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Every Major Change Coming to iMessage, Apple Pay, and More in iOS 16

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At Apple’s annual WWDC conference this week, the company unveiled iOS 16, the iPhone’s next operating system. Apple promised a slew of new features for iOS 16, including improved lock screen customization and the ability to edit messages you’ve already sent in the Messages app. The new operating system will be compatible with iPhones 8 and later, and it will most likely be released in September alongside the much-rumored iPhone 14. (The beta version is now available for download, but there are a few caveats to be aware of.)

iOS 16 was released on the same day as iOS 15.5, which included updates to Apple Cash, Photos Memories, and the Podcasts app. Apple also recently released a developer beta for iOS 15.6, which lacks any major new features at the moment and appears to be primarily focused on bug fixes.

You can edit and ‘unsend’ messages in iOS 16.

“Embarrassing typos are a thing of the past,” Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said as he unveiled three of the Messages app’s most requested features.

For starters, you’ll be able to edit sent messages in iOS 16. So, if you notice a typo after sending a message, you’ll be able to correct it later. A small “edited” appears on the page.

Next, you can immediately recall a sent message, which is possibly my favorite new feature. If you accidentally sent an incomplete message, you can use the Undo Send tool to prevent it from being read, making your friends and family think you’re crazy.

Finally, you can mark unread messages and threads. When you don’t have time to respond to a message right away but want to make sure you don’t forget about it later, this could be a useful tool.

Your iPhone now has a new lock screen that you can customize.

The lock screen is one of the first things you see when you open your iPhone, especially if it has Face ID. The iPhone’s lock screen receives the most significant update yet in iOS 16. To edit your lock screen, press and hold. You can swipe through a variety of different styles. Each style alters the background photo’s color filter as well as the font on the lock screen, ensuring that everything is in sync. This appears to be Apple’s response to Google’s Material You, which debuted with Android 12.

You can also change the fonts for the time and date, as well as add lock screen widgets like a calendar, temperature, and activity rings. On the Apple Watch lock screen, the widgets are similar to complications.

You can even create multiple customized lock screens with various widgets and switch between them with a simple swipe. There’s even a photo-shuffle feature that changes the pictures on your lock screen automatically.

An always-on display was one feature we hoped Apple would include. It’s a feature found on nearly all Android phones, as well as the Apple Watch. There’s a chance it’ll be released alongside the iPhone 14.

Notifications and live activities

Since notifications can sometimes obscure the photo on your lock screen, iOS 16 moves notifications to the bottom of your screen. Instead of being compiled into a list, they appear as a vertical carousel as you receive them. This not only looks better, but it should also make one-handed use of your iPhone much easier.

Another issue with notifications is addressed in iOS 16. You may receive a series of notifications from one app in a row, such as the score of a basketball game. Instead of getting a series of interruptions, a new tool for developers called Live Activities makes it easier to stay on top of things happening in real time from your lock screen.

Sporting events, workouts or even the progress of an Uber ride. should be easier to follow with Live Activities.

Wallet and Apple Pay Later

More state ID cards, as well as enhanced security and privacy features, will be available in your Wallet app. You can also protect your identity and age in iOS 16. Instead of displaying your exact birth date, the Wallet app will display your ID and the fact that you are over the age of 21.

With iOS 16, apps like Mail and Messages make it easier to share keys. When your friend receives the key, they can store it in their iPhone’s Wallet app. Apple has stated that it is working to ensure that shared keys become an industry standard and are freely available to others.

Apple Pay will support new payment types, as well as a new feature called Apple Pay Later, which is similar to Klarna in that it allows you to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest and no fees. The Wallet app manages upcoming payments, making it simple to keep track of due dates and payments.

Apple Pay, on the other hand, does not stop there. A new feature allows merchants to deliver detailed receipts and tracking information, as well as track Apple Pay orders. This should make keeping track of the status of all your orders a lot easier.

Visual Lookup’s tap and drag for photos

Visual Look Up in iOS 15 analyzes your photos and can recognize objects such as plants, landmarks, and pets. This is taken to the next level in iOS 16. You can remove a photo’s subject, such as the dog in the image above, from the background and add it to apps like Messages by touching it. It’s essentially a tap-and-hold tool for removing the background from a photo.

Apple overuses the word “magic,” but this feature does appear to be magical.

SharePlay comes to Messages

SharePlay, which first appeared in iOS 15, allows you to have a shared experience while FaceTime-ing with someone. You can watch TV shows, listen to music, and do other things while in sync. From within FaceTime, iOS 16 adds the ability to discover more apps that support SharePlay.

One of the most interesting things Apple did for SharePlay was to integrate it into the Messages app. This was one of the most common requests from app developers, according to Apple. When you want to watch a movie on Disney Plus with a friend, you can now start SharePlay while chatting in Messages.

Safety Check aims to help people in abusive relationships

Safety Check is a new feature that is designed to assist people who are in abusive relationships. It allows you to review and change who has access to your iPhone’s location information, passwords, messages, and other apps.

Focus mode updates and Focus filters

Several changes have been made to the focus mode. The first uses widgets and lock screen looks to apply Focus behaviors. So you could have one lock screen for when Work Focus is turned on and another for when you’re working out.

Apple has added Focus filters to apps that apply your iPhone’s Focus mode. For example, depending on which Focus mode is active, you can limit which tabs are displayed in Safari.

Apple Maps adds transit fare cards

Maps will be updated on a regular basis. You’ll be able to plan trips that include up to 15 different stops. If you start planning a trip on your Mac with the Maps app, you can share it with your iPhone.

You’ll also be able to see transit fare estimates and add more money to a fare card from within Apple Maps, similar to what Google announced for Google Wallet in Android 13.

iCloud family checklist

Checklist for iCloud families
A number of new features have been added to iCloud. One of the more intriguing features is the ability to set up a new device for your child quickly. When Quick Start appears, you can choose a user for the new device and use all of the parental controls you’ve already chosen and configured. Many of us, however, still desire the ability to create multiple users for the same device.

There’s a new family checklist with reminders to check location-sharing settings and share your iCloud Plus subscriptions, as well as tips for updating settings for your kids as they get older.

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Instagram Testing New Tool for Age Verification

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According to parent company Meta, Instagram is developing a new feature to stop minors from impersonating adults. Instagram will request identification if a user whose account indicates they are under 18 tries to manually change their date of birth on the platform.

A valid ID or driver’s license, “social vouching,” in which three adult users are asked to verify the age, or a video selfie are the three methods that people can demonstrate their age.

With social vouching, the three adult users must answer to the request within three days and cannot be vouching at the same time for anybody else. Instagram sends a video selfie to Yoti, a business whose technology can determine someone’s age based on their facial traits. Instagram explains how to take the video and claims that the selfies are erased once the verification process is over.

Younger users who have already informed Instagram that they are adults will not be caught by its new tool. Although Meta’s blog post does not specifically mention it, the new tool will be used to verify that users of the app are at least 13 years old in order to join up. 

Over the past year, Instagram has been the subject of inquiries questioning the app’s influence on teenagers. Attorneys general from a number of jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, Florida, and California, started scrutinizing Meta, claiming the firm was aware that Instagram could be harmful to children’s physical and emotional health. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal ran a series based in part on hacked papers, one of which claimed that Facebook was aware of Instagram’s “toxic” effects on teen girls’ body image and mental health.

Meta disputed the claims made by the states and added that the Journal had incorrectly described the leaked documents. The business said that some internal studies had revealed that using Instagram had improved some youngsters’ perceptions of their bodies.

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Alexa Could One Day Speak in Your Dead Loved One’s Voice

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One day, Amazon Alexa might be able to speak to you in the voices of departed loved ones. At Amazon’s re:MARS conference on Wednesday, the new voice assistant feature was noted as a method to “make memories last.”

Alexa would be able to mimic a person’s voice when speaking after less than a minute of listening to that person’s speech. According to Sky News, a child in a video of the feature asked Alexa to read them a story, and she agreed before changing her voice.

It’s unclear how far along the feature is in development or when Alexa voice assistants might start receiving it. We might not see this functionality any time soon because the re:MARS (for machine learning, automation, robots, and space) event highlights what Amazon is doing in ambient computing, including developments in Alexa.

The capacity to replicate a voice pattern precisely raises security concerns as well, but we’ll reserve judgment until we know how well Alexa can imitate a voice after only hearing it briefly. We’ll also watch how the function is accepted; even though it appears to require consent from users, there are ethical concerns over the rights of the deceased’s voice and how long they should be preserved.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the voice-imitating tool isn’t specifically designed for family members who have passed away. It is based on recent developments in text-to-speech technology, which are detailed in an Amazon white paper from this year. The team applied a voice filter to produce high-quality voice with much less data than was required when hours-long voice recordings in a professional studio were used to create the voice files.

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Twitter Tests Long-Form Notes That Let People Go Beyond the Character Limit

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Twitter said on Wednesday that it is testing Notes, a tool similar to a blog post that lets users publish longer pieces of writing on the social network.

By eliminating the need to use the Twitter thread and divide their views across numerous tweets, the functionality makes it simpler for people to publish long-form work. The content of notes can also contain images, videos, tweets, or GIFs.

“As the platform for writers, it’s clear that Twitter is essential — from the proximity to an engaged audience, to the conversation around a writer’s work, to the community of readers (and, often, cheerleaders) that Twitter provides, to the critical role it plays in the livelihoods and careers of writers, on and off Twitter,” Twitter’s editorial director, Rembert Browne, said in a Note on the platform.

Both on and off Twitter, users can read Notes, and you can see all of a person’s Notes on the new tab on their profile. According to Twitter, the Notes test is being conducted by a small number of writers in the US, Canada, UK, and Ghana. When Notes might be made more readily available is not yet known by the company.

A long-requested feature from anyone who has ever made a typo in a tweet, an edit button was finally being tested by Twitter in April. The website has now launched Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that enables users to edit tweets, submit longer videos, and read news without advertisements.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is in the middle of a proposed $44 billion acquisition of the platform. Musk has said he wants to quash bots on the platform and get 1 billion users on Twitter.

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