Jonny Evans

About the Author Jonny Evans


How Apple users can protect themselves against Spectre and Meltdown

Apple has confirmed that all Macs, iPhones, iPads and other devices (bar Apple Watch) are vulnerable to the newly-revealed Spectre and Meltdown Intel, ARM and AMD processor vulnerabilities.

What’s the problem?

Taking advantage of a vulnerability that has been around for 20-years, Meltdown and Spectre exploit a CPU performance feature called “speculative execution”. Speculative execution exists to improve computer speed by enabling the processor to work on multiple instructions at once, sometimes in non-sequential order.

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Apple acts as digital transformation hits panic mode

Apple is updating its systems against newly revealed Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, but it’s not enough to update personal devices – what about older PCs and the millions of servers that may also be vulnerable to the bug?

The bigger picture

The Spectre and Meltdown bugs are causing lots of distress. Meltdown impacts Intel processors, while Spectre appears to threaten chips from AMD and ARM as well. A good explanation of these vulnerabilities is here.

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8 ways Apple could improve Continuity on Mac and iOS

Apple’s Continuity suite of iOS/Mac integration tools help blur the line between the company’s mobile platforms and the Mac – I use them a lot. There’s always room for improvement, eight feature requests to make Continuity even better.

Smarter Handoff

When you are working in a compatible application, Apple’s Handoff feature means you can begin working on a document on your iPhone and then continue to work on it on one of your other nearby Apple devices: Just tap the icon to open the same item on the other device.

That’s useful, but wouldn’t it be even more useful if the cursor position was also included in the sync? Right now, when you open the copy document you need to navigate to your previous cursor position. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just get working right away?

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11 New Year’s resolutions for Mac users

It’s hard to see what lies ahead at New Year, but while we wait to get a better view of Apple’s VR Glasses, iPhone, car and Mac Pro plans, here are some good Mac resolutions to explore:

1. Learn keyboard shortcuts

Most Mac applications offer a swathe of keyboard combinations you can use to get things done. As you develop finger memory for these shortcuts, you’ll find that you become more capable of working with your hands flat on the keyboard. Not only that, but it saves you time, keeps you more productive, and can minimize damaging problems such as Repetitive Strain Injury. There are dozens of shortcuts to learn — a good place to start is to master the App Switcher using Command-Tab. Try and learn one of these every day until you learn them all.

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11 New Year resolutions for Mac users

It’s hard to see what lies ahead at New Year, but while we wait to get a better view of Apple’s VR Glasses, iPhone, car and Mac Pro plans, here are some good Mac resolutions to explore:

1: Learn keyboard shortcuts

Most Mac applications offer a swathe of keyboard combinations you can use to get things done. As you develop finger memory for these shortcuts you’ll find that you become more capable of working with your hands flat on the keyboard. Not only that, but is saves you time, keeps you more productive, and can minimize damaging problems such as Repetitive Strain Injury. There are dozens of shortcuts to learn – a good place to start is to master the App Switcher using Command-Tab. Try and learn one of these every day until you learn them all.

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The iPhone X getting-started guide

Apple’s iPhone X appears to have struck a chord, meaning millions of new users will want to get to know everything they can about using the device. I’ve pulled together a series of articles to help you get started, just in time for the holidays.

Where’s the Home button?

One of the biggest changes in the new iPhone is the removal of the Home button. The existence of a Home (or equivalent) button has become standard on all smartphones, so getting used to life without it may take some time. The loss of the button also means iPhone X users must learn a variety of new gestures for tasks including app switching, you’ll find a good collection including the gestures you’ll need to use here.

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The iPhone X getting started guide

Apple’s iPhone X appears to have struck a chord, meaning millions of new users will want to get to know everything they can about using the device. I’ve pulled together a series of articles to help you get started, and thought it might help to put these together in one place.

Where’s the Home button?

One of the biggest changes in the new iPhone is the removal of the Home button. The existence of a Home (or equivalent) button has become standard on all smartphones, so getting used to life without that button may take a little getting used to. The loss of the button also means iPhone X users must learn a bunch of new gestures for tasks including app switching, you’ll find a good collection including the gestures you’ll need to use here.

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AirPods: Apple’s wearable Christmas surprise

Stuck for a gift for the iPhone user in your life? It looks as if a lot of iPhone users can expect to find Apple’s AirPods under the tree this season, as stocks of the Siri-savvy earbuds dwindle worldwide and the product’s ‘iPod moment’ looms.

The next wave

You see, online and offline retailers in the UK and U.S. appear to be running out of stock of AirPods this season, according to a series of reports.

It means Apple’s AirPods and (presumably) Apple Watch are defining wearable devices this season.

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Apple and Cisco just improved security in the iOS enterprise

Apple and Cisco have struck yet another blow for enterprise IT. They know that iOS is the most secure mobile solution, but that’s not everything because mobile threats are incredibly complex these days.

The enigma code

Here’s a scenario: You work in an enterprise with perhaps 1,000 other employees. One morning, perhaps fifty of you woke to find an authentic-seeming email in your in-box that requested you click on a link to update some system related to the work you do. While many employees remembered not to click on that link, a small number did click. No one thought too much of the email – spam is frequent and most just thought the mail was aimed at them.

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How iPhone X changes things

It should be clear by now that Apple’s big bet on the iPhone X is working out just fine. Millions of people appear to be picking them up, but what does the new device tell us about the next decade of smartphones?

Face, the obvious

Biometric ID has come of age.

From Touch ID fingerprint sensors to face recognition systems and whatever comes beyond. It’s not impossible to speculate that one day our solutions will even be able to recognise us through a combination of biometric signals: fingerprint, face, pulse, even by blood type as mobile sensor development accelerates.

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How Apple’s Safari browser can save your Christmas

While I see online ads as a necessary evil if you want to keep websites in business, I’m so annoyed at the way the latest ads services seem so focused on ruining everybody’s Christmas surprise.

The ads Grinch stole Christmas

This is what happens: Ads sites track where you go online; retailers track you too and all this information is shared. Look at an item online, see an ad for it on the next page you go to. Not only is this behavioural retargeting vastly creepy, but when it comes to Christmas these things make it impossible to keep secrets, particularly on a shared Mac. Been looking at [insert name of hot new obsessive teenage-focused product here] with a view to buying one to gift your child? Don’t be too upset if said child gets onto your computer to check their Bitcoin investment only to find themselves staring at ads for the object of their desire. Kids aren’t stupid – they know how ads work online (even if we don’t). What’s happened? Your Christmas surprise is spoiled and your teenager won’t believe in Santa Claus any more, even if they are looking for a flat Earth shadow during the next eclipse.

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Apple makes Macs great again with iMac Pro

In what may turn out to be this year’s most significant news for Mac users, Apple managed to squeeze one more product release into the year this side of Christmas, confirming that its iMac Pro will be “available to order” from December 14.

An iMac – with superpowers

On first glance, the new iMac Pro looks like any other iMac, apart from its distinctive grey (Apple calls this ‘Space Grey’) chassis.

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10 reasons why Apple should acquire Shazam

TechCrunch claims Apple will purchase leading music recognition service, Shazam. This hasn’t been confirmed but here are just ten reasons such a deal makes sense:

Shazam’s Apple story

Founded in 1999, Shazam first came to prominence on Apple’s platforms as a great tool for iPod users. Years later it became one of the first apps to appear on the App Store, and was one of the first available iPad apps too.

“Shazam was one of the inaugural apps available when the App Store launched nearly two years ago and we are delighted to be available for iPad at launch as well,” said Andrew Fisher, then CEO of Shazam at the time.

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Apple’s HomeKit security blunder exposes the risk of smart homes

The expression “safe as houses” will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week.

Not so ideal home

The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains. While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes.

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Apple’s HomeKit security blunder exposes the risk of smart homes

The expression “safe as houses” will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week.

Not so ideal home

The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains. While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes.

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3 top reasons people dump Android for iPhone

As it stands, the market battle between Android and iPhone seems set to continue forever, but you can’t ignore that the majority of users who do switch are abandoning Google for Apple. What follows are three of the biggest reasons for doing so, identified by Creative Strategies, as Apple’s iPhone sales threaten to spike.

Reason #1: Security

I think most people are growing more aware of the need to maintain device security and to keep a fairly steady eye on data security. Apple seems to agree — notice how its Android attack line videos (two included below for reference) are focused around similar reasons?

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