Amid all the OpenAI drama, the team has still been doing some work, it seems! The company’s newly-reinstated co-founder Greg Brockman has just tweeted that ChatGPT Voice is rolling out to everyone, not just paying subscribers …
OpenAI has announced that it is releasing a dedicated iPhone app for its ChatGPT service. The app, which is available via the App Store, gives users the ability to use ChatGPT through a native app on their iPhone. The app is free to download and includes no ads. It’s currently only available in the United States, but OpenAI says availability will expand “in the coming weeks” […]
The app will also sync your ChatGPT history across all your devices, including the web. It also includes support for Whisper, OpenAI’s open-source speech-recognition system. This integration with Whisper enables voice input for the ChatGPT app on iPhone. The ChatGPT app is also completely ad-free.
At that time, you could use voice to ask questions, though there wasn’t any real benefit in doing so over using the iPhone’s built-in keyboard dictation feature, and answers could only be displayed on-screen.
Shortcuts and Siri support was added in July.
Two-way voice interaction was later launched, but only for paying subscribers. The company now says it is available to all, with Brockman urging people to try it.
ChatGPT Voice rolled out for all free users. Give it a try — totally changes the ChatGPT experience.
You can choose between five different voices.
ChatGPT Voice rolled out for all free users. Give it a try — totally changes the ChatGPT experience: https://t.co/DgzqLlDNYF
I found I had to delete the app and then re-install it from the App Store to get the update. Please be careful if you need to do the same, as there are many scam apps which come up in a search for ChatGPT.
It’s also worth noting that demand for the feature is apparently extremely high, as I’ve experienced long delays at the ‘connecting’ stage, and some failures.
For years, it’s been possible to share a playlist you’ve made on Apple Music with others. However, a new feature allows for shared, editable playlists in iOS 17.2. Here’s how to use Apple Music collaborative playlists.
Two new features come to Apple Music with iOS 17.2 (currently in beta) – collaborative playlists and a new automatic “Favorites” playlist.
To find the latter, you can head to Library > Playlists in Apple Music and swipe down to find the new auto-generated Favorites playlist.
While Spotify has often led Apple Music in terms of social features, it’s great to see collaborative playlists arrive with iOS 17.2, let’s dig into how they work.
How to use Apple Music collaborative playlists
iOS 17.2 is available now in beta – read more on how to install it for free on your device
Running the iOS 17.2 beta, open Apple Music on iPhone or iPad
Choose the Library tab at the bottom, then tap Playlists
Select a playlist that you’ve created (or create a new one – this does not work for now with Apple Music’s playlists that you’ve saved)
Tap the … icon in the top right corner
Now choose Collaborate (second from the top)
You can choose if collaborators need to be approved or not
Tap Start Collaboration to invite people
You can head back to the playlist and tap the … icon to get the Manage Collaboration option
Here’s how the process looks to use Apple Music collaborative playlists on iPhone:
Now you’ll see the new Collaborate option. Apple notes anyone you share a collaborative playlist link with will be able to edit and reorder songs and change the name and photo of the playlist.
It’s official: Apple will add support for the RCS messaging standard in iOS. This won’t happen until the end of next year, and we don’t have many details about how Apple will implement RCS. In the meantime, we can reflect on the impact this will have on Android and iPhone users – and honestly, I don’t think it will be as huge as people might think.
A look back at Apple’s history with RCS
RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is a communication protocol created in 2007. Still, it only gained traction recently when Google implemented RCS in Android’s native messaging app. It was designed to replace the old SMS standard, which is quite limited by today’s standards.
Compared to SMS, RCS supports messages with audio, video, and other file formats and is not limited to 160 characters. It also supports better group messaging, typing indicators, and read receipts.
iMessage users are probably already familiar with all these features. However, when iPhone users send messages to Android users using the system’s native messaging app, they’re limited to the basic features of the old SMS standard since the iPhone never had RCS support. At the same time, Apple has never been interested in making iMessage available on Android.
In the US, where the iPhone dominates the smartphone market share, many people use iMessage daily. This has resulted in Android users not being able to have a good messaging experience when chatting with iPhone users, and vice versa. This created the debate known as the “green bubbles vs. blue bubbles.”
Apple executives have already secretly admitted that they have no reason to make messaging between iPhones and Android more seamless because it would hurt iPhone sales. Some people buy an iPhone just because of iMessage, and there are even cases of teenagers being bullied at school for not being included in group chats because they have an Android phone.
Adding RCS to iOS would fill this gap, as communication would be similar to the experience that users have when chatting via iMessage. But again, that wouldn’t benefit Apple in any way.
So what happened?
With all this in mind, what has changed to make Apple finally adopt RCS? Is Apple being a good company that loves to support open industry standards? Well, not really.
Apple has been under scrutiny from regulators around the world in recent years because of its dominance and strict rules when it comes to iOS. The company is accused of using its power to undermine competition with the App Store and iMessage (built into the native iOS messaging app also used to send SMS).
With the approval of the Digital Market Acts antitrust law by the European Union, Apple would be forced to not only open iOS to sideloading but also make iMessage interoperable with other messaging apps. This would certainly hurt Apple in markets where iMessage has a large user base.
By adopting RCS, Apple can argue that it supports an open messaging standard, so there’s no need to bring iMessage to other platforms or make it compatible with third-party apps. It’s a painful way to avoid even more damage, which seems inevitable at this point. But will RCS change anything for most iPhone users?
RCS won’t have much impact on iPhone users
Apple adopting RCS on the iPhone is a huge thing. But at the same time, it won’t change anything for the vast majority of users, and here’s why.
The “green bubbles vs. blue bubbles” discussion is very niche to a few countries, especially the US. Again, because in those places, Apple dominates the market with the iPhone. But there’s more to it: in the US, people are already used to sending SMS, so many people have no idea they’re using iMessage when texting someone with an iPhone.
To be honest, I think the title should be “…but will it change anything for anyone outside North America?”
Data from multiple research firms, such as Similarweb and Sinch Engage, show that WhatsApp has become the most popular messaging app in the world. It is notably strong in some European and Latin American countries. In Brazil, WhatsApp is used by 96% of people who own a smartphone. In China, everyone uses WeChat.
In these places, smartphone users are not worried about iMessage or RCS. They already use third-party messaging apps and will probably continue to do so.
Even in countries where iMessage dominates, the impact may not be as significant as some people might think. That’s because we don’t know how Apple will implement RCS. Perhaps RCS will still have green bubbles. Maybe RCS group chats will be one thing, and iMessage group chats will be another.
It’s great to see Apple finally supporting another industry standard, especially when SMS is so outdated and extremely vulnerable to security breaches. But at the end of the day, things will be the same for a lot of people.
RCS messages will use green bubbles, Apple confirms
Last November 16,2023, Apple announced its plans to bring RCS support to the iPhone in 2024. Since I published my story on the news this morning, there’s one thing everyone wants to know: is the blue bubbles vs green bubbles debate coming to an end?
I’m happy to say I now have an official answer: nope. RCS will use green bubbles just like SMS.
More details on iPhone’s RCS features
RCS (Rich Communication Services) will bring a number of iMessage-style features to texts between Android and iPhone users. This includes things such as read receipts, typing indicators, and higher-quality images and videos.
The one thing that won’t be changing, however, is the color of the messaging bubbles.
Apple has confirmed to me that blue bubbles will still be used to represent iMessages, while green bubbles will represent RCS messages. The company uses blue bubbles to denote what it believes is the best and most secure way for iPhone users to communicate, which is iMessage.
The green vs blue bubbles debate has become a cultural staple over the years. Google and Samsung have both used the color of bubbles in advertising campaigns criticizing Apple for not supporting RCS.
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise. As I reported this morning, iMessage isn’t going anywhere. Apple is adding RCS as an upgrade to SMS and MMS, while iMessage will exist separately. Again, today’s news is not Apple opening up iMessage to other platforms.
On Android, SMS texts are denoted by a light blue color, while RCS messages are denoted by a dark blue. Based on what we know now, Apple’s implementation will be blue for iMessage and green for RCS and SMS.
For more details on Apple’s plans to bring RCS to the iPhone in 2024, check out our complete coverage from November 16,2023. Our friends over at 9to5Google also have new details on Google’s response to today’s news.
Nonetheless, the green bubbles vs blue bubbles debate is here to stay. Is this the right decision on Apple’s part? Let us know in the comments.
We got an early look at the iPhone 15 Pro Max cellular performance from Ookla in October with its Q3 report showing almost 100% faster 4G/5G speeds compared to iPhone 14 Pro Max. Now Ookla has shared a new 5G performance study and iPhone 15 lineup has dominated as the fastest 5G devices around the world.
Ookla shared the new report on its blog. Collecting data from 13 countries between September and October for iPhone (August to October for Samsung devices), the results show the iPhone 15 Pro Max or in some cases the iPhone 15 or 15 Plus are the fastest 5G smartphones by a good margin. And an iPhone was the fastest 5G device in all but just one of the 13 countries.
Ookla notes that there are a number of variables when it comes to 5G performance like “5G investments by governments and mobile operators, different 5G spectrum allocations, and mobile 5G plans.”
In the US, the iPhone 15 Pro Max was on top with 285.02 Mbps as the median 5G download speed. The rest of the iPhone 15 family took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, with the next closest device being the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 with 231.56 Mbps.
5G performance in Canada was lower overall with the iPhone 15 Pro Max at 217.35 Mbps. The 15 Plus and 15 Pro took 2nd and 3rd and the Galaxy Z Fold5 snuck into 4th place with 175.63 Mbps.
In the UK, the new iPhones dominated with the Galaxy Z Fold4 coming in 6th place roughly 20-30 Mbps slower than the modern iPhones’ median 5G download speed.
One interesting result was in Brazil – the iPhone 15 took the top spot over the 15 Pro and Pro Max with 533.32 Mbps. However, the 15 Pro and Pro Max were close being with 523 Mbps.
The only country on the list where an iPhone didn’t have the fastest 5G median download speed was the Philippines. The Galaxy Z Fold5 beat out the iPhone 15 Pro by just 1 Mbps.
In Australia, two out of four iPhone 15 models showed median 5G download speeds that were significantly faster than their iPhone 14 equivalents during the September 22-October 20, 2023 period. Speedtest Intelligence reveals the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max both had a 14% better download speed than their prior year counterparts. There was no statistical winner for the iPhone standard model or the iPhone Plus in Australia during this period.
The Galaxy Z Flip5 had a 30% better download speed than the Galaxy Z Flip4 during the August 11-October 20, 2023 period in Australia, while there was no statistical winner for the Galaxy Z Fold.
Recommendation: Depending on your model of choice, only half the devices surveyed merit an upgrade based on performance alone in Australia.
Other Countries are:
Check out the full Ookla report on iPhone 15 5G performance against other devices for more details.
Apple today announced it is extending the free usage period for Emergency SOS satellite features for iPhone 14 users. Previously, Apple gave iPhone 14 customers two free years after device activation, which would have began expiring this time next year.
But now, all current iPhone 14 users will be able to use the service for free for another two years. Apple has not revealed how much it will charge for Emergency SOS via satellite when the free period is up, and today’s announcement means the company can defer any decision making on that further into the future.
The free period for iPhone 15 customers has not been extended. That means iPhone 15 users still currently are working on a two free years model, which will begin to elapse in September 2024.
This means iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 customers will see their free periods expire at roughly the same time, beginning September 2025. It gives Apple more time to decide on pricing plans for these features.
Emergency SOS via satellite allows compatible iPhone users to send short text messages to nearby emergency services even when outside of Wi-Fi or cellular signal range. It allows people to get help if they get into trouble in places where usually they would have no way to contact anyone else.
Users can also update their location in the Find My app using the satellite signal. With iPhone 15, Apple also extended the Emergency SOS feature to include contacting roadside assistance when your car breaks down.
Apple has been under pressure in the European Union as the Digital Markets Act antitrust legislation requires the company to allow users to sideload apps outside the App Store to increase competition. The iOS 17.2 beta code that the company is indeed moving towards enabling sideloading on iOS devices.
Update: Apple has published new documentation for the ManagedAppDistribution API on its website confirming that it is primarily intended as an MDM solution. As we suggested in our report, it could still be used for other purposes. You can read the original article below.
What is sideloading
For those unfamiliar, the sideloading process consists of installing apps obtained from third-party sources instead of an official source. When it comes to iOS, the official source (and the only one available to iPhone and iPad users) is the App Store. Apple has never allowed sideloading on iOS, as this would allow apps to bypass the App Store guidelines.
However, the European Union last year passed the Digital Markets Act, or DMA, a new piece of antitrust legislation aimed at big tech companies so that they don’t use their advantages to undermine competition. One of the requirements of the DMA is that users can install any apps they want from third-party sources.
Previous reports revealed that Apple had been doing under-the-hood work on iOS 17 to prepare the system for sideloading in Europe. With the iOS 17.2 beta, internal code suggests this is true.
iOS 17.2 seems ready to allow alternative app stores
iOS 17.2 has a new public framework called “Managed App Distribution.” While our first thought was that this API would be related to MDM solutions for installing enterprise apps (which is already possible on iOS), it seems that Apple has been working on something more significant than that.
By analyzing the new API, we’ve learned that it has an extension endpoint declared in the system, which means that other apps can create extensions of this type. Digging even further, we found a new, unused entitlement that will give third-party apps permission to install other apps. In other words, this would allow developers to create their own app stores.
The API has basic controls for downloading, installing, and even updating apps from external sources. It can also check whether an app is compatible with a specific device or iOS version, which the App Store already does. Again, this could easily be used to modernize MDM solutions, but here’s another thing.
We also found references to a region lock in this API, which suggests that Apple could restrict it to specific countries. This wouldn’t make sense for MDM solutions, but it does make sense for enabling sideloading in particular countries only when required by authorities – such as in the European Union.
When will this happen?
In theory, Apple is required to comply with DMA legislation by March 2024. The company has even admitted in a Form 10-K filing that it expects to make changes that will impact the App Store’s business model.
At the same time, Apple will also appeal to the European Union about including the App Store in the Digital Markets Act, which is no surprise. Apple will likely try everything to preserve the iOS App Store. But ultimately, iOS 17 will be ready for sideloading.
One of the more useful changes to recent Apple Watch models is support for fast charging. This allows you to quickly top off your Apple Watch battery at much faster speeds than before. There are a few things to remember, and you don’t get everything you need in the box…
Which Apple Watch models support fast charging?
The following Apple Watch variants allow for fast charging:
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple says that with fast charge, your Apple Watch battery level can go from 0-80% in about 45 minutes. Apple has a support document detailing the specifics of fast charging with the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra.
What do you need to fast charge your Apple Watch?
Included with the Apple Watch is an Apple USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable. As we’ve previously reported, the difference with this cable is that it has aluminum instead of plastic around the magnetic charger.
While Apple is including one of these cables in the box with Apple Watch Series 7, Series 8, and Ultra, you can also buy them separately so you can outfit all of your charging spots with fast charge support. The cable measures 1m in length and is available for $29. The model number for the cable is A2515, so make sure you’re buying that specific model if you purchase from a third party other than Apple or Amazon.
The second part of the equation is the power adapter that you plug into the wall. As part of its continued focus on reducing its environmental footprint, Apple no longer includes this power brick in the box. This means you’ll have to use one that you already have or buy a new one.
Apple says that any USB-C power adapter that supports USB Power Delivery of 5W or better is capable of Apple Watch fast charging. You can find these on Amazon from reputable brands such as UGreen for as little as $10.
Here are the specifications from Apple:
Apple 18W, 20W, 29W, 30W, 61W, 87W, or 96W USB-C Power Adapter
A comparable third-party USB-C power adapter that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) of 5W or greater
Interesting. So if I read this article correctly, you only need 5 watts with the new usb-c cable to get 45 minutes at 80% on AW 7 or 8?
I thought you needed a larger charger.
Finally, if you use Apple’s MagSafe Duo or its Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock, you can’t tap into fast-charging capabilities, regardless of which cable or power adapter you use. You could, however, place the fast charger puck in a third-party dock of any sort.
Belkin Apple Watch Fast Charger Dock
Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger – Fast Charging Stand
Apple has released iOS 17.1.1 for iPhone. The software update includes fixes for wireless charging and the recently discovered snow glitch. The update follows the iOS 17.1 update from October 25 which introduced new AirDrop and Apple Music features. Apple is also working on iOS 17.2 and the new Journal app for iPhone.
This update provides bug fixes for your iPhone including:
In rare circumstances, Apple Pay and other NFC features may become unavailable on iPhone 15 models after wireless charging in certain cars
Weather Lock Screen widget may not correctly display snow
It’s not just you: Apple Weather widget is showing a file icon instead of snow
Apple released a watchOS update that fixed an annoying bug affecting the Weather app complication, which had been broken for months since the watchOS 10 beta. But it seems that Apple still has other bugs to fix in its Weather app, as some users have been seeing a random file icon in the Lock Screen widget instead of a representation of snow.
Apple Weather widget can’t handle snow
As noticed by many users on the web and also by the 9to5Mac staff, the Apple Weather Lock Screen widget has been showing a generic file icon. Interestingly, this only happens when the weather forecast for the set location is snow and doesn’t seem to affect any other weather conditions shown by the widget.
On X (formerly Twitter), iPhone users have been making jokes about the fact that the Apple Weather widget isn’t ready for snow. The “iPhone weather widget apparently can no longer handle snow (neither can I, but that’s a different story),” a user posted on the social network. “The snow image isn’t even loading on my weather widget. It’s too soon for this,” said another user.
It is unclear whether the bug is caused by something that can be fixed remotely on the Apple Weather servers or if it’s a more serious glitch that will require an iOS update. Either way, Apple hasn’t had much luck when it comes to its Weather app.
Back in 2020, the company acquired the weather app Dark Sky and has since implemented some of its features right into the Apple Weather app. However, it’s been a while since users began complaining about its lack of accuracy when it comes to weather alerts and forecasts.
Last week, some Apple Watch users reported on an increasingly widespread battery drain problem plaguing Apple Watch users. Following our report, Apple has confirmed the existence of the problem and says a fix is coming soon via a software update.
This Apple Watch battery drain problem appears to affect a wide range of Apple Watch users. This includes the newest models like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, as well as older models like the Apple Watch Series 4. Affected users say that their Apple Watch battery life started draining abnormally quickly after updating to watchOS 10.1.
In an internal memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers on Saturday, Apple confirmed that it is aware of the battery drain problem affecting Apple Watch users. The company said that a fix is “coming soon” via a software update for watchOS 10. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t provide any further details on when that update will be released (via MacRumors).
Apple’s memo also doesn’t offer specific details on how widespread the problem is. A quick search on Twitter, however, offers some context. One user says that their Apple Watch Series 9 went from 100% to dead in just three hours. Another user reports that their Apple Watch Series 7 battery drained 25% in just 30 minutes.
@9to5mac Since I updated my Series 7 to watchOS 10.1, my battery has drained a ton. It barely charged overnight (was even going backwards on the charger at one point) and, after 100% this morning, lost 25% in 30 minutes. Definitely a bug in there. Might be worth investigating.
Seemingly coinciding with the release of watchOS 10.1, a number of Apple Watch users are complaining of abnormal battery drain issues.
This problem appears to be rather widespread, but it does not affect all Apple Watch users. The people who are affected, however, are using a range of different Apple Watch models. This includes older devices like the Apple Watch Series 4 as well as Apple’s newest Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Affected Apple Watch users are reporting battery drain at far more rapid rates than usual. One user on Twitter says that their Apple Watch Series 9 went from 100% to dead in just three hours. Another user reports that their Apple Watch Series 7 battery drained 25% in just 30 minutes.
Simultaneously, many of these people also say that they are having problems charging their Apple Watch due to apparent overheating problems. In the Settings app, users are seeing this message: “Charging was on hold due to Apple Watch temperature.” This leads to the Apple Watch battery actually draining while it’s on the charger for some people.
Since the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, many people have wondered when Apple will introduce its own generative AI. Rumors suggest that this could happen next year. Until then, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking a lot about AI in recent months and has now reinforced that Apple is investing in generative AI.
Tim Cook says Apple will have its own generative AI
During a call with investors on Thursday to reveal Q4 2023 fiscal results, Cook was asked how Apple has been experimenting with generative AI, given that many other tech companies have already launched AI-based tools.
Unsurprisingly, Apple’s CEO highlighted many features in Apple devices that are based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, such as Personal Voice, Crash Detection, and ECG in the Apple Watch. But when it came specifically to generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Cook responded that “obviously, we have work going on.”
He didn’t give any details about what exactly Apple is doing but said that the company wants to have its own generative AI responsibly and that customers will see these technologies become the “heart” of future products.
In terms of generative AI, obviously, we have work going on. I’m not going to get into details about what it is, because as you know, we really don’t do that. But you can bet that we’re investing. We’re investing quite a bit. We’re going to do it responsibly, and it will… you will see product advancements over time where those technologies are at the heart of them.
This is not the first time Tim Cook has talked about AI. In an interview a few months ago, he said that Apple has been “doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years.” In May, the executive praised the potential of AI, although he claimed that there are “issues that need to be sorted.”
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has been ramping up the development of AI-based tools, targeting a release with iOS 18 next year. This technology would be implemented in apps such as Apple Music, Xcode, and of course, Siri.
Report: AI features in development for iOS 18, Siri, Apple Music, Xcode and more
In his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that Apple was caught by surprise at the sudden swell of generative AI tools this year. But they are working hard to catch up with Apple SVPs Craig Federighi, John Giannandrea, and Eddy Cue all in charge of integrating AI-powered functionality into Apple’s products and services.
That will include various new AI features in iOS 18, such as smarter reply suggestions in Messages. Cue is pushing to include features like AI-generated playlists in Apple Music, and exploring how generative AI can be utilized in Apple’s productivity apps like Pages and Keynote. Giannandrea’s team is working on a new, smarter, version of Siri that should be ready to debut next year.
Gurman says embracing AI in end-user features is one of the primary objectives for Apple right now, as it looks to catch up to rivals like OpenAI, Google and Microsoft. Apple is consequently set to spend about $1 billion a year on AI research and product development.
In addition to new features in iOS 18 and Siri, Apple is also looking at ways to enhance the developer experience with AI-enhanced features in Xcode. This would likely include advanced code completion similar to what Github Copilot offers. The company is also looking at ways to streamline its internal AppleCare tools with artificial intelligence.
There is apparently some internal tension about whether to base these features off of AI neural network models running on device, or passed through Apple’s cloud services. Running on-device maximizes privacy, but large language models running on a server farm enable much more sophisticated capabilities. Gurman says Apple will likely decide on a case-by-case approach, with some features running wholly on-device and others relying on a cloud backend.