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This week’s top stories: Chrome incognito redesign, Pixel 5a reviewed, Android Auto wireless dongle, more – 9to5Google

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In this week’s top stories: Google Chrome redesigns its Incognito landing page, Pixel 5a hits reviewers hands, Android Auto wireless dongle seeks crowdfunding, and more.

The latest Chrome Canary update includes a boldly redesigned landing page for Incognito mode. Rather than explaining the things Chrome “won’t save” and how data “might still be visible,” Chrome for Android now spells out “What incognito does” and “What incognito doesn’t do.”

It’s fairly likely that this more explicit, easier-to-understand design is coming in response to a lawsuit from earlier this year. The class-action suit in the United States seeks damages of at least $5 billion because the mode still allows websites, including Google’s, to collect personal information on users.

Our team reviewed the Google Pixel 5a with 5G this week, following its surprise announcement, and found it to be a fantastic demonstration of Google’s software and camera prowess in more affordable hardware.

Taken as a whole, the Pixel 5a with 5G is unexpectedly one of the best phones — budget or otherwise — that Google has released to date. It packs specs more than good enough for most people, what feels like an everlasting battery, and the classic Google Pixel camera, all in a durable metal build. Even better, all of this is just $449.

A new Kickstarter campaign launched this week for “Carsifi,” a handy dongle that plugs into your Android Auto compatible car to offer a wireless connection to your phone. Despite being similar in purpose to the AAWireless dongle, Carsifi sets itself apart with compelling hardware features.

The Carsifi Android Auto dongle has a slightly smaller footprint that includes an LED status light and “Magic Button.” That button lets users switch between two different smartphones to use Android Auto with, which is the biggest difference between the two products. Carsifi also says it supports older versions of Android with 6, 7, and 8 supported in an “experimental mode.”

In recent years, Google had been moving its hardware production efforts to Vietnam. However, Nikkei reported this week that the Pixel 6 is instead being produced in Shenzhen, China, just like the Pixel 5 before it.

It was first reported early last year that Google would produce both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 in Vietnam, but that was before COVID-19 became a global issue. Prior to that, efforts had been ongoing since at least late 2019 to move production out of China.

On Android 12, the latest Google Search beta update introduces your wallpaper’s colors into the Pixel Launcher’s Discover feed. Instead of the usual multi-colored Google logo on a white background, you’ll now see a single-colored Google wordmark on a shaded background.

This change is currently in the beta channel and demonstrates how wallpaper-based Dynamic Color is bleeding into more apps, though the Pixel Launcher Discover feed is mixed in with the system UI, thus joining Quick Settings as another high-profile place users will see Material You in action.

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

Apps & Updates |

Google |

Made by Google |

Wearables |

Videos |

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Apple's iOS 14.8 Pegasus security fix: iPhone owners urged to update immediately – CNET

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Angela Lang/CNET

Apple released security updates for its iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Mac computers earlier this week that close a vulnerability reportedly exploited by invasive spyware built by NSO Group, an Israeli security company. 

On Monday, the tech giant posted a security note for iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8 that said some malicious PDFs could take advantage of its operating systems. “Processing a maliciously crafted PDF may lead to arbitrary code execution,” the note read. “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” 

Apple also released WatchOS 7.6.2, MacOS Big Sur 11.6 and a security update for MacOS Catalina to address the vulnerability. 

The fix, earlier reported by The New York Times, stems from research done by a public interest cybersecurity group called Citizen Lab that found a Saudi activist’s phone had been infected with Pegasus, NSO’s best-known product. According to Citizen Lab, the zero-day, zero-click exploit against iMessage, which it nicknamed ForcedEntry, targets Apple’s image rendering library and was effective against the company’s iPhones, laptops and Apple Watches. 

Read more: Check if your iPhone is infected with Pegasus spyware with this free tool

Citizen Lab, based at the University of Toronto, says it determined NSO used the vulnerability to remotely infect devices with its Pegasus spyware, adding that it believes the exploit has been in use since at least February. It urged all Apple users to immediately update their operating systems.

“Ubiquitous chat apps have become a major target for the most sophisticated threat actors, including nation state espionage operations and the mercenary spyware companies that service them,” Citizen Lab said in a report. “As presently engineered, many chat apps have become an irresistible soft target.”

The security update rolled out a day before Apple took the wraps off a slate of new products, including iPads, Apple Watches and iPhones. The company used the fall rollout of devices, which is one of the company’s most important annual events, to tout its security measures. Saying that privacy is “built in from the beginning,” Apple said the upcoming version of its iOS software will block trackers and prevent monitoring of email, among other safety provisions.

Read more: Watch iPhone 13 launch live: How to watch Apple’s event today

Apple thanked Citizen Lab for providing a sample of the exploit, which the iPhone maker said wasn’t a threat to most of its users.

“Attacks like the ones described are highly sophisticated, cost millions of dollars to develop, often have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals,” Ivan Krstić, who runs Apple’s security engineering and architecture operations, said in a statement. “While that means they are not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users, we continue to work tirelessly to defend all our customers, and we are constantly adding new protections for their devices and data.”

In July, researchers found evidence of attempted or successful installations of Pegasus on 37 phones of activists, journalists and businesspeople. All but three of the devices were iPhones. Some of the people appear to have been targets of secret surveillance through Pegasus, software that’s supposed to be used to pursue criminals and terrorists. The spyware is reportedly capable of accessing and recording texts, videos, photos and web activity as well as passively recording and scraping passwords on a device. 

NSO released a statement late Monday that didn’t directly address Apple’s update but said it “will continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life saving technologies to fight terror and crime.”

The company, which licenses surveillance software to government agencies, says its Pegasus software helps authorities combat criminals and terrorists who take advantage of encryption technology to go “dark.” Pegasus runs secretly on smartphones, providing insight into what their owners are doing. Other companies provide similar software.

CEO Shalev Hulio co-founded the company in 2010. In addition to Pegasus, NSO offers other tools that locate where a phone is being used, defend against drones and mine law enforcement data to spot patterns.

NSO has been implicated in other hacks, including the high-profile hack of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2018. In the same year, a Saudi dissident sued the company for its alleged role in hacking a device belonging to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

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iPhone 13 Pro runs Geekbench, reveals 55% better GPU performance vs iPhone 12 Pro – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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As you probably already know, Apple unveiled four new smartphones yesterday – the iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max. They’re all powered by the A15 chip, but there are GPU differences between them.

While the iPhone 13 and 13 mini have a 4-core GPU, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, along with the new iPad mini, have a 5-core GPU.

This A15 chip with a 5-core GPU has been tested on Geekbench’s compute benchmark using the Metal API today, by someone in possession of an iPhone 13 Pro prototype. The resulting score is 14216, which is about 55% more than the iPhone 12 Pro‘s 9123. This points to huge GPU performance improvements in the new iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max compared to their direct predecessors.

iPhone 13 Pro runs Geekbench, reveals 55% better GPU performance compared to iPhone 12 Pro

Apple has called the 5-core GPU version of the A15 “the world’s fastest smartphone chip”, and promised that it delivers “50% faster graphics performance than any other smartphone chip”. Well, that seems to be the case at least when comparing to last year’s A14 Bionic with 4-core GPU, as featured in the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 13 Pro has 6GB of RAM too.

We don’t yet know how the A15 with 4-core GPU would perform, since no one has benchmarked an iPhone 13 or 13 mini yet. We also don’t have CPU benchmark results for any of Apple’s new devices at this point, but all of these are surely coming soon.

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Apple Quietly Removes 256GB iPhone SE Model From Online Store – MacRumors

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Following updates to its product lineups this week, Apple has quietly discontinued the 256GB capacity option for the iPhone SE.


Prior to this week, the ‌iPhone SE‌ was available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB configurations, but since Tuesday’s “California streaming” event and subsequent product lineup rejig, only the first and second of those capacities are listed on Apple’s online store. Pricing for the 64GB and 128GB ‌iPhone SE‌ options remains the same.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning an update to the ‌iPhone SE‌ for the first half of 2022. The current model was launched in April 2020, so the removal of the 256GB variant could be a sign that Apple is beginning to ramp down production of this particular model.

During its virtual event, Apple announced that the iPhone 13 and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini start with 128GB of storage, which is double the base 64GB offered for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

The storage capacities available for the ‌iPhone 13‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini include 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, while the iPhone 13 Pro and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max also have a new 1TB storage option.

Pricing continues to start at $699 for the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini, $799 for the ‌iPhone 13‌, $999 for the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌, and $1,099 for the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max. Preorders for the new ‌iPhone 13‌ models begin Friday.

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Apple today announced that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini start with 128GB of storage, which is double the base 64GB offered for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.
The storage capacities available for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini include 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, while the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also have a new 1TB storage option. Pricing continues to start at $699 for the…

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Start at 128GB of Storage, Pro Models Will Have 1TB Option

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Shooting 4K ProRes Video Requires iPhone 13 Pro With at Least 256GB Storage

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All iPhone 13 Models Available to Pre-Order This Friday With September 24 Release Date

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Cellular Carriers Begin Sharing Deals and Offers Coming to iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro

With the imminent launch of brand new iPhone models, cellular carriers are already beginning to share various offers that should help save you money when buying the iPhone 13.
AT&T
Starting with AT&T, new and existing AT&T customers will have the opportunity to get a new iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 mini at no cost, with an eligible trade in and on an unlimited cellular plan.
Under this…

Everything Announced at Today’s Apple Event

Apple today held its annual iPhone-centric event, introducing the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. We also got a look at the new Apple Watch Series 7 and were surprised with the new ninth-generation low-cost iPad and the iPad mini 6.
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iPhone XR and iPhone 11 Still Available as Low-Cost Options, iPhone 11 Pro Models Discontinued

With the launch of the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has decided to keep the iPhone SE, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 around as lower-cost options.
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