Apple, HomeKit and Cyber Security

Cyber security can seem like an uphill battle, or a never-ending arms race. As the technologies we take for granted become more complex, more and more vulnerabilities and potential exploits are uncovered. Millions of people using millions of devices means it's inevitable that unforeseen problems will arise, no matter how much testing has been done before their launch.

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And while the old adage that Apple products are safer (because people don't tend to write so many viruses for them) is true to an extent, viruses are only one of the many things you have to worry about when entrusting your personal and banking data to a computer.

homekit software update

A lot of the time it's all about trying to find the vulnerabilities in a system before the criminals do, rather than responding to problems that have already occurred. Fortunately Apple have huge teams of specialists working on this round the clock in order to pre-empt any attacks.

Recently they discovered a flaw in iOS HomeKit, the app that allows users to control various items around their house (lights, smoke detectors or even the locks on their doors) from their iPhone. The flaw was a very serious one- it could in theory allow someone who had gained access to the user's iCloud account to take control of any things in their home tied to HomeKit. Although it would have been a difficult attack to carry out, the consequences could have been very bad indeed- a stranger being able to unlock your front door is not something anyone wants.

apple home kit security flaws

Fortunately the flaw was discovered before anyone managed to exploit it. Apple announced a temporary server-side fix when the exploit was discovered, and it will be permanently dealt with by a patch in the next few days. Hopefully the patch will not follow in the footsteps of Apple's recent High Sierra software update, which was designed to fix a problem whereby malicious users could gain access to the user's computer, but which in conjunction with an earlier version of the OS would only result in a temporary fix.

With new exploits and flaws becoming apparent as time goes on, Apple's cyber security division have their work cut out for them every bit as much as those working on PCs.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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iOS 11 Patches and the Battery Life of the iPhone X

After its much-anticipated and highly celebrated launch, Apple's new iPhone X is now out in the wild and being used by millions of customers worldwide. Although such devices always undergo intensive testing prior to their release, actual day to day use by such a huge customer base can be a daunting prospect for any manufacturer, who now has to wait and see how well new features work on such a large scale - and how they are received.

iOS 11 patches

New operating system updates, patches and the like are all par for the course with pretty much any piece of technology post-release, and Apple are no different. iOS 11, the latest iteration of Apple's trademark operating system, is already on its seventh update since its launch in September, with the latest being iOS 11.1.2, aimed at addressing problems which users have been finding with their devices.

Among these was an odd issue some users were encountering whereby if the temperature dropped suddenly the touchscreen could sometimes become temporarily unresponsive, as well as another minor issue with capturing video, but the thing most customers want an upgrade to do is tackle the problem of short battery life which has plagued iOS 11 since its rollout.

iphone x battery life

Some found an improvement with iOS 11.1, but apparently the new upgrade has done little to further improve things in this area. It may seem counterintuitive to think that battery life can be improved by a software, rather than hardware update, but it makes a lot more sense when you take into account the fact that it's the software that tells the device what processes to run and when to run them. A poorly-optimised operating system can lead to hardware problems due to the stresses and strains it puts on the processors. And while the current battery life of the iPhone X is not exactly a deal-breaker, there is still a lot of room for improvement, which will hopefully come with future software upgrades. And the fact that there have already been so many means Apple are more than willing to keep responding to problems that arise and providing support for their new devices.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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Have YOU bought Your iPhone X Yet?

Apple's biggest and most hotly-awaited product of the year, the iPhone X, is looking set to break new records for the tech giant, despite its prohibitively expensive price point. The new device, boasting a bezel-less screen display and new facial recognition technology, is selling for around £1000, but that doesn't seem to be dissuading the faithful from going for the upgrade.

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Although initially industry analysts had concerns about the device due to reported difficulties in production, which led to limited launch day supplies, Apple appears to have overcome these problems and industry analyst Ming Chi-Kuo is predicting sales of between 25 and 27 million for the current quarter. 

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And to further assuage fears over those production bottlenecks, he also expects the first quarter of next year to see an increase in production of 45 percent, accompanied by a drop in iPhone 8 production of around 60 percent. This decline in production for the lesser device would suggest that Apple is confident that there is huge demand for the iPhone X, although the iPhone 8 Plus is also currently selling well above expectations.

iPhone X sales

Apple's own earnings guidance for investors tells a similarly positive story, with revenue anticipated revenue for this quarter falling somewhere between 84 and 87 billion dollars.

Apple seem to really be throwing their entire weight behind the new iPhone X, with a lot of post-release support promised. Interviewed in Wallpaper* magazine, Apple's Chief of Design, Jony Ive,  has hinted at interesting things to come in software upgrades over the next twelve months, though he declined to go into detail as to what they would actually entail, other than that in a year's time “this object will be able to do things that it can't now”.

Of course, now that the various rumours surrounding the iPhone X have either been fulfilled or refuted, it's time for the rumour mill to grind on to next year's expected release, and already the internet is abuzz with speculation about 2018's offering, the iPhone X 2. But in the meantime it sounds like there will be plenty to talk about as the functions of the iPhone X evolve and expand. And Apple, it would appear, is positively thriving on public interest.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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The iPhone X

With pre-orders for the new iPhone X opening next week, anticipation is high for Apple's latest handheld device, announced last month at their keynote along with with iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. If all goes to plan, deliveries will begin next week, on November 3rd. Photos and video of the new device have begun to surface online, with one piece on Reddit showcasing a shiny silver variant. Its new “all-screen” bezel-less design is raising eyebrows, especially so given that it is the first major overhaul of the iPhone's basic structure since 2014.

Buy iPhone X

Apple's world. The much-vaunted supply problems that were hinted at during the development of all its new devices still seem to be plaguing Apple, with a report from top Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo warning that supply of the new iPhone X will remain limited well into next year.

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The problem seems to lie in the “TrueDepth” camera sensor. TrueDepth technology is what the iPhone X uses to enable its Face ID facial recognition system, and according to Kuo Apple has run into difficulty sourcing the necessary components for mass production. This, he says, will put a severe dent into their 2017 sales- sales, which, lest we forget, have already been hit by large numbers of customers opting to skip the iPhone 8 and iPhone S entirely and to hold on for the iPhone X.

iPhone x latest news

However, Kuo also points out that after disappointing sales this year, supply issues should be well on the way to being resolved at the beginning of 2018, and the first quarter should see a huge increase in sales. Stock has often been limited at the launch of new iPhones, but never quite to this extent. But Apple are counting on recouping these losses very soon, which could make 2018 quite the return to form for the electronics giant.

If all goes according to plan, then the thousand-dollar price tag on the iPhone X combined with the built-up anticipation for the device could see next year being a great one for Apple.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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Sales from the Last Apple Launch?

Apple's launch at its keynote of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X was possibly the biggest news of the year's tech calendar, though the industry giant may have made a tactical mis-step in staggering the release dates of the devices. According to researcher Localytics, the iPhone 8's first weekend sales performance was significantly lower than that of its predecessor the iPhone 7, and the crowds for which Apple devices hitting stores have become famous were significantly smaller. The iPhone 8 managed a mere 0.3 percent of international market share across all iOS devices, with the iPhone 8 Plus reaching a score of 0.4 percent. Compare those scores with that of the iPhone 7, which managed 1 percent, or better yet the iPhone 6 with 2 percent.

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However, it remains to be seen how much of this is a significant cause for concern for Apple. Word around the industry is that it is not competitors who have damaged the iPhone 8's first-weekend market share, but Apple itself, with the hotly-anticipated launch of its brand new iPhone X being thought by many to have eaten into the iPhone's sales.

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This would of course be great news for Apple, because it would indicate that there is even more demand for the iPhone X than had been anticipated. And with its eye-watering price tag, the relatively poor performance of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus could prove to be a mere blip in Apple's success story. Although it could be a blip that lasts a while, if stories within the industry that supply is low for the iPhone X prove to be true- Apple will eventually recoup any losses, but it may take a while to actually get the devices into the hands of their eager customers and, more importantly, the money from their wallets.


Of course, the other piece of good news that can be inferred from the assumption that it is the iPhone X that is harming sales of the iPhone 8 is that customers have not been put off by the iPhone X's high price, adding credence to Apple CEO's assertion that while the price was high, the iPhone X offers superb value for money.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.


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