Smartphones

How to maximize the features from iOS 15

Taking organization to a new level

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iOS 15 is finally here. As expected, the new update brings a host of new features for Apple users. With so many features set for iOS 15, it’s too easy to miss all the little details coming with the update. If you’re getting the update today or anytime soon, here’s a nifty little list of features that you should definitely take advantage of for iOS 15.

Keeping everyone in the loop

Watching a movie or listening to music with friends and family just got easier with iOS 15. With the new SharePlay feature, FaceTime users can easily share their screen while on a call with a loved one.

Speaking of FaceTime, Apple users can now invite users from other platforms for a call. Even if the other person is on Android or Windows, FaceTime can invite them for a secure call.

Organizing your life

With iOS 15 filled to the brim with new features, it’s getting harder to maintain a productive lifestyle. iOS 15’s new Focus feature lets users manage which notifications go through. Users can set up profiles depending on what they’re doing, whether if it’s at work or at a fancy dinner. (Notifications are much more readable now, by the way.)

Likewise, Apple is introducing Tab Groups, allowing users to group up tabs that belong together for better organization.

To help organize photos with text, Live Text automatically recognizes text from images. Users can then use the text for their own purposes such as copy-pasting, searching for it on Safari, or contacting a phone number from a business card.

Finally, Interactive Memories are also introducing a new way to organize and customize stories with Apple Music.

Sharing while keeping private

Apple is making it easier to share your information from the Health app with family members or caregivers. In much the same way, users can receive notifications about their loved ones’ health information especially amid drastic changes.

Despite the added ease for sharing information, iOS 15 is maintaining Apple’s efforts for privacy. Mail Privacy Protection hides IP addresses and geographical location when users open emails. The new App Privacy Report alerts users when an app contacts another domain from their phone.

SEE ALSO: Top iOS 15 Features to look out for

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iPhone 13 Pro, Pro Max now support Apple ProRes video

Launching with iOS 15.1

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Smartphone cameras have progressed far beyond mere selfies and Instagram shots. Our phones can now take professional shots with the snap of a finger. In fact, some brands have even committed to taking Hollywood-caliber films with known directors and actors. Taking it to the next level, Apple is making it easier for filmmakers to do so by making ProRes video available for the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

Apple hasn’t been shy about the creative capabilities of the iPhone’s two Pro models. The company previously promised ProRes support back in September during the new series’ launch. Finally, Apple is launching the feature with the iOS 15.1 update released recently.

Apple ProRes video is commonly known as the video format friendlier for video editing. The format makes editing easier on Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. It minimizes video compression and maintains image quality. Apple first launched the format back in 2007, but the format has slowly eked its way to more devices throughout the years.

Currently, ProRes is dependent on Apple’s new A15 Bionic chipset. As such, older iPhone models won’t get the format.

The feature is currently shipping out with the recent iOS 15.1 update. If you’re trying to get the feature, make sure you have the update installed first.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: Camera Shootout

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Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite launch globally

With Google Mobile Services (GMS)

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Honor’s bounce back smartphones since parting ways with Huawei is something we’re keeping an eye on. Today, they just launched the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite — both still with traces of its Huawei lineage but with Google Mobile Services.

This new pair of smartphones hasn’t strayed too far from Huawei. But operating independently from the company blacklisted in the USA means gaining access to what Huawei lost — Google Mobile Services or GMS.

Honor 50

The Honor 50 is recognizing the growing trend of short-form videos. With this in mind, they put a 32MP front-facing camera with a 90-degree viewing angle so you can shoot for TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts.

On the back, meanwhile, you’ll find the 108MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as throwaway additions 2MP depth, and 2MP macro cameras.

It has a 6.57-inch, 75-degree curved AMOLED screen that supports 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re into mobile gaming, it also has a 300Hz touch sampling rate so remain competitive. Powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip with a Turbo X GPU, again for high performance and lag-less mobile play.

It comes with a 4,300mAh battery with support for 66W Honor SuperCharge technology for fast wired charging. You can go from zero to 70 percent in just 20 minutes, claims Honor.

The phone runs on Android 11 but with Magic UI 4.2 on top for its own unique Android flavor.

Honor 50 Lite

The Honor 50 Lite shares much of the same features. Some key differences are its 6.67-inch FullView display and the 64MP main camera.

Pricing and availability

The Honor 50 comes in Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, or Midnight Black. There’s also the special HONOR Code edition. Honor describes it as “an innovative colorway incorporating the “HONOR” logo across the back cover.”

Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — EUR 529 (around US$ 614)
  • 8GB+256GB — EUR 599 (around US$ 695)

Meanwhile, the Lite version comes in just the 6GB+128GB variant and retails for EUR 299 (around US$ 347).

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The Xperia PRO-I is Sony’s first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor

The same camera sensor from the Sony RX100 VII

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Remember when Sharp launched the first 1.0-inch camera sensor in a smartphone? Well, Sony has finally entered the scene.

If you’ve recently picked up a Sony Xperia PRO, you might not be too thrilled about this news. This isn’t a new smartphone line from Sony, rather the successor to the Xperia PRO announced in MWC 2020.

Xperia 1 III with the PRO treatment

Just like the Xperia 1 III, the Xperia PRO-I has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display. While not the same 240Hz panel found on its Sharp counterpart, its 120Hz refresh rate is still smooth and capable in today’s needs. Other than the screen, it also has other similarities like a microSDXC card slot, Gorilla Glass 6 and Victus protection, IP65/68 water and dust resistance, among others.

Under the hood, it’s packed with the latest Snapdragon 888 5G chipset — a leap ahead from Xperia PRO’s Snapdragon 865 that was also launched this year. It also has a 4500mAh battery with support for 30W fast wired charging and a sole 512GB + 12GB configuration.

Alpha-grade cameras

What sets the Xperia PRO-I apart from its cousin and sibling are the new set of cameras — particularly that large 1-inch Exmor RS camera sensor you barely find on smartphones nowadays. Rather, it’s found on capable compact cameras like the Sony RX100 VII.

On paper, it still has triple 12MP cameras like the Xperia 1 III. The difference is that the 12MP wide camera has a dual variable aperture of f/2.0 and f/4.0 for that seamless bokeh transitioning like a real point-and-shoot. Ultra-wide is the same at 12MP f/2.2 with 124-degree FoV (Field of View) but the telephoto lens is a downgrade from 3-4.4x optical zoom to just 2x. There’s also a 0.3MP 3D iToF camera for depth-sensing.

On a greater note, the cameras have high-index optical glass spherical lenses that were fit in such slim form. They’re also coated with ZEISS T* coating to avoid pesky reflections — which can also be seen in our vivo X70 Pro+ camera shootout.

For photography

For mobile photographers, the Xperia PRO-I is a true gift from gods. It has Phase Detection AF as well as OIS for less blurry photos even in the dimmest situations. It even supports 12-bit RAW support for flexible color grading especially in pro-grade monitors.

The Xperia PRO-I boasts 315 AF (Autofocus) points, Real-time Eye AF plus Real-time tracking and object tracking for precise tracking and shooting. The wide lens can shoot up to 20fps continuous shooting while the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are restricted to 10fps. The wide lens also has an anti-distortion shutter to reduce that rolling shutter effect.

To make any Xperia PRO-I user feel at home, there’s a dedicated shutter button as well as a single shortcut key just like on any Sony camera. This ensures better focusing and shooting especially when you always shoot photos in a hurry.

For videography

4K HDR 120fps video recording is what makes this more pro of smartphone. There’s also an Optical SteadyShot with FlawlessEye for shake-free videos when panning and roaming around. You should take note though that these features are only accessible to the 24mm wide lens.

Object tracking are also supported in video mode so you can continuously record footage with one subject in focus.

For vlogging

The Xperia PRO-I is advertised as a great compact vlogging camera, too. It has Eye AF in video so the subject is still focused even when recording one’s self. Other than that, there are also stereo mics, one of which is a mono mic found on the rear side to record crystal clear audio. It even has an Intelligent Wind Filter to avoid muffled recordings outdoors.

Image by GadgetMatch

There are also vlogger-centric accessories like the 3.5-inch Vlog Monitor a la professional cinema camera monitor. This is for you to see yourself while using the great rear camera setup since the Xperia PRO-1 doesn’t have a flip screen like the RX100 VII.

Other than that, there’s also the Shooting Grip which is a common vlogging accessory you see from Sony users. This serves as both a handling grip and a mini tripod and a mount for an external mic.

For cinematography

With Xperia PRO-I’s cinematic 21:9 display, shooting 21:9 content also makes a whole lot sense. As mentioned earlier, 4K HDR 120fps recording is included to capture crisp and clear footages.

There are also eight (8) color styles perfected by Sony for you to capture cinema-grade content even with a device that fits in the palm of your hands.

For multimedia needs

Other than the inclusion of microSDXC card slot for people who need it on the go, the Sony Xperia PRO-I also has a strap hole to attach straps like a typical camera. At the same time, they’re still keeping the 3.5mm audio jack in 2021! This is to make sure that audiophiles can still enjoy LDAC and Hi-Res audio that works mostly in Sony’s wired headphones.

Pricing and availability

Sony sells the Xperia PRO-I in a single Frosted Black colorway at a whopping retail tag of EUR 1799 (US$ 2078) — that’s almost US$ 500 less than the original Xperia PRO. The Vlog Monitor gives you an additional EUR 199 (US$ 230) and the needed back cover attachment is an added EUR 89.99 (US$ 104) in the cart.

It will be available starting on December in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other European regions. Availability in other countries will follow in 2022.

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