The latest Google Pixel 7 leak includes face unlock and eSIM details

We're mere days away from the grand unveiling of the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but the leaks are unlikely to dry up until the launch event is underway. The latest information to emerge on the flagship phones covers details of the face unlock and eSIM features.

This comes from Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Android Police), who has been digging into the code in the Google Play Console – that's the platform used by developers to manage the availability of their apps on Android.

Google has been doing some groundwork for the arrival of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – codenamed Panther and Cheetah respectively – and that means some of the features of the new phones are now referenced in the Google Play Console database.

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Trading features

Based on the code now in place, full face unlock will be coming to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The feature was left off the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 phones having been one of the selling points of the Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL.

Google originally described the dropping of face unlock as a "good trade-off" in terms of the overall feature set offered by the Pixels, but there has been consistent chatter around the idea of it coming back for the Pixel 7 – and even being retroactively rolled out to the Pixel 6 phones as well.

The other tidbit revealed here is that the phones look set to support dual eSIM setups, rather than one physical SIM and one eSIM. Whether or not that means the Pixel 7 handsets will come without SIM trays – at least in some regions – remains to be seen. The launch event is scheduled for Thursday, October 6.


Analysis: the Pixels could get their Face ID back

It's not certain that the code spotted in the Google Play Console will equate to full, secure face unlock on the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but it's certainly looking more likely. It seems that at least some form of facial recognition feature will be offered.

Apple has of course gone all in with Face ID on its recent iPhones, except for the budget iPhone SE. As a phone unlock method it's fast, it's convenient, and it's secure, and Google should have really added it back to the Pixel line before now.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL included special radar sensor technology that could map a face incredibly quickly from a wide variety of angles. Face unlock worked so well on those phones that it was almost as if the lock screen wasn't there.

Having the same friction-free unlock experience would be a definite plus for the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – and considering that several of the specs are expected to match their Pixel 6 predecessors, it seems that the new phones could use a few upgrades to show off.

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T-Mobile offers end-to-end packages of 5G tech and connectivity for industry

US mobile operator T-Mobile has launched a range of ‘ready-to-deploy’ 5G products for specific industries, aiming to make the process of using next-generation networks as easy as possible.

The initial tranche of Advanced Industry Solutions’ will target four ‘early adopter’ industries - retail, manufacturing, logistics, and municipalities.

Each product includes connectivity, compute, devices, and applications for various 5G use cases, including smart cities, autonomous factories, and intelligent shopping. Alongside the provision of technology, customers will also receive dedicated support.

5G for industry

By combining everything into an end-to-end suite with a single point of contact, T-Mobile hopes to drive adoption of its 5G services, particularly among businesses put off by the potential complexity of identifying, assembling, and managing multiple technologies.

It says the typical project might include ten or more vendors and partners and the onboarding process could take months.

“We are on the precipice of billions of AI-powered devices, all connected by 5G with efficient application processors, all converging to provide intelligent data-driven insights,” said Callie Field, President, T-Mobile Business Group.

“Technologies are pushing the limits of most companies’ IT organizations. That’s why we’ve been working closely with many of these organizations to develop specific solutions that address their unique challenges. Our Advanced Industry Solutions enable easier and simpler implementation — from vision to ROI.”

T-Mobile claims its 5G network now covers more than 315 million people in the US, with 225 million of those able to access it fastest ‘Ultra Capacity 5G’ service. The latter figure is expected to reach 260 million later this year and 300 million in 2023. In addition to offering enhanced mobile broadband services for consumers, the company is also a major player in Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

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Samsung confirms it’ll sell newer refurbished phones – that’s great news

If you've been interested in buying a Samsung phone but want to save some money, then you've probably looked into buying a refurbished mobile – buying renewed tech has become a hugely popular way to save money on gadgets.

Samsung's refurbishment program, called Re-Newed, doesn't actually sell the company's newest gadgets though. In the UK, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 series are the only ones sold, whereas in the US the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 10 join. But if you want the newest Galaxy S22, or other devices like the Galaxy A53 or tablets, you're plum out of luck.

However that'll change very soon. In a statement to TechRadar, Samsung confirmed that it plans to expand its Re-Newed range to include newer smartphones in the future, so we could see future models like the Galaxy S23, or perhaps current ones, available for a lower cost.

Refurbished: what's the deal?

Refurbished, or renewed, phones are second-hand devices with one big difference. Instead of being simply re-sold, these devices are tested by engineers to make sure they're up to snuff, and parts are often replaced or fixed to make sure the device feels as good as new.

This kind of phone has been sold for years, but with the global cost of living crisis in recent years, refurbished tech has become massively popular. That's because these gadgets generally cost a fair bit less than their new siblings, despite working just as well. 

Third-party refurbished stores have popped up to sell this kind of gadget, but many brands also sell their own renewed tech, like Apple. Samsung has dabbled with doing it too, but as we've already discussed, it hasn't stayed up-to-date with its newest devices being offered.

Good news from Samsung

Thanks to various global factors, money is tight for many people around the world, which is why refurbished gadgets are especially tempting.

As the biggest phone company in the world, many people look to Samsung phones as their first port of call for a new device, but with the company not offering its newer handsets via Re-Newed, people would have to look to third-party refurb brands to pick up newer devices on the cheap.

However, Samsung renewing its own phones could be better than letting third-party companies do it. Since Samsung has easy access to its own components, the process could be cheaper and easier, which would save money for the buyer. Plus, the engineers doing the refurbishing would be trained by the company itself, meaning the renewed phones would potentially be up to a much higher standard (and buyers will have better peace of mind).

Samsung lets you trade in older phones for money off of newer ones, meaning it likely has a large stock of second-hand phones that it could easily refurbish, so there will hopefully be a big supply for buyers. 

And, like Apple, Samsung has plenty of physical stores around the world – so instead of ordering your refurbished phone and having it delivered to your home, you can pick it up at the in-person store, and check it over before you take it home.

So Samsung expanding its Re-Newed line to newer phones is great news, and it'll hopefully encourage many more fans of the company to pick up second-hand gadgets. Now let's hope the brand also starts doing the same for its A-series phones and tablets.

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Using your iPhone to pay for things just got a whole lot easier

Paying for items using your iPhone could soon be much smoother thanks to an announcement from Square.

The payment provider has officially launched its Tap to Pay on iPhone service, which will allow merchants and sellers of all sizes accept contactless mobile payments directly from their iPhone.

There's no need for any additional hardware, either from Square or any other POS system, and there's no additional cost to the seller, with the service available within the Square Point of Sale iOS app.

Tap to Pay on iPhone with Square

The launch comes after Square announced an initial early access program for the service back in June 2022. Apple had launched Tap to Pay in February 2022 as a way for more businesses to accept Apple Pay and other types of contactless payments. 

The two companies looked to make the payment process as straightforward to use as possible, with merchants simply needing to open up the Square POS app, ringing up the sale, and presenting their iPhone to the buyer. 

Apple says it doesn’t store card numbers on the device or on its servers, so customer data should remain safe and secure.

“As commerce continues to rapidly evolve and contactless adoption in the U.S. continues to grow, Square is focused on ensuring sellers of all types and sizes have the technology needed to delight their customers and never miss a sale,” said David Talach, Head of Financial Services at Square. 

“Tap to Pay on iPhone offers a new level of accessibility for merchants to begin taking payments in minutes and processing transactions in seconds from anywhere in the store or on the go without the need for a separate payments device.”

Tap to Pay on iPhone is available now, with Square sellers and new merchants able to start using the service by downloading the Square POS app on compatible devices - namely, an iPhone XS or later device to use the app.

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iPhone 14 Pro Max just beat the Galaxy S22 Ultra in one key way

We’re big fans of the iPhone 14 Pro Max here at TechRadar, and its 6.7-inch display is a major factor in our calling it “truly the best of everything in the current iPhone world.”

Now, DisplayMate – the recognized authority on mobile picture quality – has awarded Apple’s latest flagship its highest display performance grade (A+) after the device set 15 (fifteen!) display performance records during testing.

DisplayMate found the iPhone 14 Pro Max's Super Retina XDR display to be capable of reaching a max brightness of 2,300 nits – that’s almost double the nit-count of the iPhone 13 Pro Max (which boasts the same display size and resolution) and some 500 more than that of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (based on Samsung’s own claims from earlier this year).

Let there be light

Despite sharing dimensions and resolution, Apple’s most recent top-end iPhone improves upon its predecessor’s display by adding a handful of new features, including an always-on display mode and a new Dynamic Island centered around the phone’s sensor. 

Evidently, though, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is also significantly brighter than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, having now usurped its older sibling as the recipient of DisplayMate’s Best Smartphone Display award. Interestingly, Apple advertises the iPhone 14 Pro Max as offering up to 2,000 nits of brightness – yet DisplayMate managed to record a figure of 2,300 nits.

Images of the iPhone 14 Pro Max

We're big fans of the iPhone 14 Pro Max's 6.7-inch display (Image credit: TechRadar)

The diagnostics company has also credited Apple’s latest handset with awards for highest absolute color accuracy, smallest shift in color accuracy, highest image contrast accuracy and intensity scale accuracy, as well as for smallest change in peak luminance. 

Ironically, the displays used by Apple in the iPhone 14 Pro Max are actually produced by Samsung, so we’d expect the latter’s next flagship – likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – to match or even exceed Apple’s latest handset for brightness.

For now, though, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the brightest smartphone on the block – even if the Samsung S22 Ultra remains our top overall pick of the best phones money can buy in 2022. 

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Amazon Kindle Scribe is a modern twist on an old idea – and you might like it

A big-screen E Ink device equally at home with documents and books released by Amazon in the depths of an economic downturn, and it's not the Kindle Scribe that Amazon unveiled on Wednesday during a massive smart product rollout.

This was the Amazon Kindle DX, a 9.7-inch E Ink reader released in 2009. It wasn't as svelte, light or bright as the 300ppi backlit Kindle Scribe. There wasn't even a touch screen, rather it had a physical keyboard and nav buttons. The Kindle DX was thought to be the future of Amazon's E Ink book business, especially for textbooks. 

The device's big screen and ability to hold thousands of books would mean the end of students struggling under the weight of overstuffed backpacks filled with gargantuan and expensive textbooks. The Kindle DX cost almost $500, but most expected typical college and school textbooks to be half as expensive through Amazon's online bookstores.

After a single update in 2010, the Kindle DX died a fast and unremarkable death. I've never been sure why but came to believe that the majority of Kindle e-reader users read novels on them while on vacation and have no interest or need for a tablet-sized device that offers only a black and white screen and can't even play video.

The release of Apple's iPad in 2010 essentially sealed the DX's fate

By that measure, the new Kindle Scribe could be the same kind of misfire. However, despite the economic similarities, 2022 is not 2009 and the Kindle Scribe is far more technically accomplished than the DX.

The biggest innovation, at least for Amazon, is the Kindle Scribe's stylus, included in the $339 price. First, it's comforting to see that Amazon didn't follow the DX pricing model: go expensive or go home. Second, bundling the stylus, which is probably more intelligent than a simple piece of plastic, is a bit of genius. It's what makes the Kindle Scribe cool, desirable, and, aside from obvious design differences, quite different than Amazon's last big-screen E Ink tablet attempt.

Even here, though, Amazon is treading in familiar territory, though not necessarily its own.

In 2017, I tested the first ReMarkable tablet, a 10.1-inch, 350-gram E Ink and stylus-supporting tablet. It boasted 226ppi with a look and feel that was as close to a piece of paper as you could get without being made from pulp. ReMarkable worked closely with E Ink to create a version of electronic paper that offered 100 millisecond response time, making it feel as if the E Ink that appeared on the page was flowing out of the ReMarkable stylus. That stylus, by the way, needed no batteries, drawing energy from the screen via inductive charge. The follow-up ReMarkable 2 tablet is even lighter and thinner (4.7mm).

The similarities between the Kindle Scribe and ReMarkable 2 are not, well, remarkable, as they are a reflection of how far E Ink display, processing, materials, and stylus technology have progressed in 13 years since Amazon unveiled the Kindle DX. That ReMarkable got there first is a credit to them, but also now a concern. 

Amazon's had 15 years to perfect its e-reader business, with a range of products that start as low as $99 (often on sale for $69) and cost as must as the $249 Kindle Oasis. The 10.2-inch Kindle Scribe is more affordable than the original DX , though not as cheap as the $279 ReMarkable 2. It extends the Kindle's utility into a space once owned by ReMarkable. 

Amazon now has the wherewithal to let this pricier and mainly niche e-reader percolate and grow in market share, while the scrappy startup ReMarkable will need some splashy innovation. It needs to remind consumers it was here first (as if that matters) to survive.

What's odd is that my excitement over the Kindle Scribe is almost entirely based on my ReMarkable 1 experiences. It's fun to draw with a stylus on E Ink. It can look and feel just like paper. ReMarkable was always smart enough to leverage the processing power behind the paper-like screen for more utility.

The arc of technology often goes up but also bends back in time to long-forgotten failures to make something fresh and new. It's fun to look at and try the new thing, but always worth remembering how we and everyone else got here.

You can catch up on everything Amazon unveiled during its big event here.

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

We're starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones' costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn't include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn't make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google's choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You're buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there's another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it's a very different amount of money.

Some people just won't be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn't the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don't understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We'll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

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Google announces a new way to search, alongside a better look for translating text

At its 'Search On' conference (September 28), Google announced a bunch of improvements to its services, such as Multisearch which can combine queries into one search, and its Translate feature, which can remove the blurred box of the previous language, as if the poster was always English or another language to begin with for example.

The company has also been announcing a bunch of improvements to its search services at the conference, with better ways to shop for the right product. Alongside this, there's been improvements to Maps and better recommendations for places and businesses.

Google has been slow to adapt it products to the features that Microsoft and Apple have been bringing out lately, with iOS 16 and Windows 11's first major update showcasing LiveText and better accessibility features.

However, Search On was the company's stake in the sand to show just what its apps are capable of, and what it could be to its millions of users in the coming months.

Multisearch and Translate are the big highlights

Google Translate in iOS

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Multisearch allows you to search with an image and a block of text at once, so you can better find the result you need. This is currently rolling out in English globally, alongisde it coming to over 70 languages in the coming months.

With Google Translate, the company is introducing an update that will not only show the translated text, but will erase the previous text, and repaint the background using AI. This results in translated text that looks as though it's always been there without looking out of place, seeming more natural.

Google confirmed to us that this improvement to Translate will arrive later this year, both to iOS and Android devices.

There's been a bunch of improvements that have appealed to users, whether that's Live Captions or gestures for the Apple Watch, but with Multisearch and Translate rolling out to users soon, Google could have an ace up its sleeve.

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Apple ‘abandons’ plans to produce additional iPhone 14 units

Apple has reportedly abandoned plans to increase production levels of the iPhone 14 due to lower than anticipated demand for its latest flagship smartphone.

Reports says the company hoped the launch would trigger a surge in interest and had made arrangements to increase production by up to six million units during the second half of 2022.

However, this scenario failed to materialise, and Apple will now revert to its original plan of producing 90 million handsets.

China smartphone sales

There are several possible reasons why orders have not increased in the way Apple might have hoped. While supply chain issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are easing, the most obvious explanation for demand levels are unfavourable macroeconomic conditions.

Inflation and the rising cost of living, have meant many households have abandoned or are delaying purchases of high-end electronics. Several analysts have predicted a contraction in the global smartphone market this year.

TechRadar Pro has contacted Apple for comment

The impact is certainly being felt in China, the world’s biggest mobile market, which is currently suffering from an economic downturn. The iPhone 14 range has shifted 11 per cent fewer units during the first three days on sale when compared to the iPhone 13 last year.

Conversely, the same report noted that interest in the more expensive iPhone 14 models is higher than the standard iteration of the device. Indeed, Apple could now shift more production capacity towards its higher-priced variants, allowing it to benefit from higher margins that will offer good news for its balance sheet.

Via Bloomberg

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might not be much of an upgrade

Typically, new phones in Samsung’s Galaxy S Ultra line are among the most exciting handsets of the year, but that might not be the case with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, as a leak suggests you could be hard pressed to tell the difference between this and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

That’s the impression we get from unofficial renders shared by @OnLeaks – a leaker with a great track record – on behalf of SmartPrix. They show a phone that looks almost identical to the S22 Ultra, as you can see below.

There are some slight changes though. While this leak suggests the phone will have a 6.8-inch screen again, the dimensions will seemingly differ slightly, coming in at 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.8mm, compared to 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / SmartPrix)

The screen will also apparently have some improvements, such as being brighter and offering better color accuracy and HDR performance.

Other listed changes for the Galaxy S23 Ultra include less curvy sides, and the two smallest sensors on the camera being flush with the rear, where on the S22 Ultra they stuck out a bit.

We’d take this leak with a pinch of salt for now, but given the source there’s a high chance it’s accurate, and if so, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might barely be a change at all – at least visually.


Analysis: upgrades under the hood

The good news is that while the design might not be changing much, the specs could be. There isn’t much in the way of specs included in this latest leak, but an earlier leak suggested the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might get a 200MP camera – up from 108MP on the S22 Ultra.

It will also of course have a new and more powerful chipset – likely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, so performance will be improved at the very least.

Still, if that’s the bulk of the upgrades then the Galaxy S23 Ultra probably won’t be a super exciting phone overall, even if it’s sure to be one of the best Samsung phones.

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The Apple VR headset could have a game-changing OLED screen

Apple may have not yet unveiled its first VR headset, but reports indicate it’s already started development for its second virtual reality device.

At the moment, it looks like Apple is working on at least two VR/AR gadgets. The Apple VR headset – which will compete with Project Cambria and the Pico 4 Pro with VR and AR capabilities – and the Apple Glasses – AR specs that act more like Google Glass. Neither device has been officially revealed, but numerous rumors indicate that the headset will launch next year, with the glasses coming later (either in 2023 or 2024).

But before Apple has even launched one of these devices it’s apparently already looking to make some improvements, with a report from The Elec saying that the California-based tech company is requesting OLED on Silicon panels from Samsung Display and LG Display that are 3,500ppi. Previously Apple was rumored to be only requesting panels with around 2,800ppi.

OLED on Silicon panels are similar to those used by the best OLED TVs, just really small – typically smaller than 1-inch. 

The only products in Apple’s current line-up that would require a small display are its smartwatches like the Apple Watch 8 – which has a smallest display size of 41mm or 1.6-inches. However, this super high-end OLED on SIlicon panels from LG or Samsung would be overkill for the wearable. The Apple Watch 8 currently offers 326ppi, which is pretty similar to previous models – so a 10 times increase to 3,500ppi for the Apple Watch 9 or Apple Watch 10 would come out of nowhere.

Instead, it makes much more sense to see these kinds of panels put to use in some kind of VR headset or AR glasses where high ppi can considerably boost immersion. However, given that Samsung and LG aren’t due to start production on panels of this kind until 2024, if Apple’s headset can stick to its rumored 2023 release date then we’ll likely have to wait until its second generation to see these high-res displays in action.


Analysis: Who needs all those pixels?

The reason Apple and other VR headset makers want panels with incredibly high ppi counts is to combat the screen door effect. 

If you get really close to a digital screen – like your computer monitor – you may see these black lines appear around each pixel, that’s the screen door effect. For most devices it isn’t that noticeable as the screen isn’t in your face, but in VR the effect is harder to hide.

Wikipedia

The screen door effect on a monitor, you can see light and dark patches like you're looking through a screen door. (Image credit: Wikipedia)

By increasing the ppi you should also increase the pixels per degree (ppd) count too, with Meta previously saying it hopes to one day achieve 60ppd (the point at which the gaps will become imperceivable to human eyes). Without this constant reminder that you're looking at a screen, the best VR games should feel much more immersive.

Currently, the Quest 2 delivers 21ppd, with its 773ppi display, and Project Cambria will hopefully do better with its 1230ppi display – though because we don’t know its focal length it's impossible to determine its ppd right now. Similarly, we can’t predict the ppd of Apple’s 2,800 or 3,500 OLED panels, but they’ll likely get much closer to achieving the 60ppd target than anything currently offered by Meta.

We’ll have to wait and see what Apple announces in the coming years, but if the rumors are true it could have the new best VR headset up its sleeve.

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If you’re having issues with your iPhone 14 Pro you aren’t alone

If you’re having problems connecting your iPhone 14 Pro to your local network or getting it to charge without restarting then you aren’t alone.

Despite being an upgraded version of the base iPhone 14, users are reporting that their iPhone 14 Pro comes with a few extra issues alongside its impressive dynamic island and satellite phone capabilities

The more widespread problem users are reporting is that their iPhone 14 Pro will restart all on its own while charging via MagSafe or a lightning cable – and that’s in addition to the battery life problems plaguing iOS 16 devices.

Thankfully the iPhone 14 Pro doesn’t appear to reboot unprompted during regular use so the issue isn’t the end of the world, but it will nonetheless be concerning to see your new smartphone restart every 10 minutes or so as some users report to be experiencing. But best of all some people seem to have found a solution: disable background app refresh.

It’s unclear why this setting change fixes the iPhone 14 Pro’s charging but nevertheless, users have found that heading to Settings, opening up the General tab, scrolling to and tapping Background App Refresh, and then toggling it off using the option at the top of the page makes the problem go away.

However, if you ask us, you might be better off returning your iPhone 14 Pro and getting a new non-defective one if you can. Turning off background app refresh will mean that your suspended apps won’t update which will make using your iPhone less convenient, plus there’s no telling if this charging issue isn’t just the first sign of a larger hardware problem. Better to play it safe now and get a working iPhone than have to shell out for a big repair when it’s out of warranty.

Stay disconnected

The other iPhone 14 Pro issue currently seems restricted to Verizon customers, with several people reporting that the 5G signal is very weak on their new smartphone – and sometimes calls will drop out mid-conversation.

While some people had theorized that the issues are with Verizon’s network as a whole – suggesting that its coverage of a person’s local area may be worse than the provider they were previously with – users have disputed this (via MacRumors Forums). Some point out that their relatives on an identical plan but on a device like an iPhone 13 have no issue in the same location, while others have said that they’ve been with Verizon across multiple contracts but are only now experiencing problems. And worst of all there doesn’t appear to be a quick solution right now, with factory resetting and updating to the latest iOS 16 beta not solving the issue.

It’s unclear why the iPhone 14 Pro is having connectivity issues but it's especially disappointing given that its satellite phone features were meant to make it easier to contact people from anywhere.

We’ve reached out to Verizon for advice on what customers can do, and when we hear back we’ll be sure to update this page.

(via 9to5Mac, MacRumors)

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The Samsung Galaxy 23 could take inspiration from the S22 Ultra

We’ve heard quite a few rumors about the Samsung Galaxy S23 line, but it’s only now that we’re starting to see how these phones might actually look – and if a new leak is accurate, the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus could look a lot like their predecessors, but with a camera design inspired by the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

That’s the impression given by unofficial renders that @OnLeaks – a leaker with a great track record – shared with SmartPrix and Digit.

Both phones look very much like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, complete with a punch-hole camera in the top-center of the display, a flat screen, a metal frame, and a triple-lens camera on the back.

Image 1 of 2

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 (Image credit: @OnLeaks / Digit.in)
Image 2 of 2

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (Image credit: @OnLeaks / SmartPrix)

However, the actual design of the camera is different here. While there are once again three lenses running down the top-left section of the rear, they’re not housed in a camera block in these renders, so they look a lot more like the cameras on the S22 Ultra than on the rest of the S22 line.

The leak also includes details of other specs, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 apparently having a 6.1-inch screen, just like the Galaxy S22, and dimensions of 146.3 x 70.8 x 7.6mm; the S22 is 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm, so the two phones will basically be identical in size if this leak is accurate.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is also said to have a 6.6-inch screen, just like the S22 Plus, and to have dimensions of 157.7 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, compared to very similar dimensions of 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm for the S22 Plus.


Analysis: a likely, logical change

While we’d take these renders and the associated specs with the usual pinch of salt, the changes to the cameras shown here would make sense.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the odd one out in the Galaxy S22 line, as it looks completely different to the other models. So it would make sense to bring some consistency to the Galaxy S23 line, by at least making the cameras look similar.

The Ultra model will probably still look quite different to its siblings, with a curved screen and a slot for an S Pen stylus being likely inclusions, but it might at least look like it’s part of the same family this time.

That said, we haven’t seen any S23 Ultra renders yet, so we can’t be at all sure. But now that renders for the other models have emerged it’s probably only a matter of time before we get a look at what could be the best Samsung phone of 2023.

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Cloudflare launches eSim to protect mobile devices

Cloudflare is to launch its own eSIM card equivalent which it says is the world's first "Zero Trust" SIM.

The new Cloudflare SIM subscribes to the zero trust security model, which describes an approach based on "never trust, always verify,” where devices are never trusted automatically, even if they have been previously verified or are already connected to a gated corporate network.

It's no surprise there's interest in such technology, mobile devices remain an extremely popular endpoint for hackers to try and gain entrance to corporate networks; cybersecurity firm Zimperium analyzed more than 500,000 phishing sites in 2022, and found the number of mobile-specific phishing websites grew 50%.

What will users get?

Employees will be able to get their monthly data costs covered by their employer if they agree to let Cloudflare direct their work-related traffic via the SIM through a network that has Zero Trust protections 

Cloudflare claims the solution will be straightforward to install, and all users will need to do is scan a QR code, which can be embedded in an employee's onboarding material, from their phone's camera.

The new SIM will allow companies to prevent employees from visiting phishing and malware sites according to Cloudflare, as DNS requests leaving the device can automatically and implicitly use the Cloudflare Gateway for DNS filtering.

In addition, the new SIM will additionally allow firms to mitigate common SIM-based attacks, with Cloudflare saying that "an eSIM-first approach allows us to prevent SIM-swapping or cloning attacks, and by locking SIMs to individual employee devices, bring the same protections to physical SIMs".

Cloudflare also claims that the new SIM will enable secure, identity-based private connectivity to cloud services, on-premise infrastructure, and fleets of IoT devices via its WAN-as-a-service solution Magic WAN. 

Zero Trust SIM has yet to launch but is set to roll out to customers on a regional basis, and Cloudflare says that it is currently testing the technology on its own network.

If you are an organization without an existing mobile device solution and you'd like to sign up you can head here.

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Nreal brings its AR glasses to iPhones and the Nintendo Switch, but it isn’t cheap

Nreal's impressive AR glasses – the Nreal Air – are headed to the US along with a new adapter that’ll make the specs compatible with a load of new devices.

Launching today, the Nreal Air AR glasses will be available on Amazon for $379. These glasses plug into a compatible smartphone via a USB-C cable and then virtually project a screen in front of you. Along with the surround sound provided by speakers in the glasses’ arms, the Nreal Air glasses make it feel like you watching one of the best Netflix shows or playing an Xbox Game Pass game in your own private cinema.

On top of that, the newly unveiled Nreal Air Adapter will allow you to connect the glasses to one of the best iPhones or a Nintendo Switch for the first time. This $59 add-on (when paired with an Apple lightning to digital AV adapter) will allow iOS users to finally enjoy the same benefits that Nreal was already bringing to many Android users.

The only downside of the adapter is its price. $59 is a lot to spend when you already paid $379 for the glasses, and it only gets worse when you realize that you also need the $49 Apple adapter as well – for a total cost of $487. Thankfully, those of you hoping to use them with the Nintendo Switch won’t need an additional part – everything you need comes with Nreal’s $59 dongle.

The Nreal Air AR glasses

A user playing a first-person shooter at home with the Nreal Air glasses (Image credit: Nreal)

We really liked the Nreal Air AR glasses – this writer called them the best gadget they’ve ever used – but again the price was a major sticking point. Aimed primarily at travelers, we felt that you’d get a lot more bang for your buck by buying a pair of the best wireless headphones we’ve reviewed – like the Sony WH-1000XM4 – instead of these specs. 

That said, if you have the cash to spare (and a compatible smartphone or console like a Steam Deck) you’ll probably love them. And if you’re in the US you can buy them right now from Amazon.com.

Nebula comes to Macs

Beyond the hardware news, Nreal has announced some improvements to its Nebula AR platform. 

Chief among them is a Mac version of Nebula that will bring the platform to all MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs powered by Apple chips. Once you’ve plugged your Nreal Air glasses into one of Apple's best MacBooks or Macs, an AR desktop will launch, displaying multiple displays in the air around you like you’re Tony Stark.

Nreal’s also updating the existing Nebula platform with a redesigned AR space that’ll feature new 3D icons and widgets that recommend AR content to users. On top of that, the Nebula Spatial Browser will now let you choose between two different display modes – horizontal mode for multi-window browsing and vertical mode if you want to see a longer version of one page.

The Nreal Air AR glasses

A recreation of what Nreal's virtual multimonitor setup looks like (Image credit: Nreal)

Aside from cinema mode, which we like, we weren’t impressed by some of Nreal Nebula platform’s other AR features. However, this update shows that it’s looking to improve its platform’s usability. While we don’t think these updates go quite far enough, we’re interested to see what Nreal comes out with next. 

If you're looking to try a more interactive AR or VR experience then check out our Pico 4 vs Oculus Quest 2 comparison guide to determine which headset is best for you.

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