iOS 11: SMS third-party messaging filtering helps you control spam

iOS 11 now allows you to send incoming SMS messages through third-party filters, just like spam processing in email programs. The good ones are filtered into your main Messages view, while the bad ones land in a separate tab.

This feature is already available in Hiya app’s version 4.0 update. This extends the app’s previous call-blocking and call-identification support.

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No VPNs in China: Why Apple withdrew VPN apps from its China App Store

Apple recently removed several virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in China. Three VPN providers confirmed removal, and Apple provided a statement that said that regulations put in place in January were the cause. “We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations,” Apple said in the statement. Last January, China began to more strictly enforce existing regulations that require internet services to obtain licenses.

During Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said that not all VPN apps were removed in China. “We were required by the government to remove some of the VPN apps from the app store that don’t meet these new regulations,” but hundreds remain, he said, including apps developed by firms outside China.

VPNs allow encrypted tunnels of internet traffic between a user’s device and a destination VPN server elsewhere on the internet. While it originated as a corporate tool decades ago to allow employees secure access into a company’s internal network, VPNs are used by hundreds of millions of people for privacy in democracies and dictatorships alike. They’re also widely used to get around media lockouts that prevents people in one area from viewing video or listening to audio that isn’t licensed for their country or region.

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Update to iOS 10.3.3 now: Apple patches serious Wi-Fi exploit

iOS users should update immediately to version 10.3.3 to eliminate the risk of a Wi-Fi-based exploit that can be carried out by an attacker in proximity to a device—or potentially through a compromised Wi-Fi router—without any interaction from the user at all.

In the iOS 10.3.3 update, Apple patched a bug that arises from how three models of Broadcom wireless chips, which Apple uses in iOS hardware, processes data. The chips are designed for smartphones and tablets, and aren’t used in Macs or other full-featured PCs. Security researcher Rich Mogull of Securosis said, “As described, the Broadcom vulnerability is extremely serious, but we will need to see the full exploit details to determine the real risk to users on all the various devices out there.”

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