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While Apple only officially announced its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, we have been reporting all of the known information about what Apple plans to unveil at the event over the course of the past few months. Now that WWDC is official, we have compiled a roundup of everything we know about Apple’s next-generation iOS device and Mac operating systems below, and we’ve also included some new tidbits not found in our earlier reporting. You can find out what there is to know so far about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 below:iOS 8 – Codenamed Okemo:
iOS 8 is the next version of Apple’s software for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and it is the first major successor to the significant redesign that was iOS 7. For iOS 8, Apple is retaining the same Jony Ive-designed aesthetic found in iOS 7 and is focusing on additions involving applications, services, and performance. iOS 8 will represent Apple moving into the fitness and health tracking world and it will mark a major milestone in Apple’s efforts to bring its mapping solution up-to-par with competitors from Google and Microsoft.
The Activity section can track steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. The Weight tab can track a person’s weight, BMI, and fat %. The current health accessory marketplace includes wireless weight scales, so it is likely that Healthbook will receive its data from those types of products. Both of those aforementioned tabs will have an interface with graphs and charts so that users could track their fitness progress over daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly views. Our earlier reporting on Healthbook goes into further detail about why the application is critical and how it could interact with future Apple wearable devices.
Another important element of Healthbook is the Emergency Card function. The Emergency Card is a single place for users to store information about themselves. The Emergency Card can keep a person’s name, photograph, birthdate, blood type, organ donor status, emergency contact information, weight, and a list of medication prescriptions. This Emergency Card function could save lives and provide emergency technicians, nurses, hospitals, and doctors with vital information about patients in emergency situations.
For iOS 8, Apple is planning to overhaul its previously bug-riddled in-house mapping software. The updated application will retain the same user-interface introduced last year with iOS 7, but it will be updated with improved mapping data, better clarity, and important new features.
The updated app is said to include tweaked cartography, clearer labeling, and improved notating of bus stops, train stations, and airports. That is all in addition to upgraded data that is more reliable and more plentiful.
The improved data also makes way for a major new feature: public transit directions. Apple won’t be the first to this feature (Google has had it for several years), but the addition is a change in direction from when former iOS chief Scott Forstall said in 2012 that Apple would leave transit to third-party developers.
Thanks to several acquisitions of transit specialist companies, iOS 8’s Maps app will have transit functionality deeply embedded for several cities around the world. Transit will allow people to navigate using busses, trains, and subways, and it will also include improved navigating to nearby airports.
The transit feature will be integrated as both a new view (in addition to Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite), and it will also be a new option alongside walking and driving for directions. While transit will be integrated, Apple will still be able to point users to third-party transit apps like it has done since iOS 6’s launch. Transit directions will work for both future trip planning and for immediate navigation.
– iTunes Radio:
As a standalone application, users will be able to more quickly access iTunes Radio. Psychologically for users, iTunes Radio will be its own app competing with the likes of the Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio apps found on the App Store. The benefit for Apple, however, is that iTunes Radio will be pre-installed. The interface for the standalone iTunes Radio application is said to be nearly identical to the one found inside of the iOS Music app and its Home screen icon is a terrestrial radio graphic atop a red background.
The functionality of iTunes Radio will also be akin to its iOS 7 Music app counterpart. Users will be able to browse their history, purchase streamed tracks, locate Featured Stations, create stations based on songs, artists, and albums, and manage stations. Apple previously considered releasing iTunes Radio as a standalone application in iOS 6, but due to problems with striking record label deals, the company ultimately pushed the launch back to iOS 7.
Apple has previously removed functionality from the standard iOS Music (formally called iPod) app and separated functionality into standalone apps. For example, Apple moved video playback for movies, TV shows, and music videos from the iPod app into a Videos app with iOS 5. With iOS 6, Apple began promoting Podcasts as its own App Store app and removed playback from the Music app. In early 2012, Apple re-located playback of iTunes University content to its own app.
The considerations also make sense in light of Apple recently adding more functionality to iTunes Radio, such as news from NPR.
– Voice over LTE:
Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.
Of course, carrier support is needed for this functionality, and some countries around the world have carriers that have already rolled out support for VoLTE. For those in the United States, T-Mobile’s network (thanks to its agreement with Metro PCS) supports VoLTE while Verizon Wireless and AT&T are actively testing the functionality for a rollout later this year. Of course, it’s plausible that iOS 8 support for VoLTE will be pushed back if enough carriers are unable to meet the rollout timeframe.
Notification Center, the translucent drop-down menu for managing alerts may be simplified. In iOS 7, Notification Center includes a “Today” view, “All” Notifications view, and a “Missed” Notifications view. In iOS 8, Apple is considering reducing the panel to solely include the “Today” and “Notifications” views. The new “Notifications” view would combine all notifications with missed notifications, making the overall experience simpler. After acquiring the team behind the app Cue last year, Apple has likely been working on adding additional pertinent information to Notification Center, but it is uncertain if those enhancements will be ready this year for iOS 8.
– TextEdit and Preview:
Apple is developing versions of the Mac operating system’s Preview and TextEdit applications that are optimized for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The applications are said to not be designed to actually edit PDFs, images, or text documents.
Instead, the apps are built to serve as tools to view Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud by OS X. Apple added iCloud synchronization for Preview and TextEdit with OS X Mountain Lion, but has not yet released iOS counterparts to actually view the synchronized content.
The applications are said to still be early in development, but they are being considered for release later in the year. It is currently uncertain, but still possible, if the new pieces of software will be ready to ship with the upcoming iOS 8.
Instead of using fully functional Preview and TextEdit applications on iOS, users will be encouraged to use the PDF management and editing functionality in the free iBooks applicationfrom the App Store and manage other documents via the iWork suite’s word processing application Pages. The apps will also bring improved feature parity between the two Apple operating systems.
– Game Center:
Sources say that Apple is considering removing the Game Center application from iOS and OS X. Instead of having the (little-used) Game Center app, the functionality will solely be found inside in games that have integrated the social gaming service. Just last year, Apple completely redesigned the Game Center app for iOS 7 to remove the green felt and casino theme from the Scott Forstall era. Recently leaked screenshots did, however, show the Game Center icon.
– Voice Memos:
As part of the iOS 7 design revamp, the iPhone’s Voice Memos application was completely redesigned. Gone was the fake microphone graphic and added was an interactive waveform. Unfortunately, some users have complained that the redesigned Voice Memos app is difficult to navigate and that editing controls are unclear. With iOS 8, Apple will rectify this problem by improving button placement within the app.
While iOS 7.1 certainly sped up animations and other system functionality, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that go even further to improve speed across the operating system. Sources say that Apple is focusing on improving how long it takes photos to be taken with the next-generation iPhone’s hardware components in mind.
While iOS 7’s version of CarPlay exclusively works over the Lightning cable, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that can conduct CarPlay (in certain vehicles) over WiFi. The lines up with Volvo saying that its CarPlay implementation will work wirelessly in the future. Of course, Apple has been testing WiFi CarPlay for sometime now with iOS 7, so perhaps the functionality will be pushed back once again. iOS 7.1 first unlocked CarPlay capabilities last month.
– Inter-app communication: Apple is said to be working on and testing functionality that would allow apps from the App Store to better communicate. This is known as an “XPC” service in the developer world. An API is being developed for apps to be able to share data. For example, a future photo editing application could have the ability to push the edited content for upload via the Instagram or Facebook apps. The debut of the API has been in development for the past couple of years, and it had been removed from the launch version of iOS 7 last year for unspecified reasons. With that in mind, it is plausible that Apple could, again, choose to hold back the functionality.OS X 10.10 – Codenamed Syrah:
OS X 10.10 will be the successor to the current OS X, 10.9 Mavericks. Mavericks focused on power-user features and under-the-hood enhancements to improve hardware performance, battery life, and graphics processing. 10.10, however, will focus on aesthetics. According to sources, Apple Senior VP of Design Jony Ive is leading a “significant” design overhaul for OS X, and the new design will be the operating system’s cornerstone new feature (none of the mockups online, like the one above, are a good indicator of what to expect).
The new design will not be as stark as iOS 7, but it will include many of the flat elements and white textures instead of re-creations of life-like elements. The end-to-end redesign is said to be a top priority at Apple right now, with the specific details about the changes being sworn to extreme secrecy. Apple has been testing new features such as Siri and support for iOS AirDrop compatibility, but it’s unconfirmed if those enhancements will be ready for 10.10. We’ll have more on what to expect from OS X 10.10 soon, so stay tuned.Hardware Possibilities:
To go with the new operating systems, Apple is likely preparing a few new notable pieces of hardware. On the Mac side, Apple seems to be readying a revamped version of the MacBook Air with a ~12-inch Retina display and thinner/lighter chassis. Apple has announced major new Mac initiatives at WWDC the past couple of years, so perhaps Apple has this new MacBook Air up its sleeves for the 2014 conference. Apple is also working on some lower-cost iMacs and standard MacBook Air/Pro updates, but it’s unclear when those are set to debut.Coverage:
WWDC 2014 will be held between June 2nd and June 6th at the Moscone West center in San Francisco, California. The week long conference will include labs and special sessions for developers, but it will likely be kicked off on Monday, June 2nd with a keynote address to officially introduce the aforementioned details about iOS 8, OS X 10.10, and potentially new hardware. As the conference’s start approaches, new information will certainly come to light, and you can find the latest news about Apple’s plans at 9to5Mac. Also stay tuned for live coverage of WWDC and, like we compiled in 2012 and 2013, an updated roundup in the few days before the conference begins.
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Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve published several articles detailing the future of iOS (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s operating system), OS X (the Mac’s operating system), and Watch OS (the software that runs on the Apple Watch). Here’s a list of links to the stories we’ve written thus far about the new operating systems, and we’ll keep updating this page as we publish new and relevant details.
– Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for iOS 9, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.
– Apple’s planned iOS 9 ‘Home’ app uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories: This article discusses Apple’s testing of a new application called “Home” that will be used to manage various HomeKit devices within the home.
– Apple readies Transit subway, train + bus guides for iOS 9 Maps, deploys robots for indoor mapping: After not being ready for release last year, Apple is apparently finally ready to take the wraps off of its Transit directions service for the iOS Maps application. This story also details Apple’s indoor mapping initiative and special robots roaming the Apple Cupertino campus.
– iOS 9 supports ‘iPhone 6S’ Force Touch, may enhance iMessage, Keyboard & Apple Pay: This story discusses how iOS 9 builds in support for the upcoming Force Touch Display feature in the next iPhone hardware upgrade. We also discuss Apple’s plans for adding new features to iMessage, the iPhone and iPad keyboard, and Apple Pay’s next stop.
– iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China: This article builds upon our initial report about the mass transit mapping feature coming in iOS 9, and specifies which regions the service will initially launch in.
– Apple’s ‘Proactive’ to take on Google Now with deep iOS 9 search, Augmented Reality Maps, Siri API: This expansive story provides an in-depth look at Apple’s development of a significant new iOS initiative internally named “Proactive.” Combining major upgrades to Siri, Spotlight, and Maps, “Proactive” is a long-term Apple strategy to combat the Google Now feature found on Android devices.
– Mystery solved: Apple vans gathering next-gen Maps data, grabbing Street View storefronts + 3D images: This story details how Apple is using mysterious vans to collect various Maps data for a next-generation version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps app. While Apple’s new, in-house database and 3D Street View features won’t be coming for at least a couple more years, Apple has planned to begin rolling out new imagery in the iOS 9 Maps app to replace Yelp’s data.
– Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for OS X 10.11, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.
– iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support: This extensive story reveals Apple’s plans for using its 2023 Mac and iOS updates as a time to introduce significant performance, optimization, and bug fix-based enhancements. We also share the first details about Apple’s upgraded Swift programming language and platform for developers. Apple is also planning to add some new features to the Mac, including a Control Center panel that swipes out from the left side of a Mac’s display.
– Mystery solved: Apple vans gathering next-gen Maps data, grabbing Street View storefronts + 3D images: This story details how Apple is using mysterious vans to collect various Maps data for a next-generation version of its Mac Maps app. While Apple’s new, in-house database and 3D Street View features won’t be coming for at least a couple more years, Apple has planned to begin rolling out new imagery in the OS X 10.11 app to replace Yelp’s data.
Watch OS and Apple TV
– Apple readies first significant Apple Watch updates, ’TVKit’ SDK for Apple TV: This story details the first significant updates coming to the Apple Watch, including upgrades for third-party complications and better Apple TV remote support. Speaking of the Apple TV, this article also details Apple’s plans for a new iOS-based Apple TV to debut at WWDC.
As the early June Worldwide Developers Conference gets closer, we’ll publish a thorough roundup of everything to expect, so keep an eye out for that as well.
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Here’s a look back at the WWDC 2023. Included here are first looks at iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave. What was your favorite new feature to come out of the event?iOS 12 Performance Enhancements
As expected, iOS 12 focuses heavily on performance and speed enhancements, rather than new features, although there were plenty of those too. The biggest news here perhaps is that iOS 12 will support iOS devices going back to 2013, as was the case with iOS 11.
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ARKit 2 brings a lot of new tools to the platform, including native Adobe Creative Suite integration. The company also introduced an all-new Measure app so that you can measure real-life items just by using your iPhone.
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With iOS 12, you’ll also see search refinements in the Photos app and a new section called For You where you’ll find sharing suggestions.
Siri is also getting smarter in iOS 12 thanks to the introduction of a Workflow-like app.
Apps updated in iOS 12 include News, Stocks, and Voice Memos. The iBooks app is now called Apple Books. It comes with lots of new features and sections.
CarPlay also gains support for third-party navigation apps.Digital wellness tools and Memojis
Two of the most significant new features in iOS 12 is the introduction of parental and wellness controls and all-new Memojis.
Do Not Disturb, Notifications, and Screen Time features are useful for parents and kids alike. The tools allow us to track our daily device usage and also quiet devices when needed.
The Do Not Disturb feature has been improved for bedtime and includes an automatic ending tool. You can turn Notification off during periods of the day or have them bypass the iOS Lock Screen.
Screen Time offers a weekly activity summary, which includes information on how long you use your device, right down to how often you pick the device up. You can also setup app allowances for yourself or your kids.
With Memojis, you can now create your own personal Animoji. The iOS 12 update also includes new Animoji faces and features too.Group FaceTime
Group FaceTime is also arriving with iOS 12. With the new tool, you can have FaceTime chats with up to 32 people at the same time.Precise text selection without 3D Touch
There’s now a keyboard trackpad mode on non-3D Touch devices. This includes older iPhones and the iPod touch.New 3D Touch shortcuts
Apple’s added a pair of new QR code and document scanner options to iOS 12 that can be accessed quickly by pressing the Notes or Camera icon on the Home screen with 3D Touch.Live Listen on AirPods
In iOS 12, AirPods are gaining the Live Listen feature found in hearing aids certified through Apple’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program. The feature, which is enabled in iPhone settings, turns an iOS device into a remote microphone, allowing you to hear a conversation in a noisy room.Automatic updates
Introduced in iOS 12, a new Automatic Updates option permits your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to automatically install the latest iOS software on its own as soon as new version is available.Siri in low-power mode
iOS 12 adds support for Hey Siri even when your iPhone’s battery is running low.
Previously disabled automatically as part of Low Power Mode, the untethered Hey Siri function has been upgraded in iOS 12 to work even when the battery is running low.Changes to Lock screen during restart
iOS 12 prevents taking screenshots and accessing the Camera shortcut from the Lock screen when your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch has just been restarted or turned on.Easier process to close apps on iPhone X
On iOS 12, iPhone X users can now swipe up to instantly close apps without holding them. This change was brought out to ensure iOS 12’s task switcher behaves consistently across iPhone and iPad.Face ID improvements
You can now add an “alternative appearance” under Face ID. In other words, you can now add another person who can open your iPhone X using their face.
Plus, unlocking an iPhone X after an unsuccessful Face ID attempt is easier in iOS 12, thanks to a useful new gesture available from your Lock screen.On iPad, some iPhone X gestures
From Apple’s website:
“iOS 12 for iPad includes updated gestures that make it easier to navigate. You can now go to the Home screen by swiping anywhere on the Dock. Get to Control Center more conveniently with a swipe from the top-right corner.”watchOS 5
The latest software for Apple Watch doesn’t include third-party faces as some had rumored. But it does add some new fitness-based tools and communication features.New challenges
The update includes the ability to challenge friends through weekly competitions. You’ll also find new workouts for yoga and hiking, and for runners. Finally, watchOS contains automatic workout detection too.Walkie-Talkie
One of the best watchOS 5 features may turn out to be Walkie-Talkie, which is available through Cellular and Wi-Fi.Updates to Siri face
Apple Watch is also adding new content to the Siri face, which first arrived last year. There’s also support here for predictive shortcuts and third-party apps. You can even talk to Siri without saying “hi Siri.”Podcasts, WebKit
Podcasts have also arrived on Apple Watch, as has a WebKit on watchOS. The latter will allow you to few web content in mail or messages.Rearranging Control Center
You can now rearrange Control Center toggles on your Apple Watch. This is the first time Apple Watch wearers have been able to customize the layout of their Control Center, directly from their wrist.Connect to nearby Wi-Fi networks
WatchOS 5 brings a handy option in the Settings menu that permits customers to manually connect their Apple Watch to nearby Wi-Fi networks.Bye-Bye original Apple Watch
The original Apple Watch won’t receive the watchOS 5 update when it arrives this fall. Indeed, it’s the end of the line for those first Apple Watch Edition models cost five figures.Bring up Control Center from anywhere
watchOS 5 brings a subtle yet hugely satisfying usability improvement: now you can launch Control Center or access your Notification Center from virtually any Apple Watch screen—and more importantly—from inside apps, including Apple’s stock apps as well as third-party ones.tvOS 12 Dolby ATMOS support
The most critical feature in tvOS 12 is the introduction of Dolby ATMOS support. You’ll find this support added to iTunes content already purchased.Easier sign-in
Apple also announced a zero sign-on feature that logs you into an app by merely being on your Wi-Fi network.
Do you love the wallpapers that come with Apple TV? You can now use your Siri Remote to tap and learn more about the aerial location, which will now include wallpapers from the International Space Station.macOS 10.14 Dark mode and updated Mac App Store Time-shifting wallpapers
MacOS Mojave brings a new Dynamic Desktop feature that automatically changes the new desktop wallpaper to match the time of day.
The operating system includes just one Dynamic Desktop example in form of a desert-themed photograph that changes seamlessly from day to night as time goes on.Desktop Stack feature
With Desktop Stacks, you can arrange your files by kind, dates, or tags. New Finder features include a gallery view, sidebar view with metadata, and quick actions. Quick Look now provides Markup support. MacOS Mojave is also adding a lot more screenshot tools including easy markup.Continuity Camera
With the all-new Continuity Camera feature, you can shoot a photo on your iPhoto and see it on your Mac automatically. New Mac apps include News, Stocks, and Voice Memos. The Home app also arrives on Mac.More Privacy
Safari also gained new privacy features, and you’ll see a new fingerprinting tool too. A lot of the Mac developer tools aren’t arriving until 2023.AirDrop saved website and app passwords
iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 bring improvements to AirDrop, Apple’s proprietary peer-to-peer file transfer feature, which can now be used to wirelessly send any saved passwords or usernames from one iPhone, iPad or Mac to another.No more social integration
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites no longer have third-party integration in macOS Mojave. The shift follows a similar move that was enacted with iOS 11 in 2023. With the change, accessing and sharing information with those services on your Mac will require a few more steps.Favicons return
Mojave brings back the long-awaited favicons to help visually distinguish between multiple open tabs. What’s more, favicons are available for the first time on iPhone and iPad thanks to iOS 12.iOS apps come to Mac
In macOS Mojave, Apple is bringing apps from iOS to the Mac for the first time, including News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home. The News app for Mac offers all the content you’ve come to expect from the curation app in a design that looks familiar.WWDC 2023
We’ll have much more to say about all of these software updates and the rest of WWDC 2023 over the coming days and months. In the meantime, what software features announced at WWDC did you like the most? Let us know below.
The WWDC in June is usually the first place new Apple hardware, software, and devices are shown. Sometimes they’re released at that point, and sometimes not until later in the fall, but it’s always a good measure of what Apple is planning. This week’s WWDC was no different and did not disappoint. Today we’ll discuss the changes to OS X Yosemite.OS X Yosemite
Looks are everything, or at least that is usually what Apple’s motto seems to be. They always have beautiful interfaces and strive to have it be the first thing people notice. Each version seems to be even more so. For OS X Yosemite, Apple is streamlining toolbars and making windows translucent so that what you notice is your wallpaper and your project. They’ve changed to a fresh new typeface as well, a sans serif style.
The Notification Center now includes a Today feature making it look just like iOS, as it includes your Calendar, Reminders, Weather, etc. And Spotlight now has function similar to Siri. You can now look up information such as movies, Wikipedia, news, etc. Your results are also interactive.
In Mail, you can now send larger attachments, up to 5GB. Large attachments are automatically uploaded to iCloud. If your recipient is also using Mail, they’ll be able to download normally. If they don’t, they’ll receive a link to download it. Markup is now included as well. You can add shapes and text and annotation by drawing on a multi-touch trackpad. You can also fill out forms and PDFs.
No longer are iMessages just text. Now you can record a quick audio clip and send it along with your text message or instead of your text message. You can also name the conversations that you’re having to make it easier to refer back to later. Additionally, you’ll be able to add more people to the conversation without having to start a new message or can leave the conversation when you’re done with it.
iCloud will now be built right into the Finder. It will work like just another folder, allowing you to drag and drop files and folders there. Offline changes will sync up when you connect again to the Web. You can easily keep things organized with tags. iCloud Drive can be accessed on all your devices. And now to share files, you can share not just between iOS devices, but between two Macs or between Mac and iOS.
And that brings up the biggest, most exciting change. Mac and iOS will now be connected more so than they have been in the past. When a Mac running OS X Yosemite is near a device running iOS 8, they’ll recognize each other and work together.
You will now be able to answer your iPhone calls on your Mac. You’ll get a notification of your calls right on your Mac screen when the phone is ringing. It will show you the caller’s name, number, and profile picture. You can answer it speaking and listening through your Mac or decline it with the same options as your iPhone. You will also be able to make calls from your Mac.
While Pages has been doing this for awhile, several of the native apps will allow you to “handoff” from Mac to iOS and vice versa. You can be writing an email, working on a document, entering a Calendar note, or browsing in Safari. You can leave you Mac and pick up your iPad or iPhone to continue without missing a beat.
You don’t have to worry about not having WiFi for your laptop. Your Mac can use the personal hotspot of your iPhone, as long as they are within a certain range of each other. You don’t need to do any setup for this. Your iPhone will appear in the WiFi menu on your Mac. If your Mac isn’t using it, it disconnects to save battery life.
You can also now use the beta version of OS X Yosemite. Hurry, though, as only the first one million users will be allowed to use the beta. If you download and use it, let us know what you think.
Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.
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Quibi is yet another video-streaming service founded by a titan of the entertainment industry. Jeffrey Katzenberg has some serious Hollywood clout as chairman of Disney during its animation renaissance and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation. While Katzenberg certainly has the credentials, how does Quibi hope to differentiate itself in an already over-crowded field? Read on to find out what Quibi is all about and whether or not you should subscribe.What Does Quibi Even Mean?
Quibi stands for “quick bites” and doubles as the ethos of the entire platform. Quibi is hoping to pioneer a new way of consuming television. All of the content on Quibi will take the form of short, episodic TV and movies divided into “chapters.” This means that viewers can watch an episode from start to finish in five to ten minutes.
The idea stems from the fact that most people have periodic downtime in their day. Whether that’s on their daily commute to work or while they’re putting together something for dinner, Quibi hopes to fill these gaps in our day with content. Because Quibi is designed to be watched in moments of spontaneity, Quibi is only available on mobile devices.What Kind of Content Will Quibi Have?
Quibi isn’t going to simply chop up existing TV shows into more manageable run times. Instead, Quibi is investing heavily into original content made specifically for this new format. With approximately $1.75 billion to play with, Quibi is courting big name stars and creative talent to develop their shows. With that sort of cash, Quibi is aiming to cover all of the bases.
Are cooking shows your thing? How about immersive prestige dramas? Are you a reality junkie? Do you love to laugh? What about being scared senseless? Quibi is aiming to scratch virtually every entertainment itch you can imagine.
Furthermore, Quibi will also feature non-scripted content such as documentaries and shows dedicated to news and popular culture. At launch, Quibi will be home to approximately 50 different shows, but expect that number to increase as time goes on.
One of the most interesting facets of Quibi is its unique approach to the way we hold our devices. Quibi employs “Turnstyle,” a sort of pan-and-scan technique that seamlessly makes the best use of your screen real estate, whether you’re holding it in landscape or portrait.Criticisms of Quibi
Despite being only a few days old, Quibi already has its critics. The biggest complaint about the new streaming service seems to be the fact that Quibi is available exclusively for mobile devices. Because of this, Quibi is not available on TVs in any way, shape or form. There is no Quibi app available for Android TV or other smart TV platforms. Additionally, there are no apps for the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Roku, game consoles or other streaming boxes. Furthermore, Quibi does not support Chromecast or AirPlay, so you can forget about casting your Quibi shows to your TV.Quibi Pricing Structure
Unlike other short-form video platforms like YouTube and TikTok, Quibi is a premium service. This means that there is no free option, so if you want to watch, you’re going to have to pony up those credit card details. That being said, Quibi is a bit cheaper than the competition. Quibi subscribers have a choice of two pricing tiers.
The base option is $4.99 per month; however, you’re going to have to sit through the occasional ad. Alternatively, you can opt for the premium tier which will run you $7.99 per month. These prices aren’t exactly cheap, and the folks at Quibi seem to recognize that. Because of this, Quibi is offering a 90-day free trial in the hopes of getting you hooked. But be quick – the 90-day free trial expires at the end of April.How Do I Get Quibi?
As we mentioned earlier, Quibi has been designed exclusively for mobile devices, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. For better or worse, this means that everything Quibi has to offer is going to be delivered to you solely through the screen of your phone.
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Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Two years ago, Google introduced Tensor — its first custom SoC for smartphones. Thanks to an enduring partnership with Samsung’s semiconductor division and its own engineering talent, we’re now on our second generation unique Tensor chip, the latest of which powers the Pixel 7 series. Even though the project receives some criticism for its lack of absolute top-tier performance in favor of AI smarts, there’s no arguing with the success of recent Pixel models.
Tensor has freed Google to leverage its AI expertise and build brand-new experiences that would otherwise be impossible, which have become core to the Pixel’s identity. Thanks to a source inside Google, we’ve gained a lot of insight into the upcoming Google Pixel 8 series of phones, as well as the SoC that will power them — Tensor G3 (codename zuma). Let’s get right into it.
Ray-tracing graphics onboard
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Graphics has always been a focus of Google’s Tensor line-up, even if the latest Tensor G2 doesn’t top the performance benchmarks. The original Tensor’s absolutely massive 20-core Mali-G78 configuration (out of a maximum of 24 cores) outclassed Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and Samsung’s Exynos 2100 but was quickly outmuscled by newer models. Still, beefy graphics are useful for neural network applications that run more efficiently on a GPU than Google’s TPU.
Although Google moved to a newer Mali-G710, Tensor G2 benchmarks showed the seven-core setup only provided better sustainable performance rather than any tangible graphics performance uplift. Tensor G3 in the Pixel 8 will rectify this with a predictable upgrade to the Arm Mali-G715.The first smartphone chip with AV1 encode
The first-generation Google Tensor employed a hybrid architecture for its video accelerators; it used a generic Samsung Multi-Function Codec (MFC) IP block, the same as on Exynos chips, but it had AV1 support explicitly cut out. That’s where Google’s custom “BigOcean” hardware video decoder block came in. ”BigOcean” supports up to 4K60 AV1 video decoding. Tensor G2 mostly left the hardware block unchanged, retaining the same decoding capabilities.
Tensor G3 finally upgrades the video block. Firstly, the MFC block now supports 8K30 video decoding/encoding in H.264 and HEVC (other configurations remain unchanged). It is important to note that, as of now, a special internal version of Google Camera used to test the Pixel 8 series does not support recording 8K video, and, in my opinion, it’s unlikely it ever will. Pixels already struggle with thermals while recording 4K, not to mention how quickly it’d fill up the storage.An improved TPU for AI smarts
The main focus of Tensor is undoubtedly AI. After distilling its edgeTPU server ML accelerators down to the Pixel 4’s Pixel Neural Core, Google’s first-generation Tensor shipped with a built-in TPU codenamed “Abrolhos” running at 1.0GHz. It delivered excellent performance, especially in Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks.
Tensor G2 upgraded the TPU to the codename “Janeiro,” still running at 1.0GHz. Google claimed it was up to 60% faster than the original chip in camera and speech tasks. Tensor G3 predictably includes a new version of the TPU — codename “Rio” and running at 1.1GHz. While I don’t currently have any specific data regarding its performance, “Rio” should still be a considerable upgrade.
Other Tensor G3 improvements heading to the Pixel 8
Robert Triggs / Android AuthorityGXP to offload more processing
Tensor G2 introduced a new element that wasn’t discussed much — Google’s custom “Aurora” digital signal processor (DSP), also called GXP. DSPs are specialized processors for tasks such as image processing, which is exactly how Google utilizes it. GXP replaces the GPU in many common image processing steps, such as deblurring and local tone mapping (it does more than just that, but details are scarce, and it’s out of scope of this article anyway). This makes these common operations faster and more efficient.
Tensor G2 shipped with a first-generation GXP (codename “amalthea”) in a 4-core configuration with 512KB of tightly-coupled memory per core, all running at 975MHz. Tensor G3 has a brand-new second-generation GXP (codename “callisto”) in a similar 4-core, 512KB/core configuration, with a modest frequency uplift of 1065MHz.Faster UFS memory
Tensor G3 includes a new version of Samsung’s UFS controller, which now supports UFS 4.0 storage. UFS 4.0 is a major upgrade over UFS 3.1, doubling its theoretical speeds and improving efficiency by up to 50%.
Other flagship smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, already feature UFS4.0 storage. This upgraded controller will allow the Google Pixel 8 to catch up and close the gap.No major modem upgrades
One of the major shortcomings of the original Tensor was its weak Samsung Exynos Modem 5123 modem. It lagged behind other vendors, in terms of performance and supported standards, and had major power consumption and thermal problems. Not to mention the initial stability issues, although those have been greatly reduced through software updates.
Tensor G2 switched to the Exynos Modem 5300. It brought performance and efficiency improvements, but for the most part, it didn’t solve the thermal and power consumption problems. According to rumors, the Tensor G3 will still use the same modem, although it’s a slightly different variant.
Tensor G3 will power the Google Pixel 8
That’s everything you need to know about Google’s upcoming chip. Tensor has given Google more control over the direction of its smartphone brand while providing experiences you can’t emulate on rival handsets. That recipe is going to be critical to the upcoming Pixel 8 series.
Unlike Tensor G2, which was a more minor refresh, Tensor G3 seems to be a bigger upgrade. Google is looking to become competitive in general applications processing, and with the CPU and GPU upgrades it’s making, it might just do it.
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