News

KaiOS to have Google Assistant, Maps, Search, and YouTube

Smart feature phones are coming

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When we talk about feature phones, we think of a basic cellular handset that’s primarily used for calling and texting. But with the introduction of the new KaiOS, which was first featured on the new Nokia 8110 4G, smartphone apps are getting ported to phones with keypads.

You may not know KaiOS, but it’s already on over 40 million feature phones and Google just invested US$ 22 million as part of a Series A investment.

KaiOS is practically Firefox OS reborn and it’s not only on new Nokia feature phones, but also on TCL and Micromax’s, as well as carrier phones from Jio, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Phones running KaiOS are not your usual call and text devices; they also have LTE, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Their initiative to bring people online gets a boost from Google’s investment hence the smartphone-like apps.

As part of the investment, Google will port their apps including Maps, YouTube, Search, and even Assistant. Voice-activated artificial intelligence on feature phones will be a big jump from just typing on the keypad.

KaiOS is based on HTML5, so we might see more familiar apps become available in the coming months.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 8110 4G Hands-On: Retro Banana Phone!

News

iPhone 14 series reportedly delayed by China lockdowns

One model is lagging behind

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The iPhone 14 series is coming this year. However, if you’re eagerly waiting for the next major entry from Apple, you might have to wait a little longer. Ongoing lockdowns in China have reportedly delayed the development of the unannounced lineup.

As first reported by Nikkei Asia, Apple is asking its manufacturers to pick up the pace in the development process. Currently, China, especially Shanghai, are getting stricter with COVID-19 policies to control any potential resurgences of the virus. Naturally, that means more lockdowns, potentially affecting Apple’s partners in the country.

According to the report, the iPhone 14 series, which supposedly has four models, is currently in the engineering verification testing (EVT) stage. During this process, the manufacturer figures out the mechanical parts needed for the manufacturing process. They also figure out how much the process will cost for Apple.

Unfortunately, one of the four variants is taking longer in this stage. Apple uses different manufacturers per model, a good way to diversify the portfolio. The delayed model is handled by a manufacturer in Shanghai, one of the most affected by the recent lockdowns.

As such, the model is three weeks behind the normal schedule. The EVT stage normally concludes by the end of June. If a model misses the deadline, the delay might have implications for the launch of the final product and the supply down the line.

Apple usually launched the next iPhone series around fall of every year.

SEE ALSO: Apple reveals WWDC22 lineup

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Gaming

The Sims 4 now has customizable pronouns for Sims

Available in English now

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Still the most popular simulation game today, The Sims 4 thrives on allowing players full freedom to customize their experience in the virtual world. Sims can ideally become whatever the player wants them to be. However, amid the game’s inherent freedom, it lacks an arguably important feature in today’s inclusive climate: customizable pronouns. Well, it did. In a new update, users can now do so.

Starting today, players can fully customize their Sim’s pronouns on the Create a Sim interface. They can choose between he/him, she/her, they/them, and fully customized ones. The interface is accessible at any time through the Create a Sim menu with any Sim– not just while creating a new Sim.

Besides the three multiple choice options, players can also create their own mixes of pronouns on the interface. They can customize the subjective, objective, possessive dependent, possessive independent, and reflexive forms of the pronouns they wish to use. (If this sounds too complicated without an English teacher, the game offers a guide and some examples to help players along the way.)

Adding customizable pronouns is a big step in the right direction for inclusivity in an immersive simulation game. However, the update is only available for those playing The Sims 4 in English for now. Naturally, other non-English languages approach pronouns in different ways. Developers at EA and Maxis want to get the system perfect before rolling it out to other users.

SEE ALSO: Electronic Arts is reportedly putting its company up for sale

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Apps

Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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