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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

TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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WT:Social is a social network without ads and fake news

It’s created by the co-founder of Wikipedia

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In this digital age, fake news and ads have proliferated on the internet. Their proliferation has a big impact on society. That’s why Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched WT:Social, an alternative social networking platform to Facebook and Twitter.

WT:Social is an abbreviation of Wikitribune Social. It aims to provide users with quality headlines by eliminating fake news. It does this by providing a news feed gathered from different “subwikis”. These “subwikis” act as communities where users can join and post news articles. Users can also report misleading headlines and fake news. In the future, the platform will also implement an “upvote” button.

The whole platform seems inspired by Reddit. Unlike Reddit though, a private company doesn’t own WT:Social. It operates through donations, which is also how Wikipedia operates. Through donations, the company promises to sell no personal data — a clear dig at major tech companies like Google and Facebook.

“We will never sell your data. Our platform survives on the generosity of individual donors to ensure privacy is protected and your social space is ad-free,” the platform states on its website.

Privacy-conscious users looking for an alternative to Facebook and Twitter may find WT:Social useful. They can now sign-up through this link, but there is currently a waitlist for new members.

With 80,000 members and counting, Jimmy Wales expect more users in the future. A privacy-focused social networking site focused on eliminating fake news is what the world needs right now, considering that fake news has the power to influence an election, and even generate a scandal.

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YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in PH

Offers a personalized music experience

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YouTube officially introduces its new music streaming app in the Philippines — YouTube Music.

In a nutshell, it is a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player that has official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.

While all this is available for free in the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, a paid service called YouTube Music Premium is also available. This allows you to play songs and videos in the background while you toggle between apps, write a text message, or lock your phone during a run.

YouTube Music Premium also offers offline downloads and an ad-free experience starting at PhP 129 per month.

According to the company, YouTube Music not only has official songs, albums, and live performances, but it also has those hard-to-find music that one can only find on YouTube.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to look for certain songs just by typing in parts of the lyrics. It’s useful for those times that you don’t know the title and know only a short part of its chorus.

The app also allows you to switch between music videos and songs with just a tap. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition between a song and its music video seamlessly.

It’s also noteworthy that subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month with no changes to the existing subscription.

Additionally, users may also opt for YouTube Premium which already includes membership to YouTube Music Premium for PhP 159 per month.

If you want to save more on subscriptions, you may sign up for a YouTube Family Plan where you can share a paid subscription with up to five other family members living in the same household for PhP 199 per month.

For additional info and complete rates, you may visit their website.

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