AWT News Update: November 3, 2015

It's a quiet news day, but we have some stories that you will like... or favorite. 

  • A team claims a $1 million bounty for finding a remote jailbreak method for iOS 9.1 and 9.2 beta
  • 54 more US banks and credit unions are added to the big list of Apple Pay supporters
  • Twitter gets weird
  • A survey shows that most Apple Watch users now have at least two bands, and that people do not want to be parted from their Watch...ever

The text version is below, and you can watch today's video here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 3, 2015. Our sponsor this week is Bushel, providing inexpensive and comprehensive mobile device management that’s easy to use. Find out more about Bushel today by checking out the website link in the show notes.

A team has claimed a $1 million bounty for remotely jailbreaking iOS 9.1 and 9.2 beta, which means that theoretically anyone who wanted to could jailbreak their Apple device over the Internet. The big bounty was offered by Zerodium, which is a startup that’s calling itself the “Premium zero-day vulnerability and exploit acquisition program.” The rules of the bounty said that the hack had to come through Safari, Chrome, or an SMS or MMS message. The winners used a combo of Chrome and iOS vulnerabilities, and once the jailbreaking method is verified, Zerodium will probably sell the hack to a government customer like the US National Security Agency. Fortunately, Apple usually patches found security holes, so within a few weeks or months the jailbreak will be all but worthless. Chaouki Bekrar, the founder of Zerodium, said that the “challenge is one of the best advertisements for Apple as it has confirmed once again that iOS security is real and not just about marketing. No software other than iOS really deserves such a high bug bounty.”

Apple Pay added support for another 54 new banks and credit unions today. That means that 658 banks are now supporting the touchlese payment system for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. There are still only a relative handful of banks supporting Apple Pay in the UK, and Australian and Canadian Apple users will soon get to use the service, but only through American Express. Apple Pay is scheduled to roll out in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong next year.

Twitter is getting weird. Either they’re hoping they can get purchased by Facebook or they have just decided they need to be more like their bigger, more successful social network competitor. Favorites will be replaced by more Facebook-like “Likes”, and the star icon familiar to Twitter users as a “favorite” will become a heart icon. For those of you who have seen Periscope, the video service that we use to do live broadcasts of the AWT News Update, it already uses hearts to signify that you are favoriting something. Vine, which is also a Twitter property, will also switch over to “favorites” soon. I don’t “like” this.

And finally, Wristly is a site that does research on the ever popular Apple Watch. This week’s results of a survey show that 75 percent of all Apple Watch owners purchased a Sport Band with their first watch, with the Milanese Loop the second most favorite at 11 percent. Almost all Watch owners have two bands, so third-party bands are really catching on. And this was no surprise; 85% of all respondents said they would have a very hard or somewhat hard time giving up their Apple Watch. Only a tiny 1% said that they have “already stopped wearing it”.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.