There’s another virtual assistant you can call using your iPhone. Starting today, you can say “Hey Spotify,” with the Spotify app opened, to start playing a song, an album, or even a playlist.
Last month, reports surfaced that Spotify was working on enabling a hands-free wake word: “Hey Spotify”. Today, I received a notification in the Spotify app on my personal Galaxy S21 device that walked through the feature and how to enable it. Let’s look at what it is and what it does.
As you can see, there’s nothing much to do with the “Hey Spotify” feature apart from asking for things inside the app. Because the feature is only starting to roll out, not every user will be able to find it, but here’s where it should be:
To enable the “Hey Spotify” feature, tap the Settings icon on the Spotify homepage
Then click on “Voice Interactions
Click on the “Hey Spotify” toggle and that’s it
Now, when you’re using the app, you can just say the wake word to improve your listening experience.
This new “Hey Spotify” feature is in addition to the voice search feature that has previously been available for Premium users. The difference is that “Hey Spotify” is truly hands-free.
In the last several months, Spotify has announced several new things, such as its plans to add a HiFi subscription tier, combining music and podcasts on the same page, and a revamped design in all its iOS, Mac, and web apps.
The feature doesn’t really add any function outside of enabling Spotify’s own voice search for hands-free use. It’s just as easy to use” Hey Google” or “Hey Siri” on either Android or iOS to ask Spotify to listen to an artist, playlist, podcast, or album. Perhaps Spotify is hoping that users will be more inclined to user Spotify’s built-in voice search if it has a wake word to activate it.
Spotify’s voice search feature first launched back in 2019 for users on Spotify Premium and evidence of the Hey Spotify wake phrase was spotted as early as March 2020.
Apple Photos users are reporting a bizarre issue related to geotagging. The issue, which 9to5Mac has confirmed, centers around manually editing the location of an image and using exact latitude and longitude coordinates.
A variety of threads focused on this bug have surfaced on Apple’s Support forums . When you try to manually edit an image via Apple Photos and set the location as a specific latitude and longitude, the location will automatically jump to the reverse-geocoded location.
Here’s a quick explanation courtesy of Wikipedia on reverse geocoding:
Reverse geocoding is the process of converting a location as described by geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude) to a human-readable address or place name. Reverse geocoding permits the identification of nearby street addresses, places, and/or areal subdivisions such as neighbourhoods, county, state, or country.
What this means is that when you enter the latitude and longitude into the Photos app, the Photos app will attempt to convert this into a suggested location that could in practice be far away from the actual latitude and longitude.
Other describe their experience with this bug:
Apple Photos geotagging doesn’t seem to work properly anymore since a few months.
When manually editing the location of an image and using exact GPS Coordinates (Lat, Lon) then these coordinates are not being set for the image but only a Reverse-Geocoded location which could / will be far from the original location.
Example: When I try to geotag a picture with Coordinates “36.6972,24.4707” (Airport in Milos, Greece), I can only pick one entry, but this one entry is completely wrong.
In this user’s specific example, the Photos app suggestion is for the Aegean Sea, far away from the intended airport. 9to5Mac has seen similar incorrect suggestions across locations in the United States and the UK.
The problem appears to be tied to Apple Maps. When you enter latitude and longitude details in Apple Maps, it will show a suggested location for those details. The Photos app seems to be pulling in the first suggestion from Apple Maps, which again, could be inaccurate.
Apple has published its 2021 update to its Platform Security guide today along with refreshing the Apple Platform Security landing page. The latest guide goes in-depth on the new and updated security features that have arrived with iOS 14, macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple Silicon Macs, watchOS 7, and more. Apple has also launched an all-new Security Certifications and Compliance Center website and guide.
Apple has long held that secure software necessitates the foundation of security built into hardware. With the shift to using its own custom Apple Silicon in its first three M1 Macs starting last fall, the company has been able to realize that goal across its entire lineup of devices.
2021 Apple Platform Security guide
Device security is a never-ending mission and the latest Apple Platform Security guide details all the effort and changes Apple has implemented over the last year – highlighted by the guide growing 39 pages with this edition to a total of 196.
This documentation provides details about how security technology and features are implemented within Apple platforms. It also helps organizations combine Apple platform security technology and features with their own policies and procedures to meet their specific security needs.
While there a number of security updates that apply to existing/older devices, Apple Silicon has been notable with the M1 Macs allowing Apple to step up security to new levels when it comes to Data Protection via a rebuilt FileVault, System integrity, password protection, and more.
Another notable change in the last year has been the advanced BlastDoor security for iMessage (not specifically mentioned in the new security guide). While it was just recently discovered as present in iOS 14, we’ve learned Apple has built it into macOS Big Sur as well. It’s a totally under the hood change that users won’t notice, but it’s the biggest security improvement to iMessage since the service got end-to-end encryption.
Check out all the new topics added to the Apple Platform Security guide this year:
Memory safe iBoot implementation
Boot process for a Mac with Apple silicon
Boot modes for a Mac with Apple silicon
Startup Disk security policy control for a Mac with Apple silicon
LocalPolicy signing-key creation and management
Contents of a LocalPolicy file for a Mac with Apple silicon
Signed system volume security in macOS
Apple Security Research Device
Car keys security in iOS
And here are all the security topics that have been updated:
Hardware microphone disconnect
recoveryOS and diagnostics environments for an Intel-based Mac
Direct memory access protections for Mac computers
One of the most attractive features of the popular password manager LastPass is that, if you choose to, you can use it pretty effectively without paying a dime. That comes to an end in March, as LastPass has just announced that its free tier will be restricted to only one device type starting next month.
LastPass works across nearly every platform, from Android to iOS to Windows to Mac, and that’s what makes it useful. For the most part, the services we use today are available on multiple platforms, so being able to use the service on both your mobile phone and your desktop/laptop computer is crucial to most users.
Starting on March 16, 2021, LastPass will start restricting its free service to only one device type, meaning those who sign up will be required to pick between accessing the service on their computer or their smartphone. The latter also includes LastPass access on tablets (iPads) and smartwatches. You’ll pick an “active device type” to decide on where you’ll use the service. For current free users, the first device type you log in to after March 16 will set your active type. You’ll have three chances to pick between device types before the choice is locked in. After that, you’ll need to sign up for LastPass Premium to access the service on two different platforms.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16 will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass.
Further, LastPass will also restrict some support options starting on May 17. Email support, most notably, will be restricted only to Premium customers and those with a LastPass family account. Free users will then be limited only to the LastPass Support Center for self-help resources.
Changes to LastPass Free
You’re spending more time online than ever before. Work. School. Connecting with family and friends. Each week, millions of LastPass users add millions of new passwords, notes, files, payment cards and more to their encrypted vault. We love being a part of the security routines of more than 20 million users across the world. As our community of users continues to grow, we need to adapt our offerings to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world. With that, we have some changes to our LastPass Free offering.
Here’s What’s Changing
We’re making changes to how Free users access LastPass across device types. LastPass offers access across two device types – computers (including all browsers running on desktops and laptops) or mobiledevices (including mobile phones, smart watches, and tablets). Starting March 16th, 2021, LastPass Free will only include access on unlimited devices of one type.
To further clarify what we mean by active device type, we’ve included two examples below:
Sarah is a Free user with Computers as her active device type. She can use LastPass on her laptop, desktop and her dad’s laptop (anyone’s computer!), but she can’t use LastPass on her phone, tablet, or smart watchunless she upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
Steve is a Free user with MobileDevices as his active device type. He can use LastPass on his iPhone, Android work phone, tablet, and smart watch, but he can’t use LastPass on his desktop or laptop unless he upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16th will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass. Learn more about device types in our Support Center.
In addition to this change, as of May 17th, 2021, email support will only be available for Premium and Families customers. LastPass Free users will always have access to our Support Center which has a robust library of self-help resources available 24/7 plus access to our LastPass Community, which is actively monitored by LastPass specialists. Free users will continue to receive email support for technical issues until May 16th to assist through the transition of selecting an active device type. Learn more about our customer support offerings in ourSupport Center.
LastPass Premium is your single and secure one-stop shop to your digital life. It includes dark web monitoring, emergency access, unlimited device type access, a security score dashboard, dedicated personal support, advanced multi-factor authentication and more. At only $3 per month (billed annually), LastPass Premium enables you to not only store your passwords but also protect your digital life, which is more important than ever in this new era of working from anywhere. As a current Free user, you can upgrade to Premium now for an exclusive, limited time discount and receive Premium for $2.25 per month (billed annually). *
Next Steps for Free Users
We understand how much you rely on LastPass in your daily life, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this adjustment easier. Here’s what you need to know:
Whether you continue using LastPass Free on one device type, or across all your devices types with LastPass Premium, we’re committed to offering you a best-in-class password management experience. We sincerely thank you for continuing to be part of our LastPass community.
*Additional Terms and Conditions: Advertised price valid for new users on their first year of LastPass Premium. Price not valid for renewals or existing customers and cannot be used for other LastPass plans, products or services.
The hype surrounding Apple’s next iPhone lineup has been slowly gaining traction in the passing months. According to a new leak from EverythingApplePro and Max Weinbach, Apple will finally bring Always-On Display functionality to its upcoming iPhone 13 series. The rumor suggests iPhone 13 units will use Samsung’s 120Hz LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) displays and users will be able to have their battery percentage and time on display at all times.
There’s also talk of notifications appearing on the AOD by lighting up just a small portion of the screen. The new leak also mentions iPhone 13 will bring stronger MagSafe magnets preventing compatible accessories from unclipping. In addition to the previous camera leaks, there’s talk of an automatic Astro-photography mode which will switch on when it detects stars or other space objects in the sky.
Apple’s AirTags were also mentioned to launch in March of April and the Apple Watch Series 7 will gain blood sugar tracking.
This year’s iPhone 13 lineup will include an always-on display with a 120hz refresh rate, improved camera capabilities for astrophotography, stronger MagSafe magnets, and a finer matte finish on the back, according to leaker Max Weinbach
Always-on displays are typical in most flagship Android smartphones, and it allows users to see information on their screen at all times, without having to power on or unlock the device. Ever since the iPhone X, which was the first iPhone to feature an OLED display, many have speculated Apple will bring this feature to iPhone users.
OLED displays use less power than LCD displays, since each pixel is individually controlled, unlike LCD panels which use backlight and light up all pixels, even if it’s just to show a small piece of information on the screen. With OLED displays, Apple is able to only light up the pixels needed to show users the time, battery, or some form of indicator for app notifications, without using a significant amount of battery power.
Weinbach claims that the always-on display will look like a “toned down lockscreen,” where the clock and battery charge are always visible, and past notifications are shown through “a bar and icons.” When users receive a notification, the notification will “pop up normally except that the screen will not entirely light up.” Instead, “it will display it just like you’re used to right now, except dimmed down and only temporarily,” according to the leaker.
The leaker also “confirms” that a 120hz ProMotion refresh rate is happening on the 2021 Pro iPhone models, a feature that was widely rumored to appear on the iPhone 12. An always-on and ProMotion display would not require a change in physical design, and that yields to the fact that Weinbach reports there will be no change to the actual chassis on the iPhone 13 compared to the iPhone 12 lineup. The only possible hardware change will be a matte back with a “grippier, more comfortable” feeling, similar to the finishing on the back of the Google Pixel series.
Internally, MagSafe will be getting “considerably” stronger, according to the leak. The iPhone 12 features MagSafe on the back that allows users to magnetically attach different accessories and offers an alternative way to charge the device, however, the magnets have been criticized by some for being weak. Apple’s looking to alleviate those concerns by adding stronger magnets, although the addition is not expected to be the sole reason for a rumored increase in device thickness. As for the cameras, Weinbach reports that Apple is increasing its efforts in astrophotography.
Astrophotography, the photography of astronomy, typically requires complicated camera setups to proficiently capture the night times dark sky. The integration of the ability into the iPhone is expected to be seamless, with the leak claiming the iPhone will automatically switch to the mode when it registers a user pointing to the sky. The mode will allow the phone to detect different artifacts such as the moon and stars and adjusts settings such as exposure accordingly. Corroborating Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the leak says the ultra-wide camera across the entire lineup will be getting an improved sensor and lens.
The newest information from the leaks points towards the ability to take portrait videos on this year’s iPhone. Users have been able to take portrait photos since the launch of the iPhone 7 Plus, but it has remained entirely limited to photos. Portrait mode adds a depth feel to your photos, blurring the background and keeping the center subject fully in focus. With videos, the task becomes much harder since the subject is actively moving, making it harder to add a depth effect in real-time.
The new information joins an already long list of features we’re expecting for the 2021 iPhone. A Bloomberg report suggests that the biggest headlining feature of the lineup will be the reintroduction of Touch ID on the iPhone. According to that report, Apple is testing burying the Touch ID sensor below the display, allowing users to unlock their device if Face ID is deemed unusable, such as when you’re wearing a mask. Unlike the iPhone 12 which saw delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the iPhone 13 is expected to launch on time in September.
The iOS 14.5 developer and public beta includes a number of new features and changes, but one of the most exciting is the ability to unlock iPhone with your Apple Watch when Face ID detects you’re wearing a mask. Let’s look at how to install the iOS 14.5 beta as well as watchOS 7.4 beta to get access to this useful new feature and more.
The new feature getting the most attention is the Unlock with Apple Watch feature for iPhone. It works by detecting when you’re wearing a face mask and using your watch to authenticate, letting you bypass your passcode.
How to install iOS 14.5 beta and watchOS 7.4 beta
Note: watchOS 7.4 beta required to use the new Unlock with Apple Watch for iPhone feature.
Upgrade to the iOS 14.5 public beta
Make sure you have a fresh backup for your iPhone (Apple recommends with your Mac)
Apple released iOS 14.5 beta 1 to developers, and as you’ve no doubt heard, it’s quite the update. Headlined by the ability to unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, iOS 14.5 beta 1 brings forth a number of practical improvements and overall enhancements to iPhone. Watch our hands-on commentary as we discuss the top iOS 14.5 beta 1 changes and features.
What’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 1?
Updated Software Update screens
Both the Software Update page in the Settings app and the Watch app have received more informative details regarding updates. Apple now includes a green check mark to indicate that you’re on the latest version of software, along with a message stating that “Your iPhone is up to date with all of the latest bug fixes and security enhancements.” In addition, iOS 14.5 now displays a time stamp that shows the last time you successfully checked for an update.
Unlock with Apple Watch
As noted, the biggest feature to come to iOS 14.5 is support for Apple Watch Unlock when Face ID detects a face with a mask. Users must be wearing an unlocked Apple Watch protected by a passcode in order for the feature to work. When attempting to unlock your iPhone using Face ID while wearing a face mask, you’ll feel a vibration on your Apple Watch, along with a notification that your iPhone was unlocked successfully.
Horizontal boot screen iPad
When connected to the Magic Keyboard, iPadOS 14.5 will display the startup Apple logo in horizontal/landscape mode instead of the default portrait orientation. If you restart your iPad when disconnected from the Magic Keyboard, even if you’re holding the device in landscape mode, the startup screen will appear in portrait mode.
As a side note, iPadOS 14.5 now supports emoji search, which iPhone users have been enjoying since iOS 14’s release, but has been inexplicably missing on iPad up until now.
Cellular connectivity updates
One of the biggest changes found in iOS 14.5 is the ability to enable dual SIM functionality while maintaining 5G connectivity. In previous versions of iOS, enabling the iPhone 12’s dual SIM feature would cause cellular connectivity to fall back to standard LTE. With iOS 14.5, users have the option of keeping both connections active simultaneously while still enjoying the benefits of 5G.
In addition to 5G dual SIM support, iOS 14.5 surfaces a new 5G Standalone cellular switch in system settings. Initial 5G implementations piggybacked on existing LTE networks to speed up adoption of 5G, but this method imposes propagation limits based on the LTE limitations. With Standalone (or SA) 5G, the limits of LTE are no longer in play. Keep in mind that your carrier will need to support 5G SA, and Apple warns that enabling SA at this early stage may cause degraded performance.
Apple Music updates
Apple Music gets some noteworthy updates in iOS 14.5, headlined by a new “Made For You” section under the Library tab. Made For You houses all of the algorithmic-curated music suggestions that are normally found within playlists like Favorites Mix, Chill Mix, and New Music Mix within the Listen Now tab.
Another handy feature found in iOS 14.5 is the inclusion of release dates for all music content featured on Apple Music. Prior versions of iOS would showcase release info, but in this latest beta version of iOS, users are treated with the exact release month, day, and year.
Users will also be happy to know that the scrolling metadata view on the Now Playing Lock Screen interface has now returned. This is a big improvement over the truncated metadata view that’s been around in the last few versions.
Reminders app enhancements
It’s crazy that we’ve not been able to sort Reminders based on parameters like modification date or title up until now, but at least we finally receive such features in iOS 14.5. Users can still sort reminder lists manually, but now there are several metadata sorting options, along with ascending and descending preferences.
The ability to directly print a reminders list joins the updated sorting options, allowing users to quickly send a list to a configured AirPrint printer.
Updated Podcast app
The stock Podcasts app gets lots of subtle changes and enhancements alongside a bigger update to the look and feel of the official show page for each podcast. New enhancements include a full-bleed header with color-matched backgrounds and a refreshed Library page with new glyphs.
Apple Fitness+ Workouts AirPlay 2 support
AirPlay 2 compatibility comes to Apple Fitness+ workouts, allowing users to stream workouts directly to an AirPlay 2-compatible set-top box or television. The problem with this method, as opposed to just playing on an Apple TV or iPad, is that you lose on-screen metric support. But that might not be a huge deal since metric details remain readily available on your Apple Watch.
Maps app redesigned guides
Apple has redesigned the Guides feature on the Maps app, which now includes a full-bleed header, redesigned buttons, and beautiful animations when minimizing and maximizing each guide.
PS5 / Xbox Series X controller support
Support for next-generation console controllers, including the Playstation 5 Dual Sense controller and the Xbox Series X controller, is now available in 14.5. Next-gen controller support is a welcome new addition for controller-compatible Apple Arcade games, and for taking advantage of console-centric remote play features.
Dedicated Search tab in News app
Similar to the Search tab in the Music app and TV app, the News app gains a dedicated search interface for quickly finding channels, topics, or stories.
Siri interface updates
Those using the Type to Siri accessibility option will notice an updated interface that no longer opens to a dedicated Siri screen, allowing the user to maintain context of their current position in iOS. This update is similar to the changes first implemented in iOS 14 when invoking Siri using voice. You’ll also find an updated interface that appears when sending iMessages via Siri.
Apple Card updates
Although these updates are not-yet user facing, we’ve also highlighted a couple of forthcoming changes related to Apple Card:
Apple Card Family feature for multi-user accounts
New financial health features coming to the Wallet app
To commemorate Data Privacy Day, Apple is sharing “A Day in the Life of Your Data,” a report that illustrates how companies track user data.
Data tracking is more widespread than ever. Learn how Apple’s privacy features help users take control over their data
Cupertino, California — January 28 is Data Privacy Day, a time to raise awareness about the importance of protecting people’s personal information online. Apple is commemorating Data Privacy Day by sharing “A Day in the Life of Your Data,” an easy-to-understand report illustrating how companies track user data across websites and apps. The report also shares how privacy features across Apple’s products give users more transparency and control, empowering people with the tools and knowledge to protect their personal information.
“Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Our goal is to create technology that keeps people’s information safe and protected. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and our teams work every day to embed it in everything we make.”
“A Day in the Life of Your Data” helps users better understand how third-party companies track their information across apps and websites, while describing the tools Apple provides to make tracking more transparent and give users more control. The explainer sheds light on how widespread some of these practices have become. On average, apps include six “trackers” from other companies, which have the sole purpose of collecting and tracking people and their personal information.1 Data collected by these trackers is pieced together, shared, aggregated, and monetized, fueling an industry valued at $227 billion per year.
The new privacy nutrition label requires every app — including Apple’s — to give users an easy-to-view summary of the developer’s privacy practices.
Last year, as part of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple launched a number of important privacy features intended to help users make more informed decisions about their data. Two in particular have the potential to make a big difference in helping users protect their privacy:
With the new privacy information section on App Store product pages, a feature called the privacy nutrition label, Apple is requiring every app — including its own — to give users an easy-to-view summary of the developer’s privacy practices. Every product page on the App Store includes standardized, easy-to-read information based on the developer’s self-reported data practices. The privacy nutrition labels give users key information about how an app uses their data — including whether the data is used to track them, linked to them, or not linked to them.
And starting soon, with Apple’s next beta update, App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track, and make changes as they see fit. This requirement will roll out broadly in early spring with an upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, and has already garnered support from privacy advocates around the world.
A new App Tracking Transparency feature across iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.
Gus Hosein, Privacy International: “PI’s investigations into data brokers and ad tech companies reveal a complex, fast-growing industry that is opaque to the average user. Where there is a lack of transparency, exploitation thrives. Invisible and gratuitous data collection leaves users unable to exercise their rights and protect their privacy. Apple’s nutrition labels require industry to be clear and upfront with consumers, and tools like App Tracking Transparency will help people to assert control over the invisible leakage of their data. With these commendable innovations, industry will finally feel pressure to change. Consumer awareness and technical solutions are important parts of the solution, but in order to prevent a cat-and-mouse game between industry actors, we need substantive, enforceable regulation to stop this exploitation of our data.”
Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy: “Apple’s new data privacy tools ensure that people have greater control over their personal information. Data brokers and online advertisers will now have to act more responsibly when dealing with consumers who use third party applications on Apple devices.”
Michelle Richardson, Center for Democracy and Technology: “Too often, consumers are unknowing participants in a web of data tracking and targeting. These changes will help rebalance the ecosystem so that data collection and sharing is more transparent and tracking is no longer the default. Systemic change of this breadth is a huge leap forward for consumers.”
Tristan Harris, Center for Humane Technology: “Today’s Apple announcement moves the ecosystem further away from the malicious effects of secretive profiling and microtargeting that enable many of the problems outlined in The Social Dilemma.”
Awareness of industry practices like data tracking is only the first step toward a better privacy experience. Users also need the features and controls to decide how their data is used, and by whom. Apple has led the industry by building privacy protections into every one of its products and services.
For years, Apple has introduced dozens of technologies that safeguard user privacy and help keep users’ data safe. For example, Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default as far back as 2005. In iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Safari added Intelligent Tracking Prevention to further limit tracking while still enabling websites to function normally. In 2018, Apple introduced protections to prevent companies from fingerprinting Mac — a practice in which third parties try to identify users devices based on data like fonts and plug-ins.
These technologies represent only a small selection of the many privacy features and controls Apple has introduced across its products. For more information, visit Apple’s privacy website at apple.com/privacy.
Throughout February, Apple is bringing customers a variety of ways to celebrate Black History Month across its products and services.
Apple launches new editorial collections, Apple Maps Guides, the Apple Watch Black Unity Collection, Today at Apple sessions, and more
From curated features across the App Store, Apple Music, the Apple TV app, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts, to new Apple Maps Guides, the Apple Watch Black Unity Collection, Today at Apple sessions, and more, here is a look at what is in store across Apple’s products and services this February.
Throughout February, users can visit the App Store Black History Month Hub, which will spotlight Black-owned businesses, developers, entertainment and gaming apps, and social justice apps. The App Store will also feature stories with Black developers discussing the importance of representation in apps and games, with creators from ustwo games and Zynga.
Users can visit the App Store Black History Month Hub spotlighting Black-owned businesses, developers, entertainment and gaming apps, and social justice apps.
To honor the Black artists, moments, and movements that have shaped global music and pop culture, Apple Music will launch a monthlong experience across Apple Music, Apple Music radio, and Apple Music TV that highlights some of the most remarkable musicians spanning jazz, blues, soul, gospel, R&B, pop, and hip hop. Throughout February, Apple Music will also feature curated playlists, essays, original videos, and more from Black influencers, musicians, authors, and directors, including Erykah Badu, Naomi Campbell, Common, Ava DuVernay, John Legend, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jaden Smith. Apple Music also commissioned original artwork from collage artist Rob Lewis to visually weave together the music programming with the culture it represents.
Customers can enjoy curated Apple Maps Guides created in collaboration with EatOkra, a Black-owned business directory app based in Brooklyn, New York. EatOkra works with local chefs to provide a food-themed directory of Black-owned restaurants in local communities.
With curated Apple Maps Guides created in collaboration with EatOkra, customers can find and support Black-owned restaurants in their local communities.
Apple TV App
This month’s theme for “Essential Stories” on the Apple TV app will spotlight the multidimensionality of the Black family and its representation onscreen. Viewers can dive into the “Essential: Stories That Honor Black Families” collection with curated sets of films and TV shows that explore motherhood, fatherhood, iconic TV families, queer chosen families, and more. This latest installment features original art by Jon Key, whose intimate illustrations depict various interpretations of family units. Viewers can also check out prior themes of “Essential Stories” with work from artists Darien Birks, Richard Chance, Dani Pendergast, and Loveis Wise, with more to come each month.
“The Oprah Conversation” episodes “Caste: Part 1” and “Caste: Part 2” from Apple TV+, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson and her book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” will be available for free on the Apple TV app. In these episodes, Oprah Winfrey, Wilkerson, and a panel of readers discuss the concept that America is built on a caste system, and readers share stories of how the themes of the critically acclaimed bestseller resonate with their lives and experiences. The “Oprah’s Book Club” interview with Winfrey and Wilkerson remains free to stream on Apple TV+, and customers can also check out the free “Caste” discussion guide on Apple Books and the Oprah’s Book Club podcast on “Caste.”
On the Apple TV app, customers can explore the “Essential Stories” collection to find movies and TV shows that celebrate Black families.
Apple News readers can explore curated topic groups that will highlight the best journalism around race in America. Separately, a special Apple News+ Spotlight collection will feature audio articles that celebrate the Black experience. Readers can dive even deeper by visiting the Racial Justice Spotlight, an ongoing collection of articles that includes education on anti-racism, mental-health resources, and ideas to serve their community.
Apple News will feature curated topic groups that highlight the best journalism around race in America, while Apple News+ will offer audio articles that celebrate the Black experience.
A broad new collection on Apple Books will highlight great books and audiobooks by Black authors across a variety of genres, including literary fiction, history, memoirs, and books for young readers. Apple Books will also put a spotlight on both authors and narrators, with a special feature in which new authors, such as Jordan Ifueko, Robert Jones Jr., and Brandon Taylor, discuss their recent releases, and another feature in which celebrated audiobook narrators, including Adjoa Andoh, Guy Lockard, and Bahni Turpin, dive into some of their favorite narrating experiences.
On Apple Books, customers can find special features spotlighting Black authors and narrators, along with recommended books and audiobooks across a variety of genres.
On Apple Podcasts, listeners can enjoy an expansive set of shows from powerful Black voices including Michelle Obama, Joe Budden, Phoebe Robinson, and Baratunde Thurston; a collection of shows from creators around the world offering thoughtful interpretations of Black families; and an extended promotion of “Seizing Freedom” from VPM, a show that documents the struggle to define freedom after 400 years of slavery. Hosted by author and historian Kidada E. Williams, with firsthand accounts from diaries, newspapers, speeches, and letters, “Seizing Freedom” illustrates the stakes for the nation during the Reconstruction era as it reveals unsettling echoes in the present-day pursuit for political and social justice.
Apple Podcasts offers listeners a wide range of shows from powerful Black voices, including “Seizing Freedom” from VPM, which is hosted by author and historian Kidada E. Williams and features artwork by L.A.InkWell.
Apple is introducing the Black Unity Collection, designed to celebrate and acknowledge Black history and Black culture. The collection includes a limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6, the Black Unity Sport Band, and a Unity watch face. As part of this effort, Apple is supporting six global organizations to help advance their missions in promoting and achieving equality and civil rights in the US and around the world: Black Lives Matter Support Fund via the Tides Foundation; European Network Against Racism; International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights; Leadership Conference Education Fund; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.; and Souls Grown Deep.
Apple introduces the Black Unity Collection, designed to celebrate and acknowledge Black history and Black culture. The collection includes a limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6, the Black Unity Sport Band, and the Unity watch face.
The Black Unity Sport Band uses colors inspired by the Pan-African flag with the words “Truth. Power. Solidarity.” laser-engraved onto the closure.
Honoring the craft of quilting, the Unity watch face creates a pattern of irregular shapes that dynamically changes over time.
The limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 features “Black Unity” laser-etched onto the back crystal.
Members of the Black creative community and allies throughout Apple came together to design an Apple Watch Sport Band and Apple Watch face to honor the ongoing fight for racial justice. Inspired by the call to action of both the historic and current movements, the Black Unity Sport Band has “Truth. Power. Solidarity.” laser-engraved onto the interior of the stainless steel fastening pin.
The Black Unity Collection pays homage to the rich tradition and craft of quilting in the Black community and celebrates the colors of the Pan-African flag: red for the blood that unites people of the African Diaspora and was shed for their liberation, black for the people whose existence is affirmed by the flag, and green for the vibrant natural wealth of Africa, the Motherland. The Black Unity Sport Band is made from individual pieces of colored fluoroelastomer, which are assembled by hand and compression-molded into one. The Unity watch face creates an ever-changing pattern that dynamically shifts over time.
Apple Watch users can participate in a new Unity Activity Challenge and earn the limited-edition award by closing their Move ring seven days in a row during February.
Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity and the Black Unity Sport Band will be available starting February 1, and the Unity watch face will be available as part of watchOS 7.3 coming later today.
In addition, Apple Watch users can participate in a new Unity Activity Challenge and earn the limited-edition award by closing their Move ring seven days in a row during February.
Apple Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy a collection of themed workouts, featuring all Black artists across Cycling, Dance, High Intensity Interval Training, Strength, Yoga, and Treadmill. Fitness+ Trainers will also feature individual songs and pay tribute to Black History Month across additional workouts. In acknowledgment and celebration of Black History Month, the first Time to Walk episode in February will feature author Ibram X. Kendi reflecting on racial justice and resiliency.
Today at Apple
Today at Apple, in partnership with design group It’s Nice That, is hosting New World, a program of hands-on virtual sessions and step-by-step tutorials focused on exploring the power of creativity to bring about change. During Black History Month, curator and writer Kimberly Drew will moderate sessions led by Black creatives who will discuss their creative practices and where they get inspiration, as well as demonstrate and teach one particular skill or technique. Sessions include typographer Tré Seals; creative director, filmmaker, and photographer Joshua Kissi; and visual artist, photographer, and educator Shan Wallace. Everyone is welcome to join and can sign up at apple.co/new-world.
Today at Apple, in partnership with design group It’s Nice That, will offer a program of hands-on virtual sessions and tutorials that focus on using creativity to bring about change.
Shot on iPhone
Beginning in February, Apple’s latest Shot on iPhone campaign, “Hometown,” highlights the work of more than 30 Black photographers commissioned by Apple. Their mission was to capture amazing imagery of their “Hometown” from their own unique lens. This project covered a broad range of American cities and towns like Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, and many more.
These Black History Month activities complement the company’s ongoing commitment to honoring and celebrating Black voices. Earlier this month, Apple announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI).
Pricing and Availability
Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity (GPS) starts at $399 (US) and Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499 (US). The Black Unity Sport Band is $49 (US).
The Black Unity Collection will be available online and in store from Apple and Target, beginning Monday, February 1, in the US and over 38 countries and regions.
The limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity will be available for the month of February, and the Black Unity Sport Band will be available throughout the year.
The Unity watch face will be available later today as part of watchOS 7.3, and requires iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14.4.
The Black History Month collections and content across Apple services will be available starting February 1.
It’s been two years since we unveiled the list of Apple devices that will receive the next major update. After iOS 13 and then iOS 14, it’s time to talk about iOS 15. On which iPhone, iPod or iPad can we install iOS 15 and iPadOS 15?
If iOS 14 had rolled over the same iPhones and iPads as iOS 13 (like iOS 12 and iOS 11), Apple is expected to remove five models this year, split between smartphones and tablets. Here is a first list of Apple devices that will host iOS 15 beta next June, gleaned once again from our developer friend at Apple and who works in particular on the Plans app. Obviously, needless to say that the iPhone 13 will be delivered directly with iOS 15 and an A15 chip. But for the others, there will be unhappy customers because Apple will have to part with certain models in order to facilitate the deployment of new products and to better unify its fleet.
French publication iPhoneSoft says that the information is coming from within Apple (via Apple Translate):
Here is a first list of apple devices that will host iOS 15 beta next June, once again gleaned from our developer friend at Apple and who notably officiates on the Plans app.
With the iPhone 12 mini and the second-generation iPhone SE, Apple now sells two modern devices that match the form factor of the iPhone 6s design. The second-generation iPhone SE is actually nearly identical to the iPhone 6s in terms of design, but with the modern A13 processor inside. The iPhone 12 mini is physically smaller, but offers a bigger display because of its edge-to-edge design, alongside the A14 processor and an improved camera system.
Not compatible with iOS 15:
iPhone 6s an 6s Plus
iPhone SE 2016
That lines up with the report we saw last November from The Verifier. But going beyond that information, iPhoneSoft says that iOS 15 will also “probably not be available” on:
iPad mini 4
iPad Air 2
Here’s a look at what devices could work with the iOS/iPadOS 15.