News

macOS Catalina ditches iTunes, adds security

Sidecar seems particularly useful

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It isn’t the sexiest of the bunch but the new macOS, which is called Catalina, got plenty of useful updates at WWDC 2019.

Goodbye, iTunes

If you’re a Mac user and you feel like you haven’t used iTunes in a while, that’s because it really hasn’t been all that useful. Good news, Apple noticed and it’s breaking iTunes apart into three: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. With this development, it’s now easier to look for content you’re inclined to consume.

Apple Music will make it easier for users to discover new music. The TV app will have personalized recommendations on over 100,00 movies and TV shows that you can buy or rent. Lastly, there’s the podcast app which has over 700,000 shows in its catalog. Users will have the option to be notified if there are new episodes of podcasts they’re subscribed to.

Sidecar, Voice Control, and others

Another key productivity update is Sidecar. It turns your iPad into an extended display or a high-precision drawing tablet using supported Mac apps. Sidecar can also be a great tool for editing video, drawing, and working with documents. It can run on a wireless connection, so users can work with greater mobility.

Apple also believes that “technology is most powerful when everyone can use it.” With that in mind, they have integrated voice control on macOS. You can say specific instructions and your computer will do it for you. This is also available on iOS.

Other updates include better security through Gatekeeper. There’s also the new Find My app which lets one anonymously relay the location of a lost or stolen Mac to its owner by other Apple devices, even when offline.

There’s also Screen Time that tells you how much time you spend on your laptop using specific apps. This will you monitor your usage and help you decide when it’s time to step away from the keyboard.

The developer preview of macOS Catalina is available on the Apple Developer Program starting today, and a public beta program will be available to Mac users later in June. macOS Catalina will come out this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later.

Automotive

All-new Honda Fit debuts with hybrid variant, five trims

Different trims for different lifestyles

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The 46th Tokyo Motor Show is at full swing and one of the biggest names in car manufacturing has just unveiled its newest offering in the compact car segment. The all-new Honda Fit wants to cater to almost every lifestyle you may have — whether you want things simple or a bit flashy, rugged or elegant.

For the exterior’s design, the company gave importance to “emotional value” which is a new concept that they’re going for. Instead of going for design cues that are sleek and intimidating, Honda evidently took the more conservative route with softer curves and a generally mild-mannered expression.

Inside, the company boasts its “four dimensions of comfort” that should make everyday drives more enjoyable. From having a wide, comfortable view, body-stabilizing seats, smooth-running engine/motor, to a spacious interior, the all-new Fit should have you covered.

As mentioned previously, the company aims to cater to different lifestyles by offering its new compact car in five different trims or types:

BASIC

The basic type of the all-new Fit offers both high-quality design and comfort. This type will feature a simple and endearing appeal. It includes a front face with a gentle look and a seamless flowing exterior.

HOME

This type strives to realize a relaxing and carefully designed space using the sense of sight and touch. This is achieved through coordinating colors and materials, including natural-looking fabric seats made with high-quality materials, a genuine leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Prime Smooth soft padding.

NESS

This type features exciting color coordination and adopts water-repellent materials for the seat surfaces while soft padding has been installed on the instrument panel. It has a sporty and fashionable vibe which will enable customers to enjoy driving just like they enjoy fitness and sports.

CROSSTAR

This type features an exterior design developed exclusively for the CROSSTAR. It flaunts a set of 16-inch aluminum wheels that look good both in the city and outdoor environments.

As for the interior, water-repellent materials are also used for seat surfaces and soft padding on the instrument panel. This type projects a compact yet tough look.

LUXE

Striving to create a space where people can spend elegant and comfortable time in, the LUXE comes standard with genuine leather seats while pursuing excellence in visual and tactile quality. For the exterior, platinum-style chrome plating and 16-inch aluminum wheels were adopted to increase the high-quality feel.

In addition to those trims, the Fit will also be available in a two-motor hybrid system called e:HEV.

As far as features are concerned, we’re far from over. This new offering comes with Honda Sensing technology which is what we saw on the recently launched Honda Accord in the Philippines. It basically uses cameras and sensors to be able to avoid collisions.

Another thing is the Honda CONNECT. It actually makes its debut along with the new Fit and offers three services.

First, you can use it to access certain vehicle functions remotely, then it connects the vehicle to emergency support in case a traffic accident happens, and finally, its “rush over” service dispatches a security guard when the system detects an abnormal situation happening to the vehicle.

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India

Forget iPhone 11, Apple’s secret weapon is the iPhone XR

OnePlus and Samsung should be worried

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Continuing the legacy, Apple announced the iPhone 11 series in September and response has been widely positive. The phones pack the latest A13 Bionic chipset, exponentially improved cameras, and best-in-class display.

However, Apple’s secret weapon is a generation old iPhone that is often perceived to be low-cost. In developing regions like India, the latest offerings are extremely expensive and amid a global slowdown, demand has remained unchanged.

Apple’s secret weapon is the iPhone XR and its recently announced price-cut. The phone is now available for INR 44,990 (US$ 635), down from its launch price of INR 76,900 (US$ 1,100). And, even though it’s one-year-old, the specifications are still class-leading with an A12 processor, kick-ass single-lens camera, and smooth iOS experience.

Apple’s market share has taken a massive beating in the country due to increasing competition from OnePlus and Samsung. Being a very price-sensitive market, the iPhone XR has been selling like hotcakes since the official drop. In fact, further discounts were also available during festive sales and the device was out-of-stock in no time.

Apple is doubling down on India and has been slowly ramping up local production to avoid import duty as high as 20 percent. Older models like the iPhone 7 and iPhone X are already being sourced locally and the brand has now started with the iPhone XR.

Multiple sources confirmed to IANS that production of the iPhone XR is up and running at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.

For years, Apple has been accused of ignoring the Indian market, but multiple developments this year have confirmed that the brand is indeed serious about establishing itself. After almost a decade of trying, the brand finally got approval to directly sell products in India and not rely on third-party vendors that are termed “Authorised Resellers”.

There have also been reports about an iPhone SE 2 launching in the first quarter of 2020 and if this materializes, India will be a primary market for the low-cost iPhone.

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Apps

Netflix might limit password sharing between users

In order to gain more revenues?

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Netflix isn’t chill when it comes to password sharing. During its third-quarter earnings interview, the streaming giant discussed its plans. The company tackled users sharing one account to find a way around paying for a monthly subscription.

Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann says the company is continuing to monitor the situation. Neumann added, ”We’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges of that.”

It’s still unclear on how Netflix will limit password sharing since the streaming giant didn’t announce anything specific. Netflix’s goal seems to restrict account sharing to people living in the same household. Some speculate that the company will take a look into IP addresses, but it poses a problem for families living apart. But for now, you can still enjoy sharing your account with friends and families as Netflix claimed they have “no big plans to announce at this time in terms of doing something different.”

 

Presently, users can log onto Netflix regardless of how many devices they have. Its only limitation — depending on the subscription plan — is how many people can stream all at the same time. In the near future, it isn’t surprising for Netflix to push through with their plans to limit password sharing since the competition with Disney+ and Apple TV+ is getting tight. In order to gain more revenue, Netflix might have to convert people to pay for their own subscription.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons why Disney+ is better than Netflix (and 1 big reason why it’s not)

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