At last month's WWDC it was announced that Apple Pay would be making its way to the UK at some point in July, but we were never given a concrete date. However, the folks over at 9to5Mac have been tipped off that the new contactless payment method will be with us is just over a week's time - on July 14th, to be exact.
The news has emerged thanks to leaked images of memos meant for the staff of high street retailers. The letters and guides explain how Apple Pay will work, how both the iPhone and Apple Watch will be compatible, and confirmed the already announced spending limit of £20 per transaction. As previously reported at WWDC, Apple claim there will be 250,000 locations that will accept the payment method, including McDonalds, Marks & Spencers, and the Post Office. The most notable addition to that list was the London transport network, so those without an Oyster Card can avoid queuing at the machines every time they want to jump on the tube.
Vectone have been experiencing some rather large issues, meaning that many of their customers were left without any service at all. Vectone issued an apology via social media advising customers to reconfigure their network settings.
"All customers experiencing network problems are advised to re-configure their network settings. Even if you have already tried this, we recommend doing this one more time. Thereafter, if your problem remains unsolved, please get in touch with our Customer Service Team who will be happy to help"
It seems unclear as to when the service will be back to normal at this stage. We have had a report that Vectone are sending out text messages to customers offering free 3GB of data to make up for the downtime. All you will need to do it text "3GB" to 345 and you should be good to go. You may only be eligible if you receive the text, but there is no harm in trying, right? As i do not have a Vectone SIM handy i can't test this out, although we would definitely be interested to find out if any of you manage to get in on this!
Thanks to alexorza @HUKD for the tip
It appears that, yet again, the surprises from Apple are being spoilt ahead of time due to those pesky leaks, with two big reveals potentially spoiled over the last 24 hours. First up is the not-so-surprising existence of the iPhone 6s. It is expected to be officially unveiled this September, but leaked images on 9to5Mac show that the upcoming version of the smartphone will look similar to its predecessor in terms of size and thickness. We suspect the real surprises will be under the hood, but we'll probably have to wait until nearer the time for more details on that front.
However, what we weren’t expecting to see was a new line of iPod devices are on their way. The eagle-eyed folks over on Apple Insider noticed that the latest update for iTunes includes new images of the iPod range, showing three examples – a dark blue iPod Touch, a gold iPod Nano, and a lighter-pink iPod Nano. The new image also suggests that these new versions of the iPod Touch will be releasing on July 14th. Considering how Apple haven’t been making much noise on the MP3-playing-device that once dominated the market – especially after they officially killed off the iPod Classic last year – the move is unexpected to say the least, but with the release date allegedly just a few weeks away we expect to learn more in the very near future.
Generally speaking it's a good idea to keep your version of Adobe Flash up to date (along with Java, for that matter) but it appears that many people around the world are currently vulnerable to the latest exploit doing the rounds. Two exploit kits, named Angler and Magnitude, contain the ability to deploy ransomware onto a PC, forcing the user to hand over money to regain control. The exploit was fixed by Adobe last week, but it turns out that there are a large proportion of computers that have not updated to the latest version (probably because of the constant pop-ups that annoy everyone.)
As pointed out by the fine folks at Bitter Wallet, Chrome users will have Flash updated to the latest version, but everyone else will need to update manually. You can check to see if you have the latest version of Flash by clicking here. If you aren't up to date, or just want to make sure, you can get the latest version of Flash by heading over to the Adobe Flash download page.
Not content with making Apple Watch users pretend to be Dick Tracy, it looks like Apple are going to be taking file sharing to strange new places, if their latest patent is to be believed. The folks over at Patently Apple have discovered that there are some new gestures being created for the Apple Watch specifically for sharing data with others with the wearable tech.
If it all turns out to be true, you can expect tech enthusiasts to start shaking hands more frequently, bowing to each other, and even taking the double high-five back as they business cards with each other. There's even mention of "fist bumping", which should no doubt keep all the bros happy. In fairness, it's all just an extension of the Near Field Communication technology that has been around for years, but at least Apple are having some fun with it.
The title of this post pretty much says it all, but here's some more on the topic anyway. Senior director of Apple Music Ian Rogers announced on his own blog that Apple's new app will be launching on June 30th as soon as iOS 8.4 is released. The music streaming service and the Beats One radio station will launch an hour later. While a three-month trial will be available, it will cost £9.99 a month for the streaming service with a family package for 4 people available at £15 a month. Don't worry if you have no plans to subscribe though, as Beats One will be free to everyone who uses the updated app. You can learn more about Apple Music by reading our round-up of its announcement at this year's WWDC.
Earlier this year EE started to offer its customers a 2600mah Power bar to help them keep their devices charged on the go. To be eligible you need to have been with EE for at least 3 months and send a texts costing just 35p.
All this sounds like a great idea in theory, after all everyone loves a freebie don’t they? Well unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. Although at first glance it looks like EE are offering a great little power bank in return for a 35p text message. When in fact it turns out that customers are actually just hiring the power bank out for an 18 month period. When reading through the Terms & Conditions you can see quite clearly that the unit is just on loan
“2.3 A Power Bar is made available to you on a free to hire basis, under the terms of this agreement, for a maximum of 18 months. After 18 months, the Power Bar must be returned to EE and the Service will end”
EE may have busy customer service lines as the first wave of users come to the end of their 18 month agreement, especially since EE plan on charging customers £5 if they do not return the unit within 60 days after the hire term has ended.
"2.7 When this agreement expires or terminates (for mobile or broadband customer this will happen automatically if you chose to cancel your agreement with us for mobile or broadband services), you must return the Power Bar to an EE store within 60 days. If you don’t you’ll have to pay a charge to compensate us for replacing the Power Bar. Currently this is £5. For mobile and broadband customers, this will be applied to your bill. If you’re not an existing customer, we’ll contact you using the information supplied to us when you joined EE Power and we’ll issue a bill for the cost of replacing the Power Bar that has not been returned."
While all the advertisements looked great, I feel it was never clear that the power bank was in fact on loan. Many people regarded the device as a generous freebie, although this doesn’t mean that it’s not worth claiming one. The T&Cs just takes the shine off the whole thing. It is of course always worth reading the terms and conditions of any deal you enter into, but I do feel many people would have skipped them due to the prospect and excitement of a freebie.
Here's yet another free Android game on the Amazon Appstore, this time for indie hit Monument Valley. Praised for its artistic approach and well designed puzzles, it was one of the biggest mobile titles of last year. If there was a complaint to be had, it was that the length of the game was fairly short, but with it currently being free to download that issue is well and truly gone.
Reduced to clear, these PAYG Micro Sims cards are currently half their usual price. Pre-loaded with 1GB of data for 30 days from activation, it's ideal if you have a tablet capable of using Sim cards and want to stay connected while abroad (providing you're visiting one of the 15 countries in the Three's Feel At Home scheme. Thanks to Tomkirky @ HUKD!
It isn't the first phone to embrace the new port - that honour belongs to the LeTV One Max - but it was announced today over Twitter that the upcoming OnePlus 2 smartphone will include a USB Type-C port. The new open standard port is a big deal because of a number of factors, such as how the cable is the same at both ends, how it can deliver up to 100w of power while charging, and how it can act as a video port in both directions - meaning phone-to-computer & computer-to-phone.
Perhaps the most attractive feature is its small size, which potentially allows computing devices such as laptops and smartphones to become even thinner as a result. Considering the benefits USB Type-C brings, the fact one of the big brand smartphones is using it is big news. Hopefully we'll see more devices utilizing the port in the future.
Once again Amazon have dropped the price for their Fire Phone to below the £100 mark, but this time it's for both the 32GB and the 64GB version. With the RRP being significantly higher than that, there's a huge saving to be made with this deal. That said, this really is only for dedicated Amazon shoppers. While the 24/7 customers support apps and easy access to Amazon's various online shops are impressive, the FireOS isn't the most intuitive for newcomers.
At the end of the day, the price drop of this deal makes it a much more agreeable purchase, but at this point there are other handsets out there with better overall performance. One final note - O2 are reportedly not allowing users to unlock their phones from the network, so do bear that in mind before buying.
Here's a helpful heads-up to kick off the week. EE will have their Power Bars back in stock on Wednesday 24th July, meaning all EE customers can once again claim their portable battery packs to keep their phones recharged.
If you're an EE customer who hasn't yet signed up to get them, all you have to do is text POWER to 365 that will cost you 35p, and you'll be sent a code that will allow you to pick up a Power Bar at your nearest EE store (PAYG customers must have been with EE for 3 months to qualify.) The offer is also open to those on EE Broadband, who can text JOIN plus their EE landline number to 60005 and follow the instructions - again costing 35p. Non-EE customers can also get involved in the scheme, but it will cost them £20 to do so. Thanks to heatadded @ HUKD for the heads-up!
When we download applications from the Google Play store, many of us assume that they are safe and secure. Unfortunately security researchers have recently detected over a hundred applications suffering from a HTTPS vulnerability issue. This gaping hole in security means that usernames and passwords could easily get stolen along with other private data. You may be thinking "I'll be fine, i only use applications from well known companies and developers" although none of that really matters.
Many well known applications from the likes of Pizza Hut, Match.com, Safeway and even NBA Game Time have been affected by this. It's pretty scary to think that you could be paying far more than you thought while innocently looking for the love of your life online.
With the HTTPS encryption not being implemented correctly across so many apps, fraudsters can get their hands on our private data relatively quickly and easily. It really is quite worrying when you hear about such a security breakdown in programs you use so often. All of this seems a little silly really considering the fix shouldn't be that difficult to implement.
The best way to deal with this issue for now would be to change your passwords via your PC if possible, especially if the accounts are at all tied to any payment details. As we currently don't have a full list of applications that are affected by this security flaw, i'd advise downloading and running AppBugs. The application is currently in beta and is developed by the same security researchers that uncovered these HTTPS issues in the first place. AppBugs should help identify any potential security issues on your device. It may also be a good idea to stay away from the offending applications until fixes are in place. If we hear any more about this we will of course update you as soon as possible.
If you've been waiting for the time you could show off your Candy Crush skills, or your prowess at Infinity Blade, or want to show all those pretenders to your Flappy Bird crown how it's done, you now have the capability to do so... if you own one of the latest Samsung devices. Game Recorder+ has just been released on the Google App Store, and it allows users to record their gameplay to upload online. You can even use your front facing camera to create a reaction cam as well, allowing Android users the chance to topple those YouTube gaming tyrants like PewDiPie.
It records footage in 1080p and will reportedly feature something called "game boost" to optimise your phone's memory when you are recording. You can even edit your captured footage in the app and even upload to YouTube from it once you're done. That said, the number of compatible handsets is currently very small, limited to the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, S5, Note 3, S4 and Note 2 handsets. You can get hold of the app by heading to the Google Play store.
If you have a mobile contract with relatively low data limits and use an iPhone, you will definitely want to pay attention to this news. It was announced last night that Twitter will be bringing auto-play to its iOS app, allowing videos and .gifs to play as soon as they come on the screen. It works in a similar vein to the desktop version of Facebook, where you'll have to tap the video in question to have it play audio.
Now while this might be cause for celebration for those who don't like to use their fingers more than they have to, the issue that has been pointed out is that those with low data packages will see their usage shoot up as a result, and the new feature will be turned on by default. With the update rolling out today, we highly recommend that you change the settings to avoid hitting your usage cap or even paying excessive charges for going over your limit. For details on how to turn it off head over to the Twitter Help Center and scroll down to the appropriate section.
If you use LastPass - a program that manages numerous passwords for a single user - then you had best change the master password that you use for it immediately. It was announced yesterday that "suspicious activity" had been detected on the main servers for the program, and while "no evidence that encrypted user vault data was taken, nor that LastPass user accounts were accessed," CEO Joe Siegrist did admit that "LastPass account email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes were compromised."
Because of the intrusion, LastPass will require those without a multifactor authenticator to verify their account by email, but more importantly they are advising all users to change their master password for the program. "Security and privacy are our top concerns here at LastPass," Siegrist continued. "Over the years, we have been and continue to be dedicated to transparency and proactive measures to protect our users. In addition to the above steps, we’re working with the authorities and security forensic experts." He goes on to apologise for the inconvenience before promising better protection in the future. You can read the full statement by heading over to the LastPass website, but if you're a LastPass user you should go and change your master password immediately.
If you're a gamer who likes their Action RPGs, you'll already be familiar with the Torchlight franchise, especially its sequel Torchlight II, which out-did the former reigning genre champion Diablo when it came out in 2012. Today it was announced that its developers Runic Games will be bringing its award-winning gameplay to smartphones with Torchlight Mobile later this year, although there is no confirmed release date at the time of writing.
All we know right now is that it will feature online play and familiar combat to the main installments of the series, although we suspect there will be familiar classes and pets to assist you, as well as copious amounts of monsters to slay and loot to collect. You can sign up for more details by heading over to the Torchlight Mobile website.
Here's a friendly reminder just in case you don't know. If you're a Three customer who has purchased a handset from Three since 2014 then your phone will already be unlocked, but those of you know purchased before won't have been so lucky. Thankfully though, Three have a system that allows older phones that are still looked to be granted their freedom without paying a penny. All you have to do is head to the Device Unlock page on the Three website and fill in your details. One such piece of information that you will need is the IMEI number. To get that, dial *#06# and note down what comes up on screen. Thanks to Zoomster @ HUKD for the reminder!
The latest version of WatchOS has reportedly come with issues with its heart rate monitoring, with WatchOS 1.0.1 taking less frequent readings than before. For those who use the wareable device for fitness purposes it was no longer performing as intended. As such, users looked for ways to rollback to version 1.0.0, but a lack of Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode made it impossible. This meant that the only way to revert the Apple Watch to a working state was to send the device back to Apple, who would then charge customers for the rollback because it was technically an "out of warranty" repair.
This has led to angry posts on the official forums - with reports of many threads being deleted - and while it is possible that someone could stumble upon the process to access the DFU (which requires a combination of button presses) it is highly unlikely to happen. On top of this, Apple will not want that secret being discovered just yet, so don't expect them to be revealing how to do it any time soon. So, our advice to any Apple Watch users out there is to not update your firmware if you haven't already done so. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the situation as it develops.
It's no secret that switch providers of contracts - regardless of whether it is for you mobile, broadband or home phone - is a tricky process, but it appears that consumers will finally have an easier time doing so in the near future. As reported over on our sister site Bitter Wallet, regulatory body OfCom intends to introduce new rules to make it easier for customers to switch providers. “When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was nice to have" said new CEO Sharon White at a conference hosted by Which? "Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives.”
White went on to say that while OfCom aims to improve matters for customers, "first-class communications services is primarily the responsibility of providers. The current aim is to bring in new rules for those switching between landline & broadband providers who use the Openreach network (BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk) from June 20th. After that, OfCom will turn its attention to the mobile network industry. Let's just hope that this further expands into contract costs in the future, especially as millions of pounds are spent on already-paid-for handsets.