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Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

The iPhone saw all kinds of big news this year, from the release of iOS 8, to jailbreak apps and tweaks. Let's take a look back on the year's best posts.

It was a big year for iOS, with a jailbreak for iOS 7, then the release of the new iPhone 6, iOS 8, and of course, a ton of awesome apps.

The Best Jailbreak Apps and Tweaks for iOS 7

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Now that iOS 7 is jailbroken and the drama has settled down, it's time to actually start playing around with some jailbreak apps. Here are some of our favorites currently available in Cydia for iOS 7.

Five Best iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Cases

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

If you've recently picked up a shiny new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you probably want something to protect it from drops and falls, or scratches and dings. There are tons of cases available, from the super-expensive to the slim and cheap. This week we're looking at five of the best, based on your nominations and votes.

MovieBox Streams Video Torrents on iOS, No Jailbreak Required

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

iOS: Yesterday, the popular streaming app Popcorn Time made its way to iOS on jailbroken devices. If you're not jailbroken but still want to get in on the action, MovieBox is a similar app that you can install on any device.

The Best Photography Apps for iPhone: 2014 Edition

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

The iPhone has a fantastic camera, but to truly get the best experience, you want to grab a few extra apps. Here's what every iPhone photographer can use in their toolkit.

All the New Stuff in iOS 8

iOS 8 is out right now. It's not as visually different as iOS 7, but it's still packed with all kinds of new stuff. Here's a list of all the new stuff that really matters.

How to Fix the Most Common iMessage Problems

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Apple's iMessage is a great way to get around text messaging fees and send messages to other Apple users for free, but it's not without its problems. Unfortunately, unlike traditional SMS, the problems don't seem to magically work themselves out on their own, so here's how to fix some of the more common issues you might come across.

Top 10 Secret Features of iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Every time Apple releases a new version of iOS, they include a handful of cool hidden features they don't usually cover in the press conference. This year's no different. Here are the 10 best secret features in iOS 8.

How to Fix iOS 8's Biggest Annoyances

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Every operating system has its share of annoyances and iOS 8 is no different. From an obnoxious U2 album to recent contacts appearing where you don't want them, here's how to fix some of the worst annoyances.

How to Jailbreak Your iPhone: The Always Up-to-Date Guide [iOS 8.1]

Jailbreaking is a process that changes little by little with each iOS upgrade. Rather than always publishing new guides, we're simply going to keep this one up to date. If you want to jailbreak your iOS device, you've come to the right page.

Quitting All Your Apps in iOS Can Actually Worsen Battery Life

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

It's long been prescribed that when your iPhone's battery is running poorly that you close out all the running apps to help preserve battery life (we've mentioned it before). That makes sense if you're using a computer, but as writer (and former Genius Bar technician) Scotty Loveless points out, that's simply not the case in iOS.

Third-Party Apps That Are Better Than the Official Counterparts

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Services like Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube, or Wikipedia love to release official apps for their services. More often than not, third-party developers swoop in to make better apps to access those services than the official ones. We want to collect together the best of those apps.

How to Use All of Messages' New Features in iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

One of the surprising overhauls in iOS 8 is Messages. Apple changed a ton of stuff and added some new features to Messages that make it much more pleasant to use. Here's everything you need to know

The Best Extensions and Widgets for iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014iOS 8 is here and while Apple added a ton of stuff, some of the best additions are Share Sheets, Safari Extensions, photo editing extensions, and widgets. Finally, we can now customize iOS just a little bit more. Here are some of the best we've seen so far.

How to Upgrade to iOS 8 Right Now

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

The official release of iOS 8 isn't until September 17th, but you can install the final version right now even if you're not a developer. Here's how.

The Best Jailbreak Apps and Tweaks for iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014iOS 8 is already jailbroken, which means it's time to load it up with new tweaks, hacks, and apps. A ton of classic jailbreak apps have already been updated for iOS 8, and a bunch of new ones are all already available to take advantage of its best features. Here are some worth checking out.

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

iOS 8 launched this week, and with it came a slew of improvements and new features. Before you get to playing around with it for yourself, here are a few guides to basic new features, the new Messages functions, hidden features, keyboards, and everything else.

How to Set Up and Use Handoff in Yosemite and iOS 8

Handoff is Apple's new feature that integrates Yosemite and your iOS 8 device so you can start working on one device and then continue it on another. For example, you can start writing an email on your phone, then flip it over to your Mac when you realize you'd prefer a keyboard. Here's how to set it up and use it.

Lifehacker Pack for iPhone: Our List of the Essential iPhone Apps

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

The iPhone has the largest selection of apps on the mobile side, but that means it's also the most frustrating to find what's worthwhile. For our fourth annual Lifehacker pack for iPhone, we're highlighting the apps that help you stay productive, connected, informed, and entertained.

See Which iPhone 6 Size is Best for You with These Printable Cutouts

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Today Apple announced the iPhone 6 with a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5 inch screen. Preorders start soon on September 12th—with an official release on the 19th—so if you're not sure how the screen and size of each model will feel in your hands, these printable cutouts can help you get a good idea.

The Best Third Party Keyboards for iOS 8

Most Popular iPhone Downloads and Posts of 2014

Now that iOS 8 is here, it's brought with it a ton of third party keyboards that offer features that Apple's built-in keyboard doesn't. From better predictive text to cloud syncing and swipe-to-type, there are several to choose from, including some names you'll recognize. Let's take a look at the best of the best.

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Glimpse Stuffs Your Favorite Sites Into the Notification Center

iOS: If you incessantly check one or two web sites, then loading up Safari each time is a bit cumbersome. Glimpse lets you put any web page you want right in Notification Center. Once you pick a page to monitor, you select a small section of the page, ...
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The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

Your web browser knows a lot about you, and tells the sites you visit a lot about you as well—if you let it. We've talked about which browsers are best for privacy before, and the best tools to lock your browser down, but there are also entire browsers designed to keep your data as secure and private as possible. Let's take a look at some of them.

Whether your preferred browser is Chrome or Firefox, you have a few options to help you browse more securely—assuming that is, you're ready to give up on the version everyone else uses and try something new. Here are some options worth trying out.

Tor Browser

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

Tor is going through a rough period right now, but overall, the service is still excellent if you're looking to preserve your anonymity and privacy from the sites you visit, and from malicious tracking cookies and ads. For those unfamiliar, Tor routes your traffic across a series of relays designed to keep your real identity and computer as anomymous as possible. It's not perfect and it certainly has its drawbacks (which we don't have room to get into here), but if anonymity is your end goal, the Tor Browser (more specifically, the Tor Browser Bundle) is a great way to go.

The Tor Browser is based on Firefox, open source, and comes preconfigured to access the Tor network. The vast majority of built-in plugins and services have been disabled or stripped out, and it's important that you leave them that way, or else data you mean to keep private can leak to the sites you're visiting. Available for Windows, OS X, Linux, and in portable forms for all of those, it's a great way to surf when you're using an untrusted system, want to keep your identity close to pocket, get around content filtering or site-specific blocks, or keep your physical location a secret from the sites downstream (or anyone who may be watching along the way.) Remember though, Tor is designed for physical and digital anonymity, not security and encryption. What you do while you're using it may give away that anonymity (sending emails, logging on to web services, etc), and while communications inside the Tor network are encrypted, as soon as you leave the network, your data is in the clear (if it's not encrypted another way.)

Epic Privacy Browser

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

Epic Privacy Browser is based on Chromium, is open-source, and is available for Windows and OS X. We've highlighted Epic before, and while there's good, genuine skepticism about the browser—and its roots in Chromium (the open-source platform upon which Chrome is also based), overall Epic does what it promises. The browser blocks ads, tracking cookies, social boxes and widgets (until you interact with them), blocks tracking scripts and modules from loading (which results in faster-loading web pages), and sandboxes third-party processes and plugins. Epic Browser even encrypts your connection whenever possible (largely by shunting to HTTPS/SSL whenever it's available), routes your browsing through a proxy, and protects you from widgetjacking or sidejacking when you're browsing over Wi-Fi.

All of these features are great, but the browser itself is fast and works smoothly. Of course, it doesn't support extensions or plug-ins (this is by design—the more you add to a browser the more potential holes you open up for your data to leak through), and it's a little heavier than your normal Chrome install, but once it's up and running you shouldn't have a problem actually using it. You'll also have to give up some of the conveniences you may be used to to save your privacy—autofill, address saving, password saving, history, cache—all of those things are either never stored, or deleted when you close the browser. Of course, your privacy is worth it, but they're all things to keep in mind if you want to use Epic as your daily driver, or even as a more secure option if you're working with sensitive data.

Comodo Browsers

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

Comodo is an internet security company that's been in the business of protecting data for decades. You may know them best for Comodo Internet Security, their desktop antivirus and antimalware product, or Comodo Firewall, their lean, lightweight software firewall. Comodo also maintains three web browsers as well, and each of them offers additional protection that you won't find in a standard download of Chrome or Firefox.

Comodo Dragon (Chromium)

Comodo Dragon is a Chromium-based browser that was one of Comodo's first browsers. It incorporates a number of Comodo-branded tools into the browsing experience, like the company's own SSL validation, where every site you visit has its SSL certificate and identity validated by Comodo. You'll get a notification if everything is on the up and up or if Comodo thinks the site you're trying to visit is questionable. If you allow it to, Comodo will route all of your browsing through its secure, encrypted DNS, so you leave fewer traces of your movements around the web. Comodo Dragon also blocks third party tracking cookies, widgets, and other site components from loading. Of course, because it's branded by Comodo, it'll prompt you to use Comodo's other security products as well to compliment it, which is a little ironic if you're using a privacy-focused browser in order to not be sold to all the time. It's worth noting that Comodo says that Dragon will only run on Windows 7 and below (although we had no issues with it in Windows 8.)

Comodo Ice Dragon (Firefox)

Comodo Ice Dragon is another version of Comodo Dragon that's based on Firefox instead of Chromium. If you prefer the look, feel, or features of Firefox, this is the version you'll want to download. It offers the same level of protection, and like Comodo Dragon, it supports third party extensions. Also like Dragon, it'll scan pages for tracking elements and malware as soon as it loads, and warn you in advance if you're about to download something malicious. It does suffer from the same drawback as Comodo Dragon though—in the form that its branding can be a little aggressive. It supports Windows 7 and below (although again, we had no issues with it in Windows 8.)

Comodo Chromium Secure (Chromium)

Comodo Chromium Secure is a more up-to-date version of Comodo Dragon—if you want to ditch all of the branding, keep all of the protection, and go back to basics, Chromium Secure is the browser for you (and, if you're okay with a Chromium base, the one we recommend.) It looks and behaves like Chromium, and includes all of the best features of Comodo Dragon, including the on-site malware scanning, secure DNS, SSL and domain validation, and tracker blocking. It's just faster, strips out the Comodo branding (although it still suggests Comodo's additional products from time to time), and looks more like the Chrome you know and love, as opposed to a completely different and new browser.

Two Popular Privacy Browsers We Don't Recommend

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

These aren't the only web browsers promising to make the internet a safer place—but they are the ones we think are worth downloading. There are a few others however that we should call out but don't necessarily recommend:

  • SRWare Iron Browser: Iron Browser is Chromium based and promises to keep your data secure through all of the usual methods. They were some of the first people to call out this notion that Chrome calls home to Google all the time (which it does, but only if you allow it to or enable features that do so), and they promised to be Chrome with all the Google stuff stripped out. The reality wasn't so pretty—they're supposedly open source (but haven't released their source for years), and the browser doesn't really offer much you can't get by tightening down Chrome's own privacy features on your own. We can't recommend it, and you can read more about it in this old post about how Iron got its start, and this post about its supposed "tracking protection."
  • White Hat Aviator: Aviator has been heralded by some testers as "the most secure browser," even though it's both closed source (but based on Chromium, which is open source) and for a long time was only available on OS X. Aviator does have a lot to like—it defaults to Incognito mode, includes tools like Disconnect to block malicious ads and third-party tracking, blocks plugins like Flash until you enable them, defaults to DuckDuckGo instead of Google, and so on. On its face, that's all great—but again, it's nothing you can't do on your own, and as this Reddit thread notes, the browser has some serious issues. Some of those issues are technical, others are based on trust. Overall, it may be worth a shot, but you could roll your own Aviator so easily (and it offers less than some of the others above offer) that we can't really recommend it.

There's nothing really wrong with these privacy-focused browsers, but you do have better options available. Even so, they tend to come up when privacy is discussed, and they generally do what they promise they'd do. The problem however is that when it comes to privacy and security, if you're not able to look under the hood and make sure that what it promises to do is all it's doing, it's generally best to stay away. Trust between a user and a platform is critical, especially when it comes to privacy.

Alternatively: Tweak Chrome or Firefox for Privacy

The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers

If you're not terribly keen on the idea of downloading a brand new browser, moving all of your bookmarks, extensions, and other data over to it, and starting from scratch, don't worry—you can always just tweak Firefox or Chrome to be the browser you want it to be.

Of course, you can't remove some basic features like Google's built-in update engine for Chrome or Mozilla's engine for Firefox, but you can still do a lot. For example:

These are just a few steps, but if you follow them, your privacy and security should be in good shape (as long as you don't compromise it yourself.)

Even though those methods are more complicated, they're all good practices anyway, and it's better to familiarize yourself with them over the long run than trust a single application like a web browser to keep you safe—especially if you're not sure how it keeps you safe. Still, these are good starting points, and worth checking out if you're looking for a little extra protection.