Sony’s Unreleased WH-1000XM4 Headphones Show Up on a Number of Web Sites

 

 

When it comes to wireless over-ear Bluetooth audio, Sony’s flagship WH-1000MX3 headphones are among the best on the market.  The launch of the fourth-generation model appears to be right around the corner.  In the meantime you can purchase these from certain Web Sites.  Use Google to do a search and “Hey Presto” they are available.

So what are the features of  Sony’s WH-1000MX4 noise cancelling headphones, including some notable new features and a $348 (£269 U.K.)  price tag?

The specifications list, of the forthcoming model will include Edge-AI, Sony’s latest codec for upscaling compressed audio files in real-time. This technology uses artificial intelligence to restore the high-range sound which is lost in compression.  Sony states that this allows for a richer, more complete listening experience.

Adaptive Sound Control is a new mode that lets users create custom profiles in the companion app that will adjust the noise cancelling based on location, and new Precise Voice Pickup Technology promises to pick up the user’s voice better through the five built-in microphones when on a call.

The 1000XM4’s will now be be able to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. This is a big plus – previous models haven’t supported dynamic switching between audio sources.  This meant that users had to manually disconnect the headsets from for example an “‌iPhone“‌ so that they could be  connected to say a “Mac” and vice versa.

Bose’s QC35 and 700 headphones can be  paired with two devices and can automatically switch between them based on which one is transmitting an audio signal. In our Bluetooth age, it’s hard to overstate just how convenient and useful this feature is.

As is the case with the current model, the 1000XM4’s will offer 30 hours of wired/wireless battery life on a single charge, and users will be able to get five hours’ worth of charge after 10 minutes connected to a power outlet. Sony hasn’t officially announced the new 1000XM4’s yet, but a search of the Web will show that these headsets are available for purchase from numerous outlets.

This article which is modified from, “Sony’s Unreleased WH-1000XM4 Headphones Show Up in Walmart Listing” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Gmail App’s Dark Mode for iPad and iPhone

Has Gmail App’s Dark Mode Finally been Perfected for iPhone and iPad?

The image above lets you see what “Dark Mode is about.

After many false starts and software with problems of functionality, Google appears to have mastered the long-awaited “dark mode” for Gmail.

This functionality is for Apple iPad and iPhone.

Version 6.0.200519 of Gmail, which propagated through the App Store overnight, includes the following release notes:

” You can now switch between dark or light theme after upgrading to iOS 13.

You can use the system theme set by default.

Google first announced dark mode for its Gmail app in September 2019.

Progress since then has been patchy on iOS.

Problems such as users managing to activate dark mode in the app, only to find that it vanishes when they close the iPad or iPhone and restart it.

Some potential users haven’t been able to access the feature at all.

The recent update should hopefully bring to an end months of waiting for a significant number of users.

To enable dark mode in Gmail on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, update the app on your device, then follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Gmail app.
  2. Tap the Menu icon (the three lines) in the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings.
  4. Tap Theme. (If you don’t see the option, try force-quitting and then relaunching the app.)
  5. Select Light, Dark, or System default.

The latter option makes Gmail’s theme default to your device’s system settings. This default option is useful if you’ve set the appearance of IOS to change automatically depending on the time of day.

Note that if your device is running iOS 11 or iOS 12, you’ll see a Dark theme toggle instead of a Theme submenu in the Settings screen.

 

This edited article, first appeared in full on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s Foldable iPhone – Rumour or Reality?

iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by a Hinge

 

Samsung has already brought to the market a foldable smart phone the “Galaxy Z Phone 5G”.

It is too early to comment on how successful the Samsung product will be in the market.

 

APPLE is working on a foldable iPhone prototype.

Reportedly it will feature two separate display panels that are connected by a hinge.

The Samsung Z Phone has a single display across the fold.

Though the ‌iPhone‌ features two separate displays connected by a hinge, it is claimed that the panels look “fairly continuous and seamless.”

 

SAMSUNG’S Galaxy Fold

Samsung’s foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is designed as a single display with a fold in the middle that allows it to open and close.

 

Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Duo

It is reported that Apple’s prototype looks similar to Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Surface Duo

The Microsoft phones are foldable dual display devices that feature two displays connected with a hinge.

 

There is no indicative time scale of when Apple might develop a foldable ‌iPhone‌.

However, there have been rumours about work on such a device dating back to 2016.

Patents for such a device have been filed.

It’s not clear if the foldable ‌iPhone‌ will ever move out of a prototyping stage, but it doesn’t look like a foldable device is launching in the near future.

 

Perhaps Apple will await to see how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G progresses in the market and how dependable and durable it turns out to be when in the hands of users.   This could be a “wait and see situation”.  It will also let provide Apple with additional time to further develop their product.

 

This abridged article is taken from MacRumors.comApple’s Foldable iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by Hinge

 

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Should You Buy an iPad or a Laptop?

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet, and starting with iOS 10, Apple opened up the operating system and allowed third-party apps access to features like Siri. As the iPad continues to grow in processing power and versatility, will it replace other more bulky computers i.e. the Laptop?

Here are a few areas where the iPad has an advantage over the PC.

iPad Pro with and without a keyboard

 Security

The iPad is actually quite secure when compared to a PC.  It’s almost impossible for a virus to infect an iPad because viruses work by jumping from one app to the next.  The architecture of the  iPad OS software puts a wall around each app.

It’s also difficult to get malware onto the iPad. On a PC, malware can do things like record all of the keys you press and let someone remotely control your computer. It often makes its way in by tricking the user into installing it.  Apple, continues to maintains full control over the App Store, meaning it checks each new App thus controlling or eliminating rogue developers adding Apps.  The only way to add software to the iPad is via the Apple store.

The iPad also provides tools to secure your data and the device itself. The Find My iPad feature allows you to track your device if you misplace or lose it. You can also lock it and wipe its data remotely.  With the  the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, you can secure your data with your fingerprint.

Performance

Various models of iPad Pro have used Apple’s A9X, A10X, and A12X chips. These processors are comparable to Intel’s i5 and i7s, and in many cases, they’re even better. You can get better hardware in an iPad Pro than you’ll find in an entry-level laptop, and comparable builds to standard-issue ones. PCs are available that can outperform an iPad Pro, but you’ll end up paying a lot more for them.

Value relative to Price

The iPad and a PC (at the lower specification end) can be similar in terms of the prices you’ll see at the store, but you’re going to pay more for a higher specification and performance model powerful enough to do more than browse the web and with higher life expectancy.

The iPad comes with Apple’s iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and the iLife suite (GarageBand and iMovie). While Microsoft Office is more powerful than iWork, Apple’s office suite is up to the task for most people. And if you want to find the equivalent of iMovie for the PC, you’ll have to buy it separately.

Versatility

The iPad comes with software you won’t find in comparable PCs, but it also has some added features you won’t find.  In addition to  Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the newest iPads have good cameras built into them. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a 12 MP camera that can compete with most smartphones. The bigger Pro and the iPad Air 2 both have an 8 MP back-facing camera, which can still take pretty good pictures.

The iPad is also more mobile than a laptop (due to size and weight), which is a big selling point. This mobility isn’t just about carrying it with you when you travel. The biggest selling point is how easy it is to carry around your house or office.

You can get some of the same versatility with a Windows-based tablet, but when compared to a laptop or desktop PC, the iPad certainly has an advantage.

 

Reliability and Simplicity

One of the biggest reasons a PC’s performance degrades over time and it begins to crash more often is user error, particularly installing software that loads when you power up the PC, not doing a proper shutdown when powered off, and many other common mistakes that can eventually plague a PC

The iPad doesn’t have these problems. While it may become slower or experience strange bugs over time, you can usually clear these up with a simple reboot. The iPad doesn’t allow apps to self-load at start-up, so they won’t suffer a slow degradation of performance.  A user can’t power down an iPad without it running through a proper shutdown sequence

This simplicity helps keep the iPad bug free and in good working order.

 

User Friendly

It biggest selling point is that it is easy to use and hard to “mess up”.  This means ever member in a household can use it from the youngest to the oldest.  There are also Apps to meet every taste – games, educational, finance, movies, recreational etc, etc.  With the picture quality available on the iPad, the quality of the images even on a movie (which is normally made for wide cinema screens) does little to detract from your enjoyment of this media.

The iPad’s parental restrictions let you control the type of apps, games, music, and movies younger members of your family are allowed to download and watch.

Items above are a “taster” for iPad features and are an abridged article from Lifewire.

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iTunes U to be Discontinued at the End of 2021

iTunes

iTunes U will be discontinued by Apple at the end of 2021, according to a new support document shared by the company today.

Apple says that iTunes U tools have been replaced with next-generation apps for teachers and students, which include Classroom and Schoolwork, plus the Apple School Manager tool.

Apple has been busy building the next generation of apps for both teachers and students:

Classroom App turns an iPad into a powerful teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.

Schoolwork App assists teachers save time and maximize each student’s potential by making it easy for teachers to share class materials, get students to a specific activity in an app, work with students, and view student progress.

 Apple has also introduced Apple School Manager to enable IT Administrators to manage iPads, Macs, Apple TV, Apple IDs, books, and apps, while ensuring data is kept secure and private. Apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, Clips, and Swift Playgrounds have education-specific features that are used regularly by teachers and students.

Given the changes and additions listed above, Apple will discontinue iTunes U at the end of 2021. iTunes U will continue to be available to all existing customers through the 2020-2021 educational year.

Apple has stated, iTunes U will be available for the 2020 to 2021 educational year, with support ending in late 2021. For public content publishers, until iTunes U is discontinued, new and existing content will be available publicly, but Apple suggests creators start exploring other options. Current iTunes U users can continue publishing content through Apple Podcasts or Apple Books.

iTunes U has been around since 2007, and was built in to the iTunes app to provide university lectures and learning content from U.S. colleges. iTunes U allowed educators to create courses with audio, media, handouts, ebooks, and more, with the iTunes U app available for users to access their collections on iPhone and ‌iPad‌.

When Apple started to transition away from iTunes in 2017, iTunes U content was discontinued as a standalone feature and was transitioned into the Podcasts app and the Podcasts section of iTunes. Support for iTunes U has since been dwindling, with Apple instead focusing on new educational tools.

This abridged article of, “Apple Discontinuing iTunes U at the End of 2021” first appeared on MacRumors.com

New Galaxy Z Fold2 5G – Is it Worth Consideration?

The  Galaxy Z Fold2 has arrived and is being promoted via the media and network phone companies.

The build quality of this phone is superior to its predecessors, the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip.  Whether the phone  its folded or unfolded, there’s a solidity to the device that previous Galaxy versions lacked.

The Galaxy Z Fold2’s has a  re-engineered design which brings about improvement in quality .  The new Hideaway Hinge, ensures the device now unfolds smoothly and securely. Not only does the hinge allow the device to open up completely flat, it disappears within the phone’s body when it’s unfolded.  This design allows the phone to sit open at nearly any angle. This may not appear to be a big deal, but if you like to video chat or watch movies on your phone while doing something else it is very useful.

A range of new colours have been added (Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze), with a brushed texture along the sides of the device. The use of Gorilla Glass Victus on the expanded cover screen and Gorilla Glass Six on the rear of the phone  help the Galaxy Z Fold2 feel that it is worth a hefty price tag.  This 2020 phone, is compatible with 5G if your network supplier offers it.

The Reality of having a larger screen for your use.
The major attraction of folding phones  has always been the ability to fit a bigger, tablet-like device into your pocket.  When fully unfolded, the phone’s Infinity Flex main screen is impressive. There is 7.6 inches of viewing area.  That makes the phone ideal for reading or watching video.  Making things look even sharper and clearer is a 120 Hz adaptable refresh rate, meaning the picture moves smoothly.

Samsung also includes features such as Flex Mode, Multi-Active Window and App Continuity, turning the phone into a multi-tasking machine. Multi tasking such as texting  or sending an e-mail without clicking off the show you’re watching can be accommodated.  Rearrange your app windows on the main screen and you can do just that. Want a closer look at a picture in an article you were reading? Open up your phone and it’s right there without even having to click.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 in Mystic Bronze
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 in Mystic Bronze

The Camera and Battery Life continue be at the upper end of life expectation.
The phone continues to have a multiple camera system. While multiple cameras have been standard on high-end smartphones for a while, few give you five to work with. There are two 10-megapixel selfie cameras, on the front cover and main screen, with three 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the device (with ultra-wide, wide-angle and telephoto lenses). The brand’s camera app is easy to use and is capable of producing professional-quality photos and 4K videos regardless of the time of day.  An intelligent 4500mAh dual battery will make charging concerns a thing of the past, as it adjusts power usage throughout the day based on how you’re using the phone.

Summary
With the Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung has succeeded in making folding smartphones something to be taken seriously.  The brand’s latest device isn’t perfect (no phone is).  The jury is still out on the folding screen’s long-term durability.  Only time and usage will enable a verdict to be arrived at.

The biggest attraction of this folding phone will be to assist in reducing the number of  devices—phones, tablets and laptops— that some need to carry about every day.  The Fold2 should help decide if some of this hardware can be discarded.

iPhone or iPad Aesthetic Wallpaper

What is iPhone or iPad Aesthetic Wallpaper?

Apple iPad Wallpaper

A wallpaper is a window to your iPhone or iPad. It’s the first thing you see when you look at the opening screen on your iPhone or iPad. Something we tend to do dozens, or hundreds of times a day. Maybe you’re happy with a the standard opening screen and if so, that is fine. But what if you want a little more variety or are seeking to project your own personality onto the screen up from time? How do you go about changing the wallpaper on your iPhone or iPad? Read on to find out.

iPad aesthetic wallpaper

10 Different Ways to Change iPhone or iPad Wallpaper

Before we begin, please note that the steps below and the screenshots are for iOS 13. iOS 13 is currently available in Public Beta and it will be available as an update to all users in September.

Please note this is an abridged report of full and detailed instructions taken from iphonehacks.com

1. Set A Stock Wallpaper From Settings

Apple iPad aesthetic Wallpaper

 

You can quickly switch to a different wallpaper that Apple provides using Settings. Apple has a great set of stock wallpapers, especially if you’re using an iPhone X and higher, and iOS 13. You’ll see a great collection of colourful and dark wallpapers, along with Live Photos and Dynamic wallpapers. For example, iOS 13 users can use four new wallpapers that changed based on Light mode and Dark mode.

 

Go to Settings -> Wallpaper -> Choose New Wallpaper to get started. Here you’ll find three categories: Dynamic, Stills, and Live. You’ll also see all your photos below, but we’ll get to that in the next section. Go to a section, tap on a wallpaper to select and preview it. Tap on Set and then choose if you want to set the wallpaper on the Lock screen, Home screen, or both. And that’s it, your wallpaper has been changed.

2. Set Your Own Photo as Wallpaper

3. Use a Wallpaper App

4. Set Live Photos as Wallpaper

5. Download Wallpapers From Web

6. Edit and Crop Your Own Wallpapers

7. Manage and Sync Wallpaper Collection Using Files

8. Change Wallpaper Daily Using Shortcuts

9. Set Wallpaper From Online Source Using Shortcuts

10. Set a GIF as a Wallpaper

I have not detailed all items on numbers 1 to 10 above but by clicking on the links you will be taken to the Web Site with detailed instructions.

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Apple’s COVID-19 Screening Tool shares Response with Health Authorities.

Apple-Covid Screening App

Covid-19 Screening Tool Lets You Anonymously Share Your Responses With Health Authorities. [U.S.A. applicable] for U.K. see footnote.

Apple has updated its COVID-19 screening tool with an option for users to anonymously share their responses with Apple, state public health agencies. as noted by TechCrunch.

Apple says the information collected will be used to improve the tool and to better understand the spread of COVID-19. The company ensures that no personally identifiable information will be shared, such as your name or your phone number i.e. data will be held anonymously. Your information will also be aggregated with others’ responses as an additional privacy measure.

Apple’s commitment to privacy:

If you choose to share your responses, they will be provided to Apple in a way that does not personally identify you. Apple will then provide reports to the CDC and approved state public health agencies. Only information that has been both de-identified and aggregated will be provided to the CDC and state public health agencies. This means that no information that could identify you or your individual responses to the tool will be included. Information about the pre-existing conditions you select will also not be shared; only the total number of conditions that you select.

The CDC and approved state public health agencies may only use the information to improve the tool and for purposes related to managing the COVID‑19 pandemic. Further, the CDC and state public health agencies are required to comply with privacy and security protections, including not further disclosing the information and implementing appropriate safeguards.

Apple’s screening tool allows users to answer a series of questions regarding risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms and receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider.

The tool, available online and as an iPhone app, also offers access to COVID-19 resources to help people stay informed and get support. For example, there are answers to frequently asked questions about the virus.

The screening tool can be used by anyone who is 18 years of age or older in the United States. Apple says the tool does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities

This article,  first appeared on MacRumors.com

Footnote – U.K. 

Within the four countries of the U.K. different systems have been developed using Apple IOS operating system and Microsoft Android operating system.  In Northern Ireland an App can be downloaded from Apple Store or Google Play .

This App will  inform you if you are in close contact with an app user who has added a positive COVID-19 test result to their app, however their identity and location will not be given.  If you test positive for COVID-19 you can add the result to the app.  This will notify other app users that you have been in close contact with, but will not reveal your identity.

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Apple iOS Operating System – Five Recommendations

Apple iOS

You may scratch your head and ask “What is iOS“?

iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware.

There are so many apps in the iOS App Store that it can be difficult to find new apps to download, plus it’s easy to overlook great apps that are a bit older. This week’s picks include apps for managing tasks, finding content on Netflix, and organising your home, plus some fun games.

  • Tasks (Free) – Tasks is a to-do app that lets you create tasks that you need to work on, either immediately or over time. You can organise everything in your life into different categories like Family, Home, Office and more, with sub tasks that can be used for managing projects. Tasks can be managed by the list they’re organised in or by date for those that are due soon. Plenty of features are available, like tags, multi-user support, date detection, image support, and more. Tasks is free, but unlocking “Plus” features requires an in-app purchase.
  • New on Flix (Free) – Looking for something new to watch on Netflix? New on Flix is the app for you. It’s not an official Netflix app and it’s pretty simple – it just shows you what new content is added to Netflix every day. New on Flix is free, but you can pay $0.99 to remove ads.
  • Homer (Free) – Homer is a digital binder that keeps track of everything needed to run your house. You can take pictures of appliance receipts and warranties, log repairs, take stock of the items in each room, make shopping lists for things you need, and more.
  • Crashy Cats (Free) – Crashy Cats is an endless runner where the goal is to take on the role of a cat to jump, bounce, and fly through levels while knocking over as many things as possible. It’s free to play, but there are in-app purchases for additional in-game “Fish” currency.
  • SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit (Apple Arcade) – SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit is a new ‌Apple Arcade‌ game that’s described as a platform runner. In the app, players take on the role of SpongeBob to defeat Plankton’s minions and rescue SpongeBob’s friends.  It’s free and there are no ads, but a $4.99 per month subscription to ‌Apple Arcade‌ is required.

This abridged article, “Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out – June 2020” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Promotes Multiplication Benefits of iPhone and Apple Watch Integration

Apple Products

Apple has launched a new webpage promoting the benefits of integration between iPhone and Apple Watch. “Add them together. Multiply their power,” reads the minisite, which highlights the benefits that come with using the two devices together.

Scrolling down the vector image-based page brings some of the more basic features into view first, like the ability to answer or decline a phone call or FaceTime call on ‌Apple Watch‌, and then transfer it to your ‌iPhone‌.

Messages are next, with ‌Apple Watch‌ features like quick replies, Tapback, emoji support and Scribbles covered, as well as the ability to ask Siri to compose or reply to an incoming message using your voice.

The site goes on to highlight the two devices’ deep Camera app integration and the way you can use ‌Apple Watch‌ to remotely set up a shot on ‌iPhone‌, including the ability to frame and shoot, zoom in and out, switch between the ‌iPhone‌’s front and back cameras, and switch between camera modes.

Apple shines a light on the music capabilities of ‌Apple Watch‌, such as Apple Music streaming, playlist support, and remote ‌iPhone‌ playback controls. There is a section on ‌Apple Watch‌ health functions with iOS Health and Activity app integration, as well as mentions for hand’s off support in Maps, Find My, and Apple Pay.

The site does a good job of surfacing some lesser known features available to prospective customers who might be thinking about pairing the two devices.

This article, “Apple Webpage Promotes Unique Benefits of iPhone and Apple Watch Integration” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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