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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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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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News

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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Gaming

Players finally meet as HoYo FEST kicks off in SEA this November

It’s a grand meetup!

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hoyo fest

miHoYo, the global interactive entertainment developer and publisher behind hit multiplayer games such as Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact, announced that HoYo FEST is coming to Southeast Asia this November.

The interactive festival shall be held in six countries: Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The annual celebration will allow for fellow players to finally convene and meet each other off their screens and in real life, allowing for an opportunity to relive memorable, happy, and touching moments in the game together.

Gaming world-themed cafés

All HoYo FEST-related events will be held at collaboration cafés themed after Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact between November 5 and December 14.

These specific cafés will offer special set menus on dine-in, takeout, and delivery options. Ordering via takeout and delivery also gives customers an additional printed tote bag and cup sleeve.

The interiors will be furnished in the styles of Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact in order, which is accompanied by photography zones.

That way, fans and players will be able to enjoy exquisite foods and immerse themselves in a real-life feel of the game worlds while bonding with new friends they’ve only previously met in-game.

Mystery gifts and exciting merchandise

Ordering collaboration combos or spending a certain amount of money at a café also entitles guests to an exciting mystery gift box.

The pop-up stores found only at specific cafés will also sell a variety of exclusive Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact merchandise, to be distributed only by the staff of the collaboration cafés.

Preparations for the celebration are underway, so Captains, Travelers, and Attorneys should brace themselves for upcoming surprises.

Festival Schedule

  • Honkai Impact 3rd: November 5 to November 16
  • Tears of Themis: November 19 to November 30
  • Genshin Impact: December 3 to December 14

Collaboration Cafés

  • Singapore: Aniplus Cafe
  • Malaysia: my Burger Lab
  • Thailand: NANA Coffee Roasters Ari
  • Philippines: Moon Rabbit Café + Restaurant
  • Indonesia: Warung Koffie Batavia
  • Vietnam: To Be Announced

For more event details and pandemic precautions, please visit the miHoYo official website: https://mhy.link/686SLBA6.

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