Microsoft launches Copilot for iPhones and iPads right after Android

That didn't take long: just days after launching a dedicated Copilot app for Android, Microsoft has restored balance to the universe again by making the same app available for those users who prefer iPhones and iPads.

As initially spotted by The Verge, the Copilot app for iOS and iPadOS seems to be an exact replica of the Android one, and is also free to use. The same rules apply: you can use it in a limited fashion without logging in, but signing into a Microsoft account gives you more prompts and more features (like image generation capabilities).

If you do sign in with a Microsoft account, then you can enable the latest and greatest GPT-4 model from Microsoft's partner OpenAI. Responses will generally be slower but better, and bearing in mind that ChatGPT customers have to pay to get the GPT-4 version, this is a pretty good deal from Microsoft.

While it's a notable move from Microsoft to give Copilot its own app, this hasn't come out of nowhere: pretty much all of the functionality here was previously available in the Bing apps for Android and iOS, so little has changed in terms of what you can do.

Copilot everywhere

If you're completely new to generative AI, these tools can produce text and images based on a few user prompts. You can get Copilot to do anything from write a poem about TechRadar to produce an image of a glowing Apple iPhone.

You can also get Copilot to query the web – if you need party game or travel ideas, for example – and have it explain complex topics in simple terms. It's a bit like a supercharged version of Google Assistant or Siri from Apple.

Microsoft is continuing to push forward quickly with upgrades to Copilot, as it knows that the likes of Apple and Google are busy improving their own generative AI tools. It looks inevitable that AI will be one of the hottest tech trends of 2024.

And if you don't want to install Copilot on your phone, you can find it in plenty of other places too. The same features are still available as part of Bing on the web, and Copilot has also now been added to Windows 11 and Windows 10.

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Apple may be working on a way to let LLMs run on-device and change your iPhones forever

Apple researchers have apparently discovered a method that’ll allow iPhones to host and run their own large language models (LLMs).

With this tech, future iPhone models may finally have the generative AI features people have been eagerly waiting for. This information comes from a pair of papers published on arXiv, a research-sharing platform owned by Cornell University. The documents are pretty dense and can be tricky to read, so we’re going to break things down for you. But if you're interested in reading them yourself, the papers are free for everyone to check out.

One of the main problems with putting an LLM on a mobile device is the limited amount of memory on the hardware. As VentureBeat explains in their coverage, recent AI models like GPT-4 “contain hundreds of billions of parameters”, which is a quantity smartphones have difficulty handling. To address this issue, Apple researchers propose two techniques. The first is called windowing, a method where the on-board AI recycles already processed data instead of using new information. Its purpose is to take some of the load off the hardware.

The second is called row-column bundling. This collects data into big chunks for the AI to read; a method that will boost the LLM’s ability to “understand and generate language”, according to MacRumors. The paper goes on to say these two techniques will let AIs run “up to twice the size of the available [memory]” on an iPhone. It’s a technology Apple must nail down if it wants to deploy advanced models “in resource-limited environments”. Without it, the researchers' plans can't take off.

On-device avatars

The second paper is centered around iPhones potentially getting the ability to create animated 3D avatars. The content will be made using videos taken by the rear cameras through a process called HUGS (Human Gaussian Splats). This tech has existed in some form before this. However, Apple’s version is said to be able to render the avatars 100 times faster than older generations as well as capture the finer details like clothing and hair.

It’s unknown exactly what Apple intends to do with HUGS or any of the techniques mentioned earlier. However, this research could open the door for a variety of possibilities, including a more powerful version of Siri, “real-time language translation”, new photography features, and chatbots. 

Powered up Siri

These upgrades may be closer to reality than some might think.

Back in October, rumors surfaced claiming Apple is working on a smarter version of  Siri that'll be boosted by artificial intelligence and sporting some generative capabilities. One potential use case would be an integration with the Messages app, letting users ask it tough questions or have it finish up sentences “more effectively.” Regarding chatbots, there have been other rumors of the tech giant developing a conversational AI called Ajax. Some people have also thrown around “Apple GPT” as a potential name.

No word on when Apple’s AI projects will see the light of day. There has been speculation that something could roll out in late 2024 alongside the launch of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, although exactly when we'll see any of this remains unknown.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's latest roundup of the best iPhone deals for December 2023.

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Google Messages new update makes it look a bit like the iPhone’s Messages app

To commemorate one billion monthly active users, Google is introducing several new customization options on its Messages app.

What’s particularly interesting about the update is that a few of the features are reminiscent of what you find on Apple’s own Messages app. For example, you have Photomoji, allowing you to clip specific parts in a photograph and use them as emoji reactions. iOS 17 has something similar called Stickers. In Google Messages, cutouts are “saved in a special tab for reuse”, plus other people in a group chat can use the same Photomojis at any time.

The similarities don’t stop there. Google Messages is adding Profiles that let users create an introductory biography about themselves alongside their name and a picture. Its iOS counterpart would be Contact Poster. In addition, the app will now have animated Screen Effects akin to the message animations on iPhone. Unlike iOS, you can’t activate the colorful displays whenever you want as Google’s rendition requires you to enter specific “prompt words”. The full list of prompts isn’t in the announcement, although it does mention two.

Typing in “I love you” will launch a bunch of hearts. Entering “it’s snowing” would presumably cause snowflakes to fall from the top. There wasn’t a demo showcasing the latter so we can’t say for sure.

Unique inclusions

Of course, the update isn’t only about copying Apple. 

There are Voice Moods that’ll let you slap an emoji onto a voice recording, giving it extra visual flair. Additionally, Google states it’ll be “increasing the bitrate and sampling rate” on vocal messages to improve audio quality. Next, you can change the color scheme of a chat, namely the text bubbles and background, to whatever you want via Custom Bubbles. This can help you differentiate conversations so you don’t accidentally send the wrong text to your mom when it was meant for a friend.

Google Messages' new Voice Mood

(Image credit: Google)

The last two aren’t as impactful, but they can add some nice flourishes to a chat. Now when you react to a message with an emoji, a short animation called a Reaction Effect will play at the same time. Also, standalone emojis sent through the app will sport extra visual effects like sparkles.

Once you get the patch, you can try out most of these features so keep an eye out for when it eventually arrives. The two outliers are Voice Moods and Reaction Effects; both of which are currently in beta. To try those out, you’ll have to become a beta tester for Google Messages, according to the official support page.

Android update

Besides the Messages update, Google is adding new features to other Android platforms. A lot is being implemented so we’re only going to mention the more impactful additions. 

Moving forward, smartwatches running Wear OS can now control more smart appliances like vacuums and groups of smart lights. The TalkBack tool is being given an AI voice that’ll read out text descriptions to help blind people understand the content in front of them. And finally, Live Caption on smartphones will be available in more languages.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for 2023.

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iOS 16.5: new features, supported iPhones and all you need to know

Apple unveiled iOS 16 – the latest operating system for iPhone and the successor to iOS 15 – at WWDC 2022 in June last year, but the update didn't actually arrive until September 12, where it coincided with the release of the iPhone 14 line. 

Now out in the wild as iOS 16.5 in 2023 – having been through five subsequent updates since its September debut – the software release brings improvements to many apps, with lock screen widgets, better privacy features, improved phone calls and new fonts, colors and emojis chief among the newly arrived features. 

Below, we've rounded up everything you need to know about iOS 16.5, from its compatible iPhones to biggest new features. We've also included a timeline of updates, too, so you can track when particular features became available. For a look into the future, check out our guide to iOS 17, which is expected to be the next major iOS overhaul.

iOS 16.5: Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The latest iteration of iOS 16
  • When did it come out? May 18, 2023
  • How much does it cost? It’s free
  • Which phones are supported? iPhone 8 and newer

iOS 16 Latest Updates

May 18, 2023 Apple releases iOS 16.5 in full, which brings patches for several security issues and updates to apps including Spotlight and CarPlay.

March 29, 2023Apple releases the first public beta for iOS 16.5, with minor changes on the cards for apps including Siri and Apple News. 

March 27, 2023 – iOS 16.4 is out, bringing clearer phone calls, HomeKit tweaks and push notifications from web apps.

January 23, 2023
iOS 16.3 is out, with Advanced Data Protection, Security Keys, new wallpapers, and support for the HomePod 2.

December 13, 2022
– iOS 16.2 is out, bringing Freeform and security features.

October 24, 2022 – iOS 16.1 is out, bringing refinements and Live Activities.

September 12, 2022 – iOS 16 is available for anyone with an iPhone 8 and above.

September 7, 2022 – Apple's 'Far Out' event confirmed that iOS 16 arrives on September 12, alongside the iPhone 14 series and more. 

July 11, 2022 – The public beta is available to download for anyone with an iPhone 8 and above. 

June 14, 2022 Will lossless audio come to the AirPods Pro 2? The technological groundwork ought to be in iOS 16, and so far, no one has stumbled across any evidence of it.

June 13, 2022 – In an exclusive interview with TechRadar, Apple's Craig Federighi and VP of Design Alan Dye take us inside Apple's remake of the Lock Screen – an “act of love,” Federighi said. 

June 11, 2022 – iOS 16 will be a bumper release this time, with many improvements to features across the operating system, on a scale arguably not seen since iOS 8. Here are the 7 best new features in iOS 16.

June 7, 2022 – Support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Cons have been discovered in the latest iOS 16 developer beta. With a public beta near, you can soon try Nintendo's controllers on your iPhone for yourself.

More of the latest iOS 16 tidbits ▼

June 7: Which phones support iOS 16? TechRadar has a complete list of phones compatible with the new OS.

June 7: iOS 16 will bring fundamental changes to the Messages app. Editing and deleting messages after you sent them is now a thing — meaning autocorrect is now dead.

May 30:  As we get nearer to WWDC, rumors suggest iOS 16 will get a few significant new features, including improvements to your iPhone's lock screen. It could be the most radical iPhone update in years.

May 15: It’s increasingly sounding like iOS 16 will include new apps and major changes, with the latest leak pointing to new ways of interacting with widgets, and even some new Apple apps.

iOS 16.5 release date

Apple confirmed iOS 16's September 12 release date at its 'Far Out' event on September 7, 2022, where it also announced the iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and AirPods Pro 2. 

iOS 16.5 became available to download on May 18, 2023, following four separate iterative updates to the new OS. 

iOS 16 Features

iOS 16 Overview

(Image credit: TechRadar)

There are all sorts of new and improved features on iOS 16, and we've detailed the key ones below.

Customizable lock screens

Various aspects of iOS 16 shown on iPhones

(Image credit: Apple)

With iOS 16, you're able to customize your lock screen by tapping in any area to change the text font and colors.

Complications (which are essentially widgets) can also be enabled here, a feature lifted from the Apple Watch. You're able to add three of these to your lock screen, while the Now Playing screen has been moved towards the bottom for easier access with your thumb.

You're not limited to just one lock screen, either. Similar to creating a watch face on your Apple Watch, you can swipe between different lock screens, so you can have access to different widgets based on your needs.

Apple has introduced new lock screens with each new iterative update to iOS 16, with the latest – iOS 16.5 – bringing Pride-specific wallpapers.


Screenshots showing Focus on iOS 16

Tim Cook on stage at WWDC  (Image credit: Apple)

Focus mode also got some updates, many of which tie into the lock screen, as the lock screen that's shown can automatically be switched based on the Focus profile you have.

For example, a 'Meeting' focus profile could make your lock screen change wallpaper and offer a row of widgets showing details of that event.

You can also use 'Focus Filters' to block out tabs in Safari, accounts in Mail, events in Calendar, and more, to help you manage your workflow. We've made a comprehensive guide of how to set up Do Not Disturb and Focus mode to help get you started.


WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

Notifications have also been improved with 'Live Activities', which are essentially pinned widget-like notifications that allow you to check the score of a game, track the progress of a food delivery, and more.

Notifications have a new design, too, aimed at making them visually pop, and they also feature new animations, rolling in from the bottom of the lock screen so they're easy to see at a glance while staying out of the way.

And you can choose to view notifications in an expanded list view, a stacked view, or a hidden view.


WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has added several new features to Messages. 'Undo send' has arrived for one, allowing you to delete a message for up to 15 minutes after you've sent it – for example, if you realize you've sent it to the wrong person. Similarly, you can also edit messages in the first 15 minutes. Note though that this only works for iPhone to iPhone messages.

SharePlay is also now available on the app, so you can play a movie in Disney Plus for example, and share it with someone via Messages.

Dictation has also been improved, as it now lets users move fluidly between voice and touch inputs, so you can type to add text or move the cursor without having to stop Dictation.

Clearer cellular phone calls

An iPhone on an orange background showing FaceTime audio options

(Image credit: Apple)

Perhaps the biggest quality-of-life upgrade to come with iOS 16.4 was Voice Isolation for cellular calls, which helps reduce ambient noise during your phone calls.

This feature was already available on apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime, which you've probably noticed tend to sound better than cellular calls. But with iOS 16.4, it finally came to cellular calls – to access it, you'll just need to swipe down the top-right of the screen (to access the Control Center), tapping Mic Mode, then Voice Isolation.

Apple has also confirmed that Voice Isolation is compatible with every iPhone model released alongside or after the iPhone SE (2020), which means most of the best iPhones benefit, too.


Hinted at by Apple in May, 2022, several new accessibility features have since arrived on iOS 16, such as door detection, which helps you locate doors, read signs around them, and get instructions for opening them.

There's also the option to view live captions in a FaceTime call, control your Apple Watch from your iPhone, hang up phone calls with Siri, and more.

Live text has seen improvements as well – you can copy and paste text in video, alongside being able to copy and translate text.

An improved Podcasts app

Two iPhone showing the new Podcasts app in iOS 16.4

(Image credit: Apple)

If you mainly feed your podcast habit in Apple's default Podcasts app rather than third-party ones, you'll see several small improvements to the overall experience in iOS 16.4.

Firstly, it's now easier to find shows that are part of wider channels or networks. When you follow a show that's part of a channel (for example, a network that produces multiple shows, like Bloomberg or the BBC), you're able to see it in a new dedicated Channels section in your podcast Library.

This is handy, given that many podcasts are now part of wider networks that produce several shows around similar themes. When you tap on a channel, you'll see the shows you follow at the top, plus any subscription options that are available for that network.


A screenshot showing Wallet on iOS 16

(Image credit: Apple)

Wallet has seen privacy improvements, with in-app ID verification being enabled for third-party apps.

Tap to pay on iPhone also arrived with iOS 16, removing the need for any point of sale terminals. Plus, you can view receipts and track orders directly from Wallet.

There's also Apple Pay Later, which splits purchases into four interest-free payments spread over six weeks, and Order Tracking, which lets you see the latest information on your Apple Pay orders.

Apple Books animations

An iPhone on an orange background showing the Apple Books app

(Image credit: Apple)

This one's strictly for fans of the Apple Books app, so a little niche. But if that's you, Apple brought back a strangely satisfying animation to the app with iOS 16.4 – the 'curl' page-turn effect.

For some reason, this animation – which mimics a page being turned over – was removed in iOS 16 as it first appeared. But if you've missed seeing your digital pages turning in the Books app, you'll be happy to see that effect return when you upgrade to iOS 16.4.


WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

Maps now finally enables you to store recent trips in the app, and you can send them from a Mac or iPad device.

You can also add multiple stops on a route, and while on a journey you can ask Siri to add another destination, hands-free, in case another errand pops up, while 'Look Around', Apple's take on Google Street View, is being opened up to third-party apps.

Plus, you can see transit fares, and – without leaving Maps – you can add transit cards to Wallet, replenish your card, and see low balances.


iOS 16 saw a big push on sports, with Apple News getting a new My Sports section to let you view schedules, standings and scores for your favorite teams. 

Live updates for sporting events can also be added to the lock screen, so if you're not able to tune in you'll still be kept up to date with the score.

Family Sharing

Screenshots showing Family Sharing on iOS 16

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Family Sharing feature enables you and your family to share an account, for example to view photos and videos, and so that parents can approve purchases made by minors.

In iOS 16, it's easier for parents to set age-appropriate restrictions on content, and parents or guardians can respond to Screen Time requests in Messages.

A quick start feature for iPad lest you sync settings that you've configured on your iPhone to an iPad simply by moving your phone close to the tablet, and there's also a Family Checklist feature, making it easier for you to be confident that all of the content on an iPhone is secure and child-safe.

The ability to share photos and videos over iCloud was widely requested, and iCloud Shared Photo Library now allows up to six people to share a library. Users can send photos to the Shared Library using a new toggle in the Camera app, and receive intelligent suggestions to share photos that include other users of a shared library.

Safety Check

WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

A new privacy tool called Safety Check has been introduced to help those at risk from violence or harassment by partners.

Users can quickly revoke all access to Messages and other accounts that they’ve granted to a partner, and an emergency reset feature helps users to easily sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to just the device in their hand. Users can also stop sharing their location with this tool.

It also lets you generally check and manage which people and apps you've given access to your information.

Home App is redesigned

A screenshot showing the Home app on iOS 16

(Image credit: Apple)

In conjunction with the new Matter smart home standard, the Home app was redesigned to make it easier to manage your smart appliances and rooms.

You're now able to see all your rooms in a single view, alongside categories for lights, climate, security and more. You can tap on a category to see more detailed status information, and view up to four security cameras at once.

You can also add smart home widgets to the lock screen, allowing you to view the status of your home at a glance, and quickly access smart home controls.

Spatial Audio

You can use your iPhone's TrueDepth Camera to create a personal Spatial Audio profile for your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, for what Apple calls “an even more precise and immersive listening experience.”


Screenshot from Apple's WWDC 2022 keynote

(Image credit: Future)

Apple's Fitness app is now available to all iPhone users, even if they don't have an Apple Watch to help them track their fitness. The app will use the motion sensors of your iPhone along with step and distance tracking, and workouts from third-party apps, to help you achieve your daily Move goal and estimate your calorie burn.

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Google Fit on iPhones can now measure heart and respiratory rates

Google has now rolled out a feature on iPhones that will allow the Google Fit app to use the phone’s camera to measure heart rate and even respiratory rates. Introduced quietly over the last weekend, this feature required users to place their finger over the rear camera lens and apply some pressure to measure the vitals.

To recall this feature was first introduced to the Android side of the smartphone world earlier this year and doesn’t need internet access in order to measure the vitals of a user.

According to 9To5Google, Google says that it tracks the subtle changes in the colour of the finger along with the algorithms that account for skin tone, lighting, age, and others to calculate the blood flow.

Google Fit health trackers

(Image credit: Google)

Google warns that the measurements are not intended for medicinal purposes, however, since these hardly take 30 seconds to calculate the beats per minute, it can be helpful in checking anomalies while on the go.

Additionally, the front camera on the phone can be used to track the breaths users take every minute. It requires the phone to be kept on a flat and stable surface in a way that the camera has a clear view of the upper half of the body. Google Fit then guides the user through the process to calculate the respiratory rate and the entire process takes just over 30 seconds to complete.

The feature can be accessed by visiting “Browse” Tab in the Google Fit app and then selecting “Vitals.” Once measured, the users can decide if the reports need to be saved in the Google Fit app or not. The feature is available for iPhone 7 and iPad Pro users as well.

Google says that “these results are not intended for medical purposes and should not be used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition”. Though it does add that these capabilities have been through proper clinical studies.

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iOS 16 release date rumors, supported iPhones and 5 features we want to see

After seeing the releases of iOS 15 and the subsequent iPhone 13 series, we’re in the midst of .1 updates that are slowly refining features we’ve been seeing since June, back at WWDC.

However, that doesn’t stop us from thinking of what could be in the next version of iOS that is widely expected to be called iOS 16.

Every iOS release has brought a major feature to the table, whether that’s widgets or dark mode. But iOS could still benefit from some new refinements to better manage how you use your iPhone every day.

We’ve combed through our iPhones to roundup five features we’d like to see arrive in iOS 16 next year, no matter how major or minor these may be. But first, we’ll run you through when we expect it to land and which iPhones will be supported.

iOS 16 release date rumors

Apple has followed a traditional schedule of announcing the latest iOS update in June at WWDC, followed by a release around September.

With iOS 15.2 currently in testing, Apple has been focusing on rolling out significant features across more .1 updates. In previous years, we've seen the trackpad appear on iOS 13.4, alongside ProRes in iOS 15.1 in October of this year.

It wouldn't be a stretch to expect an iOS 15.7 by the time we see iOS 16 with more significant features.

iOS 16 supported iPhones

Apple tries to support a variety of iPhone models in every new iOS release. iOS 15 supports iPhone 6S at a minimum, which was released in 2015.

It wouldn't be a stretch to expect iOS 16 to support the iPhone 7 series at a minimum, but with some features held back, mainly due to the hardware limitations of the camera, or the chip inside certain iPhone models.

Every iOS release comes with a major feature, but also a bunch of minor improvements across the board. If you still have an iPhone 8 for instance, you may reap the benefits of some of the small features in iOS 16 when it arrives. But you will most likely miss out on the big feature that Apple will showcase.

Redesigned Camera app

iPhone 13 Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone camera has seen huge improvements in recent years, with more lenses being added and features such as Night Mode and Cinematic Mode being introduced.

However, this has meant that the camera app has begun to feel bloated. Accessing forced flash or exposure settings requires a few more swipes than we’d like, alongside hidden gestures that don’t feel needed.

With the impending release of iOS 15.2, we’re also about to see a new macro button appear, which will help you to more accurately set up those close-up shots when needed. This is just for the iPhone 13 series, though.

Starting afresh with the camera app could help new users take photos in a whole new way, alongside giving existing users a fresh way of taking photos and videos.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Apple has more big plans for the cameras in future iPhone models, which will also mean new features that we’ll be switching on and off when required. Let’s see an app that’s redesigned for what came before, and lays the groundwork for what’s coming next.

QuickNote to iPhone

macOS Monterey Notes and Quick Note

(Image credit: Apple)

This is a feature that appears in iPadOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey, where you can drag your finger from the bottom-right corner, and you can quickly type in some notes, no matter where you are on your device.

There are many gestures you can do on an iPhone, so there’s no harm in adding one more. Dragging from the bottom right corner would display a note that you could quickly type in, and save for a later date.

With your thumb being your primary point of interaction with your smartphone, it's an easy win that can really help with quickly jotting something down. It will also save the strain of your thumb instead of reaching for the Control Center on the top right, and selecting the Notes icon.

Home Automation widgets

Using the Home app on an iPhone 13 Pro in iOS 15

(Image credit: Apple)

Since widgets were given a makeover in iOS 14, alongside the ability to place them anywhere on the home screen, some other apps have not been forthcoming with their own widgets to help reduce some steps. One blatant example is the Home app.

You may have a selection of smart lights in your home where you use the app to help manage these. But if you want to quickly switch on a light, you may experience a delay if you ask Siri, or if the app isn’t responding, which has happened often in our experience.

Having a widget on your home screen for your smart lights could really help reduce the steps in quickly switching the bedroom lamp on, instead of having to find the Home app.

It’s a little strange that the widget hasn’t appeared as yet, but we’re hoping it arrives, not only to iOS 16, but future versions of macOS and iPadOS as well.

Air apps

Apple AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Apple )

If you own one of the AirPods peripherals, or an AirTag, you may find it very cumbersome to try and manage each of these. AirPods settings are only accessible through Bluetooth from within the Settings app, while AirTags settings are accessible through the Find My app.

Being able to manage these through a centralized ‘AirThings’ app could relieve a lot of confusion as to what you own from Apple.

Third-party vendors such as Sony bring out certain apps that can help you manage headphones and more to better manage the features that these bring. Being able to do the same, without having to go to Bluetooth within the Settings app, could bring a lot of simplicity to managing your devices.

Better theme options

Three iPhones running iOS 15

(Image credit: Apple)

Back in 2019, we saw an onslaught of themes thanks to a few new features that the Shortcuts app provided in iOS 13.

With Shortcuts, you can use the app to create launch commands for other apps, and place an icon of your choice on the home screen for it. This has resulted in many themes being made available for iPhone users.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee created a short guide to create your own icons with Shortcuts.

But iOS 16 could go further. A new category in the App Store could enable themes to be downloaded and then selected within the Settings app. You could also choose different colors and sounds for notifications and set them as a separate theme, which could also be enabled with Automations in the Shortcuts app.

Third-party developers could perhaps make their own sounds and themes available as well. While there would be restrictions on changing other app icons, it could further expand the individuality that users want from their devices.

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Apple to pay up to $500 million for deliberately slowing older iPhones

Towards the end of 2017, Apple fessed up, admitting that it had been deliberately and secretly slowing older models of iPhone in order to eke out extra life from their aging batteries. Understandably, the company’s customers weren’t happy and the stealthy throttling led to several lawsuits.

Now, the Cupertino firm has filed a settlement in a California court, agreeing to pay up to $ 500 million (with a minimum of $ 310 million) in the form of payments to affected US customers.

This includes $ 25 to anyone who owned one of the affected iPhones (listed below) and sums of either $ 1,500 or $ 3,500 to members of the class action lawsuit. 

These amounts will vary depending on how many people claim, as individual payouts will decrease if they exceed the maximum total of $ 500 million. However, if fewer people claim, the $ 310 million will go further for each individual (after $ 93 million is taken off for legal fees, of course).

Affected smartphones are considered any of the following, so long as they were running iOS 10.2.1 or later or, in the case of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it could have been running iOS 11.2 or later so long as it was doing so before December 21, 2017.

The case against Apple claimed that, due to the processor speeds slowing, consumers were being led to believe their current smartphone was nearing its end of life earlier than it actually was.

This prompted them to upgrade to a newer model, at considerable cost, when they could have simply replaced the battery had they known that was the cause of the issue.

The settlement allows Apple to deny that it did anything wrong in the legal sense, and the individual compensation has been described as “fair, reasonable, and adequate” by lawyers representing the consumers, according to Reuters.

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