The Watching-Live-Sports Edition Thursday, July 21, 2022

iOS 15.6, iPadOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 Monterey, watchOS 8.7, tvOS 15.6, And HomePod Software 15.6, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Even though much of Apple’s development work is devoted to polishing the betas of its next-generation operating systems, the company found time to release minor updates for its current operating systems: iOS 15.6, iPadOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 Monterey, watchOS 8.7, tvOS 15.6, and HomePod Software 15.6.

Happily, Apple doesn’t call out any of the security fixes as being actively exploited in the wild, so we recommend waiting a week or so to install these updates to see if they have any side effects. Unless, of course, you’re watching live sports in the TV app.

Apple Removes AirTag Battery Level Indicator From The Find My App, by Tim Hardwick, Macrumors

In iOS 15.6, the notification is still sent to the user, but the general battery level icon is absent unless the battery is critically low. This seems to be an intentional move on Apple’s part, since the same indicator has also been removed from ‌Find My‌ in the latest macOS Monterey 12.5 and watchOS 8.7 updates.

We Spoke With Apple's VP Of Health To Unpack The Health App, Activity Tracking, Privacy And More, by Jacob Krol, Parade

Yes, Apple makes a bunch of different devices—iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods and Apple Watch—but they’re also in the health space. In fact, it started in 2014 with the Health app on iOS—essentially a place to store and sift through health data from Apple-devices and other connected ones like a smart water bottle from Hidrate.

And in the eight years since then, it’s expanded to integrate with everything the Apple Watch can track, support third-party apps and devices, and integrate with medical institutions. It still all lives on the iPhone (or more simplified on the wrist) and aims to give you quick access to this data with a quick dose of what it actually means.

To unpack all that you can do with the Health app, we got to chat with Dr. Sumbul Desai—Apple’s Vice President of Health—to learn more about all of the features and how Apple has built this out.

Apple’s iMessage Is Looking More Like A Workday Collaboration Platform, by Ryan Faas, Computerworld

Although generally not positioned as such by Apple, this combination of features solves many of the communication and basic collaboration needs of most business users. It isn’t as purpose-built as Slack or Microsoft Teams, but the functionality is nonetheless there and at no additional cost; that makes it a viable option, especially for smaller business environments when used with Apple Business Essentials.

Apple Explains What Happens When Games Are Removed From Apple Arcade, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple said that users who download a game before it is removed from Apple Arcade can continue to play the game for “at least two weeks after.” Users who launch an Apple Arcade game that is no longer playable will receive a “No Longer Available” message.

Apple says that after a game has been removed from Apple Arcade, the developer might choose to make their game available on the App Store for all users.

On Security

New 'CloudMensis' Malware Uses Cloud Storage To Spy On Mac Users, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

At this point, it does not appear that the malware uses are zero-day vulnerabilities. Instead, it uses previously known flaws to bypass macOS mitigations. Because of that, a properly updated Mac should be relatively safe from the malware.

Once CloudMensis achieves code execution and administrative privileges, it runs another malware that retrieves a feature-rich second stage. That second stage has roughly 39 surveillance commands designed to collect information from compromised Macs.


Limited Edition Beats Studio Buds Coming, In Partnership With Nickmercs, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Each individual Beats Studio Bud features a red and black design with the MFAM — or "Mercs Family" — logo. The case itself features a Spartan helmet design, which is representative of Kolcheff's Greek heritage.

HomeKit-compatible Eve Motion Sensor V2 Gets Thread Support And Ambient Light Sensor, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The Eve Motion also gets an ambient light sensor, which is exposed to HomeKit so can be used to directly trigger actions, with or without motion.


TextExpander, Which Lets Users Build Shortcuts To Speed Up Business Communications, Raises $41.4M, Its First-ever Funding, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Now the plan will be to use the funding to build completely new products around those existing operations. They will include tools to help suggest and build new snippets, analytics to determine which snippets are most popular and which are leading to desired outcomes, and more ways of using these snippets in a wider set of use cases.

How One Programmer Broke The Internet By Deleting A Tiny Piece Of Code, by Keith Collins, Quartz

A man in Oakland, California, disrupted web development around the world last week by deleting 11 lines of code.

The story of how 28-year-old Azer Koçulu briefly broke the internet shows how writing software for the web has become dependent on a patchwork of code that itself relies on the benevolence of fellow programmers. When that system breaks down, as it did last week, the consequences can be vast and unpredictable.

Bottom of the Page

Dear Apple: Maybe you haven't checked in a while, but here in Singapore, there are only five channels in your Apple TV Channels. (And that's counting Apple TV+ as one of the channels.)

I know MLS channel is probably also coming as one of the channel in the coming months... maybe? But, please, don't forget us.

Also: No HomePods here either. And Apple Books is still 'selling' only public domain titles.


Thanks for reading.