Malicious Link Texted to Mac and iOS Devices Can Cause Freezes and Resprings

A link that exploits a bug in iOS and Mac devices was shared on Twitter this afternoon, and if you receive this link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can freeze up or respring, and the Messages app can become unusable.

The link, which goes to a Github page, breaks the Messages app and causes problems on both iOS devices and Macs. Simply receiving the link results in issues, likely due to the Messages feature that lets you preview web links. We tested the bad link and while we saw few resprings, it did reliably cause the Messages app to freeze entirely.



The only solution appears to be to quit out of the Messages app and then delete the entire offending conversation to restore full functionality.

These kinds of Message-based bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app in the past. Such bugs are not serious, but they can be highly irritating when abused as a prank.

It’s best not to send the link to friends, because it can cause the sending device to freeze up and crash as well. If your device is affected, quit the Messages app on Mac or iOS, open it back up, and immediately delete the entire message thread.

On Mac, you’ll need to swipe right on the trackpad or right click on to the person’s name to delete the conversation, while on iOS, you’ll need to swipe to the right on a person’s name to bring up the delete option.

Blocking the domain using Parental Restrictions may prevent the link from affecting your iOS devices. You can turn on Restrictions on iPhone or iPad by going to Settings –> Restrictions –> Websites and adding “GitHub.io” to the “Never Allow” list.
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WeChat Users Again Allowed to Send Tips After Apple and Tencent Reach Deal

Apple and Tencent, the company that owns the popular WeChat messaging app, have reached a deal that will let WeChat users resume sending in-app tips to content creators, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple first asked Chinese social networking apps to disable tipping functionality back in May 2017 as it violated App Store rules. Tipping, Apple said, was a form of in-app purchase that should be subjected to the same fees as other in-app purchases.



In June, Apple officially updated its App Store Review Guidelines and began allowing tipping, but as an in-app purchase, ensuring the company received its full 30 percent cut. Another tweak was made in September, however, officially allowing Apple users to send monetary gifts to other users without Apple taking a cut.

Tencent initially refused to reimplement tipping as an in-app purchase because in WeChat, tipping is a free service provided to customers to build engagement, with Tencent receiving no portion of the money.

Tipping will soon resume in WeChat, though, as WeChat creator Allen Zhang said on Monday that the company had reached an accord with Apple. Details are scarce, but Zhang said WeChat will tweak its platform so tips are paid to individual content creators.

“In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features,” Mr. Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the “tip” function.”

With little detail available on the deal established between Tencent and Apple, it’s not clear if Apple will be receiving a cut of tips sent between WeChat users, but the tipping feature should soon be returning to the app.
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Spectre fix can drastically reduce iPhone performance

If the iPhone was a Pokémon, using a Spectre fix against it would prove super-effective. Benchmarks reveal that Apple’s latest update has a drastic impact on performance on some devices. Scores fall by as much as 56 percent in some tests. Recent reports have warned that Meltdown and Spectre fixes will decrease processor performance. Apple’s statement […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Week’s best Apple deals: Save on the new iMac Pro and refurbished iPads!

The new iMac Pro packs screaming-fast performance — and an eye-watering price. But if you’re in the market for Apple’s latest, great Mac, you can already snag a discount. Also in this week’s roundup of the best Apple deals: refurbished iPads and Bose headphones. Refurbished 9.7-inch iPad 128GB Wi-Fi tablet for $310 Want to save […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Apple surprises devs with fifth iOS 11.2.5 beta

It took Apple nearly no time to go from beta 4 to beta 5 on the latest update for iOS 11 that’s currently in development. Developers were surprised to receive iOS 11.2.5 beta 5 this morning, just two days after Apple released the last beta build full of bug fixes and performance improvements for the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Pokémon Go is dropping support for aging iOS devices

Pokémon Go will drop support for aging iOS devices in its next major update, developer Niantic has confirmed. Only iPhones and iPads compatible with iOS 11 will be able to run the game as of February 28. That’s bad news for players who don’t have an iPhone 6 or later. Interest in Pokémon Go has declined […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

U.S. Government Official Questions Apple Over iPhone Battery Slowdowns

Just two days after it emerged a French consumer fraud group is investigating Apple over its handling of battery-related performance issues on iPhones, Apple is now facing questions from government officials in its own country over the controversy.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Senator John Thune (R–S.D.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking a series of questions about how the company decided to throttle processing performance in iPhones with older batteries.

In a letter to Chief Executive Tim Cook, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance, and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.

In the letter, Thune went on to note that Apple’s decision to offer battery replacements at a reduced price had prompted further criticism from customers who believe that Apple should have offered the replacements for free.

In addition to the senator’s letter, Wednesday’s WSJ report included official confirmation from the Paris prosecutor’s office that it is overseeing an investigation into Apple’s “alleged deception” that is being conducted by French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, which is part of the country’s economy ministry.

The investigation – which could lead to preliminary charges or be dropped – follows Apple’s admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 after complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but the company didn’t make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration, nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Despite Apple’s apology and its efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group “HOP”, which translates to “Stop Planned Obsolescence”.
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Apple drops new betas for iOS, macOS and more

Developers received a fresh batch of new beta software updates from Apple this morning, including the fourth build of iOS 11.2.5. Apple has also released the fourth builds of watchOS 4.2.2, tvOS 11.2.5 and macOS 10.13.3, all of which come with a number of bug fixes and performance improvements for Apple’s platforms. Registered developers can […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Phyn Plus lets you monitor your water system from your iPhone or iPad

Thanks to a collaboration between Belkin and plumbing supplier Uponor, you’ll soon be able to monitor your home water system for leaks and pressure issues via your iOS device. Debuting at CES 2018, the Phyn Plus is an accessory which repeatedly measures the pressure of your water supply (to the tune of 240 times every […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)