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Get iOS 8.1 now for Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and more

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just released iOS 8.1, bringing Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and other new features to the mobile operating system.

Available now via Software Update, iOS 8.1 will let you quickly set up Apple Pay on compatible devices. Upgraders running OS X Yosemite will also notice additional Continuity features that let iOS 8 work with the latest version of the Mac operating system.

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Authorities allegedly spying on iCloud users in China

Photo:

iCloud users in China are apparently contending with a man-in-the-middle attack designed to steal personal data. Photo: GreatFire.org

The Chinese authorities are staging a “man-in-the-middle” attack on Apple’s iCloud service in an attempt to steal username and password information, according to anti-censorship watchdog group GreatFire.org.

As per Wikipedia, a man-in-the-middle attack “is a form of active eavesdropping in which the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them, making them believe that they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker.”

GreatFire.org first noticed the apparent attack when it became aware of the fact that certain connections made to Apple’s iCloud site in China no longer responded with a trusted digital certificate, thereby risking decryption.

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Use Apple’s new iCloud tool to check that used iPhone isn’t stolen before you buy it

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

As the makers of some of the most attractive (and high-end) smartphones around, Apple devices are ripe for theft. With that in mind, the good folks at Cupertino have just added a new iCloud tool which lets users work out whether the used iPhone they’re about to lay down their hard-earned money for has been locked by its real owner.

All you need to do it is to visit this link and enter the device’s IMEI or serial number, at which point you’ll be informed of the device’s Activation Lock feature — thereby saving you from buying a device that’s already been locked.

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Don’t ‘Reset All Settings’ in iOS 8 unless you want to lose your iCloud files

You don't want to do this right now.

You don’t want to do this right now.

Here’s an important heads-up: If you keep documents in your iCloud Drive, don’t use iOS 8’s “Reset All Settings” option. It could delete files stored in the cloud.

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It’s not just you: iCloud services are down

icloudisdown

Update: After nearly two hours of downtime, iCloud services have been restored.

If you’ve been having trouble accessing some of iCloud’s services this afternoon, you are not alone.

Apple’s System Status page is showing that some iCloud users are unable to access all of the service’s features and have been unable to do so for about an hour.

We’ve received reports from users across the U.S. that iCloud is unavailable to them, and many other Apple users in other countries are reporting the same issue. An official statement on what’s caused the outage has not been released by Apple, though some reports have theorized that the company’s iCloud facility in North Carolina is facing issues.

We’ve reach out to Apple for comment, but for now there is no ETA on when iCloud will be up and running again for all users.

Apple was aware of iCloud security flaw 6 months before The Fappening

The iCloud accounts of numerous Hollywood celebrities have been hacked, with naked images being sold for Bitcoins. (Picture: Killian Bell)

Picture: Killian Bell

Apple was aware of the iCloud vulnerability which resulted in dozens of nude celebrity images being leaked earlier this month.

According to emails between Apple and noted security expert Ibrahim Balic, Cupertino was given information of a similar security flaw as early as March of this year. In an email from that month, Balic informed an Apple official that he had successfully bypassed the feature designed to stop a so-called “brute-force” attack taking place.

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How to use iCloud Drive the right way

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With these handy tips (and warnings), you’ll master iCloud Drive in no time. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you haven’t been scared off cloud services by the Fappening or past horrors like MobileMe, you might want to try iCloud Drive, Apple’s answer to Dropbox and Google Drive. It’s a pretty great concept, an extension of the Apple philosophy from way back – documents are identified by the apps they were created by. Before, though, you needed to export a file from a drawing app to use it with a painting app. With iCloud Drive, you’ll be able to move from one app to another much more easily.

Before you begin, make sure you’ve read and understand the warning about using iCloud Drive if you haven’t yet installed OS X Yosemite on your Mac. If you haven’t installed the Yosemite public beta, apps on your iOS 8 devices will be unable to share data with companion apps on your Mac. Consider yourself warned.

If you choose to enable iCloud Drive on your iOS 8 device, and you have an OS X Yosemite beta installed on your Mac, here’s how to use it the right way.

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iCloud Drive comes to Windows before the Mac

iCloud-Drive-Windows

Steve Jobs once said that iTunes on Windows was like giving someone ice water in hell. Now Windows users are getting the latest version of iCloud before the Mac faithful.

Apple has already rolled out iCloud Drive, its new cloud filesystem for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, on Windows. Mac users won’t get iCloud Drive until Yosemite’s rumored launch in October.

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How to switch to iOS 8’s iCloud Photo Library right now

IMG_0781

[UPDATE: Lots of readers report that the new option to activate iCloud Photo Library isn't showing up on their devices. I'm looking into it. So far I know that the GM version -- the one I used to write this guide --  and the final version are identical, build number 12A365. My guess is that Apple turned off the beta already]

iCloud Photo Library is rad. The idea is that all your full-res photos (including RAW photos) reside on Apple’s servers, and you access them from all your devices.

That’s a change from Photo Stream as it is now, which stores only the last 1,000 photos you took, not your whole collection. Apple has also introduced new tiers of iCloud storage pricing to cope with all your photos (and videos). This is now live, and I signed up for the 200GB option ($4 per month) to test it out.

Let’s take a look.

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PSA: Why you shouldn’t upgrade to iCloud Drive on iOS 8 yet

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 12.31.19 PM

One of the many new features in iOS 8 is iCloud Drive, which is basically Apple’s take on Dropbox. Unlike how iCloud has functioned in the past, iCloud Drive acts as the hub for all of the files stored by your apps in the cloud.

It’s a great idea, but most people should avoid enabling it during the iOS 8 installation process today.

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