Apps

Our 7 favorite iOS 10 features

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Apple’s tenth version of iOS is out of beta and finally in public hands. We’ve had it for a while now, and even though it isn’t a drastic change from iOS 9, every new feature adds to the highly mature and already intuitive interface. Let’s get down to the ones that stand out most for us.

1. There are new ways to message

We love finding better ways to communicate using our phones — so much, in fact, that we were delighted to find out Apple stepped up iOS 10’s messaging game. The Game of Thrones-inspired video we published last July covers the most fascinating functions:

We love how Messages allows us to better express ourselves through larger emojis and GIFs, as well as handwritten messages and video playback within the app. We’re sure that everyone who installs iOS 10 will feel the improvements.

2. Raise the phone for instant wakeups

Apple has placed greater emphasis on the lock screen — and why not? It’s the first thing you see whenever you activate your phone. With iOS 10, your iPhone will instantly wake up when picked up, bringing you straight to your lock screen notifications. Considering how fast Touch ID brings you straight to your app grid, being able to see message previews before anything else can save time and battery power.

The feature can be turned on or off in the Display & Brightness setting, but take note, it’s only available for the new iPhone 7 series, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE. Owners of the not-that-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are missing out.

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3. Widgets matter more now

Speaking of the lock screen, reaching your widgets is a lot more simple now. Not only can you enter the lock screen instantly by holding up your phone, you can also swipe to the right to enter your widgets page, where weather reports, event notices, and other information await.

Swiping the other way opens the camera app for quick shots. This is something we appreciated from the more customizable Android handsets we’ve reviewed, and it makes us wonder why we’re only getting this intuitive feature now on iOS.

4. We can finally remove a few stock apps

We’re sure a lot of you have a home screen folder dedicated to the built-in iOS apps you can’t uninstall. Apple has finally caved with iOS 10, and is now allowing the removal of some stock apps. We must place emphasis on the word some, however, since you’re limited to just a few. The Messages, Health, Clock, and Safari apps are untouchable, but we shouldn’t complain, because we can at least get rid of the Stocks app.

5. The Photos and Maps apps are much smarter

A trick we’ve seen Google Photos master has made its way to iOS 10. Apple’s own Photos app can sort your pictures by geographical location, people’s faces, landmarks, and several other categories. This makes searching through albums a lot faster; type in someone’s name, and his or her face should pop up instantly. The rejuvenated app can also intelligently gather images from a single event and present them in video form.

Similarly, the Maps app can go ahead and create route suggestions as you drive. With Waze and Google Maps creating headaches at times, it’s nice to have an alternative baked into the operating system to save you from being late.

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6. Siri is branching out

Have you ever wished for apps to listen to your commands by voice? While it isn’t completely here yet, Apple opened up Siri’s code for developers to integrate the virtual assistant into their own software. You’ll soon be able to book rides on Uber, search through photos, and access app-specific information simply by asking Siri to do the work. The feature is still in its infancy stages and will need a kick from third-party software companies to make it all click, but we’re glad iOS 10 already has it natively.

7. Seamless movement between desktop and mobile work

Apple is rewarding Mac and iOS users with a universal copy-and-paste feature between the two platforms. Once you’re logged into the same Apple ID on both devices, you can move or copy images and text without the need for extra menus or apps. It’s really intuitive, and lessens the need to write things down on a notepad or app before moving from one gadget to another.

You may download iOS 10 anytime you’re ready, but beware of bugs, since all brand-new OS versions go through growing pains at the start. It’s available on the iPhone 5 and up, iPad mini 2 and up, and the sixth-generation iPod touch. If you aren’t happy with the update, check out our guide on how to downgrade to iOS 9.

[irp posts=”7354″ name=”Sorry, Apple: I won’t be getting your new MacBook Pro in 2016″]

Apps

Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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Apps

6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Apps

Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

It consumes less power, too!

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After being enjoyed by Android users for years, the slimmed down version of Facebook’s main app finally arrived on iOS. Although, it’s only available to a select few — for now.

The Facebook Lite app was originally designed for developing countries where mobile data can be unreliable and Android phones are pretty basic. But, it also gained popularity among users with better phones because it uses way less data than the main Facebook app.

On iOS, the lite version is available for download through the Apple App Store for less than 5MB. Apart from being an easy download, it also uses less battery power and occupies minimal storage space.

This is going to be ideal for iPhones and even iPod Touch devices that are already showing signs of slowing down. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

For now, the app is only available in Turkey. As the testing phase expands to other regions, Facebook Lite will eventually be open for everyone.

Via: Business Insider

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

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