The Safeguards-Improvement Edition Friday, February 11, 2022

Apple Says It Will Make Unknown AirTags Alert You Sooner, by Victoria Song, The Verge

Following multiple reports of stalking, Apple says it plans to improve AirTag safeguards against unwanted tracking later this year. Specifically, Apple says users will be alerted sooner when an unknown AirTag is detected traveling with them. It also it’ll make unknown AirTags easier to find by “adjusting the tone sequence,” which might make them sound louder, and by guiding people directly to a mystery AirTag using the ultrawideband chip available on newer iPhones.

Apple Tackling AirTag Stalking Concerns With These Changes To Find My Network, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In response to growing concerns about AirTag and the Find My network being used for unwanted tracking and stalking, Apple has announced a handful of changes coming over the course of this year. The company reaffirms that AirTag “was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people,” and these forthcoming changes aim to make that clear.

I Used AirTags, Tiles And A GPS Tracker To Watch My Husband’s Every Move, by Kashmir Hill, New York Times

The problem was that he couldn’t find it. The alert said he could make the AirTag play a sound, but when he attempted to do so, his phone wouldn’t connect to the device. This happened multiple times, and he started to get frustrated. “Is it in my shoe?” he asked me at one point, taking his blue Nike off and peering at it. “You have to tell me. I don’t want to destroy my shoe looking for it.” [...] The critics were right: Apple’s safeguards against nefarious use weren’t foolproof.


“For all the bad press the AirTags have gotten, and as flaky as the detection mechanisms were, at least I was consistently getting notifications they were following me,” he said. “The privacy dangers of the other trackers were way worse.”

Are You Being Tracked By An AirTag? Here’s How To Check, by Reece Rogers, Wired

Even though Tile and other competitors to the AirTag exist, the vastness of Apple’s ecosystem sets the device apart. If you are concerned that a secret AirTag may be recording your location, these signs may help detect the tracker.


Apple Releases macOS 12.2.1 Monterey, iOS 15.3.1, iPadOS 15.3.1, And watchOS 8.4.2, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple has released focused bug and security updates for macOS Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8.

The Secret Of The Apple Watch’s Mindfulness App, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The developers of Athlytic (and the developers of many other fitness apps) recommend starting a Mindfulness session as soon as you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed or look at your phone so no external factors skew the reading. Athlytic’s developers say that Mindfulness usually, but not always, triggers an HRV reading.

iNet Network Scanner Review: Get At-a-glance Details On Your Local Network, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

iNet Network Scanner provides a huge amount of information about the state of your network and what you can do with it all from the comfort of the Mac you’re working at.

6 iPhone File Managers That Are Way Better Than The Files App, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

If you’re fed up with the Files app, here are the best third-party alternatives.


Quick Tips For Staying Focused While Working From Home, by Matt Birchler, The Sweet Setup

Distractions are just a part of life, and they’re going to exist whether you’re working in an office or if you’re at home. The distractions will be different, but they’ll always be there. The tips above are things I do to help keep me on track, either by reminding myself to focus for a little while, to quickly get me into specific work modes, or by simply reminding myself exactly what steps I need to take to do something, but you should find what works for you!


Every Employee Who Leaves Apple Becomes An ‘Associate’, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock confirmed that, for years, Apple has changed the job titles of its former employees to “associate.” Rosenstock declined to say why Apple does this or precisely when the practice began.


“Irrespective of the reasons why they are doing it, this is a very bad and possibly unlawful practice,” said Laurie Burgess, an employment law attorney who represents Parrish in her labor board case against Apple. “Seems to me that this action interferes with employees’ reasonable future economic interests.”

Apple Removes 12 Suppliers Over 'Conflict Minerals' Failures, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple has reported that in 2021, it ceased working with 12 smelters and refiners because of concerns about them mining in armed conflict areas.

Bottom of the Page

In the midst of all these excitement about all the new devices Apple is releasing this year, there is one potential new product that the rumor mills haven't pinpoint the release date yet. Will there be a purple iPhone?


Thanks for reading.