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It’s July, which means, hey everyone, we’re only about three months away from getting our hands on a new iPhone! In mid-September, Apple is expected to introduce its latest and greatest, the iPhone 12, in a host of price points and designs. No one knows for sure what they will look like, except that they will be built for working on the new, super-fast 5G wireless networks. But this we do know: the home screen is going to be very different, your apps will be gathered in a way they’re not now, making calls and scrolling through texts will be more visually interesting and you’ll be able to turn your car on and off with an iPhone. Maybe.
Those new features are part of iOS14, the latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system, which will be released in September, usually a week before the new iPhones are released. The new iOS provides the new look for the latest iPhones and works on older phones as well. 
Let’s run those features down:

1. Improved Home Screen

The Home screen redesign is to “give you more info at a glance,” says Apple, which means that in addition to your apps, you can also see, for instance, a ticker tape of news items, your calendar items or the weather. Savvy Android users know this feature has been available to them for several years but it'll be interesting to see how Apple and third party developers are able to integrate these new widgets into the iOS ecosystem.


2. The App Library
We all have too many apps nowadays, and they’re spread across multiple pages and folders with the most unused apps normally sitting a good 2 to 3 pages deep into the home screen pages. We've been able to manually sort them into folders for years. Now Apple is going to auto organize them into like-minded categories, like entertainment, social and shopping.

3. Translate

The Translate app is quite simple and there is not much you need to know to use it. Once you open the app, all you have to do is choose the language you want to translate and the language in which the content will be translated to. 

You can type text to be translated or use the dictation feature to translate what you say with your voice. iOS can read the translation with the correct pronunciation, which can be great not only for communicating with other people, but also for learning a different language. 

Users can bookmark the translations to check back later and the app also keeps a history of recent translations. The app works in 11 different languages, which are: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

4. Starting Your Car

The most intriguing iOS 14 feature is called CarKeys, which lets you turn on and off your car from your iPhone, or even share the feature with a friend or loved one. “Hey Dad, can I borrow the car?” Just send him or her a text. However, the feature only works with new BMWs produced after July, 2020, so it's going to take a long time to get to your driveway. But worth salivating for, right?

You can check out all the new features of iOS 14 here.

Fancy taking part in the developer beta? You can download the new software here

The iPhone XS and XS Max have arrived, and I thought i'd do some first impressions of the model that I opted to pre-order, pending a full review in a few weeks time once i've spent alot more time with it. I went for the XS in space grey with the 256GB storage option. I'm still puzzled as to why Apple has felt the need to add the 512GB option this year - that's massive! I know not everyone pays for additional iCloud storage for all your photos but that still seems excessive unless you want to own every game in the App Store.

Anyway, this year's iPhone refresh is the usual S upgrade that Apple makes every other year in it's development cycle. That means on the surface if you're coming from last year's iPhone X you'd probably struggle to notice any difference in the design of the XS - Apple have even made the call to remove the 'S' branding from the back of the phone so it's just the new gold finish that will make it obvious you're carrying around the shiny new model.

The flagship features of the X like the bezel-less display and Face ID are all still here on the 2018 devices so if you're upgrading from anything other that last year's phone then you're getting some pretty sweet new tech. Face ID has even been improved to make unlocking your phone up to 20% faster, and even from my first few hours of use I can really see the difference. Annoyingly it still doesn't work when the phone is horizontal, which is a shame, but new with iOS 12 you can add a second face to your device so that either someone else can have access using Face ID or it's super helpful if you happen to wear glasses. You can save a speckled and non-speckled version of yourself for easy unlocks.

Spoiler alert: The people who bought the iPhone X last year were either constant early adopters or eager to upgrade then so they wouldn't have to wait until now. They'll either automatically get an XS as part of one of those increasingly common annual upgrade programs or they'll just keep on keeping on until they need the next something new. They know that. Based on how iPhone XS was introduced as a new iPhone X, not an all-new iPhone, Apple knows that. It's just the rest of us nerds who have to get better at remembering it.

Performance is just a little smoother too, thanks to the new A12 Bionic chipset tucked away inside the XS and it's chunkier brother the XS Max. Apps launch a little faster here than on the iPhone X, and in general, jumping in and out of running apps in the multitasking view is speedier as well. When it comes to this sort of mundane use, the changes are noticeable but not dramatically so -- that is, unless you're coming from an older iPhone. In that case, you're in for a ride. Apple says the A12's two high-performance cores are up to 15 percent faster than the CPU cores in last year's iPhones.

Full review coming soon!

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