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Facebook’s Snooze button silences your annoying friends for 30 days

a4133_Facebook-logo-840x473 Facebook's Snooze button silences your annoying friends for 30 days

Honesty time: I have some friends on Facebook whose posts sometimes greatly annoy me. I can unfriend them, which would be the easiest way to rid myself of those posts, or I can “snooze” them, a new feature that Facebook is rolling out today.

Originally spotted by TechCrunch back in September, the social media juggernaut’s “Snooze” button allows users to mute people, Pages, and Groups for 30 days. This is beneficial if you find someone’s posts very annoying, but do not want to unfriend them for whatever reason. As the outlet points out, Snooze also allow Pages and Groups to retain less-active users that would otherwise unlike a page or leave a group.

Once the 30 days are up, Facebook notifies you in case you want to put them to sleep again. At that point, though, you might want to consider unfollowing or unfriending that person.

a4133_Facebook-logo-840x473 Facebook's Snooze button silences your annoying friends for 30 days

As TechCrunch accurately points out, however, the Snooze button arrives at a time when Facebook itself took on the question of whether social media is having a negative impact on our lives. As cynical as it might sound, adding something like a Snooze button allows people to better create an environment where you can silence dissenters and make it so you only interact with people that like the stuff you do, that think like you do.

In essence, you’re creating a bubble that reduces your ability to take in new ideas and increase your level of intolerance of those who do not think like you do. For example, with net neutrality becoming a very hot topic as of late, you can easily imagine someone using the Snooze button as a means to distance themselves from others who have opposing viewpoints.

Facebook is trying to learn more about you with its new ‘Did You Know’ feature

Again, I know that sounds a bit cynical, and I’m sure there are people who will use it to prevent seeing so many cat pictures from that one friend. In today’s day and age, however, it’s not hard to think about the negative repercussions that something like Facebook may have on the mind, even if it’s something as minute as a Snooze button.

On the brighter side, it gives you another level of customization, and you don’t have to use the Snooze button if you don’t want to. If you do, the button is rolling out now across Facebook.

Kill annoying alerts! Here’s how to turn off notifications on an iPhone

One of the most important reasons you have your iPhone with you at all times is so you can stay up-to-date with the things and people that are most important to you. This need to be connected is an important consideration when it comes to choosing our data plans, carriers, smartphones, and many other things.

But one of the downsides of being connected 24/7 is that you may be overwhelmed with the number of notifications coming in. They can be helpful, but sometimes notifications can get in the way of whatever you’re doing, or they can disturb you when you don’t want them to.

Managing notifications is an essential part of dealing with your iPhone on a daily basis and also a way to keep that long list of notifications in your Notification Center somewhat manageable. Here’s an easy walk-through on how to turn off notifications on an iPhone.

If you haven’t updated to Apple’s latest yet, here’s our iOS 11 review, all of its new features, and also its most common problems and how to fix them.

Turn off all notifications

If you want to turn off all notifications at once, the easiest way to do it is to turn on Do Not Disturb. To do this, swipe up from the bottom and tap the moon icon next to the screen rotation lock.

Do Not Disturb allows notifications to arrive, but it prevents them from making sounds or waking up the display.

You can go to Settings Do Not Disturb and access all the settings for Do Not Disturb. For instance, you could schedule it to turn on and off at specific times.

Maybe you turn on Do Not Disturb manually late at night because you don’t want to disturb someone else, and a text notification makes a sound anyway. In the settings, you have an option to silence always or only while iPhone is locked. You can also allow calls from your favorites and even have it turn on by itself while you’re driving.

We suggest going into the Do Not Disturb settings to set it up the way that works best for you.

Turn off notifications for specific apps

If you’re looking to turn off notifications for an app, go to Settings Notifications. You will see a list of all your apps here, and you can turn off the notifications, or make the notifications behave in a way that you find less annoying, in case you want to see the notification but the way it’s currently coming in is getting on your nerves somehow.

This screen may seem self-explanatory at first, but let’s dig into it a little deeper. Firstly, at the very top, you will see an option that says Show Previews. The Show Previews option is there for each app, but iOS 11 introduced this toggle where you can manage it for all apps at once. Show Previews is important for your privacy.

Below is an example of the way a notification will show up with Show Previews enabled.

And here is an example of the way a notification will show up with Show Previews disabled. You can set Show Previews to show always, when unlocked, or never.

Sometimes hiding the preview is the best way to go for your privacy. You can also do this on an individual app, so let’s take a look at the options you will find within the notification settings for each app.

  • Allow Notifications: Toggle this to turn the notifications on or off.
  • Sounds: Toggle this on or off if you want notification sounds for this app.
  • Badge App Icon: This option controls whether or not you want to display the small red circle on the top-right corner of the icon showing the notification counter.
  • (Alerts) Show on Lock Screen: This will let you control whether or not you want to show the notifications on the lock screen for this app.
  • (Alerts) Show in History: Controls whether or not you want to see the notifications for this app when you swipe down from the top to reveal notification center.
  • (Alerts) Show as Banners: Do you like notification banners? Use this to turn them off if you don’t. You can also set them to show temporarily or persist on the screen until you tap on them.

If you scroll down a little more, you will see Show Previews at the bottom. You can set it here for that particular app if you want the previews to show always, when unlocked, or never.




Google has finally banned one of the most annoying things about Android apps


10805_fedea5e688b99c75ce2eb8bcd01e7dd3 Google has finally banned one of the most annoying things about Android apps


By Carl Kinsella

If you’re an Android user, this will be a major relief to you.

Whether you’re an Apple-head or an Android fanboy, everyone can admit that all smartphones have certain benefits and certain pitfalls.

In the Android operating system, apps have more freedom to do whatever they want — which can be a good thing… However, one of the most irritating consequences of that freedom is things like apps that can send ads to your lockscreen.

Google has now made it an official policy to ban apps that try to monetise a user’s lockscreen, meaning that you’ll have way fewer ads bugging you as a result of the apps you download.

The change in Google’s Developer Policy Centre makes it crystal clear that future use of the lockscreen for ads won’t be tolerated:

“Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.”

The Developer Policy Centre also makes it clear that “Ads should not be shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks,” which would also rule out lockscreen ads, which are designed to get users to click on them without realising that they’re doing so.

While you’re here… Why not watch the latest JOE Show with stars of Irish comedy Nowhere Fast Alison Spittle and Clare Monnelly!

Google: We’re cracking down on Android apps with those annoying lockscreen ads

4563d_googleplaystoreistock-458933277 Google: We're cracking down on Android apps with those annoying lockscreen ads

Google has introduced a rule that limits the types of apps that can serve lockscreen ads.


Getty Images

Google has quietly updated the monetization section of its Play Store app developer policy with a new section on ‘lockscreen monetization’.

As noted by Android Police, ads that appear on the Android lockscreen have grown out of hand lately. Most users expect the lockscreen to be free of adware and used sparingly for notifications. But some apps, including once-reliable ones, have been abusing the lockscreen notifications to serve ads.

Google appears to have been reluctant to do anything in response to the growing number of apps that abuse the lockscreen. Its stance annoyed users enough for someone to create a spreadsheet that lists all the apps that display ads on the lockscreen without notifying the user beforehand.

Google hasn’t banned lockscreen ads outright, but it has introduced a rule that limits the types of apps that can serve them. For example, a photo app or file-management app now isn’t allowed to monetize the lockscreen, but a lockscreen app may continue to do so.

“Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device,” the policy reads.

It remains to be seen whether Google actually enforces its new policy for lockscreen monetization.

Previous and related coverage

Android security: Google cracks down on apps that want to use accessibility services

Measure would prevent feature designed for aiding disabled users from being abused by malicious apps — but could force changes for popular apps, too.

Android apps: Now Google will let you try before you install

Google rolls out a host of features to boost the appeal of Play Store app subscriptions.

Read more on Android

Google finally drops the ban hammer on the most annoying Android ads

Google has announced it is cracking down on apps that seek to push advertisements to Android users through the device’s lockscreen.

In a new section on its developer monetization page, Google has added a new section, outlawing the shady practice of shoehorning ads onto the lock screen.

Google wrote: “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.”

Related: Best Android phones

Essentially Google is saying an app can’t masquerade as a game or a photo editor, only to then start pushing ads onto locked phones.

If your entire app is a lock screen, you’re still going to be allowed to serve ads. Ads that don’t comply will be kicked out of the Play Store with a quickness, according to Google.

The trend has gathered pace in recent times, driving Android device owners to adopt ad blockers as an essential app. So, it’s good to see Google step in and combat the practice.

As Android Authority pointed out in its report today, the app ES File Explorer was forced to pull ads last year over user backlash over lock screen intrusion.

What do you make off Google’s efforts to keep our lockscreen clean? Where would you draw the line with intrusive ads? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

The iPhone X Fixes One Of Apple’s Most Annoying iOS Quirks

Ian Morris

The iPhone X keyboard gets a slight tweak that makes a big difference.

I’ve got an iPhone X for a brief loan and I’ll be writing about it soon. But one of the things I noticed as I was using it is that the new, larger screen and redesigned keyboard fix one of my biggest gripes about iOS currently – that wretched voice dictation button.

To explain, I spend a lot of time writing messages in one of the 300 apps that I use to communicate with various people. When typing I will very often press that voice dictation button and end up with the phone trying to listen to my words, rather than letting me type.

Look, I get it, this is perhaps the most “first world problems” post anyone has ever written. But I use my phone a great deal, and do a lot of typing on it. I suspect I probably write more on my phone than I do on my computer. So the usability of that is key to me, and so is predictive text – which is one of the reasons I struggled a bit with the Note 8.

Ian Morris

The dictation button moving is a good sign of the future.

“But…”, I can hear you say, “you can already turn off the dictation feature and remove the button”. And of course you’re right, I can. But the thing is, I like the feature. If you’re doing something where typing is inconvenient, or want to compose a message that’s a bit longer then it comes in handy.

And there’s the other issue of it disabling dictation on your Apple Watch too. And that’s a feature you’ll use a lot if you opt to respond to text messages via your watch. So switching it off is irksome for a couple of reasons.

There’s also a lot more to this than one button. For one thing, Apple’s new, slimmer phone has now bottom bezel. If you use an iPhone, then you know that it’s useful to have a “chin” so that you can keep the phone secure in your hand. The space on the keyboard makes this easier to achieve, and yes, this is all a problem of the weird demand of the public to kill off the bezel, but Apple does, at least, spend time thinking about the implications of design, as well as making things look nice.

The iPhone X is also about a shift in Apple’s devices. Next year we’ll see more emphasis being put on the X design as the way things are going forward for Apple. That means that these new design decisions will have a wide impact on a much bigger audience. The lack of iPhone X stock has been a massive source of frustration to me, for a number of reasons, but

And while I haven’t had the iPhone X for long, I can already tell that the work Apple has done on perfecting its user interface has been productive. The new gestures, for example, work better than I thought. I had worried it would be a compromise, and that’s not it at all. It’s so much better than that and this is why Apple can implement gestures where a lot of others have failed – it’s about giving users something they can, erm, use.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell you to go out and get the iPhone X for this reason, and I’m still getting to grips with my feelings on the device. What I will say though, is that the X has changed things in iOS more than perhaps the tweaks to the hardware have changed the phone itself. It’s an interesting time for Apple right now.

Bot ‘breaks’ Captcha, making the most annoying thing on the internet pointless

Researchers have created an artificial intelligence system that can solve Captcha challenges, rendering them “broken” and “ineffective”.

The security check is designed to block potentially harmful bots from websites, and does so by presenting puzzles that are supposed to be easy for people to solve, but very difficult for computers.

They’ve been around since the late 1990s and have long been considered extremely annoying, but experts believe it could soon be time for them to be replaced.

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    Designed by Pierpaolo Lazzarini from Italian company Jet Capsule. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph.

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    A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore

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    A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore

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    Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea

    Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

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    Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea

    Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

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    The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie ‘Avatar’ and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company

    Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

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    Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea

    Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

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    Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi

    Rex

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    Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session

    Rex

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    A test line of a new energy suspension railway resembling the giant panda is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

    Reuters

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    A test line of a new energy suspension railway, resembling a giant panda, is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

    Reuters

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    A concept car by Trumpchi from GAC Group is shown at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China

    Rex

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    A Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Toyota is displayed at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China

    Reuters

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    A visitor tries a Nissan VR experience at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China

    Reuters

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    A man looks at an exhibit entitled ‘Mimus’ a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London

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    A new Israeli Da-Vinci unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems is displayed during the 4th International conference on Home Land Security and Cyber in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv

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    Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S

    Reuters

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    The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. This is a production preview of the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed next year and on the road in 2018

    AP

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    Japan’s On-Art Corp’s CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company’s eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot ‘TRX03’ and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan

    Reuters

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    Japan’s On-Art Corp’s eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot ‘TRX03’

    Reuters

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    Japan’s On-Art Corp’s eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot ‘TRX03’ performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan

    Reuters

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    Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company’s concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China

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    The interior of Singulato Motors’ concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China

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    Singulato Motors’ concept car Tigercar P0

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    A picture shows Singulato Motors’ concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China

    Reuters

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    Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota’s “connected strategy” in Tokyo.
    The Connected company is a part of seven Toyota in-house companies that was created in April 2016

    Getty

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    A Toyota Motors employee demonstrates a smartphone app with the company’s pocket plug-in hybrid (PHV) service on the cockpit of the latest Prius hybrid vehicle during Toyota’s “connected strategy” press briefing in Tokyo

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    An exhibitor charges the battery cells of AnyWalker, an ultra-mobile chasis robot which is able to move in any kind of environment during Singapore International Robo Expo

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    A robot with a touch-screen information apps stroll down the pavillon at the Singapore International Robo Expo

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    An exhibitor demonstrates the AnyWalker, an ultra-mobile chasis robot which is able to move in any kind of environment during Singapore International Robo Expo

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    Robotic fishes swim in a water glass tank displayed at the Korea pavillon during Singapore International Robo Expo

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    An employee shows a Samsung Electronics’ Gear S3 Classic during Korea Electronics Show 2016 in Seoul, South Korea

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    Visitors experience Samsung Electronics’ Gear VR during the Korea Electronics Grand Fair at an exhibition hall in Seoul, South Korea

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    Amy Rimmer, Research Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, demonstrates the car manufacturer’s Advanced Highway Assist in a Range Rover, which drives the vehicle, overtakes and can detect vehicles in the blind spot, during the first demonstrations of the UK Autodrive Project at HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in Nuneaton, Warwickshire

    PA wire

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    Chris Burbridge, Autonomous Driving Software Engineer for Tata Motors European Technical Centre, demonstrates the car manufacturer’s GLOSA V2X functionality, which is connected to the traffic lights and shares information with the driver, during the first demonstrations of the UK Autodrive Project at HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in Nuneaton, Warwickshire

    PA wire

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    Ford EEBL Emergency Electronic Brake Lights is demonstrated during the first demonstrations of the UK Autodrive Project at HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in Nuneaton, Warwickshire

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    Full-scale model of ‘Kibo’ on display at the Space Dome exhibition hall of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tsukuba Space Center, in Tsukuba, north-east of Tokyo, Japan

    EPA

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    Miniatures on display at the Space Dome exhibition hall of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tsukuba Space Center, in Tsukuba, north-east of Tokyo, Japan.
    In its facilities, JAXA develop satellites and analyse their observation data, train astronauts for utilization in the Japanese Experiment Module ‘Kibo’ of the International Space Station (ISS) and develop launch vehicles

    EPA

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    The robot developed by Seed Solutions sings and dances to the music during the Japan Robot Week 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight. At this biennial event, the participating companies exhibit their latest service robotic technologies and components

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    The robot developed by Seed Solutions sings and dances to music during the Japan Robot Week 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight

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    Government and industry are working together on a robot-like autopilot system that could eliminate the need for a second human pilot in the cockpit

    AP

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    Aurora Flight Sciences’ technicians work on an Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automantion System (ALIAS) device in the firm’s Centaur aircraft at Manassas Airport in Manassas, Va.

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    Flight Simulator

    Stefan Schwart and Udo Klingenberg preparing a self-built flight simulator to land at Hong Kong airport, from Rostock, Germany

    EPA

The researchers, from a company called Vicarious, managed to build an AI system – called the Recursive Cortical Network (RCN) – that approaches Captcha challenges in much the same way that a human would.

“With one model, we achieve an accuracy rate of 66.6% on reCAPTCHAs, 64.4% on BotDetect, 57.4% on Yahoo, and 57.1% on PayPal, all significantly above the 1% rate at which CAPTCHAs are considered ineffective,” they wrote in a blog post

“When we optimize a single model for a specific style, we can achieve up to 90% accuracy.”

The researchers say it managed to break “a wide variety of text-based Captchas” with “very little training data”.

28fe2_google Bot 'breaks' Captcha, making the most annoying thing on the internet pointless

Instead of trying to familiarise itself with every possible type of Captcha it might come across, the researchers wanted the system to “learn and generalize from a few examples”, as humans can. 

“Although specific Captchas have been broken before using style-specific segmentation heuristics, those attacks could be foiled easily by minor alterations to Captchas,” the researchers wrote in a paper that has been published in the journal Science.

“RCN breaks the segmentation defense in a fundamental way and with very little training data, which suggests that websites should move to more robust mechanisms for blocking bots.”

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The Apple-Amazon standoff that makes it so annoying to buy ebooks on your iPhone

Today Amazon rolls out its biggest update to Kindle for iOS since the e-reader launched 10 years ago. Frankly, it’s a let-down in its most important area: actually buying books.

The new Kindle app for iPhone is meant to look cleaner and more like a book (essentially, the cover is bigger and you can read with a white background instead of just a dark one). Much of the development seems to have gone into integrating the app with reading community Goodreads. This allows people to find new books recommended by friends or readers they like, and to create lists of books they want to read or have finished. But there’s one key function conspicuously missing from the app: You still can’t buy books on it.

In a press release, Amazon says the updated app “easily gives you access to millions of books—so you can read anytime, anywhere.” Alas, it does not. Amazon’s Kindle, Audible, and eponymous apps have never let iPhone users buy digital books; the experience of trying to buy an ebook or audiobook on an iPhone remains the awkward dance it’s been.

If you’re looking for a specific book, you search in the app, and you’re brought to a product page:

75d49_collage_colorcorrected The Apple-Amazon standoff that makes it so annoying to buy ebooks on your iPhone75d49_collage_colorcorrected The Apple-Amazon standoff that makes it so annoying to buy ebooks on your iPhone
(Quartz/Thu-Huong Ha)

There’s no option to buy and start reading, but rather two buttons: “Send a free sample” and “Add to List,” meaning an Amazon wishlist. There is one line above that says, helpfully, “How can I read this book?” When you tap, the text informs you, unhelpfully, you can purchase the book from Amazon. What’s not explicit is that you actually have to switch to your browser on mobile or desktop, buy the book from Amazon.com, and have it sent to your mobile device. That’s surprising, considering how easy Amazon makes it to accidentally buy stuff.

By contrast, an Android user using the Kindle app can simply add books to her cart, then hit a button that takes her directly to the buy page.

“We would love to offer the ability to sell Kindle books directly through Kindle for iOS, but we’d need acceptable business terms first,” Amazon, hinting at an explanation, writes by email.

The convoluted interface is due to a stand-off between Apple and Amazon. When Steve Jobs was still alive, the companies competed to control ebook pricing, which led to an antitrust lawsuit between Apple and the US. Though Apple lost, it now requires vendors to fork over a 30% cut of in-app purchases of digital products like books and music. But Amazon already has to split its ebook sales with authors and book publishers, and the cost appears prohibitive to the e-retailer.

Amazon has tried awkward solution after awkward solution to circumnavigate app store restrictions. In 2013, Kindle let users search for any book, not just the ones in their own libraries, for the first time, adding free samples and a link at the end that would let the reader email herself a link to buy the book. (This function has since been removed.) Currently the app store policies stipulate that app developers can’t “directly or indirectly” discourage users from making in-app purchases. Presumably that’s why in 2011 a prominently placed “Kindle Store” button was removed from the app.

Apple is more lenient on letting people buy subscriptions, so if you’re a Prime member or if you subscribe to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, you can download books from those services just fine within the app. But currently there appears to be no direct link from anywhere within the Kindle app for iPhone to a place where you can actually buy an ebook.

For the time being, it seems, Amazon is stymied.

Your iPhone’s password demands aren’t just annoying. They’re a security flaw

The iPhone’s habit of repeatedly requesting your Apple ID password with little explanation or warning isn’t just annoying – it’s also a security flaw which could allow attackers to craft extremely convincing phishing attacks, an iOS developer has warned.

Regular users of iPhones or iPads will be used to sporadic requests from the operating system to enter their Apple ID password, popping up in the middle of other activities and preventing them from continuing until they accede to the request.

It can be frustrating, particularly if the password is long and complex, and it can often be hard to work out why, precisely, the device needs your credentials. But according to developer Felix Krause, the incessant requests are more than just an irritation.

“Users are trained to just enter their Apple ID password whenever iOS prompts you to do so. However, those popups are not only shown on the lock screen, and the home screen, but also inside random apps, eg when they want to access iCloud, GameCenter or in-app purchases,” Krause said.

“This could easily be abused by any app, just by showing [an alert] that looks exactly like the system dialogue. Even users who know a lot about technology have a hard time detecting that those alerts are phishing attacks.”

Apple’s standard alerts look identical to those that normal developers can present, Krause noted, which means a well-crafted phishing pop-up could present absolutely no visual warnings that something “phishy” was afoot.

Apple declined to comment.

Felix Krause
(@KrauseFx)

The most shocking thing about this, is that it only took me about 15 minutes to build a perfect replica of the original pic.twitter.com/iiMKLLHvA6


October 10, 2017

As currently constituted, there is only one way a user can be certain that the request for a password comes from Apple and not a rogue app, Krause said: hit the home button before entering the password. That’s because only Apple itself can respond to home button inputs. Any other app will be forced to close, and with it, the fake pop up.

There is no evidence Krause’s suggestion has been implemented in practice by any unscrupulous developer, and to use it for an effective phishing attack still has two further hurdles to overcome: the app must make it past Apple’s reviewers to get on the App Store, and the developer must convince users to install it.

Nonetheless, the problem faced by Apple is one that many other software developers have had to tackle over the years. “Security overload”, or the risk that users become so overwhelmed by security features that they actually create insecurity, is a long-running problem.

Famously, Windows Vista launched with a feature called User Account Control, which was intended to prevent rogue programs from taking over an infected computer. But in practice, it meant that the operating system interrupted the user to ask permission almost every time any program wanted to do anything. That meant users rapidly learned to simply click continue without reading the dialogue, undoing any security progress and eventually forcing Microsoft to replace the feature entirely in Windows 7.

Even before then, however, Microsoft had solved one of the problems that currently affects iOS. In its versions of Windows for business customers, it came up with an ingenious way to ensure that malware couldn’t ask for a user’s password: the real login screen on those versions of Windows can only be accessed by using a keyboard command, control-alt-Delete, that only Microsoft is able to respond to.

It’s the same idea as Felix Krause’s suggestion to hit the home button before entering passwords, except it was implemented almost 20 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The 5 most annoying changes in the new iPhone update — and how to fix them

0fe59_B20229286 The 5 most annoying changes in the new iPhone update — and how to fix them

iPhone 8 Buyers Report ‘Annoying Static Sounds’ During Calls

Several iPhone 8 and 8 Plus handsets are allegedly emitting “very annoying” static sounds through their front-facing earpieces when owners conduct routine phone calls, according to a growing number of complaints posted to the MacRumors’ Support forums. The issue was first published to said forums by a user who goes by vask on Friday, shortly after the handset launched. Since then, a somewhat concerning number of iPhone 8 Plus owners, in particular, from across the U.S., Europe, and Australia, have contributed reports of similar issues.

Interestingly, while most of these iPhone 8 Plus buyers report experiencing the static, crackling sounds when they conduct phone calls through the handset’s earpiece, the issue appears to correct itself when headphones are plugged in or speakerphone is enabled, which may suggest that whatever’s causing the noise is software-related, rather than a hardware defect.

“It is a high-pitched crackle like an audio pop that happens in the earpiece top speaker intermittently during calls. Some calls are fine and others crackle. It is not audible on earphones or on speakerphone, only through the earpiece. The caller on the other end doesn’t hear it,” explained forum member jgpsolo, while Switzerland-based forum member, ManuCH, added that the problem occurs “With or without Wi-Fi calling, with 4G voice (VoLTE) on or off, with phone noise cancelling enabled or disabled under accessibility, and even with third party VoIP apps over several different carriers.”

Is There a Solution?

At present, it appears that some of those affected have tried one of several potential fixes, garnering mixed results, such as performing a hard reset, erasing the iPhone and resetting it from scratch, and even outright returning what they thought was a defective device, only to be given a replacement that’s beset by the same issues, according to MacRumors.

The good news, at least, is that Apple is aware of the problem and is currently looking into how it can be fixed.

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