Does your web page look out of sorts following a recent update? Or perhaps an old image is still showing despite the fact you’ve been told it has been updated?

A hard refresh may be needed.

Please take a look at the infographic below. This details how to do a hard refresh in the most common browsers – Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari — on both Windows and Mac.

Browser caching is useful for web browsing in that it allows for page that you’ve visited previously to load much more quickly. Modern browsers like Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari tend to cache front-end resources like JavaScript and style sheets (CSS) to increase web application and website performance.

While enhancing performance is usually a great thing, cached resources can cause problems when you have a major change to a web application’s JavaScript or style sheets.

Sometimes, the only way to see updates is by doing a hard refresh or by clearing the entire cache of the browser.

Adobe Flash Player was the browser plug-in that brought rich animations and interactivity to the early websites.

Originally released in 1996, “Flash” was one of the most popular ways for people to stream videos and play games online but it was plagued with security problems and failed the tranistion into smartphones which ultimately has led to its demise.

Adobe (who made Flash) will no longer offer security updates for Flash and has urged people to uninstall it. It will also stop videos and animations running in its Flash Player from 12 January.

In 2009 Adobe said Flash was installed on 99% of internet-connected desktop PCs and Laptops and was used on 70% of all websites in some form.

You can find out more from the BBC’s article.

Google Cloud has acquired a London-based startup called Dataform that builds tools to manage data flows for enterprise customers.

The company is described as an “operating system” for data warehouses and some of its co-founders are ex-Google employees. Its platform aims to help data-rich businesses draw insights by mining data stored in warehouses.

This is something that usually requires a team of engineers and analysts, but the Dataform system is about making the process simpler and cheaper for organisations.

Under the terms of the deal, Dataform will continue to operate under its management and focus on BigQuery. The Dataform Web will also be made free for all new users from now on with customers transitioned to the free plan immediately.

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

Sales at Domino’s were up 19% in the three months to September, compared to the same period in 2014, thanks to one simple change to the way that they do business.

The company grew its online ordering business – through its website, an app and even the Apple Watch. So far this year, three-quarters of Domino pizza orders were made online and half of those orders have come through the company’s app or digital devices.

That’s boosted sales by 19 per cent across the group and 20 per cent in the UK exclusively, to £214.5 million in sales across the group, £200 million of which were in the UK.

Domino’s said good summer sales were helped by cooler weather, which saw people shunning barbeques and ordering pizza instead.

Domino’s mobile technology puts it far ahead of rivals. Last year it introduced a Siri-like voice recognition system to take orders through its app and earlier this year it introduced ordering via Pebble and Android smart watches.

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

1. Text Highlights and Underlines

There’s always been an unwritten rule in website design that text uses more plain styles. Bold is acceptable, italics are OK from time to time, but underlining is seldom used. This design trend bucks that concept with text elements that use highlighter or underline elements to emphasize key words. And it works rather nicely.

What it takes to make this work is plenty of contrast and a design style that fits with underline or highlighted elements.

This design trend works thanks to clear intention. The words are obviously important to the overall meaning of the design or what visitors should take away from the content.

2. Distinct Geometry

Geometric shapes in website design have popped up as trending elements in a variety of forms. This iteration is pretty simple: Use of distinct geometry as part of the overall aesthetic.

Geometry might pair with illustrations, photos, text, or in the background or foreground. What’s great about shapes is that they are versatile and work with a lot of other design patterns.

What can be the most challenging about shapes and design is that distinct geometry requires some space and thought. Just tossing a few triangles or rectangles in a design without reason can look rather strange.

3. Shadow and Gradient Icons

Did you notice all the gradients and subtle shadows in icons in the images previewing iOS 14 or were you just looking at other changes (such as widgets) on the iPhone screen? We’ve been seeing more designers incorporating more shadows and depth into icons for a while, but this move by a major player in design will push it to the forefront fast. Each of the icons moves from a flat style to one with a background gradient color as well as more shadows within icon elements for depth.

Don’t worry, the design still looks very much like Apple, but is a little more reminiscent of the skeuomorphism style icons from earlier versions of iOS.

It’s nice that the color and shadow elements are contained within each icon. This creates more visual interest and depth for each element without getting cluttered or junky. The gradients are also super simple, using a darker version of the main color in a monotone element.

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/