iOS 11 'cop button': Shortcut disables your iPhone's Touch ID and calls SOS


Image: Kia/Twitter/Apple

iOS 11 has a new safety feature that could help when your back’s against the wall.

The iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor is great for quickly unlocking your device, but it’s also been used by law enforcement to circumvent legal restrictions on demanding a passcode.

Reverting to passcode access only currently requires a restart via long pressing the sleep button and swiping power off the screen, which is neither discreet or fast enough if you’re being accosted in the street by someone in a position of authority who wants access to your device.

But in iOS 11 disabling Touch ID can be done within seconds with one finger or thumb….

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iOS 11 public beta 5 – Should you run it?

iOS 11

Every time Apple releases a new public beta of iOS 11 I get inundated by people wanting to know if it’s safe for them to try it on their iPhones and iPads.

Well, there’s only one way to find out — and that’s to install it on my equipment.

Read more: Your next iPhone could be $100 cheaper, or $450 more expensive

Before I go any further, I feel the need to point out that installing beta code onto a device that you rely on is a dumb move. Things can go wrong — very wrong — and you can end up in a world of hurt. Ideally you should only install the iOS betas onto iPhones and iPads that you have set aside for that purpose.

But where’s the fun in that?

I’ve been running the iOS 11 public beta from the start, and let…

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How Apple makes its billions – and no, it's not all down to the iPhone

Last quarter, Apple generated almost $6 billion of free cash flow during what is regarded as its weakest quarter. When it comes to metrics such as revenue, operating income, free cash flow, and net cash, Apple dwarfs Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet.

How does it do this?

Must read : Your next iPhone could be $100 cheaper, or $450 more expensive

Neil Cybart, Apple watcher and analyst at Above Avalon, this week published a piece called ” Apple has the best business model for generating cash” where he compared the Cupertino giant to other tech players such as Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon.

How Apple makes its billions - and no, it's not all down to the iPhone

In the metrics of revenue, operating income, free cash flow, and net cash, Apple was either bigger than, or close to equal, to Amazon, Facebook,…

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Is a massive iPhone price drop incoming?


(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the iPhone 8, and how it could come with a hefty $1,000+ price tag. But people willing to pay the big bucks could be subsidizing an iPhone price cut for everyone else.

See also: It turns out the iPad was just too expensive after all

In a note to Above Avalon newsletter subscribers, analyst Neil Cybart pondered the following:

“Call me crazy, but we still don’t have enough evidence to completely rule out Apple cutting pricing for the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD models by $100 next month. If a $999+ OLED iPhone ends up representing half of iPhone sales, iPhone ASP (average selling price) will still go up even if the new LCD models see a $100 price…

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UN human rights watchdog sends Apple letter over China VPN demands

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

A leading human rights expert for the United Nations has sent a letter to Apple to ask why the company removed the majority of VPN providers from the country’s app store.

The iPhone and iPad maker said in a notice to several providers on July 30 that the company was “required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations” in the country’s new cybersecurity law, which went into effect on August 1.

It’s thought that the Chinese government is on the information offensive ahead of a leadership reshuffle, expected later this year. VPN providers are often used to bypass China’s strict online censorship — the so-called “Great Firewall.”

The removals sparked…

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Moto Z2 Force, ARKit, Samsung Bixby, and LTE Apple Watch (MobileTechRoundup show #403)

There are not many new devices in the summer, but on MobileTechRoundup show #403 Kevin and I talk about some of the latest tech and our recent experiences.


Image: ZDNet
  • Hands on with the Moto Z2 Force Edition
  • Samsung Bixby: How good or bad is it?
  • Apple Watch might get a cellular radio and why if it does, battery life may not be impacted
  • Screen size, resolution of the iPhone 8
  • The AR wars have begun: ARKit vs Tango
  • Some great demos of ARKit apps from Twitter
  • The best laptop you can buy, per The Verge, may surprise you

Running time: 65 minutes

Listen here (MP3, 75MB)

Subscribe to the show with this link (RSS)

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RED shows off its $1,200 holographic display Hydrogen One smartphone


RED’s Hydrogen One is slim but tall and wide, easily out-sizing the iPhone 7 Plus.

Image: Marques Brownlee/YouTube

High-end cinema camera maker Red has been teasing its forthcoming holographic smartphone for the past month, and has now offered the first full view of its prototypes.

RED’s cameras have been used to shoot hundreds of films since 2005, such as Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and most Netflix hit TV series including Mr. Robot and Stranger Things 2. Earlier this week it struck a deal with Apple to sell some of its high-end kit exclusively at

But in early 2018 RED may be competing with Apple — amid its push into augmented reality (AR) on…

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In defending China demands, Apple loses privacy high ground

Apple, seen as a bastion of privacy and security, has boxed itself into a corner.

Last year, the company pushed back on a court order that demanded it build custom software that would crack the encryption on a terrorist’s iPhone. Apple refused, arguing the precedent could be used again on other devices, potentially putting all iPhones at risk. The company had mixed but strong political and legal support in favor of its case, and the matter went to court. The day before a critical hearing, the FBI dropped its case when it found hackers able to access the data in spite of Apple’s refusal.

Then, this week, Apple acquiesced to China’s demands to remove almost every VPN provider — used to bypass China’s strict online censorship –…

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It turns out the iPad was just too expensive after all

One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen leveled against the iPad is that it was too expensive compared to other tablets, and that the high price was acting as a barrier to sales.

Turns out that was true.

See also : Ten Apple products you shouldn’t buy (and three that you can’t buy anymore)

The iPad is an interesting device. Once seen as possibly the successor to the iPhone, it’s one of those devices that burned brightly, but burned itself out very quickly, going from launch to peak sales in under four years, and ever since it’s been in steady decline.

Earlier this year Apple attempted to resuscitate flagging sales by turning to the older-than-dirt sale trick of cutting prices.

And it looks like it’s worked. But at a price.

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