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ios-6-1-3-updateNo more unauthorized lock screen access for you!

Apple has released iOS 6.1.3, an update to its mobile operating system that squashes a nasty lock screen bug that could allow unauthorized access to your iPhone, and improves Apple’s much-maligned Maps app.

The lock screen, which is supposed to increase security, was hit with two recent bugs that could allow people in possession of your phone access to your contacts, voicemail, and photos. The first was fairly complicated and the second was simpler, but both involved initiating an emergency call and then canceling it.

In any case, both should be impossible now (I’m sure Apple engineers have their fingers crossed).

Apple also updated its Maps app via the system update, saying that the app would now be better in Japan. That’s a little strange, as most improvements to Maps recently have been server-side, not requiring an app update — and certainly not requiring an operating-system-level update.

apple maps australiaIn the past few months, Apple has been feverishly updating Maps with new flyovers in 30 global cities including Berlin, London, and Rome, new 3-D building imagery for Milan, Barcelona, Dublin, and nine other cities, and new Chinese maps.

Updating the iPhone’s mapping capability via a system software update, however, suggests that Apple is tying Maps deeper into the base operating system itself. Apple’s Map Kit Framework Reference already enables embedding maps directly into third-party apps, as well as supporting annotations, overlays, and reverse-geocoding lookups.

Perhaps this update will precipitate a few new capabilities for app developers.

The update is available immediately, and was only 18.2 MB for me.

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