Accessibility updates may hint toward a bigger update for iOS 16 and watchOS 9

Earlier this week, Apple announced a bunch of accessibility improvements for its users on the iPhone and Apple Watch. However, I got deja vu from similar news back in 2021.

Alongside live captions coming to FaceTime calls and other apps in Apple's press release, there's also a door detection feature, which uses the LiDAR camera, found in the iPad Pro, iPhone 12 Pro, and 13 Pro models, to tell where the door handle is, and how far away it is from the user.

Last year we saw other accessibility improvements, where the screenshots showed off a new layout that hadn't arrived to iPhone models at the time, which was confirmed a few weeks later at WWDC 2021, and arrived on iOS 15 in September 2021.

We may be seeing a repeat of these hints for iOS 16, as well as watchOS 9, as we head towards WWDC on June 6.

Hidden in plain sight?

Apple Accessibility Features shown on iPhone and Apple Watch

(Image credit: Apple)

Accessibility is a topic that should be at the forefront of the minds of developers and companies. It's something I always look for in new apps and upcoming updates, as software should be accessible for everyone.

However, these features, which will likely appear in iOS 16 and watchOS 9, as Apple has stated that they're arriving towards the end of the year, give the impression that the company is giving accessibility a greater focus this year.

As the pandemic meant many of us have had to adjust to the new world of remote working, there's a chance that we're going to see big updates that may have been delayed from 2020 and 2021.

A backlog of new features that are being refined for WWDC in a few short weeks could mean that iOS 16 and watchOS 9 are bigger leaps than what they were originally intended to be.

It’s encouraging to see accessibility take more of a precedent in software updates from Apple, while Microsoft has been looking into accessories in this area. Instead of the topic being a footnote in a press release, accessibility is having its own time to shine. With this in mind, WWDC looks to be a great event for users with accessibility needs.

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Future WhatsApp update will let you leave a group quietly

WhatsApp is finally working on making things less awkward when you want to leave a group chat, by removing the notification that's sent to everyone in the group, except for admins.

After confirming that groups would be expanded to hold up to 512 members, alongside rolling out message reactions and higher file transfers, discretion looks to be the next aim for WhatsApp.

Leaving groups when you feel like it's time to go, can be an anxious moment. This is usually due to the fact that a notification is sent to every member within the group, and you're most likely sent a separate message soon after, as to why you've left.

However, this looks to make it much less awkward in the future for certain situations.


Analysis: Drama will soon be avoided

Leaving a WhatsApp group quietly

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

WhatsApp is focusing hard on its communities in 2022, making sure that there's easier ways to not only share content but to leave the group chats when the time comes.

There's always been a feeling of awkwardness when you decide it's time to leave one. It could be work-related, it could be due to attending an event, and you realize that you don't click with others.

But soon, notifications will only alert the admins, which can only be a good thing.

While it's not clear as to when the feature is coming, or which platform it could be coming to first, such as iOS or Android, it's going to be something that many users will breathe a sigh of relief at.

Via WABetaInfo

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Elon Musk: Twitter deal is on hold

Elon Musk announced in a tweet that his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter is on hold, due to a report about spam accounts on the social network being fewer than previously thought.

This is a breaking news story. We will be updating further.

Could the deal fall apart?

Elon announced on May 13 that a report has found that spam accounts make up for 5% of the total userbase on Twitter.

See more

Due to this revelation, the deal has been put on hold, but it's interesting that only now Musk has decided to do this.

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iOS 16 doesn’t have much to worry about with Android 13

Google IO 2022 confirmed that Android 13 was on its way to smartphones, and soon tablets, with a focus on refinements this time, rather than major features.

There was plenty to digest - from the surprise announcement of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro to a hint toward AR Glasses. It's understandable that this year would be more muted for Android.

Especially with Android 12 bringing a major redesign of the look and feel to the operating system in 2021, called Material You. But it makes us wonder what Apple has for its sleeve for iOS 16, rumored to debut at WWDC on June 5.

Refinements versus features

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Apple has done the same in the past with iOS 9 and iOS 12. Both major releases were focused more on optimizing features and fixing bugs across the operating system.

In 2009, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was released with its advertising slogan being 'No new features'. Bold, but correct in hindsight.

But the battle for helping a customer decide as to which smartphone they're going to buy has only gotten fiercer. It's not just hardware improvements that matter, but substantial features or improvements to existing ones that can help the day-to-day workflows of many.

I'm of the opinion that iOS is almost reaching a point where any new features may bring confusion to casual users who only want to use the camera and some apps, while iPadOS would benefit from a total redesign, due to it still looking like an oversized iPhone in some parts.

Apple iPad Air 5 Home Screen

(Image credit: Future)

iOS 16 could bring simplicity to some existing features. Having a better Control Center, found when you drag from the top right of the screen, could benefit from more customization. Having automation commands from the Shortcuts app, or third-party apps taking advantage of this, could help cut down the apps we try to reach each day.

Being able to change the flashlight icon on the lock screen would also be a help, as it's a button that could better be used for a favorite contact, or launching Apple Music.

The little touches across iOS 16 could make a big difference, and could help widen the gap further for anyone on the market for upgrading their phone, or being tempted to change from Android or iOS.

Regardless, Apple has a unique opportunity this year at WWDC to cater to the casual and power users at the same time with iOS, while possibly hinting towards its own efforts with AR.

With Google IO 2022 concluding, WWDC looks to be another battlefield that could make some direct hits on Android 13 already.

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Android 13 announced at Google IO 2022: everything we know so far

Android 13 'Tiramisu' was just announced at Google IO 2022 today, showcasing refinements in its design, improvements to notifications, and more.

Google has been focusing on security for this year's keynote, and Android 13 applies the same focus, with a shoutout to RCS, a text messaging standard, and wallet improvements.

While the latest Android 13 public beta is here for Pixel 6 phones, and you can see if your device is eligible by going to the Android beta webpage. But there may be a new version once Google IO 2022 concludes.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Features

A screengrab from Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Future)

There's plenty of refinements for Material You, Android's theme in Android 13, with music controls on your lock screen to adapt to the colors you've chosen, alongside a bigger focus on security.

Earthquake warnings are being improved, with full-screen alerts to better describe the situation, and ways to get to safety.

Handing off

We were hoping that Google would be inspired from Apple's Handoff feature, and it looks as though our wish was heard.

You can hand off your images and media to a Google product, or an Android tablet. There's also 'Fast Pair', which can better pair your devices together in a much quicker way.

Google Wallet

A screengrab from Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Google Wallet is a redesign of Google Pay, where it stores your payment cards, alongside event tickets, parking passes, vaccine cards, health insurance cards, flight passes, and lots more.

It's the one-stop-shop for Android 13 users, with the aim to replace the wallet that you've been carrying around your pocket for years.

There's also plans for a digital driver's license in the US, debuting later in 2022.

Google also announced a focus for Android 13 is being tailored for tablets and foldable devices, which could hint toward a Pixel Fold.

Android 13 supported devices

Android 13 Beta supported devices

(Image credit: Google)

Android has a reputation for not making it easy to update your phone to the latest version. Part of it is due to the different manufacturers on how they have designed Android to match a brand, such as Samsung.

But with Google releasing a new Pixel phone every year, these usually come with the latest Android version. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Pixel 7 or a Pixel Fold appear with Android 13 in October again to start with. 

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro support the Android 13 public beta, so they will almost definitely work with the finished software.

There's also a bigger focus of more than twenty Google apps to be optimized for tablets, so Android 13 looks to be the first major version to be available for tablets, as well as foldable devices and phones.

Other manufacturers usually follow after a few months of testing and putting their own spin on the new Android release, but it’s usually not until the first half of the next year.

Release Date

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Google Maps brings immersive imagery, new features and more at Google IO 2022

At Google I/O 2022, CEO Sundar Pichai dedicated the start of the keynote to Google Maps, with Immersive View, eco-routes, and more.

While no Android 13 news or the latest Chrome OS features were announced as yet, Pichai made sure to put Google Maps in the spotlight first, helping you further in getting from one destination to another.

These features look to be coming to both Android and iOS later this year.

This is currently a breaking news story we will be updating this across the event.

Upcoming features

A screengrab from Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Future)

There looks to be a focus on both refining the user interface for Google Maps and simultaneously making it easier to view how you can get from point A to point B.

Eco-friendly routes are Google's focus in making sure that users can help offset climate change, a big and important topic in today's world, which is going to be available outside the United States later in 2022.

There's also an Immersive view mode coming, which allows you to look inside restaurants using neural rendering to let you fly around like Superman, or a drone.

Another big improvement is indoor images when you visit a coffee house or a restaurant, with a bigger focus on better quality when you want to browse around a building.

As we're only on day 1 for Google IO, we may see more features appearing for Google Maps, where we'll update this developing story.

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Android 13 needs to steal a few of Apple’s features to show off at Google IO 2022

As we're on the eve of Google IO 2022, Android 13 has seen a public beta, and it includes hints towards Google's own take on Handoff, a feature that first appeared on Apple devices.

Handoff allows you to carry on using the same app as you switch between different Apple devices. This can be Safari, a music track, or a podcast, as long as you're signed in with the same Apple ID account. But Continuity lets you carry on in using a feature on a different Apple device, such as taking a photo and seeing it on your Mac.

While Google enables you to sync up your bookmarks and purchases when you sign into Android or ChromeOS, the same can't be said for when you're browsing a web page, or midway through listening to a Spice Girls track or watching The Batman again.

There's hints towards this already called Tap to Transfer in the Android 13 public beta build, but there's no confirmation from Google as yet. With this in mind, this is why Handoff should be one of the tentpole features in Android 13, with room to expand to other Google devices.

Hand on, hand off

Continuity in macOS

(Image credit: Apple)

I've been an Apple user ever since I bought a third-generation iPod back in 2004. I switched my PC for one of the first Intel iMac models, and I imported the first iPhone in 2007.

Throughout this, I've always appreciated the features where I could manage my content across the devices, without having to do the old-fashioned method of emailing it to myself.

With Continuity and Hand Off, these features allow me to transfer my workflow from my iPhone 13 Pro, to my MacBook Pro 14-inch with no issue.

But there are users who only own Google devices - whether that's owning both a Pixelbook and a Pixel 6, or a Google Nest and a Fitbit. But managing and sending your data and content between these devices currently isn't easy as Apple's method, and in 2022 that's not good.

Android 13 looks set to include a feature that alleviates some of this, tentatively called ‘TTT’ or Tap to Transfer.

From an early build in January, you could send the media you’re either watching or listening to on an Android 13 device, to a device that could be nearby.

But it should be much more. Being able to transfer your music from your Pixel 6 to a Chrome web browser should be simpler, alongside being able to carry on listening to a track in Google Play Music that's on your OnePlus 10 Pro, onto a Pixelbook.

It's time for Google to realize that ease of use for devices matters. While its recent efforts with Material You, the redesigned themes for Android have been received warmly, there's still more work to do.

As more products appear (and more are seemingly on the way, with one rumored to be the Pixel Watch) seeing more cohesion across devices will be more important than ever. Being given more control over your content on the devices you own will be appealing to many, and it looks as though Android 13 is the first sign of Google being aware of this.

It's now a matter of whether the same feature is not only going to appear on the rest of its product line, but whether the feature is better than what Apple's take has been for the last few years.

Posted in Uncategorised

Android 13 needs to steal a few of Apple’s features to show off at Google IO 2022

As we're on the eve of Google IO 2022, Android 13 has seen a public beta, and it includes hints towards Google's own take on Handoff, a feature that first appeared on Apple devices.

Handoff allows you to carry on using the same app as you switch between different Apple devices. This can be Safari, a music track, or a podcast, as long as you're signed in with the same Apple ID account. But Continuity lets you carry on in using a feature on a different Apple device, such as taking a photo and seeing it on your Mac.

While Google enables you to sync up your bookmarks and purchases when you sign into Android or ChromeOS, the same can't be said for when you're browsing a web page, or midway through listening to a Spice Girls track or watching The Batman again.

There's hints towards this already called Tap to Transfer in the Android 13 public beta build, but there's no confirmation from Google as yet. With this in mind, this is why Handoff should be one of the tentpole features in Android 13, with room to expand to other Google devices.

Hand on, hand off

Continuity in macOS

(Image credit: Apple)

I've been an Apple user ever since I bought a third-generation iPod back in 2004. I switched my PC for one of the first Intel iMac models, and I imported the first iPhone in 2007.

Throughout this, I've always appreciated the features where I could manage my content across the devices, without having to do the old-fashioned method of emailing it to myself.

With Continuity and Hand Off, these features allow me to transfer my workflow from my iPhone 13 Pro, to my MacBook Pro 14-inch with no issue.

But there are users who only own Google devices - whether that's owning both a Pixelbook and a Pixel 6, or a Google Nest and a Fitbit. But managing and sending your data and content between these devices currently isn't easy as Apple's method, and in 2022 that's not good.

Android 13 looks set to include a feature that alleviates some of this, tentatively called ‘TTT’ or Tap to Transfer.

From an early build in January, you could send the media you’re either watching or listening to on an Android 13 device, to a device that could be nearby.

But it should be much more. Being able to transfer your music from your Pixel 6 to a Chrome web browser should be simpler, alongside being able to carry on listening to a track in Google Play Music that's on your OnePlus 10 Pro, onto a Pixelbook.

It's time for Google to realize that ease of use for devices matters. While its recent efforts with Material You, the redesigned themes for Android have been received warmly, there's still more work to do.

As more products appear (and more are seemingly on the way, with one rumored to be the Pixel Watch) seeing more cohesion across devices will be more important than ever. Being given more control over your content on the devices you own will be appealing to many, and it looks as though Android 13 is the first sign of Google being aware of this.

It's now a matter of whether the same feature is not only going to appear on the rest of its product line, but whether the feature is better than what Apple's take has been for the last few years.

Posted in Uncategorised

Android 13 needs to steal a few of Apple’s features to show off at Google IO 2022

As we're on the eve of Google IO 2022, Android 13 has seen a public beta, and it includes hints towards Google's own take on Handoff, a feature that first appeared on Apple devices.

Handoff allows you to carry on using the same app as you switch between different Apple devices. This can be Safari, a music track, or a podcast, as long as you're signed in with the same Apple ID account. But Continuity lets you carry on in using a feature on a different Apple device, such as taking a photo and seeing it on your Mac.

While Google enables you to sync up your bookmarks and purchases when you sign into Android or ChromeOS, the same can't be said for when you're browsing a web page, or midway through listening to a Spice Girls track or watching The Batman again.

There's hints towards this already called Tap to Transfer in the Android 13 public beta build, but there's no confirmation from Google as yet. With this in mind, this is why Handoff should be one of the tentpole features in Android 13, with room to expand to other Google devices.

Hand on, hand off

Continuity in macOS

(Image credit: Apple)

I've been an Apple user ever since I bought a third-generation iPod back in 2004. I switched my PC for one of the first Intel iMac models, and I imported the first iPhone in 2007.

Throughout this, I've always appreciated the features where I could manage my content across the devices, without having to do the old-fashioned method of emailing it to myself.

With Continuity and Hand Off, these features allow me to transfer my workflow from my iPhone 13 Pro, to my MacBook Pro 14-inch with no issue.

But there are users who only own Google devices - whether that's owning both a Pixelbook and a Pixel 6, or a Google Nest and a Fitbit. But managing and sending your data and content between these devices currently isn't easy as Apple's method, and in 2022 that's not good.

Android 13 looks set to include a feature that alleviates some of this, tentatively called ‘TTT’ or Tap to Transfer.

From an early build in January, you could send the media you’re either watching or listening to on an Android 13 device, to a device that could be nearby.

But it should be much more. Being able to transfer your music from your Pixel 6 to a Chrome web browser should be simpler, alongside being able to carry on listening to a track in Google Play Music that's on your OnePlus 10 Pro, onto a Pixelbook.

It's time for Google to realize that ease of use for devices matters. While its recent efforts with Material You, the redesigned themes for Android have been received warmly, there's still more work to do.

As more products appear (and more are seemingly on the way, with one rumored to be the Pixel Watch) seeing more cohesion across devices will be more important than ever. Being given more control over your content on the devices you own will be appealing to many, and it looks as though Android 13 is the first sign of Google being aware of this.

It's now a matter of whether the same feature is not only going to appear on the rest of its product line, but whether the feature is better than what Apple's take has been for the last few years.

Posted in Uncategorised

A new patent hints toward a macOS mode for iPad – but don’t hold your breath

A patent has been uncovered where docking an iPad to a keyboard accessory would enable a macOS mode, featuring floating windows and more.

As we approach WWDC 2022, rumors of what iPadOS 16 may feature have been light, which could mean two things. Either it's going to be a muted update, or we're going to see a major redesign.

We're most likely going to see the former, with a focus on speed and bug fixes for the iPad in 2022. But that doesn't stop us from thinking about where iPadOS could go.

A macOS mode when an iPad is docked makes a lot of sense, but it could also introduce some confusion to users, in terms of where the hardware lineup stands.

Time for a big iPadOS change

Patent showcasing a macOS mode on iPad

(Image credit: Patently Apple)

The iPad has had a confusing time in the last few years, with Apple renaming its software to iPadOS, while still sticking to the same design principles that iOS has had since its debut in 2007.

While iPadOS 15 brought a great improvement to the home screen with the ability to place widgets there, it wasn't mind-blowing. It's partly why I sold my iPad Pro and am still content with a MacBook Pro 14-inch, but I do believe that the potential for the tablet is constantly there.

Which is why I'm approaching this patent with trepidation. Usually, patents are filed to protect the inventor, and it's a 50/50 chance whether we see these features be implemented.

Yet seeing a mode resembling macOS, as an option for the iPad, is an alluring thought. But it opens a can of worms:

  • Which iPad models will be enabled to use this feature?
  • Would it switch to macOS only when the iPad is docked?
  • What happens if you need to quickly switch between modes?
  • Would some features be exclusive in macOS mode?

Time to say goodbye to the iPad Pro

Patent showcasing a macOS mode on iPad

(Image credit: Patently Apple)

Alongside this, the lineup of iPads is also confusing in the features they all offer. In 2015, the Apple Pencil could only be used with the iPad Pro - now it's all models except the cheapest iPad.

However, while the iPad Pro has ProMotion, a feature that enables the display to run at 120Hz, speakers around the tablet, and Face ID, there's little enough to tempt you to go to this highest tier of iPad.

Perhaps macOS-mode would be best for this iPad instead, but it's time to see a rename for that tier if the feature did arrive. iPad Studio could work, as the name implies creating projects, but being able to take these anywhere, and switch between certain modes, something that the Mac Studio can't do, could be appealing to many.

But again, there's little chance that we'll see this patent come to fruition anytime soon, if at all. The iPad Pro needs to stand out from the iPhone and other iPads, but there's a danger that falling back on a macOS mode could confuse users as to what the tablet is truly for, and how it could benefit them in the long run.

Via Patently Apple

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A new compass app offers a feature that can improve Maps in iOS 16

I get sent a lot of apps to try out, and whether they're on iOS, Android, Windows, or Linux, I try them all. Mainly because there's always a chance that an app will not only achieve what its developer has intended, but it also gives you an idea of how it could shape other aspects of your iPhone.

This is what happened with Compass GPS, released at the end of April by developer Rihab Mehboob. He got in touch back in January about a messaging app he created as well, that ingeniously works like a note-taking app.

This time, Mehboob told me that he wanted to make something different from other compass apps, which featured a great user interface, but could also easily direct a user in the right direction when walking somewhere.

I've been using it around Lincoln the past week, and not only does his aim succeed, but it gives me inspiration as to how Apple could improve its Maps app for iOS 16, which may be announced at WWDC 2022 in June.

Maps in iOS 16 should be inspired by this app

Compass GPS in iOS

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Even before Maps was redesigned by Apple in iOS 6, you could set a destination and then follow your route through a compass feature in the app. Since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, you've been able to set your destination on your iPhone, then have your watch tap you on the wrist every time you need to turn left or right.

All of this has been useful, but even though Apple has said that it has a vested interest in augmented reality (AR), there's not been a feature in Maps to take advantage of the technology as yet.

When you want to find your position in Maps, you have to press the 'location' button on the top right twice for the app to adjust and rotate to give you an idea as to where you're facing. However, it can be difficult finding the right direction, and tapping a button twice feels unintuitive.

Mehboob's app solves this issue in an instant. Raise your iPhone and it switches to AR mode, with a compass overlaying the screen. Lower the iPhone, and it will show the map. It's a feature that's simple, but worked very well in practice as I was walking up the high street in Lincoln.

Compass GPS app in AR mode

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Whether Mehboob is moving on to the next idea as WWDC approaches, or there's bugs to fix in a future update of Compass GPS, there's potential here for a fully-fledged Maps app if Apple doesn't improve upon its own Maps app in iOS 16.

While it's free to download, Compass GPS has a $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$10.99 fee to keep using its features, which gives hope that the app could see more useful features in the coming months.

Regardless, Mehboob's app showcases what the potential of Apple's Maps app could be with AR, especially if the rumored AR Glasses come to fruition.

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I got married this week, and these five iOS apps helped reduce our stress levels

April 14 was the day that I became a married man. And during the two years spent arranging it, there were a few apps on iOS 15 that we constantly used to make sure everything was paid for, and perfectly scheduled to play its part on the day.

Planning a wedding involves tasks that you would never expect to have to sort out – from agreeing on the music that would play while you sign the marriage certificate, to checking if the right tree logs for the table have been picked up by the best man.

If we didn't have our iPhones and apps at hand, we may have had to hire a wedding planner to avoid the multiple moments of stress we would have inevitably had.

But thankfully, there were five apps that helped us manage big chunks of the wedding that I was not expecting when I proposed back in 2020.

Notes

iOS 15 Wedding Notes

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple's Notes app is one I've relied on since the first version of iOS. It's simple, useful, and has always helped remind me of what's needed to be done for certain tasks.

For the wedding, its usefulness went to another level, thanks in part to the ability to manage notes with someone.

Having both of us add and remove checklists across the two years helped a bunch, especially when an update can appear as a push notification.

Things 3

Things 3 Wedding list on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While we had been arranging the wedding since 2020, tasks didn't really ramp up until the beginning of this year, which is where a to-do app came in.

Having tried other apps in this category, such as OmniFocus, Things 3 won out thanks to the quick actions of its Today screen. I could add and remove sudden jobs, and they'd also display in a helpful widget on my iPhone.

It's not just available on your iPhone for $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99, it's also available on the iPad for $19.99 / £19.99 / AU$24.99, and on the Mac priced at $49.99 / £29.99 / AU$59.99.

Being reminded to pay for a photo booth or to decide on types of flowers in Things was a big help. In fact, it was so helpful I've expanded it to other aspects of my life, including my job at TechRadar, and hobbies like, embarrassingly, weekly Fortnite challenges.

Shazam

iOS 15 Shazam Playlist

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Spotify and Apple Music are two apps I've constantly used for the last decade. I still pay for iTunes Match, which is a yearly service that allows me to host all the music content that I owned on my iPod.

For the wedding itself, we found Spotify useful in arranging the entire playlist from start to finish, mainly due to the ability to have collaborative playlists.

This allowed us to add and remove songs in a playlist as we pleased, with our initials letting each of us know who added the most embarrassing song of the evening.

However, Shazam was most useful in helping us discover artists and tracks that we never would have considered. Going to wedding fayres and shops we heard a lot of music and by using Shazam to discover what the titles were, we could add them to our Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

It's a handy app that can help bolster your music library on whichever music app you use, without being intrusive.

A recent update also allows Shazam to be set up as a shortcut in Control Center on iOS 15, which saves you time before the track stops playing.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds Classic on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

For me, managing a wedding is the equivalent of spinning 50 plates while standing on one leg, and reciting the alphabet backward in Spanish.

And that can lead to moments where you just want to escape the planning and the picking, and the paying, and just play a game instead.

This is where I decided to revisit some games thanks to Apple Arcade, and I rediscovered Angry Birds. It was an ideal pick for alleviating some of the frustration that occurred with some suits in February.

The game's maker, Rovio has also re-released the original game on iOS and Android, which I promptly downloaded. Flicking the irate fowl across four worlds on my iPhone 13 Pro turned out to be a great stress reliever while I was on a train to sort out the suits again or deciding on the right type of chairs for the reception.

Monzo Pots

iOS 15 Monzo Pots

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Weddings cost money – lots of money. If you want to make sure that the location or items you had your heart set on for years can be part of your special day, you're going to hear the word deposit a lot until the big day arrives.

It's also a great lesson in managing your funds, which is where a feature from Monzo came in handy for us. Pots are a way of moving money into sections that can't be used by your debit card. They're essentially saving methods without creating a savings account.

You can lock a pot to stop you from withdrawing any money from it, alongside naming it whatever you wish and setting it with a picture. If you want, you can set any transactions to round up the payment to the nearest unit, with the spare change being sent to this pot.

It removes a worry about how much you have ready for the wedding or other saving goals, alongside making sure it's safe from temptation.

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Major iMovie update arrives for iOS and iPadOS to help create movies in an instant

Apple has announced iMovie 3.0, available from today (April 12) which allows users on iOS and iPadOS to more easily compile photos, movies, and music into a home movie thanks to two new features.

iMovie is a popular app from Apple for quickly creating movies and clips on Mac, iPhone and iPad with minimal hassle.

However, Instagram and TikTok have been using AI (Artificial Intelligence) features that make creating and sharing great-looking video clips even easier. For example, they can automatically adapt music to fit video clips. Meanwhile, iMovie was falling behind, with users having to align their music and content manually. But the new update looks to alleviate this with 'Storyboards' and 'Magic Movie'.

It’s rolling out to devices running iOS 15.2 or later and iPadOS 15.2 or later. But Apple declined to say whether these features would also be coming to the macOS version eventually.

What’s new in iMovie 3.0?

Storyboard feature on iPad

(Image credit: Apple)

Storyboards is one of two new features where you can choose from 20 templates to fit the videos, photos, and audio tracks, and each placeholder describes what kind of clip should be in that section of the movie.

This can be helpful for content creators or those who want to test the waters with editing video in general. The feature can guide users with framing their shots and telling a story through their video, and then export it to another app.

When you edit a clip you've already inserted, you can have a voiceover, insert music, trim the clip, adjust the volume, tweak the speed, add titles or delete the clip entirely. If you decide to change a template, the titles and transitions will adapt instead of disappearing and requiring you to start the project all over again.

iMovie 3.0 on iPhone

(Image credit: Apple)

Meanwhile, the Magic Movie feature allows you to select an album of photos and videos, and will compile these into a movie. You can re-arrange and delete clips, and the feature will adapt while keeping the theme of the project intact. This feature will analyze your clips for dialogue and movement and will arrange them to fit the movie you've picked.

There's also helpful descriptions of where to add certain clips, whether it's for a close-up shot or something else to help fit the movie.

You can also pick a soundtrack, such as a file from Garageband, Apple Music, or the Files app for example, and iMovie 3.0 will also adapt to this to fit the video, similar to TikTok and Instagram's takes.

It looks to automate how you can create a movie in a half-hour, without going through many menus to achieve the same result.

Magic Movie reminds us of its trailer feature in iMovie on macOS, where you can create small movies of movie trailers with your clips. This looks to be the next step in this feature that's been available on macOS since 2011.

iMovie 3.0 on iPadOS

(Image credit: Apple)

We asked Apple whether there will be a way of adding live transcriptions to clips. We were told that this would have to be added in another app, like Final Cut on the Mac, which was disappointing, especially as its Clips app can do this on iOS already.

Apple also declined to comment on whether these features were coming to the Mac version of iMovie, but it did say that the reason they’re on iMovie for the iPhone and iPad versions from today is due to the ease that users have in creating and managing their media content on those devices.


Analysis: A much-welcome update to iMovie

iMovie iOS app icon

(Image credit: TechRadar)

iMovie is something that goes as far back as the iLife suite in the early 2000s, where you would have a suite of apps such as iMovie, iPhoto, iWeb, and iDVD, all to help create content on your Mac.

But since iMovie’s appearance on iOS in 2010, followed by an iPad release in 2011, its usage has changed, which makes sense for these new features to arrive on iPhone and iPad first.

Having seen the features in action, it’s surprising how few taps and clicks are required to make a movie from start to finish. It looks like an evolution of the trailer feature above, with full movies now taking advantage of this.

But, it is disappointing that there’s no way to add audio transcriptions for when you’re editing a clip for a Storyboard or Magic Movie project. With Instagram and TikTok already showcasing this feature, it would have made sense for this to come to iMovie 3.0.

However, it’s a significant update that’s going to take advantage of the cameras and the content that every iPhone and iPad user has access to. And with its ease of use, it does have the potential to become a common method for those longer movies you want to share with a social platform, or with friends and family.

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Home Widget brings a feature that I hoped would come in iOS 16

During the first few months of the pandemic in 2020 when the UK was in lockdown, I decided to finally follow through with some plans for the house to help make some appliances easier to manage.

The first easy win in this was smart lights. Over a weekend, I replaced every light that we used across the house with a smart one that would be available to manage over Apple's Home app, or Amazon's Alexa as a way to command the lights in the living room.

But while Apple's Home app, in which you can manage all of your lights and other smart home appliances, was easy enough to use, it's never had widgets, which has always baffled me.

Widgets first arrived in iOS 14 back in 2020, but it's taken an innovative app called Home Widget to lessen my annoyance with the lack of a Home one. Now, I've got a bunch of widgets on my home screen for my lights, without opening a single app.

Let there be (smart) light

Home Widget app in iOS

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Available for free, alongside an in-app purchase of $8.99 / £8.99 / AU$10.99 to let you create an unlimited amount of widgets, the app will monitor every smart appliance that's connected to your iPhone, and these will show in the app.

After this, you can create different panels for the lights or other appliances in your home, alongside choosing the colors, icons, and more.

Once you're done, you can place them on your iPhone or iPad home screen. Pressing one of these will either switch on or off what you've selected, without having to go into an app like Apple's Home.

Yes, this may sound very obvious to those who don't have smart lights in their home that manage them through an iPhone, but after two years of using the Home app, it's always felt off that a tentpole iOS feature that Apple has been showcasing since 2020, is nowhere to be found in its own Home app.

But Home Widget does it well, especially in how easy it is to manage your widgets. There's also a nice touch of the app showing all the widgets you've made on its launch screen, in a Tetris layout.

The app recently updated to 1.2, which brings support for HomeKit cameras, battery sensors, the color of your lights, and more.

Regardless of whether Apple brings widgets to its Home app in the future, perhaps at WWDC 2022, Home Widget is already a favorite and scratches a big itch that I've had for my house for two years.

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It’s finally happening – Twitter is working on an edit button, but is this a good thing?

If you've been wishing to edit those tweets with spelling mistakes without having to delete them, Twitter has announced that it's working on an edit feature.

This feature request has become a meme in itself, with many users asking for this for years. If you use Twitter, you've most likely been in a situation where you've posted a tweet from the previous evening, and you notice that there's a missing letter or a missing comma that skews what you were trying to convey.

Twitter has confirmed that the feature will first arrive as a test for Twitter Blue users, which is its subscription service that brings benefits such as undoing a sent tweet after a short amount of time.

But while this sounds like good news for many, it may be an example of being careful what you wish for.


Analysis: This may hinder rather than help users

Other social platforms have had this feature for years. If you posted something on Facebook for example and it's missing a word, you can quickly edit the post and add the word back in.

Instagram and Tiktok also have similar features, but for Twitter, it's not as simple as adding an edit button.

Many users have wanted an easy method to edit a tweet without deleting it, especially if it's about a topic that's long since finished for example. But Twitter has a slippery slope with this, as many use the platform as a news feed and as a way of conversing with followers on certain subjects. Editing these tweets could make your input worse.

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But there are other dangers to this feature if it's not implemented right. Twitter's Head of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan, rightly said during the announcement, that editing a tweet could alter a topic of conversation that could be sensitive to many, and could construe different meanings.

Editing tweets is not something that I've wanted Twitter to focus on - it's rather a bigger focus on curtailing abuse and spam accounts that have been more prevalent since the pandemic began in 2020.

But this feature could stay as a test, or as an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue. However, the announcement has excited many, so it now depends on whether the feature measures up to the wishes of its users, or if it's used to alter conversations for the worse.

Regardless of what happens, Twitter clearly has another challenge on its hands now that editing tweets are finally official.

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