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Apple Confirms Unexpected Upgrade Coming To Millions Of iPhones – Forbes

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Owners of Apple’s latest iPhones can expect a big camera upgrade later this year, thanks to two significant improvements promised in the forthcoming iOS 16 release.

According to Apple’s official iOS 16 website, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max smartphones will all receive an upgrade to the camera’s Portrait mode that improves the bokeh effect by adding artificial blur to the foreground as well as the background.

This should make the Portrait mode effect even more realistic by more-accurately simulating the look of professional cameras with wide-aperture lenses. Blurring the background of a portrait shot will make your subject pop, but a real wide-aperture lens would also blur the extreme foreground.

Deliberately blurring objects in the foreground can also serve as a great way to frame the subject in your photo so, as well as enhanced realism, this new feature will bring new creative possibilities to iPhone photography.

Apple’s second upgrade promises similar improvements for video, where Cinematic mode is set to gain more accurate depth-of-field effects for profile shots as well as around the edges of hair and glasses.

It’s great to see Apple delivering unexpected quality improvements to the iPhone 13 so close to the launch of the iPhone 14. According to Dxomark, the iPhone 13 Pro suffers a little from depth estimation errors in Portrait mode, notably pointing out areas around hair as an example of the issue.

Maybe the iPhone 14’s new camera will bring a truly special, must-have, upgrade later this year but, iOS 16 will at the very least allow iPhone 13 owners to mentally add a couple of points to their camera’s current Dxomark score.

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vivo iQOO 10 series to be the first with a Dimensity 9000+ smartphone – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The iQOO 10 is already in the rumor mill, and we expect to learn more as early as next month. Latest information coming from trustworthy sources claimed the series will be the first with a phone, powered by a Dimensity 9000+ chipset.


iQOO 9 Pro

iQOO 9 Pro

The Mediatek platform was announced just last week as a minor improvement over the Dimensity 9000. It has a slight CPU and GPU boost, as well as updates of the signal processing and 5G modem. The high-performance Cortex-X2 core goes from 3.05 GHz to 3.2 GHz, and the Taiwanese chip maker promised devices with the platform as early as Q3.

It is safe to assume the hype and teasers will begin next week which is also the beginning of the new quarter. We have no information if the iQOO 10 or the iQOO 10 Pro smartphone will run on the Dimensity 9000+ but it could be either of them – we have to see whether vivo is also going to use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

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Apple's entry-level MacBook Pro M2 has slower SSD speeds than its M1 counterpart – The Verge

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Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 base model appears to have slower SSD speeds than its M1 predecessor. MacRumors reports that YouTubers Max Tech and Created Tech have both tested the 256GB base M2 model and discovered the SSD’s read speeds are around 50 precent slower than the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage. Write speeds are reportedly around 30 percent slower.

Testing was completed using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app, and Max Tech even disassembled the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and found that Apple is only using a single NAND flash storage chip. The M1 MacBook Pro uses two 128GB NAND chips, and multiple chips can enable faster SSD speeds in parallel.

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Other 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro models with larger SSD storage don’t appear to suffer from slower SSD speeds. Another YouTuber with a 512GB M2 model ran tests and found similar speeds to the M1 version, and most reviewers were seeded with fast 1TB models and didn’t find any speed issues.

If SSD speeds are an issue for you on the base 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll need to stump up an extra $200 for the faster 512GB model. But if you’re willing to do that, you might want to wait and see what’s inside the new MacBook Air. The base model will be priced slightly less at $1,199, but if it has slower SSD speeds then there’s an identically-priced $1,499 512GB model that will presumably have the two NAND chips. Unlike the M2 MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air also gets a big redesign — including new colors, a larger display, a 1080p webcam, and MagSafe charging.

We’ve reached out to Apple to comment on the SSD changes in the MacBook Pro, and we’ll update you accordingly if we hear back.

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Amazon's Alexa could soon mimic voice of dead relatives – Prince Rupert Northern View – The Northern View

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Amazon’s Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members – even if they’re dead.

The capability, unveiled at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, is in development and would allow the virtual assistant to mimic the voice of a specific person based on a less than a minute of provided recording.

Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa, said at the event Wednesday that the desire behind the feature was to build greater trust in the interactions users have with Alexa by putting more “human attributes of empathy and affect.”

“These attributes have become even more important during the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost ones that we love,” Prasad said. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”

READ MORE: Amazon hikes prices for Prime membership

In a video played by Amazon at the event, a young child asks “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa then acknowledges the request, and switches to another voice mimicking the child’s grandmother. The voice assistant then continues to read the book in that same voice.

To create the feature, Prasad said the company had to learn how to make a “high-quality voice” with a shorter recording, opposed to hours of recording in a studio. Amazon did not provide further details about the feature, which is bound to spark more privacy concerns and ethical questions about consent.

Amazon’s push comes as competitor Microsoft earlier this week said it was scaling back its synthetic voice offerings and setting stricter guidelines to “ensure the active participation of the speaker” whose voice is recreated. Microsoft said Tuesday it is limiting which customers get to use the service — while also continuing to highlight acceptable uses such as an interactive Bugs Bunny character at AT&T stores.

“This technology has exciting potential in education, accessibility, and entertainment, and yet it is also easy to imagine how it could be used to inappropriately impersonate speakers and deceive listeners,” said a blog post from Natasha Crampton, who heads Microsoft’s AI ethics division.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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