Grade 5 Titanium Explained: The ‘Indestructible’ Metal Used to Build the Apple iPhone 15 Pro

For a company that’s been so bullish on Aluminum (or aluminium as Jony Ive called it), Apple’s gradual shift to titanium feels like an end of an era. For two decades, Apple has pretty much revolutionized the use of aluminum in technology, but hey… it’s the future, we’re about to colonize Mars, and it’s high time we thought bigger, right? Well, the folks at Apple certainly think so, having unveiled their first iPhone made out of titanium. This isn’t the first time Apple’s made a gadget out of titanium (the Apple Watch Ultra from last year holds that distinction), and it certainly isn’t the first time any company has made a phone out of titanium. In 2015, the Turing Phone boasted a titanium body, and in 2017, the Essential Phone from Andy Rubin touted the same titanium construction. However, nobody does fanfare as well as Apple, and they’ve pretty much put a spotlight on the fact that the iPhone 15 Pro is their first-ever iPhone crafted from titanium; and not just ordinary titanium, but Grade 5 titanium. So… what is Grade 5 titanium, you ask?

What is Grade 5 Titanium?

Just by itself, Titanium is a standout metal known for its high strength, low density, biocompatibility, and corrosion resistance. Grade 5, commonly referred to as Ti-6Al-4V, is an alloy of titanium that includes 6% Aluminum and 4% Vanadium. This combination amplifies the metal’s strength, making it the go-to titanium grade for various high-performance applications in aerospace, racing, and human implants… and even a hot favorite for the EveryDay Carry (EDC) community.

Grade 5 vs. Regular Titanium?

Standard commercial pure titanium, often referred to as “Grade 1” or “Grade 2,” is robust and corrosion-resistant. However, when you mix it with aluminum and vanadium to produce Grade 5 Titanium, you get a metal that’s about twice as strong as its basic counterpart. Moreover, while pure titanium grades boast commendable corrosion resistance, especially against oxygen, Grade 5 takes it a step further by offering enhanced resistance against wear and fatigue. This unique combination of properties makes Grade 5 not just an upgrade but rather a different league, setting a gold standard in high-performance low-weight materials.

Comparing Titanium with Steel and Aluminum

  1. Strength and Weight: When pitted against steel, titanium stands out for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio. Titanium alloys, like Grade 5, offer strengths comparable to many steels, but at nearly half the weight. Aluminum, previously used in iPhone models, is lighter than titanium but doesn’t come close in terms of strength.
  2. Corrosion Resistance: Both titanium and aluminum resist corrosion well. However, titanium has the edge, especially in saline or chlorine-rich environments. Titanium’s corrosion resistance is significantly superior compared to steel, especially if it’s not ‘stainless’ or treated in other ways.
  3. Thermal Expansion: Titanium’s thermal expansion rate is closer to that of glass. When used in something like a smartphone, this becomes crucial. An iPhone screen is essentially glass, and by using a metal with a similar expansion rate, the risk of structural integrity loss due to temperature fluctuations is minimized.
  4. Flexibility: One of the understated properties of titanium is its flexibility. While steel can be rigid and aluminum might be too pliable, titanium strikes a balance, giving devices like the iPhone 15 Pro resilience against bending or deformation.

Is a Titanium iPhone really THAT special?

Truth be told, it seems like the titanium build is, in some ways, an over-correction for bend-gate. It wasn’t particularly a great time in Apple’s history, with people folding and snapping their aluminum iPhones in half, and since then, Apple’s worked hard to make sure people don’t turn their smartphones into tacos for the internet to enjoy. The company transitioned to Stainless Steel for their Pro iPhone models, and one could say that was pretty much as strong as anyone needed their iPhone chassis to be. Titanium is overkill at this point, especially given that with any iPhone, the true weakness lies in the glass front and back… and not the metal frame itself. Sure, the company’s developed Ceramic Shield, but drop it on the floor and it’ll still probably shatter while the outer metal frame doesn’t as much as get a lasting scratch. Now Apple hasn’t specifically highlighted the phone’s rugged durability and toughness, they’ve only mentioned how tough titanium is ‘as a material’, listing its accomplishments on the earth and in outer space. The phone isn’t made entirely of titanium either – it still has an internal aluminum framework, with an aerospace-grade titanium band on the outside. How does that benefit the consumer? Well, it doesn’t in the ways you think, but you’re bound to notice how luxuriously thin the iPhone 15 Pro is when compared to previous steel models. Apple also highlights that using Grade 5 Titanium also allowed them to make the chassis thinner and push the bezels even further to the edge, resulting in a more expansive-looking screen that’s just great to look at… if you’ve got upwards of $999 to pay for it!

Read More – iPhone 15 Pro Hands On: Lighter, Snazzier, and a real Pinky-Saver

The post Grade 5 Titanium Explained: The ‘Indestructible’ Metal Used to Build the Apple iPhone 15 Pro first appeared on Yanko Design.

Is the Apple Watch Series 9 secretly going to become the new Controller for the Vision Pro headset?

As Apple revealed the latest fleet of the Apple Watch collection, one feature stood out as the most remarkable as well as the most intriguing. The Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 both boasted of a new gesture input – being able to tap your fingers twice to register a button press. This would work remarkably well if your hands were occupied or dirty, letting you answer/end calls, snooze alarms, play/pause music, and even trigger your iPhone shutter simply by tapping your index finger and thumb together… without touching your Apple Watch at all. Sounds impressive, but also sounds extremely familiar, doesn’t it? Because tapping your fingers is exactly how the Apple Vision Pro registers click inputs too.

Designer: Apple

When Apple debuted the Vision Pro at WWDC in June, their biggest claim was that the Vision Pro was an entirely controller-free AR/VR headset, letting you manipulate virtual objects using just your hands. However, news emerged that Apple was, indeed, figuring out a traditional controller substitute that would be much more reliable than just human hands. It seems like the Apple Watch could be that perfect alternative.

The Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra Series 2 were unveiled this year, with a few standout upgrades. Both watches now come with 2000 Nits peak brightness, doubling last year’s capabilities. They both also rely on the new S9 SiP (the watch’s dedicated chipset) which now runs Siri locally on the device, without relying on the internet. The watches are also accompanied by new bands, including the FineWoven fabric that now replaces all leather accessories in Apple’s catalog… but more importantly, both the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra Series 2 accept the new finger-tapping gesture that does what the home button on both watches would do. The feature’s due to roll out next month as Apple calibrates how it works… but the implications of the feature go beyond just the watch. In fact, the Watch could be the secret controller the Vision Pro truly needs to enhance its Spatial Computing Experience.

Sure, the Vision Pro has multiple cameras that track your environment, also keeping an eye on your hands to see where you’re pointing, tapping, and pinching. The big caveat, however, is any situation where the Vision Pro CAN’T see your hands. If you’ve got your hands under a table, in your pocket, or behind your back, the Vision Pro potentially wouldn’t be able to recognize your fingers clicking away… and that’s a pretty massive drawback for the $3500 device. Potentially though, the Apple Watch helps solve that problem by being able to detect finger taps… although only on one hand.

The way the ‘Double Tap’ feature works on the watch is by relying on the S9 SiP. The chipset uses machine learning to interpret data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor to detect when you tap your fingers twice. The feature only works with the hand that’s wearing the Watch (you can’t tap your right-hand fingers while the Watch is on your left hand), but even that’s enough to solve the Vision Pro’s big problem. Moreover, the new Ultra Wide Band chip on the watch can help with spatial tracking, letting your Vision Pro when your hands are in sight and when they aren’t. While Apple hasn’t formally announced compatibility between the Watch and the Vision Pro, we can expect more details when Apple’s spatial-computing headset formally launches next year. The Vision Pro could get its own dedicated keynote event, or even be clubbed along with the new iPad/MacBook announcements that often happen at the beginning of the calendar year.

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Top 12 Features on the iPhone 15 we hope to see at Apple’s September Keynote Event

Image: Technizo Concept

We’ve got exactly a week till the new iPhone 15 drops and the rumors circling around it aren’t exactly new. If anything, rumors for upcoming iPhones circulate pretty much the day after its predecessor is announced (I remember people speculating about a USB-C iPhone as early as 2021), so we decided to do something different this time. Rather than ONLY presenting the rumors, here’s a dream wishlist of every feature we’d love to see in the iPhone 15. You’ve got the usual suspects like the USB-C port and the purported death of the slider switch for an action/ultra button… but we’ve also added more dream features in the lineup like a periscope camera and RCS-enabled iMessage, as well as a few absolute long-shot pipe-dream features like a folding display (Hey, a guy can dream, right?!)

Image: Technizo Concept

1. USB-C (With a twist)

It’s all but certain that the 2023 iPhone is getting a USB-C port (given pressure from the EU to standardize ports), but the EU regulation for a USB-C iPhone doesn’t kick in until next year. So while we’re almost surely getting a USB-C iPhone this year, it isn’t quite clear if both the regular and Pro models will get the USB-C port. For years, the iPad Pro had a USB-C port while the regular iPad had a lightning port, so there’s a chance Apple only puts USB-C ports on the iPhone 15 Pro models and not the iPhone 15 models. Conversely, Apple could provide both ranges with the USB-C port, but give the 15 Pro a Thunderbolt port while the 15 just has a USB-C port without Thunderbolt. In all fairness, it’s easier to argue that Thunderbolt is a Pro feature than to make the argument that USB-C ports are a Pro feature over Lightning ports.

2. A17 Bionic Chip

The A17 Bionic Chip may seem like the most obvious upgrade in the iPhone 15, but there’s a fair amount of speculation that the chip shortage is still affecting Apple. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Cupertino giant acquired TSMC’s entire supply of 3nm chips for the iPhone 15 Pro and upcoming MacBook models, but producing 3nm chips can be extremely challenging and there’s a fair chance that the A17 Bionic Chip may just find itself on the Pro model, with the A16 making its way to the iPhone 15 range. Either way, reports indicate that the 3nm chip will offer a 35% power efficiency improvement over 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Image: Technizo Concept

3. RIP Mute Switch, Hello Action Button

Following the success of the Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra, it seems like the company’s adopting a similar strategy with the iPhone too. We all know that Apple eventually wants to make a phone without ports and buttons altogether, and getting rid of the only mechanical moving part seems to be the first step. The Mute Switch, which has been a staple detail since the first iPhone ever released in 2007, seems to be going the way of the headphone jack. Apple was said to have been experimenting with solid-state buttons, but it seems like for now, the iPhone 15 will have physical pressable buttons… but no sliding Mute Switch. The Action Button, instead, will serve multiple purposes, like invoking Siri, triggering shortcuts, snoozing calls, etc.

4. Periscope Camera Lens

Every year, the iPhone’s pro model gets some serious camera upgrades, but judging by last year’s sensor bump, it seems like Apple’s due for some serious changes to the Pro cameras this year. Leaks and dummy models found across the internet show an even larger camera bump than the ones found on the previous models, hinting at a revolutionized camera layout. Speculators say that the new iPhone 15 Pro models could come with a periscope camera system to enable higher optical zoom, with even larger sensors for incredibly realistic bokeh and high detail even in low light conditions. The iPhone 15 Pro Max could even get a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, according to TechRadar.

Image: Jonas Daehnert (Phone Designer)

5. Titanium Frame

The titanium design is yet another innovation Apple plans on carrying forward to the iPhone from the Apple Watch Ultra. The iPhone has seen a steady shift in materials, employing Aluminum for the longest time, followed by Stainless Steel for the Pro variants in recent years. However, Apple may be looking to make their latest iPhone even tougher by migrating to the toughest metal known to mankind. Quite like the Watch Ultra’s titanium build, it’s quite likely that the iPhone 15 Pro models may have a titanium chassis, while the iPhone 15 gets upgraded to Stainless Steel.

6. Curved Edge + Thinner Bezels

The fact that the iPhone’s core design hasn’t changed since the 12 also leads to speculation that Apple may be looking to switch things up this year. It’s speculated that Apple might go back to a curved-edge phone like the iPhone X and iPhone 11, while pushing the bezels to be even thinner than previous models for a more seamless-looking display like the one found on the Watch series. Is it a significant upgrade? Probably not. But it does help customers differentiate between older and newer variants, helping Apple push more new models out and giving consumers a bit of an incentive to make the switch.


7. New Color for the iPhone 15 Range

Every year, Apple announces a new color variant for its iPhone series – last year the iPhone 14 was available in Yellow, before that the iPhone 13 was available in Green, and in 2020, the iPhone 12 launched with a gorgeous lilac Purple finish. If there’s one absolutely certain takeaway, Apple will announce a new color this year for the iPhone 15 series, although what the color will be is still undecided. Leaked images of charging cables indicate that the iPhone 15 might come in orange or coral pink, somewhat closely matching their Project RED variant, but still being a little more on the warm pastel side of things.

8. Dynamic Island On All Models

Call it wishful thinking, but it would be great if Apple gave all iPhone 15 models the dynamic island and didn’t just leave it to the Pro variants. Apple immediately upgraded all their phones to the camera notch following the release of the iPhone X, so it would only be fair to do the same with their Dynamic Island too. The iPhone line-up is in desperate need of a design upgrade (it fundamentally hasn’t changed since the iPhone 12), so seeing a dynamic island on the screen (aside from the curved edges and thinner bezels mentioned earlier) would do immense favors for the smartphone’s visual language.

Image: Technizo Concept

9. Better Siri powered by an AI Large Language Model

I don’t usually make such overt software requests but this one definitely deserves a mention. Siri, as it currently exists, is easily the worst voice assistant out there. Even though it was the first, it’s been overwhelmingly taken over by Google, Alexa, and even Cortana. I’d argue that the only voice assistant I care less than Siri about is Bixby, but let’s not get off-topic. It’s high time Siri changed, and got an LLM update. Earlier this year we explored how an enthusiast connected ChatGPT to his smartphone, using it instead of Siri to control his smart home. Many sources mention that Apple’s working on its own LLM too, but has kept it all under wraps for the longest time. Now would be a great time to upgrade Siri with the power of LLMs, making it smarter, more conversational, and much more helpful instead of constantly being apologetic for “not understanding” what users ask of it.

10. Focus on AR and Spatial Computing features

It would be a missed opportunity if Apple didn’t use this keynote to also have a call-back to the Vision Pro which they announced in June. The iPhone’s AR capabilities have always been a highlight at the keynote, with Tim Cook calling upon game studios and animation studios to talk about their latest innovations using Apple’s ARKit. Given that Apple finally has a $3499 horse in the AR race, it would probably make sense to reinforce the iPhone’s AR capabilities. Probably a 3D photo mode in the camera app, or photogrammetry or NeRF features, but we’re probably looking at the iPhone getting some neat Spatial Computing-adjacent capabilities this year.

Image: Technizo Concept

11. RCS-enabled iMessage

We’re officially wading into uncertain uncharted waters here, but wouldn’t it be great if iMessage didn’t suck for Android users? It isn’t inconceivable for Apple to announce software features alongside the new iPhone, so here’s to us just hoping that Apple at least relaxes the tight grip of its walled garden. iMessage is great for iPhone users, but for someone on Android, the experience is nothing short of disastrous. Media is highly pixelated, reactions to messages don’t really appear the way they do for iOS users, and Apple is fully aware of the social discrimination that Android users face as a result. Now sure, it isn’t entirely Apple’s fault that iOS users tend to be snobbish prudes, but hey, would it be too much to ask for a better messaging experience? Google’s been incessantly calling for Apple to adopt the RCS framework to make iMessage great for inter-OS devices, but it doesn’t seem like Tim Cook is listening. Here’s to being hopeful!

12. A Folding iPhone (Yes, we went there…)

Up until 2021, Apple has been advocating for the convenience of small phones with its iPhone Mini series, while also highlighting the appeal of larger displays with the Plus and Pro Max models. Doesn’t it just make sense for Apple to make a folding iPhone that gives consumers the best of both worlds?! Here’s the inside scoop. It’s no secret that Apple is actively working on folding phones. Numerous patents have surfaced, revealing their experimentation with flexible screens, innovative hinges, and a wealth of intellectual property that undoubtedly includes foldable devices. However, Apple is known for its meticulous approach, refusing to release anything until it meets its high standards of perfection, even if it means being outpaced by competitors like Samsung or Huawei. Expecting a folding iPhone this year may be an incredibly long shot, but Apple DID unveil its first AR/VR headset this year… anything can happen!

Image: Michal Dufka

Read More: The folding iPhone that Apple didn’t announce during the 2022 keynote, but probably should have

The post Top 12 Features on the iPhone 15 we hope to see at Apple’s September Keynote Event first appeared on Yanko Design.

The best password managers for 2023

You might’ve seen password managers in the news recently because of the breach affecting LastPass customers. We need to trust that all of our logins, banking credentials and other sensitive information has been neatly locked away, only accessible by us when we need it. But most tech is fallible, and the benefits of unique, strong passwords across your online presence outweigh the risks. Password managers remain a great way to securely store all of the credentials you need on a regular basis. We tested out nine of the best password managers available now to help you choose the right one for your needs.

How do password managers work?

Think of password managers like virtual safe deposit boxes. They hold your valuables, in this case usually online credentials, in a section of the vault only accessible to you by security key or a master password. Most of these services have autofill features that make it convenient to log in to any site without needing to remember every password you have, and they keep your credit card information close for impulse purchases.

But given that passwords are one of the top ways to keep your online identity secure, the real value of password managers is staying safe online. “It's just not possible without a password manager to have unique, long and hard-to-guess passwords,” Florian Schaub, an associate professor of information and of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, said.

Common guidance states that secure passwords should be unique, with the longest number of characters allowed and uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. This is the exact opposite of using one password everywhere, with minor variations depending on a site’s requirements. Think of how many online accounts and sites you have credentials for — it’s an impossible task to remember it all without somewhere to store passwords safely (no, a sticky note on your desk won’t cut it). Password managers are more readily accessible and offer the benefit of filling in those long passwords for you.

Are password managers safe?

It seems counterintuitive to store all your sensitive information in one place. One hack could mean you lose it all to an attacker and struggle for months or even years to rebuild your online presence, not to mention you may have to cancel credit cards and other accounts. But most experts in the field agree that password managers are a generally secure and safe way to keep track of your personal data, and the benefits of strong, complex passwords outweigh the possible risks.

The mechanics of keeping those passwords safe differs slightly from provider to provider. Generally, you have a lengthy, complex “master password” that safeguards the rest of your information. In some cases, you might also get a “security key” to enter when you log in to new devices. This is a random string of letters, numbers and symbols that the company will send you at sign up. Only you know this key, and because it’s stored locally on your device or printed out on paper, it’s harder for hackers to find.

These multiple layers of security make it difficult for an attacker to get into your vault even if your password manager provider experiences a breach. But the company should also follow a few security basics. A “zero-knowledge” policy means that the company keeps none of your data on file, so in the event of an attack, there’s nothing for hackers to find. Regular health reports like pentests and security audits are essential for keeping companies up to par on best practices, and other efforts like bug bounty programs or hosting on an open source website encourage constant vigilance for security flaws. Most password managers now also offer some level of encryption falling under the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES 256-bit is the strongest, because there are the most number of possible combinations, but AES 128-bit or 192-bit are still good.

Who are password managers for?

Given their universal benefit, pretty much everyone could use a password manager. They’re not just for the tech-savvy people or businesses anymore because so much sensitive information ends up online behind passwords, from our bank accounts to our Netflix watch history.

That’s the other perk of password managers: safe password sharing. Families, friends or roommates can use them to safely access joint accounts. Texting a password to someone isn’t secure, and you can help your family break the habit by starting to use one yourself, Lisa Plaggemier, executive director at National Cyber Security Alliance, said. Streaming is the obvious use case, but consider the shared bills, file storage and other sites you share access with the people around you as well.

Are password managers worth it?

You likely already use a password manager, even if you wouldn’t think to call it that. Most phones and web browsers include a log of saved credentials on the device, like the “passwords” keychain in the settings of an iPhone. That means you’ve probably seen the benefits of not having to memorize a large number of passwords or even type them out already.

While that’s a great way in, the downfall of these built-in options are that they tend to be device specific. If you rely on an Apple password manager, for example, that works if you’re totally in the Apple ecosystem — but you become limited once you get an Android tablet, Lujo Bauer, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and of computer science, at Carnegie Mellon University, said. If you use different devices for work and personal use and want a secure option for sharing passwords with others, or just don’t want to be tied to one brand forever, a third-party password manager is usually worth it.

How we tested

We tested password managers by downloading the apps for each of the nine contenders on iPhone, Android, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. That helped us better understand what platforms each manager was available on, and see how support differs across operating systems and browsers.

As we got set up with each, we took note of ease of use and how they iterated on the basic features of autofill and password generators. Nearly all password managers have these features, but some place limits on how much you can store while others give more control over creating easy-to-type yet complex passwords. From there, we looked at extra features like data-breach monitoring to understand which managers offered the most for your money.

Finally, we reviewed publicly available information about security specs for each. This includes LastPass, which more experts are shying away from recommending after the recent breach. For the sake of this review, we’ve decided not to recommend LastPass at this time as fallout from the breach still comes to light (The company disclosed a second incident earlier this year where an unauthorized attack accessed the company’s cloud storage, including sensitive data).

Password managers we tested

Best password manager: 1Password

Many security experts trust 1Password with their private information and, after testing it out, it’s clear why. The service includes industry standard encryption, a “secret key” that only you know on top of your master password, a zero-knowledge policy that means it keeps no data, and other security features like frequent audits and a bug bounty program.

Plus, 1Password has a pretty intuitive user interface across its apps. A tutorial at download helps you import passwords from other managers onto 1Password so that you don’t feel like you’re starting over from scratch. It also clearly rates the strength of each password and has an “open and fill” option in the vault so that you can get into your desired site even more quickly. We also liked the user-friendly option to scan a set up code to easily connect your account to your mobile devices without too much tedious typing.

At $3 per month, the individual subscription comes with unlimited passwords, items and one gigabyte of document storage for your vault. It also lets you share passwords, credit card information and other saved credentials. If you upgrade to the family plan for $5 each month, you’ll get to invite up to five people (plus more for $1 each per month) to be a part of the vault.

  • Number of tiers: 4

  • Pricing: $3/month for Individual, $5/month for Families, $20/month for Teams Starter Pack, $8/month per user for Business

  • Compatibility: macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Edge, Command Line

Best free password manager: Bitwarden

Bitwarden’s free plan includes unlimited passwords on an unlimited number of devices, which is more than we’ve seen from some of its competitors. There are drawbacks like you can only share vault items with one other user, but we think that’s a fair tradeoff.

Bitwarden is based on open-source code, meaning anyone on GitHub can audit it, which is a good measure of security. On a personal level, it includes security audits of your information, like a data breach report, that can keep you in the know about when your passwords have been leaked and when it's time to change them. Plus, it’s widely available across the platforms we tested, including Windows and iOS, with a level of customization, options to access your password vault and more.

Bitwarden may be the best free password manager, but it does have a paid version and we do think it’s worth it. At $10 annually for individuals or $40 for families, you unlock encrypted file storage, emergency access, unlimited sharing and more additional features. But the free version comes with the basics that can get anyone set up on password management easily.

  • Number of tiers: 3

  • Pricing: Free, $3/month per user for Teams Organization, $5/month per user for Enterprise Organization

  • Compatibility: macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Edge, Vivaldi, Opera, Tor, DuckDuckGo for Mac, Command Line

Best password manager for cross-platform availability: NordPass

Across password managers we tested, cross-platform availability was relatively similar. Most are widely available across web browsers and different operating systems, including our other top picks on this list. But we wanted to give a nod to NordPass here because of how easy the service makes it to access your vault from any platform while keeping your data safe.

NordPass has a free option with unlimited passwords and syncs across devices. A $2-per-month premium plan keeps you logged in when switching devices, comes with security notifications and allows for item sharing. A family subscription comes with six premium accounts and only costs $4 per month. This makes it a pretty good budget option as well. Besides the pairing code to connect accounts, NordPass is a pretty standard password manager. Scanning a code gets me from my laptop to mobile device to work computer super easily. If you’re constantly switching devices and those extra few seconds save your sanity, it’s worth considering.

  • Number of tiers: 3

  • Pricing: Free, $2/per month for Premium, $4/month for Family

  • Compatibility: macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge

Best password manager for shared access: Dashlane

Dashlane has four subscription options: A free user gets access to a single device with unlimited passwords; an advanced user pays $3 per month to get upgraded to unlimited devices and dark web monitoring; for $5 per month, a premium user also gets VPN access and an $7.49-per-month family plan includes access for up to 10 subscribers.

It met all the criteria we looked for, but with a clear emphasis on sharing credentials. Dashlane highlights “secure sharing” starting at its free level, which is a functionality that some competitors keep behind a paywall. Access for up to 10 members in a family plan is one of the bigger plans we’ve seen as well. While we were testing it, password sharing seemed front of mind with a tab dedicated to it in Dashlane’s browser extension. Arguably the biggest caveat here, though, is lack of Linux support.

  • Number of tiers: 4

  • Pricing: Free, $3/month for Advanced, $5/month for Premium, $7/month for Friends and Family

  • Compatibility: macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Edge, Opera


Why use a password manager?

Using a password manager can enhance your online security. They store all of your complex passwords and autofill them as needed, so that you can have unique, strong passwords across the web without remembering each of them yourself. In many cases, unique passwords are your first defense against attack, and a reliable manager makes it easier to keep track of them all.

How secure are password managers?

Password managers are a secure way to store your credentials. Experts in the field generally agree that the benefits of accessibility when storing complex passwords outweigh the possibility of attack, like what happened with LastPass. But with any service, it can vary from provider to provider. You should look out for zero-knowledge policies, regular security audits, pentests, bug bounty programs and encryption when choosing the right secure password manager for you.

What if I forget my master password?

Forgetting a master password won’t necessarily lock you out for good, but the recovery process varies from provider to provider. Some services give you a “security key” at sign up to enter when you log into new devices. It can also be used to securely recover your account because it’s a random string of keys stored locally that only you have access to. Other services, however, have no way to recover your vault. So creating a master password that you won’t forget is important.

How can I make a good master password?

A good master password should be unique, with the longest number of characters allowed and uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Experts often recommended thinking of it like a “passphrase” instead of a “password” to make it easier to remember. For example, you can take a sentence like “My name is Bob Smith” and change it to “Myn@m3isB0b5m!th” to turn it into a secure master password that you won’t forget.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Apple Reportedly Working On A “Watch X” For The Smartwatch’s Upcoming 10th Anniversary

It’s safe to say that the Watch was truly Apple’s first BIG product launched without Steve Jobs. Debuted in 2015, the Watch slowly but surely became one of Apple’s most valuable offerings, transforming from a fashion wearable into a life-saving piece of tech… and apparently, Apple has major plans to celebrate its 10th year anniversary, quite similar to how Apple debuted the iPhone X in 2017 to mark the iPhone’s decade-dominance.

News of a rumored Watch X broke on Power On, Mark Gurman’s weekly newsletter for Bloomberg, where he described the Watch X as the smartwatch’s biggest overhaul. “With the X model, Apple designers are working on a thinner watch case and have explored changing the way bands are attached to the device,” Gurman said. It isn’t clear if Apple will be transitioning to a new design or shape (given how far the WatchOS has come), but it will mark a significant shift in the watch’s design – mirroring what Apple did for the iPhone X.

Image Credits: Fraser Leid

Apple Watch Concept by Fraser Leid

Apple originally announced the Watch in 2014 and began preorders in 2015. Gurman mentions that it’s unclear if Apple will celebrate the wearable’s 10-year anniversary in 2024 or 2025, but is pretty confident that this year’s Watch Series 9 isn’t going to see any significant aesthetic changes or major upgrades. Rumor has it that the Watch Ultra will get satellite connectivity – a feature that Apple’s been working hard on condensing down to the format of a wearable.

As far as the Watch X goes, Gurman goes into detail talking about how it may eschew the existing watch strap system for a magnetic strap attachment protocol. This new system could help save space within the Watch for a bigger battery. The Watch X may also upgrade from OLED to MicroLED displays which would offer much better color representation and overall clarity… and if past rumors are any indication, hopefully, a non-invasive glucose monitoring system which would be one of the most significant innovations of this decade!

Read More: How One Crazy YouTuber Built The World’s First “Mechanical Apple Watch” from E-Waste

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Nintendo Switch 2 Console Renders Hint At Smaller Bezels and Redesigned Joy-Cons

Even when the folks at Nintendo don’t say anything, they say a lot! The rumor mill has been ABUZZ with speculation about the Nintendo Switch 2, which many people close to the matter say should arrive in 2024. While Nintendo has been extremely tight-lipped about the release of its highly-anticipated next-generation handheld console, it’s rumored that multiple studios have gotten access to the developer kit, confirming that the Switch 2 is, in fact, coming. This would be big for Nintendo too, as they’ve never released a ‘2nd edition’ of any of their consoles – the name has always changed ever so slightly, but the number 2 hasn’t featured in this new name. Take the Wii and WiiU for example, or the Nintendo DS and 3DS, or the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance if you want to look even further back.

The Switch 2’s reputation precedes it, following a 1st gen console so infamous, it remained sold out through multiple production runs and still is the most popular handheld console today, even though it was first unveiled six years ago. This Switch 2 concept, designed and envisioned by Salvo Lo Cascio and Riccardo Cambò Breccia, embodies everything we fans expect from Nintendo, peppered with a few healthy leaks and rumors. Let’s dive in!

Designers: Salvo Lo Cascio & Riccardo Cambò Breccia

Outwardly, the Nintendo Switch 2 concept embraces and really highlights its predecessor’s black, red, and blue color scheme. The format remains entirely the same too, with a few pretty visible tweaks, but all in all, it’s as unabashedly Nintendo as it gets.

We start with the Joy-Cons, which now sport a slightly chunkier, more rounded design that has a playful appeal to it. The controllers are a pleasure to hold as a part of the console as well as independent units, and come with a sliding panel built into its design – but more on that later. The main unit, on the other hand, is significantly different too, with drastically slimmer bezels than on the original Nintendo Switch. Rounded corners give the display unit a cutting-edge tablet appeal, although the only thing missing to make it a tablet is the presence of cameras!

A comparison between the old and new Joy-Con design

The new Joy-Cons’ strange sliding panel has an incredibly clever utility to it. Although designed to be used as a standalone unit, the Switch originally boasted of being able to handle two-person gaming too. All you needed to do was pop the Joy-Cons out and they would transform into dedicated handheld controllers. The problem was that these controllers weren’t designed to be symmetrical when held horizontally. Salvo and Riccardo’s clever design workaround fixes that problem entirely, creating a set of handheld controllers that feel ergonomic and comfortable to use even when held on their own. The GIF below explains how this works.

The designers also hid an easter egg in the Nintendo Switch 2’s speaker grill by shaping it into the waveform of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme!

The rumor mill has been going on and on about Nintendo probably launching two Switch 2 models together. The second, according to Bobby Kotick (CEO of Activision) is suspected to be as powerful as a PS4, shattering through all benchmarks to make this new Switch model Nintendo’s most capable one yet. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch 2 MAX, Salvo and Riccardo gave this a significantly upgraded design too, in the form of an all-black colorway, and a larger screen sans the lower chin seen in the Switch 2. According to Kotick, the developer kit of the Switch 2 MAX was allegedly powerful enough to handle Triple-A games without breaking a sweat. Most Switch users have complained that the console’s graphics are its biggest limitation, and the Switch 2 MAX may just be exactly what they need.

The Nintendo Switch 2 MAX has a much larger, edge-to-edge display

The all-black controller on the Switch 2 MAX is a deviation from Nintendo’s Blue and Red color-way, but after all, a beast needs its camouflage! The Switch 2 MAX controller also has backlit XYAB keys, allowing for low-light high-octane gaming.

The last part of the Nintendo Switch 2 to receive a redesign is the hub, which docks the screen. Designed to both charge as well as work as an HDMI pass-through for the console, this new dock has an almost smart-home-like quality to it. Its design is soft and pebble-like, and accepts the Switch 2’s screen with absolute ease, mirroring its display onto a larger screen like a television, monitor, or projector.

Salvo and Riccardo’s design couldn’t come at a better time, with gaming technology in a bit of a lull given the uncertain future of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the biggest exhibition in gaming. Although the actual device isn’t due till next year, this concept feels like a perfect culmination of fan requests and legitimate rumors. Let’s hope Salvo and Riccardo’s design is on the money, because if the Switch 2 looks anything like this, it’s sure to be a winner!

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Paris 2024 Olympics And Paralympics Torch With a Symmetric, Rippled Design Symbolizes Equality

Both the Olympics and Paralympics share the same torch design for the first time in history, promoting the message of equality.

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur unveiled the Olympic and Paralympic torch ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. The torch uses an interplay between matte and gloss textures, as well as plain and rippled surface treatment to represent the stillness of land and the moving water of the French river Seine. For the first time, both the Olympics and Paralympics torches are designed with the same form, size, and weight, with the sole differentiating factor being the symbols on each torch. This reinforces a message that all humans are equal in their spirit, sportsmanship, and potential. Paris 2024 also marks the first time that as many women are participating in the Olympics as men.

Designer: Mathieu Lehanneur

The steel lamp, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur and manufactured by ArcelorMittal, boasts of a symmetric design, both vertically and horizontally. The torch comes with a warm champagne color finish (celebrating French culture) and is fabricated entirely from recycled scrap steel, continuing a tradition from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The torch was designed with soft, flowing lines and a smooth, rounded shape, all in an effort to evoke a sense of tranquility. The inspiration for the ripple effect and the reflective surface on one side of the torch came from the serene presence of water and the majestic River Seine.

The main difference between the torches for the Olympics and the Paralympics will be the symbols located around the center. While the Olympic torch will have the Paris 2024 insignia and the iconic 5 intersecting Olympics rings, the Paralympics will replace the 5 rings with the Paralympics logo of three radially arranged arcs, shown above.

The upper half of the torch sports a matte finish on a plain surface

The lower half has a glossy mirror finish on a rippled surface, evoking the feeling of rippled water

Each torch weighs 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) and is 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) tall, and has a center of gravity that’s located in the middle of the torch, making it easier to carry than the top-heavy torches seen in the past. Organizers say that only 2000 torches will be produced for this edition – 5x fewer than the number from the previous Olympics and Paralympics, with the torch relay starting on the 8th of May next year. The torch will be lit in Ancient Olympia in Greece, beginning its journey to Marseille by boat.

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Insane Laser Device Fixes Broken iPhone Displays Without Even Switching Them Off

Uncovered by YouTuber Spare Parts, this novel machine can fix OLED displays that have weird lines running across them. The machine (shown in China where Spare Parts spends the bulk of his time making videos) uses a laser to fix the damaged or dead pixels, reviving phone displays… and it’s so advanced it can fix the displays while they’re still on! In theory, this solves pretty much the only problem there is to solve with damaged displays. Barring probably torn or shattered OLED screens, the machine fixes any problems with the flex cable or with dead pixels creating those annoying vertical lines across your screen.

The technology is incredibly fascinating, but even more so when described by Scotty Allen (who goes by his YouTube moniker Spare Parts). Allen’s worked on crazy projects in the past including building his own iPhone from scratch, and actually even attempting to design a flexible iPhone, so this unique machine is right up his alley. The video does a pretty rudimentary (yet sufficiently detailed) job of explaining how the technology works.

OLEDs (or even LCD displays) are manufactured in large sheets and subsequently cut out into the shapes needed for companies building televisions, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc. Lasers are used in the process to help manufacture these OLEDs, and this machine uses the exact same type of laser to fix the OLED when it’s damaged. The process is laborious because it involves manually looking for the dead pixel that’s causing the problem and zapping it back to life. With millions of pixels in even a smartphone display, that’s quite a tough task… and for now, it has to be done by a human who painstakingly looks through the pixels row by row to identify any dead pixels. Once done, the laser helps rebuild that pixel, fixing the screen without really needing to change any parts!

The process is somewhat invasive, and requires dislodging the screen from the smartphone itself. The machine works with both flexible as well as hard OLEDs, and it isn’t limited to just iPhones. Technically any phone with an OLED or LCD screen should do. The screen does need to be removed from the phone, along with manually separating the OLED unit from the glass on front using a metal wire to cut through the glue. If the flex cable on the display is damaged, there’s a separate machine for that. However, if there’s just a pixel or a cluster of pixels causing problems, the laser helps fix that issue. The machine can do this task even with the display running, and the video shows in real-time how the annoying line disappears as soon as that problematic pixel is fixed. You don’t need to replace any expensive parts, helping both consumers as well as companies reduce repair costs and e-waste generation in the process!

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A “Threads from Instagram” App Existed Back In 2019… And It Was NOTHING Like Twitter

Before Zuckerberg launched the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing social media app, he struggled to make Threads relevant. Yes, “Threads from Instagram” was an app that launched in October 2019, but shut down in 2021 following just thousands of downloads and an abysmal performance. Here’s what the original Threads app was all about, why it failed, and more importantly, what it says about Zuckerberg and Meta’s culture of innovation and stealing ideas.

It sure sounds surprising, but not many people will remember Threads from back in the day. I barely remember it too, but it was Instagram’s way of making the network more social again. The team realized that as IG was slowly descending into irrelevance (this was before Reels were a thing), people were mainly using the app to DM each other rather than to actually view content. Nobody was tagging friends in posts anymore – they were simply sharing posts and memes with their close friends, creating a microcosmic network in the messages section rather than in the actual home feed. People loved using IG’s filters too, but instead of mass-publishing their content on stories or on their profile, they were much more comfortable sharing it with 3-4 tight-knit friends instead. Seeing this, Mosseri-led Instagram decided that this was worthy of a new app entirely. An IG without the Insta or the Gram. Just DMs and AR filters… or simply, a Snapchat clone.

This Threads app was also tied inextricably to your IG. In a way, it was pretty much a stripped-down version of IG that just had a camera, AR filters, and DMs… exactly like Snapchat. You could chat with friends or other people on IG, and you could use your Instagram’s Close Friends feature to share videos of yourself or stuff around you with your immediate social circle. The app debuted in 2019, but took nearly 6 months to actually catch any momentum. It barely had any users, and had roughly 2.5k ratings on the app store, making it Meta’s worst-performing app. Instagram finally shuttered it in 2021, but little did Mark and Mosseri know that Threads would have its ground-shattering glow-up just 2 years later.

A screenshot of the original ‘Threads From Instagram’ App Store profile.

It seems like Zuckerberg knew he wanted to make a microblogging platform back in 2021, and Threads was perfect for this ‘phoenix rebirth’. TechCrunch reported in July of 2021 that Facebook (back when it was still called Facebook) was testing out twitter-like features on some public pages. A year later, Zuckerberg made a joke about acquiring Twitter and was legally forced to buy it. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Zuckerberg, as he saw Musk slowly running Twitter into the ground. Smelling blood in the water, Meta began building out its Twitter clone in January this year, and just as Musk made an announcement that Twitter was limiting how many posts its users could see per day, Zuckerberg forced the launch of Threads in its ‘new app who dis’ avatar. The Threads app caught on like wildfire (even though it was riddled with quite a few dark design patterns), and currently sits at over 100 million users in a record time of 10 days. To give you a sense of how big a deal that is, Twitter has 500 million users…

While it isn’t clear whether Threads will be able to ride this wave of success and internet dominance (whether people continue using Threads after 1 year is still anyone’s guess), it really does prove that Meta, led by Zuckerberg, has cultivated a reputation for ripping off successful ideas than actually coming up with them. Like every overgrown company (i.e., monopoly), Meta defeats competition either by acquiring, or by stealing. Aside from building Facebook, it’s difficult to think of anything that Zuckerberg has built successfully from scratch. Instagram was acquired in 2012, and Whatsapp and Oculus in 2014. Zuckerberg tried hard to acquire Snapchat too, but after sensing resistance, merely copied the ephemeral ‘Stories’ feature. Reels were introduced in 2020 to combat TikTok, which couldn’t be acquired because it was owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Meta tried hard to launch Internet.Org in third-world countries but faced huge resistance, and even tried and failed at launching Libra Coin, its own crypto-based payment network (also rebranded as Diem). Even their hardware efforts were a flop, with the Portal camera that barely made a dent, the RayBan partnership that seems to have been forgotten, and the Meta smartwatch that never even saw the light of day.

Threads, however, reinforces Meta’s corporate tendency to blatantly copy winning ideas. It’s definitely being touted as the company’s latest success story, but it builds entirely on an existing microblogging platform, which was pretty much ripped off in the process. The name “Threads” isn’t new either, but its personality certainly is…

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The ‘Threads’ App is FILLED With Deceptive Dark Design Patterns – We Spotted More Than TEN

Aside from probably the launch of ChatGPT, I can’t ever recall a recent time in which the internet was THIS excited. While I personally believed that Zuckerberg’s new Threads app was doomed to be a hit and miss, it seems like I was dead wrong – the app saw more than 10 million users sign up in just 1.5 hours, with the number climbing up to 75 million as per a recent announcement from Zuckerberg. The reason? FOMO, along with the fact that the Threads app was designed to be incredibly intuitive. You didn’t need to make an account – if you were on Instagram, the account was already made for you. A simple click would import all your followers, your profile settings, and profile-picture and bio. However, veiled underneath that ease and convenience were a few patterns that designers and tech nerds were all too familiar with. These patterns, referred to as Dark Design Patterns, are known to manipulate and influence a user into doing something against their will.

If you’ve used the Uber app, you’re familiar with how notorious it is to cancel a ride while the app is searching for one. The ‘Cancel Ride’ button is greyed out, but the ‘Continue Searching’ is black and highly visible. Hit the Cancel button and Uber asks you at least twice if you’re sure you want to cancel. Amazon does the same thing with its Prime subscribers. Try canceling your Prime subscription and chances are you’ll just give up because Amazon’s made it so incredibly hard to cancel an active Prime membership.

The Threads app almost immediately displayed a whole bunch of dark patterns with its user interface. We spotted at least 11 of them, and we’re sure there are a lot more to come. Here are some highly evident dark tricks the Threads app is using to ensure you stay on the platform as long as you possibly can… and supply Meta with even more data than before.

1. In order to first make your Threads account, you need to log in through Instagram. The Threads app doesn’t let you create an account WITHOUT having an Instagram account. It does so to make the transition for Instagram users incredibly easy… but in doing so, it also ensures that people NEED to have both Instagram and Threads accounts active at all times. There’s no Threads without Instagram, so if you gave up your IG for any particular reason, you’re in a tough spot.

2. While onboarding users was designed to be easy, the Threads app does something notorious to ensure users don’t leave too. If at any point in time you feel the need to ‘delete’ your Threads app, it means you’ll have to delete your Instagram too. Sounds bizarre, right?! Well, the settings panel in the Threads app mentions that “deleting your account apply to both Threads and Instagram”, taking the ability to selectively delete your accounts right out of your hands.

3. As a form of consolation, Threads does allow you to ‘deactivate’ your account. This takes your Threads profile offline… but the data still exists on Meta’s servers, and it still remains tied to your IG at all times to help Meta build that dataset on you.

4. The reason why joining Threads was so easy was because your account was already created for you in advance. Prior to the launch, a Threads section on your Instagram page would give you a QR code and tell you that your IG handle was already reserved for you on Threads. It’s easy because the app is literally being handed to you on a silver platter with your username already pre-selected. This dark pattern becomes even darker because if your IG accidentally gets hacked, the hacker gets you Threads account with it, with little to no effort.

5. However, if you’ve somehow resisted joining Threads, don’t worry because Instagram makes it incredibly easy for others to share Threads content on the IG app – as a post, a story, or even a DM. This means that there’s really no escaping Threads content even if you made the conscious decision to not sign up for it. The fact that it’s so easy to share you Threads on Instagram just makes it grow faster, and in doing so, trap more users easily. Don’t think it’s a dark pattern? Well, think of it as being incredibly anti-competitive to all of Thread’s newer rivals like Mastodon or Blue Sky.

6. The Threads app conveniently copies all your profile settings from Instagram, but requires you to manually set your notification settings all over again. Moreover, just like Facebook and Instagram are often filled with bogus notifications, the Threads app will send you a ping every time someone you know joins Threads… a classic dark pattern to have you constantly checking the app every few minutes.

7. The Threads app doesn’t just copy profile settings, it basically mirrors all your IG data, providing Meta with yet another avenue for advertising. Sure, the Threads app doesn’t have ads or sponsored content, but don’t be surprised if you get ads on Instagram for stuff you speak about in Threads.

8. Perhaps one of the most malicious dark patterns lies in how much data the app collects on you. Even though Threads is just a microblogging platform, the app has access to your health data, financial data, and even your location. In fact, ex-CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey shared a snippet of the amount of data the app collects on you and it’s shocking. If you’re in the EU, you probably don’t have access to Threads for this exact reason, because the European Union has some incredibly strict laws on data gathering.

9. And even though Threads makes it very easy to share stuff to Instagram, your IG followers can’t view your thread unless they install the app and make their account. The most they can see is a snippet, which lures them into signing up.

10. The above is reinforced by the fact that Threads doesn’t have a desktop website either. Even though its competitor Twitter does, and even though Instagram does too, Threads can ONLY be accessed by installing an app, and logging in. That’s how Meta coerces you into installing an app that you then can’t remove… and an app that then constantly gathers data on you.

11. This one verges more on speculation at this point, but Threads rather visibly lacks DMs. It’s true that Meta is building out the feature as of now, but there’s a high chance those DMs will also be connected to your Instagram DMs. Famously a few years ago, Meta merged IG DMs with Messenger in order to facilitate cross-platform messaging (and in order to revive Messenger, which saw a slow but steady decline). While there’s no concrete evidence to back this, it’ll be interesting to see if Meta chooses to centralize Threads and Instagram DMs into one channel, creating yet another dark pattern. All we can do right now is wait and watch…

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