Smartphones

Galaxy S21 box leak proves no free chargers

Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus leaked

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Image source: WinFuture/Roland Quandt

Ever since Apple’s controversial removal of their free peripherals, everyone wondered when other brands would follow suit. True enough, other brands, despite their persistent mocking of Apple’s decision, have also planned on removing their charging adapters. So far, Samsung has received most of the rumors ahead of the Galaxy S21’s launch on January 14. Today, days before that date, the Galaxy S21’s leaked packaging more than confirms that the Galaxy S21 launches with no free chargers.

Leaked by WinFuture, the leak reveals two different packages for the series, specifically for the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 Plus. Most notably, both boxes are just as thin as the iPhone 12’s current box: thin and sleek. The boxes obviously cannot hold much besides the phone and a wire.

Additionally, the images also come with a “What’s in the box” promo. The listed peripherals do not include a charger or a pair of wired earphones. Both packages come with only a Quick Start Guide, a USB-C cable, and an ejection pin for SIM cards.

If you’re still holding out some hope for a free charger, the Galaxy S21 Ultra box is still missing from the leak. There is still a sliver of hope that the priciest Galaxy S21 variant will receive free peripherals in the box.

Back in October, Apple removed the free charger supposedly for environmental reasons. Some speculated on budget-saving tactics, though. With Samsung’s impending removal, who knows what the Korean company will claim on January 14?

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 pricing accidentally leaked in Europe

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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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Apps

You can now FaceTime your non-Apple user friends

Plus other FaceTime improvements

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FaceTime

“FaceTime” already means to video call someone to most people. But up until this latest upcoming update, it was only available to Apple device users. You’d have to have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or iMac to enjoy the feature. Not anymore.

Announced at WWDC 2021, iOS 15 is introducing a feature that lets FaceTime users generate a link that can be opened on a web browser to join. This means your friends and family will be able to hop in on your FaceTime call even if they are Android and/or Windows users. Neat!

SharePlay

But that’s not the only thing new with FaceTime. iOS 15 is also bringing in SharePlay which essentially makes hanging out apart more fun. The new feature will let you and your friend head bang to Olivia Rodrigo’s “good for u” together at the same time while on the same call.

SharePlay also works with Apple TV which means you can watch all the TikTok videos made to that same song together. Same is true for every other service available on Apple TV like Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Twitch, and many others.

Spatial Audio, better group calls

The actual calls are actually better too with the introduction of Spatial Audio. This feature creates the impression that voices in a FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from where the person is positioned on the screen. Incredibly useful when you’re on the call with more than one person. It also helps separate the user’s voice from background noise.

Speaking of FaceTiming more than one person, there’s now a new grid view that lets you see more faces at one time. There are also little visual cues to indicate which person is talking.

Portrait mode now also works on FaceTime. This means you can apply blur on your messy background and put the most important thing front and center — you.

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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Pixel 6 case renders leak, confirm a radical new design

Moving on from minimalism

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Pixel 6

The Pixel series has always maintained a premium look that’s blended with the cuteness of Google’s signature design language. Many have called it too minimalistic, and the phone maker is now gearing up for an overhaul with the Pixel 6.

Pixel 6 series case renders now have appeared on the Alibaba, confirming the design we’ve previously seen in multiple leaks. Going with the leaked case renders, we can say that the upcoming Pixel smartphones will feature a rear camera bump placed at the top center of the rear panel.

The camera module is aligned horizontally, and the cases protect it with a window-type opening. Popular tipster Jon Prosser previously leaked the Pixel 6 series first look on YouTube, revealing the complete design of the upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 XL or Pro.

Going with a recent leak, the upcoming Pixel 6 series will have a gimbal-like steady camera for improved video performance. The alleged Pro is also said to launch with a 6.67-inch Quad HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a punch-hole cutout design. The regular Pixel will have a Full HD+ 120Hz display.

The phones are said to house Google’s in-house chipset codenamed Whitechapel. This is the first time Qualcomm’s chip could be replaced by custom silicon, a move that has now given Apple extraordinary control over the stack. Whitechapel is in development in partnership with Samsung Semiconductor’s system-large scale integration (SLSI) division.

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