This iPhone 15 feature could truly unlock the Vision Pro’s potential

When Apple showcased its first-ever augmented reality headset – the Apple Vision Pro – at WWDC 2023 (its annual developer conference), we were only presented with a sliver of the use-cases in store for the company's new spatial computing platform, but new insights around how the iPhone 15 might help expand the headset's functionality further have now become part of the conversation.

On June 19, famed industry analyst and a reliable fount of Apple knowledge, Ming-Chi Kuo, tweeted out a series of statements on the Vision Pro and how Apple might broaden the experiences it'll be able to deliver through the power of its ecosystem.

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In his post, Kuo speaks to Apple's apparent intentions of "aggressively" upgrading the hardware across its product line to better support the Vision Pro and what it has to offer, with one technology being of particular focus – Ultra Wideband (UWB).

Apple introduced UWB with the iPhone 11 series back in 2019, and the technology's primary use has been with proximity-based pairing and sharing between compatible devices through branded features like AirDrop, Handoff and beyond. It's also what allows for Precision Finding on the company's AirTag trackers.

UWB functionality in its current form is enabled by what the company has dubbed its U1 chip, and it's this that looks like it'll be getting a notable upgrade; assuming Kuo's claims ring true when the iPhone 15 launches. Apparently, Apple's U1 chip – currently built on a 16nm process – will be replaced by newer silicon, founded on a significantly more compact 7nm process; with the intention of improving performance, while also reducing power consumption.

Such an improvement could give iPhone 15 series devices an edge when it comes to sharing media and other experiences with Vision Pro in realtime, and opens up avenues for enhanced functionality built on that performance increase that other Apple hardware won't be able to support, not least because the combination and quality of the cameras and sensors on the iPhone are among the best in use across Apple's hardware portfolio.

Waiting for Wi-Fi

Kuo didn't only speak to this year's iPhone line in his latest post. The analyst also made claims about next year's anticipated iPhone 16 line, stating "[Wi-Fi 7] will be more conducive to Apple's integration of hardware products running on the same local network and provide a better ecosystem experience."

Apple's 2024 smartphones may well arrive sporting Wi-Fi 7 and more than an upgraded UWB chip, but it's this networking technology that the analyst believes will truly unite Apple's next-generation ecosystem. Read our comparison of Wi-Fi 6e vs Wi-Fi 7 for a more in-depth breakdown of the advantages Apple will likely leverage in this context (TLDR: latency and bandwidth).

There are still plenty of question marks surrounding both the hardware and software of Vision Pro ahead of its promised release in 2024, and the possibility of new connectivity options with the iPhone 15 and 16 potentially raise more questions than they answer. But perhaps once September rolls around (again, assuming Kuo's claims hold true), Apple will show us exactly how the next iPhone's enhanced UWB experience will be able to augment its Vision Pro headset.

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Galaxy Z Flip 5’s cover screen is going to be able to do more with your favorite apps

The leaks have been extensive but we're constantly learning more about the experience the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 looks set to offer, and this latest tidbit centers around the expanded functionality of its significantly larger cover display.

We've heard multiple times that Samsung is shelving the old 1.9-inch cover screen that's featured on the last two generations of Galaxy Z Flip, and replacing it with a significantly larger 3.4-inch panel, which will dominate the upper half of the phone's back. However, until now, we've not really had much visibility on how Samsung intends to utilize all that additional screen real estate.

It's assumed that some, if not all, of Samsung's first-party apps will offer varying degrees of additional functionality on the Flip 5's cover screen. There's already talk of an optimized version of the Samsung Keyboard in the works, letting you do more than simply check the weather, your calendar or your next alarm, control your music or set a timer – as is possible on the current Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Galaxy Z Flip5 on the right next to Flip4 phone

The cover displays on the Z Flip 4 (left) and a mock-up of the Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Ice Universe/Twitter)

According to a report originating from SamMobile, multiple Google apps have also apparently now been optimized for the cover screen experience too.

Users will apparently be able to navigate using Google Maps without having to open up the Flip 5, action conversations in Messages, watch YouTube and potentially more – we'd love to see a Google Keep or Google Tasks experience on there too; for actioning to-do lists and the like.

Google and Samsung have a long history of cooperation and collaboration – recent notable endeavours include the development of Wear OS 3 and its subsequent debut on 2021's Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, but more specifically with regards to the South Korean company's foldables, Google already created a dedicated Flex Mode experience for Google Meet; letting users leave their Z Flip 4 partially folded on a flat surface for hands-free video conferencing.

Who has the best coverage?

The cover displays on the best foldable clamshells have evolved a lot in the category's short time in the market. The original Galaxy Z Flip's tiny 1.1-inch outer screen wasn't good for much more than checking the time while, more recently, Oppo's debut entry – the Find N2 Flip – boasted 'the largest cover display of any clamshell foldable' when it launched earlier this year.

Then there's Motorola's famed Razr revival, which started with a larger 2.7-inch cover screen (compared to its then-rival, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G) on its 2019 re-entry and has now culminated in a similarly sizeable outer display to the promised cover screen on the Z Flip 5, with the unveiling of the Motorola Razr Plus/Razr 40 Ultra, with a 3.6-inch panel that can run fully-fledged apps, like TikTok.

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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

The new Motorola Razr Plus/Razr 40 Ultra already offers impressive functionality. (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The main takeaway is that, assuming SamMobile's sources are correct, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 should have a lot more to offer users, in terms of functionality and convenience, and if all goes to plan, we only have until the end of July to see it for ourselves.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE battery certification reaffirms the phone’s existence

While some Samsung fans may still lament the absence of a Fan Edition amidst 2022's Galaxy smartphone portfolio, a new leak pours fresh fuel on the fire concerning this year's anticipated Galaxy S23 FE; suggesting that its arrival isn't that far away now.

As spotted by Galaxy Club, South Korean safety certification site published a new entry – dated June 1 – which references a battery with the model number EB-BS711ABY. That just so happens to also form part of the model name associated with the rumored Galaxy S23 FE itself (as previously stated by SamMobile): 'SM-S711x'.

Supposed Samsung Galaxy S23 FE battery | Source:

(Image credit:

For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra uses the model number SM-S918x, while the 5,000mAh battery inside the phone features the model number EB-BS918ABY, and it's this convention that allows us to speculate that the new battery listing has been attributed to the Galaxy S23 FE.

Unfortunately, most of the details printed on the battery in the image (above) are both obscured by a blue pull tab – designed to make battery replacement easier (although we're not expecting the design of the S23 FE to allow for a user-replaceable battery) – and the lackluster fidelity of the image itself. As such, gleaning any additional info from the battery is next to impossible, including its capacity.

Previously, back in April, leaked specs suggested that the Galaxy S23 FE will feature a 4,500mAh battery, which would place its capacity between the Galaxy S23 (3,900mAh) and the Galaxy S23 Plus (4,700mAh), and in line with its direct predecessor, the Galaxy S21 FE.

Signal to launch?

Listings on certification sites, such as the example here, are often seen as canaries in the coal mine – one of the most prominent telltale signs that a product like the Galaxy S23 FE is progressing steadily towards launch and that we likely don't have long left to wait.

This development, paired with TechRadar's previous reporting on Galaxy S23 FE rumors and leaks, points to the phone actually making it to market this year (unlike its once-anticipated 2022 predecessor), but as to when that will be, it's still too uncertain to say.

The biggest sticking point to the phone's arrival in the next few months is, in fact, the next Samsung Unpacked event – now seemingly slated for late July. At the next Unpacked, we're expecting to meet the company's latest and best foldables – the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 – as well as the revived Galaxy Tab S9 series and maybe even the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6; so, everything other than a conventional phone like the S23 FE.

Its appearance at the next Unpacked is possible – based on the timing of things – but the phone might find better purchase later in the year; in line with the original S20 FE, which arrived in September and went on sale in October.

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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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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE could get a 50MP main camera – but you might have to wait for it

After the Galaxy S22 FE was a no-show last year, the prospects for a Samsung Galaxy S23 FE seemed uncertain at best. But, while the South Korean phone maker hasn't confirmed its existence, evidence continues to mount that a new FE is coming – and this latest leak suggests it'll pack a nice camera upgrade too.

An anonymous source who's apparently familiar with the device told GalaxyClub that the Galaxy S23 FE's camera system will be fronted by a 50MP primary sensor. That would be a notable upgrade over the 12MP main snapper found in the previous entry in the FE series: the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, which shared the same sensor tech as the standard Galaxy S21.

If this info is accurate, we'd assume that the S23 FE would sport the same 50MP f/1.8 Samsung S5KGN3 1/1.57-inch sensor that leads the standard Galaxy S23 (and Galaxy S23 Plus') camera system, which is also the same sensor that's used in the Samsung Galaxy S22.

With the same hardware at work between generations, Samsung focused on image processing, low-light optimization, and adding full-resolution raw capture to this year's S23 line – improvements that would all presumably make their way to the S23 FE as well, if and when it does arrive.

Other rumors suggest the S23 FE will be packing the Exynos 2200 chipset first seen on the Galaxy S22 series, a 4,500mAh battery, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.

Samsung really needs to work on its timing

Samsung Galaxy S23 back

That S23's floating camera design would likely carry over to the Galaxy S23 FE (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The 'FE' in product names like Galaxy S21 FE stands for 'Fan Edition' and such devices are aimed at distilling flagship features that fans want into a device at a lower price. However, the S21 FE's protracted release schedule, and the absence of an S22 FE, have meant that fans have consistently had better options to turn to by the time the company was ready to get a new FE on store shelves (or not, in the case of the S22 FE).

Rumblings about the Galaxy S21 FE began as far back at as August 2021, and yet the phone didn’t arrive until January 2022, by which time the standard S21 – with its superior spec sheet – had dropped enough in price that the S21 FE was no longer the noteworthy affordable offering that Samsung had planned for it to be.

It was a similar story the following year, before Samsung eventually confirmed that there wouldn't be an S22 FE, with the cost for more capable Galaxys having dropped to around or below its expected price tag.

And it looks as though history could again repeat itself with the Galaxy S23 FE, with recent reports pointing to a late-2023 launch, potentially even spilling into early-2024, meaning it'll likely have fierce competition from more capable entries already on sale, including some of the best Samsung phones out there.

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Did the full spec sheet for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 just drop?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 isn't that far away from launch, if the torrent of leaks so far is to be believed, with the company's next flagship foldable expected as early as July. But a new potential tidbit also fills in any blanks about the hardware this folding phone might be bringing to the table.

Lifted from Twitter-based tipster TheGalox_ – who has previously been the source of some solid Samsung foldable leaks – their latest post serves up a near-complete spec sheet that reinforces some details we'd already heard and adds a little more color to the picture of the expected Z Fold 5 that's already forming.

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Small but meaningful upgrades that haven't really been spoken about include brighter overall displays – compared to the current Galaxy Z Fold 4 – and a more potent vibration motor, which should make for richer, more responsive haptic feedback.

Camera upgrades have long been one of the most anticipated upgrades for the Fold line in general, with competent but not flagship-class optics on the current Z Fold 4. A 50MP lead sensor will reportedly front a triple rear camera setup, which also reportedly includes a 10MP and 12MP sensor, collectively thought to be similar (or perhaps identical) to the trio of cameras currently at play on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 (and S23 Plus), and capable of up to 8K video capture at 30fps.

The leak also doles out another mention of a tougher hinge (thought to be a waterdrop hinge), that's not only expected to be more resilient but will let the Fold 5 close with even less of a gap than the current Fold. This will also reportedly be paired to IPX8 water resistance once again (and not IP68 protection as was once thought), along with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and a hardier folding display as well.

Pricing is also referenced here as starting at $1,799 – the same as the launch price of the Z Fold 4, which arrived at $1,799 / £1,649 / AU$2,499 and came with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, just like the baseline Z Fold 5 is expected to (albeit with faster and more efficient UFS 4.0 storage at its disposal this year).

The Z Flip 5 gets laid bare too

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hands on beige FlexCam

The Z Flip 4 in FlexCam mode (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

If this bumper details dump wasn't enough, not long after their initial tweet thread on the Z Fold 5 did TheGalox_ fire off a second salvo of specs, this time for Samsung's other expected 2023 foldable – the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip 5.

There already seems to be more rumored detail about the Flip 5's hardware out in the open – which this second post also supports – but with the leak's focus on hardware, we're still in the dark about any potential new functionality the Z Flip (and Fold) 5 might be bringing to the table as part of their One UI 5.1.1 user experiences; functions like FlexCam mode, pictured above.

In both cases, it's unclear where TheGalox_ got their information, so although a lot of the figures and values listed in these tweets make sense and corroborate with previous purported leaks, we won't be counting our chickens until Samsung's next Unpacked event takes place; assumed to now be in July this year (rather than August, like last year).

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The Google Pixel Fold may have just leaked in full – here are all the details

While there's been little left to wonder about when it comes to Google's forthcoming debut foldable, a new series of apparent leaks leaves nothing to the imagination; filling in and all but confirming everything from the release timeline to official colorways, storage options, key features, and price.

Jon Prosser of FrontPageTech has time and again brought robust leaks to his YouTube channel and despite having already served as one of the main sources of unofficial Google Pixel Fold information in the past, he's back with everything that he hadn't covered previously.

Google Pixel Fold possible availability

In Prosser's seven-minute video, we learn that (at the time of writing, at least) Google apparently plans to formally tease the Pixel Fold first, on April 26; ahead of its expected unveiling at its Google IO 2023 developer conference, scheduled for May 10.

Pre-orders will then kick off immediately after it's unveiled at IO, although this will exclusively take place through Google's own web stores; until May 30 that is, when carrier pre-orders will then become available (all according to Prosser's sources). It's assumed that with Prosser being Stateside, he's referring to US carriers specifically, with dates likely to vary by market, beyond Google's in-house Google Store pre-order programme. Availability is then slated for a fair while later, on July 27.

Google Pixel Fold possible price, storage and colors

Beyond dates, Prosser also doubled down on the colorways the Pixel Fold is expected to come in, with two: Chalk (white) and Obsidian (black), and yes, these finishes are tied to specific storage configurations.

What most would consider an eye-wateringly expensive starting price of $1,799 (approximately £1,450 / AU$2,685) appears to hold true in this latest batch of leaks; with the baseline Pixel Fold arriving with 256GB of internal storage and up for grabs in either finish. A beefier 512GB version, meanwhile, will also purportedly be made available, sold exclusively in Obsidian. The price? $1,919 (approximately £1,545 / AU$2,865).

Google Pixel Fold possible specs

As well as offering up new insights into the potential release plans of the Pixel Fold, Prosser spent the rest of the video retreading and reinforcing existing leaks on hardware details, as well as dipping into some of the key features and software experiences the marketing around the Fold will apparently highlight.

Here's the rumored spec sheet, based solely on the details of this latest video:

If correct, a big selling point of the camera experience will be how fast it can boot up, while the system is also said to sport an LDAF (laser-based autofocus) system and familiar Pixel photography software features, like Rear Camera Selfie, Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Long Exposure and Real Tone.

Video capture supposedly tops out at 4K at 30fps or Full HD at 60fps from the Pixel Fold's primary camera, while the body of this hotly-anticipated foldable also plays host to a USB-C port and a side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor.

All that's left now is to see whether the information Prosser's sources have provided him holds water, with our next expected glimpse likely taking place next Wednesday, before the phone's full reveal on May 10.

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Google Pixel 7a could get a much-wanted security upgrade over the Pixel 6a

We've heard a lot about the forthcoming Google Pixel 7a: when it's likely to launch, potential pricing and release dates, its design, key hardware and what software it'll run. With so much already on the table, new rumors and leaks are now giving us more detailed insights into what to expect; with this latest one touching on a key security feature that would signal a notable upgrade for the series.

In a quartet of leaked screenshots shared by established Twitter tipster SnoopyTech – attributed to the Pixel 7a – it looks like the Google's next affordable phone will boast Face Unlock functionality; a first for the Pixel A-series.

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Face Unlock is a pretty commonplace security feature on most phones nowadays, usually accompanied by fingerprint unlocking as a secondary biometric unlock method. In the case of the Pixel family, however, after debuting on the Pixel 4 series in 2019, Face Unlock was then noticeably absent from every entry after that; including the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, 5a, 6a and even a pair of the best Pixel phones around – the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

While Google never formally addressed the feature's removal and subsequent absence, the main school of thought seems to be that the company decided it was too big of a power drain to implement against the battery life targets they wanted to hit (something that was, undoubtedly, at the fore of the Pixel 5 team's mind after the famously-abysmal battery life of the Pixel 4).

Why is Face Unlock returning now?

Google Pixel 7 review front camera

The Pixel 7's front camera was the first in several generations of Pixel to reinstate Face Unlock. (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

While fingerprint unlock (initially capacitive and subsequently in-screen optical – starting with the Pixel 6 series) exclusively was enough to tide Pixel users over for a few generations, it appears Google was always planning on reinstating Face Unlock, which it managed with the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

The improved power efficiency of the company's Tensor G2 chipset is presumably the reason behind the feature's return within this current generation of Pixels, and, if true, that adds weight the the legitimacy of this latest Pixel 7a leak.

We're still a few weeks away from the Google Pixel 7a's expected debut at Google IO 2023 on May 10, but if the picture that's currently been painted holds true, we should be in for a capable new camera-centric mid-ranger from Google.

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What is app sideloading? The rumored iOS 17 feature explained

It recently came to light that the next major release of iOS might include the ability to sideload apps, something that Android users have been able to do for a while, but a practice that has formally been met with a lot of resistance from Apple in the past. So what is app sideloading and is it a good or bad thing for iOS users?

We recently reported on news that iOS 17 may grant users the ability to finally sideload apps. This has the potential to open up the best iPhones to a far greater selection of apps, from more sources than has ever been possible, but there are associated risks that come with downloading and installing apps on your iPhone (or iPad) that haven't been vetted by Apple.

We dive into the what and why app sideloading could appear in the next release of iOS.

App sideloading on iOS: What is it?

In the context of smartphones, sideloading is the act of installing a compatible application (or app) for the platform your device runs (by 'platform' that means Android, or – in this case – iOS), but one that isn't necessarily available, approved or at least monitored and maintained by your device's platform's official app store.

Take a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S23 as an example: it comes with two app stores natively: the Google Play Store (found on practically every Android smartphone and tablet) and Samsung's own Galaxy Store (found on practically every Samsung Galaxy smartphone and tablet). In both cases, apps downloaded from either source should install without issue and, aside for asking for certain permissions from the user during setup, these apps should run faultlessly and update automatically.

You might want to sideload an app if you're looking to run an older version of an available app that's no longer accessible on your device's native app store – perhaps because it doesn't suffer from a poorly optimized update or offers a layout or features that differ from the latest release.

Sideloading also lets you more readily install apps not available in your app store's geographical region; either apps that are written in another language or aren't intended for your market (Facebook Lite wasn't available in Europe but was in India, for example).

On iOS, we're yet to know just what sideloading an app will look like, but the closest experience currently available to iPhone users is adding when installing development builds of apps with the help of Apple's official TestFlight app.

For current examples on Android, users can either download an alternative app store to whatever comes pre-installed on their device, with offerings like the Huawei AppGallery and the Amazon Appstore up for grabs. Apps with the .apk or .apkx file extensions can also be downloaded directly from websites that host them. Just check the validity and authenticity of what you're downloading before you try and install them.

App sideloading on iOS: Why now?

In the past, Apple has been very vocal about its resistance to allowing sideloading on iOS. In mid October 2021, the company published a 30-page paper with the subheading 'a threat analysis of sideloading.' Later – in April last year – CEO Tim Cook took to the podium at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, to speak about the harm allowing sideloading on iOS could cause; including the risks it would expose users to.

In both instances, Apple's protestations were in response to what has now become the Digital Markets Act (the DMA), enforced by the European Commission and set to go into effect in 2024.

In spite of Apple's disdain over the ruling, it would seem that the company is already in the process of making changes to iOS in order to allow app sideloading (among other DMA-compliance adjustments), in much the same way that rumors point to this year's iPhone 15 series sporting USB-C in place of Apple's proprietary Lightning connector – another change that looks to be a direct result of EU intervention.

App sideloading on iOS: What are the upsides?

If you follow the EU's reasoning as to why 'Big Tech' companies – including Apple – are being subjected to the DMA, according to Andreas Schwab of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, "consumers will get the choice to use the core services of Big Tech companies such as browsers, search engines or messaging, and all that without losing control over their data. Above all, the law avoids any form of overregulation for small businesses. App developers will get completely new opportunities, small businesses will get more access to business-relevant data and the online advertising market will become fairer."

Fairness and better opportunities for smaller business and app developers sounds good to us but in terms of the end-user (i.e. you) there are more tangible benefits to consider.

  • More choice: Those who've been put off from developing their own apps outright will no longer have to factor in Apple's App Store or developer costs, meaning more third-party apps will likely spring up to choose from.
  • Cheaper apps: Apple takes a 30% cut, not just off the price of paid apps, but any in-app transactions too. It's part of the reason why Fornite got banned from the App Store (Epic didn't want to up its pricing or lose money via iOS/iPad OS) and why you can't renew your Disney Plus subscription in-app on your iPhone. For apps that you sideload from other sources that either cost money or facilitate in-app transactions, they won't have to account for Apple's 30% cut in their pricing.
  • Greater personalization: Many iOS apps come with widget, more apps from more sources also means there's potential for more widgets to better personalize your home screen with the information your want to keep at hand.
  • Reinstalling previously incompatible or banned apps: Speaking of Fortnite, sideloading may allow users the ability to get apps that were once only available through the App Store back on their device, provided developers make their apps available to sideload.

App sideloading on iOS: What are the downsides?

Of course, while it's easy to see the benefits of opening up iOS to new app sources, the risks and pitfalls become just as visible. Some of the risks below are expressed by direct quotes from Apple's 2021 report, mentioned earlier.

  • Greater vulnerability: App Store approval has been famously stringent in the past and sometimes led to some noteworthy apps finding themselves temporarily (or permanently) banned for not sticking to the store's frequently-updated guidelines. As frustrating as this sounds, however, these guidelines exist, in-part, to prevent spurious apps from making their way onto the App Store; including those that could try to steal your data or expose a vulnerability.
  • Reduced transparency: "Users would have less information about apps up front, and less control over apps after they download them onto their devices." Each entry in the App Store features an App Privacy section that developers have to fill in, detailing exactly what kinds of data their apps ask of users. Sideloaded apps wouldn't be subject to the same levels of transparency.
  • Forced sideloading: "Users also may have no choice other than sideloading an app that they need to connect with family and friends because the app is not made available on the App Store. For example, if sideloading were permitted, some companies may choose to distribute their apps solely outside of the App Store."
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Xiaomi 13 Ultra launch threatens Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera crown

Xiaomi's new uber-flagship – the Xiaomi 13 Ultra – just made its debut in China, and while the verdict is still out on whether we'll see it release internationally, it packs a photographic punch that looks purpose-built to give the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra a run for its money.

There have long been rumblings about an 'Ultra' entry to join the Xiaomi 13, Xiaomi 13 Pro and Xiaomi 13 Lite – which the Chinese phone maker brought to the international market earlier this year – but following a livestream which kicked off at 12pm BST on April 18, we now know all the juicy details surrounding the phone, including its price.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra looks like a direct evolution of the design enjoyed by the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, while building on the impressive camera hardware found on both the 12S Ultra and 13 Pro. The same 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor we've seen across these previous devices appears on the 13 Ultra too, however, this time it comes equipped with a new variable aperture (able to switch between f/1.9 and f/4.0); reminiscent of phones like the Huawei Mate 50 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9 long before that.

That's just one piece of this phone's photographic puzzle, however, with a quad camera setup on the back consisting of not one, but four 50MP sensors (that IMX989 and three IMX858s), with one of those secondary sensors set as an ultrawide, while the other two offer 3.3x and 5.2x optical zoom, respectively. Sensor cropping also grants the 13 Ultra two additional optically-zoomed focal lengths (46mm or 2x and 240mm or 10.42x zoom) without the need for a further two sensors (a trick we've seen on both the Google Pixel 7 series and iPhone 14 Pro line).

Rewatch the Xiaomi 13 Ultra's reveal above (English dub)

The phone's design is reportedly inspired by Leica M cameras, with an 'anti-bacterial nanotech silicon leather back' that certainly looks the part, concealing the thickness around the raised camera module that gives the phone its notable 9.06mm profile. This has, however, allowed Xiaomi to squeeze that 5.2x optical 'super-telephoto' zoom lens in without the need for the folded optics of comparable telephoto sensors found in phones like the Google Pixel 7 Pro (5x zoom) and the Galaxy S23 Ultra (10x zoom).

If the camera experience didn't seem Pro enough, Xiaomi also showcased a full set of add-ons, including a wireless camera grip with a physical shutter button and a detachable 67mm filter adapter ring; for those who really want to narrow the gap between phone and camera. The accessory pack is priced at CNY¥999 (approximately $145 / £120 / AU$215), with Xiaomi stating limited availability at launch.

While there's a lot more that could be said about the Xiaomi 13 Ultra's powerful-looking camera system – including its 'custom photographic styles' and Leica filters, let's take a look at the rest of the phone's feature set.

Like the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, the Ultra runs on Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, paired with the fastest and most power-efficient LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage currently available in the mobile market; up to 16GB and 1TB, respectively.

The user experience, meanwhile, should be familiar to those who've used any recent Xiaomi phone, powered by the brand's latest MIUI 14 experience (atop Android 13).

Other highlights include an astoundingly bright (2,600nit peak) WQHD+ C7 AMOLED display, improved cooling over previous entries, a sizeable 5,000mAh battery with 90W fast wired charging (as well as 50W wireless charging) and faster USB 3.2 support; ideal for transferring sizeable 8K and 10-bit log videos, along with 14-bit raw photos, all of which the 13 Ultra supports.

In China, Xiaomi has priced the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, as follows:

  • 12GB RAM / 256GB = CNY¥5,999 (approximately $875 / £700 / AU$1,300)
  • 16GB RAM / 512GB = CNY¥6,499 (approximately $945 / £760 / AU$1,400)
  • 16GB RAM / 1TB = CNY¥7,299 (approximately $1,060 / £855 / AU$1,575)

While availability remains up in the air internationally, there's a slim chance that – unlike the 12S Ultra – this new uber-flagship will make it beyond Chinese borders; not least because of Xiaomi's willingness to host an English-language live stream on YouTube, alongside its native Chinese live stream on Weibo. The phone is also detailed on the company's regional websites, including Xiaomi UK, which could also be seen as a hint towards an intended global rollout.

We're left crossing our fingers, and if it does go international, this new Ultra would undoubtedly find a place on our rundown of the best Xiaomi phones and best camera phones, and that's just for starters.

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The Galaxy S24 could ditch Google for Bing as its default search engine

Samsung's Galaxy phones and Google's Android mobile operating system are inextricably intertwined, however, a new report suggests that despite this long-standing relationship, the South Korean phone maker is considering swapping out the default search experience on its phones from Google's established service to Microsoft's Bing.

A report from the New York Times speaks to Google employees' surprise at the news that Samsung is considering changing the default search engine on its devices to Microsoft's once-maligned alternative, inciting “panic,” according to internal messages from the search giant that were seen by the NYT. As such, come the launch of the expected Galaxy S24, new owners to some of the best Samsung phones may be met with a markedly different search experience.

When word of this potential change broke internally, Google reportedly put a call out for employees interested in working on a pitch to reassure Samsung – a call that was reportedly met with "emojis and surprise" according to the NYT's report.

Word of this possible change comes to light after a spate of developments surrounding AI-powered search from various companies; with Google seemingly scrambling to push a polished product out to consumers to rival Microsoft's ChatGPT-supported Bing experience, with Google Bard still playing catch-up for the time being.

If Samsung were to make this monumental switch, it could cost Google an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue and would bring an end to a 12-year partnership that has seen Google's search serve as the default option for Samsung Galaxy users in most markets internationally. At the time of writing, however, the contract between Samsung and Google is still being negotiated, meaning there's every chance Google search will remain the out-of-box choice for now.

Android is already widening its search

Although most Samsung Galaxy users expect and accept Google as the default search provider on their smartphones (and have done for years), some already get given a choice between a series of alternatives from the get-go.

Set up a Samsung Galaxy phone in Europe and you'll likely encounter an additional screen (formally referred to as the 'Choice Screen') during the process titled 'Choose your search engine,' which – as you might guess – throws out a number of alternative search providers alongside Google, including Ecosia, Bing, DuckDuckGo, among others.

This option went into effect in early 2020 after Google was billed $5 billion in anti-trust fines by the European Commission, the justification for which was partly due to the way Google's search services and web browser (Chrome) come as standard on the majority of Android devices worldwide.

With the outcome of this development still undecided, the ball genuinely seems to be in Google's court, or more specifically what it's able to produce in terms of AI-supported search experiences and whether they'll be enough to continue to woo Samsung, who's eyes have already clearly been caught by Microsoft's efforts with ChatGPT and Bing.

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Oppo and OnePlus deny that they’re leaving Europe. Confirmed

This morning, this story spoke about a singular fresh-faced rumor, suggesting that both Oppo and sibling phone maker OnePlus, would suddenly and unexpectedly be pulling out of European markets. We reached out to both brands for confirmation and, as such, this story now includes their formal responses.

If you'd asked yesterday, we'd have said everything looks to be sunshine and rainbows at both OnePlus and Oppo. OnePlus recently launched the OnePlus 11 – a noteworthy improvement on its predecessor, which is in contention for best phone of 2023.

And Oppo not only showcased its newest flagship line – the Oppo Find X6 series – but broke into the international foldable market with the one of the best foldables around (check out our Oppo Find N2 Flip review for the full breakdown) a little over a month ago.

With all this in mind, not to mention a successful MWC trade show – in which both brands had some of the most interesting things on the show floor to showcase – we were left perplexed when one established tipster claimed that both companies were supposedly considering pulling the ripcord on their European presence, in a Tweet.

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In his post, shared on the morning of March 27, Max Jambor dropped a metaphorical bomb, claiming that both brands were bowing out of Europe; starting with key markets including Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands. Soon after, he followed it up with another post claiming an official statement would follow, however, no such statement has appeared via Jambor's Twitter feed, at the time of writing.

Instead, TechRadar decided to approach our contacts at both brands to get confirmation from the source, with OnePlus promptly responding with the following:

"OnePlus will not exit from Europe and the UK and maintains stable operations in local markets. OnePlus will continue to invest in Europe and provide more innovative product and solutions for its users."

OnePlus 11 Concept phone back lighting

The OnePlus 11 liquid cooling concept from MWC 2023 (Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

Considering the company's recent releases and plenty more plans seemingly in the works to expand its reach, not reduce it – like a premium OnePlus foldable and the rumored OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite weeks or even days away from release, based on leaks – such a departure would have been wildly out of character and ill-timed on OnePlus' part.

What about Oppo?

As for Oppo, while the company's new flagship is still finding its feet (check out our hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review for more on that), generally there seems to be a clear and confident strategy in place, with devices in prominent positions with retailers and carriers, significant investment in marketing and an ongoing stream of noteworthy devices making their way to market.

While we were left waiting a little longer for Oppo's formal response, here's what we heard back when asking for comment in regards to Jambor's original post:

"Oppo and OnePlus are committed to all the existing European markets. We had a great start in 2023 with the successful launches of several products in Europe and have a line-up of upcoming products for the rest of the year. As always, OPPO and OnePlus will continue to provide more innovative products and the best-in-class service for users moving forward."

So there you have it. Despite a not-insignificant raised eyebrow when the initial rumor broke, on the contrary, it would seem that neither Oppo, nor OnePlus has formal plans to leave the UK or European markets that their products already range in; debunking Jambor's original claim in totality.

Note: Updates to this story include a revised title and opening paragraph to reflect the formal response from both brands we'd subsequently received after the story's original publication, as well as revised copy after the 'What about Oppo?' subheading, following the company's official quote.

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