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Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Uses Membrane Under Key Caps To Protect New Butterfly Mechanism

By | July 19th, 2018

Apple has confirmed that the recently released 2018 MacBook Pro models do indeed come equipped with a new membrane layer under the butterfly keyboard mechanism. As part of a memo issued to Apple Authorized Service Providers, Tim Cook’s company has informed that the membrane is “to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.”

It’s worth noting that this admission isn’t exactly unique news and only proves to confirm the intended purpose of the new membrane rather than actually confirm its existence.

As part of a teardown of the new MacBook Pro 13-inch model, iFixit had already discovered the membrane as part of the butterfly mechanism and surmised that it was in place to act as a barrier underneath the keycaps and would likely be there to prevent dust ingress. The official memo, which has been intercepted by MacRumors, confirms that theory:

The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.

Apple was well aware that a lot of consumers were having reliability issues with MacBook models containing the redesigned butterfly mechanism. As part of this 2018 MacBook refresh, the company had informed that the hardware would ship with an “improved” keyboard experience that was built with “quieter typing” in mind.

Quieter typing may be a benefit of the change but the memo issued to Apple Authorized Service Providers essentially confirms that the change has been made to prevent those pesky crumbs from getting inside of the mechanism and causing issues.

This is definitely good news for anyone purchasing a 2018 MacBook Pro. Apple has clearly accepted that global criticism of its keyboard design and has acted to make changes where necessary. Of course, the class action lawsuits and worldwide service program probably played a fairly big part in this decision to include a thin, malleable membrane under the keycaps. Whatever the reason, it’s undeniably a good result for the consumers who can now look forward to a low profile, almost silent keyboard and typing experience which shouldn’t suffer from any of the issues of previous models.

(source: MacRumors)

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iOS 11.4.1 To iOS 11.4 Beta 3 Downgrade No Longer Possible For Jailbreak

By | July 18th, 2018

Cupertino-based Apple Inc. has officially stopped signing its iOS 11.4 firmware approximately one week after releasing iOS 11.4.1 into the public domain. The move means that device owners are no longer able to downgrade from iOS 11.4.1 to another version of Apple’s mobile firmware.

The majority of iPhone and iPad owners who have been within Apple’s ecosystem for a decent period of time will be well aware of Apple’s commitment to continually updating and releasing new versions of iOS.

Tim Cook’s company dropped iOS 11.4.1 last week containing a plethora of bug fixes, under-the-hood enhancements, and overall improvements that should stabilize and correct any issues found with the iOS 11.4 release. With that release now find its way onto devices around the world, Apple has decided to stop signing iOS 11.4 final as well as iOS 11.4 beta 3, which will really only have a large effect on would-be jailbreakers looking to downgrade.

Most iOS device owners will see a new version of iOS, choose to upgrade as per Apple’s prompt, and then never look back. However, where jailbreaking is concerned, it’s always a wonderful situation if device owners have the opportunity to roll back their firmware should they need to do so. And with the Electra jailbreak supporting iOS 11.4 beta 3, some would-be jailbreakers have been taking the opportunity to take that backward step and liberate themselves using the aforementioned jailbreak. This internal decision by Apple relating to iOS 11.4 has now put an immediate stop to that process.

For those who aren’t interested in a jailbreak then iOS 11.4.1 is definitely an installation worth having. Apple introduced a number of new features with the release of iOS 11.4, including Messages on iCloud and AirPlay 2, which works harmoniously with updated HomePod hardware. iOS 11.4.1 doesn’t expose brand new features but it does do a very good job of streamlining that iOS 11.4 release and ensuring that iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners get the best possible experience across all supported hardware.

iOS 11.4.1 could also be the last version of iOS 11 to be released into the public domain ahead of an official public release of iOS 12. Apple is currently testing iOS 12 with developers and public testers. The next major release as far as Apple’s mobile platform is concerned could be the first public unveiling of iOS 12 this coming September.

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More Details On Sileo Cydia Replacement / Alternative For Electra Jailbreak Emerge

By | July 18th, 2018

Now information on the Cydia replacement that is set to be bundled with newer versions of the Electra jailbreak has emerged. Dubbed Sileo, the app will install alongside the upcoming Electra jailbreak version update as a total Cydia replacement and will remove the need for additional fixes and hacks to be included to keep Cydia functional.

Until now, little information has actually been pushed out into the public domain as far as Sileo is concerned. We’ve learned that the app is a work in progress and that it has been designed to fully replace Cydia going forward on all future Electra jailbreaks.

We’ve also had a quick glimpse at the initial user interface for the app running on an iPad and have seen the adding of new repositories functionality in operation. As mentioned at the time, this process will be extremely familiar for anyone who has worked with Cydia previously.

Now, developer CoolStar has taken to Twitter to give some additional information on payments and how they will work across the Sileo platform and including various repositories. In short, the developer has confirmed that any repository will be able to handle commercial packages and take payments from users and that additional API documentation will be released in due time to enable owners of those repositories to set up that flow:

any repo will be able to handle paid packages through Sileo. API documentation will be available once Sileo is released.

He also confirmed that repositories will be able to use a “standardized API to present package price, purchase status, and handle payments seamlessly,” meaning that users should expect to see a uniform process and payments process throughout Sileo, regardless of what they are purchasing or the repository that the purchase points to. This is all good news and gives the comfort to package and tweak developers that payments will still be able to be taken and handled once the comfort zone of Cydia is removed.

It is definitely good news to see more information about Sileo filtering through into the public domain. However, what the community really wants is an indication of when Sileo will actually be released and when we can expect to see a fully functional version of it in the real-world.

(Source: @coolstarorg [Twitter])

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Apple Teases 70 New Emoji For iOS 12, Including Red-Haired Ones, Superheroes, Kangaroo, More

By | July 17th, 2018

Apple today took the opportunity on World Emoji Day to share that it will be adding no fewer than 70 new emoji to most of its platforms this fall, with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac all gaining the icons.

As is becoming more regular for Apple, the Cupertino outfit shared the news via a newsroom post with confirmation now available that the new emoji will be available to users of Apple’s platforms under the Unicode 11 update.

More than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a free software update. The new emoji designs, created based on approved characters in Unicode 11.0, include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.

Apple highlighted the emoji that relate to diversity during its announcement post today, but as has been noted elsewhere, the arrival of Unicode 11 means that there will be a total of 2,832 emoji available for users to choose from once the update rolls out to everyone.

It’s the added diversity that some of the new arrivals add that has Apple particularly keen to share the news, although we’re also pretty keen to check out some of the superheroes that are being added as part of this round of updates.

Thousands of emoji are currently available on iOS, watchOS and macOS, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more.

We expect the new emoji to arrive alongside iOS 12, macOS Mojave, and watchOS 5 in September.

(source: Apple)

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These Tech Backpacks Feature Built-In USB Charging Ports For Your Smartphone And Start At Just $39

By | July 15th, 2018

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where kids and young adults are being kitted out ahead of another hectic year of school. That’s always an expensive time of year for parents which is why the likes of Apple run Back to School promotions on things like MacBooks and iPads.

We told you about that recently, and today we are telling you about two awesome backpacks that have USB charging ports built in, perfect for keeping those devices charged up while on the go.

Below we have two different options that we think you are going to love, with one being a budget option and one for those who are happy to spend a little more to get something a little extra premium. With that said, let’s take a look

1. Budget option: Tech Backpack With Built-In USB Charging Port ($ 39.95 for 1 or $ 69.95 for 2 using promo code, usually $ 79.95 for 1 or $ 159.99 for 2)

This backpack can hold a notebook of up to 13.3-inches in size along with the prerequisite smartphone, books and even tablet while charging things via its USB port. Specific pockets for things like earphones that also have external holes for feeding the cables through are also here, with the backpack itself available in multiple colors including blue, black, purple and gray options.

Right now you can take advantage of an offer that will get you two of these backpacks (in same or any color) for $ 69.95. Simply add two to your cart from here and then check out with promo code BTCC2018 to take advantage of the offer.

Buy: Tech Backpack With Built-In USB Charging Port: $ 39.95 for 1 or $ 69.95 for 2 using promo code | Original price: $ 79.95 for 1 or $ 159.99 for 2

2. Premium option: Leather Tech Backpack With USB Charging Port, Headphones Cord Hole (74.95 with promo code, usually $ 99.95)

This more costly option also has the same features but is also made of high-quality leather, making it look more premium when being worn. The same USB charging capabilities are here as is the special hole for feeding earphone cables through so you don’t have too many unsightly cables in view. There’s room for a notebook up to 14-inches in size and again tablets, books and smartphones will fit just fine.

Right now this leather backpack can be had for $ 74.95 from here using promo code BTC2018 at check out.

Buy: Leather Tech Backpack With USB Charging Port, Headphones Cord Hole: $ 74.95 | Original price: $ 99.95

Discount codes for both backpacks are applicable until mid-August, so be sure to take advantage of them before then. Not only are these great for school and college students, but everyday commuters and travelers as well.

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CarBridge For iOS Released, Lets You Use Any App In CarPlay Including Waze, Google, Fortnite, Netflix, YouTube, More

By | July 15th, 2018

Apple has already confirmed that the ability to use third-party maps apps like Waze and Google Maps in CarPlay is coming to iOS 12 later this year, but if you’re jailbroken and want to get in on the action right now, you might want to check out a jailbreak tweak called CarBridge, because it’s pretty awesome.

Available now via Chariz.io on Cydia or directly from carbridgetweak.com and costing $ 4.99, CarBridge allows the running of all manner of things via CarPlay, regardless of any limitations that Apple has tried to put in place before now.

What this means is that not only can you use Google Maps or Waze, but you can also play Fortnite or watch Netflix/YouTube, or indeed run just about any app on your iPhone, right in the dash of your car.

While we’re never going to condone playing Fortnite in a car, or watch Netflix/YouTube, but being able to run something like Waze or Google Maps right now and without having to wait for iOS 12 to ship later this year is always going to get our attention.

In addition to third-party apps, the tweak features the Portal app, which let’s you control your connected iOS device’s interface using your head unit.

Right now, the CarBridge tweak is compatible with any jailbroken version of iOS from 10.0 to 11.4, which should cover most bases.

So, if you recently jailbroke your iPhone using Electra (you can still do it on iOS 11.4 beta 3 as Apple is still signing that firmware on iPhone X and iPhone 8/8 Plus), then you should totally check out CarBridge as this tweak has been in development for over a year now and really delivers on what it says.

Apple’s CarPlay continues to gain traction and while this is unlikely to really move the needle on CarPlay adoption, both jailbreakers and Apple now realize that the key to its success is being able to use more third-party apps while behind the wheel. This new tweak is a prime example of that and we look forward to seeing what Apple offers for CarPlay users moving forward.

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You Can Now Use Your iPhone To Jailbreak Nintendo Switch [Video]

By | July 14th, 2018

Sometimes we come across something that just makes our jaws hit the floor, and today is one of those occasions after we caught a glimpse of NXBoot, a new utility that makes it possible to run payloads on a Nintendo Switch.

What makes this all the more interesting is the fact that it requires a jailbroken iOS device (using Electra or otherwise) in order to work.

Available to download via GitHub right now, NXBoot uses a jailbroken iOS device in order to run the code that then goes off and jailbreaks its way into the Switch. This is accomplished by a USB cable that connects the two devices together and may have the potential to open the door to all manner of super-cool projects in the future.

The utility’s release was made public via social media and has caused quite a stir:

This is the first public release of NXBoot, a utility to run payloads on your Nintendo Switch.

Homepage and download info: https://mologie.github.io/nxboot/

I strongly recommend you to get familiar with the Nintendo Switch homebrew community prior to using this application to start anything on your Nintendo Switch.

[…]

Attribution and prior work: Fusée Gelée by ktemkin and ShofEL2 by the failoverfl0w team served as reference for payload construction. JustBrandonT from GBAtemp worked on a similar app independently of this project.

While the included video is very short, it does show the magic happening and that’s all I need in order to be get excited.

I am personally a huge fan of the Nintendo Switch, just as everyone else is, and I can’t wait to see where this kind of work takes us in the future.

(Source: Reddit)

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Apple Discontinues 2015 MacBook Pro Following 2018 Lineup Refresh

By | July 13th, 2018

As we told you earlier that Apple had announced new high-end 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar computers, which is great if you want a super fast Mac notebook and don’t mind that somewhat flaky keyboard.

If, however,  you are someone who was pricing up the older, more reliable, and certainly more port-laden 2015 MacBook Pro, then you’re about to be very disappointed indeed because as part of today’s lineup refresh, that Mac is no longer available to buy.

Up until today, Apple continued to stock the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro as an alternative to the 2016 and beyond machines that were also available. Still great machines, these included all of the ports and indeed MagSafe connector that so many of us miss from the newer models, and in the process, had become something of a cult favorite amongst users. Add in the fact that Apple clearly has a reliability problem with its current MacBook Pro keyboards and the older 2015 model was a real alternative for many.

Now that the 2015 MacBook Pro is no longer up for grabs from Apple, users are left with either buying via third-party sellers or hoping that refurbished models pop up via Apple’s online store. Failing that, it may just be time to bite the bullet and check out the 2018 MacBook Pros in the hope that this new third-generation butterfly keyboard is up to snuff.

Unfortunately, no matter how much better that keyboard is, it won’t magic up an SD card slot or HDMI port, so be sure to get ready for that dongle life too. Sorry, folks, but it looks like this is the future of the Mac.

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How To Turn On Incognito Mode In YouTube For Android

By | July 12th, 2018

Google has updated its YouTube Android app with a new feature that makes it possible for users to search for and then watch videos in private, with those actions not logged against their account.

The feature is very reminiscent of one that is included in Chrome and goes by the same name and will be useful for anyone who wants to watch videos in the app without having those views be picked up and tracked for whatever reason.

In order to use Incognito mode, users will need to have the updated YouTube app installed on their smartphone. Assuming that’s the case, all they need to do to enable Incognito mode is to fire the app up and tap their avatar at the top-right corner of the screen.

Here, they will be presented with a new menu that will include the equally new Turn on Incognito option. Flicking this option will see the the whole YouTube interface change to one that says it is running in incognito mode. Again, this is very similar to how Chrome makes users aware of the fact that the tracking-free mode is enabled.

When you turn off Incognito or become inactive, your activity from this session will be cleared and you’ll return to the account last used.

Your activity might still be visible to your employer, school, or internet service provider.

As you might imagine, disabling Incognito mode is a case of doing the same set of actions but in reverse although this time, a menu will appear at the bottom of the screen once your avatar is selected.

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Android-Auto

Developer Turns Wired Android Auto Head Unit Wireless [Video]

By | July 11th, 2018

When it comes to getting smartphones into cars, or at least the apps that run on them, neither Android Auto nor Apple’s CarPlay have been able to really take the market by storm.

This is perhaps due to the fact that people simply do not buy new cars all that often, but with a number of aftermarket devices available that can retrofit older cars with support for either Android Auto or CarPlay, there are options out there.

If you do install an aftermarket device, then you’re going to need to decide which to opt for, and here we have one developer who has been able to take one particular wired Android Auto head unit and turn it into a wireless one as if by magic.

There was, of course, very little magic used here, but rather some cunning use of technology. Developer Emil Borconi is the one with the smarts, and he now has a wireless Android Auto head unit, too. The concept uses an auxiliary Android device such as an old phone as well as a companion app that can act as a WiFi receiver for the wired head unit. The source Android phone then communicates with the receiving Android device and then relays commands to the head unit, as if nothing special was going on.

This is more of a hack then an elegant solution that most people are going to want to go through the trouble of setting up, but that doesn’t make the proof-of-concept video any less entertaining to watch. We’re always pleased to see people thinking outside the box and making things worth that wouldn’t ordinarily do so, so hats off to Emil here.

This all reminds us – we really should look at getting a new head unit with these technologies built in!

(Source: Emil Borconi Szedressy [YouTube])

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