News

iPadOS replaces iOS on Apple’s iPads

A proper tablet OS

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At long last, the iPad has its own operating system, breaking free from iOS which had originally been designed for iPhones. The new platform is called iPadOS, and it brings features unique to Apple’s tablet ecosystem.

It’s not just a name change, however, as it comes with functionality more fitting for the iPads it’ll appear on. The one you’ll notice instantly is the new home screen, which shows a lot more info through widgets and at-a-glance data at once.

Adding to that are Split View and Slide Over for improved multitasking and quicker looks at active apps. These are much-loved features on a device that’s designed to replace one’s full-fledged computer.

Speaking of replacing computers, the Apple Pencil is way more intuitive on the iPad now and has a much lower latency of nine milliseconds. Combined with the redesigned tool palette, flying through iPadOS is as seamless as can be.

But what may get most power users pumped is the ability to access external storage like flash drives and SD cards through the new Files app. It even has Cloud Drive support for folder sharing and zipping/unzipping files.

And if the dark mode of iOS 13 got you excited, you’ll be glad to know that iPadOS has it, as well. Actually, they share multiple features with each other, so you can learn more in our iOS 13 story published earlier.

Laptops

Janet Jackson can cause some old laptops to crash

Windows XP is affected

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next-gen Windows

Especially for a certain age group, Janet Jackson’s music is fire. However, if you’re an old, old laptop, you might not appreciate how fiery Janet Jackson is. In a recently discovered quirk, engineers have discovered that the artist’s 1989 hit, “Rhythm Nation,” causes certain laptops to crash.

Yes, it sounds made up. How can one song cause a laptop to crash? Apparently, the classic hit uses the same “natural resonant frequencies” as some hard drives made before. Even then, it still doesn’t sound real.

Unfortunately, there is no way to replicate the phenomenon, besides a report from The Old New Thing author Raymond Chen. He swears that the problem existed way back when. The issue affected laptops released around 2005 during the Windows XP era, particularly with 5400rpm drives. Most devices from that time period have already died.

Additionally, the issue was likely patched already. Chen states that affected hard drives eventually installed an audio filter that prevented the problem from occurring.

On the bright side, it also means that everyone’s laptops are safe from exploding because of Janet Jackson. Still, it’s a strange tale that confirms some audio files can wreak havoc on technology. Likewise, if you happen to have a functioning device from that era, you might want to keep it away from Janet Jackson.

SEE ALSO: Windows 12 might come out in 2024

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Apps

TikTok can detect what you type on screen

Through its in-app browser

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No one ever really thinks about in-app browsers. Though it’s one of the most unseen features of an app, the in-app browser allows for a moment of convenience when you need to open a link. However, a new cautionary tale is sharing the risks of using the feature. Particularly, TikTok and its in-app browser are reportedly capable of logging your keystrokes.

TikTok just can’t get out of its privacy-infused hole of controversy. For years, the platform has faced an unending barrage of controversies linked to whether the app leaks information to China. As a change, the latest issue isn’t exactly geopolitically charged. However, it won’t do the company any favors, either.

Recently, security researcher Felix Krause created a tool to analyze whether an app’s browser can potentially scrape data and change information for the user. The researcher also tested the tool with the world’s top apps. And, unfortunately for the platform, TikTok found itself on the top of the risky list.

According to the tool, TikTok can inject JavaScript, modify a page, and fetch metadata. It’s essentially a keylogger. To its credit, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook all have the same capabilities.

However, the video-sharing platform has one key element that puts it above the rest: It doesn’t allow users to open links using the device’s default browser. You’re forced to use TikTok’s own browser when you open a link on the app.

Of course, there are a few caveats. For one, apps can bypass the tool, blocking users from seeing what in-app browsers are capable of. Secondly, the tool’s findings don’t necessarily mean that the app itself is malicious; it only indicates what it’s capable of. To reflect that, TikTok has said that it has not used the data for any malicious purposes.

SEE ALSO: TikTok might launch TikTok Music, its own music service

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India

India might force Apple to adopt USB-C soon

Exploratory talks have started

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It’s the world versus Apple. After years and years of proprietary hardware, Apple is finally facing a deluge of pressure to abandon the Lightning cable. The entire European Union have already decided to force device markers, particularly Apple, to adopt the universal standard, USB-C. Now, another country is joining in: India.

As reported by Mint, the Indian government has started holding exploratory talks with manufacturers to discuss the possibility of a common charging standard. While the talks aren’t decisive yet, it’s the first step towards legislation moving in favor of a standard.

Though the wording remains vague, a lot of pressure is on Apple. The iPhone maker is still one of the biggest opponents against adopting USB-C worldwide. Amid the company’s growing gallery of USB-C devices, the Lightning cable is still alive and well. A lot of other manufacturers have already moved on to the standard for its their ports.

Soon, the company might not have a choice. If a decisive law is passed, India will join the European Union and Brazil in potentially forcing Apple into the standard. It’s not an insignificant ally for the pro-USB-C camp, either. India is one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.

Apple is unlikely to launch a USB-C iPhone series this year. The company is already expected to launch the next series in a few weeks’ time. If such a phone is coming, it might debut as soon as next year.

SEE ALSO: Another country wants to force Apple to go USB-C

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