Archive for January 27, 2022

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Notes in Apple’s Password Manager

Ricky Mondello:

Notes for Passwords are available in the iOS, iPadOS, and macOS betas. I know a lot of you have asked for this; it’s really versatile. :-)

The password manger’s search field searches them. The Mac password manager can import and export them.

I’m loving the built-in password manager’s support for verification codes, and a freeform notes field was my number one feature request.

Filipe Espósito:

Passwords stored in iCloud can be accessed through the Passwords menu in the Settings app. Once you tap to edit a password, there’s now a new option to add a note text alongside the login details.


As expected, the notes you add to your passwords can only be accessed after you authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID.

Unfortunately, Apple still insists on keeping iCloud Keychain as a menu within the iOS Settings app rather than making it a standalone app[…]

And, on the Mac, it’s available in System Preferences and Safari’s Preferences, both of which have single-window, non-resizable interfaces. (The notes do not appear in the Keychain Access app.)

Ricky Mondello:

And here’s a simple shortcut I made that you can use to put the password manager on your home screen, if you’re into that sort of thing.

John Gordon:

There’s no secondary password, so this demonstrates that anyone with access to phone has full access to all your passcodes including iCloud. Always true but now inescapable. You need super strong phone passcode.


Update (2022-01-31): Ricky Mondello:

An iOS 15.4 change that I adore: Sign into the Amazon app. You’ll get a beautiful account picker that includes passwords from your password manager of choice.

The deprecated SecRequestSharedWebCredential API is now implemented with the modern ASAuthorizationPasswordRequest.

macOS 12.3 Beta

Juli Clover:

The iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 betas that Apple released today introduce support for Universal Control, the long-awaited feature that’s designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard.

Federico Viticci:

Holy wow Universal Control is incredible.

This is me moving between a MacBook Pro, an iPad mini, and an iPad Pro using just the MacBook trackpad and keyboard. It’s aware of position, lets you drag files, and supports iPadOS gestures.

The hype was real and it all just works 🤯

Federico Viticci:

Fortunately, you can use both Universal Control and Hot Corners at the same time: just drag the iPad display a bit higher in the configuration UI. In this case, I can use the bottom left Hot Corner just fine.

• • •


Python 2.7 was removed from macOS in this update. Developers should use Python 3 or an alternative language instead.

Rich Trouton:

Apple has not included a Python 3 runtime with macOS Monterey, so the removal of Python 2.7 from macOS 12.3 and later will mean that Apple is no longer shipping a Python runtime as part of macOS.


It ships with /usr/bin/python3 - which is a stub - that the first time you run it, it will GUI prompt you to install Xcode or Developer Tools

Jeff Johnson:

There’s no distinction anymore between major and minor OS updates. Apple seems happy to not only add but also remove features in minor updates.

Stability and compatibility be damned.

• • •

Joe Rossignol:

Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac.


Dropbox did not provide any further details, but Microsoft recently said macOS 12.2 will be the last version that supports its own cloud storage service OneDrive’s current online-only files implementation.

Jeff Johnson:

What’s coming is simply that Apple is removing the special exemptions for the old deprecated kernel extensions of Dropbox and Microsoft, thus forcing them to switch to the File Provider API, which already exists. There’s nothing new coming.


The system manages the local copies and mediates between the user and the file provider. So there’s a loss of direct 3rd party control, and any bugs in the system are practically impossible to work around.

Stephen Hackett:

I can easily see Apple saying something vague about security and moving on without a real explanation for moving to take features away from users of other cloud services than its own.


Update (2022-01-31): Nick Heer:

They will instead be required to use Apple’s File Provider extension, originally created for iOS’ Files app and integrated into MacOS since Catalina. It is a change that Apple has been hinting at for about a year.

The only third-party cloud storage provider I use is OneDrive, which I have to use for work, so I was hopeful this framework would help Microsoft improve the performance of its sync client without requiring too much adaptation on my part.

I was exactly wrong.


The new version of OneDrive no longer has a global preference for retaining a local copy of all files. Deleting a file now makes it vanish entirely after confirming this action — the file is no longer moved into MacOS’ Trash, nor is it in the OneDrive Recycle Bin on the web. It is simply gone. I do not know if these are choices Microsoft made or if they are side effects of the File Provider transition, but they are regressions nevertheless, and appear to only affect the MacOS client. And, as a user, I have virtually no control over these changes. It is no longer limited to specific software or specific vendors — updates that are interruptive are now everywhere. It makes using the tools for my job a never-ending process of relearning with few rewards.

Also, as a slap in the face, the OneDrive for Mac client still sometimes idles at 90% CPU consumption, and records around 200% while syncing some files. Neither MacOS nor OneDrive is a beta version, yet everything I use seems to behave as though I am testing it.

• • •


Despite this being a point release, there are a few breaking changes.

But to generalise, you’ll want to check all your scripts and packages for occurrences of python -c , /usr/bin/python or /usr/bin/env python.


Whilst macOS Catalinas release notes state that Ruby and Perl will not be included in future macOS in the same sentence as Python, there doesn’t appear to be any public timeline around their removal, but could be macOS 12.4!

Dr. Drang:

This will make it harder to share Shortcuts and Keyboard Maestro macros that call out to Python, as you won’t know if the sharee has it installed. That prompt to install Xcode tools is going to scare off a lot of users.

Howard Oakley:

Universal installers for the official Python Software Foundation distribution are available from here. If you want to make a relocatable Python framework containing PyObjC, then this GitHub should provide a good solution.

• • •

Joe Rossignol:

Apple today updated its macOS 12.3 beta release notes to warn macOS Catalina users about a potential boot loop issue when installing the macOS 12.3 or macOS 11.6.4 betas on a separate APFS volume with FileVault enabled.

Update (2022-02-16): Dave Nanian:

Under macOS 12.3 beta, on Apple silicon, ‘asr’ calls ‘bless’ with bad options and fails.


Apple’s mandatory tool, calling another mandatory Apple tool.

Saagar Jha:

The latest macOS beta appears to have a new XProtect written in Swift and it has the terrifying behavior of launching an app with a default icon into your dock at random times of day that disappears half a second later, then making MRTv3 take up CPU for the next minute or so

Update (2022-03-07): Kandji:

And yet the imminent removal of Python 2.7—macOS 12.3 is expected to ship sometime this spring—still demands attention from Apple admins. Here’s what it could mean to you and what you can do to prepare.

Dave Nanian:

[As] I tweeted some time ago, Monterey 12.3, all the way to B4, breaks ‘asr’ which fails to complete due to bless errors on Apple Silicon.

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 Beta

Juli Clover:

iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we’ve had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more.


After the iPhone 13 Pro models came out, users noticed that third-party apps were not displaying all animations at the full 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate. Apple said there was a Core Animation bug that would be fixed in a future update, and it appears that iOS 15.4 is that update.

Federico Viticci:

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for Face ID unlocking with a mask on. This worked right away for me and it’s amazing.


  • You can enable it after the update or in Settings later
  • You can add support for glasses while wearing masks
  • No support for sunglasses with a mask on

Since Face ID is obviously less accurate with a mask, I wish Apple would tell us approximately how much less accurate. And it would be good to have a way (while the iPhone is already unlocked) to temporarily enable mask support but only for a specified period of time before it goes back to full security.

Sebastiaan de With:

iOS 15.4 beta has a new ‘Use Face ID with a Mask’ option and the masked FaceID icon is absolutely adorable.

Federico Viticci:

Also in Shortcuts for iOS 15.4: Apple now lets you run Automations in the background without being notified when they execute.

This is great. (But you still can’t disable these notifications for shortcuts added to the Home Screen.)


Update (2022-01-31): Juli Clover:

Unfortunately, Face ID with a Mask is limited to some of Apple’s newest iPhones, even though Face ID has been available since 2017 with the launch of the iPhone X. As noted on our forums, Face ID with a Mask is only an option on the iPhone 12 and later, so you’ll need an iPhone 12 , 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max or an iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max.

Meek Geek:

Hordes of Apple apologists are out there propagating this myth that this feature has an actual hardware limitation which requires newer SOCs in iPhone 12/13, which is nonsense since Apple hasn’t said a thing about this[…]

Update (2022-02-04): Benjamin Mayo:

Face ID isn’t superior to Touch ID in every respect, and vice versa. For instance, even five years on since the introduction of the TrueDepth camera system with iPhone X, Apple recommends that identical twins only use passcode authentication to unlock because Face ID will not be able to reliably tell them apart. Touch ID did not have this problem. Buying with Apple Pay is also nicer with Touch ID, compared to the double-click dance that Face ID requires.


The existence of the Unlock with Mask feature probably means that Apple doesn’t have to ship an iPhone with Touch ID again. I would certainly take it as a signal that a Touch ID iPhone is not coming back anytime soon. But I still think they should do it. Long-term, the best iPhone is surely one that offers both Face ID and Touch ID (either via under-display scanner or iPad-esque side button sensor).

Apple System Status Page Needs to Switch Off Its Reality Distortion Field

Ben Lovejoy:

The Apple system status page is best known not for displaying the actual status of Apple services, but rather a pageful of green indicators that only change once a problem is so widespread and severe that the company can no longer hide it.


Yesterday’s iCloud outage was a classic example. Games Center, iCloud Backup, iCloud Mail,, and iCloud Photos were all down for a significant number of people worldwide – but you’d never have known it if you’d visited Apple’s status page. It was showing all-green “nothing to see here” for several hours before the company finally admitted that there were issues affecting “some people.”

This isn’t just annoying in a roll-your-eyes kind of way – it can also waste a lot of people’s time. When I experience a problem that could be down to iCloud or may be local, the first thing I’ll do is check the status page.

It seems like either Apple doesn’t have automated monitoring systems that actually work or that somoene has decided that their results should not be published on the status page.