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Apple's New Lockdown Mode for iPhone Fights Hacking, Spyware – CNET

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This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

What’s happening

Apple will be offering a new “Lockdown Mode” for its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. It’s designed to fight advanced hacking and targeted spyware like the NSO Group’s Pegasus.

Why it matters

Though these attacks happen to a small group of people, the threat is growing. Pegasus was used by repressive governments to spy on human rights activists, lawyers, politicians and journalists. Apple says it’s identified similar attacks on people in 150 countries over the past eight months.

What’s next

Apple will release Lockdown Mode for free later this year and is making a public commitment to regular updates and improvements. The company has also expanded its bug bounties and established a grant to encourage further research toward this issue.

Apple for years has marketed its iPhones, iPads and Macs as the most secure and privacy-focused devices on the market. On Wednesday, it bolstered that effort with a new feature coming this fall called Lockdown Mode, designed to fight targeted hacking attempts like the Pegasus malware, which oppressive governments reportedly used on human rights workers, lawyers, politicians and journalists. Apple also announced a $10 million grant and up to $2 million bug bounty to encourage further research into this growing threat.

The tech giant said that Lockdown Mode is designed to activate “extreme” protections to its phones, such as blocking attachments and link previews in messages, potentially hackable web browsing technologies, and incoming FaceTime calls from unknown numbers. Apple devices will also not accept accessory connections unless the device is unlocked, and people can’t install new remote management software on the devices while they’re in Lockdown Mode as well. The new feature is already available in test software being used by developers this summer and will be released for free publicly in the fall as part of iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and MacOS Ventura.

“While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are,” said Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, in a statement. “Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks.”

Apple designed Lockdown Mode to be easy to turn on, through the settings app on its devices.


Apple

Along with the new Lockdown Mode, which Apple calls an “extreme” measure, the company announced a $10 million grant to the Dignity and Justice Fund, which was established by the Ford Foundation, to help support human rights and fight social repression.

The company’s efforts to enhance its device security comes at a time when the tech industry is increasingly confronting targeted cyberattacks from oppressive governments around the world. Unlike widespread ransomware or virus campaigns, which are often designed to indiscriminately spread furthest and quickest through homes and corporate networks, attacks like those using Pegasus are designed for quiet intelligence gathering.

People have to restart their devices before Lockdown Mode will turn on.


Apple

Last September, Apple sent out a free software update that addressed Pegasus, and then it sued NSO Group in an effort to stop the company from developing or selling any more hacking tools. It also began sending “Threat Notifications” to potential victims of these hacking tools, which Apple calls “mercenary spyware.” The company said that while the number of people targeted in these campaigns is very small, it’s notified people in about 150 countries since November.

Other tech companies have also expanded their approach to security in recent years. Google has an initiative called Advanced Account Protection, designed for “anyone who is at an elevated risk of targeted online attacks” by adding extra layers of safety to logins and downloads. Microsoft has been increasingly working to dump passwords.

Apple said it plans to expand Lockdown Mode over time, and announced a bug bounty of up to $2 million for people who find security holes in the new feature. For now, it’s designed primarily to disable computer features that may be helpful but that open people to potential attacks. That includes turning off some fonts, link previews and incoming FaceTime calls from unknown accounts. 

Apple representatives said the company sought to find a balance between usability and extreme protections, adding that the company is publicly committing to strengthening and improving the feature. In the most recent iteration of Lockdown Mode, which is being sent to developers in an upcoming test software update, apps that display webpages will follow the same restrictions that Apple’s apps follow, though people can preapprove some websites to circumvent Lockdown Mode if needed. People in Lockdown Mode will also have to unlock their device before it’ll connect with accessories.

Encouraging more research

In addition, Apple said it hopes a planned $10 million grant to the Dignity and Justice Fund will help encourage more research on these issues and expand training and security audits for people who might be targeted.

“Every day we see these threats broadening and deepening,” said Lori McGlinchey, director of the Ford Foundation’s Technology and Society program, who is working with technical advisers including Apple’s Krstić to help direct the fund. “In recent years, state and non-state actors have used spyware to track and intimidate human rights defenders, environmental activists and political dissidents in virtually every region of the world.” 

Ron Deibert, a professor of political science and director of the Citizen Lab cybersecurity researchers at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, said he expects Apple’s Lockdown Mode will be a “major blow” to spyware companies and the governments who rely on their products.”

“We’re doing all we can, alongside a number of investigative journalists working this beat, but that’s been it, and that’s a huge asymmetry,” he said, adding that Apple’s $10 million grant will help attract more work toward this issue. “You have an enormous industry that’s very lucrative and almost entirely unregulated, profiting from huge contracts from governments that have an appetite to engage in this type of espionage.”

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OnePlus 10T vs. Google Pixel 6: Should you spend $649 or $599? – Digital Trends

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In the market for the latest flagship? Comparing specs to choose the perfect phone can be a chore, and if you’re struggling to choose between the new OnePlus 10T and Google Pixel 6, we hear you. With its stunning 6.7-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, and 4,800mAh battery with 125W SuperVOOC charging, the OnePlus 10T seems like a no-brainer. But what about the Google Pixel 6’s Tensor chip, wireless charging, and outstanding cameras?

We’ve compared the OnePlus 10T vs. Google Pixel 6 across six core categories to help you decide which to buy, so keep reading to figure out which is best for you.

Specs

OnePlus 10T Google Pixel 6
Size 163 x 75.37 x 8.75mm (6.42 x 2.97 x 0.34 inches) 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm (6.24 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 203.5 grams (7.18 ounces) 207 grams (7.30 ounces)
Screen size 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED with 60 to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate 6.4-inch OLED with 10 to 90Hz adaptive refresh rate
Screen resolution 2412 x 1080 (394 ppi) 2340 x 1080 pixels (411 ppi)
Operating system Android 12

OxygenOS 12.1

Android 12
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 Google Tensor
RAM 8GB, 16GB 8GB
Camera 50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 16MP front 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide rear, 8MP front
Video

4K at 30 fps/60 fps

1080p at 30 fps/60 fps

4K at 30 fps/60 fps,

1080p at 30 fps/60 fps

Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.2
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes (in-display) Yes (in-display)
Water resistance IP54 IP68
Battery 4,800mAh

150W SuperVOOC charging (capped at 125W in the U.S.)

4,614mAh

30W wired charging

21W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Colors Moonstone Black, Jade Green Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, Sorta Seaform
Prices Starting at $649 Starting at $599
Review score 3 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Design, display, and durability

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

At a glance, these two phones have very different designs. The OnePlus 10T’s design has a clear resemblance to the stylish OnePlus 10 Pro, though the lack of an alert slider means it looks a lot more like an Oppo phone than other devices in the series. Weighing just 203.5 grams, it’s fairly light for its size compared to the heavier Pixel 6, which weighs in at 207 grams and is also slightly chunkier at 8.99mm thick, giving it a substantial feeling in your hand.

The OnePlus 10T has Gorilla Glass 5 on the back and covering the screen, but underneath is a plastic chassis — an odd choice for a phone at this price point. In contrast, the Pixel 6 looks a lot like the Pixel 6 Pro, boasting a glass and metal body with a Gorilla Glass 6 rear panel. Using both phones side-by-side, the Pixel 6 feels noticeably more premium — largely thanks to the aluminum frame compared to the 10T’s plastic one. Furthermore, the glass back on the Pixel 6 is also nicer. The OnePlus 10T’s back is glass, but it has a distinctly cheap feeling (especially on the black model).

The OnePlus 10T has a distinctive camera bump visible to the rear, notably missing the Hasselblad branding of recent OnePlus phones — and in this iteration, the selfie camera has relocated to the center of the screen. There’s an in-display fingerprint sensor, and the phone gets a rather paltry splashproof IP54 rating, while the Pixel 6 boasts a much more comprehensive IP68 rating.

Back of the Pixel 6.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

There are two colors to choose from with the OnePlus 10T. The first is the basalt-textured Moonstone Black, which is the one seen in most photos and shines differently depending on how the light hits it. You can also get Jade Green, which also looks nice but boasts a smooth, ceramic-like finish that doesn’t feel as premium as you might expect. Moonstone Black does a good job keeping fingerprints to a minimum, whereas Jade Green puts them on full display. When it comes to Pixel 6 color choices, Sorta Seafoam is a pretty minty green, Kinda Coral is, as its name suggests, an eye-catching (though muted) coral shade, while Stormy Black is, well, black.

Moving to the display, the OnePlus 10T’s 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED FHD+ display boasts 2412 x 1080 (394 ppi) resolution, with an adaptive 60Hz-120Hz refresh rate. In comparison, the Google Pixel 6’s display measures just 6.4 inches with a 2340 x 1080 (411 ppi) resolution and has a 10-90Hz refresh rate. In practice, you shouldn’t notice much difference between the two phones’ refresh rates, but if you’re into your mobile games, the OnePlus 10T’s faster refresh rate may be a wiser choice — even though the lower adaptive refresh rate on the Pixel 6 may provide a better battery life boost. One other downside to the Pixel 6 is its overall brightness. If you spend a lot of time outside and need your screen to get as bright as possible, the 10T is the better choice.

This is one we have to give to the Google Pixel 6. It feels significantly nicer to hold than the 10T does, the distinct design looks great, and the more rugged IP protection is a big deal for anyone worried about getting their phone wet or near sand. The 10T might be a better choice if you really want a larger display with a 120Hz refresh rate, but overall, we think the Pixel 6 makes the better design decisions.

Winner: Google Pixel 6

Performance, battery life, and charging

There are several noticeable differences between the two phones when it comes to performance, battery life, and charging. The OnePlus 10T is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, which is actually a more powerful processor than that of the OnePlus 10 Pro (and more battery-friendly too). There’s also 8GB or 16GB of RAM on offer, though 16GB feels a bit like overkill. The focus here is on horsepower — in fact, the OnePlus 10T feels like a gaming phone in terms of performance.

In contrast, the Pixel 6 packs Google’s Tensor chip, the same processor as the Pixel 6 Pro. This chip has an eight-core CPU and prioritizes efficiency with lightning-fast performance. You “only” get 8GB of RAM here, but that’s more than enough.

When it comes to storage, the two phones are identical, both offering 128GB or 256GB variants with no microSD card slot. Bear in mind this means the storage you choose is all you’ll ever have, so if you’re the type who never deletes anything, opt for the 256GB model on either phone.

How about battery life? The OnePlus 10T packs a beefy 4,800mAh battery with up to 150W SuperVOOC charging. Note that speeds top out at 125W in the U.S., as most outlets don’t offer enough power for 150W speeds, though traveling with your U.S.-bought phone will get you 150W charging elsewhere. Whether you’re charging at 150W or 125W, expect to go from 0% to 100% battery in around 20 minutes. In practice, it’s very impressive.

In contrast, the Pixel 6 has a slightly smaller 4,614mAh battery that should still see you through a day of average use with some left in the tank. We found that we were left with around 60% battery after three hours of screen-on time. There’s only 30W charging on offer here, but you do get 21W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging as a nice bonus. Sadly, there’s no charger in the box.

We’re giving this round to the OnePlus 10T, though it’s very close. With its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, extra RAM, beefy battery, and 125W fast charging, it just pips the Pixel 6 to the crown — even though there’s no wireless charging. If you can’t live without wireless charging and you don’t mind a slightly smaller battery and slower charging speeds, the Pixel 6 might be the better choice for you.

Winner: OnePlus 10T

Camera

Pixel 6 camera module.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The differences between these two phones are perhaps most noticeable when it comes to cameras. The OnePlus 10T packs a triple-camera array on the rear, with a 50MP main lens, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro shooter. There’s also a 16MP front camera. Unlike the OnePlus 10 Pro, there are no Hasselblad-tuned cameras on the 10T. The main camera takes perfectly good shots (though struggles a bit indoors and in low light), but the end results don’t look quite as good as the OnePlus 10 Pro. Likewise, the 8MP ultrawide delivers just fine photos, while the 2MP macro camera is really just there for looks. There’s Super HDR for high-contrast shots, and Nightscape 2.0 for improved night-time captures, too.

In contrast, the Google Pixel 6 packs the same 50MP main and 12MP wide-angle cameras as the Pixel 6 Pro, plus an 8MP selfie cam. The main camera delivers excellent results, with Action Pan and Long Exposure camera modes, plus the option to use Magic Eraser in Google Photos. Google’s digital zoom is decent and lets you shoot at up to 7x, while the selfie cam also delivers good results. The Pixel 6’s cameras capture great photos effortlessly in any light, at any time of day — something we can’t really say about the OnePlus 10T.

What about video? With the OnePlus 10T, you can capture 4K video at 30/60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p at 30/60 fps. The Pixel 6 is capable of those same modes, and it also comes with slo-mo video at 240fps.

Does the OnePlus 10T have the worst camera system we’ve ever used? Not at all. But when compared side-by-side with the Pixel 6, there’s no question about which one we’d recommend to shutterbugs. The Pixel 6 easily takes this round.

Winner: Google Pixel 6

Software and updates

Pixel 6 screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the 10T and Pixel 6 ship with Android 12, though their approach to the software is very different. Android 12 on the OnePlus 10T is heavily customized with OxygenOS 12.1. While OxygenOS used to be hailed as one of the best third-party Android interfaces available, it’s devolved into a lesser state with the current 12.1 version. From missed notifications, inconsistent touch responsiveness, and heavy inspiration from ColorOS for the aesthetics, it’s a shell of what OxygenOS used to be.

The Pixel 6, on the other hand, has one of the best Android experiences available today. It’s fast, uncluttered, and filled with helpful features. Want your phone to automatically detect and show you what song is playing in the background? The Pixel 6 can do that. Want the Google Assistant to hold your spot in line during phone calls? It does that, too.

OnePlus has promised a solid three years of updates and four years of security patches for the OnePlus 10T. While great, this is still some way behind Google and Samsung’s promises of up to five years of security updates. The Pixel 6 gets three years of OS updates and five years of security patches.

With its better take on Android 12 and longer software support, this is another win that goes to the Pixel 6.

Winner: Google Pixel 6

Special features

Both phones have their own takes on special features. Both have 5G, although the OnePlus 10T only supports sub-6GHz 5G, not mmWave. The Pixel 6 supports both sub-6 and mmWave 5G in the U.S., though handsets sold in the U.K. only support sub-6 5G. It’s worth noting here that the Pixel 6 has been plagued with connectivity issues and switching between 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi can be glitchy, with even a restart sometimes failing to solve the problem.

The OnePlus 10T and Pixel 6 each pack an in-display fingerprint sensor, but the 10T’s is noticeably better. It’s fast, reliable, and works when you want it to. Comparatively, the Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor has become notorious for being slow and unresponsive.

Neither phone has a microSD card slow, so the storage you get is all you’ll ever have. There’s also no 3.5mm headphone jack on offer across either phone, but that’s pretty standard.

This round’s really too close to call. If you’re in the U.S. and need mmWave 5G, the Pixel 6 may be the best choice for you, but otherwise, neither phone has any special features that make it stand out.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The OnePlus 10T is launching with a starting price of $649 in the U.S. for the 8GB/128GB version. In the U.S., the phone is available to pre-order on September 1 from the OnePlus Store, Amazon, or Best Buy, and on sale on September 29. The Google Pixel 6 is available right now from the Google store, starting from $599 for the 128GB version. You can also buy it from other retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy.

Overall winner: Google Pixel 6

If we’re making a broad recommendation about which phone to get, our pick is the Google Pixel 6. It has a nicer design than the 10T, better waterproofing, much more reliable cameras, wireless charging, more enjoyable software, and is even $50 cheaper than the OnePlus 10T. Google Tensor isn’t the fastest chipset, and the 90Hz display isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but they’re still perfectly enjoyable and reliable throughout daily use.

So, who’s the OnePlus 10T for? If you absolutely need the fastest chipset available and are OK sacrificing a few other features for ultra-fast wired charging, the 10T delivers on its performance promises. But in the quest to achieve breakneck performance, it ends up sacrificing a few important things along the way. It’s certainly not a bad smartphone, but we think most people are better off with Google’s handset.

Editors’ Recommendations




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What do you want to see at Samsung's August Unpacked event – MobileSyrup

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Samsung’s upcoming August 10th Unpacked event is quickly approaching, with devices like the Galaxy Fold 4, Galaxy Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro on the way.

This week’s Community Question is: what are you most excited to see at the keynote?

I’m a big fan of foldables and especially the Galaxy Fold lineup, so naturally, I’m excited to see the Fold 4. This year’s handset will reportedly sport an improved camera setup, which was one of the Fold 3’s only downsides. Additionally, we expect up to 16GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip and an improved under-display camera.

[embedded content]

I’m also hoping to see a tease of something entirely new. A previous rumour indicated that Samsung will show off another mysterious foldable at this Unpacked event. That doesn’t seem like the case anymore based on recent rumours, but there’s still a possibility we might catch a glimpse of an entirely new device.

Either way, we’ll need to wait until August 10th to see what’s coming. For more on Samsung’s foldable-focused Unpacked, check out my story that outlines everything I expect to see at the event.

Let us know in the comments below what you are most excited to see at Samsung’s upcoming Unpacked.

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OnePlus 10T goes on sale in India – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The OnePlus 10T unveiled a few days ago is now available for purchase in India through Amazon.in and OnePlus’s official Indian website. It comes in Moonstone Black and Jade Green colors with two memory options – 8GB/128GB and 12G/256GB, priced at INR49,999 ($630/€620) and INR54,999 ($690/€680), respectively. There’s also a variant with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage onboard, but that’s not available in India.

The OnePlus 10T is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC and runs Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 out of the box. It’s built around a 6.7″ 120Hz FullHD+ AMOLED screen with a fingerprint reader underneath for biometric authentication and a punch hole for the 16MP selfie camera.

Around the back, we have a 50MP primary camera, joined by 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro units.


OnePlus 10T

OnePlus 10T

The OnePlus 10T packs a 4,800 mAh battery with 150W wired charging, but it can only go up to 125W in North America.

The rest of the OnePlus 10T’s highlights include 5G connectivity, USB-C, stereo speakers, and NFC. You can read our OnePlus 10T hands-on review here to learn more about it.

Also, while the OnePlus 10T is already available for purchase in India, the smartphone is still on pre-orders in Europe, with shipments beginning on August 25. Pre-bookings in the US begin on September 1, and the device will start shipping on September 29.

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