iPadOS 15 gets homescreen widgets, better multitasking

Can an iPad replace your Mac?



Alongside iOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS 15, Apple also unveiled its operating system for the iPad lineup — iPadOS 15. The new software update adds a tonne of new features that make the iPad a solid tool for work and play.

First off is a redesigned home screen that now supports widgets, just like iOS 14 did on the iPhone. There are also widgets for more apps than before, and they now come in different sizes than they did before. The new widgets for iPadOS include Find My, Contacts, Parcels, and Game Center.

The iPad is also getting the App Library, which is basically an App Drawer in Android’s glossary. It also sorts your apps into categories, so this is a good way to keep all your tools organized. The App Library is built right into the Dock, always a touch away.

The biggest addition for power users is an improved multitasking experience. The user can switch between Split View or Slide Over, and new shortcuts have been added to ensure switching between the two is seamless and instant.

In Split View, you can swipe down to replace an app with a new one for either side of the screen. It’ll also work with apps that have multiple windows. On the other hand, Slide Over display lets you access all open windows for any given app. This can come in handy when multiple Safari windows need to be dealt with in one go.

The Notes app now supports shared notes, so you can tag someone with an @, use hashtags to categorize, and see a timeline of all activities on the note. For those random note yet immediate note-taking moments, Quick Note can be summoned from the corner of the screen with the Apple Pencil.

Safari has received a major overhaul on all Apple’s operating systems, and the same extends to iPadOS. It now has a new minimal UI bar that puts tabs and the browser URL bar on the same row. The user can set up new tab groups, and there’s finally support for web extensions, just like macOS.

FaceTime has a variety of improvements, and the biggest of them is a feature called SharePlay that allows you to listen to songs together over Apple Music or watch TV shows in sync. It’s similar to last year’s Netflix Party but now deeply embedded within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple confirmed iPadOS 15 would be rolling out to compatible iPads in Fall 2021 — roughly around September or October.


Twitch is shutting down in South Korea

By the end of February 2024



Livestreaming has been an entertainment juggernaut since 2020. A lot of users online, especially those stuck at home or who have transitioned to work-from-home lifestyles, have turned to streaming both as viewers and as creators themselves. Unfortunately, in some countries, streaming doesn’t come cheap. If you’re in South Korea or are fans of Korean streamers, the streaming landscape is about to change. Twitch is shutting down in the country.

In a blog post released today, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy announced that the company’s operations in South Korea will stop on February 27. After this date, streamers who made Twitch their community’s home will have to find a new platform.

As a gesture of goodwill, Clancy says that the company will help Korean streamers find a new home — even if it’s not on Twitch — leading up the shutdown date. Currently, YouTube remains a possible destination for streamers.

Operating an online company in South Korea is pricey. Because laws are different in the country, internet service providers can charge companies significantly more for bandwidth usage. Because of the exorbitant costs, “Twitch has been operating in Korea at a significant loss,” Clancy said, leading to the withdrawal.

The death knell has sounded for a while. Last year, the platform downgraded the country’s maximum resolution to only 720p in an attempt to reduce costs. Though a former leader in South Korea’s thriving esports community, Twitch now finds itself on a flight heading out of the country.

SEE ALSO: Twitch cuts support for Nintendo Switch app

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Google introduces a new AI model called Gemini

Already in the Pixel 8 Pro



Artificial intelligence is the story of 2023. While the hype might have simmered down since the middle of the year, the segment is still pushing towards more advancements for the future. Unbothered by the dominance of OpenAI, Google has introduced its latest large language model called Gemini.

Touted as Google’s most flexible model yet, Gemini can understand text, code, audio, images, and videos. Though Google has not shared exactly how many parameters that the model can handle, the company says that Gemini can perform all the tasks you’d expect an LLM to do more accurately and more quickly.

Gemini will come in three flavors, spanning several markets: Nano, Pro, and Ultra. As the name implies, Gemini Nano is the model’s smallest variant. Starting today, the Pixel 8 Pro will start getting Nano to enhance the flagship’s on-device generative AI. The biggest improvements are naturally coming to the device’s camera capabilities. Photos and videos should be clearer and brighter, regardless of lighting conditions.

Meanwhile, Gemini Pro will come to Google’s other offerings. Bard, for example, is getting a huge upgrade, allowing for more intuitive replies. The same model will also come to Search, Ads, Chrome, and Duet AI.

Now, the beefiest of the three, Gemini Ultra is meant to further development in the field. While the previous two are available now, Ultra is coming next year. The premium model will mostly cater to enterprise customers and developers. However, if you want to try it for yourself, Google is also launching the top-tier model to an upcoming version of Bard called Bard Advanced.

SEE ALSO: Google Bard hands-on: Not much to worry about

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Thieves returned a stolen phone because it was an Android

“We don’t want this.”



A smartphone is an easy target for thieves. After all, especially after a factory reset, a stolen phone will still sell for a substantial amount of money. However, while beggars can’t be choosers, thieves surprisingly can. In the United States, a pair of robbers returned their victim’s stolen phone after realizing it was an Android phone.

First reported by ABC7, a couple in Washington, D.C. suffered a robbery attempt. “Two masked gentlemen” accosted a man after he parked his car and was walking to his wife. The robbers took everything he had at the moment including the keys to his vehicle. However, before the duo could drive off in his car, they returned his phone.

“Oh, that’s an Android? We don’t want this. I thought it was an iPhone,” the robbers supposedly said, according to the man’s wife.

While the couple’s misfortunes are still a cautionary tale, it’s also a reflection of the stark reality in the smartphone market. Even in the gray and black markets, a stolen iPhone still ranks above a stolen Android phone. While Android phones are certainly cheaper than an iPhone, the latter is still seen as a status symbol in some parts of the world. Owning one — stolen or not — can give one a strong social boost.

SEE ALSO: Apple might make a ring you can wear on other parts of your body

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