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Apple Music subscribers can now listen to Dolby Atmos spatial audio

25th June 2021
"Apple Music subscribers may now hear Dolby Atmos spatial audio and lossless tracks for free"

Apple Songs now provides free access to music in Dolby Atmos and lossless quality.

Apple announced support for spatial audio during the Apple Music Spatial Audio event, bringing the Dolby Atmos music standard and high-resolution lossless music to Apple Music. The best aspect is that Apple Music members do not have to pay anything more to enjoy the high-quality music standards. Dolby Atmos is now accessible in a large catalog of titles from various artists and genres, according to Apple, and lossless music is now available in several of them.

Spatial Audio will provide depth to music by allowing for the placement of an instrument in a chorus and immersive 3D sound.

Apple Music will feature Dolby Atmos-tuned music on AirPods and Beats headphones equipped with the W1 or H1 chipset. However, according to the firm, certain alternative headphones are also compatible. In terms of lossless audio, Apple provides customers with both CD quality and high-resolution lossless quality standards, but the latter would necessitate the use of an external DAC for compatibility with headphones and earbuds. And because these two audio qualities are not enabled by default, you will be listening to the normal AAC format.

According to Apple, there are over 20 million songs available in lossless quality, which spans a wide spectrum of genres.

Apple, on the other hand, hopes to provide lossless quality to its entire repertoire of over 75 million songs by the end of 2021. Apple has even created playlists with thumbnails informing Apple Music users about the new lossless format. However, the collection of music with spatial audio support is smaller than that of lossless music, but Apple is promoting Dolby Atmos tracks from some of the most well-known artists, bands, and labels. Apple Music will gradually add more tunes with Dolby Atmos support.

Apple Music is the only place where you can listen to lossless music. This means you can stream and download it, but you'll need to adjust the audio quality settings.

The usual lossless quality music will be playable on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV 4K. However, for high-resolution lossless quality music, you will need an additional DAC, which, while pricey, will delight audiophiles.

Apple Music's new lossless music competes with Amazon Music HD, which also streams CD-quality music. Amazon reduced the price of Amazon Music HD to $9.99 per month shortly after Apple announced lossless music last month. Meanwhile, Spotify has stated that it would introduce Hi-Res lossless music quality later this year.

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Compiled by : Rahul Shrestha Rahul Shrestha

Apple profit soars on higher iphone sales

22nd June 2021
"The iPhone, Apple’s crown jewel, hadn’t sold quite as well as usual over the past few years"

High demand for iPhone and other Apple products resulted in more than double profit for the company in the first quarter.

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The company's profits came to $23.6 billion, while revenue climbed 54% to $89.6 billion in the fiscal second quarter. 

Although the iPhone hadn't sold as well as it does usually as people have been holding on to their current models. 

iPhone 12's release however has brought the sales back on track.

It is being analyzed that the popularity of the iPhone 12 could lead to the product's biggest sales since 2014 when iPhone 6 came out. 

The iPhone 12 is the first model that supports 5G wireless network which promises higher speeds. 

The other services of Apple such as music and TV streaming services, recently announced AirTags, computers, and tablets have also accelerated the sales. 

Mac sales soared 70% to $9.1 billion, a revenue record for the company, and iPad sales climbed 79% to $7.8 billion.
 

Compiled by : Raj Kapali Raj Kapali

Apple announces iOS 15 with new features

23rd June 2021
"This year's WorldWide Developers Conference has begun with an emphasis on the next version of Apple's operating system for iPhones"

This year's WorldWide Developers Conference has begun with an emphasis on the next version of Apple's operating system for iPhones. iOS 15 now includes a slew of new capabilities in its apps and services.

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According to Apple VP Craig Federighi, iOS 15 includes improvements to FaceTime, Focus, Messages, Photos, and other features. Here's how these changes claim to improve iPhone user experience.

FaceTime

Apple's goal is to make FaceTime calls appear more natural to its users. In order to accomplish this, the business announced the Spatial Audio functionality for FaceTime. The technology ensures that the sound from FaceTime calls is stretched out to simulate where the speaker is in relation to the mic, providing the listener with a surround sound experience.

In addition, Voice Isolation is now available in FaceTime. The functionality will aid in the transmission of clear voice from a person on a video call. It will do so by decreasing background noise and isolating the speaker's voice, similar to how voice calls work.

If users want to include all voices and noise, they can select Wide Spectrum, and every sound picked up by the microphone will be relayed to the listener exactly as it is.

There is also a new Grid View for the app that displays every guest in a huge tile style to keep track of who is saying what. Apple has also added Portrait Mode to FaceTime, which allows attendees to stand out from the background during a video conversation.

FaceTime users will soon be able to share links, similar to Zoom meeting links. According to Apple, these links will function on any platform. FaceTime has received a significant update with the addition of SharePlay, which allows for shared experiences during a FaceTime session.

Users may now listen to music, watch movies and videos, and share their screen with friends via FaceTime. The apps will be opened within FaceTime, and the FaceTime controls will show on top in a tab-like fashion. Apple claims it is collaborating with Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, the NBA, and other content partners to expand support for this functionality.

Messages

Multiple photographs submitted in a chat will now be shown in a new collage look in messages. Furthermore, Apple has added Shared Stacks, which will transfer over items shared with the user from Messages to their News app and Photos app for display.

This means that Shared Stacks will appear in the News section, Safari, Apple News, and other platforms where shared items are available.

Focus

Apple has improved the functions of Focus to provide the user with a more personalized experience based on their schedule. A new Notification Summary, for example, will leverage on-device intelligence based on user patterns to summarize notifications that may be given collectively at a defined time.

This is combined with new Focus statuses, which allow you to pick when you want to see notifications from specific apps, making your phone functions more specific to routines such as exercises, the office, or your personal time. These changes will be applied to the home screen, notification preferences, and all devices.

Furthermore, Do Not Disturb will now notify others of your status via the Messages app. It will even allow them to bypass the DND and ping you in the event of a critical interaction.

Photos

iOS 15 adds Live Text to Photos, allowing users to select text visible in photographs, which may then be copied and used as text in other apps. Photos will now appear in Spotlight search, and users will be able to search for text within these photos.

Photos Memories has also been updated to allow for the creation of on-demand videos with music from Apple Music. Users can press and hold these memories while viewing to pause photographs while the music continues to play. Music can also be chosen by the users themselves.

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Compiled by : Rahul Shrestha Rahul Shrestha

Major announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2021

24th June 2021
"Apple officially kicked off WWDC 2021 with its opening keynote last night"

Apple officially kicked off WWDC 2021 with its opening keynote last night.

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The company has announced the future of its software platforms, detailing new features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12 Monterey, and more. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, is the company’s annual conference for software makers.

Following are the major announcements made by Apple last night:

  • iOS 15 

The conference was kicked off with the official introduction of iOS 15. This update includes major improvements for FaceTime, new Focus features designed to reduce distractions, an all-new Weather application, and more.

The FaceTime improvements in iOS 15 are especially notable, and they’re also coming to other platforms including iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. FaceTime calls will now work on Android and Windows devices via the web as well. Apple will also allow users to send links to schedule individual FaceTime calls, like Zoom links. Users can also share their screens or music, through a new software feature called ShareTime.

iOS 15 also includes a host of new digital wellbeing features called Focus. This allows users to filter notifications, signal to friends that they are unavailable, and hide distractions without missing what’s important. 

Apple has announced a handful of new features for Apple Maps. There are a variety of design updates for Apple Maps to bring a ton more details for cities in commercial districts, buildings, and more.

Apple has redesigned the Weather application with a ton of new capabilities and an all-new design. Apple says that the layout of the new Weather app changes based on the weather in your current location.

  • iPadOS 15

Apple also introduced iPadOS 15, the biggest change here is that widgets are now available on the iPad home screen for the first time. The widgets are not delegated only to the Today View on the side of the Home Screen anymore , they can be placed in the midst of all of your other app icons.

iPadOS 15 also includes a new multi-tasking system for applications. The new system is similar to iPadOS 14, but Apple has rethought how you access the controls. You can also now have access to the Home Screen when using Split View, making it easier to get to the right app.

The Translate application is now on the iPad as well. The Translate app first came to the iPhone with iOS 14 last year. 

Apple also announced that Swift Playgrounds now allows users to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad, and submit them to the App Store.

  • macOS Monterey

For the Mac, Apple announced macOS 12 Monterey to the public. One of the biggest changes here is that the Shortcuts automation app is now available on the Mac for the first time.

You can build new shortcuts, access existing shortcuts, and more. The Shortcuts app on the Mac also integrates with Spotlight, appears in Finder, supports multitasking, and integrates with the Menu bar. Apple has also brought its TestFlight beta testing app to the Mac this year, allowing developers to beta test their apps easily on the Mac.

Another announcement last night was Universal Control, which lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required. Safari comes with a redesign for the browsing experience with a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they scroll. With macOS Monterey, your Mac is also now an AirPlay target, which allows you to cast videos from your other Apple devices to your Mac’s display.

  • WatchOS 8

 The WatchOS 8 update brings a new version of the Breathe app, now called Mindfulness. Photo watch faces can now include depth using portrait mode photos. The Photos app has been overhauled with featured highlights and memories. Photos can also now be shared from the watch with Messages and Mail.

The always-on watch face has been updated to work with three new applications: Music, Maps, and Calculator. Apple also says that apps that don’t support the always-on face include new enhancements to improve compatibility.

The first beta of watchOS 8 is available now to developer beta testers, and a public beta will be released sometime next month. 

  • iCloud +

Apple also unveiled iCloud+ during the conference, with the new privacy features such as Private Relay and Hide My Email. Through Private Relay, all traffic leaving your device is encrypted and sent through two separate relays. Apple says that no one, not even Apple, can access or view this data. 

Hide My Email is a new feature built into Mail, Safari, and other services and it allows you to hide your email from services for increased privacy. iCloud+ also includes unlimited HomeKit Secure Video cameras. Currently, iCloud users are limited to five cameras per account, but this limit has been removed for iCloud+.

  • Privacy update 

Apple is strengthening its privacy protection by rolling out tracker-blockers in its Mail app, which will help hide your IP address, location and prevent senders from seeing if and when you open an email. It’s also hiding IP addresses from trackers in Safari. Apple is also adding an App Tracker Report section to settings, where users can see how often apps use info in the last seven days and find out third party domains the app is contacting. Finally, Apple said that Siri will support offline speech recognition, which means it’s more private but also faster, since some commands won’t have to be sent to the cloud first.

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Compiled by : Rahul Shrestha Rahul Shrestha