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WatchOs 7: What’s Next for Your Apple Watch?

Apple announced watchOS 7, the new software for Apple watches at its annual developers conference. The new software is expected to arrive with the Apple Watch 6 much later this year. Despite this, Apple revealed the set of new and remarkable updates and features that will completely upgrade the Apple watch experience. The updates range from a new sleep tracking and fitness features, more health monitoring options, covid19 safety precaution features, watch face configuration, personalization and privacy features, and many more. The Apple Watch 6 will supposedly be coming with all these features included in its design and build. Let's take a look at a few of these incredible features that will sure leave you drooling with excitement. Handwashing In line with adhering to the covid19 prevention and safety measures, WatchOs brings automatic handwashing detection which uses the motion sensors, microphone, and on-device machine learning to automatically detect handwashing motions and sounds, and then initiate a 20 seconds timer to ensure your hands are thoroughly washed. If you finish before the timer, you'll get a prompt to keep washing, as the health app tracks the frequency and duration of your handwashing. The Apple watch can also remind you to wash your hands when you get home. Workout types and fitness app The Activity app for iPhone is now called Fitness, and the upgrade introduces four new workout modes - Core Training, Dance, Functional Strength Training, and Cool down. These workout modes are supported by powerful heart rate and custom-built motion algorithms. The new activity app is now redesigned with a streamlined view of data, including your daily activity, workouts, awards, and activity trends in one tab, with activity sharing and competitions on another tab. The app also has the ability to measure different body-to-arm motion with the use of different  sensors. Watch Faces and Face Sharing WatchOS 7 update brings users the ability to personalize and customize the face of their Apple watch  with a unique combination of configured faces to suit any activity or lifestyle. Users can also easily share their personalized watch faces via a new feature called Face Sharing. The watchOS 7 also offers developers the ability to enable multiple complications on a single watch face. Sleep Tracking Apple watch with WatchOS 7 update now has a sleep tracking feature that helps you track and improve your sleep pattern with charts and whatnot. The feature also includes a Wind Down mode that let's you create customized pre-bedtime routine to meet your…

iOS 14 Experience:What Updates are Coming to Your Airpods Pro?

It's been over a month since the release of the firmware version 2D15 for Apple's Airpods Pro. However, at the WWDC 2020 developers event, Apple announced a couple of new features coming to the Airpods Pro. It revealed that it would be adding a new auto-switching feature for seamless switching between audio sources (exclusively on Apple devices), and a Spatial Audio feature to the wireless Earbuds which will create a virtual surround sound experience when watching video or audio tracks that support Dolby 5.1/7.1 It seems the upgrade is coming with the new software version 2D27 that Apple has just released. Although this update is not clear on the changes or improvements that are made to the wireless earbuds since Apple doesn't publish release notes for its earbuds, but the true wireless buds will most likely address some bug fixes and overall performance improvements. Another thing about software updates for Airpods is that they come automatically installed, this means that there is no way for users to manually install the updates. The updates occur only when the Airpods Pro is in its charging case and connected/paired to the iPhone device. However, to check the current firmware version your Earbuds is running on, on your iOS device, head to settings app > general > about > airpods. Users with Airpods Pro running on the previous version should begin to see the updates installed into their device. So check out for it!

The iOS 14 Experience: Here’s Everything In Store

At the WWDC 2020 virtual developers conference, Apple officially unveiled iOS 14 - the next version of its operating system. News is that if your iPhone is running iOS 13 or you're using iPhone 6s or later, then you'll be able to upgrade to the new software. So what's new in iOS 14? Let's take a look at the bunch of new features iPhones would be receiving. App Library iOS 14 comes with a new home screen that houses the new App Library feature. The App Library is placed at the end of the home screens, and it automatically organizes your apps based on categories, and into folders that shows your most recently used apps, recently added apps, and suggested apps for quick accessibility. You can easily launch any app with a tap without needing to open the folder first. The folders are categorized by social, health & fitness etc. With the new home screen, you can now hide or remove apps that you don't want visible on the home screen, but you'll still be able to find them later in the app library. You can as well eliminate an entire screen if you want. App clips These are mini apps (i.e small parts of specific apps) that are easily accessible and can be quickly used without installing, downloading or going through the sign in process of the full app. In other words, the functionality is such that allows you to use specific apps without having to download or install the apps. App clips are integrated with Apple pay. Users can access app clips by scanning a new Apple-designed App Clip code, or through NFC tags and QR codes, or by having them shared in Messages, or from Safari. Picture-in-Picture When watching a video or making a FaceTime call, users can navigate to other applications, and the video will continue to play in a little box on your screen. Users can also move the video around the screen or off the screen, while the audio will continue to play. Improved Siri Interface Siri will no longer takeover your full screen when triggered. It has been upgraded to simply show the animation in the bottom part of the screen, and notifications will now appear at the top of your screen. Along with these, Siri will be getting a translation function, with live conversation support. New Home Screen Widgets Referred to as more data rich, the functionality is said to come in different sizes and can be used…

Apple Releases GM build for iOS 13.5, iPadOS 13.5 – What’s New?

Apple could be preparing to roll out the next version of its operating system any moment from now, this is because it has started releasing the GM (Golden Master) version of iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 alongside WatchOS 6.2.5 and tvOS 13.4.5 to developers. *A Golden Master refers to the final version of a software, and it is usually a strong indicator that a software is ready for release into the market. *So what's new in iOS 13.5? The update introduces Apple and Google's new exposure notification API for Covid-19 contract tracing as well as the ability to share your Medical ID with first responders when placing an emergency call. Another related update includes a tweak to Face ID which makes it easier to unlock your device when wearing a mask. The update enables Face ID to skip to the password screen if it detects that you’re wearing a mask. In addition, iOS 13.5 also includes changes to the Group FaceTime calls, a new option for sharing Apple music on IG and Facebook stories, system bug fixes, and other improvements. iOS 13.5 GM Seed Release Notes: "iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. This update also introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group FaceTime calls and includes bug fixes and other improvements. Face ID and Passcode Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face maskPasscode field automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen when you are wearing a face maskAlso works when authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes, and other apps that support signing in with Face ID Exposure Notification Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities FaceTime Option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks Emergency Services Option to automatically share health and other essential information from your Medical ID with emergency services when you place an emergency call (US only) This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements. Fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websitesAddresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not…

Apple Releases 2 New Pride Edition Watch Bands: With Rainbow Designs

Apple has launched two new Pride Edition Watch bands to commemorate the 2020 Pride - an annual celebration of the LGBT community that takes place every month of June, in the US & UK. This new edition of Apple watch bands includes a very colourful new Sport Band and a new Nike Sport Band variant. The Pride Edition Sport Band features a multi-coloured rainbow design across the entire strap. Apple says that the design of this band is "assembled by hand from individual stripes of coloured fluoroelastomer. The strips are then machine die-cut and compression molded together. This process results in subtle variations in the wavy rainbow design, making each band artfully unique." The Pride Edition Nike Sport Band on the other hand has a subtle design in line with the theme of Nike Sport Band models. The colour of the band is white and it has rainbow colors located inside the holes of the strap. Besides the band, Apple will have two new Pride Watch faces which will come with watchOS 6.2.5 update. Also, both Pride bands are available in sizes 40/44mm and can be purchased on Apple's website.  

We may be getting a shape shifting mouse from Apple

So far, we’ve all been used to a standard type and shape of mouse – wired and wireless, and in several colour variants. However recently, an Apple Patent that shows the company might have been working on a type of mouse that can change shape and give haptic feedback to a user have been revealed. According to the patent’s description, the mouse relies on enclosed actuators to reconfigure the shape of the mouse and let it fit the user’s hand, it will also be able to give feedbacks to the user via the sensation of touch. The description details the following: “The mouse may include one or more actuators for manipulating the articulating member to change the curvature of the exterior surface of the mouse. The curvature may be changed to optimize the ergonomics of the mouse and/or deliver tactile feedback to users. In one embodiment, the profile shape or curvature of the mouse is optimized to fit a user's hand. The mouse may include various sensors for determining if the curvature matches a contour of the user's hand, and the shape of the mouse may be changed accordingly. In another embodiment, the profile shape or curvature of the mouse is optimized for a particular function or activity being performed at an associated computing device. For example, a relatively flat curvature may be chosen for tasks that are typically performed on a trackpad and a curved surface may be chosen for tasks that are typically performed using a traditional mouse.” However, considering that this is a patent, there is no certainty that Apple would go through with the release of this design. Although, we sure would love for this to happen, as it seems magical.

Apple Cancels March Event, Delays iPhone 9 Indefinitely

Sources inside apple have confirmed the cancellation of the company’s WWDC event. The event intended to showcase the launch of iPhone 9 also known as iPhone SE 2 along with other new products, however due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, a ban was placed on the gathering of over 1,000 people between march and April. And as a result, Apple decided it was best to cancel its yearly event and also delay the launch of its new products indefinitely. Reports also claimed that not only is there a loss of venue and a delay in launching new products, the entry of upcoming products like the iPhone 12 may likely be delayed and this is not because of the lack of parts or production materials but rather as a result of the travel restrictions which are delaying the engineers from performing the engineering verification tests (EVTs) for the 5G iPhones at manufacturing facilities in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Facebook hired contractors to transcribe people’s voice messages on Messenger

Facebook is at it again, intruding and violating user’s privacy seems to be what the company is really good at. News is that the company had been paying contractors to listen to and transcribe user’s voice chats on Facebook messenger. The contract employees when queried, claimed they were ordered to transcribe audio messages but were not told where and how the audio was obtained and why they were hired to do so. According to Bloomberg, the company confirmed it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said Tuesday. The company said the users who were affected chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages, which were anonymized. Mark Zuckerberg had previously denied this and called it “conspiracy theory” that his company was collecting audio from users to inform ads or help determine what people see in their news feeds. Now, the company admitted it “only accesses users’ microphone if the user has given the app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features.). But even with this, we know Facebook never disclosed to users that third parties may review their audio chats.

Apple’s iPhone 11 series to come with Pencil feature

According to analysts at Citi Research, one of the new range of iPhones expected to be released in September will come with Apple Pencil support. This feature was previously rumored for the iPhone XS in 2018 but now it seems Apple is rolling out the accessory with one of this year’s range of iPhones. The Apple Pencil is a stylus launched in 2015, and currently made to support Apple iPads only; the pencil is designed to enable you draw, take notes or easily navigate through tabs and apps. However, pencil support isn’t for tablets alone, some smartphones brands like the Samsung Galaxy Note series have already been in tune with the pencil feature. Apart from this, we do not have key details or any  information about the Apple Pencil, but what we do know is that this will be the first time an iPhone will come with Apple Pencil support.        

Are the original Airpods worth dumping for the new Airpods 2?

Sometime in March 2019, Apple unveiled Airpods 2 which are believed to be an upgrade of the first generation Airpods, but if you are a first time buyer or you already have a set of the first Airpods and debating whether to upgrade to the new Airpods, there are few things you should have in mind. Well, other than the upgraded features and improvements Apple made for better performance and efficiency, the difference between the two devices aren’t that big. The first generation Airpods runs on W1 chip with Bluetooth 4.2 while Airpods 2 are powered by an upgraded H1 chip which supports Bluetooth 5.0; this however makes connectivity 1.5x faster and switching between devices 2x faster. Both devices still offer up to 5 hours of listening time, but with Airpods 2 H1 chip, you now get an additional hour of talk time and the case provides 24 hours of battery life. To run the new earbuds, your phone needs to be on the latest ios 12.2 while the old earbuds run on iOS 10 or later. Another difference is that, the new Airpods now support Hands-free Hey siri functionality meaning you can use voice commands instead of douple tapping to activate siri. Also, the new earbuds comes with wireless charging, which is optional because there is also the regular charging option that uses a lightning cable; But if you decide to go for the wireless charging option, you would need to buy the Qi wireless charging case differently. And to charge the case, you need to have a charging pad, but there’s also a lightning port on the case, so you can charge with a lightning cable if you can't afford the luxury of a charging pad. Not only can the Qi wireless charging case be used to charge the Airpods 2 that comes with wireless charging, the case is also compatible with the first generation Airpods, this means that other than the lightning cable, the wireless charging case works just fine in charging the old earbuds. So now you can see that the changes aren’t that big other than the wireless charging, improved battery life and hands-free “Hey, Siri”. So unless you fancy the upgrades and have extra cash to spend, we suggest you stick with the old Airpods.