WhatsApp Adds Biometric Security Layer for Web, Desktop App Linking

WhatsApp is adding another security layer for WhatsApp Web and desktop app linking and logging in. Before users link their WhatsApp accounts to their computer, they will be asked to authenticate using fingerprint or Face ID. This additional layer of security is aimed at preventing others from linking your WhatsApp account to the computer without your presence. WhatsApp says that the face and fingerprint authentication takes place on the user’s mobile phone in a privacy-preserving manner and WhatsApp cannot access the biometric information stored on the handset’s operating system.
The company announced that it is adding an extra security layer on its mobile app to prevent unethical use of WhatsApp on the desktop. In order to link WhatsApp Web or desktop app to a WhatsApp account, users will now be asked to use face or fingerprint unlock on the phone. Once this step is done, users can then access the QR code scanner from the phone that will then complete the linking process with the computer.
“This will limit the chance that a housemate or officemate (when we have those again) can link devices to your WhatsApp account without you. This builds on our existing security measures today, which pop up a notice in your phone whenever a Web/Desktop login occurs, and the ability to unlink devices from your phone at any time,” WhatsApp explains in an official release.

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The app says that it does not store biometric information, and that – by design – it cannot access those details from a phone’s operating system. WhatsApp says that this new security layer will be rolling out in the coming weeks. A visual redesign to WhatsApp Web pages on phones will also be introduced in the weeks to come.

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WhatsApp was at the centre of a controversy regarding its privacy policy update wherein it forced users to accept the new terms or ban usage if not accepted. This caused a huge uproar among users, pushing people to shift to other platforms like Signal and Telegram. The company has since withdrawn its privacy policy update and has set a later date for it.

Telegram 7.4 iOS Update Will Let You Import WhatsApp Chats Using a Migration Tool

Telegram has released an update for its app on iOS that includes a migration tool to let users import chats from WhatsApp and other apps. The mention of the new tool is part of the Telegram 7.4 update. But another update (Telegram 7.4.1) released soon after does not include the mention of the new migration tool. However, in our testing, users were able to transfer their chat history from WhatsApp even after installing the 7.4.1 version of Telegram. This could be good news for people who want to move away from WhatsApp after its contentious privacy policy changes.
The release notes of Telegram of version 7.4 on iOS includes the mention of the tool: ‘Move your chat history from other apps (WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk) to Telegram’.
Telegram then almost immediately released version 7.4.1 for iOS, removing the mention of the migration tool. However, after updating to Telegram version 7.4.1, we were still able to use the tool to migrate chats from WhatsApp to Telegram. The process is fairly easy.

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Chats that have been imported to Telegram show the original time stamp, along with the text, “imported”

On WhatsApp, you need to swipe from right to left on the individual chat you would like to migrate and then tap on More, then choose the Export Chat option. A pop up will ask if you want to move the chat with or without attachments, which can be imported to Telegram through the iOS Share Sheet.

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When you select Telegram, it will ask you to select the contact or group you want to migrate the specific chat to, and the messages will be synced for you in the chat history of the contact. Messages imported from other apps come with a flag at the bottom that says ‘Imported’. This works for both individual chats, and groups. Chats that have been imported show the original time stamp, along with the text, “imported” and the time when they were copied over.
Telegram has not yet announced the new migration tool officially on its social handles or elsewhere apart from the iOS update notes. There is no mention about when the tool will be available for Android either. The tool could still be a work-in-progress for iOS, and it is likely that the company will make an announcement once it is ready to go. As mentioned, some users are still able to import chats to Telegram from other apps after installing the latest update that is available on the App Store.

Sony Xperia Compact Phone Featuring 5.5-Inch Display Tipped to Launch This Year

Sony is working on a new Xperia Compact smartphone that will feature a 5.5-inch display, as per a tipster. The phone is tipped to sport a dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary camera. While the Xperia Compact line of phones was scrapped a couple of years ago, an earlier report had claimed that Sony will launch the new Xperia Compact series in 2021. Specifications and renders of the rumoured Sony Xperia Compact smartphone have now been tipped.
Known tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka OnLeaks, has tipped the specifications of the upcoming new Sony Xperia Compact smartphone via Voice. The phone will measure around 140×68.9×8.9mm, as per Hemmerstoffer. It is said to have an 8-megapixel camera on the front, housed in a waterdrop-style notch.
The dual rear camera setup is said to feature a 13-megapixel primary sensor. The flat display of the new Sony Xperia Compact is surrounded by thick bezels, as per the renders. The rumoured Android smartphone from Sony phone appears to be a little boxy.

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There is said to be a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the phone, which will likely come as a relief for users of wired headphones. On the left side, the phone seems to have a volume rocker, a camera button, and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Sony Xperia Compact also appears to have a USB Type-C port at the bottom.
The phone is likely meant to compete with the iPhone 12 mini, the latest compact phone from Apple featuring a 5.4-inch display. But the new Sony Xperia Compact smartphone is expected to be priced much lower than the iPhone 12 mini.

Hemmerstoffer points to a report by Japanese blog AndroidNext from two months ago that said that Sony will release a 5.5-inch compact Xperia smartphone in the first half of 2021, adding it would come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 775 SoC. The report had speculated on Sony Xperia 1 III Compact or Sony Xperia 5 II Compact as the names. The rest of the specifications and a launch date for the new Sony Xperia Compact model are not known yet.

WhatsApp Treating Indian Users Differently from Europeans Matter of Concern: Government Tells Delhi High Court

WhatsApp is treating Indian users differently from Europeans over opting out of its new privacy policy which is a matter of concern for the government and it is looking into the issue, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Monday.

The central government told the high court that it was also a matter of concern that Indian users were being “unilaterally” subjected to the change in privacy policy by the instant messaging platform.

The submissions were made before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma during hearing of a petition by a lawyer against the new privacy policy of WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook.

YouTube.com Now Available to Be Installed as a Progressive Web App

YouTube site can now be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA) for quick access. PWAs are — in oversimplified terms — web pages that can work like apps on your phone. PWA support was earlier added for YouTube Music and YouTube TV. The support was incorporated into the main YouTube site over the past few days. Google had recently announced that it was bringing Stadia to iOS as a PWA. Google Photos was made available as a PWA back in 2018. Twitter had also launched its PWA in 2018.
As explained by Google Developers, PWAs use modern Web capabilities to deliver a user experience that is similar to using an app. Pages in browser tabs can deliver immersive, high-level apps.
In Chrome, users are prompted with a plus icon in the omnibox, to ‘Install app’ notes 9to5Google. This is different from the ‘Install’ option in the overflow menu in Google Chrome, which has been around for a while now.

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After the PWA is installed, the users get a large red play logo in the app launcher to open YouTube in a window that doesn’t have the address bar among other user interface elements. The shelf pinning feature gives the users immediate access to what’s playing.
In November 2020, Google had announced that its cloud gaming service Stadia is finally coming to iOS as a PWA. In 2018, Google Photos was made available as a PWA. Twitter also launched its PWA on the Microsoft Store for mobile and desktop platforms in 2018.

OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 9 Specifications Tipped Ahead of Rumoured March Launch

OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 key specifications have been tipped online. OnePlus 9 Pro may feature a 6.8-inch Quad HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the vanilla model could sport a 6.55-inch full-HD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate as well, according to a tipster. OnePlus could launch the anticipated OnePlus 9 series as early as March. As per the tipster, both the smartphones will be backed by the Snapdragon 888 SoC.
Tipster Digital Chat Station shared the possible specifications of the flagship models of the upcoming OnePlus 9 series through a post on Weibo. OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 could both have a 3.8mm single punch hole in the top-left corner of the screen.
OnePlus 9 Pro is expected to feature a curved display, while OnePlus 9 will likely have a flat screen. The smartphones are tipped to be relatively lightweight and weigh less than 200 grams. While the battery specifications haven’t been confirmed, the tipster suggests that OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 could pack 4,500mAh batteries each.

Nokia 1.4, Nokia 6.3, and Nokia 7.3 May Launch in Late Q1 or Early Q2 This Year

Nokia 1.4, Nokia 6.3, and Nokia 7.3 could launch in Q1 or early Q2 of this year, a new report claims. All three of these Nokia phones have been in the news in the past with speculations around their release. While Nokia 1.4 is relatively new, Nokia 6.3 and Nokia 7.3 were originally expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020. It is also possible that whenever these two Nokia phones launch, they could also be named Nokia 6.4 or Nokia 7.4.

Starting with Nokia 1.4, the phone has made its way through multiple listings, as per a report by Nokiapoweruser. The report states that the phone may launch in February. Recently, specifications and pricing for Nokia 1.4 were tipped, suggesting a 6.51-inch HD+ LCD display, a quad core processor, 1GB + 16GB storage configuration, and dual-rear camera setup. The phone is expected to be priced under EUR 100 (roughly Rs. 8,800).

Nokia 6.3 and Nokia 7.3, on the other hand, have been in the news for quite a while now. The report by Nokiapoweruser states that they may launch late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2021. These phones could also launch as Nokia 6.4 and Nokia 7.4.

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Nokia 6.3 has been tipped in the past to come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC and a 24-megapixel shooter. Nokia 7.3 may feature a 6.5-inch full HD+ display with a hole-punch cutout and be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 SoC. It could come with a 48-megapixel primary sensor and a 24-megapixel selfie shooter. Nokia 6.3 and Nokia 7.3 are expected to be backed by a 4,500mAh and a 5,000mAh battery, respectively.

Originally, the two phones were expected to launch at IFA 2020 in September. Then, it was reported that they may launch in November. Even now, Nokia or brand licensee HMD Global has not shared any information on the launch date for these phones.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Lite Could Be in Development, Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2021) Leaked in Alleged CAD Renders

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Lite could be in the works and come in Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G variants, a new report suggests. The tablet will be part of the Galaxy Tab S7 series that includes Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Tab S7+. In a separate report, alleged CAD-based renders of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2021) have been leaked and they show a similar design to the previous generation model. The specifications for both the tablets, Galaxy Tab S7 Lite and Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2021), are unclear.

According to a report by SamMobile, Samsung is working on a Galaxy Tab S7 Lite that will be an upper mid-range tablet. It is expected to carry model numbers SM-T730, SM-T735, and SM-T736B/ SM-T736N for the Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G variants, respectively. The report also mentions that the rumoured Galaxy Tab S7 Lite could be launched as Samsung Galaxy Tab S8e. Additionally, there could also be a Galaxy Tab S7 Lite Plus or XL variant that may have the same specifications as the Galaxy Tab S7 Lite, but with a bigger display.

A separate report by 91Mobiles shared alleged CAD renders of the rumoured Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2021). They hint at thick bezels around the display, a single rear camera, a 10.1-inch display as the name suggests, and bottom firing speakers. The renders also show a USB Type-C port at the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. The design of the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2021) is quite similar to the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 variant from 2019. The upcoming rumoured model may measure 245.2×149.4×7.4mm and could have a Wi-Fi and an LTE variant.

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Specifications for either of the two tablets are unclear and Samsung has not shared any official information on them.

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