Apple iPhone SE Review: It is Small, Fast, Charming And Does Not Empty Your Bank Account

This is truly the affordable iPhone you were waiting for. This does not compromise at all in terms of the specs and the experience. It is a thoroughbred iPhone, albeit in a compact form factor. Which also makes this a very rare combination of compact and powerful. How many Android phone options do you get which offer a similarly handy footprint and yet pack in the most powerful specifications there are at this time? The answer lies in a word that starts with “Z” and ends with “ero”. The second generation of the Apple iPhone SE is a melding of the past with the present, representative of the future.

The Apple iPhone SE prices start at Rs 42,500 and that is before you take advantage of an HDFC Bank cashback offer which brings the effective price down to Rs 38,900. For an iPhone that runs largely the same specs as an iPhone 11, that is a steal deal.

Apple iPhone SE

Design is familiar, and yet very likeable

There is no running away from the fact that the second-generation Apple iPhone SE is basically the same body as an Apple iPhone 8 from 2017. It may have been a good-looking phone then, but it’s a beautiful phone now. And that came after the iPhone 7, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6. There could perhaps have been the argument that Apple should have gone with the iPhone 8 Plus body instead, but that 5.5-inch size would have not appealed to anyone who wanted a compact phone and would have pegged it too close to the 6.1-inch iPhone 11 in the size stakes. Apple says that the 4.7-inch screen size has been its most popular, and continues to be its most popular screen size, over the years. There must be some merit in the argument that not everyone wants a bulky phone.

You could be on the other side of the fence and say that the design looks a bit out of place now, and you would have a point there. The thick bezel above the screen stands out now, and the space below the screen for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor integrated within the Home button does add to it vertically. But Apple will counter that with pristine build quality. It feels fantastic to hold, much thinner than what our hands have become used to, no rough edges, no flex and everything is just right in place. It weighs just 148 grams, which is featherweight category in these times. You can have this in three colours at this time—Black, White and the gorgeous (PRODUCT)RED.

It is IP67 water resistant which means it isn’t averse to getting a bit wet, and the glass on the back enables wireless charging as well in case that catches your fancy. Incidentally, it also supports fast charging, but Apple doesn’t bundle that charger this time around.

All said and done, this is a proper iPhone. The build. The design. The attention to detail. The experience. Need I also remind you that there are no good compact Android phones right now.

Home button: a blast from the past

The Home button had stopped being a physical button quite a while ago. Good to see Apple has carried that forward with that reassuring haptic feedback every time you press on it. Touch ID on the iPhone SE is fast, very fast.

The magic number on the canvas is 4.7

It also isn’t the same 4.7-inch display carried forward. Apart from all the under-the-hood improvements, you will surely notice the True Tone Display feature, which that matches everything you see on the screen with the ambient lighting around you. The result, as we have experienced with the MacBook, the iPhones and the iPad Pro is that there is much less strain on the eyes than otherwise. This screen is LCD, and not an OLED. In the real world, people really don’t care. As long as it works, they are happy. And this most definitely works. It is bright, shuns reflections quite well and colours look good too. Yes, you’ll probably feel it’s a bit more restrained if you are using a higher resolution display all this while, but the thing is, most iPhone SE buyers will likely be the ones who have held on to their older iPhones till now—and for them, this is familiar yet an upgrade.

That being said, if you do intend to switch from a larger phone to this, you will feel the keyboard is a bit more compressed than what you are used to. It is a learning curve, make no doubt about it.

Apple iPhone SE

It is Futureproof, including for iOS updates: Leaving Android far behind

Power isn’t in short supply either. And that is putting it diplomatically. The iPhone SE runs the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 series, which means it isn’t playing catch up. There is no faster smartphone processor right now, all chipmakers considered, and that gives the iPhone SE a solid foundation to build on. It also means that iOS updates will be available for this phone for many years to come. That is immediately better than most Android phones, including the expensive flagships, which see the end of the update goodness after about 2 years. If you are lucky, that is.

We have come such a long way since the iPhone 8’s time, that the A13 Bionic chip is 1.4x faster than the A11 which powered that phone back in the day. And it is 2.4x faster than the original iPhone SE. The party piece of the A13 Bionic is the 8-core Neural Engine that does 5 trillion operations per second.

Battery life is a day, and comfortably so. A lot of that is limited by the physics of size, which means it doesn’t get a battery pack as large as an iPhone 11. But since there are less display pixels to light up, the tradeoff has worked well.

But you do miss out on some things: 5G and more

The iPhone SE doesn’t make the shift to USB C, nor does it show any love for the headphone jack. This does not have 5G as well, and Apple for some reason doesn’t bundle a faster charger in the box even though the iPhone SE is fast charging capable.

Camera relies on software: More than ever before

The 2020 iteration of the Apple iPhone SE gets a 12-megapixel camera at the back. Yes, it is a single-camera system. It does get a new image signal processor, the enhancements of the Neural Engine of the A13 Bionic and new algorithms working behind the scenes after you tap the shutter button in the camera app to take a photo. The biggest beneficiary has to be the Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting. It is all software based, but the iPhone SE can take some really good portrait photos. The neural engine is trained to focus on people, and you get depth control as well. If you are wondering that this is already more versatile than the photography capabilities of the iPhone XR, which also has a single camera system, you would be absolutely right. It is not just the new hardware, but also updated algorithms and image processing that makes all the difference.

Apple iPhone SE-3

The full gamut of Portrait Lighting modes are available as well—Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono and High-Key Light Mono are all available on the iPhone SE. Then there is Smart HDR as well and the ability to shoot 4K videos at 60fps. For the price that you pay for this iPhone SE, the photography performance is absolutely fantastic—great dynamic range, sharp, vivid colours that are well distinguished and overall photography that is quite close to the iPhone 11. It will struggle a bit in low light, because there isn’t a second sensor to provide more data, and there isn’t a night mode either. It’s a bit perplexing that, considering Google has managed better low light photos all thanks to AI and software, on single camera systems for a while now.

At the front sits a 7-megapixel FaceTime camera, and to be honest, we would have loved an upgrade here.


Purely in terms of price, there will be the persistent debate about how the iPhone SE matches up to the Android counterparts. The thing is, the fact that you are considering the Apple iPhone SE second-generation means you want top-notch performance. That discounts a lot of the pretend flagship killer Android phones, and we get into the business end of that debate with the OnePlus 7T with prices starting Rs 34,999 and the new OnePlus 8 with prices starting at Rs 44,999 though availability is limited at this time. But they only get factored into the equation if you aren’t adamant about a compact screen size. In which case, why wouldn’t you also consider the iPhone 11? It is all too complicated, isn’t it? That is the power of choice.

The Last Word: Smaller size does not mean a compromise

The thing is, the 2020 iPhone SE would be a definite upgrade for anyone still rocking an iPhone older than let us say the iPhone XR—the performance boost will hit you in the face in the most pleasant manner. The camera matches the much more expensive iPhone 11 for the most part, which is a huge bonus for the new iPhone SE. There are three storage options to choose from, and I would seriously recommend paying a little more for the 128GB option over the 64GB one, just to add to the longevity aspect of your purchase. You want an iPhone. You got an iPhone. And this wouldn’t leave you penniless either.,iPhone,SE,Review:,It,is,Small,,Fast,,Charming,And,Does,Not,Empty,Your,Bank,Account,a13,bionic,ai,&publish_min=2020-05-30T15:56:25.000Z&publish_max=2020-06-01T15:56:25.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2


Apple, Please Give Truecaller on my iPhone More Power to Fight Against Spam Calls

This is the updated Truecaller for Android, which is more powerful at blocking spam (Image: News18)

This is the updated Truecaller for Android, which is more powerful at blocking spam (Image: News18)

Just recently, Truecaller gave the Android app its biggest update in a while—complete with a redesign, much more powerful spam blocking tools for calls and messages and a very useful full-screen Caller ID.

  • Last Updated: May 24, 2020, 11:56 AM IST

How irritating is it that you are in the middle of a busy workday, some busybody is intent on sharing creative ideas that you don’t really need, and deadlines are looming large. It is all going pear shaped, perhaps. In the midst of all this, your Apple iPhone rings. It’s an unknown number. You probably think it’s the restaurant calling to confirm the reservation for your special date with the very special someone later in the evening. Or it is some important work call. Or maybe an update on the courier package you were waiting for—after all it has to arrive today, before the date. But no, it is an unwanted, unsolicited and unwarranted call by a very persistent tele caller convincing you need a new car and a loan to go with that. Doesn’t this happen with you quite often? Does it get on your nerves? It happens with me much more than I would strictly prefer, and it really does get on the nerves.

You and I are not alone in this. Truecaller, the most popular app in the world for managing spam calls and messages, says that in 2019, there were 26 billion spam calls detected. That is pure spam, not unknown calls identified. India logged 25.6 spam calls per user per month on an average, up from 22.3 calls on an average per user per month a year ago. That makes mobile phone users in India the fifth most troubled when it comes to spam, behind Brazil, Peru, Indonesia and Mexico. “Another devastating fact we found during this year is that 1 out of 3 women in India receive sexual harassment or inappropriate calls and SMS on a regular basis,” says the Truecaller data specifically about India.

Community platform LocalCircles also has worrying data to share. The Do Not Disturb (DND) registry is absolutely not working in India. More than 70% of smartphone users still get unwanted SMS even though they are on the DND list. A lot of those come from the mobile service providers themselves. Oh, the irony.

The thing is, when it comes to someone having your back in terms of dealing with spam, there really is no better app to have on your phone than Truecaller. Unfortunately, the experience and spam protection capabilities still are significantly different between Android phones and the Apple iPhone.

Just recently, Truecaller gave the Android app its biggest update in a while—complete with a redesign and much more powerful spam blocking tools for calls and messages. Oh, and the full-screen Caller ID as well, which can save you from engaging with absolutely unnecessary spam calls the moment your phone rings. “Truecaller has been invested in spam blocking for over 10 years now. Our primary purpose is to make communication more efficient for everyone. We have the highest accuracy because our spam and scam markings are community driven. For instance, in India alone, we have over 150 Million active users who help us by identifying spam, scams and fraud calls,” says Rishit Jhunjhunwala, Vice President of Product at Truecaller.

Have you also read?

Truecaller Gets a New Coat of Paint For Android, But in Reality it is Much More Than That

As an iPhone user, it is but obvious to feel left out.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love the Apple iPhone experience. Everyone who knows me even remotely knows I’ll not give up an iPhone for an Android phone, as my primary communication device. For me, no other phone comes close to the iPhone for everything that I need. Be it iMessages, FaceTime, Photos, Notes, Apple Music or iCloud, everything just comes together brilliantly, on the hardware and software side of things. The attention to detail to the smallest of things, be it the UI or the UX, make all the difference between an ecosystem that includes an iPhone, a Mac computing device, an iPad, AirPods and an Apple Watch, as against a loosely cobbled together ecosystem that would try to bring together an Android phone, a Windows 10 computing device, some smartwatch and some tablet.

Have you also read?

How I Got My Work Machine Just Right: Apple MacBook Pro, Microsoft 365, Google Drive & More

Yet, even though things have changed significantly over the years, the walled garden problem still remains. And that is perhaps most highlighted every time the phone rings. Truecaller for the iPhone, no matter how robust its foundations may be, simply cannot provide me the same level of spam call or even spam SMS protection that Android users get. The simple reason—Truecaller isn’t allowed access to the CallKit in the way it needs to work effectively. Simply put, CallKit is what dictates the display for incoming or outgoing calls on the calling screen on your iPhone, the call dialing, third party calling services including WhatsApp, as well as any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. A few years ago, Truecaller just got enough access with iOS 10 and beyond to show a pop-up detailing who was calling. But that has, at best, been spotty and doesn’t always work well—sometimes the notifications pop up, and mostly they don’t. The thing is, such a method was always going to be a compromise.

Spam management shouldn’t be a compromise, to be very honest.

In my humble opinion, iOS 14 could just be the perfect time for Apple to do a course correction in the battle against a global scourge—spam calls. It has done so before. Apple allowed CallKit to handle VoIP apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and more to integrate into the Phone app on the iPhone. So much so that WhatsApp call screens and interface also looks the same as a regular voice call landing on an iPhone. In fact, I’ve noticed WhatsApp calls also show in the call history in the Phone app.

It is most certain that Apple continues to focus on user data privacy and doesn’t want any app to compromise the security of iOS. However, Truecaller’s case has merit. It is perhaps worth the time and effort to figure out a solution for millions of iPhone users around the world, who struggle with spam calls on a daily basis. I really hope the day when Truecaller works on my iPhone like it works on an Android phone, comes sooner rather than later.,,Please,Give,Truecaller,on,my,iPhone,More,Power,to,Fight,Against,Spam,Calls,Apple,Apple,iphone,&publish_min=2020-05-23T08:37:22.000Z&publish_max=2020-05-25T08:37:22.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2


FBI Manages to Break Into a US Gunman's iPhone Without Apple's Assistance

Representative image (Reuters)

Representative image (Reuters)

The iPhone belonged to Mohammed Aishamrani, the Saudi air force officer, prime accused in the Florida Naval Air Station shooting in December 2019.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 11:48 AM IST

The US government has accessed an iPhone of a terrorist involved in December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, without any help from Apple despite repeated requests. In a media briefing, US Attorney General William Barr said that Mohammed Alshamrani, the Saudi air force officer accused of killing three classmates and injuring eight others at Florida Naval Air Station on December 6 was affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Alshamrani shot one of his two iPhones, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted to examine but Apple refused once again, reports NBCNews. “Apple’s decision has dangerous consequences for public safety and national security and is, in my judgment, unacceptable,” Barr said on Monday.

The FBI director Chris Wray credited technical skill of the agency in accessing the iPhone “We received effectively no help from Apple,” said Wray. According to Forbes, the FBI has spent $72,150 on GrayKey technology in April that can break through Apple encryption and get data. The agency has spent over $1 million on the technology that costs $15,000-$30,000 for a license.

Apple earlier defended its stance on hardware encryption, as the FBI asked the Cupertino-based giant to unlock two iPhones owned by the Florida shooter. “Building back doors into encryption is not the way we are going to solve those issues,” Jane Horvath, Apple’s Senior Director of Global Privacy, said in January this year. Apple also denied FBI access to an iPhone belonging to the shooter in San Bernardino terror attack in 2016. The FBI had to pay professional hackers to break into the device.,Manages,to,Break,Into,a,US,Gunman’s,iPhone,Without,Apple’s,Assistance,Apple,Apple,iphone,&publish_min=2020-05-21T04:38:51.000Z&publish_max=2020-05-23T04:38:51.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2

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Slack For iPhone Gets New Design: Hard Work Enthusiasts May Not Get it Just Yet Though

Slack For iPhone Gets New Design: Hard Work Enthusiasts May Not Get it Just Yet Though

The latest Slack update now brings the iOS version of the app at par with the Android update rolled out last week.

  • Last Updated: May 12, 2020, 8:12 PM IST

Slack, the popular work collaboration and workplace messaging app, has announced that the iPhone app is getting a big update. The biggest change is the redesign that adds a new navigation bar at the bottom of the interface. The update for the Slack app is now available on the Apple App Store. However, weirdly enough, it seems the redesign is still rolling out to users and isn’t available for everyone—the writer of this story still does not have access to the new design elements after the latest update.

The changelog is pretty extensive this time around. “Previously, it was complicated to get to the four main things people do on mobile. We’ve fixed this with a new nifty navigation bar at the bottom of the app containing: a Home view for your sidebar, DMs, (still listed most recent first), Mentions (for quickly catching up), and You (because you’re great) (and also because setting your status/preferences on mobile needed to be easier),” says Slack. The Jump To box has been made more prominent in the mobile apps after Slack realized that users were finding the quick-switcher relevant on desktops but not really using it on their phones.

One thing that we have also wondered about from time to time, were the swiping gestures to go back and forth in the app. They just seemed out of place. Those have been simplified as well. “Now, swiping right will reveal your workspace and preferences, and swiping left will get you back to the last conversation you were in. With this change in behavior, we hope to give you the powers of both omniscience and time travel,” say the developers.

Hard work enthusiasts will also like the new lightning bolt under the message box now gives quick access to shortcuts—for setting reminders, starting workflows, accessing apps in conversations and more.

Chances are an update for Slack will show up on your Apple iPhone or iPad right about now. But installing that update may not necessarily get you the new redesigned interface just yet. It is a server-side update that should enable the changes for you soon, in case they aren’t already.,For,iPhone,Gets,New,Design:,Hard,Work,Enthusiasts,May,Not,Get,it,Just,Yet,Though,android,app,&publish_min=2020-05-18T06:52:29.000Z&publish_max=2020-05-20T06:52:29.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2

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Apple Shuts Production of iPhone in India Due to Coronavirus Lockdown

Apple is reportedly suspending iPhone production in India up until April 14. The decision comes after PM Narender Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday evening. This essentially means that Foxconn and Wistron, manufacturers for iPhones in the country, are shutting down their production facilities to comply with orders.

While Foxconn has confirmed to suspend its operations until April 14, a representative from Wistron has also confirmed the shutdown without giving any broad details. Now since Foxconn or Wistron haven’t provided any information as to what all devices will be impacted, it is assumed only the older iPhone models will be affected which include the iPhone XR and iPhone SE among others.

The two manufacturers not only produce smartphones for Apple, but also for the number smartphone seller in the country, Xiaomi. As of now there hasn’t been any information from the company regarding the production shutdown. Various other smartphone makers are also said to be impacted due to the Coronavirus nationwide lockdown including the likes of the Vivo, Oppo and Realme.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has also restricted smartphone companies to restrict their launches to online-only events. But the recent nationwide lockdown is definitely going to have a big impact on inventory and production.


New Apple Patent Reveals All-Glass iPhone with Wraparound Display

Image for Representation
(Image Source: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image Source: Reuters)

Apple’s latest iPhone patent describes a six-sided glass enclosure with the device’s entire surface being touch-sensitive.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: February 24, 2020, 10:59 AM IST
  • Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

Apple is reportedly working on an all-glass iPhone with a wraparound touch screen, which can display information, icons and images on any surface with the entire device touch-sensitive. Electronic Device with Glass Enclosure, US Patent No 20200057525, describes an iPhone that comprises a six-sided glass enclosure, Apple Insider reported recently. The patent describes an all-glass iPhone which perhaps could be a better then foldable phones.

“Described herein, however, are electronic devices with enclosures that use glass to define multiple sides of the enclosure. In such cases, the enclosure may appear visually and tactilely seamless, such that the entire enclosure may appear to be formed from a single piece of glass (even though it may be formed from multiple separate pieces attached together),” states the patent.

The sketch of the phone illustrates the curved edges of the device from all the sides with some information showing upon them. It also shows the wallpaper stretched to the sides with some information showing at the bottom side.


Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Predicts Mass Production of AirTags in Q3 2020

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Apple Tags or AirTags work with the iPhone and help users to locate their everyday items like keys or watch, with its Find My app.

  • Trending Desk
  • Last Updated: February 19, 2020, 4:13 PM IST

It seems like Apple is finally set to release its ultra-wideband trackers. According to a note published by TF International Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company will be launching the new product, tentatively called AirTags or Apple Tags, by the end of this year, possibly in the third quarter. It is also likely that the company might reveal its product during Apple’s September iPhone event. Kuo predicts that Apple will ship ‘tens of millions’ of AirTags this year, which will work with the latest iPhone models to allow users to track and locate their everyday essentials. In addition, Apple may also introduce an augmented reality (AR) interface to help users in locating their lost items.

For the uninitiated, Apple Tags or AirTags will work with the iPhone and help users to locate their everyday items like keys or watch, with its Find My app. It will work similarly to Tile Tracker, where the tag will be linked to an iCloud account through an iPhone. It could be attached to any item, such as keys, bags, watches, TV remotes and so on. Using the Offline Finding capabilities, the app will notify the true owner of the tag’s location whenever the object is found.

Earlier, a number of media outlets have spoken about the much-speculated AirTags, leaking several images. While the rumours about the same began back in 2019, Apple hasn’t given any confirmation on working on such technology.


Apple Might Soon Let You Unlock Your Car Using an iPhone

The first beta version of Apple’s iOS 13.4 update has been released. With this version, users will be able to use their iPhone or Apple Watch as their car keys that can lock, unlock and even start their car. As per a report published by 9to5 Mac, the latest iOS 13.4 beta update contains references to a ‘CarKey’ application programming interface (API). It is with this interface that a user will be able to use their Apple device like the iPhone or Apple Watch as the key of their car.

Further, the report mentions that according to the system’s internal file, a user will only be able to use this feature if the car is NFC (Near Field communication) compatible since a user will need to hold their Apple device near the car to use it as its key. In order to pair a car with the device, users will have to go to the Wallet app and follow the procedure, after which he/she will have to go to the car manufacturer’s app to complete the process. Once the setup is done, users will have to keep their iPhone on top of the NFC reader for the initial process. After the process is done, the car key will be available in the Wallet app and then can be used through the iPhone or even an Apple Watch. Moreover, the feature can be shared with multiple people after the main user invites them through the Wallet app.


EU Wants a Common Charger For All Smartphones But Apple is Not Impressed

iPhone maker Apple on Thursday pushed back against EU lawmakers’ call for a common charger, warning the move could hamper innovation, create a mountain of electronic waste and irk consumers. Apple’s comments came a week after lawmakers at the European Parliament called for a common charger for all mobile phones and amended a draft law to say the ability to work with common chargers would be an essential requirement for radio equipment in the bloc.

A move to a common charger would affect Apple more than any other companies as its iPhones and most of its products are powered by its Lightning cable, whereas Android devices are powered by USB-C connectors.

“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said in a statement.

It said regulation was not needed as the industry is already moving to USB-C through a connector or cable assembly. “We hope the (European) Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate,” Apple said.

A study by Copenhagen Economics commissioned by Apple showed that consumer harm from a regulatory-mandated move to a common charger would cost at least 1.5 billion euros, outweighing the 13 million euros in associated environmental benefits.

The European Commission, which acts as the executive for the EU, has been pushing for a common charger for more than a decade.

In 2009 it got four companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia to sign a voluntary memorandum of understanding to harmonize chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011. The voluntary approach is not working and it is time to look into legislation, Commission officials said.

“A delegated act based on the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) is one of the options to be considered since it empowers the Commission to take a certain type of regulatory measures in this field,” one of the officials said. Another option was to pass legislation on the issue.

“…given the limitation in the scope of RED and of its empowerment, any action through the ordinary legislative procedure and/or through other instruments, such as implementing measures under the Eco-design Directive should be further explored and thoroughly assessed,” the official said. The Commission will publish a study around the end of the month or early February on the impact of a common charger.


Google Finds Security Flaws in Apple Safari Browser

Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari that could have helped third-party vendors track users’ browsing habits. According to a report which cited a soon-to-be-published paper from Google’s ‘Project Zero’ team, the vulnerabilities were found in an anti-tracking feature known as ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’. Once disclosed by Google researchers to Apple in August last year, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker immediately patched the flaws.

Apple launched the ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ tool in 2017 to, in fact, protect Safari users from being tracked around the web by advertisers and other third-party cookies. According to Google researchers, the vulnerabilities left personal data of Safari users exposed. They also found a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”.

Apple confirmed it patched the issues. This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem.

In September, Apple slammed Google for creating a false impression about its iPhones being at hacking risk owing to security flaws that allegedly let several malicious websites break into its iOS operating system. Researchers at ‘Project Zero’ team had discovered several hacked websites that allegedly used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites — compromising their personal files, messages, and real-time location data.

In a statement, Apple said the so-called sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described. According to Google, the websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years. According to the iPhone maker, “all evidence indicates that these website attacks were only operational for a brief period, roughly two months, not “two years” as Google implies.

Google researchers also said they identified a vulnerability that accessed all the database files on the victim’s iPhone used by end-to-end encryption apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and iMessage. Apple said that it fixed the vulnerabilities in question, working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after it learnt about it.

In July last year, the ‘Project Zero’ team found six critical flaws in Apple iMessage that can compromise the user’s phone without even interacting with them. These security vulnerabilities fell into the ‘interactionless’ category.

Two members of ‘Project Zero’, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, 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 the six security bugs were patched with the iPhone maker’s iOS 12.4 release.