Chinese iCloud data now controlled by state-owned company

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Apple Store
Tim Cook has said that China is Apple's future biggest market.
Photo: Apple

When Apple moved iCloud data for Chinese customers over to Apple partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry earlier this year, a lot of privacy advocates were worried about the implications.

They might have even more cause for concern now, as Apple’s iCloud data in the country — including users’ emails and text messages — is now being stored by a division of the state-owned China Telecom. Apple confirmed the change late on Tuesday.

How to share Dropbox-style links in iOS 12 Photos app

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You can now share links to your photos, including photos of grapefruits.
You can now share links to your photos, including photos of grapefruits.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 beta 3 added a great new feature in the Photos app. Now, when you share a photo, you can choose to copy a link to that photo, and share that instead. This is a lot like sharing a file from Dropbox. You can even copy a link to a whole slew of files and share them by sending a single URL.

Shared photos are stored in iCloud, and the link is accessible to anyone that has it, for up to a month. Let’s see how it works.

Today in Apple history: MobileMe gets to R.I.P.

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MobileMe
So long, MobileMe.
Photo: Apple

July 1: Today in Apple history: Apple shuts down MobileMe web service, pushes iCloud July 1, 2012: Apple shuts down its MobileMe web service, pushing users to switch to iCloud.

Launched in 2008, MobileMe was a subscription-based suite of online services and software created by Apple. It included features like “Find my iPhone,” a MobileMe photo gallery, chat facilities, online calendar, storage and other cloud-based services. After letting it limp along for four years, Cupertino finally decides to pull the plug, giving Mobile Me users until the end of July to remove their data from the service.

Hate scheduling meetings? WhenWorks app makes it easy

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WhenWorks
Take the pain out of scheduling a meeting.
Photo: WhenWorks

Cult of Mac Magazine: Hidden Apple Watch metric tells if you should exercise, and more!

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cover
Heart rate variability is a new metric that reveals your stress level and whether you have recovered from your last workout. We show how you can use it to optimize your training and more!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine: Imagine if your Apple Watch could tell you which days were best for you to do a workout, and what kind of workout you should do. Well it can, sort of, thanks to a hidden feature that few people have yet discovered or know how to use.

You’ll find that story and more in this issue. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

macOS 10.13.5 brings Messages in iCloud to Mac at last

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macOS update
A macOS update adds support for Messages in iCloud.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple released macOS 10.13.5 today, an update that brings the long-awaited Messages in iCloud feature to Mac users.

The new feature, which Apple rolled out to iPhones and iPads earlier this week in iOS 11.4, should free up space on your Mac. More importantly, it will finally allow you to sync iMessages with all your Apple devices via the cloud.

How to set up and use Messages in iCloud in iOS 11.4

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clouds
Clouds, unlike those where your iMessages will now be stored.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 11.4 update finally brings Messages in iCloud, which means you can treat your iMessages like you treat your photos.

Your messages will sync across all iOS devices and should work soon on Mac. (Update: It works on Mac now, once you update to macOS 10.13.5). You can even delete them from an iPhone or iPad that’s short on space. But they will remain accessible from the cloud. Here’s how to switch on iCloud support for Messages.

Apple frequently forced to give customer iCloud data to police

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Police Car. Berlin, 2013
Apple strives to protect the privacy of its customers, but it's also required to comply with legal requests for information from law enforcement.
Photo: Stefan Draschan

A locked iPhone can’t be accessed without the passcode, and even Apple can’t unlock it. But Apple has to comply with government requests for iCloud information.

And there are a lot of them. The company received 3,358 requests to access personal data in the second-half of 2017, with about half of these coming from the United States.

New to iCloud? Apple will give you the first month’s storage for free

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iCloud iPhone
Apple wants more iCloud subscribers.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is looking to hook more people to subscribe to its iCloud storage service — and like good salespeople they’re willing to give you the first hit for free, after which you’ll have to start paying.

At present, Apple offers you a tiny amount of storage for free as a preview of its iCloud storage. However, this is such a small amount that users will run out even if they’re only backing up the videos and photos on their iPhone. For most customers, it’s therefore necessary to pay a monthly subscription fee to Apple to cover all your storage needs.

Apple now lets you download a copy of all the data it has on you

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Apple Data and Privacy website
Apple’s new Data and Privacy website has all the tools you need.
Photo: Apple