The personal blog of Stuart Breckenridge

Delaying iOS Updates Through Mobile Device Management  

In the latest iOS 11.3 beta1, Apple has introduced a new Mobile Device Management feature:

Delay the ability to see and install iOS updates for up to 90 days.

Other than giving companies the ability to delay updates in order to ensure compatibility with their own apps, I don’t see a good reason for this. The improved security of each iOS update is, to my mind, more important.

  1. A developer subscription is required to view the release notes. ↩︎


Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular  

Via Channel News Asia:

Singtel will be the first telecommunications provider to offer a new model of the Apple Watch Series 3 with a built-in cellular service from Feb 9, it announced in a news release on Friday (Jan 26).

It’ll cost an extra S$6.90/month, according to Singtel’s site. While this isn’t as bad as the $10 + taxes (USD) that AT&T are charging in the United States, it’s still questionable. The watch uses the data allowance of your phone. Why should you pay twice for that privilege?


When Does the iMac Pro Go On Sale?

There’s been no clear indication from Apple as to which countries will be able to order the iPad Pro from 14th December. However, it appears that Singapore will not be one of them:

It’s strange, normally Singapore is a launch country for new products.


Month 13 is Out of Bounds

After the recent macOS security update I started seeing this message flooding the console:

It’s appearing at least 20 times per second and other than disabling Bluetooth, I haven’t found a way to stop it.

Update: This is wide spread.


Fast Charging Comparison on iPhone X  

Fantastic comparison of wired (5W, 12W, 18W, 29W, 30W, 87W), and wireless (5W, 7.5W) charging speeds on iPhone X by Juli Clover, at MacRumors.

via MacRumors

Two things stand out to me:

  • Getting to 50% is noticeably quicker with fast-chargers (30 minutes vs. over 60 minutes with the 5W charger in the box)
  • After an hour of charging, the difference between the 12W iPad charger and the fast-chargers is negligible (~7%)

At work I use a 29W Anker USB-C charger1 and at home I use my iPad’s charger and don’t notice the difference. That said, I can’t help but agree with Juli’s conclusion:

It’s not really worth it using the 5W charger that the iPhone ships with if you can help it, because it’s incredibly slow.

Would a 12W charger in the box have been too much, Apple?

  1. This used to be available on Amazon’s Singapore site but has, for some reason, vanished. ↩︎


iOS 11.1.2 December 2nd Crash Loop  

Juli Clover, for MacRumors:

A date-related bug in iOS 11.1.2 appears to be causing iPhones and iPads to continually crash or respring when time-based local notifications are received after 12:15 a.m. on December 2, according to reports on Twitter and reddit.

The problem seems to be tied to local notifications received from apps that offer daily or repeat reminders. For example, meditation app Headspace, one of the affected apps, sends daily reminders to users to encourage them to take some time to meditate. Any app using local (as in not pushed from a remote server) notifications that repeat will cause a crash.

I am intrigued as to what is tying December 2nd and repeating local notifications1 together to cause this issue. Regardless, along with #iamroot, this is yet another embarrassing bug for Apple.

Update 2017-12-02: Here’s an oddity: a major point release of iOS being made available on a weekend. It’s probably got something to do with this bug.

  1. I attempted to recreate the bug using a local notification from Todoist but it was unsuccessful, likely because it was a single notification. ↩︎


Why Hasn't Twitter Removed Trump's Retweets?  

Ivana Kottasová, writing for CNN:

President Trump has been heavily criticized for his decision to retweet three graphic anti-Muslim videos.

But why did Twitter allow them in the first place?

The anti-Muslim videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right party Britain First. They depict violent assaults and the destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

They also appear to violate the terms of use published by Twitter. It warns users: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Asked why the original tweets have not been deleted, a Twitter spokesperson said:

“To help ensure people have an opportunity to see every side of an issue, there may be the rare occasion when we allow controversial content or behavior which may otherwise violate our rules to remain on our service because we believe there is a legitimate public interest in its availability.”

Twitter knows these tweets violate their rules and by not acting to remove them they show just how spineless they are as an organisation. There is no legitimate public interest in seeing these videos, one of which has already been debunked by the Dutch Embassy.

Twitter have effectively given Trump a blank cheque to say what he wants regardless of impact or truth. Their leadership should be ashamed of themselves.


On Brexit  

Alexander Stubb, vice president of the European Investment Bank:

“I have a British heart pumping, I am married to a Brit, my children have dual nationality and I think Brexit is one of the biggest travesties that we have seen in the modern era,” he said.

“So I will do everything in my power to alleviate the pain, but the economic facts are just such that there are no winners in Brexit - apart from perhaps a few lawyers. Unfortunately, we will see this in the coming years.”

I couldn’t agree more.


Apple Reportedly Reduced Face ID Accuracy to Speed Up iPhone X Production  

Tim Hardwick:

Several reports in recent months have covered Apple’s struggle to ensure significant components for the upcoming iPhone X can be produced in large enough quantities to meet demand, with the main culprit being the 3D sensing modules that power the phone’s TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology. In a surprise development, a new Bloomberg report today claims that Apple overcame its production challenges by quietly telling suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face recognition technology to make the iPhone X easier to manufacture.

I don’t buy this for one minute. Apple publicly announced the accuracy of Face ID and continue to advertise the accuracy on the iPhone X product page.

Update (2017-10-26): Statement released by Apple and shared with TechCrunch:

Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can’t wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.

Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.


Singapore to Stop Increasing Car Numbers from 2018  

In 2018, Singapore will stop adding additional cars to the roads. As reported by Bloomberg (via Daring Fireball):

Singapore, among the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle, will stop increasing the total number of cars on its roads next year.

The government will cut the annual growth rate for cars and motorcycles to zero from 0.25 percent starting in February, the transport regulator said on Monday.

“In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network,” the Land Transport Authority said in a statement on its website. Roads already account for 12 percent of the city-state’s total land area, it said.

To clarify the commentary on Daring Fireball, if you want a car but don’t own one, you’ll need to wait until you can buy a Certificate of Entitlement — essentially a 10-year license to own a car — which are available via auction.