New macOS update – Healthier MacBook’s battery

In April, in a developer preview version of macOS Catalina 10.15.5, Apple introduced a feature called battery health management. Now, with macOS Catalina 10.15.5 going live for everyone, MacBook users can try it out.

Batteries don’t like extremes; to conserve your laptop’s battery, you should rarely charge your laptop to maximum or discharge it fully. Battery health management operates under the assumption that you don’t always need your MacBook’s battery to be fully charged. It will monitor your usage patterns and charge the battery accordingly. For example, if you typically keep your MacBook plugged in during the entire work day. This feature may reduce the battery’s maximum charge.

A similar feature in iOS 13 is called optimised battery charging, so if you’re familiar with that one, battery health management is more or less the same thing. And, just like the iOS feature, battery health management can be turned off on MacBooks.

Apple also added some more information to the Energy Saver pane in your MacBook’s System Preferences — it now displays battery condition and recommends if the battery needs to be serviced.

Catalina 10.15.5 adds a few other features and bug fixes. Most notably, there’s a new option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls, meaning that video tiles won’t change size when a call participant is speaking.

2020 MacBook Pro 13-Inch Review

The Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) is the latest version of the company’s affordable professional MacBook, bringing upgraded hardware and a drastically improved keyboard.

 

The MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020 is arguably Apple’s most important laptop, offering power and performance above regular MacBooks. It needs, then, to keep the price accessible, while also offering performance and features that professionals, especially in the creative industry, require.

Performance-wise, the new MacBook Pro 13-inch looks promising on paper. With new 10th generation CPUs offering a noticeable boost, now comes with twice the RAM and twice the storage than the previous model.

As Ever, Sharp: The Retina Display

Other key features are virtually the same between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, like the Retina Display. It’s a 13.3-inch panel with a very high native resolution, somewhere between full HD and 4K. (It measures 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.) Colors appear brilliant, and text is sharp, and I especially like the True Tone feature. Which optimizes the white balance of the screen for the nature of the ambient light around the laptop.

Color Options

The MacBook Pro is available in the dark Space Gray aluminum finish of our review unit. A classic color scheme that has been around for several years. It’s sleek and modern, though it’s far from a striking design. You can also order a MacBook Pro in a lighter Silver finish.

The MacBook has long been a status symbol and an inspiration that has given rise to legions of similar Windows ultraportable laptops. It can get pricey as you add options. Now that Apple has fixed the keyboard, it gets the basics right and is our new top pick among Mac laptops.

Apple iPhone 11 review – The best iPhone

Apple iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 is the best iPhone we have ever got. Sure, the Pro models have an extra zoom lens, slightly better battery life, and nicer screens. Most people don’t need all of that.

Thick bezels

If you were hoping Apple would slim down the bezels on its successor to the iPhone XR, think again. Yes, the design is still a tremendous improvement over phones like the iPhone 8, but the front of the iPhone 11 is unchanged from 2018. A thick and uniform bezel surrounds the 6.1-inch screen

Compare this to the OnePlus 7 Pro and its bezel-less screen, or the Galaxy Note 10 with its hole-punch camera, and the iPhone 11 looks a bit dated, but not terribly so.

Still starts at 64GB

The $699 iPhone 11 model gets 64GB of storage, which is probably fine for many people — and it’s a $50 price drop from last year’s iPhone XR base model. 128GB for $749 probably makes more sense if you’re shooting any video and 256GB for $849 should only be a consideration if you’re shooting a lot of video. The Pro phones add a 512GB tier that you won’t need unless you’re shooting in 4K for a living. See the chart at the bottom of this review for complete pricing details, including UK and Australian prices.

Colors

For whatever reasons, Apple is still making the lower-priced iPhone 11, the one that comes in fun colors. There are two new colors, called green and purple, that are more like mint green and lavender. These new pastel colors replace the blue and coral options from last year.

I have the green iPhone 11. Its color is pleasant, and the aluminum case color is much closer to seamless with the glass color. The glossy glass back feels the same as last year’s XR. So does the rest of the phone — except for the dual cameras, which are raised up from the back and placed in a frosted glass camera square.

Cameras

Over the past few years, Apple has made impressive strides in camera quality, but so have many other phone makers like Samsung, Huawei and Google.  The iPhone 11 cameras are some of the best for photos and video capture that you can buy today.

The Oppo Watch – The new competitor of Apple Watch

The Oppo Watch

First up, yep, this looks like an Apple Watch. The OLED screen, though, is an improvement. It’s larger than the 44mm Apple Watch at 1.91 inches across, but the watch keeps a 46mm size; Oppo has shrunken the bezels and curved the edges of the screen itself along with the cover glass. The pixel density is the same as the Apple Watch at 326ppi. The colors are super vibrant, and it’s easy to see outside.

The chassis of the watch takes design cues from Oppo’s smartphones. There’s no crown-style control here, just two physical buttons on the right edge; everything else is handled by the touchscreen. Oppo’s watch straps are detachable in a similar way to the Apple Watch. With simple buttons for the release mechanism on the watch’s rear.

While the Oppo Watch I’m using is made of aluminum, it’s polished to a glossy blue-black finish.

Oppo Watch OS

The Oppo Watch runs a customized version of Android 8.1 called ColorOS Watch. Like Samsung, Oppo has figured out that Apple was onto something in designing a predominantly white-on-black OS for small OLED screens; it saves power and is a lot more discreet. No prizes for originality — this software definitely looks more like watchOS than it needs to — but it’s the right direction.

Unlike Tizen and watchOS, though, ColorOS Watch is extremely simple. The top button brings up a scrolling app drawer or takes you back to the watch face, and the bottom button gets you to the settings menu. You can swipe left and right to change faces, there’s a quick settings screen accessible with a swipe down, and a swipe up takes you to the notifications shade. Everything is smooth and responsive. Notifications can display a lot of content, like full Facebook Messenger messages, though you can’t interact with them.

The most interesting thing about the Oppo Watch software is its selection of built-in apps, which are accessible through a scrolling grid that’s halfway between the Apple Watch’s weird honeycomb and list views. There are the usual apps for phone calls, fitness tracking, timers, and weather, as well as an on-watch app store and China-specific services like Alipay. It’s a pretty robust feature set, including things like sleep tracking that haven’t come to the Apple Watch yet.

Apple Glass: Release date, price, specs and leaks

Apple Glass, Apple’s elusive AR lenses project, is coming, and we’re starting to learn a lot more about what the futuristic, first-generation wearable could look like.

When we first heard word of “Apple Glasses,” rumors suggested the lenses would launch this year. But with Apple’s 2020 product line fully fleshed out with the likes of the iPhone 12, Apple Watch 6 and AirPods Studio.

One reliable analyst said Apple Glass could come as soon as next year. While another longtime source for Apple product releases believes the release won’t happen until 2022. Either way, the project is definitely in the works.

Apple Glass is expected to run on Starboard, a proprietary operating system uncovered in the final version of iOS 13. The augmented reality framework shows up multiple times in code and text documents. This means that Apple is likely testing activation and application.

Apple Glasses price

According to Prosser the Apple Glasses are currently priced at $499, plus prescription fees. Now that may seem low, especially compared to competing augmented reality headsets like the Microsoft Hololens 2.

iOS 14 release date, features, beta and more

iOS 14 release date, features

Given last year’s big iOS updates came out on September 19, one day before this year’s new iPhone line. We’re guessing that iOS 14 will launch in late September 2020. That will be just in time for the launch of the iPhone 12, which will be the first phones to get the next iOS.

Assuming Apple follows prior years, it will likely unveil iOS 14 at its annual WWDC conference. That’s set to take place virtually this year – due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and it’ll be starting on June 22.

Apple usually releases an initial developer beta the same day, so it may do the same in 2020. The first public beta will likely follow later in the month, and will accordingly get new betas after the developer versions.

ios14

iOS 14 compatibility

While Apple didn’t leave any phones behind when it introduced iOS 12. The most recent jump to iOS 13 made up for it by stranding two generations of iPhone handsets. It’s unclear what kind of new features require Apple to raise the threshold for which iOS phones will be able to download the new version of iOS. So it’s all speculation whether a generation of older iPhones won’t be able to install iOS 14.

The company just unveiled a new iPhone SE, which leads us to think it won’t. However, another rumor suggests Apple is thinking of keeping support for the iPhone 6S and SE or newer. It’s always possible that Apple changes its mind in the next few months, of course.

iOS 14: Features

  • New multitasking interface: . When you want to jump from app to app in the current version of iOS, you spend a lot of time swiping your way through a series of individual app screens. That could change in iOS 14, as Apple may introduce a multitasking interface that displays four open apps at once.
  • New list view for apps: . The grid look for your iPhone home screen could be getting a refresh in iOS 14. 9to5Mac reports that Apple may introduce a List view that provides a new way to scroll through all the apps on your phone.
  • New fitness app: It’s no secret Apple has an interest in helping you monitor your health and fitness activity. But iOS 14 may take that one step farther, according to a MacRumors report about a new app rumored to be called Fitness.
  • A new AR app: Leaked files show off an icon for a Gobi app. According to John Constine. That’s an AR app that will work with QR codes to present comparison shopping features, open links and forge promotional tie-ins with partners like Starbucks. AR also figures into an updated Find My app and Apple’s upcoming AirTags trackers for helping locate tagged objects.
  • A way to use apps without downloading them: 9to5Mac reports that there’s a Clips tool that will let iPhone users access some app features without having to download a full app. (It’s similar to the Instant App and Slices features that Android supports.)
  • Wallpapers and widgets: Leaker DongleBookPro tweeted out leaked images reportedly of iOS 14 that show you’ll be able to toggle between different looks on your home screen wallpaper — in addition to the standard view, you’ll also have the option of switching between dark, dim and blurred variations. In addition, 9to5Mac reports that Apple may allow you to post real widgets to your iPhone’s home screen; currently widgets are restricted to the Today section of the iPhone.

iPad Pro (2020) review – A powerful device for Creatives

The 2020 model looks and performs much the same, but now much of the initial excitement has settled. Instead of going for a new design. Apple used this updated model to test drive some technology that may become more important to other Apple products down the line. Although it’s not particularly exciting or even well-suited for this particular device. This is unquestionably the best iPad ever made.

Augmented specs

This review is based on the 12.9-inch model, which is identical to the 11-inch model in virtually every respect aside from screen size and weight. (The 12.9-inch model with cellular weighs 1.42 pounds; its 11-inch counterpart weight just over a pound.)

Cameras

The iPad Pro comes with a TrueDepth camera at the top of the display for things like selfies and video calls. It’s the same camera system you’ll find on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. That means you can take advantage of features like Face ID, Portrait mode, Animoji, Memoji, and more. That front camera’s clarity is way better than the grainy 720p camera on the new MacBook Air. And it takes some impressive selfies, too.

But the iPad Pro’s rear-camera module doesn’t offer Portrait mode. That feature is only accessible using the front-facing camera. So, you’ll have to add in the bokeh effects after the fact. But at least you can shoot in 4K video if you plan on using the iPad Pro to record footage.

A LiDAR scanner

Packed into the rear module is also a LiDAR scanner for augmented reality apps. If you have absolutely no idea what that is, it’s really okay.

LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging” and it uses a Time of Flight sensor (for depth) to measure reflected light.

But all you really need to know is that it makes all those AR apps faster and better. Thanks to the LiDAR scanner, you no longer have to calibrate the space around you by moving the camera back and forth.

While I barely use any AR apps, I will admit there were times when I’d want to see what a piece of furniture looked like in my room using the Ikea app. And then I would eventually end up force quitting the app because I was too lazy to calibrate the area.

The best iPad ever

This is the best iPad Apple has ever made, and peripherals like the new Magic Keyboard make Apple’s tablet more appealing as a work machine. The fact remains, though, that unless you’re heavily involved in video editing or professional artwork, most people will be served just fine with the $499 iPad Air—although it currently doesn’t come with that spiffy keyboard. If you do need the power of a Pro, though, it’s still worth considering getting the 2018 model. On the low end, at least, you’ll almost certainly be able to find one for a lower price, and Apple’s new Magic Keyboard is even compatible with it.