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  1. MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS is a piece of iOS data recovery software. This tool supports recovering lost data, like photos, messages/imessages, contacts, call history, notes and etc files from iPhone (or other iOS devices), iTunes and iCloud backup. MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS has three recovery modules: “Recover from iOS Device”, “Recover from iTunes Backup File” and “Recover from iCloud Backup File”. You can choose a proper module according to the actual situation to recover the lost data.MiniTool iOS Data Recovery provides free iPhone data recovery service. No matter your files were lost due to accidental deletion, iOS upgrade failure, factory resettings or white apple, etc.. MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS will find and fully restore all files. LINK
  2. Sticky Password Premium - 1 Year[365 Days] Promo by Comss.ru Overview: Sticky Password Premium is a password Manager that allows you to store your credentials locally or in the cloud, synchronizing them with computers Windows, Mac, Android devices, iPhone and iPad, ensuring that you can create secure passwords and automatically enter them, wherever you are. Sticky Password Premium for Windows can automatically log on to websites and apps, to import data from browsers and other password managers will automatically recognize and store the type of the created web account, create a password and has a dashboard showing all the weak passwords, so the user know where we need to strengthen security. Features: Award-winning password Manager Automatic login and form filling High data security: AES‑256 Support for all platforms Windows, Mac, Android and iOS Cloud sync and backup copy, the local sync via Wi-Fi Annual subscription license with priority support More Info: Product Homepage, Detailed Features, Security, Edition Comparision Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS X, Android 2.3+ and iOS 7.0+. Links: Offer: https://www.stickypassword.com/ru/comss-giveaway Optional Offer: 90% Off on Lifetime Premium License. To avail, visit the offer page and click on the link named "предложение ограничено" below the "Скачайте БЕСПЛАТНО" or "Download now for FREE" button. To change the language, choose from top of the page. Note: Limited Period Offer. Expires by 28 February 2017. Current Status: Open. Terms: The offer is valid for new users Sticky Password and is available until February 28, 2017. You'll receive an annual license for 1 user for home use only. The license can be used for all your devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. You'll receive free updates and technical support during the term of the license. Steps: Visit the above promotional page(Russian) or English(Translated) Click the "Скачайте БЕСПЛАТНО" or "Download now for FREE". Optionally you can use the below link from "Downloads". During installation, login/create an account. Just install the software to activate a yearly subscription. Activation will occur automatically. You will then be able to install the application on the mobile device, using the created account. Downloads: Windows - Giveaway Installer - Size: 29.7 MB: http://download.stickypassword.com/files/campaign/StickyPassword_rev801054_comss1073.exe Mac - Giveaway Installer - Size: 7.6 MB: http://download.stickypassword.com/files/campaign/StickyPassword_rev984_comss1073.dmg Other Downloads: Android App iOS App Note: You need to install either Win / Mac giveaway installer and then use the apps to activate on other devices.
  3. How To Use Facebook Messenger Without A Facebook Account You Can Now Use Facebook Messenger Without A Facebook Account, Know How With over one billion users worldwide, Facebook Messenger is now one of the biggest messaging platforms worldwide. In order to have a Facebook Messenger app on your device, you need to have an active Facebook account. However, there are a lot of reasons that many people may not want to use Facebook but only the Messenger app. For instance, Facebook staples like pyramid schemes, political debates, and pointless status updates can fill some users with rage and using such a social media site is a big no-no for them. Similarly, there are users who are not interested in keeping up with friends online and rather catch up over a cup of coffee or on the phone instead of through liking each other’s perfect social media posts. But, what about those people who want to keep in touch with certain people who are not on any other platform except for Facebook Messenger. In such a scenario, is it possible to use Facebook Messenger app without having an active Facebook account? Yes, it is. You can stay in touch with your friends via Facebook Messenger, by following the steps below: Open Facebook’s deactivate account page. Ignore the photos of the people who will apparently miss you and scroll to the bottom. The last option says you can continue using Facebook Messenger even if you deactivate your account. Make sure this is not checked and just leave it as is. Scroll down and hit Deactivate. Now, your Facebook account will be deactivated. All your Facebook data will be safe until you are ready to log in again. Go ahead and open the Messenger app using your old Facebook credentials on your smartphone or log in via the website on your PC. You will notice that you can continue chatting with all your friends without losing any of your data. Please note that your deactivated Facebook account doesn’t get reactivated, if you are using Messenger. Your friends will only be able to contact you via the chat window in Facebook or the Messenger app. If you want to use Messenger and don’t have a Facebook account, then follow the instructions mentioned below: Download Facebook Messenger on iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. Open the app and enter your phone number. Tap Continue. You will get a code via SMS to confirm your number. Once you have done that you can key in phone numbers of your friends and start messaging them. Source
  4. How to Opt Out of iOS Beta Updates and Reinstall iOS 10.2.1 on Your iPhone/iPad The tutorial also applies to iPod touch devices iOS 10.2.1 is the first point release to the iOS 10.2 series. It received a total of four Beta/Public Beta versions during its entire development cycle since mid-December last year. The last one was seeded only ten days ago. Like many of us running the iOS 10.2.1 Public Beta 4 release, it turns out you'll not receive the final version of iOS 10.2.1, which some will say it's identical with the last Beta, but what if your device is not working properly and you are still experiencing bugs. For example, we found out that, since we've installed the last Public Beta versions of iOS 10.2.1 on our iPhone 6 device, some applications were very slow to load and not so responsive like they used to be. Also, we noticed major battery drains. Removing the iOS Public Beta profile If you're experiencing the same issues on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device, it's time to refresh it by reinstalling the operating system. First off, make sure that you have a recent iCloud backup, or at least a local backup in iTunes. It's time to remove the Public Beta profile (you can always reinstall it at a later time if you still want to use upcoming Beta versions), so open the Settings app, go to General, scroll down to the Profile section and click it. Then, remove the iOS Beta profile by pressing the red "Delete Profile" button. Restoring the device and reinstalling iOS Connect your device to your personal computer, where the latest version of iTunes needs to be installed (make sure you have the latest version installed, 12.5.5 at the moment of writing). With the device connected to your PC, enter DFU mode. Entering DFU Mode is as simple as pressing and holding both the Power and Home buttons on your device until you see the Apple logo on the screen. Release the Power button but keep holding the Home one until the "Connect to iTunes" logo appears. iTunes will soon offer you the option to "Restore and Update" the device. Click the "Restore and Update" button and the application will tell you that iOS 10.2.1 is available. Click OK and let it download the update. Once iTunes completes downloading iOS 10.2.1 from Apple's servers, it will soon begin installing it on your device. You don't have to do anything at this point, just don't touch anything and make sure your computer has enough battery or that it's plugged in. Reset and erase the device to restore it from a backup Just before iOS 10.2.1 finishes installing, iTunes will display a message saying "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked. To set up and sync this iPhone, click Continue." Click the "Continue" button and iTunes will immediately detect your device. At this point, you need to set up your device by pressing the Home button. Choose your preferred language and region. On the next screen, you'll have to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Then, enable the location services, or simply don't. It doesn't matter, because we're going to reset and erase the device anyway, so there's no need to set up Touch ID now. When you reach the home screen, open the Settings app, go to the Reset section and press on "Erase All Content and Settings." Erase your device, which will bring you to the setup screen again. So, this time, make sure that you set up everything correctly, including Touch ID, location services, etc., and, after entering your Apple ID, you can finally choose to restore from a backup. Select the restore method you want (we prefer the iCloud backup) and let your device restore the backup, which can take a few good minutes. Once everything is restored, you can unlock your device and access the home screen. Most of the apps will continue to download and install in the background, so you'll have to wait a little longer for everthing to be exactly like it was before you've started all this. Congratulations, you refreshed your device and have the final iOS 10.2.1 installed, too. Source
  5. Windscribe VPN 1.61 Build 9 Stable Internet As It Should Be Windscribe is a desktop application and browser extension that work together to block ads and trackers, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online. Learn More. What's New: https://blog.windscribe.com/windscribe-1-61-changelog-bc07800beb5b#.3mn4dhu3l Changelog: Added ability to select connection port Added LAN proxy support Added speed ratings Added ability to add openvpn params externally Added using custom DNS while disconnected to prevent DNS poisoning Added custom API resolution field to combat advanced DNS poisoning Added “Best Location” to the location list Added connection testing after tunnel initiation Added tooltip for “no p2p” icon Fixed crashing in macOS Sierra Fixed LAN traffic bypass to work with UPnP devices Fixed debug log sender Fixed backup API usage logic Fixed CPU and energy usage Fixed multiple accounts info message Fixed multi-monitor menu placement in macOS Fixed Windows taskbar icon in collapsed mode Enable Base Filtering Engine if its disabled in Windows 7 Changed openvpn config location to a permanent one Changed server list scrollbar to be more visible Changed XPC to sockets in macOS Changed TAP adapter metric on Windows 10 Various stability fixes Downloads: Windscribe for Your Computer: Windscribe for Your Browser: Windscribe for Your Phone: Windscribe for Your Router:
  6. PhoneClean 4 - Full Version - 1 Year[365 Days] Promo by iMobile Overview: Enjoy a cleaner, faster and better iPhone, in almost every way By bringing you the hands-free cleaning, in-depth privacy protection, ultimate speed-up and an array of innovative iOS maintaining features, PhoneClean 4 comes to elevate your iPhone, iPad experience, even at a whole new scale. More Info: Product Homepage Links: Offer: https://www.imobie.de/promotion/2016-weihnachtsgiveaway.htm Note: Limited Period Offer. Page in German. Translated Page here. Current Status: Open. Steps: Visit the offer page link above. Enter name and email in the required fields. Click on "Gratis holen " or "Free get" Check email for license key. Downloads: https://dl.imobie.com/phoneclean-setup.exe More Advent Kalender Giveaways:
  7. EaseUS MobiSaver iOS Pro - Full Version - Single License Promo by EaseUS Links: Offer: EaseUS Adventskalender - Day 5/6. The Advent Calendar can be located from below nsane thread. Shared Key: Note: Limited Period Offer. Offer Period: 24 hours. Visit the link on specified time to grab your key. Current Status - Open. Please activate the program as soon as possible until the end of December 2016. If you have a problem, you can contact us at [email protected] Downloads: http://download.easeus.com/trial/ems_trial.exe More Advent Kalender Giveaways:
  8. Cross-platform development has presented a major challenge for most independent developers for many years. Quite often, it’s simply too much of an time and resource investment to learn a new programming language in order to port your app over to another platform. For years, this fact of resource allocation is what has pushed many developers to primarily focus their efforts on iOS, due to the more lucrative market. Thanks to projects such as Xamarin, however, developers who are familiar with C# have been able to push their projects across iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. But Android developers are most familiar with writing in Java, so using Xamarin would require a developer to familiarize themselves with a new language and build platform. We’ve covered one project aimed at bridging the gap between mobile operating systems by providing a cross-development platform for Java developers – Intel’s Multi-OS Engine – but there’s no telling where that project is headed. That’s where MechDome comes in. MechDome is a start-up company based in California and incorporated in January that has developed a conversion tool to automatically create native iOS and OS X apps from your Android app. No need to learn how to use a new IDE or API. All you need to do is send an APK file to MechDome (no need to send them your source code), and the fully automated tool will compile a standalone binary in seconds for iOS and OS X that the developer can then distribute on Apple’s App Store. We sat down in an interview with MechDome’s founder and CEO, Mario Kosmiskas, to see a demonstration of the tool in action – and it works. Although there are some limitations due to fundamental differences between how iOS and Android operate (which we’ll discuss below), the tool has already produced a few live apps on the Apple App Store such as the open-source Reddit client RedReader and an open-source Sudoku client to prove it works. MechDome’s biggest promise is that the converted Android app will function in a manner that users of the target OS will be familiar with. For instance, the Android share menu will be replaced with the native share sheet in iOS, and will include the ability to use AirDrop if applicable. Apps that post notifications in Android will instead display a notification in iOS’s Notification Center. Certain intents such as opening a camera on Android will indeed open the camera on the iOS device, and URL intents on Android will call Safari on iOS. Content providers on Android that access contacts or the calendar will instead access the relevant iOS or OS X databases for this information. In general though, all hardware functionality required for the use of an Android app will be mapped directly to use the relevant hardware in iOS. Software functions, though, can be split into 3 distinct categories: 1) functionality that doesn’t exist on iOS (such as the toast message) will be implemented directly, 2) functionality that exists on both iOS and Android are replaced with the relevant iOS method, and 3) functionality that exists on iOS but not on Android (such as Apple’s 3D Touch library) cannot be converted but can be implemented through the use of a library. Most activities, views, services, toasts, and basic content providers should be convertible from Android to iOS, according to MechDome’s founder. But as mentioned previously, there are indeed some limitations to this tool that are imposed by the nature of how iOS works. One of the biggest challenges facing an Android developer looking to convert his or her app to iOS is how to handle a background service. iOS is much more stringent with when and what kinds of background services that third-party applications can run, for better or worse. Furthermore, the rich intent system present in Android that allows for inter-app communication is largely absent on iOS. Finally, the Google Play Services API is currently not supported, so any app relying on Google services will not function. Thus, developers will be mostly limited to functionality that is accessed directly by manual user input, which should not pose a significant problem for most games or apps. MechDome In Use In a private demo, the tool does indeed seem to function as advertised. Mr. Kosmiskas demonstrated compiling several fully functional Android apps into working iOS and OSX apps. Toast notifications, notifications in the Notification Center, webview, location access, text input, and general functionality of UI elements all worked in demo. The AOSP calculator running on iOS looked and functioned exactly as it does on any Android device. Android Apps on iOS with MechDome The stated goal of MechDome is to allow developers to convert an unmodified Android app into a native iOS or OS X app. Compared to technologies such as Intel’s Multi-OS Engine or Xamarin, an Android developer does not need to know how to bind an Objective-C library because the tool will handle that for you. Nor is there any need to use a UI builder to modify your Android app, as MechDome handles converting all Android UI elements. Yes, even Android tablet apps translate nicely into a format suitable for iPads. Updating an application and re-compiling it for iOS was also shown, and the process fairly simple. The developer, in this case Mr. Kosmiskas, demonstrated changing a text box to display “XDA-Developers” in Android Studio. He then exported the app, generated a signed APK, and compiled the iOS and OS X binaries in seconds from the MechDome server. When the iOS app was started using an emulator, the changes made in Android Studio were present. Currently, MechDome is undergoing a free public beta program. Developers can register their app on the MechDome website to receive an invite to test converting their Android app. No pricing information has yet been unveiled for the service, unfortunately. Still, it’s an interesting project to stay on the lookout for if you’re an Android developer looking to eventually make waves in Apple’s ecosystem without having to expend much effort of your own. Source
  9. Apple’s Newly Released iOS 10 Has Hardcore Porn Hiding In It (NSFW) iOS 10 has actual hardcore porn GIFs in iMessage You couldn’t have expected this from Apple. Its newly released iOS 10 operating system seems to be hiding real porn inside. iOS 10 has a new GIF search feature to help iPhone users post GIFs directly into iMessage. But somehow, hardcore porn seems to be baked into the same. If you type the word “butt” into iOS 10’s new, baked-in GIF search, it leads you to a certain My Little Pony in a fairly compromised position. The issue was first noticed by Deadspin who noted down in a blogpost. Deadspin says that Apple immediately fixed the butt search issue but the iOS 10 Porn problem persists. For example, if you type in “huge” into the new GIF feature, and you’ll find an unpixelated version of this: It seems that the Apple engineers have somehow baked in NSFW hardcore porn into iOS 10’s new messaging App. Another woman emailed The Verge explaining a similarly embarrassing situation. She said that her eight-year-old daughter while trying to send a message to her dad, was presented with “a very explicit image” of “a woman giving oral sex to a well-endowed male.” Her daughter had also searched for “huge”and got the image shown above. The lady, Tassie Bethany was contacted over the phone by Verge and she told them, “I see the image come up like, holy shit, whoa whoa whoa, that’s a hardcore porn image.” “I grabbed the phone from her immediately. She typed in the word ‘huge,’ which isn’t sexual in any nature. It’s just a word, not like butt or anything else,” she added. Apple has been particularly strict with sexual content up to now but it seems to have slipped up with the new GIF search built into iMessage in iOS 10. It’s quite usual for any search to throw up NSFW results if you search for words like “boobs” and “penis” and “butt, ” but it’s a real problem for porn to slip through for an otherwise normal term like “huge.” Other iOS 10 users have also reported seeing NSFW images but not something as explicit as the result for “huge.” Apple is still to respond to the iOS 10 porn search issue, however, it fixed the “butt” issue within 10 hours after Deadspin’s blogpost while searches for “huge” have already been banned. Bethany says her daughter is fine — “she had no idea” — but she’s concerned about the possibility of other kids being accidentally exposed to porn through what’s supposed to be a goofy feature. “My daughter uses it because there’s cartoons and fart jokes, that kind of stuff,” she told Verge. “That’s hardcore porn. People making out she might see on ABC. That’s something that could potentially be pretty traumatizing for a small child.” It looks like Apple has a big big porn problem in its hands. Source
  10. Opera VPN Launches For Android Opera Software released its free VPN application for Android today after making it available to iOS devices earlier this year. The company's journey as a VPN provider started with its acquisition of SurfEasy VPN. Opera Software promoted services of SurfEasy shortly thereafter in the Opera desktop browser, and launched a free browser proxy back in April 2016. The iOS application followed in May, and today saw the release of the Android application. Opera VPN for Android is a VPN client that is free to use. It is provided by SurfEasy, an Opera company. Tip: Check out the privacy policy and terms of use before you start using the service. Basically, what it states is that you may not use it to break the law or the rights of others, that the service may be limited, modified or discontinued at any time, and that you may be contacted for limited marketing purposes. Opera VPN for Android Installation of the application is straightforward. Since it is a VPN, you will receive a request to set up a VPN connection on the device. You must accept it or won't be able to use the service at all. The app displays a short introduction to the features that it makes available. Basically, it offers three features that you may activate from within the app: Connect to the VPN network. Opera VPN connects to the closest region automatically, but displays options to switch the region once connected. Regions that were available during the test were Canada, USA, Netherlands, Germany, and Singapore. Wi-Fi Security. You may use this feature to test the security of the wireless network your Android device is connected to. Opera VPN displays the name of the WLAN and its ID, and whether it is protected or not on the screen. The test performs additional look ups and awards a security score at the end (one when connected regularly, and one when connected to Opera VPN). Guardian. Guardian can be activated to block ad trackers when you are online. The connection speed was quite good during tests but mileage may vary based on the location you connect to the service, the region you connect to, load at that time and other factors. A quick test playing videos on YouTube and other services showed that playback was fluent and without buffering issues or other issues. Since it is a VPN app that runs in the background, all applications you use tunnel their traffic through it. Closing Words Opera VPN is a free VPN app for Android that does not look that different than other free VPN apps for Android. The inclusion of the WiFi security test -- with the foreseeable result that the connection is more secure when you use Opera VPN -- and the system-wide tracker blocker are nice to have features. If you trust Opera Software, there is little reason not to use the company's VPN applications as well. Paid solutions on the other hand offer better privacy, whereas other free solutions usually don't. Source
  11. Spyware Sold to Governments Behind Recent iOS Zero-Days Apple fixes three zero-days used by Pegasus spyware According to the two organizations, the zero-days were part of a software suite called Pegasus, developed and sold by Israeli company NSO Group to governments around the world, which deployed it against targets of interest. Pegasus, described as surveillance software developed for law enforcement agencies, is nothing different from spyware developed and sold on underground hacking forums. Governments, security vendors, and news agencies knew of Pegasus and NSO's existence for many years, but the company has always been outshined by its more powerful competitors, Gamma Group, which sells FinFisher, and HackingTeam which sells the RCS surveillance package. Apple patched zero-days that enabled Pegasus spying features Apple released a fix today to address Pegasus features that allowed it to spy on iOS users without them ever being aware. These features were powered by three zero-days that allowed a remote attacker to compromise iOS devices by fooling a victim into accessing a malicious website. Once the zero-day exploit code was executed, the attacker would use the Pegasus software to control the victim's iPhone or iPad. According to Lookout, the attackers had full control over the device, and could exfiltrate data, listen on conversations via the microphone, detect the user's GPS position, follow IM conversations, and many more others. Zero-Day Description Exploit Capability CVE-2016-4655 Information leak in Kernel – A kernel base mapping vulnerability that leaks information to the attacker allowing him to calculate the kernel’s location in memory. An application may be able to disclose kernel memory CVE-2016-4657 Kernel Memory corruption leads to Jailbreak – 32 and 64 bit iOS kernel-level vulnerabilities that allow the attacker to silently jailbreak the device and install surveillance software. An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges CVE-2016-4658 Memory Corruption in Webkit – A vulnerability in the Safari WebKit that allows the attacker to compromise the device when the user clicks on a link. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to arbitrary code execution "Pegasus is the most sophisticated attack we’ve seen on any endpoint because it takes advantage of how integrated mobile devices are in our lives and the combination of features only available on mobile," the Lookout team explained. A further, in-depth analysis of Pegasus also revealed traces of a kernel mapping table that has values that target previous iOS version, way back to iOS 7, meaning the spyware was used for years without being detected until this past month. Meet Ahmed Mansoor, the most spied on activist in the world One of the people targeted with Pegasus, and the one that detected something wrong and led to the discovery of the three zero-days, was Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Coincidentally, Mansoor was also targeted in the past with both FinFinsher and RCS spyware. As such, he was able to quickly recognize a phishing lure he received via SMS, which promised new details about torture practices in the UAE. Mansoor forwarded the SMS messages to Citizen Lab, an investigative interdisciplinary laboratory at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Canada, specialized in political cyber-espionage. Pegasus software also sold to Mexico and Kenya Recognizing the sophisticated campaign behind this SMS message, Citizen Lab brought in Lookout to investigate the technical side of the attack. Lookout discovered the three zero-days, while Citizen Lab connected the zero-days to the Pegasus software and the NSO Group, an Israeli company bought by US firm Francisco Partners in 2014. Citizen Lab tracked down the Pegasus software and discovered export licenses for various governments. The organization tied NSO's Pegasus suite used against a Mexican journalist who uncovered corruption by Mexico's President, and a few attacks against unknown targets in Kenya. "While these spyware tools are developed in democracies, they continue to be sold to countries with notorious records of abusive targeting of human rights defenders," the Citizen Lab team explains. "Such sales occur despite the existence of applicable export controls." Lookout provides a technical look at the three iOS zero-days fixed in iOS 9.3.5 in its report, while Citizen Lab's report focused on the morals and political background behind these recent attacks. Source
  12. Apple releases 'important security update' for iPhone after spyware discovery The patch comes after the discovery of spyware circulating in the Middle East. Apple has released a security fix for iPhones and iPads following the discovery of malware targeting the platform that was found circulating in the Middle East. The iPhone and iPad maker released the patch, iOS 9.3.5, on Thursday, calling it an "important security update". The patches fix three vulnerabilities, dubbed "Trident" by security firm Lookout, which could be used to access the device's location, read contacts, texts, calls, and emails, as well as turn on the device's microphone. The company said that spyware that exploited the vulnerabilities were developed by an Israel-based company specializing in zero-day exploits. Citizen Lab explained in a blog post that it had uncovered an operation by the security services of the United Arab Emirates to try to get into the iPhone of a renowned human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor. The Canada-based security lab said that the UAE, which has long been criticized for its poor human rights record, could turn an affected iPhone into "a sophisticated bugging device", adding: "They would have been able to turn on his iPhone's camera and microphone to record Mansoor and anything nearby, without him being wise about it. They would have been able to log his emails and calls -- even those that are encrypted end-to-end. And, of course, they would have been able to track his precise whereabouts," said the blog post. Lookout said that the flaws included a memory corruption flaw in WebKit, which would let an attacker exploit a device when a user clicks on an affected link. Two other kernel vulnerabilities would let an attacker jailbreak the device, and then the attacker can silently install malware to carry out surveillance. Apple fixed the vulnerabilities within 10 days of being informed by Citizen Lab and Lookout. A spokesperson for Apple said in an email to ZDNet: "We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits." Users can install the update over the air through the phone or tablet's settings. Source
  13. Upcoming iPhones Could Collect Fingerprints and Photos of Thieves Apple is working on enhanced security tools Apple filed a patent application for a method of storing biometric information of an unauthorized user, so that smartphone security would be enhanced. The patent surfaced over at Patently Apple and it will apparently make it very easy for authorities to identify thieves. iPhones will be able to capture pictures and record videos of thieves, as well as collect their fingerprints. The patent states that the feature could be triggered by repeated failed attempts to unlock the device or if the phone owner enables protections using Find My iPhone feature from another device. The patent also mentions that smartphones will be able to capture more than one fingerprint, photo or video of the thief, as well as audio files, forensic interface use information and more. Apple also offers Activation Lock and Find My iPhone security features This new feature would join all other tools that Apple has for helping users find their phones. The Find My iPhone feature helps users mark their devices as lost and their locations tracked, so that they could have a strong chance at recovering them. Aside from this, Apple also offers Activation Lock feature that doesn't allow anyone to reset smartphones without the approval of the owner using their Apple ID and password. Apple also offers its users the option to remotely wipe phones in case of loss or theft or to secure information using high end encryption. One must take into consideration that smartphone manufacturers often patent various projects and ideas, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be implemented into future products. However, considering that this is a security feature, Apple would have all the more reasons to actually incorporate this tool into its devices. Source
  14. WhatsApp Is To Hand Your Phone Number To Facebook Roses are red, violets are blue, Facebook knows all that you think, say and do WhatsApp has updated its terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years as part of parent company Facebook’s plans to generate cash through app users' data. While WhatsApp has been a separate service from Facebook since its acquisition for $16bn two years ago, the companies are now going to enjoy a cosier relationship. If you’re a WhatsApp user you can expect the app to soon export more of your information to Facebook as the megacorp seeks to bleed some revenue from businesses by allowing them to advertise to you, without using third-party banner advertisements and spam. This will not affect the privacy of the content of users’ messages. As WhatsApp integrates the Signal messaging protocol, messages are protected with end-to-end encryption. “We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others,” the business stated today, “including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share or give your phone number to advertisers.” This suggests that WhatsApp might yet offer itself as a platform for business to contact you through, but the company itself has announced that “by coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.” That sounds lovely, of course, until the statement continued: “And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you've never heard of.” Users are not able to opt out of this data sharing, although you can choose not to allow to be shared for the purpose of improving their experience with advertisements and product experiences on Facebook. WhatsApp is seeking to integrate features that regularly take place over SMS at the moment: "Whether it's hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so." Source Related Alternate Source Articles: WhatsApp to Share Your Data with Facebook — You have 30 Days to Stop It Use WhatsApp? Get ready to receive marketing messages from firms WhatsApp to give users' phone numbers to Facebook for targeted ads WhatsApp to share your user data with Facebook WhatsApp to share user data including phone numbers with Facebook WhatsApp does about face, will serve ads in Facebook-owned app WhatsApp to Share User Phone Number with Facebook For Advertising Block WhatsApp from sharing (most) data with Facebook
  15. 'Touch Disease' Breaking Apple iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Screens -- Millions Of Devices At Risk The iPhone is a great device, but a growing number of users are reporting a problem that affects the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Nicknamed "Touch Disease" by repair specialists iFixit, the problem starts with a flickering gray bar at the top of the screen and reduced touch functionality. Over time the bar spreads and eventually the whole screen stops responding to touch. iFixit spoke to several repair professionals who confirmed they had seen numerous devices exhibiting the same flaw. It isn’t known how many of the millions of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are affected, but Jason Villmer, owner of Missouri board repair shop STS Telecom told iFixit "This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up". There are pages of complaints regarding the issue to be found on Apple’s support forums. Replacing the screen doesn’t fix the problem as the flaw appears to relate to the touch screen controller chips inside the device. So what’s the cause of the problem and why is it coming to light now, two years after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched? One theory is it relates to Bendgate. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are susceptible to bending (a problem fixed in the 6s and 6s Plus) and this could be what is causing the controller chips to lose contact. The problem seems to mostly affect the iPhone 6 Plus, and that was also the phone most affected by the bending issue. The 6s and 6s Plus were strengthened, and the Touch IC chips moved from the logic board to the display assembly, which is why the problem doesn’t affect them. So how do you fix a device afflicted with "Touch Disease"? The options appear to be replacing the phone, replacing the logic board, or replacing both Touch ICs (the cheapest option). Have you experienced this problem with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Source
  16. Photo Filter App Prisma Goes Offline Prisma, the photo filter application for Android and iOS devices that turns your photos into artwork, is now capable of handling the processing offline on iOS, with Android following soon. Prisma is like many of the other photo filter applications available for mobile devices. Take a photo or load an image from local storage, and apply one of the available filters to it to turn it into a completely different picture. What sets Prisma apart from comparable solutions such as Instagram is the focus on filters that look more like art than a photo with a slightly different color set. Prisma is as easy to use as any other filtering app. It displays a list of filters in a line at the bottom of the screen, and applies the selected filter when you tap on it. That process required a network connection up until now as the processing was done server-side. While that meant less processing on the device itself, which is good for its battery, it meant as well that you could not use Prisma at all if the device was not connected to the Internet. Also, photos had to be uploaded and downloaded to the Prisma server, which used up precious bandwidth and added to the time it took to see the processed photo on the device's screen. The servers of the service were swarmed with requests, especially at the beginning which added to the processing time as well. This is all going to change with the most recent update of Prisma. Released for iOS already and coming for Android soon is offline processing. The change log on iTunes reads that Prisma is offline now, and that the majority of Prisma styles will no longer need an Internet connection. I'll update the article as soon as the Android version is released to provide you with information on that, and especially on the filters that still require an Internet connection. Good news for Prisma users is that they may use the app now without Internet connection on iOS, and soon also on Android. The servers that did the processing up until now, and are still handling it on Android, are not just turned off once the move completes. Prisma seems to have intentions to offer similar functionality for video, and will use the servers for video processing instead. Now You: Do you use an app like Prisma on your phone or tablet? Source
  17. New 'Pokémon GO' Cheat for iOS, iPhone: 'Choose Your Ride' while You're on Your Couch; Hack Claims You won't Get Banned The new Pokémon GO cheat lets players to fake their ride while they are sitting on the couch New 'Pokémon GO' Cheat for iOS, iPhone: Fake Your Ride while You're on The Couch; Hack Claims You won't Get Banned The previous Pokémon GO cheat that has gone viral is when a player shows how to unban the softban using a few easy steps. This time, Pokémon GO cheat gets you walk around undetected. "Pokémon GO" for cheat jailbroken iPhone to walk around the map without even moving from your couch A YouTube video below, posted by iCrackUriDevice, shows how to install the "Pokémon GO" cheat software inside a jailbroken iPhone. The user stresses a few times that he has tried the method and it does not get him banned. He ensures that this method is safe since there is a joystick to trick the AR game. First of all, the user states that your iPhone has to be jailbroken to install the "Pokémon GO" hack in the device, Game n Guide wrote. Once you download and launch the game, you will notice there is a joystick appearing to help you move anywhere you want. The hack setting includes customizing speed - which means you can actually pretend to ride a bike, a car, or just walking on foot. This method will help you to transport (not teleport like the other hacks) to another place, far away from where you are without being considered as GPS spoofing. The user ensures players that they won't get banned by using the Pokémon GO cheat According to the hacker, who thanked Pangu jailbreak for making his iPhone able to download the cheat, said that this hacking software is compatible with any updates that Niantic will roll out in the future. Although this may not guarantee that Pokémon GO players will not get caught, it is worth to note that Niantic is serious about permanently banning your account in case you are catching them all using GPS spoof apps. Since not everyone is able to walk and catch them all, the "Pokémon GO" cheat has a great advantage if you want to grow your monster collections. However, as the user said it before, you need to be willing to sacrifice your iPhone to be jailbroken for this. Aside from the claims, let's be careful while playing Pokémon GO since Niantic is constantly fighting the bots and spoofs. Source
  18. New Forensic Tool Will Recover Data From Smartphone RAM, Encrypted Or Not Encryption or not, your smartphone data will now be easily recovered with this forensic tool If you remember the hullabaloo created over Apple being asked by FBI to unlock a locked iPhone 5c belonging to a terrorist. The news generated such hype and opinions that it was dominating world tech news for almost a week before FBI quietly contracted an Israel-based firm to unlock the terrorist’s iPhone. Now FBI or for that matter, any law enforcement agency does not have to go anywhere to recover data from locked or encrypted smartphones as researchers have developed a new forensic tool which recovers data from smartphone RAM called Retroscope. The researchers from Purdue University have developed a new tool to recover information stored in smartphone’s volatile memory could give investigators important clues to solve criminal cases. Instead of trying to unlock the encrypted smartphone’s hardrive, which holds information after the phone is shut down, the researchers instead thought of delving in RAM which is volatile. It is generally thought that the contents of RAM (Random Access Memory) are gone as soon as the smartphone is shut down but the researchers found that they could recover surprising amount of data from the RAM even if it was switched off. The team’s early research resulted in work that could recover the last screen displayed by an Android application. “We argue this is the frontier in cyber crime investigation in the sense that the volatile memory has the freshest information from the execution of all the apps,” said lead researcher Dongyan Xu. “Investigators are able to obtain more timely forensic information toward solving a crime or an attack,” Xu noted. Building on their research, Xu said, it was discovered that apps left a lot of data in the volatile memory long after that data was displayed. RetroScope makes use of the common rendering framework used by Android to issue a redraw command and obtain as many previous screens as available in the volatile memory for any Android app. What is more important for the law enforcement agencies is that Retroscope requires no previous information about an app’s internal data. The screens recovered, beginning with the last screen the app displayed, are presented in the order they were seen previously. “Anything that was shown on the screen at the time of use is indicated by the recovered screens, offering investigators a litany of information,” Xu said. During testing, RetroScope was able to recover anywhere from three to 11 previous screens in 15 different apps, an average of five pages per app. The findings were presented during the USENIX Security Symposium in Austin, Texas. “We feel without exaggeration that this technology really represents a new paradigm in smart phone forensics,” he said. “It is very different from all the existing methodologies for analysing both hard drives and volatile memories,” Xu noted. Source Alternate Source - Forensics tool nabs data from Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp
  19. Adguard PRO is a new product for iOS. It is currently only available as a beta version. If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, you should check this thread. Follow the development process and report spotted bugs you can in our repository on GitHub. Adguard PRO is the same Adguard for iOS, but with new possibilities. PRO features are accessible from the main screen and can be found under the 'PRO' tab. Currently you will only find Adguard DNS there. To get the general idea about how blocking by DNS works, you can check out the respective blog article. But there are more options available than a simple switch. DNS blocking here works pretty similar to what was described in the dedicated article. It also has two modes: - 'Default' to block ads, phishing and trackers; - 'Family protection' to add adult websites to this list. But also a possibility to enable requests log, which you can then look through. <em>Important note</em> - we do not store any logs on our servers. They exist only on your device. There is one more thing to mention. If you go to General settings -> VPN, and then tap on 'i' symbol against 'Adguard Pro VPN', you will see a switch named 'Connect on demand'. You can enable it to avoid keeping VPN on constantly, and to only have it turned on when you actually use your browser or another app that accesses Internet. Source
  20. How To Play Pokémon Go – Beginner’s Tips Not sure which team to join? Don’t know the difference between a regular Poké Ball and a Great Ball? And where do these Pokémon hang out? Read on. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm and all you need to play it, is a smartphone and a willingness to get outside. Millions have downloaded Pokemon Go, a new augmented-reality game that has them wandering the streets looking for virtual monsters. And as the game soared on the top of download charts, it has also propelled game maker Nintendo on a wild two-day stock spike, adding $7.5-billion to its market value. How do I get started? First things first, you’ll need to install the Pokémon Go app, available in iOS and Android in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. If you’re not in those areas, hang tight, as Niantic is rolling out to other regions as time goes on. Once you’ve been logged in, you’ll get a brief introduction by the dreamy Professor Willow, who’ll give you an introduction to the game, and walk you through catching your choice of the three starter pokémon — either a Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur, which should all be familiar to Pokémon regulars. After that though, the game pretty much leaves you on your own, aside from a small tips section that mostly explains basic map icons. But there are three basic parts to play Pokémon Go: catching pokémon, visiting pokéstops, and gym battles. How do I catch pokémon? Catching pokémon works mostly like you’d expect: you simply walk around with the app open on your phone, which will buzz when pokémon are nearby. Tap on the pokémon on the map, and you’ll switch to the catching interface. The color of the ring surrounding the pokémon helps determine how easy it is to catch — green is easiest, yellow intermediate, and red the most difficult. GOING FARTHER AFIELD MAY RESULT IN DIFFERENT OR RARER POKÉMON Pokémon are found at different CP (Combat Power) levels, which more or less determines how powerful the pokémon will be. To raise a pokémon’s CP, you’ll need two resources: stardust, a generic item you obtain with each pokémon that you catch, and the pokémon’s specific candy, which can be obtained by catching duplicates of the pokémon you want to level up. For example, to level up a Zubat’s CP, you’ll need stardust and Zubat candies. Similarly, to evolve your pokémon, you’ll need to use more of that pokémon’s candies, which will also dramatically raise the CP of that pokémon. As your character level increases, you’ll encounter higher level pokémon in the wild and be able to level up the CP level of your pokémon more. Different pokémon are found in different places — so while one location might be infested with Zubats, going farther afield may result in different or rarer pokémon. What are pokéstops? Pokéstops are important landmarks, marked on the map at significant (usually) nearby locations. Visiting pokéstops is the primary way of getting items. When you’re close enough to a pokéstops to activate it, the map icon will expand into a spinning pokéballs icon, allowing you to tap on it to obtain items, such as pokéballs, potions, revives, and eggs (which can be hatched by walking around). You can also activate lure modules at pokéstops, which are marked by a swarm of hearts on the map, increasing the likelihood of pokémon appearing there. Some items, however, can only be purchased with pokécoins, which can be earned by fighting in gym battles or bought as in-app purchases. How do I level my character up? You can earn experience from nearly every activity in the game — catching pokémon, fighting at a gym, visiting pokéstops — which in turn levels up your character. You’ll also be gifted items when you reach a new level. Additionally, once you reach level five, you’ll be given the chance to choose from one of the three color-coded factions: red Team Valor, yellow Team Instinct, and blue Team Mystic, and have the opportunity to battle other trainers in gyms. What are gyms? BATTLING IN GYMS ALSO GIVES YOUR POKÉMON XP Gyms are in-game locations that are typically tied to major real-world areas — such as the Bryant Park Fountain or Times Square — where you can battle other trainers. If a gym is held by your faction, you can select a single pokémon and train against other members of your team, raising the amount of prestige points associated with the gym. The higher the prestige, the more pokémon that can be stationed at the gym, which in turn grants higher daily bonuses of stardust and pokécoins that can be earned. If there’s an open spot at a gym, you can add one of your pokémon to help hold down the fort. Gyms held by one of the two rival factions, however, need to be battled for. If you and your fellow members defeat the pokémon stationed there, you can lower the gym’s prestige and eventually return it to a neutral level. It can then be claimed by your faction and a pokémon can be left there to fight against new challengers. Battling in gyms also gives your pokémon experience and raises their CP and HP. How do I battle? Battling in Pokémon Go is like a simplified version of the classic Game Boy game. Pokémon face off one-on-one, and can use one of two attacks — tapping on the enemy pokémon to do a low-damage light attack, and tap-and-holding to unleash a special attack once your meter has filled. Additionally, you can dodge enemy attacks by swiping left and right. Battles continue until one of the pokémon has fainted. And of course, standard pokémon damage type rules are in effect: water pokémon are effective against fire types, fire against grass, etc. Pokémon can be healed or revived using potions and revives that you can obtain from visiting pokéstops. What are the different items, and how do I get them? Pokéball / Great Ball / Ultra Ball — Pokéballs are your bread and butter tool for catching pokémon. Great balls unlock at level 12 and are better at capturing pokémon, while ultra balls, which unlock at level 20 are even more useful for high-level pokémon. All three can be obtained at pokéstops once you’ve reached the right level, and regular pokéballs can be bought with pokécoins from the Store. Potion / Super Potion / Hyper Potion — Potions allow for pokémon to be healed in between battles. Revives — Allow for revival of pokémon that have fainted in battle. Lucky Egg — An item that doubles the experience you gain in the next half-hour after use. Can be obtained at pokéstops or bought using pokécoins from the store. Razz Berries — A higher-level item obtained starting at level 8, Razz berries can be used on higher level pokémon to help prevent them from running away. More can be found at pokéstops once they’ve been unlocked. Egg Incubator — Egg incubators are used to hatch eggs, which can contain rare pokémon. You’re given one incubator for free that has unlimited uses, while additional, three-use incubators can be found in pokéstops or bought with pokécoins. Eggs hatch after being incubated for a certain walking distance that depends on the specific egg (usually between two to five kilometers). Lure Module — A temporary use item that can be applied to a pokéstop that increases the chances of encountering wild pokémon at that pokéstop for all nearby users. Can be found at pokéstops or bought using pokécoins form the store. Incense — A temporary use item that increases the likelihood of encoding wild pokémon for the user of the item for the next half-hour after use. Can be found at pokéstops or bought at the store with pokécoins. Tips and Tricks: Buy an external battery! Pokémon Go can be a huge battery drain on your phone, since the app needs to be running constantly. There are no pokémon centers in Pokémon Go, so revives and potions remain the only way to heal injured or fainted pokémon. Wait to evolve pokémon until you’re at least level 10 — the boost you receive in CP from evolution is tied to your character level, and the higher your level, the greater will be the gain. Hopping on a bicycle is a fun, fast way to hatch pokémon eggs quickly. Make sure to stay hydrated when catching pokémon outside. Consider turning off the augmented reality interface — it’s fun to see pokémon in the real world, but the camera consumes more battery life and constant movement can make pokémon more difficult to catch. Be smart and make sure to always be aware of your surrounding and people nearby. Pokémon Go relies on Google Maps data — try downloading the maps directly from Google to cut down on battery use and data consumption. Source
  21. Maxthon Browser Sends Sensitive Data to China Security experts have discovered that the Maxthon web browser collects sensitive information and sends it to a server in China. Researchers warn that the harvested data could be highly valuable for malicious actors. Developed by China-based Maxthon International, the browser is available for all major platforms in more than 50 languages. In 2013, after the NSA surveillance scandal broke, the company boasted about its focus on privacy and security, and the use of strong encryption. Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity and Poland-based Exatel recently found that Maxthon regularly sends a file named ueipdata.zip to a server in Beijing, China, via HTTP. Further analysis revealed that ueipdata.zip contains an encrypted file named dat.txt. This file stores information on the operating system, CPU, ad blocker status, homepage URL, websites visited by the user (including online searches), and installed applications and their version number. While dat.txt is encrypted, experts easily found the key needed to decrypt it, giving them access to the information. Exatel researchers demonstrated how a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacker could intercept the data as it travels from the client to the Maxthon server in China. The ueipdata.zip file is created and sent to Maxthon servers as part of the company’s User Experience Improvement Program (UEIP). The role of the program is to help the developer understand its users’ needs and deliver better products and services. The vendor claims the program is voluntary and “totally anonymous.” However, as experts discovered, the data is being collected even if users opt out of the UEIP. They are concerned that the information on browsing habits and the installed applications could be highly valuable for a malicious actor looking to conduct a targeted attack. “Essentially, the information that is being transmitted back contains almost everything you would want in conducting a reconnaissance operation to know exactly where to attack. Knowing the exact operating system and installed applications, and browsing habits it would be trivial to send a perfectly crafted spearphish to the victim or perhaps set up a watering hole attack on one of their most frequented websites,” explained Fidelis Cybersecurity CSO Justin Harvey. Some Maxthon customers who noticed that the ueipdata.zip file is created even when they opt out of the UEIP asked the company for clarifications. The vendor’s representatives said they only collect “basic data” when the feature is disabled – as opposed to “sensitive data” harvested when UEIP is enabled. However, according to researchers, sensitive data is sent to China regardless of how UEIP is configured. Exatel said it contacted Maxthon about its findings, but it hasn’t heard back from the vendor. Experts have tested the latest version of the web browser and determined that it still transmits the data even if UEIP is disabled. SecurityWeek has reached out to Maxthon for comment. This is not the first time researchers have raised concerns about web browsers developed by Chinese companies. Experts at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab have identified security and privacy issues in several popular Chinese browsers, including QQ Browser, UC Browser and Baidu Browser. Source Alternate Source - Softpedia
  22. Apple Left iOS 10 Kernel Code Unencrypted, Intentionally! Apple’s new iOS 10 recently made headlines after MIT Technology Review revealed that the company had left the kernel of the mobile operating system unencrypted. Yes, the first developer preview of iOS 10 released at WWDC has an unencrypted kernel. When the headline broke, some of the users were surprised enough that they assumed Apple had made a mistake by leaving unencrypted kernel in iOS 10, and therefore, would get reverted in the next beta version of the operating system. However, Apple managed to confirm everyone that the company left the iOS 10 kernel unencrypted intentionally, as the kernel cache does not contain any critical or private information of users. On iOS, the kernel is responsible for things like security and how applications are capable of accessing the parts of an iPhone or an iPad. But, Why Apple had left the iOS wide open when other features like iMessage offer end-to-end encryption? The kernel is the heart of any operating system. Apple has always kept the kernel under several layers of protection (source code obfuscation) in previous versions of iOS, leaving developers as well as researchers in the dark. So, the unencrypted kernel could help developers and security researchers look more closely at its code and find security flaws. After all, if more eyes are looking for flaws, it would be easier to discover and patch the issues more quickly than before. MIT Technology Review also pointed out that this could prevent government and law enforcement agencies from exploiting vulnerabilities to crack locked iOS devices, like what the FBI did to hack into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. Source
  23. Facebook Messenger Has a Hidden Soccer Game The game in Messenger celebrates EURO 2016 The football game is only available in Facebook’s Messenger app, and it’s quite easy to access. You simply need to start a conversation and send a football emoji to a friend. After you tap on the football emoji, the game starts automatically. The football game won’t work if you haven’t updated to the latest Messenger version first. The game allows you to do kick-ups in order to keep the ball in the air and prevent it from hitting the ground. It sounds easy, but it really isn’t. The game records your current best score and displays emojis in the background, each time you tap on the screen. It also takes into consideration if you’ve tapped directly in the center of the ball or on the side, which makes it bounce in different directions on the screen. When the score exceeds 10, the game adds some distractions. The interface is simple, there aren’t many things that you can do inside the game, but the whole experience is equally annoying and addictive. Facebook’s move is mainly targeted at users who are interested in EURO 2016 and the Copa America Centenario 2016. Just a few days ago, Facebook implemented SMS in Messenger for smartphones running on Android, so the company’s messaging application has surely gotten a lot of attention lately. Source
  24. Viv is going to be a cross-platform assistant that replaces apps and chatbots with conversations. Siri made the iPhone more responsive with artificial intelligence, but now its founders want to put AI in every device you own. Dag Kittlaus, who cofounded Siri, left Apple five years ago, but now he’s back with a new voice assistant named Viv that he predicts will change the way we interact with not just our phones, but our home appliances, cars, and more. Viv has gotten a lot of hype for a product that hasn’t shipped yet, but Kittlaus demoed Viv publicly for the first time at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday. Right now, Viv is an iOS app, though it won’t always be. You open the app and ask the assistant questions or issue commands. These can range from basic queries like what the weather forecast looks like, which Viv quickly answers with Weather Underground data, or as complex as, “Send Adam $20 for last night,” and Venmo handles the transaction. You don’t have to have these apps installed for Viv to work on your behalf. Viv made its debut at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. The conversations are currently one-sided—the assistant doesn’t yet have a voice, though that will change by the time it’s ready to ship. And Viv definitely seems useful, though not all that unique in its current incarnation. The demo I saw at Disrupt reminded me of Hound, an app that’s already on the market and has a robust ecosystem of integrated apps that it pulls data from to answer your commands. Viv wants to go beyond apps, though like Hound, it requires developer support to make the assistant useful. Kittlaus said the startup has no plans to build its own hardware, but it is in talks with hardware makers to build Viv into their devices, so you won’t need a separate app to control your car dashboard or any of your smart home appliances. “No one company in the world has the resources to plug in all the different services,” Kittlaus said during his TechCrunch Disrupt demo. “That’s what Viv has spent a lot of time and money on. Each [assistant does] 20–30 different things. Now it’s going to tens of thousands of different things.” Computer, program thyself Kittlaus showed off Viv’s software backbone, which he called dynamic program generation. While most voice assistants or bots have to be programmed with preselected responses to specific queries and pull from one domain at a time, Viv’s software figures out the intent of your question and writes itself. In response to a question like, “Will it be warmer than 70 degrees at the Golden Gate Bridge after 5 p.m. the day after tomorrow?” Viv write a 44-point program to answer with Weather Underground data, but it can combine data from several different sources to respond to a question in seconds. That’s impressive and different. Viv doesn’t just Google things for you. It parses your query and then writes a program to answer it. While other companies like Facebook are betting big on text-based chatbots, Kittlaus thinks voice conversations—being able to chat with your devices in natural language without installing and interacting with various apps—are the future. But those assistants have to be more powerful than Siri, which is limited to Apple devices and can’t answer many basic questions, let alone book hotel rooms and send Venmo payments on your behalf. Siri is reportedly still limited in its capabilities because of Apple’s deep concern for privacy, but the company has been criticized for being so slow to build more functionality into the iOS assistant. Siri isn’t even yet available across all Apple hardware, though rumor has it Apple is finally bringing Siri to the Mac this fall. With Siri, Kittlaus and Co. proved they can build artificial intelligence that scales. Now, they want to go even bigger. “Viv will be the intelligent interface to everything,” Kittlaus said. “For developers, this will be the next great marketplace. The thing that comes after App Stores is this new type of marketplace that works for all different devices.” That’s an ambiitious goal, but Viv is still a ways off from seeing the light of day. Kittlaus said Viv will see a “rolling launch” toward the end of this year, with developer partners announced around the same time. The Source
  25. Google today announced that its browser has passed 1 billion monthly active users on mobile. In other words, Google has managed to add another 200 million Chrome for Android and iOS users in just five months. Not bad for a mobile app that debuted less than four years ago. The timing is also a nice surprise for Google. This week, the company happened to release Chrome version 50. While there haven’t been 50 releases on mobile, since the Android and iOS apps only arrived in June 2012, all the Chrome apps have the same major version number to denote shared features and functionality across platforms. We asked Google for a breakdown of the 1 billion number across Android and iOS, but once again we were told the company isn’t yet ready to share such figures. There are undoubtedly more Chrome for Android users, though it’s safe to say Chrome for iOS use is not insignificant. To celebrate the 50th Chrome release, Google published an infographic because “we’re obsessed with stats, so we thought you might enjoy a whirlwind tour of Chrome, by the numbers.” Here are the key statistics the company wanted to underline: At its Google I/O conference in May 2015, Google revealed that Chrome passed 1 billion users overall. That figure has undoubtedly grown since, but Google didn’t provide an update today, meaning it’s not known how many Chrome users only use the browser on their desktops. source