Posts with «author_name|cherlynn low» label

Chrome on iOS will be able to autofill your saved passwords on any app

If you store all your passwords on Chrome and use an iPhone, signing into your various accounts is about to get easier. The latest release of the browser for iOS (version M104) will bring the ability for you to set Chrome as your Autofill provider. It'll also add new "enhanced safe browsing" and Chrome Actions to the app on iPhones and iPads. 

Many of this features are already available in the Android edition of Chrome, like the Password Manager, which uses data you've elected to store in the browser to sign into apps on your phone. Enhanced Safe Browsing, when activated on your iPhone or iPad, will check if websites you're visiting are dangerous. Also, "Chrome warns you if your username and password have been compromised in a third-party data breach" when you enter your credentials into a website. It'll then urge you to change them everywhere. 

Something that's not yet available on Android is the first page when you re-open Chrome after awhile. According to Google's blog post, "We're making it easier for you to discover new content or start a fresh search in Chrome for iOS when you've been away for awhile." This is supposed to make "it easier to browse content, start a new Search or easily get back to your most frequently visited sites" while still letting you locate your recent tabs. Google added that this "will also come to Android soon."

Those who rely on Chrome's built-in translation tools might find the updated language identification model helpful. Google says this new on-device version will help you "accurately figure out the language of the page you're visiting, and whether it needs to be translated to match your preferences."

Meanwhile, Chrome Actions will make doing things like clearing your browsing data or opening an incognito tab easier on iOS. You won't have to go into the three-dot menu to hunt for those options anymore — you can just type a search term for the setting into the URL bar. "Delete history," for example, will bring you to the page to clear your browsing data. And if you were looking for info on that setting online, you'll still see the suggested search results below the suggested Action. 

Finally, Google also tweaked the three-dot menu "to be scannable and to highlight the most important destinations, such as your history, passwords and settings. The company said "your most commonly used destinations will be available at the top of the menu" and actions like creating Bookmarks or adding stuff to Reading List will be located higher up in the vertical menu. 

FBI warns crypto fraud on LinkedIn is a 'significant threat'

If you have a tendency to talk to people you don't know on LinkedIn, you may want to take extra care. According to a CNBC report, the company has acknowledged a "recent uptick of fraud on its platform," and this time the scams involve persuading users to make investments in cryptocurrency. It's been deemed as a "significant threat" by Sean Ragan, the FBI's special agent in charge of the San Francisco and Sacramento field offices in California, who spoke to the outlet.

CNBC said the schemes typically began with someone pretending to be a professional and reaching out to LinkedIn users. They would engage in small talk, offering to help users make money through crypto investments. First, they would tell their targets to go to an actual crypto investment platform, but "after gaining their trust over several months, tells them to move the investment to a site controlled by the fraudster." Thereafter, the money is "drained from the account."

According to victims interviewed by CNBC, the fact that they trusted LinkedIn as a platform for networking lent credibility to the investment offers. 

Ragan told CNBC that "the FBI has seen an increase in this particular investment fraud," which the outlet said "is different from a long-running scam in which the criminal pretends to show a romantic interest in the subject to persuade them to part with their money."

Linkedin

In a statement published yesterday, LinkedIn encouraged users to report suspicious profiles. The company's director of trust, privacy and equity Oscar Rodriguez told CNBC that "trying to identify what is fake and what is not fake is incredibly difficult."

LinkedIn's article urges users to "only connect with people you know and trust" and to "be wary of... people asking you for money who you don't know in person." The company added "This can include people asking you to send them money, cryptocurrency, or gift cards to receive a loan, prize, or other winnings."

It also lists "job postings that sound too good to be true or that ask you to pay anything upfront" and "romantic messages or gestures, which are not appropriate on our platform" as signs of potential fraud attempts.

The company isn't fully relying on its users reporting suspicious accounts as its only defense against scammers on its platform. "While our defenses catch the vast majority of abusive activity, our members can also help keep LinkedIn safe, trusted, and professional," Rodriguez wrote in the statement. LinkedIn also reported that "96% of detected fake accounts and 99.1% of spam and scams are caught and removed by our automated defenses."

Engadget Podcast: Google's AI isn't sentient but we must examine the ethics

This week, Devindra and Cherlynn dig into the story around Google engineer Blake Lemoine’s interview with the Washington Post and his belief that the company’s LaMDA language model is alive. What does it mean for AI (or anything else) to have consciousness? Do people understand AI, and what other areas of concern should we as a society consider as machines become more sophisticated and human-like? Then, we recap some of the biggest gaming news this week, as well as some wacky gadget announcements.

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!


Subscribe!


Topics

  • No, Google’s LaMDA AI isn’t sentient – 1:40

  • First look at gameplay from Bethesda’s Starfield RPG at Summer Games Fest – 25:39

  • Capcom announces Street Fighter 6 with a gorgeous trailer – 29:22

  • Hideo Kojima’s next game will be for Xbox – 32:55

  • Overwatch 2 early access coming on October 4th – 33:43

  • US proposes legislation to ban sale of location data – 34:14

  • Sony released a $3,700 Walkman – 38:42

  • Working on – 43:13

  • Pop culture picks – 44:34

Video livestream

Credits
Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar
Producer: Ben Ellman
Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos, Luke Brooks
Graphics artists: Luke Brooks, Brian Oh
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

WhatsApp finally makes moving from Android to iOS less painful

If the thought of losing your tremendous trove of WhatsApp chat histories, files and other data has been keeping you from making the jump to iOS, you'll no longer have to worry. Today, the app is adding a feature to help you move your content over, and it'll be part of Apple's existing "Move to iOS" tool. To be clear, WhatsApp's feature is available as a beta for now, so you may encounter bugs during the transfer process.

To port your files over, you'll want to pay attention to the Apps and Data transfer page while setting up your iPhone. After you select the "Move data from Android" option, your new iPhone will look for the Move to iOS app on your older device and create a peer-to-peer connection. Here, you can choose what apps, files, contacts and more to bring over to your iPhone, and starting today the option for WhatsApp will join that list. 

When you select WhatsApp, it will open automatically and prompt you to give permission to move your data over. Depending on the amount of content you have, it'll take awhile to package everything up to transfer to your iPhone. Apple will also pre-load the WhatsApp icon on your home page so you can just tap it to finish installing it on your new iPhone, instead of having to go through the App Store. 

You'll need to authenticate in WhatsApp when you first open it in iOS before the data is decrypted, but once that's done you should see all your chats safely transferred to their new home. Once the migration is completed, you can also choose to back your WhatsApp chats to iCloud Drive to make upgrading to new iPhones easier.

The Move to iOS process will also look at the apps on your Android phone and see if they exist on Apple's App Store. If they do, the icons will appear on your new iPhone's home screen and you can tap them to finish downloading . This feature works for those using Android 5 and later, as well as iOS 15.5 onwards. 

Prior to this, WhatsApp users making the move from Android to iOS had to give up their chat histories (or find extremely convoluted ways to port their data over). Though this process still requires numerous steps, it at least offers those switching platforms a built-in method of transfer. Those who already made the move before today will unfortunately not be able to make use of this tool.

Engadget Podcast: Apple's WWDC 2022 and the Surface Laptop Go 2

This week, Cherlynn and guest co-host Sam dive into all the announcements from WWDC 2022, as well as what it was like to cover the event both remotely and in-person. How did we (and our audience) feel about things that we did and didn’t see at the show? Plus, Sam tells us more about Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go 2, plus news on regulations around USB-C and our right to repair our devices.

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!


Subscribe!


Topics

  • WWDC 2022 – 1:39

  • The new M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro – 4:18

  • New features in macOS Ventura – 15:27

  • What’s coming to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 – 20:13

  • Big changes to the iOS lock screen – 21:04

  • WatchOS 9 – 44:46

  • Surface Laptop Go 2 hands-on – 58:21

  • The EU reaches deal to use USB-C to charge all devices – 1:06:07

  • New York state passed a Right to Repair bill – 1:12:31

  • Working on –1:20:07

  • Pop culture picks – 1:21:12

Video livestream

Credits
Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Sam Rutherford
Producer: Ben Ellman
Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos, Luke Brooks
Graphics artists: Luke Brooks, Brian Oh
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

MacBook Air M2 hands-on: Bye-bye wedge

At WWDC today, Apple not only unveiled its new M2 Silicon, but also a pair of devices that will be equipped with it — the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Though most of the Pro seems similar to older models, the Air is also getting a redesign, making it thinner and lighter than before. It also comes in four colors and sports a new, squarish look. I was able to quickly play with the new Air today at Apple Park, and so far, I'm just glad it looks noticeably different, given it's been four years since Apple last redesigned the MacBook Air..

Of the four colors the Air now comes in, my personal favorite is Midnight, which is a deep blue. Our editor-in-chief, who attended the event with me, also preferred that hue. The silver and space grey models are very familiar, while starlight did not stand out to me.

If you're a fan of Apple's distinct wedge design on previous MacBooks, you might be concerned about the new, squarer look. I didn't mind it — I actually prefer the refresh since the older aesthetic feels pretty outdated to me by now. It's similar to the new MacBook Pros, though, so if you liked those you'll appreciate this. Just like the recent Pros, too, the new Air has a fullsize row of physical function keys. At the right end of this sits the power button with a Touch ID sensor. Dana is a fan of the groove here, which makes it easy to tell by touch where you should lay your finger. It also doesn't have a glossy finish that would attract fingerprints. 

Importantly, the new MacBook Air has a larger 13.6-inch screen.

This story is developing, please refresh for updates.

Follow all of the news from WWDC right here!

New York State passes a right-to-repair bill

New York has just passed the digital fair repair act (Assembly Bill A7006B), making it one of just a few states in the US to do so. The bill, which was introduced in April 2021, passed the senate on June 1st and passed assembly today. It's now headed to the governor for signing (or veto), and will take effect a year after it becomes law.

The act, titled "Digital Fair Repair Act," will require OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to "make diagnostic and repair information for digital electronic parts and equipment available to independent repair providers and consumers if such parts and repair information are also available to OEM authorized repair providers." That means companies can no longer dictate where you can bring your devices to get them repaired by limiting the access to components or diagnostic information.

If a part is no longer available to the OEM, it will not need to make the same part available to everyone. For things that require security-related locks or authorizations, the OEM has to, "on fair and reasonable terms," supply the tools or documentation needed to access or reset such devices "through appropriate secure release systems."

The amended version of the bill also states that the proposed requirements will apply to "products with a value over ten dollars" and that OEMs or authorized repair providers don't have to make available any parts, tools or documentation if the intended use is for modification of the products. It also excludes public safety communications equipment and "home appliances with digital electronics embedded within them" from the act. Given the way companies have been trending towards making smart fridges, washing machines and more, this could potentially be an enormous loophole or at the very least exclude a large number of products.

Massachusetts previously passed its own Digital Right to Repair Act, which covered parts or machines containing microprocessors. The state has recently expanded that to include connected automobiles. Meanwhile, the California state Senate introduced its own right to repair bill in February, which appears to have bipartisan support. 

Android update brings Pixel's custom text stickers to more phones

While we wait to learn more about Android 13, Google continues to release new features to its platform in the same regular cadence it's adopted for the last few years. Today, the company has announced a set of updates around GBoard stickers, the Play Store and accessibility apps like Lookout and Sound Amplifier.

First, Google is bringing custom text stickers, which it previously launched on Pixel phones, to all Android devices. The feature allows you to convert English words into images, so if you type "Hi Ma" into GBoard and tap the custom stickers button in the suggested emojis row, you'll see some auto-generated graphics featuring that text in different designs. Your language will have to be set to US English for this to work, for now.

The company is also adding more than 1,600 new Emoji Kitchen combinations so you can make new hybrid emoticons by tapping two symbols in succession. It's also adding rainbow-themed stickers for users to share their Pride celebrations. 

Sound Amplifier is an Android app that makes sounds around you louder, which could be helpful for people with hearing loss. "Today's update brings improved background noise reduction," according to Google, along with "faster and more accurate sound and a revamped user interface that is easier to see."

Also relevant to accessibility is the Lookout app, which uses the device's camera to identify and describe objects around the user. It can read out words on signs or tell you if there's say, a table at the two o'clock position, for example, so you can avoid walking into it. Today, Google's adding a new Images mode that uses its "latest machine learning model for image understanding" and can describe an image even if you opened it from "just about any app." The company also updated the Text, Documents, Food Label and Explore modes to make the app more accurate. Plus, Lookout now works offline, so you can use it without an internet connection.

Finally, those who have been racking up Google Play Points can use them to get in-app items without leaving their games or apps. You can choose to pay for things with solely Play Points or a mix of money and points. This feature is rolling out over the coming weeks in the countries where Play Points are available. Meanwhile, you can update your other apps like Lookout and GBoard to see the new tools announced today.

What we bought: Why Daily Harvest became my go-to meal delivery service

Like many people, my food insecurity got pretty serious in April 2020. Cities and businesses all across America were shutting down, while grocery stores and delivery services started to run out of food. Everywhere I looked — whether it was Amazon, Instacart, Uber Eats or FreshDirect — it seemed impossible to find a reliable source of fruits and vegetables. I looked at my dwindling supply of canned soups and packets of ramen and almost wept.

Now, I know I’m immensely fortunate compared to a lot of people to be able to even consider my access to fresh food during the height of the pandemic. I know that there are people for whom a supply of canned food would have been a godsend, not to mention fruits and vegetables. That said, I think a lot of people can also identify, and felt the need to stock up.

Even as scarcity eased, I wanted to have a reliable source of fresh meals just in case we had to lock down again. I looked at delivery services like Blue Apron, Sunbasket and Purple Carrot. As a single person living on her own, I didn’t want to get too much food that would just spoil in my fridge. I also preferred meals that were ready made, rather than deal with raw meats.

My preference for convenient preparation limited the selections, and I narrowed down my options to Daily Harvest, Revive Superfoods and CookUnity. These companies all offered significant discounts on my first deliveries, and I rotated through them each week.

All three provided delicious, fresh food that was easy to prepare, and I appreciate that they all made an effort to use sustainable packaging. Daily Harvest’s packaging was almost 100 percent paper, with CookUnity a close second. The latter used plastic wrap on top of paper boxes for meals, with plastic containers for sauces, and meals were delivered in insulated bags that you could return with your next delivery. Daily Harvest, meanwhile, mostly used bowls made from molded pulp, as well as recyclable paper cups or pods where possible. Revive Superfoods also does a respectable job, with recyclable paper cups and plastic lids.

As my dietary needs shifted to focus on more protein instead of prioritizing fresh vegetables and fruit, it was critical that I could look up each meal’s nutritional info before my weekly orders. Again, all three websites offered at least basic data on macros and ingredients. The last time I ordered, only CookUnity allowed me to filter my searches by calorie count, which was one of my concerns at the time.

CookUnity also had an advantage in that it offered the greatest variety of meals, while Revive was the most limited in its options. I also loved that CookUnity’s food was chef-prepared and usually had more balanced macros. But they needed to be consumed within two to three days, while Daily Harvest’s and Revive’s could be stored in the freezer.

Ultimately, I quit Revive and CookUnity for the same reason. Both companies started to restrict how long you could skip upcoming deliveries, and trying to stay on top of my schedule got trickier and trickier. The tighter windows meant I had to check in to each service every two weeks to make sure I skipped an order, as opposed to a couple of months.

Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest, on the other hand, lets you skip up to nine weeks of upcoming deliveries, the company also sends you a reminder before it bills your account. It gives you ample time to consider if you need the food that week and cancel if you feel like it. Daily Harvest also provides helpful information about how its vegan meals taste, giving you a comparison to something more familiar.

That’s an important feature, by the way, since Daily Harvest’s meals are often vegetarian versions of other dishes. My favorites are the “Kimchi fried rice” made with riced cauliflower, the lentil-and-tomato bolognese and the spinach and shitake grits with nutritional yeast. Each of these consists of a handful of simple, mostly organic ingredients, and basically everything I’ve tried tastes fantastic. I loved the Broccoli and Cheeze bowl, the vegetable-crust flatbreads, the assortment of dessert bites, the vegan ice creams (especially the salted black sesame swirl) and the lattes, too. The only thing I didn’t really like was the chocolate and hazelnut smoothie, but only in comparison to something similar from Revive Superfoods.

I also generally picked bowls because they’re the easiest to prepare — just add a little water (you can skip this step) and throw it in the microwave. Many of the other options require either a blender or using your oven.

You can tell from everything I’ve mentioned, though, that Daily Harvest has a wide variety of food to offer. I haven’t even mentioned the breakfast-friendly forager bowls, the soups and the newly launched “Crumbles,” which are meant to provide a protein punch. Just looking at the menu again has me itching to send in an order for things I haven’t tried yet, like the Matcha and Murasaki bites.

In the end, though lots of meal delivery services can send you great-tasting food, few actually do so with the thoughtful approach of Daily Harvest. I don’t love that the prices of some of its dishes and lattes have increased in the last year, but at least it’s been very up front about these changes. I’ve received email notifications delineating exactly what was getting more expensive and when, as well as an explanation for the change.

I’ve since canceled my Revive and CookUnity accounts, not without hassle, by the way. After a few rounds of back-and-forth emails with customer service, Revive finally agreed to deactivate my account, rather than delete it and remove my payment and delivery details from their servers like I asked. CookUnity, meanwhile, simply had the typical process of offering you a discount and asking you to answer some questions after you manage to find the Cancel Subscription link. But at least I was able to actually cancel my subscription without having to talk to customer service.

Revive still emails me daily asking me to “Come back for more at 50% off” or “Reactivate with a 50% off offer” even after repeated emails in September and October saying “LAST CHANCE! Come back and save 40% x 2!” Typical marketing bluster, I know, but still annoying given I had asked in writing for them to lose my info. CookUnity’s last email to me was in January 19th, 2022, and when I signed back into my account, it showed me "Your subscription was canceled =("

I haven’t gotten a box from Daily Harvest in months, because these days I’ve been trying out a few more new services like Better Bagel, Farmer’s Fridge and Huel. So far I’ve loved the quality of food for the first two, and Huel is a little less appetizing. Regardless of the new options I add to my roster, I’m more than happy to keep ordering from Daily Harvest. Delicious, fresh food, a well-designed website and thoughtful customer service? Take my money.

Apple adds systemwide Live Captions as part of larger accessibility update

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is this Thursday (May 19th) and Apple, like many other companies, is announcing assistive updates in honor of the occasion. The company is bringing new features across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, and the most intriguing of the lot is systemwide Live Captions.

Similar to Google's implementation on Android, Apple's Live Captions will transcribe audio playing on your iPhone, iPad or Mac in real time, displaying subtitles onscreen. It will also caption sound around you, so you can use it to follow along conversations in the real world. You'll be able to adjust the size and position of the caption box, and also choose different font sizes for the words. The transcription is generated on-device, too. But unlike on Android, Live Captions on FaceTime calls will also clearly distinguish between speakers, using icons and names for attribution of what's being said. Plus, those using Macs will be able to type a response and have it spoken aloud in real time for others in the conversation. Live Captions will be available as a beta in English for those in the US and Canada. 

Apple is also updating its existing sound recognition tool, which lets iPhones continuously listen out for noises like alarms, sirens, doorbells or crying babies. With a coming update, users will be able to train their iPhones or iPads to listen for custom sounds, like your washing machine's "I'm done" song or your pet duck quacking, perhaps. A new feature called Siri Pause Time will also let you extend the assistant's wait time when you're responding or asking for something, so you can take your time to finish saying what you need. 

Apple

The company is updating its Magnifier app that helps people who are visually impaired better interact with people and objects around them. Expanding on a previous People Detection tool that told users how far away others around them were, Apple is adding a new Door Detection feature. This will use the iPhone's LiDAR and camera to not only locate and identify doors, but will also read out text or symbols on display, like hours of operation and signs depicting restrooms or accessible entrances. In addition, it will describe the handles, whether it requires a push, pull or turn of a knob, as well as the door's color, shape, material and whether it's closed or open. Together, People and Door Detection will be part of the new Detection mode in Magnifier. 

Updates are also coming to Apple Watch. Last year, the company introduced Assistive Touch, which allowed people to interact with the wearable without touching the screen. The Watch would sense if the hand that it's on was making a fist or if the wearer was touching their index finger and thumb together for a "pinch" action. With an upcoming software update, it should be faster and easier to enable Quick Actions in assistive touch, which would then let you use gestures like double pinching to answer or end calls, take photos, start a workout or pause media playback.

But Assistive Touch isn't a method that everyone can use. For those with physical or motor disabilities that preclude them from using hand gestures altogether, the company is bringing a form of voice and switch control to its smartwatch. The feature is called Apple Watch Mirroring, and uses hardware and software including AirPlay to carry over a user's preset voice or switch control preferences from their iPhones, for example, to the wearable. This would allow them to use their head-tracking, sound actions and Made For iPhone switches to interact with their Apple Watch. 

Apple is adding more customization options to the Books app, letting users apply new themes and tweak line heights, word and character spacings and more. Its screen reader VoiceOver will also soon be available in more than 20 new languages and locales, including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. Dozens of new voices will be added, too, as is a spelling mode for voice control that allows you to dictate custom spellings using letter-by-letter input

Finally, the company is launching a new feature called Buddy Controller that will let people use two controllers to drive a single player, which would be helpful for users with disabilities who want to partner up with their care providers. Buddy Controller will work with supported game controllers for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. There are plenty more updates coming throughout the Apple ecosystem, including on-demand American Sign Language interpreters expanding to Apple Store and Support in Canada as well as a new guide in Maps, curated playlists in Apple TV and Music and the addition of the Accessibility Assistant to the Shortcuts app on Mac and Watch. The features previewed today will be available later this year.