Category: Belkin

Cellnet Review

Apple reveals pre-order date for new iPhone X to mark ten-year anniversary

Apple has finally told us when we can pre-order the fancy new iPhone X.
Pronounced ‘iPhone ten’, the iPhone X includes new tech that enables users to unlock the handset with their face, as well as animated emojis called ‘Animojis’ that mirror the user’…

KRACK attack: Here's how companies are responding

A serious Wi-Fi security flaw was revealed Monday, and it puts everything from your phone to your smart refrigerator at risk[1].

An exploit called KRACK[2], short for Key Reinstallation Attack, hits on a weakness in the code behind WPA2, a protocol that makes wireless connections work in practically every device. It was discovered by computer security academic Mathy Vanhoef and could allow hackers to eavesdrop on your network traffic, ZDNet reported on Monday[3].  

The most important thing you can do is update your devices[4] as patches become available. While some companies already have patches available, others say it could take weeks. 

Here’s a list of how companies and device makers have responded to KRACK so far.

Microsoft 

Some companies have already stepped up to patch their devices after the KRACK Wi-Fi security flaw. 


James Martin/CNET

“Microsoft released security updates on October 10th and customers who have Windows Update enabled and applied the security updates, are protected automatically. We updated to protect customers as soon as possible, but as a responsible industry partner, we withheld disclosure until other vendors could develop and release updates.”

Apple iOS and Mac

Apple confirmed it has a fix in beta for iOS, MacOS, WatchOS and TVOS, and will be rolling it out in a software update in a few weeks. 

Google Mobile

“We’re aware of the issue, and we will be patching any affected devices in the coming weeks.”  

Google Chromebook 

Wasn’t available for comment.

Google Chromecast/ Home/ WiFi  

“We’re aware of the issue, and we will be patching any affected devices in the coming weeks.”

Amazon Echo, FireTV and Kindle 

“We are in the process of reviewing which of our devices may contain this vulnerability and will be issuing patches where needed.” 

Samsung Mobile

Wasn’t available for comment.

Samsung TVs 

Wasn’t available for comment.

Samsung Appliances

Wasn’t available for comment.

Cisco

Wasn’t available for comment. 

Linksys/Belkin 

“Belkin Linksys, and Wemo are aware of the WPA vulnerability. Our security teams are verifying details and we will advise accordingly. Also know that we are committed to putting the customer first and are planning to post instructions on our security advisory page on what customers can do to update their products, if and when required.”  

Netgear  

“NETGEAR is aware of the recently publicized security exploit KRACK, which takes advantage of security vulnerabilities in WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access II). NETGEAR has published fixes for multiple products and is working on fixes for others. Please follow the security advisory[5] for updates. 

“NETGEAR appreciates having security concerns brought to our attention and are constantly monitoring our products to get in front of the latest threats. Being pro-active rather than re-active to emerging security issues is a fundamental belief at NETGEAR.  

“To protect users, NETGEAR does not publicly announce security vulnerabilities until fixes are publicly available, nor are the exact details of such vulnerabilities released. Once fixes are available, NETGEAR will announce the vulnerabilities from NETGEAR Product Security[6] web page.”  

Eero

“We are aware of the KRACK flaw in the WPA2 security protocol. Our security team is currently working on a solution, and we expect to have more information available later today. We have built our cloud system to push over-the-air (OTA) updates for situations exactly like this, to ensure all of our customers get the most updated software available as quickly as possible with no action required on their part.”

D-Link

Wasn’t available for comment.

TP-Link

Wasn’t available for comment.

Verizon

Wasn’t available for comment.

T-Mobile

Wasn’t available for comment.

Sprint

Wasn’t available for comment.

Ecobee

Wasn’t available for comment.

Nvidia

Wasn’t available for comment.   

Intel

“Intel was notified by the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) and CERT CC of the identified Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) standard protocol vulnerability. Intel is an ICASI charter member and is part of the coordinated disclosure of this issue. 

“Intel is working with its customers and equipment manufacturers to implement and validate firmware and software updates that address the vulnerability. For more information, please refer to Intel’s security advisory on this vulnerability – INTEL-SA-00101[7]”  

AMD

Wasn’t available for comment.

August

Wasn’t available for comment.

Nest

“We are aware of the issue and will be rolling out patches to Nest products over the next couple weeks.” 

Ring

Wasn’t available for comment.

Honeywell

Wasn’t available for comment.

ADT

Wasn’t available for comment.

Comcast

Wasn’t available for comment.

AT & T

Wasn’t available for comment.

Spectrum 

Wasn’t available for comment.

Vivint

Wasn’t available for comment.

Lutron

Wasn’t available for comment.

Lenovo

Wasn’t available for comment.

Dell

Wasn’t available for comment.

Roku

Wasn’t available for comment.

LG Electronics

Wasn’t available for comment.

LG Mobile

Wasn’t available for comment.

LG Appliances

Wasn’t available for comment.

GE

Wasn’t available for comment.

Philips Hue  

“The KRACK attack is against devices using the Wi-Fi protocol. We recommend that consumers use secure Wi-Fi passwords and install the latest patches on their phones, computers and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to prevent such attacks. Since Philips Hue does not itself support Wi-Fi directly, it does not need to be patched because of this attack. Further, all our cloud account APIs are protected using HTTPS which offers an additional layer of security which isn’t affected by this attack.”  

Kwikset 

Wasn’t available for comment. 

Yale

Wasn’t available for comment.

Schlage

Wasn’t available for comment.

Rachio

Wasn’t available for comment.

iHome

Wasn’t available for comment.

Electrolux/Frigidaire  

Wasn’t available for comment.

Netatmo  

Wasn’t available for comment.

Roost

“All traffic to and from Roost devices is encrypted end-to-end using the latest SSL/TLS encryption. As such, we don’t believe our devices are at risk of this attack. We suggest that our users follow the recommendations from the Wi-Fi Alliance to always use Wi-Fi encryption on their Access points and apply the latest software updates.”  

Control4  

Wasn’t available for comment.


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Technically Incorrect[8]: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

Special Reports[9]: CNET’s in-depth features in one place.

References

  1. ^ your smart refrigerator at risk (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ exploit called KRACK (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ ZDNet reported on Monday (www.zdnet.com)
  4. ^ you can do is update your devices (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ security advisory (kb.netgear.com)
  6. ^ NETGEAR Product Security (www.netgear.com)
  7. ^ INTEL-SA-00101 (security-center.intel.com)
  8. ^ Technically Incorrect (www.cnet.com)
  9. ^ Special Reports (www.cnet.com)
  10. ^ Tags (www.cnet.com)
  11. ^ Security (www.cnet.com)
  12. ^ Hacking (www.cnet.com)
  13. ^ Privacy (www.cnet.com)
Cellnet Review

iPhone X release date in UK, price and features: when will the new Apple mobile be released?

Apple’s long-awaited 10th anniversary iPhone X was revealed to the world last month, and the wait is nearly over for fans who want to get their hands on one.

The must-have gadget was the big talking point at Apple’s “Spaceship Campus” event in California, where Tim Cook deubuted the game-changing device alongside the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models 

As well as ditching the homescreen button, the phone has a whole host of exciting new features like wireless charging and facial recognition to unlock the device. 

Fancy an upgrade this autumn? Here’s everything you need to know about the latest iPhone.

Release date and price

Launching slightly later than IPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X will be available to pre-order on October 27. 

Apple fans will be able to get their hands on this latest device as soon ans it ships on November 3. 

Since the technology is more advanced than previous models, be prepared to pay a slightly higher price. The iPhone X starts at £999 for 64GB version and rises to £1,149 for 250GB model. 

You can order yours at apple.com/uk[1] or from O2, Carrphone Warehouse, EE, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone.

Tim Cook described the smartphone as “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” (Getty Images)

So what are the new features?

Face ID

Visually, it’s Apple’s most impressive and iPhone design ever thanks to an edge-to-edge OLED screen,

Instead of the home button, the phone unlocks using facial recognition rather than Touch ID – making it easier to access while on-the-go. 

For those of us concerned about using Face ID in the middle of the night, fear not – because the phone has TrueDepth software that can even map out your facial features in the dark. 

Animoji messenger

The new iPhone X is the first to have facial recognition (AP)

Forget Snapchat selfies, users can now create animated emojis that mirror their facial expression and can use their voice too – it’s basically every emoji addicts dream. ​

Wireless Charging

The iPhone X on display at the Steve Jobs theatre in California (Getty Images)

The days of lugging around tangled charging wires are over, because Apple have introduced a new way of powering up your phone. An AirPower charging pad does away with the need for wires, and can charge multiple devices including your iWatch and iPad. 

Charging devices from Belkin and Mophie will also be available.

Added extras

The latest version of iOs will include a revamped Siri and App Store, while drivers can utilise a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature – meaning you can ignore all those distracting texts, emails and calls. 

References

  1. ^ apple.com/uk (go.redirectingat.com)
Cellnet Review

3 best and worst features of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google on Wednesday took the wraps off its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones[1], the sequels to the first-ever Google-designed Android handsets. Both devices look sharp, minimal, and sport what the company says is one of the best mobile cameras on the market, with original Pixel buyers able to testify the device line’s prowess in the picture-taking department.

But perhaps you’re still on the fence. Maybe you own an Apple product, and you’re simply fed up with iOS, or have no intention of buying the iPhone 8 or shelling out for the iPhone X. Or perhaps you’ve been looking for a cleaner, simpler, and bloatware-free Android phone, but not sure you want to get something quite as premium as Pixel 2. It does start at $649, and can get as expensive as $949 for a 128GB Pixel 2 XL.

To make the decision easier, we’ve broken down three of the best and worst qualities of the new Pixel and Pixel 2 Xl, to make that cost-benefit analysis more clear.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the same stellar camera

Don’t just take Google’s word for it — the Pixel 2’s camera really does stand out, more so than last year’s model it appears. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn went hands-on[2] with the Pixel phones prior to the reveal event and came away impressed. “If Google can consistently produce similar results to what I’ve already seen, it has made a big leap over last year’s Pixel camera, and stands a strong chance of contending with the dual-lens / camera bump system on the iPhone 8 (and presumably the iPhone X),” he wrote.

The best part, however, is that you don’t have to choose which camera to get. Like last year’s models, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the same single-lens setup. Google decided to only differentiate its pricier XL version with a larger screen and bigger battery. The company also put a lot of the same photo tricks you get with the dual-camera iPhone 8 Plus / iPhone X. That means you get the background blurring bokeh effect on both the front-facing and rear-facing camera on the Pixel 2 phones, without needing the price bump inherent in adding a new component.

Google Lens, AR Stickers, and Assistant squeeze are promising

The promise of a Google-made phone has always been more in the software than the hardware. Beyond the stock Android you get with a Pixel device, Google this time around is also packing in some powerful artificial intelligence and augmented reality features that will hopefully keep its smartphones competitive with the iPhone and ARKit, and to a lesser extent Samsung and Bixby.

On the new Pixels, you’ll get Google Lens, the company’s new on-demand object recognition tool[3], built in. The Pixel 2 is the first phone to fully support the platform, and Google says it will for now work with a handful of useful-sounding categories like books, movie posters, business cards, and landmarks. Google is also positioning its ARCore framework similarly to Apple’s ARKit, and it showed some new AR stickers — including life-sized, cartoony versions of Stranger Things characters[4] — to hammer the point home.

Perhaps the strangest, but also most promising, new feature in this category is Google’s new Assistant squeeze activation[5], in which you apply gentle pressure to the sides of the phone to automatically activate Google’s voice-based AI companion. Telling users to squeeze their consumer electronics is a bit odd, but in practice, it sounds like an intuitive way to activate the Assistant, which Google hopes will become one of Android’s most useful and powerful software differentiator. Plus, with the giant Pixel 2 XL, activating Assistant with a squeeze will work great without needing to reach your thumb over.

Always-on display and microphone

Always-on displays were a big thing just a few years ago, during the original Moto X era, but seemed to fall out of favor with consumers out of battery life concerns. Now, with more AI-assisted smarts built into our phones, Google is bringing the always-on display back with its Pixel 2 devices, with one neat twist.

On top of being able to display notifications and the time at a glance and remain primed for the “Ok Google” voice command, the Pixel 2 will also listen for any ambient music playing, which it will try and identify on the fly. That’s a huge plus for Shazam lovers, as the biggest pain in using music tagging software is making sure you can deploy it fast enough to catch an identifiable snippet of the song playing before it’s gone for good.

Of course, with every new phone there are some drawbacks, be it a compromises on price or screen size or battery life, obnoxious changes to ports, or some other addition or subtraction that makes it harder to transition from one device to another. The Pixel 2 is no different, though it is much like its predecessor and reliably lacking in big and obvious flaws. Here are some negative aspects of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL worth considering before upgrading your Android phone or jumping ship from iOS.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL… have the same camera

I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But hear me out. While it’s great that both the $649 Pixel 2 and $849 Pixel 2 XL sport the same exact camera and all the software and hardware benefits it provides, that also means you’re paying a hefty $200 premium for a device that has only a larger screen and a bigger battery. Apple, which reserves the dual-camera setup for its larger iPhone Plus line, charges $50 less at $799 for its iPhone 8 Plus and gives buyers the added benefit of an improved camera. (It should be noted that the starting price of the standard Pixel 2 is $50 less than Apple’s iPhone 8.)

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, because it removes “better camera” from the list of benefits you’d normally be able to include when deciding whether to opt for the bigger of the two Pixels. If bigger screens are your thing, then the choice seems simple enough. If not, you’re going to have to consider whether the Pixel 2 XL’s slight battery life bump and bigger screen, and all the ergonomic challenges it may bring, are worth the price.

Neither of the new Pixel phones have a headphone jack

This is a controversial one. Following both Apple and other Android phone makers like Lenovo and LeEco, Google too decided to scrap the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It’s been a whole year since the iPhone 7, with only its Lightning port, kicked up a fair deal of dongle drama, and the world has more or less come to terms[6] with the loss of our on-device auxiliary ports, even if it has caused some headaches and justifiable backlash. That still doesn’t make it any easier for prospective Pixel buyers who really want to charge their phone and listen to music at the same time, or who own expensive pre-USB-C headphones.

Making matters worse, Google seems to have a dongle pricing problem[7]. The company is bundles a 3.5mm to USB-C headphone adapter in the box with each new Pixel phone. But lose that and you’ll need to shell out $20, which is more than twice what Apple charges for its similar 3.5mm to Lighting adapter. Google is also peddling a $44.95 Moshi-made third-party adapter for listening to music and charging your phone at the same. That’s $10 more than Apple’s similar Belkin-made one. And here we were thinking only Apple could charge exorbitant prices for accessories you didn’t need a year ago.

Pixel 2 XL screen is not quite edge-to-edge

One shortcoming of the larger Pixel 2 XL is that the bigger screen is not quite as impressive from a design standpoint as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8, nor Apple’s iPhone X. All four of phones have large, eye-popping OLED displays. But what sets the Pixel 2 XL apart is the somewhat hefty bezels on the top, bottom, and sides of the device.

Of course, it’s not super noticeable, and the screen does still look rather gorgeous. It also doesn’t have that signature iPhone X notch that looks as if it will be quite an annoying aesthetic and software design hurdle. But if you’re a big fan of the edge-to-edge design of Samsung, and the generous amount of screen real estate in the more compact package you get with the iPhone X, the Pixel 2 XL is lacking on that front.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus price, specs, release date and more: iPhone 8 Plus devices appear to be cracking open

Apple has officially launched the newest generation of iPhone: the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Unveiled at the inaugural event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in the company’s new Apple Park campus, the new phones bring a wealth of upgrades, including new AR capabilities, wireless charging and more.

Apple iPhone 8 specs

Release 15 September 2017 (preorders), 22 September 2017 (retail)
Frame Aluminium frame, glass rear panel
Screen 4.7in/5.5in Retina HD display
Processor Apple A11 Bionic six-core CPU

Jump to:

Latest news

05/10/2017: Yet more reports of the iPhone 8 cracking open when charging have started to appear around the world.

According to MacRumors[1], Anthony Wu‏, from Toronto, Canada, was forced to return a device he bought the previous day after the display had popped open. The report theorised that the problem may be down to a defective battery that swelled up.

The report also mentioned that a similar incident happened to an iPhone 8 Plus in Greece. The phone was left charging overnight only for the user to discover a similar problem with the display popping out of the main case. The user had only used official Apple power adapter and Lightning to USB cable.

These reports follow initial claims of the new Apple flagship phone cracking open while charging that emerged in Taiwan back in September

An Apple spokesman told MacRumors the company was aware of the problem and was looking into the issue.

02/10/2017: The FCC’s chariman has called for Apple to switch on the iPhone 8’s FM radio antenna, to ensure people are still able to communicate following power outages, like those experienced in the US in recent weeks.

However, Apple claims its latest iPhone 7 and 8 models have replaced the FM chip with modern technology, and is therefore unable to switch it on.

Although Ajit Pai said he’s repeatedly called upon the entire telecommunications industry to turn on the chips that are integrated into most smartphones, few have done so. He’s now using the argument of safety grounds to get some kind of blanket regulations approved.

“When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information. I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones.”

However, he added that it’s disappointing Apple hasn’t taken the same action, clearly unaware that its latest models no longer use the chip.

“Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so,” he said in the statement. “But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. That’s why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones.

“It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first. As the Sun Sentinel of South Florida put it, ‘Do the right thing, Mr. Cook. Flip the switch. Lives depend on it.'”

Apple responded to Pai’s call for the feature to be turned on when MacRumours[2] approached the company.

“Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that’s why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products,” it said. “Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts.

“iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products.”

Click here for more iPhone 8 news[3]

UK release date and price

Apple is not one to keep its customers waiting long to get their hands on a new device, and the iPhone 8 will be no different. You can preorder the new smartphone now, which will arrive in the shops on 22 September. The iPhone 8 arrives with a retail price of £699, with its larger Plus model selling for £799.

Specs and hardware

The iPhone 8 has been fitted with a new A11 Bionic chip, the successor to Apple’s monster A10X Fusion processor. Apple claims the new processor will mean the smartphone is 25% more efficient than last year’s model, offering up to 70% higher performance for multi-tasking. The processor will once again have GPU cores built in, only this time offering a 30% increase in graphical performance.

For the first time, Apple has ditched the 32GB storage option, with the iPhone 8 instead starting off at 64GB, with a more expensive 128GB option also available.

Display

One rumour that didn’t quite play out as expected was the potential for an OLED edge-to-edge display, similar to that of the Samsung S8. Unfortunately, that feature was reserved for the £999 iPhone X, with the iPhone 8 instead receiving a display that looks disappointingly similar to the iPhone 7. It uses a 4.7in (5.5in on the Plus model) Retina HD display, only this time with support for HDR and Apple’s True Tone technology.

Battery

As suspected, Apple was finally able to bring wireless charging to this year’s smartphones, bowing to the Qi charging standard used by main rival Samsung and a number of third-party manufacturers. This means the iPhone 8 will be compatible with charging accessories made by companies other than Apple, such as Belkin or Morphie. Unfortunately, its output has remained unchanged, with Apple benchmarks reporting up to 13 hours of battery life for the iPhone 8, the same figure given for the iPhone 7.

Design

Apple has returned to its roots with the iPhone 8, using a glass backing for the first time since the iPhone 4. The front and rear panels are supposedly the most hard-wearing glass ever used in a smartphone and are banded by aerospace-grade aluminium. The phone itself will be available in space grey, silver and gold.

Pictures courtesy of Victoria Woollaston/Alphr

Click next for more iPhone 8 news

References

  1. ^ MacRumours (www.macrumors.com)
  2. ^ MacRumours (www.macrumors.com)
  3. ^ morenews (www.itpro.co.uk)