| Cult of Mac

Activate this Siri Shortcut if the cops pull you over to record what happens


This Siri Shortcut will keep a record of police encounters.
This Siri Shortcut will keep a record of police encounters.
Photo: Mark Guim/Flickr CC

A Siri Shortcut activated by the phrase “Hey, Siri, I’m being pulled over” could prove valuable in the event of a police traffic stop. The shortcut triggers your iPhone to start recording video from its front-facing camera, pauses any music, sends your location to a trusted contact, and uploads the video to iCloud or another cloud server of your choice.

The shortcut is designed to help protect users during interactions with law enforcement.

NYC police upgrading from paper notepads to an iPhone app


The NYPD already issues police officers iPhones.
The NYPD developed its own iPhone app to let officers write activity logs while on duty.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

New York City police officers will soon use an iPhone application to record their daily activities. The officers previously used paper memo pads for these notes, going back to around 1900.

The NYPD’s switch to an iPhone app for taking notes is yet another step in the force’s modernization using Apple devices.

Apple removes app used by Hong Kong protesters from the App Store


China state media slams Apple for app used by Hong Kong protestors
App shows the location of police activity.
Photo: Hkmap Live

Apple has booted an app used by protesters in Hong Kong out of the App Store. Called Hkmap Live, the crowdsourced app uses reports from a Telegram group that tracks the whereabouts of police and protesters. It also contains information about things like arrests of people wearing protest-related paraphernalia and the use of weapons like tear gas.

“Your app contains content – or facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity – that is not legal,” Apple told the app makers. “Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement.”

Cops can’t force you to unlock phone with face or fingerprint scan


Face ID iPhone X
Face ID is the start of a new wave of biometric security.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Being forced by police to unlock your smartphone with your face or fingerprint is illegal, a California judge recently ruled.

Previous U.S. judges had ruled that cops could use biometric data to make you unlock your device, but not your passcode. The newest ruling could be a landmark case for protecting the privacy of citizens, although law enforcement officials aren’t terribly excited about it.

Apple rewards Korean cops who caught counterfeit accessories


Lightning cables that plug into USB-C ports charge your iPhone more quickly.
Haul included counterfeit cables and earphones.
Photo: Apple

Apple is planning to present police officers in South Korea with a plaque to celebrate their work cracking down on almost $1 million worth of fake accessories.

The fake products were supposedly shipped in from China under the guise of being official Apple products. Their distributors are under investigation for potential fraud and trademark violation.

Apple hires police to watch over its Apple Stores in Sacramento


Thieves grab MacBooks from an Apple Store
This is the kind of situation Apple wants to avoid.
Photo: CBS New York/Apple

Police might have cracked the crime ring behind the spate of snatch-and-grab robberies in Apple Stores across California, but Apple’s taking no chances. According to a new report, it has contracted local police departments to bring officers in as extra security in some of its stores.

Specifically, the report notes that Apple is doing this in Sacramento. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple followed a similar strategy in other locations which have been the target of criminals.

Police seek help in solving another Apple Store robbery


Apple Store
Police have released a photo of the incident.
Photo: Roseville Police Department

The Roseville Police Department in California has released a photo of two of the thieves who robbed a local Apple Store this week.

The crooks stole 20 iPhones, two MacBook Pros, and one iPad mini. Fortunately no-one was hurt during the robbery, which involved no weapons.