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Apple releases watchOS 5 with Podcasts, Walkie-Talkie, and much more

Sorry, the original Apple Watch!

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Apple Watch Series 4

Apple has released watchOS 5 for Apple Watch today. The software update brings a lot of new features and improvements to the Apple-designed wearable, including Activity Competitions, Advanced Running Features, and Walkie-Talkie.

watchOS 5 brings Apple Podcasts to the Watch for the first time. Siri on Apple Watch is now state-of-the-art smart, thanks to Machine Learning leveraged by the Sir watch face. Plus, strike off the “Hey Siri” command — you can now just raise your wrist to talk to Siri. And she will listen.

watchOS 5 Supported Devices

  • Apple Watch Series 1
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4

watchOS 5 Changelog

Activity

  • Challenge any of your Activity sharing friends to a one-on-one, seven-day competition
  • Earn points by filling your Activity rings, one point for every percent added to the rings each day
  • View active competitions in the sharing tab of the Activity app
  • Receive intelligent and personalized notifications throughout the competitions
  • Earn awards at the end of the competition, and view in the redesigned Awards tab in the Activity app on iPhone

Workout

  • Automatic workout detection sends alerts to start the Workout app for many workouts, giving you retroactive credit for exercise already started, and end alerts reminding you to end your workout
  • Yoga and Hiking workout types for accurate tracking of relevant metrics
  • Set target pace during outdoor run workouts and receive alerts if you fall behind or move ahead of that target pace
  • Track cadence, or steps per minute, as you run and see average cadence in running Workout summaries
  • Rolling mile (or km) metric for running workouts measures pace for the immediately preceding mile (or km)

Apple Podcasts

  • Sync subscribed shows on Apple Podcasts to Apple Watch for local playback with Bluetooth headphones
  • New episodes are automatically refreshed as they are added to subscribed shows
  • Stream any available episode or show on Apple Podcasts with Siri when connected to Wi-Fi or cellular
  • New Podcasts complication for watch faces

Walkie-Talkie

  • Invite friends with Apple Watch to communicate with Walkie-Talkie
  • Press to talk and release to listen
  • Supports one-to-one interactions between Apple Watch users
  • Special sounds and haptics distinguish Walkie-Talkie from other notifications on Apple Watch
  • Set your availability for Walkie-Talkie
  • Walkie-Talkie works through Wi-Fi or cellular on Apple Watch or with paired iPhone

Watch Faces

  • Breathe face with three animation styles to choose from: Classic, Calm, and Focus
  • Three new motion faces—Fire & Water, Vapor, and Liquid Metal—that animate when you raise your wrist or tap the display
  • Display curated moments from your photo library using the Memories option on the Photos watch face
  • New complications for Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie

Siri

  • Updated Siri watch face intelligently surfaces predictive and proactive Shortcuts based on routines and inputs like location and time of day
  • Integration with Maps on the Siri watch face shows turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times to your next calendar event location
  • Heart Rate measurements surfaced on the Siri watch face including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate
  • Live sports scores and upcoming games for your favorite teams in the TV app appear on the Siri watch face
  • Support for third-party app shortcuts on the Siri watch face
  • Access to Siri with Raise to Speak, by raising your wrist to your mouth and speaking your request into the watch (Series 3 and later)
  • Support for customized voice commands for Siri Shortcuts that are created and managed on iPhone

Notifications

  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Ability to modify notifications preferences for an app by swiping left on an app notification in Notification Center
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event

Heart Rate

  • Option to be notified if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold while you appeared to be inactive for a 10-minute period
  • Heart Rate measurements including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate shown on the Siri watch face

Other features and improvements

  • View website content optimized for Apple Watch when receiving links in Mail or Messages
  • Add cities to Weather app on Apple Watch
  • See new metrics like UV Index, wind speed, and air quality index in supported regions in Weather app
  • Add new stocks to track in the Stocks app on Apple Watch
  • Customize arrangement of Control Center icons
  • Choose Wi-Fi networks in Settings app and enter password if prompted
  • Answer FaceTime video calls as audio on Apple Watch
  • Option to install software updates overnight
  • Add cities to World Clock app on Apple Watch
  • Use redesigned categories to scroll through and choose emoji in Mail and Messages
  • Adds support for system language in Hindi

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. For more information visit:

https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

https://support.apple.com/HT201222

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Apps & Software

macOS Mojave 10.14.3 supplemental update fixes Group FaceTime bug on Mac

No more eavesdropping on Mac, too!

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macOS Mojave

Apple pushed macOS Mojave 10.14.3 software update to Mac users. The supplemental update follows the Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug fix that arrived on iPhone and iPad through iOS 12.1.4.

macOS 10.14.3 includes fixes for the embarrassing FaceTime bug, and the Live Photos issue that Apple uncovered during a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service. Not to forget that the bug-free Group FaceTime feature is available only on the latest iOS and macOS release, so staying on older firmware will not help here.

Apart from these bug fixes, the software update packs under-the-hood improvements, too. You can grab the supplemental update from the Mac App Store today. Simply head over to System Preferences –> Software Update and you’re good to install the update.

/ Apple

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Apps & Software

Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 with Group FaceTime Eavsdroping B​ug Fix

No more eavesdropping now!

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iPhone Xs Apple Watch Series 4 Availability Kyoto Customer iPhone Xs

Apple has issued iOS 12.1.4 to the public. The software update addresses the Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug, which surfaced last week.

The eavesdropping bug allowed users to listen to other user’s conversation without their knowledge. What’s even more scary is the bug also transmitted the video feed to the caller when the user tried to ignore the call.

In response to this FaceTime bug, Apple quickly disabled the Group FaceTime feature to avoid people from being vulnerable. The company promised to air a fix to this eavesdropping bug last week, and now it’s alive in the form of iOS 12.1.4.

FaceTime

Available for: iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation

Impact: The initiator of a Group FaceTime call may be able to cause the recipient to answer

Description: A logic issue existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls. The issue was addressed with improved state management.

CVE-2019-6223: Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School, Daven Morris of Arlington, TX

Apple formally credited Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School and Daven Morris of Arlington, TX for reporting the bug initially. The company will be compensating the Thompson family for finding and reporting the bug, with an additional scholarship for Thompson’s education.

In addition to addressing the FaceTime bug, Apple has also fixed a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime. The Live Photos bug was uncovered when Apple made a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service. The feature remains disabled on older versions of iOS to ensure users are on the latest release of the software for a safer and secure experience.

/ Apple

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Apps & Software

iOS 12.1.3 now available, fixes HomePod, iPad Pro bugs, and more

One minor update that fixes issues affecting Messages, HomePod, iPad Pro, and CarPlay.

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Apple iOS 12

Apple has released iOS 12.1.3 today. The software update is the fifth update to iOS 12 since its September launch, which follows December’s iPhone-only iOS 12.1.2 update as well.

iOS 12.1.3 is a minor update, though it fixes a handful of bugs affecting the iPad Pro, HomePod, and CarPlay. One of such fixes includes the audio distortion when using external audio input devices on iPad Pro. It also fixes an issue on HomePod that could cause the device to restart or that could cause Siri to stop listening. Full release notes for iOS 12.1.3 are listed below.

This update:
● Fixes an issue in Messages that could impact scrolling through photos in the Details view.
● Address an issue where photos could have striped artifacts after being sent from the Share Sheet
● Fixes an issue that may cause audio distortion when using external audio input devices on iPad Pro (2018)
● Resolves an issue that could cause certain CarPlay systems to disconnect from iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.

This release also includes bug fixes for HomePod.

This update:
● Fixes an issue that could cause HomePod to restart
● Addresses an issue that could cause Siri to stop listening

Eligible iOS devices can grab the OTA update from Settings > General > Software Update. iPhone users will be updating from iOS 12.1.2 to iOS 12.1.3, while iPad users will be updating from iOS 12.1.1.

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