Are Third-Party Keyboards Secure?

anas-alshanti-169265Third-party keyboards have been one of the biggest hits of iOS 8 since its launch last week. But are they secure? This concern derives from a standard warning displayed by iOS 8 when the keyboards are granted “full access.” Different keyboard apps break down their feature sets between standard install and “full access” differently.

The top free keyboard app this year was SwiftKey Keyboard. While the basic keyboard works with a standard installation, key features like word predictions and the finger-tracing typing require that full access be granted.  Naturally, users were worried that their information, was being sent back to SwiftKey.  Jennifer Kutz, Communications Chief for SwiftKey, assures users that despite the request for full access, “none of your language insights leave your device unless you choose our optional SwiftKey Cloud service.” Certain types of information such as credit card numbers, or any other long numbers, are intentionally ignored by SwiftKey.

The second most popular option is Fleksy Keyboard – Happy Typing.  Unlike SwiftKey, Fleksy does not require full access be granted in order for predictions to function. Full access is required, however, for other personalization and customization options such as pulling in Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter typing data.  Founder and chief operating officer Ioannis Verdelis says, “Fleksy performs all of its processing locally on the device, and does not need Full Access to perform its corrections.  Users can improve its performance if they want, by allowing network access so they can sync their language data, but this is completely optional.  We don’t collect people’s keystrokes, typing data, credit card numbers, etc, regardless of whether you enable Full Access or not.”

Lastly, the third most popular keyboard, Swype.  Rebecca Paquette of Nuance Communications states, “The features we were most focused on for our launch were speed and accuracy – a keyboard that is intuitive and powerful to use.”  Unlike some other keyboards, Swype does not include an option for pulling in typing data from Facebook and Gmail, and does not offer a cloud backup or syncing services.  This simplicity allows it to forgo the need for full access.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is trust. Granting a keyboard full access means that any data can be transmitted back the developer’s servers for a variety of uses. So while there are potential risks to granting a keyboard full access, users weighing the usefulness of a keyboard should be informed enough to consider whether or not to grant full access.

Sourced: 11/29/16

Neighbors & Friends

Our new location sure has it’s perks!  Our head office moved to 14343 W. 100th Street in Lenexa almost a month ago.  Near us is a granite company, the Panera test kitchen, and our favorite:  Yummylicous Cookie Company.    It might not be well known, but we are some sugar-loving fools here at Mission Repair.  So our President decided to stroll over and say, “Hi.”  Don’t let the store front fool you, they accept walk-in orders.  And their cookies…


A…MAZING.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Tuscan Espresso, Snickerdoodle, Caramel Apple Walnut…  And organic.  They’re so good!  This location keeps getting better and better.  Check out our neighbors at 14438 W. 100th St, in Lenexa.  And hey, maybe even get your phone fixed while you enjoy a cookie or twelve.


Holiday Hours

It’s that time of year again for celebrating with friends and family.  Our staff has been working feverishly to keep up with the growing demand for repairs, so we decided to give them a break.  Our retail locations in Mission and Olathe will be closed on

Friday Nov 25th (black Friday) and Monday December 26th.  

From the Mission Repair family to yours:

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Classes & Training


Are you new to Mac, or just looking to get more out of your purchase?  Are you used to creating documents using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but don’t really want to purchase the Microsoft suite again?  Apple offers incredible programs designed to accomplish the same goals, while offering additional features.  Pages, Numbers, iMovie and Keynote are excellent alternatives if you have a Mac.  It does, however, take a little getting used to.  Let us show you how to get started!

Not interested?  What about just understanding your hand-held devices better?  What does this button do?  Where is my email?!  Why am I getting my wife’s text messages on my iPad?  Technology today offers so many accessibility features intended to tailor phones and tablets to meet the needs of the user.  Everything from utilizing hand-off between your Apple devices, to something as basic as backing your iPhone up… our experienced technicians at Mission Repair can show you how.  After all, what’s the point in buying the Ferrari if you don’t see how fast it can go?

“I never back my phone up.  I don’t even know how,”  said the lady that just lost all her child’s first year of baby pictures in the pool.  Security is an ever-growing concern in this day in age.  Technology can be downright scary, but only if you don’t understand it.  Our course instructors are here to set your mind at ease.  “What is the cloud?  Is it secure?  Where does my data go? Do I have to use the cloud?”  No one wants to lose all their data in a catastrophe, but where can it be saved so it’s safe?  Rest assured Apple has gone to great lengths to protect their customers.  We can tell you all about it.  Keep an eye out for our training classes, launching this spring 2017.

Allan Lichtman’s Done it Again!

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Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, says he can predict the outcome of any U.S. presidential election. His predictions have been right in every presidential election since 1984, and often months or years in advance.

Lichtman and Volodia Keilis-Borok, a Russian scientist, came up with the keys in the early 1980s.  He makes his predictions based on 13 true/false statements that he says indicate whether the incumbent party will retain the White House or lose it in a given election.

The keys, which are explained in depth in Lichtman’s book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016” are:

  1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.
  2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
  3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
  4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.
  5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
  6. Long-term economy: Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
  7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
  8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
  9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
  10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
  11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
  12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
  13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

“Journalists don’t pay attention to that and treat the horse-race polls as though they were predictive of what’s going to happen many months from now. They’re not. Whereas the keys to the White House, which don’t use any polls, have two advantages. No. 1, they’re based upon a theory of how elections really work, not just on random looking at polls. No. 2, they tell you exactly what has to happen for one party or the other party to win. And thirdly, very often, they can make predictions years ahead of time. This is a difficult election to call, which is why I haven’t called it yet, but it’s not an impossible election to call.”

So was he right?  His prediction is as follows:

Based on the 13 keys, it would predict a Donald Trump victory. Remember, six keys and you’re out, and right now the Democrats are out — for sure — five keys.

Key 1 is the party mandate — how well they did in the midterms. They got crushed.

Key number 3 is, the sitting president is not running.

Key number 7, no major policy change in Obama’s second term like the Affordable Care Act.

Key number 11, no major smashing foreign policy success.

And Key number 12, Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.

“One more key and the Democrats are down, and we have the Gary Johnson Key. One of my keys would be that the party in power gets a “false” if a third-party candidate is anticipated to get 5 percent of the vote or more. In his highest polling, Gary Johnson is at about 12 to 14 percent. My rule is that you cut it in half. That would mean that he gets six to seven, and that would be the sixth and final key against the Democrats.  So very, very narrowly, the keys point to a Trump victory.”


Sourced: 11/9/16