Scary iPhone battery warning is to ‘protect’ customers, says Apple

Apple has responded to criticisms over the menacing “Service” warning that is displayed in iOS following a third-party battery replacement by claiming that the move is designed to improve safety.  

Must read: The 2019 iPhone 11 will be annoying, boring, and expensive

In a statement to The Verge, Apple said:

Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that a new, genuine battery was installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes. This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality, or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues.

Apple went on to point out that the “notification does not impact the customer’s ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair.”

Apple claims that with “over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the US” iPhone owners “have even more convenient access to quality repairs.”

Apple is using a secure memory key built into the battery to lock the battery to the iPhones at the factory. The side effect of this is that if you replace the battery yourself, or get a third-party that does not have the tools to pair the battery with the hardware to do the job, the Battery and Battery Health screens in Settings will display a “Service” message.

This happens even if the replacement battery is a genuine Apple part.

It appears that the only way around this issue will be to have Apple, or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, carry out the battery replacement.

This warning applies to the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max running iOS 12 and the beta releases of iOS 13.

This is quite a predictable response. In fact, it was the reason I suggested when this issue surfaced last week. Since this issue doesn’t affect battery performance at all, I’m calling this a bit of a storm in a teacup.

Do you think Apple has a valid reason to activate this software lock on the iPhone’s battery, or is it another example of anti-consumer behavior?

See also:

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Make your iPhone work: A dozen ways to get your device business ready

New iPhone rumors point to a comeback for Touch ID, but is it needed?
Apple’s next iPhone needs more than Touch ID to remain competitive. Jason Perlow and Jason Cipriani talk to Karen Roby in a Face ID face-off. Read more: https://zd.net/2xqKX9T
http://www.zdnet.com/

Consumer demands are very different from those of business users. While not having the right app installed or running out of storage space is an inconvenience for ordinary users, these things can put a serious dent in productivity and can mean the difference between getting the job done or not.

1: Encryption

The first must for any iPhone that’s used for business is to make sure that the data on the device is protected.

At the very minimum, I recommend that the device makes use of a strong passcode rather than a PIN code. The Require Passcode setting should also be set to “immediate,” so the device locks as soon as it is not used, and set Erase Data to “on” so that tampering with the device results in erasure.

These settings can be found under Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on earlier iPhones).

2: Robust case

I consider a decent, hard-wearing, robust case to be a must-have for my iPhone. If I break it due to a drop, then I’m out of action for some time, and that’s not an option.

I’ve tried a lot of iPhone cases, and the two that stand out for me are the Urban Armor Gear Monarch and Unicorn Beetle Pro. Both are tough and stylish and offer a high level of protection against both drops and the elements.

They also add a much-needed grip to the iPhone, which is about as grippy as a wet bar of soap.

3: VPN

Don’t rely on encryption that’s not under your control. If you’re not supplied with a VPN, it’s a good idea to get one yourself and use it. My VPN of choice is F-Secure’s Freedome, but there are others out there that will protect you from eavesdropping in insecure Wi-Fi or cellular connections.

4: Cloud storage

I used to think of cloud storage as a luxury, but nowadays, I see it as a necessity. I use Dropbox (which supports two-factor authentication through a variety of means, including Yubikey hardware and Google Authenticator).

For added security, you can use a service like Boxcryptor to add end-to-end encryption.

5: Comprehensive office suite of apps

You’ll need to be able to handle a variety of documents, from word processor files to spreadsheets, to presentations (ugh, I know).

You can choose from Apple’s suite of tools, or go third-party with something like Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google Docs. Whatever you choose, get familiar with it, so you don’t look like it’s your first day on the job when using it!

Dual-SIM

6: Dual-SIM

Having two SIM cards is a great way to separate work and home life without having to carry multiple handsets. If your iPhone doesn’t support for dual-SIM, then fear not, because you can easily add this using an adapter such as SIMore Speed X-Twin.

7: Portable storage

Cloud storage is great, but there are times when it’s either just not an option (such as when you have a poor internet connection) or is unfeasible (for example, when you have large files to handle).

This is where external storage comes into play.

While I like the “flash drive” type accessories that plug into the Lightning port, I find the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick to be far easier and less hassle to use. This is a flash drive — with capacities ranging from 16GB to 256GB — that has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and battery, allowing you to access the data when you’re out and about.

The drive can be recharged using a USB-A port and can stream to three devices simultaneously.

Omnicharge Omni 20 USB-C

8: More power

There’s nothing like a flat battery to put a massive dent in your productivity. But portable power banks mean that this should never be an issue.

These power banks come in a range of sizes and prices, from a small device you can slip into a pocket that costs about $20, to a computer-controlled charging station that costs $200, all the way up to a $699 charging station that can do pretty much anything.

9: Password storage

Dumb passwords like ABc123 or pa55W0rd just don’t cut it these days. Either make use of Apple’s built-in Keychain password manager, or invest in a third-party tool such as LastPass (which I highly recommend, because it not only helps keep passwords secure, but also helps you generate strong passwords, and prevent unauthorized access to your data).

Don’t, whatever you do, use a program like Notes to keep your passwords in. No. Just don’t.

10: Document scanning app

It seems simplistic, but having a good document scanning app on my iPhone has saved my bacon more than once. Sure, you might be able to futz about with the Camera app to take a picture of a document, but a dedicated app does a much better job.

I recommend Microsoft’s Office Lens. It’s one of the best apps that I’ve tested and the one I use.

11: Backup

If the worst does happen, and you break or lose your iPhone, having an up-to-date iCloud backup will be your friend when it comes to getting your replacement iPhone back up and running quickly.

12: Physical keyboard

While the virtual iOS keyboard is pretty good, nothing beats having a physical keyboard if you are going to be pounding out a lot of words. One of the nicest keyboards out there — one that works with both the iPhone and iPad — is the Logitech Keys-To-Go. At $70 it is a bit pricey, but if you type a lot it pays for itself!

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.

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Apple announces augmented reality art classes

What happened to mass adoption of virtual and augmented reality?
Jason Perlow and Jason Cipriani talk to Karen Roby about the current VR and AR landscape. Read more: https://zd.net/2S8Bv4t

Starting Aug. 10, Apple Stores worldwide will begin offering two new Today at Apple sessions dedicated to showing off the potential of augmented reality on an iPhone and iPad. There will be an “Amass” AR art piece, created by Nick Cave, in each store that customers can view using the [AR]T Viewer in the Apple Store app. You can visit any store and begin viewing the interactive art piece on your own, collecting “Ikon Elements” in the process. 

There will also be a 90-minute [AR]T lab, where participants will use the Swift Playgrounds app to create and interact with augmented reality objects and learn how to create AR apps of their own. The class was developed in partnership with New York artist Sarah Rothberg. 

A third [AR]T session involves taking participants on a walk to view and interact with art pieces in iconic parts of the select cities. The art walks will be available in Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, San Francisco, and New York. 

Apple has been touting the augmented reality capabilities of the iPhone and iPad for the past few years. Using dedicated apps that leverage Apple’s software users can hold up a phone or tablet and view digital elements in the real world, and with a new push in Apple’s retail stores, visitors are bound to ask questions about the people holding up their phones and looking at an art piece in the middle of the store. By educating users, and creating a buzz about AR in the Apple Store, and showing off development tools, hopefully, we’ll begin to see more meaningful AR apps. 

You can sign up for any of the new Apple [AR]T session on the Today at Apple website.

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Google researchers disclose vulnerabilities for ‘interactionless’ iOS attacks

iPhone iOS

Two members of Project Zero, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, have published details and demo proof-of-concept code for five of six “interactionless” security bugs that impact the iOS operating system and can be exploited via the iMessage client.

All six security flaws were patched last week, on July 22, with Apple’s iOS 12.4 release.

Details about one of the “interactionless” vulnerabilities have been kept private because Apple’s iOS 12.4 patch did not completely resolve the bug, according to Natalie Silvanovich, one of the two Google Project Zero researchers who found and reported the bugs.

Four bugs lead to no-user-interaction RCEs

According to the researcher, four of the six security bugs can lead to the execution of malicious code on a remote iOS device, with no user interaction needed. All an attacker needs to do is to send a malformed message to a victim’s phone, and the malicious code will execute once the user opens and views the received item.

The four bugs are CVE-2019-8641 (details kept private), CVE-2019-8647, CVE-2019-8660, and CVE-2019-8662. The linked bug reports contain technical details about each bug, but also proof-of-concept code that can be used to craft exploits.

The fifth and sixth bugs, CVE-2019-8624 and CVE-2019-8646, can allow an attacker to leak data from a device’s memory and read files off a remote device –also with no user interaction.

While it is always a good idea to install security updates as soon as they become available, the availability of proof-of-concept code means users should install the iOS 12.4 release with no further delay.

Bugs worth well over $5 million

The bugs were discovered by Silvanovich and fellow Google Project Zero security researcher Samuel Groß.

Silvanovich will be holding a presentation about remote and interactionless iPhone vulnerabilities at the Black Hat security conference that will be held in Las Vegas next week.

“There have been rumors of remote vulnerabilities requiring no user interaction being used to attack the iPhone, but limited information is available about the technical aspects of these attacks on modern devices,” reads an abstract of Silvanovich’s talk.

“This presentation explores the remote, interaction-less attack surface of iOS. It discusses the potential for vulnerabilities in SMS, MMS, Visual Voicemail, iMessage and Mail, and explains how to set up tooling to test these components. It also includes two examples of vulnerabilities discovered using these methods.”

Silvanovich’s talk is set to garner a lot of attention next week. Until today, no-user-interaction iOS bugs were usually found in the arsenal of exploit vendors and makers of legal intercept tools and surveillance software. Such vulnerabilities are the holy grail of any attacker, allowing them to hack into victims’ devices undetected.

When sold on the black market, vulnerabilities like these can bring a bug hunter well over $1 million, according to a price chart published by Zerodium. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Silvanovich just published details about exploits worth well over $5 million, and most likely valued at around $10 million.

Another exploit vendor, Crowdfense, told ZDNet that considering the no-click attack chain and the fact that the vulnerabilities worked on recent versions of iOS exploits like these could easily be valued between $2 million and $4 million each, for a total value of between $20 million and $24 million.

More vulnerability reports:

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iOS 12.4 draining your iPhone battery fast? Here’s what you should do

As the name suggests, activating this setting puts your device into low power mode. And it really does work, giving you about three hours of extra battery life. If you are worried about your battery not making it through the day, this is the setting to activate.

However, it achieves this by turning off or reducing mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects.

iOS offers to turn on Low Power Mode when your battery goes below 20% and 10%, and will turn it off when the device is charged to 80%.

You can also turn this on manually, either from the Control Center panel, or from Settings > Battery.

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What if Microsoft had invented Android?

Apple and Microsoft make life easier for iPhone and Windows 10 users
Microsoft unveils a new Apple iCloud for Windows app that integrates with Windows 10 File Explorer.

The smartphone war is long over; the two winners were Android and iOS. Most of the other contenders have long given up; right now Microsoft is slowly laying the last remnants of Windows Phone to rest.

That doesn’t meant there aren’t regrets. Indeed, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently listed the company’s failure to come up with an Android-like mobile platform as one of his greatest mistakes.

“The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard phone platform – non-Apple platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win,” Gates said at an event hosted by a US venture capital firm recently.

This provokes two related questions. First, why didn’t Microsoft, with its vast funds and stack of brilliant brains, come up with something like Android itself? And what would the tech world look like today if it had managed to do so?

It’s not like Microsoft didn’t want to break into the smartphone market; long before Android and iOS arrived it had spent years working on different handheld devices (PDAs as they were called back then).

But once the iPhone and iOS, and then Android arrived, Microsoft was wrong footed and scrambled for years to catch up, even buying Nokia’s smartphone business in a doomed attempt to re-invigorate its attack, before finally giving up.

And here are, of course, plenty of reasons why Microsoft didn’t, and couldn’t ever, create something like Android, or indeed even like iOS.

For me, a big part of the problem for Microsoft was that, for far too long, it saw smartphones as little more than scaled-down versions of the standard desktop (it even had a brand called Pocket PC).

For a company so dedicated to the PC that isn’t at all surprising, but it meant that the idea of a totally new user interface based on touch and a new way of using applications (these tiny ‘apps’) was always going to be a struggle. Even though, when the iPhone first launched it, only had 500 apps and Microsoft already had 18,000 for Windows Mobile. The real breakthrough was the integrated app stores of iOS and Android which made downloads much easier.

Another big reason why Microsoft couldn’t have created Android was that it was (and still is, to a certain extent) an open source product, in a time when open source was still viewed with great suspicion by Microsoft. But Android’s open nature meant that handset vendors could take it and tweak it and use the bits that they liked.

But even more important was that Android was cheap to use. Not having to worry about high licencing fees meant that handsets were cheaper for vendors to make and it was less risky to experiment. Hence the massive, Cambrian, explosion of different Android handsets in the market. As they lost market share to Android everyone, including Microsoft, finally dropped their licence fees but by then it was too late (a few years later Microsoft also offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 to many users, showing how pervasive the concept had become).

There was only room in the market for one mass market mobile operating system, which was Android, while Apple had already got a secure lock on the premium market.

Still, if we put aside the institutional, technical and economic reasons why Android was unlikely to appear from within Microsoft, let’s consider what would have happened if, somehow, it had.

Gates himself has a pretty clear idea. “There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system. And what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M,” he said. So Microsoft would have been $400 billion better off at the expense of Google.

A smaller Google, a bigger Microsoft. Maybe, if has been a big mobile player Microsoft would have never made its pivot to the cloud, or maybe Google would have moved faster to the cloud itself. It’s hard to measure the implications of such a big change.

As for individual users, it’s worth remembering Google’s profit on Android comes from the services – maps, search, email – which are bundled with the operating system, which is why is can pretty much give it away to phone makers.

That was one of the huge breakthroughs with Android, but those Google services make money by capturing our information. As such, Android has played a significant role in normalising the idea that we can and should exchange our privacy for access to these services.

Most of us are still happy enough with that bargain, although more of us are worrying about it, too.

Could Microsoft could have a created something as successful as Android without using similar tactics? Perhaps, if it could have used smartphones as route into selling more paid-for services, much as it uses Windows today.

Perhaps then it might have taken a lot longer for surveillance capitalism to become the status quo. Perhaps not. Perhaps another company would have come up with a very similar offering to Google and we’d be exactly where we are today.

But it’s always worth remembering that the status quo is never inevitable, and doesn’t last forever.

ZDNET’S MONDAY MORNING OPENER

The Monday Morning Opener is our opening salvo for the week in tech. Since we run a global site, this editorial publishes on Monday at 8:00am AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6:00pm Eastern Time on Sunday in the US. It is written by a member of ZDNet’s global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

PREVIOUSLY ON MONDAY MORNING OPENER:

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iOS 13: A stronger battery, subscription reminders, and other features
ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes discusses the latest features that iOS 13 has to offer, including one that will help users manage digital versions of their IDs all in one place. Read more: https://zd.net/2ISS6VI

Soon iPhone FaceTime won’t make you seem like you’re not looking at your contact. The latest beta of Apple’s recently unveiled iOS 13 looks set to fix a quirk of FaceTime and all video calls on computers that makes it appear the user isn’t looking at the person they’re speaking with. 

Apple’s fix for this is coming in iOS 13, which introduces a new setting called FaceTime Attention Correction, which can be toggled on to correct the user’s gaze when they’re looking at the screen as opposed to the camera at the top of the device. 

Most users probably wouldn’t notice this eye-contact problem, but it is true that when using FaceTime, you and the other person’s gaze could be improved, simply by each user looking at the camera on the top of the device rather than the screen. But obviously when you look into the camera, you’re not looking at the other FaceTimer on your screen. 

Per The Verge, the new fix for the gaze issue was spotted by developer Mike Rundle, who notes the Apple may use some “dark magic to move my gaze to seem like I’m staring at the camera and not at the screen”. 

The difference can be seen in a FaceTime snap posted by tech enthusiast Will Sigmon.   

Another iOS 13 beta tester, Dave Schukin, suggests the attention correction feature uses ARKit to generate a depth map and position of the user’s face in order to adjust their gaze. ARKit is Apple’s augmented-reality software-development kit for iOS: 

For now, it appears the setting is only available on 2018 model iOS devices like the iPhone XS and iPad Pro. 



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Raspberry Pi users: You got Pi 4, now new Raspbian takes Windows 10, iOS design cues

How to set up your Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
This video walks you through everything you need to know to set up your Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

On the heels of this week’s Raspberry Pi 4 launch, the makers of Raspberry Pi have released a new version of its Linux Debian-based Raspbian operating system. 

Raspbian is one of several operating systems that can run on Raspberry Pi devices, but it is a popular choice as the one made by The Raspberry Pi Foundation for its tiny computers. 

This release caters to the new Raspberry Pi 4 and is now based on Debian Buster, which will be released by Debian developers this July as the successor to ‘Stretch’.

The reason for jumping ahead of the official release date is the Raspberry Pi 4. The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled the new computer this week, which for the first time is available with three different memory capacities.

It still starts at $35 for the 1GB model, but will also be available 2GB of RAM for $45 and 4GB of RAM for $55. There’s also dual-screen support. 

Unlike previous models, the Raspberry Pi 4 uses the open-source OpenGL video driver by default, which is supported in Debian Buster. 

“It would have been a lot of work to port everything required for it back on to Raspbian Stretch, so we decided that we would launch on Raspbian Buster – the only question was whether Buster would be ready before the hardware was,” said Simon Long, a senior principal software engineer for the foundation.

“The official launch date for Buster is July 7, so we are a couple of weeks ahead. That said, Buster has been in a ‘frozen’ state for a couple of months now, with only minor changes being made to it, so the version we are releasing is pretty much identical to that which will be officially released by Debian on July 7.”

Long assures users that Pi engineers have done “a lot of testing” with Buster on Pi and that it is definitely “stable and robust”.    

There aren’t many feature updates to Buster and Long notes most of the changes are security related. 

“In a sad reflection of the way the world is nowadays, most of the differences are security changes designed to make Buster harder to hack,” wrote Long.  

However, Pi software engineers have revamped the graphical user interface (GUI) of Raspbian with a focus on stripping back and decluttering it. The changes are similar to iOS shedding its skeuomorphic icons and Microsoft’s recent design efforts on Windows with its Fluent Design scheme. 

Buttons on the new GUI are a “plain box rather than something that resembles a physical button,” says Long, adding that it has adopted a “flatter” design while trying not to go totally flat, which would have been boring. 

“We’ve reduced things like the curvature of corners and the shading gradients, which were used to give a pseudo-3D effect to things like buttons,” he notes. 

If users don’t like the new design, they can opt to enable the old desktop and UI theme. 

The Pi Foundation has also added the Thonny Python integrated development environment (IDE) as the default Python editor in place of IDLE. 

For those using a Pi without Bluetooth, the Bluetooth icon is now hidden rather than grayed-out in the taskbar. The CPU usage monitor is also gone from the taskbar by default but can be added back, and there’s a new CPU Temperature Monitor that can be added from the ‘Add/Remove Panel Items’ option. 

The new OpenGL driver replaces the old driver and offers a new Screen Configuration tool that allows users to configure multiple monitors on the Raspberry Pi 4 and set custom monitor resolutions. Additionally, due to heat and speed reasons, 4Kp60 resolution over HDMI is disabled by default. 

Long also had one warning for users running Stretch. 

“We do not recommend upgrading an existing Stretch (or earlier) system to Buster – we can’t know what changes everyone has made to their system, and so have no idea what may break when you move to Buster,” he noted. 

2019-06-17-105819-1920x1080-scrot1.png

Raspberry Pi software engineers have revamped Raspbian’s graphical user interface with a focus on stripping back and decluttering it.


Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

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Get your iPhone ready for iOS 13 public beta

iOS 13: A stronger battery, subscription reminders, and other features
ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes discusses the latest features that iOS 13 has to offer, including one that will help users manage digital versions of their IDs all in one place. Read more: https://zd.net/2ISS6VI

Apple is now getting ready to recruit your help to stomp out the bugs in iOS 13. But be careful you don’t sacrifice your iPhone — or the data on it — for the benefit of others.

Also: Top 10 iPhone privacy and security tips you should check today

The iOS 13 public beta is expected to land imminently. If you are interested in getting access to this, then head over to the iOS 13 beta sign-up page here.

But first, do you have a device that’s compatible with iOS 13? Here’s a complete list of compatible iPhones:

  • iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch 7th-generation

I wouldn’t recommend using your daily driver iPhone because it’s likely you are going to run into problems, and you could run into a show-stopping problem — such as an app that refuses to work, or something more horrible like data loss — at the worst possible moment.

At the end of the day, it’s your iPhone and you can do what you want, but don’t say you’ve not been warned!

Note: If you don’t have an old device that can run the iOS 13 beta, the cheapest device you can pick up to do that would be the new 7th-generation iPod touch. Alternatively, you might be able to pick up a pre-owned iPhone.

Next up, you need a data backup.


Must read


To protect your data you should create a local backup using iTunes. Yes, I know that’s old-school, but this is the way Apple recommends. You need this because if you have a backup created using the iOS 13 beta, you won’t be able to use this to recover your iPhone if you roll back to iOS 12.  

Keep this in mind as any changes you make to your iPhone while using iOS 13 beta can’t be rolled back to iOS 12 if you decide to downgrade.

There will likely be several updates to iOS 13 public beta coming down the pike over the coming weeks, so you might want to wait for the dust to settle and for any big bugs to be squashed before making the leap, especially if you rely on your iPhone.

If you don’t like dealing with bugs but still want to take iOS 13 public beta for a test drive, holding back for a few days might be the wise thing to do. If you like to live on the edge, smash that update button as soon as Apple the beta available.

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Apple opens public beta program for iPadOS 13

WWDC 2019: Finally, Apple frees the iPad and Watch from iPhone’s shadow
Can the iPad now become a serious business tool? Are the iPad and Mac platforms headed toward unification? Will developers take the time to get it right? TechRepublic’s Karen Roby gets some answers from Jason Perlow and Jason Cipriani. Read more: https://zd.net/2Wlin3A

Apple on Monday announced that iPadOS 13 is now available through its public beta program. Anyone with a compatible iPad can download and install the unfinished operating system, with the hope that users will report bugs, issues, and provide general feedback about the new OS. 

Apple made a radical change to the iPad when the company announced it was breaking out the iPad’s operating system from the core iOS experience with iPadOS. There’s still plenty of overlap between iOS and iPadOS, with features like dark mode, a new share sheet, and improved privacy features found on both platforms.

Where the two begin to diverge is when it comes to multitasking. Apple has added the ability for apps to have multiple instances, or windows, on iPadOS so users aren’t forced to switch between multiple apps as often. There’s also support for external storage in the Files app, and a desktop-class version of its Safari browser.

If you want to help test iPadOS 13 before its official release this fall, be prepared to deal with bugs, poor battery life, and apps that won’t work. You can sign up for the beta program here (when the site goes live later today), but be sure to follow the instructions Apple provides for backing up your iPad. Leaving the beta program requires a factory reset, and you can’t restore your iPad using a backup created on iOS 13.

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