Facebook fixes its most notable problem with memorial profiles, Verizon fixes problems with millions of routers, Google’s laptop and tablet team isn’t dead yet, Roku is finally betting on itself, and more.

Exodus finds a home on iOS

Last week, a story surfaced about a new type of government malware found on the Google Play Store. The malware, called Exodus, completely takes over the infected phone. And now it’s also on iOS.

Before you start to lose confidence in Apple’s usually tight security rules, it’s worth emphasizing that Exodus has only been found in third-party app stores (for now, at least). This was done through the use of the Apple Developer Enterprise program, which allows companies to distribute apps outside of the App Store. This is not usually a practice commonly associated with malware distribution, although it has been used for it in the past.

The app was found by a research team at Lookout Security and is said to be a lighter version of its Android counterpart as it cannot take full control of the device. However, it was able to get contacts, audio recordings, photos, videos, GPS location and other device information. It was also capable of capturing audio remotely. That should still be enough to make you squirm a little in your chair.

Lookout shared its findings with Apple, which then revoked the corrupted certificates, thus stopping the spread of the malware. While malware isn’t something we usually talk about on iOS, it serves as a good reminder that while less common than on Android, it can still be a problem.

The biggest takeaway here is that you should always be careful about what you download, especially if it’s from outside your device’s official app store.

[ Просмотр через Engadget ]

Apple News: iPhone NFC chip unlocked for UK users

Also, Apple stops charging $99 for transferring data to a new Mac.

  • Apple has reached an agreement with the UK government to open up the NFC technology found on the iPhone to allow EU residents to scan their passports to apply for post-Brexit UK residence. [ 9to5Mac ]
  • Previously, if you bought a new Mac, Apple charged $99 to transfer your data from the old machine to the new one. Now they do it for free. Hooray. [ Engadget ]
  • Apple has hired Jaunt VR founder Arthur van Hoff as a senior architect. It’s too early to say what this rental means for Apple, but there’s a good chance it’s related to the AR headset. Good chance. [ Разнообразие ]
  • Macworld took the 21.5-inch Core i5 iMac for a spin and said it «makes a compelling case as an affordable pro-level machine.» Check it out if you are on the cusp of picking it up. [ Macworld ]

While the hope is that Apple will eventually open up the iPhone’s NFC chip to wider uses beyond Apple Pay (and now permanent residence apps in the UK), this is still probably unlikely. Prior to this, the NFC chip was used exclusively for Apple Pay.

But NFC is widely used outside of contactless payments, as highlighted in Apple’s new deal with the UK government. It seems like such a simple thing, but in this situation it’s a pretty big step and a very useful tool.

The UK government has released an app that allows EU citizens to apply for a residence permit in which they fill out a form, take a selfie photo and scan their passport. This is the final moment for NFC to take effect — thanks to an agreement between Apple and the UK government, users will be able to quickly scan their passports with their iPhone.

However, as 9to5Mac points out, this is a likely (and sadly) one-time situation, and not something we’ll see again. Certainly not regularly, anyway.

Google and Android News: The Pixelbook team has something new

Plus new before: and after: date search tags, the new Galaxy A80 is official, and more.

While Google confirmed to The Verge that it does indeed have new hardware for laptops and tablets, the most interesting aspect was revealed by 9to5Google, who found a session on Cloud Next 2019 called «Google Hardware for Business.»

Google took the opportunity to talk about the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, but what came next was really curious: there was talk of a new device to allow ‘leaders’ to be productive on the go.» This is an exciting announcement because it’s completely unclear what it means. Google Pixelbook Group General Product Manager Steve Jacobs shared some numbers about the Google team itself, but also made an interesting comparison to the current Pixelbook and Pixel Slate:

Help employees who are constantly on the go and have a working paradigm in which 60% of them are all our employees [Google] — work outside their workplace. And 43% of them work remotely at least part of the time.

The tools they have don’t really contribute to a lifestyle and work style that makes them as productive as possible and excited to go to work every day. And we think there are some unique things we can do differently than the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate that will really help give them what they’re looking for as they work in this new modern era of cloud computing.

Prominent, expressing this last thought — what things do they plan to do differently? The Pixelbook is a foldable convertible, while the Pixel Slate is a detachable tablet. Is there a middle ground planned for the Pixlebook 2? Or is it a brand new device. Either way, it’s pretty exciting. I big a fan of my Pixelbook, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the company is working on.

In other news: Roku bets on itself and Amazon Kindle Reviews 2019 are out

In addition, Facebook is fixing problems with memorial profiles, Qualcomm has announced several new Snapdragon chips, Verizon is fixing vulnerabilities in its modems, and more. Let’s get to that.

It’s interesting to see Roku transition into its own. Years later, as one of the most beloved streaming platforms that has served as a neutral ground for all streaming services—for example, the only one that offers access to Google Play movies outside of Google’s own services—the arrival of The Roku Channel is beginning to show the company’s direction: it will content oriented.

With the 9.1 update, it highlights the Roku channel in search results. It also added the ability to automatically play movies and TV shows on a Roku channel in voice search results (which can be annoying?), although it is noted that if a particular show or movie is not available on a Roku channel, customers will continue to receive «unbiased search results.»

This is the first time Roku has ever prioritized its own content over everything else available on the platform, but the shift makes sense. Everyone else is doing it, and it’s clear from the CEO’s recent comments that the company is «in the ad business, not the hardware business» that this is a shift in the company’s direction.

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