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Apple acknowledges a bug that lets Siri read out hidden notifications, a fix is coming soon

March 22, 2018
bug in iOS 11 that lets Siri read out hidden notifications will be fixed.
Apple has acknowledged the existence of this privacy-related issue on iPhone and iPad, saying in a statement to MacRumors that a fix will be released soon. “We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update,” Apple has said. The public release of iOS 11.3 is just around the corner, but Apple may deliver this fix sooner via a minor update.
Brazilian outlet Mac Magazine reported yesterday that hidden notification previews on a locked iPhone, iPad or iPod touch can be revealed with a simple voice command without unlocking the device.
“Hey Siri, read my notifications” is all it takes to reveal the content of your new and unread messaging notifications from apps like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and many more.
It would seem that the bug is causing iOS to treat messaging notifications from third-party apps like regular notifications. As a temporary solution, you can disable Lock screen notifications for all third-party messaging apps in Settings or even prevent Siri access from the Lock screen altogether.
Notifications from the stock Messages app are unaffected by this bug.

Apple could begin trial production of new iPhones as soon as June

March 22, 2018
To avoid production hiccups with the TrueDepth camera that delayed the iPhone X launch into November 2017, Apple is said to kick off trial production of new iPhone models next quarter.
Starting trial production earlier than usual could help advance the launch dates for the phones, a report claimed on Thursday. Specifically, sources with the Taiwanese integrated circuit design firms told trade publication DigiTimes that even though component orders for new iPhones have not yet picked up steam, suppliers are expecting to see revenues increase in the second quarter provided Apple can start delivering new phones early in the third quarter.
Apple is expected to make 3D-based depth sensing a standard feature in all three upcoming iPhones: a second-generation iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, a brand new Plus-sized 6.5-inch OLED model and a 6.1-inch model outfitted with an LCD screen.
The new iPhones should be unveiled in the fall.

iOS 12’s completely overhauled iBooks app will reportedly include App Store-like Today section

March 22, 2018
Apple’s iBooks app for iOS 12 is said to feature a new Today tab.
According to a report Thursday by the fairly reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara (Google Translate), Apple is allegedly poaching employees from various publications who would act as editors and content curators for the rumored new Today section of iBooks.
In comparison, the current iBooks app features five tabs: My Books, Featured, Top Charts, Search and Purchased. As noted by MacRumors, the Cupertino technology giant has posted a series of iBooks editor job listings on LinkedIn in recent months.
If the Today section of iOS 11’s App Store is anything to go by, it’s not so far-fetched to assume that the Today tab in iBooks might easily host not only curated books but also editorial content created in-house, such as interviews, reviews, previews and so forth.
The initial beta of iOS 11.3 renamed iBooks as just Books, but the recent betas reverted the change back to iBooks. The Today section won’t be the only new feature for iOS 12’s iBooks.
As reported recently by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is apparently overhauling the app around a simpler interface with App Store styling, a new Reading Now section, support for audio books, a redesigned store and more.
The other sections that Apple is thought to incorporate in the app itself, or the underlying iBooks Store, reportedly include Want to Read, Award Winners, Staff Picks and Rave Reviews.

How to share panoramic images on Instagram

March 22, 2018
As you know, Instagram currently does not accept panoramic images.
However, that didn’t stop smart photographers from figuring out how to take advantage of the app’s carousel feature, designed for sharing multiple photos and videos in a single post, to upload gorgeous panoramic images to the service and make their profile awesome.
When viewed on the web or in the app, such a post results in a seamless, smoothly swipeable panoramic photo. The trick is in turning the source panoramic image into a trio of cropped photos that can be uploaded to Instagram in order to create a carousel-type post.
Here’s one example of a 3×1 panorama-style post.

Of course, the effect is far more impressive inside the Instagram app rather than on the web. On the web, you must click an arrow on either side of the image to advance to the next shot whereas in the app you just swipe horizontally. The effect is quite striking in the app itself—almost as if you’re smoothly panning across one panoramic shot.

How to post panoramic images to Instagram

To save yourself from manual work, we recommend using a dedicated app to share panorama-style shots on Instagram. Such apps automate the whole process so that all that’s left for you to do is upload the individual square shots to Instagram as a multi-image post.
1) Download the app Panols for $1.99 from App Store.
2) Launch Panols on your iPhone or iPad.
3) Tap Allow Photo Access and hit OK to grant Panols permission to access your images.
4) Panols greets you with thumbnails of all the panoramic images residing in your Photos library (as a reminder, iOS saves panoramic shots you take with your device in a special album titled “Panoramas”). Choose a panoramic photo that you’d like to process with Panols.
5) You’ll now see your selected panoramic image divided into three squares. Pinch to zoom in and out or swipe around in order to align the panorama to the grid the way you like.
6) Tap Export Panol at the bottom.
7) After you see a message confirming that your panoramic shot has been processed and exported to the album “Panols” in your photo library, tap Done and quit the app.
8) Launch Instagram for iPhone.
9) Tap the Plus button centered at the bottom of the screen.
10) Tap Select Multiple (the icon looks like three stacks of paper on top of one another).
11) Select the three square images you just made with Panols from the original panoramic photo, then tap Next to continue. The leftmost side should be selected first, followed by the middle and then the rightmost side. Don’t worry, you’ll notice that the squares in the Panols album are already organized in the order they need to be posted.
12) Optionally, choose a filter for all of your squares at once by tapping one of the filter thumbnails lined up alongside the bottom of the screen. You can apply a different filter to each square image, if you’d like, by tapping the icon in its lower-left corner. Tap Next to continue.
13) Write your caption and/or fill out other metadata that you deem important, then tap Share to upload your final result the same way you’d upload any other Instagram post.
Your followers will see the first image in their feed and can swipe their way to the other squares in the series. For those wondering, you can actually upload up to ten images this way to share as a single carousel-style Instagram post.
Swipe left and right to seamlessly move between the individual square shots
And if you embed your carousel-style Instagram in a blog post, you’ll see something like this.

To swoosh between the individual images, click the arrow on either side.
TIP: Every panol created using the Panols app contains metadata data that you can edit like the image name, description, tags, location and so forth.
You can reposition and re-export your panoramic shots in Panols at any time
As mentioned earlier in this post, the Panols app saves four images in the Camera roll with every conversion: the original panoramic image along with a trio of cropped square shots.
In order to save storage space on your device, you’d be wise to delete these items from the Panols album in Photos after you have uploaded them to Instagram.

This tweak improves the battery indicator on iPhone X

March 22, 2018
One of my biggest pet peeves since getting the iPhone X as my daily driver has been the battery level indicator in the Status Bar. I’ve always enabled the “Battery Percentage” option on all my previous iPhones, but the iPhone X’s notch doesn’t allow for that.
A new free jailbreak tweak called BatteryPercentageX by iOS developer NeinZedd9 solves this problem in the best way possible by giving iPhone X users an innovative new way to view their battery percentage.
So how does BatteryPercantageX work? It’s simple really; it just puts the battery percentage remaining inside of the corresponding battery icon in your Status Bar, as shown above.
The concept for BatteryPercentageX first appeared on /r/jailbreak just a few days ago, so it didn’t take very long for the idea to materialize. With it, you can officially glance at the numeric battery percentage of your iPhone X without bothering to launch Control Center.
BatteryPercentageX works in every interface on your device, whether you’re inside of an app, perusing the Home screen, or elsewhere:
Without any options to configure, merely installing the tweak on your jailbroken iPhone X provides you with the upgraded battery percentage icon. The only way to disable the effect is to uninstall the tweak through Cydia.
If you’d like to give BatteryPercentageX a try for yourself, then you can download it for free from Cydia’s BigBoss repository. As of this writing, the tweak only works on jailbroken iPhone X handsets (running iOS 11, of course), but a simple update at the developer’s discretion could potentially add support for other Apple handsets in the future.
Do you like how BatteryPercentageX makes the battery indicator look on the iPhone X? Share in the comments section below.

How to use #hashtags and link to other people’s profiles in your Instagram bio

March 22, 2018
Instagram allows you to better express yourself and tell others about the things you care about by using hashtags and profile links in your bio section that lead to their corresponding pages.
For instance, influencers and others may use such hashtags as #iPhonePhotography#cats#guitarlover#pencislsketching or #makeuptoturial to convey to other people what their account is all about, which topics they’re passionate about and so forth.

Using #hasthagts and @mentions in your Instagram bio

To mention someone’s profile in your bio, simply including a “@” and the app will turn it into a live link that leads to that person’s profile. For instance, iDownloadBlog’s Instagram bio could mention our site owner @sebastienpage so that anyone who checks out our bio can jump over to Sebastien’s profile with a single tap.
When linking to a person’s profile in your bio, they’ll receive a notification and can remove the link to their profile to preserve their profile. In that case, their profile will remain on your your bio page but without a live link.
To edit your bio, open Instagram for iPhone and tap the Profile tab at the bottom, then tap Edit Profile at the top of the screen. After writing your bio with optional hashtags and profile links, tap Done to save the changes. Whether you type a “#” or “@,” Instagram will present you with a list of recommended hashtags and accounts in the typeahead.
As a reminder, you can write a bio of up to 150 characters on your profile. Anyone can see your bio, regardless of whether your profile is public or set to private.

Tip: quickly jump to the bottom of your Camera roll with this secret iPhone gesture in Photos

March 22, 2018
If you keep many photos on your iPhone, chances are you do a lot of scrolling just to find that beautiful sunset shot among hundreds of vacation photos you took five years ago.
Or was it seven years ago?
My point is, large photo libraries require patience to navigate because finding that needle in the haystack can be frustrating. And when you finally do find the photo you were looking for, I bet you’re swiping like an animal just to get back to your most recent photos.
Luckily, Apple built a secret gesture that takes you straight to the bottom of the list. To quickly jump to the bottom of the list, simply tap the corresponding tab. If you’re browsing your photo collection by year in the Photos tab and have scrolled years back, tapping the Photos tab takes you to the bottom of the list, where your most recent photos are found.
This works with any tab in the Photos app.
Tap the Photos tab to jump to the bottom with your newest items
Suppose you’re currently viewing one of your saved albums in the Albums tab. You want to pick a few most recently taken images but have accidentally hit the iOS status bar, which in Photos and most other apps takes you to the top. How do you return to the bottom of the list?
Easy-peasy, just tap the Albums tab again. Bonus tip: if you’ve already at the bottom of an album, tapping the Albums tab will take you to the parent level with the main album list.
The Memories and Shared tabs behave somewhat differently because they list the newest items at the top rather than the bottom but the general idea is the same. For instance, if you’ve scrolled halfway through the main list in the Memories tab and would like to quickly get to the top, just tap the Memories tab. Like with the Albums tab, if you tap the Memories tab after opening a memory you’ll be teleported to the main list of memories.
Memories are ordered from newest to oldest so hitting its tab takes you to the top
Do you use Family Sharing or iCloud Photo Sharing to share your favorite images with friends and family in the context of the Photos app? If you’re in a shared album and would like to quickly bring your feed, just hit the Shared tab.
So there you have it, boys and girls.
Tap the Shared tab to quickly switch to the feed
The next time you get lost in the Photos app because you scrolled through years and years of old photos, rest assured that you can always get to the newest items with a single tap.
To recap:
  • Photos tab: go to the most recent photos found at the bottom of your Camera roll
  • Memories tab: takes you to the newest memories at the top of the list or to your main memory list provided you’re currently browsing a memory
  • Shared tab: jump to your feed
  • Albums tab: scroll to the top of the list of your albums or jump to an album’s newest items located at the bottom of the interface
Although this super handy trick is not mentioned in Apple’s support documents and manuals, it has existed in iOS for years. The fact that this it’s still undocumented is probably why you haven’t seen anyone using it.
BOTTOM LINE: one-tap scroll takes you to the bottom of the Camera roll, that’s it!
Do yourself a favor and memorize this time-saving shortcut: the next time you swipe something the wrong way in Photos, you’ll immediately know how to get back to your most recently taken photos.

iOS 11 privacy bug allows Siri to read out hidden message notifications on a locked device

March 22, 2018
Brazilian outlet Mac Magazine today reported (Google Translate) on a newly-discovered privacy bug (it affects all iOS 11 versions, including the upcoming iOS 11.3 update) that allows Siri to read hidden notifications from messaging apps on a locked device.
The publication reports that all it takes to reveal hidden notification previews on a locked iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is a simple voice command: “Hey Siri, read my notifications”.
This will prompt the smart assistant to read out hidden message content on a locked device. Your existing message notifications will not be read out aloud, only the new ones.
For example, if you just received a WhatsApp message from a friend, anyone who picked up your phone could ask Siri to disclose the contents of the message. This privacy bug affects all iOS 11 version, including the upcoming iOS 11.3 update.
To protect your privacy until Apple rolls out a fix, simply disable Siri access via the Lock screen: go to Settings → Siri, then slide the Siri button underneath the Allow Access When Blocked heading to the OFF position.
Alternatively, disable notification previews on the Lock screen for any messaging apps you have installed: go to Settings → Notifications and choose your messaging app from the list (like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger), then tap Show Preview and choose Never.
The latter solution allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds: notifications from other apps will remain unaffected and you’ll retain full Siri functionality, but those problematic messaging notification previews won’t show up on the Lock screen anymore.
As mentioned, the stock Messages app is not affected by this bug. The publication has filed a bug report to Apple through the company’s free web-based Bug Reporter tool.
iOS 11 introduced some changes to how a locked iOS device handles notification previews.
Before iOS 11, you had to decide whether notifications from a specific app should show up on the Lock screen. With iOS 11, you can go to Settings → Notifications → Show Previews to hide all notification previews on the Lock screen until the device is unlocked.
The change coincided with the iPhone X introduction, which defaults to permitting the user to simply glance at their phone in order to unlock it and reveal previews of notifications on the Lock screen. That behavior can be set on other iPhone and iPad models as well.
For instance, my rusty old iPhone 6s is set to show notification previews on the Lock screen upon a successful fingerprint scan. Coupled with the Rest Finger to Open accessibility option (I leave that turned off), I can rest my finger on the Touch ID sensor to instantly reveal hidden notifications without being immediately taken to the Home screen.
And what’s your approach to notification privacy on the Lock screen?
Leave your comment below.

Infinite Stories—create engaging Instagram stories with transitions, music & more

March 21, 2018
Not only does Instagram limit your Stories to 15 seconds each, it also prevents you from using videos older than 24 hours or landscape videos without being cropped automatically.
Hungarian iOS developer Máté Kovács’s cool app helps overcome those limitations.
Called Infinite Stories, it’s a simple video editor for iPhone and iPad that lets you edit your videos to ultimately create Stories for Instagram and Facebook longer than 15 seconds.
You can speed up or slow down your video (or a specific part of it) or place the clip in the middle of the screen by choosing the no-crop option. The app’s a hack because Instagram doesn’t really support generating longer Stories than 15 seconds. What Infinite Stories does is crop a long video into 15-second segments that can be published to a Story from left to right.
When someone views such a Story, Instagram and Facebook make it look like one Story but in reality it’s comprised of multiple 15-second segments.
Again, this app doesn’t let you create Stories of unlimited length. By splitting a long video into 15-second pieces with transitions, it creates the illusion of a seemingly continuous video.
In addition to videos, Infinite Stores lets you add non-cropped photos and resize them. You can even use animated labels, which is a pretty great way to add titles to your landscape videos.
The background can be set to a blurred video, a custom gradient or a solid color, allowing for some nice visual effects. Silent Stories aren’t very engaging so good thing Infinite Stories supports adding music to your videos. With your creation finished, the app converts the videos into the Story format that can be easily pushed to Instagram or Facebook.
Instagram does not yet permit third-party apps to post content to its servers so you’ll have to do this manually. With a tap of a button, Infinite Stories can open Instagram and send your generated videos there, ready to be posted in a Story from left to right.
This isn’t the first time we saw such a trick.
An app I reviewed a while ago, called Panols, splits a panoramic photo taken with your iPhone into multiple separate shots that fit Instagram’s swipeable multi-item view.
Infinite Stories isn’t just for regular Instagram users.
Brands, companies and just about anyone looking into using Stories for marketing purposes should give it a whirl, especially given Instagram’s rather spartan, limited options that don’t make it any easier to create engaging Stories with transitions, music and more.
Even if you don’t use the Stories format at all, you’re advised to check out Infinite Stories as a lightweight way to compile vertical videos. Infinite Stories is free to download and use, with a one-time $8.99 purchase to unlock all of the advanced features, such as watermark removal, the ability to save your edited slices and more.

TWSaveDM lets you save video files from direct messages in the Twitter app

March 21, 2018
Twitter’s direct messaging system lets you send and receive media, such as photos and videos. You can tap and hold on any photo file you receive to uncover save and share options, but the same can’t be said about video files.
If you’d like to change that about your Twitter direct messaging experience, then you might be interested in a new free jailbreak tweak dubbed TWSaveDM by iOS developer fahadaljuwausri. With this tweak, you can easily save any media file you receive in a Twitter-based direct message.
In the screenshot examples above, you’ll see how TWSaveDM adds a new button to the left of every file you receive in the direct message environment.
When you tap the button, the tweak asks what quality you’d like to download the file as, depending on the file type. In our case, downloading this video prompts qualities of 320, 640, and 1280. Obviously, the highest of those numbers is the best quality.
After selecting a download quality, the tweak begins saving the file to your Camera Roll. It displays the following updates throughout the process:
Once complete, we’ll find the saved video file in our Camera Roll as expected:
It’s unfortunate that Twitter doesn’t let users download video files from direct message conversations out of the box like they do image files, but TWSaveDM is the perfect solution and appears to work as advertised. A word of caution, however. TWSaveDM only works in the official Twitter app, and won’t work in third-party alternatives like Tweetbot.
If you’d like to give TWSaveDM a try, then you can download it for free from Cydia’s BigBoss repository. The tweak works on all jailbroken iOS 9-11 devices. If you aren’t already using the official Twitter app, then you can download it for free from the App Store.
Will you be downloading TWSaveDM? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below.

Thor: Ragnarok, Ocean’s Eleven, and other movies on sale in iTunes right now

March 21, 2018