The Urgent-Patch Edition Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Update Your Mac Now: Nasty Hack Breaks Apple Security To Take Sneaky Photos, by Thomas Brewster, Forbes

It’s time to update your Apple Mac again, as malware that secretly takes screenshots has been spotted exploiting a serious weakness in macOS security. The flaw could be abused to record video or access files on Macs too, making patching more urgent.


For instance, according to Jamf, the malware could create an app within Zoom, the hugely popular videoconferencing app, that would secretly record what’s happening on the screen. Because the malicious app effectively hooked into Zoom, which already had permission to carry out the screen recording, no prompt warning about the action would land on the Mac users’ screen, according to Jamf.

Apple Has Released Big Sur 11.4 Update, And Security Updates For Catalina And Mojave, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

This update adds Apple Podcast subscriptions and channels, and fixes bugs with bookmarks in Safari, the display of websites after waking from sleep, export of keywords of images in Photos, Preview freezing when searching PDF documents, and 16-inch MacBooks freezing when playing Civilization VI.

iOS And iPadOS 14.6 Released With Apple Card Family, Podcasts Subscriptions, Updates To AirTags And Find My, And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 14.6 today with a handful of new features, including Apple Card Family and Podcasts Subscriptions, along with Updates to AirTags and the Find My app.

Apple Releases watchOS 7.5 With ECG App In New Countries, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This update brings the ECG and irregular heart rhythm notification features to more countries, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions support, and more.


Apple Announces WWDC 2021 Schedule by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, the company said the conference’s opening keynote presentation at 10:00 am Pacific time on the 7th. The Platforms State of the Union will begin at 2:00 pm Pacific the same day. Apple also announced that the Apple Design Awards will be held at 2:00 pm Pacific on June 10th.

Coming Soon

Apple's Beats Studio Buds Receive FCC Approval After Being Revealed In iOS 14.6, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The iOS 14.6 RC released to developers and public beta users last week revealed an unannounced new pair of Beats Studio Buds earbuds. Now, those earbuds have officially received FCC approval, further suggesting that an official announcement could be imminent.

On App Stores

At Epic V Apple's Closing, Judge Probes Implications Of Upending Apple's App Store, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Epic Chief Executive Tim Sweeney, who has driven the company's legal strategy and attended the entire trial, is "attacking the fundamental way that Apple is generating revenue," Gonzalez Rogers said. "There's a reasonable argument that (Apple is) using these profits to benefit the whole ecosystem."

At times, Gonzalez Rogers questioned other issues, such as an Apple rule barring developers from using email addresses gathered from iPhone users to market ways to avoid Apple's in-app purchase system.

Apple Stayed On Message While Epic Filled Out The Record, by Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge

Throughout the trial, Epic’s general strategy appears to have been to stuff the record as full of evidence as possible — just in case it’s needed on the inevitable appeal. To do that, Epic sacrificed telling a coherent story.

Apple, on the other hand, was on brand. It had a clear story and it spent the entire trial hammering it home: Apple controls the App Store because the alternative would be a security and privacy nightmare.


Once More, With Feeling, by Joe Steel

The new Apple TV 4K, with updated Siri Remote, and the current state of tvOS, is still such an improvement over where things were with the Apple TV of 2015. There isn’t a scenario where I would wish to be put in charge of Apple (for a variety of reasons), and then send this back to development rather than release it right now.

It is important to stress that this is still an imperfect product, with several issues around general usability plaguing it for over half a decade. Adoption of the product has also been hamstrung by the pricing, and will be for the foreseeable future. Apple could cut prices at any time they wanted to, but this product seems specifically engineered to hit these targets, which means it’ll be years before anyone at Apple reconsiders their stance, and even then, an executive might say they still offer tremendous value.

Second-Generation Siri Remote Review, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The second-generation Siri Remote isn’t perfect, but it’s a sufficient mea culpa that you might want to toss your original Siri Remote into the back of the closet as a just-in-case backup. I can’t tell you if it’s the best remote for an Apple TV, but it’s certainly the most improved one.

WaterField Designs' Leather AirTag Accessories Look Sturdy, Stealthy, Smart, by Lewis Wallace, Cult of Mac

Sturdy new AirTag accessories from WaterField Designs offer up a couple of new ways to attach Apple’s trackers to keys, luggage and more. WaterField’s Leather AirTag Keychain and Leather AirTag Luggage Tag emphasize durability and stealth.

Bottom of the Page

Well, time to budget some time over the weekend to upgrade everything.


Thanks for reading.