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Apple iOS 13.2 Release: Should You Upgrade?

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Apple iOS 13.2 has arrived and it’s a dumpster fire. Following the multitude of iOS 13 launch problems, Apple’s fifth rapid-fire update not only ignores serious issues but introduces new ones. All of which is a great shame, because iOS 13.2 delivers some big new features. 

Tip: bookmark this page because I keep it up to date if new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week (if Apple hasn’t issued more releases by then). 

Apple iOS 13 problems, Apple iOS 13 iPhone upgrade,
Apple iOS 13APPLE

Who Is It For?

iOS 13.2 is for all iOS 13-compatible devices. This means the iPhone 6S and newer and the current iPod touch 7th generation. Upgrade notifications are usually automatic but if you need to trigger them manually go to Settings > General > Software Update. Beta testers, if you are running a latter version of iOS when you read this (more in ‘The Road Ahead’ section below), remember to unroll your iPhones or iOS 13.2 won’t show up. 

iPad owners, Apple has moved you to a new dedicated platform: iPadOS.

The Deal Breakers

The headline news is iOS 13.2 has been bricking the Apple HomePod. Working in unison with a new version of the speaker’s audioOS, HomePod owners have found that connecting to iPhones upgraded to iOS 13.2 breaks Apple Music and if they try to reset their HomePods they are stuck in an endless boot loop. Apple has now issued a warning about this and pulled the respective updates. What a mess. 

For everyone else, iOS 13.2 seems no better. Dropped call problems continue and the battery life bug continues to frustrate:

“@AppleSupport I am glad to learn that the iOS13 battery drain is not a hardware defect but an iOS thing. I updated (iPhone 6s) today to the latest 13.2 and the problem is as bad as before. #fixbatterydrain” – source

“Updated to iOS 13.2 after 13.1 in hope that the battery drain issue would be fixed. Now it is worse! Really not a great experience” – source

“@AppleSupport the battery drain is still crazy bad on 13.2 and iPhone SE. Is this a sneaky way to force me to upgrade?” – source

Mail problems are also unresolved (“@AppleSupport I downloaded iOS 13.2 on my iPhone 8 and now I cannot see any emails – source, “#iOS 13.2, and Mail app is stupidly still broken. Thanks @apple @AppleSupport for the $700 useless communication device – source) and Messages still has issues

So What Do You Get?

While it seems Apple didn’t spend much time trying to fix existing problems in iOS 13.2, it does introduce a lot of new features. They are as follows:

  • Deep Fusion for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ 
  • Change video resolution directly from the Camera app for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌
  • Over 70 new or updated emoji
  • AirPods Pro‌ support
  • Siri‌ can read your incoming messages to AirPods‌
  • HomeKit‌ Secure Video to privately capture, store, and view encrypted video from your security cameras
  • HomeKit‌ enabled routers to control ‌HomeKit‌ accessories over the internet or in your home
  • Siri privacy settings to stop Apple storing audio of ‌Siri‌ and Dictation interactions
  • Option to delete your ‌Siri‌ and Dictation history from ‌Siri‌ Settings

The headline here is Deep Fusion. This is a new form of image processing which shoots multiple images at different exposures then fuses them together (much like the technique Google Pixels use). It’s an automatic mode, so you can’t manually select it, but when enabled it has the potential to produce significantly better texture and detail for photos taken in mid-to-low light. 

Apple iOS 13.2 Deep Fusion iPhone 11 photography
Official Apple Deep Fusion image sampleAPPLE

iOS 13.2 also sees Apple step up its HomeKit efforts after they had started to stagnate and the new Siri modes are essential after the Siri privacy debacle.

Apple has also been working on things under the hood. The company’s official security page lists 26 security fixes (14 of which are for WebKit) and Apple has actually quashed some bugs, just not the big ones: 

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent passwords from autofilling in 3rd party apps
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent the keyboard from appearing when using Search
  • Addresses an issue where swipe to go home might not work on iPhone X and later
  • Fixes an issue where Messages would only send a single notification when the option to repeat alerts was enabled
  • Addresses an issue where Messages may display a phone number instead of a contact name
  • Resolves an issue that caused Contacts to launch to the previously opened contact instead of the contact list
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Markup annotations from being saved
  • Resolves an issue where saved notes could temporarily disappear
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Backup might not successfully complete after tapping Backup Now in Settings
  • Improves performance when using AssistiveTouch to activate App Switcher

Helpful as these are, the serious ongoing problems with Mail, Calls and Battery Life need to be treated as a priority at this point.

Apple iOS 13.2 Verdict: Upgrade From iOS 13, Avoid From iOS 12

With the exception of HomePod owners who need to avoid this update like the plague, existing iOS 13 owners should upgrade since they have little to lose at this point. iOS 13.2 has a lot of new features (particularly for iPhone 11 series owners) and the security and bug fixes are worth having, even if the big issues continue to slip by Apple’s attention. 

Meanwhile, iOS 12 owners should continue to stay put. Deep Fusion isn’t available to older iPhones so only emoji addicts and owners of AirPods Pro need make the move. Right now the grass on the other side is not greener. 

The Road Ahead 

I had high hopes for iOS 13.2 delivering more substantial bug fixes, but their absence means I suspect we will see iOS 13.2.1 very soon. In fact, I’d be surprised if it is not released within a week. There are simply too many ongoing problems with iOS 13 and a lot more ‘minor point’ dedicated bug fixes are needed. 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/10/29/apple-ios-132-release-should-you-upgrade-iphone-update/#7db8c90e3318

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The Motivator

YouTube’s new policy creates uncertainty among content creators

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Online streaming service, YouTube seems to have instilled fear in content creators with its newly updated Terms of Service scheduled to take effect from December 10, 2019.

Although the new terms do not change the way YouTube treats or uses content uploaded by users, it has clarified some policies that were making users get worried that their accounts could be deleted.

According to the section titled ‘Account Suspension & Termination’ with the subheading ‘Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes’, “YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube reasonably believes that its provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.”

What this means: This means accounts of YouTubers, who aren’t making enough money nor generating enough views, may be deleted. This is one of the updates that are not in YouTube’s current policy.

The new policy gives YouTube the power to delete a creator’s account if they upload or livestream video that doesn’t pull in enough advertising revenue. It is pertinent to note that apart from content creators, YouTube could also remove accounts of viewers as the terms do not explicitly state content creators alone.

Reactions: Since the pop-up window of notification for the new policy started showing when users log on to the app, YouTube has been criticized as YouTubers have been lamenting on Twitter.

Nevertheless, some think the policy applies to users who make videos without following the rules and regulations of YouTube and so hurt the brand, instead of users who do not make enough money for the company.

napkin 252@napkin_yaboi

THE END IS HERE, THE END OF YOUTUBE IS HERE!

Starting around December 10th, YouTube’s new terms of service basically says if your channel doesnt make enough money, it has a chance of being terminated. this is legit unacceptable, i dont use that word often. spread the word please

View image on Twitter

5313:58 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy40 people are talking about this

Tori Wesley@WesleyTori

YouTube is deleting channels that don’t make enough money (or any money at all) as of December 10. This takes away our freedom of expression, and I will not stand for it! https://weirdmixofweirdness.tumblr.com/post/188951126067/as-of-december-10th-youtube-will-add-a-new-policy …As of December 10th, YouTube will add a new policy to their terms of service.According to these new terms, if you do not make enough revenue (or none at all) for YouTube, your account will be deleted. This means that… If you run a small channel, your account will be…weirdmixofweirdness.tumblr.com317:24 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Tori Wesley’s other Tweets

Bunty(Thanksgiving Month)ジョシュア@GalacticalCrew

GUYS STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NEW YOUTUBE TERMS OF SERVICE!

I wanna let yall know that in reality, they have the right to take your account down if they no longer make money, so we’re ok.1016:50 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Bunty(Thanksgiving Month)ジョシュア’s other Tweets

 ADG  @captain_adg

@YTCreators @YouTube @SusanWojcicki

Your new terms of service have actually revealed your true colors. There’s thousands of content creators who do this for fun, and you might actually terminate them cause they don’t give you enough money?!?!

Disgraceful
Selfish
Pitiful314:37 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee  ADG  ‘s other Tweets

Sophie  BM@boopstawista

😠

@TeamYouTube Dear YouTube,

I’m pretty offended after reading your new Terms of Service.

Basically what this means is that you are terminating small accounts for no reason!

This is not acceptable and I don’t like the direction you are going at all.

-Angry YouTuber114:31 – 10 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacySee Sophie  BM’s other Tweets

Christian Maracle@MaracleMan · 9 Nov 2019

YouTube has new Terms Of Service on December 10th. This basically says that if channels don’t make enough money, THEY WILL POSSIBLY TERMINATE THEM!!!

Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience and my…

View image on Twitter

CartoonFan12@CartoonFan12

If provision of the service is no longer commercially profitable for YOUTUBE, it’s not that if you don’t make money, is if YouTube Loses money by allowing your channel to exist. It means don’t make hate videos that hurts YouTube as a brand.6320:22 – 9 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy16 people are talking about this

The company was said to have sent a mail to inform content creators first before throwing it out to the general public. This move by YouTube could either make or mar the company as it now seems it is focusing more on its biggest, most profitable creators while giving smaller creators fewer chances of monetizing their work.

Source: https://nairametrics.com/2019/11/11/youtubes-new-policy-creates-uncertainty-among-content-creators/

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Lasers can silently issue ‘voice commands’ to your smart speakers

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Laser pointers can apparently trick smart speakers, phones and tablets into following voice commands to open doors or make purchases, even from hundreds of feet away. Researchers from Tokyo and the University of Michigan have revealed that they were able to take over Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa devices by shining laser pointers or flashlights at their microphones. One of the researchers, Daniel Genkin, was also part of the team that discovered the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities.

The team has published a paper detailing the light flaw after seven months of experimentation. They were able to hijack smart speakers 230 to 350 feet away by focusing lasers using a telephoto lens. In fact, the Google Home they tricked into opening a garage door was inside a room in another building. The laser modulation they beamed at its microphone port through the window is equivalent to the voice command “OK Google, open the garage door.”

They explained that there’s a small plate called a diaphragm inside devices’ microphones that moves when hit by sound. Lasers can replicate that movement and convert it into electric signals that the device can understand. They said opening the garage door by taking over Google Home was easy to do, and they could’ve easily made online purchases, opened doors protected by smart locks and even remotely unlocked cars connected to voice AI-powered devices by using the same method.

The researchers have already notified Tesla, Ford, Amazon, Apple and Google about the issue — a move that’s highly important to get the problem fixed, since simply covering microphones with tape wouldn’t solve it. Most microphones, they said, would have to be redesigned. The team was able to hijack Google Home/Nest, Echo Plus/Show/Dot, Facebook Portal Mini, Fire Cube TV, EchoBee 4, iPhone XR, iPad 6th Gen, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 devices using the technique. It was much easier hijacking smart speakers from afar, though. The method only worked on the mobile devices from a maximum distance of 16 to 65 feet.

This is far from the first digital assistant vulnerability security researchers have discovered. Researchers from China’s Zheijiang University found that Siri, Alexa and other voice assistants can be manipulated with commands sent in ultrasonic frequencies. Meanwhile, a group from the University of California, Berkeley found that they can take over smart speakers by embedding commands, which aren’t audible to the human ear, directly into recordings of music or spoken text.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/05/lasers-voice-commands-smart-speaker/

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The Motivator

Gender-neutral emojis hit screens in new Apple update

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Apple has put out new gender neutral emojis of most of its people icons — including punks, clowns and zombies — as part of an update to its mobile operating system.

The tech giant has offered growing numbers of inclusive emoji designs in recent years, putting out a range of skin tones and occupations, with Google’s Android publishing its own non-binary faces in May.

A wheelchair, guide dog and a flexing prosthetic arm are among Apple’s latest batch — put out on Monday with the iOS 13.2 upgrade — that users can slip into messages to get their points across.

The new gender-neutral emojis differ slightly from the male and female ones.

In some, the style and colour of their clothes are changed. In others the haircuts are different and a “gender-neutral facial structure” is used, says the Emojipedia website.

The attempt at on-screen inclusivity has not pleased everyone however, with some suggesting the icons indicate how gender-nonconforming people should look.

“How do u determine that these emojis are how gender-neutrality should be represented or that these emojis even represent most gnc people,” wrote one Twitter user.

“I don’t understand why they weren’t just all neutral to begin with,” wrote another.

“Regular old smileys were neutral. I don’t know why we had to go and start gendering everything in the first place.”

When it unveiled the designs earlier this year, Apple said they would “bring even more diversity to the keyboard” and “fill a significant gap” in the selection of emojis.

“Users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender,” it said.

Apple also serves up some niche offerings in the new update including a plate of falafel, a skunk and a banjo.

Businesses have paid increasing attention to becoming more inclusive in recent times.

Toymaker Mattel, for example, released gender-neutral dolls last month with none of the curves or large muscles of the traditional Barbie or GI Joe, while many small fashion brands and make-up companies are marketing non-binary products.

Source: https://punchng.com/gender-neutral-emojis-hit-screens-in-new-apple-update/

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