The iOS-Crash-Fix Edition Saturday, December 2, 2017

Apple Releases iOS 11.2 With Apple Pay Cash, Fast Wireless Charging, And iPhone Crash Fix, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Apple is taking the highly unusual step of releasing a significant iOS update today, just hours after an iOS 11 bug started crashing iPhones. A bug in iOS 11.1.2 started causing iPhones to crash if third-party apps use recurring notifications for things like reminders. iOS is releasing iOS 11.2 today, which addresses the issue and includes a number of new features. Apple usually releases iOS updates on a Tuesday.

iPhone Crashing On Dec. 2? Here's The Fix!, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

If you have an App Store app installed that sends local notifications, once you hit December 2, 2017 local time, your iPhone could begin to crash.

Crowd Gathers At Apple Store In Orchard Road Over 11.1.2 iOS Bug That Crashes Phones, by Lydia Lam, Straits Times

When ST visited the Apple Store at 4pm, there were about 50 people there seeking help for the bug. Customers were speaking to Apple staff in batches of 10 to get their phones fixed.

Root-Bug Follow-Up

MacOS Update Accidentally Undoes Apple's "Root" Bug Patch, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

Those who had not yet upgraded their operating system from the original version of High Sierra, 10.13.0, to the most recent version, 10.13.1, but had downloaded the patch, say the "root" bug reappears when they install the most recent macOS system update. And worse, two of those Mac users say they've also tried re-installing Apple's security patch after that upgrade, only to find that the "root" problem still persists until they reboot their computer, with no warning that a reboot is necessary.

A Bug Bounty Wouldn't Have Helped Apple Spot The macOS Root Flaw, by Nicole Kobie, Wired

Ergin explained that his colleagues reported the flaw to Apple on November 23 and noticed that it had been discussed in the Apple Developer Forum as far back as November 13. “It seemed like the issue had been revealed, but Apple had not noticed yet.”

Ergin didn't tweet about the flaw until five days later, on November 28. Regardless of whether five days is enough to qualify as responsible disclosure, Ergin’s intent in tweeting was well intended. “The issue was very serious. It has already been mentioned in forums and revealed publicly few weeks ago,” he wrote on Medium. “I have no intention to harm Apple and Apple users. By posting the tweet, I just wanted to warn Apple and say ‘there is a serious security issue in High Sierra, be aware of it and fix it’.”

Reset Vector

iOS 11 Horror Story: The Rise And Fall Of iOS Security, by Elcomsoft

Once an intruder gains access to the user’s iPhone and knows (or recovers) the passcode, there is no single extra layer of protection left. Everything (and I mean, everything) is now completely exposed. Local backups, the keychain, iCloud lock, Apple account password, cloud backups and photos, passwords from the iCloud Keychain, call logs, location data, browsing history, browser tabs and even the user’s original Apple ID password are quickly exposed. The intruder gains control over the user’s other Apple devices registered on the same Apple account, having the ability to remotely erase or lock those devices. Finally, regaining control over hijacked account is made difficult as even the trusted phone number can be replaced.

This is just scary. Why Apple decided to get rid of the system that used to deliver a seemingly perfect balance between security and convenience is beyond us.

iOS 11 Security Isn't A 'Horror Story', It's A Balancing Act For Your Protection, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

If you're at all concerned about passcode as an attack vector, switch from a 6-digit passcode to a strong alphanumeric password. You can do that in Settings > Passcode > Change Passcode > Passcode Options > Custom Alphanumeric Code.


I'd love to see an option to turn off passcode as a reset vector for those of us who don't want or need it, but then again, I use a password so I probably wouldn't want or need that setting anyway. And that's how these loops begin.

For now, iOS 11 is doing a good job making sure people don't lose access to their data while providing alphanumeric password and MDM options for those of us who want to make sure our data is better protected as well.


Will Face ID Support Multi-user Authentication? Craig Federighi Responds, by Tory Foulk, iMore

Federighi's response was essentially a "not right now, but maybe eventually," pointing out that even Touch ID wasn't meant for more than one person to use.


New Apple Watch Series 3 Ads Put Spotlight On Cellular & Fitness, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The 14-second spots are part of a series called "The Gift of Go," each ending with someone unwrapping a Watch.

A Month With The iPhone X: What I Love (And Hate), by Mark Spoonauer, Tom's Guide

I don't wear tight jeans — and I never will — and yet something strange keeps happening during my bus ride to and from New York City: Siri sometimes comes on when I just shift in my seat.

At first, I didn't realize what was happening. But then I figured out that the iPhone X's side button was brushing up against my leg. Formerly the power button (on other iPhone models), the side button on the iPhone X activates Siri with a long press.

LEGO AR-Studio Clicks Together Virtual And Physical Blocks, by Nicole Kobie, Wired

"This app is a completely new play from LEGO, mixing the physical and digital," says Tom Donaldson, VP of the Creative Play Lab at the LEGO Group. "You hold an iPhone or an iPad in your hand, and you can see your surroundings on the screen — your room, your table, that sort of thing. It can sense surfaces, and you can place virtual LEGO models into your real world."

Donaldson explains it's not only an overlay, but a 3D model that understands the real-world scene children have placed it in.


Developer Review: 2017 Macbook 12, by Marcus Zarra

The battery on this machine has really changed how I develop. Not watching the battery power through the day is surprisingly liberating.


In reality, the MacBook works extremely well. iOS, macOS, server and even Android development works just fine. Using both Xcode and Android Studio simultaneously offers no problem for the MacBook.

I suspect the upgrade to 16GB of ram really did the trick.

Apple Will Stop Accepting 32-bit Mac Apps Starting January 1, 2018, by Noah Stahl, 9to5Mac

Apple’s Developer site has today shared a reminder that starting January 1st, 2018 32-bit Mac apps will no longer be accepted.

Bottom of the Page

It's now 9pm on Dec 2nd while I am writing this. So far, it doesn't seem like any of the iPhones here in my family was affected by the iOS bug. I hope there isn't a nasty surprise waiting for me tomorrow. In particular, I need to wake up early, and I hope there isn't an alarm-clock bug waiting for me tomorrow morning.

(Come to think of it, I don't have a backup for waking-up-in-the-morning alarm-clock system.)


Thanks for reading.