iCloud Drops iPhone Activation Lock Search Tool
Apple has removed a tool within iCloud that allowed people to easily check the Activation Lock status of iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Activation Lock was introduced as a part of iOS 7's Find My iPhone feature in 2014. Any iPhone owner who activates Find My iPhone automatically locks the device to their Apple ID. The idea behind Activation Lock is to make it so stolen iPhones can't be activated on new accounts without first disassociating them from the original owner's account. iPhones with Activation Lock still in place are unusable with new Apple IDs, and thus not worth stealing in the first place. Until recently, iCloud provided an easy tool that allowed potential iPhone purchasers to check the Activation Lock status of a device by entering the IMEI or serial number. The tool is no longer available within iCloud, and the former web site returns a 404 error. Moreover, Apple has removed the language associated with the Activation Lock search tool from its support documents. Instead, Apple suggests potential buyers and sellers work together to ensure iPhones, iPads, and iPods are properly unlocked and erased before any sale or transfer takes place. This approach may work between legitimate transactions, but doesn't help people who've purchased stolen devices.
Review: Apple iOS 10
Apple's iOS 10 gives iPhones and iPads a healthy serving of new features. Some are easy to discover, while others are not.
MacOS Sierra Works Better with iOS and Adds Siri
Apple says the next version of its desktop operating system, renamed MacOS, will work better with iPhones and iPads. Apple has made improvements to its Continuity feature so its is easier to pass stuff between iPhones and Macs.
Google Simplifies Searching For Lost Phones
Google today made improvements to its My Accounts tool that should help people better manage their Google settings as well as their smartphone. Users can now access their account by saying, "Ok Google, show me my Google account" into the Google Search app.
CTIA Says Smartphones Better Protected Against Theft
Beginning today, most smartphones sold in the U.S. will include anti-theft security tools.
Amazon Integrates iCloud Calendar with Alexa
People who own an Alexa-enabled device can now interact with their iCloud calendar. Amazon added support for Apple's iCloud calendar service to Alexa this week, making it possible for iPhone owners to access and use their calendar through devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and more.