Bits and Bytes – May 2021 Edition

Moe from Mondo / 11-05-2021 / Tech news

Here’s our roundup of the latest mobile and tech news for May 2021:

License or Smartphone Please

You could soon be handing over your smartphone when asked for your driver’s licence. The South African Government is paving the way for the country’s first electronic driving licence. Department of Transport’s Director-General Alec Moemi, said a new more durable card would be introduced soon, with improved security features and a mobile-friendly counterpart.

Spotify Goes from Playlists to the Premier League

Spotify raised the price of its premium subscription recently and football fans in the UK believe they know why. CEO Daniel Ek kicked off his attempts to purchase English Premier League football club Arsenal. Ek, a long-time fan of the club, has made a £1.8 billion bid for ownership and has the support of some of the club’s most notable former players, including French football icon Thierry Henry.

It’s unlikely the slight price hike was motivated solely by Ek’s desire to own one of the world’s biggest football teams, but players on the pitch and off will be watching closely in the coming weeks.

The Social Network Lifeline

While India reels from the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unlikely hero has emerged – social media.

Critically low oxygen supplies and a lack of both medication and available hospital beds across the country, has forced the Indian public to turn to social media for assistance for their loved ones. Everyone from the average citizen to Bollywood stars, tuk-tuk drivers and medical professionals themselves, have taken to Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to create an online country-wide network to assist those battling the virus.

Heavyweight Fight – Facebook vs Apple

In April, Apple introduced a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) on iOS 14.5 for iPhone users. Barely a month old and the feature has already created friction with Facebook. The social media giant has been trying to block the use of ATT since Apple announced its intentions, but they were not able to deflect the blow.

When permitted, the feature blocks targeted ads which are created by tracing the user’s browsing patterns – a major chunk of Facebook’s revenue. Facebook claims the transparency tracker puts small businesses at a disadvantage and are calling on iPhone users not to allow the feature.

If ATT is enabled, Facebook plans on sending its own message, suggesting iPhone users who block the tracker will have to start paying to use their app. This match looks far from over!

Video Caused an Embezzlement Charge

An American woman was left stunned when she discovered there was a warrant out for her arrest thanks to a rented VHS tape that was never returned since 1999. The woman had unknowingly been facing embezzlement charges for nearly 22 years over the late fees on a VHS copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that had been hired under her name. The charges were eventually dropped in the “best interest of justice”.

TECH NEWS

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iPhone 13 is All About the Cameras!

The iPhone 13 range recently launched and boasts what might be the most advanced camera system in Apple history!The new generation is made up of the premium iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max as well as the more affordable iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini.The 13 range is powered by the A15 Bionic chip, which unlocks impressive new camera capabilities for iPhone users. What’s more, all four models have larger sensors with integrated sensor-shift stabilisation technology that boosts both the image and video quality.Unprecedented Camera Quality for The Pro RangeThe iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are equipped with the same camera technology and have upgraded sensors and lenses for professional-quality photos. Like the 12, the Pro range boasts a triple-camera setup. Where it sets itself apart though, is the new 12 MP ultra-wide, 12 MP wide and 12 MP telephoto cameras, which all make for an exceptional shooting experience.More features you’ll love:●    The 1.9-micron pixels sensor – the largest ever used in an iPhone – creates more detailed photos.●    A wider f/1.5 aperture for improved low-light images. Apple claims this feature offers 2.2x better performance than the 12 Pro!●    The new and improved 77mm telephoto camera which allows you to get even closer to your subject while video-recording.  Affordable Gets an UpgradeMuch like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Mini are fitted with the same dual-camera set-up but there are some major improvements! The upgrade from a Smart HDR 3 to Smart HDR 4 provides superior camera quality for both the front and back lenses while the 1.7-micron pixels in the wide camera makes for brighter and richer photographs by allowing 47% more light in than the iPhone 12.Cool Camera Features Across All ModelsCinematic mode helps turn an image or video into a more dynamic and professional one. The upgraded lenses intuitively monitor what’s happening in the frame and allows you to change focus to get the perfect shot!4K Video Quality enables you to record 4K HDR Dolby Vision at 60 fps – yet another upgrade from the 30fps on the iPhone 12 models.Photographic Styles offers new live filters and allows you to adjust images while you’re composing your shot, allowing you to see your results and amend your image before hitting the shutter button.Exclusively Reserved for The ProMacro Photography is a first for the iPhone and is made possible by the new ultra-wide camera that enables you to capture close-up images and explore the smallest details. The minimum focal range is 2cm away from the lens. The feature is also available for video recording on Slo-Mo and Time-Lapse.The Pros come fitted with ProRes Video, high-quality filmmaking software for those who are serious about their craft. The video quality reaches a maximum of 4K at 30fps and you can record and output the format directly from your device.Get your hands on the new iPhone 13 range today and experience the phenomenal camera quality and more, here.

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Top 5 iOS 15 Features

iOS 15 recently launched in September 2021, and while there are a host of amazing new features, there are a few that make the Apple experience that much more special. Here are the top 5 features that takes this OS to the next level.1.    Facetime for everyone:Watch parties have never been this cool! With iOS 15, users can now stream movies and series while on a Facetime call! This feature adjusts the volume to the environment automatically so that conversations can still flow while you sit back and enjoy the show.Distance is no match for iOS 15. Now it’s like your loved ones are right there on the couch with you!2.    Map out your destination:Augmented reality directions? Yes please! With the new OS, it’s all in the detail. Get up-to-date info about your route if you’re driving or, if you prefer taking a more scenic route, try the “Immersive Walking Instructions” which provide an in-depth step-by-step augmented reality view of your destination.3.    Putting the “Me” in Memoji:Even your personalised stickers are getting an update with this new OS upgrade from Apple. With iOS 15, users now have the best feature – choice.There are now more options at your disposal to really personalise your character – from a new wardrobe to cochlear ear implants and oxygen tubes. This version of iOS is providing the inclusivity you’ve been waiting for.4.    Privacy for the win:  Kiss spam goodbye with the “Hide My Email” feature. This gives you the ability to “instantly generate unique, random email addresses that forward to your personal inbox”. Where do we sign up?  Hide My Email has been built into the Mail, Safari, and iCloud Settings for added efficiency.5.    The Picture-perfect way to get going:  One of the most impressive features of iOS 15 has to be “Live Text”. This lets you highlight text in photos (and video!) and use the information to make calls, send messages, get directions and even Facetime!With so many cool new features packed into Apple’s iOS 15, isn’t it time you go all in on iPhone?Check out all our amazing Apple iPhone deals here.

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WhatsApp Ending Support for Older Phones: Are You Affected?

From 1st November 2021, WhatsApp will no longer work on over 40 smartphone models.2021 has been a rollercoaster ride for WhatsApp users. While a host of helpful additions have been made on the instant messenger app, including the ability to access WhatsApp across several devices at the same time and the ever-popular disappearing messages, this latest update is not as positive.Any device sporting Apple iOS 10, Android OS 4.1 and KaiOS 2.5.1. will be affected.What this means for youIf you have a device with these operating systems or lower, it’s time for an upgrade.Here is the full list of affected smartphones that will no longer be WhatsApp compatible come November:Apple iPhone:iPhone SE (2016)iPhone 6siPhone 6s PlusAndroid:Huawei Ascend G740Huawei Ascend MateHuawei Ascend D Quad XLHuawei Ascend D1 Quad XLHuawei Ascend P1 SHuawei Ascend D2Samsung Galaxy Trend LiteSamsung Galaxy Trend IISamsung Galaxy SIISamsung Galaxy S3 miniSamsung Galaxy Xcover 2Samsung Galaxy CoreSamsung Galaxy Ace 2 16Other Affected Brands:The Alcatel One Touch Evo 7Archos 53 PlatinumCaterpillar Cat B15HTC Desire 500Faea F1LG Lucid 2LG Optimus F7LG Optimus F5LG Optimus L3 II DualLG Optimus F5LG Optimus L5LG Optimus L5 IILG Optimus L5 DualLG Optimus L3 IILG Optimus L7LG Optimus L7 II DualLG Optimus L7 IILG Optimus F6 EnactLG Optimus L4 II DualLG Optimus F3LG Optimus L4 IILG Optimus L2 IILG Optimus Nitro HDLG Optimus F3QLG 4X HDLenovo A820The Sony Xperia MiroSony Xperia Neo LSony Xperia Arc STHL W8UMi X2Wiko Cink FiveWiko DarknightZTE Grand S FlexZTE V956ZTE Grand X Quad V987ZTE Grand MemoHow to check your Operating SystemApple:Access your device settingsTap the General buttonSelect AboutAll details related to your Apple iPhone smartphone, including your device name and OS version will be detailed here.Android:Go to your device settings.Tap the System or About Phone /Device button.All details related to your Android smartphone, including your device name and OS version will be detailed here.Need to upgrade?Find your new smartphone here.

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