Top Apple Stories of the Week: iOS 14 Support Ends, US Senate Approves iOS Sideloading Bill, Google Working on AR Headset, More
In case you missed events and exciting news from the world of Apple this week, check out this roundup of top stories, so you’re all caught up with everything Apple.
iOS 15.3 will be the third major point release of iOS 15 from Apple since it first released the OS to the public in September 2021. Unlike iOS 15.1 and iOS 15.2, though, iOS 15.3 does not pack any significant new features or changes. After seeding the Release Candidate of the OS to the public a few days ago, the company is now expected to release the final build to the public early next week. If you are looking forward to iOS 15.3, you can find its release time in your time zone below.
Apple debuted Portrait mode blurs that background in the photo and emphasizes your face to make for great professional shots with the release of the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. With iOS 15, Apple has brought the same functionality to all video calling apps such as WhatsApp and FaceTime on iPhone. Here’s how you can use portrait mode during WhatsApp and FaceTime video calls.
Instagram announced that it will now take action to reduce the visibility of content it deems “potentially harmful.” The platform already removes posts that violate its Community Guidelines, but this move will help reduce the visibility of posts that lie in the proverbial grey area and could offend some users. It also started testing vertically scrolling stories and Instagram Subscriptions.
Following the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple announced that all iPhones will ship without EarPods, citing environmental reasons. However, it made an exception for France owing to the country’s regulations that require all smartphones to be sold with a “handsfree kit.” But that is set to change soon, according to a notice posted by French carrier Fnac.
Last year, WhatsApp rolled out a feature that allowed you to transfer your chat history from iPhone to Android. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t allow chat transfers from Android to iPhone just yet. However, that is set to change soon, according to WABetaInfo.
While most Android flagships nowadays feature a periscope zoom lens with a 5-10x zoom range, Apple has continued using a traditional sensor with 2-3x optical zoom. That is not expected to change with the iPhone 14 series this year, but analyst Jeff Pu believes the company could make the switch with the 2023 iPhones.
In a win for entities hoping to regulate Big Tech companies, the US Senate Judiciary Committee approved antitrust regulation that would require Apple to allow app sideloading. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act was approved and will now move to the Senate floor for a vote.
Meta has already established its presence in the AR/VR hardware industry with Oculus products, and Apple is rumored to have a strong contender in the offing. However, Google hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. The company is reportedly developing an AR headset, internally codenamed Project Iris, that would hopefully ship in 2024.
Apple today released the Release Candidate of iOS 15.3 to developers. The first beta was released late last year while the second beta was released last week. It is unusual for Apple to seed a Release Candidate after just two beta releases. However, iOS 15.3 does not look like a major update as the first two betas did not contain any major changes.