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Facebook warns Apple's iOS 14 could shave more than 50% from Audience Network revenue – CNBC

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Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Facebook on Wednesday acknowledged that Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 could lead to a more than 50% drop in its Audience Network advertising business. 

Facebook had previously warned that iOS 14 could impact its advertising business, but the company’s blog post on Wednesday outlined just how specifically that impact could be. The Facebook Audience Network allows mobile software developers to provide in-app advertisements targeted to users based on Facebook’s data.

Today, advertisers can use a unique device ID number called the IDFA to better target ads and estimate their effectiveness. In iOS 14, each app that wants to use these identifiers will ask users to opt in to tracking when the app is first launched. Facebook said its apps will not collect IDFA information on iOS 14. 

Facebook says more than 1 billion people see at least one Audience Network ad every month, although many of those are probably using Android phones and will not be affected by the change. Facebook derives nearly all of its revenue from advertising, but it’s not known what percentage is attributable to the Audience Network versus ads on Facebook and other properties.

 Apple has not said when iOS 14 will launch, but it’s expected to roll out this year.

The social network published a blog outlining steps it will take to ensure its advertising business is in compliance with Apple’s requirements. These steps will limit how effectively Facebook and its advertisers can target ads to iPhone and iPad users. 

“We know this may severely impact publishers’ ability to monetize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS14 in the future,” Facebook said in a blog post. 

“While it’s difficult to quantify the impact to publishers and developers at this point with so many unknowns, in testing we’ve seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue when personalization was removed from mobile ad install campaigns,” Facebook said. “In reality, the impact to Audience Network on iOS 14 may be much more, so we are working on short-and long-term strategies to support publishers through these changes.”

Facebook shares were up 5% in mid-day trading on Wednesday despite its announcement. 

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Top PlayStation 5 Games to Look Out For – Gadgets 360

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The age of the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) is finally here and it brings with it an array of exciting gaming titles to look forward to. In its new generation, Sony’s iconic gaming console series is said to deliver the most immersive experience to date, thanks to its impressive specifications. Powered by a custom octa-core AMD Zen 2 CPU , the PlayStation 5 features a custom GPU that is based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, promising 10.28 teraflops of compute power.

In a series first, the console features SSD storage which the company claims will cut down loading times to mere seconds. The new DualSense controller doesn’t just look gorgeous, but also features haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.

For gamers, all of this simply means that the Sony PS5 should offer a plethora of engaging games to choose from. The Sony PS5 will cost $499.99 (about Rs. 36,800) in the US, while the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is priced at $399.99 (about Rs. 29,500). While the official Indian pricing details haven’t been announced yet, both consoles are expected to launch on November 12 in the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand; and November 19 for the rest of the world, including India.

We have shortlisted some of the most anticipated, upcoming titles for the PS5, based on the buzz they have created and their expected ability to showcase the prowess of the console’s next-generation hardware. From Horizon Forbidden West to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, check out some of the most exciting titles announced for the PS5 so far, including console exclusives and cross-platform releases.

Demon’s Souls (PlayStation exclusive)

When Demon’s Souls was first released on the PlayStation 3 back in 2009, its challenging difficulty and complex combat made it a cult classic. It also inspired similar titles in the coming years, including Dark Souls, Ashen, and Nioh. Now, Bluepoint Games – the studio behind the Shadow of the Colossus remake – is remastering the action-RPG title for the PS5. An announcement trailer was released in June, showcasing the title’s heavily revamped graphics. Although no gameplay trailer has been released yet, we’re hoping that the PS5 exclusive would retain the game’s agonising difficulty, which made the title a classic in the first place. No release date has been announced yet.

Destruction AllStars (PlayStation exclusive)

Do you like battle royale games with fun, colourful Fortnite-like characters? Do you also like wreaking havoc with monstrous vehicles, a la Twisted Metal? If you agree with both, Destruction AllStars could be the perfect PS5 game for you. Developed by Lucid Games, the announcement trailer shows off the title’s crazy gameplay and even crazier vehicles. Going by the trailer, players will not only get to crash into each other’s overly powerful vehicles, but will also get to set off chaotic explosions on foot as well. We’re hoping that Sony would reveal more on the gameplay, along with the release date, in the coming months.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

In a mysterious occurrence, nearly all the citizens of Tokyo have disappeared. The empty neon-lit streets are haunted by ghastly spirits and mysterious cult survivors. It is up to you and your supernatural powers to liberate the city. Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, the first-person adventure evokes memories of action-horror classics such as the F.E.A.R. and Condemned series, combined with an immersive anime-esque world design. Given the title’s magic-meets-karate gameplay, as revealed in June, Ghostwire: Tokyo may turn out to be the most radical title among PS5’s earlier releases. It is expected to be launched for PS5 and PC in 2021.

Gran Turismo 7 (PlayStation exclusive)

The gorgeous racing simulator series has been a PlayStation mainstay since the release of its first installment in 1997. It’s no surprise that the upcoming Gran Turismo 7 has been designed specifically to make the best use of PS5’s powerful hardware. The DualSense controller’s new haptic feedback feature and reworked triggers are also expected to offer a racing experience like no other. While the trailer was revealed in June, no release date has been announced for the PlayStation exclusive.

Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation exclusive)

Horizon Zero Dawn mesmerised us with its gorgeous graphics, unique mecha-dinosaur hunting gameplay, and a surprisingly memorable story. Horizon Forbidden West looks to take up the mantle, furthering protagonist Aloy’s saga as she journeys to the Forbidden West (California, Utah, and Nevada) in a post-apocalyptic world set in the 31century. The game’s announcement trailer promises stunning world designs and even more challenging mecha-monsters to hunt. The PlayStation exclusive is expected to release in 2021.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PlayStation exclusive)

When Marvel’s Spider-Man swung into our PS4s in 2018, we were bowled over by just how fun the gameplay turned out to be. Sure, it had a great main story, even better DLCs, excellent graphics, and all the works. However, it was the high-on-adrenaline, web-swinging gameplay that hooked us, bringing back memories of the fun physics-based gameplay of 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is touted as a launch title for the PS5. Although earlier it was speculated to be an expanded re-master of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Sony confirmed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a standalone title which acts more like an expansive spin-off than an actual sequel. Fans will get to know more when the PlayStation exclusive releases later this year.

Project Athia (PlayStation exclusive)

When the PS5 was announced, Project Athia was one of the earliest titles used to showcase the hardware muscles of the new console. Not much has been revealed about the open-world action-adventure. Even the name itself is a working title. All we know for now that this is a story-led action-adventure developed by Square Enix of Final Fantasy fame. The announcement trailer shows a super-powered female protagonist exploring a world “not her own.” The trailer also points out that the game is “designed for PlayStation 5.” No release date has been announced yet, but we’ll sure keep an eye out for this one!

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PlayStation exclusive)

As mentioned earlier, the PS5 boasts of a new SSD storage which is said to remarkably reduce loading times. This feature is best highlighted in the upcoming chapter in the adventures of Ratchet and Clank. Developed by Insomniac Games, the PS5 exclusive follows the daring Lombax Ratchet and his sarcastic robot friend Clank, as they jump through dimensions and worlds to stop the vile Dr. Nefarious from destroying the fabric of space and time. The gameplay trailer showcases the SSD’s technical prowess as the lead characters tumble through levels and worlds seamlessly, without wasting even a second in loading time. The Ratchet & Clank series has always remained a great way for Sony to show off its console’s capabilities and it looks like Rift Apart may not be any different. It is expected to be a launch title for the PS5.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

When Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in 2010, we were encaptivated by its twisted-yet-engaging story which didn’t hold back from messing around with events from the Vietnam War and the Cold War. While a part of 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II took a detour to depict events from the future – 2025, to be exact – it looks like the series is returning to the murky Cold War era with its sixth installment. As shown in the reveal trailer, CIA veterans Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson returns with a secret mission to take on Soviet spy Perseus, under the leadership of CIA officer Russell Adler. Captured on the PS5, the trailer shows the upcoming title’s intriguing storyline and explosive gameplay. You can check out the story trailer for more details on the title’s premise. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is set to release on the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. A release date hasn’t been announced.

Stray (PlayStation exclusive)

Goat Simulator made us laugh with its glitchy gameplay. Untitled Goose Game brought out a darker side in us thanks to its human-pestering gameplay mechanics. Now, yet another animal simulator is on its way, and dare we say that it looks purr-fect? Stray lets you control a cat, who navigates the streets of a dystopian urban jungle populated by robots. The teaser trailer left us scratching our heads. Why do all the robots appear sad? Why are there no other animals in this world except cats? And last but not the least, is the cat wearing a jetpack? The upcoming title looks stunning in the trailer and we’ll be able to figure out more as the PlayStation exclusive approaches its 2021 release.

Cyberpunk 2077

When it comes to RPGs, not many studios can hold a candle to the elaborate experiences created by CD Projekt of The Witcher fame. Cyberpunk 2077 promises to take everything to another level with deep player customizations and an intriguing dystopian Night City to explore. Although the game is scheduled to release on PS4 on November 19, users will get to play it on PS5 when the console is launched, through backwards compatibility. The title will also release on Xbox, PC, Stadia. Given the PS5’s stellar hardware, the Night City seems like an ideal world to explore on the next-gen console. Oh, did we mention that the title stars Keanu Reeves as well?

Far Cry 6

The Far Cry series is known for several factors. Its well-designed, expansive worlds offer first-person immersion like no other. The series’ gameplay offers the player equal moments of breakneck action and tranquil explorations. However, it is the title’s antagonists who almost always steal the show. From the deranged Vaas of Far Cry 3 to the sinister Joseph of Far Cry 5, the series has delivered its share of memorable baddies. With the sixth installment, the Ubisoft series stars Giancarlo Esposito, or Breaking Bad’s Gus Fring, as tyrannical dictator Antón Castillo. In the official reveal, Castillo speaks to his son Diego, menacingly introducing him to his riot-torn regime, raising him to follow in his rule. The action-RPG is set to release on February 18, 2021, on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Stadia.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

The DC FanDome event revealed several upcoming games from the superhero franchise. Gotham Knights appear to be a fun action-RPG title that allows players to take on the villainous Court of Owls as Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood. However, it was the teaser trailer for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League that truly caught our attention. For starters, the game is developed by Rocksteady, the studio behind the acclaimed Batman: Arkham series. Secondly, this title moves away from the usual tropes to let gamers play as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark, with possibilities of a four-player co-op mode. Lastly, the game is likely to feature the entire Justice League as the baddies, including Superman as revealed in the teaser. The title will be released for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X, in 2022.

Resident Evil Village

Sony sprung quite a surprise on its fans when it announced the latest installment in the Resident Evil franchise at an event in June. The announcement trailer begins with glimpses of a European village that is soon revealed to be sprinkled with werewolves, monsters and evil cults. Along with impressive world designs, the trailer showed that the upcoming title will be a first-person survival horror. Towards the end, the trailer teases the return of one of the most popular characters from the series, Chris Redfield. Resident Evil Village is set to release in 2021 for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X.

FIFA 21

Many gamers might argue that EA Sports continues to release the same FIFA title every year with a few added upgrades and changes here and there. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it remains to be one of the most engaging and popular sports titles out there, many thanks to its local co-op support that allows up to four players to play simultaneously on a single screen. Now that the PS5’s here, it would be interesting to see how the classic title feels like on next-gen hardware. The gameplay trailer showed off several new gameplay features, including Agile Dribbling, Creative Runs and a fun Rewind mode that let you undo events and take another go at the same move in the middle of a match. The title will first release for current-gen platforms, including the PS4, on October 9, with a next-gen release following after.

God of War: Ragnarök

The God of War franchise reinvented the hack-and-slash genre with its over-the-top violence and a surprisingly engaging storyline. In 2018, Santa Monica Studio reinvented the game by choosing to offer an emotionally charged story, exploring the growing relationship between Kratos and his son, Atreus.

Apart from the addictive gameplay that goes beyond blind button-smashing, God of War (2018) presented the entire game in a seamless shot, from the first scene to the last. Sony announced the next installment to the series, God of War: Ragnarök, at its PS5 Showcase event in September. Although not much of the game has been revealed yet, we do know that this time, Kratos will be facing Ragnarök – the supposed end of the world according to Norse mythology. Given the 2018-title’s incredible gameplay and memorable experience, we expect nothing less from God of War: Ragnarök.

Hogwarts Legacy

Missing the magical world of Harry Potter? Fret not, as the upcoming open-world action RPG title promises to take gamers back to the enchanting Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Set a century before our familiar bespectacled hero embarked on his adventures, the game features iconic locations such as the Forbidden Forest, Hogsmeade Village, and even the wondrous Diagon Alley.

The story sounds engrossing as well. According to the game’s official website, “your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. You have received a late acceptance to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and soon discover that you are no ordinary student: you possess an unusual ability to perceive and master Ancient Magic.” Hogwarts Legacy is set to release in 2021 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Which upcoming PS5 title are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below.

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PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which Should You Buy? – How-To Geek

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The stage is set for the next-generation console battle, as Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head this November with the release of the PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and S.

If you want to get onboard from launch, it’s time to pick a side, as preorders go live in anticipation of a surge in demand.

The Green Corner: Xbox, Game Pass, and Halo Infinite

Nov. 10, 2020, two new Xbox consoles are launching worldwide: the Series X and the Series S. The Series X ($499.99) is an ultra-HD powerhouse, targeting a native 4K resolution. The Series S ($299.99) aims for a lower, 1440p (half of 4K) resolution and also foregoes a disc drive.

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Both devices will target a baseline of 60 frames per second. Microsoft claims both will hit 120 frames per second on titles like Halo Infinite and Gears 5. Without seeing the hardware in action, though, we’ll just have to take Microsoft’s word for it (especially when it comes to the Series S).

Buying a console at launch can often feel like a raw deal. Few titles are available, and those that are tend to be iterative sports titles or underwhelming tech demos. Microsoft plans to address this issue with Game Pass, providing a library of over 100 titles people can play from the outset. Most of these are titles already available on last-gen systems.

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Game Pass doesn’t scrimp on quality, either. First-party titles, like Forza Horizon 4, Minecraft, and Sea of Thieves (plus every Halo game), will be available at launch. There’s also a rotating selection of decent third-party titles, as well. At this writing, Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter: World, and Wasteland 3 are all available.

Microsoft also announced it’s partnering with Electronic Arts to bring EA Play to Game Pass for the holidays. This means you’ll get all Microsoft’s exclusives, EA’s first-party titles, and a rotating lineup of third-party games with your subscription.

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The biggest disappointment for many who were awaiting the release of the next-gen Xbox consoles was the news that Halo Infinite was being delayed until 2021. This was Microsoft’s killer title to get consoles into living rooms for the holidays in 2020. The new consoles will now launch without any big-budget exclusives and lean heavily on Game Pass and future promises, instead.

Fortunately, that future looks bright. Below are some of Microsoft’s Xbox first-party exclusives:

  • A new Fable game.
  • The next-generation Forza Motorsport title.
  • A new game from Rare called Everwild.
  • Obsidian Entertainment’s first foray into the open-world fantasy RPG genre, Avowed.

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There are other “timed exclusives” and “Xbox console debuts” to come next year. These include a follow-up to legendary PC mid-2000s shooter, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Geiger-inspired horror show Scorn, and Hellblade II—the next chapter in Ninja Theory’s Senua Saga.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Xbox Series X will cost you $499.99, while the Series S will cost $299.99. Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold (required for online play) and access to Game Pass for PC costs $14.99 per month, but you get your first month for $1.

If you’d rather just pay for a regular Game Pass Console, it’s $9.99 per month. However, you’ll also need Xbox Live Gold to play online, which costs another $9.99 per month ($24.99 per quarter). Game Pass Ultimate is by far the best value, with over 100 games (even more on PC) and online play.

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Microsoft also offers the Xbox Series X and Series S under their All Access plan. For $34.99 (Series X) or $24.99 (Series S) per month, you can get an Xbox console with Game Pass Ultimate. After two years, the console is yours, and you can extend Game Pass if you want. This option is marginally cheaper than buying each console and a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

In addition to the hardware, one game might cost you up to $70 for this generation. Some publishers have already committed to the $10 price hike over last-generation’s $60.

For the best possible savings, we recommend you avoid the all-digital Series S. Then, you’ll always be able to purchase physical releases anywhere, including the secondhand market.

What About Backward Compatibility?

Microsoft confirmed that both the Series X and Series S will be fully backward compatible with the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox. The Series X will play titles that have been enhanced for 4K, while the Series S will get its own enhanced versions.

For maximum backward compatibility, make sure you pick up a Series X with a disc drive so you can play any of your older discs. Digital titles will also work, whether you already have them in your library or purchase them from the store.

The Blue Corner: PlayStation, PS Plus Collection, and Spider-Man

Sony will also launch two consoles in November: the PlayStation 5 ($499.99), and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition ($399.99). Both will launch on the same day, but the release is staggered in two waves. The consoles release November 12 in the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, and November 19 in Europe, and the rest of the world.

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Outside of the price, the only difference between the two devices is the presence of a physical disc drive. If you want the best deals possible or also want to use your PS5 as a Blu-ray player, the more expensive console is probably the better option.

Sony’s earliest PS5 first-party “exclusive” will be Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a follow-up to 2018’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man. While exclusive to Sony consoles, the game will also launch simultaneously on PS4.

You can expect a game that’s shorter in scope, with Sony also promising a more compact experience, reminiscent of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. The game’s launch window is “holiday 2020” which means it might not be quite ready for the November 12 launch.

The PlayStation 5 does include one pack-in game called Astro’s Playroom. A follow-up to the PSVR Astro Bot Rescue Mission, the game guides new players around the PlayStation 5’s dual-sense controller. It should provide a fun distraction for new owners.

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Sony’s answer to Game Pass is the PlayStation Plus collection. It’s required for online play and provides members with additional benefits, like free monthly games and discounts. On the PS5, members will also be able to download 18 of what Sony calls “generation-defining” PS4 games.

This list includes first-party titles, like God of War, Uncharted 4, and Days Gone. There are also a handful of third-party titles, like Battlefield 1, Fallout 4, Persona 5, and Final Fantasy XV. It’s a far cry from the more than 100 games available on Game Pass—especially since titles like Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn are oddly missing.

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When it comes to first-party exclusives, Sony’s future lineup includes Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, and the hotly anticipated Demon’s Souls remake. Final Fantasy XVI will be a PlayStation-console exclusive, and a follow-up to 2018’s God of War has also been teased for 2021.

What Will It Cost Me?

The PlayStation 5 will cost $499.99 or $399.99 for the all-digital edition. PlayStation Plus is required for online play, and will now provide access to a collection of games for $9.99 per month, or $59.99 per year. Sony hasn’t yet announced any monthly payment plans that compete with Xbox All Access.

Like Xbox titles, some PlayStation 5 games will also cost $70 this generation. However, you can always save money by shopping around or purchasing secondhand copies if you buy the console with a physical disc drive.

What About Backward Compatibility?

Sony announced the PlayStation 5 will be 99 percent compatible with PlayStation 4 titles. The company also confirmed the “top 100” PS4 games had been tested, and that they worked on the new console. However, the company stopped short of claiming blanket compatibility.

Unfortunately, neither PS5 console will be compatible with titles created for pre-PS4 Sony consoles—at least, not at launch.

Struggling to Choose?

If you’re finding it hard to choose which console you want, you can always wait. Alternatively, if you’re flush with cash, you can buy both. For most people, the decision will be guided by the exclusives available on both platforms. Unfortunately, at launch, those games are very thin on the ground.

It’s no secret that Sony’s exclusives have been consistently excellent throughout the PS4’s life span, with Microsoft somewhat lacking in this department. That could all change this generation, though, with big-name studios, like Obsidian Entertainment and Double Fine, joining Microsoft as first-party developers.

If neither console piques your interest, waiting is probably best. If you don’t have an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, those consoles will be headed for a significant price drop.

Of course, you could also buy neither and build your own gaming PC, instead.

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Here are the browsers iOS 14 now lets you set as default – The Verge

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With iOS 14, Apple finally lets you choose which browser you want to use as your default, letting you switch away from Safari if you’d rather use a third-party alternative like Chrome or Edge. Apple is also letting iPhone users change their default email app in the updated OS.

To be a candidate for the default browser, developers have had to update their apps. All browsers are still required to use WebKit as their underlying browsing engine, meaning that the main differences between them will come down to their user interfaces and how they sync with other platforms, rather than how they fundamentally render web pages. At the moment there’s only a limited selection of browsers that can be set as the default on iPhone.

Here’s a list of alternative default browsers we can confirm:

  • Chrome
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Edge
  • Firefox

Notably absent from this list are the iOS version of Brave (although the company has confirmed that the latest version of its browser is currently going through Apple’s review process) and Opera Touch (the iOS version of Opera). We also downloaded a variety of other iOS browsers that are frequently recommended in “best iOS browsers” lists including Dolphin, Ghostery, UC Browser, and Aloha, and found that they did not appear in the default browser selection menu.

As of this writing, there appears to be a bug in iOS 14 which resets your default browser to Safari whenever your device reboots. Apple is yet to respond to our request for comment on the bug, but we’d expect it to be fixed with an upcoming patch for iOS.

In order to change your default browser, head into the Settings app, then scroll down to the browser you want to be your default. Click it and you’ll see a “Default Browser App” option if it’s default eligible.

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