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Our 7 favorite iOS 10 features

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Apple’s tenth version of iOS is out of beta and finally in public hands. We’ve had it for a while now, and even though it isn’t a drastic change from iOS 9, every new feature adds to the highly mature and already intuitive interface. Let’s get down to the ones that stand out most for us.

1. There are new ways to message


We love finding better ways to communicate using our phones — so much, in fact, that we were delighted to find out Apple stepped up iOS 10’s messaging game. The Game of Thrones-inspired video we published last July covers the most fascinating functions:

We love how Messages allows us to better express ourselves through larger emojis and GIFs, as well as handwritten messages and video playback within the app. We’re sure that everyone who installs iOS 10 will feel the improvements.

2. Raise the phone for instant wakeups

Apple has placed greater emphasis on the lock screen — and why not? It’s the first thing you see whenever you activate your phone. With iOS 10, your iPhone will instantly wake up when picked up, bringing you straight to your lock screen notifications. Considering how fast Touch ID brings you straight to your app grid, being able to see message previews before anything else can save time and battery power.

The feature can be turned on or off in the Display & Brightness setting, but take note, it’s only available for the new iPhone 7 series, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE. Owners of the not-that-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are missing out.

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3. Widgets matter more now

Speaking of the lock screen, reaching your widgets is a lot more simple now. Not only can you enter the lock screen instantly by holding up your phone, you can also swipe to the right to enter your widgets page, where weather reports, event notices, and other information await.

Swiping the other way opens the camera app for quick shots. This is something we appreciated from the more customizable Android handsets we’ve reviewed, and it makes us wonder why we’re only getting this intuitive feature now on iOS.

4. We can finally remove a few stock apps

We’re sure a lot of you have a home screen folder dedicated to the built-in iOS apps you can’t uninstall. Apple has finally caved with iOS 10, and is now allowing the removal of some stock apps. We must place emphasis on the word some, however, since you’re limited to just a few. The Messages, Health, Clock, and Safari apps are untouchable, but we shouldn’t complain, because we can at least get rid of the Stocks app.

5. The Photos and Maps apps are much smarter

A trick we’ve seen Google Photos master has made its way to iOS 10. Apple’s own Photos app can sort your pictures by geographical location, people’s faces, landmarks, and several other categories. This makes searching through albums a lot faster; type in someone’s name, and his or her face should pop up instantly. The rejuvenated app can also intelligently gather images from a single event and present them in video form.

Similarly, the Maps app can go ahead and create route suggestions as you drive. With Waze and Google Maps creating headaches at times, it’s nice to have an alternative baked into the operating system to save you from being late.

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6. Siri is branching out

Have you ever wished for apps to listen to your commands by voice? While it isn’t completely here yet, Apple opened up Siri’s code for developers to integrate the virtual assistant into their own software. You’ll soon be able to book rides on Uber, search through photos, and access app-specific information simply by asking Siri to do the work. The feature is still in its infancy stages and will need a kick from third-party software companies to make it all click, but we’re glad iOS 10 already has it natively.

7. Seamless movement between desktop and mobile work

Apple is rewarding Mac and iOS users with a universal copy-and-paste feature between the two platforms. Once you’re logged into the same Apple ID on both devices, you can move or copy images and text without the need for extra menus or apps. It’s really intuitive, and lessens the need to write things down on a notepad or app before moving from one gadget to another.

You may download iOS 10 anytime you’re ready, but beware of bugs, since all brand-new OS versions go through growing pains at the start. It’s available on the iPhone 5 and up, iPad mini 2 and up, and the sixth-generation iPod touch. If you aren’t happy with the update, check out our guide on how to downgrade to iOS 9.

[irp posts=”7354" name=”Sorry, Apple: I won’t be getting your new MacBook Pro in 2016"]

Apps

SIM card vulnerability puts your sensitive information at risk

It’s called the SIMjacker

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SIM cards are very important. However, a new SIM card vulnerability found out by AdaptiveMobile Security might be putting our information at risk. The Simjacker exploit, which was recently found out and still being investigated on, allows malicious hackers to steal sensitive information from your phone through a SIM card.

Mechanism of attack

Infographic explaining the attack using Simjacker vulnerability | Photo by Simjacker.com

How does the Simjacker vulnerability work?


First, a hacker sends a malicious code to your phone through SMS. Then, the malicious code is read directly by your SIM card. The code then causes the [email protected] browser to send sensitive information to an accomplice device through SMS.

According to the report pulished by AdaptiveMobile Security regarding the vulnerability, the [email protected] browser is found on most SIM cards even though its development was abandoned many years ago. [email protected] browser was never updated, so it carries the risk of sending sensitive information to hackers when exploited successfully.

Sensitive information retrieved and transmitted by the [email protected] browser include location and the IMEI of an exploited device. The IMEI is a shorthand for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a 15 digit number unique to your smartphone that has some information about your device including its brand and model. As such, hackers can determine your exact location if you have a compromised SIM card, regardless of what device you have.

And the worst part of the attack is that you have no way of knowing that it has already been done since it all happens within the SIM card.

Origin and scope of the attack

The purpose for carrying an attack varies. However, the report traces the origin to an unspecified private company that works with governments to monitor individuals. So, there is a real possibility that it has been used to spy on us. And rightly so, since specific individuals were targeted in a certain country.

The report also warned that over one billion smartphones across all continents could be at risk to the vulnerability — and you could be one of them.

Response to the attack

In response to the discovered vulnerability, industry association SIMalliance has already put up recommendations for network providers to secure their networks. At this point in time, you can’t do anything to secure yourself from the vulnerability, unless you decided to go SIM-free.

But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just give your smartphone number like a free lunch. It also pays to update your smartphone once in a while, since some updates are designed to secure your phone from these kind of vulnerabilities and attacks.

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Apple TV+ launches with ridiculously low pricing

It’ll be free for a year for some users

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Apple has announced that it will begin streaming some of its original content for Apple TV+ starting November 1 for US$ 4.99. The subscription price is extremely affordable and meant to undercut rivals like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney.

It will additionally be available through tv.apple.com on the web, select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs, and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.


Apple TV+ is expected to launch in over 100 countries, with up to six members to share one subscription at no extra cost. To lure more users, purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV in the coming weeks will get you a one year of subscription for free.

The service is launching with a panoply of star-filled titles, including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon in The Morning Show and Hailee Steinfeld’s drama series Dickinson.

Apple named nine total titles that would be available at launch on Apple TV+. “All of these incredible shows for the price of a single movie rental,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday on stage.

Though, critics say Apple’s offering isn’t actually comparable to the competition because they also have tonnes of licensed TV shows and movies. Focusing on original production is just a part of it and brands like Netflix have invested heavily in getting exclusive rights to many blockbuster creations.

Apple TV+ is in-line with the company’s attempt to monetize its virtual offerings. Instead of completely relying on hardware for revenue, Apple is slowly amping up its subscriptions models. Right now, other products include Apple Music, Apple News+, iCloud, and Apple Arcade.

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Facebook Dating is now live with Instagram integration

Hopefully, this doesn’t get awkward

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A few months back Facebook announced it’ll be releasing a matchmaking feature on its app. People who opt into Dating can create a profile that’s separate from their main Facebook profile with one tap and meet potential romantic partners among their friends of friends.

Then there’s a whole thing called “Secret Crush” where you can add up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers to a list, and if they secretly crush you back, you’ll both get notified.


Users of Instagram will also be able to integrate their posts directly into their “Facebook Dating” profile and give people the ability to add Instagram followers to “Secret Crush” lists. Eventually, the site will offer the ability for users to add Facebook and Instagram Stories to a dating profile.

Facebook’s blog post said the dating feature was designed to be “safe, inclusive and opt-in.” Users are able to report and block other users, and users are not allowed to send photos, links, payments or videos in messages. The feature is also restricted to users who are 18 and older.

And obviously, an algorithm will determine who you “may” like based on your previous activity. Critics have also pointed out that Facebook has a thin white line because users shouldn’t be too affected because of the service. Getting ignored by strangers is different, and getting ignored by one of your “friends” is different.

Modern tech-based brands are ruling the world and among the top is Tinder. The dating app is widely used and recognized. It was also the first one to come up with the infamous left or right swipe design. Other options include Ok Cupid, Bumble, and more.

For now, the matchmaking feature is limited to the US and we expect a gradual roll-out in other regions soon.

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