Apple has just wrapped up its Worldwide Developer Conference in California, unveiling a brand new MacBook Air with the M2 chip, iOS 16 and even its own version of a buy now, pay later scheme to help you purchase all of the latest tech
In what is the iPhone’s most substantial operational revamp since the introduction of the iPhone X users will now be able to select a customised lock screen to suit their day.
While a ‘work’ lock screen might pin emails and turn off social media notifications, a weekend lock screen could actually mute communications from your job, and prioritise different apps.
Apple’s head of software engineering says the redesign allows ‘an incredible set of new personalisation features, making the experience feel incredibly ‘you’.
This release comes just months before Apple is expected to release its iPhone 14, which will have these new features and is rumoured to have an ‘always-on’ display.
In its buy now, pay later offering, the tech giant will allow consumers to take out an interest-free four-month loan on payments made with its Apple Pay service, but unfortunately it’s limited to the U.S. for now.
A redesigned MacBook Air will see a new MagSafe charging port, and a design similar to the current MacBook Pro computers.
Apple has also introduced more customisable watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages and an all-new Medications app.
Now sporting a High Definition camera, it will operate through an M2 chip, which is 40 per cent faster than the previous generation.
When it comes to iOS 16, there’s one feature that stands out above the rest.
Users can expect a Messages app that allows the editing or the recall of texts sent impulsively or by mistake.
The dictation service has been revamped, and live text will now work with video, with users able to copy and paste text from paused footage.
In Apple Maps, you will now be able to add multiple stops to a route, while a new “shared photo library” will allow families and groups of people to bundle all pictures taken together in one shared library.
Finally, a new feature called “Safety Check” will help people leaving abusive relationships terminate device access given to other people with just one click.
Amanda Gunn contributed to this report.
US judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban
A US judge has issued an injunction blocking Montana’s attempt to ban TikTok, citing concerns related to free speech.
The decision comes after Montana’s state government had imposed a ban on the popular social media platform, alleging security and privacy risks associated with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. However, the judge’s ruling emphasizes the importance of safeguarding free expression in the digital age.
The judge’s decision to halt Montana’s TikTok ban was made in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of TikTok users and content creators who argued that the ban infringed upon their First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs contended that TikTok provided a platform for them to share their creative work and engage with their audience, and that the ban was an unjustified restriction on their freedom of speech.
This case raises important questions about the balance between national security concerns and the protection of free speech in the context of social media platforms. It also highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the regulation of tech companies with ties to foreign governments. Additionally, it underscores the influence of social media in modern society, where platforms like TikTok have become integral tools for self-expression and communication.
In light of this ruling, it remains to be seen how other states may approach similar bans on TikTok or other social media platforms, and whether the issue will continue to be litigated in courts across the United States.
Spotify’s 2023 Rewind: tunes, trends, triumphs
In a musical culmination of the year, Spotify has released its ‘2023 Wrapped,’ encapsulating the year’s sonic journey in a playlist.
The streaming giant showcases the UK’s top tunes, unveiling the artists who dominated playlists and the tracks that defined the year. From rising stars to established icons, the playlist mirrors the eclectic tastes of the nation.
Listeners can now relive the highs and lows of the past year through a curated collection of songs that became the soundtrack to their lives. The data-driven insights reveal not just the most-played songs but also the emergence of new genres and the impact of cultural phenomena on music preferences.
As the ‘2023 Wrapped’ takes the spotlight, users are engaging in a nostalgic exploration of their music habits, sharing their personal playlists on social media. The annual tradition sparks conversations about the year’s defining moments, creating a sense of community around shared musical experiences.
In a musical showdown of epic proportions, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus have emerged as the undisputed queens of the Spotify realm in 2023. As users eagerly unwrap their personalised Spotify Wrapped summaries, it’s evident that Swift’s enchanting melodies and Cyrus’s dynamic tunes have dominated the streaming landscape throughout the year.
Swift, known for her poetic lyrics and genre-spanning talent, continues to capture the hearts of listeners globally, securing her spot as the most-streamed artist of 2023. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, with her bold and eclectic style, has claimed a formidable position as the second most-streamed artist, proving her enduring popularity.
The rivalry between these two powerhouse performers has added an extra layer of excitement to this year’s Spotify Wrapped experience. Fans, avidly comparing their Wrapped summaries, have ignited debates over the merits of Swift’s timeless ballads versus Cyrus’s energetic anthems.
As the year draws to a close, it’s clear that Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus have not only defined the musical landscape but have also solidified their places in the hearts of millions of Spotify users worldwide.
Tech titans to face US Senate grilling on child safety
Top executives from Meta, X, TikTok, Snap, and Discord are set to appear before the United States Senate to address concerns regarding child safety on their platforms.
The CEOs, including Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, will face rigorous questioning about the efficacy of current safety measures and the steps being taken to protect young users from harmful content and online predators.
The Senate hearing comes amid growing apprehension over the impact of social media on the well-being of children and teenagers. Lawmakers are expected to scrutinise the platforms’ policies on content moderation, data privacy, and the use of algorithms that may expose minors to inappropriate or harmful material.
This high-profile event marks a significant moment for the technology industry, as legislators seek to hold these companies accountable for their role in shaping the digital experiences of young users. The outcome of the hearing could potentially influence future regulations aimed at safeguarding the online environment for children.
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