iOS 15 is here, so saddle up your iPhone and start downloading the latest update to try out all of the new features. This year’s update is overall pretty bland, especially compared to the new hotness that is Material You over on Android, but it’s a worthwhile update nonetheless.
Below I highlight a few of my favourite new features and what I like about them based on a few weeks I’ve spent with the latest iOS 15 beta, but before that, let’s go over how to install the update. As with all iOS updates, simply navigate to your Settings app, open the ‘General’ section and select ‘Software update.’
The update is compatible with smartphones as old as the iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE.
What is this new Focus mode?
The most noticeable iOS 15 update is the new look for notifications. This time around, the app icon with each notification is larger to make it easier to see at-a-glance which app is begging for your attention.
Beyond that subtle visual flourish, there’s a new ‘Focus’ button within Settings and Control Center (the menu that allows you to change screen brightness and play/pause music playback). When you open this, it shows you a few new notification filters that can block preset apps during specific times. You need to set this up on your own, but once activated, it can be useful for blocking social notifications during work hours and work notifications during social hours.
FaceTime invites Windows and Android to the party
Perhaps the part of iOS 15 that will be used the most is a new FaceTime feature that allows users to set up chatrooms that you can invite people to with a link. This is just like how Zoom, Google Meet and Teams all work, putting FaceTime on slightly more level footing with those competitors. It also allows FaceTime users to invite Android and Windows users for the first time.
To be clear, non-Apple users can only be invited to a FaceTime chat; they can’t start one.
On top of all this, Apple has also added some new layouts to Facetime to make it easier to see everyone in a chat at once.
The new iMessage updates take a bit to get used to
One of the more subtle updates that’s come with iOS 15 is a new form of iMessage. For the most part, the app looks the same, but now, when you send or receive multiple photos, they get stacked in the chat instead of all displayed at once.
This looks nicer, but you can easily mistake it for just a single photo if you just glance at it.
One of the more exciting updates that seems cool but might not catch on is the new ‘Shared with you’ sections within Safari and Photos. In each of these sections, you can see links or pictures that people have sent you via iMessage, so you can quickly open them or check them out later.
Copy text from anywhere
One of the sleeper updates added in iOS 15 is the ability to copy text from pretty much anything.
Within the Photos app, you can click on a little icon in the bottom right of each picture to copy text from within the photo. If you’re in Safari, you can tap and hold onto text in images and, in pretty much every case, the phone will be able to copy it accurately.
You can also highlight phone numbers to instantly call them or addresses to get directions in Maps.
Spotlight search is the real way to get around your iPhone in 2021
If you’re not already utilizing the power of Spotlight Search on iPhone, you should really start with iOS 15.
When you pull down on the home screen in the new update, you can search for pretty much anything now. This includes the web, your photos, contacts and messages, among many other sources. You can even now use it from the iOS lock screen.
The iOS translate app can automatically detect when a person is speaking and will begin translation immediately. Since you can also select text in images and other things in iOS 15, you can also translate them quite easily.
This isn’t the new Safari iWanted
When Apple first revealed iOS 15 and its other software updates earlier this summer, it planned to revamp the look of Safari on all of them. While I was really excited about these visual changes, the world, apparently, was not.
The first version of iOS 15 safari was a simple bubble that floated at the bottom of the screen. If you tapped on the bubble, you could search using Google. There was also a three-dot menu and a button to see all your open tabs. Swiping across the bubble also allowed users to jump through all their open tabs quickly. This functionality, thankfully, is still in iOS 15.
The search bubble didn’t last, and instead, Apple replaced it with a much more accessible and technical-looking bottom navbar. While this version might not look as nice, it’s likely going to be a lot easier for people to adapt to.
Samsungs Galaxy Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition lets users customize their phone – MobileSyrup
Samsung is letting customers customize their handsets with a new ‘Bespoke Edition’ of the foldable Galaxy Z Flip 3.
The Bespoke Edition lets users configure the foldable smartphone with one or two frame colours (black or silver) and five-panel colours, including ‘Black,’ ‘White,’ ‘Yellow,’ ‘Pink’ and ‘Blue.’
The Bespoke Edition will be available starting October 20th for $1,399.99 CAD.
Samsung says altogether this gives users 49 different colour combinations.
Additionally, the South Korean company will let users change their device’s colours after purchasing the smartphones with ‘Bespoke Upgrade Care.’
There will also be the Galaxy Watch 4 Bespoke Studio wearables that let users customize their smartwatch before purchasing. It seems like the Z Fold 3 isn’t getting a Bespoke Edition, which is odd considering it was possible to change the frame of the Z Fold 2.
The Bespoke Studio starts at $329.99 for the 40mm variant and the $459.99 for the 42mm version.
Samsung also announced a collaboration with the designer brand Maison Kitsuné that includes special brand editions of the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Watch 4. The special edition designs include cute fox branding on both the watch and buds.
The Maison Kitsuné 40mm Galaxy Watch costs $529.99. And the Maison Kitsuné Edition Galaxy Buds 2 costs $349.99.
The South Korean tech giant is also releasing a Galaxy Watch 4 update that lets users customize their watch faces and the mix and match complications. This update brings gesture controls and the ability to activate an app with a knock-knock motion on your wrist.
To learn more about the Galaxy Z Flip 3, check out my review of the foldable smartphone.
Watch the Google Pixel Fall Launch Event in under 13 minutes [VIDEO] – Chrome Unboxed
Though it wasn’t a crazy-long presentation on Tuesday, the nearly-one-hour Pixel 6 launch event packed a ton of info into 60 minutes. While I don’t think Google did much on the fluff side of things, there were definitely some fun transitions, extra commentary, and needed visual flare that took up more time than absolutely necessary. That’s the case with every major tech event, and as a viewer, I do appreciate a bit of that.
On the other hand, we also know that many of you are short on time for events like these. You need the details and you need them quick before you decide which phone to purchase going into the fall. I get it. As a matter of fact, many tech events are better consumed without all the extra stuff between the facts.
So, in that light, we decided to put together a quick cut of the Google Pixel Fall Launch that takes the event from 54 minutes and 28 seconds all the way down to under 13 minutes. You’ll still get all the details, all the visual flare, and all the software/hardware examples you could want, but you can watch it during halftime of a football game.
As you all know, Google used this event to launch Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, showing off the new design, their own custom SoC in Tensor, a bunch of new camera tricks like Magic Eraser, Face Unblur, Motion Mode and Real Tone, and some pretty sweet on-device AI/ML things that this phone can do that no other can match. On-device, real-time translation and the enhanced voice typing are two that really stuck out to me.
Trust me, this is one tech presentation you want to watch. To be honest, I’d tell you to go watch the original version and fully enjoy what Google put together. But if you simply don’t have time, we get it. Enjoy the video above and hopefully arm yourself to make a better purchasing decision sooner rather than later. We’re honestly not sure what Google’s inventory looks like this year, so I’d avoid waiting as much as possible.
Poll: What do you think about the new MacBook Pro having a notch on the screen? – 9to5Mac
Along with AirPods 3 and new colors for the HomePod mini, Apple introduced the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro this week. In addition to a new design and the superpowered M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the new MacBooks feature a rather controversial addition: a notch at the top of the screen. Now we want to know your opinion on the notch coming to the Mac.
The cutout at the top of the screen on some devices is popularly called the “notch.” Apple first adopted the notch in 2017 with the iPhone X, as it was the first iPhone to have an edge-to-edge display. Although the notch is now present in pretty much every iPhone model, Apple had kept the notch limited to its phone until now.
Just like the iPhone, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature an edge-to-edge display. As a result, Apple has added a cutout at the top of the screen to house the new 1080p front-facing camera. Interestingly, the new MacBook Pro doesn’t have a TrueDepth camera for Face ID, so it’s unclear why the company opted for such a large notch.
As we covered on Monday, developers can choose whether they want to take advantage of the notch area on these new Macs, or whether the app should run with a black bar on top. It’s worth noting that by default, non-updated apps will run in a “compatibility mode” with the black bar at the top when in full screen.
Apple also pointed out that it made the screen taller in order to place the macOS menu bar in the notch area, so the user will end up having more area to view content.
Of course, some users didn’t seem to like the idea of having a notch on a Mac, while others agreed with Apple. Whether you like it or not, I can definitely see the notch coming to other Mac computers in the future.
With that in mind, what do you think about having a notch on the MacBook Pro – and possibly other computers? Let us know in the poll and also in the comments section below.
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