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Chinese AI Company Files a $1.4 Billion Lawsuit Against Apple for Supposed Infringement

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Apple Lawsuit

Do you like using Apple’s AI technology, Siri? If so, that particular feature is the topic of Apple’s concern because an AI company has filed more than a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company from Cupertino.

Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co. Ltd, also known simply as Xiao-i, is a Chinese artificial intelligence company that has filed a lawsuit against Apple because the company allegedly infringed on its patents, particularly with Siri and the technology that lies within.

It was reported that Xiao-i filed a patent way back in 2004 and they were granted the patent in 2009.

At the time, the iPhone was still in its infancy and Siri was still not in play. The smartphone space was still gaining traction but it seems that Apple was eying on the AI technology from Xiao-i.

Claims Denied

After the filing of the lawsuit, Apple made a press statement stating that the company did not, in any way, infringe on the patents of Xiao-i.

In addition, the spokesperson from Apple said that Siri, when fully examined, does not contain anything that was stated in the patent that was filed by the Chinese AI company, which means that, in essence, Apple didn’t violate anything.

Siri was more of an AI implementation that helps streamline the process of sending messages and it can also help improve mobile gaming somewhat as well.

The statement concluded with the message that Apple executives are looking to see the Chinese AI company in court so they can present evidence that will refute the claims made by Xiao-i.

The Second Time

Apple Billion Dollar Lawsuit

Apparently, this was the second time that the Chinese AI company filed a lawsuit against the company from Cupertino.

They filed a similar lawsuit back then and it demanded that Apple cease to use the said patent for manufacturing, selling, and importing purposes.

It appears that this debacle is now nearly a decade old but it is interesting that Apple will not back down on this fight as it expressed its intention of presenting evidence to deny the ‘outrageous’ claims.

The first lawsuit was filed way back in 2012 and again in 2020. The patent, in question, is confirmed by China’s Supreme People’s Court to be valid, which would mean that in the event that Apple has been deemed infringing upon the said patent, the company would be forced to pay more than a billion dollars in damages.

The New iPhone

In other news, the upcoming iPhone 12 will be delayed a few weeks from its original release schedule in September. Apparently, there was a problem with the production line due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the company assured its fans that the new flagship smartphone will be released in 2020.

It is interesting to note that the company is aiming to release plenty of different iPhone 12 configurations.

Apple will be releasing its iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max first and the cheaper models will be released a few weeks later.

This is interesting because it will be the first time that the company employs such a release schedule. Still, it makes sense from a business standpoint since people will be enticed to get the higher-end models as a result.

Expect the new iPhones to be released sometime in the Fall.

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iOS 14 is Finally Here- Everything You Need to Know

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iOS 14 New

The iOS 14 beta was first introduced back in June 2020 but on September 16, Apple has released the final version of the ever-popular mobile operating system that is placed at the heart of your Apple iPhone.

Just like Android 11, iOS 14 can be construed as an incremental upgrade but there are some noteworthy improvements that you will surely love.

Today, I am going to go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new mobile operating system and find out what new features you might like using immediately.

Features

1.App Library

When you swipe right on the homescreen a couple of times, you will be presented with a new feature called the App Library. Think of this as Apple’s implementation of an app drawer (that is a mainstay in Android Devices).

All of the applications that are found in the App Library are neatly categorized for your convenience. Here, you can find all of your folders and some app folder suggestions as well.

2.Smart Stack

Apple understands that iPhone homescreens can get really cluttered, and so, the company has provided users with the ability to stack the same type of apps into a single folder.

Furthermore, depending on the time of day, the operating system can suggest certain apps that you might like to use at that moment.

For example, the OS might suggest that you use a music streaming app if you want to jog a couple of laps while listening to your favorite music.

3.Widgets

Apple was heavily criticized for not giving users the freedom to add widgets to the homescreen. Well, that has changed in iOS 14.

Now, users have the ability to add any widgets that they like on the homescreen. Not only that but these widgets provide useful information right off the bat so that you can simply glance at the particular widget to find out the current weather conditions, for instance.

You can add as many widgets as you want and you can also resize them a little bit, though its implementation is not as extensive as the Android ecosystem.

iOS 14 What is New

4.Improved Siri

People often use Siri as a means of enabling almost hands-free access to their iPhones. Well, in iOS 14, Siri is vastly improved- both in its AI technology and the things that it can do.

You can make use of Siri to craft messages for you, call specific people, translate foreign languages (more on this later), block possible incoming calls, and so much more.

In addition to what I’ve said, Siri also doesn’t take up the entire screen anymore. Instead, you can look for Siri in a small globe icon that is usually situated at the bottom of the display.

5.Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

This feature was first implemented on iPads, but you can also enjoy picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone as well.

This allows you to play videos on the background while you are face timing someone which is pretty awesome.

6.App Clips

Think of App Clips as Apple’s implementation of Android’s Instant Apps. Basically, you get a hold of some specific app features without actually having to download and install the said app.

For example, you can purchase a coffee from Starbucks just by scanning a particular code. This alleviates the need for downloading the company’s specific app just for the same job.

Not a lot of applications support this as of yet but expect that more and more of them will be supported in the future.

7.iMessage Has New Features

Apple’s Messages app has plenty of new features that you will really love using frequently. First is the ability to pin any important messages within a conversation. You can pin messages just by swiping a particular part of the conversation to the right. The pinned comment can be placed on your homescreen for convenience.

Aside from that, you now have the ability to reply to a specific message within the conversation via inline replies.

Have you ever used Facebook Messenger and you want to mute notifications from certain group chats but still want to get notified if your name is mentioned at any point in the conversation?

Well, that specific feature is also now available on the Messages app as well. This is a great feature if you want to mute notifications from your group chats but you still want to get notified if you’re ever given a special mention.

To mention any person within the chat group, all you have to do is use the ‘@’ symbol and a list of names should pop up. Just tap on the person that you want to shoutout and the app should do the rest.

Lastly, if photos are uploaded to the group chat, you can add an image overlay on top of it or you can add some cute emojis to make it more fun and lively.

iOS 14

8.New Memojis

Memojis are nothing new, but the iOS 14 introduces some new ones, including new headwear, hairstyles, stickers, and so much more.

Moreover, Apple has done a pretty good job of making Memojis even more expressive than ever before!

9.Health App

WatchOS 7 was released in the same window as iOS 14 and because of that, you can expect some integrations with Apple Smartwatches as well.

The new health app not only allows you to use your Apple Watch’s sleep tracking feature, but it also records some important data that you can use to relay to your physician to give you a general idea of your overall health.

10.Improved Weather App

The default weather app in iOS 14 also gets some major improvements, including the ability to give you notifications and more information about upcoming severe weather systems, improved forecast accuracy, precipitation readings, and so much more.

iOS 14 2020

11.Curated Guides

You can use your Apple Watch to help provide you with clear routes if you intend to use a bike to go to work. Although this doesn’t work in all cities all over the world, Apple intends to add support for more cities sometime in the near future.

12.Digital Car Keys

This unique feature not only unlocks your car doors but it can also be used as a means of starting your car’s engine as well.

Not all new cars are supported, however, so if you want to use this feature, make sure that you have a compatible vehicle.

In addition, when the u1 chip is released next year, you can also unlock your car doors without having the phone with you (but you will need an Apple Watch that is tethered to your phone for this to work).

13.Translate App

You will find a new Translate app when you install the new update. The beauty of this application is that you can use its extensive features even when you are not connected to your home network.

This means that if you’re talking to your friend that doesn’t speak the local language, you can use the app to have things translated for you and you can also use its conversations feature so that the translated text can be spoken out loud for your friend to hear (and understand).

Furthermore, you can use your Apple Watch to do the same thing as well since it, too, has its own translate app.

iOS 14 Translate App

14.Improved Privacy

Every time you fire up an application that sends or requires user data, that application must provide you with a heads up if they’re going to do those things. You are given the power to either provide access to that application or deny permissions.

In addition to that, you will see a colored dot that indicates whether your camera or your microphone is in use (green for the camera and orange for the microphone, respectively).

15.Set Default Apps

Apple has finally given you the freedom to choose your own default apps. At the time of writing, you can only set your default web browser and mail application, but the company is set to add support for more applications moving forward.

16.Automatic Switch

If you are using the Airpods Pro and you are also using other Bluetooth devices as well, now you can switch between the said devices seamlessly thanks to an automatic switching ability.

Airpods Pro users can also enjoy the improved spatial audio feature which essentially provides you with an even more immersive listening experience.

17.Password Monitoring

If you’ve been using the same password in almost all of your accounts using an iPhone, iOS 14 introduces a new password monitoring system that will alert you to change passwords whenever it detects any data breach that could compromise your data.

The best thing that you can do is to use a password manager like LastPass so that you will only have to remember a single master password for all of your passwords.

How to Get the New Update?

So, which devices are supported? Well, any iPhone that is above the iPhone 6 is supported. This means that from the iPhone 6s to the newest Apple iPhone SE should receive a notification to download the latest update.

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WatchOS 7- New Features and Everything You Need to Know

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WatchOS 7

Apple’s smartwatch operating system is now on its 7th iteration and although it doesn’t have grandiose features, there are some notable ones nonetheless.

Today, I am going to go over the new features and everything you need to know about WatchOS 7.

What’s New?

The new Apple smartwatch operating system will debut with the release of the Apple Watch 6 but it will also be available on a handful of older generation Apple watches as well.

Anyway, there aren’t a lot of big features included in the new update, but there are some notable ones. Here are just some of them:

1.Watch Faces and Complications

There isn’t a lot of flexibility when it comes to watch faces on Apple smartwatches and that is because the company didn’t make it open source, which means that other developers cannot chime in with their own designs.

But despite the fact that support is limited only to the company, Apple is going to be releasing some new watch faces soon that will not only make your watch look very interesting but it will also add new features and information that will surely be useful to you.

Aside from new watch faces, app developers can also make use of watch complications via a new API. That means that you can use your Apple smartwatch to find out more information about current events, weather, sports, and many others.

For example, if you are going to run a weather app, the said application can provide information about the weather condition, as well as the wind speed, temperature, etc.

2.Sleep Tracking and Wind Down Mode

Apple watches have become one of the most reliable sleep tracking devices for quite some time now and it has only been improved in the new update.

WatchOS 7 provides you with a more robust ‘Sleep’ app that can help you track your sleeping habits and provide you with some tips on how to help improve the quality of your sleep.

You will be able to set your own sleeping time, though you are encouraged to sleep at night (which can be a problem for people who are working in graveyard shifts).

To complement the Sleep app, there is also a Wind Down mode that basically mutes all incoming notifications until the time you’re supposed to wake up. This also means that the watch will not accidentally turn its lighting on whenever you flick your wrist or make watch gestures.

With the use of the watch’s different sensors, the application can record some important metrics that can help you improve your overall sleeping patterns. This is great for people that are not getting the right amount and quality of sleep.

3.Handwashing

One of the best ways to kill the Covid-19 virus is to do frequent handwashing. But, it is not just a mere gesture of wetting your hands with water and putting a little bit of soap and be done with it because there are some set rules that you have to follow to make it even more effective.

As a general rule, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. I think by now, you know the basic principles of handwashing, albeit you have to do it 20 seconds at a time.

To help you instill good handwashing habits, the WatchOS 7 can use an Apple Watch’s motion sensors, built-in AI, and microphone to ensure that you are doing it correctly.

If it senses that you are done before the 20-second mark, it will remind you to continue washing your hands. 

In addition, the watch will also remind you to wash your hands again once you come home from work or from somewhere else.

4.Fitness

It is always a good idea to strengthen your immune system and one way to do that would be to increase your daily physical activities.

The new update brings with it a new fitness app that includes four additional activities that you can track using your Apple Watch.

If you are a fan of dancing, the new fitness app can help you track a lot of popular dance routines, including Hip-hop, Latin, Bollywood, and so much more.

Aside from dance tracking, you also have options for functional strength training and core training. It is said that resistance training not only helps build muscle but it can also be good for your general health as well.

Lastly, you can also track your cooldown regimen as well. This includes some stretching and things that you can do to maximize your time after working out.

WatchOS 7 Review

5.Hearing

According to the WHO, people should not exceed listening to music at 80 decibels for more than 40 hours a week. Otherwise, your hearing will be compromised.

To help protect your ears, the new WatchOS 7 can send you timely notifications to remind you to stop listening to loud music once you’ve reached the 40-hour mark (this could be in a span of one week).

I think that most people are not going to go beyond that limit anyway, but it is still a nice feature if you forget to rest your ears.

If you are using wireless headphones, you will hear a chime that will notify you when you are close to the said limit.

6.Maps

As part of physical distancing measures, people are encouraged to ride a bike to work instead of taking public transport (this is assuming that you do not have your own car).

If you are riding a bike to work, the new feature can help plot a course that will help make your travel more seamless.

For instance, if there is a huge stairway in your path, your Apple smartwatch can plot a different course for you to take for a smoother ride.

Of course, it should go without saying that this feature is only available for LTE versions of the Apple Watch as this thing will require continuous internet connectivity to work.

7.Translation and an Improved Siri

Siri, Apple’s own AI assistant, has been vastly improved. This time, you are able to send voice-to-text commands right on your Apple Smartwatch and you can use that feature to help you translate some foreign words to your chosen language.

For instance, if you want to know the Japanese term for ‘hello’, you can say that to Siri and she will not only translate that for you but she will also say it out loud so that you will know how it is said correctly.

This is a nifty feature, especially if you are talking to some foreign clients and you want a quick way to know the meaning of certain words that you are not familiar with.

How to Get the Update?

WatchOS 7 Review 2020

The new WatchOS 7 is now available only for select Apple smartwatches. This means that your unit should be at least Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and the new Apple Watch SE. Apple Watch 6, as mentioned earlier, already comes with the new operating system so you do not have to worry about anything.

There are three ways to get the update. The first one would be to open up the Watch application on your iPhone. Next, tap ‘General’ and you will find the option to install a ‘Software Update’.

Alternatively, you can also do the update process directly on your Apple smartwatch as well. To do this, head on over to Settings->General->Software Update.

Apple is employing a staggered rollout which means that you might not get notified even though the update is already available for download. The above steps can be done in order to force the watch to get the new update.

If you are patient, you can go with the third approach and just wait for the notification that will prompt you to download the new update.

There are a few things that you have to remember before initiating the update. First, you need to be connected to your WiFi router as the update will not push through if you are using an LTE connection.

Second, your Apple Watch must at least have 50% of battery before downloading and installing the update to ensure that the device won’t turn off during the entire process.

Third, do not touch the watch while it is updating. Let the entire thing install first before you can use the watch again. It is vital that the entire process is not interrupted, otherwise, you could experience a lot of issues.

WatchOS 7 Update

Conclusion

The WatchOS 7 is an iterative update, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some exciting and important features.

I am really happy about the Watch faces and complications because it just provides you with a much better user experience, especially since app developers can now introduce more watch-specific features to the masses.

The sleep tracking, handwashing, hearing, and fitness applications help you improve your overall health, especially since we are still under the effects of a global pandemic.

I also find maps and Siri’s translation services to be quite useful as well, so there are still a lot of things to be happy about with the new update.

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Xbox Series X- When Will It Be Released and What Does It Bring to the Table?

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Microsoft Xbox Series X

After months of hype and speculations, the Microsoft Xbox Series X has finally been unveiled to the public and we now know a lot more information about the upcoming game console than ever before.

In this article, I will go over the key points that you need to know about Microsoft’s console, such as release dates, pricing, new features and technologies, and so much more.

Release Date and Pricing

The Xbox Series X will be released on November 10 and pre-orders will start as early as September 22. The price of the said game console will be $499 which is in-line with Sony’s Playstation 5 disc edition.

Unlike Sony where the company has decided to employ a staggered release date for its PS5 consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X will be released on the same date worldwide. Of course, there is the challenge of availability considering that we are still suffering from a global pandemic, which is why pre-ordering the console (assuming that you want to get one) makes a whole lot of sense.

Design

Microsoft Xbox Series X 1

Unlike previous Xbox consoles, the Series X will actually have a more tower-like design with some air vents that can be visibly seen on top of the device.

The Series X will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player, so you could say that it is indeed quite similar to what Sony has to offer.

As of the time of writing this article, the console will only be available in black, though with the release of prior Xbox consoles, a white-colored Xbox is not too far off.

The more vertical design of the upcoming gaming machine might prove to be challenging for some people, especially when it comes to desk space. You will need to have adequate space to rest the console on the surface.

Specs

Microsoft Xbox Series X Design

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2, 8-cores/16-threads (via SMT) @3.8GHz (boost) and 3.6GHz (base)
  • GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units, 12 TFLOPS, and @ 1.825GHz
  • Process (nodes): 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 320-bit Bus, 10GB @ 560GB/s and GB @ 336GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Internal Storage: 1GB Custom NVMe SSD, 4.8 GB/s (read) and 2.4 GB/s (write) (both are theoretical values)
  • Storage Expansion: 1TB
  • External Storage Support: USB 3.2 External HDD
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120FPS (Theoretical)

I am really very excited about the new-gen consoles because they are packed with serious hardware that allows you to play games at 4K resolution without any issues.

Just like the PS5, the Xbox Series X is also powered by a custom AMD Ryzen CPU (using Zen 2 architecture) and a custom AMD GPU (using the new RDNA2 architecture). This performance package should allow you to play games at 4K@ 60 frames per second ‘comfortably’ (at least according to Microsoft Xbox president, Phil Spencer) and it could even give you the right amount of processing power to achieve more than 60 frames per second (up to 120 frames per second, theoretically).

The CPU, according to Digital Foundry, has a base clock of 3.6GHz and it boosts up to 3.8GHz. The good thing is that the boosting algorithms will only kick in when the console needs more horsepower which can be a good thing both from a performance and thermals standpoint.

It is also worth noting that the new Xbox will support ray tracing. Thus, you can enable such a feature in the games that support it and you will not have to worry about any performance penalties at all since the hardware is more than capable.

This new and upcoming game console will also be using a custom 1TB NVMe SSD which is 100+ GB more than what the PS5 has to offer.

While Spencer didn’t mention anything specific, the SSD that comes in the Xbox Series X should be faster than any consumer SSD that you can find on the market up to this point.

This would mean that if you are going to use its expansion slot to add more storage, you will have to buy an SSD directly from Microsoft if you want to get the best performance possible out of a storage drive.

If you are okay with using an external hard drive, it can support one that is using a USB 3.2 Gen 1 cable.

The optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray player and each game disc can hold as much as 100GB of storage (though it is more likely that each disc can contain an amount lower than that).

Features

The Microsoft Xbox Series X has a lot of nice features up its sleeve. For one, it has the new Velocity architecture that makes good use of the console’s NVMe SSD, thus virtually eliminating load times.

In line with the said technology, you will also get to enjoy the ‘Quick Resume’ feature where you can pick up right where you left off almost instantly thanks to the use of a new DirectStorage API and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) technologies.

The Xbox Series X will also have VRR or Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. The former will eliminate screen tearing and improve overall frame rates and the latter will ensure that it will use your chosen display’s lowest latency mode for maximum performance.

Because the Playstation 5 can support 8K resolution, Phil Spencer also said that the Microsoft Xbox Series X can also handle that as well, though it remains to be seen if the gaming experience will be somewhat enjoyable, given how taxing the said resolution can be.

Controller

Microsoft Xbox Series X Controller

Unlike the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, not much is known about the Series X’s controller. Spencer did say that it will have a slimmer form factor and its D-Pad is vastly improved (to mimic the Xbox Elite controller which is a 3rd-party peripheral).

The rumble motors are reported to make a comeback, though I do not know if it will be a better implementation than the haptics that are embedded in the DualSense controller.

It seems that lowering the latency is one of the top priorities of the company as Spencer said that it will have a Dynamic Latency Input feature that will significantly reduce the input lag of the said controller. Of course, this will be tested in our review once the unit is available.

Games

It is a bit of a disappointment that Halo Infinite, which used to be a launch title, is delayed until 2021. There are still plenty of different games, however, and here are just some of the most notable ones:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Battlefield 6
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
  • Chivalry 2
  • Control: Ultimate Edition
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dirt 5
  • Dragon Age 4
  • Dying Light 2
  • Everwild
  • Exomecha
  • Fable
  • Far Cry 6
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Graven
  • Hood: Outlaws and Legends
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Scorn
  • State of Decay 3
  • Watch Dogs: Legion

Backward Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Xbox Series X Game Pass

A lot of people were disappointed by the fact that the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games and is not backward compatible with the older generation Playstation consoles. The Microsoft Xbox Series X is different.

You see, it not only supports all of the games from its predecessor’s content portfolio, but it will also support most of the games of the older generation platforms as well. This means that even the original Xbox games are playable on the new game console which is a really good thing.

You would want to register for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so that you can unlock all of the games. It is worth noting that by getting the game pass, you also have the privilege of using the company’s xCloud feature that allows you to play Xbox games while you are on the go. Think of this as an improved version of Google Stadia.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with what the Microsoft Xbox Series X has to offer. Aside from its very powerful hardware, its new features and technologies will certainly improve your gaming experience manifold.

By getting the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get to enjoy your favorite Xbox games while on the go, while also unlocking all of the possible older-generation games that are playable on the new platform.

It remains to be seen if the new controller is better, but I am eager to find out if the new low latency feature can truly decrease input lag by a lot.

Remember that you can already pre-order your own unit today and the console will be officially released on November 10 in all regions. It costs $499.

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Chinese AI Company Files a $1.4 Billion Lawsuit Against Apple for Supposed Infringement

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Apple Lawsuit

Do you like using Apple’s AI technology, Siri? If so, that particular feature is the topic of Apple’s concern because an AI company has filed more than a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company from Cupertino.

Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co. Ltd, also known simply as Xiao-i, is a Chinese artificial intelligence company that has filed a lawsuit against Apple because the company allegedly infringed on its patents, particularly with Siri and the technology that lies within.

It was reported that Xiao-i filed a patent way back in 2004 and they were granted the patent in 2009.

At the time, the iPhone was still in its infancy and Siri was still not in play. The smartphone space was still gaining traction but it seems that Apple was eying on the AI technology from Xiao-i.

Claims Denied

After the filing of the lawsuit, Apple made a press statement stating that the company did not, in any way, infringe on the patents of Xiao-i.

In addition, the spokesperson from Apple said that Siri, when fully examined, does not contain anything that was stated in the patent that was filed by the Chinese AI company, which means that, in essence, Apple didn’t violate anything.

Siri was more of an AI implementation that helps streamline the process of sending messages and it can also help improve mobile gaming somewhat as well.

The statement concluded with the message that Apple executives are looking to see the Chinese AI company in court so they can present evidence that will refute the claims made by Xiao-i.

The Second Time

Apple Billion Dollar Lawsuit

Apparently, this was the second time that the Chinese AI company filed a lawsuit against the company from Cupertino.

They filed a similar lawsuit back then and it demanded that Apple cease to use the said patent for manufacturing, selling, and importing purposes.

It appears that this debacle is now nearly a decade old but it is interesting that Apple will not back down on this fight as it expressed its intention of presenting evidence to deny the ‘outrageous’ claims.

The first lawsuit was filed way back in 2012 and again in 2020. The patent, in question, is confirmed by China’s Supreme People’s Court to be valid, which would mean that in the event that Apple has been deemed infringing upon the said patent, the company would be forced to pay more than a billion dollars in damages.

The New iPhone

In other news, the upcoming iPhone 12 will be delayed a few weeks from its original release schedule in September. Apparently, there was a problem with the production line due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the company assured its fans that the new flagship smartphone will be released in 2020.

It is interesting to note that the company is aiming to release plenty of different iPhone 12 configurations.

Apple will be releasing its iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max first and the cheaper models will be released a few weeks later.

This is interesting because it will be the first time that the company employs such a release schedule. Still, it makes sense from a business standpoint since people will be enticed to get the higher-end models as a result.

Expect the new iPhones to be released sometime in the Fall.

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iOS 14 is Finally Here- Everything You Need to Know

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iOS 14 New

The iOS 14 beta was first introduced back in June 2020 but on September 16, Apple has released the final version of the ever-popular mobile operating system that is placed at the heart of your Apple iPhone.

Just like Android 11, iOS 14 can be construed as an incremental upgrade but there are some noteworthy improvements that you will surely love.

Today, I am going to go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new mobile operating system and find out what new features you might like using immediately.

Features

1.App Library

When you swipe right on the homescreen a couple of times, you will be presented with a new feature called the App Library. Think of this as Apple’s implementation of an app drawer (that is a mainstay in Android Devices).

All of the applications that are found in the App Library are neatly categorized for your convenience. Here, you can find all of your folders and some app folder suggestions as well.

2.Smart Stack

Apple understands that iPhone homescreens can get really cluttered, and so, the company has provided users with the ability to stack the same type of apps into a single folder.

Furthermore, depending on the time of day, the operating system can suggest certain apps that you might like to use at that moment.

For example, the OS might suggest that you use a music streaming app if you want to jog a couple of laps while listening to your favorite music.

3.Widgets

Apple was heavily criticized for not giving users the freedom to add widgets to the homescreen. Well, that has changed in iOS 14.

Now, users have the ability to add any widgets that they like on the homescreen. Not only that but these widgets provide useful information right off the bat so that you can simply glance at the particular widget to find out the current weather conditions, for instance.

You can add as many widgets as you want and you can also resize them a little bit, though its implementation is not as extensive as the Android ecosystem.

iOS 14 What is New

4.Improved Siri

People often use Siri as a means of enabling almost hands-free access to their iPhones. Well, in iOS 14, Siri is vastly improved- both in its AI technology and the things that it can do.

You can make use of Siri to craft messages for you, call specific people, translate foreign languages (more on this later), block possible incoming calls, and so much more.

In addition to what I’ve said, Siri also doesn’t take up the entire screen anymore. Instead, you can look for Siri in a small globe icon that is usually situated at the bottom of the display.

5.Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

This feature was first implemented on iPads, but you can also enjoy picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone as well.

This allows you to play videos on the background while you are face timing someone which is pretty awesome.

6.App Clips

Think of App Clips as Apple’s implementation of Android’s Instant Apps. Basically, you get a hold of some specific app features without actually having to download and install the said app.

For example, you can purchase a coffee from Starbucks just by scanning a particular code. This alleviates the need for downloading the company’s specific app just for the same job.

Not a lot of applications support this as of yet but expect that more and more of them will be supported in the future.

7.iMessage Has New Features

Apple’s Messages app has plenty of new features that you will really love using frequently. First is the ability to pin any important messages within a conversation. You can pin messages just by swiping a particular part of the conversation to the right. The pinned comment can be placed on your homescreen for convenience.

Aside from that, you now have the ability to reply to a specific message within the conversation via inline replies.

Have you ever used Facebook Messenger and you want to mute notifications from certain group chats but still want to get notified if your name is mentioned at any point in the conversation?

Well, that specific feature is also now available on the Messages app as well. This is a great feature if you want to mute notifications from your group chats but you still want to get notified if you’re ever given a special mention.

To mention any person within the chat group, all you have to do is use the ‘@’ symbol and a list of names should pop up. Just tap on the person that you want to shoutout and the app should do the rest.

Lastly, if photos are uploaded to the group chat, you can add an image overlay on top of it or you can add some cute emojis to make it more fun and lively.

iOS 14

8.New Memojis

Memojis are nothing new, but the iOS 14 introduces some new ones, including new headwear, hairstyles, stickers, and so much more.

Moreover, Apple has done a pretty good job of making Memojis even more expressive than ever before!

9.Health App

WatchOS 7 was released in the same window as iOS 14 and because of that, you can expect some integrations with Apple Smartwatches as well.

The new health app not only allows you to use your Apple Watch’s sleep tracking feature, but it also records some important data that you can use to relay to your physician to give you a general idea of your overall health.

10.Improved Weather App

The default weather app in iOS 14 also gets some major improvements, including the ability to give you notifications and more information about upcoming severe weather systems, improved forecast accuracy, precipitation readings, and so much more.

iOS 14 2020

11.Curated Guides

You can use your Apple Watch to help provide you with clear routes if you intend to use a bike to go to work. Although this doesn’t work in all cities all over the world, Apple intends to add support for more cities sometime in the near future.

12.Digital Car Keys

This unique feature not only unlocks your car doors but it can also be used as a means of starting your car’s engine as well.

Not all new cars are supported, however, so if you want to use this feature, make sure that you have a compatible vehicle.

In addition, when the u1 chip is released next year, you can also unlock your car doors without having the phone with you (but you will need an Apple Watch that is tethered to your phone for this to work).

13.Translate App

You will find a new Translate app when you install the new update. The beauty of this application is that you can use its extensive features even when you are not connected to your home network.

This means that if you’re talking to your friend that doesn’t speak the local language, you can use the app to have things translated for you and you can also use its conversations feature so that the translated text can be spoken out loud for your friend to hear (and understand).

Furthermore, you can use your Apple Watch to do the same thing as well since it, too, has its own translate app.

iOS 14 Translate App

14.Improved Privacy

Every time you fire up an application that sends or requires user data, that application must provide you with a heads up if they’re going to do those things. You are given the power to either provide access to that application or deny permissions.

In addition to that, you will see a colored dot that indicates whether your camera or your microphone is in use (green for the camera and orange for the microphone, respectively).

15.Set Default Apps

Apple has finally given you the freedom to choose your own default apps. At the time of writing, you can only set your default web browser and mail application, but the company is set to add support for more applications moving forward.

16.Automatic Switch

If you are using the Airpods Pro and you are also using other Bluetooth devices as well, now you can switch between the said devices seamlessly thanks to an automatic switching ability.

Airpods Pro users can also enjoy the improved spatial audio feature which essentially provides you with an even more immersive listening experience.

17.Password Monitoring

If you’ve been using the same password in almost all of your accounts using an iPhone, iOS 14 introduces a new password monitoring system that will alert you to change passwords whenever it detects any data breach that could compromise your data.

The best thing that you can do is to use a password manager like LastPass so that you will only have to remember a single master password for all of your passwords.

How to Get the New Update?

So, which devices are supported? Well, any iPhone that is above the iPhone 6 is supported. This means that from the iPhone 6s to the newest Apple iPhone SE should receive a notification to download the latest update.

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WatchOS 7- New Features and Everything You Need to Know

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WatchOS 7

Apple’s smartwatch operating system is now on its 7th iteration and although it doesn’t have grandiose features, there are some notable ones nonetheless.

Today, I am going to go over the new features and everything you need to know about WatchOS 7.

What’s New?

The new Apple smartwatch operating system will debut with the release of the Apple Watch 6 but it will also be available on a handful of older generation Apple watches as well.

Anyway, there aren’t a lot of big features included in the new update, but there are some notable ones. Here are just some of them:

1.Watch Faces and Complications

There isn’t a lot of flexibility when it comes to watch faces on Apple smartwatches and that is because the company didn’t make it open source, which means that other developers cannot chime in with their own designs.

But despite the fact that support is limited only to the company, Apple is going to be releasing some new watch faces soon that will not only make your watch look very interesting but it will also add new features and information that will surely be useful to you.

Aside from new watch faces, app developers can also make use of watch complications via a new API. That means that you can use your Apple smartwatch to find out more information about current events, weather, sports, and many others.

For example, if you are going to run a weather app, the said application can provide information about the weather condition, as well as the wind speed, temperature, etc.

2.Sleep Tracking and Wind Down Mode

Apple watches have become one of the most reliable sleep tracking devices for quite some time now and it has only been improved in the new update.

WatchOS 7 provides you with a more robust ‘Sleep’ app that can help you track your sleeping habits and provide you with some tips on how to help improve the quality of your sleep.

You will be able to set your own sleeping time, though you are encouraged to sleep at night (which can be a problem for people who are working in graveyard shifts).

To complement the Sleep app, there is also a Wind Down mode that basically mutes all incoming notifications until the time you’re supposed to wake up. This also means that the watch will not accidentally turn its lighting on whenever you flick your wrist or make watch gestures.

With the use of the watch’s different sensors, the application can record some important metrics that can help you improve your overall sleeping patterns. This is great for people that are not getting the right amount and quality of sleep.

3.Handwashing

One of the best ways to kill the Covid-19 virus is to do frequent handwashing. But, it is not just a mere gesture of wetting your hands with water and putting a little bit of soap and be done with it because there are some set rules that you have to follow to make it even more effective.

As a general rule, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. I think by now, you know the basic principles of handwashing, albeit you have to do it 20 seconds at a time.

To help you instill good handwashing habits, the WatchOS 7 can use an Apple Watch’s motion sensors, built-in AI, and microphone to ensure that you are doing it correctly.

If it senses that you are done before the 20-second mark, it will remind you to continue washing your hands. 

In addition, the watch will also remind you to wash your hands again once you come home from work or from somewhere else.

4.Fitness

It is always a good idea to strengthen your immune system and one way to do that would be to increase your daily physical activities.

The new update brings with it a new fitness app that includes four additional activities that you can track using your Apple Watch.

If you are a fan of dancing, the new fitness app can help you track a lot of popular dance routines, including Hip-hop, Latin, Bollywood, and so much more.

Aside from dance tracking, you also have options for functional strength training and core training. It is said that resistance training not only helps build muscle but it can also be good for your general health as well.

Lastly, you can also track your cooldown regimen as well. This includes some stretching and things that you can do to maximize your time after working out.

WatchOS 7 Review

5.Hearing

According to the WHO, people should not exceed listening to music at 80 decibels for more than 40 hours a week. Otherwise, your hearing will be compromised.

To help protect your ears, the new WatchOS 7 can send you timely notifications to remind you to stop listening to loud music once you’ve reached the 40-hour mark (this could be in a span of one week).

I think that most people are not going to go beyond that limit anyway, but it is still a nice feature if you forget to rest your ears.

If you are using wireless headphones, you will hear a chime that will notify you when you are close to the said limit.

6.Maps

As part of physical distancing measures, people are encouraged to ride a bike to work instead of taking public transport (this is assuming that you do not have your own car).

If you are riding a bike to work, the new feature can help plot a course that will help make your travel more seamless.

For instance, if there is a huge stairway in your path, your Apple smartwatch can plot a different course for you to take for a smoother ride.

Of course, it should go without saying that this feature is only available for LTE versions of the Apple Watch as this thing will require continuous internet connectivity to work.

7.Translation and an Improved Siri

Siri, Apple’s own AI assistant, has been vastly improved. This time, you are able to send voice-to-text commands right on your Apple Smartwatch and you can use that feature to help you translate some foreign words to your chosen language.

For instance, if you want to know the Japanese term for ‘hello’, you can say that to Siri and she will not only translate that for you but she will also say it out loud so that you will know how it is said correctly.

This is a nifty feature, especially if you are talking to some foreign clients and you want a quick way to know the meaning of certain words that you are not familiar with.

How to Get the Update?

WatchOS 7 Review 2020

The new WatchOS 7 is now available only for select Apple smartwatches. This means that your unit should be at least Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and the new Apple Watch SE. Apple Watch 6, as mentioned earlier, already comes with the new operating system so you do not have to worry about anything.

There are three ways to get the update. The first one would be to open up the Watch application on your iPhone. Next, tap ‘General’ and you will find the option to install a ‘Software Update’.

Alternatively, you can also do the update process directly on your Apple smartwatch as well. To do this, head on over to Settings->General->Software Update.

Apple is employing a staggered rollout which means that you might not get notified even though the update is already available for download. The above steps can be done in order to force the watch to get the new update.

If you are patient, you can go with the third approach and just wait for the notification that will prompt you to download the new update.

There are a few things that you have to remember before initiating the update. First, you need to be connected to your WiFi router as the update will not push through if you are using an LTE connection.

Second, your Apple Watch must at least have 50% of battery before downloading and installing the update to ensure that the device won’t turn off during the entire process.

Third, do not touch the watch while it is updating. Let the entire thing install first before you can use the watch again. It is vital that the entire process is not interrupted, otherwise, you could experience a lot of issues.

WatchOS 7 Update

Conclusion

The WatchOS 7 is an iterative update, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some exciting and important features.

I am really happy about the Watch faces and complications because it just provides you with a much better user experience, especially since app developers can now introduce more watch-specific features to the masses.

The sleep tracking, handwashing, hearing, and fitness applications help you improve your overall health, especially since we are still under the effects of a global pandemic.

I also find maps and Siri’s translation services to be quite useful as well, so there are still a lot of things to be happy about with the new update.

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Xbox Series X- When Will It Be Released and What Does It Bring to the Table?

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Microsoft Xbox Series X

After months of hype and speculations, the Microsoft Xbox Series X has finally been unveiled to the public and we now know a lot more information about the upcoming game console than ever before.

In this article, I will go over the key points that you need to know about Microsoft’s console, such as release dates, pricing, new features and technologies, and so much more.

Release Date and Pricing

The Xbox Series X will be released on November 10 and pre-orders will start as early as September 22. The price of the said game console will be $499 which is in-line with Sony’s Playstation 5 disc edition.

Unlike Sony where the company has decided to employ a staggered release date for its PS5 consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X will be released on the same date worldwide. Of course, there is the challenge of availability considering that we are still suffering from a global pandemic, which is why pre-ordering the console (assuming that you want to get one) makes a whole lot of sense.

Design

Microsoft Xbox Series X 1

Unlike previous Xbox consoles, the Series X will actually have a more tower-like design with some air vents that can be visibly seen on top of the device.

The Series X will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player, so you could say that it is indeed quite similar to what Sony has to offer.

As of the time of writing this article, the console will only be available in black, though with the release of prior Xbox consoles, a white-colored Xbox is not too far off.

The more vertical design of the upcoming gaming machine might prove to be challenging for some people, especially when it comes to desk space. You will need to have adequate space to rest the console on the surface.

Specs

Microsoft Xbox Series X Design

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2, 8-cores/16-threads (via SMT) @3.8GHz (boost) and 3.6GHz (base)
  • GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units, 12 TFLOPS, and @ 1.825GHz
  • Process (nodes): 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 320-bit Bus, 10GB @ 560GB/s and GB @ 336GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Internal Storage: 1GB Custom NVMe SSD, 4.8 GB/s (read) and 2.4 GB/s (write) (both are theoretical values)
  • Storage Expansion: 1TB
  • External Storage Support: USB 3.2 External HDD
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120FPS (Theoretical)

I am really very excited about the new-gen consoles because they are packed with serious hardware that allows you to play games at 4K resolution without any issues.

Just like the PS5, the Xbox Series X is also powered by a custom AMD Ryzen CPU (using Zen 2 architecture) and a custom AMD GPU (using the new RDNA2 architecture). This performance package should allow you to play games at 4K@ 60 frames per second ‘comfortably’ (at least according to Microsoft Xbox president, Phil Spencer) and it could even give you the right amount of processing power to achieve more than 60 frames per second (up to 120 frames per second, theoretically).

The CPU, according to Digital Foundry, has a base clock of 3.6GHz and it boosts up to 3.8GHz. The good thing is that the boosting algorithms will only kick in when the console needs more horsepower which can be a good thing both from a performance and thermals standpoint.

It is also worth noting that the new Xbox will support ray tracing. Thus, you can enable such a feature in the games that support it and you will not have to worry about any performance penalties at all since the hardware is more than capable.

This new and upcoming game console will also be using a custom 1TB NVMe SSD which is 100+ GB more than what the PS5 has to offer.

While Spencer didn’t mention anything specific, the SSD that comes in the Xbox Series X should be faster than any consumer SSD that you can find on the market up to this point.

This would mean that if you are going to use its expansion slot to add more storage, you will have to buy an SSD directly from Microsoft if you want to get the best performance possible out of a storage drive.

If you are okay with using an external hard drive, it can support one that is using a USB 3.2 Gen 1 cable.

The optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray player and each game disc can hold as much as 100GB of storage (though it is more likely that each disc can contain an amount lower than that).

Features

The Microsoft Xbox Series X has a lot of nice features up its sleeve. For one, it has the new Velocity architecture that makes good use of the console’s NVMe SSD, thus virtually eliminating load times.

In line with the said technology, you will also get to enjoy the ‘Quick Resume’ feature where you can pick up right where you left off almost instantly thanks to the use of a new DirectStorage API and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) technologies.

The Xbox Series X will also have VRR or Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. The former will eliminate screen tearing and improve overall frame rates and the latter will ensure that it will use your chosen display’s lowest latency mode for maximum performance.

Because the Playstation 5 can support 8K resolution, Phil Spencer also said that the Microsoft Xbox Series X can also handle that as well, though it remains to be seen if the gaming experience will be somewhat enjoyable, given how taxing the said resolution can be.

Controller

Microsoft Xbox Series X Controller

Unlike the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, not much is known about the Series X’s controller. Spencer did say that it will have a slimmer form factor and its D-Pad is vastly improved (to mimic the Xbox Elite controller which is a 3rd-party peripheral).

The rumble motors are reported to make a comeback, though I do not know if it will be a better implementation than the haptics that are embedded in the DualSense controller.

It seems that lowering the latency is one of the top priorities of the company as Spencer said that it will have a Dynamic Latency Input feature that will significantly reduce the input lag of the said controller. Of course, this will be tested in our review once the unit is available.

Games

It is a bit of a disappointment that Halo Infinite, which used to be a launch title, is delayed until 2021. There are still plenty of different games, however, and here are just some of the most notable ones:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Battlefield 6
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
  • Chivalry 2
  • Control: Ultimate Edition
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dirt 5
  • Dragon Age 4
  • Dying Light 2
  • Everwild
  • Exomecha
  • Fable
  • Far Cry 6
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Graven
  • Hood: Outlaws and Legends
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Scorn
  • State of Decay 3
  • Watch Dogs: Legion

Backward Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Xbox Series X Game Pass

A lot of people were disappointed by the fact that the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games and is not backward compatible with the older generation Playstation consoles. The Microsoft Xbox Series X is different.

You see, it not only supports all of the games from its predecessor’s content portfolio, but it will also support most of the games of the older generation platforms as well. This means that even the original Xbox games are playable on the new game console which is a really good thing.

You would want to register for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so that you can unlock all of the games. It is worth noting that by getting the game pass, you also have the privilege of using the company’s xCloud feature that allows you to play Xbox games while you are on the go. Think of this as an improved version of Google Stadia.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with what the Microsoft Xbox Series X has to offer. Aside from its very powerful hardware, its new features and technologies will certainly improve your gaming experience manifold.

By getting the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get to enjoy your favorite Xbox games while on the go, while also unlocking all of the possible older-generation games that are playable on the new platform.

It remains to be seen if the new controller is better, but I am eager to find out if the new low latency feature can truly decrease input lag by a lot.

Remember that you can already pre-order your own unit today and the console will be officially released on November 10 in all regions. It costs $499.

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