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2024-07-18 16:30:59| Engadget

iOS 18 has landed in public beta and Apple is offering up more control, yet again, of the layout of your iPhone. However, Apple Intelligence, the most exciting upgrade, is conspicuously (but unsurprisingly) absent. The update also improves several native apps, such as Photos, Messages (RCS! Gasp!) and Notes, although Apple Intelligence will add even more features and tricks. While we all wait for the ability to generate our own emojis, there is still plenty to explore. Its just a little drier than what Apple teased at WWDC. You can access the iOS preview by enrolling on Apples website, which will nudge the beta to your iPhones Software Update section. As always, remember to back up your iPhone first and ensure its compatible. (iOS 18 works on will work on 2018s iPhone XS and XR and newer phones.) iOS 18 means even more customization Beyond app folders and widgets, iOS 18 adds further functional and aesthetic customization. Alongside a new Dark look, you can tint all of them in a color of your choosing. Unlike previous dark modes on iOS, this time it also dims individual app icons to keep it consistent with the darker theme. You can also have iOS choose the color for you, basing its recommendation on your iPhones wallpaper. If that sounds familiar, its because it is very similar to Material You, which Google introduced to Android in 2021. You can also increase the size of the app icons ever so slightly, without reducing the number you can pack into a single pane. Doing so does strip away the text labels, so you better be sure you know, without words, which app icon is which. And, in a thrilling move for tens of pedants everywhere, you can move your icons outside a left-aligned, top-to-bottom snap grid. Do you want the Safari icon floating in the bottom right corner, all alone? You can do that now. iOS 18 also brings two new ways to secure your apps. You can assign an app as locked or hidden. Locking an app will require FaceID access, useful perhaps for Photos or a plethora of other apps if you often share your phone with children. Doing sp will also mean information from there wont appear or bubble around other parts of iOS, like searches and notifications. You can also choose to hide the app, which nudges it into a dedicated folder, locked away behind FaceID. Apple has also refreshed its control panel and dropdown menu for settings. Similar to when iOS introduced widgets a few years ago, there is now a dedicated control gallery to add smart home shortcuts, launch timers and more. This had the potential to clutter up the control panel, but Apple has divided this into four different tabs. While you can tap on the little icons to the side to leap to a specific section, you can also access all of them in a single continuous scroll. Your most used features can live at the top, and other sections pull together your smart home controls, entertainment playback and connectivity. Have you lost your hotspot shortcut? Its here. All the controls are also resizeable to prioritize the most crucial ones. Finally, you can now customize the iOS lock screen controls, too. If you never use the flashlight, you can swap it out for something more practical, like a timer, or even act as a shortcut to Shazam in a pinch. Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget Messages RCS (Rich Communication Services) has landed on the iPhone, or at least on those running iOS 18. It pulls together advanced text features, like support for richer images, larger file attachments, voice notes, group chat, read receipts and more. But you got all those through iMessage on iOS, making RCS sound a little uneventful. However, if your friends are divided across Android and iOS, you can start using Messages like other third-party messaging apps. Does it have all the features of WhatsApp? No. Does it do everything you can in iMessage? No. But it will help. For example, with RCS, you can send messages over Wi-Fi without a phone signal. Ive had issues before when running late for appointments, trapped on the metro with no signal, unable to text to let the other person know. RCS means those messages will send if you latch on to a passing Wi-Fi network. There are more advances beyond RCS. You can also schedule text messages, like you might already do on work chat apps and email. If youre into Apples recently introduced message tapbacks (emoji reactions), you can now do so with any emoji, including your own Live Stickers based on your photos and images. For even more expression, iOS 18 also adds italics, bold, underline and strikethrough formatting, and a family of cute word animations that feel like WordArt come to life. Its silly, its frothy, its pointless. I love it. Photos Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget Apple has hidden away some major changes to how it structures its photos app, reflecting the fact that many of us have had iPhones (and photo libraries) for over a decade and a half. And were not going to look at all of those pictures. Were likely not even going to look at most of them. In iOS 18, Apple has ditched the tabs for Library, For You, Albums and Search. Instead of your latest photos, screenshots and videos taking up the majority of the screen, youll see some space carved out for your latest content, curated albums, memories and more. Its a divisive approach, but I think your reaction will depend on how you interact with your photos. I know where my favorite photos are or how to find them, but other people in my life are often pleasantly surprised when services and devices can auto-curate an album of photos from a day out or a vacation. This redesign seems aimed at them. And what about Apple Intelligence? Eventually, it will add some additional tricks, like Cleanup, whichcan help erase any unwanted objects in your photos. Its a feature that Pixel (and Galaxy) phone users have enjoyed for a while, and still, we await the arrival of Apple Intelligence to be able to test this. For more on whats coming to your gallery in iOS 18, check out my colleague Cherlynns detailed article on what Apples done to the Photos app. More iOS 18 highlights If youre a daily Notes app user (yes, Im guilty), there are some nice advances in iOS 18, too. You can now transcribe conversations and meetings directly into the app. At the time of my testing, youll have to ensure your iPhone is set to US English and US as a region for the transcription icon, shown in the image above, to appear. We also get Math Notes, which can be accessed through the Notes app and from the calculator. Here, you can write out sums and calculations and your iPhone will solve them. Itll even remember figures for future calculations. It feels niche, but theres some definite utility here, perhaps if youre looking to add up a vacation budget or DIY project. Notes new collapsable subheadings proved more useful for me. I have several lengthy Note files, and now I can organize them better and not have to search for specific words to find what I need. Apple brings a similar approach to its Reader on Safari, which can add a table of contents and even attempt to summarize an article before you even get your teeth into it. Meandering recipe intros: you may have been put on notice. But I say may because as of this writing, I havent been able to test this on any sites Ive visited. Theres also a new Passwords app, which, in a lot of ways, is just an easier way to access your iCloud passwords instead of diving into your iPhones settings. The app divides your passwords into different categories like accounts, codes, Wi-Fi networks and Passkeys, and, wisely, will support the iCloud for Windows app and a Chrome extension. You can also share password collections with visitors, friends or family. Apple continues to tentatively develop its smart home features within iOS 18, too. Its adding express mode to automatically unlock connected doors as you approach as long as you have your iPhone (or Apple Watch) on you. Meanwhile, Apple has created a guest access tab so you can grant access to parts of your smart home and even schedule the times a garage door, say, stays unlocked, perhaps for a package delivery. Wrap-up Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget My early impressions of iOS 18 are more limited than I wanted them to be. Apple Intelligence and most of its exciting features teased at WWDC, are not part of this public beta. Without those, iOS 18 feels more like iOS 17.5. There are more features, but most of them are incremental. RCS is finally here, adding more functionality to cross-OS text messaging (and possibly worrying the likes of WhatsApp) while elsewhere, Apple focuses on upgrading and enhancing its native apps. The company made some... interesting choices. In iOS 18, even Calculator is getting beefed up, with Math Notes, calculation history, and a new scientific calculator view. The public beta is relatively stable, so its easy to recommend to those looking for early access to the latest iPhone features. However, without Apple Intelligence, drawing more meaningful conclusions on iOS 18 will have to wait.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ios-18-preview-waiting-on-apple-intelligence-for-the-true-upgrade-143059859.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-07-18 16:00:46| Engadget

Xfinity is giving its customers access to better picture quality, just in time for the Paris Olympics. To start with, its customers will have the ability to enable Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos via the Xfinity Stream app on compatible streaming devices and TVs for the first time, if they watch USA Network's Paris Olympics coverage. That will give them access to a viewing experience with more detailed pictures and immersive sounds even if they're not streaming through an Xfinity box.  The telecommunications division of Comcast is also debuting an enhanced 4K viewing experience for all customers of its X1 platform as a whole. It explains enhanced 4K as 4K video delivered over Comcast's network at the highest bitrate, with Dolby Vision for more realistic pictures and Dolby Atmos for immersive audio. The capability will also premiere for the Paris Olympics and will be available on USA Network's 24/7 coverage. Xfinity also promises ultra-low latency, which means viewers will only be seconds behind what's happening in Paris in real time. "By premiering enhanced 4K during Paris 2024, fans of the Olympics will be among the first to experience this new innovation and enjoy all the live action in stunning picture and audio quality, with significantly less delay compared to anything else in the market," Vito Forlenza, Comcast's Vice President for Sports and Entertainment, said. Xfinity put its enhanced 4K feature to the test during the 2024 Super Bowl, though, to make sure it works as promised. It says that going forward, enhanced 4K will be its new quality standard for live sports on X1.  The streaming platform will make it easy for customers to access Olympics content, as well. Users will be able to create a custom destination for their favorite sports and access a comprehensive schedule of events, which they can then filter by any of the sports they're interested in. They can quickly access these feature and all the channels and services offering Olympics content by saying "Olympics" into the Xfinity voice remote. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/xfinity-is-showing-the-olympics-with-dolby-vision-and-dolby-atmos-on-its-stream-app-140046946.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-07-18 14:40:26| Engadget

Amazon Prime Day 2024 has come and gone, but thankfully, some sales still linger. One of the best deals to shop right now is an all-time low price on Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro. The earbuds first dropped to $169 from $249 in an early Prime Day deal, and you can still grab them for 32 percent off.  Apple released its second-gen AirPods Pro in 2022, but they're still the newest model on the market. At the time, we gave them an 88 in our review thanks to solid noise cancellation and stellar transparency mode courtesy of their H2 chip. They're also our choice of 2024's best wireless earbuds for an iPhone, with simple touch controls, hands-free Siri and easy switching between Apple devices. Plus, they offer up to six hours of battery life with ANC on and up to 30 hours with the charging case.   Externally, the AirPods Pro also have some perks worth mentioning. Each purchase comes with four silicone tips, ranging from extra small to large. The earbuds and the charging case are IP54 dust, sweat and water resistant, so you can use them while exercising outdoors all summer.  Your Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Hear from Autoblogs experts on the best Amazon Prime Day deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/prime-day-is-over-but-apples-airpods-pro-are-still-cheaper-than-ever-124025085.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-07-18 14:30:47| Engadget

Amazon Prime Day 2024 has ended, but as per usual, there are some deals still lingering today even after the shopping frenzy has died down. During Prime Day, Amazon's site can be pretty overwhelming if you're trying to look for deals on the things you need and want the most. But after Prime Day, it's almost harder to find the best deals you can still get since there's really no dedicated spot for them on Amazon. This is where we at Engadget come in. We've done the work to find the best Prime Day deals on tech you can still get today and collected them all below. While Prime members will be happy to see they can still snag some decent sale prices if they missed out on the action yesterday, Amazon shoppers without a Prime membership will be even happier because none of the deals still live are Prime-exclusive anymore. Anyone can shop for them, but only while they last. If you see something you've been eyeing that's still on sale, grab it because there's no telling when these remaining sales will expire. Best Prime Day deals you can still get: Engadget top picks Apple 10th-gen iPad for $299, $50 off Apple AirPods Pro for $169, $80 off Apple Watch Series 9 for $280, $120 off Apple AirTag for $24, $5 off Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E (three pack) for $300, $100 off iRobot Roomba Combo Essential robot vacuum and mop for $190, $110 off Best Prime Day tech deals that are still live Apple AirTag for $24, $4 off: We think these are the best Bluetooth trackers you can buy if youre an iPhone user. They rely on Apples vast Find My network that calls on every nearby iPhone to anonymously pinpoint an AirTags location. We found their locating features to be eerily accurate. The price has gone up and down over the past 48 hours, but you may still be able to get a four-pack of AirTags for a record low of $75, too. Apple 10th-gen iPad for $299, $50 off: This is the best iPad for those on a budget thanks to its modern design, USB-C charging, solid battery life and solid performance for the price. Its even compatible with an optional folio keyboard if you want to turn it into a productivity machine. Apple AirPods Pro for $169, $80 off: The Pros are the best pair of wireless earbuds that Apple sells and one of our top picks overall. They'll be hard to beat if you live in the Apple ecosystem and appreciate the conveniences provided by the built-in H1 chip. AirPods Max for $395, $155 off: We gave this pair a review score of 84 when it arrived way back in December 2020. Despite its age, the Max remains one of the more premium sets of wireless headphones you can buy. Apple MacBook Air (M2, 13-inch) for $799, $200 off: If you're coming from an older, Intel-based MacBook, any M-series machine will feel like a big upgrade. This M2 laptop excels thanks to its stellar performance, excellent screen and thin-and-light design. Anker Nano iPhone 15 Portable Charger for $17, $13 off: This 5K power bank has a flip-out USB-C connector that makes it easy to power up Android phones (and the latest iPhones) while on the go. For those who feel more secure with a plugged-in charger rather than a magnetic or wireless one, this power bank is a good option. iRobot Roomba Combo Essentials for $190, $85 off: This model ups the ante a bit by adding in mopping capabilities to the usual robot-vacuum formula. Its the most affordable vac-and-mop machine that iRobot makes, and its an even better buy at this sale price. Theragun Mini 2.0 for $149, $50 off: The runners on the Engadget staff appreciate this percussion massage gun for its compact size, three speeds and swappable attachments. Fitbit Charge 6 for $120, $40 off: The Charge 6 sits at the top of our list of the best fitness trackers you can get precisely because it has such a comprehensive feature set. It also has a seven-day battery life, so you won't have to worry about recharging it for days on end. Bose QuietComfort Ultra earbuds for $229, $70 off: Bose has consistently provided the best wireless earbuds for noise cancellation, and the QC Ultra are the latest and our top pick at the moment. Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum for $295, $305 off: A version of one of our top picks for the best robot vacuums, it supports cleaning schedules and home mapping, plus it comes with a self-emptying base that can hold up to 60 days worth of debris. The base is also bagless, so you don't have to buy and replace proprietary garbage bags in it over time. Google Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor (two pack) for $250, $80 off: These cams are battery-powered, so you don't have to worry about cables and you can place them almost anywhere you want inside or outside your home. They support 1080p HDR video and Activity Zones, the latter of which will send you alerts when motion is detected in specific areas. Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E (three pack) for $300, $100 off: This set is one of the top picks on our list of best mesh Wi-Fi systems, primarily because it's pretty easy to setup and use, even for those who have never attempted to install their our router system. Google Pixel Buds Pro for $140, $60 off: The Pixel Buds Pro made our list of the best wireless earbuds for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we love the sound. These earbuds offer deep and punchy bass, which is a rarity with this class of device. They also have decent ANC, reliable touch controls and wireless charging. Samsung The Frame TV with white bezel for $998, $648 off: Youd mainly get a Frame TV for the aesthetic, as the whole thing is designed to mount flush against a wall and hang like a piece of art. You can even use it to display actual artwork and photos when you arent watching something. Its image quality is still decent as well, though its not on the level of the best LED TVs in this price range. Your Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Hear from Autoblogs experts on the best Amazon Prime Day deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-prime-day-2024-tech-deals-you-can-still-get-today-123047086.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-07-18 13:15:04| Engadget

Meta has reportedly decided not to offer its upcoming multimodal AI model and future versions to customers in the European Union, citing a lack of clarity on the European regulators data protection rules. These newer AI models process not only text but also images and audio, and power AI capabilities across Metas platforms. Metas move follows a similar decision by Apple, which recently announced it would not release its Apple Intelligence features in Europe due to regulatory concerns. Meta told Axios it still plans to release Llama 3, the companys text-only model, in the EU. The companys primary concern stems from the challenges of training AI models using data from European customers while complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EUs data protection law. That said, Meta still plans to launch these new AI models in the UK, which has similar data protection laws to the EU. Mat Smith The biggest stories you might have missed The best SSDs in 2024 EA Sports FC 25 brings womens soccer to the career modes for the first time Fallouts Emmy nominations show that successful gaming adaptations are no longer a fluke You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here! Dyson ditches the air purifier in its new headphones 55 hours of battery life for $500. Dyson In early 2022, Dyson combined its air filtration expertise with noise-canceling headphones. Aimed at providing less-polluted air, the Zone headphones had an extremely short battery life and a heady $949 price. Now, the company is focusing on audio, with its new OnTrac headphones: noise-canceling headphones with a decidedly Dyson design and a premium $500 price tag. Unsurprisingly, theres a bigger focus on the audio tech check out our deep-dive. Continue reading. The tinyPod transforms your old Apple Watch into an iPod-like minimalist phone The $80 case can control the Digital Crown. tinyPod The tinyPod is a case for your Apple Watch, which probably doesnt sound too exciting on its own. However, its click wheel, which controls the watchs Digital Crown, makes Apples wearable look and feel (at least in its marketing) like an iPod, back from the dead. Continue reading.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-meta-may-hold-back-its-next-gen-ai-models-from-the-eu-111504920.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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