iPhone

iOS 15: Find My network can still find your iPhone when it is powered off, or factory reset

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

With iOS 15, your iPhone is still traceable through the Find My network even when the device is powered off. It seems that with iOS 15, the phone is not really fully ‘powered off’, it stays in a low-power state and acts like an AirTag, allowing any nearby iOS device to pick up the Bluetooth signal and send back its location.

This also means if your iPhone runs out of battery during the day, you still have a chance of finding its location for several more hours. In fact, Apple says the location tracking will even keep working whilst the phone is reset to factory settings with Activation Lock enabled.

So if someone steals your iPhone and powers it off, or factory resets it, Find My will still work? At least if you get to it before it truly runs out of power?

This seems huge.

PSA: iPhone users reporting ‘SIM Failure’ error after updating to iOS 14.7 beta 2

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

Apple today released iOS 14.7 beta 2 for developers, and while bugs and other weird issues are quite common in beta software, sometimes they can make your device nearly unusable. According to some reports, today’s beta seems to be causing a “SIM Failure” error for iPhone users.

Not enough data to know for sure, but this may be an eSim issue. But that said, if you’ve not yet made the leap, I’d hold off on installing the latest beta until this gets sorted.

How to remotely control your iPhone’s camera

Lance Whitney, Macworld:

There are several reasons why you might not want to hold your iPhone while taking a picture: You need to snap the perfect still photo while your iPhone is on a tripod and don’t want to spoil the shot by jostling it. You’re taking a group photo but also want to be in it. You’re too lazy to lift your finger. Whatever the reason, it’s not a problem. There are actually a few different ways to remotely trigger the shutter button on an iPhone.

This is one of those handy tips that’s great to know. Consider setting up the shortcut (as an easy way to get to know Shortcuts) now, so you have it when the need arises.

Apple shows you how to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

One of the most notable features of Apple’s newly release iOS 14.5 is the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask. No more constantly typing in your passcode while, say, masked up cruising the aisles of your grocery store.

Apple Support released this video showing you how to turn this feature on.

Have an iPhone 12 Pro or iPad Pro? Check out the new AR Spaces in the Clips app

Apple:

Clips, Apple’s easy-to-use video creation app for iPhone and iPad, gives users even more fun options to record captivating videos. With all-new AR Spaces powered by LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro models, creators can transform a space by adding immersive visual effects that map to the contours of a room, and can be easily shared with anyone.

And:

With AR Spaces in Clips 3.1, users can easily scan a room and see a live preview of effects that bring dynamic lighting, falling objects, and immersive scenes to life. Using the rear camera on a supported iPhone or iPad, users will see effects appear on walls, floors, surfaces, furniture, and objects.

This looks like a lot of fun. Depends on the LiDAR Scanner introduced on last year’s iPad Pro and found on the iPhone 12 Pro as well.

Apple ProRAW + Adobe Super Resolution = Amazing!

Om Malik:

In December 2020, with the release of the iOS 14.3, the owners of iPhone 12 Pro (and ProMax), got to experience Apple’s new photo format, ProRaw. In simplest terms, the iPhone camera captures multiple image frames, picks out the best bits from these frames, and stitches them together in a photo with higher amount of data that can be manipulated for editing later. These are big files — about 10-12 times the sized on normal files captured by the iPhone.

On the Adobe Photoshop side:

The term ‘Super Resolution’ refers to the process of improving the quality of a photo by boosting its apparent resolution,” Adobe engineers write on the company blog. “Enlarging a photo often produces blurry details, but Super Resolution has an ace up its sleeve — an advanced machine learning model trained on millions of photos.”

The results are pretty amazing. Follow the headline link, keep in mind that the two base photos were captured with an iPhone. The crops used Photoshop’s Super Resolution machine learning to tease extra resolution and sharpness out of those originals.

Apple researching Mac Pro’s “cheese grater” design for other devices like iPhone

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Apple introduced an innovative milled lattice pattern on the ‌Mac Pro‌ and Pro Display XDR in 2019, which is created by machining a spherical array into the internal and external surfaces of the aluminum. The result is a lightweight lattice pattern that maximizes airflow while creating an extremely rigid structure.

The new patent, first spotted by Patently Apple and granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is titled “Housing construction” and covers expanding the lattice pattern to other devices, such as the ‌iPhone‌.

Look at that first image. When I saw the article, then the image, my first thought was a check of the date. Nope, too early for April Fools Day. This appears to be a real patent filing.

Here’s a link to the actual patent, with a page showing the cheese grater on the sides of an iPhone.

Still can’t wrap my head around the use case here. A cheese grater on a device Apple worked so hard to waterproof? Not getting it.

Will It Work: Installing DOS games on your iPhone

I watch every one of the Will It Work videos. Always an interesting twist on connecting obscure hardware/media to your iPhone.

This episode is one of my favorites. It shows off an App Store approved DOS emulator running fresh out of the package DOS games. Nice.

iPhone 12. Fumble. An ad.

I laughed at this ad. Mostly cause I’ve done that dance so many times.

Relax. It’s iPhone.

iOS security fixes could soon be delivered separately from other updates, beta code suggests

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

A new section added to the iOS software update menu indicates that Apple will provide standalone security updates for iPhone and iPad users. Users would be able to choose whether they want to install only security updates or full iOS updates.

Follow the headline and check out the first image to see the new choices that appear when you go to Settings > General > Software Update, then tap Automatic Updates.

You’ll see two, independent switches:

  • Download New Updates
  • Install Security Updates

Similar to what’s offered on the Mac, you can choose to apply all updates, or just one or the other. For example, I can imagine installing all security updates automatically, but not running new general updates without doing a bit more research first.

For me, both switches were enabled by default. I’m leaving them that way.

Apple brand loyalty hits all-time high as Samsung loyalty dives

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

Apple brand loyalty among smartphone owners has hit an all-time high, according to a survey by SellCell. It shows that 91.9% of iPhone owners plan to buy another iPhone when they next upgrade, up 1.4% from 2019.

I’m actually surprised that this “renewal” number is so low. Once you are in the Apple ecosystem, it’s not easy to walk away. The ecosystem is sticky. Makes me curious for follow-up on why the 8.1% of iPhone owners do not plan on buying another iPhone. Bad experience? Too expensive? A preference for Android?

Here are the reasons given:

  • Other brand has better technology (e.g., screen, camera, battery, etc.): 38%
  • Prefer the design of other brand: 26.4%
  • Latest model from the other brand has more features than the latest model of my current brand: 12.9%

On the flip side:

SellCell says that only 74% of Samsung smartphone owners plan to buy another Samsung model, down from 85.7% in 2019.

Interesting.

Apple releases iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield ad

Apple:

iPhone 12. More spill and splash resistant than ever. Ceramic Shield, tougher than any smartphone glass. Relax, it’s iPhone.

“Relax, it’s iPhone”. That tagline is eerily reminiscent of this old chestnut.

Here’s the new Ceramic Shield ad. That’s one sloppy chef.

What I really think of the iPhone!

MKBHD shares a long form (really long form, 48 minutes worth) deep dive into the iPhone 12 Pro.

The video is interesting all the way through, but even if you are not in the mood for iPhone coverage, or long, long videos, spend the time to watch the first few minutes. Fascinating thoughts on how much goes in to making all those short videos short, and living with Apple embargoes.

iPhone fished out of British Columbia lake, still works after 6 months underwater

CBC News:

Fatemeh Ghodsi was skeptical at first when she got a text from someone saying they found her phone nearly six months after she lost it in Harrison Lake.

Ghodsi, who lives in Vancouver, was confused and thought one of her friends might be playing a prank on her. But she was soon convinced and made the trip to Chilliwack to collect the phone, which amazingly still works.

Clayton Helkenberg and his wife Heather found the lost iPhone 11 during a sweep of the lake bottom under the water park at Harrison Lake — part of a hobby that includes the odd treasure find, but mostly just lots of garbage clean up.

Amazing that a previous generation iPhone could live under water for 6 months and still work perfectly. That’s a pretty solid waterproof test.

[H/T John Kordyback]

iPhone sticking with Lightning port over USB-C for ‘foreseeable future’

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the “foreseeable future,” with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Getting a bit of whiplash here, from rumored moves to USB-C, to no port at all, and now back to square one. Take it all with a grain of salt.

How to find your pointer

OK, this is silly, but fun and worth trying. Best on your Mac, but even works on your iPhone/iPad, as long as you keep your finger on the screen.

Hometown — Shot on iPhone

Apple:

In honor of Black History Month, 32 of the country’s most visionary Black photographers show us their hometowns. Phillip Youmans, the youngest ever director to win at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows a number of our image-makers as they each celebrate the Black experience, Black excellence, love, and imagination.

Set aside a few minutes when you can both watch these videos, but also listen to the compelling stories these artists are telling. Big fan of this work.

These are the best iPhone apps for converting images and screenshots to text

Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac:

The tried-and-true copy/paste combo is a staple of productivity but that can grind to a halt when you need to quickly grab text from the real world or existing screenshots and pictures. Read along for how to convert iPhone images to text available right on your clipboard.

This is one of those things that is a wonder once you add an app like this to your stable.

Take a look at the screenshot in Michael’s article to get a sense of how you might use something like this. It really is a nice tool to have.

A nit, but I would change the headline, since this is more of a here’s a great iPhone app, here’s a great Mac app, not so much a rundown of iPhone apps. But that aside, worth a look.

Your smartphone doesn’t have to be glued shut!

[VIDEO] Think about replacing the battery on your iPhone. Or any other part. Then watch this video embedded in the main Loop post.

Part of this is about me being a tinkerer, with a long history of taking things apart and putting them back together again. Sure.

But I think anyone would benefit from the ability to swap out their iPhone battery in just a few minutes, without having to take/ship it in to the Apple Store, at considerable expense.

Watch the video, look at these examples. True, these folks aren’t making millions of phones, and Apple does cram a tremendous amount of tech into an incredibly thin package, but still, I can’t help but think there’s a path to making an iPhone easier/possible to repair.

Great video showing the setup and use of Apple Watch unlocking an iPhone

[VIDEO] The video (embedded in the main Loop post) does a nice job showing off the use of an Apple Watch to unlock an iPhone when Face ID is hampered by a mask.

Note that you’ll need both the iOS 14.5 beta as well as the watchOS 7.4 beta for this to work. You’ll also need WiFi enabled on your iPhone (no need to be connected to a network).

Everything new in the iOS 14.5 Beta, including details on Apple Watch iPhone unlock

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates, and while the new software serves as a deadline for when app developers must comply with App Tracking Transparency rules, there are also a handful of other changes worth noting.

Follow the headline link for a detailed list of new features.

The most significant of these new features, to me, was the ability to use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone when Face ID is stymied by your mask.

I generally don’t install a first beta on my daily carry iPhone, but this feature pushed me to make an exception. I did the install and I have to say, this beta (at least so far) is rock solid.

If you do install the beta and want to enable Apple Watch unlock:

  • first you’ll need to install the watchOS 7.4 beta on your Apple Watch (also rock solid for me)
  • go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode
  • Scroll down to the new UNLOCK WITH APPLE WATCH section
  • Tap the Apple Watch switch
  • Make sure WiFi is enabled on your iPhone (no need to be connected to a network)

I threw on a mask and put this through it’s paces. It works really well. Kudos to the engineering team. Well done.

Apple posts Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max, Chinese New Year film

[VIDEO] Apple:

A Chinese New Year legend reimagined as a contemporary coming-of-age story, Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max. Directed by Lulu Wang and created by the team behind the Golden Globe nominated film, The Farewell.

This is a lovely featurette. Make sure subtitles are enabled. And don’t miss the “Making of”. Both videos embedded in main Loop post.

Apple says iOS 14.4 fixes three security bugs ‘actively exploited’ by hackers

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch:

Apple has released iOS 14.4 with security fixes for three vulnerabilities, said to be under active attack by hackers.

The technology giant said in its security update pages for iOS and iPadOS 14.4 that the three bugs affecting iPhones and iPads “may have been actively exploited.” Details of the vulnerabilities are scarce, and an Apple spokesperson declined to comment beyond what’s in the advisory.

From that Apple security note:

Kernel impact: A malicious application may be able to elevate privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

And:

WebKit impact: A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Note that this is an issue for both iPadOS and iOS. So update your iPhone and iPad both.

Shot on iPhone: Student films, Behind the Scenes

[VIDEO] This short feature from Apple shows off some student films showcased by the Shot on iPhone campaign.

This “Behind the Scenes” is inspirational for folks interested in making their own movies, and continues to explore the possibilities of vertical filmmaking (think portrait mode, vs the traditional landscape mode).

Very interesting, worth watching. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Apple: Shot on iPhone 12

Apple’s latest gallery, showing off the iPhone 12 series camera. Follow the headline link and scroll through these photos. Some beautiful work there.

A simple Shortcuts project

If you’ve read about Shortcuts, but felt a bit overwhelmed by the learning curve, here’s a great, simple project, perfect for dipping your toes in the water.

In a nutshell:

  • Fire up the Shortcuts app on your iPhone
  • Tap the Automation tab at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap “Create Personal Automation”
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap “Charger”
  • Make sure “Is Connected” is selected
  • Tap “Next”
  • In the search field that appears (bottom of screen), type “Speak”. The action “Speak Text” should appear. Tap on it.
  • Tap the “Text” area and type some text to speak, like “Charging”
  • Tap “Next”
  • Tap to turn off “Ask Before Running”.
  • Tap “Done”

That’s it. Now plug in your iPhone and it will speak the text. Let the pranks begin!

One last note: To delete the shortcut (on the off chance that the novelty wears off), drag it to the left and tap Delete.

Apple’s new ProRAW photo format is neither pro nor RAW

Kirk McElhearn, digging into ProRAW:

One of the key elements of raw files is that they are not demosaiced.

Demosaiced? That’s a new term for me.

From the Demosaicing Wikipedia page:

A digital image process used to reconstruct a full color image from the incomplete color samples output from an image sensor overlaid with a color filter array (CFA). It is also known as CFA interpolation or color reconstruction.

Most modern digital cameras acquire images using a single image sensor overlaid with a CFA, so demosaicing is part of the processing pipeline required to render these images into a viewable format.

Many modern digital cameras can save images in a raw format allowing the user to demosaic them using software, rather than using the camera’s built-in firmware.

OK, got it, back to Kirk:

When you open a raw file in an editing, your software processes the file, performing the demosaicing, along with some other processing, and then allows you to then proceed with other edits. Because of this, there are a number of photo editing apps that perform this demosaicing in slightly different ways; photographers choose the app they prefer according to the results (and for other editing capabilities as well).

But Apple’s ProRAW has already done this demosaicing, which means that, well, it’s not a raw file.

This is just the beginning of a long, interesting take on ProRAW. If you are into the camera side of your iPhone, this is definitely worth a read.

MKBHD: Apple removing stuff from the iPhone — Solve + Justify

[VIDEO] Marques Brownlee walks through major iPhone removals over the years, including the home button and the 3.5mm headphone jack. This leads up to a discussion of the potential removal of the lightning port.

To add depth to the discussion, Marques brings on Mark Gurman. Don’t miss the snarky comment about MacBook Pro webcams. Great video, embedded in the main Loop post.

Rene Ritchie and Sebastiaan de With talk iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

[VIDEO] If time is limited, jump to 4:28 to skip over the introduction and convivial conversation and get to the heart of the video (embedded in main Loop post).

This video offers a great opportunity to meet and get to know Sebastiaan de With, who is highly regarded for his camera knowledge and fantastic work on the Halide camera app. I love the opener of this segment, where Rene lays out his theory on why some reviewers see no difference between the iPhone 12 Pro camera and the 12 Pro Max camera.

Good stuff.