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MacLife

MacLife April 2020

Mac|Life is the leading independent magazine devoted to all things Apple. For over five years, Mac|Life has helped both new and veteran users get more out of their iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more, with coverage that cuts through today's glut of apps and accessories to find what matters most. With a bright, clean design and casual tone, Mac|Life offers an easy and enjoyable way to keep up with the latest Apple trends and topics.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Limited US
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
is it really safe?

In my opinion, data is our most important personal possession in life (no, despite what you might have been told, it’s not that shiny SUV you just picked up), yet most of us will happily give it away in a flash these days. Whether it’s inputting your credit card details for online purchases, sharing your media to online storage services, or even just installing a smart thermostat in your home, our data, and therefore our personal freedoms, are out there for all to gawp at. And it’s not just strangers knowing a great deal more about you than you’d like, it’s what those same strangers are doing with your data that’s really worrying. It’s fair to assume that your data is going to be protected when you give it to…

3 min.
a question of trust

YOUR RING SMART doorbell, wireless carrier, and even Mac antivirus software could all be sending personal information about you to strangers. Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that the Android app for controlling the smart doorbells by Ring, which Amazon acquired in 2018, is packed with trackers that harvest personal identifying information and send it to five third-party analytics companies. TRACKING YOUR ACTIVITY Only one of the five, MixPanel, is mentioned in Ring’s privacy notice, but data it receives includes users’ full names, email addresses, device info, and app settings. Facebook, via its Graph API, is notified when users open the Ring app and when they perform certain device actions. It receives a unique identifier, device model, and more. Branch and AppsFlyer receive unique identifiers plus various snippets of information. The…

2 min.
news in brief

Apple has reported its highest quarterly revenue ever: $91.8 billion in its financial quarter ending December 28, 2019, a rise of 9% from the corresponding quarter a year ago. Not only was this unexpected, but it came as a result of a strong recovery in demand for iPhone, resulting in “double–digit growth” in iPhone revenue. With the release of the iPhone 11 line in September, in fact, Apple became the world’s number one smartphone vendor, according to Strategy Analytics, which estimates Apple’s global market share at 19% in the quarter. Services and Wearables also hit new all–time records. Services grew 17% year over year, with double–digit growth in all five of Apple’s geographic segments. Apple has over 418m paid subscriptions across all platforms including the App Store, up 120m from the previous…

1 min.
must haves

ANKER iPHONE LED FLASH Connects via Lightning (the first flash certified to do so) for up to twice the range and four–times the brightness of the iPhone flash. $49.99 from anker.com/ledflash TENBA FULTON 14L BACKPACK This 2lb backpack takes a DSLR, three to four lenses and an iPad (up to 10.5–inch), plus your lunch and jacket in the roll top. $99.95 from tenba.com HYPERJUICE 110W This unit charges up to five devices at once via five USB–C PD 3.0 ports (two 100W, three 45W), five USB–A, and two detachable 15W Qi charging mats. $119.99 from hypershop.com…

1 min.
what the heck?

IN JANUARY, IT was reported that Jeff Bezos — CEO of Amazon and, more relevantly, proprietor of The Washington Post — had had data leaked from his phone by malware installed when he received a video from Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The story was based on an ongoing inquiry by UN special rapporteurs drawing on a technical analysis commissioned by Bezos. This suggested that the hack could have been done using Pegasus, a spyware product from the Israeli company NSO, or Galileo from Milan–based HackingTeam. At the time of writing, Saudi Arabia and NSO had denied any involvement, while the other parties hadn’t commented. But nobody claims to know exactly what was done, or how. When Bezos’ iPhone X was later examined by Cellebrite, which “cracks” iOS…

3 min.
the shift

TIME WAS, APPLE didn’t need to worry about high quality music bought via iTunes. MP3 and equivalent AAC encoding was fine for the average–quality DACs and horrific headphones of iPods and early iPhones. What would be the point in offering the finest–quality ingredients for a feast for your ears if they’re just going to be smooshed into a paste by the headphones? Plus, when storage size was more limited than now, the smaller the music file size the better — we wanted to carry lots of songs and were happy to trade some quality in exchange for that. But recently Apple has started getting more serious about sound reproduction. All of its mobile devices come with seriously impressive DACs — our pals at What Hi-Fi magazine give the iPod touch top marks…