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ON IOS 14.5, NEARLY 90% OF IPHONE USERS REFUSE AD TRACKING

According to Flurry Analytics, a company that specializes in application performance analysis, an overwhelming majority of iPhone owners are opting out of this ad tracking through the notification that apps are now required to display.

The company has indeed put online a daily observatory – based on the study of more than 5 million users – to track the acceptance and refusal rate in the United States and globally.

Since April 26, when iOS 14.5 was rolled out, only 11% to 12% of notifications have received a favorable outcome. In total, therefore, between 88 and 89% of access requests have been denied. The figure is even higher in the United States, with an average of 96% of denials.

These notifications, which ask users for permission to track their “activities in apps and on other companies’ websites” offer two choices: “Ask the app not to track my activities” or “Allow”.

To stop tracking, users can respond negatively to this request, but also have the option to automatically block tracking from all apps by going to settings > privacy > tracking, then unchecking the “Allow app tracking requests” box. A manipulation that only 5% of iPhone users on iOS 14.5 have done, according to Flurry Analytics.

For online advertising giants, who will have to make a cross on a large – and very profitable – amount of personal data to refine their ads, this update calls into question part of their business.

Some of the most affected giants, such as Facebook, Instagram, but also Vinted, are preceding the notification with a message written by them and threatening to charge users if too many of them refuse the tracking.

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iOS 14.5: almost 90% refusal of ad tracking

With iOS 14.5, released at the end of April, Apple introduced its anti-ad tracking system. From now on, applications must ask the user’s permission before tracking their activities for the personalization of advertising campaigns. This translates into the display of a panel when the application is opened, with the possibility for the user to accept or refuse this tracking.

This measure has caused an outcry from advertisers, and the first figures confirm their fears: when given the choice, users overwhelmingly refuse to be tracked. According to statistics from Flurry Analytics, the rate of acceptance of ad tracking does not exceed 13% worldwide, with an almost flat curve since the release of iOS 14.5. In the U.S., the rate would plateau at just 5%.

Flurry Analytics adds that few users would still be aware of the global setting to refuse everything once and for all: the rate of users who have activated this option would be only 5% worldwide. The setting is located in Settings > Privacy > Tracking > Allow app tracking requests.

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MIUI 13 will be available on June 25, 2021, check out the list of compatible Xiaomi smartphones

While MIUI 12 continues to roll out, its successor MIUI 13 could arrive as early as June 25, 2021. In total, it would be no less than 80 smartphones that will be compatible with the update, according to a recent leak. Find here the complete list of devices concerned.

With Android 12 coming soon, it’s time for Xiaomi to work on the successor to MIUI 12. The manufacturer has not been idle since, in April 2020, it was already working on the 13th version of its overlay. A year later, this one could well be unveiled before long. According to the Telegram channel MIUI 12 Updates, the update is expected to arrive during the second quarter of 2021. Although no official date has been announced, rumors seem to revolve around June 25, 2021.

This launch is, as usual, only for Chinese users. If this date turns out to be accurate, we will probably have to wait a few more months for Xiaomi smartphone owners. In the meantime, a source has revealed the list of devices that will be compatible with MIUI 13 at its release. Among them are Xiaomi smartphones of course, but also Redmi, Poco, and Black Shark. This is a total of more than 80 phones that could benefit from the update.

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Personal data: Facebook censors a campaign paid for by Signal

Facebook is not one to let up when it comes to exposing how its users’ data can be used for advertising purposes on its own platforms.

An encrypted messaging service that has made the protection of its users’ data a real leitmotiv, Signal explains that it came up with an advertising campaign whose objective was to draw attention to the way Facebook exploits its members’ personal information.

For example, Signal planned to run personalized Instagram ads that read, “You’re seeing this ad because you’re a teacher, but mostly because your name is Leo (and you’re single). This ad used your geolocation to see that you are currently in Moscow. You like comedy sketches and this ad thinks you are a flirt.

Another variation: “You see this ad because you are a chemical engineer and you love K-Pop. This ad sees that you are in Berlin. You recently had a baby and you just moved.”

Each piece of information used to personalize the text of these ads had to be highlighted, so people could better realize what kind of data Facebook has about them.

“In the Facebook world, the only acceptable thing is to hide what you’re doing to your users.”

“Facebook’s tools have the potential to disclose what is otherwise invisible. It’s already possible to capture bits and pieces of these truths in the ads that are shown to you. These are pieces of information that reflect the fact that an opaque system is watching and knowing you. We wanted to use these same tools to directly highlight how most of these technologies work,” summarizes Signal, which explains that it bought advertising space on Instagram to broadcast this campaign and open the eyes of users of Facebook’s photographic social network. Yes, but here’s the thing, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm didn’t agree.

“Facebook is always willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to inform them how their data is actually being used. Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to get banned. In the world of Facebook, the only acceptable thing is to hide what you’re doing to your users,” finally accuses Signal, which was unable to broadcast the said campaign.

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iOS 14.5.1 and macOS 11.3.1 fix two potentially exploited WebKit vulnerabilities

Two WebKit vulnerabilities, which could be exploited, forced Apple to react and roll out a security update to its devices.

Apple has rolled out a software update for several of its operating systems: iOS 14.5.1, iOS 12.5.3 (for older iPhone and iPad models), macOS 11.3.1 and watchOS 7.4.1.

WebKit is involved

The update addresses security vulnerabilities related to the WebKit software library, exploited by Safari, the Apple browser.

Two vulnerabilities that have been fixed could lead to the execution of arbitrary code when processing malicious web content. They could potentially have been exploited by hackers, so be sure to install the update on your Apple device.

The update also fixes a bug with App Tracking Transparency. When it was disabled and then re-enabled, users continued to receive authorization requests from apps.

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iPhone 14: only big screens and better photos

The “iPhone 14″ would abandon the format of the iPhone 12 mini and its 5.4″ screen to come in two models of 6.1″ for the entry level and two models of 6.7” for the top of the range.

Currently we have 5.4″ (12 mini), 6.1″ (iPhone 12 and 12 Pro) and 6.7″ (12 Pro Max). If we are generally customers of the first model of the two Pro, we will have to get used to the large dimensions that are now the prerogative of the Pro Max.

This change of gear tends to confirm that the format of the 12 mini did not meet the expected success (while those who chose it love it). There has been a permanent discount of €60 on this small family for a while. The previous information from the same Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that the mini would be renewed – a final time then? – within the next iPhone 13.

In terms of photography on these future models, the analyst expects a significant improvement in the images produced.

Between the iPhone 12, the next 13 and 14, the size of the pixels would go from 1.7 microns to 2 microns and 1.25 microns. These iPhone 14 would be able to simultaneously produce images in 48 mpx and 12 mpx (by grouping four pixels to form one). In the second case this is equivalent to increasing the pixel size to 2.5 microns, a substantial progress against the competition, according to Kuo.

On the video side, Apple would add 8K recording, as currently found on some Android devices. This increased performance for photo and video would also help improve the experience of augmented/mixed reality apps.

By 2023 – iPhone 15 – Ming-Chi Kuo reiterates that Apple intends to use a periscope lens, that Face ID could be functional through the screen, with the possible benefit of removing the visual imprint formed by the notch (on this subject, read also Ming-Chi Kuo: 120 Hz for the iPhone 13 Pro and an iPhone SE in 5G early 2022).

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Apple would already abandon its iPhone mini

An iPhone 13 mini and then goes away

In a note shared today by Kuo with the site MacRumors, the well-informed believes that the future of the iPhone mini is already compromised. 

According to him, an iPhone 13 mini is well on the agenda at Apple. On the other hand, the form factor of this model is likely to change. Currently proposed with a diagonal of 5.4″, it would go to 6.1″ next year. Yes, exactly like the current iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Not so mini, finally.

And for good reason: Apple would like to rework its range of devices. According to Kuo, four models are still planned. But only in two forms: two iPhone 6.1 inches and two iPhone 6.7 inches. Each is available in “classic” or “Pro” version, whose specificities are still unknown.

A more confused range

If Kuo’s information was confirmed, it would especially give the impression that Apple has put itself in a difficult position with its latest range of smartphones.

Although the iPhone 12 mini has been well received by people who regret the gradual disappearance of compact smartphones, everything suggests that this plebiscite has not finally translated into device sales. However, the firm is reportedly refusing to remove the name “mini” from its next models.

It should also be noted that, to a lesser extent, those nostalgic for the era when one could still use a smartphone with one hand can redirect themselves to the iPhone SE and its 4.7-inch screen. So it’s not out of the question that the iPhone 12 mini as we know it will get a second lease on life in the form of the next iPhone SE.

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Microsoft Edge: the browser will offer a “Performance” mode on Windows 10

A “Performance Mode” for Microsoft Edge

If you’ve just discovered the new Edge 90, you’ll probably be pleased to know that Microsoft continues to refine its Web browser. The company is currently working on a “Performance Mode”, which aims to preserve computer resources as much as possible.

After the “Sleeping Tabs” function, which allows you to put certain tabs to sleep, Microsoft tends to allow users to better control the browser’s consumption. The “Performance” mode will therefore activate Sleeping Tabs by default, and will also reduce the use of the CPU, RAM and therefore the battery.

Of course, although Microsoft promises that this will not necessarily affect the browsing experience, the benefits of this “Performance” mode will vary depending on the habits of users. For example, unused tabs will be put to sleep after only five minutes, compared to two hours with the Sleeping Tabs feature.

This new feature should be deployed soon by Microsoft. It is currently being tested on the “canary” version of Edge 91.

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For WordPress, Google FloC is treated as a security issue

For the editor, who weighs 41% of the world’s web (according to its figures) through the blogs it hosts or based on its software, the advertising targeting solution presented as respectful of privacy causes more concerns than it provides solutions.

WordPress thus joins the EFF and several browsers, upwind against the device. It intends to block it via four lines of code, added as it would be the case for a security patch (without waiting for the next major version). Objective: a massive and fast use.

Those who want to activate FloC and bypass it will be able to do so via technical guides that will be made available to them.

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Facebook launches the Hotline application, a mix of Clubhouse and Zoom

Ability to enable video and record conferences

“With Hotline, we hope to understand how multimedia, interactive, live Q&A sessions can help people learn from experts. It also helps experts grow their business,” Facebook detailed.

Unlike Clubhouse, there will be the option to enable video and the conferences will be recorded. The organizer will receive a digital copy. The application is thus building a more professional and calibrated image, less spontaneous and nebulous than the rising star of social networks, which has made large-scale intimacy its credo.

Live video and audio features already extended to Facebook and Instagram

The experimentation is being conducted by a Facebook research and development group led by Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook when the California-based group acquired its “tbh” Q&A app.

“We’re experimenting with multimedia products like CatchUp (audio calling app), Venue, (Q&A app), Collab and BARS (collaborative music apps) and it’s encouraging to see how these formats help people connect with each other and form communities,” added Emilie Haskell, a communications manager at Facebook.

Under the influence of the video conferencing service Zoom and then Clubhouse, Facebook has already multiplied and expanded live video and audio features on the network and on Instagram. The Californian group is also developing a rival to Clubhouse within Messenger “rooms”.