Apple iPhones

iOS 11.4.1 Released with Some Great Updates Regarding the Privacy

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iOS 11.4.1 Released Finally

Yesterday, Apple has released its anticipated next version of iOS, 11.4.1 to its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch series.  Apple’s updated iOS version 11.4.1 is measured as a minor point update of its previous iOS version. It consists of few bug fixes, some improvements regarding the security of your iPhone or iPad. The update also contains the USB Restricted Mode. Here is what official software update has:

“iOS 11.4.1 includes bug fixes and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad. This update:

  • Fixes an issue that prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in Find My iPhone
  • Improves reliability of syncing mail, contacts and notes with Exchange accounts”

You can view the above-mentioned points in settings when updating your iPhone or iPad. Apple said in the release note of the version that iOS 11.4.1 will fix an issue that prevents some unauthorized users to view your last known location of your AirPods in the “Find My iPhone” app. Adding further, Apple said that the update will improve the reliability of syncing mail, contacts and note in accordance with Exchange accounts. It is expected that before the next version of iOS, Apple may release another minor software updates.

A special update in iOS 11.4.1

Here is special news for all those who are concerned about iPhone or iPad security. The newest update, iOS 11.4.1, brings an exciting new feature called “USB Restricted Mode”. This feature will prevent the unauthorized persons, malicious third parties or law enforcement agencies to get access to your iPhone contents by cracking the phone via Lightning port.

After updating to iOS 11.4.1 simply turn off the USB accessories feature and it will stop unauthorized persons from cracking your iPhone passcodes via connecting USB devices. You can find this security feature by going to Settings > Face ID & Passcode or in older iPhones, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcodes. After that go down the menu and you will see an option “USB Accessories”. Turn it OFF if it’s ON by default. Many of us surely expecting this kind of feature in Apple’s most awaited update iOS 12 but Apple has released it in its iOS 11.4.1.

iOS 11.4.1 Released

Apple in an official statement said to ‘The Verge’:

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves, and intrusions into their personal data.

We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

However, researchers at cybersecurity firm ElcomSoft, have found a loophole in this feature.

One official from ElcomSoft, Oleg Afonin explains:

“We performed several tests, and can now confirm that USB Restricted Mode is maintained through reboots, and persists software restores via Recovery mode. In other words, we have found no obvious way to break USB Restricted Mode once it is already engaged.

What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all). In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour. Importantly, this only helps if the iPhone has still not entered USB Restricted Mode.”

This seems a mistake on Apple’s part and should not be considered as a severe vulnerability. Apple may resolve this issue in its future updates. In its latest update of iOS 11, Apple didn’t put a light on the battery draining issues that are affecting a substantial number of iOS users but we have our fingers crossed that in its upcoming iOS updates, Apple may address this issue.

Apple is offering a number of public betas for testing. But if you are an average user, we recommend to wait until the new software comes out of beta. And we are sure, you will get great and useful new features with it.

More updates for Apple devices

Apple has also released updates for the Apple TV (tvOS 11.4.1), Apple Watch (watchOS 4.3.2) and HomePod (10.4.1). These updates are not so big but still considerable updates for Apple users.

Apple Watch update “includes improvements and bug fixes. Apple does not share updates details for tvOS 11.4.1 but it is estimated that the update includes small-scale improvements in performance and some bug fixes. The latest HomePod update has general improvements for stability and quality. It is quite possible that these are the last updates for Apple devices before iOS 12 which will arrive later this year.

iOS 11.4

The previous update ‘iOS 11.4’ was released on May 29, 2018. It was considered as a major update including many new features. For example, this update had Messages on iCloud feature plus AirPlay 2 support and the ClassKit platform.

What are the Apple’s plans for iOS 12?

iOS 12 was announced officially by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June of this year. Apple said that iOS 12 will have a number of new features. Most importantly this update will have a great impact on the performance of Apple devices. It is anticipated that after the installation of this update, the display will load up two times faster and apps in your device will launch two times faster than normal. Not only iOS will offer these features but also includes features like:

  • Support for ARKit 2
  • New Animojis with tongue detection support
  • Memoji
  • A new Measure app
  • Group FaceTime
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • New design for Apple Books
  • And much more.

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