Apple Maps is back with a brand-new edition, one that the company hopes makes it more appealing (and competitive) compared to the Google Maps and Wazes of the app world. Not only does the new Apple Maps look a lot better, thanks to all the details about buildings, landmarks, and terrain that Apple has packed in, but Apple is doubling down on privacy for your mapping experience.
There’s plenty to like about Apple Maps nowadays. Let’s start with its accuracy. Artur Grabowski ran a pretty geeky test back in 2018 that pitted Apple’s service against Waze and Google Maps. After comparing the estimated times provided by each of the mapping services for 120 total trips, Grabowski found that Apple Maps was the most accurate for estimated times—even though Google Maps, when tested, actually got him to his destinations slightly faster than Apple Maps and Waze.
Rather than relying on third parties for the data that fuels Apple Maps, Apple now creates its own (thanks to a fleet of LIDAR-equipped vehicles that have been steadily driving around the country, as well as satellite imagery and other sources). This should, presumably, increase the accuracy of Apple Maps’ directions. No promises, but I’d at least give it a try—especially around any major metropolitan areas.
As for all the other quirky features you can find in Apple Maps, here’s a quick roundup of some of our favorites—for newbies and returning, directionally challenged users alike.
Setting up your favorite locations (and collections)
It’s a no-brainer to add your home and work to Apple Maps—which makes it easy to pull up directions via the app or a quick yell to Siri. But you can also add all the other places you like to visit, too. Tap “Add” under Favorites, right below Apple Maps’ search bar, and you’ll get a list of suggested locations that you frequent. Pick one, or enter the address manually, and you’ll then be able to customize its label and pick a contact to notify whenever you start navigating there.
Once you have a handful of favorites, the best way to organize them is to drop them all into a collection. This can even be something aspirational: “bars I want to drink at,” for example. Creating a new collection in Apple Maps is easy—look for the “New Collection” link under the Collections section. Tap it, name your collection, tap “Create,” and then tap on the collection to start adding locations.
To share your collection with others—fellow bar-hoppers, as it were—simple swipe up and tap on the share button. (You can also swipe left on the specific Collection on Apple Maps’ main screen to share it.) Be sure to heed Apple’s warning before you pick an iPhone or iPad-using contact to share your list:
Street View Look Around to gaze at a location from afar
Unlike Google’s Street View, there’s no easy way to see all the areas Apple supports with Look Around—its “our car drove by and took a picture of this specific location” feature. If this is available, and you’ll likely have to zoom in to an area for this to happen, you’ll see a little icon of a pair of binoculars pop up in the upper-right corner. Tap it, and you’ll get a photograph of a particular location, which you can then pan around like a typical 360-degree image. Tap or move your finger around the map itself to warp to new locations—only those highlighted in blue, however, which might be tricky to see if you’ve zoomed out too far.
Tap into your daily forecast
This is a tiny trick, but a useful one. When you’re viewing a location in Apple Maps, note the small weather icon (and air quality index!) in the lower-right corner. Long-press on that to pull up the forecast for the next few hours in that location, as well as a general look at the current weather, expected highs and lows, and the chance of rain.
Figure out how to use mass-transit
If you’re new to a location—or just want a reminder about all the mass-transit options available to you—all you have to do is tap on the “i” icon in the upper-right corner of Apple Maps. Switch your view from Map to Transit, and you’ll see lovely little highlights of all the mass-transit options available to you. (Sorry, busses. Subway and rail only!)
Go for an indoor (virtual) stroll
As you’re zooming around Apple Maps, you might notice that some locations have a blue “Look Inside” link below their names on the map. Tap it, and you’ll be able to “open” them up, virtually, to see what’s inside. If you’re looking at a shopping mall, for example, you’ll be able to see its layout—including all the stores packed inside, across however many levels tall the building is. While it would be even better if you could walk through the mall, virtually, using Apple Maps’ Look Around feature, at least you won’t have to go find one of those weird mall kiosk map things the next time you’re lost.
Silence (or summon) Siri to help with directions
Once you’ve picked a place to travel to, and you’ve loaded up directions on your iPhone, swipe your finger up from the bottom of your screen—the little bar just below the giant map. You’ll now see a few extra options to play with. You can add stops to your trip (a gas station, someplace to eat, or a coffee shop), and this is also where you can set how much you want Siri to help you out on your trip.
Tap on Audio, and you’ll be presented with four different volume options for the directions Siri plans to shout at you during your trip: silence, low, normal, and loud. You can also use this screen to have Siri automatically pause your podcasts or audio books when she gives you directions, if you don’t want your experience to sound weird.
To set a default volume for Siri, you’ll need to jump out of the Maps app and pull up your Settings app. Tap on Maps, and then select Driving & Navigation. Look for “Navigation Voice Volume,” and select your preferred option.
While you’re here in Apple Maps’ Settings, you can also pick the transit type you’d like Apple Maps to use by default: driving, walking, or mass transit. You can also turn off mass-transit options you never want Maps to use as part of its trip-planning process by tapping on the “Transit” option.
Additionally, you can use Settings to switch between miles and kilometers in Apple Maps. You can also turn off its Air Quality Index and weather icon, and even whether you want Maps to help you out by taking note of where you parked your car. (As one who often finds himself lost in parking lots, why you wouldn’t want that feature is beyond me.)
Share your ETA with a friend
One fun feature that Apple added in iOS 13 is the ability to send a contact automatic updates about your trip’s progress—useful for date night, for sure. Once you’ve received directions to a location and are staring at your travel map, swipe up from the “arrival / end” section of your screen. From there, tap on “Share ETA,” and pick a contact.
When you share your ETA to a location, your (iOS) contact will receive a little text message that tells them your, well, estimated time of arrival, as well as the name of the location you’re headed to. They can then tap on the location to also set up their own directions or to see where you are—useful if you’re both meeting somewhere. The feature works similarly for Android users, they just won’t get to tap through to pull up a map.
Go on a virtual flight
Some locations in Apple Maps—mainly large cities—come with a special “Flyover” feature that you might see when you search for it. For example, look up Chicago, Illinois and tap the Flyover button to be treated to a pretty 3D view of the city. You can manipulate what you’re looking at by moving your phone around or using pinch/expand gestures with your fingers. I find it easier to just tap the “Start City Tour” button, which is a lot less motion-sickness-inducing. It almost reminds me of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Almost.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4 receive 50,000 bookings in just 12 hours! – HT Tech
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 have received 50,000 bookings in a mere 12 hours. Here is what the company informs.
The recently launched Samsung premium smartphones, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, have garnered more than 50,000 pre- bookings in less than 12 hours, the company informed. The information was provided by Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President and Head of MX sales at Samsung India. The record figures came on Day 1 of the pre-booking opening for foldables on August 16, according to a report by IANS.
“Samsung is targeting to sell 1.5 times more foldable phones this year. We are confident of meeting our target because the new foldable phones come with huge upgrades as compared to last year,” Pullan told IANS. Meanwhile, according to a report by PTI, Samsung also feels the ongoing worries on inflation are unlikely to dent the demand for mobile phones in India, adding that it sees a healthy double-digit growth in volumes this year.
Aditya Babbar, Samsung’s head of product marketing said, “All our internal estimates show that the market will grow at a healthy number and we will outpace at 2x.” In the premium category alone, it is looking at a 1.5-times growth in sales over the last year, he added.
It can be known that Samsung has launched a total of 16 devices across various customer segments this year with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 being the latest. According to a report by PTI, the newly-launched phones in the premium segment will be stocked in 10,000 stores and will be available at 12,000 points to aid the overall sales.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Price
Priced at Rs. 89,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant and Rs. 94,999 for the 8GB+256GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available in several colour options including Bora Purple, Graphite, and Pink Gold colours.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Price
Priced at Rs. 1,54,999 for the 12GB+256GB variant and Rs. 1,64,999 for the 12GB+512GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in Graygreen, Beige and Phantom Black colours.
Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro Surprise Early Release Leaked In New Report – Forbes
The next Apple special event is just days away, if the latest report is correct, and will take place on Wednesday, September 7.
That’s according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, who has just reported the date he believes is correct. To be fair, he wasn’t the first to predict this date. Last week, Max Weinbach floated the idea that the event would be on September 7, not September 13 as had been previously mooted. This meant that the likely release date for the next iPhones, not to mention a range of three Apple Watch models and perhaps the next AirPods Pro, could also be brought forward.
The possibility that the event could take place in the week commencing September 5 had been discounted, because the release is routinely a week later. And anyway, Monday, September 5 is a holiday, so flying in staff and press from around the world on a holiday for an event on Tuesday, September 6, seemed unlikely.
Unless, that is, the event is virtual rather than in person. Gurman believes the event is being recorded, so a virtual event is likely.
Moving the event date (virtual or in-person) to a Wednesday, though not unprecedented, is unusual. But holding an in-person event on Wednesday, September 7 would solve the problem of relocating staff and guests on a public holiday.
But a virtual event? I get the thinking behind this, and after all, Apple is very cautious about how it holds its events when Covid is not that far in the rearview mirror.
Even so, I think Gurman is wrong when he says, “The company intends to stream the event online — rather than holding an in-person gathering — continuing an approach it adopted at the start of the pandemic.”
In June, Apple staged a highly successful hybrid event, with a pre-recorded keynote played out on a huge video screen in Apple Park to hundreds of developers, selected guests, and press.
If that was possible then, why not hold a hybrid event now with a smaller guest list, as no devs would be likely to be invited?
That event began with a live appearance from Tim Cook and Craig Federighi introducing the keynote broadcast and it worked well. My guess, and it’s no more than that, is that this is the format that Apple will follow this September when it announces its new iPhones and more.
Of course, we won’t know until invites go out, and until the second they do, Apple can instead opt for a virtual-only event, something I think it would only consider if there’s a sudden spike in Covid transmissions in California. If that happens, then it has its pre-recorded keynote up its sleeve.
So, what does all this mean?
Whether the event is live or virtual, assuming it happens on Wednesday, September 7 at 10AM Pacific, then the shiny new iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods Pro will go on sale on Friday, September 16, I believe.
Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Oppo's ColorOS 13 update has a built-in pixelation feature for message screenshots – The Verge
Oppo is launching its ColorOS 13 update today, and has detailed the features that are on the way for its devices as they’re upgraded to its flavor of Android 13. Oppo — which like Vivo, OnePlus, and other Chinese brands is controlled by the tech giant BBK Electronics — says the update will be arriving first on the Find X5 and Find X5 Pro this month, ahead of its release on around 33 additional models in the Find, Reno, A, F, and K ranges before the end of the year.
One of the smaller features worth calling out is a neat pixelation feature that’ll be available for screenshots in WhatsApp and Messenger chats. A new “Pixelate” option appears in the editing window, which can be tapped to automatically blur out the contact’s name and profile picture (as shown in the animation above). You can also use the tool to manually blur out the contents of messages. It could be a helpful little feature if you want to quickly share a message exchange without revealing every detail.
As you’d expect, ColorOS 13 includes many of the standard features that Google has built into this year’s Android update such as enhanced privacy settings or the ability to mirror Google Messages on a paired Chromebook. There are also some obvious similarities with Oppo sub-brand OnePlus’ recently announced OxygenOS 13 update, which runs on the same underlying codebase as ColorOS. The two updates share the same always-on display widget designs, including one for Spotify with built-in playback controls, as well as similar design tweaks that include home screen widgets and resizable folders.
But there are also some new features for ColorOS 13 that have yet to be announced for OxygenOS. For example, Oppo has announced a new “Multi-Screen Connect” screen-mirroring feature which will allow up to three windows from a phone to be displayed on a connected Windows PC. That includes two background apps alongside one direct mirror of a phone’s display. The connectivity also simplifies the transfer of files between a smartphone and Windows, according to Oppo’s announcement.
Another small-yet-potentially-handy feature is something Oppo is calling “Meeting Assistant,” which is designed to improve the reliability of calls made via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet by prioritizing their traffic data over other apps. It also reduces the size of incoming notifications in an attempt to make them less distracting while on a call.
Under the hood upgrades claimed for ColorOS 13 include the debut of what Oppo is calling the “Dynamic Computing Engine,” which it says will increase battery life and allow more apps to be kept open in the background.
The launch of ColorOS 13 comes just days after the official release of Android 13 for Pixel devices, making Oppo one of the first third-party Android manufacturers to start rolling out the latest version of Google’s operating system. Check out Oppo’s graphic below to see its projected timeline for the update to be available across its range of handsets.
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