Apple has announced a new iPhone SE, reviving a mid-market brand it had discontinued in 2018.

It resembles the form of 2017’s iPhone 8 with a 4.7in screen, and a fingerprint ID sensor but not a depth camera for facial recognition. It is powered by the same processor as the flagship iPhone 11 Pro, but lacks multiple rear cameras.

Apple's New iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is set to be priced at £419 in the UK.

One analyst said that having a mid-range phone again could help Apple compete for new customers against rivals such as Samsung and Google, which have a strong presence in that market sector.

The device supports wireless charging. Its rear-facing camera’s resolution is 12 megapixels and can still create background blur in portrait photos, despite lacking a second lens. The selfie camera is 7MP.

The iPhone SE goes on sale on 24 April.

You can find out more about Apples new SE on their website: https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-se/

Samsung launches three models in its new flagship ‘Galaxy S20’ smartphone range, all of which will be 5G-compatible. The top-end Galaxy S20 also introduces a 100x zoom camera.

They have also confirmed a new foldable; the Galaxy Z Flip. It uses “folding glass” in its display and small fibres in its hinge to protect itself from damage and Samsung have assured potential buys that it will not make the same mistake it did when it launched its last foldable, the Galaxy Fold. However, the Z Flip will only be available with 4G.

There are three Galaxy S20 variants:

  • S20 Base with a 6.2in (15.7cm) display. It has three rear cameras: a 64-megapixel telephoto lens, a 12MP wide and a 12MP ultra-wide. It starts at £799
  • S20 Plus with a 6.7in (17cm) display. It adds a depth sensor to the basic model’s array. It starts at £999
  • S20 Ultra has a 6.9in (17.5cm) display. Its telephoto lens is only 48MP, but the wide-angle lens is bumped up to 108MP. It starts at £1,199

More information can be found on Samsung’s S20 website.

The S20 Ultra’s camera module is thicker than that of the others to incorporate a periscope. This uses a prism to reflect light into the device’s interior, allowing the wide-angle option to feature a longer lens and bigger sensor.

Although it is possible to take 108MP shots, owners are expected to let the phone automatically merge groups of nine pixels into one most of the time. This aids low-light photography.

The 100x “super-resolution zoom” facility uses the lower-resolution 48MP camera. Machine-learning techniques stitch together pixels from up to 20 different frames to achieve a better result than would be possible via a simple digital zoom.

The Galaxy S20’s OS will be Android and we look forward to designing and developing bespoke mobile apps that can utilise Samsung’s new flagship hardware.

The Z Flip

Several of its features – including a clamshell design with a small display on the outside and a 6.7in foldable screen on the inside.

It represents the firm’s second attempt at a foldable after the troubled launch of the Galaxy Fold tablet-phone hybrid.

This time round, the concept is a tall-screened phone that can be used one-handed when opened, and made wallet-sized when closed.

The hinge mechanism has also evolved. It now incorporates tiny brushes to sweep away dirt and dust particles. In addition, it can hold the device partially open, which Samsung is pitching as being helpful for taking selfies or recording vlogs.

The firm says it can be opened and closed more than 200,000 times. and the other big change is to the display, which now features a substance Samsung calls “folding glass”.

The Z Flip will cost £1,300 in the UK and becomes available on 14 February.

More information can be found on Samsung’s Z Flip website.

What is two-factor authentication? 

Breaking it down to the most simple explanation, it’s basically adding a second layer of protection to your account, app or system to go alongside your regular method of logging in. In most instances, this involves receiving a code by SMS to your mobile number, but increasingly apps and services are sending a confirmation number to your device as a notification instead. Sometimes you can just tap the notification to approve the login. More commonly though, emails are sent containing the 6 digit code which you then use alongside your normal username/email and password.

How does two-factor authentication make your account more secure? 

The idea is that you’re adding a confirmatory step to your sign in attempt. Using the SMS example, it means no one can log into the account in question from a new device, even if they have your password. When using two-factor authentication via email, again it requires access to the email account associated with the platform you’re attempting to log in to.

When someone tries to log into your account from a new device, or even new browser, with your password, when they hit “enter” or “submit”, it’ll take them to a new screen asking for a code. This code has been sent to the registered mobile number as an SMS, a notifications via an app or to your email account. 

Some apps that use notifications also send you a code. But increasingly, apps are just sending a notification to your key devices so you can just confirm it was you signing in (in ther words, there’s no code)

Does two-step authentication always need a mobile number? 

As an example, WhatsApp can’t use your mobile number as its second verification method, because that’s the primary method for logging in. So instead, it asks you for a six-digit PIN number every so often, or when you log in from a new smartphone. 

While Apple does use SMS verification for iCloud account security, it also uses its “Trusted Devices” method. Using this method, it sends a four-digit code directly to a trusted and verified device, which then pops up in a little window on the screen once you unlock your iPhone or iPad. 

Where SMS isn’t used there’s often the option of getting a two-factor authentication code from a dedicated app like Google Authenticator. These sorts of apps simply offer access to a time-sensitive code that changes after a given period of time and so is constantly secure but gives you quick and easy access to your account. 

What if I’ve lost my phone? 

Most services – as mentioned – offer more than just the phone number SMS method for logging in. Nearly all of them will offer you the ability to generate backup codes or, like Apple, give you a recovery key that’s a really long chain of letters and numbers which you can input instead of using your password and SMS code.

Be sure to set up a recovery key, and store it somewhere safe like in a password-protected document and/or secure password app. 

Is it worth it? 

Yes. Absolutely. Once it’s set up it only adds one extra step to logging into your account from a new device or browser.

It’s always worth doing and failing to do so can often lead you open to privacy nightmares. An revealed just how dangerous this can be. There have been several reports of incidents where owners of smart home cameras have had their devices hacked and been spied upon by criminals simply because they failed to use a secure password and activate two-factor authentication.

On the off-chance that someone has got your password, and tries to get into your account, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they can’t get in without also having your phone (or access to your email account) which – even if they have – is likely locked and protected behind a password, pattern or fingerprint scan. 

To add further privacy, there are settings within Android and iOS to ensure that you can stop SMS notifications from showing up on a lock screen. Just head to Settings > Notifications and select which apps you want to have display information on the lock screen, or choose to hide sensitive information (on Android).

More information can be found on PocketLint

Apple iPhone 5 users have been asked by Apple to update their OS before 3rd Nov or they will lose access to the internet. Apple said users who did not download iOS 10.3.4 by 3rd November would be locked out of features that rely on the correct time and date.

iOS Update for iPhone 5

This includes the App Store, email, web browsing and storage service iCloud and although it’s not the latest version of the Apple iOS, it is the most up-to-date available for the iPhone 5.

Users of older iPhones have also been advised to update their software in order to maintain GPS location services.

To find out more and to see other devices directly effected please visit the original source at the BBC.

Huawei has officially announced HarmonyOS, or Hongmeng if you live in China. It is the operating system it was rumored to be developing to replace Android amidst all the legal implications the company is currently facing. The company says the operating system, a microkernel-based distributed OS, can be used in everything from smartphones to smart speakers, wearables, and even in-vehicle systems to create a shared ecosystem, a bit like what Samsung are also working to acheive. The operating system will be released as an open-source platform worldwide to encourage adoption and hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on this asap.

HarmonyOS

There’s been a lot of speculation about Huawei’s in-house operating system ever since Google suspended the company’s Android license back in May, following the US government’s decision to put Huawei on the Entity List. Huawei has made no secret of the fact that it’s been working on its own OS, but the extent to which it would be able to act as a substitute for Android is unclear. Huawei plans to launch HarmonyOS on “smart screen products” later this year, before expanding it to work on other devices, like wearables, over the next three years.

To find out more about Huawei’s new OS, click here to read this article on the Verge

Harnessing technology to improve sustainability is increasingly becoming a top priority for businesses across all industries. A recent PwC study revealed that by using AI systems across their operations, global agriculture, transport, energy and water sectors could contribute to a 4% reduction of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

One industry that is emerging at the forefront of sustainability is the data centre industry. While driving energy efficiencies delivers benefits back to the business, it also has a positive impact on clients and of course, our environment. Any good data centre business knows that taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of their facility is essential, but how are the best ones already responding to this challenge?

You can read CloudTech’s full article on this here

Apps are the cornerstone of the iPhone – what really set it apart from Android back in the early days. But, saying that, the best iPhone apps are typically the best in class.

However, finding the greatest apps among the millions available isn’t easy, and so Tech Radar have done the hard work for you.

Tech Radar’s lists compile the very best the iPhone has to offer, whether using your iPhone for photos, video, drawing, music, office tasks, reading, maps, weather forecasts or keeping kids entertained.

This round-up compiles their favourites, from top-quality creative tools and video editors to the finest productivity kit and social networking clients. In addition to their ongoing list of the absolute best, every week they’re adding their picks for the latest and greatest new or updated apps, so check back often.

Even if you don’t have an iPhone right now, it’s worth reading up on what’s available if you’re considering investing in the iPhone XS or even one of the older models (if you need more info, check out Tech Radar’s list of the best iPhones) – but note that some of these titles will only work with models from iPhone 5S and later.

Click here to view the full article on Tech Radar.

What’s the best smartphone for mobile gaming… The specs war continues to rage, with RAM and processors being boosted every year. When it comes to gaming, the options have never been better. However, really all you need is one device, for now and the near future… the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge!

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is probably the most powerful smartphone available today. Packing the latest Snapdragon 820 processor, the Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB of RAM, it will cope with the most strenuous games available as well as those that are yet to be released.

SamsungS7Gaming

 

Samsung’s 2016 flagship smartphone is, of course, very expensive, but it offers the best gaming experience available today. It’s also future-proof, as far as a smartphone can be, guaranteeing at least two years of top-level performance.

The screens curved edges make the most of its 5.5 inch display, giving a really interesting take on the possibility for the future of the edges on a smartphone. As usual for Samsung, the viewing quality is of the highest standard available on the market. However, there aren’t many mobile apps developed that make specific use of the edge feature which is why games work so well on the S7!

Aside from the amazing specs of this smartphone, the device is set up specifically to offer a truly impressive gaming experience. A Samsung-only software feature called the Game Launcher, acts as a gaming center, organising your games. It also employs a floating button arrangement called the Game Tool, which can be used to block notifications and record your gameplay from within any game.

gamecentre

Not only that, but the S7 devices are the first smartphones to use the Vulkan API, which is looking set to be the future of mobile gaming.

Snapchat’s latest mobile app update now lets you put emojis on top of video snaps. So if you’d like to place, say, a “Smiley Face” emoji on top of your video, just record the clip (or choose from your existing vids!) and tap the emoji button at the top of the screen. After that, choose your emoji, drag it around the screen and place it where you’d like it to appear, and finally, resize it with the pinch-to-zoom gesture. You can choose static ones or emojis with subtle animations that can interact with onscreen objects. The update first arrived for Android users last week.

snap-chat-news

Not a groundbreaking Snapchat change, of course, but these subtle iterations and additions are what make the app so addicting and fun to use. Think of it as similar to lenses, the Snapchat feature that lets alter you and friends’ faces with zany animations. The more ways you can edit and modify snaps, the more users will keep coming back to Snapchat to try new things.

Never used Snapchat? Click here to download and take a look!

Working closely with the NHS Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, our mobile applications and cloud statistical systems are enabling better training and feedback for doctors and patients.

We have recently been tasked with designing and developing a cross-platform mobile application for use on smartphones and tablets that will enable doctors, nurses, surgeons, practitioners, GP’s and other administrative staff to quickly and accurately log all activity undertaken. Additionally the software will also be the basis for feedback and reporting during training sessions within STH for students training for their specialities.

The applications will also allow doctors to anomalously take patients email in order to forward on feedback surveys so the STH as a whole can obtain a full breakdown of how their medical staff are performing through the eyes of their patients.

Ultimately, the overall aim for the project over the coming years is to help the NHS understand what areas need improvement in order to provide a better and more efficient service for trainee doctors and patients alike.