Bug in iOS can break iPhone Wi-Fi using rogue hotspot name

A bug has been discovered in iOS that can disable an iPhone’s ability to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots, if it attempts to initially connect to a hotspot with a specific name that breaks the function.

Security researcher Carl Schou gave a personal Wi-Fi hotspot a name of “%p%s%s%s%s%n.” On trying to connect to the hotspot, Schou discovered the iPhone simply couldn’t connect to it at all, and later discovered that it disabled Wi-Fi connectivity completely on the device.

Attempts to connect to other hotspots failed, with the issue continuing to mainifest after changing the hotspot’s SSID and rebooting the iPhone, according to BleepingComputer. The issue was also confirmed by others testing out the same SSID name separately.

Tests also point to it being a problem just with iPhones, as Android devices appear to connect to the unusually-named access point without issue.

Other researchers examining the phenomena believe it is an issue with input parsing, in that the percentage sign at the start may be misinterpreted by iOS as a strong-format specifier, in that characters following may be a variable or a command rather than plain text.

To fix the problem on affected iPhones, users have to reset their iOS network settings.

How to reset network settings in iOS

  • Open Settings
  • Select General then Reset
  • Select Reset Network Settings
  • Confirm the request.
  • Once the iPhone has restarted, set up your Wi-Fi as normal.

The discovery is reminiscent of text messages that contained strings and special characters that could cause problems for iPhones and iPads. For example, April’s “text bomb” forced iPhones to crash if a flag emoji and a specific Sindhi language character were viewed in an incoming notification.

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Fox Now app ends third-generation Apple TV support

The Fox Now app is now no longer supported by the third-generation Apple TV, with the streaming app now only accessible on the fourth-generation Apple TV and newer models.

In May, Fox said it was dropping support for the Fox Now app on the third-generation Apple TV from June 17. It appears that Fox has followed through with its announced change.

First reported on Saturday by Appleosophy, the Fox Now app is no longer accessible on the third-generation Apple TV. It also appears that previously-installed versions of the app are removed from view on the set-top box.

While the app is no longer usable on the third-generation Apple TV, those using the fourth-generation model and later with tvOS can download and install the app onto their set-top boxes for viewing.

It is still possible to watch content from the Fox Now app on the third-generation Apple TV, albeit indirectly. To do so, users will have to use the app on their iPhone or iPad and use AirPlay to stream it to the Apple TV.

The removal of support follows after other apps performing the same move. Earlier in 2021, the third-generation version lost support for the MLB app, CBS All Access, and YouTube.

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Beats Studio Buds, AppleCare, and Antitrust — This Week in Apple

This week, the Beats Studio Buds launch dominated after multiple leaks, as well as the launch of Apple’s back-to-school promotion, tweaks to AppleCare for some Apple Silicon products, and details of a black ceramic Apple Watch Series 5 that Apple worked on, but didn’t release.

Recap Apple’s last seven days in one video

AppleInsider posts many articles each week about Apple, its products, rumors, and connected third-party firms. In our video series “This Week in Apple,” we are condensing the main stories from the past seven days into a single video for you to watch or listen to.

Each episode offers a summary of the week’s events, as well as insight and analysis on what happened. Source links are also provided further down the page if you want to dig a little deeper into each subject.

Beats Studio Buds, antitrust, and ceramics

While previous weeks were dominated by that Epic Games lawsuit and WWDC, this week seems like a breather and a chance to relax a little bit from the news crunch.

The main news for the week centers around the Beats Studio Buds, wireless earphones from Beats by Dre that offer Active Noise Cancellation and a very low $150 price tag. They are certainly a contender for the best wireless earbuds you could buy on a budget, especially with ANC at a price that beats even the non-ANC AirPods.

Also this week, Apple launched its usual back-to-school promotions, offering discounted AppleCare and free AirPods to parents and students buying Apple’s hardware. The same week, the price of AppleCare+ for the M1-equipped MacBook Air and MacBook Pro dropped.

There’s also talk of Antitrust bills that would curtail Apple’s inclusion of its own apps in iOS, as well as how Apple could have produced a black ceramic version of the Apple Watch Series 5.

News

Rumors

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Sketchy rumor claims Samsung courting former Apple engineers for custom chip project

A sketchy rumor that’s making the rounds online suggests that Samsung is attempting to hire former Apple and AMD engineers for a custom chip architecture project.

The rumor, which appeared on South Korean-language forum Clien.net, claims that Samsung is in talks with former architecture engineers from Apple and AMD. The end goal, the forum posts claim, is a custom architecture of Samsung’s own.

Reportedly, Samsung is talking to a former engineer who directed the development of Apple’s chip architecture. While the forum posts state that the engineer is demanding to be in control of the project and team, they don’t name any specific people.

Of course, it’s impossible to verify the authenticity of the information in the forum posts, so it would be smart to take them with a hefty grain of salt.

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All US iOS YouTube users will get picture-in-picture support soon

YouTube says it is rolling out support for iOS 14 picture-in-picture mode to Premium members, with a launch to all U.S. iOS users planned for the future.

“Picture-in-Picture (PiP) allows users to watch YouTube videos in a small mini player while simultaneously browsing outside of the YouTube app on their mobile device,” YouTube said in a statement. “We’re starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.”

In other words, picture-in-picture support will start appearing as a feature for YouTube Premium members globally. In the future, YouTube will add PiP support to its iOS app for all users in the U.S. — not just paid ones.

YouTube confirmed the rollout in a statement toto AppleInsider. Earlier on Friday, MacRumors was the first to report the statement.

Picture-in-picture debuted in iOS 14 back in 2020, though YouTube support has been sporadic. For example, YouTube enabled, disabled, and then re-enabled PiP several times in 2020.

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Apple sells out of Space Gray Magic Keyboard, Trackpad, Mouse

Introduced with the iMac Pro in 2017, and discontinued in May 2021, Apple’s Space Gray accessories are now all sold out in the Apple Store.

Apple announced in mid-May 2021 that it would no longer produce the Space Gray accessories, but they did remain on sale “while supplies last.” Now, however, they have been erased from the online Apple Store, as has the iMac Pro they were originally designed for.

All three accessories were initially solely available as build-to-order options with the 2017 iMac Pro. Apple originally claimed that they only ever be sold with this Mac, but seemingly demand changed that.

Four months after launch, in March 2018, the Space Gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad were put on sale separately.

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Target Circle granting extended free trials of Apple services

The Target Circle loyalty program is offering longer-than-normal trials of many popular Apple services, including Apple Music — and some of the trials last as long as six months.

The retail company on Friday announced new perks for members of Target Circle, its free loyalty program. Apple is Target’s latest partner, and the offers include free trials to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and even iCloud storage.

All four perks are available to new and existing Target Circle members. Users can net up to four months of Apple Music, Apple TV+, or iCloud storage, and up to six months of Apple Arcade service.

Those interested in the perks can sign up for a free Target Circle account at this link. To redeem an offer, Target Circle members just have to click on one of the promotional offers and hit “Redeem.”

Once claimed, Target will send a redemption code via email. While the offer expires on June 17, 2022, there is a caveat: Apple users who have already tried out the services with a free trial won’t be able to redeem the offer.

This isn’t the first partnership between Target and Apple in recent months. Back in February, Target began expanding its retail floor space dedicated to Apple products at certain locations and also bolstered its online Apple-related services.

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How to translate websites that won't in Apple Safari

Automatic language translation in Safari is superb, but it has a limited number of languages, and so does Apple’s Translate app. Here’s how to translate between more languages.

Apple has had a habit of using the word “magical” for anything new, but in this specific case it’s the correct term. If you need, or just want, to read websites in languages you don’t understand, Safari is genuinely magical.

Translation in Safari

Go to a website in Safari and, if its in one of a select few languages, it can all be translated. And all really does mean all.

Rather than translating a sentence here or there, Safari will redraw the page with every bit of text changed into English. More, if you go from that page to another one on the same site, you don’t even have to tell Safari you want that translated too.

Until you leave a site, or you tell Safari to switch back to the original language, everything will be translated for you automatically and very quickly.

There is this issue that Safari is limited in how many languages it can do this for, but that will increase over time. What’s perhaps more pressing is that you often don’t want an entire site translated, you just want to know what this bit says.

This is the ideal: Safari translates a page in place.

This is the ideal: Safari translates a page in place.

Choosing languages to translate

It’s a big job adding the facility to translate a given language and it is going to take time for more to be added to Safari. That’s a pain if your preferred languages are not yet available, but it’s also understandable.

What’s less understandable is how hard it can be to determine what languages you can translate. By default, Safari will recognize a number of languages and tell you when a translation is available.

However, Apple says that you may be able to add more by altering your region settings. If you go to System Preferences, choose Language & Region, then click on General, you do get options.

There’s a list of your preferred languages, which may well only contain one. But there’s a plus sign at the bottom of the list and through that you can add many more.

Except there doesn’t appear to be any clear way to determine from the list of available languages, which ones can be translated automatically. Not by Safari, and presumably not by the forthcoming macOS Monterey.

How translation will improve in macOS Monterey

The forthcoming macOS Monterey is going to address this. It will feature Safari’s translation technology, but apply it system-wide.

So whatever you’re doing on your Mac, including reading the web in browsers other than Safari, macOS Monterey can provide translations. Selecting text anywhere on your Mac and then right-clicking, will bring up a Translate option.

For now, though, you have to select text, copy it, and then take it to another service.

Using online translators

Easily the best-known online translator is Google’s and if you do this a lot, translate.google.com is a very familiar address. What you get there looks like an online version of Apple’s own iOS Translate app, in that you get two text areas.

Paste or type text into one side, read the translation in the other. Google will determine what the original language is, and will default to showing you the result in English. You can, though, change either side as you need.

Google Translate works with an incredible number of languages

Google Translate works with an incredible number of languages

Very broadly, though, Google is strong on translating quite short snippets. It’s the reason those two text boxes are a little on the small side.

There is also a Documents option in Google Translate, though. Choosing this lets you load an extremely wide range of document types, from Word through PowerPoint, and have them translated.

When you’re doing longer documents, though, there are alternative services such as DeepL Translator. It costs from $7 per month for a version with no limits on the length of text it will translate.

But there is also a free one that will translate an unspecified limited number of words. The advantage of DeepL Translator, and other services, is that they tend to be better at longer texts. They tend to be better when you want more than a rough idea of what’s being said.

Speeding up how to get to online translators

It’s not as if it’s a burden to copy and paste some text into Google Translate. Nor is it arduous to drag a Word file onto DeepL Translator.

Nonetheless, both are enough to break your concentration when you’re working. And there is a way to at least speed up the job with the third-party app PopClip.

PopClip brings an iOS-style pop-up menu to the Mac. On an iPhone or iPad, once you’ve selected a word, iOS shows you a black bar with options such as Copy, Cut, and so on.

PopClip is a Mac utility that brings iOS-style pop up options, and can be customized to include a translate button

PopClip is a Mac utility that brings iOS-style pop up options, and can be customized to include a translate button

There’s no system equivalent on the Mac, but PopClip provides it. By default, it too shows basic options such as Copy, Cut, Paste and so on. But you can add to it from a growing list of extra tools that you might want quick access to — including translate.

PopClip costs $12.99 on the Mac App Store, and comes with close to 200 free tools called extensions. Add a Google Translate extension to PopClip and now you can select some text, then immediately click on a translate button.

All it really does then is take the selected text, opens a new browser tab and pastes it into Google Translate. That’s still taking you away from the text you’re reading, and it will do a new tab for every time you select and choose translate.

Plus you’ll find you have to select at most a few paragraphs at a time. Depending on whether you’re selecting text in a document or a website, there will come a point where the PopClip translate extension disappears because you have too many words.

Using translation in your workflow

There is more that could be done to make translation happen in line, making it happen as you read instead of requiring you to take the text somewhere else. And it looks like that work is being done, that it will be part of macOS Monterey.

In the meantime, the ability to get a quick, possibly quite rough Google translation is deeply convenient. And then getting a more considered translation can bring you more than the surface word-for-word literal translation can.

Alternatively, though, you could put some work in yourself and use Duolingo to learn a language.

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China iPhone 12 cycle 12% weaker than iPhone X was, analyst claims

Amid a dip in the Chinese smartphone market, Goldman Sachs says that current iPhone shipments in China are 12% lower than the iPhone X series, bucking talk of a super cycle.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, analyst Rod Hall analyzes the latest China smartphone shipment data for the month of May, which was recently released by the state-run China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

Total handset units during the period clocked in at 23 million units, down 32% year-over-year. Hall points out that this appears to be the lowest shipment numbers for China since at least May 2014.

Hall also says that re-opening “seems to have pulled demand forward quite a bit out of April and May,” but that the impact appears to have been short-lived. He suggests that China’s re-opening story could be a blueprint for how other countries fare when they re-open.

On the iPhone specifically, there were 3.8 million international smartphone shipments in China during May. That mostly consists of iPhone units. Hall says that that’s up from 2.8 million units in May 2020, but is generally in-line with trends from prior years.

The September-to-May aggregate unit count comes in at 38 million units, which compares favorably to the 31 million units for the same period in 2018 to 2019, and 2019 to 2020.

However, the analyst says that the 2021 numbers are still down 12% compared to the iPhone X redesign cycle. Hall takes this as evidence that the current iPhone 12 redesign cycle is “materially weaker” than the last one. He says this supports Goldman Sachs’ hypothesis that a three-year cadence for the iPhone will see lower peak unit shipments as global penetration reaches a peak.

“It is now difficult to dispute the lack of an iPhone Super Cycle in China with aggregate units down materially over the iPhone X redesign,” Hall writes. “This data also challenges the assumption that global iPhone replacement cycles have stabilized as it clearly implies lengthening replacements in China.”

Hall is the second analyst to draw conclusions from the May CAICT data. On Thursday, JP Morgan took the same numbers as an indication that Apple was gaining market share in the declining Chinese smartphone market compared to domestic vendors.

The Goldman Sachs analyst maintains his 12-month Apple price target of $130, which is based on a 27x multiple applied to his earnings-per-share forecast. Historically, Hall has had the lowest price targets among Apple analysts.

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'iPad mini 6', Beats Studio Buds, iPad as a Pro Device on the AppleInsider Podcast

This week, on the AppleInsider Podcast, your hosts discuss new “iPad mini 6” and “Apple Watch Series 7” leaks, plus Beats Studio Buds launch, Apple Podcast Subscriptions going live, and our hopes for iPad Pro.

Apple Podcast Subscriptions are now live and listeners can pay for bonus content, ad-free episodes, and other benefits directly in the app. At the same time, Facebook has also announced it are entering the podcast space with creators able to connect their RSS feeds to Facebook pages.

Jon Prosser shared renders of a redesigned “iPad mini 6”, matching the style of iPad Air and iPad Pro. Along with its new design, rumors suggest a smaller Apple Pencil may launch with this device to match its size.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported on changes coming to the “Apple Watch Series 7” including a faster processor and extreme sports model. Users looking for glucose monitoring built into Apple Watch may have to wait for at least 2022, however, as that feature won’t be ready this year.

Whereas Beats Studio Buds will now be available for purchase on June 24 and will retail for $149.99. These wireless earbuds include active noise cancellation and Transparency modes, but lack Apple’s H1 and W1 chips. Unlike AirPods, the Beats Studio Buds will not sync across iCloud devices or automatically switch between Apple devices.

Finally, we revisit iPadOS 15 on the iPad Pro. The visual and navigation improvements to multitasking are welcome, but key features are still missing from the platform. For example: two apps are still unable to use the same USB-C audio device simultaneously.

If you have questions or comments on the show, tweet at @stephenrobles and @Hillitech, or email us here. Find us in your favorite podcast player by searching for “AppleInsider” and support the show by leaving a 5-Star rating and comment in Apple Podcasts.

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