2017 ISP Privacy Regulations in the United States: All You Need to Know

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There’s been a lot of buzz about the US Congress’ recent vote to block FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations protecting consumer privacy over broadband Internet access – and on Monday, April 4th, President Trump officially signed the bill into law.

This move disapproves the FCC privacy rules, and has implications for both consumer privacy and open Internet principles. Below we take a look at what happened, what you can do to protect your privacy, and where we go from here.

What exactly happened?

The FCC passed new privacy regulations applicable to broadband providers (ISPs) in 2016 which required ISPs to obtain explicit “opt-in” consent from consumers before they could share and sell their personal information (i.e. browser history, location, communications) to third parties. The FCC rules were slated to go into effect in early 2017, but the FCC stayed the rules on March 3 — meaning they didn’t take effect.

Congress separately considered whether to reject the privacy rules under a statute called the Congressional Review Act, and both Senate and the House voted to disapprove them on March 23 and 28 respectively. On April 3, President Trump signed the bill into law – which killed the regulations and permanently precludes the FCC from adopting “substantially similar” rules in the future.

This was a “win” for broadband providers, who stridently opposed the overall net neutrality rules and specific broadband privacy rules, arguing that different and fewer rules govern large web-based companies that also collect and sell user information (for example Facebook, Google). Opponents also claim the rules are an unfair burden to ISPs that could confuse consumers and stifle innovation.

Implications for privacy and providers

The repeal means ISPs will continue to face less regulation, and they can continue to sell and profit from user information. It also preserves the existing duopoly situation that exists among ISPs, wherein US consumers generally only have one or two Internet providers to choose from (Time Warner Cable and Comcast provide Internet to nearly ¾ of new subscribers).

The repeal of the ISP rules maintains this provider control over the market. As a result, consumers are still subject to the same (albeit invasive) ISP data selling and sharing practices that were already occurring. Despite what some outlets are reporting, because the rules never actually went into place no consumer protections were actually “lost.”

If the FCC wishes to protect consumer privacy down the road, they will have to devise an entirely new framework governing ISPs. It’s likely any new rules will be general and not include a requirement for to opt-in, but will enable sharing by default. It’s also likely privacy protections AT LARGE will be rewritten following this outcome. Press reports certainly indicate the FCC plans to start the process of repealing the underlying 2015 “net neutrality” rule in the near future.

Protect your privacy with a VPN

Without stronger privacy rules governing ISPs, your personal information will continue to be shared and sold to third parties, potentially without your knowledge or consent. This leaves you with little control over your personal information including revealing information like location, sites visited, communications content, financial details and much more. Luckily, there is something you can do to protect yourself and your privacy – use a VPN.

The best thing you can do is use a VPN every time you connect to the Internet and on all your devices. A VPN encrypts your Internet connection preventing anyone – including your ISP – from viewing your online activity or personal details. VyprVPN is an effective tool to protect your privacy and prohibits your ISP from viewing browsing history, location and other personal details. If they cannot view your information, they cannot sell it, so a VPN is a great way to protect your privacy online despite invasive ISP snooping practices.

It’s time to change the conversation

While privacy protections are important, there’s also a larger issue at play here – Open Internet (or what some refer to as net neutrality). At Golden Frog, we believe it’s time for the conversation to change. We need to stop zeroing-in on the FCC privacy regulations and instead look at everything regarding Internet access and consumer privacy. To start, let’s take a quick look back at net neutrality…

The Open Internet Order took effect in 2015, but it was in fact a compromise – and ultimately an admission of failure. It’s true that the recent FCC privacy regulations would have been beneficial, but they were only necessary because of the existing net neutrality framework. They wouldn’t have been needed if the FCC had retained the prior rules in place (since the 1970s!) that required open, interoperable networks and open access to local monopolies’ basic bottleneck infrastructure.

These rules gave us the Internet to begin with, but the FCC started repealing them in the early 2000s causing thousands of independent ISPs (many of whom had privacy protective policies) to go out of business. Today the big companies are still in control, and continue to further expand their control by surveilling users and selling user information.

At Golden Frog, we have always valued choice, transparency and fully competitive markets. And now, given the current atmosphere, it’ time to reassess whether the failed “net neutrality” rules were the right answer. In a way, they represented final acceptance of monopoly markets as they didn’t provide adequate regulatory protection. Golden Frog supported the FCC privacy regulations (along with many others who value privacy and choice) at the time, because they granted consumers some additional control under the existing framework. But we’ve always contended the net neutrality framework was misguided because it all depends on regulators to constrain powerful interests. At this point, we need to reevaluate what we are fighting for.

A renewed call for open access

The right answer is a return to fully open, interoperable basic networks, and consumer choice in Internet access – or Open Access. In the current market most consumers have little or no choice in their provider, and even where two providers exist they have basically the same policies.

Open Access would allow for lots of Internet providers, rather than the duopoly-type situation that exists today. This would prevent broadband providers from controlling consumer privacy and data because consumers could choose providers that are more privacy-friendly and decide how they want their information to be handled.

As we are revisiting the debate at large, we believe it’s time to move past the context of the ISP privacy regulations, and revisit our approach to Internet privacy and access as a whole. It’s time for us to revisit open access.

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The best free malware removal tool 2017

The best free malware removal tools

Keeping your antivirus software up to date will ensure your PC is protected from new viruses as soon as they emerge, but there are other malicious programs to be aware of. For example, adware and spyware don’t behave like viruses, and might escape detection.

That’s why you need a malware removal tool. Here we’ve picked out the programs we trust to protect our PCs from all kinds of threats – both broad-spectrum security suites to replace your existing antivirus software, and smaller malware removal tools to supplement it. We’ve also looked at programs that will identify and eliminate malware infections on friends’ and relatives’ PCs – essential if you’ve become the family tech support.

Note that you should only have one antivirus program installed on your PC at a time to avoid potential software conflicts.

If you suspect that your PC is suffering a malware infection, Malwarebytes is the best tool around for identifying, isolating, and removing it

1. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

The most effective malware remover, with deep scans and daily updates to find the latest threats

If you suspect a malware infection, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should be your first port of call. It’s updated daily, so you can trust it to identify and remove new threats the minute they appear.

The first time you install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you’re given a 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it reverts to the basic free version. This has to be activated manually, but is still a top-notch security tool. We recommend running it at least once a week to check or any nasties that you haven’t noticed, or if you notice that your web browser has suddenly started acting strangely (likely a result of adware).

Last year, Malwarebytes bought Adwcleaner, which – as its name suggests – targets and removes annoying programs that hijack your browser by changing your homepage, resetting your default search engine, or adding unwanted toolbars. It’s also available free, and along with Anti-Malware, is a great addition to your security toolkit.

Download here: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender is our favorite free antivirus software, it it also protects your PC from adware, trackers, and other forms of malware. If you’re considering totally overhauling your security suite, it comes highly recommended

2. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Prevention is better than cure, and Bitdefender delivers both in one slick package

If you’re thinking about replacing your antivirus software, check out Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. It has a dedicated anti-malware engine to help you avoid an infection in the first place, and mop up any existing problems.

One of BitDefender’s best features is the ability to scan files or folders that look a bit suspicious by simply dragging and dropping them onto its home screen (it might be a good idea to do this with your Downloads folder if you’ve noticed some funny business lately). Any unpleasantness detected by the malware removal engine will be swiftly quarantined, and can be disposed of at your leisure.

BitDefender is unobtrusive, but its Protection Shield will alert you to any malicious attempts to compromise your system. All in all, it’s an excellent foundation for your anti-malware arsenal.

Download here: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ is another full antivirus suite with superb anti-malware tools built in

3. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Ad-Aware can replace your main antivirus or work a supplement to eliminate brand new malware

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ is another great option if you’re building an anti-malware toolkit from the ground up. It includes a virtual environment where suspicious programs can be analysed to see if they behave like malware (a technique known as heuristic analysis). This means you’re always protected from new malware – even if you’re the very first person to be affected and the malicious program isn’t yet in Ad-Aware’s database of known threats. The malware can then be safely contained and removed.

All this happens quietly in the background, and can be suspended temporarily if you want your processor’s full power for a gaming session.

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ can also scan downloads before you install them, helping prevent malware infestations in the first place by filtering their most common point of entry.

If you already have an antivirus program you trust, you can opt to install a version of Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ without real-time scanning, so it won’t cause conflicts and can work as a security supplement instead.

Download here: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

If a family member’s PC is acting up – producing popups, or resetting browser preference – Emsisoft Emergency Kit is the perfect tool for identifying and eliminating the source of the problem

4. Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Portable malware removal that’s perfect if you’ve been assigned the role of home tech support

If you’re called in to help a friend with a malware infestation, Emsisoft Emergency Kit is the tool for you. It’s a portable app, so you can keep it handy on a USB stick, or your cloud storage service of choice (it’s only 591GB, though it does generate log files, which will take up a little extra room).

Like any malware removal tool, Emsisoft Emergency Kit has a database of current threats, and the PC you’re cleaning needs an internet connection so the software can check for updates.

Once it’s updated itself, it scans the PC for threats and quarantines anything it finds to stop it doing further damage to your system. After a quick reboot, the files will be deleted.

Download here: Emsisoft Emergency Kit

One of SUPERAntiSpyware’s best features is the ability to scan ZIP archives without extracting them first. If you like downloading and experimenting with free software, it’s very useful

5. SUPERAntiSpyware

All-round protection from malicious software that gives you full control over manual scans

The free edition of SUPERAntiSpyware detects all forms of malicious software – including adware and spyware – and removes every trace quickly and efficiently.

If you suspect that a particular file might contain malware, you can submit it to SUPERAntiSpyware’s threat labs, where its behavior will be analyzed. It’s not as fast or convenient as tools that scan files using a virtual machine, but is a good option if your system is low on resources.

You can also control which types of file are scanned, whether SUPERAntiSpyware should follow shortcuts, and whether it should check inside ZIP archives – very handy if you’ve downloaded a program in an archive and want to check it before extracting the contents.

Scans must be performed manually, but SUPERAntiSpyware’s granular control makes it a great choice for more confident users.

Download here: SUPERAntiSpyware

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US citizens flocking to the one tool that can guarantee their privacy

A new piece of research has found that almost all Americans are unhappy with the recent ditching of the FCC’s privacy rules that prevent ISPs from sharing users’ browsing data with third-parties – and the majority are happy to pay for a VPN in order to keep said data private.

The survey found that no less than 92% of US citizens disagreed with the repeal of the regulations which President Trump signed off last week, and believed that ISPs should not be allowed to monitor their online activity or sell the resulting data without consent.

Comparitech.com conducted the study which gathered online responses from some 1,200 US residents last week.

Other findings included the fact that six out of ten respondents said they’d change their browsing habits in some way due to the new legislation, and 80% said that if their particular congress representative or senator had voted for the bill to repeal the rules, they’d be ‘dissuaded’ from voting for that politician in the future.

Half of respondents said that they would pay extra for their ISP to keep their browsing data private, and as we already mentioned, the majority of those surveyed – 60% – said they were happy to pay for a VPN subscription to maintain their privacy.

There has certainly been far more interest in VPNs since last month, as we’ve seen a clearly inflated amount of Google searches for the term ‘VPN’ since before the FCC’s rules were actually cast aside. The above statistics underline this observation.

VPN vitals

Of course, if you are going the VPN route, you need to pick a quality provider you trust, as even if the encrypted connection hides your browsing history from the ISP, it won’t be hidden from the VPN outfit itself.

And as Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate at Comparitech.com, further observed: “While using a VPN is a simple solution to maintain privacy, in the wake of the broadband privacy repeal, we’ve seen reports of VPN-related scams capitalising on the new law. So users must choose a VPN with care.

“Many VPNs found on app stores and Google can actually worsen privacy by mining data, injecting advertisements into web browsers, or even deploying malware.”

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered here at TechRadar with a bunch of recommendations on the best VPNs to use.

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Telegram app brings its secure calls feature to Australia

Alternative messaging service Telegram has officially rolled out support for secure internet-based phone calls in Australia with its latest version (3.18) of the app.

The voice-call feature was introduced to Europe a little over a week ago, with the company promising the same feature for the rest of world “very soon”. Now it’s delivered on that promise with the feature unlocking for Australian users of its apps overnight.

Telegram’s Calls feature is apparently built using the same custom end-to-end encryption that is found in its Secret Chats (an approach which has been criticised by some in the security industry), although voice-chat will use a simplified verification system. Instead of a key-style verification seen in the service’s chats, both the caller and the recipient of the call will be presented with four emojis on-screen that they can verbally compare. If they all match, the call is secure.

The service will prioritise peer-to-peer connections for your calls, allowing for higher clarity audio signals, or will use the company’s own server infrastructure if the apps are unable to establish a priority connection. Telegram is also hoping to use integrated AI to optimise this feature based on each individual user’s usage (and the company promises this’ll happen without collecting anything sensitive), such as improving the quality of calls on your specific network.

Telegram is available across most platforms for free, with mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, as well as desktop clients for Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems.

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Download of the day: CherryPlayer

CherryPlayer

CherryPlayer is a superb media player that’s designed to make finding new music a breeze.

Not only is CherryPlayer an excellent choice for playing and managing your media library, with support for all the most popular audio and video formats, it can also stream content straight from the biggest music and video portals.

Why you need it

CherryPlayer’s killer feature is its ability to stream new chart music straight from Billboard, Last.fm, YouTube and BBC Radio, helping you keep up to date and discover new songs in moments.

Other supported sites include Twitch.TV, making CherryPlayer a good choice for gamers as well.

You can also use CherryPlayer to download content from your favorite sites, though bear in mind that you should only download videos and music if you have the copyright holder’s permission.

Download here: CherryPlayer

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Download of the day: OpenRocket

OpenRocket

OpenRocket is a strangely addictive spacecraft simulator that lets you design your own rocket from nosecone to tail fins. Once you’ve finished, OpenRocket launches it into simulated space and shows you how it performs in the air.

Why you need it

It might be rocket science, but building your own spacecraft is straightforward and fun. Just select and add components (internal and external), then adjust options such as size and shape. There are helpful notes to explain any particularly esoteric terms.

Once you’re confident that your creation is spaceworthy, OpenRocket will simulate its flight, giving you real-time details of its altitude, velocity and acceleration. The simulation is extremely detailed, and you can see the effect of each of your choices on its performance.

OpenRocket is brilliant fun, and completely free. Download it today and give it a try!

Download here: OpenRocket

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Windows 10 setup now supports voice commands, thanks to Cortana

The way you install Windows has changed forever, because you can now use your voice to help set up Windows 10. This can be done either with a clean install you’re performing yourself, or on a new PC you’ve just purchased and are firing up for the first time.

Yes, Cortana has been introduced to the operating system’s initial setup process with the Creators Update – which has been available to install manually since the middle of the week. Now, you can save wear and tear on that mouse or keyboard, listen to the digital assistant prompt you, and vocalize your selection of options during setup.

There are a couple of things to note here: firstly, using Cortana is optional. From the off, you can tell the assistant to shut up if you wish, and handle things the old-fashioned way.

Secondly, not every option can be dictated by voice. As Windows Central notes, more complicated menus still require selections to be made with an input peripheral.

For example, the new privacy settings, which involve multiple sliders and a good deal of explanation text, must be handled with a mouse or keyboard (or your touchscreen, if you have one).

But, if you want Cortana’s guidance and help a good deal of the time during the setup process, it’s there.

  • For an even simpler setup, consider one of these Chromebooks

Image Credit: Windows Central

Convivial Cortana

While the idea of a Cortana-assisted installation will doubtless make some users shake their heads, there are less tech-savvy folks out there who will more than likely benefit from the help. And, perhaps more importantly, a feeling of talking to their computer rather than battling with it could create an overall less intimidating vibe to Windows setup.

Microsoft has big plans for Cortana, and in the grand scheme of things, wants the virtual assistant not just on your PC, but also on all manner of devices across the smart home.

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Google’s fact checking feature now works on all searches worldwide

Search engine giant Google has rolled out an enhanced fact check feature for all searches made on the site from today.

This comes as part of a global move to fight the proliferation of fake news and incorrect information, with rising concern over political and social use of news stories made to mislead the public.

Google has had this fact checking feature on Google News since October 2016 in the US and UK, but it’s now been rolled out to its main search engine.

The feature provides fact checking sites, such as Snopes and Politifact, with richer snippets in their Google search results highlighting whether a particular news story or internet myth is true of false.

This means that you can see if the news is ‘fake’ without having to actually click through and read the article.

Fact checking site Snopes debunks myth in search results

Pushing back

While this is a welcome new addition, it doesn’t do anything to affect the ranking of the articles. If the fact check article would normally show up on page four, it will still show up on page four, just with enhanced information being displayed.

It also won’t flag sites which deal in satire, so anyone fooled by those pushing out this type of content will still have to do their own investigative work to realize the web page they’re reading is just a bit of fun.

Facebook introduced a similar, but slightly better, feature back in December 2016 with its ‘Disputed by’ tab appearing at the bottom of posts.

This means that if certain affiliated third parties – including Snopes and Politifact – disagree with a story, a tab appears at the bottom of the share window saying “Disputed by ….”, effectively intercepting the story before it can be read and disseminated.

All this demonstrates that the fight about fake news is being taken seriously online. In good time too, with recent moves in Europe to introduce legislature about fake news and hate crimes on social media.

On Wednesday, the German government approved a bill that will impose fines on social media sites that fail to remove fake news or hate speech, with the time limits and fines adjusted for how obviously fake it is, and how long it takes to get it removed.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months how all of these measures affect the spread of fake news. If they help people to become better informed, we certainly welcome them.

Via TechCrunch

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Facebook Messenger has a new AI assistant

Facebook has announced the release of an AI assistant known simply as ‘M’ for its Messenger app that will pop into your chats and suggest actions it can perform for you depending on what you’re talking about.

M isn’t intended to be an in-your-face and always present assistant. Instead the system will quietly analyze your conversations in real-time and call M to action when you use key-words that trigger its capabilities.

At the moment, the actions M is able to take include sending stickers, sending payment requests, initiating apps such as Uber and Lyft, starting polls, sharing your location and formalizing plans.

Helpful suggestions

M’s actions are optional and its suggestions will pop up in the chat window like any other message, allowing you to either take it up on its suggested actions or disregard them completely.

If, for example, you were to be chatting to a friend and one of you mentioned meeting at a certain place and time, M would pop up and offer the ‘make a plan’ suggestion.

Clicking on this would allow you to set a time and a place for meeting your friend and then M would remind you of your plans an hour before they take place.

Or, if someone were to ask you where you are, M would give you the option to share your location. Would you rather they didn’t know? Just swipe the suggestion to the side and forget it was ever made.

Facebook has been working on this M feature for a while with testing starting in December of last year. Things have obviously progressed well as Facebook has started rolling it out to iOS and Android users across the US with a global expansion planned eventually.

M suggestions is just a part of Facebook’s grand plans for bot integration in Messenger. Rather than a standalone bot that you ask to perform specific tasks, however, it’s an example of how AI can be weaved almost seamlessly into conversation in order to provide contextual help without the user having to ask or seek it out.

If M is perhaps too similar to the annoying paperclip from Microsoft Word for you, however, you will be able to mute it completely or mute certain suggestions it can make in the app’s software settings panel.

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Apple watchOS 3 and watchOS 3.2 features and updates

Update: Apple’s WatchOS 3.2 update for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 is here and so is watchOS 3.2.2 beta. Here are all of the recent change and every single watchOS 3 feature.

WatchOS 3 and WatchOS 3.2 are the new software updates that finally make owning an Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 a worthwhile investment.

Your smartwatch is instantly faster (in speed, not actual time, silly) than it was with watchOS 2, yet it’s still able to deliver powerful new features without slowdown.

WatchOS 3’s interface is cleaner and since the launch of watchOS 3.2, it has had fewer bugs. Pair it with an iPhone running iOS 10, and it’s the Apple Watch done right.

Now that Apple watchOS 3.2 has launched, there’s a lot more to explore. Here’s a breakdown of what we found from watchOS 3 through watchOS 3.2.2 beta.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next version of Apple’s smartwatch operating system
  • When’s it out? Download it today
  • What will it cost? Nothing, it’s a free upgrade!

watchOS 3 to watchOS 4

Just a heads up: We may see watchOS 4 on June 5, the confirmed keynote date for WWDC 2017. But we don’t expect an Apple Watch 3 release date there.

WWDC is when Apple usually announces the next version of its software, so we expect everything from a new macOS to iOS 11 to watchOS 4.

We don’t have a watchOS 4 features list at this time – not even rumors yet – so let’s move onto the next update: watchOS 3.2 while we wait.

watch 3.2 beta and watchOS 3.1 update

  • watchOS 3.2 launched on Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Theater Mode (in Control Center) turns off raise to wake
  • Adds message effect replays and accessibility features

Apple launched watchOS 3.2 alongside iOS 10.3 on Monday, March 27, and in the five-month wait between it and watchOS 3.1 on October 24, we got a handful of useful features.

The new Theater Mode turns off the ‘raise to wake’ feature we love – most of the time. It’s a real problem when we’re in a darkened movie theater, for example.

Before watchOS 3.2, you were always ‘that person’ every time you moved your arm in the movies. Accidentally sleeping with the Apple Watch on was a problem too.

Now, you can just flip open Control Center (swipe up from the bottom) and tap the comedy/tragedy Greek theater masks. It’ll initiate theater mode.

Your Apple Watch turns to Silent Mode and the screen remains darkened until you do one of three things: tap the screen, press the Digital Crown or hit the side button.

watchOS 3

watchOS 3.1 was more of a bug-fixing update than anything else. However, it did have a few front-facing features to get excited about.

Ever miss a friend’s iMessage animation? Bubbles and full-screen effects like balloons go bye-bye very quickly if you don’t pay attention. Now you can replay these message effects thanks to watchOS 3.1.

Message effects now show up even if you have your Watch tuned to the more docile ‘Reduce Motion’ setting within the accessibility menu.

Finally, you’ll see more consistent Force Touch controls in conjunction with third-party apps, fewer Activity Ring watch face fails, no more Timer notification redundancies (I already hit snooze!), and zero charging errors.

Both watchOS 3.1 and watchOS 3.2 are compatible with all Apple Watches: the original Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2. So if you pick any one of the recent cheap Apple Watch deals, it’ll work with this software.

Best of all, watchOS 3.2 is completely free to download. You’ll just need an iPhone and a charged-up Apple Watch in order to complete the install process.

All Apple watchOS 3 features

The big update in watchOS 3 is in the optimization of your Watch, which makes it faster than ever before.

watch os 3

Remember this? It’s now a thing of the past

Apple wants to have your apps respond instantly and have all the information you need before you even look at it. No more waiting around for third-party apps to boot up.

Apps will now pre-load information in the background, and some apps are seven times faster than on watchOS 2. Even in beta form, our Watch was lightning fast by comparison. It can only get even faster in the future.

There’s a new Dock

There’s a new Dock section on the Watch that allows you to access your favorite apps even quicker than the hexagonal grid (which is still here, too). There can be up to ten apps within this app-switching menu.

The Dock is accessed via the side button – a much better use of it than the accessing your friends list. Your friends haven’t cared about your heartbeat since the week after everyone got their Apple Watch.

Our dock includes options such Messages, Timer, Workout, GoPro, Camera, Apple Home (new in iOS 10), Facebook Messenger, Mail, Google Tasks and Now Playing.

Control Center and SOS

The Dock means there’s no more Glances, which were similar in practice, but access from a swipe up gesture. Now that same gesture is dedicated to Control Center, just like on an iPhone.

watchOS 3

Control Center has expanded with watchOS 3. There’s a grid of toggle buttons: battery life, airplane mode, silent mode on/off, do not disturb, Find My iPhone, lock your smartwatch and AirPlay. It’s great that all of these essentials are one swipe away now and not buried within Glances.

There’s also another feature called SOS for when you’re in trouble and need the emergency services. It works by you holding down the side button (like you’re going to turn off the watch), and it ideal when you’re in a dangerous situation.

watchOS 3

It’ll ring the emergency services if your Watch is connected to your phone ,or use the internet if you’re on Wi-Fi. SOS will work around the world, no matter what country you are in.

It even connects with a new Medical ID feature now included in watchOS 3 that allows you to keep your emergency details and vital stats on your person, rather than just on your phone.

Apple watchOS 3 Activity

The exercise based Activity app on watchOS is going to get an upgrade as well. The focus is on competition with a feature called Activity sharing.

If you swipe to the right of your activity ring it’ll show your family and friends details too so you can start competitions.

WatchOS 3

Share and compete

It means you can send your heart rate to one of your friends or send a message with running details attached to show off your kickass workout.

Activity now also supports those in a wheelchair too. Apple has applied a number of major changes to the way Activity works on the Apple Watch for those who are in a wheelchair.

The notification “time to stand” will also switch to “time to roll” as well as the addition of two specific workout modes within the Activity app.

Apple watchOS 3 Breathe

Breathe is a new app to help you calm down after a stressful day at work – it’ll give you breathing exercises to try to help relax you. You can set up smart notifications to remind you to use the app and you have the choice of doing workouts from one to five minutes long.

Watch OS 3

You can even do it with your eyes closed – just switch on haptic feedback and the buzzes will tell you when to breathe in and out.

Apple watchOS 3 messages

Ways to respond to your messages have changed in watchOS 3 by including easy to see shortcuts for voice messages and emoji to make it even quicker to reply. That’s followed by your smart replies that sit just below the message you’re reading.

Watch OS 3

There’s also a new feature called Scribble that allows you to write a single letter on your watch at a time that will then build into a word. This works in a number of different languages too – you can even scribble in Chinese.

Apple watchOS 3 faces

It’s quicker than ever to switch your watch face – now it just takes a single swipe. You can even add elements such as the weather on top of your photo watch faces.

Watch OS 3

New activity faces

Maybe of favorite update: Minnie Mouse in now coming to Apple Watch, too, and joins the popular Mickey watch face.

You may have already seen the Apple WWDC demo in which the Minnie Mouse’s outfit colors can be customized, but did you know both Disney characters read the time aloud when tapped? It’s a neat, hidden watchOS 3 feature.

We’ll unlock more watchOS 3 secrets as Apple continues to updates roll out updates for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2.

TechRadar will remain your best source for hearing all about what’s new for the best smartwatch for iPhone.

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