This Week in Tech News

Apple Cracks Down on Apps that Fight Phone Addiction

 Our Pact

Episode 1587

Relying on a policy that no app can duplicate a function that Apple offers, Apple has removed 11 of 17 screentime and parental control apps.  Some app makers have been shut down. OurPact, with 3 million downloads, was pulled, eliminating 80% of the developer's income. Kids Locks and Custodio have filed a complaint with the EU as a result. But Apple claims it's a privacy issue as the apps take too much personal information. Or are they just protecting their bread and butter? Leo says it depends on how you feel about it.

Samsung Delays Galaxy Fold Launch

Galaxy Fold

Episode 1586

The Samsung Galaxy Fold got delayed earlier this week due to concerns with the phone and its design after some review units were damaged due to design issues of the phone. Leo was relieved to hear about the phone being delayed after the issues got reported weeks ago. However, he's is upset that Samsung sent a decease and desist letter to the iFixit, the repair guide website, to take down their breakdown of the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung's Folding Phone Screen Failures

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1585

This week, several reviewers who got the Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone experienced catastrophic screen failures after just a day or two of use. Leo feels bad for Samsung since many reviewers who were sceptical of the design had begun to praise it. But then four different reviewers experienced screen failures: One from a piece of debris that caught in the hinge broke the screen, two others who inadvertently removed the protective film of the screen itself, and several others just plain died. It's like battery-gate all over again. 

Weather Channel Goes Down Due to Randomware

The Weather Channel

Episode 1585

The Weather Channel went down this week for about 90 minutes due to a phishing attack and ransomware. Leo says that it's impressive that the Weather Channel came back up so quickly, but this is going to keep happening as long as people click on attachments.

Another Security Issue Hits Facebook

Facebook Security

Episode 1584

Facebook had another security issue hit this week, as the social media company admitted that millions of Instagram passwords were stored in a plain text file that could be easily accessed from anyone on the network.  But they swear that it wasn't accessed or maliciously maligned. Since they initially stated thousands, then admitted millions of accounts were at risk and that it has happened many times now, Leo says that Facebook's priorities are out of whack. They don't really care about protecting user data.

Samsung's Folding Phone Breaks Easily

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1584

The infamous $2,000 Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone has been reported by reviewers to break after just a day or two of regular use. Leo says this is the reason why early adopters should avoid bleeding edge technology. Samsung says that two of the reviewers removed a protective film that was required to keep the phone in shape, but other reviewers had debris that got jammed into the hinge causing the screen to crack. That's normal use. While Samsung says that reviewers were mistreating the phone, Leo's advising users not to buy this one.

Great Apps for your Phone

YouTube Music

Episode 1583

Here's a handful of Rich's favourite phone apps.

EVERLANCE, an app that's designed for freelancers. It keeps track of mileage and expenses. Great for the mobile phone.

Google Assistant. Great for using to do various things, including making dinner reservations through Google Duplex.

Disney Lays Out Details for their Streaming Service - DISNEY +

DISNEY +

Episode 1582

Disney+ launches November 12th, for $6.99 a month. This will include more than 25 original series and 10 original films, plus the entire Disney catalogue of 7500 TV episodes and 2500 films, content from National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, ESPN, and more. Rich adds that Disney will also probably offer a bundled deal with HULU, which offers LiveTV as well.

Rich says that by comparison, that will put tremendous pressure on Apple and Netflix who are charging more.

AT&T Launches 5G, but Good Luck Trying to Use it

AT&T

Episode 1582

AT&T has launched its 5G service in 17 cities around the country, but Rich says good luck trying to use it. First, you can't find a map of 5G coverage to see where it's available, plus you need a $500 hotspot device to use it if you do. Also, 5G doesn't travel very far, requiring even more towers.

Meanwhile, Verizon has launched in Chicago and Minneapolis for everyone, but in very small areas. Rich says that while 5G is the future, it's just not the future now. 

RIP Google+ and other Services

 Google+

Episode 1581

A Sad Week in Google, as Google killed off a ton of services this week. Google+ closed down. Google Chromecast Audio was discontinued. The InBox in Gmail is now gone. Leo was really sad that Google+ never really grabbed the kind of attention from users that Facebook has. The sad part is that Google+ was very popular with photographers since images posted weren't as compressed as other social media sites do. They could upload uncompressed, or hi-resolution versions. But no more.