Apple pulls iOS 13.2 update that bricked some HomePods [Updated]

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HomePod Volume Controls closeup
You might want to think twice about rushing to update your HomePod.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

For some HomePod owners, the latest software update really was a killer upgrade. Loads of irritated people say the update bricked their HomePods.

New HomePod features like voice recognition for multiple users and the ability to send messages and make calls might sound awesome. But having your smart speaker go belly up sucks out loud. If you previously turned on automatic HomePod updates, you might want to flip the switch and wait until Apple gets to the bottom of the problem.

Update: Apple pulled Monday’s HomePod update after owners reported unresponsive devices. If you managed to successfully update your HomePod, you should be careful. An updated Apple support document warns that you should not reset your smart speaker for any reason. You also should not attempt to remove your HomePod from the Home app.

macOS Mojave flaw puts your Keychain passwords at risk

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macOS Keychain
Apple still won't cough up a reward.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A new flaw discovered in macOS Mojave puts your sensitive Keychain data at risk.

One security researcher has demonstrated an exploit that could allow anyone to access saved usernames and passwords without administrator access. He won’t share the details with Apple, however, because there is no reward on offer.

Amazon’s Drop In basically turns Apple FaceTime bug into a feature [Opinion]

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facebook eavesdropping microphone
Smart speakers are microphones that other people can listen to.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know the Apple FaceTime bug that everyone’s going crazy about? It’s a huge screwup, for sure, but at least we know it’s just a bug. Being able to call someone and eavesdrop on their conversations without them knowing is clearly a privacy nightmare, which is why Apple disabled Group FaceTime until it can issue a proper fix.

Amazon, on the other hand, offers silent eavesdropping as a feature for its Echo speakers. It’s called Drop In, and if you’ve enabled it, you should probably turn it off.

iPad Pro bug makes music apps stutter and crackle

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IPad Pro one week review
Musicians should stick to their old iPads for now.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

If you bought the new iPad Pro for making music, then you probably already discovered that it’s almost useless for the purpose. I just hope you didn’t sell your old iPad yet. The problem, which is so widespread that it probably affects all of the new 2018 iPad Pro models, causes the CPU to spike, and sound to crackle whenever you use more than a couple of music apps together.

Fortunately, a fix is apparently on the way.

Today in Apple history: Apple fixes ‘life-threatening’ Maps glitch

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Australia Park
This probably isn't the spot people wanted to reach!
Photo: Papphase/Wikipedia CC

December 10: Today in Apple history: Apple fixes Australian Apple Maps glitch December 10, 2012: Apple fixes an Apple Maps error that caused several motorists in Victoria, Australia, to become stranded in the remote Murray-Sunset National Park.

The glitch showed the town of Mildura about 45 miles from its actual location. In the aftermath, Victoria police describe the app as “potentially life-threatening.” That’s pretty much the opposite of “it just works.”

Apple releases iOS 12 beta 7, then quickly withdraws it

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iOS 12 features
iOS 12 will bring loads of new features, but not until Apple gets it throughly debugged.
Photo: Apple

The latest early-release version of iOS 12 was made available to developers today — but it disappeared shortly afterward.

This afternoon’s release of iOS 12 beta 7 was met with widespread complaints that it runs slowly. Apple seems to have pulled the OTA version within an hour or so.

Apple is hurrying to deliver a fix for latest iMessage bug

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iphone
Look for iOS 11.2.6 soon!
Photo: Apple

Apple knows that it has a problem with the newly discovered iOS bug which blocks access to messaging apps — and it promises you won’t have to wait until iOS 11.3 for a solution.

According to Apple, although the beta version of iOS 11.3 fixes the issue, it is planning to release an update prior to this that will address the problem. In other words, watch out for an iOS 11.2.6 very, very soon. (We’re guessing that a few Cupertino engineers are suddenly cancelling their weekend plans!)

Major new iOS bug can lock you out of messaging apps

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Cult of Mac's buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.
The latest iOS bug can crash iPhones that receive a text message containing an Indian character.
Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

A newly discovered iOS 11 bug lets a text message containing a specific character crash iPhones. It can also block access to Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS and Gmail — in a way that can be challenging to reverse.

The character in question is from the Indian language character set of Telugu. When a message containing the character is received, iOS Springboard crashes and the aforementioned messaging apps will no longer open.