Amid booming popularity, Zoom commits to improved security and privacy

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Zoom promises to work harder to protect user privacy.
Millions have turned to the Zoom video-conferencing service, but it’s also facing criticism for security lapses.
Photo: Zoom

Zoom had over 200 million daily meeting participants in March, about 20x the average, as people isolate themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this video conferencing service faces criticism for a lack of security. That’s why Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Thursday stopped all work on adding new features to its software to instead focus on fixing problems with privacy and public trust.

These MacBooks will hit Apple’s dreaded ‘vintage and obsolete’ list soon

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The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple
Remember the 11-inch MacBook Air? Probably not.
Photo: Apple

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that launched in 2013 and 2014 will reportedly be placed on Apple’s list of “vintage and obsolete products” at the end of April.

Despite what the name implies, this doesn’t mean these devices just became useless. Instead, it’s going to be harder to get them serviced.

Cloudflare’s Warp, a free and fast VPN for Mac, enters beta testing

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Cloudflare Warp for macOS
Warp for macOS, now in beta, promises a fast and free VPN.
Photo: Cloudflare

Cloudflare on Wednesday began beta testing a macOS version of Warp, its virtual private network currently offered only on iPhone. The VPN encrypts all internet traffic for the Mac it’s installed on, helping to protect the user’s privacy.

VPNs add security, but are often slow. Cloudflare promises its service is fast. And it’s free.

Innovative Apple Watch band lets runners monitor speed and heart rate at a glance [Review]

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EdgeGear Shift review: Seeing your Apple Watch while jogging is far easier with this Apple Watch band for runners.
Seeing your Apple Watch while running is far easier with the EdgeGear Shift.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The design of the wristwatch hasn’t changed on over 100 years, but EdgeGear has an alternative that makes it easier for runners to see their Apple Watch while on the go. The Shift is not like any band you’ve worn before, as the Watch is held near the base of your thumb, not in the middle of your wrist.

I took the EdgeGear Shift on a few runs, and can report on how it performed in the real world.

iOS 14 could add two-factor authentication to iCloud Keychain password manager

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setup iCloud keychain
iCloud Keychain password manager could be getting support for an advanced security feature.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iCloud Keychain password manager built into iOS and macOS is reportedly getting support for two-factor authentication. This is a feature now only available in third-party password managers like Dashlane. It would make storing and using passwords more secure.

iWork for Mac embraces iCloud Drive folder sharing [Updated]

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iWork for Mac puts an emphasis on collaboration.
iWork for Mac has a new collaboration tool. And there’s an array of other improvements, too.
Photo: Apple

All the apps in Apple’s free iWork productivity suite for Mac now support iCloud Drive folder sharing, a collaboration feature that debuted last Tuesday in macOS 10.15.4.

This new feature is a highlight of each iWork application — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — reaching version 10.0. And there are numerous other enhancements, too.

FCC forces carriers to crack down on fake caller IDs

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Spam call
The FCC ordered phone companies to block calls made with fake caller ID info.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The FCC on Tuesday gave wireless carriers until next summer to implement a system designed to prevent caller ID spoofing. The goal is blocking phone scammers from using fake caller ID information to convince call recipients that they are talking to someone trustworthy or from their local area.

Russia delays forcing government-approved apps onto iPhones and Macs

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Putin adds power to your iPhone case.
Apple now has until 2021 to decide if a Russian law forcing apps onto the iPhone is enough for it to pull out of the country.
Photo: Caviar

A Russian law requiring all phones and computers, including iPhone and Mac, sold in that country come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia won‘t go into effect July 1, as had been originally planned. Instead, implementation won‘t occur until early next year.

This comes as a temporary reprieve for Apple. The company has such privacy concerns over this legislation it might withdraw from the country rather than comply with the law.