Apple may have another Gatekeeper security flaw on its hands. Researcher Filippo Cavallarin has detailed a macOS vulnerability that he said would let attackers install malware without the usual permission request. As Gatekeeper considers network shares to be ‘safe’ locations that don’t require permission checks, an intruder just has to trick the user into mounting one of those shares to run the apps they like. A maliciously crafted ZIP file with the right symbolic link could automatically steer you to an attacker-owned site, for example, and it would be easy to trick someone into launching a hostile app — say, a virus masquerading as a document folder.
What did Apple mean when it said it changed materials to improve the keyboard on 2019 MacBook Pros? You should now have a better idea. iFixit has torn down the laptop to reveal at least a pair of changes to the butterfly mechanism that might affect reliability. To start, the switch cover now appears to be made from polyamide (aka nylon) instead of polyacetylene — it’s not certain just how this improves the situation, but it’s a conspicuous change. There also seem to be changes to the metal dome switch, possibly involving either a new alloy or heat treatment. The added resilience could prevent the switches from breaking or deforming due to wear and tear, heat or other common culprits.
When Apple released the newest version of the MacBook Air back in October, Engadget editor-in-chief Dana Wollman was torn in her review. On one hand, the Air was a long-awaited refresh that many Apple fans had been looking forward to. On the other hand, the popular laptop was now only $100 cheaper than the entry-level MacBook Pro, while including many of the same features. Did the addition of TouchID and a sharper Retina display make up for a minimal selection of ports and a relatively low-powered processor? That depends on your priorities, and Dana ended up giving the Air a pretty favorable score of 84. Readers were more critical; the Air earned an average score of 75 on our user reviews page.
Just because Apple has stopped selling the UltraFine 5K doesn’t mean it has given up on LG’s monitors altogether. In sync with the launch of the eight-core MacBook Pro, the company has quietly started selling a new version of LG’s UltraFine 4K. The new version is lower resolution (it’s ‘just’ 3,840 x 2,160), but it jumps from 21.5 inches to 23.7 inches and now includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports to let you daisy chain devices.
Apple isn’t just trying to fix the MacBook Pro’s keyboard. The company has launched a repair program that offers free fixes for 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros affected by an issue with flex cable stress (aka “Flexgate”) that produces a stage lighting effect on the display’s backlight before it eventually dies altogether. You won’t have to risk a costly out-of-warranty repair just to keep using your machine.
The MacBook Pro is getting an upgrade today and yes, it’s the upgrade you’ve been waiting for. After acknowledging problems with the “butterfly” mechanism in its MacBook keyboards and later offering next-day repairs, the company is now attempting to address the underlying design. For over a year, users have been complaining about stuck and unresponsive keys, with the outcry culminating in a March Wall Street Journal column that was published without certain letters, as if written on a stuck butterfly keyboard. It was for that story that Apple finally issued a statement acknowledging the problem. The following month it began offering next-day keyboard repairs.
Now, Apple says it’s using different materials in the keyboard mechanism, which it hopes will address these complaints. Additionally, the company is extending the standard one-year warranty for keyboard issues that would normally be covered by the care plan. So, even if your one Continue reading “Apple says it fixed the MacBook Pro keyboard”
PC gaming is ready to meet iOS, now that Valve’s Steam Link app is available for Apple’s devices. You can evne play them on your TV easily via the Apple TV, streamed right from your PC. Apple had blocked its release last year, but evidently that has been worked out — likely because you can’t purchase games with it anymore — and you can grab it from the App Store now.
It’s no secret that Apple has plenty of software updates in store for WWDC, but the biggest improvements may come to one of its smallest devices — namely, the Apple Watch. Bloombergsources claim to know many of the software introductions planned for the June developer event, and watchOS would receive major updates that make it considerably less dependent on an iPhone. To start, the Apple Watch would get an on-device App Store — like Google Play on Wear OS, you wouldn’t have to load apps on your smartphone first.
Server maker Super Micro is moving production out of China in a bid to allay US customer’s concerns about spying, even though independent tests have shown no evidence of cyber espionage. The company has also announced its plans to expand its own in-house manufacturing facilities to help mitigate any perceived risks. A spokesperson for the company said Super Micro wants to be more self-reliant “without depending only on those outsourcing partners whose production previously has mostly been in China.”
You’ll need a backup plan if you’ve been hanging on to Aperture years after its retirement. Apple has warned that its pro photo editing tool won’t run in versions of macOS released after Mojave (that is, the upcoming 2019 release and beyond). If you want to access your Aperture libraries beyond that, you’ll have to migrate them to either Photos or Adobe’s Lightroom Classic. This isn’t a total shock when Apple hasn’t updated the software for five years (and hasn’t even offered downloads in four years), but it could prove a headache if you’ve been deeply attached to Aperture’s methods.
According to senior mobile editor Chris Velazco, Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9 is a lot of things: specifically, sleeker, faster, and more flexible than previous iterations. However, he also noted in his review that the upgraded device is expensive, that its OS is still limited and that the overall experience remains somewhat disappointing. Ultimately, the iPad Pro 12.9 garnered a good, but not great, score of 84. There’s certainly plenty to love about this version of the tablet like its A12X Bionic chipset and precise Pencil input, but it doesn’t quite match Apple’s vision of replacing a laptop for day-to-day work.
Apple has a lot in the cards for WWDC, and that might include improvements for… well, cards. The 9to5Mac team and Steve Troughton-Smith claim to have details of developer-friendly updates that will be unveiled in early June, and NFC support would be in line for a serious upgrade. App developers will finally have the option to read NFC tags based on ISO 7816 (usually ID and access cards), FeliCa (Japan’s tap-based system) and MiFare (a popular mass transit format). In other words, you might use your iPhone to enter your office or hop aboard a bus in many cities.
Details on what Apple may have in store for the next major versions of its operating systems are trickling out ahead of June’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The latest leaks are linked to macOS 10.15, to which Apple could add some iOS features, such as Siri Shortcuts and Screen Time, according to9to5 Mac.
It seems that the Apple Podcasts web interface is getting a makeover. The previous design, which mirrored the iTunes web interface binned in 2017, was a simple list of episodes, titles and descriptions — no show notes or episode details. The new refresh is cleaner, with full descriptions and dedicated pages for each podcast episode.
Never mind attempts to slim down iTunes — on the Mac, Apple might shove it to the side. In the wake of some sleuthing by coder Steve Troughton-Smith, 9to5Macclaims that the next version of macOS will include separate Music and Podcasts apps on top of the redesigned TV app. They would run using Marzipan (the technology that enables porting iOS apps to the Mac), and are likely to be functionally similar to whatever you see in this year’s version of iOS.
If you have a ton of files you need to move to your new Mac, you’re in luck. Apple quietly did away with the $99 fee it charges to migrate data from your old Mac to your new computer. The policy change, which went into effect on April 2nd, was first reported by TidBITS. From now on, if you purchase a new Mac or take your computer in for repair, Apple will transfer your data for free.
This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. Read the full mini desktop PCs guide here.
If you’re shopping for a desktop computer rather than a laptop because you prefer to work at a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, consider a mini PC. They’re powerful enough for most people and take up much less space than a full-sized desktop computer. The Intel NUC8i5BEKPA1 is the best because it strikes a balance of cost, processing power, and compact design.
Intel offers a few different NUC configurations, many of which don’t come with memory, storage, or an OS. But for people who want a prebuilt PC with Windows 10 already installed, we recommend the model with a quad-core Intel Core i5-8259U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB solid-state drive. Every Continue reading “The best mini desktop PCs”
At Engadget, we spend every day looking at how technology will shape the future. But it’s also important to look back at how far we’ve come. That’s what This Week in Tech History does. Join us every weekend for a recap of historical tech news, anniversaries and advances from the recent and not-so-recent past. This week, we’re looking back at the launch of Apple’s first iPad.
Late Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Amazon could be working on a pair of wireless earbuds, similar to Apple’s AirPods. Just as the latest AirPods offer hands-free access to Siri, the rumored Amazon pair will also likely work with Alexa. They’ll also apparently have gesture controls and come in a charging case, again, much like the AirPods. But as much as it seems Amazon is going after Apple with this new venture, the company might really be going after another rival too: Google.