iOS 13 Features iPhone Users Can Look Forward To

Image Source: Apple.com

This year’s WWDC Conference showcased Apple’s newest features for the upcoming iOS 13 update set for release this Fall. A bunch of new tools are on the way, including a dark mode, swipe-able keyboard for easy texting, photos application redesign and plenty more.

Here are some updates all iPhone users can look forward to with the new iOS 13 software:

DARK MODE

One exciting feature – dark mode for iPhone – will allow users to switch to a visually appealing dark aesthetic that’ll be great for using your phone during nighttime. Dark mode appears to be implemented across the entire iOS system as demonstrated in apps such as music, photos, maps, and calendar.

Image Source: Apple.com

SWIPE-TO-TEXT KEYBOARD

iPhone users are well aware that swiping for text writing was essentially nonexistent…until now. Apple unveiled the swipe-able keyboard, calling it “QuickPath Typing”, which is said to work just as well as regular keyboard tapping. The QuickPath typing feature also comes with spelling suggestions as well.

Image Source: Apple.com

PHOTOS AND CAMERA APPLICATIONS

Apple’s iOS update also brings new features of photo editing to its photos application, allowing iPhone users to change light intensity in portrait lighting, for example. Other editing features include vignette, vibrance, and noise reduction. Users can also change video orientation if a video was shot incorrectly.

Photos will also organize your images in a more easy-to-find design: by sorting photos by year, month, and date. As you scroll through your photos, live photo captures and videos also play.

FIND MY

Apple has combined two of its applications – Find My Friends and Find My Phone – into its new application named Find My. If a user loses his/her offline device, a secure Bluetooth beacon may be used to locate a missing or stolen phone.

SIGN IN WITH APPLE

Apple is adding a privacy feature – Sign-in with Apple – for apps that ask you to log in using an account. The purpose of this feature is to block any third party applications from accessing or tracking user data. Authentication of user credentials during app logins will be done through Face ID check through using Sign-in with Apple. Users also have the option of hiding their email address and instead using Apple’s randomly generated email that will forward information to your actual email address, thereby limiting any application’s access to your real email.

Apple also added a feature to block location tracking via WiFi and Bluetooth.

SIRI VOICE UPDATE

The newest iOS promises a more natural sounding Siri voice assistant, as Apple has used AI to smooth out Siri’s voice responses with less speech gaps.

To view more iOS 13 features, check out Apple’s iOS 13 preview page here.

Google has Come Out with a New Site Feature that Makes Traveling Easier

Google has come out with a new landing page called “Trips”, which has all of the necessities to help you plan your next getaway. It consists of the app, Google Trips, as well as Google Flights, Google Hotels, and a few more. This makes it easier for the user to plan one trip using all of Google’s provided travel-related products starting from finding a destination to vacation packages and travel guides.

Even if you don’t use the tools Google provides, you can still sketch out your itinerary, see the weather reports, confirmation codes, and so much more for your trip on the “Trips” site. “Trips” has been spread out within Google’s products (i.e. Maps, Flights, Hotels, etc.). For instance, when you make reservations, the reservation will pop up on Google Maps, showing your reservation confirmation on the page.

When planning your vacation using the “Trips” site, you also get access to Google Maps’ Explore tool, allowing you to track flight prices by using Google search. According to Google, this will soon apply to hotels as well.

Google stated that the “Trips” site will be available to use through Google Maps soon. “Trips” is now live, but Google has not stated how it will impact the mobile app and their TripIt competitor for showing itineraries.  

Amazon’s New Drone Delivery Service is Currently in Progress

Amazon’s dream of having a “high-speed drone delivery” is finally happening thanks to the UK government aviation administration, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA announced they will launch an “Innovation Sandbox”, which is where a number of companies will talk amongst themselves to test out concepts, and Amazon just happens to be a participant.

The testing will soon be done in a physical space. However, they will first start in a virtual space. The CAA is taking leadership of this project in testing the products to make sure the drones are safe. This delivery service would give customers their packages in at least 30 minutes.

Back in 2013, Jeff Bezos – Amazon’s CEO – stated in an interview conducted by “60 Minutes” that by 2018, there will be fully functional drones. While late in the expected release time, the drone delivery testing is currently in progress.

Mary Hanbury from Business Insider stated how, “It has been discreetly testing in UK sites since 2016, and in July 2017, it filed a patent that showed it was working on a way for drones to capture data by scanning people’s homes. Meanwhile, one Amazon’s main tech rivals, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), recently secured approval to roll out one of the world’s first drone delivery services in Australia.

Boost Mobile Customer Accounts Breached by Hackers

Sprint’s mobile network Boost Mobile recently admitted to hackers having breached their customers’ accounts through their main website. The data breach originally occurred back in March and was only recently announced.

A website notification was posted to which the company stated that their site “experienced unauthorized online account activity [and that] an unauthorized person accessed [user] account[s] through [their] Boost phone number and Boost.com PIN code.” The company’s fraud team noted how the incident was quickly taken care of through “a permanent solution [that was used] to prevent similar unauthorized account activity.”

According to TechCrunch’s communication with a Sprint spokesperson, Boost Mobile had encrypted any social security or credit card information, leaving such sensitive data uncompromised in the data breach.

Due to the breach affecting a large consumer base of over 500 people, the company had to notify the California attorney general through written notice.

Through access to Boost Mobile’s user account names and PINs, hackers can utilize a type of cyberattack known as credential stuffing to automate and send login requests on the Boost Mobile site to access consumer accounts. The company has already sent a text with a new temporary PIN to those affected by the breach. Users can log into their accounts with the link provided in the text message in order to set a new PIN code. Boost Mobile recommends users reset their PINs if they have not done so already.

In the meantime, the company has also recommended that customers regularly check their Boost Mobile accounts for any fraudulent activity and to report any identity theft or fraud to consumer credit reporting companies.

FBI Takes Down Dark Web Site Deep Dot Web

Image Source: TechCrunch

The FBI has recently seized a dark web site and marketplace, Deep Dot Web, and has arrested several suspects thought to have connections to the site’s marketplace. The agency posted their notice on the website, revealing their warrant for the domain seizure.

Authorities arrested two individuals in Israel as well as others in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The administrator of the site was taken into custody in Brazil. Those arrested in Israel were accused of helping facilitate weapon purchases and drug distributions via Deepdotweb dark site referrals as reported by The Times of Israel.

Admins of the website made millions from referring other users to purchasing illegal items on other sites.

This website take down comes after the Wall Street Market – another large scale dark web marketplace – was shut down by authorities in the U.S. and Germany. The marketplace was said to harbor illegal drugs and weapons as well as stolen user credentials.

New and Exciting Updates to Google Lens That Will Help on Your Next Outing

On Tuesday, May 7th, during a Google I/O event, Google revealed that they will be updating their Lens technology. This new update to the Lens technology will use artificial intelligence, which would give you the ability to actually “see” what you see when looking through the app on your phone.

One such update that Google revealed was adapted towards people who enjoy the experience of eating at restaurants. Users will have the ability to point their phone’s camera at the bill in a restaurant, and the update will be able to determine how much to split with friends and how much to leave as a tip. This update was said to be released later this month and would help out with any difficulties that might come along with a dining experience.

Some other updates that the Lens will have are:

  • People will be able to point their phones at a text in foreign language and the Lens will be able to translate it and read it out loud in whichever language they choose.
  • Users will be able to point their phone camera at a restaurant menu and the update will let the user know which dishes are popular. In addition, if you tap on the highlighted dish, it will show pictures of that particular dish that others have tried.
  • People will have the ability to learn how to prepare a dish. If you were to point the camera at a recipe, it will show a video of how the food is prepared.

Augmented Reality Tech is Coming to Google Search

Google’s I/O developer conference had some interesting technological reveals this week, one of them including Augmented Reality technology that will be brought to Google Search.

During the conference, Google demonstrated different examples of how the new search function would operate. For instance, if a user were to search “great white shark”, an option to use your camera for a 3D model will be available for a more immersive experience. 3D objects can be viewed in your own space to give a sense of what the object would look like in detail.

Image Source: TechCrunch via Google; Image showing AR of human muscular system

Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained that the company’s “goal is to build a more helpful Google for everyone,” and to help “[get] things done.”

Brands may also be able to take advantage of the AR search experience by providing a digital view of products for consumers. The AR search result could help unsure consumers in making a decision to purchase a particular product when previewing it in better detail.

There is no word on how many 3D models will be available to users or whether other publishers can contribute to the AR search with their own models.

The new AR features are expected to roll out by the end of this month according to a twitter post by Google.

Mother’s Day Tech Gift Guide 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and there’s no time to waste in finding Mom that great gift!

Don’t know what to buy her? Don’t fret. We’ve put together a list of awesome tech gadgets your mom will surely love!

Apple AirPods 2

Image Source: Apple

Price: $199

Give mom the gift of great audio quality with Apple’s upgraded AirPods – now faster and longer-lasting with 5 hours of listening time. The earphones come with their own charging case. If you want to make it personal, Apple offers free custom engraving online!

Fitbit Charge 3

Image Source: Fitbit

Price: $119.95

Does your mom like to stay active? Why not get her the Fitbit Charge 3 to track all her fitness activities and goals? The Fitbit Charge 3 comes with a heart rate tracker, swim tracker, GPS tracking with your phone, and guided breathing.

Apple Watch Series 4

Image Source: Apple

Price $349

The Apple Watch is the perfect, stylish gift to give Mom this Mother’s Day. Available in three colors, the Series 4 watch comes with a heart rate sensor that can track and notify its wearer of ian irregular heartbeat. This Apple Watch also comes with the “Hey Siri” feature that will allow Mom to ask for assistance by simply raising her wrist to speak.

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

Image Source: Ninja

Price: $199.99

This air fryer and pressure cooker in one is a great kitchen appliance to surprise Mom with! This appliance allows for quick and easy pressure cooking while also giving a crispy finish with its Crisping Lid.

Neutrogena Skin360™ Skin Scanner

Image Source: Neutrogena

Price: $59.99

Mom is always shining, no matter what she does, but why not help her stay radiant with a little help from the Neutrogena Skin Scanner? This device works by attaching to an iPhone and working with an app that will allow Mom to scan her skin in order to measure pores, fine lines/wrinkles, and skin moisture levels.

Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker

Image Source: Beats

Price: $113.99

Is Mom a music lover? Then the Beats Pill+ is the gift for her! Let pure quality sound fill the air as Mom pairs her device via Bluetooth to the Beats Pill+ .

iHome iCVA66 Vanity Mirror

Image Source: iHome

Price: $199.99

The iHome Vanity Mirror combines tech and beauty in one fabulous device. This mirror comes with built-in Alexa compatibility, bright LED light display, as well as a Bluetooth speaker to allow Mom to listen to her music while she grooms herself. It even comes with a USB port to charge a phone!

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Image Source: Amazon

Price: $89.99

Is Mom an avid reader? Why not get her the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite? This Kindle is waterproof, has a glare-resistant display, a built-in adjustable light, and can last weeks with a single battery charge.

Facebook Portal

Image Source: Amazon

Price: $99

The Facebook Portal is a great way to stay connected with your mother when you need to call her on the phone. This device works with a Smart Camera that keeps you in frame as you move around. The Facebook Portal also has Alexa built-in, allowing its user to ask a question, set a timer or reminder, and use the device for other smart-home tasks.

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

Image Source: HP

Price: $99.95

Printing photos in an instant has never been so easy! Give the gift of creating memories with Mom by getting her the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer. Using Bluetooth connectivity, Mom can print her photos without hassle, customizing it with the HP app to add fun text, borders, and more.

Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

Image Source: Ember

Price: $70.99

Tea and coffee drinkers rejoice. This Temperature Control mug from Ember allows Mom to remotely adjust the drink of her choice to the ideal temperature setting.

Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry

Image Source: Bellabeat

Price: $115.51

Mom will surely enjoy wearing this tech statement piece from Bellabeat. This necklace is a health tracker that can count the number of steps taken throughout a day, detect calories burned, track stress patterns and more. The necklace can easily be connected to Apple Health or Google Fit.

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Image Source: Philips

Price: $99.95

This light therapy lamp from Philips will help Mom get the beauty rest she deserves. This alarm clock comes with a colored sunrise simulation that can improve sleep and energy levels through its gradual wake light feature.

 

Google Releases its Google Fit App for iOS Devices

Image Source: Google

Google wants to help its users become more health conscious through exercise. That’s why the company has introduced its Google Fit app to a wider audience, this time bringing it to iOS devices. Launched last year, Google Fit’s mission stands to help change lives for the better, helping more and more people become active, get better sleep, and improve their mental health.

The app essentially keeps track of two goals: Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes logs your daily movement through walking or other motion activities. Heart Points can be earned through more intense movement from activities such as biking, running, and hiking.

The app keeps in mind the American Heart Association and World Health Organization’s weekly recommendations on exercise which consists of 150 minutes – or 2.5 hours – of “moderately intense” physical activity or 75 minutes of “vigorous aerobic activity”.

Google Fit can be paired to function with the Apple Watch and works with Apple Health as well. The application is now available in the App Store.

Microsoft Reveals Hackers Accessed Emails from Outlook.com Users

Microsoft Outlook Logo
Image Source: Microsoft Outlook logo

Recently Microsoft had announced that a security breach had taken place on its Outlook.com site, in which hackers were able to access user accounts, essentially allowing cybercriminals to view email messages, email addresses, and folder names.

According to Microsoft, a support agent’s web mail service was compromised, allowing hackers to access user accounts from January 1st to March 28th, 2019. Once the issue was discovered, the support account was taken down.

Vice’s Motherboard claims that the hackers had access to users’ accounts for six months, to which Microsoft had refuted and stated that the breach occurred within the three month period as mentioned in their notification message to its users. The compromise allowed hackers to even access iCloud accounts to remove the Activation Lock feature on stolen iPhones – a feature that would prevent thieves from factory resetting the devices to sell for profit.

Microsoft had notified those consumers – around six percent – who had their email contents potentially breached by the hackers. The total number of consumers affected by this breach has not been revealed by Microsoft.