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The iOS 10 and macOS Sierra betas arrive, beware the dangers of wearing a wearable, Lyft Premier adds a touch of luxury, Final Fantasy VII is available on Android, and Pokemon GO frustrates a fat man.
Apple Releases Two Important Betas
Apple has released the first public betas of both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, and you can try them out right now without too much effort. These are the latest versions of Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems respectively, and both bring with them considerable improvements.
Rather than bury the lede, here’s how to download iOS 10 and/or macOS Sierra right now. You simply have to sign up to the Apple Beta Software Program. You’ll then gain access to all public betas released for your Mac or iOS device.
It should be noted that betas are liable to contain multiple issues, so be sure to back up your device before blindly upgrading. Or, even better, use something other than your primary device. Either way, both betas include a Feedback Assistant app for you to report any bugs back to Apple.
The new iOS 10 comes with lots of incremental changes, including the option to delete stock apps, a redesigned lockscreen, apps with added widgets, and new features within Messages. The new macOS Sierra (note the new name!) brings Siri to the desktop for the first time, adds improved photo organization, a Universal Clipboard, and more besides.
Wearables Can Reveal Your PIN Number
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) July 8, 2016
That smartwatch or fitness tracker you wear on your wrist could be used to steal your PIN number of password, according to researchers from the department of electrical and computing engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology.
As reported by IEEE Spectrum, the researchers have demonstrated how an everyday wearable could reveal your PIN number or password to interested parties. And it’s all because of the way your hand moves when you’re typing in a series of numbers and/or letters.
A lot of wearables come with motion-sensing technology as standard. Unfortunately, that means the data they produce could be used to figure out what numbers and/or letters you’re typing while wearing one. And this goes for ATM machines, QWERTY keyboards, and door keypads.
As pointed out by TechCrunch, a hacker targeting such data wouldn’t even have to be close to the victim. They could instead either use a wireless sniffer to capture the data pockets remotely, or install malware on the wearable or smartwatch used by the intended mark.
Thankfully, there are two easy ways to prevent this from happening: 1. Use your other hand to input PIN numbers or passwords, or 2. Add noise to the pattern by moving your hand in odd ways. Still, this is another example of the dangers of the Internet of Things.
Lyft Launches Premier Option
Lyft, the ride-sharing service that isn’t Uber, has launched a premium option for people who want to travel in style. Lyft Premier eschews the usual small city cars in favor of high-end sedans or SUVs such “a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, or Cadillac Escalade”.
According to Engadget, passengers using Lyft Premier will generally pay around twice the price for the privilege, at least at this early stage. For that, they’ll get to travel in a luxury car with leather seats, and a consistent “high-end experience, every time you ride”.
Lyft Premier has initially launched in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City, with Lyft promising to roll it out to more cities in the months to come. To ease the transition Lyft is offering new users 20% off their first 10 Premier rides using the code, “LYFTPREMIER20”.
Final Fantasy VII Lands on Android
Final Fantasy VII, one of the best role-playing games (RPGs) of all time, is now available on Android. It’s priced at $15.99, and requires 4GB of free space to install. It’s also quite buggy, with the game prone to crashing at any moment. Still, this is Final Fantasy VII, so it’s worth both the asking price and hassle.
FF7, which introduced 3D graphics to the Final Fantasy series, was originally released on the PlayStation in 1997, and it became a huge critical and commercial success. The game was then remastered and re-released on a variety of different platforms, landing on iOS last August. So, the Android version is late, but better late than never.
Francis Plays Pokemon GO [NSFW]
And finally, unlikely YouTube celebrity Francis is doing what all the cool kids are doing right now… playing Pokemon GO. The problem is, he’s not big on walking, and cannot go near his neighbor’s house, making actually catching Pokemon a tricky proposition.
For the uninitiated, Francis is the alter-ego of YouTuber Boogie2988, who is actually very calm and collected, unlike Francis. Still, with this video, Francis actually nails some of the frustrations people are feeling about Pokemon GO, and that’s if and when the servers are up.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be downloading the iOS 10 and/or macoS Sieera public betas? Do you currently wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker? Would you pay extra for Lyft Premier? Will you be buying Final Fantasy VII for your Android device? Have you tried Pokemon GO yet? If so, what do you think of it?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: ANBerlin via Flickr