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Hands on with the Starfish Beta, a reimagined Home Screen for jailbroken iPhones

iOS 14 brought with it what could only be described as the biggest upgrade to the iPhone’s Home Screen to date. The integration of native widgets alongside app icons means that the Home Screen is no longer limited to a bland grid of icons.

But despite this change, many would argue that the Home Screen still looks and feels the same — especially if you still use the Today page as a dedicated home for all your widgets.

That’s one reason why I’m excited about Starfish, a jailbreak tweak originally designed and created by iOS developer Ayden Panhuyzen. This tweak reimagines the Home Screen with a slicker interface, fancier animations, and a cleaner aesthetic.

Starfish has been in beta for quite some time now, but Panhuyzen was recently hired by Apple to work on software. Dynastic is now listed as the developer of the tweak in the Dynastic Repo, but we still aren’t entirely certain how that will impact the development timeline of the tweak. One thing we can tell is that Starfish was recently updated to a new beta build, so it’s being actively maintained for sure.

Regardless, I’ve been testing the beta for a little while now and can report that it looks and feels amazing. The first page of the Home Screen incorporates a user’s favorite apps alongside a stunning date and time display and a glance at the weather conditions outside.

Outside of the obvious UI changes, users will also find themselves pleasantly suspended by the sexy animations that accompany the new Home Screen interface offered by Starfish. The animations are not only appealing, but they’re so smooth that you’d think Apple these moves created them. It’s no wonder that Panhuyzen works for Apple now — the company is known for snatching talent from the jailbreak community.

Once installed, Starfish lets the user set up a separate Home Screen, which is highly recommended since it preserves your original Home Screen in case you ever want to go back. Since Starfish makes substantial changes to the Home Screen, it would be inadvisable to ignore this feature.

The tweak also adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure the tweak to their liking:

The list of include the following:

  • Enable or disable Starfish in its entirety
  • Enable or disable the separate Home Screen
  • Choose a dock scrolling style:
    • Fade into Dock
    • Fade into Dock (blurred)
    • Under Dock

While I’ve always been wary of beta tweaks, Starfish doesn’t feel like a beta. It’s smooth, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing. Those who are interested in giving Starfish a try can purchase it from the Dynastic Repo repository for $2.49 — a $1 discount from the full price expected when The tweak comes out of beta.

Do you plan to augment your handset’s Home Screen with the Starfish experience? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Apple rejected more than 5 million apps between 2017 and 2019

Another bit of information has been revealed thanks to the ongoing antitrust battle between Epic Games and Apple. This time around, it’s an info dump regarding the number of apps submitted –and rejected– to Apple’s App Store.

The documentation is meant to show that Apple’s review process works, and that, despite so many apps being submitted to the digital storefront, there are still many that get rejected. In fact, between the years 2017 and 2019, Apple’s review process actually blocked more apps than the year prior. In 2017, the average rejection rate was 33 percent. That jumped up to 35% the next year, and, in 2019, the review process saw an average rejection rate of 36%.

Still, it’s wild just how many apps are submitted to the App Store on a regular basis.

According to MacRumor‘s report, between 2017 and 2019 Apple saw an average of 5 million app submissions. In 2017, Apple saw 5,176,583 apps submitted and rejected 1,694,664. In 2018 the review process rejected 1,697,787 apps after developers submitted 4,793,826. And finally, in 2019, there were 4,808,685 apps submitted and a total of 1,747,278 were rejected.

From today’s report:

Apple’s documentation suggests that the ‌App Store‌ sees 100,000 ‌App Store‌ submissions per week, which are dealt with by 500 human experts that Apple has on hand. Prior to getting to a human review, apps are analyzed by Apple-designed tools to check for malware and policy violations.

A testing tool called Mercury runs through static and dynamic analysis processes, with the tool allowing Apple to see inside apps to check for hidden code or abuse, and there are other review tools that Apple has nicknamed “Magellan” and “Columbus.” After automated testing, apps receive human oversight.

The report also includes an image of what a member of the review process works with, hardware wise:

Part of the cross-examination focused on Apple Marketing Director Trystan Kosmynka. They were asked, pointedly, about mistakes that lead scam apps to being made available in the App Store even after the review process. Kosmynka was asked if the review process is pointless, which they said that it isn’t, but that Apple has to keep doing better.

The popularity of the App Store has turned into a double-edged sword for Apple, and especially for the review process. With so many apps being submitted on a regular basis, it seems logical to expect that some problem apps will make their way through. Still, a lot of people seem to believe Apple should have a 100% accuracy rate.

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How to recalibrate your iPhone 11 battery in iOS 14.5

With the release of iOS 14.5, Apple brought a fix for iPhone 11 users who were facing inconsistent information regarding battery health. The update will recalibrate the battery on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the Pro Max models. Due to the issue, users faced sudden battery drains, and reduced performance, despite nothing being wrong with the battery.

In this article, we will show you how to recalibrate iPhone 11 battery on iOS 14.5 to improve battery life and performance. This guide is only useful for iPhone 11 users, as only these devices have been facing the issue.

Recalibrate iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max battery

Installing the iOS 14.5 update on the iPhone 11 line-up will automatically start the battery calibration process. Here’s how to check if the battery recalibration has commenced.

1) Open the Settings app and navigate to Battery.

2) Now tap on the Battery Health option.

Recalibrating iPhone battery

3) You should be able to see a notification saying ‘Important Battery Message‘. If the process has started, then the notification will say that ‘your battery health reporting system is recalibrating Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability. The process may take a few weeks‘.

The recalibration process

Once the battery recalibration process has started, it could take a couple of weeks for your iPhone 11 to report the correct battery levels. During the process, there will be no change in the maximum battery capacity percentage shown on the page. The peak performance parameters may be updated, and you will no longer see messages suggesting that your battery has degraded.

After the process is completed, you should see updated maximum capacity percentage and peak performance capability. The message displayed on the top of the screen will also be gone. However, at times, during the process, you may see a message saying ‘Unable to recommend service‘. This is perfectly fine as the software won’t be able to recommend anything during the process.

Now, if the recalibration process fails, then it means that your battery has actually degraded and that you may need to replace it. The notification at the top of the Battery Health page will suggest a free replacement at an Apple Authorized service center. For peak performance and capacity of the battery, you will need to get it replaced.

This is the new battery recalibration feature included in iOS 14.5 for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and Pro Max. If you own any of these devices, and have been facing battery related issues, then you must install the update.

Wrapping up

Although it may take a couple of weeks to recalibrate the battery on iPhone 11, it’s definitely worth it. If there’s an issue with your battery, you can get a free replacement from Apple. The recalibration will fix any software glitches and start reporting correct battery health and peak performance capability.

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How to rename your AirTag and replace its default icon with an expressive emoji

Like with most other Apple products, you can pick a custom name for your AirTag to more easily figure out which one does what in the Find My app. In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to rename your AirTag by picking a custom name and emoji for your Apple tracker.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this tutorial…
Show the table of contents

Why customize AirTag name and emoji?

Apple announced the AirTag at its Sprint Loaded even in April 2021.

To make distinguishing between multiple AirTags easier, Apple permits you to choose a custom name and even use an expressive emoji in place of Apple’s default AirTag icon.

But why bother renaming your AirTags in the first place?

Because doing so shall help you differentiate between, say, multiple sets of keys or any other personal belongings that you’re tracking with AirTags. You can also add or change an AirTag’s emoji without changing its name, according to a support document on Apple’s website.

An illustrative image for the Items tab within the Apple Find My showing keys, a bag and a bike

 

AirTag names are used to differentiate between multiple trackers in the following places:

  • The Find My app on iOS, iPadOS and macOS
  • Siri voice requests (“Hey Siri, find my car keys”)
  • iCloud device list
  • Elsewhere throughout Apple’s user interfaces

Follow along with us as we show you how to change the name of your AirTag.

How to rename your AirTag

To customize your AirTag, be sure that it’s properly set up. Then, select the AirTag in the Items tab of the Find My app and choose an appropriate option to pick a custom name and emoji.

  1. Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  2. Choose the “Items” tab in the Find My app.
  3. Select the AirTag whose name or emoji you want to change.
  4. Choose the option labeled “Rename Item.”
  5. Choose “Custom Name,” then type a custom AirTag name and pick an emoji.
  6. Tap “Done” to save the changes.

And now the AirTag will show the new name along with the selected emoji in the Find My app, plus when referencing an AirTag in your Siri voice requests and elsewhere.

Apple's promotional image for the AirTag personal item tracker

Aside from picking a custom name for your AirTag, you can also select one of the default built-in names from the list. The system chooses an appropriate name based on the kind of item that’s attached to the tracker (which you chose during the initial setup), such as Handbag, Headphones, Jacket, Keys, Luggage, Umbrella, Wallet and so forth.

It’s also possible to pick a different emoji for the AirTag icon without changing the name.

How to change your AirTag emoji

You can pick an emoji for your AirTag icon without changing its name. Simply select your AirTag in the Items tab of the Find My app, then choose the option to change the AirTag emoji.

  1. Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  2. Choose the “Items” tab in the Find My app.
  3. Select the AirTag whose name or emoji you want to change.
  4. Choose the option labeled “Rename Item.”
  5. Tap the circular emoji section in the text field.
  6. Select an emoji from the Emoji picker.
  7. Tap “Done” to save the changes.

Now your AirTag will use your selected emoji, replacing the default icon.

And that’s definitely a good thing because your selected emoji most probably depicts the belonging that is being tracked much better than Apple’s default icon.

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Apple tries yet again to get an Xbox executive’s testimony stricken from Epic Games lawsuit

The first week of the Epic Games vs. Apple antitrust case is wrapping up, and Apple is going out swinging. The company is trying to get one of Epic Games’ expert witness’ testimony stricken from the record.

As first reported today by The Verge, Apple is trying to get the testimony supplied by Xbox Vice President of Business Development Lori Wright removed from the record. The move was revealed in a new filing, with Apple arguing that some of the documentation referenced by Wright in her testimony was not produced in advance. As such, Apple believes the entire testimony of the Xbox executive should be under a cloud.

Earlier this week, Wright said during cross-examination that Microsoft sells the Xbox video game console at cost, all in an effort to subsidize game sales.

XBox One game controller

Apple’s lawyers are apparently targeting this specific point of interest:

Ms. Wright testified about the supposed unprofitability of Microsoft’s console business without providing the P&L statement from her files that could have substantiated (or disproven) her testimony,’ Apple’s filing argues.

It should not be a surprise to hear that Microsoft is not especially keen on providing Apple any sensitive information related to any of its businesses. Even if Apple doesn’t necessarily have a product that directly competes with the Xbox, Microsoft and Apple have been in a heated competitive battle in other areas for years. And, at the same time, have to find a balance for competitive cooperation, too.

And for what it’s worth, Apple has made this move earlier this year. Back in April, Apple argued that there was irregular document production coming from Microsoft. They argued then that this meant Wright’s testimony should be stricken from the proceedings altogether, even before the trial started. Apple is now arguing that Wright stepped beyond the preset parameters of the testimony meant to be provided.

Whether or not this actually happens remains to be seen. But it’s clear that Apple wants to take a swing at Microsoft during this process in one way or another. Either by getting a glimpse at the aforementioned P&L analysis or striking Wright’s expert witness testimony from the record. Or both, even.

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How to remotely disable Apple Pay if you’ve lost you iOS device

Losing your Apple Watch or iPhone can be really sad and also quite risky as someone could gain access to important data, including Apple Pay. Of course, Apple has managed to make the Apple Pay service super secure, and enabled Touch ID or Face ID for payments. However, there’s still a small chance for a thief to access it, and it’s therefore better to disable Apple Pay on a lost or store iPhone or Apple Watch.

There are a couple of ways to remotely disable Apple Pay on a stoled Apple device, and remove all credit card information. If you’ve still got access to your Apple device, then here’s how to remove Apple Pay cards with ease.

How to remotely disable Apple Pay?

Before we get to the how-to part, here’s why you should consider disabling Apple Pay if you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch. Although Apple Pay is secure, and almost impossible to break into, there are chances that a hacker might gain access to your cards. A hacker could bypass the security around Apple Pay, and drain your accounts. Luckily, Apple has made it super easy to remotely disable Apple Pay, and to delete card details from your lost Apple device.

As soon as you’ve realized that your iPhone or Apple Watch is lost or has been stolen, you should get to work disabling Apple Pay. You can do this by using another iPhone that you may have access to, or via the Apple ID website.

Disable Apple Pay using Find My

This method requires that you have access to another iPhone, perhaps your partners or a family members. Follow the steps below to disable Apple Pay.

1) Launch the Find My app on the iPhone.

2) Select the lost device from the list.

3) Scroll down to find the Mark As Lost option. Tap on Activate.

Disable Apple Pay Find My app

4) Hit Continue, add a four digit passcode if you didn’t have a passcode enabled, and then tap on Enable at the top right corner.

Lost Mode Find My app

That’s it. Apple Pay is now disabled for that device. If you already had a passcode on your iPhone or Apple Watch, then it’ll be automatically enabled after you Lock your device using the Find My app. The device will show an alternative number or a message on the screen, payment cards will be suspended, and Activation Lock enabled.

Disable Apple Pay from iCloud

For those who don’t have access to an iPhone, you can simply head over to iCloud website and also enable Lost Mode for your stolen Apple device. Here’s how to do this.

1) From your desktop browser, head over to iCloud.com/find

2) Enter your Apple ID and Password to login.

3) Select the lost Apple device from the dropdown menu at the top.

Find My iCloud

4) Enable Lost Mode.

Once again, you can enter an alternative phone number and put up a message that will be visible to the person who has access to your device. The iPhone or Apple Watch will be locked with a passcode, payment cards will be removed, and Activation Lock will be enabled.

Remove card details from Apple ID website

You can also remove your card details by visiting the Apple ID website. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

1) Head over to appleid.apple.com from your browser and log in using your Apple ID.

2) Your Apple ID account page will be accessible to you now. Scroll down to find devices that are connected to your Apple ID.

3) Select the device you want to remove the credit cards from.

4) Click on the Remove Card option.

Remove cards from device on iCloud

The cards will be removed from your Apple Pay in a couple of minutes. If you find your lost/stolen iPhone or Apple Watch, you’ll need to re-add the removed cards.

Wrapping Up

The above methods will ensure that the person who has stolen your iPhone or Apple Watch will not be able to hack the device and get to your money. It’s always a good idea to disable Apple Pay if you’ve lost your device or if it has been stolen. We hope the above methods helped you in learning how to remotely disable Apple Pay.

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A serial leaker says Apple’s MacBooks refresh could adopt bright iMac colors

Apple’s new iMac all-in-one desktop lineup features a range of softer, pastel colors that the company could adopt for its upcoming MacBook notebooks, claims a serial leaker.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Apple is expected to refresh Mac notebooks soon.
  • The new MacBooks could adopt the new iMac’s colors.
  • It’s unclear if all Mac notebooks will come in vivid colors.

Will upcoming MacBooks come in iMac colors?

iMore reports that the claim was made by Jon Prosser in his latest report on YouTube.

Prosser states that the same source that gave him information regarding the color options for the 2021 iMac, which turned out to be true, has told Prosser they have seen a colored MacBook prototype in blue that looked ‘absolutely amazing’. Prosser says the source did not give him a timeline or any indication as to which MacBook this might be referring to.

Prosser is a serial Apple leaker with a decent track record ins terms of breaking Apple’s secrets, but he’s not perfect. In this particular instance, however, it’s worth mentioning that Prosser accurately leaked Apple’s colorful iMacs so do keep that in mind.

Apple is expected to update the MacBook Pro lineup this year with the current 16-inch model and a new 14-incher running Apple silicon instead of Intel chips. Some of the models could also utilize mini-LED display technology that made its debut in the 2021 iPad Pro.

On top of all that, the MacBook Pro family is rumored to revive some of the features that many people have been missing, including an SD card slot, an HDMI port and MagSafe charging. At the same time, the Touch Bar is thought to be phased out from the lineup.

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Apple shares additional Apple Card‌ Family details ahead of launch

Apple announced the new family-focused features for Apple Card members at its “Spring Loaded” event in April 2021. Today, the Cupertino technology giant has shared additional information regarding Apple Card Family ahead of its probable launch later this month.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Apple Card Family was announced in April 2021.
  • The feature lets two people share an Apple Card.
  • Apple Card Family may launch alongside iOS 14.5.

Apple shares Apple Card Family details

Apple Card Family is designed to let Apple Card owners invite others to use the same line of credit, with sharing carried out through Apple’s Family Sharing feature. Ahead of the launch, the Cupertino company has now shared some previously unknown tidbits about Apple Card Family in a new support document on the Apple website.

Apple Card Family features for account owners

Here are your key takeaways in terms of what Apple Card Family account owners and co-owners can do on a shared Apple Card:

  • They share full responsibility for the account balance and all payments, even if one account co-owner does not pay.
  • Account owners and co-owners have their credit reported equally in their own name.
  • They can immediately use their shared Apple Card to receive unlimited Daily Cash back on their transactions.
  • They can add or remove participants and order a titanium Apple Card for participants who are 18 years or older.
  • They can view participant activity and account co-owner activity.
  • They can set transaction limits for participants, lock a participant’s ability to spend, and receive notifications on participants spending.
  • They can request a credit limit increase.
  • They can close the shared Apple Card account at any time but are still responsible for paying any remaining balance.
  • Credit reporting for account co-owners includes positive and negative payment history on their shared Apple Card, as well as credit line utilization.

Keep in mind that each Apple Card co-owner must be at least 18 years old.

Features for Apple Card Family members

And this is what participants can do on a shared Apple Card

  • They’re not responsible for payments.
  • They can view their own transactions and information.
  • They can spend up to the credit limit on the account and may have an optional transaction limit set by an account owner or co-owner.
  • They can immediately use their shared Apple Card and get unlimited Daily Cash on all transactions.
  • If they’re 18 years or older, they can order their own titanium Apple Card.
  • If they’re 18 years or older, they can opt-in to build their credit and be reported on the account.
  • If a participant is 18 years or older and doesn’t want to be part of Apple Card Family, they can apply for their own Apple Card account.3 If their application is approved and they accept their Apple Card offer, they get their own account and are removed from the shared Apple Card account.

Unfortunately, Apple has yet to provide a timeframe for the feature’s launch.

Apple Card Family credit reporting

Apple also clarified how credit reporting works with Apple Card Family.

It’s important for everyone on Apple Card Family to understand how credit reporting can impact their credit file. Information about the Apple Card Family account, such as payment history and credit utilization, are reported to credit bureaus and shown in credit bureau reports for account owners and co-owners. This information may also be shown in credit bureau reports for a participant if they’re being reported on the Apple Card Family account as an authorized user.

Both negative and positive payment history is included in credit reporting.

As a rule of thumb, at least according to Apple, your chances for a more positive credit impact are better if your Apple Card account has been established for a while, shows consistent on-time payments and has low balance typically below 30 percent of the total credit limit.

When is Apple Card Family coming?

Unfortunately, Apple has yet to provide a timeframe for the feature’s launch.

However, the first signs of support for the feature were spotted in the iOS 14.5 software update. Apple is currently testing iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6 with its registered developers and beta testers. We’re only speculating, but it seems a safe bet that Apple Pay Family will arrive alongside iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6 later this month.

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GrabberEX lets you discern the time and battery percentage more easily in full-screen apps

I like that I can always glance at my Status Bar to see the time or even how much of my battery I have left before I’ll need to need to connect to a charger.

Unfortunately, full-screen apps hide the Status Bar, and pulling down from the top of the display to glance at the Status Bar in Notification Center reveals a grabber instead. This, in turn, necessitates a secondary pull down gesture to view the Status Bar in Notification Center.

The entire experience mentioned above is cumbersome, and that’s why I always try to use jailbreak tweaks like GrabberEX by iOS developer XQF when available. In a nutshell, it saves you from having to swipe down twice just to check the time or see your battery remainder.

As you’ll notice in the screenshot example above, GrabberEX displays the time and battery percentage inside of the grabber itself. This means you won’t have to go through the process of opening Notification Center just to peek at these valuable tidbits of information.

Once installed, the tweak adds a preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure a few options:

Things you can do here include:

  • Toggle 24-hour time on or off
  • Select a custom text color
  • Select a custom grabber label color

What’s more is combined with another newly released and free jailbreak tweak called GrabberInApps by the same developer, you can achieve this same functionality in apps such as Plex, VLC, and YouTube where it normally wouldn’t work.

Given just how important being able to keep track of time and your battery level are to most people, it’s insane that Apple hasn’t implemented something like this out of the box by now. After all, this idea has been floating around in the jailbreak community for years, and Apple is known for poaching talent and ideas from our community year after year.

Both GrabberEX and GrabberInApps are available to download for free from the Twickd repository via your favorite package manager and support jailbroken iOS 14 devices.

Do you plan on installing GrabberEX and/or GrabberInApps to augment your time-telling and battery level discerning capabilities while using full-screen apps? Be sure to let us know in the comments section down below.

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Phil Schiller asked ‘is no one minding the store?’ after a rip-off app hit #1 in the App Store

Apple bills the App Store as a refuge from a potential Wild West situation, praising the digital storefront’s security and curated content. However, the years have not been necessarily kind in the latter’s regard.

It turns out Phil Schiller has not been a fan of the idea of rip-off apps finding their way into the App Store for years. Dating back to 2012, in fact. And considering they’ve continuously popped up, Schiller has raised concerns ever since.

Scam apps find ways to look like legitimate options, but then milk money from customers, and also steal potential sales from real apps. One such app made its way to the #1 spot in the App Store back in 2012 and Schiller made it very clear that he was not a fan of that fact.

In an email exchange published to Twitter today (made public from the Epic Games vs. Apple antitrust lawsuit) by Patrick McGee and Jacob Terry (via MacRumors), Schiller used some very aggressive language to show he was not pleased by the app situation in the App Store.

Schiller asked, “What the hell is this????”, including those four question marks. That was just the opening salvo, as Schiller went on, questioning how an obvious rip-off of the popular game Temple Run had reached the top spot in the App Store. Schiller pointed out that the rip-off game had “no screen shots, garbage marketing text, and almost all 1-star ratings”.

Schiller then added, definitely hammering the nail:

Is no one reviewing these apps? Is no one minding the store?

Scam apps have been a constant problem for the App Store for years now, and that’s especially true as its popularity has only increased. As such, reviewers have had to work harder to try and catch these apps before they can do any real damage, both to developers and consumers. But, in many cases, it doesn’t work out like that.

We recently reported that one customer was duped by a scam app and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these apps.

In 2015, Schiller pointed out that an automated system needed to be developed to prevent these apps from sprouting up in the App Store:

A lot of different apps have been hit with imposter versions. Minecraft, for instance, saw a lot of imposter options pop up once it launched on mobile. But there are so many scam apps out there that it has grown into a major problem for Apple.