Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11’s war on 32-bit • The Register

Wireless speaker maker Pure appears to be more the first casualties in Apple’s war on 32-bit iOS apps.

Pure’s 32-bit Connect software for iThings won’t work on Apple’s new 64-bit-only iOS 11, meaning folks using Cupertino’s latest firmware and handsets can’t control their space-age hi-fis. The audio remote-control app joins various games, utilities and other 32-bit-only programs that are not allowed to run on iOS 11 and later.

Punters are urged to install the latest version of Apple’s operating system because it contains security bug patches. By upgrading or buying a new iPhone, folks have to ditch any old apps that haven’t been rebuilt as 64-bit ARMv8 executables, which includes Pure’s.

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Now Pure hardware owners who have moved to iOS 11 are complaining that their gizmos are “useless” without the Connect app to control them. Pure did not respond to El Reg‘s request for comment, and has not said when it expects a 64-bit app will be released. Android versions of Pure Connect are not affected, of course.

According to Pure’s website, a fix is in the works and an FAQ of workarounds via Wi-Fi can be found here. It may take some time for a rebuilt application to emerge as the people who wrote the code for the manufacturer are no longer in business, apparently.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, including the closure of our third-party app developer, and the subsequent release of Apple’s iOS11, a few of you may be experiencing issues accessing the Pure Connect app,” Pure told customers.

“Unfortunately, Apple’s decision to remove support for apps created prior to 2015, which don’t natively run in 64-bit mode, will undoubtedly affect many apps, including our own.”

Part of the problem, it seems, is Pure’s inability to maintain and update its own apps, and it is most likely not alone in this respect: companies that have outsourced their mobile app programming are finding themselves locked out of iOS 11 because they can’t get the code or the tools or the people to rebuild their contract-developed software. The iOS App Store shows that the last update to Pure Connect was on June 25, 2015, more than two years ago, so Pure has been without a mobile developer for a while, it seems.

So on the one hand, it’s a shame to see organizations that were relying on outside developers now being caught out by the iOS crackdown. On the other hand, it’s not an overnight change.

You can’t fault Apple for springing this one on companies and programmers. The Cupertino giant has been warning of the 64-bit changeover for years, and since early 2015 all new apps and updates have been required to be submitted to the online store in 64-bit mode. In March, the iOS 10.3 update also alerted world-plus-dog that all future versions of the firmware would not support apps compiled in 32-bit mode.

Apple’s last 32-bit-processor iPhone was the iPhone 5C, released in 2013 and discontinued in 2015.

“‘Due to circumstances beyond our control’ – yeah, and you’ve only had two years to update your app,” one Reg reader scoffed at Pure in an email to us earlier today. “That’s my Jongo speakers rendered useless after only a year.” ®

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How to Scan Documents With iOS 11’s Notes App

iOS: iOS 11’s new built-in document scanning feature is both a time-saver and a convenient way to capture information. It makes it easy to attach real-world documents to your digital musings without leaving one app for another. It won’t replace any dedicated document scanning apps, but it’s a great alternative to buying a document scanning app if all you want is a signature-ready document you can export anywhere.

How to Start Scanning

To start scanning documents, open the Notes app and jump into a note, or create a new one. Hit the + in the middle of your screen and select the Scan Documents option. Align the document you’d like to scan and wait for the camera to completely highlight the entire document, which should scan automatically. You can add more documents after each scan, or hit the save button to end the procedure.

What it Can Do

After you scan your documents, you can tweak them in a few ways. You’re able to rotate, crop, and apply filters based on the document type (like the color filter to preserve scanned photos, or the black and white filter for traditional documents). You can also save the scanned document as a PDF for further editing, or store it in your iCloud Drive, locally on your iOS device, or in a third-party cloud storage service like Google Drive. Printing and sharing it to third-party apps is done through the Share button.

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Notes lets you edit the document as well. You can hit the Markup option to annotate the document, or sign it by choosing the signature option, where you can use your imported signature or write a new one then and there. If you’re on an iPad Pro you can use the Apple Pencil to sign the document. That’ll make demands field trip signatures a bit more bearable.

What it Can’t Do

While it does technically scan documents, the new Notes app doesn’t feature optical character recognition like other document-scanning iOS apps. Scanning a business card just nets you a properly cropped photo of said card. Sure, you could just type out the information right under it, but it would be much more useful for iOS 11 to handle the character recognition process automatically, and let me quickly assign it to a new or existing contact.

Apps like Finescanner (our mobile scanning app of choice) and Scanbot are able to recognize characters and let you work with the resulting text, but require in-app purchases to unlock the optical character recognition features. Still, despite the missing character recognition feature, Notes is a pretty decent document scanner.

Before you ditch your document scanning app for Notes, just know its limitations. Scanning a form that needs your John Hancock? Go for it. Trying to extract and convert information? Not happening—at least not in this version.

EFF criticizes iOS 11’s ‘misleading’ Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles for being a privacy and security risk

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The strange, unintuitive way Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles work in iOS 11 has drawn ire from many quarters. The latest voice is that of digital right group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which says that the “off-ish” setting now offered is misleading.

As we have covered in a previous story, Apple has changed the behaviour of the two toggles so that when they are flicked to the off position, the Bluetooth and wireless radios are not actually switched off. EFF says that this is “bad for user security” and calls for greater clarity from Apple.

See also:

As EFF points out, recent Bluetooth vulnerabilities mean that it is good practice to disable both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled when not in use. The group goes on to reiterate the problem introduced in iOS11 so that flicking the toggles to the off position actually just disconnects from networks and devices.

What actually happens in iOS 11 when you toggle your quick settings to “off” is that the phone will disconnect from Wi-Fi networks and some devices, but remain on for Apple services. Location Services is still enabled, Apple devices (like Apple Watch and Pencil) stay connected, and services such as Handoff and Instant Hotspot stay on. Apple’s UI fails to even attempt to communicate these exceptions to its users.

It gets even worse. When you toggle these settings in the Control Center to what is best described as “off-ish,” they don’t stay that way. The Wi-Fi will turn back full-on if you drive or walk to a new location. And both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will turn back on at 5:00 AM. This is not clearly explained to users, nor left to them to choose, which makes security-aware users vulnerable as well.

EFF says that the unintuitive way the toggles works represents a security and privacy problem. It says that Apple is placing users at risk by trying to keep them connected to Apple devices and services. It is a loophole, EFF suggests, that Apple could very easily fix.

At a bare minimum, Apple should make the Control Center toggles last until the user flips them back on, rather than overriding the user’s choice early the next morning. It’s simply a question of communicating better to users, and giving them control and clarity when they want their settings off — not “off-ish.”

An MLB team is using iOS 11’s NFC feature for contactless stadium entry


When Apple announced iOS 11 last spring, one of the stand-out features was that the company would finally give developers access to the iPhone’s NFC chip. While Apple has used NFC contactless technology to power Apple Pay in the iPhone and Apple Watch for a few years, the hardware had never been available to developers – until now.

Today the MLB announced that the Oakland Athletics are piloting a new NFC ticketing solution which lets fans enter the stadium by tapping their phone (or Apple Watch) to a ticket scanner – just like you’d do to use Apple Pay.

The pilot lasted for a six-game homestand starting Sept. 22nd after iOS 11 launched, and was the first time a professional sports event supported contactless tickets in Apple Wallet. Interestingly, the Oakland Athletics were also the first team to use mobile ticketing via text messaging, way back in 2007.

Of course contactless entry isn’t that different from using a mobile barcode ticket to enter a venue, which is something that a bunch of stadiums do use. But NFC is more secure since a barcode could be replicated. It’s also a lot less error prone than scanning a barcode off a screen – which most of us have tried before and probably walked away frustrated with the experience. So contactless ticketing via NFC will definitely be a welcome development for any of us that frequently use our phones for mobile entry.

The tech is being developed by Tickets.com, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MLBAM. They power the ticketing for 23 MLB teams and while there will be no more games this season that support contactless entry, the firm will be working with those teams (and its non-MLB clients) to implement the technology for the 2018 season.

Featured Image: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

iOS 11’s Most Obnoxious Features

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iOS 11 brings a lot of new and exciting features to the iPhone and iPad. It also brings a lot of pretty annoying ones.

Like most new operating systems, iOS 11 has had a few hiccups during its first full week out on the town, including a bug that made it impossible for Microsoft Exchange users to send or receive emails using their iPhones.

While that email issue was fixed, some things are here to stay. Here are a few of the most obnoxious things Apple did with iOS 11.

The iPad Keyboard is Cluttered

I’ve been pretty vocal about my strong dislike for the iPad’s new Flick Keys feature, to a point that I wrote a post explaining how to turn it off. If you spend some time with the keyboard, it looks like something you could definitely get used to. However, I wish this was something you opted into rather than how Apple chose to make the default keyboard for iPad in iOS 11.

32-bit Apps Don’t Work

With iOS 11 Apple ditched support for 32-bit apps. It’s been telling developers that their apps will need to be updated to 64-bit for a while, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. That said, if you were still using some older apps they might stop working with iOS 11, and since the developers haven’t updated them yet, chances are good those older apps will be gone forever.

Control Center Doesn’t Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

For most of us, opening the Control Center was a great way to quickly toggle off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi without having to navigate through the Settings menu on your phone or tablet. With iOS 11, those controls are still there, but they don’t actually fully turn things off. The point of leaving them on is to allow your phone to still communicate with things like the Apple Watch and Apple Pencil, but it’s pretty annoying that turning things “off” doesn’t actually do that anymore. We wrote a post detailing what you have to do now to turn off those features.

The New App Store Will Bombard you With Autoplay Ads

The new App Store is great, but it also is loaded with autoplay ads. If you want to turn them off (who actually wants autoplay ads to begin with?) you can do that by going to the Settings menu on your phone followed by iTunes & App Stores, and then toggle Video Autoplay to Off (or Wi-Fi only, if you like the ads but don’t want them eating up your data).

No Facebook or Twitter Integration

Now if you want to share things through Facebook and Twitter, you’ll need to have those apps installed on your phone rather than being able to just sign in through the Settings menu. Most people probably have the apps installed already, but if you were someone who wanted to be able to post to Facebook without having the app to distract you on your phone, now you’re SOL.

Night Shift is Hard to Find

At first glance, it looks like Apple has removed Night Shift from Control Center. Instead, Apple just relocated the feature to inside the brightness settings on the iPhone. If you’re a frequent user of the feature, we wrote up an explanation of where you can find it now, as well as how to use a new feature Apple added with iOS 11: Smart Inverse Colors.

How to Use iOS 11’s One-Handed Keyboard

Phones are getting bigger, which is great news if you like having extra screen real estate to work with, but not so great if you like to type with just one hand. iOS 11, which is now out and ready to download, introduces a new one-handed keyboard mode, that lets you more easily enjoy the sound of one hand typing even if you’re using one of Apple’s plus-sized phones.

One-handed typing mode works on any iPhone that’s 4.7 inches or larger. That includes every iPhone 6 and 7 as well as the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It will also work on the iPhone X when that 5.8-inch device ships. You won’t find the feature on the iPhone SE and iPhone 5s, even though those 4-inch devices can run iOS 11.
You don’t have to dig through settings to turn one-handed typing on. Just hard press the global keyboard icon that’s to left of the space bar — the same key that lets you switch among the standard iOS keyboard, the emjoi keyboard and any other third-party or foreign language keyboards you may have installed on your phone. (If you don’t have any additional keyboards installed, the key will be a smiley face, as seen in the screenshot above.)

When you press the global keyboard icon in iOS 11, you’ll get two new options: a keyboard that shifts to the left and a keyboard that shifts the the right. Tap the one you want — I favor the left-shifting keyboard as I prefer to hold my phone in my left hand — and the keyboard will squeeze to one side, making it easier to reach with just one thumb. (You may also be more prone to striking the wrong key since they’re condensed, but that’s what autocorrect is for.)

If you want that full-sized keyboard back, just tap the white arrow that’s off to the side of the keyboard. Turning your iPhone into landscape mode while also make the keyboard full-size again, at least temporarily.

MORE: Best New iOS 11 Features

Maybe you’d like your keyboard to always be in one-handed mode by default. If that’s the case, here’s how to set it up.

1. Go to Settings.

2. Tap General.

3. Scroll down to Keyboard and tap that.

4. Tap One Handed Keyboard.

5. On the ensuing screen, set which option you want as your default keyboard.

How to Get the Most Out of iOS 11’s New Screenshot Editor

Screenshot: E.Price

With iOS 11, Apple rolled out a new screenshot tool for the iPhone and iPad that allows you to quickly edit your screenshot after you capture it.

Taking a screenshot is done exactly the same way it’s always been done. If for some reason you’ve never tried to do that, you take a screenshot by pressing the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time.

Now when you capture that screenshot, you’ll see a small thumbnail of your recent capture in the bottom left side of the screen. It will stick around for a few seconds after you capture it (you can dismiss it by swiping it to the left), and then move along. To access the screenshot editor, tap on that thumbnail.

Write on It

Writing on screenshots is probably the thing you’re most likely to do with the editor. Within it, you have a pen tool as well as a pencil and marker. Choose which digital pen you’d like to use by tapping on it. To the right, you’ll see color choices (white, black, blue, green, yellow, red), tap on the color of your choice and then start writing on the image. In the image below I used the pen to draw the circle, a pencil to underline text, and the marker to draw the sun.

Screenshot: E.Price

If you mess something up along the way, tap on the eraser icon to erase that mishap. You can also go back in time and remove your last edit by clicking the back arrow on the top right side of the page on iPhone, or bottom left on the iPad.

If your digital handwriting isn’t so good, you can also add text to images by tapping the plus sign at the bottom right of the page, and then selecting Text.

Crop Away

Cropping within the screenshot editor works exactly the same way it does in other photo editors. To adjust the screenshot’s size, adjust the blue border around your image. You can also pinch-to-zoom to zoom in on a particular part of the screenshot to come in closer to what you want to highlight.

Save Your Signature

Screenshot: E.Price

One thing the screenshot tool can potentially come in handy for is signing documents on the fly. Within it, you can save your signature, so you just have to drag and drop it on whatever forms (or love notes) you need to sign. To get to where you save your signature, tap that plus sign at the bottom right side of the page and then select the Signature section.

Move Drawings Around

You draw a big circle around something, and then realize you actually circled the wrong thing. You can move your digital circle around (or anything else you’ve written) by tapping the digital lesson tool on the page and then tapping what you’d like to move, and then drag in across the screen to its new home.

Use Pre-Set Shapes

Screenshot: E.Price

99% of the time I take a screenshot it’s because I want to point something in particular out to a friend, typically with an arrow. The screenshot tool has a number of shapes pre-set in its menu (a square, a circle, an arrow, and a speech bubble). You can get to them by tapping that plus sign at the bottom right and then tapping on the one you want. Shapes sizes can be adjusted to whatever size you need, and you can drag and drop it to the best placement within your screenshot.

iOS 11’s Control Center doesn’t let you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

Apple’s new Control Center in iOS 11 is a lot more fully featured, with a customizable layout and a number of new added controls accessible with Force Touch. One aspect of it that may have, at least at first, appeared like a big plus is now proving to be a bit of a security and usability problem: the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controls.

In iOS 11, Apple lets you disconnect devices or disconnect from networks by toggling off those two buttons from within the Control Center. Those buttons do not, however, deactivate those features entirely, Motherboard reports. Instead, Apple leaves both running in the background to keep certain things intact, like the file-transferring feature AirDrop, geolocation services, and communication with a paired Apple Watch. This is a change from how these buttons have worked in the past.

While this may be a smart move on Apple’s part to make it more difficult to accidentally disconnect an Apple Watch or turn off a bunch of useful features, it opens up users to unnecessary security risk. Security researcher Andrea Barisani, who noticed the change and has been tweeting about it since iOS 11’s launch yesterday, told Motherboard that it’s “good practice” to disconnect from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi if you’re concerned about potential attacks. (There are also good reasons to turn both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off for conserving battery and improving cellular connection.) To do that, you now must go directly into each respective settings menu and switch the button off.

For Apple, which prides itself on its simple interfaces and approachable design, this change could have the adverse effect of tricking users into thinking they’re not roaming with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth activated — when iOS 11 is in fact doing the opposite.

9 cool AR apps you should download to try out iOS 11’s ARKit

Since it was first announced at WWDC, Apple’s ARKit has been open to developers to get a feel for the new platform. Now that iOS 11 is finally here, ARKit is available for anyone with an iPhone 6S or later, the iPad Pro, and the latest 9.7-inch iPad. In the time between the announcement and its official release yesterday, developers have used ARKit to create apps for big brands like The Food Network and AMC’s The Walking Dead, as well as for smaller, but no less important amusements like this demo that does nothing but visualize AR tea cups resting on top of a good dog.

Whether it’s existing apps that have added AR functionality with their updates, or fresh new apps introduced specifically for the platform, here are nine AR-ready iOS apps you should check out after updating to iOS 11 to get a feel for the feature’s usefulness — and yes — pointless fun.

GIPHY WORLD

Giphy’s already integrated into iMessage with its own keyboard app, and partnerships with Facebook and Twitter have helped spread its database of GIFs all over the internet. The Giphy World app takes that one step further to bring GIFs into your surroundings and letting you record video. You can also share entire scenes with friends who also have the app, who can then interact with your GIFs in an explorable space.

Given the smash success of Snapchat’s AR hot dog DJ, I wouldn’t be surprised if these GIF-integrated videos start popping all over your Instagram Stories.


Giphy World

CARROT WEATHER

It only makes sense that the snarky AI weatherbot would make the leap to AR, where its personality can really shine. Just don’t poke its ocular sensor, or it’ll snap at you. Update to Version 4.1.2 to get AR Mode, or buy it on the App Store for $3.99.

FITNESS AR

Strava, the social fitness-tracking app which already has more than 20,000 apps using its API, has added augmented reality to the mix. The latest app to use its API, Fitness AR, works by letting athletes visualize their routes on a 3D terrain map, which is powered by Mapbox. A screen-recording feature lets users pan and zoom through their routes to create a video, which can be saved to the camera roll and shared. It’s now available on the App Store for $2.99.


Fitness AR

IKEA PLACE

Ikea, which has a track record of staying on top of trends with its smart lighting and oddly charming ASMR promotional videos, now has a new app for helping you visualize its furniture in your home. More than 2,000 Ikea products are currently available in the app, so you can let your inner Property Brother thrive and play interior decorator.


IKEA

HOUSECRAFT

Wanna go a step further than Ikea Place? Housecraft is a furniture arrangement app from Sirvo, the studio behind the perfect puzzle game Threes. Instead of limiting objects to just Ikea furniture, there’s a catalog of items that can be resized to fit the dimensions of your room, so it’s more of a planning app.

There’s also a “Disaster” feature, as any good app should have, in case you feel like destroying a room.


Housecraft

MEASUREKIT

One of the most impressive, useful tools on the platform, MeasureKit can measure almost anything using just an iPhone or iPad camera. You can easily measure angles, check if something is perfectly level, or measure your room dimensions without crawling on the ground. The ruler tool is free, but all other tools are available for a one-time purchase of $2.99.


MeasureKit

TAPMEASURE

If you want to go beyond MeasureKit, TapMeasure is an app from Occipital, a company that’s spent years working with augmented reality. One thing that sets TapMeasure apart from the glut of measurement apps that will surely flood the App Store in the coming days is that it can also create floor plans and even 3D room models, which can be exported as CAD files or be used in SketchUp. It’s available starting today, and is free to download. Occipital will charge for some features, like the CAD file export, though.

EUCLIDEAN LANDS

The iPhone strategy game described as “Monument Valley meets Hitman Go” is adding an AR update so you can play the game in your living room or any wide-open space. An architectural puzzle game about changing perspectives seems perfectly suited for ARKit. It costs $3.99 to download.

SPLITTER CRITTERS

This adorable puzzle platformer lets you tear up an alien world with a swipe of your finger to lead Fez-like characters back home. The latest update of the game includes exclusive new levels that are reimagined in an “IRL” box. (Confused dog on couch not included.)

iOS 11’s Control Center: How it works

Control Center in iOS 11 is different. Really different. And when you upgrade from iOS 10, it will take some getting used to. But as someone who has been using it for a few months now, let me declare: It’s better. The new Control Center is simultaneously simpler and more powerful. And best of all, you can customize it to do what you want—and hide most of what you don’t care about.

Control Center animatedJason Snell

iOS 11’s Control Center in action.

In iOS 10, Control Center was a three-page set of quick-access controls that you could summon with the flip of a finger from the bottom of the screen. In iOS 11, it’s been condensed back into a single view. While that view is indisputably much more densely packed than the old version, I’d argue that the removal of confusion about which page of Control Center you’re viewing—and frustration when you just wanted to turn on the flashlight but then realized you were on the audio control screen—makes it worth it.

The gesture remains the same, too—unless you’re using an iPad or an iPhone X. On the iPhone X, to summon Control Center you’ll need to pull down from the top right corner of the screen, which can be awkward if you’re using the phone one-handed. (Apple has placed some key items, such as flashlight camera buttons, on the lock screen of the iPhone X.) For iPad users, Control Center now lives alongside the multitasking switcher and has repurposed the basic flick-up-from-bottom gesture for displaying the Dock, so you’ll need to swipe all the way from the bottom of the screen to the top to make Control Center emerge.

Control Center’s interface is now a series of rounded-rectangle controls. The smaller ones let you control basic functions, like flashlight mode. Two tall controls are sliders to let you adjust brightness and volume by placing your finger on them and sliding up or down. Two large blocks at the top of Control Center let you control audio and wireless settings.

Control Center animated 2Jason Snell

Many Control Center items, including the audio control, generate pop-up interfaces.

When I first saw the new Control Center, I was frustrated with the demotion of audio controls—which I use all the time—from a full page to a single icon. But Apple’s design is excellent: You can tap on the play/pause, next, and previous buttons within the audio control. There’s also a speaker icon in the upper-right corner of the audio control, and if you tap you can quickly choose your audio output device.

Similarly, the wireless control block is more sophisticated than it can appear. From the main Control Center screen, you can toggle Airplane Mode, Cellular Data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. But if you 3D Touch (or tap and hold on non-3D Touch devices), you’ll get extra options to control AirDrop and Personal Hotspot.

By default, Control Center shows wireless, audio, brightness, AirPlay screen mirroring, and volume controls, plus buttons for flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera. But 18 different items are customizable in Control Center, including Low Power Mode, Do Not Disturb While Driving, Screen recording, Wallet, Accessibility, the Apple TV Remote, and Notes.

ios 11 control center settings IDG
Customize Control Center in Settings > Control Center.

To customize Control Center, tap on the Settings app, then scroll down a bit and tap Control Center.