Tech News June 2021 Edition
New Updates to Apple Apps
By Asmitha Daggumati
It’s here! It’s time again! The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is finally here! Apple has yet again come with impressive new features for us to admire and look forward to. There will be new updates to FaceTime, camera, Apple Wallet, Apple Maps, Airpods, and countless other apps and devices.
FaceTime has gotten a few updates that make video calls with friends and family feel more natural. Apple is bringing Spatial Audio to FaceTime. Spacial Audio creates a sound field that help conversations flow as easily as they do face-to-face, causing your friends’ faces to spread out sound like the sound is coming from the direction in which they are positioned in the video call. There are also two updates to your microphone in FaceTime. One of these updates is Voice Isolation. Voice Isolation distinguishes your voice from the background noises and cuts out those background noises, prioritizing your voice. The other update is Wide Spectrum. In Wide Spectrum, your mic picks up your voice and everything around you. There are also a few updates to your video in FaceTime such as Grid View and Portrait Mode. Grid View allows you to identify who’s speaking while being able to see everyone else’s faces. In FaceTime, Portrait Mode blurs your background and puts you in focus. FaceTime links are the next update to FaceTime. FaceTime links allow you to generate a link to your FaceTime calls and send it anywhere which is a good way to plan a call ahead of time. FaceTime links can also be used in the web browser, so Samsung and Microsoft users can join the FaceTime call too. SharePlay is new feature for shared experiences on a FaceTime call. SharePlay allows you to share music, movies, and TV shows at the same time, in sync. You can also share your screen using SharePlay.
Another update Apple announced was “focus” mode. Focus mode allows you to shift your phone in different modes like work or personal mode. It also allows you to customize your notifications in different modes. You can also batch your less important notifications together and set them to deliver at a specific time.
The next update is to the camera. The update is called Live Text which can recognize the text in photos and make it selectable, searchable, etc. It can also recognize things beyond text like types of flowers, landmarks, etc.
There are some updates to Apple Wallet too. Apple now incorporates home, hotel, and office keys to Apple Wallet allows you to unlock doors in those places with your phone. Apple is also working with TSA to put an encrypted copy of your driver’s license in Apple Wallet.
Apple is adding many new details to its maps in Apple Maps and is making the maps 3D. Apple Maps will also be getting a mode that has you use the camera to scan nearby buildings to help you decide which direction you’re supposed to go. This is similar to the Street View feature in Google Maps.
AirPods Pro will now allow you to boost the volume of voices and control the volume of the background noises around you when you are having a face-to-face conversation in a noisy environment.
Your iPhone will now be able to analyze your “walking steadiness” to hopefully warn you if your fall risk is increasing over time. The WatchOS will now be able to help track your respiratory rate like how many breaths you take per minute. Apple also says that they are opening up Siri to third-party manufacturers. This allows Siri to be found on things like thermostats.
Now, I applaud Apple for its many technological innovations in the world, and we can’t wait to see its new innovations next year!
Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey
By Vineeth Menon
At Apple’s WWDC event Apple introduced the new upcoming version of iPadOS with additional widgets, a way better multitasking system for the iPad, and a lot more cool and interesting features. Apple also introduced MacOS 12 Monterey with very cool interesting features and universal control is a key feature here, which we will talk further into.
At Apple’s WWDC event Apple introduced the new upcoming version of iPadOS with additional widgets, a way better multitasking system for the iPad, and a lot more cool and interesting features. Apple also introduced MacOS 12 Monterey with very cool interesting features and universal control is a key feature here, which we will talk further into. WWDC 2021 unveils iPadOS 15. Although iPadOS 15 retains the same general look like the present iPad operating system, it has many new features. The updates for the iPad are mostly revolving around the idea of multitasking. The iPad’s widget support gets a big update with iPadOS 15. The widgets are larger, appealing, and dynamic, and IOS’s app library is finally available on the iPad, where it modifies the overall user experience. Now, we talk about one of iPadOS 15 most appealing feature “multitasking”. Split View makes multitasking possible. There is a drop-down menu at the top of the screen which unlocks several multitasking multi-window options. Also with Split View comes a feature called “Shelf”. The Shelf makes it easy to switch smoothly between different screens and screen grouping. “These new multitasking features will help our users be more productive, and do even more on their iPad,” said Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. Apple also updated the note-taking system in iPadOS to better take advantage of the iPad’s large screen. One new interactive feature that comes with iPadOS 15 is Quick Notes, which allows users to float a note-taking window anywhere over another app. This way users can take notes without the need of switching between apps. Quick Note is a different feature from Split View. Moreover, Apple teases a new version of Swift Playgrounds that allows users to learn, build, and submit iPad and iPhone apps to the App Store. Let’s go over what Swift Playgrounds is, it is an educational tool and development environment for the Swift programming language developed by Apple Inc and teaches key concepts to users on how to code. This represents a large step forward in Apple’s app development world. In conclusion, this new software update comes with many cool features and I am excited to see future software updates like this one which enhances the user experience with the device.
The new MacOS 12 Monterey has been unveiled in WWDC 2021! One of the top-line features here is Universal Control which further connects the gaps between desktop and tablet. When you stick an iPad next to a Mac, you will be able to move the cursor between devices using the same trackpad and keyboard. This feature works on up to 3 devices at one time. Universal Control makes it effortless for users to move between devices, which makes users more productive, and they can focus their energy on the task at hand. Airplay to Mac also lets you cast content directly to your large desktop screen. Shortcuts are also now available on MacOS, which allows for simpler automation. Also, Shortcuts will be arriving with Siri, Spotlight, the menu bar, and Finder to start. Safari is also getting some updates. The biggest piece of news is the arrival of Tab Groups. Tab groups are where users can group tabs into bundles, which could be shared with other Apple users. This shows us that the tab bar is getting cleaner and more modernized. Another feature is desktop extensions that can now be with iOS and iPadOS. Desktops now support Spatial Audio on the AirPods Pro. LaunchPad now features a games folder to get your content all in one place, and Memoji’s can be displayed on the login screen. MacOS 12 Monterey will available for all users this coming fall. In conclusion, there are some nice additions to Monterey but not as much as Big Sur. Some users might ask what is Big Sur? Well in simplest terms MacOS Big Sur is an operating system for Macintosh computers and was released November 12, 2020.
The Tesla Model S Plaid
By Eva Anand
On Tesla’s June 10th delivery, Tesla event revealed the Tesla Model S Plaid. This new addition to the brand costs at least $124,490! But there’s a lot of great features that have been added to the car.
This car can drive 405 miles on a single charge! Its top speed is about 200 miles per hour. This beautiful car is packing 1,020 horsepower! And it takes about 1.99 seconds to go from 0 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour. This model is a Tri-Motor All-Wheel Drive. It is the lowest-drag car on Earth! If you supercharge you can go up to 200 miles in 15 minutes! This car can auto-park, be summoned, auto lane change, and navigate on autopilot!
Now let’s talk about the interior of this car. There is a 17-inch cinematic display. In the second row of the car, there is enough legroom, headroom, and space for 3 adults. There is even a stow-able armrest and wireless charging! This car also provides invisible cabin conditioning, which creates the perfect condition! In the second row, you can game in the car. There are wireless controllers and one of the newest consoles of today. There is space to charge all of the passengers’ phones and enough power to fast-charge tablets and laptops! The audio system in the Tesla Model S Plaid provides noise cancellation to create the best listening experience on the road! There is plenty of room in this car for storage. The second-row seats fold, and there are front rear trunks.
Although the Tesla Model S Plaid is expensive, it provides luxury and so many cool features.
Microsoft Teases New Windows 11
By Chinmay Bhat
Microsoft announced a new event for June 24th which showcased what would be next for Windows, and here is the link to the compilation of the new startup sounds. Earlier this year for the Build-Up Event, CEO Satya Nadella had already shown his elation towards the new features in Windows 11. After months and months of teasing and a Giant Windows 11 Leak, Windows’ new update is now official.
The main focus for Windows 11 is to simplify the Windows UI, create a new Windows Store, and improve the multitasking ability along with the performance of the system. The main thing that might be noticed is that it includes an updated Start Menu and Start Button that are both in the center of the taskbar. The updated Start Menu drops Live Tiles which was first put into use with Windows 8, and choices for the typical launcher you would find in Android or Chrome OS. The UI is similar to Windows 10X’s UI. Microsoft 10X was originally designed to have dual-screen support, but Microsoft eventually had to cancel.
There is also a new feature called Snap Layouts which allows you to take quick snap apps into the different types of modes that Windows 11 can support. One more thing that was focused on in Windows 11 was performance. The new Windows 11 updates are 40% smaller and much more efficient. Meaning Windows 11 can help you get things done faster.
I’m excited to see what Windows has upcoming in their next update.
Bitcoin 2021: World’s Largest Bitcoin Event
By Raghav SenthilKumar
Nearly 12,000 people attended Miami’s Bitcoin 2021 on June 4th. It was one of the largest bitcoin events yet and one of the first major in-person conferences since the pandemic began. Many people attended the event in the hopes of becoming a cryptocurrency millionaires. The city of Miami went full-out crypto on Friday. The event was filled with crypto enthusiasts and newly discovered millionaires.
In a survey by The Ascent, it was shown only about 14% of American adults hold bitcoins, so most people reading this article probably don’t know what bitcoin is. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that records transactions in a ledger called blockchain without an agent. The Growth of Bitcoin is like a wild cryptocurrency ride setting new price records nearly every month. When bitcoin was first created in 2009, it received no attention until 3 years later in 2012. The bitcoin blockchain made its first purchases and increased to 1.25 GB in 2012. Nearly 8 years later in 2020, it had a blockchain size of 200 GB. One year later in June 2021, the blockchain faced a massive bitcoin wave and increased to a size of 343 GB. With bitcoin, you can purchase anything digital which includes private servers, websites, video games, and even a Tesla car.
Another thing to keep in mind is NFTs. NFT’s, or non-fungible tokens, are digital forms of art or collectibles that have risen to popularity this year. Though they were first created in 2014, they have only recently gained mass popularity. Zed Run is a new app that was created to make what was called “breathing NFT’s”. It’s a game that allows people to buy, sell, breed and race digital horses.
There are now as many as 100,000 people who have $1 million or more stashed in bitcoin. According to the cryptocurrency data-tracking firm BitInfoCharts, that’s up from just 25,000 bitcoin millionaires from three months ago. A year ago, there were about 15,000 millionaire bitcoin accounts. After Bitcoin 2021, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have come into mainstream acceptance.
- New Updates to Apple Apps. Apple (June 7, 2021). WWDC 2021 — June 7 | Apple. Youtube. https://youtu.be/0TD96VTf0Xs.
- New Updates to Apple Apps. Kumparak, Greg (June 7, 2o21). Here’s everything Apple announced at the WWDC 2021 keynote. Tech Crunch. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/07/heres-everything-apple-announced-at-the-wwdc-2021-keynote/.
- Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey. Silberling, Amanda (June 7, 2021). MacOS 12 Monterey upgrades Continuity with Universal Control. Tech Crunch. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/07/macos-12-monterey-upgrades-continuity-with-universal-control/.
- Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey. Burns, Matt (June 7, 2021). iPadOS 15 announced at WWDC, features improved multitasking and surprising Swift Playgrounds features. Tech Crunch. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/07/ipados-15-announced-at-wwdc-features-improved-multitasking-and-improved-swift-playgrounds-support/.
- Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey. Heater, Brian (June 7, 2021). Apple unveils macOS 12 Monterey. Tech Crunch. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/07/apple-unveils-macos-12-monterey/.
- Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey. Panzarino, Matthew (June 12, 2021). Apple’s iPadOS 15 breaks the app barrier. Tech Crunch. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/12/apples-ipados-15-breaks-the-app-barrier/.
- Apple introduces iPadOS 15 and MacOS Monterey. Apple (June 7, 2021). WWDC 2021 — June 7 | Apple. Youtube. https://youtu.be/0TD96VTf0Xs.
- The Tesla Model S Plaid. Ewing, Steven (June 10, 2021). Tesla Model S Plaid arrives with 131,100 price tag, 390-mile range. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/tesla-model-s-plaid-ev-range-price-debut-elon-musk/.
- The Tesla Model S Plaid. Tesla (n.d.). Model S. Tesla. https://www.tesla.com/models.
- Microsoft Teases New Windows 11. Venkatesh, Abhay (June 22, 2021). Microsoft teases Windows 11 event with an interesting desktop animation reflection. Neowin. https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-teases-windows-11-event-with-an-interesting-desktop-animation-reflection/.
- Microsoft Teases New Windows 11. Warren, Tom (June 24, 2021). Microsoft announces Windows 11, with a new design, Start menu, and more. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/24/22546791/microsoft-windows-11-announcement-features-updates.
- Microsoft Teases New Windows 11. Mathur, Chandraveer (June 13, 2021). Microsoft announces Windows 10 retirement, teases launch of next-generation Windows. NewsByte. https://www.newsbytesapp.com/news/science/windows-10-retired-microsoft-teases-windows-11-launch/story.
- Bitcoin 2021: World’s Largest Bitcoin Event. Gandel, Stephen (February 23, 2021). There may now be as many as 100,000 bitcoin millionaires. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoin-millionaires-100k/.
- Bitcoin 2021: World’s Largest Bitcoin Event. Griffith, Erin (June 5, 2021). Thousands Descend on Miami to Glorify Bitcoin. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/05/technology/miami-worship-bitcoin.html.
Edited by Sara Simon. Created by Aarush Reddy, Asmitha Daggumati, Chinmay Bhat, Eva Anand, Raghav SenthilKumar, Rhea Paliwal, Sara Simon, and Vineeth Menon.