Logitech dropped its first iPad Pro keyboard, Toshiba rebranded and is making a comeback, and in news that has nothing to do with April Fools’ Day, Google says the Play Store is more secure than ever. Let’s get to it!
Apple News: Logitech’s New iPad Pro Keyboard Looks Pretty Hot
Also, the iPad Mini 5 got the official iFixit teardown treatment, and its innards are all new.
- Logitech’s new iPad Pro keyboard avoids the smart connector and opts for Bluetooth LE. But it’s pretty and cheaper than Apple’s official keyboard, and probably feels great. [The Verge]
- iFixit broke out the tools and took apart the iPad Mini 5. While it looks the same on the outside, it has all new guts. [iFixit]
- Cloudflare is bringing a new VPN service called Warp to iOS. [9to5Mac]
The iPad Pro is an interesting product. It’s positioned to be more powerful than the iPad (which is honestly pretty powerful on its own) but still not quite a laptop. It’s not a true Surface Pro competitor either. It’s kind of all on its own; doing its own thing. There really isn’t a product that competes with it.
I had high hopes for the Google Pixel Slate as a true iPad Pro competitor— a product that had the chops to be a powerful laptop, but still kept the simplicity that makes a tablet so great. Turns out that’s not the case and it’s a bomb of a product. Go figure.
So as it stands, the iPad Pro is still on a realm all its own. More powerful than a regular tablet, not quite as useful as a laptop for most users.
Google News: A More Secure Play Store?
Plus security updates for Pixel and Essential, a pretty terrible bug in Skype for Android, and grocery ordering from Google Assistant.
- Google says the Play Store is more secure than ever before. At the same time, more malware is being found on the Play Store every day. Kind of makes you wonder how bad it was before. [TechRadar]
- April security updates are available now for Pixel and Essential phones. [XDA Developers]
- That same update also fixes the Pixel 3’s ambient display bug. [Android Police]
- Walmart is bringing its online grocery ordering service to Google Assistant later this year. You’ll be able to say “Hey Google, talk to Walmart” and add things to your cart. Interesting. [Walmart]
- Skype for Android had a bug that would automatically answer incoming calls even if the “automatically answer incoming calls” option was disabled. The good news is that a fix is already rolling out. [XDA developers]
- If you’re interested in an Android build that’s focused on security, check out GrapheneOS. It’s a new project from the lead developer of CopperheadOS, another security-focused Android fork. [Liliputing]
Over the weekend, Motherboard published a piece about a new type of government malware found on the Play Store. Now, Google is saying the Play Store is more secure than ever.
I’m inclined to believe Google’s take here, timing be damned. I’m sure Google Play Protect is doing its job and getting better at it every day. The issue is that Android is more popular than ever and would-be attackers know it. So while security is tighter, there are more attacks than ever before. And make no mistake here—attackers are clever. New types of malware are showing up all the time; things that Play Protect doesn’t yet know to look for.
But these types of attacks and malicious apps are also in part what makes Play Protect better. A new type of malware “teaches” Play Protect a new trick. Then another new type is released. Rinse, repeat.
When it comes down to it, however, I firmly believe that Android is a secure operating system and doens’t have a malware issue. These edge cases are often talked about and even highlighted by the media, but they’re just that: edge cases. As long as you do a little due diligence when installing things, you’ll be fine.
Other News: Toshiba’s Rebrand and Return to the Consumer Laptop Market
Plus malware in pirated Game of Thrones downloads and Sony’s new refund policy for pre-ordered PlayStation games.
- Toshiba disappeared from the consumer laptop market for a while, but now it’s rebranding its consumer line as Dynabook and launching a bunch of new machines. [Gizmodo]
- In what should be a surprise to no one, a bunch of pirated downloads of Game of Thrones were found to contain malware. Also, don’t pirate things. [TechRadar]
- Sony recently updated its PlayStation refund policy to include pre-ordered games. As long as you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can get your money back. [CNET]
- Verizon announced a “Just Kids” plan today with parental controls, 5GB of data, and smart family features. [Verizon]
So let’s talk about this Toshiba thing. Back in 2015, the company was hit with a $1.2 billion lawsuit that left the company struggling. But last year it finalized an 80.1 percent sale of its PC business to Sharp. So now Sharp basically owns Toshiba’s PC business, but it doesn’t appear to have changed anything. So really, it’s still Toshiba. But it’s also Sharp.
To avoid confusion and create a new name for itself, the new PCs are being released under a new brand: Dynabook. According to Gizmodo, Dynabook will still honor Toshiba warranties, which makes sense because it’s the same company.
In fact, the new laptops look a lot like old Toshiba laptops. Looks like nothing really changed in the company’s three years out of the US market—it’s going to release the same tired hardware with a new name.
To learn more about Dynabook, head here (which is hilariously found at us.toshiba.com). Also, does “Dynabook” sound like a cheap knock-off brand to anyone else?