App Store, Apple Music, and iTunes Down for Some iOS 11 Users

We're seeing an increasing number of reports across Reddit and Twitter from iOS 11 users who have been unable to access Apple services such as the App Store, Apple Music, and iTunes since as early as Thursday morning.


Apple's system status page does not yet reflect any issues with any of its services beyond Group FaceTime being temporarily unavailable.

The underlying cause is unclear. We'll update if we learn more.


This article, "App Store, Apple Music, and iTunes Down for Some iOS 11 Users" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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How to Get Siri to Play a Daily News Digest

If you own an Alexa smart device, you'll likely have used the "What's new?" or "What's happening?" voice command to hear your daily news briefing, which can be customized to include your own interests.


Siri has a similar feature that uses the Podcasts app to bring you a daily news digest, which you can also customize to an extent. It can be invoked on HomePod, Apple Watch, and any iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later.

There are a couple of things to note before using Siri's news brief feature. The last time we checked, it was limited to users based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, and it isn't available on Siri for Mac, regardless of where you're based. With those caveats in mind, here's how to get it working.

  1. To get a news briefing on your Apple device, say "Hey Siri, tell me the news." Alternatively, on an iOS device, hold down the Home button or Side button and say "Tell me the news" or "Play the news."

  2. On iPhone and iPad, tap Open Podcasts to launch the Podcasts app and see which news show is currently playing or to pause the episode. You can also control audio playback from the Control Center.

  3. To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example.

  4. To hear a one-off news brief from a different source, you can say "Play news from NPR" or "Play news from Fox News," for example.

  5. To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example.

  6. To hear a topical news brief from a specific source, you can say "Play business news from Bloomberg" or "Play sports news from the BBC," for example.
As you might have guessed, news sources can differ depending on your region. If you're in the U.S. for example, Siri will happily play news from a range of media outlets including ESPN, NPR, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, CNBC, and Bloomberg. As with most Siri features, improvements and additions are likely ongoing, so it's worth requesting your preferred news source just to see if it can find the relevant daily digest for you.

Tag: Siri

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How to View the Desktop Version of a Website on Your iPhone and iPad

Most popular websites these days come in both desktop and mobile versions, with the latter rendering content in a more responsive fashion for a consistent browsing experience across a variety of tablet and smartphone screens.

Mobile-friendly websites are often stripped down and streamlined for easier navigation, with the result that some full-page content isn't displayed at all – and even when it is, finding that content can sometimes be a chore, especially if you're used to the desktop version of a site.

Recognizing this, Apple has had the foresight to let you bypass mobile versions of websites and view original desktop versions on its mobile devices instead. To request a desktop site on your iPhone and iPad, simply follow these steps.

  1. Launch Safari on your iOS device and navigate to the website in question.

  2. Long press the Reload button in the far right of the address bar.

  3. On iPhone, tap Request Desktop Site at the bottom of the screen. On iPad, the same option appears in the dropdown menu below the Reload button.

Note that you can also access this option by tapping the Share button (the square with an arrow pointing out) and selecting Request Desktop Site from the third row of the Share Sheet.

With that done, Safari should remember your preference for that particular website and load the desktop version the next time you visit it.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
Tag: Safari

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How to Scan Documents With Your iPhone in Three Quick Steps

The document scanning feature found in Apple's stock Notes app is a great way to digitize all sorts of print-based content, from letters and receipts to recipes and photos.

If you often make a digital record of paper in this way, you'll be familiar with the typical steps involved: unlock your device, launch the Notes app from the Home screen, create a new note, tap the "+" button, choose Scan Documents, then line up the document you want to shoot and save.

It's not immediately obvious, but there is a way to cut out several of these steps and make scanning a document a much quicker process, which is great news if you tend to scan things several times a day. First, you'll want to add Notes to the Control Center, like so:

  1. Launch the Settings app.

  2. Tap Control Center.

  3. In the More Controls list, tap the green "+" button next to the Notes entry.

Now that's set up, you can get to the document scanning screen in fewer steps, as described below.

How to Scan Documents in Three Quick Steps


  1. Launch Control Center from the Lock screen: On iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; on iPhone X/XS/XR, swipe down from the upper right "ear".

  2. Hard press (or long press) the Notes icon.

  3. Tap Scan Document and allow Face ID to automatically authenticate you (If you're using an iPhone with Touch ID, place your finger on the Home screen to unlock.)

You're now ready to scan your document and save it as a note.

Don't forget, if you want to generate a PDF of the scan as soon as it's been saved as a note, simply tap the Share Sheet icon (the box with an arrow pointing out) at the upper-right of the screen and select Create PDF from the third row of options.

Once it's generated you'll be offered the option to save it to the Files app, or you can share it elsewhere with another tap of the Share Sheet icon.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Security Researcher Discovers Snippet of CSS Code That Forces iOS to Reboot, Apple Investigating

A new iOS vulnerability was discovered by a security researcher over the weekend, causing affected iPhones and iPads to crash and restart when following a link to an HTML page hosting specially crafted CSS code.

The vulnerability hits the WebKit rendering engine used in Safari by applying a CSS effect -- "backdrop-filter" -- that requires enough heavy graphics processing to cause iOS to crash completely.

Software engineer and security researcher Sabri Haddouche, who works for encrypted messaging app Wire, discovered the vulnerability and shared videos of its effects on Twitter. Haddouche also discussed his findings with ZDNet:
"The attack uses a weakness in the -webkit-backdrop-filter CSS property, which uses 3D acceleration to process elements behind them," Haddouche told ZDNet in an interview.

"By using nested divs with that property, we can quickly consume all graphic resources and freeze or kernel panic the OS."
Apple has been notified of the vulnerability, and Haddouche confirmed that the company is actively investigating the issue. The researcher also notes that the CSS code in its current form will freeze Safari on macOS "for a minute," and then slow it down, but the Mac won't crash. However, a modified version with Javascript could end with the same outcome as the iOS version, crashing the Mac computer that it's on.

Haddouche didn't publish the modified macOS vulnerability because once the computer reboots, Safari persists and the browser is automatically launched again with the same result, resulting in a cycle of reboots. The researcher says that he discovered the vulnerabilities during research for denial of service bugs on different web browsers.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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As iOS 12 Launch Approaches, iOS 11 Adoption Hits 85 Percent

Apple's iOS 11 operating system is now installed on 85 percent of devices as of September 3, according to updated statistics Apple shared today on its App Store support page for developers.

Apple hasn't updated its adoption statistics since May 31, when iOS 11 was installed on 81 percent of devices, marking a four percent adoption increase over the course of the last several months.


iOS 11 adoption has likely slowed as Apple's focus has shifted to iOS 12, which is set to be released in the near future. Apple's last iOS 11 update was iOS 11.4.1, released in July with bug fixes and support for USB Restricted Mode, not quite features that entice people to upgrade.

With iOS 11 installed on 85 percent of iOS devices, 10 percent continue to use iOS 10 and five percent continue to use an earlier version of iOS, such as iOS 8 or iOS 9.

Over its lifespan, iOS 11 adoption has been slower than iOS 10 adoption, perhaps due to the multiple high-profile bugs affecting iOS 11. The HomeKit bug, the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and the iPhone slowdown controversy that saw Apple throttling the performance of older iPhones all likely impacted iOS 11 adoption.

The issues with iOS 11 led Apple to delay some planned iOS 12 features to focus on improving iOS performance and stability. One major focus was bolstering performance on older devices, and iOS 12 is designed outperform iOS 11, introducing faster app launch times, faster load times, and an overall quicker feel to the operating system.

Given the under-the-hood improvements that iOS 12 brings, it's likely we will see faster adoption of the new update than we did with iOS 11. We're expecting Apple to release a golden master version of iOS 12 on September 12, its iPhone event day, which will mark the final version of iOS 12 that will be released to the public.

After that, Apple is likely to debut iOS 12 on Wednesday, September 19, two days ahead of when iPhones are expected to be released on Friday, September 21.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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How to Send and Receive SMS Messages on iPad and Mac via Text Message Forwarding

Ever since iOS 7, Apple has provided a Text Message Forwarding service that can push SMS messages received through your iPhone's cellular network to your other Apple devices.

Using the same network, the forwarding service also allows you to send messages from your iPad or Mac to other phone numbers, even if they don't support Apple's iMessages platform (dumbphones and Android devices, for example).


For whatever reason, the Text Message Forwarding feature may not be enabled on your iPhone, so if you tend to miss standard text messages coming through to your phone when you're engaged with something on your Mac or iPad, it's definitely worth enabling.

Once activated, those messages will show up on all your devices in the Messages app as green chat bubbles, allowing you to distinguish them from regular blue iMessages. Keep reading to learn how to activate the feature in iOS 11.

How to Activate Text Message Forwarding in iOS 11


  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Messages.

  3. Tap Send & Receive.

  4. Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage.

  5. Tap Sign in to use your Apple ID for iMessage, or tap Select Other Apple ID and then enter the login credentials for the account you want to use.

  6. Wait for a moment while iMessage activates. Click OK in any dialog boxes that confirm your Apple ID is now being used for iMessage on your other devices.

  7. Tap back to Settings -> Messages, and tap the new Text Message Forwarding option in the menu.

  8. Use the toggle buttons next to the devices in the list to include or exclude them from the Text Message Forwarding service. Note that only devices logged into the same iCloud account and connected to the same Wi-Fi network will appear in the list.

  9. A security code may appear on the devices that you enable – make sure to type the code into your iPhone to activate them for the service.
If you followed the steps above but the Text Message Forwarding option doesn't appear in your iPhone's settings app, check that your device is connected to Wi-Fi and the internet connection is good.

Another solution is to turn off and then restart iMessages via Settings -> Messages -> iMessage. You can also try signing out of iMessage and signing in again: Select Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive, tap your Apple ID at the top, and then tap Sign Out.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Apple No Longer Offering Free Out-of-Warranty Repairs of iPhone 7 Models With Grayed-Out Speaker Button

A few months ago, in an internal document obtained by MacRumors, Apple acknowledged that some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users may experience a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls, or not be heard during phone calls or FaceTime chats. Apple didn't identify a cause for the issues.


If an affected iPhone is no longer covered by warranty, Apple's document said Genius Bars or Apple Authorized Service Providers could escalate the case to Apple, and the company would grant an exception, resulting in a free repair for the customer. Of note, this was never a full-out service program.

"I just had my wife's iPhone 7 replaced this morning," said one MacRumors forum member, in a discussion thread about these issues. "Out of warranty and Apple took care of the bill. The mic on the device had failed."

As of last week, however, Apple appears to have stopped offering that exception. Reliable sources at multiple Apple Authorized Service Providers informed MacRumors that Apple has now deleted its internal document related to these issues, and they are no longer able to put through free repairs via Apple's system.

Instead, if an affected iPhone is past its warranty period, Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers must charge a standard out-of-warranty fee for the repair to be completed, according to the sources we spoke with.

While only a limited number of customers are affected, one source told us that the microphone issues are still prevalent, and do not appear to have been resolved, so it's unclear why Apple chose to stop offering exceptions. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the matter — we'll update if we hear back.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices still within Apple's limited one-year warranty period or covered by AppleCare+ should remain eligible for a free repair.

Repairs can be initiated by booking an appointment at a Genius Bar, or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider, via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone → Repairs & Physical Damage → Unable to Hear Through Receiver or Speakers → Built-in Speaker → Bring In For Repair and select a location and time.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Security Researchers Find Vulnerability in Apple’s USB Restricted Mode for iOS Devices

Security researchers claim to have discovered a loophole that bypasses USB Restricted Mode, Apple's latest anti-hacking feature in iOS 12 beta and iOS 11.4.1, which was released on Monday.

USB Restricted Mode is designed to make iPhones and iPads immune to certain hacking techniques that use a USB connection to download data through the Lightning connector to crack the passcode.


iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 prevent this by default by disabling data access to the Lightning port if it's been more than an hour since the iOS device was last unlocked. Users can also quickly disable the USB connection manually by engaging Emergency SOS mode.

However, researchers at cybersecurity firm ElcomSoft claim to have discovered a loophole that resets the one-hour counter. The bypass technique involves connecting a USB accessory into the Lightning port of the iOS device, which prevents USB Restricted Mode from locking after one hour.

ElcomSoft's Oleg Afonin explained the technique in a blog post:
What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all). In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour. Importantly, this only helps if the iPhone has still not entered USB Restricted Mode.
According to Afonin, Apple's own $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter can be used to reset the counter. Researchers are currently testing a mix of official and third-party adapters to see what else works with the bypass technique.


Afonin notes that ElcomSoft found no obvious way to break USB Restricted Mode once it has been engaged, suggesting the vulnerability is, in his words, "probably nothing more than an oversight" on Apple's part. Still, at present its existence provides a potential avenue for law enforcement or other potentially malicious actors to prevent USB Restricted Mode from activating shortly after seizure.

Both iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 beta 2 are said to exhibit the same behavior when exploiting the loophole. However, expect this to change in subsequent versions of iOS – Apple continually works on strengthening security protections and addressing iPhone vulnerabilities as quickly as possible to defend against hackers.

Apple reportedly introduced USB restrictions to disable commercial passcode cracking tools like GrayKey. Afonin cites rumors that the newer GrayShift tool is able to defeat the protection provided by USB Restricted Mode, but the research community has yet to see firm evidence confirming this.

Related Roundups: iOS 11, iOS 12

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Apple Releases iOS 11.4.1 With Bug Fixes

Apple today released iOS 11.4.1, the fifteenth update to the iOS 11 operating system that was first introduced in September 2017. iOS 11.4.1 comes more than a month after the release of iOS 11.4, a major update that introduced support for Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2.

iOS 11.4.1 is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.


iOS 11.4.1 is a minor update that's been introduced to address bugs that have been discovered since the launch of iOS 11.4, with no new features discovered during the beta testing period. According to Apple's release notes, today's update fixes an issue that prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in Find My iPhone and it improves the reliability of syncing mail, contacts, and notes with Exchange accounts.

Today's iOS 11.4.1 update may be one of the last updates that we see to the iOS 11 operating system.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple introduced iOS 12, the next-generation version of iOS. iOS 12 brings improvements like Group FaceTime, Screen Time for monitoring iPhone and iPad usage, Do Not Disturb improvements, Grouped Notifications, new Memoji and Animoji options, and more, with full details available in our iOS 12 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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