Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 privacy-first DNS service is now available as an iOS app

I’ve been using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service on my Mac since reading a post by Kirk McElhearn on the Intego Mac Security Blog about the service. The service was introduced April 1st of this year and is designed to be faster than traditional DNS services and more private which is what got my attention.

There are a number of things to explain here. First, DNS, or domain name system, is the system that acts like a sort of phone book on the Internet. Instead of having to remember a numerical IP address, such as 96.126.119.191, you can type intego.com to go to the Intego website. There is a huge directory that records the correspondence between these numerical addresses and domain names to facilitate Internet usage, and to make it easy to move a domain from one server to another.

Most people rely on the DNS server provided by their ISP or phone company. By default, your Macs and iOS devices look for this DNS server, which is either specified in your router, or in the server your iPhone connects to, in order to perform this address translation. But you don’t need to use this DNS server; you can use any one you want. In many cases, ISP’s DNS servers may not be the fastest ones, and this can have a big effect on your Internet usage. For example, if a web page is made up of multiple elements, that are not all hosted on the same server, your browser has to request these elements at a number of servers, and each different domain name requires a new request.

In addition, some ISPs may record the metadata of your Internet activity, or the requests you make: the websites you visit, the servers you connect to, and more.

Now, months after announcing its privacy-focused DNS service, Cloudflare is introducing an iOS app. Having had a good experience using 1.1.1.1 on my Macs I didn’t hesitate to install the iOS app on my iPhone and iPad. I’ve been running the app now for several days and it has been working great and definitely seems to be faster.

For instructions on setting up 1.1.1.1 on your Mac visit this page using your Mac and scroll down to Setup on Mac. For iOS, you can download the app from the App Store, or to set it up manually visit this page using your iOS device and scroll down to Setup on iOS.

Web Finds for October 17, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

So You’ve Frozen Your Credit Files. Here Are Tips on Unfreezing Them.
People who had already established security freezes, and now want to thaw them to apply for a loan or credit card, will see a difference. With the new law taking effect, two bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion — this month abandoned the use of personal identification numbers, or PINs, to manage freezes online. (PINs are still needed, though, if you want to lift a freeze by calling on the phone.)
Via New York Times

Sneaky subscriptions are plaguing the App Store – TechCrunch
Subscriptions have turned into a booming business for app developers, accounting for $10.6 billion in consumer spend on the App Store in 2017, and poised to grow to $75.7 billion by 2022. But alongside this healthy growth, a number of scammers are now taking advantage of subscriptions in order to trick users into signing up for expensive and recurring plans. They do this by intentionally confusing users with their app’s design and flow, by making promises of “free trials” that convert after only a matter of days, and other misleading tactics.
Via TechCrunch

How To Set Up An Appointment At An Apple Store – AppleToolBox
Is your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple Product not working or behaving as expected and you need to make an appointment at your local Apple Store? But can’t figure out how to do that? If so, we got you covered with these easy steps to help you set up an appointment at an Apple Store with those Apple Geniuses!
Via AppleToolBox

Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out next year – The Verge
If you’ve ever bought a Wi-Fi router, you may have had to sort through specs that read like complete gibberish — like “802.11ac” or “a/b/g/n.” But going forward, Wi-Fi is adopting version numbers so that it’ll be easier to tell whether the router or device you’re buying is on the latest version.
Via The Verge

Previous Web Finds are here.

Ulysses Share Extension now on Mac

A feature that has been missing in Ulysses on the Mac has been a share extension. Since I do my research, information gathering and writing on a Mac this involved a lot of copy and paste. This would always be a sore spot for me and I would think to myself why can’t Ulysses have a Mac share extension like Bear. Well, no more complaining because Ulysses version 14.2 for Mac included a share extension. Thanks to the share extension I can now send text, links, and images directly to Ulysses.

If your not familiar with the share extension here’s a Ulysses share extension tutorial.

iOS Safari content blockers

Ben Brooks has published his test results for Safari content blockers. Since I’ve been thinking about a different blocker I found his testing to be helpful. Up until today, I’ve been using the original 1Blocker which is now called Legacy since 1Blocker X was introduced several months ago. By the way, 1Blocker X is Ben’s overall number one pick.

My concern has been whether the developer will continue to update the Legacy app?

So after reading Ben’s evaluation I’m switching over to BlockBear his second choice overall but his first choice for those who don’t want to tinker with the settings and that’s me. As a side note, I also use TunnelBear VPN by the same developer.

Safari Content Blocker Evaluations – 9/26/18 Edition

I ran another round of content blocker testing for Mobile Safari in order to take a look at which ones are the ‘best’ right now. To be fair: it’s really hard to find these content blockers on the App Store now, so I grabbed the ones which looked the most popular to me (top lists, and top search results) and then did the testing to see which was the best.

BLOCKBEAR

My overall rating on this was: quick, not perfect. If I needed to tell a non-technical friend or family member which content blocker to use, this would be the content blocker I would tell them to use. The setup is “cute” and dead simple. The entire app is dead simple actually, and it worked pretty well overall. No customization, but it does have whitelisting if that family member keeps having trouble with a site.

And it is fast, as it is tied for the fastest of the group. It’s not what I recommend for most people who regularly read this site, as I suspect you’ll want the features of 1Blocker X. That said, I can understand why you would use this. It’s simple and easy. And that you can whitelist from the share sheet in Safari, only makes it an even better pick for those who want ease of use.

How to get Safari Favicons on Mac and iOS

One complaint I and many others have had with Safari was the lack of Favicons in tabs. Well, with Safari 12 on Mac and iOS complain no more.

To enable Favicons on tabs in macOS:
First off you will need to have updated to Safari 12 and be running either Sierra or High Sierra. Now open Safari and go to Preferences > Tabs > Show website icons and check the box.

To enable Favicons on tabs in iOS:
First off you will need to running iOS 12. Now open Settings and go to Safari > Show icons in tabs and turn it on.

Bear turns off Markdown compatibly mode with today’s update on Mac and iOS

I was ticked off this morning after updating Bear on all my devices. All my notes were looking a little strange. I first noticed it in my todo lists. The checkboxes didn’t look right and bold was no longer bold.

Here’s the solution. Go into Settings > General and turn Markdown compatibly mode back on and everything will be okay. You’ll need to do this on each device that you have Bear installed on.

This is a bad move by the developer. They should know better.

Interact with Things 3 using Alfred

I wanted to share this cool Alfred Workflow, Things for Alfred, with you since I know a lot of you have moved to Things 3 since its launch. Here’s what it does.

Using the keyword todo

  • Use the keyword todo to show Things lists and action any of them for displaying the corresponding to-dos.
  • Action a to-do to display it in the Things UI.
  • Try the modifier keys either in lists or in to-dos for more actions.