iOS 7 faced with new security glitches and improvements in current applications

With Apple’s new iOS 7 launch comes easier accessibility not only for users but for hackers as well

By: Mara Paolantonio, Staff Writer

iPhone users eagerly awaited the launch of the new iOS 7 operating system. I personally, am not an iPhone user but am impressed with the advancements Apple has made with its technology in recent years. Over time, they have introduced Facetime, a ‘find my iPhone’ app, and safari browsing. Gone are the days when cellular phones were simply used to make a phone call or send a text message. Smart phones now carry sensitive data information along with personal preferences and are directly linked to the internet. The more accessibility a new product offers, the greater the security issue.

iOS 7 does come with many new features, one of them is Swiping up for Toggles that allows the user to easily reach the new control panel by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. In this panel there will be buttons for Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and an orientation lock along with sliders for brightness and media control. It also offers a built in flashlight.

One main concern of iOS 7 is with this new feature, hackers have the ability to access the lock via the control panel. The problem is that, the hacker can then access photos as well as the owner’s email, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Personal information is readily available at the hands of strangers. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller has said that, “Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.” Apple’s ‘Find my iPhone’ app can easily be deactivated by thieves who can switch the device to airplane mode without unlocking the phone, thereby cutting off the handset’s signal and internet access.

Another security glitch that has been discovered on iOS 7 is that the phone will allow people to make calls from locked devices. In this case, the user simply has to go to the emergency call screen of a passcode-locked iPhone on iOS 7, dial a number, and hit the green “call” button repeatedly. Eventually, the virtual button appears to get “stuck” and the phone crashes. The call itself however, goes through. The problem was replicated on both an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4s. This glitch does of course require physical access to the phone itself but unlike the other glitch mentioned previously, it does not provide access to data on the device itself. The company is currently working on an update to correct the issue.

Despite the security glitches, iOS 7 offers a few features to make the iPhone more accessible for the user.  When using Spotlight, the user can now swipe down for search, to quickly search across their device’s apps, emails and contacts, but it seems now that Apple has removed Spotlight’s ability to search the web.

Timestamps in iOS 7 reveal the timestamp for each and every message received. The receiver will now know the exact time when the message was sent. Swiping to close Safari tabs, Safari has a new scrolling 3D tab interface that allows the user to close as many tabs as they want. Rather than using the traditional tiny “X” buttons, users can now swipe the tabs to the left instead to close them. Call/SMS/Facetime Blocking: now makes it easy for iPhone users to block people from calling, messaging or FaceTiming as well. Once the number is blocked in phone settings, it blocks them on FaceTime too.

When Closing Apps, it used to be that the user would double tap the home button, wait for the app drawer to slide out, then press and hold on an icon until the little “X” appeared.

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