News

iPhone update addresses Face ID with mask on

You’ll still need your passcode

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Part of today’s new normal is having to unlock our phones with medical masks on. If the phone your using only has face unlock, then you’ll have to resort to inputting the passcode. This has been a pain point for recent iPhones that iOS 13.5 hopes to address.

Face (Mask) ID

The primary changes for iOS 13.5 beta is a response to our new normal. The update simplifies the unlock process for people wearing a medical mask.

It will now automatically present the passcode field after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen. This also works when authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes, and other apps that support signing in with Face ID.

Currently, the system waits for Face ID to fail first before presenting you with the option to input your passcode.

Apple is bullish about Face ID saying it remains the most secure facial authentication in a smartphone or tablet. The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone or iPad Pro and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 with a single enrolled appearance.

Improving Group FaceTime

The latest update lets users control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls. Video tiles will no longer change size when a participant speaks.

If a user enables this preference, the tiles are still laid out asymmetrically as they are today and a user will need to tap on an individual tile to make it larger. This will be helpful for users who are sensitive to motion and for users who want more control over the Group FaceTime experience.

SEE ALSO: Apple and Google are working together to beat COVID-19

Gaming

Kobe is the cover of NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition

For both current and next gen

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Give us a quick second as we wipe the tears off our faces. The third and final cover athlete for NBA 2K21 is Kobe Bryant. Instead of being called the Legend Edition, it will be aptly named Mamba Forever Edition.

The Mamba Forever Edition will be available in both current gen and next gen consoles. On the current gen cover, Kobe is shown wearing the No. 8 jersey displaying the peak of his athleticism. On the next gen cover, he’s seen wearing the No. 24 jersey in a scene during his final game where he scored 60 points.

2K says the covers are a celebration of the late athlete’s lifetime achievement and basketball excellence. He passed away in a tragic accident earlier in 2020 with his daughter Gigi Bryant and seven others.

Kobe was the cover athlete for NBA 2K10, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17.

Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson were revealed as the covers for the current gen and next-gen standard editions respectively.

NBA 2K21 will feature MyTEAM Cross-Progression and a Shared VC Wallet within the same console family (PS4 to PS5, Xbox One to Xbox Series X).

MyTEAM Cross-Progression enables all MyTEAM Points, Tokens, cards and progress to be shared on both current and next-generation versions of NBA 2K21 in the same console family. Similarly, the Shared VC Wallet means any earned or purchased VC is accessible across both current and next-generation versions of NBA 2K21 in the same console family.

Pricing and availability

NBA 2K21 will be available on current-generation platforms on September 4, 2020 and is available for pre-order today. NBA 2K21 will be available for PhP 3,190 on current-generation platforms.

It will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X version of NBA 2K21 will be available for PhP 3,690.

The NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition will be available for PhP 5,390 for both current and next-generation platforms.

It includes dual-access where purchasing Mamba Forever Edition on either current or next-generation platforms provides a copy of the standard edition game on the other generation at no additional cost, within the same console family.

A full breakdown of pre-order details is available at NBA 2K’s website.

NBA 2K will release additional announcements and news about NBA 2K21 including the soundtrack reveal, first looks at gameplay and features for both current and next-generation versions of NBA 2K21, 2K Day celebration and much more.

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News

Google stops selling the Pixel 3A

Making way for the Pixel 4a

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Google has officially stopped selling its midrange offering, the Pixel 3a. In a statement to Android Police, the company said “Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 3a.” This includes the Pixel 3a as well as the Pixel 3a XL.

If you’re thinking of getting one, supplies may still be available with a few partners. This could include offline sellers as well as online listings. However, the company won’t be shipping any more units directly.

The sale closure means Google has no midrange phone to offer under the Pixel brand. However, this is also a positive indication if you’ve been waiting for the Pixel 4a. The Pixel 3a was launched last year and a successor is much-needed at this point.

The successor, Pixel 4a, has been delayed by a couple of months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With no more Pixel 3a stocks coming in, it’s safe to assume Google is focusing its supply chain and logistics resources on the Pixel 4a.

It was then speculated that the smartphone will be announced in June. However, a reliable tipster had recently claimed that the Pixel 4a may go official on July 13.

As far as specifications go, the Pixel 4a is expected to sport a 5.8-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution and a punch-hole camera. Powering the phone could be a Snapdragon 730 processor along with 6GB RAM. We expect a 12-megapixel camera on the rear along with an 8-megapixel front camera.

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Apps

TikTok is a massive data collection service – researcher

Disguised as a social network

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

TikTok is getting a lot of heat for its opaque data collection policies after it was discovered that the app also accessed the user’s clipboard on iOS. Now, a researcher alleges that the app has collected a huge amount of user data in the background while the service continues to operate like any other social network.

Going by the name bangorlol on Reddit, the user claims that after reverse-engineering the app, they caught it collecting an abnormal dose of personal information. This includes users’ phone hardware, the apps on their phone, network-related information like IP address, router MAC, Wi-Fi access point name, and if a user’s phone was rooted or jailbroken.

He further added that GPS location pings were also being sent to the company’s servers within short intervals. However, we should take the current findings with a pinch of salt. The allegations are from an independent study and yet to be verified or audited by a government or assigned third-party.

We also can’t ignore the report. TikTok has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The US government has officially cited its potential security threats with the Chinese social network and at least two security audits are currently underway.

India has already banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok. The government said these apps are “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner.”

When compared to other social networking apps, TikTok has access to extremely sensitive data. At this point, we need more transparency from TikTok. The company has already pulled its service from India, citing the recent ban. However, it’s yet to convince public authorities about its data protection policies.

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