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Apple Just Did Something Remarkable And It’s Very Good News For Its Customers

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No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. That’s true for you and me, and it’s especially true for big companies like Apple. The thing is, when you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake, it goes a long way towards building trust. And trust is, by far, your brand’s most valuable asset.

Today, Apple apologized for how it had handled recorded snippets of users’ voice interactions with Siri, the company’s digital assistant. In a statement, the company said that  “we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”

You might remember that Apple, like pretty much every other tech company, recently admitted that it used contractors to listen to, and transcribe these recordings in an effort to improve the artificial intellience-powered service. Making matters worse is that fact that the company hadn’t disclosed this practice, and contractors often heard false-activations that revealed personal information and other private conversations.

Earlier this month, Apple paused its review program and ended its relationship with the contractors involved. Now, it appears to be taking the next step, which started with an apology.

That’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s not often that companies say, “I’m sorry. We messed up.” Sure, they sometimes say a lot of words that vaguely sound like “I’m sorry,” but rarely are they this direct. Apple basically called itself out, saying that it wasn’t living up to its own standards, and that it owed customers an apology for a problem it caused.

Along with the apology, maybe the even bigger news here is that Apple announced a series of steps it plans to take moving forward, including:

  • The company will no longer retain recorded Siri interactions, but will use computer-generated transcripts instead.
  • Apple will allow users to opt in to having their audio samples included in the company’s efforts to improve the product. Users will also be able to opt out at any time after that.
  • Apple will only allow its employees (not contractors) to listen to audio samples, and will delete any “inadvertent trigger,” of Siri.

This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Apple will now allow users to ‘opt in.’ This is exactly how it should work.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons why Apple would want to listen to recorded snippets of Siri interactions. That’s one of the only ways it can really know how accurate the AI is at understanding user requests and providing the right information for a human to review and correction. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t agree that that’s reasonable.

But Apple is changing the default assumption of an unspoken ‘opt in’ to one where people are given the choice to participate, instead of simply offering some opaque way of opting out. Companies offer opt out because they know most people won’t go through the trouble of changing whatever the default setting is, meaning people stay in whether they really want to or not.

Every tech company handling sensitive data should do exactly this. Don’t just let people opt out, or delete their history, or make a request to no longer be recorded. Make the default position the thing that’s best for the user, even if it makes your job a little harder.

Then, make your case for why your practice is worth it to the customer, and let them decide to participate or not.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

At its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off iOS 13, which will be coming to iPhones this fall. Some of the new features include a dark mode, an overhaul for Maps, and the ability to swipe to type. Here are the best features Apple showed off. The event took place at the San Jose Convention Center, not Cupertino as mentioned in the video. Tech Insider regrets the error. MORE IPHONE CONTENT: 23 iPhone Tricks To Make Your Life Easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U52mI… $479 Pixel 3a XL VS. $1,099 iPhone XS Max https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddAY… Lifelong iPhone User Switches To The Galaxy S10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3wb… —————————————————— #Apple #iPhone #TechInsider Tech Insider tells you all you need to know about tech: gadgets, how-to’s, gaming, science, digital culture, and more. Visit us at: https://www.businessinsider.com TI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider TI on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tech_insider/ TI on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techinsider TI on Amazon Prime: http://read.bi/PrimeVideo INSIDER on Snapchat: https://insder.co/2KJLtVo The Best Features Apple Just Announced Coming To The iPhone

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Apple Is Spending Billions on Its Upcoming TV Service. It Could Be a Costly Mistake

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We already knew Apple is joining the crowded TV streaming business, but thanks to a report from Bloomberg we now know the company is preparing to launch it’s Apple TV+ service in November. That coincides with Disney’s upcoming streaming service
launch announced to appear on November 12.

Certainly, Apple can afford to spend the money. With more than $100 billion in cash on hand, the company has plenty of resources to pour into building out a content library. The bigger question is, however, is it worth it?

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Apple is spending $6 billion on original content, including The Morning Show, a drama produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Whitherspoon, which reportedly costs more to produce per episode than Game of Thrones.

 

Apple is entering tricky waters. Netflix became the dominant leader in video streaming mostly because it had a robust library of familiar shows and films that viewers cared enough about to pay $10 a month for. That lead has eroded as content creators like HBO, Disney, and NBC Universal enter the game with their own services in order to monetize their content by cutting out the proverbial middle man.

 

For example, Netflix is losing its top two shows — The Office and Friends — in the next year, which has forced it to double-down on creating original content. Despite those efforts, and the fact that it still has a huge collection of popular shows and movies, the company saw it’s U.S. subscribers decrease for the first time last quarter.

Which brings us back to Apple. The company has remained tight-lipped about what specific content users can expect but has indicated that The Morning Show will be a launch feature.

Of course, if the primary library will be original content, that could be a hard sell for users, especially as they become tapped out by the number of subscriptions available to different video services.

Apple has bet big on its services division to drive a large part of its future growth. In addition to Apple TV+, the company is counting on its paid News+, App Store, Music, and Arcade game subscription services. Those drive recurring revenue each month, and it’s conceivable that it won’t be long before the company offers a subscription bundle that includes all of these services.

 

Still, in order for any of them to succeed, users have to care enough about the content to plunk down money every month. Apple Music benefits from the largest library of music, as well as many exclusive releases. iOS is one of the largest gaming platforms in the world, so it’s not hard to see why it will attract subscribers.

But, with the TV+ service, the bottom-line question is this: will customers pay $9.99 a month for largely unknown shows? If so, Apple could easily become a leader in both content creation and delivery. If not, the company could be looking at a very expensive lesson in the economics of media production.

 

I suspect that because it’s Apple, the content will be top-notch enough for people to sign up. I also suspect that because it’s Apple, people will sign up. But the challenge Apple faces isn’t that different from those you do — though it’s probably on a slightly larger scale.

 

That challenge is that every time you leverage your brand to launch something new, there’s not only a risk, but a cost. For Apple that cost is $6 billion. The company can’t afford to get this wrong at that — or any price.

Neither can you.

 

By : Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

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Apple Accidentally Reveals Stunning Apple Watch Series 5 Upgrade

Apple Watch Series 5 is almost certainly going to be unveiled next month alongside the new range of iPhones. It looks highly likely that Tuesday, September 10 will be the big day.

An Apple Watch in titanium or ceramic finish? Oh, yes please.

An Apple Watch in titanium or ceramic finish? Oh, yes please. And a new leak has just confirmed that the smartwatch will be available in different finishes from the current range.

I say confirmed because the leak comes from an unimpeachably good source: Apple.

In an exclusive report by iHelp BR, Filipe Esposito has spotted something very interesting in the watchOS 6 operating system developers’ beta.

It was Esposito, by the way, who spotted the date of September 10 in Apple beta software, too, effectively confirming when the keynote will be.

Here, though, the information comes from an animation which appears when you set up an Apple Watch. If you’ve ever done this, you’ll know that it’s a pretty cool procedure. As you start the pairing, a circular pattern starts fizzing on the Watch screen, like a planet coming into existence or something like that, or am I being too poetic?

When your iPhone recognizes it’s looking at a Watch, the screen resolves into an elegant fret worked pattern with an Apple logo and descriptive writing specifying the size of the Watch and the metal in the case.

Now, it seems that hidden in the watch OS 6 software are animations which resolve themselves with details never seen before.

First of all, there’s a return of a ceramic case for the Apple Watch. How do we know this isn’t just left over from an earlier version of the Watch, you may ask?

After all, although there was no Series 4 ceramic watch, there was an Apple Watch Series 2 model in white ceramic, and Series 3 had white and grey ceramic options, all of which looked spectacular, by the way.

Well, we know this is all-new because it gives the size of the case as 44mm and 40mm, neither of which were the sizes of the previous ceramic models (which were 42mm and 38mm).

This is pretty intriguing news, and there’s more.

As well as an animation announcing the return of ceramic is another which presages a whole new metal finish: titanium.

Well, the new Apple Card is made of titanium so maybe Apple feels it should make a Watch to match.

What’s not clear is whether titanium will replace the stainless steel Watch or sit alongside it in the range.

Esposito advises caution, however, in assuming that these new Watches will be for Apple Watch Series 5. After all, the assets are found in the operating system which will run on Series 4 Apple Watch, so could these new versions be for a new look that will appear on current Series 4 timepieces?

I see the logic of this, but it just doesn’t feel quite right to me. Apple has never refreshed an existing Apple Watch in a new metallic livery, but has always saved its new designs exclusively for its latest models.

And I find it unlikely that Apple would want to create a Watch with a new outside and not refresh the insides as well. It’s true that the company has in the past added an extra color to the iPhone, specifically PRODUCT(RED), but never this late in the annual cycle, so I find it doubtful that that’s what’s happening here.

My guess is that we’ve just had a glimpse of what the next Apple Watch is going to be made of. Of course, exactly what it will look like is still to be revealed, but this is a juicy piece of information which promises something exciting is about to be unveiled.

Not long now…

Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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Follow me on Twitter.

I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am always struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to regular repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology. Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009.

Source: Apple Accidentally Reveals Stunning Apple Watch Series 5 Upgrade

 

Apple Just Dealt A Major Blow To Facebook With This New IOS Feature

IPhone maker Apple has just announced a new feature in its upcoming iOS 13 that could pose major issues for messaging and calling apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. In the interest of privacy, Apple’s updated version of its operating system will not let apps run voice over internet protocol (VoIP) in the background when programs are not actively in use, according to news site The Information.

And many apps offering these sorts of services do run in the background so, they claim, they can connect calls quickly. But this also means the apps can collect information on what people are doing on their devices.

Because it will no longer allow apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp to do this on devices such as iPhones and iPads, the move will mark a major change in how they are run. In fact, they will need to be rewritten in order to comply with Apple’s new rules by the time iOS 13 comes out this September.

App developers have until April 2020 to comply with the new rules. Facebook told The Information that it was in talks on how it would proceed following the change.

Apple has been focusing on user privacy as it looks to differentiate itself from rivals such as Google and Facebook. This saw it run a billboard advert earlier this year which read: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

However, it also came under fire last month after it emerged that Apple contractors were listening in to Siri calls.

Apple’s iOS 13: A serious privacy improvement 

IOS 13 reflects Apple’s increasing focus on user privacy. It features one-time location sharing, while the “Sign in with Apple” feature has been praised by many–although it was also criticized by one organization.

The latest change marks another blow in an ongoing rivalry between Apple and Facebook. In January, Apple removed Facebook’s certificate for its Enterprise Developer Program after it was found to be distributing apps that monitored people’s activity.

Ethical hacker John Opdenakker says because users will be able to see when an app is running, it will be “a serious privacy improvement.”

Independent security researcher Sean Wright agrees. “It’s encouraging to see some companies at least focus on their users’ privacy.

“Hopefully this change will also apply pressure on companies who have previously not paid much attention to user privacy, getting them to now start doing so. I’m hoping that Google takes heed and does something similar on Android.”

Given that Apple is a pioneer in the industry, cybersecurity expert at ESET Jake Moore says the move “makes it far easier to roll out these security and privacy changes in other companies.”

It’s true that Apple is often a first mover in the technology space. Let’s hope other companies will follow suit to help users take greater control of their security and privacy.

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m a freelance cybersecurity journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting on the issues impacting users, businesses and the public sector. My interests within cybersecurity include critical national infrastructure, cyber warfare, application security and data misuse. I’m a keen advocate for women in security and strive to raise awareness of the gender imbalance through my writing.

Source: Apple Just Dealt A Major Blow To Facebook With This New IOS Feature

Apple Confirms $1 Million Reward For Anyone Who Can Hack An iPhone

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Apple has massively increased the amount it’s offering hackers for finding vulnerabilities in iPhones and Macs, up to $1 million. It’s by far the highest bug bounty on offer from any major tech company.

That’s up from $200,000, and in the fall the program will be open to all researchers. Previously only those on the company’s invite-only bug bounty program were eligible to receive rewards.

As Forbes reported on Monday, Apple is also launching a Mac bug bounty, which was confirmed Thursday, but it’s also extending it to watchOS and its Apple TV operating system. The announcements came in Las Vegas at the Black Hat conference, where Apple’s head of security engineering Ivan Krstić gave a talk on iOS and macOS security.

Forbes also revealed on Monday that Apple was to give bug bounty participants “developer devices”—iPhones that let hackers dive further into iOS. They can, for instance, pause the processor to look at what’s happening with data in memory. Krstić confirmed the iOS Security Research Device program would be by application only. It will arrive next year.

$1 million for an iPhone hack

The full $1 million will go to researchers who can find a hack of the kernel—the core of iOS—with zero clicks required by the iPhone owner. Another $500,000 will be given to those who can find a “network attack requiring no user interaction.” There’s also a 50% bonus for hackers who can find weaknesses in software before it’s released.

Apple is increasing those rewards in the face of an increasingly profitable private market where hackers sell the same information to governments for vast sums.

As Maor Shwartz told Forbes, the cost of a single exploit (a program that uses vulnerabilities typically to take control of a computer or phone) can fetch as much as $1.5 millon. An exploit targeting WhatsApp where no clicks are required from the user, for instance, can be sold to a government agency for that much, though such tools are rare. Only one or two a year will be sold, from a pool of around 400 researchers who focus on such high-end hacking. “It’s really hard to research them and produce a working exploit,” he said.

Previously, a company called Zerodium was vocal about how much it will pay researchers before handing them to its unknown government customers. In January, the secretive company announced it was offering $2 million for a remote hack of an iPhone.

Krstić said the bug bounty had been a success to date, with 50 serious bugs reported since the 2016 launch.

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I cover security and privacy for Forbes. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com

Apple Confirms Striking New iPads Due This Fall

The current iPad range, the most comprehensive yet. So, what's coming next?

Apple’s next iPads are coming and the company may be about to break with its current pattern of releasing an updated entry-level iPad in the spring (though not every year) and a Pro or two in the fall. New evidence spotted by MySmartPrice suggests that there may be as many as seven different variants later this year, including a new entry-level tablet with a whole new design.

How do we know this?

The Eurasian Economic Commission is the place that Apple leaked the information. Of course, Apple really doesn’t care to leak anything but for regulatory reasons it has to place details with the commission some months before a product can go on sale in the five countries it works across: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

No surprise that the company reveals not one scintilla more information than it absolutely has to. Earlier this month, Apple filed certification documents for five model numbers. These, if you like this kind of statistical completeness, were: A2068, A2197, A2198, A2228 and A2230.

In the last few hours, there have been two more certifications, A2200 and A2232.

Apple iPad as released in Spring 2018. Is it about to get a radical makeover?

Apple iPad as released in Spring 2018. Is it about to get a radical makeover?

Apple

How do we know they’re iPads?

Well, there’s a little more information in the filing. The latest ones have a line which states:

Product Name Full Tablet computers of the trademark ‘Apple’ models A2200, A2232 (iPad OS software version 13)

That’s pretty clear, right?

So what are these seven iPads?

It’s likely that there will be refreshes of the two iPad Pro models released last October, in the same screen sizes of 11in and 12.9in. These may be the five numbers discovered earlier in the month.

Apple iPad Pro, as released last October.

Apple iPad Pro, as released last October.

Apple

What, five new iPad Pros?

Unlikely. There will probably be two codes for 11in models, one for wi-fi, one for wi-fi plus cellular. Another two for the 12.9in model. Since the commission works across multiple territories it may be that different code numbers are needed for different regions, though exactly what the fifth code is for isn’t clear.

The current Apple iPad Air with Smart Keyboard.

The current Apple iPad Air with Smart Keyboard.

Apple

So what’s the radically different iPad?

Glad you asked. In Spring 2018, Apple refreshed its entry-level iPad, bringing Pencil compatibility to the most affordable tablet in the range. But there was no design change and no compatibility with the Apple smart keyboard.

That iPad remains phenomenal value but it’s true that the design is beginning to look a little dated.

This year was the turn for the next level up of iPad to appear, the new iPad Air, based on the design of the earlier iPad Pro 10.5, complete with keyboard compatibility as well as Pencil functionality. An updated iPad mini also appeared.

Since it’s been well over a year since the basic iPad has been updated, and since the design is ageing, this would be the perfect time to completely redesign the lowest-priced iPad.

The latest iPad mini, released in Spring 2019.

The latest iPad mini, released in Spring 2019.

Apple

A new design, then?

In fact, it would arguably be the first major design shift since the original iPad Air, released back in late 2013, on which the current chassis is based.

The rumors that have been doing the rounds for some months now are that the next iPad will be the very first time an entry-level tablet will have a display size that’s anything other than 9.7in.

Apparently, the next iPad will come with a 10.2in display. In other words, not quite as big as the current iPad Air, but noticeably bigger than any entry-level tablet the company has made before.

What does it look like?

There are no leaked images for us to look at but I believe the next iPad will be very similar in size to the last model but with narrower bezels, especially at the top and bottom.

I believe it will still use Touch ID, rather than the Face ID on the current iPad Pro models.

Still, a bigger screen on a tablet likely to be the same weight or lighter, and the same size or smaller when compared to the iPad now, is intriguing.

The current Apple iPad Air with its 10.5in screen, plus Smart Keyboard.

The current Apple iPad Air with its 10.5in screen, plus Smart Keyboard.

Apple

How do you know it won’t be a 10.5in screen?

Well, I don’t except that’s the size of the screen for the current iPad Air and it the new entry-level device has the same size display as the significantly pricier Air, then that’s the end of one big reason to choose the iPad Air. It’s possible, of course, but I don’t think so.

When will it go on sale and how much?

The usual order for things is that a new iPhone or three will be revealed in September and any tablet will pop up at a separate launch event either later in September or, more likely, October.

Apple has traditionally priced its entry-level tablet very keenly – it’s currently $329 (£319 in the U.K.) and I don’t expect this will change.

As more details emerge I’ll be updating this feature, so please check back, here at Forbes.

__________

Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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Follow me on Twitter.

I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am always struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to regular repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology. Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009.

Source: Apple Confirms Striking New iPads Due This Fall

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Apple Suddenly Abandons Massive iPhone Upgrade

I’ve long argued that upgrading to the iPhone 11 will be an expensive mistake, and now major voices are echoing that position. Furthermore, it is not only the evidence against the iPhone 11 which makes this compelling, the bigger news is something far more radical will follow it.

iPhone 2020 concept render based on leaks

iPhone 2020 concept render based on leaks

In a new exclusive, major Taiwanese website DigiTimes reveals Apple has decided not to include potentially game-changing new ToF 3D camera technology in the iPhone 11 and save it for the (radically redesigned) 2020 iPhone instead. And the repercussions of this are significant.

Apple partner Sony has already detailed the technology, saying it has the potential to 3D map anything up to 5 metres (16 feet) away. By comparison, Apple’s current 3D mapping technology in Face ID works only up to 50 centimetres (19-inches) away. The added range opens the door to near-instant camera focus (even in low light), advanced AR and VR environments and even advanced gesture tracking where a user’s hands can manipulate a gaming environment, fight and cast spells.

“Cameras revolutionized phones and, based on what I’ve seen, I have the same expectation for 3D [cameras],” said Satoshi Yoshihara, head of Sony’s sensor division, previously speaking with Bloomberg.

Sony's 3D Camera technology maps objects up to 5 metres away, but Apple has pulled it from the iPhone 11

Sony’s 3D Camera technology maps objects up to 5 metres away, but Apple has pulled it from the iPhone 11

But perhaps the biggest shock is why the iPhone 11 misses out on this technology. It isn’t due to production delays, Sony already confirmed its summer arrival. Instead, Apple reportedly passed because the iPhone 11 misses out on too many features to make its inclusion worthwhile. Something which may explain why Apple pulled other camera feature from the iPhone 11 recently.

Moreover, this new mapping technology is what will unlock the next iPhone redesign. While the iPhone 11 will again look almost identical to the iPhone X, the 2020 iPhone will have a much smaller notch as the new sensor will dramatically shrink the Face ID sensor array. In fact, one report believes the notch may disappear completely next year as a result.

So yes, the 2020 iPhone is going to be a massive generational upgrade and it will follow one of the most underwhelming. So while Apple’s inevitably slick iPhone 11 promotions may tug at your heartstrings later this year, remember it is your head you need to listen to. Your patience will be rewarded.

___

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I am an experienced freelance technology journalist. I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC in addition to Forbes.

Source: Apple Suddenly Abandons Massive iPhone Upgrade

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Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names

Everyone’s seen them: friends posting pictures of themselves now, and years in the future.

Viral app FaceApp has been giving people the power to change their facial expressions, looks, and now age for several years. But at the same time, people have been giving FaceApp the power to use their pictures — and names — for any purpose it wishes, for as long as it desires.

And we thought we learned a lesson from Cambridge Analytica.

More than 100,000 million people have downloaded the app from Google Play. And FaceApp is now the top-ranked app on the iOS App Store in 121 countries, according to App Annie.

While according to FaceApp’s terms of service people still own their own “user content” (read: face), the company owns a never-ending and irrevocable royalty-free license to do anything they want with it … in front of whoever they wish:

You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

FaceApp terms of use

That may not be dangerous and your likeness may stay on Amazon servers in America, as Forbes has determined, but they still own a license to do whatever they want with it. That doesn’t mean the app’s Russian parent company, Wireless Labs, will offer your face to the FSB, but it does have consequences, as PhoneArena’s Peter Kostadinov says:

You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.

Peter Kostadinov 

Whether that matters to you or not is your decision.

But what we have learned in the past few years about viral Facebook apps is that the data they collect is not always used for the purposes that we might assume. And, that the data collected is not always stored securely, safely, privately.

Once something is uploaded to the cloud, you’ve lost control whether or not you’ve given away legal license to your content. That’s one reason why privacy-sensitive Apple is doing most of its AI work on-device.

And it’s a good reason to be wary when any app wants access and a license to your digital content and/or identity.

As former Rackspace manager Rob La Gesse mentioned today:

To make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Search …. Oh, and it has access to refreshing in the background – so even when you are not using it, it is using you.

Rob La Gesse

The app doesn’t have to be doing anything nefarious today to make you cautious about giving it that much access to your most personal computing device.

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I forecast and analyze trends affecting the mobile ecosystem. I’ve been a journalist, analyst, and corporate executive, and have chronicled the rise of the mobile econom

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This $69 Dongle Could Fix Apple’s AirPower And I/O Problems

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A product shot of the Miizer Hub simultaneously charging the iPhone X and the Apple Watch.

Apple’s hardware has been generating as much negative press as positive in the past few months. While the Apple Watch’s electrocardiogram feature—which recently launched in Hong Kong—is deservedly praised, the Wall Street Journal wrote a scathing, and amusing, takedown of the MacBook laptops’ terrible keyboards, for which Apple was forced to issue an apology.

Being the largest and most influential tech brand in the world will invite more scrutiny than usual, I suppose, but the recent abrupt cancellation of the long-announced AirPower wireless charging mat is a major black mark for a company that prides itself on innovation.

Personally speaking, I never cared much for the AirPower charging mat, whose only benefit over regular wireless charging pads is that it can top up the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously. And though I, too, find the MacBook Pro’s keyboards frustrating to use, my bigger gripe with Apple’s laptops is the lack of ports other than USB-C, which forces every user into something the tech industry have dubbed “dongle hell.”

I edit a lot of videos for work, and every time I need to transfer video files from a memory card to a MacBook, I need to plug in a card reader dongle. And if I want to pair a mouse with the MacBook? I’ll need a dongle for that, too, because most mice on the market have not made the switch to USB-C. Then, when I want to back up my videos to an external hard drive, guess what? Yes, another dongle.

A Shenzhen startup named Miizer is hoping to alleviate that problem to some degree with its all-in-one dongle, simply named the Hub. Not only does it offer virtually all the I/O connectivity one would need for personal computing, it also doubles as a wireless charging base that can charge smartphones and the Apple Watch at the same time.

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The Hub has two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports.

It still can’t charge the AirPods, but other than that, the Miizer Hub does the same thing as the failed AirPower.

I recently tested a pre-production unit of the dongle, and found that it works as advertised. It’s worth noting that the entire gadget is a bit chunkier than usual dongles, shaped almost like the original iPhone but double in thickness.

But that extra bulk is put to good use because the Miizer Hub offers more ports and features than any dongle I’ve seen before. In terms of ports, it has two USB-C ports that handles power and data transfer, two traditional USB-A ports, slots for Micro SD and standard SD memory cards, an ethernet port; and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The dongle is mostly made of plastic, except for the glass top plate off which devices will charge wirelessly. The Miizer Hub can also recharge devices the traditional way via an interchangeable charging head.

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The interchangeable charging head connects via pogo pins, but the different heads (lightning, USB-C, Micro-USB) are sold separately.

Ben Sin

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The Hub can output to 4K monitors.

From my testing, all the ports worked well. I was able to transfer 4K video files from a MicroSD card to my laptop at peak speed, and the HDMI port can output to external monitors at 4K resolution at 30Hz.

As a wireless charging station, I find the overall canvas a bit small to charge even one phone, let alone a phone and the Apple Watch, but with some juggling, it is possible. Ultimately, I would much rather just top up my phones with a wired cable as the wireless charging speed, at 10W, is a bit slow and my phone kept slipping off the Miizer Hub’s small surface. Topping up the Apple Watch is no problem, however, as the small battery negates the need for faster speeds and the Watch itself is small enough to sit comfortably on the Hub.

This dongle is best used for laptops lacking in crucial ports, most notably the MacBooks, but will work with any USB-C device. For example, when plugged into a recent Huawei smartphone, it does activate Huawei’s desktop mode. This means that if I also plug in an HDMI cable to a TV or an external monitor, I can use a Huawei device as a desktop computer. Though I’d also need an external keyboard and a mouse, which makes the entire set-up more clunky than just using a laptop.

Still, the Miizer Hub, which has been successfully backed on Indiegogo and selling at $69 a piece, does offer a solution for those suffering from Apple’s dongle and cancelled AirPower problems.

 

I’ve started a YouTube channel in an effort to provide multi-media coverage of gadgets I come across. If you’re interested, please subscribe.

I’m a Chinese-American journalist in Hong Kong, covering consumer tech in Asia. Before focusing on this exciting beat, I was a general culture writer and editor with byl…

Source: This $69 Dongle Could Fix Apple’s AirPower And I/O Problems

Why Apple Is Finally Ditching Its Proprietary Lightning Connector For USB-C On All iPhones, iPads – Jean Baptiste Su

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At the company’s “More in the Making” event on Tuesday, Apple’s vice-president of hardware engineering John Ternus revealed that the new iPad Pro will have a USB-C port – already present on the latest MacBooks – instead of the company’s proprietary Lightning connector. “Because a high performance computer deserves a high performance connector. And so in these new iPad Pros, we’re moving to USB-C,” said Ternus. “This brings a whole new set of capabilities to the iPad Pro like connecting to accessories that change how you use your iPad, cameras, musical instruments, or even docks. Or connecting to high-resolution external displays up to 5K………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2018/10/31/why-apple-is-finally-ditching-its-proprietary-lightning-connector-for-usb-c-on-all-iphones-ipads/#409f327a434c

 

 

 

 

 

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