Now that Congress have chosen to allow ISPs to sell your data, many people are turning to VPNs to help. But you may not know how VPNs work, or how a VPN can help you browse the web safely. In this article Andrew Orr explores the technical details and gives you our VPN recommendations.
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Terry Blanchard, who led the engineering and QA teams for Apple Mail since 2011, is moving on. He’s not going far though. Terry will still manage an email team, but it’s for the Spark email app owned by Readdle. Andrew Orr tells us what this could mean for the future of Apple Mail.
Apple prides itself on environmentalist efforts—and with good reason. With global climate change on the rise, and the changes going on in the EPA, it’s up to individual companies to manage their environmental responsibility. With the release of Apple’s 2017 progress report, the company noted that it tripled the number of its supplier sites in its energy efficiency program.
Apple updated its suite of iWork apps across iOS, macOS and iCloud web apps. The feature that stands out the most is the ability to add password protection to your documents using Touch ID. Andrew Orr takes us through the features.
Unicode 10 will be launched in June and it will include a bunch of new, awesome emojis. There are 69 new emojis in total, and some or all of them may eventually make their way into iOS 11. Someone made mockups on Emojipedia in Apple’s style, let’s check them out.
Daptly launched a new product for the smart home called Daptly Display. It was built for a specific consumer in mind—people frustrated with voice-only assistants and want visual cues. Enter the Daptly Display, a smart mirror that acts as a gesture-controlled interface. Amazon Alexa is built in, and the interface is for people who aren’t ready (or don’t want) a voice-only future. As well as acting like a fog-resistant mirror, you can use it as a photo frame, by uploading photos from your phone or choosing among Daptly’s 50,000 photo collection. It’s an interesting take on user interfaces, one that borrows from science fiction while harnessing existing technologies. Check out the promotional video below, and decide if you want to reserve a Display. The device will sell at US$799, but you can get US$200 off if you reserve soon.
The game engine from YoYo Games—GameMaker Studio—got a big update today with the release of the second version. It lets developers easily create video games for mobile, console and desktop. Plus, the Drag and Drop system (DnD™) lets people with limited coding skills use it too. You can download a free trial of it too.
By default, your device automatically uses the DNS settings provided by your ISP. But you don’t have to use it, especially if you want something geared towards privacy. You may have known that it’s possible to change your DNS on a Mac, but did you know you can also change your iOS DNS? Andrew Orr shows us how it’s done.
Lorek the robot represents a big step in robotics because it can understand human language, as well as the gestures we make in conversations. Researchers from Brown University pulled off this feat of understanding by programming uncertainty into the robot. Andrew Orr explains why this is a big deal.
Netflix is introducing a new “SKIP INTO” button. It lets you skip the opening credits of your TV show. It works on all episodes of most TV shows except the first episode. After all, you should at least be able to see it once, with the actor and director names in the beginning. Netflix usually already skips the introductions if you’re binging a show. It happens automatically if you watch a TV show and let the app automatically play the next episode. Nevertheless, it’s still a handy option, and it even works on shows where the credits play after several scenes, called a cold open or teaser. Right now the feature is only available on Netflix’s web app, but the company may roll it out to other platforms later on.
Apple has started an Apple Music Ambassador program this week to enlist the help of college students. In exchange for promoting Apple Music, students receive perks based on how many people they can sign up.
Fast food chain McDonalds is testing a fancy new way to order using your smartphone, because, you know, that’s what we’re looking for from McDonald’s. Customers in Monterey and Salinas, California can use the McDonalds mobile app to order food from home and have it ready when they get there. Andrew Orr explains.
Yesterday was the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, and also marks the contest’s 10th anniversary. Hackers compete in challenges to find security holes in popular software and mobile devices. This year, two Safari zero days were found by the white-hat hackers.
Google added Read Later to its iOS Chrome browser, a feature similar to Apple’s Reading List in Safari. As the name suggests, Read Later is a section where you can save articles and websites to read later. When you’re browsing in Chrome, you can tap the three dots icon on the upper right. Tap the share icon, then Read Later. Articles are saved offline, so you can read them wherever you are. So far this feature is only on the mobile version of Chrome, but it’s possible Google will add it to the desktop version in the future. The update is available now as part of Chrome version 57 on the App Store.
Apple recently hired a prominent iOS security researcher, Jonathan Zdziarski. Known as NerveGas in the jailbreaking community, Mr. Zdziarski is the author of several books about iPhone forensics and how to secure iOS apps. In light of recent events like the CIA Vault 7 leak, this move may improve Apple’s standing within security and privacy circles.
Google released a new video app called Uptime. The release is significant, in part, because it’s the result of the company’s 20 Percent Time program that allows some employees to spend 20 percent of their time on other projects. Released through Google’s internal incubator Area 120, the app is part social media platform and part video viewer with hooks to YouTube.
Capital One announced Friday an SMS chatbot for customers called Eno. The company claimed Eno is the first natural language SMS chatbot from a U.S. bank, allowing customers to ask questions using natural language. The ability to interact with artificial intelligences using natural language processing is something big companies like Apple, Amazon and Google are working on with their own virtual assistants.
Did you know it’s possible to create Apple Notes subfolders? Andrew didn’t, until he stumbled upon this by accident. Creating subfolders lets you organize your notes in more detailed ways that make sense to you. Here’s how to do it on macOS.
A new cartoon streaming service is coming this spring. It’s called Boomerang, and it will feature thousands of classic old cartoons like The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Smurfs, Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry. It’s part of the Boomerang TV network, but this cartoon service will be separate from the network. At launch, Boomerang will be available for iOS, Android and the web, with more devices and platforms soon to follow. You can stream cartoons ad-free for US$4.99/month, or US$39.99/year, with a seven-day free trial. Boomerang will only be available in the U.S., and there’s no word on whether it will expand to other countries. The service will be kid-friendly, and every cartoon episode will be pre-screened for age appropriate content. You can sign up for email updates on the website so you can be notified when it launches.
On Tuesday, Wikileaks published a cache of leaked documents some argue is more damning than Edward Snowden’s NSA leak. Wikileaks called the CIA documents “Vault 7,” a trove of 7,818 pages and files disclosing cyber weapons and hacking tools. Among other revelations, the one making the biggest headlines is that the CIA worked extensively on iPhone hacks.