Some of China’s biggest tech companies are preparing to bypass Apple’s new iPhone privacy feature.
According to the Financial Times, the Chinese CAA or China Advertising Association (backed by the country’s own government) is testing new tools that would seek to circumvent the recently implemented iOS privacy standards, allowing companies to continue tracking our data without our consent.
Called CAID, this new tracking system is being tested by tech companies and advertisers in China. In fact, ByteDance, owner of TikTok, and Tencent, the studio responsible for video games such as Fortnite and League of Legends, would have been involved in the use of this tool.
According to the outlet, ByteDance would have already provided its main developers with an entire 11-page guide that suggests that advertisers within their application use “the CAID as a substitute if the IDFA (the iPhone ad identifier) of the user is not is available“.
Although Apple has declined to discuss this tool and its potential to circumvent these new transparency rules on app tracking, it made clear that there would be no exceptions.
If there were ever a compelling season to not trust third-party app developers with your data, it’s this. A mobile security firm has found data leaks from thousands of third-party Android and iOS apps through cloud storage.
Data Leaks Discovered
It would be great to say this is stunning news, but it’s not. It’s really not all that surprising that user data was leaked while unsuspecting mobile users continued to set up their many accounts.
It all comes down to data being mishandled. It doesn’t appear to be egregious – it was just carelessness. Instead of storing data on their own servers, third-party mobile app developers carelessly stored user data in the cloud and more or less left the door open.
Mobile security term Zimperium ran an automated analysis on 1.3 million Android and iOS apps, checking for misconfigurations in the storage of data. 84,000 Android apps and nearly 47,000 iOS apps were found to be using a public cloud service to store user data. Services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure were used. Of those apps using cloud storage, 14 percent exposed users’ personal information, which included passwords and even medical information.
“It’s a disturbing trend,” says Shridhar Mittal, Zimperium’s CEO. “A lot of these apps have cloud storage that was not configured properly by the developer or whoever set things up, and because of that, data is visible to just about anyone. And most of us have some of these apps right now.”
What’s worse is that the researchers reached out to some of the developers and had very little response – and many of the apps still have exposed data.
Potentially, the data leaks include a lot of personal information on the users. Some of the apps had a few thousand users, while others had a few million. Financial data from a mobile wallet belonging to a Fortune 500 company is among the exposed data. So is a large city’s transportation data and the testing data from medical apps,
Zimperium did not try to ascertain whether attackers had found the exposed data, but bad actors would certainly be able to use the same public methods the researchers did to access the information. And they wouldn’t just be able to view the exposed data. Some of the misconfigurations would allow attackers to change or overwrite the data.
Who’s Responsible for this Mess?
The cloud providers do try to watch for misconfigurations, but this is really up to the developers to check on this storage and to make sure it’s working as intended.
It absolutely makes sense that misconfiguration could be a widespread issue,” said security researcher Will Stafrach. “I’ve seen AWS buckets with bad permissions, and I’ve also seen multiple VPN nodes exposing data. I’ve seen a lot of apps from companies who should know better that have horrible security issues.”
Zimperium also works in Google’s App Defense Alliance Initiative to check apps on the Play store. The difference with that work is that they are looking for malicious activity instead of the accidental data leaks of the cloud exposure.
Mittal is just hoping after all this to raise awareness of this situation.
One of the few things I constantly bug people to do is backup their devices. It’s important because you never know when a device might fail, and losing all data is a bit of nightmare fuel for everyone. iPhones don’t usually suffer from irrecoverable issues very often, but it’s still a good idea to back them up. So, here’s how to backup your iPhone with a Windows PC.
Backup iPhone on Windows 10
A few months ago, when I was primarily using a Mac as my daily driver, creating and deleting iPhone backups used to be ridiculously easy. However, now that I’m mostly on a Windows PC at work, things are a little more complicated than they were on macOS.
If you’re in the same boat as I am, fret not, just follow this article to know how iPhone backups work on Windows. As always, you can use the table of contents below to skip over to any section you’d like.Table Of Contents
Backup iPhone with Windows using iTunes
Even though iTunes no longer exists on macOS and the backup feature is now integrated into the Mac Finder app, the software is still available for Windows. In fact, it’s the recommended method for managing an iPhone or iPad with a Windows PC. Here’s how to use iTunes on Windows to backup iOS devices.
C Connect your iPhone to your Windows PC via the included Lightning cable. You might need a dongle if your iPhone has a USB-C to Lightning cable and your PC doesn’t have a USB-C port.
Launch iMazing on your PC and click on ‘Back Up’.
You can adjust settings for your backups here, including encrypted backups, backup location, and more. Once you’ve set up everything the way you’d want, just click on Back Up.
That’s it, iMazing will start backing up your iPhone to the location selected by you.
Easily Backup your iPhone on Windows Computers
That’s pretty much all you need to know about backing up your iPhone locally to your Windows computer. You can also use iCloud backups if you don’t want to depend on your PC. However, that requires you to buy additional iCloud storage since the free 5GB will obviously not be enough to backup your entire iPhone.
Personally, I prefer backing up my iPhone locally and using iTunes or iMazing is the easiest, and frankly, best, way of doing so. In case you run into any errors while trying to back up your iPhone with a Windows PC, let us know in the comments and we will try to help you out.
The introduction of official controller support in iOS 13 was a radical change for Apple. As good as games can be with touch controls, controller support adds a whole new level of playability. Here are some of the best iOS games that take advantage of controller support.
1. GRID Autosport
GRID Autosport is a known entity thanks to its widespread availability on home consoles. If you want a console-quality racing experience on your iPhone, GRID is as good as it gets. The game sets a high bar for touch controls, but it’s playing with either the Xbox One or PS4 controller that really helps GRID win the race.
Offering more than 100 cars and 100 circuits, the one-time purchase at $9.99, including DLC packs, is worth it many times over. Players can choose from super-easy to ultra-realistic difficulties depending on skill level. The only non-controller function is the lack of L3/R3 support. Support extends from the newest iPhones back to the original iPhone SE and the 5th generation iPad all the way forward.
2. Call of Duty
Arguably the best first-person shooter in the App Store, Call of Duty is exceptional with controller support. This massively popular multiplayer hit includes a number of game modes, including battle royale, 5v5 team deathmatch, sniper versus sniper and so much more.
Xbox, PS4 and MFi controllers are instantly mapped so that you can jump directly into gameplay. Call of Duty players who use the console will immediately recognize maps from Black Ops and Modern Warfare adding to the playability. The game is free to download, but unsurprisingly, there are numerous in-app purchases including new outfits, gear, weapons, accessories, etc.
3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Grand Theft Auto series needs no introduction, as it’s likely you have previously played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rockstar’s biggest game on iOS, with releases all the way back in 2014, it has been consistently updated throughout the years. The remastered version at $6.99 includes high-resolution graphics, built specifically for mobile, and support for game controllers.
Everything you know about the game and genre is contained within, including the main storyline and dozens of side missions to complete. If you really want a game that allows you to play for hours on end just to rack up money to buy new clothes and weapons, this is the game for you.
4. Dead Cells
One of the most popular games on the iOS platform, Dead Cells only gets better with a physical controller. This action platformer is a challenge right from the start.
When you die in the game, you start back at the very beginning. The appeal of this game style with its outstanding graphics has elevated Dead Cells right into dozens of “best games on iOS” lists. The $8.99 price is a one-time purchase, with no extras or in-app purchases to help you progress throughout the game. The 2D action is so much fun to play, and even with the frustration of starting from scratch, there is just something about Dead Calls that keeps players coming back again and again.
5. NBA 2K20
Another console quality game that has garnered positive controller reviews on the App Store is NBA 2K20. Available for $9.99, this is the best basketball game on the App Store and possibly the best sports game overall. Numerous aspects of the popular console game carry over to mobile, including “Run the Streets” mode, Blacktop and playing as some of the all-time great NBA teams.
If you are looking for a sports game that will keep you occupied for hours on end, this is the game for you. That it includes support for physical controllers is just icing on the cake.
6. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
This iconic game will take you back to the glory days of the original PlayStation back in 1997. The direct port of the console classic of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will let you jump, dash and run, thanks to outstanding controller support.
Everything you know and love about the classic game is here as you fight through Dracula’s castle fighting off new and challenging enemies along the way. The controllers are focused, easy to learn and help make Symphony of the Night excel on the iPhone and iPad. This RPG classic is arguably its best version ever, and you can play as both Richter or Maria right from the very beginning of the game.
7. Space Marshals 2
Top-down shooters are available across the App Store, but few hold a candle to the fun and enjoyment Space Marshals 2 offers. A self-proclaimed tactical top-down shooter, you are tasked with using the environment to take cover and choose your shots carefully. Find weapons all over each map to help you stealthily work your way through each level. Alternatively, you can load up on some of the 70 available weapons and try a more guns blazing approach. Can you make it all the way to the end? There’s only one way to find out.
The unique graphic style is incredibly fun to watch and play again and again. With more than 20 missions available for $4.99, you can add 10 more with a new mission pack for $2.99. No matter how you choose to play, Space Marshals 2 is a fantastic experience and a must download for any top down shooter fan.
Apple has finally implemented a server-side block to prevent M1 MacBook and Mac Mini users from sideloading iOS and iPad apps not available on the App Store.
The Cupertino giant unveiled MacBooks powered by its own Apple M1 silicon earlier last year. The launch of M1-powered Macs was followed by tools that enabled users to install unsupported iOS apps on their PC. These apps weren’t officially made available on the App Store by the developers yet. You could use the iMazing tool to get the .IPA file for the app you want to install on your M1 Macbook.
This means you could use the aforesaid tool to install iOS apps like Hulu, Instagram, Netflix, and others that are yet to make their way to the App Store on Macs. With the server-side switch, it is no longer possible to install unsupported iOS apps on your M1 Mac. If you already have any such apps installed, they remain unaffected by this change.
Now, when you try to install a .IPA file on your M1 Mac, it will show an error message that reads (via 9to5Mac): “This application cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform.”
This server-side change is now live on macOS Big Sur 11.1 and the developer, as well as public, betas of macOS Big Sur 11.2. The publication further explains how Apple made to block apps from being sideloaded on M1 Macs. The company made changes to the API that handles DRM (Digital Rights Management) protections on the App Store. It seems like a possible workaround might not be available in the near future.
So, if you want to install an iOS or iPad app on your M1 Mac, the developers will have to make the same available on the App Store. It now falls upon the developers whether they want to optimize and make their app available to a wider audience.
Apple recently issued an update for its AirPods, AirPods Pro and some Beats-branded headphones that allows them to automatically switch between your different Apple devices. Learn how you can make use of this AirPods automatic switching feature to easily switch between your iPhone, iPad and Mac, depending on which device you are using to listen to audio.
For example, if you have your AirPods connected to your Mac but receive a phone call on your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically switch to your iPhone when you answer a call. The feature is really useful, and when used properly, can really make your workflow efficient.
Currently, only the following headphones by Apple and Beats support the audio switching feature:
AirPods (2nd generation)
On the device side, you need to make sure all the devices you want to use for audio switching are signed in to the same Apple ID as your iPhone. You also need to ensure that your devices are updated to the latest firmware. That means they should be running iOS 14, iPadOS14, and macOS Big Sur or later, as well as the latest firmware for your headphones.
Latest Headphones Firmware
It is essential that your headphones are running the latest firmware available from Apple to use the AirPods automatic switching feature.
Firmware updates are usually installed over-the-air for AirPods, AirPods Pro and the aforementioned Beats models when they’re connected to an iOS device. Apart from this, there is no other way to upgrade the firmware. A quick way to force upgrades to your AirPods / AirPods Pro is to put the earbuds in the case, connect the case to a power source and then re-pair the headphones with your device.
Apple introduced AirPods / AirPods Pro / Beats headphones firmware update 3A283 that introduced audio switching in September 2020. You can check which version they’re running with the following steps:
1. Connect your AirPods / Beats heaphones to your iOS device.
2. Open the Settings app.
3. Tap “General -> About -> AirPods.”
4. Look at the number next to “Firmware version.”
For Beats headphones:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Tap on Bluetooth.
3. Tap on the Info icon next to your Beats headphones.
4. Look at the number next to “Firmware version.”
If this is anything before 3A283, keep your AirPods connected in the case and hope that they update automatically.
On the other hand, you can also use the Beats Updater to keep your Beats earphones or headphones up to date with the latest firmware available.
How to Use Audio Switching
1. Make sure your headphones are connected to your iOS device.
2. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
3. Tap on Bluetooth.
4. Tap the Info icon next to your AirPods or Beats headphones.
5. Tap “Connect to This iPhone / iPad.”
6. Select Automatically.
Now, whenever you open any other connected iPhone / iPad / Mac that’s synced with your nearby headphones, your AirPods / Beats headphones should automatically switch to it, and you’ll get a notification.
In case you want to keep them connected to your current device, simply tap on the blue arrow next to the “Moved to” notification. This will keep them connected to your current device.
Similarly, a notification will appear on the other device where the headphones were connected previously.
If you don’t find the AirPods automatic switching feature handy, you can easily turn it off by following the steps again and selecting “When Last Connected to This iPhone” instead of “Automatically.”
It’s no doubt that Android is right now, the most popular mobile operating system, but if any other mobile OS that’s capable of competing with Android is iOS. iOS is right now the second-best mobile operating system which powers only Apple devices.
Like Android, iOS has a massive app ecosystem, and you will find apps for every different purpose on the iOS app store. Some of the apps were meant to utilize the iPhone to its maximum capacity, which we call utility apps.
If you are into some foreign business and make regular international calls and video conferences, then Klock might be the best pick for you. It is an app that allows you to select different time zones to keep an eye on. With this app, you can see different time zones, which could help you plan any video conference or international call to foreign clients.
1Password is one of the best and popular password manager app available on the iOS App Store. The best thing is about 1Password is that it helps users to generate and save strong passwords. Not just that, but 1Password can also sync your saved passwords across different cloud services.
If you are looking for an iPhone app to manage data consumption accordingly, then My Data Manager & Security might be the perfect pick for you. Guess what? My Data Manager & Security allows users to put restrictions on apps that consume internet data. Not just that, but the app also shows a brief overview of how much data each app consumed.
Presence is another excellent utility app that every iPhone user would love to have. Basically, it’s a surveillance camera app which requires two iPhones to work. The first one would be to record videos, and the second one to view the live feeds. If you have multiple iOS devices or any old iPhone, you can use Presence to set it up as a home camera.
Fing is a network scanner app that will provide you a complete overview of all connected devices to your WiFi network. The app is mostly used to find devices that are connected to your WiFi network. It gets to the connected device and pulls important information like the device name, MAC address, and IP Address.
Grammarly Keyboard is one of the leading keyboard apps that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Compared to other keyboard apps, Grammarly offers some more features. It’s not a keyboard app that focuses on the look; instead, it focuses on improving users’ grammar. The functions of Grammarly Keyboard includes spell-checker, grammar-checker, auto-correction, etc.
CamScanner is an iOS app that you can use to scan, store, sync, and collaborate on various devices. It’s basically an OCR app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Students widely use the app to scan important study notes, assignments, and other types of documents.
Are you looking for the best note-taking app for your iOS device? If yes, then Evernote might be the best pick for you. Guess what? Evernote is one of the leading note-taking app available for Android and iOS that syncs data between devices. With Evernote, you can stay productive for sure.
Since we subscribe to lots of packages online, Bobby helps us to track all our subscriptions. Not just that, but Bobby for iOS can also monitor the recurring expenses. Bobby can show you the monthly expenses at the bottom of the screen at the end of every month.
Pocket is another useful app for iOS that allows users to save the latest news, magazines, and every other thing that you read or see on the internet. The app can really help you be more productive because it saves all important things for later use. Not only that, but Pocket can also read articles in different languages.