Court orders Apple to give widow access to late husband’s iPhone photos

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court order iCloud access
Plan ahead so that family can access your iPhone photos if you die.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A U.K. court ordered Apple to provide a widow access to her late husband’s iPhone photos, after a lengthy legal battle that ended Sunday when the woman and her daughter could finally look at the pictures.

Matt Thompson did not leave a will when he took his own life in 2015, and Apple makes clear that user accounts are non-transferable after death.

Brace yourself for Apple’s next ugly earnings call

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Apple earnings
Apple's Q2 earnings are expected to be a bit of a downer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Wall Street is anxiously awaiting Apple’s earnings report for the second quarter of 2019 that will be delivered on Tuesday, April 30. Apple’s stock value has risen about 30% this year even though iPhone sales are slowing.

Most analysts predict that nearly all of Apple’s numbers will be down compared to the same quarter last year, but there are few bright spots that could cause the company’s stock price to surge. After looking at the analysts’ numbers, we’ve found a couple of key areas to watch for.

Apple actually reducing dependence on Amazon cloud services

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This isn't actually Apple's data center, but it's close.
Apple is increasingly using its own data centers, rather than outsourcing iCloud storage to rival companies.
Photo: Pexels

Although a recent report indicated that Apple is spending about $30 million a month for Amazon’s cloud services, new information indicates that’s a considerable reduction from the past.

This is a result of Apple’s growing collection of data centers around the world.

How to back up your iMessages (and why it’s essential)

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Never lose your old messages again.
Never lose your old messages again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Why would you bother to back up your iMessages? After all, they’re all stored in iCloud these days, right? Well, yes your messages are all stored in iCloud, but they’re not backed up up there. They’re synced, which means that if you delete a message thread, it’s gone forever. The answer is to make a local backup, which requires a Mac. Which is ridiculous in 2019, but there you go.

Here’s how to back up your iMessages in case the worst happens.

iCloud problems make some Apple services shaky [Updated]

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iCloud iPhone
It’s a bad day to be in Apple IT.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Update: The problems have apparently been fixed, as all the indicators on Apple’s System Status page are now green, and there are no outstanding issues listed.


If you’re having difficulties with some feature of iCloud, don’t reboot your computer or network because it’s not just you.

Apple’s official System Status page has lit up with a rash of yellow icons indicating problems.

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iPhone survey
I wanted a Galaxy S10, but I'm stuck with iPhone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Guilty iCloud hacker sent to slammer

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Celebgate hack
Christopher Brannan gets a prison sentence for his part in the crime.
Illustration: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A judge sentenced a former high school teacher to 34 months in prison Friday after the man pleaded guilty to his role in the “Celebgate” hack of iCloud and other accounts.

Of those convicted for the high-profile hack, Christopher Brannan, 31, received the harshest sentence for breaching accounts. The attack led to the circulation of nude photos and videos of model Kate Upton, actress Jennifer Lawrence and others.