| Cult of Mac

Apple prepares fix for Safari bug that exposes user data

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Safari 15.1 design
But we don't yet know when we'll get it.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple has prepared a fix for a Safari 15 bug that allows websites to view your browsing habits and Google account details. And, because it’s a bug in WebKit — Apple’s browser engine used by Safari and third-party apps in the App Store — it affects virtually all iOS and iPadOS browsers, including Chrome and Brave.

Unfortunately, Apple’s patch won’t be available until the company rolls out new macOS, iOS and iPadOS updates. There’s currently no word on when that might be. Apple is in the process of beta testing new software updates, but it may be too late for the fix to be implemented into those before they are made available to all.

Messages bug sends read receipts even when they’re turned off

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Messages replay
"Why are you ignoring me?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Some iPhone and iPad users are being plagued by a Messages bug that causes read receipts to be sent even when they are disabled. The problem seems to affect devices running iOS 15 or later.

There is no permanent fix for the issue yet, but there is one thing you can do that may eliminate the problem for a short time.

iPhone calendar bug scraps 2022 holidays in many countries

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iPhone Calendar bug scraps 2022 holidays
No days off in 2022? Blame Apple.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iPhone’s built-in Calendar app has an ongoing bug that prevents 2022 holidays from appearing in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom.

The problem first cropped up in mid-2021, but iPhone owners assumed the holidays would appear as the new year drew closer. Almost a week into 2022, a large number of users remain unable to see them.

HomeKit bug can send iPhone into reboot loop of death. Here’s how to avoid it.

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Apple Home app
Beware random Home invitations.
Photo: Apple

A newly discovered HomeKit bug can render unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users with a completely unresponsive device. All it takes is for a smart home gadget to be given a super-long name.

Once the bug affects an iOS or iPadOS device, the gadget will continually freeze and restart itself. The only way to fix it is to factory reset the iPhone or iPad — and avoid logging into your iCloud account.

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.”

How to fix the new 16-inch MacBook Pro’s clicking speakers

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Apple added an Escape button, but broke the speakers. Find out how to fix MacBook Pro clicking speakers.
Apple added an Escape button, but broke the speakers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro ships with a serious problem. If you listen to sound — any sound — through its speakers, they can click. It sounds like a stuttery, glitchy crackle. You can hear it when the Mac makes an alert sound, or when you listen to music. The problem is not limited to the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, either. It’s a long-standing bug that affected previous models as well.

The good news is that there’s a workaround. The problem isn’t the speakers. They work fine. It’s the operating system. More specifically, it’s the sample rate of the audio device. Here’s how to fix the clicking speakers on your brand new MacBook Pro.

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.