Apple’s Restrictions Bypassed by AltStore

For the most significant part of roughly a decade, a native from Dallas-Fort Worth, Riley Testut, has been trying to sneak into his iPhone through a door not opened at all before. His passion for app development brought him to this life commitment already in his teenage years. His focus is in particular on emulation technology which accommodates modern computing devices to manage video game software from consoles of ages ago.

Driven By Passion

Testut is a major Apple fan, but his disappointment was immense when he realized that his favourite classic video games form well-known developers as Nintendo would never become for sale in Apple’s App Store. This was mainly due to Nintendo’s lack of interest to port the games that Testut loved so much into iOS. On the opposing side, there was also Apple’s stringent policy regarding any application which might cause a piracy threat. Testut realized that he would need to build his solution. He had to find a way to create his emulation technology which will allow people to do the conversion for themselves. He stated that during his years as a young child he was playing these games and stumbled upon some code which he was convinced could be turned into an application to allow you to play games like Game Boy. This was where his interest started. Suddenly he was amidst the emulation scene although, looking back now is unsure if he knew back then what it would entail, he might have picked differently. He says that building this app took a lot of time and effort, mainly because they won’t ever be available in an App Store.

His Progress

During his last two years of high school, he was mainly focused on emulation work. He created GBA4iOS, which is a Game Boy emulator. During 2014 he hit the headlines when both Nintendo and Apple wanted to shut down his project. Even though he managed to keep it alive for a bit longer thanks to finding a loophole, it is gone today. Today he is based in Los Angeles as a freelance software developer. At the age of 22 years old, he is sure that he has found a way to enable his software to be available on Apple iOS devices forever. His solution is named AltStore. It is defined as an alternative mobile app distribution platform, and it enables users to download software which hasn’t been made available on the App Store of Apple.

Creating Delta

Delta is his AltStore’s first-ever app, and it is the successor to GBA4iOS. Testut has been working on perfecting Delta since his university years at the University of Southern California, more than five years ago. The best part of this application is that it allows you to function it on your phone without requiring any jailbreaks to be done on your iPhone. That and the fact that it is available for download to all, completely free of charge.

Apps that you should Delete

If you are at all concerned about your privacy, or that of your friends and family, you should most definitely scan through the applications on your phones, tablets, and laptops. A lot of the permissions we grant willy-nilly allow these applications access to things we would not usually want to share. By not reading the lengthy and deliberately longwinded terms and conditions, we are unwittingly allowing “big brother” into our lives. If you have children with their own digital devices, please have a look at those too, in our day and age it pays to be careful.

The apps discussed below are dangerous in a few ways:

  • Some can track you
  • Some have dodgy privacy policies
  • Some can be a gateway for virusesAngry Birds

Well, this makes me angry. How can an innocent game be a threat? Well, there is an advertising platform in the games coding. This coding allows the adverts to be directly targeted at the users. The information collected is accessible to anyone intelligent enough to find it. Your phonebook, call logs, and even your location can be publicly available, and although the creators claim this has been written out of the games coding, one never really knows.

Facebook

No surprise here as Facebook has become the shoebox we keep our memories and personal information in. Facebook is the most trusted social media platform, and yet it cannot be believed. Sort of like your best friend in high school who dealt out your secrets as she/he deemed fit. Take the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, for example. It was a political scandal in which Cambridge Analytica collected personal information from millions of Facebook users without prior consent. Was this information used for political advertising – nice, hey? Even scarier was that it was first reported in 2015 and Facebook “investigated”. So, it is ideal to play it safe by uninstalling the Facebook app on your phone or tablet and instead adding a browser shortcut to your phones home screen. This will also increase the performance of your phone.

You Version Bible

An article in a well-known magazine claims that the application “You Version Bible” can alter data stored on your phone. The article goes on to say that this app can also connect and disconnect to Wi-Fi as it pleases; this is again for adverts targeted at a specific audience. You Version Bible creators pledge that your information will not be sold. However, I believe you cannot trust anyone but yourself. It is your choice, but I will be deleting this app as soon as this article is complete.

To Delete untrusted Apps

Unfortunately, merely uninstalling them or deleting them will not suffice. Most of these applications request that you create an account or connect using your email account, another spam tactic. You will need to connect to the Applications web page from your search engine, login and delete your account. They will not make it easy for you either, it will take time and a lot of patience, but in the long run, it is for the best.

Software Development Tendencies in 2019 Part 2

Last week we considered some of the trends in software development, namely; Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Progressive Web Applications and Blockchain Technologies. There are many more trends in the changing sands of time, so we will be discussing a few more to keep an eye on in 2019.

  • Quality of Coding
  • Cybersecurity
  • Software Development Outsourcing

Language and frameworks were introduced adjacent to software technologies for programming purposes. A business should do research and make sure they select the best style for programming right at the beginning of their project to omit the possibility of failure. JavaScript is one of the favourites of developers, due to its flexibility, especially when it comes to hybrid applications. The success and understandability of various languages can be seen in historical data which will aid in decision making. Companies can and should use information from different surveys to plan unique software development projects, as some languages are more successful than others.

Quality of Coding

Technology is continually evolving, and the quality of the coding done for your business should be your primary focus. Low code development has allowed technology-based companies to hire staff with less technical abilities to program the software. Depending on what outcome your business is aiming for software-wise, the decision needs to be made on the quality of coding to use, for the best results for each company.

Cybersecurity

Life without security is like being left in shark-infested water with a cut; it won’t end well. Security is essential for our safety in the growing changes of time. This is true too for businesses, not only in the usual sense keeping your staff and visitors safe but also in the cyber sight. Your software and files need to be protected from cyber hackers, phishers and other internet villains. The loss of software and the theft of information is a growing concern and should be monitored continuously.

Software Development and Outsourcing

In a survey by Statista, the online database of various survey statistics, the market size of outsourced software development was ascertained as billions of US dollars. Internationally the outsourced market is multiplying every year; this is due to many companies opting to hire outside services instead of engaging in house developers, which are a long-term expense to the business.

Think Wisely

All in all, it is of utmost importance for the survival of businesses, to stay up to date with technological influences, changes and trends to remain the market leaders. Make an effort to check quarterly if your software development is keeping up with the changes. Events and preferences change so rapidly you could be left behind. If budget is a problem, whether a start-up business or a struggling company, a great option to consider is outsourcing. Keep your finger on the pulse, and you are sure to succeed.

Top Free Website Builders 2019

In years past, those who wanted to create a website only had two choices, pay a middleman plenty of money for a professional-looking website or teach themselves coding to build their own. But eventually, through a website development revolution, small businesses can now set up their website, without technological experience, using one of the various free website builders. All that is needed is some computer, either a laptop or a desktop or even a tablet, and then the internet is their oyster. Some of the low-cost web builders are amazing and worth every cent; there is an option of free building platforms available these days.

Webstarts

This build-your-own website platform claims to be the top-rated free builder, and while it is an excellent choice for small businesses wanting to make a name for themselves, it has a few shortfalls. The websites created through Webstarts are known to struggle to adapt their pages to mobile devices; this is a big negative for local businesses relying on people researching on their cell phones. Another hiccup is that once you have selected a template, you are bound to that template and can’t change the little details as other web builders allow. A big plus is an option of linking almost 200 external apps, like Facebook, Twitter, calendars, Instagram, and so on.

Wix

Currently, at the top of the chart in the eyes of the consumer is Wix. For small businesses wanting to generate a presence online, the user-friendly interface makes their platform quick and easy to grasp. Wix does offer a world-renowned paid option which is better than the free one, but once you get used to the set locations of the adverts in the free version, their high-quality templates, intuitive building platform, endless numbers of pages and mobile device adaptability make it a fascinating option. In the freemium plan, you have unlimited pages and free search engine optimization for the whole site.

Jimdo

New to the open web builder industry, Jimdo is quickly making a name for themselves. Their free selection of templates is taken to a whole new level with high professional looking options. Not only do these websites look beautiful, but the adapt flawlessly to mobile devices, making them an excellent choice for businesses planning to attract customers researching the run and those who like to sit at home and study in their pyjamas. Jimdo also offers a free mobile app making it a breeze to edit your website on any device with internet access and data. A bonus of using jimdo is that it allows you to build a small store online at no extra cost, a lot of the freemium plans on the other web builders don’t offer this option. One downfall is that Jimdo only provides seos of one page, while other sites provide search engine optimization for every page.

Bill Gates Describes Artificial Intelligence as Both Dangerous & Exciting

The occurrence of AI led to several exciting breakthroughs enabled by technology, improving the quality of human lives. In future, Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a positive changemaker, provided that it is used in a manner that is for the greater good of society. At the same time, there has also been numerous visionaries from the world of technology and academia, different views on AI and even a war of words.

Co-Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates Gives His Opinion About AI

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft has also recently joined the debate regarding AI. Gates takes a borderline approach regarding the subject and reminded that Artificial Intelligence is nuclear energy and that means it is also a nuclear weapon at the same time.

As one of the main speakers at the Human-Centred Artificial intelligence (HAI) at Stanford University. Bill Gates shared how AI can be evolutionary in some areas and threatening. Still, despite all the risks, if all focus is placed on the AI system’s capabilities, technology can play a main part in business transformations.

Almost Like Nuclear Weapons vs Nuclear Energy

Gates also reminded the audience that the world has not had many technologies that are dangerous and as promising at the same time as AI. The only that vaguely is the same is nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact in Medical Field

AI can make a huge impact and solve many healthcare industry issues, according to Bill Gates. He used the example that children in the same country getting antibiotics such as azithromycin, that cost two cents per year, it would save hundreds of thousands of lives. Which is why Gates do not believe that without the learning techniques of the machine we would be able to understand the importance of the problem, in order to find the solution.

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact in Medical Field

Gates also talked about the transformation AI brought to other fields such as education. Learners can now learn from AI assistants that act as personalized teachers to any student including those with special needs. The potential benefit is that AI could massively enhance the level of education across the globe.

Advantages vs Disadvantages of AI

With AI the world would be a place with a far lower error rate than without it, should the AI be properly coded. The one thing AI has above all else is precision, speed and accuracy. Hostile environments will have no effect on AI, which makes it perfect for the most dangerous tasks.

Alexa, Cortana, Siri, Google Now are considered AI due to the ability they have to analyse the information given and the return of a result. In time AI will affect all industries and by mid-2030s AI usage could increase up to 30% from 3% at the moment. The main reasons for the use of AI are cost-effectiveness, accuracy, speed and flawless completing of tasks.

Facebook to Utilize A.I. To Detect Profiles of Users That Died

Facebook has recently announced that artificial intelligence will be used to detect the profiles of users that have passed away. The use of AI is to prevent painful reminders to family and friends when it is the deceased birthday. The major social network added that it would be adding a section of tributes to the account that is memorialised, designated as to belong to a person that has passed away. Friend and family will still be able to add posts or even share photos in the designated area to remember these loved ones.

Facebook is Tightening the Rules

The rules are tightening on Facebook around who exactly could memorialise the account of a deceased person. Until recently, anyone was allowed to memorialise an account by directly sending the social media network proof of that the account holder had died, which would require an obituary. Due to the new rules, it has to be done by a family member or a friend. These changes followed the response of users that experienced the profiles of their loved ones pop up on Facebook after they passed away. The company explained that sometimes, people are not ready to memorialise the profile of a person who has passed away immediately one they die. For many, it is a huge step, and they need to have the time to get ready for it. Facebook, on the other hand, will utilise AI intelligence to prevent these profiles from showing up in any place where it could cause distress; this includes reminders about upcoming birthdays.

Facebook Tributes Help Grievers Cope

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, lost her husband in 2015 and the tributes on Facebook to her late husband, helped her cope with the grief. The Facebook profile help many deal with their pain and is seen as a way to keep their memories alive.

The CEO of Facebook has also recently spoken out in New York regarding stricter regulations regarding harmful content, data and privacy portability. Mark Zuckerberg also told the Washington Post that regulators and governments should be more active in internet policing. More regulation is needed to prevent harmful content and baselines are required that prohibits specific content.

He feels that the privacy rules such as that of the General Data Protection Regulation taking effect last year in Europe should be adopted worldwide. These statements follow only days after Facebook was slated for the New Zealand killings that were broadcasted live on the site. Zuckerberg and others realise that it’s the wild west of the internet where social media sites are used for hate speech. For this reason, stricter rules and regulations are needed from government entities.

For more than two years, Facebook was criticised for privacy lapses as well as the spreading of disinformation. The site was also guilty of allowing Russian agents to use it for hate speech and abuse. The Facebook CEO shared that he is shifting the focus of the media site to messaging services designed to ensure privacy.

iPhone XS vs Samsung S10 Part 2

Last week we looked at the differences between the iPhone Xr and the Samsung Galaxy S10e. There’s no doubt that Samsung came out as the better phone for the same price, not only do you get more storage, but you also score a better display, better cameras and more. Sure, the screen is a little smaller, but since it doesn’t have that nudge at the top, you might find it’s got a lot more to offer.

This week we compare the S10 and the iPhone Xs. As some of you might know, both these flagship devices come in the plus models as well, which we’ll have a look at next week.

Price

The price is the most important thing to start with as it gives us an indication as to how close these phones are and why they are perfect for the comparison. The iPhone Xs comes in at US$999 for the 64gb model while Samsung is available at just US$899.

Not much different right? Well, when you begin to look at what you get, you’ll see there’s a big difference. Firstly, the iPhone at that price provides only 64gb while Samsung offers 128gb at $100 less.

Processors, Ram and Battery

Testing the processing speeds of these phones doesn’t reveal a huge difference as Apple is a little fastest in some areas and the Samsung beats it in others. They both run amazingly fast processors, starting with the iPhone with an A12 Bionic chip and the S10 presenting the Snapdragon 855.

When it comes to ram, we see quite a significant difference with these phones as the iPhone offers just 4gb, which seems enough, but Samsung answers it with an impressive 8gb of ram, providing much higher processing power. However, during testing, we found that some of the processes that depend on the ram. CPU happens to be much faster on Apple.

The batteries are different, starting with the Apple that provides a 2658mAh battery, which is compared to Samsung’s 3400mAh. While Samsung’s is much bigger, it’s important to note that the display size on Apple is 0.3 smaller, but even with that, Samsung wins it!

Displays

As mentioned, Apple’s screen is a little smaller at 5.8 inches, and the S10 provides a 6.1-inch screen. The aspect ratios are very similar with the Xs at 19.5:1 and the S10 at 19:1, but a big difference is seen with the resolutions and just about all the other features of the screen.

Firstly, the S10 offers 1440 x 3040p while Apple comes in at a lower 1125 x 2436p. The PPI (pixels per inch) also plays a significant role here, and the Samsung once again takes it with 551 whereas the Xs offers 463.

There’s a lot more to these phones, but even with just the two most prominent sections mentioned above, we see the S10 stands out a lot more at a much lower price. However, we’ll have to see how Apple answers within a few months.

iPhone XR vs Samsung S10e

So, we finally have some new competition for the iPhone series that was released towards the end of 2018 as Samsung releases their new flagship series, the S10.

The company released three new devices, including the S10e, S10 and the S10 Plus, offering excellent features to meet everyone’s desires and budget. The S10e is the smallest of the lot and provides the least features, but in no way does it fall far behind the rest.

Apple’s range includes the iPhone XR the XS and the XS Max, which primarily provides the same benefits as we’ve seen above. Including the XR as the cheapest. The XS as the middle of the range and the XS Max as the big phone with all the features.

So, let’s start with the “budget” devices, including the S10e and the XR and see how they compare with everything from price to features.

Price

To ensure each aspect of this comparison is fair and accurate, we’ll take the cheapest option of each device, which ranges around US$750 for either model, give or take a few dollars.

Immediately, we see quite a drastic difference as the iPhone offers 64gb storage without the option to include an SD card while for the same price you get the S10e with 128gb and the opportunity to expand it with an SD card of up to 512gb.

Design

When it comes to the design, we see that both devices are similar to the and aluminium frame and glass back. However, Samsung once again shines in the department with an IP68 rating for water and dust. The iPhone comes in with an IP67. Not a significant difference, but still a difference for those who keep their phones near the pool.

As for dimensions, we see that the iPhone is just a little bit bigger in both length with a 150.9mm vs the S10e at 142.2, a width of 75.7 vs the S10e with 69.9 and finally, the thickness comes in at 8.3mm vs the S10e with 7.9mm.

Display

Much of the size difference between these devices comes down to the screen size as the Samsung features a 5.8-inch vibrant AMOLED display and the Apple offers a 6.1-inch liquid retina display.

Once again, Samsung has the upper hand with its HDR10+ benefit as it provides 2280 x 1080p and Apple seems to miss with 1792 x 828p. When it comes to the pixels per inch, the Samsung once again outshines the Apple with 438 vs the XR with 326.

Both of the phones offer an edge to edge displays with very narrow bezels, but the Samsung does it better as they don’t have the nudge at the top, but rather just a tiny dark dot where the camera shines through.

Processors and Ram

iPhone has always kept to lower amounts of ram and managed to keep up and even beat the competition when it comes to speed. In the XR, you get the same A12 Bionic chip that drives the other X model devices in addition to 3gb of ram. The Samsung comes with the same Snapdragon 855 that operates the other S10 models and has 6gb of ram with the option to go up to 8gb.

Samsung S10 Review

Samsung’s answer to the iPhone XS Max has finally arrived, and it strikes with impressive features from the very second the S10 Plus meets your line of sight! The new S10 Plus comes with innovation, unlike anything we’ve seen before. The company finally has the answer for the annoying camera nudge at the top of the screen as seen with the iPhone X and XS models.

At first, you won’t even see the nudge at the top as it’s located towards the top right-hand side and perfectly fits into the notification bar. Samsung also designed their wallpapers to hide the black oval shape, giving you that full and clean edge to edge design. It’s quite amazing that the screen goes straight around the camera, making it look like just another part of your apps or even notifications.

When looking at the overall size of the S10 Plus, you’ll find it’s not much different from the S9 Plus. Sure, there might be some tiny changes, but to the everyday user, those won’t make a difference at all. The back still features the camera nudge towards the top in the centre but includes some significant upgrades as three units now combine for the ultimate in picture quality. Yes, that’s right, the S10 Plus has five cameras! More than enough for all your selfie sessions!

Technical Details

Now, let’s get into the technical things without going overboard. The screen is a 6.4” AMOLED screen that might sound huge and unattractive as it makes the phone too big. Due to bezels being non-existent, more substantial screen real estate is provided. The screen comes with an astounding 3,040 x 1,440 pixels that offers a PPI ratio of 522.

The cameras feature enough information to make it sound like we’re talking about three different phones, but it’s all on the S10 Plus, so try to keep up. The rear cameras start with a 16 MP ultra-wide, which is combined with two 12 MP cameras, one offering a standard wide-angle lens and the other a telephoto lens that focuses on the 3D effect and depth of pictures. So, that’s it, right? Well, not entirely as we haven’t covered the from, which includes a 10 MP wide-angle camera and an 8 MP that focuses on the depth of the picture.

Just in case you were wondering, the phone is capable of recording video in 4k, which also includes slow-motion video. Getting down to the battery, you’ll be pleased with the 4,100 mAh battery that comes with the S10 Plus only as the other devices only provide up to 3,400 mAh. The phone also includes the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, 8gb or 12gb ram and storage of 512gb or the bigger 1tb.

The new Samsung S10 Plus is indeed a phone that’s reaching for level standards, and while it might seem a little ahead of it’s time, there are sure to be many tech junkies who can’t wait to test the power of the new Samsung flagship.

Why Choose Apple’s iOS Above Android

Choosing a new phone can be quite the challenge, especially when considering top brands such as Samsung and Apple.  The one has Android, which just about everyone uses while the other comes with iOS software, which you might have heard great things about, but you don’t know much about it.

The Android phones certainly come with many more features, and you get to customise the phone in just about whatever way you want. Not only can you move apps to different pages, but you can add widgets and all kinds of special things to make it your own. With iOS, you’re a little more limited, as you can basically move the apps around, create folders. There are widgets, but they are only available in the widget bar that slides over from the left when you’re on the homepage.

So, why would you choose the limited iOS instead of the freedom that lets you do what you want and gain access to more apps along with the same features as the Apple device? Well, there’s quite a lot actually, and it comes down to the software. If you’re someone who is even a little concerned about your online safety and the information your phone holds you might want to look at Apple as a much safer option and here why:

The App Developers

No doubt about it, there are millions of apps that are absolutely brilliant and offer the features that really make the phone worth your while. Most of these apps are available on both platforms and provide the same benefits, just look at Facebook and other major apps and games.

Well, these are great, but did you know developers can easily program a virus into Android apps and get away with it quite easily? Sure, they’ll need to get you to download it first and allow access and all that, but there’s a reason you need to have anti-virus on your Android phone.

On iOS, anti-virus is more of an optional matter and not really something you have to do. This is because the standard of iOS apps is so much higher, and Apple has full control over what’s available in the app store. Therefore, developers need to meet their standards and Apple can be quite picky when it comes to features within the app that they don’t really want.

Transferring Files

This is one of the biggest reasons people choose Android over Apple. They can transfer files via Bluetooth, use memory cards and much more while Apple simply says no. You can’t even send someone a song or save it when someone sends it to you.

This is another way for Apple to keep the level of security as high as it is with their devices. They limit this to avoid any possible viruses to go onto the phone, not that viruses can be written for Apple, but still. Therefore, with an Apple device, all you need to do is ensure you do not click on some silly links in emails and simply allow Apple to take care of the rest.