Articles about iOS

WhatsApp adds two-step verification -- here's how to enable it 

WhatsApp

It has been a little while coming, but WhatsApp is finally rolling out support for two-step verification to its messaging app.

The extra layer of security means that it is now more difficult to gain unauthorized access to an account, and it is a feature that is being made available to iOS, Android and Windows users. With the feature enabled, if you -- or anyone else, for that matter -- tries to verify your phone number on WhatsApp, you -- or they -- will have to provide the 6-digit passcode you create.

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Google makes it much easier to share AMP links 

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A huge proportion of web traffic comes from mobile devices these days, and this means people are often trying to access online articles when they have a slow data connection. For this reason, Facebook introduced Instant Articles, and Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Both of these technologies allow for near-instantaneous loading of pre-cached, optimized articles on mobile devices, but they have a problem. Both mask the original URL which can make it difficult to share interesting articles with others. Google has seen the problem and made an important change to the way AMP works, helping to increase trust.

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Microsoft celebrates Outlook mobile's second birthday with the gift of iOS add-ins

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Outlook mobile is, believe it or not, two years old. Microsoft is not fighting the terrible twos, but instead celebrating by bringing add-ins to the iOS Outlook app.

While it is iOS users who are treated to the first look at add-ins, there are plans to bring them to Android as well. In addition to add-ins direct from Microsoft, there are also offerings from the likes of Evernote, GIPHY, Nimble, Trello and Smartsheet which will "help you accomplish awesome things you simply couldn't do before from email."

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Facebook rolls out creepy Discover People feature on mobile, suggesting you make friends with strangers

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If you're using the Facebook app on your phone, you might notice the appearance of a new Discover People section. As you would probably guess this is a feature designed to connect you with people on the social network, but there's something of a creepy twist.

Unlike the current "People you may know" section which suggests that you might like to become friends with people because you have a common acquaintance, the experimental Discover People adopts a different approach. It suggests that you become friends with complete strangers.

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Exploit acquisition program aims to patch mobile vulnerabilities faster

Phone gears

Even after new mobile threats have been identified the number of devices in use means it can take time for patches to be rolled out to all users.

Mobile threat defense company Zimperium is hoping to tackle this problem with the launch of a $1.5 million bounty program to purchase N-day exploits which have been identified but are still usable on unpatched devices.

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LEGO Life is a safe social network that lets kids show off their creations

lego-keyboard

Who doesn't love LEGO? Well... apart from parents who find themselves standing on the little plastic bricks in bare feet, that is! One of the joys of LEGO is not just that it lets kids -- young and old -- get creative, and it's great to share your creations.

With this in mind, LEGO has created a new social network designed for kids. Unlike Facebook and other older social networks, LEGO Life is designed for under-13s and there is a strong focus on security and anonymity.

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Starbucks embraces voice ordering through both its iOS app and Amazon Alexa

AlexaEcho

Starbucks coffee fuels the days of many people. While the company's beverages are a bit expensive compared to, say, McDonalds or 7-11, they are chock full of caffeine and very tasty. Quite frankly, I drink Starbucks coffee or tea pretty much every day, as I often work in its locations -- they have clean tables and free Wi-Fi.

The company has often embraced technology within its stores -- it offers a nice mobile app with Spotify integration, and many of its tables offer wireless smartphone charging. Today, the company rolls out voice ordering through its own mobile iOS app or Amazon Alexa. Unfortunately, the iOS feature will be limited to 1,000 beta testers at first.

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WhatsApp update will allow users to track a contact's location in real time

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp was in the headlines recently because of concerns over the way it implemented end-to-end-encryption. Analysis of a beta version of the chat app showed that there seem to be plans to introduce message editing and deletion options, and new reports suggest that real-time location tracking could also be on the cards.

As reported by the Independent, version 2.16.399 of WhatsApp for Android and version 2.17.3.28 for iOS include a feature called Live Location Tracking. It's an option designed to make it easier to meet up in the flesh, but it's also something that will be of concern for privacy advocates.

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Apple introduces Night Shift in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 to help Mac users sleep better

Sleep

The latest official macOS Sierra update that Apple recently introduced did not bring any new features to the table, as it focused on improving performance and fixing bugs, but that is about to change as Night Shift will finally arrive in the upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4.

Night Shift should sound familiar to iPhone users, as Apple debuted this feature nearly a year ago in iOS 9.3. What is it? Night Shift is a mode that, when activated, reduces blue light to help you sleep better.

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Twitter relegates Moments to a subset of the new Explore tab

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If there's one thing that irks Twitter users (actually, there are many things, but stick with us...) it's the disorganized way in which information is scattered hither and thither. Keen to get users to break out of their timelines and see what else it out there, the Twitter app is undergoing a makeover.

The change means that the existing search, Moments, and trends are now combined into a single, more manageable Explore tab. It's a simple change, but one that will make life easier for Twitter explorers.

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Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews

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For far too many years the process of providing feedback in the App Store has been a one-way dialog. At long last Apple is opening things up so developers will be able to respond to reviews that are left by customers.

References to the new option is to be found in the documentation for iOS 10.3 beta, and Apple says that it will be available to developers when the final version of iOS 10.3 is released; it will also be available in the Mac App Store. Importantly, just as with Google Play, responses that are left will be visible to all and a new API will make it possible to leave feedback from within apps.

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Meitu pleads complete innocence against spyware claims

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You may have seen our story earlier today about the worrying permissions used by photo app Meitu -- and you have almost certainly seen the disturbing images created in the app and shared on Facebook. The company behind the app -- also called Meitu -- has jumped to defend itself, insisting there is nothing sinister going on.

The company insists that there is a very good reason for asking for so many permissions on iOS and Android. It insists there is a very good reason for gathering so much information about users. It insists this data is stored securely and is not shared with or sold to third parties. The defense is worth reading, but whether users are happy to accept what the company says about transmitting collected data back to a Chinese server remains to be seen.

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Privacy warning: Meitu photo app is spyware sharing your phone's data

meitu

There has been a sudden craze for freaky-looking photos created using the Chinese app Meitu. The images the app creates are either cutesy or horrific, depending on your point of view, but it's what's going on in the background that has people concerned.

While Meitu has been popular in China for several years --amassing a huge following -- it has only just caught on over here. What many users are unaware of is that while they are busy applying virtual makeup to their face in the app, data such as a phone's IMEI, Mac address, users' precise location and much more is being gathered and shared. The advice? Ditch the app if you're concerned about your privacy.

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YouTube gets in-app messaging and direct video sharing

YouTube

Google is adding a new social component to YouTube, rolling out in-app messaging and direct video sharing on Android and iOS. The new features are available only in Canada at the time of writing this article, but Google says that they will be (eventually) released worldwide.

Why is Google introducing those features? Simple. In today's landscape, it is no longer enough to let users watch videos and reply back and forth in the comments section. If you look at Facebook, it is also super easy for users to connect after having a conversation, which then lets them privately share content, among other things. The result? They spend more time using the service.

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Spotify is the top-grossing iOS app, Line takes first spot on Google Play

Streaming video service Hang w/ shares its profits with users -- others take note!

There are lots of really successful paid apps, but which one generates the most net revenue? According to a Sensor Tower report, Spotify comes out on top overall in 2016. The music streaming service only led the pack on the App Store, but that was enough to push it all the way to the top. On Google Play, it was messaging service Line which took top honors in this category.

Line actually came second overall, and in third place on the App Store. It is interesting that Spotify managed to come out ahead despite the fact that it is nowhere to be found in the top ten grossing apps on Google Play. This suggests that iOS users spent far more than Google Play users did on Spotify subscriptions.

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