing it on my iPhone and I noticed something that I wanted to change. So I selected the change and deleted it. Unknowingly I had somehow selected the text of the entire article and everything I had written was gone. Ah Shit!
I couldn’t figure out a way to get what I’d written back. I checked for a Ulysses backup but to my surprise, Ulysses doesn’t backup external files and folders and the article was in a Dropbox folder. Next, I tried a google search for a Ulysses undo action and again no luck. So at this point, everything that I’d written was gone.
This morning I was listening to an episode of Accidental Tech Podcast and Casey Liss happened to mention three-finger swipe for undo. I don’t remember in what context he mentioned it but it sure got my attention. I immediately thought I wish I had known this yesterday. It would have saved my ass.
Here’s how it works. Swipe left with three fingers on the active app to undo your last actions. To redo your last action, swipe right with three fingers. This works on iOS and iPadOS.
The Sweet Setup has a good article on text formatting gestures that you can find it here.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been using my iPad as my main computing device. This has been possible thanks to iPadOS 13.4 advanced mouse and trackpad support. I’m using my 9.7” 5th generation iPad, Magic Trackpad 2, and Logi Slim Folio keyboard. For the most part, this setup has worked out great.
I like the way M.G. Siegler wrote about using the iPad in a recent post on 500ish. It describes exactly how I’m feeling about the iPad now.
For some people, depending on their workflows, they will absolutely need a desktop OS to be as productive as possible. I am not one of those people. For me, it’s more just getting used to doing everything that I used to do on macOS on iOS. And with the new keyboard + trackpad, I think I can now get there. Again, it will just take some time and retraining my brain on certain things. If I can do that, I actually think the iPad will be far preferable for me to do everything I do right now on a Mac.
With that in mind, I’m looking forward to getting a new iPad. Interestingly, a few days ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple will introduce a new cheaper iPad at the end of the year with a 10.8-inch screen, larger than the 10.2-inch iPad and 10.5-inch iPad Air we know today. I’m guessing that this iPad would work out nicely for me.
Yesterday Apple released iPadOS 13.4 with advanced cursor support. I immediately downloaded 13.4 to my iPad and paired my Magic Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse.
I’ve been using my iPad with the Trackpad for a few hours now and can say this will change how I use my iPad. One thing I will mention is that my original Magic Mouse didn’t scroll. A Magic Mouse 2 is required for full mouse support.
Now I can see an iPad replacing my MacBook Pro as my main computing device. That said, I’ll be considering a new iPad. I’m not sure which one at this point but I’ll decide after I’ve used my existing iPad with the Trackpad for awhile.
All that said, I’m going to have to make some adjustments to my workflows since a lot of what I do on my MacBook Pro involves using Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel. A lot of what I do with those apps can’t be replicated on the iPad. I’m sure I’ll find ways to work around it though.
To get started, I found this 9to5 Mac YouTube video very helpful.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, iPadOS 13.4 will be released. Why am I so looking forward to this? Well, 13.4 will have advanced cursor support which means a mouse and trackpad will now work with my iPad. I’ll be trying this out and that will be a welcome diversion from worrying about COVID-19.
We have seen that with iPadOS 13, which was the first version to introduce mouse support to the iPad, but the implementation was extremely limited. This will change with iPadOS 13.4, which brings a new way to use a mouse or trackpad on the iPad.
The cursor will be a small semi-transparent circle instead of a regular pointer, which will come up only when you need it. That means once the user stops moving the cursor, it will disappear from the screen so that the focus continues on the content.
It also disappears when it is over certain interface elements, such as buttons and icons of the Dock. These elements will be highlighted with a different shape so you know the cursor is there, and you can just slide to access other options.
I think that at some point I would like to be iOS only? This may get one step closer to doing it.
9to5 Mac is reporting that sophisticated mouse cursor support is coming to iOS 14 and that new iPad Smart Keyboard models will have a trackpad.
According to code seen by 9to5Mac, Apple is set to roll out rich system-wide support for mouse cursors with iOS 14. Apple added rudimentary compatibility with external mice in iOS 13 Accessibility settings, but iOS 14 (iPadOS 14) will make it mainstream.
The iOS 14 build also referenced two new Smart Keyboard models in development.
The changes coming to the software will bring most of the cursor features you recognize from a Mac desktop experience to iOS.
I love it and I’m looking forward to it. This seems like something that could get me closer to making an iPad my main computing device.
I have never liked Apple Notes because I have found it to be unreliable in several ways. But a few months ago I thought I would give it a try because I kept reading and hearing good things about it. So I copied all my notes from Bear to Apple Notes. After doing so everything was running along smoothly. As a fall back I kept my notes up in Bear and I’m glad I did.
So, here we are with iOS 13 and iPadOS and Notes is having sync issues. After reading a few support forums I found this to be a common problem among Apple Notes users. Notes fail to sync, or at best, some notes randomly sync hours later. I don’t have the patience for this.
I’m back to Bear for notes and short-form writing. I have over 500 notes and never had a sync issue. Another great thing about Bear is that I can backup my notes just in case. I also missed the ability to export a note if I wanted to.
Goodbye Apple Notes never again.
A couple of days ago I installed iOS 13 on my iPhone and iPadOS on my iPad. I’ve taken some time to review the new features in both OS’s. I did that by watching the below videos by 9to5 Mac and found them to be very informative.
With iOS 13 I don’t see much that will change how I use my iPhone. On the other hand, I see quite a bit in iPadOS that will change how I use my iPad. Particularly the multitasking features.
The upgrade on my Apple Watch didn’t go smoothly. I’m not sure how to explain this but my Watch update was stuck on an old update 5.3.2 that never finished downloading and installing. My Watch was actually on 5.3.1. I got a message that the install was paused because I needed to connect the Watch to WiFi. So I did that but it was still stalled. As a last resort, I rebooted my iPhone and Watch and went back into the Watch software update and the stall cleared its self out and then the 6.1 update appeared. After that, the install completed with no problems. Bye the way, I like the new California watch faces in watchOS 6. Very cool!
As for macOS Catalina on my MacBook Pro? Well, that’s going to have to wait. It is riddled with problems that I don’t want to deal with. I might not Catalina and just wait for next years macOS update in hopes that it will be a stability update.