Apple has announced plans to expand end-to-end encryption of iCloud data in a move that’s been welcomed by digital rights groups. A new Advanced Data Protection feature will allow users to encrypt new categories of data, including device backups, messages, photos, notes, chat histories and more.
The only major iCloud data categories not covered, says Apple, are iCloud mail, contacts, and calendar, because of the need to interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems. The new feature is aimed at politicians, celebrities and, indeed, anybody concerned about privacy. It will be available on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Mac, with iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS 13.1, in the US by the end of this year, with it extending to other countries in 2023.
“Advanced Data Protection is Apple’s highest level of cloud data security, giving users the choice to protect the vast majority of their most sensitive iCloud data with end-to-end encryption so that it can only be decrypted on their trusted devices,” says Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture. The announcement also represents a move away from client-side scanning (CSS), which Apple announced last year – but which was roundly slammed by cyber security experts.
That involved searching individual devices’ iCloud photo libraries for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) using a technology called NeuralHash and then comparing them with known CSAM material and reporting suspect images to the police. Instead, the company now says it plans to focus on opt-in tools for parents.As a result, the new data protection feature has been broadly welcomed by campaigners.
“Encryption is one of the most important tools we have for maintaining privacy and security online,” says Joe Mullin, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “We’re also pleased to hear that Apple has officially dropped its plans to install photo-scanning software on its devices, which would have inspected users’ private photos in iCloud and iMessage.”
He says he would, though, like to see Apple go further by turning on the new features by default. Meanwhile, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) says the new child protection plans should make it easier to accurately detect and inhibit the sharing of intimate photos through messaging to or from a child.
“The approach of local-only ‘speed bumps’ is promising. When parents opt in, local software can attempt to detect when an intimate image is about to be sent and include a warning to the child, explaining the risks and suggesting contacting a trusted adult instead,” write the CDT’s Mallory Knodel and Nick Doty.
“We believe that speed bump warnings around sending intimate imagery, done properly, can empower users to have agency over their confidential communications without introducing the expansive risks of client-side scanning or cloud-service scanning.”
However, not all are so happy. In a statement to The Washington Post, the FBI said said it was ‘deeply concerned’ about the move. “This hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism,” it said.
A new report claims a brilliant new feature could be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, powered by the software that’s about to be revealed.
Apple’s next big iPhone software release, iOS 16, will be unveiled at Apple’s upcoming special event, the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The keynote will be a pre-recorded event but with an in-person contingent: streamed to a small group of developers in Cupertino and simultaneously to the rest of the world. It could include Apple’s biggest new product category reveal in almost eight years.
Even if that doesn’t happen, for sure there will be the first looks at Apple’s software platforms: iOS for iPhone, iPadOS for iPad, macOS for Apple Macs, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for Apple Watch.
Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his latest Power On newsletter, has news about what iOS 16 contains. While most of the innovations are software-only, at least one indicates something that may be locked to the iPhone 14 series, or parts of it, alone.
This is a feature the iPhone has never had, though plenty of Android phones have. Still, Apple’s mantra seems to be “Don’t do it first, do it right”.
The best always-on screens show the time, what notifications await, if there’s an alarm set and so on. You can configure them to show exactly what you want including, in the case of the excellent Huawei screens, a cute animation. It means you can glance down at the iPhone and see the time, even without touching it. All without killing the battery.
Gurman claims that this new feature, assuming it makes the cut, will be reserved for Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, that is, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, if that’s what the other two phones are called, won’t have it.
It’s a feature that’s been in the planning for a long time because according to Gurman it’s: “something Apple was originally planning for last year’s iPhone 13. This would allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen and display quickly glanceable information—similar to newer Apple Watches.” If it happens, it’s a big deal.
Also in iOS 16
Gurman also claims that there will be an extensive series of changes across the OS, including, “updates to notifications, iPad multitasking, and the Messages and Health apps. The makeover also includes a part of the interface that’s often an afterthought: the lock screen.”
He rightly points out that the most used lock-screen feature is likely the flashlight button—if your usage is anything like mine, that is.
New “wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities” are predicted. There are no more details from Gurman about this, but it sounds exciting and suggests a more innovative and more useful lock screen.
The next iPhone software is predicted to see an improved Messages app with “more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.”
Messages already has a bunch of cool features like the ability to add confetti or balloons to texts and the fact that the advanced stuff is only available between Apple users adds to the exclusivity and helps stop a wholesale move to the multi-platform WhatsApp, perhaps.
New features are expected for the Health app on the iPhone, and while Gurman says there will be “plenty” of them. There are no more details yet.More details as we have them, but not long until it’s all revealed.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro is set to be the phone that could shake up the iPhone range by potentially bringing in a notably different design from the iPhone 13 Pro. So far the rumors have hinted at everything from the death of the notch to the return of Touch ID.
Naturally, Apple is extremely tight-lipped about any information concerning its next iPhones, especially when it comes to release dates and price. But going by previous launches, we’d say it’s a safe bet to expect the iPhone 14 range to debut in September. The most recent leak has the iPhone 14 launch tipped for September 13, supposedly based on insider information. That date seems to track with other rumors and Apple’s general cadence of iPhone launches.
Apple’s next iPads are coming and the company may be about to break with its current pattern of releasing an updated entry-level iPad in the spring (though not every year) and a Pro or two in the fall. New evidence spotted by MySmartPrice suggests that there may be as many as seven different variants later this year, including a new entry-level tablet with a whole new design.
How do we know this?
The Eurasian Economic Commission is the place that Apple leaked the information. Of course, Apple really doesn’t care to leak anything but for regulatory reasons it has to place details with the commission some months before a product can go on sale in the five countries it works across: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
No surprise that the company reveals not one scintilla more information than it absolutely has to. Earlier this month, Apple filed certification documents for five model numbers. These, if you like this kind of statistical completeness, were: A2068, A2197, A2198, A2228 and A2230.
In the last few hours, there have been two more certifications, A2200 and A2232.
Apple iPad as released in Spring 2018. Is it about to get a radical makeover?
How do we know they’re iPads?
Well, there’s a little more information in the filing. The latest ones have a line which states:
Product Name Full Tablet computers of the trademark ‘Apple’ models A2200, A2232 (iPad OS software version 13)
That’s pretty clear, right?
So what are these seven iPads?
It’s likely that there will be refreshes of the two iPad Pro models released last October, in the same screen sizes of 11in and 12.9in. These may be the five numbers discovered earlier in the month.
Apple iPad Pro, as released last October.
What, five new iPad Pros?
Unlikely. There will probably be two codes for 11in models, one for wi-fi, one for wi-fi plus cellular. Another two for the 12.9in model. Since the commission works across multiple territories it may be that different code numbers are needed for different regions, though exactly what the fifth code is for isn’t clear.
The current Apple iPad Air with Smart Keyboard.
So what’s the radically different iPad?
Glad you asked. In Spring 2018, Apple refreshed its entry-level iPad, bringing Pencil compatibility to the most affordable tablet in the range. But there was no design change and no compatibility with the Apple smart keyboard.
That iPad remains phenomenal value but it’s true that the design is beginning to look a little dated.
This year was the turn for the next level up of iPad to appear, the new iPad Air, based on the design of the earlier iPad Pro 10.5, complete with keyboard compatibility as well as Pencil functionality. An updated iPad mini also appeared.
Since it’s been well over a year since the basic iPad has been updated, and since the design is ageing, this would be the perfect time to completely redesign the lowest-priced iPad.
The latest iPad mini, released in Spring 2019.
A new design, then?
In fact, it would arguably be the first major design shift since the original iPad Air, released back in late 2013, on which the current chassis is based.
The rumors that have been doing the rounds for some months now are that the next iPad will be the very first time an entry-level tablet will have a display size that’s anything other than 9.7in.
Apparently, the next iPad will come with a 10.2in display. In other words, not quite as big as the current iPad Air, but noticeably bigger than any entry-level tablet the company has made before.
What does it look like?
There are no leaked images for us to look at but I believe the next iPad will be very similar in size to the last model but with narrower bezels, especially at the top and bottom.
I believe it will still use Touch ID, rather than the Face ID on the current iPad Pro models.
Still, a bigger screen on a tablet likely to be the same weight or lighter, and the same size or smaller when compared to the iPad now, is intriguing.
The current Apple iPad Air with its 10.5in screen, plus Smart Keyboard.
How do you know it won’t be a 10.5in screen?
Well, I don’t except that’s the size of the screen for the current iPad Air and it the new entry-level device has the same size display as the significantly pricier Air, then that’s the end of one big reason to choose the iPad Air. It’s possible, of course, but I don’t think so.
When will it go on sale and how much?
The usual order for things is that a new iPhone or three will be revealed in September and any tablet will pop up at a separate launch event either later in September or, more likely, October.
Apple has traditionally priced its entry-level tablet very keenly – it’s currently $329 (£319 in the U.K.) and I don’t expect this will change.
As more details emerge I’ll be updating this feature, so please check back, here at Forbes.
I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am always struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to regular repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology. Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009.
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