iPhone and iPad users are being warned that some apps may experience issues because Apple only gave us (app developers) just one day’s notice of the release of the next itteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 14. Thanks yet again for the advanced notice Tim!

Chief executive Tim Cook revealed on Tuesday 14th Sep that iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 would launch on Wednesday 15th Sep. Last year, Apple announced the release date more than a week in advance which in our opinion is still not long enough!

We do not have enough time to check for bugs and submit the latest version of our apps to the Apple App Store and we’re not alone! Much larger companies such as Nintendo have also felt the pain, they have warned gamers that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will not launch after the update.

Nintendo have advised players to delay installing the new operating systems until later this month and we would like to follow suit and advise our customers and their users to do the same.

We’re really starting to dislike Apple now!

Aside from being hit with this out of nowhere and given no time to resubmit our apps, us and many in the community have already voiced concerns over the 30% cut the firm takes from sales and its sometimes closed and unhelpful review process. The issue even overshadowed Apple’s WWDC conference earlier in the year, when it became involved in a high-profile public row with the creators of a new email app called Hey.

More recently, a clash with the games developer Epic has led to Apple device owners being unable to get the latest version of Fortnite or install the game at all from scratch. Apple’s restrictions on third-party games platforms have also been criticised by Microsoft, and led to iPhone and iPad users being unable to play Xbox games on the devices, despite them being made available to Android.

iOS 14’s new features… new or just following Android?

iOS 14 has had a significant overhaul to Apple’s user interface.Widgets can be added to home screens to display the weather, time, stock prices or other information at a glance, and the selection can be set to change according to the time of day (sounds like Android OS to us?)

Apps can be automatically arranged into themed folders to make it easier for users to find their favourite services. And videos and Facetime calls can be made to appear in a small box that floats above the app in use, rather than taking up the full screen which will actually be quite useful.

In addition, there is also apparently:

  • a new Translation app
  • new cycling directions in Maps
  • new ways to customise the cartoon-like Memoji owners can use as avatars

iPad owners also gain new features for the Apple Pen, including the automatic conversion of handwriting into text and shape recognition.

There are also a bunch of security and platform updates for us to work our way through! We’re happy the new version iOS is out and that is got some great features but next time Apple, give us a bit more notice (oh, and reduce the 30% AppStore cut, thanks!)

Samsung has tackled one of the biggest criticisms of its original folding-screen smartphone by giving the new version a much bigger external display for use when it is closed. The original Galaxy Fold’s “cover screen” was a relatively small 4.6in, leading to claims it was fiddly to use. By contrast, the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s external screen is 6.2in – the same as the best-selling Galaxy S20.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2

Despite this, Samsung’s focus will be on its new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra phones. Both deliver 5G connectivity, but otherwise represent a more modest revision to their predecessors than the change in the Fold.

The Ultra offers the benefits of a larger screen – 6.9in versus 6.7in – which is also capable of showing up to 120 frames per second, double the rate of the basic model. Samsung suggests this should make it more attractive to gamers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Other changes centre around the stylus and include:

  • faster response times when using the S Pen, to help make writing and drawing feel more natural
  • the addition of five S Pen off-screen gestures to control the device, including flicking to the left in the air to go back a page and a shake to take a screenshot
  • handwriting recognition that automatically straightens scribbled text

Additional new features include the ability to stream video to a compatible TV while continuing to let the handset be used for other tasks – similar to the AirPlay function on Apple’s iPhone.

And files can now be transferred wirelessly by pointing one of the phones at another “ultra-wideband-enabled” device, similar to the way Apple’s AirDrop and Huawei’s Share OneHop work.

The Note 20 will start at £849 and the Note 20 Ultra at £1,179 when they go on sale on 21 August 2020.

You can find out more about the Note 20 and Fold 2 at sumsung.co.uk

It’s time for the May 2020 Android security patch! If you own a Google Pixel smartphone (any except for the original Pixel), you can perform a software update check now in System Settings to grab the new patch. Conversely, you can update manually or simply wait for the OTA notification.

Latest Google Pixel 4

According to the bulletin associated with the May 2020 Android security patch, there’s not much else going on here for Pixel phones. Usually, Google will include some new tweaks or features with its updates, but this time it looks to be just the security patch and the usual bug fixes.

With Google now doing so-called “feature drops”, the monthly Pixel updates end up being a little less exciting. Still, being up-to-date on security is always good, so don’t pass up the May 2020 Android security patch.

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

Over one year from its a initial launch data, and nearly half a year from its iOS launch, Fortnite has finally announced the list of Android devices that will also soon support the popular video game. A full list of supported platforms is provided at the bottom of this article, but suffice it so say that a majority of newer Google, Huawei, Sony, Samsung, and Motorola phones will be supported.

This much-anticipated release reportedly also comes in concurrence with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which will enjoy exclusive access to the game for a month before the full rollout to all other supported devices. That’s right, if you’ve preordered the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 not only will you be able to use the game a month before every other Android user, but you will also be rewarded with a substantial amount of in-game currency called V-bucks. Allowing the user to buy their particularly famous dance moves, taunts, skins, and more.

The app does not currenlty have an official release date, but many have speculated that it will drop for everyone with the supported devices around the games 1 year anniversary on September 25.

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.