Apple announces Lockdown mode for vulnerable users

Apple made an announcement on ability to increase device safety by sacrificing some of the capabilities:

  • Most of attachments in Messages are blocked;
  • Certain Web technologies are disabled (JavaScript JIT compilation, for example);
  • Some of Apple services (such as FaceTime) are blocked unless user explicitly communicated with the initiator previously;
  • Wired connection to computer is disabled when device is locked;
  • MDM and configuration profiles could not be installed.

Lockdown mode will be in active development, new restrictions and safeguards might be added soon.

Lockdown mode will be available for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura.

It is expected that this mode will be used by small number of people who are potentially in risk of targeted cyberattacks, however, feature itself will be available to all users within settings later this year. As of now beta 3 is shipped with Lockdown mode settings available.

Apple Newsroom: Apple expands industry-leading commitment to protect users from highly targeted mercenary spyware

References:

iOS 16 and other OSes get beta 3

Apple publishes next round of beta versions for upcoming big releases. iOS/iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, watchOS 9 and tvOS 16 now released as beta 3. Corresponding Xcode beta is also published.

Notable changes:

  • iCloud Shared Photo Library is now available;
  • AFib history is now available;
  • Lockdown mode can be enabled;
  • Several Lock Screen enhancements to provide better experience with widgets;
  • Safari will support virtual card numbers for online purchases on participating banks;
  • Also, there is a "clownfish" wallpaper which was used on original iPhone announcement, but never actually shipped with iOS or iPhoneOS.

Beta download: Operating Systems

Release notes:

References:

Apple publishes Release Candidate for its platforms

Release Candidate is published for upcoming OS releases.

These updates include Apple Music Voice Plan support, service history is now tracked on the phone.

Also, iOS now includes App Privacy Report.

iOS & iPadOS 15 introduced the Record App Activity feature in the privacy settings, allowing people to save a summary of sensor, data, and internet access by apps on their device. In iOS & iPadOS 15.2, this activity is presented in Settings in a new UI called App Privacy Report. This is a great opportunity to review your app’s sensor, data, and internet usage. To view your activity in the report, go to Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report > Turn On App Privacy Report. Activity will show once you use your app. (78696668)

iOS & iPadOS 15.2 Release Notes

Siri gets Dutch language support on HomePod in this RC hinting upcoming availability of HomePod in Netherlands.

Legacy Contacts are also enabled in RC.

macOS 12.1 Monterey now supports SharePlay, but Universal Control is still missing. Also RC includes a lot of fixes, including problems with charging, "notch" and others.

watchOS 8.3 RC now enables ECG in China and adds Assistive Touch support to older models.

Corresponding Xcode 13.2 RC is also released.

Beta download: Beta Software Downloads

Release notes: iOS & iPadOS 15.2 Release Notes, macOS Monterey 12.1 Release Notes, watchOS 8.3 Release Notes, tvOS 15.2 Release Notes, Xcode 13.2 RC Release Notes

Reference:

iOS 15.2 beta 4 is released together with other platforms

Apple publishes iOS/iPadOS 15.2 beta 4, watchOS 8.3 beta 4 and tvOS 15.2 beta 4. Unfortunately, no new Xcode betas are released.

No notable changes are reported for this set of beta versions.

iOS and iPadOS 15.2 add support for App Privacy Report, a feature that Apple first highlighted back at WWDC. With App Privacy Report, you can see how often apps are accessing sensitive info granted to them through privacy permissions, such as location, camera, microphone, and contacts.

MacRumors

Beta download: Beta Software Download

Release notes: iOS & iPadOS 15.2 Beta 4 Release Notes, watchOS 8.3 Beta 4 Release Notes, tvOS 15.2 Beta 4 Release Notes

Reference: Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available], Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 8.3 to Developers, Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 15.2 to Developers

Apple sues NSO Group over spyware and iMessage exploits

Apple announces that it filed a lawsuit against NSO Group responsible for Pegasus software used to infiltrate iPhones of journalists and activists.

Apple also announced a $10 million contribution to support cybersurveillance researchers and advocates

Apple Newsroom

Apple claims that FORCEDENTRY exploit is currently fixed and only small number of people were affected by it. However, these were targeted attacks and, therefore, damage was significant.

iOS 15 includes a number of new security protections, including significant upgrades to the BlastDoor security mechanism. While NSO Group spyware continues to evolve, Apple has not observed any evidence of successful remote attacks against devices running iOS 15 and later versions. Apple urges all users to update their iPhone and always use the latest software.

Apple Newsroom

Apple also announced that it will notify users of ongoing attacks.

If Apple discovers activity consistent with a state-sponsored attack, we notify the targeted users in two ways:
- A Threat Notification is displayed at the top of the page after the user signs into appleid.apple.com.
- Apple sends an email and iMessage notification to the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the user’s Apple ID.

Apple Support

Apple releases Xcode 13.2 beta 1, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS betas

Apple starts next round of beta versions. iOS/iPadOS 15.2 beta 1, watchOS 8.3 beta 1, tvOS 15.2 beta 2 are released. Most importantly, Xcode 13.2 beta 1 is released.

Structured concurrency back deployment is now available!

Xcode 13.2 beta 1 now allows building apps with Structured Concurrency for iOS 13 and up, macOS 10.15 and up.

You can now use Swift Concurrency in applications that deploy to macOS 10.15, iOS 13, tvOS 13, and watchOS 6 or newer. This support includes async/await, actors, global actors, structured concurrency, and the task APIs. (70738378)

Known issues

You can’t use TestFlight to distribute apps that use Swift Concurrency and deploy to operating systems prior to iOS 15, macOS 12, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8. (84645973)

Mac Catalyst apps that use Swift Concurrency may fail to launch on an operating system prior to macOS Monterey. (84393581)

watchOS apps that use Swift Concurrency and deploy prior to watchOS 8 may fail to build for 64-bit watchOS simulator targets with a link error. (84394162)

Xcode 13.2 Beta Release Notes

iOS 15.2 beta introduces App Privacy report which shows what app does with user data, which hosts it interacts with.

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 introduced the Record App Activity feature in the privacy settings, allowing people to save a summary of sensor, data, and internet access by apps on their device.

In iOS 15.2 beta and iPadOS 15.2 Beta, this activity is presented in Settings in a new UI called App Privacy Report. This is a great opportunity to review your app’s sensor, data, and internet usage. To view your activity in the report, go to Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report > Turn On App Privacy Report. Activity will show once you use your app. (78696668)

iOS & iPadOS 15.2 Beta Release Notes

Other updates include SOS feature improvements, redesigned Notification Summary.