LG refuses to dismiss rumors that its Meta Quest VR headset collab is off

LG and Meta's VR partnership was only announced in February, but recent reports have suggested that their planned “extended reality (XR) ventures” could already be in danger – and now a statement from LG has thrown the collaboration into further doubt. 

Yesterday a number of Korean outlets reported that the LG and Meta headset has either been delayed from its 2025 release until 2027 (as suggested by Seoul Economic Daily, translated from Korean) or that the partnership might already have ended altogether (as reported by Korea Economy Daily).

To get to the bottom of this rumored breakup we reached out to both Meta and LG. An LG spokesperson denied that LG and Meta were no longer partnering on various projects, stating that “LG Electronics continues its collaboration with Meta in various areas such as AI and the metaverse”. 

Notably absent from that statement is any mention VR or XR. And the LG spokesperson went on to add vaguely that “we will maintain a close watch on customer needs, the content service ecosystem, and market conditions, adjusting the pace of our XR business accordingly”.

Reading this statement, we’re a lot less certain that an LG OLED Meta Quest is in the works or will land anytime soon. Meta has yet to respond to our request for comment, but it doesn't appear to be in a rush to dismiss the rumors either – we'll update this story if and when we hear back.

This is all a bit of a shame, because LG and Meta’s VR partnership had us exceptionally excited for the future of Meta’s VR hardware – especially after seeing LG’s new OLEDoS displays for VR headsets. Unfortunately, those rumors that their relationship status has now at best switched to “it's complicated” appear to have some substance.

The two companies reportedly don’t see eye to eye in several areas, with LG apparently now looking to partner with other US companies such as Amazon. Analysts have speculated that this could be an effort to leverage Prime’s over 200 million subscribers.

There is evidence that Meta may also be looking to move on from LG. In its Horizon OS announcement it revealed that the excellent Quest operating system will be coming to Asus, Lenovo and Xbox headsets. 

LG’s absence from this list initially suggested that its Meta collaboration might be focused on sharing display technology for a Quest Pro 2 or Quest 4. But these new reports suggest Meta could instead be looking to supplant an LG Horizon OS headset with third-party alternatives.

An uncertain, yet exciting XR era

The Meta Quest Pro

LG’s Meta Quest Pro follow up might be off (Image credit: Meta)

Whether LG and Meta do end up exploring those previously announced “extended reality (XR) ventures”, we’re in an interesting new era for XR hardware. 

We’ve gone from Meta comfortably ruling the roost – at least in terms of standalone hardware and popularity – to it facing competition from some of tech’s biggest players.

The Apple Vision Pro is already here, and other devices that could be en route include a Google and Samsung XR headset, a Sony XR device (that isn't PSVR 2) and maybe an LG x Amazon collab project, not to mention the Horizon OS devices we mentioned earlier.

More choice and more competition is always going to be a blessing to those of us wanting to find the best VR headset for our own specific needs. So while Meta might not get LG's OLED panels for its next project, some promising headsets are still in the pipeline for 2024 and beyond.

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Excited for Apple’s Vision Pro? Forget that, rumors have started about how the sequel will be better

Apple is rumored to be considering making changes to the next version of the Vision Pro – still some way off, given the first-gen model is yet to launch, of course – around slimming down the headset’s size and weight.

In Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter (for Bloomberg), the well-known Apple leaker told us that the company is mulling some notable improvements for the next-gen Vision Pro on the comfort front.

Gurman observes that with some feedback from testers expressing concerns about neck strain due to the weight of the headset, Apple wants to make the next-gen device both lighter and more compact.

This may be a key focus for the next iteration of the Vision Pro, as Apple fears that the weight of the incoming first device “could turn off consumers already wary of mixed-reality headsets,” Gurman asserts. The Vision Pro can feel too heavy for some folks, even during shorter periods of use, we’re told.

Reducing the weight of next-gen Vision Pro is the priority by the sounds of it, with any size reduction likely to be much less noticeable (and harder to achieve).

As 9 to 5 Mac, which spotted this, further points out, Apple actually already made the incoming first-gen headset more compact – with a trade-off. Namely, the design doesn’t give room for people who wear prescription glasses to be able to fit those in.

So, that creates a separate issue in catering to spectacle wearers, and Apple’s solution is to implement a system of prescription lenses that magnetically attach to the 4K displays for the headset.

That’s not ideal, though, for a lot of reasons. It’s a headache for retailers in terms of stocking the huge number of lens prescriptions they’ll have to deal with – having to find the right one for a glasses wearer not just if they’re buying, but also if they’re simply wanting to try out the headset.

Another obvious downside is that the owner’s glasses prescription may well change in the future (ours certainly does, repeatedly), so again, there’s the hassle of having to get new lenses for your Vision Pro too.

It seems Apple is mulling the idea of shipping custom-built headsets directly with the correct prescription lenses preinstalled, but there could be problems with that, as well.

Gurman noted: “First, built-in prescription lenses could make Apple a health provider of sorts. The company may not want to deal with that. Also, that level of customization would make it harder for consumers to share a headset or resell it.”

Whether that whole thorny nest of glasses-related issues can be tackled with the Vision Pro 2, well, we’ll just have to see.

Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Analysis: Long-term vision for success

So, it seems like the weight of the Vision Pro might be an issue from early testing feedback. That said, in his try-out session, our editor-in-chief found the headset “relatively comfortable” and so wasn’t critical on that front. But 9 to 5 Mac’s writer observed that while shorter sessions are likely to be fine, they could “absolutely see getting tired of wearing [the headset] after extended sessions.”

This may vary from person to person somewhat, it’s true, but it sounds like if Apple is indeed planning to make the next-gen headset lighter, the firm is recognizing that things in this department are less than ideal.

At any rate, while it’s good to hear this, we’ll only really know how the Vision Pro shapes up on the comfort front when it comes to full review time.

For us, though, the most uncomfortable part of the Vision Pro experience is the price. Even just looking at that price tag makes our hearts heavy, as we won’t ever be able to afford the thing.

At $ 3,500 in the US (around £2,900, AU$ 5,500) – and remember, the prescription lenses will add to that bill, especially if you need multiple lenses for different family members – the Vision Pro is just too rich for our blood. We just can’t see that price flying with consumers when Apple’s headset hits the shelves next year in the US (in theory early in 2024).

Especially with mixed reality and VR headsets in general being a niche enough prospect as it is. Indeed, Meta’s Quest 3 is so, so much more affordable in comparison, and for the money represents a great buy.

It’s not like Apple doesn’t realize all this, of course, and we’ve already heard chatter on the grapevine about how a cheaper Vision Pro model might be inbound – which more than any other improvement, would be fantastic to see.

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Android 14: latest news, rumors and everything we know so far

With each new year we get a new version of Android, and this year it’s Android 14’s turn. So you can expect a major upgrade to your phone, with new features and potentially a new look, once Android 14 – or Android Upside Down Cake as it’s codenamed – rolls out.

We’ve probably got a while to wait until it does formally arrive, but the operating system update has already been announced, and a Developer Preview of it is now available. We’re expecting that public betas will likely launch soon too, and with them, we'll likely learn a lot more about what’s in store.

Below, you’ll find details of when Android 14 might launch in both beta and finished forms, along with all the other information we have about Android 14 so far; both rumored and confirmed. As soon as we hear anything new we’ll also add it to this article, so check back soon for updates.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next version of Android
  • When is it out? Probably August or September
  • How much will it cost? It will be a free upgrade

Android 14 release date

Android 14 was announced by Google on February 8, 2023, and the first Developer Preview launched on the same day, with the second Developer Preview also now here, having landed in early March. These are early – and likely unstable – betas designed specifically for developers, but public betas are on the way too.

Google has revealed a timeline for the roll out of Android 14 versions, with the first public beta expected to land sometime in April, so that’s the earliest we’d suggest trying it out, and even then you should be prepared for bugs and unfinished features.

The final beta is planned for July, with the actual finished release not being given a month yet in the timeline, but August or September seems likely, as there’s unlikely to be a huge gap between the final beta and the finished release.

Plus, August and September have been the most common release months for new Android versions in recent years – though Android 12 didn’t launch until October of its release year.

Google's Android 14 timeline

The current state of the Android 14 timeline (Image credit: Google)

Another important date to note is May 10, as that’s when the Google IO 2023 developer conference is scheduled to take place. We’ll likely see one of the betas roll out there, with new features possibly also set to be announced at this event.

Android 14 supported phones

If you’ve used Android for a while then you’ll know it isn’t like iOS, where every phone made in the last five years or so gets the new version on day one. With Android, support is a lot more volatile, and many phones are left waiting months to receive their tailored update.

That said, if you have a recent Google Pixel phone, then you will definitely be getting the update, and probably on day one.

The Pixel 7 series, Pixel 6 series (including Pixel 6a), Pixel 5 series, and Pixel 4a 5G all support the Android 14 developer preview, so you can pretty much count on them all getting the finished version too. Older Pixels won’t though.

Beyond that, most other phones that came out in the last year or so will get it, and many phones that are a couple of years old will too, as will some older handsets.

Many Samsung phones qualify for four years of operating system upgrades, but that policy only applies to recent handsets, which would have gotten Android 14 anyway; devices like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Other recent big-name phones like the OnePlus 11, OnePlus 10 Pro, Sony Xperia 1 IV, and the Xiaomi 12 will, of course, get Android 14 too. But so will most niche smartphones, just as long as they’re recent models. Again though, many of these phones won’t get the update on day one.

OnePlus 11 in green on wicker basket top with screen on

The OnePlus 11 is one of many phones that will definitely get Android 14 (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Android 14 beta

There aren’t any Android 14 public betas yet, which means that unless you’re a developer you should really wait.

However, there is a Developer Preview, so if you are a developer – or are comfortable putting really early software on your phone – then you can try Android 14 out now, just as long as you have a Google Pixel phone from the Pixel 4a 5G onwards.

This isn’t just a simple download and again, we wouldn’t recommend doing it. But if you’re set on trying Android 14 now, you can head to the Android developer site to get it.

Android 14 features

The Android 14 logo

(Image credit: Google)

We don’t know everything about Android 14 yet, as the initial Developer Preview doesn’t have every feature included, but based on that preview, along with some leaks, we are aware of some key things. You’ll find the most significant expected features below.

Satellite communication

The iPhone 14 series sports emergency satellite communication for when there’s no cell signal, and Google is building support for this feature directly into Android 14, so soon it might be common on Android phones too.

Of course, Android phone makers will still need to choose to support this feature and equip their handsets with the necessary hardware, but native software support may make them more keen to do so.

Sideload securely

In an effort to save people from downloading malicious apps, Android 14 will stop users from sideloading apps aimed at ancient versions of Android.

Apps on the Google Play Store already have to be aimed at fairly recent versions of Android, but currently there’s nothing to stop users from going to third-party stores or websites and getting apps built for even the very earliest Android versions.

That’s not secure, as hackers can create apps that target flaws in these earlier operating system versions, so with Android 14, wherever you get your apps from you should be a little safer from these vulnerabilities.

Proper passkey support

Android 14 seems to be bringing in full support for passkeys, which could mean the days of passwords are numbered.

Passkeys are a more secure alternative to passwords, and they work via sets of encryption keys. While passkey support already exists in Android, currently the keys have to be stored within Google’s own password manager system, whereas with Android 14, third-party password managers like Dashlane and LastPass will be able to store the keys, so you don’t have to be tied to Google’s own security.

Regional preferences

Screenshots showing Android 14's regional preferences feature

(Image credit: Google / XDA Developers / @MishaalRahman)

One other feature being tested for Android 14 – as spotted by XDA Developers – is the ability to set your preferred temperature units, first day of the week, calendar type, and number system, which will then be applied across apps.

Health Connect

Screenshots showing Health Connect on Android 14

(Image credit: Google / XDA Developers)

Health Connect lets you sync data between your health and fitness apps and devices, so that you can potentially see all of this data in one place. It’s not a new app, but – as spotted by XDA Developers – with Android 14 it’s seemingly being integrated into the platform, rather than being a separate app that you have to download.

App cloning

Screenshots showing the cloned apps feature on Android 14

(Image credit: Google / XDA Developers)

One feature Google is testing for Android 14 – via XDA Developers – is known as ‘cloned apps’, and allows you to create a second instance of an app, so you can be logged in with two different accounts at the same time, for apps that don’t natively support multiple accounts.

We’ve seen this sort of feature before from some phone makers, but this is the first time it’s been a part of stock Android.

Font scaling

The first Developer Preview of Android 14 includes font scaling up to 200% to help low-vision users. It’s cleverly designed too, as it uses a non-linear scaling curve, which means that while the smallest elements might grow by 200%, already large text won’t increase by the same amount, so that it won’t get impractically large.

View apps installed in the background

Screenshots showing the apps installed in background display on Android 14

(Image credit: Google / XDA Developers)

Your phone likely won’t just include the apps you installed on it. There will also be pre-installed apps, much of which could be considered bloatware.

Worse, manufacturers and carriers will sometimes add apps to your phone at a later date, without your permission or knowledge, and of course viruses and the like could also add apps to your phone without your knowledge.

These are described as apps that were installed in the background, and with Android 14, XDA Developers has found that you’ll be able to view a list of all of these, so you can keep on top of them.

Emoji wallpaper

Screenshots showing the emoji wallpaper on Android 14

(Image credit: Google / XDA Developers)

If you're a Pixel user then it looks like Android 14 will let you create a wallpaper for your phone, using a combination of up to 14 different emojis of your choice, along with a choice of patterns and colors. You can see some examples of this from XDA Developers above.

Auto-confirm PINs

A small feature spotted like so many others by XDA Developers, this time in the second Developer Preview of Android 14, is the ability to have correct PINs automatically confirmed.

What that means is that when you enter the final digit of a PIN, it would automatically accept it, rather than you having to press 'OK' or 'Confirm' or the like. This feature will only work for PINs of at least six digits.

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macOS 13 release date rumors, compatible Macs, and 5 features we want to see

After the release of macOS 12 Monterey in 2021, followed by the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models, speculation is now mounting as to what macOS 13 will bring.

Back in 2020, Apple began transitioning away from Intel processors in favor of its own Apple Silicon chips. These chips are now redefining what Macs are capable of, particularly when it comes to gaming. While macOS Monterey focused on productivity and communication tweaks, macOS 13 could be a major update of the type not seen since macOS 11 Big Sur, reflecting this new change in direction.

With this in mind, we’ve combed through our Macs to round up five features we’d like to see later this year, no matter how major or minor these may be.

First, though, we’ll run through what we know about macOS 13 so far, including its rumored release date and which Macs the update is likely to support.

macOS 13 release date rumors

Apple’s releases have run like clockwork in recent years. There’s a good chance macOS 13 will be announced at WWDC 2022 alongside iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and the rest. Whether it’ll be a remote keynote again or a return to an in-person event remains to be confirmed by Apple.

Apple usually announces the release date of a new macOS update alongside new Macs, so this could be October again, similar to the previous two years.

macOS 13 supported devices

With Apple well on the way to leaving Intel behind, it’s a matter of time until macOS runs solely on the company’s own M1 chips and above.

macOS 13 is likely to still support Intel Macs for now, though. We expect that the upcoming update will support the following Macs as a minimum:

  • Mac Pro – Late 2013
  • iMac – Early 2015
  • iMac Pro – Late 2017
  • MacBook Air – Early 2015
  • MacBook Pro – Early 2015
  • MacBook – Early 2015

macOS 13 name rumors

We speculated that macOS 12 would be called either Mammoth or Monterey, and it proved to be the latter at WWDC 2021. Mammoth could be another solid bet for macOS 13, though. 

The name refers to the Mammoth Lakes in California, following the pattern of naming releases after landmarks in the state, and it’s close to Monterey and Big Sur, which may also represent a bigger update to macOS compared to the last year.

Five features we want to see in macOS 13

While macOS 13 is still a little while away, we've put together a list of the improvements we want to see from the next-gen operating system for Apple's Macs.

1. Widgets anywhere

Widgets first appeared in iOS 14 back in 2020, and have slowly moved over to iPadOS, where you can also move them anywhere on the home screen, but in macOS they are still locked to a column.

macOS 13 should allow you to move widgets anywhere on the screen. Some forget that widgets first appeared on macOS way back in 2004 with Dashboard in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, as a way of managing them inside one app that would cover your screen.

Having Dashboard return to macOS 13 or the ability to place widgets anywhere on your desktop would be appealing. It would help spruce up your display, and eliminate the need to go to the column to view them.

2. Weather app

The weather app saw a mammoth redesign in iOS 15 last year, mainly thanks to Apple’s acquisition of the weather app Dark Sky. While the app hasn’t moved to iPadOS just yet, the next logical step would be to macOS.

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Having easy access to weather forecasts, plus precipitation and storm notifications could be useful to many Mac users – especially if widgets can be shown on the desktop instead of the column they’re currently locked to.

3. App Library

App Library is another iOS feature that would be useful to have in the Dock for macOS 13. While Launchpad and Finder give you handy overviews of your installed apps and let you add them to folders, they’re the only view that you have.

That can be tricky if you have hundreds of apps, especially as a full-screen view in Launchpad can get in the way of anything you’re working on.

App Library in iPadOS 15

(Image credit: Apple)

App Library on the Mac could easily sort your apps into categories, and have some folders change depending on the time of day or your location, just as it does in iOS. It would be much more useful for Mac users, as having a full-screen view on an iMac or an external display seems too much.

4. Time Machine and iCloud Backups

Time Machine is a feature that’s fallen by the wayside in recent years, regardless of how useful it’s proved in the past. It takes multiple snapshots of your macOS machine throughout the day, and if you lose a file, you can go ‘back in time’ and recover it.

Time Machine first appeared in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard back in 2006, and while it’s still available in macOS, there’s plenty that could be improved for macOS 13.

It’s second nature to back up your iPad or iPhone through iCloud Backup, which lets you save photos, messages, lock screen wallpapers, and more to your iCloud account. You can also restore these backups to your device if you need to reset it.

However, there’s no such feature for macOS; there’s only the option of backing up to an external hard drive or directly on your Mac, which could defeat the point if your Mac refuses to boot.

Having iCloud Backups tied to Time Machine feels like an easy win for Mac users, as it’s secure but also familiar.

5. tvOS screensavers for Mac

We’d love to see Apple bring those impressive flyover screensavers from tvOS to macOS 13.

Aerial 3 on macOS

(Image credit: Aerial)

While there are third-party apps such as Aerial that can already do the job for Mac users, having a native option for macOS 13 would be great for anyone who just wants to use the screensavers in the System Preferences, without having to download an additional app.

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Android 13 release date rumors, supported phones and what we want to see

After the release of Android 12 in 2021, followed by the subsequent releases of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, we’re already wondering what the next version of Android will bring.

Since its debut in 2008, Android has always brought a major feature with every headline release. But with Android 13, codenamed Tiramisu, it could be a perfect time for Google to fine-tune what’s already there in the millions of Android smartphones around the world.

We’ve combed through our Pixel, OnePlus, and other Android phones to roundup five features we’d like to see arrive in Android 13 later this 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 Android phones will likely be supported.

Android 13 release date rumors

A new Android version usually appears for developers in February. This gives developers a heads up as to what should be appearing in the fall of that year, allowing them an idea of what they could implement for future versions of their apps.

A version for consumers is usually announced at Google I/O in June, followed by a public beta release, then a shipping release around October, which is when we expect Android 13 to arrive this year. 

Android 13 supported phones

Android has a reputation for not making it easy to update your phone to the latest version. Part of it is due to the different manufacturers on how they have designed Android to match a brand, such as Samsung.

But with Google releasing a new Pixel phone every year, these usually come with the latest Android version. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Pixel 7 or a Pixel Fold appear with Android 13 in October again to start with. 

Other manufacturers usually follow after a few months of testing and putting their own spin on the new Android release, but it’s usually not until the first half of the next year.

What we want to see

Android 13 is still a little while away, so we've put together a list of the improvements we want to see from the next-gen software.

1. UI Fixes

Google IO 2021

(Image credit: Google)

While Material You showcases a new look for Android, it’s not without its faults. Some buttons are confusing users when a feature is enabled. For example, if you go to ‘Internet’ in the Notification Center, you have to press this icon again to toggle Mobile Data, Wi-Fi, and Hotspot. It feels convoluted, and there's no option to make these three options a separate toggle.

Alongside this, the colors in Android 12 lack contrast – everything looks pale compared to the vibrancy that iOS shows. But according to Android Police, it looks like Google is already aware of this, as new vibrant colors have seemingly leaked for Android 13.

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Giving some saturated colors across the user interface could help the overall appearance of Android. However, the Material You design we're currently seeing is essentially version 1.0 of a new look for the operating system. iOS is still seeing refinements in its flat design since 2013, so we're going to see visual improvements in Android for years to come.

2. Scrolling Screenshots for all, not some apps

Android 12 UI from Google I/O 2021

(Image credit: Google)

This feature was introduced for some apps in Android 12, where you could take a screenshot of a web page, but Android would stitch the content into one image. 

However, while it’s a useful feature, it requires developers to include a ‘View-based UI’ in the app, otherwise scrolling screenshots isn’t an option for users.

Instead, Android 13 should make this available to all apps, regardless of the current requirement. Users shouldn’t need to check whether certain features in Android are also available to certain apps, and scrolling screenshots is one of them.

3. Release the backtap gesture

A Pixel 6 in Kinda Coral, held by someone wearing a red dress

(Image credit: Google)

This first appeared in a beta version of Android 11 back in 2020, before it was removed when the final release appeared for the Pixel 4 series and other smartphones.

There’s a variant already available on Apple’s iOS 15, where you can customize a back-tap gesture on your iPhone, that could launch the Camera app or a shortcut for example.

It’s very useful for when you’re browsing another app, and you quickly want to switch to the camera app without going back to the home screen and finding its icon.

For Android, the backtap could be an easy win for users, especially as the software can be better customized compared to iOS. Imagine an Android 13 backtap where you can launch certain apps or media with a certain amount of taps, or the end result changes, depending on the app that you’re currently using.

4. Hand Off from iOS

Google Nest Mini

(Image credit: Future)

According to Android Police, this may already be coming to Android 13, mirroring a feature where you can transfer what you’re listening to on your iPhone, to a HomePod speaker for example.

Tentatively called ‘TTT’ or Tap to Transfer, you can send the media you’re either watching or listening to, towards a device that could be in your home or workplace.

With a barrage of televisions running Android, alongside smart speakers, this could work well for sending across media in an easier way from your smartphone.

5. Please fix ‘Open by Default’ feature

Setting a different clock app on Android

(Image credit: Google)

Before Android 12, you could open a file and a message box would appear, asking you if you’d like to open this in an app just once, or from then on.

It was a simple message box but it solved a purpose. But with Android 12, an ‘Open with Default’ appears instead, ridding you of the choice of using an app once.

This change has been frustrating to users, as it requires you to go deep into the Settings app to make the filetype forget to open in a certain app. For Android 13, let’s revert it back to how it was. That’s all we ask.

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Windows 11 22H1 Update ‘Sun Valley 2’ release date rumors, news, and features

Microsoft is currently working on the next big update to Windows 11, tentatively called Sun Valley 2.

This is already shaping up to be a collection of small and big refinements across the whole operating system of Windows 11, alongside some new features, such as Android apps appearing on the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft is yet to officially reveal the 22H1 update to Windows 11, but through leaks, rumors, and the Windows Insider Program, we’ll begin to piece together a good picture throughout the months leading up to its release.

With Windows 11 still rolling out to more devices, users are curious as to what the 22H1 update will now bring.

As we begin to build a picture of what to expect, here is everything we know so far about the first major update for Windows 11.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2′ is the first major update to Windows 11
  • When is it out? Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2′ is expected sometime in the second quarter of 2022
  • How much does it cost? Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2′ will be a free update for all users 

Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2' release date 

Right now there is no confirmed release date for the Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2' update. Microsoft’s release schedule for Windows 11 updates is now once a year, compared to two a year with Windows 10 previously.

There have already been plenty of improvements in the Windows Insider channels, which allows users to test features in development. But it looks like Microsoft is rolling all of these into the first major update of Windows 11.

While the operating system was released in November 2021, it was announced in June, which would be a good time to release Sun Valley 2 with some tentpole features.

Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2' speculation

At this time there is no confirmed name from Microsoft. Based on the naming convention for Windows 11 updates, however, it’s safe to assume that its official designation will be Windows 11 22H1. The ‘22’ refers to the year and ‘H1’ refers to the second half of the year.

The name being discussed at the moment for this moment is ‘Sun Valley 2’, which is unlikely to be its release name. This is an internal codename for parts of the next version of Windows 11 which is being worked on and has been outed to the public by way of leaks from those with insider knowledge of Microsoft’s workings. 

As Windows 11 was a significant upgrade from Windows 10, such as a refreshed look, a redesigned Microsoft Store, and the return of widgets, Sun Valley 2 looks to build upon Windows 11 but also improve certain aspects that users have been sending feedback over.

Updated Notepad in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

In the Insider builds, users have spotted more apps gaining the new Fluent Design, which is the overall look for Windows 11. These apps feature rounded corners, lesser reliance on the Ribbon view that's been across the operating system since Windows 8, and a more vibrant color scheme. There have also been features announced last year that have yet to come to every Windows 11 user.

Android apps coming to Windows 11

Testers in the Beta Channel who have Windows 11 Build 22000.xxx and above will be able to try out Android apps that will show as available in the Microsoft Store.

These will originate from Amazon's App Store instead of Google Play, as every app is tested and approved by Amazon, similar to Apple's effort with the App Store.

These will run similar to how iOS apps run on macOS, with apps such as TikTok and Instagram running in a window.

However, there's already other ways to install Android apps directly, without going through the Microsoft Store.

New OS features for Windows 11 22H1 ‘Sun Valley 2'

This first update to Windows 11 looks to be built on feedback from users, alongside more refinements that Microsoft didn't have time to include in the first release in November.

One feature that's been divided by users has been the taskbar. The start menu has seen a redesign in Windows 11, but while the new look has been a positive, some features that were present in Windows 10, cannot be found here.

In Sun Valley 2, the taskbar looks to be bringing back some features and listening to some feedback, with drag and drop coming back to the taskbar.

Other OS improvements are more apps from Microsoft that will be refreshed with the Fluent Design language that's across Windows 11. Notepad is one of the examples for Sun Valley 2, gaining dark mode and a re-arranged menu bar.

While Paint is another app to gain from a refreshed look, Microsoft surprised many at the end of 2021 by bringing back Windows Media Player.

It will be replacing Groove Music, an app that debuted back in Windows 8 in 2012. This will be available in the Microsoft Store, but will be scheduled to appear as the default app to play media files once Sun Valley 2 is available to everyone.

Windows 11 updates look to already be about more than visual flair, and Sun Valley 2 is set to be no exception. There will be several changes underneath that aren’t user-facing, as always, and a number that will be.

But from what Microsoft is working on and showcasing through the Insider program, it's clear that the company wants to update the apps of Windows 11, not just the front-facing features.

Windows Media Player on Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

How to test the Windows 11 22H1 Update before launch

Before Microsoft pushes out any big update to Windows 11, it passes through the various channels in the Windows Insider Program. There are various channels in the Insider Program which relate to how far ahead of time you’ll be able to test new features, with the most cutting edge being the ‘Dev Channel’, targeted at the most technical users.

The ‘Dev Channel’ was the first place that Sun Valley started to appear, with a 2200 build number appearing in November 2021. Other app updates to Paint and Windows Media Player soon appeared in the 'Beta Channel'.

These will be reliable builds tied to a future release with updates validated by Microsoft. Closer to launch, Windows 11 22H1 will hit the ‘Release Preview Channel’ which is the most stable of all in the Insider Program. Builds released to this channel are supported by Microsoft.

If you’re not yet in the Windows Insider Program and you’d like to start testing future updates early you can enroll right from the Settings app on your PC. Head to the ‘Update & Security section, then select ‘Windows Insider Program’ and choose the channel you want to join. You will then begin receiving updates through ‘Windows Update’ on your PC corresponding to the channel you joined.

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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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The latest Nintendo Switch Pro rumors are pretty disappointing

Whisperings of a new Nintendo Switch Pro have been gaining more traction in recent months as more and more leaks begin to appear online. While some have potentially been too good to be true, like that Switch Pro production will start in the next few months, we're hoping the most recent rumor isn't true.

On Korean site Clién's community forums (via Wccftech), a poster named Cathedral Knight claims that the Switch Pro will launch in Q4 but will not boast 4K and upgraded performance as expected.

Instead of moving to an upgraded version of Tegrax1 +GPU, Nintendo will apparently work with Nvidia to create a custom processor based on Volta. In other words, not much will actually improve with the Switch Pro, it may just be a little faster.

Let's hope not

Now, let us remind you that this is a rumor and the poster goes on to claim that this custom processor currently isn't ready for mass production – contradicting the previous rumor we heard about the Switch Pro going into mass production in coming months.

Plus a Q4 release would put Nintendo in direct competition with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, a move Nintendo tends to avoid where possible.

While it's been claimed this poster is a reliable source of leaking information, we aren't so sure. We couldn't find any evidence suggesting this is the case, but that's not to say they're completely unreliable, just that – as with every rumor – we should treat it with a suitable amount of speculation. 

In addition, we can't imagine Nintendo releasing a Switch Pro that simply worked a little faster – we would be very disappointed if that was the case and so would a lot of fans. It also doesn't line up with previous rumors that this new Switch would be "premium".

We're hoping Nintendo sheds some light on the rumored Switch Pro in the coming months, but we also hope it boasts more hardware upgrades than this.

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