O'Grady's PowerPage » iPhone

iOS 8′s MAC randomization requires cellular data & location services to be disabled

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, September 27th, 2014, 15:36
Category: iOS, iOS 8, iPhone, privacy

You know that we love, cherish and respect your privacy here at The PowerPage, right?

Privacy bugs will be interested in reading Apple’s new “Privacy built in” microsite, which extolls the virtues of some of the new privacy features that are baked into iOS 8. While it’s a huge step in the right directions for the consumer (so much so that the FBI is spreading FUD about it), some industry experts are taking issue with one of the new features.

At issue is what Apple calls Randomized Wi-Fi addresses. In reading that section of Privacy Built In, one could be left to believe that merchants and retailers can no longer track your movements and behavior by scanning your iPhone’s Wi-Fi MAC address. While Apple has taken steps to obscure it in iOS 8, it’s not a simple (or automatic) as Apple leads us to believe.

A new blog post from AirTight Networks’ Bhupinder Misra called “iOS8 MAC Randomization – Analyzed!” (read parts 1 and 2) takes issue with Apple’s claims that iOS 8 uses randomized and locally administrated Wi-Fi MAC addresses in the probing state. For his blog posts Misra used sophisticated packet sniffing gear to dig into the inner workings of randomized MAC addresses.

His conclusions:

On the iPhone 5s, MAC randomization happens only under the following conditions:

  1. Phone is in sleep mode (display off, not being used)
  2. Wi-Fi should be ON but not associated
  3. Location services should be OFF in privacy settings

Then after reading scandalous reports from The Washington Post and Gizmodo stating that “Apple’s new feature to curb phone tracking won’t work if you’re actually using your phone” he decided to dig a little deeper and discovered that location services should be OFF for random MAC addresses to actually show up.

It has to do with the cellular data connection setting. Basically, if the phone’s cellular data connection is ON, there is no MAC randomization! If you now turn OFF the cellular data connection (Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular Data OFF), random MAC addresses show up.

Rups!

iOS8 MAC RandomGate:  Who turns OFF location services AND turns OFF cellular data connection while using their iPhone?

So if both Cellular Data and Location Services have to be switched off to randomize MAC addresses, it’s not really much of a privacy feature then, is it? I think that Apple needs to clarify how this feature really works and it should probably remove it completely from the fancy new Privacy Built In page.

Misra says it best:

Bottom line, this further shrinks the population which is covered by MAC address randomization, perhaps to inconsequential levels and maybe even zero. Who turns OFF location services AND turns OFF cellular data connection while using their iPhone. That is why I now call it “iOS8 MAC RandomGate”.

Apple’s done a lot right with respect to user privacy, but this one seems a tad disingenuous to me.

Apple outlines iPhone 6, 6 Plus bend test process

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 26th, 2014, 15:11
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

History will decide if the bent iPhone 6 Plus scandal will be termed “Bendgate” or “Bendygate” or something else, but one thing’s for certain: Apple’s come up with a reply to it.

Per Macworld and The Verge, the company has stated that only nine users have complained to Apple regarding the iPhone 6 Plus bending in their pockets. The company has gone on to state that about 15,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets were tested prior to shipping last week. While this is only a small fraction of the 10 million units sold so far, they do represent a decent sample group that endure day-to-day rigors throughout the testing process.

bendygate

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Apple posts iOS 8.0.2 update, chases down Touch ID, cellular connectivity bugs reported in iOS 8.0.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014, 20:12
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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This may avert another 24 hours of iOS update crisis.

Per MacRumors, Apple on Thursday released iOS 8.0.2.

The update, which is available as an over-the-air update or via iTunes, includes the bug fixes that were included in the original iOS 8.0.1 update as well as repairs Touch ID and cellular services.

After installing iOS 8.0.1 yesterday, many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users found that their cellular service was disabled and that Touch ID was non-functional. Apple pulled the iOS 8.0.1 update approximately an hour and fifteen minutes after it was first released, but not before numerous iPhone users were able to download the software. The company announced an investigation in the afternoon, and in the evening, released a support document saying iOS 8.0.2 was in the works and directing users to fix the problem via an iTunes restore to iOS 8.

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Rumor: Apple’s upcoming “iPad Pro” model could feature A8X processor, other improvements

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014, 12:39
Category: Hardware, iPad, Processors, Rumor

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The iPad Pro rumors are coming in.

And they’re pointing to some interesting stuff.

Per G for Games and MacRumors, Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet is rumored to be landing as soon as early 2015, reports suggesting that the tablet will feature an improved A8X processor. Similar to Apple’s previous A5X and A6X processors, the A8X would presumably be an graphics-enhanced version of Apple’s current A8 processor that debuted in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple’s shift away from using an “X” version of its base iOS device chip last year, opting to power the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini with the same A7 chip found in the iPhone 5s, albeit clocked slightly faster on the iPad Air. But with a higher-resolution “iPad Pro”, the graphics needs are likely high enough to require an enhanced main chip.

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Apple to release iOS 8.0.2 update within “a few days”, posts support page helping users roll back to iOS 8.0

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014, 11:11
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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Apple will release iOS 8.0.2, just give it a few days.

According to The Verge, following Apple’s submission and retraction of its iOS 8.0.1 mobile operating system update on Wednesday due to Touch ID and cellular connectivity concerns, the company has said that it has identified the cause of these bugs and is planning to release a newer iOS 8.0.2 version with a patch in the coming days, according to a support document posted to the company’s website.

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Updated: Apple releases, pulls iOS 8.0.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014, 13:12
Category: iOS, News, Software

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It was bound to happen.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 8.0.1 of its iOS mobile operating system. The update, which can be acquired via iTunes or the Software Update feature in iOS 8, offers the following fixes and changes to Apple’s newly-released operating system:

- Fixes a bug so HealthKit apps can now be made available on the App Store.

- Addresses an issue where third-party keyboards could become deselected when a user enters their passcode.

- Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos from the Photo Library.

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Video surfaces of iPhone 6 Plus being bent with bare hands

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014, 11:05
Category: iPhone, News

You might want to be careful with your new iPhone 6 Plus.

Per French web site MacBidouille and the Mac Observer, YouTube channel UnboxTherapy did a bend test on an iPhone 6 Plus handset to see where it stood in terms of physical vulnerability.

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The iPhone 6 Plus has a content problem

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 03:19
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone

WIRED Magazine is only available on the iPad, and that's a problem - Jason O'GradyI purchased an iPhone 6 Plus on Friday to replace my iPhone 5s and an iPad mini Retina. I figured that the large, 5.5-inch screen on the 6 Plus would allow me to consolidate two devices into one.

It turns out that while the concept of an iPhone-6-Plus-as-an-iPad (think iPad nano) sounds good in theory, it fails in practice.

The iPhone 6 Plus ships with a different build of iOS 8 (12A366) than the iPhone 6 (12A365) which allows it to do a few new tricks that aren’t possible on its smaller 4.7-inch cousin. Most notably, the iPhone 6 Plus home screen can be rotated to a horizontal (or “landscape”) view with the dock running along the right-hand side.

Another new trick: the 6 Plus home screen be flipped 180-degrees (another first) to the delight legions of commuters that connect Lightning and/or audio cables into the bottom of their iPhone only to promptly stick them into their vehicle’s cup holder upside-down. Sadly the UIs for Apple Maps and Google Maps don’t rotate 180-degrees (but Waze does).

Most of Apple’s first-party apps (including Mail, Calendar, Messages, Settings and Clock) feature a new dual-pane mode when rotated into landscape mode on the iPhone 6 Plus, similar to how they behave on the iPad. It’s a nice trick that I hope that more iOS developers integrate into their apps.

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Apple announces 10 million iPhone 6 handsets sold during launch weekend

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 22nd, 2014, 11:07
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Another year, another broken record.

Per Macworld, Apple announced on Monday that it sold ten million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models combined after the first weekend of availability—a new record for launch weekend iPhone sales. It’s no surprise, after Apple announced last Monday that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders hit 4 million in the first 24 hours alone.

The latest iPhones became available on Friday, September 19th in 10 countries and territories worldwide.

Apple’s latest sales record beats the company’s 2013 iPhone launch weekend for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which topped out at nine million devices.

However, the iPhone 5s and 5c were available in 11 regions worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. For this year’s launch weekend, China was left off the initial launch list.

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Apple to hold iPad Air, Yosemite-focused media event on October 21st

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 22nd, 2014, 11:05
Category: iPad, iPad Air, News, Software

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Following up on the heels of the iPhone 6 launch and the Apple Watch announcement, Apple has stated that the company will be holding its next media event on Tuesday, October 21st, where the company is expected to unveil two new iPad models and announce the release of OS X Yosemite, the next version of its Mac operating system, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Last year, Apple held an event on Oct. 22, where it announced the iPad Air, second generation iPad mini, and released OS X Mavericks.

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