Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pros will reportedly bring back the SD card slot

Jan 22, 2021 - 9:49 PM - by Reverend
Apple may finally be bringing an integrated SD card slot to its upcoming 2021 models of its MacBook Pro laptops, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in a move that would restore the popular port standard to the company’s computers.

The MacBook Pro lineup hasn’t offered an SD card slot since Apple removed the feature in its 2016 redesign, which excised all the ports from the laptops in favor of four universal USB-C ports. This forced many professional users — who rely on the popular memory card format to import photos and videos to their computers for editing — to turn to much-reviled dongles to get the same functionality.

The news comes after an earlier report from Gurman that originally detailed some of the changes that Apple was planning for the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch designs. These changes include removing the controversial Touch Bar interface in exchange for physical function keys; offering a more squared-off design that’s in line with the recent iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPhone 12 lineups; adding brighter displays; and bringing back Apple’s magnetic MagSafe chargers. That’s all in addition to the biggest change, which will see the high-end laptops move from Intel’s processors to a more powerful version of Apple’s in-house, ARM-based M1 chipset.

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo corroborated those reports by claiming that the new laptops would offer additional ports, but today marks the first confirmation of the SD card slot specifically.

The verge
  0 Replies | 151 Views


Samsung Confirms It Will Remove Chargers, Earbuds From Phone Boxes Going Forward

Jan 17, 2021 - 10:57 AM - by Reverend
Samsung's newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S21, does not come with a charger or headphones in the box, and the company confirmed this week that the approach will apply to other devices going forward, too.

As noted by The Verge, Samsung mobile communications EVP and head of customer experience Patrick Chomet wrote in an FAQ that many Samsung device users already reuse their accessories from device to device, so a transition away from including them in the box makes sense. But a "gradual" approach to their removal will "address sustainable consumption issues and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually receiving unnecessary charger accessories with new phones," Chomet says.

"We’ve also been implementing standardized USB-C type charging ports since 2017, so older chargers can still be compatible with our newest Galaxy models," he adds.

Chomet did not elaborate on which devices might drop or include the accessories.

The move is an about-face for Samsung. Though rumors suggested last summer that Samsung's 2021 phones would ditch the in-box chargers, Samsung mocked Apple last fall when Cupertino said its iPhone 12 lineup would ship with a charger. By December, however, Samsung was caught scrubbing its social media accounts of those critical posts.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 384 Views


Apple Considers Foldable iPhone; Minor Changes Planned for 2021 Models

Jan 17, 2021 - 10:54 AM - by Reverend
Apple has begun early work on an iPhone with a foldable screen, a potential rival to similar devices from Samsung Electronics Co. and others, though it’s planning only minor changes for this year’s iPhone line.

The Cupertino, California-based company has developed prototype foldable screens for internal testing, but hasn’t solidified plans to actually launch a foldable iPhone. The development work hasn’t expanded beyond a display, meaning Apple doesn’t yet have full handset prototypes in its labs, according to a person familiar with the work, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

Like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the Motorola Razr reboot and other offerings from Chinese companies including Huawei Technologies Co., a foldable iPhone would let Apple make a device with a larger screen in a more pocketable package. Apple has internally discussed a number of foldable screen sizes, including one that unfolds to a similar size as the 6.7-inch display on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Current foldable phones have screens that are from 6 and 8 inches unfolded.

The foldable Apple screens in testing, like those from Samsung, have a mostly invisible hinge with the electronics stationed behind the display, the person said. Other companies, including Microsoft, have recently launched devices with visible hinges separating two distinct panels. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

This would be a radical departure for Apple. Its pioneering touchable, all-screen smartphone is arguably the most successful consumer technology product in history, helping make Apple the world’s most valuable company. However, a foldable iPhone is likely years away or ultimately may never be introduced. The company is currently focused on launching its next-generation flagship iPhones and iPads later this year.

Apple isn’t planning major changes for this year’s iPhone line given the enhancements made to the... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 254 Views


WhatsApp Postpones Privacy Policy Update After Users Flee to Rival Services

Jan 16, 2021 - 9:46 AM - by Reverend
WhatsApp is hitting the brakes on a privacy policy update that’s prompted users to flee the Facebook-owned platform for rival messaging apps.

WhatsApp’s original plan required people to agree to the new privacy policy on Feb. 8. If they didn’t, the app implied it would shut down their accounts. To make things more confusing, the update also said WhatsApp partnered with Facebook on new "integrations," without specifically saying how the data sharing works.

But on Friday, WhatsApp said it was postponing the plan amid an apparent user exodus. “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We're also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp,” the service said in a blog post.

The heart of the problem is trust (or the lack of it). WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has a notorious record on digital privacy. The social network has repeatedly tried to clarify that the updated WhatsApp policy will not result in real changes for users. But many refuse to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt.

This became apparent last week when Telsa CEO Elon Musk urged his followers on Twitter to use competing messaging app Signal. Since then, Signal has seen a massive influx of new users, numbering in the tens of millions.

On Friday, WhatsApp reiterated that it will continue to use end-to-end encryption, meaning no one—not even Facebook—will be able to read your messages. “We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” the app added.

The company went on to say the policy update itself deals primarily with businesses using WhatsApp to send and store messages with consumers.... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 305 Views


Apple is reportedly working on a major redesign for the iMac

Jan 15, 2021 - 9:04 PM - by Reverend
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is working on a major redesign of its venerable iMac all-in-one desktop computer. Gurman says the company will release two new models later that year that will feature a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR. They’ll do away with the current iMac’s ample display bezel, oversized chin and curved back. Naturally, they’ll also include the company’s next-generation of ARM-based processors, continuing Apple’s move away from Intel.

There’s more good news for Mac fans. Apple is also reportedly working on a more affordable monitor to complement its Pro Display XDR, which starts at $5,000 and comes sans $1,000 stand. The display wouldn’t offer the same image quality as its monitor for professionals. Apple hasn’t made a monitor explicitly for consumers since it discontinued its Thunderbolt Display in 2016.

Gurman also provides an update on the company’s Mac Pro plans. As things stand, he says Apple now plans to release two new versions of the Mac Pro. The first will feature the same design as the company’s current model and include a new Intel CPU. The other, more interesting variant, will reportedly include Apple Silicon and come in at about half the size of the current model, with a mostly aluminum exterior that will make it reminiscent of the Power Mac G4 Cube.

As usual, keep in mind the company’s plans could change at any point. But between the rumored MacBook Pro refresh and now this, 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for macOS users.

Engadget
  0 Replies | 308 Views


WhatsApp advises users after group chat links seen again on Google search

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:53 PM - by Reverend
Concerned at private group chat links being available on Google Search, WhatsApp on Monday said that they have asked Google not to index such chats and advised users not to share group chat links on publicly accessible websites.

Google had indexed invite links to private WhatsApp group chats, meaning anyone can join various private chat groups with a simple search.

The indexed WhatsApp group chat links have now been removed from Google.

Independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia on Sunday shared screenshots with IANS showing indexing of WhatsApp group chat invites on Google.

"Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the "noindex" tag on all deep link pages which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing. We have given our feedback to Google to not index these chats," a WhatsApp spokesperson told IANS.

"Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website," the company spokesperson added..

The issue was first cropped up in February last year when app reverse-engineer Jane Wong found that Google has around 470,000 results for a simple search of "chat.whatsapp.com", part of the URL that makes up invites to WhatsApp groups.

Journalist Jordan Wildon also discovered that WhatsApp's "Invite to Group Link" feature lets Google index groups, making them available across the internet since the links are being shared outside of WhatsApp's secure private messaging service.

The WhatsApp spokesperson further said that as a reminder, "whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group receives a notice and the admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time".

Danny Sullivan, Google's public search liaison, had tweeted earlier: "Search engines like Google & others... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 484 Views


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