Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password – How to Fix

There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with with a blank password and no security check.

The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login screen of a locked Mac.


To replicate, follow these steps from any kind of Mac account, admin or guest:

1. Open System Preferences
2. Choose Users & Groups
3. Click the lock to make changes
4. Type "root" in the username field
5. Move the mouse to the Password field and click there, but leave it blank
6. Click unlock, and it should allow you full access to add a new administrator account.

At the login screen, you can also use the root trick to gain access to a Mac after the feature has been enabled in System Preferences. At the login screen, click "Other," and then enter "root" again with no password.

This allows for admin-level access directly from the locked login screen, with the account able to see everything on the computer.

It appears that this bug is present in the current version of macOS High Sierra, 10.13.1, and the macOS 10.13.2 beta that is in testing at the moment. It's not clear how such a significant bug got past Apple, but it's likely this is something that the company will immediately address.

Until the issue is fixed, you can enable a root account with a password to prevent the bug from working. We have a full how to with a complete rundown on the steps available here.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple to Shut Down iTunes Connect From December 23 to 27

Each year, Apple shuts down iTunes Connect for a week around the holidays to give its App Store staff time off from work. This year, iTunes Connect will be shut down from December 23 to December 27.

While iTunes Connect is shuttered, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all price changes and app submissions will need to be locked in before that date.

Developers often offer sales and promotions ahead of when the App Store closes for the holidays, and those sales remain available until the App Store re-opens in late December.

Apple says developers can let customers know about promotions, upcoming features, and in-app events using the promotional text field available in iOS 11.

While app store submissions will be unavailable, other iTunes Connect tools will remain accessible to developers throughout the holiday period.


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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of tvOS 11.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.2 update to developers for testing purposes, a week and a half after seeding the fourth tvOS 11.2 update and a month after the launch of tvOS 11.1.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the tvOS 11.2 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.


According to Apple's release notes, the tvOS 11.2 update enables a new AVDisplayManager feature for developers, designed to allow the device to automatically switch video display modes to match the native frame rate and dynamic range of video content.

The update includes support for switching the Apple TV 4K display output to SDR for apps that are GPU-bound when running in HDR and it re-introduces the Unwatched category in Home Sharing for Movies, TV Shows, and Home Videos.

Apple says tvOS 11.2 also adds new features, bug fixes, and security improvements to the tvOS operating system.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Seeds Fifth macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update to developers, a week and a half after seeding the fourth beta and a month after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 update.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.


It's not yet clear what improvements the second major update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

No significant new features were discovered in the first four betas of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, but we'll update this post should notable changes be found in the fifth beta.

The previous update, 10.13.1, introduced fixes for some serious security flaws and brought new emoji to the macOS operating system.

Update: Apple has also released a new beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 11.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2 update to developers, more than a week after releasing the fourth iOS 11.2 beta, a month after releasing the first major iOS 11 update, iOS 11.1, and a week and a half after releasing the iOS 11.1.2 update.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.2 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 11.2 introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple's new peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers. It's available as a dedicated iMessage app in Messages, with cash transferred through the app.

Cash can be sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet that can be used for purchases or sent to a bank account.

On the iPhone X, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the icons located at the upper right side of the device on the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device.

In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from Control Center.

In iOS 11.2, there's support for faster 7.5W wireless charging for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. The faster speeds will be available when using third-party wireless chargers that support 7.5W charging or more.

The update also addresses an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result.

In addition to these bug fixes, iOS 11.2 introduces a new Now Playing option for controlling content on the Apple TV in Control Center, redesigned camera emoji, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and new Live wallpapers for the iPhone X, plus it adds a feature that lets developers offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions on the App Store.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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AirPods and iPad Listed as Top Selling Electronics During This Year’s Record-Setting Cyber Monday

Yesterday was Cyber Monday, an annual shopping event in the United States, United Kingdom, and many other countries that's part of the holiday shopping season and offers users notable discounts on a vast array of consumer products. Last night, Adobe released its online shopping data for this year's Cyber Monday, stating that November 27, 2017 is projected to set a new record and become the "largest online sales day in history" with a total of $6.59 billion spent by the day's end.

Compared to 2016, Cyber Monday 2017 saw a 16.8 percent year-over-year increase in sales, and it fared better in revenue compared to last week's big shopping days: Black Friday 2017 brought in $5.03 billion and Thanksgiving Day brought in $2.87 billion. Adobe's statistics leveraged Adobe Sensei and Adobe Analytics to analyze data from one trillion visits to over 4,500 retail sites and 55 million SKUs. Of all these data points, Apple and its products were found at the top of a few lists.


The AirPods were listed as overall top sellers yesterday, while iPads were included in the best-selling electronics category, alongside AirPods again, Google Chromecast, Samsung Tablets, Nintendo Switch, and more. In terms of discounts, Walmart was one of very few retailers with a brief sale on AirPods yesterday, marking the $159.00 earphones down by $15. Numerous retailers had sales on a variety of iPads, including the 9.7-inch iPad and 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Shoppers on mobile helped set a new record with 47.4 percent of visits coming from mobile devices (39.9 percent on smartphones and 7.6 percent on tablets). Revenue earned from users shopping on mobile grew 39.2 percent year-over-year and reached a new all-time high of $1.59 billion. Of all mobile devices used to shop on Cyber Monday this year, iOS was in the lead with an average order value of $123, while Android was at $110.
“Shopping and buying on smartphones is becoming the new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms,” said Mickey Mericle, vice president, Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe.

“Consumers are also becoming more savvy and efficient online shoppers. People increasingly know where to find the best deals and what they want to purchase, which results in less price matching behavior typically done on desktops. Millennials were likely another reason for the dramatic growth in mobile, with 75 percent expecting to shop via their smartphone."
The biggest discounts were for TVs (21.1 percent off of the normal price on average), toys (18.8 percent), and computers (14.7 percent). In total, the 2017 holiday shopping season so far (marked as beginning on November 1) has seen a total of $50 billion in online revenue, jumping up 16.8 percent from 2016. According to Adobe, "this will be the first-ever holiday season to break $100 billion in online sales."


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Apple TV 4K With 64GB Storage Faces 4-5 Week Shipping Delay

If you were planning to purchase a new Apple TV 4K with 64GB of storage from Apple in time for the holidays, you may have to look elsewhere.


As spotted on Reddit, the 64GB model is currently out of stock at most Apple retail stores, and estimated to ship in 4-5 weeks on Apple's online store around the world. Orders placed today might not be delivered until as late as early January.

The reason for the delay is unknown. Lengthy shipping estimates can sometimes foreshadow a product refresh, but the Apple TV 4K was just released in late September, so it's unlikely a new model is on the horizon.

Notably, the 32GB model is still available for pickup at most Apple retail stores today, and estimated to ship in approximately one week on Apple's online store in the United States and over a dozen other countries we checked.

The latest Apple TV supports both 4K and HDR video playback. The set-top box starts at $179 in the United States.

If you are looking to purchase an Apple TV 4K with 64GB of storage, some resellers such as Best Buy, Costco, MacMall, Sam's Club, Staples, Target, and Walmart may still have stock available online or in stores.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Members of Apple’s PrimeSense Team Patent Method of Interacting With Mac Using Hand Gestures

Apple today was granted a patent originally filed in August 2016, describing a method in which users would be able to control a Mac computer -- and potentially other devices -- using a "non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface" (via Patently Apple). The patent's inventor credits go in part to Amir Hoffnung and Jonathan Pokrass, two current Apple employees who joined the company from PrimeSense after Apple acquired it November 2013.

Some of PrimeSense's tech, which was originally used in Microsoft's Kinect devices on Xbox platforms, now resides in the front-facing TrueDepth camera of the iPhone X, and the new patent hints at a potential future where this technology expands in function to Macs as well. Instead of recognizing faces, Apple's patent describes a Mac that recognizes a "gesture by a hand," allowing users to interact with the computer without tactile inputs like a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad.

Images via United States Patent and Trademark Office

The patent includes a variety of gestures that users would use to control the 3D user interface, including what are called "push," (figure 2) "wave," (figure 3) and "up" (figure 5) interactions, which are all grouped into a category of "focus gestures." According to the patent, some of these could be used to perform basic app interactions, like scrolling through a menu, as well as change the state of the system from locked to unlocked.
Gestures described herein include focus gestures and unlock gestures. A focus gesture enables the user to engage (i.e., take control of) an inactive non-tactile 3D user interface. An unlock gesture enables the user to engage a locked non-tactile 3D user interface, as pressing a specific sequence of keys unlocks a locked cellular phone. In some embodiments, the non-tactile 3D user interface conveys visual feedback to the user performing the focus and the unlock gestures.

Examples of unlock gestures include an "up" gesture (e.g., raising hand 30 a specified distance), a sequence of two sequential wave gestures, and a sequence of two sequential push gestures, as described in detail hereinbelow.
Apple has previously been granted patents related to 3D sensing and gesture controls, but the company has yet to release a product that takes advantage of these features. Some of these previous patents included gesture controls on iPads and iPhones as well as on Magic Keyboards, which would allow users to gain access to virtual buttons and potentially streamline certain elements of the user interface.


Of course, with Face ID already launched on iPhone X, it's predicted that Apple will look into adding the facial recognition software into future iMacs and MacBooks before it focuses on a new unlocking system. It's also unclear whether the new 3D user interface patent would include both pieces of technology -- 3D gestures and Face ID -- to further augment a Mac's unlocking process.

As with any patent, the technology in question might not make it to an Apple product in the near future, if at all, but it is an interesting glimpse into what Apple might be planning to do with PrimeSense's technology down the line.

Tag: patent

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Apple Stores to Host Free ‘Hour of Code’ Sessions in Early December

Apple today announced it has opened registration for free one-hour "Hour of Code" sessions between December 4 and December 10 at all of its nearly 500 retail stores around the world.

For the fifth year, Apple Stores will participate in Hour of Code with daily coding sessions in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Young aspiring coders can learn coding basics during a Kids Hour session, while those age twelve and above can use Swift Playgrounds on iPad to learn coding concepts and even program robots. A new Teacher Tuesdays session helps educators learn how to teach code to students using new resources and discussion topics.
Apple also introduced a new Hour of Code challenge in Swift Playgrounds that invites students to build and customize a digital robot, and added new teacher resources to the Everyone Can Code curriculum to help teach Swift.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Support YouTube Channel Launches With Videos Featuring iOS Tips and Tricks

Apple has launched an official Apple Support YouTube channel, uploading a series of videos that cover assorted iOS tips and tricks to help out customers new to iPhone and iPad.


First noted on Reddit, the Apple Support YouTube channel was registered on October 5, but had remained dormant until yesterday when the channel was quietly populated with its first 10 short how-to videos, which are between one and two minutes in length.

The videos offer quick-fire iOS tips such as "How to send and save GIFs on your iPhone", "How to change the wallpaper on your iPhone or iPad", and "How to delete call history on your iPhone".

Apple Support video "How to print from your iPhone or iPad"

The support channel joins Apple's existing official YouTube channel, and complements the official Apple Support Twitter account, created in March 2016, as well as the Apple Support iOS app, released in November 2016, and the main Apple Support website.

The Apple Support YouTube channel can be found here. And don't forget, you can also subscribe to the official MacRumors YouTube channel here.


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