The Anonymous-Identifiers Edition Thursday, April 23, 2020

First Version Of Apple/Google Contact Tracing API Will Be Available On April 28, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The operating system will prompt users if they want to participate in contact tracing. Users will also need to download the respective public health app for their region. This app will collate the anonymous Bluetooth identifiers and can push alerts if a COVID-19 positive case is tracked nearby. Apple will not be approving any App Store app to use the contact tracing API, enforcing that there will only be one app supplied by the appropriate government health organization for each geographical region. Users will not be able to report themselves as positive without some kind of medical verification, to prevent trolling and abuse of the system.

Disable Mail

Researchers Say They Caught An iPhone Zero-Day Hack In The Wild, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

ZecOps, a company based in San Francisco, announced on Wednesday that a few of its customers were targeted with two zero-day exploits for iOS last year. Apple will patch the vulnerability underlying these attacks on an upcoming release of iOS 13.

“We concluded with high confidence that it was exploited in the wild,” Zuk Avraham, the founder of ZecOps, told Motherboard. “One of [the vulnerabilities] we clearly showed that it can be triggered remotely, the other one requires an additional vulnerability to trigger it remotely.”

iOS Mail Bug Allows Remote Zero-click Attacks, by Thomas Reed, Malewarebytes Labs

As for precautions to avoid infection, there are a couple things you can do. One would be to install the iOS 13.4.5 beta, which contains a fix for the bug. This is not something that’s easy to do, however, as you need an Apple developer account to download the beta. Plus, using a beta version of iOS, which may have bugs, isn’t recommended for all users.

The other possible security measure would be to disable Mail until the next version of iOS is released publicly.

Plant a Tree

Apple Celebrates Earth Day With Apps To 'Lend A Hand From Home,' 'Reconnect With Nature, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

When launching the App Store on iOS or your Mac, you’ll see the Earth Day app stories featured at the top. Apple has curated a thoughtful selection of apps to get involved with taking care of our planet, learning more about Earth, how to “search the web, plant a tree” and more.

Apple Environment VP Lisa Jackson Speaks About Apple's Renewable Energy Efforts In Earth Day Live Series, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Jackson went on to explain that every individual, business, and organization must take action to address climate change. "Policy is one solution, innovation is another," she said before delving into Apple's environmental efforts.

GPU Photography

Review: Apple’s Cheap And Cheerful iPhone SE, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The iPhone SE gets a boost from the totally new image pipeline of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. The ISP and the Neural Engine of the A13 processor give it more help in a variety of ways, especially given that so much of what makes up photography is in now really computer math.

Even with the painful lack of a telephoto lens, this is still one of the better smartphone cameras on the market because it has the full imaging pipeline of the iPhone 11 behind it. If it didn’t, I think that it would feel much ‘older’ in terms of imaging quality, but it speaks to how much of photography is driven by the CPU or GPU rather than the lens and sensor these days.

Apple iPhone SE Review: Everything You Need, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Other than low-light photography, there’s virtually nothing that I do on those $1,000 phones that I can’t do equally well on the iPhone SE. It is fast, capable, reliable, and familiar. I’d miss those advanced features and more expansive displays, but not as much as you might think.

Coming Soon?

Apple Aims To Sell Macs With Its Own Chips Starting In 2021, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, based on the A14 processor in the next iPhone. The first of these will be much faster than the processors in the iPhone and iPad, the people said.

Apple is preparing to release at least one Mac with its own chip next year, according to the people. But the initiative to develop multiple chips, codenamed Kalamata, suggests the company will transition more of its Mac lineup away from current supplier Intel Corp.


The Heavy Truth About The iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard, by Jason Snell, Macworld

With products like these iPad Pro accessories, I’m perplexed that anyone would view them as anything but optional parts. I realize that we’re not used to viewing an Apple product as a system of interconnected components, but that’s what the iPad Pro has turned into. It’s a powerful touch-based tablet with a collection of accessories that Barbie herself would be envious of.


This is where the iPad Pro is today. A core product surrounded by an array of optional accessories. If one of them doesn’t work for you, keep moving—there’s probably an alternative out there.