Thursday, 16 August 2018

The Importance of Managing Your Mobile App Permissions


Smartphones are what they are because of the applications they house. Without them, they wouldn’t be smartphones; they’d be phones.

Whether it’s an app that counts how many steps you’ve taken, an app that lets you browse your social feed, or an app to edit your pictures until they’re perfect for Instagram, mobile apps are what makes our phones smart, and what makes them so hard to put down.

But, and this is a big but, have you ever stopped to think about what your favorite apps are doing with your data?

The thing is, many of us don’t think twice about the permissions we give our mobile apps after tapping the initial “Allow” when first opening them. Based on everything we’ve been hearing on the news lately about privacy and misuses of data, this is definitely not a good idea.

Permissions and Mobile Apps

Before we get to that why it’s not a good idea to stay in the dark about permissions, let’s do a quick overview on what they actually are.

App permissions are the privileges we give them; they’re what we allow our apps to do or not do with our phones and data. For example, whether we allow an app to access our phone’s camera or microphone.

For the most part, developers stick to what’s important. They’ll only request permission for something if it’s important for the app’s function, such as allowing an image editing app to access your photos.

That being said, app permissions to avoid are those that don’t impede on the app’s function. So if it’s not important to you, such as allowing an app to send you to push notifications, feel free to disallow it.

If you experience difficulties with that app after disabling the permission, such as trying to take a photo through a messaging app after disabling Camera access, simply turn it back on.

Why and How to Manage Your App Permissions

Now that we’ve covered app permissions, it’s time to talk about why and how to manage them.
For starters, you probably spend a lot of time on your apps, whether it’s messaging your friends, checking up on emails or watching movies. In other words, the more time you spend on those apps, the more data you’re feeding them.

Keep in mind that this isn’t inherently bad, after all, your apps need some permissions to work properly. But, there’s also a lot behind the scenes with some apps you may be unaware of.

For instance, why they need access to a specific permission even though it’s not entirely clear why it’s even needed in the first place. Because of this, it’s always important to audit your apps every now and then to ensure they’re not reaching beyond their means — example, if a video streaming app wants access to your Contacts.

It comes down to the fact that you need full control over all your data, and you can only do this by actually knowing what your apps are accessing.

Seeing as how iOS and Android are two of the most popular operating systems with mobile phones, let’s cover how to manage app permissions with these two.

Managing Your iOS App Permission List

Starting with iOS, because most devices that run on it are quite similar in terms of permissions, this guide should work for all.

To begin, find your phone’s app permission setting by going to Settings and tapping on Privacy.
Instead of seeing a list of apps and tapping on each to see its permissions, here you’ll see a list of all permissions, which you can use to find a specific one to see which apps have access to it.

Once you know which permission to manage, tap on it to see a list of apps that fall under it. If you want to turn the permission off for that specific app, simply tap on the app and you’ll be presented with a couple of options.

For instance, if we’re looking at the permission to access Photos, and from there the Facebook Messenger app, you’ll land on a screen with two options: “Never” or “Read and Write” (never is no and read and write is yes).

If you instead look at the Microphone permission, you’ll see a screen with the apps with that permission, which you can turn on or off by tapping on the slider. For another permission, let’s say Apple Health, you have more options, such as tracking how many hours you sleep or steps you’ve taken.

If, on the other hand, you want to get down to the nitty-gritty and go app by app instead of permission by permission, scroll past Privacy (don’t tap on it) until you see a list of all your apps.

To see exactly what each app has access to, tap on whichever one you want to see. After tapping, you’ll see a detailed menu of what that app can or can’t do.

For example, tapping on the Amazon app will show you that you can give it access to:
● Camera
● Siri & Search
● Notifications
● Background App Refresh
● Cellular Data
Additionally, you can choose to allow biometric authentication for sign-in if your phone has that capability.

For other apps, the process is the same, so feel free to check up on whichever you want.

Managing Your Android App Permission List

Moving to Android, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to devices that use it, and today we’ll be focusing on the Google Pixel. Like iOS, the process is similar for most, so this should be fine regardless of which Android device you have.

To begin, open Settings and go to the Apps & Notifications menu. Here, tap on a specific app you want to check.

Once on that app’s menu, tap Permissions to see everything it has access to, such as Location Services, Photos, Camera and more.

If you want to turn off a specific permission, simply tap on it. Keep in mind that if the permission is vital for the app to function properly, you may have to accept a confirmation that you do indeed wish to turn that permission off.

Simple as that. Like iOS, feel free to go through all your apps to make sure they’re only accessing what you want them to access.

Final Thoughts

Compared to the past, data is worth more than ever today — it’s the currency of choice for many.
For this very reason, it’s that much more important to manage your data and ensure it’s not falling in the wrong hands.

So be it your location or your contacts list, whatever it is, you need to know exactly who has access to it and why.

Good luck!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

How Mobile Is Revolutionizing Healthcare

Like pretty much everything else in the world, healthcare is going mobile. Thanks to our love of smartphones and the mobility they give us, and a shift from hospitals to personal care systems, this mobile trend is growing and shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the global mobile health market, also called mHealth, is expected to reach $58.8 billion by the end of 2020 at a CAGR of 32.3% between 2013 and 2020. And like everything else it touches, mobile is revolutionizing healthcare as avenues for remote monitoring and treatment are opened with the use of handheld mobile computers, smartphones, tablets and a host of wearable devices.

Benefits of Mobile Devices in Healthcare

The use of mobile devices in healthcare is acting as a catalyst to a paradigm shift that is changing the way the whole industry works. By allowing doctors to communicate with patients from anywhere in the world (and vice versa), mHealth is proving to be a great asset that allows for remote diagnoses and health tracking so delays in response are reduced or completely eliminated; if anything happens, action can be taken right then and there.

For example, with IoT and the emerging technology it brings that’s connecting tools like never before, and thanks to the mobile technology that’s streamlining processes and synthesising information with real-time information and updates, we now have remote patient monitoring that allows doctors to treat and diagnose patients who otherwise can’t make an in-person visit. They can review patient records and history while giving nurses and caregivers advice on what to do, and collect medical and health data and revert it back to them with accurate diagnoses. In doing so, they can help the elderly or those who can’t travel, such as expecting mothers, and provide services whenever they’re needed. Additionally, with the use of sensors in mobility devices like walkers and canes, alerts can be sent in case of accidents like a fall.

Along with a similar line, wearable devices like Fitbit, iWatch and a myriad of others are proving to be excellent for monitoring vitals and making sure everything stays in check. They can track health and wellness to ensure optimal health, and in case an emergency comes up (or is about to), (early) warnings and alerts can be sent to medical professionals to prevent disaster. As such, they can be also be used in chronic disease management for early detection of deterioration, such as in the maintenance of diabetes. In such a case, wearable devices can test blood pressure and glucose levels to ensure things are going as they should. Similarly, devices like wireless BP monitors, resynchronization therapy, and pacemakers can be used to reduce the risk of heart failure.

Mobile Apps in the Healthcare Industry

The buzz around mHealth isn’t just about physical devices, it’s also about certain mobile apps that are similarly revolutionizing healthcare. For example, HealthTap,  a technology company that delivers a suite of connected health apps, surveyed more than 65,000 physicians in its network and another 500,000 in its referral network on their recommendations on a wide variety of health and wellness apps. Here are the top 10 apps for iOS and Android they found:

Top Health and Medical Apps for iOS

1. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker (
2. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)
3. Lose It! (FitNow)
4. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)
5. First Aid (American Red Cross)
6. Runkeeper (FitnessKeeper)
7. Stroke Riskometer (Autel)
8. Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide (Phoneflips)
9. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)
10. Fooducate (Fooducate)

Top 10 Health and Medical Apps for Android

1. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)
2. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)
3. Lose It! (FitNow)
4. First Aid (American Red Cross)
5. RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk (FitnessKeeper)
6. Emergency First Aid/Treatment (Phoneflips)
7. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)
8. Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet (Fooducate)
9. Glucose Buddy – Diabetes Log (Azumio)
10. Pocket First Aid & CPR (Jive Media)

Final Thoughts

We are in an era marked by the digitization of practically everything, including the healthcare industry. This means quick diagnosis and timely and efficient intervention when it’s needed, and real-time visualization of a patient’s health that saves both time and resources. In translation, mHealth appears to be a clear-cut win-win.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Sony raises the price of PlayStation Vue service subscriptions

Basic service will be $ 44.99 and the highest service will be $ 84.99
Sony raises the price of Vue service subscriptions

Sony announced the price increase of Vue service to users for $5 for all subscriptions, the new changes will take place by the end of this month so that the basic subscription price rises from $ 39.99 to $ 44.99.

Vue offers premium content services, offering many options for users, especially for many entertainment networks in the United States.

The company said that the rise in the price of service comes as a result of higher operating costs as well as prices in general, which requires them to increase subscription prices to keep pace with the continuous rise.

The service offers 4 types of subscriptions: Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra. The price will be the same for all subscriptions. Basic service will be $ 44.99 and the highest service will be $ 84.99.

The service is available on Playstation as well as a number of interactive TVs, in addition to the availability to users on the computer and smart devices. The number of subscribers last year was more than 400,000.


Friday, 15 June 2018

Blockchain Smartphones: Are They Worth the Hype?

The blockchain is something you’ve undoubtedly heard of but probably don’t really know what it is. If you do know what it is, feel free to skip the next section and jump to the one after. For those who do not and would like to expand their knowledge, this one’s for you.

What Is Blockchain?

When you whittle away the exterior, blockchain is a list of records — called blocks — that are linked together and contain a cryptographic hash of the previous block. It’s essentially a peer-to-peer (P2P) network with a distributed time-stamping server that allows data to be stored globally on thousands upon thousands of servers. In other words, it’s a kind of public electronic ledger that’s openly shared among users around the world, and each time a transaction occurs, an unchangeable record of it is created, time-stamped and linked to the previous one.

Despite anyone on the network being able to see everyone else’s entries, blockchain is secure by design and pretty much impossible to be hacked into because it can only be updated by consensus among participants. That is to say that in order for something to be modified, the entire network must first agree on that change. In this way, a blockchain is resistant to data modifications and represents a big change in the way information is shared.

The many advantages of blockchain technology, such as its transparency and accountability, and its success in the banking industry, is spurring other industries to join the game. Case in point, the mobile blockchain, and the smartphone industry.

What Is a Blockchain Smartphone?


The idea of a blockchain phone has many people excited for a variety of reasons. For starters, having a phone that runs on blockchain means that breaches are a thing of the past. As it is, our phones are definitely not as secure as we’d like them to be, and there are usually dozens (or even hundreds) of applications on a typical smartphone that can compromise its privacy and security. Second, these blockchain-enabled smartphones can also lead to cryptocurrency wallets that offer an extra layer of security, and allow users to make and accept cryptocurrency payments to other devices.

Examples of Blockchain Smartphone Technology
Now that you know some of a blockchain phone’s benefits, it’s time to get acquainted with the phones bringing them to us.

Finney Blockchain Phone

First up is the Finney Blockchain Phone, which was announced last year by Sirin Labs as an open-source model that runs on the blockchain. According to its white paper, it’s going to run on Shield OS, Labs’ open source operating system (OS) that are designed “to support inherent blockchain applications, such as cold storage crypto wallet, secure exchange access, encrypted communications and a P2P resource sharing ecosystem for payment.” As such, users will be able to securely store cryptocurrencies on their phone and use it for payment, sort of like an Apple Pay or Google Pay.


Also announced last year is BitVault, which Embedded Downloads is touting as the world’s first crypto communicator and blockchain smartphone. With a third-party Independent Multilayer Security (3IMS) feature that works with fingerprint recognition and iris scans, paired with other features like voice and video calling, messaging and document sharing that are protected with private blockchain, this phone is the epitome of security. A quick note, unlike a public blockchain that allows anyone to participate, a private blockchain required an invitation and validation.

Due to its high security, BitVault is perfect for government entities, financial institutions, police personnel, security companies, and pretty much any business or individual who needs more privacy. Because it runs on a completely different OS than your average smartphone, the apps you currently have won’t work on it and vice versa, and to create apps for it, developers will need to purchase a developer license.

HTC Exodus

Finally, we have the HTC Exodus, another smartphone based on blockchain technology that comes with extra security, encryption and cryptocurrency support. This blockchain phone runs on what HTC calls ‘DApps,’ AKA decentralized applications that are also based on blockchain technology, and information from them is verified by users on the network. Each Exodus will also act as an encrypted node on a blockchain network, which essentially makes it VERY difficult to break into, and offers a native cryptocurrency wallet that lets users make and accept cryptocurrency payments to others.


Final Thoughts

To answer the question posed in the title (are blockchain smartphones worth the hype?), they most definitely are if you value your privacy and security and would prefer not to worry about people with nefarious intentions getting their hands on your data.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News
MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

A Mac developer named Steve Troughton-Smith was able to get a unique experience on the macOS 10.14, he then published screen shots for the new update which has several different features.

According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, the next update to the operating system will bring with it the dark mode feature, that is, the user interface will be available in black, and the interface will differ from the older interface of the Xcode application for developers.

The new additions will include an icon for a Mac News app in the Dock, It will likely bring the iOS 11 App Store redesign to the desktop.

Here’s a closer look at the new dark UI chrome. The toolbar buttons are dark gray with white tints for the glyphs. It looks a lot like the editing mode in the Photos app. The Xcode project navigator sidebar features complementary darkened translucent blur material. The Xcode storyboard window includes UI to let developers quickly switch between light and dark appearances.
MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

MacOS 10.14 looks like it will get dark mode and apply Apple News

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Facebook will remove the Trending topics section

Facebook will remove the Trending topics section

For the past four years, Facebook has posted on the Trending topics section of its Web site a collection of news feed that users interact with, and today the social network decided to remove this section.

The criticism Facebook has received over the years has not stopped, about the mechanism of selecting news and placing it in the Trending topics section. in many cases, it has been dominated by unreliable sources and has appeared on the list.

If you have not seen this section before, this is something that is expected and natural, since it was active in only five countries around the world, and through it, news sites received a small percentage of visitors.

At the same time, Facebook is testing a new way to show news on its site, such as breaking news and local news.

Facebook is currently testing the breaking news feature with 80 sites and publishers in several regions around the world, through the test, the site can mark and indicate that this link contains urgent news. facebook did not say whether it would give priority to such publications compared to others.

Facebook is also testing a new section called Today In, which introduces important local news to users, which varies by country and even the city and is updated from local news sites.

Also in terms of news, but on the video way, users within the United States have a date with a special section that displays live live news coverage of the news as well as videos containing daily and weekly summary of events.


Thursday, 31 May 2018

SoftBank invests $2.25 billion in GM's self-driving cars

self-driving cars is the future of the automotive industry

SoftBank invests $2.25 billion in GM's self-driving cars
SoftBank invests $2.25 billion in GM's self-driving cars

SoftBank plans to invest up to $ 2.25 billion in the US auto industry General Motors specifically with regard to self-driving cars.

The investment will be on two batches, the first $ 900 million to develop the project first, and the second at $ 1.35 billion when self-driving cars are ready for commercial sale.

This investment will be directed to the GM Cruise unit specializing in self-driving cars, the unit will remain a subsidiary of General Motors but a 19.6% stake will be sold to Softbank, and of course the authorities must agree with it beforehand.

GM will also invest $ 1.1 billion in the same unit after the completion of Softbank's investment deal.

According to Dan Amnann, president of General Motors, the most important thing for them is high security where cars must reach a high level of safety before they are ready to launch and sell officially.

This investment comes from Softbank at General Motors after the competition for self-driving cars industry there are Waymo as well as Uber and Tesla and many others are working in this area.

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