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iOS 15 brings focus, privacy, and more

Coming this fall

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iOS 15

WWDC 21 showcased plenty of the stuff coming to iOS 15. We already went in detail about what’s new on FaceTime. But here’s quick rundown of every other improvement on the smartphone OS.

Find Focus

Focus helps users filter notifications to reduce distractions, using a custom Focus or a suggested Focus like Work or Sleep. It uses on-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them.

Focus suggestions are based on users’ context, like during their work hours or while they’re winding down for bed, and when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices.

When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status is automatically displayed to others in Messages, reflecting that a user is not currently reachable.

New Notifications

Notifications have a new look with larger icons for apps to make them easier to identify. There’s also a new notification summary. It collects non-time-critical notifications for delivery at a more opportune time to reduce distractions.

This also uses on-device intelligence to determine the most relevant notifications based on a user’s interactions with apps. Urgent messages will be delivered immediately, so important communications will not end up in the summary.

It’s also easy to temporarily mute any app or messaging thread for the next hour or for the day.

Google Lens-like image to text capture

Named Live Text, the feature will recognize text in a photo and allow users to take action. You can take quick snap of some notes, phone numbers, and practically anything with a text on it, then Live Text will bring up actions relevant to what you captured.

Phone numbers will bring up an option to call, text will bring the option to copy the text, and Visual Look-Up will bring up information about what your camera is pointing at.

Better Spotlight

Used in conjunction with Live Text, Spotlight can now search photos by location, people, scenes, or objects. It now also offers web image search and all-new rich results for actors, musicians, TV shows, and movies.

Speaking of photos, the Photos app now has a new-look and vastly improved Memories feature. You can now pick which song will play for a particular memory collection from your Apple Music library.

Better Apple Maps

Details for cities for neighborhoods, commercial districts, elevation, and buildings have been enhanced. These include new road colors and labels, custom-designed landmarks, and a new night-time mode with a moonlit glow.

When navigating using iPhone or CarPlay, Maps features a three-dimensional city-driving experience with new road details that help users better see and understand important details like turn lanes, medians, bike lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks.

Transit riders can find nearby stations more easily and pin favorite lines. Maps automatically follows along with a selected transit route, notifying users when it’s nearly time to disembark, and riders can even keep track on Apple Watch.

New Privacy features

Siri requests is now processed entirely on iPhone by default with on-device speech recognition.

Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them.

App Privacy Report offers an overview of how apps use the access that has been granted to location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last seven days, and which other domains are contacted.

More Notes App functions

Notes adds user-created tags that make it easy to quickly categorize notes in line with relevant content. Mentions allow members of shared notes to notify one another of important updates. Additionally, an all-new Activity view shows the recent history of a shared note.

iOS 15 is coming this fall to the following devices:

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE (1st Gen), iPhone SE (2nd Gen), iPod Touch (7th Gen).

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Xiaomi X Leica partner for ‘Imagery Technology’

Something coming in July

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Xiaomi just dropped a huge bomb on their social media channels announcing a partnership with renowned camera maker Leica.

In the post, Xiaomi said it is ” a global strategic partnership in mobile imaging.”

“Combining the legendary image and innovative technology, let’s look forward to a new era of mobile photography in July,” the post added.

In their official blog, Xiaomi and Leica noted that this is a long-term partnership. It also says the two companies “share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging.” They promise to explore more in mobile imaging “through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.”

There isn’t much to go on at this point but this move is monumental considering what the partnership did for Huawei years back. Xiaomi and its fans have plenty of reason to be excited. The partnership could catapult Xiaomi to an even more premium territory and put it in the stratosphere to compete against Apple and Samsung overall.

Huawei and Leica

Huawei and Leica officially announced their partnership in 2016. The first result of that partnership are the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. Huawei’s standing as a premiere smartphone camera skyrocketed with the Huawei P20 and P30 series. The partnership went on with the P40 and P50 series but it appears it has indeed come to an end.

Gizmochina reported in 2021 that the Huawei and Leica partnership will reach its conclusion with the P50 series.

Huawei official statement

Below is Huawei’s official statement sent to GadgetMatch on May 23, 4:16PM (GMT+8)

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Leica Camera AG have worked intensively together since 2015. The cooperation between the two companies ended on March 31 of 2022. 

 The two companies highly appreciate the partnership. The cooperation was based on each company’s excellent technical know-how and mutual trust resulting in ground-breaking innovations in the field of smartphone photography. 

Together, Huawei and Leica Camera have created new imaging standards and technical capabilities, bringing convenient and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide, through which they have recorded the most memorable moments of their lives. 

Huawei is grateful to its global consumers for their support and will continue providing them with the ultimate in mobile photography experiences through its continued pursuit of innovation.

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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