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Apple unveils iOS 10, takes on Messenger

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Apple today previewed iOS 10, featuring a huge update to Messages that delivers more expressive and animated ways to message friends and family, like stickers and full-screen effects.

iOS 10 introduces the ability for Siri to do more by working with apps, beautifully redesigned Maps, Photos, Apple Music and News apps, and the Home app, delivering a simple and secure way to manage home automation products in one place. iOS 10 opens up incredible opportunities to developers with Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages.

“iOS 10 is our biggest release ever, with delightful new ways to express yourself in Messages, a native app for Home automation and beautifully redesigned apps for Music, Maps, and News that are more intuitive and more powerful, making everything you love about your iPhone and iPad even better,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “iOS 10 adds Siri intelligence into QuickType and Photos, automates your home with the new Home app and opens up Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages to developers — while increasing security and privacy with powerful technologies like Differential Privacy.”

Personal & Expressive Messages

Messages is the most frequently used iOS app, and with iOS 10 it is more expressive and fun with animated and personalized ways to message friends and family.

Messages includes powerful animations, such as balloons, confetti or fireworks that can take over an entire screen to celebrate a special occasion, invisible ink to send a message only revealed after a friend swipes over it, and for added personalization, handwritten notes. Automatic suggestions make it easy to replace words with emoji, Tapback creates a quick and simple way to respond with just a tap and rich links let you see content inline and play media without ever leaving your conversation.

iOS 10 brings the power of the App Store to Messages, opening up new opportunities for developers to create fun new ways for users to communicate in a thread, including stickers to be peeled and pasted into conversations, the ability to quickly personalize GIFs or edit photos, send payments or schedule dinner or a movie, all from within Messages.

Siri Opens to Developers

In iOS 10, Siri can be extended into major new areas and do more than ever by working with the apps you love to use. For the first time, developers can build on the intelligence Siri offers and let users interact directly with apps using just their voice. SiriKit helps developers easily design their apps to work with Siri for messaging, phone calls, photo search, ride booking, personal payments and workouts, or use Siri to control CarPlay apps, access climate controls or adjust radio settings within automakers’ apps.

Beautifully Redesigned Maps

Maps in iOS 10 gets a beautiful redesign that makes it even simpler and more intuitive to use. Now open to developers with new extensions, apps like OpenTable can integrate bookings right into Maps, and services like Uber and Lyft can make it easier for users to book a ride, without ever leaving the Maps app. Maps is even smarter with new intelligence that proactively delivers directions to where you most likely want to go next, based on your routine or appointments on your calendar. Once a route is planned, Maps can search along the route for gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops and more and provides an estimate of how the stop impacts the length of your trip.

Rediscover Memories in Photos

Photos in iOS 10 helps you rediscover favorite and forgotten occasions from your photo library by automatically surfacing them in Memories. Memories scans all your photos and videos and finds favorite and forgotten events, trips, and people, and presents them in a beautiful collection. A Memory also contains the Memory Movie, an automatically edited movie with theme music, titles and cinematic transitions.

Memories uses advanced computer vision to group the people, places and things inside your images into albums with on-device facial, object and scene recognition. This intelligence brings Memories and Related photos to life in a way that’s personal and meaningful to you, while maintaining your privacy.

Home App for Simpler Home Automation

The Home app is deeply integrated into iOS, delivering a simple and secure way to set up, manage and control your home in one place. Accessories can be managed individually or grouped into scenes so they work together with a single command and can be controlled by using Siri. They can be managed remotely or set up for home automation with Apple TV, and can respond with automatic triggers set by time of day, location or action.

Support for HomeKit continues to expand globally with nearly 100 home automation products adopting HomeKit this year, bringing support for thermostats, lights, window shades, door locks, video cameras and more to the Home app. Later this year, leading home builders, including Brookfield Residential, KB Home, Lennar Homes and R&F Properties, will begin integrating many of these HomeKit devices into new homes.

All-New Design for Apple Music & News

Apple Music has an all-new design, bringing greater clarity and simplicity to every aspect of the experience. It uses a new design language that allows the music to become the hero and a new structure that makes it easy to navigate and discover new music. The Library, For You, Browse and Radio tabs have been completely redesigned to provide an even greater sense of place, and we’ve added a Search tab to make finding music even easier. All of these changes come together to create a design that is clear and intuitive. iOS 10 features a redesigned News app with a new For You, organized into distinct sections that make it easier to find stories, support for breaking news notifications and paid subscriptions.

iOS Experience

In iOS 10, accessing the information you need is easier and quicker than ever. Raise to Wake automatically wakes the screen as you raise your iPhone, making it easier to view all your notifications at a glance, right from the Lock screen. Notifications, Today view and Control Center are accessible with just a swipe or a press, and deeper 3D Touch integration with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus makes interacting with apps even easier.

Additional iOS 10 Features

  • Siri intelligence brings new QuickType features, including contextual predictions to surface relevant information based on location, calendar availability or contacts; and predictive typing supports multiple languages without switching keyboards.
  • Phone adds integration for third-party VoIP calls, voicemail transcription and a new caller ID extension for spam alerts.
  • Built-in app updates include Safari split-view for iPad, Notes collaboration and Live Photos editing.
  • Apple Pay can now be used to make easy, secure, and private purchases on participating websites using Safari, in addition to paying in-stores and within apps.
  • Bedtime Alarm in the Clock app lets you set a regular sleep schedule and receive bedtime reminders.

Privacy in iOS 10

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. iMessage, FaceTime and HomeKit use end-to-end encryption to protect your data by making it unreadable by Apple and others. iOS 10 uses on-device intelligence to identify the people, objects and scenes in Photos, and power QuickType suggestions. Services like Siri, Maps and News send data to Apple’s servers, but this data is not used to build user profiles.

Starting with iOS 10, Apple is using technology called Differential Privacy to help discover the usage patterns of a large number of users without compromising individual privacy. In iOS 10, this technology will help improve QuickType and emoji suggestions, Spotlight deep link suggestions and Lookup Hints in Notes.

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Tech promotes connections across groups in emerging markets

Digital technology users say they more regularly interact with people from diverse backgrounds

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Smartphone users – especially those who use social media – say they are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with friends they don’t see in person, a Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 emerging economies finds.

South Africa, included in the study, has among the most consistent levels of connection across age groups and education levels and in terms of cross-cultural connections. This suggests both that smartphones have had a greater democratisation impact in South Africa, but also that the country is more geared to diversity than most others. Of 11 countries surveyed, it has the second-lowest spread between those using smartphones and those not using them in terms of exposure to other religious groups.

Across every country surveyed, those who use smartphones are more likely than those who use less sophisticated phones or no phones at all to regularly interact with people from different religious groups. In most countries, people with smartphones also tend to be more likely to interact regularly with people from different political parties, income levels and racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

The Center’s new report is the third in a series exploring digital connectivity among populations in emerging economies based on nationally representative surveys of adults in Colombia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam. Earlier reports examined attitudes toward misinformation and mobile technology’s social impact

The survey finds that smartphone and social media use are intertwined: A median of 91% of smartphone users in these countries also use social media or messaging apps, while a median of 81% of social media users say they own or share a smartphone. And, as with smartphone users, social media and messaging app users stand apart from non-users in how often they interact with people who are different from them. For example, 52% of Mexican social media users say they regularly interact with people of a different income level, compared with 28% of non-users. 

These results do not show with certainty that smartphones or social media are the cause of people feeling like they have more diverse networks. For example, those who have resources to buy and maintain a smartphone are likely to differ in many key ways from those who don’t, and it could be that some combination of those differences drives this phenomenon. Still, statistical modelling indicates that smartphone and social media use are independent predictors of greater social network diversity when other factors such as age, education and sex are held constant. 

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile phones and social media are broadening people’s social networks. More than half in most countries say they see in person only about half or fewer of the people they call or text. Mobile phones are also allowing many to stay in touch with people who live far away: A median of 93% of mobile phone users across the 11 countries surveyed say their phones have mostly helped them keep in touch with those who are far-flung. When it comes to social media, large shares report relationships with “friends” online who are distinct from those they see in person. A median of 46% of Facebook users across the 11 countries report seeing few or none of their Facebook friends in person regularly, compared with a median of 31% of Facebook users who often see most or all of their Facebook friends in person. 
  • Social activities and information seeking on subjects like health and education top the list of mobile activities. The survey asked mobile phone users about 10 different activities they might do on their mobile phones – activities that are social, information-seeking or commercial in nature. Among the most commonly reported activities are casual, social activities. For example, a median of 82% of mobile phone users in the 11 countries surveyed say they used their phone over the past year to send text messages and a median of 69% of users say they took pictures or videos. Many mobile phone users are also using their phones to find new information. For example, a median of 61% of mobile phone users say they used their phones over the past year to look up information about health and medicine for themselves or their families. This is more than the proportion that reports using their phones to get news and information about politics (median of 47%) or to look up information about government services (37%). Additionally, around half or more of mobile phone users in nearly all countries report having used their phones over the past 12 months to learn something important for work or school. 
  • Digital divides emerge in the new mobile-social environment. People with smartphones and social media – as well as younger people, those with higher levels of education, and men – are in some ways reaping more benefits than others, potentially contributing to digital divides. 
    • People with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices – even if the activity itself is quite simple. For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. Those who have smartphones are also much more likely to look up information for their households, including about health and government services. 
    •  There are also major differences in mobile usage by age and education level in how their devices are – or are not – broadening their horizons. Younger people are more likely to use their phones for nearly all activities asked about, whether those activities are social, information-seeking or commercial. Phone users with higher levels of education are also more likely to do most activities on their phones and to interact with those who are different from them regularly than those with lower levels of education. 
    •  Gender, too, plays a role in what people do with their devices and how they are exposed to different people and information. Men are more likely than women to say they encounter people who are different from them, whether in terms of race, politics, religion or income. And men tend to be more likely to look up information about government services and to obtain political news and information. 

These findings are drawn from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28,122 adults in 11 countries from Sept. 7 to Dec. 7, 2018. In addition to the survey, the Center conducted focus groups with participants in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia in March 2018, and their comments are included throughout the report. 

Read the full report at https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/08/22/in-emerging-economies-smartphone-and-social-media-users-have-broader-social-networks.

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Nokia to be first with Android 10

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Nokia is likely to be the first smartphone brand to roll out Android 10, after its manufacturer, HMD Global, announced that the Android 10 software upgrade would start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Previously named Android Q, it was given the number after Google announced it was ditching sweet and dessert names due to confusion in different languages. Android 10 is due for release at the end of the year.

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer of HMD Global said: “With a proven track record in delivering software updates fast, Nokia smartphones were the first whole portfolio to benefit from a 2-letter upgrade from Android Nougat to Android Oreo and then Android Pie. We were the fastest manufacturer to upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie across the range. 

“With today’s roll out plan we look set to do it even faster for Android Pie to Android 10 upgrades. We are the only manufacturer 100% committed to having the latest Android across the entire portfolio.”

HMD Global has given a guarantee that Nokia smartphone owners benefit from two years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.

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