SpaceX has launched numerous satellites related to the new Starlink internet service which is now available to a limited set of customers in the US, UK, and other countries. Starlink will add more customers as it continues to expand its operations. A Starlink app is also available at the Apple iOS and Google Play app stores.
Neverware, which develops CloudReady, announced in December 2020 that it will be soon be part of Google. CloudReady is an operating system based on the open-source Chromium OS that is free for home use.
The Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (TVPA) requires providers of internet, voice, mobile, and data to engage in transparent sales and billing. It also prevents providers from charging a consumer for using equipment not provided by the service provider, such as a modem. The FCC granted providers an extension for this legislation until December 20, 2020. Modem rental fees should not be charged to consumers who provide their own equipment after that date.
Apple has reported that a small number of iPhone 11 models are experiencing issues with touch screen capability. A free repair is available for phones with a valid serial number that are having this problem.
Apple also has a repair program available for a small number of 13-inch MacBook Pro units with backlight display issues.
Apple is also providing free repairs for users having sound issues with AirPods Pro.
iOS 14 also shows if an app is using the camera or phone. A green indicator will appear if an app is using the device’s camera, and an orange indicator will appear if the microphone is in use. App settings for hardware use can be changed under Settings > Privacy. Apps running on iOS14 will also be required to obtain permission to track users starting in early 2021.
Apple has provided a list of compatible devices for iOS 14 and iPadOS.
Google’s Chrome OS is a secure choice for an operating system, but older devices may no longer be supported. When a Chrome device reaches its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, automatic updates from Google will no longer be provided.
Ring now requires that customers use two-factor authentication when when they log into their accounts. Instructions on how to set up Ring two-factor authentication may be found here.
The Ring app also has a new Control Center for customers to manage their privacy and security settings.
Apple, Google, and other tech companies have announced the formation of a new project to set up new common communication standards for smart home devices. Project Connected Home over IP will allow smart home devices from different manufacturers to communicate with one another using an open standard with built-in security.
Apple has a voluntary recall and free battery replacement program for certain 15-inch MacBook Pro models sold between 2015 and 2017. These units can be identified by serial number at support.apple.com/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall.
This recall is currently one of the programs available at Apple’s Exchange and Repair Extension Program page.
Intel released information regarding a new set of CPU vulnerabilities called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS). A list of affected Intel products may be found here.
Updates are available from major technology companies for this issue, including: