Proxxi saves workers from getting electrocuted

There are some gadgets that are nice to have – iPhones, sous vide wands – and some gadgets that you must have. Proxxi fits in the latter camp.

Proxxi is an always-on sensor that buzzes when it gets too close to high voltage electricity. Its worn by mechanics and electricians and warns them when they get too close to something dangerous. The Vancouver-based company just sold out of its initial commercial evaluation units and they’re building a huge business supplying these clever little bracelets to GE, Con Edison, Exelon, Baker Hughes, Schneider Electric and ABB. The bracelet connects to an app that lets workers silence warnings if they’re working on something that is energized and it also tracks the number of potentially harmful interactions wirelessly. This lets management know exactly where the trouble spots are before they happen. If, for example, it senses many close brushes with highly charged gear
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How to download your data from Apple

Good news! Apple now allows U.S. customers to download a copy of their data, months after rolling out the feature to EU customers.

But don’t be disappointed when you get your download and find there’s almost nothing in there. Earlier this year when I requested my own data (before the portal feature rolled out), Apple sent me a dozen spreadsheets with my purchase and order history, a few iCloud logs, and some of my account information. The data will date back to when you opened your account, but may not include recent data if Apple has no reason to retain it. But because most Apple data is stored on your devices, it can’t turn over what it doesn’t have. And any data it collects from Apple News, Maps and Siri is anonymous and can’t attribute to individual users. Apple has a short support page explaining the kind of
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Apple overhauls its privacy pages, and now lets U.S. customers download their own data

Apple has refreshed and expanded its privacy website, a month after its most recent iPhone and Mac launches.

You’re not going to see much change from previous years — the privacy pages still state the same commitments that Apple’s long held, like that privacy is a “fundamental human right” and that your information is largely on your iPhones, iPads and Macs. And, now with a bevy of new security and privacy features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, the pages are updated to include new information about end-to-end encrypted group FaceTime video calls and improvements to intelligence tracking protections — and, how it uses differential privacy to understand which are the most popular features so it can improve, without being able to identify individual users. One key addition this time around: Apple is expanding its data portal to allow U.S. customers to get a copy of the data
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How to Install the iOS 12.1 Public Beta

Should you install a public beta of iOS on your primacy iPhone or iPad? Most people caution against it—especially when a beta is in its earlier stages, since you never know what kind of bugs might brick that-which-you-use-your-iPhone-to-do (or your favorite apps). Read more...

How to Hide Your App Folder Names in iOS

If you’re the kind of person who uses a little creativity when organizing the apps on your iPhone or iPad—by icon color, for example—it might be time to take your device’s look to the next level. Sure, you can name your folders something descriptive and/or witty, like “yellow” instead of the category of the apps found… Read more...

Google’s latest hardware innovation: Price

With its latest consumer hardware products, Google’s prices are undercutting Apple, Samsung, and Amazon. The search giant just unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, tablet, and smart home device and all available at prices well below their direct competitors. Where Apple and Samsung are pushing prices of its latest products even higher, Google is seemingly happy to keep prices low and this is creating a distinct advantage for the company’s products.

Google, like Amazon and nearly Apple, is a services company that happens to sell hardware. It needs to acquire users through multiple verticals including hardware. Somewhere, deep in the Googleplex, a team of number crunchers decided it made more sense to make its hardware prices dramatically lower than competitors. If Google is taking a loss on the hardware, it is likely making it back through services. Amazon does this with Kindle devices. Microsoft and Sony do it with game consoles.
more Google Event 2018 coverage
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UK High Court blocks compensation suit against Google’s ‘Safari workaround’

An attempt to bring a class-action style litigation in the UK to claim up to £3BN in compensation from Google for ignoring iPhone user privacy settings has been blocked after the High Court judge ruled the case cannot proceed. The case pertains to actions by Google between 2011 and 2012 when it allegedly harvested personal data from Safari users without their permission, via the use of tracking cookies. In the US, Google settled with the FTC over the same cookie tracking issuing — agreeing in 2012 to pay $22.5M to settle the charge that it bypassed Safari’s privacy settings to serve targeted ads to consumers. In the UK a civil legal action was filed last year by one named iPhone user, Richard Lloyd — the former director of consumer group, Which? — who was seeking to represent millions of UK users, whose Safari settings the complaint alleged were similarly
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The accessibility of the iPhone XS Max

I’ve heard it said many times recently by hosts of various Apple-focused podcasts that adapting to the new iPhone XS Max has felt like “coming home.” For these members of the so-called “Plus Club” — the whimsical name referring to the group of users who have chosen Plus models in the past — the return to a device with such a massive display felt instantly familiar, comfortable even. After a year with the smaller, 5.8-inch iPhone X, I, too, have experienced these feelings of comfort and familiarity. I’ve been testing an iPhone XS Max, a review unit provided to me by Apple, for close to two weeks and am reminded
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Most iOS devices now run iOS 12 according to Mixpanel’s data

Analytics company Mixpanel is currently tracking the install base of iOS 12. And the latest version of iOS is quite popular as it’s already installed on roughly 47.6 percent of all iOS devices. 45.6 percent of devices still run iOS 11, and 6.9 percent of iOS users run an older version. Adoption rate is an important metric for app developers. With major iOS releases, Apple also releases new frameworks. But developers still need to support old versions of iOS for a little bit before moving entirely to newer frameworks and drop support for old iOS versions. But it’s interesting to see that you can already drop support for iOS 10 without losing too many customers. Chances are that users who don’t update their version of iOS don’t really care about having the latest version of your app anyway. With iOS 11, it took much longer to reach
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Samsung forecasts record $15.5B profit thanks to chips not smartphones

Samsung’s last quarter of business saw its slowest growth of profits in a year thanks to weak sales of its flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone. But the company is about much more than just phones, and that’s why it is forecasting a record operating profit of nearly $15.5 billion for its upcoming Q3 results. The Korean firm said in a filing that it expects to revenue jump five percent year-on-year to hit 65 trillion KRW ($57.5 billion) with an operating profit of 17.5 trillion KRW ($15.5 billion), which represents a 20 percent annual jump and an 18 percent increase on the previous quarter. Samsung’s pre-earnings filings are brief and don’t contain detailed information about the performance of its business units, thus we can’t assess demand for its high-end phones — which include the Note 9 — in the quarter that Apple unveiled its newest iPhones. But the clues suggest
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Vital Labs’ app can measure changes in your blood pressure using an iPhone camera

If a twinkle in the eye of a venture capitalist could predict the longevity of a startup, Vital Labs is going all the way. During a quick demo of the Burlingame, Calif.-based startup’s app, called Vitality, True Ventures partner Adam D’Augelli’s enthusiasm was potent. The company, which emerges from stealth today, is pioneering a new era of personalized cardiovascular healthcare, he said. Vitality can read changes in a person’s blood pressure using an iPhone’s camera and graphics processing power. The goal is to replace blood pressure cuffs to become the most accurate method of measuring changes in blood pressure and eventually other changes in the cardiovascular system. The app is still in beta testing and is expected to complete an official commercial rollout in 2019. Here’s how it works: The technology relies on a technique called photoplethysmography. By turning on the light from a phone’s flash and placing a person’s index finger
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Opera Touch is a solid alternative to Safari on the iPhone

Browser company Opera is back doing what it does best, offering you beautifully-designed alternatives to the stock browsers from the likes of Google and Apple . This week the company brought its ‘Opera Touch’ browser to iOS to give iPhone owners a new alternative to the basic Safari browser. The app was first launched for Android in April and, as we noted at the time, it reinvents a lot of the established paradigms to work well on mobile and particularly large screens that don’t have a home button — which is steadily becoming every premium devices on the market today. Touch for iOS — which you can download here — will be particularly of interest to owners of the iPhone X or Apple’s newest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and (upcoming) iPhone XR devices since it is optimized for one-handed use. That’s to say it employs the same nifty user interface
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See the new iPhone’s ‘focus pixels’ up close

The new iPhones have excellent cameras, to be sure. But it’s always good to verify Apple’s breathless onstage claims with first-hand reports. We have our own review of the phones and their photography systems, but teardowns provide the invaluable service of letting you see the biggest changes with your own eyes — augmented, of course, by a high-powered microscope. We’ve already seen iFixit’s solid-as-always disassembly of the phone, but TechInsights gets a lot closer to the device’s components — including the improved camera of the iPhone XS and XS Max. Although the optics of the new camera are as far as we can tell unchanged since the X, the sensor is a new one and is worth looking closely at. Microphotography of the sensor die show that Apple’s claims are borne out and then some. The sensor size has increased from 32.8mm2 to 40.6mm2 — a
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iPhone XS Max is reportedly dramatically outselling the XS

According to some early numbers from Apple analyst extraordinaire, Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone Max XS is currently running laps around its smaller counterpart. In a note posted by MacRumors, Kuo suggested that the 6.5-inch handset sold three to four time as well as the XS during its inaugural weekend.

“We have determined that the demand for XS Max is better than expected (3–4 times that of XS),” says Kuo. “The gold and space-grey colors are significantly more popular than the silver. 256GB is the most popular, and 512GB is subject to a serious shortage because only Samsung can currently ship NAND Flash well. We are positive that XS Max shipments will grow steadily in 4Q18 thanks to demand from Asia market and the gift season.”

The higher demand shouldn’t be altogether surprising. After all, the XS doesn’t mark an earth shattering upgrade over its predecessor. The

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Happy 10th anniversary, Android

It’s been 10 years since Google took the wraps off the G1, the first Android phone. Since that time the OS has grown from buggy, nerdy iPhone alternative to arguably the most popular (or at least populous) computing platform in the world. But it sure as heck didn’t get there without hitting a few bumps along the road. Join us for a brief retrospective on the last decade of Android devices: the good, the bad, and the Nexus Q.

HTC G1 (2008)

This is the one that started it all, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the old thing. Also known as the HTC Dream — this was back when we had an HTC, you see — the G1 was about as inauspicious a debut as you can imagine. Its full keyboard, trackball, slightly janky slide-up screen (crooked even in official photos), and considerable
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