iPhone 15 screen sizes: What we’re expecting

One of the big questions Apple fans have before the launch of each new iPhone range concerns what size the screens will be. 

It should be a simple matter - after all, two generations of ‘mini’ handsets aside, numbered iPhones have come in two sizes since 2020: 6.1 inches for the basic model and the standard Pro, and 6.7 inches for the Plus and Pro Maxes.

Will that change for the iPhone 15 series? We're still a few months away from the likely release of the new handsets in September, and we certainly don't expect any hints at next week's WWDC 2023, but we can make an informed guess based on what the rumor mill is already saying.

So, here’s everything we know so far about iPhone 15 screen sizes, plus some details about other screen enhancements to look out for, and possible hints around what might happen with the iPhone 16 series.

iPhone 15 screens: Rumored sizes

When it comes to the iPhone 15 family’s screen sizes, it looks like Apple is sticking to the mantra: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

That means we're unlikely to see the first size change since the iPhone 12 launch increased the displays from 5.8 and 6.5 inches respectively, which is something of a shame albeit not exactly unexpected.

Though we don't have anything official yet from Apple on this front - it never reveals anything in advance - we do have an increasing number of rumors that point to the iPhone 15 range's screens staying as they are. 

The first hint in this regard came from leaker ShrimpApplePro back in January, who claimed that the models will all have the same display sizes as the iPhone 14 range.

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Indeed, recent iPhone 15 dummy mockups, built from specifications supposedly sent to case makers, show four iPhone 15 models which look identical to the current lineup in terms of size. That is to say, there are two 6.1-inch models (iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro) and two 6.7-inch versions (iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max).

Yes, the latter could ultimately be called the iPhone 15 Ultra and the Plus is a bit of a surprise given it’s reportedly struggled to sell, but there we are. 

It’s also worth noting that the bezels on the Pro models look thinner than ever, so it’s possible there will be slightly more screen to enjoy with the same footprint - but we’re talking barely perceptible margins here.

iPhone 15 screens: Other improvements

That said, just because the sizes are the same, doesn’t mean the specifications are identical. Specifically, there are two possible upgrades to look out for.

The first is for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which are set to get Dynamic Island - currently an iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max exclusive. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island music large

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

For those unfamiliar with the Dynamic Island, it replaces the notch with a cutout at the top of the screen, which can virtually expand to fill with notifications, in-app information and even the occasional game. It’s a neat way of making previously dead space seem useful.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra could get the brightest screen yet seen on an iPhone. That’s according to the aforementioned leaker ShrimpApplePro, who claims that Samsung’s next-generation panel - which reportedly can hit 2,500 nits of brightness - could be coming to the top-end iPhone this September.

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For reference, Apple says that the iPhone 14 Pro is capable of reaching 2,000 nits - so a reasonable upgrade.

Otherwise, we’re expecting more of the same, right down to the Pro divide over refresh rates. There’s no expectation that the regular iPhone 15 will match the Pro models’ ProMotion120Hz refresh rate, and it’s likely to stay at 60Hz.

Want bigger? Wait until next year

So if you want something bigger, should you be looking to the best Android phones for inspiration instead? 

Well, maybe - but if you can wait, 2024’s iPhone 16 Pro handsets (but not the vanilla versions) could well give you something more substantial in the hand.

A number of the world’s most reliable Apple leakers are now coalescing around the idea that next year’s Pro handsets will be larger than any iPhones Apple has released to date, even if they don’t agree on the exact sizing.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo kicked things off by saying the iPhone 16 Pro models will be “slightly larger” than what’s currently available. Then, display analyst Ross Young put some numbers on the table, suggesting we can expect the iPhone 16 Pro to be 6.2 inches and the Pro Max to be 6.8 inches.

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Unknownz21 went even larger, saying the handsets will be 6.3 and 6.9 inches. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, meanwhile, seems to agree with this larger estimate, saying that the iPhone 16 Pro models will grow by “a couple tenths of an inch diagonally”.

How much of this will actually be felt in the hand, and how much will be absorbed in the space vacated by ever-shrinking bezels remains to be seen. But if you like your screens big and can’t think of a life beyond iOS, then it might be worth waiting for September 2024.

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Motorola Razr 40 Ultra may miss out on this useful Galaxy Flip 4 feature

Motorola is expected to debut the Motorola Razr 40 and Razr 40 Ultra in the first week of June, and a new leak reveals something that could be lacking compared to the market-leading Galaxy Z Flip 4. According to the report, the Razr 40 Ultra may lack IP68 water and dust resistance, offering more modest IP52 splash resistance instead.

The report comes from tipster Snoopy Tech, citing a leaked official Motorola spec sheet. According to the sheet, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra will be IP52 rated. An IP52 rating means that the device is protected from limited dust ingress and splash damage but can’t be submerged – typically found on some of the best cheap phones. In short, the new Razr’s water resistance falls short of what is now its predecessor’s rival. This gels with a retail listing which went up prematurely in May, listing the Razr 40 Ultra as not being waterproof.

Motorola is expected to launch its new Razrs at a June 1 event, but the company’s partners have already spoiled the reveal, with early retail listings and even billboards in some parts of Europe.

Missing or irrelevant?

An IP68 rating is standard on the vast majority of the best smartphones, whether from Apple, Samsung, and even Motorola’s own Edge 40 Pro sports this level of certification. This qualifies as substantial protection against dust and means the phone can be considered water resistant (testing in up to a meter of fresh water for up to 30 minutes). However, when it comes to foldables, it’s not yet the norm. Foldables have a lot more moving parts than conventional smartphones, so water and dust proofing is naturally harder. Our breakdown on ‘what is an IP rating’ should offer more insight.

For those looking for a robust Motorola experience, the obvious solution would be to buy the Motorola Edge 40 or Edge 40 Pro, both of which are rated IP68, as already mentioned. For those who want foldables specifically, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 remains the standard bearer for the clamshell form factor at this time. While there’s no denying water resistance is a useful feature, it’s hard to argue it can be a significant sales factor. Unless Motorola is targeting its new Razrs specifically at swimmers, we suspect that these foldables will stand and fall on more prominent metrics, like pricing.

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These spyware-riddled Android apps have been installed over 400 million times – here’s how to stay safe

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a malicious SDK hiding in more than a hundred Android apps, many of which were previously available on the Google Play store. 

After being found by Dr. Web, the SDK was dubbed “SpinOK” - it’s an advertisement module that aims to keep people interested in the ads by offering minigames and daily rewards. 

Although working as intended on the surface, SpinOK was working in the background to exfiltrate sensitive data from the device it was installed on, exposing users to all kinds of risks, from identity theft, to wire fraud, and more.

Millions of downloads

"On the surface, the SpinOk module is designed to maintain users' interest in apps with the help of mini games, a system of tasks, and alleged prizes and reward drawings," the researchers noted. 

However, the apps also stole plenty of data. It first analyzes the endpoint’s sensors to make sure it’s not running in a sandbox, and then it connects to a remote server to download a list of URLs which are used to display the minigames. Then, it lists files in directories, looks for certain documents, and copies them to the remote server, meaning it can exfiltrate videos, images, and other sensitive data. 

Furthermore, the malware is capable of monitoring the clipboard, a method often used by threat actors to steal credit card data, passwords, and gain access to cryptocurrency wallets. 

In total, 101 apps had this SDK integrated, and cumulatively, they were downloaded more than 420 million times from Google Play, only. 

The two most popular compromised apps, according to the researchers are Noizz: video editor with music, and Zapya - File Transfer, Share, both of which had more than 100 million downloads. For the latter, the trojan module was found in versions 6.3.3 to 6.4, with version 6.4.1 being clean. 

Other notable mentions include MVBit - MV video status maker, and Biugo - video maker&video editor, with 50 million downloads each. 

Almost all of the apps have since been removed from the Play Store, the publication says, adding that the complete list of apps can be found here.

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The iPhone 16 Pro will reportedly be taller and narrower than the iPhone 15 Pro

We recently reported on rumors hinting that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra will be noticeably bigger than their iPhone 15 equivalents, and now we’ve got a better idea of just how much bigger these supersized iPhones might be.

Serial Apple tipster Ross Young has previously claimed that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra will boast 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch screens, respectively, and he’s followed up on those predictions with new details about the revised aspect ratio both devices will use.

In a new tweet, Young reports that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra will have an aspect ratio of 19.6:9, making them the tallest and narrowest iPhones ever. For reference, every iPhone 14 model has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which Apple is expected to maintain with its upcoming iPhone 15 line.

The below mock-ups, created by 9to5Mac, illustrate just how much taller and narrower the iPhone 16 Ultra (or iPhone 16 Pro Max, as it may be called) will appear versus the equivalent model in the iPhone 15 series.

iPhone 15 Ultra vs iPhone 16 Ultra size comparision

The iPhone 16 Pro Max/Ultra will reportedly be taller and narrower than its iPhone 15 equivalent (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

As we’ve recently reported, these larger iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra screen sizes will supposedly make room for some serious camera upgrades.

Apple’s top-end iPhone 15 models – that’s the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra – were widely rumored to be getting Sony’s new IMX903 48MP sensor, but the latest leaks suggest that this particular upgrade won’t be arriving until the iPhone 16 series.

Don’t expect that aforementioned 19.6:9 aspect ratio to remain exclusive to Apple’s Pro-level iPhones indefinitely, either. As Young notes, while the standard iPhone 16 will apparently sport the same 19.5:9 aspect ratio as today’s best iPhones, these dimension changes will trickle down to the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus in 2025.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review front straight handheld

Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max is out-selling the standard iPhone 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As for why, exactly, Apple may be preparing to supersize future versions of its Pro-level iPhones, the answer could lie in consumer demand.

Over the last 12 months, sales of the beefier iPhone 14 Plus were up 59% over sales of the iPhone 13 mini during the same period a year prior. But even more significantly, Pro models have so far accounted for 64% of all iPhone 14 sales.

In other words, iPhone fans prefer bigger iPhones to smaller ones, and premium iPhones to standard ones, so it figures that Apple might be looking to make its premium iPhones bigger.

Before the larger iPhone 16 line releases, though, there’s the small matter of the iPhone 15 line to consider. Apple is expected to debut its newest smartphone range in September, and for the latest on those devices, read up on our guides to the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Ultra.

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The iPhone and Galaxy S23 Ultra prove money is no object for smartphone buyers

A new report from Canalys has revealed the best-selling premium smartphones this quarter, and they unsurprisingly hail from the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 families. What is a little surprising is which phones rule the roost.

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Canalys’ report has a few more interesting things to note. While smartphone sales have declined on the whole, more people are buying premium phones – defined as phones costing $500 and above. Other top-selling smartphones featured in the report include the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Xiaomi 13, and the Huawei Mate 50 – the last one even more so than the others on the list because of its extreme handicap.

We like them big, we like them pricey

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra over iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

While there’s a tendency to think that small smartphones are an untapped market and selling smartphones for less is more attractive to buyers, the research consistently shows otherwise. More expensive smartphones – which are also more often than not bigger – tend to sell better.

It’s a stark reality for many of the best Android phones, which position themselves as cheaper-iPhone rivals, often a feature or set of features that are better than iPhone in this area or that, while being priced lower; a simple price drop isn’t enough though. For many people in the US, UK, and Europe who buy phones on monthly plans, there’s no downside to getting the best smartphone you can buy. A phone which is priced the same as a pizza or a beer per month would, in my opinion, simply devalue itself when placed against the best of Apple and Samsung.

Apple is expected to follow this train of thought to the logical extreme by introducing a more expensive iPhone to a market that has proven eager to buy the most expensive iPhone it sells with the iPhone 15 Ultra. The company’s Pro Max phones are already expensive, but the iPhone 15 Ultra will potentially be upping the ante yet again – taking inspiration from the Apple Watch Ultra – it’s expected to be the biggest and most expensive iPhone yet. And if the iPhone 14 Pro Max is anything to go by, it also has the potential to be yet another best-seller for Apple.

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Google confirms it’s been working on another foldable but it’s not ready ‘yet’

While many fans are clearly eager to snap up Google's debut foldable – the Google Pixel Fold, which launched at Google IO last month – rumors of it originally arriving alongside another folding Pixel have now been confirmed to be true.

Google previously hinted at the possibility that it was considering more than just the vertically-folding book-style form factor of the Pixel Fold; with the company's product manager, George Hwang, claiming that his team was "definitely looking" at "different types of devices, different types of technologies," during IO.

Since the event, however, the company's head of design for hardware products, Ivy Ross, subsequently went on-record during the latest episode of the official Made By Google podcast to confirm that a second foldable form factor was indeed in the works too.

At around the 17:20 mark of the episode (titled 'Pixel Perfect') Ivy states, "I'm really proud of the team because there was another foldable model that we had created, that we had the discipline to hold back and say ‘nope, it’s not good enough yet,’ and really wait until we felt like we could do something that was good enough or better than what was out there already."

Ross' statement clarifies Hwang's previous line about "different types of devices" but more importantly leaves the door open for another Pixel with a different folding form factor.

Phrases like "the discipline to hold back" and "it's not good enough yet" could be interpreted as this second Pixel foldable isn't dead in the water, but rather on ice until the team behind it is happy that it's ready for consumers and offers something that is "better than what was out there already."

Something to prove

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hands on Bora Purple w Z Fold 4

Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Flip 4 (right) (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Of course, what's out there is Samsung, who has its best foldables – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 – in more markets internationally than any other phone maker.

In Google's homeland of the US, foldable fans have only really had Samsung to choose from in recent years; especially after Motorola chose not to release the Motorola Razr 2022 in the region, leaving only the 2019 and 2020 revivals to serve as less-than-stellar alternatives to Samsung's offerings. The door is clearly open for some more foldable competition Stateside, and Google has finally cottoned on.

While a clamshell design was never explicitly stated by Ross, it does seem to be the most logical companion foldable form factor to the Pixel Fold; especially based on the competition's strategy. Samsung started with the vertically-hinged Fold before later introducing the clamshell Flip, Oppo released the Find N and Find N2 before releasing the Find N2 Flip, a few of Huawei's Mate X foldables were on the market before the P50 Pocket debuted, and Vivo recently followed up its X Fold line with the X Flip. Motorola is the outlier in this regard, with its clamshell-only foldable lineage at the time of writing.

The caveat to rushing into the foldable space is that Android has been a famously lacklustre experience on larger screens for years now, with only a handful of manufacturers able to wrangle the experience into something usable and desirable (as you'll find with our rundown of the best Android tablets).

With Google IO 2023 giving us the Pixel Fold and the Pixel Tablet, both building on the groundwork laid by Android 12L and Android 13, it's clear that Google is finally taking improving that big-screened Android experience seriously, which also reinforces why a secondary Pixel foldable – especially one with a different form factor – may have fallen by the wayside, for now.

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Bigger iPhone 16 Pro sizes are rumored to be making room for camera upgrades

There has been talk that the Pro models of the iPhone 16 will be noticeably bigger than their iPhone 15 equivalents, and that rumor just got backed up by another source – together with a reason as to why it's happening.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman is one of the best in the business when it comes to Apple predictions, and in his latest Power On newsletter he says that the extra space afforded by the size increase could be used to pack in a larger battery or a better camera system.

It's not clear exactly how much information Gurman has on this, but well known tipsters Digital Chat Station, Revegnus and ShrimpApplePro (via MacRumors) have been chipping in to say that camera upgrades are indeed on the way for the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max in 2024.

Camera sensors

If you've been following iPhone and camera sensor rumors closely, you'll know that the top-end iPhone 15 models were said to be getting an upgrade to a 48MP Sony IMX903 sensor for one of their main cameras. More recently however, it seems that this particular upgrade isn't happening until the iPhone 16 series.

Crucially the IMX903 is a larger sensor, which means more light can be captured, which means photos come out better – not that the current iPhones are bad at photography at all. We've also had leaks pointing to a periscope zoom camera arriving with the iPhone 16 Pro handsets, which might also require some additional space.

It's still early days for iPhone 16 rumors, but it's already shaping up to be a very interesting phone series, with the Pro models once again offering the biggest upgrades. Before we see those phones, we'll get the iPhone 15 range this September.

Analysis: bigger is better, apparently

You may well like small phones, but you're in a minority. The 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini was the last of its compact line, and the general assumption was that it wasn't selling in sufficient quantities for it to be worth Apple's while.

That mini phone was replaced by the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus, and it would appear that Apple is once again upping screen sizes next year. Other manufacturers have slowly been making their phones bigger over time too, and it's a strategy that seems to work.

From what we've heard, the iPhone 16 Pro will have a 6.3-inch screen (compared with the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro), and the iPhone 16 Pro Max will have a huge 6.9-inch screen (compared with the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max). Meanwhile, the bezels around the sides of the display keep getting smaller too.

It seems strange now, but the original iPhone from 2007 had a screen that measured a mere 3.5 inches, corner to corner. By the end of 2024, we could have a Pro Max model that's very nearly double that in size.

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New colors are rumored to be coming to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5

We now know quite a bit about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 – but with the official unveiling not due until the end of July, there's time for a few more leaks and rumors yet... such as new colors for both foldable phones.

According to the usually reliable industry analyst Ross Young (via Android Central), a number of additional colorway options are going to be appearing on top of the ones that we've already heard about from previous leaks.

Bear in mind that as well as this being an unconfirmed rumor, we might not see all of these colors in every region. Samsung sometimes limits certain shades to certain parts of the world, while making other colors exclusive to its own website.

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Color us interested

The new colors for the Z Flip 5 are said to be blue, green, yellow and platinum, to go with the beige, gray, light green and light pink ones we're already aware of. If you're interested in this flip phone, it sounds like you'll have a lot of color options to choose from.

As for the Z Fold 5, Young says that the "higher volume" colors will be beige, black and light blue, with a darker blue and platinum also available in smaller quantities. That means some familiar colors and some new colors for both handsets.

While the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 launched in August 2022, the rumor is that the Unpacked showcase is going to get brought forward to the end of July this year – so watch this space for updates.

Analysis: broadening the appeal

Extra colors might not seem as important as, say, processor speed or camera sensor quality – but the different shades that a smartphone is available in can make a difference to how broadly it appeals to different groups of people.

That's perhaps even more the case when it comes to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5. A lot of people are going to be buying a foldable phone because of its form factor and its aesthetic, and the colors a phone is available in play into that.

You only need to look at Apple, and the way it's started to introduce a new iPhone color six months after its launch, to see that additional colorways can give sales a kick – even if they don't sell as well as the main colors.

We'll have to wait and see what Samsung does with colors for these foldables, and which markets each color is available in – but it's something to look out for at the grand unveiling, alongside the long list of specs and features.

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New iPhone 15 Pro Max specs leak hints at what’s not changing this year

We've got some more iPhone 15 leaks to bring you, and the latest spec rumors to hit the web point to two components that aren't changing from the iPhone 14 range that launched in 2022, as well as two that are.

These details are via well-known tipster Revegnus on Twitter (via GSMArena), and cover the screen, main camera module, processor and RAM of the iPhone 15 Pro Max – a phone that has also been referred to as the iPhone 15 Ultra in some circles.

Leaving aside the naming issue for now, the phone is apparently keeping the same 48MP IMX803 camera sensor from Sony found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max as its main camera. That contradicts previous reports pointing to the introduction of the Sony IMX903, with the same megapixel count but a larger sensor (to capture more light).

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Panels and processors

Also staying the same, apparently, is the M12 OLED panel technology – although we have heard that the screen will be slightly shorter and slightly narrower this time around, compared with its immediate predecessor. It sounds as though the display bezels are going to be thinner than ever as well.

There will be some actual upgrades too: the source confirms the widely expected jump to the A17 Bionic processor for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the RAM is apparently getting bumped up from 6GB to 8GB as well.

We should get the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or the iPhone 15 Ultra) and the three other models in September, if Apple sticks to its usual schedule. Before that there's WWDC 2023 at the start of next month, where we'll hear all about Apple's upcoming software updates.

Analysis: conflicting reports

It's rarely the case that every single rumor around a phone fits in perfectly with all the others, and there have certainly been conflicting reports about the iPhone 15 Pro Max – including the subject of what we should actually be calling it, as we were thinking Apple would introduce a new Ultra brand this time around.

More recently, the Pro Max name has become more popular again in leaks and rumors, so it looks like that's what Apple is going with. Of course, company plans and projects can change, and it may be that there are still ongoing discussions inside Apple when it comes to what this phone should actually be called.

When it comes to the rear cameras on the iPhone 15 models, again there have been discrepancies in terms of the rumors. Some leaks point to a revamped camera system and a larger camera bump on the back, while others suggest that it's going to be more of the same for the 2023 models.

Not every leak and rumor is going to be accurate of course, and it's very possible that misunderstandings about which tidbit of information applies to which version of the iPhone 15 is causing some of the confusion as well. All should be made clear in a few months at the official unveiling.

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6 cute iPhone widgets that do all the work for my tired brain

Widgets are one of my favorite iPhone tools, and widgets can turn your boring grid of app icons into a pleasant, useful home screen. Some widgets give you quick info at a glance, but I like widgets that can help me out and remind me to do the stuff that I’ll forget to do. When I’m out and about, these are the widgets I use to make sure I’m on top of everything, whether it’s remembering an important event or just a fun show I want to watch later. 

What is a widget, anyway? A widget is an app, or a part of an app, that sits on your home screen and does its work whether you open it or not. 

You don’t need to open the Weather app to check the weather, you can just add the Weather widget to your home screen. Likewise, you can find widgets that tell you the battery life of your phone and accessories, widgets that show you photos from your gallery, and widgets that track your steps and fitness, just like the best Apple Watch.

iOS 16 widgets screen shots

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Besides widgets that give you information at a glance, I also like widgets that are a quick shortcut to an app, especially making a list. I don’t need to open my Notes or my To Do list app, I can just tap on a widget instead and it will automatically create a new entry.

Finally, I need reminders, and not just a simple alarm or a countdown timer. I like to know how much time I have left in broad terms. How much time until my next vacation, for instance! I also like reminders for some of the habits I’m trying to build. Instead of getting a notification or opening up an app, I can just tap on a widget to keep track of what I’ve accomplished and build upon my streak.

Widgets need to look nice, otherwise I won’t want to use them. This is my iPhone, after all, so my widgets should match my taste and aesthetic, without being too loud or getting in the way. I’ve chosen a selection of the six most useful widgets that I use to help me keep on track, and it doesn’t hurt that they mostly look pretty cute getting the job done, too.

How to make a widget on the iPhone

iOS 16 widget creation tool

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Widgets come bundled with the apps they accompany, so when you download an app, you get its widget as well. For most apps, the widget won't appear as an option until you've opened the app at least once and used it past the welcome screen. Once you've done that, you can search for your widget in Apple's list. 

To create a widget, hold your finger on any empty part of your home screen. The icons will start to shake and shimmy and at the top right of the screen a plus "+" sign will appear. Tap on that sign to see the widget list. 

iOS 16 widget list

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

There are three sizes of widgets on iOS 16 and you cannot resize them. You can have the smaller square, a longer bar, or a very large rectangle. I chose the small square because six widgets fits perfectly on one home screen, giving me one useful page with everything I need.

CuteWeather: weather widget

Cute Weather iOS app

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Shuffle the color of the widget
  • Change your location or keep it static
  • Be very careful about subscription prices

Even though I had a weather widget on my iPhone 14 Pro, I was constantly yelling out to my smart speakers, asking for the temperature. I’d almost forgotten that the forecast, highs and lows were sitting on my screen. That’s because they look boring and blend in. I’d forgotten my weather app exists. 

That’s why I downloaded Cute Weather. It looks cute, in the Japanese “kawaii” style, with a modern color scheme and a playful look. I can set the widget to shuffle through colors so that I don’t get bored. It keeps the weather simple, so I know what to wear and whether to bring an umbrella. If I want more than that, I can click through to the app, which has a similarly sweet design and nicely customizable layout.

Cute Weather iOS app in store

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

You can subscribe to Cute Weather, but be very wary of its predatory trial pricing. After the short free period, it costs $3.99 per week, which adds up to a huge amount to spend on a weather app. The $19.99/year price is more reasonable, if you feel the need to subscribe.

Download CuteWeather

Bears Countdown

Bears Countdown app screenshot

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Easy countdown timer widget with cute bears
  • Lots of bears to choose from, including Gaming, Baby, and Self-Help
  • Mac OS app to synchronize as well

Sometimes I need to know when I have 10 minutes left, but often I just want to know how many days until something happens. How many days do I have until the kiddo leaves for summer camp? How many days until the Broadway show? For a friendly countdown, I like Bears, which you can get for your iPhone and your Mac. 

Bears is a simple countdown timer to the day. You cannot set a specific hour, just the day. There are lots of bears to choose from to illustrate your timer, including bears playing video games if you’re counting down to a game launch, or bears engaging in self-kindness, if you’re counting down to your spa day. 

Bears Countdown app in store

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

You can make the widget countdown to one event, or if you’re looking forward to a few things, you can cycle through events. There are silly little stories and articles attached to the app, but the widget itself is enough to enjoy. I especially liked being able to set up events on my Mac Mini and have them appear on my iPhone, a rarity these days. 

Download Bears Countdown for Mac

Download Bears Countdown for iPhone

Find My (by Apple)

Find My app screen shot

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Apple app tracks your iCloud devices
  • Great for keeping track of your kids and stuff
  • Track AirTags as well as mobile devices

There are plenty of Apple-made widgets that are worth checking out, but I keep the Find My widget on my home screen at all times, and sometimes more than one. The Find My widget can track any devices attached to your iCloud account, including your family account. I keep my kid’s iPhone tracked on a home screen widget, just to make sure nothing strange is going on. 

There are separate widget options depending on whether you are tracking a person or an item. You can also track AirTags, so if you have luggage or a vehicle that you need to keep an eye on, the Find My widget can help with that as well. If you have multiple items you need to track, try stacking the widgets on top of each other so you can flip through them quickly. 

Todoist: To-Do List & Planner

Todoist app screenshot

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Simple To-Do app that can grow to be more robust
  • Create a widget shortcut pre-tagged
  • Organize everything later, or not

There are tons of To-Do list apps available, and I’ve tried many of them - but I keep coming back to Todoist. That could honestly be because it has great name recognition and it's been around forever, so I have a history with the app and it hasn’t let me down. 

Todoist can be as simple or complex as you’d like. I use a widget to create new items for my To Do list and send them to my Inbox, then I organize them later if I feel the need. If you want to apply a specific label, the widget can tag your posts automatically as you create them. 

Todoist app in the app store

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

You can also use Todoist to set goals and record streaks, and you can set up commands with Siri that will create precisely the entries you need. I mostly use it as a home screen widget, and since it synchronizes nicely with iCloud, I’ve used it on many different iPhones over the years. 

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Sofa: Downtime Organizer

Sofa: Downtime Organizer app screenshot

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • For shows I want to watch but forget about later
  • Track shows, books, movies, podcasts
  • App grabs a title card to make a cool looking widget

It never fails – when I’m out and about I see a poster for a show I need to see. Later, when I’m home, I can’t remember anything good I want to watch. Along comes Sofa, which is a list-making app specifically designed to keep track of the things you mean to watch, listen to, or read. 

What makes Sofa great is that it finds a title card for whatever content you’re trying to remember. You don’t just get a list of stuff, you get pictures of book covers and board games, music albums and podcast avatars. Whatever you like, Sofa gives you a more visual approach that also makes it much easier to remember what you’re seeing. 

Sofa app in app store

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

I wish more list-making apps were like this, but I’m happy to have Sofa to remind me of everything I need to watch across the vast landscape of streaming services. You can fine tune the look and behavior of the device, and there’s a premium tier if you really love your leisurely lists, but I never found the need to subscribe to make Sofa incredibly useful. 

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Streaks app screen shot

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Create one or multiple streaks to make a habit
  • Great to remind to take meds, write in journal, drink water
  • Add notifications for streaks or don’t, your call

It’s one thing to seek self-improvement, but if you really want to get better, you need to change your habits. That begins with tracking your habits and making a streak. To do this, I like Streaks, the very simple tracking app. I keep a few habits listed on the Streaks widget and it reminds me whether I’ve done them today. 

This is especially useful if you’re someone who needs to take a daily medication and have trouble remembering if that’s done. I’m also using Streaks to remind myself to start every day by drinking water, and I’m building a bullet journal habit.

Streaks app in app store

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

I like Streaks because it doesn’t notify me needlessly, it just reminds me that there are 3-4 things I want to do, and keeps track of whether I’ve done them. For simple habit-building, it’s an effective start. It helps that there are cool color options and stylish graphics that make it a pleasure to use. 

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Google Messages AI-powered Magic Compose feature is rolling out now

We heard at Google I/O 2023 how Google was about to start stuffing even more artificial intelligence inside of its products, and one of those upgrades has arrived a little earlier than expected: Magic Compose inside Google Messages.

It was slated to arrive in the summer in the US, but it's now available to test in the Messages app for Android (via XDA Developers). For now, you need to switch to the beta version of the app, and be a Google One subscriber, and be using the English language on a phone with a US SIM, to get at Magic Compose.

If you missed the announcement and the earlier rumors, Magic Compose uses AI to write out RCS messages on your behalf, in your choice of style: Remix, Excited, Chill, Shakespeare, Lyrical, Formal, and Short.

Privacy points

As per the support page, Magic Compose sends "up to 20 previous messages" to Google's servers to learn a bit about your writing style and the conversation context, so you need to be okay with that before enabling the feature. Google promises the messages are discarded once some AI responses are generated.

You'll have to take Google on its word that it's using your message history in a responsible way. Right now it's not clear exactly how that affects the end-to-end encryption that protects your RCS messages from being read by anyone else.

Another AI feature announced at Google I/O 2023, the Search Generative Experience or SGE, opened up its waitlist yesterday. It seems as though Google is keen to get as many people trying out these new tools as quickly as possible.

Analysis: do you want a bot writing your messages?

Multiple Google products, including Gmail and Google Messages for Android, already offer smart reply options: short, automatically generated messages that (for example) let you agree or disagree with something, or let a contact know that you're en route somewhere.

Those quick responses make sense if you're pushed for time and just need to give a quick yay or nay – but we're less sure that people are going to want to have entire conversations crafted for them. Do you really want your friends and family conversing with an AI bot rather than with you?

We know that tools like ChatGPT are now able to generate reams and reams of text that sounds plausible and realistic. Whether or not this AI text is actually any good is another question, especially when it comes to being creative and personal – with a screenplay for example, or a chat with your friend in Google Messages.

In one sense Magic Compose is just a bit of fun – especially the Lyrical and Shakespeare options. And perhaps if you have a huge number of contacts it can save a bit of time. But it seems an odd fit to put AI text generation in this most human and intimate of scenarios.

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Leaked iPhone 15 mockups reveal the updated designs for all four models

We've had plenty of iPhone 15 leaks at this point, but the one we're bringing you today falls into the major category: we've got dummy mockups of all four models in the upcoming range of flagship phones from Apple.

These mockups come from MacRumors and are based on supposedly reliable information sourced by case manufacturers. They're high quality copies of what we think the iPhone 15 models will look and feel like – though they're not actually working phones.

As you can see from the video below, there aren't really any huge design changes here, though the edges of the frames of the phones are more rounded (as previously predicted). It's "less sharp, more comfortable" in the hand, MacRumors' Dan Barbera.

Buttons and cameras

The mute switch is becoming a mute button, according to these dummy units and earlier rumors, and all four iPhone 15 models are also making the switch to USB-C for data transfer and charging – as per the latest EU directives.

As far as cameras go, the top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max will indeed get a periscope lens, though the camera bumps will otherwise be unchanged. We've heard from other sources that the camera bumps would actually be redesigned this time around.

MacRumors is calling these phones the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max (rather than the iPhone 15 Ultra). In a few months' time we should know for sure what changes Apple has worked on over the last year.

Analysis: reading the rumors

At the end of the MacRumors video we've featured above, we're told that these mockups corroborate all of the rumors we've previously heard, which isn't actually true – one example being the rumor that the camera bumps will get bigger this year.

While you should never take any gadget rumor as being completely guaranteed to happen – even the most reliable tipsters can get it wrong – these leaks do give us an intriguing glance at what's coming down the line with future products. They can help you figure out if it's worth waiting a while to upgrade.

With something like the iPhone 15, it's a good idea to compare rumor and against rumor, and you can then work out what's most likely. Look at the predicted switch to USB-C for instance, which Apple has actually gone on record about in the past. Looking at previous upgrades in recent years can help too.

So take this latest video in the same spirit: useful information to have, but impossible to verify until Apple actually makes its announcements. If the company sticks to its usual schedule, we'll see the real iPhone 15s appear in September.

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Don’t panic: there’s a reason your iPhone’s battery is draining faster than usual

Apple’s latest version of iOS – iOS 16.5 – became available to download on May 18, but the supposedly helpful update has left many iPhone users grappling with a frustrating battery problem.  

“iOS 16.5 is deadly for the battery,” reads one of the several complaints posted to social media in recent days, with users reporting faster-than-usual battery drain after downloading iOS 16.5 on their iPhones. 

The severity of the issue appears to vary case-by-case, but charging speeds seem to be affected across the board, too, with some unfortunate souls claiming that their iPhones are taking almost three hours (three hours!) to reach 100% charge. Yikes. 

The good news is that this annoying battery hiccup is completely normal. When Apple – or indeed any software developer – pushes out major operating system (OS) updates, phones often need to reindex data and recalibrate their battery settings, which in turn leads to faster battery drain. Crucially, though, this faster drain is temporary, and should resolve itself in a few days after first occurring. 

In addition to this recalibration, new OS updates often trigger a slew of app-specific updates that put even more strain on your iPhone’s battery. Once these apps have freshened themselves up for the latest version of iOS, however, this drain subsides. 

In all likelihood, then, your iPhone is experiencing an iOS 16.5-induced hangover, and there’s nothing to worry about in terms of long-term damage. If you’re still concerned about your handset’s battery health after a few more days, head to Settings, Battery, then Battery Health to check for any official battery warnings.

iPhone Battery Health screen

Your can check the health of your iPhone's battery in Settings (Image credit: Shutterstock / FellowNeko)

As for the improvements iOS 16.5 brings to your iPhone, Apple’s latest update patches a nefarious loophole that allows – or rather, allowed – anyone to access your contacts book from the lock screen (an issue that presumably arose as a result of the company’s decision to improve lock screen customization in iOS 16 proper). 

Previous versions of iOS 16 have patched similar vulnerabilities concerning access to Messages and the Wallet app through the iPhone lock screen, so iOS 16.5 looks to have fixed the final threat in this particular set of security risks. 

The new update also adds a series of Pride celebration lock screen wallpapers and a dedicated Sports tab in Apple News. The latter provides easier access to stories, scores, and standings for the teams and leagues you follow, with score cards now taking you directly to game pages.

iOS 16.5 addresses various issues relating to Spotlight, CarPlay, and Screen Time, too. The full list of updates can be viewed on Apple’s dedicated iOS 16.5 release notes page. 

Apple is expected to debut its next major revision to iOS – iOS 17 – at WWDC 2023 on June 5, so stay tuned to TechRadar for the latest on that software update.

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Google Pixel Fold shortages show it could be this year’s hottest foldable

Foldable phones remain niche devices for most phone buyers for the time being, and the Google Pixel Fold could have been all the more so – after all, it’s the company’s first foldable, and Google doesn’t sell anywhere near as many phones as the likes of Samsung at the best of times. But early signs suggest there could be quite a lot of demand for the Pixel Fold.

That’s because – as spotted by Android Headlines – the top model of the Pixel Fold (which comes with 512GB of storage) is currently sold out in the US. Head to Google’s online store and you’ll be directed to join the waitlist if you select this model.

That’s promising news for anyone who wants to see the Pixel Fold or foldables in general do well. Though it’s worth noting that this model isn’t sold out in the UK, and the base 256GB model is still available to pre-order in both regions.

That’s despite the 256GB version likely being the more popular of the two (especially as it’s relatively affordable (if such words dared be used for phones at around this price point) at $1,799 / £1,749 compared to a massive $1,919 / £1,869 for the 512GB version).

As such, it’s very likely that Google made far fewer units of the 512GB version, so its 'sold out' status doesn’t necessarily suggest there’s super-high demand. Nevertheless, it’s a promising sign all the same.

Google Pixel Fold back partially unfolded

Google Pixel Fold back partially unfolded (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

A while to wait and lots of competition

If you do want that particular model in the US, then you can join Google’s waitlist, though there’s no current indication of when the device will be back up for pre-order. But even if you order the 256GB version you won’t be getting it before June 27, as that’s when the phone actually ships. Note that the foldable isn't available to pre-order from other retailers like Amazon until June 20.

By then, there might not be too much longer to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. With the Motorola Razr 2023 and the first OnePlus foldable phone also on the horizon there should be plenty of choice for foldable phone fans this year.

But whichever one you choose to buy, it’s just nice to seemingly see demand for this style of device at all.

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Android’s Contacts app could get a version of Snapchat’s worst feature

Google has been steadily revamping its Android Contacts app, but the next apparent upgrade might feel too invasive for some. That’s because it could add Google Maps and Weather information for where your contacts are – potentially making it feel like a version of Snapchat’s Snap Map feature.

So far, Google’s Contacts upgrades have been pretty small but nevertheless good additions to the app. Earlier this year it got a tablet-optimized layout – perfect for the new Google Pixel Tablet announced at Google I/O 2023 – and it also received Birthday reminders. If you have Birthday information for a contact, the app can remind you to call or text them on their special day.

According to leaks, the next update could bring a few changes. Firstly, at the more minor end, images shared by @Nail_Sadykov on Twitter show a slightly different design for individual contacts pages – buttons to Call, Text, Video and Email the person will now appear in circular bubbles below their picture. The Highlights tab will also get a new box, recommending contacts that you should add to your Favorites.

However, the bigger change is the addition of Maps and Weather data to your Contacts’ pages. If you have their home address information, when you visit their page in your Contacts app you’ll see info about what the weather is like where they live. What’s more, if the contact wants to share their live location with you, you can press a button on the page to see where they are and get directions to them.

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Based on the leaks, it’s not entirely clear how the location-sharing feature will work. If it copies Google Maps, the person sharing their location info has to set it up manually each time. When they do, they can choose to share their location until they turn it off, or for a set period of time before it turns off automatically.

The leaked images suggest that Contacts may favor the more long-term location-sharing option, making it feel like Snapchat’s Snap Map feature. You would manually set up who your share your location info with, and then anytime the contact wants they can come and find you.

This system has its benefits for fans of impromptu meet-ups, but the set-it-and-forget-it system could lead to some issues – you might find that you’ve shared your location with contacts that you've since decided that you’d like to keep that data private from. Additionally, it could see your phone’s data consumption go up a fair bit as it’s having to constantly signal where you are.

Until the feature launches we won’t know exactly how it works, although whatever system Google decides we expect it’ll be entirely opt-in. So if you don’t like the way Android Contact location-sharing works, you won’t have to engage with it all.

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