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.

Samsung soon with a NEW $1,100 Galaxy Fold version

If the $1,980 price tag on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is too much for you (it is), and you really want a foldable phone, you’ll be happy to know that there might be a far more affordable option coming.

According to the report, the cheaper Fold will look like the original Galaxy Fold but it will have last year’s components, allowing Samsung to offer it at a greatly reduced price. The compromises might involved a smaller cover display, 4G instead of 5G and 256GB base storage. The processor powering the phone should be Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865, however.

If accurate, the price difference between the original Fold and the new Special Edition Fold is massive and could ignite a whole new round of interest in foldable devices. That’s not to say that $1,099 is cheap, but it’s nearly half the price of the original Fold and at least in the same ballpark as most top flagship phones these days.

As for the true successor of the original Fold, the Galaxy Fold 2, it should become available this August, alongside the Galaxy Note 20. It will probably be just a tad cheaper than the Fold, though.

Google Pixel 5 – Too Expensive, Rumors

The Google Pixel 5 release date will likely be toward the end of 2020, a year that’s starting to feel very long indeed – but that just means the tech giant has time to retool and learn from the feedback on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones.

The big theme with the Pixel 5 has to be fixing the mess that Google itself created with the Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 and the 4 XL were two of the most viciously criticized flagships of 2019, and shortly after the launch, the two phones were discounted sharply, not least because of all the bad press around the two devices. Most people were disappointed with the small size of the battery on the Pixel 4, but other key features were also missing.

Before the Pixel 5, we’re expecting to see the Pixel 4a phones, mid-range versions of the Pixel 4s in the same vein as the Pixel 3a. We’ve heard a lot of rumors as the phone gears up to launch at the end of May or the beginning of June.

Google Pixel 5 rumored specifications:

  • Lower-tier Snapdragon 765G Chip
  • Lower price, expectations are for $600 to $700 MSRP
  • Improved power efficiency, bigger battery size
  • Improved camera
  • 5G support

Improved battery life

More power efficient chip and bigger size of the batteries

While performance on the Pixel 5 might take a hit, the newer chip might also be more power efficient. We expect Google to benefit from the more power-efficient Snapdragon 765G and from a bigger battery cell.

Ultra-wide camera

The one key camera feature that is missing

Google, we come on bended knee. We entreaty. We plead. Make like every other Android flagship in 2020 and give us an ultra-wide lens on the Google Pixel 5.

The addition of a telephoto lens was very welcome, justifying a lot of hopes that a second lens would enhance the Pixel’s portrait photography and expand its versatility. But the phone could be so much better, and have so much more range, with an ultra-wide camera. We can, and will, still dream.

Too Expensive…

In late 2020, the year of the corona, the price of new phones will matter more than ever. Millions of people have lost their jobs, and the recovery process might not be easy. A mid-range Pixel 5 phone that can’t match the performance of other 2020 Android phones, and which is significantly more expensive than several iPhone models will be a tough sell.

And don’t forget that phones like the OnePlus 8 and upcoming OnePlus 8T, would be better alternatives at the same price. By then, the Galaxy S20 will be even cheaper than it is now — and Samsung has been started cutting the price weeks ago. Not to mention the flurry of devices made in China that rock high-end specs for bargain prices.

The $699 Pixel 5 is a great deal only if it gets the best possible mobile chip available right now. Hopefully, the Pixel 6 won’t have this problem, as Google is finally developing its own silicon.

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.

Microsoft Surface Duo Leaks – Underwhelming Specs

Microsoft is busy testing the upcoming Surface Duo internally, a device that has two screens on two equal sides, with a 360-degree hinge between them. So while neither display panel is foldable, that hinge gives you plenty of use case flexibility.

At its event last year, Microsoft had only revealed the device would have two 5.6-inch screens (with 1800×1350 pixel resolution on each) held together on a hinge—rather than a flexible screen, as is the case with the Galaxy Fold. Other than photos, the company didn’t expand much on what to expect in terms of hardware and performance.

The chipset at the helm is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 from last year, which is a very odd choice. The reason for this move apparently has to do with the fact that Microsoft had finalized the Surface Duo’s internal design way before the Snapdragon 865 was a thing. There’s simply no room inside for the X55 5G modem that Qualcomm requires companies use in tandem with the 865.

The device has 6GB of RAM, which may still be okay for Google, but is mid-ranger level in the very competitive Android smartphone market, where flagships now start at 8GB and go up to 16GB. Anyway, there will be 256GB of storage too, and it’s not expandable.

The camera (singular) will be an 11 MP f/2.0 snapper with 1.12um pixel size, which once again feels like a blast from the past (aside from the odd resolution).

Netflix is starting to restore normal streaming quality

Netflix is working to restore streaming quality in various European countries following government requests for the company to reduce bandwidth usage out of fear that it was putting too much stress on broadband connections.

People in Denmark, Norway, Germany, and other countries reported noticing an uptick in streaming bitrate, according to FlatpanelsHD. Netflix confirmed to the website that it is “working with ISPs to help increase capacity.

In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity,” a spokesperson told FlatpanelsHD. “As conditions improve we will lift these limitations.”

European Union industry chief Thierry Breton originally called on streaming platforms — including Netflix and YouTube — to help reduce their load on infrastructure used around the continent. Netflix agreed to reduce bitrates on its streams for 30 days, estimating that the move would reduce “Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent,” a spokesperson told The Verge in March.

Facebook to build internet cable ‘circumference of Earth’

Facebook is teaming up with telecoms companies to build a 37,000km (23,000-mile) undersea cable to supply faster internet to 16 countries in Africa.

Its length – almost equal to the circumference of the Earth – will make it one of the longest, it said.

It is part of a long-running bid by Facebook to take its social media platform to Africa’s young population.

Ready for use by 2024, it will deliver three times the capacity of all current undersea cables serving Africa.

“When completed, this new route will deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability across Africa, supplement a rapidly increasing demand for capacity in the Middle East, and support further growth of 4G, 5G, and broadband access for hundreds of millions of people,” said Facebook in a blog.

Africa lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet access. Four in 10 people across the continent having access to the web, compared with a global average of six in 10.

But the continent represents huge opportunities for technology firms and businesses with its population of 1.3 billion.

The cost of the 2Africa project – which will connect Europe and the Middle East to the continent – has not been disclosed

Sub-sea cables carry the vast majority of the world’s inter-continental data. They can handle much more data and offer faster transmission at a lower cost compared with other methods.

The cable – which will be built by Nokia Oyj’s Alcatel Submarine Networks – will run along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Vodafone said it would pave the way for developing digital businesses on the continent.

“We need to ensure that there is enough internet capacity to not only get people online. But to help build a modern digital society that includes services that require a large amount of data transfer. Such as cloud computing or video,” said Nick Gliddon, director of Vodafone Carrier Services.

As well as helping businesses, it will also improve healthcare and education, he added.

It will be buried deeper than previous systems for greater protection against external damage from things such as ships’ anchors.

The fibre-optic cables will have double the capacity of older ones, making use of Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM1) technology.

Facebook is teaming up with Johannesburg-based MTN Group, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and Orange SA.

Facebook to buy Giphy in reported $400 million deal

Facebook on Friday said it has agreed to buy popular GIF-making platform Giphy. The social networking giant said Giphy will join the company as part of the Instagram team.

“By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct,”. Wrote Vishal Shah, Facebook’s vice president of product, in a blog post.

The deal is worth around $400 million. The two companies reportedly started talking about a partnership before the coronavirus pandemic.

Giphy said in a blog post that it’s platform will remain “openly available to the wider ecosystem,”. Reassured people that the GIFs, stickers, emojis and other content that they’ve created won’t disappear.

Facebook said plans to integrate Giphy’s library of GIFs into Instagram and it other apps.

Sony PlayStation 5: Release Date

The ninth generation of game consoles is coming in 2020, headlined in part by Sony’s PlayStation 5. We won’t see it in stores for at least half a year, which gives us plenty of time speculate about just what we’ll be getting. As the year wears on, we’re even learning some concrete details, which we’re collecting here. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far.

PlayStation 5 Controller and Design

Let’s start with one of the biggest mysteries. A leaked view of the PS5 development kit has confirmed that developers’ systems look like big, heavily ventilated Vs, but Sony has remained silent on what the retail version of the console will look like. Will it be a parallelogram slab like the PS4? A plump, glossy black chunk like the PlayStation 3? A simple rectangle like the PS2? Only Sony knows, and it isn’t telling yet.

There’s a good chance the console will be white rather than black or gray, though. While Sony hasn’t revealed what the PS5 will look like, it’s unveiled the DualSense controller that will go with it. It keeps the same general layout as the DualShock gamepads Sony has used since the original PlayStation, but it’s rounded, white, and more friendly-looking than previous controllers. It kind of looks like the gamepad version of Baymax from Big Hero 6. Or a tiny pair of sunglasses with a huge white wig.

PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 Specs

We might not know what the PlayStation 5 will look like, but we have a good sense of what will be running under the hood. Sony has gone into detail on the PlayStation 5’s internal specs, and they’re impressive.

The PS5 features an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU paired with a custom Radeon GPU, giving it ray tracing and 4K rendering capabilities. The CPU also features a 3D audio unit that will support directional audio similar to Dolby Atmos (or Sony’s own 360 Reality Audio), letting games generate sound in front, behind, to the sides, and even above the player (assuming the right speakers/headphones are being used). This will all run through 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

Instead of a hard drive, the PS5 will feature an 825GB SSD. This means games will load much faster than on previous consoles, and support some new features like suspending multiple games at once and what Sony’s lead designer Mark Cerny describes as “instant game startup.”

The PS5 will also have an optical drive, specifically an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive that will presumably be able to play UHD Blu-ray movies in 4K, a feature the PlayStation 4 and even PS4 Pro lack (but the Xbox One S and Xbox One X both have).

Features

Sony has confirmed that the SSD will enable the system to suspend multiple games, letting you jump immediately back into whatever you feel like playing without loading it from the start. This is on top of the faster loading speeds for games that the SSD will enable.

The DualSense gamepad adds a few tricks as well, starting with a built-in microphone to let you use voice chat without a headset. It’s handy for some gamers, but could be a privacy concern for others. The controller also features improved force feedback, with “adaptive triggers” that add tension to the pull of the L2 and R2 triggers.

Release Date and Pre-Orders

Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will be ready this holiday season, and despite the global pandemic, it is standing by that schedule. According to Sony, the coronavirus will not delay the release of the PS5, which presumably will come out by the end of the year.

Price

This is one of the biggest questions about the PS5 that’s yet to be answered. Sony hasn’t revealed the pricing for the PlayStation 5, but according to a Bloomberg report, the console costs Sony $450 to manufacture. The big mystery is whether Sony plans to take a loss on the console and make up for it with game sales, or whether it will price the PS5 higher than the $399.99 the PS4 was at launch (and the PS4 Pro when it launched three years later).

SpaceX internet service coming in about 6 months

CEO Elon Musk mentioned the timetable in a Wednesday tweet. “Private beta begins in ~3 months, public beta in ~6 months, starting with high latitudes,” he said. In another tweet, Musk said the German market qualifies as high altitude.

Dubbed Starlink, the upcoming service is promising to bring fast and affordable internet to any location in the world. It’ll be particularly appealing for people who live in remote areas or underserved markets with few options for home broadband. Expect download speeds of up to 1Gbps with a latency ranging between 25 to 35 milliseconds, on par with ground-based broadband services.

Although satellite internet is nothing new, SpaceX’s network is designed to achieve faster speeds by using low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The plan is to have them fly around the planet from a distance of 200 miles to 700 miles above the surface while they ferry data between ground stations and internet users below.

To get the service up and running, the company has been securing approval from regulators to launch as many as 40,000 satellites in the coming years. On Wednesday, the company successfully deployed another 60 Starlink satellites into space for a total of 420 currently in operation.

According to its website, SpaceX’s goal is to launch the broadband service for the US and Canada later this year. Starlink is then scheduled to go global in 2021. Cost has not been announced, but the company plans on supplying customers with a Starlink terminal you can easily place in your home.