You may remember a couple of years back that iPhones were secretly tracking your every move. This data was susceptible to attacks through a hidden file that iTunes copied to your computer when you synchronised it. Apple quickly addressed the issue and removed the exploit. I actually like to have my location tracked. I turned it on with the Google app for iOS and I even uploaded that original iTunes file to an open data project. The only caveat is, I like to know it’s being tracked, and I like to know what it’s being used for.
The iOS7 secret
iOS7 is tracking your every move. It’s recording key locations you visit in your life and it’s using those to improve its mapping facility. It knows where you live and it knows where you often visit. Question is, did you know? I certainly didn’t.
Yeah but the little location icon pops up in the top right corner, correct?”
Certainly, apps like Google Maps, Google and anything which uses your GPS location trigger the icon in the top right.. But it’s a little more shady for Apple’s latest option hidden way down in the location settings of your phone. You’ll probably never notice the little icon ever appear.
Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (bottom) > Frequent Locations
Yes it’s all likely innocent, yes it’s likely private data but, hiding it under a general “Enable location services” when you first setup your phone is a little sneaky. And hiding it under 5 difficult menus is just wrong.
For example, the Google app drops the icon in the bottom left corner, and is open about how and why they track your information. And you have to opt in to that specific feature.
With the release of Google’s new web browser named “Chrome”, will this mean a shift in browser usage?
It’s the same situation as Firefox found itself in nearly four years ago, and it’s only just catching Microsofts browser.
So, is Chrome any good? I downloaded the BETA yesterday and have been playing ever since.
Although it may take up a little more memory and power it ultimately makes for a faster browsing experience and more stability. If one of the processes fail you only lose one tab rather than the whole browser.
Things I like in Chrome:
- The truely awesome Chrome Inspector
- Incognito Browsing (and the awesome logo)
It’s basically a porn mode. Very much like IE8’s new privacy feature. Upon opening this new “Incognito Window” all your history and web cookies won’t be stored meaning your basically invisible on the internet. It also means your mom/mum won’t find that dirty website you have been visiting over the past few days…
I also love the “spy” logo very similar to Gamespys logo. It looks very cool for a Google graphic! (I also love the Chrome logo).
- The iGoogle like welcome page
When opening a new tab you have the option of showing a “New Tab page”. It shows your most visited websites in order and also shows your full browser history with time and date. Clicking show full history actually allows you to see your online travel path. The new tab page also shows new bookmarks and recently closed tabs. A feature I like very much as losing closed tabs can be easy.
- Organised tabs
When you have several tabs opened, keeping track can be difficult. And when Firefox adds your tab onto the end of the list it can be hard to find again. Google Chrome adds the tab next to the currently opened one, which helps keep them organised. The more tabs you have open at any one time, the harder it becomes to sort, and the more valuable this feature becomes.
Click on the image to see a better example.
- Unobtrusive status bar
This is a personal preference. The more browser space is available, the better. This means you can see more of the page at any one time. Even if it is 10px worth of space, every little bit helps.
When hovering over links the status bar pops up in the lower left corner, then fades away when you move away from the link. Simple and effective.
To be honest I could write about the new Chrome all day, but I know that it’s already been well documented. Maybe I got a little carried away.
To download Google Chrome simply head over to their website.