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Apple Wi-Fi Assist and Mobile Data Charges

Today at the HelpDesk we were dealing with a corporate customer who was experiencing HIGH mobile data charges and wasn't able to pin down the cause. We had a pretty good idea of the cause and this was confirmed when we took a look at one of the mobile handsets with high usage. In IOS 10 Apple introduced a new 'feature' called Wi-Fi Assist which is supposted to increase mobile data reliability for customers with poor wifi, which is great, but the issue is that even if you make sure you only use traffic intensive App's like YouTube etc when your on wifi, with WiFi Assist enabled the device can and will use mobile data (without telling you) if your wifi signal becomes weak, and that's ok if you have an unlimited data plan but we all know those don't exist in any form. 

Turning it off is easy if you can find it, go into setting, then mobile data (towards the top) then scroll all the way down to the bottom and there is it. in the example below, Wi-Fi Assist had assisted us to use 478K of mobile data whilst we were on Wifi. Whilst your in the screen and have turned off Wi-Fi Assist then its worth having a look through the apps listed to make sure you've allowed/denied mobile data as needed. 

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Counterintuitive Security from Apple

Counterintuitive Security from Apple

I'm sure everyone likes to think their data is secure, and when you work closely with numerous apple devices then you'll know how important it is to keep the information they contain secure, but there's a fine line between effective security and counterintuitive security.

Apple, once renowned for their security have crossed that line to such an extent that my strong alphanumeric password has been replaced with a short easily typed one just to mitigate the amount of time each day I have to spend re-entering it. Update some App's = Enter your password, Share Photo's = Enter your password, reboot the phone = Enter your password, download a free App = Enter your password, often several times and that's just the daily annoyance, added to which is "Your AppleID has been disabled for security reasons", "Your iCloud Session has expired", 'Verification is required","Your account has been accessed from another computer or device" or some other meaningless message that just wastes more of my precious time.

Can I turn this off = No. The only way around it is a simple, easily typed password. I once found that my contacts that I'd entered on my iPad weren't syncing to my iPhone which was extremely annoying as I really needed one of the contacts whilst I was out and can you guess why? Verify your iCloud password on the iPad. It doesn't say, verify it or I'll just stop syncing everything but I suppose I should have assumed as much. 

Then of course after this message appears, your @icloud email suddenly stops working with something like "Login to server imap.mail.me.com failed." perfect. Now what are you supposed to do ? Unlock or Change the password again, via the long winded and time wasting password reset process at iforgot.apple.com? Yep. then what, well then you have to re-enter the new password on your iPads, iPhones, Macbook's and so on. I've stopped using my @cloud.com email now just to avoid one more annoyance. 

I did a little verbal survey in the office here of no more than 10 heavy Apple users, and not one person had a sensible password for their apple ID for the very reasons above. We all have to deal with this nonsense on a daily basis and it wears you down. 

So how much is too much? Well that's simple - anything that meets the criterial of ANNOYING is too much and that's every time for me. When I first turn on my device then fine, good idea. confirm the password, but then just REMEMBER IT! How hard can that be seriously? If some people want to have to re-enter their Apple id and password 20 times a day then let's have a setting for that so the rest of us can TURN IT OFF. I don't like having a weak password and it gives me a bad feeling but I simply cannot cope with the constant stupid pointless requests for the same password over and over again.

 

If you own a Macbook you'll be more than familiar with stupid dialogues popping up hourly like...

 

and even more annoying....

and Finally something like this...

The issue with repeated pointless requests for your password and the security code from your credit card (which I now have to write down in my wallet because apple asks for it that often) is that it just becomes a learned behaviour and when something asks for it you just put it in, don't even look to see what's asking anymore, just type it in. That's where counterintuitive comes into this sad story, you get so used to being harassed for your password over and over again that you'll type it into any dialogue asking for it without even thinking about it. On the other hand, if you had to enter it only once when your phone first turns on, then a random request for your password would immediately raise suspicion. This is why the Apple way is the wrong way to go about security. I've absolute confidence that I could write a program that would randomly pop-up a fake "verify your iCloud password" dialogue and everyone would just type it in without a second thought. I'm not going to, but I could, and If I can then so can anyone else is the point I'm trying to make. As I'm writing this article, an email has just arrived below (I've changed the email address)...

  

Your Account - xxx@gen.net.uk

 

*Resolution Verification Request:* #TI8CHG10918-ID92

*Date:* 14 - October - 2015

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

*PLEASE PRINT THIS MESSAGE FOR YOUR RECORDS - PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE IN FULL.*

 

Our users security means everything to us. That’s why we are contacting you 

today in reference to your Apple Account xxx@gen.net.uk with us. The Apple 

Privacy Policy was updated on September 17, 2014 and now requires members to 

update the information we hold on them because of changes to our KYC (Know your 

Customer) terms and conditions.

 

We tried to contact you on 2 previous occasions to confirm this information 

before the deadline on the 17th of September and did not acknowledged a 

response. This will be the final email before termination of your iTunes ID 

within the next 48 hours and all associated data.

 

Please follow the link provided to your profile.

 

 >>> Validate My Apple/iTunes Ownership 

 

 

Regards,

Apple Help

 

This is an automatically generated email – please do not reply to it.

*Copyright © 2015 Apple Inc.

3 Infinite Loop, MS 11172-DM, Cupertino, CA 93151.*

 

Now, I'm smart enough to know that's a scam just trying to obtain my AppleID and password, but I wonder how many people will just click it as they have done over and over again because its a learned behaviour. I doubt if we'll even know but I hope I've made the case? If it makes YOU think about it then my job is done. 

 

How many people have received another stupid apple message like 

When of course this isn't a new computer or a new device, its the same device you've been using for the last 3 years, but nevertheless your forced to re-enter your payment information, again and again. How counterintuitive is that? If your just used to Apple making the same stupid mistakes over and over, then no one every pays attention to the pointless email's they send out about 'a new device used xxx', you just assume its wrong like as usually it is. But if the Apple framework actually worked and it only produced these messages when a new device was used with you apple ID then that would actually be useful wouldn't it. 

 

Maybe I, and the rest of the office are alone on this one and everyone else in the world thinks its a good idea to have to re-enter your password and payment info again and again, tell me? comment and let us know? 

Where did the Apple go where everything just worked? Does anyone even remember that Apple ? I do! 

 
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Recent Comments
Guest — Ashford
YES!
Wednesday, 14 October 2015 15:16
Guest — Brian
You make a good point sir and I'm glad I'm not alone! I don't know why Apple has password crazy but it does make it an automatic b... Read More
Friday, 05 February 2016 15:29
Guest — smonkford
Well, i found my way here because the ipad i've been using for the last 24 months has suddently decided that my account has been a... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 20:56
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OS X El Capitan

Apple OS X Logo

OS X El Capitan is the upcoming twelfth major release of OS X

Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.

It is the successor to OS X Yosemite and focuses mainly on performance, stability and security. 

 

Its due to be released to the public today (September 30th 2015) and many of our customers are already asking if they should upgrade. Well, the long answer is yes. Whilst in Microsoft Land we often recommend against an upgrade especially as so many issues are generally related to upgrade, in Apple Land upgrades rarely break anything save for some low level device/fs drivers. As with OS X Yosemite, there will be changes, but nothing so severe that you'll be unable to use your device. Just like iOS9 it will take a little getting used to but its worth the effort. Apple will undoubtably continue to support Yosemite for the foreseeable future, but with El Capitan comes a new graphics layer called Metal, which is going to hopefully open the gates to really immersive gaming and high end graphics applications on the apple platform. 

A summary of changes and features is available on our friends at Wikipedia (Donate to them if you can, its an invaluable service) and the official Apple page is available Here

If you run into any problems with the upgrade, or usability after the upgrade, then don't hesitate to utilise your GEN Support Contract for assistance as we Fully Support OS X.

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