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Apple Sending User Data to Chinese Company for Fraudulent Website Warnings in Safari

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Apple's Fraudulent Website Warning feature in Safari for iOS and Mac has come under scrutiny for using Chinese internet giant Tencent as one of its Safe Browsing providers.

The Safari feature has long sent data to Google Safe Browsing to cross-reference URLs against a blacklist and protect users against phishing scams and sites that attempt to push malware. However, it's unclear when Apple started sending user data to Tencent as well.

Apple notes in iOS that it sends some user IP addresses to Tencent, but most users are probably unaware of the fact. The mention can be found in the "About Safari & Privacy" screen, which is linked via small text under the Privacy & Security section in Settings -> Safari. The Fraudulent Website Warning feature also found here is enabled by default, so users aren't likely to know that their IP address may be logged unless they opt to view the information screen.

Apple's reference to Tencent has been found on devices running iOS 13, but some tweets suggest versions as early as iOS 12.2 also included the Chinese company as a safe browsing provider.

At this point, it's difficult to know for sure whether Apple users residing outside of China are having their data sent to Tencent, but the company appears to be mentioned on iPhones and iPads registered in the U.S. and the U.K., and possibly in other countries, too.


The privacy implications of shifting Safe Browsing to Tencent's servers are unknown, because Apple hasn't said much about it. However, according to Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew Green, a malicious provider could theoretically use Google's Safe Browsing approach to de-anonymize a user by linking their site requests.

Apple's relationship with the Chinese government has come in for increasing criticism lately, and that could make customers uneasy about Apple's links to Tencent, which is known to work closely with the Chinese Communist Party.

As such, Green believes users "deserve to be informed about this kind of change and to make choices about it. At very least, users should learn about these changes before Apple pushes the feature into production, and thus asks millions of their customers to trust them."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, Safari

This article, "Apple Sending User Data to Chinese Company for Fraudulent Website Warnings in Safari" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Kuo: iPhone SE 2 Launching in Q1 2020 with A13 at $399 Price

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Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020 and starting at a $399 price point, according to the latest research report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 8
Kuo goes into more detail about the expected specs of the so called "‌iPhone SE 2‌" in the latest research note obtained by MacRumors. Specs for the new low-end iPhone are said to include:
  • A13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)
  • 3GB LPDDR4X
  • 64GB and 128GB options
  • Space Gray, Silver and Red colors
  • No 3D Touch
Kuo expects the new ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners.

Despite being referred to as a "‌iPhone SE 2‌" by Kuo, the analyst expects the form factor of Apple's new budget iPhone to be similar to the iPhone 8.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

This article, "Kuo: iPhone SE 2 Launching in Q1 2020 with A13 at $399 Price" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AirPlay 2 Speakers Compared: Sonos Move vs. Bose Portable Home Speaker

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Bose and Sonos, both well-known speaker manufacturers, recently came out with new AirPlay 2-enabled speakers that are designed to work with Apple's latest ‌AirPlay‌ protocol and offer an alternative to products like the HomePod.

In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with the Bose Portable Home Speaker and the Sonos Move to see what the speakers have to offer and how they compare to one another.


Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Both the Bose Portable and the Sonos Move are designed to offer a premium audio experience and are more expensive than the ‌HomePod‌. The Sonos Move costs $399 and the Bose Portable costs $349, but each company is known for its audio quality and audiophiles won't flinch at that price point.

When it comes to design, the Bose Portable and Sonos Move are both fairly standard looking vertical speakers with simple designs, but the Sonos Move is quite a bit larger than the Bose Portable, which also comes with a little handle, hence the "portable" part of the name. The Sonos Move has a built-in handle that's a bit more subtle for when you need to move it around.

Size wise, the Sonos Move is in between a Sonos One and Sonos Play:3 speaker. It's all black with Sonos branding on the front and media playback controls at the top. There's a power button, a button for linking multiple Sonos speakers, and a button to switch between Bluetooth and WiFi.

The smaller Bose Portable is cylindrical in shape like other 360-degree speakers, but with a high-quality construction. Media controls are located at the top, and it too is able to swap between Bluetooth and WiFi. The Sonos Move and Bose Portable both have durable builds and they're water resistant.

Both speakers charge over USB-C, and the Sonos Move includes a useful charging cradle that makes it easier to charge right out of the box. There's a comparable charging cradle for the Bose Portable, but it's sold separately and costs an extra $30.

The Sonos Move and the Bose Portable are ‌AirPlay‌ 2 compatible, so you can control the audio with your Apple devices and create a whole home audio system with other ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled devices with just a tap or two. Sonos, of course, has been doing whole home audio for years, but the benefit of ‌AirPlay‌ 2 is that it allows all ‌AirPlay‌ 2 devices from different brands to work together.

The Sonos Move is Sonos' first Bluetooth speaker that can be used on the go - no WiFi connection required. The same is true of the Bose Portable. Through the Sonos and Bose apps, Alexa and Google Assistant are available for controlling audio and syncing with music services, but there's no Siri integration, of course.

Both of the speakers offer crisp, clear audio that sounds fantastic. Each one can deliver high-quality sound even at louder volumes, with no distortion. Bose had a slight edge over the Sonos Move in our testing because we were able to adjust audio settings in the Bose app and the Sonos Move seemed to be lacking a bit in the low end. All in all, though, both speakers sounded great, which should be expected given their high prices.

The Sonos Move is going to appeal to those who prefer Sonos devices and already have a Sonos setup, while the Bose Portable may be the better choice for those looking to save $50. Do you prefer the Sonos Move or the Bose Portable? Let us know in the comments.


This article, "AirPlay 2 Speakers Compared: Sonos Move vs. Bose Portable Home Speaker" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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PSA: Apple Mail Bugs Can Lead to Data Loss in macOS Catalina

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Michael Tsai, the developer of EagleFiler and the SpamSieve plug-in for Apple Mail on Mac, has written a blog post warning macOS users about potential data loss in Mail when upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15.0 (build 19A583).

According to Tsai, he's heard from several users that updating Mail's data store from Mojave to Catalina sometimes says that it has succeeded, when in fact on closer inspection it turns out that large numbers of messages are incomplete or missing entirely.

In addition, users have reported the loss of message content when moving emails between mailboxes. From Tsai's post:
Moving messages between mailboxes, both via drag-and-drop and AppleScript, can result in a blank message (only headers) on the Mac. If the message was moved to a server mailbox, other devices see the message as deleted. And eventually this syncs back to the first Mac, where the message disappears as well.
Tsai warns that these issues are particularly pernicious because users may not realize anything's wrong unless they look at affected messages or mailboxes. Since the data is synced to the server, these problems can also propagate to other computers and devices, and relying on backups is difficult because Mail data is continually changing and there's no easy way to merge restored data with messages received since the last backup.

Despite the latter risk, it's still good practice to make backups, but Tsai notes that Apple Support appears to be erroneously advising users that lost Mail data in Catalina can't be recovered from a Time Machine backup made using macOS Mojave.

According to Tsai, this is not the case: Apple Mail's File -> Import Mailboxes... menu bar option can be used to selectively import them into Mail in Catalina as new local mailboxes.

Tsai says he's unsure whether these issues are due to Mail bugs or to other factors such as problems on the Mac or with the mail server. Apple released ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.1 beta to developers on Friday, but it's still unclear if this version resolves the Mail app bugs. Regardless, Tsai's advice to users who rely on Apple Mail is to "hold off on updating to Catalina for now."

Affected readers can find the full breakdown of the issues here. Have you had problems with Mail since updating to Catalina? Let us know in the comments below.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
Tag: Mail

This article, "PSA: Apple Mail Bugs Can Lead to Data Loss in macOS Catalina" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Arcade Adds Five New Games for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

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Apple Arcade today gained five new games for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV:
  • Decoherence by Efecto Studios: A strategy game that tasks players with building robots and planning a battle strategy for victory.
  • INMOST by Chucklefish: An atmospheric, story-driven puzzle platformer following three playable characters within one dark, interconnecting story.
  • Mind Symphony by Rogue Games: A classic shoot-'em-up game with both an intense, fast-pace mode and a calm mode with peaceful, rhythmic interactions focused on relaxation.
  • ShockRods by Stainless Games: A vehicle-based arena shooter where players score points by shooting opponents, achieving objectives, scoring goals, stealing the other team's flag, or dealing the most destruction.
  • Stela by SkyBox Labs: A cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world.

Apple Arcade also added two more games for the Mac on Thursday:
  • Pilgrims by Amanita Design: A playful adventure game in which players roam the land and solve various tasks using dozens of items and unique characters, and without being obliged to follow a single designated path.
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens by WayForward: Traverse a vast, interconnected undersea world, make new Half-Genie friends, and battle the Seven Sirens as part of an all-new tropical adventure.
Trailers for some of the games:







Apple Arcade is Apple's new subscription-based gaming service, providing iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users with access to dozens of games with no in-app purchases or ads for $4.99 per month. With these additions, Apple Arcade now has a total of 80 games for iOS and tvOS, while there are 61 games for the Mac.

Apple Arcade officially launched on September 19 for iPhone and iPad, although some users were able to access the service a few days early. Either way, the one-month free trial period will soon come to an end for early adopters.


This article, "Apple Arcade Adds Five New Games for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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