Day: September 12, 2023

Hands-on: Apple’s iPhone 15 Finally Feels Like an Upgrade

Unlike last year’s iPhone 14 release, this year’s iPhone 15 event felt less iterative and more like an upgrade than in recent years. Meet the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, Apple’s 15th-generation smartphones. If you need to update your iPhone from an older model, now is the time to consider the kind of trade-in value…

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In antitrust case, Google insists its dominance of internet search is lawful
Google LLC today insisted that it has not broken any laws to maintain its dominance of the internet search industry, saying that its search engine remains the world’s most popular thanks to its quality. In a summation of its longtime stance, the search giant argued that dissatisfied users have always been able to switch to

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Netflix’s New UFO Series Aims to See if the Truth Is Out There

With all the buzz about UFOs—more recently dubbed “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena,” or UAPs—coming from sources not involving shadowy Men in Black these days, it’s inevitable that a Netflix series was going to come along to capture the moment. Enter Encounters, which is produced in part by Amblin Television—a bona…

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First Of Potentially Many Google Antitrust Claims Goes To Trial

There have been a whole bunch of antitrust lawsuits filed against Google over the last few years (in fact, one just settled last week though we don’t yet know the details, though when that case was first filed, we noted some problems with it). The very first, though, seemed like the weakest. As you may

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Is Apple’s new double tap feature really that new?

Apple’s latest product announcement included a new Apple Watch double tap feature, which some say is a rebranding and expansion of Apple’s long-used accessibility settings. A hand wearing an Apple Watch.

Apple’s annual iPhone launch event saw new iPhone colors, a resigned shift to USB-C charging ports, and an assortment of other updated Apple tech specs, but accessibility advocates immediately latched on one announcement in particular: an Apple Watch double tap feature that allows users to activate controls with a simple pinching motion of their watch hand.

With the single-hand gesture, wearers can answer calls, play music, start timers, and perform other common tasks, and it’s been rolled out as an exclusive feature of Apple’s upcoming Series 9 watches. From the general response of those watching online, it’s set to become a handy feature for devoted Apple Watch users.

But, as many users and accessibility advocates pointed out online, Apple’s marketing of its “magical new double tap gesture” obscures the company’s long history as a leader in pro-accessibility tech. Because while double tap is a decidedly innovative, universal tool for all Apple Watch users, it bears a noteworthy similarity to one of Apple’s long-used accessibility features, a single-hand ‘double pinch’ gesture housed under Apple’s AssistiveTouch settings.

AssistiveTouch, first introduced to iPhones in 2011 and Apple Watches in 2021, allows Apple product users to utilize a customizable, floating screen button and selective hand gestures to operate various device menus, including navigating screens, using apps, and setting Quick Actions that support users with disabilities, those with barriers to mobility, or even product owners with broken screens.

“‘Double Pinch’ has been available as an accessibility feature on Apple Watch Series 4 and later since a long time,” user @marvinvonhagen posted on X. “Technically, this seems to be the exact same thing as ‘Double Tap’ which will be deeply integrated into the OS but only be available on Series 9 and later?”

Other chimed in with similar observations of Apple’s seemingly quiet rebranding and expansion of an accessibility tool, noting that the hand motion was also the new go-to gesture for Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro augmented reality headset.

The double tap feature’s similarity to existing assistive tools is an interesting indication of where Apple’s upcoming innovations may be incubating. And generalizing a commonly used accessibility tool like AssistiveTouch can be a good thing, enabling users with disabilities even quicker access to assistive features and normalizing nontraditional uses of technology that make them even more accessible.

But while single-handed Apple Watch use is old hat for some, the double tap feature is different from AssistiveTouch’s double pinch. The latest feature will act as an automatic, built-in version of AssistiveTouch’s numerous hand gesture settings and associated actions, for one. This ease and universality offers an Apple Watch user unfamiliar with Apple’s ecosystem of accessibility customizations the ability to make use of a single gesture for various purposes, and it might just be a step towards Big Tech’s adoption of more accessible universal design principles.

If you’re not interested in ponying up the money for a new Apple Watch Series 9 and already own an Apple Watch Series 4 or beyond, check out Apple’s guide to turning on AssistiveTouch.

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Apple iPhone 15 vs 13: Comparing prices and specs to help you upgrade

Apple just announced the iPhone 15, but is it worth it to upgrade for iPhone 13 users? We think so. Photo iPhone 15 Pro

Apple just wrapped up its big Sept. event, which focused on the new iPhone and Apple Watch releases that are just around the corner. The company’s new line of smartphones is a huge upgrade over the previous generation, with an impressive new camera and USB-C support among some of its biggest improvements.

While new iPhones are always tempting, we understand that upgrading isn’t always an option for everyone (or advisable, for that matter). But listen to us when we say this: If you have any iPhone from before the 14, the new iPhone 15 is well worth the switch. Here’s a full breakdown of the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15:

What’s new about the iPhone 15?

The jump from the iPhone 13 to the 14 was admittedly not that great, and only came with a few minor upgrades that ultimately didn’t move the needle for us. The difference between the iPhone 13 and the new 15 line, however, is night and day.

The new slate of iPhone 15 smartphones is comprised of four models: The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The regular 15 and 15 Plus come in bigger screen sizes than the iPhone 13 models, the former with a 6.1-inch display, and the latter at 6.7 inches. The new screens have a brightness range from one to 2,000 nits, which is more than double that of the iPhone 13.

Screen size isn’t really the main focus here, though, because where the iPhone 15 really distances itself from the iPhone 13 line is in its internal features. For starters, the iPhone 15 includes the Dynamic Island on all models — something that wasn’t introduced until the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. You’ll also get the A16 Bionic chip, which is far speedier than the 13’s A15. The camera has seen probably the biggest jump from the last two generations of iPhones — compared to the iPhone 13 and 14’s 12-megapixel camera, the iPhone 15 blows them both out of the water with an impressive 48-megapixel camera.

The iPhone 15 also says goodbye to the lightning cable in favor of a USB-C connection (finally), and comes in a few new colors, including pink. The iPhone 15 also includes the satellite connectivity that was introduced with the iPhone 14, which is absent from the iPhone 13. Other features that the iPhone 15 has over the 13 include voice isolation while taking calls, an ultra wideband chip to help find anyone who’s sharing their location with you, NameDrop, and a ton of post-production photo editing options.

Of course, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have even more to offer, and are a far cry from the iPhone 13 line. The two higher-level models have all the features of the base 15 and 15 Plus, but with the addition of a more durable and lightweight titanium design, a customizable silent switch on the side of the phone, a full-screen StandBy mode, and the powerful A17 Pro chip.

The iPhone 15 Pro in StandBy mode
The iPhone 15 Pro in StandBy mode. Credit: Apple

iPhone 15 price vs iPhone 13 price

Compared to the original $799 price of the iPhone 13, the iPhone 15 will be exactly the same. Here’s a breakdown:

As for the Pro models, you’ll be paying more of a premium compared to the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. (Note that the 15’s Pro models have done away with the 128GB option, and instead start at 256GB, which is the reason for the base price increase.)

iPhone 13 price drops

As with most new iPhone announcements, we’re also getting a price cut on previous generation models, and the 13 is no exception. When the iPhone 14 was released, we saw the 13’s price drop from a starting price of $799 to $699. With the release of the iPhone 15, the 13 will get another discount:

  • iPhone 13 — starting at $599, formerly $799

Unfortunately, this only applies to the base iPhone 13, as the Mini and Pro models have been discontinued. RIP.

Should you upgrade to the iPhone 15?

Anyone with an older iPhone will benefit from moving up to the iPhone 15. With the amount of new features and future-proofing (thank you, USB-C), it’s pretty much a no-brainer if you have the cash to spare. And if you care at all about photography, the 15 is especially worthwhile for you, considering the massive jump in camera quality. (But if you’d rather get a pre-15 iPhone, we recommend getting one on sale.)

How to preorder the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

The entirety of the iPhone 15 line will be available for preorder starting Friday, Sept. 15, and will officially release (ship) on Friday, Sept. 22. At the time of writing, preorders are open only on Apple’s website, with other carriers soon to follow.

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