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iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

by:  Apple


Visible Moving to "Fully eSIM-based"

Thursday, 11:01 AM   by Rich Brome

Visible has added flagship Samsungs to the list of phones for which it supports activation via eSIM. New customers with a Samsung S22 series, S21 series, or Note20 series Samsung phone can now start mobile service with Visible "in as little as 15 minutes" by simply downloading the Visible app to sign up and activate their phone, with no physical SIM card required. Visible already supports eSIMs on newer Apple iPhones and Google Pixel phones. Visible says it has an "ongoing commitment to become a fully eSIM-based wireless carrier." Visible offers 5G service on the Verizon network, and the company is backed by Verizon.


Apple Announces Upcoming Accessibility Features

May 17, 2022, 9:18 AM   by Rich Brome

For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple is announcing several new accessibility features coming to iOS "later this year", possibly in iOS 16. A new feature called Door Detection uses the camera and LiDAR sensor in higher-end iPhones and iPads to help blind or low vision users "locate a door upon arriving at a new destination, understand how far they are from it, and describe door attributes — including if it is open or closed, and when it’s closed, whether it can be opened by pushing, turning a knob, or pulling a handle." Door Detection will be added to Detection Mode in the Magnifier app. Apple will also be adding system-wide Live Captions for all audio sources, including FaceTime calls. Google has offered a similar feature since 2020. Finally, Apple is Apple Watch Mirroring, which helps users control Apple Watch remotely from their paired iPhone. This feature helps users who might have difficulty with the smaller touch screen of the Apple Watch.


iOS 15.5 Brings New Features, Important Security Updates

May 17, 2022, 9:08 AM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released iOS 15.5, which adds the ability for Apple Cash users to send and receive money, as well as automatic storage management for Podcasts. It also patches a long list of potentially serious security vulnerabilities.


iMovie Makes it Easier to Create Polished Videos

Apr 13, 2022, 2:26 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released iMovie 3.0 for iPhones and iPads. The new version has two major new features: Magic Movie and Storyboards. With Magic Movie, users simply select an album or any group of photos and/or video, and the app will automatically build a video complete with titles, transitions, and music. Styles can be added to change up the look and feel of the entire video. With Storyboards, users start with one of 20 templates, such as a cooking tutorial, Q&A, product review, news report, etc. The template includes a shot list and tips for each part. Users then select existing clips and/or shoot new video to fill the Storyboard with content. Both Magic Movies and Storyboards can then be manually edited further. The resulting videos can be shared from iMovie via Messages, Mail, and on social media. The new iMovie is available now as a free update for devices running iOS 15.2 or later.


Streaming Apps Add Support for Apple's SharePlay

Apr 6, 2022, 9:55 AM   by Rich Brome

Hulu and ESPN have added SharePlay support to their respective apps for iPhones. SharePlay lets users watch the same video content together, remotely, while on a FaceTime call.


Arizona Launches First State ID in Apple Wallet

Mar 24, 2022, 9:10 AM   by Rich Brome

After years of testing across multiple states, Arizona is now the first US state to officially offer a digital driver's license / state ID stored digitally in a phone. Arizona residents can now add their ID to Apple Wallet by scanning their face and physical ID card using the phone's camera, pending state agency approval. The digital ID is currently accepted at "select" TSA airport checkpoints, including in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Apple also announced that Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico plan to support the technology soon, in addition to the previously-announced Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. The capability was introduced in iOS 15.4 for iPhones, and is also supported in Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 8.4 or later. The technology provides enhances security and privacy by only sharing information specifically requested, in an encrypted format, and the user can review which information will be shared before granting permission to share it.


Tile Launches Anti-Stalking Tools

Mar 18, 2022, 12:14 PM   by Rich Brome

Tile has launched a new feature that lets anyone with a smartphone check if they are being tracked surreptitiously with a Tile tracker. This mirrors a similar set of features offered by Apple for its competing AirTags and Find My service. Tile's new "Scan and Secure" feature is part of the main Tile app for iOS and Android. It can be used by anyone, even without a Tile account. The updated Tile app with Scan and Secure "starts rolling out this week".


Apple's Face ID Now Works with Masks

Mar 14, 2022, 1:12 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released the final version of iOS 15.4, which updates Apple's advanced facial recognition to work even while wearing a mask over the mouth and nose. The feature is an optional setting that must be manually activated, since it is somewhat less secure than the full-face option. Apple previously added limited mask compatibility to Face ID, but it required a paired Apple Watch; the new feature does not. iOS 15.4 also adds new emoji.


Major Update to Google Messages Brings iPhone-Compatible Emoji Reactions

Mar 10, 2022, 11:25 AM   by Rich Brome

Google today started rolling out a major update to its Messages app, the default SMS and RCS messaging app on most new Android phones. It includes several major new features, but the biggest for most people may be automatic conversion and tidier display of emoji reactions from iPhone users. When an iPhone user "likes" or "loves" (etc.) a message in a conversation, it will now be displayed as a simple emoji attached to the original message, instead of a whole separate message with the original text repeated. Emoji reactions work between iPhones using Apple's protocol originally known as iMessage. They also work between Android phones using the open, industry-standard RCS protocol. But because iPhones do not support RCS and iMessage is a closed and proprietary, communication between iPhone and Android devices defaults to the outdated SMS/MMS protocols, which do not support newer features like reactions. So reactions are sent in plain text. This is still the case, but Messages will now intercept and "translate" these messages to present them properly. Another new feature is Organized inbox, which automatically sorts your messages into Personal and Business tabs. Messages can now also automatically delete one-time password messages after 24 hours, reducing inbox clutter. It can also help remind you to reply with "gentle nudges" when it detects that you may have stopped in the middle of a conversation for a period of time. Finally, when sharing a video, there will now be an option to share a link to that video on Google Photos instead of sending the video itself. That will enable users to share high-quality videos with iPhone users, instead of sending a very low-quality video via the outdated MMS protocol as before. (RCS allows sharing high-quality videos directly with other Android users.) Google says it will bring the link-sharing feature to photos as well in the future. Most of these features are available first for the English language only, with other languages to follow. The new version of Messages will "roll out over the coming weeks".


Apple Updates iPhone SE

Mar 8, 2022, 1:59 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has announced a new iPhone SE for 2022. The design is identical to the 2020 model, which itself is based on the iPhone 8 from 2017. But the guts have been updated to the Apple's latest and greatest A15 Bionic chip, the same one found in the new iPhone 13 series. Other updates include 5G (but no mmWave) and tougher glass on the front and back. Like the 2020 model, it has a 4.7-inch display and home button with integrated Touch ID fingerprint reader. Color options are "midnight" (black), "starlight" (white), and (Product)Red. The iPhone SE (2022) will start at $429, up from $399 for the 2020 model. That's for the 64 GB model, with 128 and 256 GB options also available. Pre-orders start this Friday, March 11th, and it ships the following Friday, March 18th. Separately, Apple also announced new green color options for the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro.


Apple Refines Anti-Stalking Features of AirTags

Feb 10, 2022, 2:26 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple is making a number of tweaks to the Find My system that powers AirTags. Specifically, Apple is aiming to improve the various features designed to prevent AirTags from being used to stalk people or track other people's belongings without their permission. A refined algorithm will now alert users sooner that an unknown AirTag or Find My network accessory may be traveling with them. Once a user receives such an alert, a number of changes will help the user quickly find the offending item and determine if it's benign. If the item is a set of AirPods, example, the alert will now say that instead of "Unknown Accessory". Users receiving an alert will be able to use Precision Finding to find the offending AirTag or device. This feature uses AR and UWB to guide an iPhone (11 or better) user directly to the device. Apple will also tweak the sounds an AirTag makes to make them easier to hear. Apple is also updating its pop-up warnings and documentation for users, as well as new documentation for law enforcement. Some of these changes will launch soon, while others will launch later this year.


Apple Announces Reverse Apple Pay

Feb 8, 2022, 5:43 PM   by Rich Brome

Later this year, Apple will add "Tap to Pay on iPhone" to iOS. This new feature will let merchants accept contactless (NFC) payments using only an iPhone and a compatible app. The software developer kit (SDK) for this feature will launch to developers "in an upcoming iOS software beta". The Stripe platform and the Shopify Point of Sale app will be first to support the technology "this spring", with additional platforms and apps to follow later this year. The feature will work with iPhone XS and later (including iPhone 11 series and newer.) Previously, the NFC hardware in iPhones was only enabled to make contactless payments, not accept them. Merchants needed a separate NFC accessory (either attached or connected via Bluetooth) to accept payments; this will no longer be necessary. Tap to Pay on iPhone will be able accept all standard contactless payments, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless physical credit cards.


Apple Allows Unlisted Apps in App Store

Feb 1, 2022, 12:39 PM   by Rich Brome

A new option allows iOS developers to release apps through official Apple channels without surfacing them to the general public in the App Store interface. Such apps can only be installed using a special direct link that organizations send to invited users. Apple describes the new option as ideal for apps "for specific organizations, special events, or research studies, or apps used as employee resources or sales tools". Organizations have been able to distribute such apps to managed devices using Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. But distributing such apps to unmanaged devices has been a challenge. In the past, some organizations have used Apple's TestFlight system as a workaround, but that process was clunky, limited, and didn't comply with Apple's policies.


Latest iOS Beta Lets Face ID Work with Masks

Jan 27, 2022, 2:33 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple released a beta version of iOS 15.4 today, and it includes a new feature that lets Face ID work even while the user is wearing a mask. Unlike Apple's previous version of this concept, it does not require a connected Apple Watch. It instead relies solely on "unique features around the eye area". It also lets you specifically train Face ID with each pair of eyeglasses you own. It does not work with sunglasses.) As this version of iOS is still in beta testing, there is no guarantee the feature will make the final version of iOS 15.4.


Hyatt Launches Apple Wallet Room Keys

Dec 10, 2021, 1:51 PM   by Rich Brome

Hyatt has launched phone-based digital room keys at its first six hotel properties. iPhone and Apple Watch users can now choose to add their hotel room key to Apple Wallet and forego any physical room key. Customers can add the key to Wallet from the World of Hyatt app. Check-in is still required, but once checked in, the key is automatically activated and displays the room number. The feature takes advantage of Wallet's Express Mode, so it can work without unlocking the device, and Power Reserve, so it can continue working for up to five hours after the phone shuts off due to low battery. The key can be updated remotely if the guest needs to change rooms, extend a stay, or access late checkout. On check-out, the key is automatically deactivated and archived. This technology is now available at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt House Dallas/Richardson, Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley, and Hyatt Regency Long Beach. "Looking ahead, this technology is expected to be rolled out across Hyatt's global portfolio."


Apple Sues NSO Group for Spyware Targeting iPhones

Nov 24, 2021, 8:29 AM   by Rich Brome

Apple today filed a lawsuit against NSO Group to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users." Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group, an Israeli company, from using any Apple software, services, or devices. NSO Group creates spyware and other surveillance technology that allows its customers — including repressive governments around the world — to surveil victims including journalists, activists, dissidents, academics, and other government officials. These focused attacks are aimed at a small number of users, and they impact multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Apple's legal complaint focuses on a specific exploit for iOS devices called FORCEDENTRY, which was used to break into victims' Apple devices and install NSO's "Pegasus" spyware. To deliver FORCEDENTRY, NSO created over a hundred Apple IDs to send malicious data to victim's devices. The legal complaint notes that creating those Apple IDs requires agreeing to Apple's iCloud Terms and Conditions, which gives the Northern California court where the suit was filed jurisdiction. Earlier this month, the US Commerce Department added NSO Group to its to its red-flagged "entity list".


Google Makes it Easier to Switch to Android, Including WhatsApp History

Oct 28, 2021, 7:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has worked with WhatsApp to let people move their WhatsApp chat history from an iPhone to a new Android phone. The feature builds on the existing transfer feature of Android 12 that can import apps, SMS, iMessage history, photos, videos, contacts, calendars, and more from an existing iPhone. The transfer features work over a wired connection, requiring a Lightning-to-USB-C cable. The new WhatsApp transfer feature ensures thread integrity by blocking new messages on the old device while the transfer is in progress.


Google Adds RSS to Chrome for Mobile

Oct 12, 2021, 10:58 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has added a new feature to the mobile version of its Chrome web browser that lets users subscribe to the RSS feeds of their favorite web sites. The browser's main menu now includes a "+ Follow" button when on a web page that provides an RSS feed. Entries from "followed" RSS feeds will appear in a new "Following" tab on the bottom half of Chrome's New Tab page. The feature is now available in the current version of Chrome for Android, although it may require enabling by going to "chrome://flags" in the browser and searching for "web feed". The feature is coming to the iOS version of Chrome "soon".


Apple Adds News Ways To Integrate iPhones Into Presentations

Sep 29, 2021, 11:32 AM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released new versions of its productivity apps for its platforms, including Keynote, Pages, and Numbers for iOS on iPhones. Keynote now lets you place "live video objects" into presentations, allowing "the presenter to appear alongside the content in their slide — ideal for lectures, how-to videos, and remote presentations through video conferencing apps." The feature can use the front-facing camera on an iPhone or other Apple device. The live video objects can be resized or styled with masks, frames, drop shadows, and reflections. Keynote for Mac can also now "show the screen of a connected iPhone or iPad right on a slide for live, interactive demos." Pages for iPhone has a new Screen View mode that re-arranges page layouts into a single column that's easier to read on a small screen, while supporting full editing tools. Numbers now supports pivot tables, including on iPhone and iPad, making it "the first app to bring full-featured pivot tables to mobile".


iOS 15 Available Now

Sep 20, 2021, 1:14 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple just released the first non-beta version of iOS 15 as a free update for iPhone models 6s and newer. First announced in June, the update includes revamped notifications, Focus Mode, Live Text, and support for stats ID cards in Wallet.


New Emoji Finalized

Sep 15, 2021, 11:44 AM   by Rich Brome

The Unicode Consortium has finalized and released version 14.0 of Unicode Standard for multi-lingual text, including 37 new emoji characters. New versions of Unicode are usually incorporated into updated versions of iOS and Android. The new emoji include: face holding back tears, face with diagonal mouth, melting face, face with peeking eye, face with hand over mouth, saluting face, dotted line face, palm up/down hands, finger pointing at the viewer, heart hands, hand with index finger and thumb crossed, biting lip, mirror ball, x-ray, crutch, troll, bubbles, pouring liquid, wheel, life preserver, low battery, beans, ID card, slide, and full/empty nests.


iPhone 13 Upgrades Cameras, Displays

Sep 14, 2021, 2:18 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Sep 15, 2021, 4:25 PM

Apple today announced the iPhone 13 series. All models feature improved battery life, display, cameras, and processor. Although the model options and designs are similar to the iPhone 12 series, the notch for the TrueDepth camera system that powers Face ID is now 20% smaller, allowing more usable display area. The OLED displays on all models are now more efficient and offer greater peak brightness outdoors, while supporting HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The Pro models gain adaptive refresh of 10–120 Hz. The cameras have been updated to let in much more light for better performance, especially in low light. The main camera features a f/1.6 aperture on the standard models and f/1.5 on the Pro models. Apple has also brought sensor-shift OIS to the standard models, a feature previously exclusive to the Pro Max. On the Pro models, the telephoto camera has been bumped from 2x to 3x, for 6x total optical zoom range. The Pro models also feature an all-new ultra-wide camera with an unprecedented f/1.8 aperture as well as true auto-focus, enabling a new macro mode. All three cameras now support night mode. A new Cinematic Mode in the camera app can automatically change focus based on who is looking where in the scene, and lets the user adjust focus in videos after they have been shot. A new Photographic Styles feature offers greater control over Apple's advanced multi-frame image processing. The Pro models can also now shoot and edit Apple ProRes video at 4K (30 fps). The new A15 Bionic chip powers all four models. Apple claims it's 50% faster than the best competing chip. The A15 variant in the Pro models is slightly more powerful with five GPU cores instead of four. Improved efficiency and larger batteries give the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 Pro 1.5 hours more of battery life, while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max gain 2.5 hours of battery life. iPhone 13 and 13 mini will be available in pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED in a new entry-level capacity of 128 GB (double last year's starting option), as well as 256 or 512 GB. The standard-size iPhone 13 starts at $799 while the mini starts at $699. iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will be available in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue in 128, 256, or 512 GB, plus a new 1 TB option. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 while the Pro Max starts at $1,099. Customers will be able to pre-order all four iPhone 13 models this Friday, with full availability September 24th.


iOS 14.8 Patches Nasty Security Flaw

Sep 13, 2021, 3:54 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Sep 13, 2021, 3:55 PM

Apple today released a set of urgent security updates for iOS, watchOS, macOS, and Safari for Mac. The updates fix a previously-unknown zero-day security flaw that enabled "arbitrary code execution" when viewing a maliciously crafted PDF file, which could be transmitted by visiting a web page and/or receiving an iMessage. All versions of iOS prior to today's 14.8 update are vulnerable. The Citizen Lab, which found the issue and reported it to Apple, claims the exploit is already in use in the wild. It was used to silently install NSO Group's Pegasus spyware on the iPhone of a Saudi activist. All users of Apple devices should install the updates immediately.


Vimeo Fully Supports Dolby Vision on iPhone

Sep 13, 2021, 10:46 AM   by Rich Brome

Vimeo now lets iPhone users both upload and view videos recorded with Dolby Vision. The iPhone 12 Pro introduced the ability to capture video in the HDR format, but there have been few ways to share the content in its full glory until now.


Ray-Ban Stories are Glasses With Cameras and Bluetooth Audio

Sep 9, 2021, 12:06 PM   by Rich Brome

Facebook and Ray-Ban have collaborated to create Ray-Ban Stories, "smart" glasses similar to the Spectacles 3 from Snap. Ray-Ban Stories feature dual 5-megapixel cameras that capture photos with depth as well as videos up to 30 seconds. They also include open-ear Bluetooth audio for music and calls, with three microphones for beam-forming and background noise suppression. They do not include any display technology, and therefore do not compete with Google Glass, nor do they include AR features. A companion app called Facebook View (available for both iOS and Android) lets you view, edit, and share content captured by the glasses' cameras. A small light next to one of the cameras lets others know they're being recorded. The glasses are available in 20 variations, in classic Ray-Ban styles — Wayfarer, Wayfarer Large, Round and Meteor — and five colors, with a range of lenses including clear, sun, transition, and prescription. Ray-Ban Stories start at $299 and are available to order now, shipping this month.


Eight US States to Support Digital Driver’s Licenses in Apple Wallet

Sep 1, 2021, 11:23 AM   by Rich Brome

Residents of Arizona and Georgia will soon be able to add a secure digital version of their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on their iPhone and/or Apple Watch. Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah have also announced plans to support Apple's implementation. The first place people will be able to use these digital ID cards will be "select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports". Apple's implementation of this technology is compliant with the ISO 18013-5 mDL (mobile driver's license) standard. Adding a license or ID to Wallet requires taking photos of both the user's physical ID card and themselves, which are sent to the issuing state for verification. Presenting a digital ID is initiated by simply tapping the phone or watch on a reader device, similar to Apple Pay. The user's device then displays what specific information is being requested. Only after the user confirms their identity using Face ID or Touch ID is the requested information securely transferred. Users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to present their ID. Utah launched a pilot program of standard-compliant mDL technology using a standalone app earlier this year.


Apple Delays SharePlay

Aug 17, 2021, 1:12 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has postponed the launch of SharePlay until after the initial launch of iOS 15. SharePlay was one of the major new features announced as part of iOS 15. The feature allows the sharing of your screen or media with everyone on a group call, including app-specific experiences thanks to a new API for developers. Apple now says "SharePlay will be enabled for use again in future developer beta releases and will launch to the public in software updates later this fall."


Apple to Scan iCloud Photos for Child Sexual Abuse Material

Aug 6, 2021, 8:12 AM   by Rich Brome

A new feature in iOS 15 and macOS will scan users' iCloud photos for known child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The feature preserves privacy by keeping photos encrypted over the network and in the cloud. The new scanning takes place on the user's device, comparing users' photos against a database of known child abuse imagery, provided by child protection organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and others. New technology developed by Apple called NeuralHash can match photos even after a certain amount of editing, and without adding any actual CSAM to the user's device. A cryptographic principle called threshold secret sharing allows Apple to decrypt and examine offending images uploaded to its cloud only after a threshold is cleared for a certain amount of CSAM detected by NeuralHash. When that happens, Apple can "manually verify the contents, disable a user's account and report the imagery to NCMEC, which is then passed to law enforcement." Apple promises that an appeal process will be available. The feature will be active only in the US at first. Privacy experts have expressed concern over the feature, as some governments may be tempted to force Apple to search for other types of imagery. Privacy advocates also expressed concern that the system could be abused by third parties to implicate innocent people.


Amazon Launches Serialized Story Platform for Phones

Jul 15, 2021, 10:36 AM   by Rich Brome

Amazon has launched Kindle Vella, a twist on e-books that offers a serialized storytelling format designed to be mobile-first. Available first for iOS and the web, Vella offers "episodes" that are 600 – 5,000 words long, ideal for reading on a phone in short periods of time. Users can "follow" their favorite stories and be notified when new episodes are available, much like podcasts. The first few episodes of every story are free, after which users can buy episodes using "tokens". Users who have purchased tokens can "Fave" one story each week, which is used to recommend the best stories to other users. The service also offers Thumbs Up (likes) and tagging for topics and genres. Thousands of stories containing tens of thousands of episodes are already available, with new episodes being published regularly.


Apple Opens up iOS 15 Beta to Public

Jun 30, 2021, 4:12 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple today launched a public beta version of iOS 15. Adventurous users can test drive the software by signing up at the Apple Beta Software Program web site. Apple announced iOS 15 a month ago. Notifications, FaceTime, Maps, and Siri all get major upgrades in iOS 15, and it introduces SharePlay, Focus Modes, and Live Text. iOS 15 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and newer. Until today, beta versions were officially only available to developers. Making a beta version available to the public is a milestone that typically means the software is more stable and any major bugs have been fixed. However the software is not final; users are still strongly encouraged to make backups before installing, and not use the software on their primary phone. Apple will release a final version of iOS 15 this fall.


T-Mobile Offers Free 30-Day Test Drive via eSIM

Jun 29, 2021, 11:37 AM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile has released a new app that lets iPhone users with other US carriers test out T-Mobile's network for free using their existing phone before switching. While T-Mobile has offered a free 30-day test drive using a mobile hotspot — and that program remains available for Android users — the new app leverages the eSIM capability in newer iPhones. Once the eSIM is activated with T-Mobile, both the eSIM and existing physical SIM remain active, letting users try both networks at the same time, without switching carrier, phone, or phone number. The offer includes 30 GB of data and access to 5G. T-Mobile has published a video explaining the app. A T-Mobile spokesperson called the service a "pilot program".


Beats Drops Buds

Jun 14, 2021, 5:35 PM   by Rich Brome

Beats has finally launched its first fully in-ear true wireless earbuds: the Beats Studio Buds. These $150 Bluetooth earbuds feature active noise cancelling (ANC) as well as transparency mode to let you hear limited background noise. And even though Apple owns Beats, the Studio Buds are designed to be fully "native" compatible with both Android and Apple devices, including one-touch pairing on Android and a companion Android app. They're are also compatible with the Find My services of both iOS and Android. The buds are rated IPX4 for sweat- and water-resistance. Class 1 Bluetooth offers extended range. Beam-forming mics ensure clear voice calls free of wind and background noise. Each bud houses a proprietary 8.2mm, dual-element diaphragm driver, that's optimized for better ANC performance. The buds also support Spatial Audio / Dolby Atmos when used with Apple Music. Each bud connects directly to the source device, meaning either bud can be used by itself. The buds themselves provide up to 8 hours of listening time, or 5 hours with ANC enabled. The included USB-C charging case boosts total playback time to 24 hours. Beats Studio Buds are available to order today, and come in black, white, and red.


Apple Announces iOS 15

Jun 7, 2021, 3:03 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple today announced iOS 15, the next version of its core software that powers iPhones. Version 15 is not a major overhaul, but does add a long list of new features. An early beta version is available to developers starting today, with a more-polished public beta coming "next month". The final version will launch in the fall, likely alongside new iPhone models. New features include:

  • Revamped FaceTime with SharePlay: FaceTime will now support scheduled calls and web links for Android and Windows users to join calls. New features make it easier to share your screen or streaming media with everyone on a group call.
  • Live Text: System-wide recognition of text and objects within images.
  • Updated Wallet: Will support digital home keys, driver's licenses, corporate badges, hotel keys, and more.
  • Updated Maps: Adds AR mode for walking directions, 3D highway interchanges while driving, and greatly enhanced 3D views in select major cities.
  • Focus modes: The new Focus feature will let you create Work, Personal, Sleep, Do Not Disturb, and custom Focus modes. Each mode can have its own notification settings and filters, and even its own home screen with specific apps and widgets. iOS can intelligently suggest personalized settings for each Focus mode, but they can also be customized. The current Focus mode is automatically synced across Apple devices.
  • Notifications Summary: Can collapse all "non-time-critical" notifications into a morning summary and an afternoon summary, for example. Messages with contacts are still surfaced as received. iOS prioritizes information in notification summaries using on-device intelligence. Outside of Summaries, notifications will also have a more visual design with large icons.
  • On-Device Siri: Siri will now process voice recognition directly on-device by default, instead of sending your voice to the cloud. This change enhances privacy, make Siri much faster, and allows Siri to process certain simple commands without an Internet connection.

continued ▻


Apple Updates its Maps App

Jun 7, 2021, 1:53 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 7, 2021, 2:15 PM

A revamped Maps app in iOS 15 will offer a number of new and improved features to better compete with Google Maps. While giving real-time driving directions, the app will now show complex highway interchanges in an accurate 3D view. In certain cities, a new AR mode provides walking directions visually overlaid on your surroundings, similar to a feature Google has offered since 2019. Certain areas will also show enhanced 3D views, including stylized 3D landmarks, illuminated night mode, and accurate elevations. New transit features let you set certain transit lines as favorites, and alert you when approaching your stop. The more advanced city features will be available first in LA, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, and London.


Apple Brings Systemwide Visual Text Recognition to iOS 15

Jun 7, 2021, 1:38 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple today announced Live Text, a new feature of iOS that provides intelligent text and object recognition for images. In iOS 15, photos (new and existing), screenshots, and images on the wen have a new icon that runs text recognition on that image. All text — including handwritten notes — can easily be copied and pasted to other apps. Text in recognized formats, such as phone numbers, are presented as tappable links. The feature also recognizes certain kinds of objects — including animals, plants, and landmarks — and offers links to more information about that object.


iOS 14.5 Update Available Now

Apr 26, 2021, 12:57 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released iOS 14.5, a relatively large update that brings several notable new features to the company's operating system for iPhones. The update brings a new mask-friendly version of Face ID for users with an Apple Watch. Most controversial in industry circles is App Tracking Transparency, which requires apps to get the user's permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising. Many users are expected to opt out of the tracking, which companies like Facebook consider a threat to their business model. The update also includes new Siri voices, new emoji, a revamped Podcasts app, support for AirTags, and more. iPhone users can download and install the free update starting today by going to Settings, then General, then Software Update.


Apple Intros AirTag to Help Find Your Keys

Apr 20, 2021, 12:53 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Apr 20, 2021, 1:16 PM

Apple today announced AirTag, the company's widely-expected competitor to Tile. The small circular device comes with several keychain-style holder options, including an Hermes luxury option. AirTag uses Apple's global Find My network to find lost items, and UWB (available in the iPhone 12 series) to help users home in on an exact location. UWB allows the Find My app to show you the exact direction and distance to a nearby AirTag. The devices can be ordered with custom engraving, including emoji. A single AirTag runs $29, or you can get a four-pack for $99. They ship April 30th, with orders opening this Friday.


iPhone 12 Now Comes in Purple

Apr 20, 2021, 12:14 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Apr 20, 2021, 1:03 PM

Apple today announced a purple color option for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. It can be pre-ordered starting this Friday, with availability on April 30th. Purple joins the existing white, black, green, red, and blue color options. Color options for the iPhone 12 Pro models remain unchanged.


Apple's "Find My" Network Officially Open to Third-Party Devices

Apr 7, 2021, 3:16 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has officially opened up the technology behind "Find My iPhone" to non-Apple devices. The first devices using the new program ship next week, including bicycles from VanMoof, true wireless earbuds from Belkin, and a keychain-style tracking tag from Chipolo. If lost, these items can be located using Apple's Find My app. The Find My network uses iPhones and other Apple devices worldwide to find items reported missing. When an iPhone (etc.) comes within Bluetooth range of a device reported missing, the approximate location can be reported back to the owner, and the owner can send a command for the missing device to play a sound. The entire process is end-to-end encrypted and anonymous, so no one else, not even Apple or the third-party manufacturer, can view a device’s location or information.


Apple Upgrades Siri's Voice Choice

Apr 1, 2021, 9:40 AM   by Rich Brome

Apple has introduced changes to the voice options of its Siri voice assistant in the newest beta of iOS 14.5. For US English, there are now two additional voices to choose from. Further, the OS no longer defaults to a female voice, instead presenting users with a choice during setup. In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple says "This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in." The new voices take advantage of Apple's Neural speech engine, for more natural-sounding contextual phrasing.


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