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iOS 16 May Be Giving Us Clues to the iPhone 14



Apple’s next major iPhone operating system, iOS 16, was previewed at WWDC and is now available to download for developers. The new iPhone update will work on the iPhone 8 and newer and likely launch alongside the rumored iPhone 14 this fall. iOS 16 offers a bunch of heavily requested features, such as the ability to customize your lock screen or edit sent iMessages. But if you look closely, iOS 16 might also reveal some clues about the iPhone 14.

While Apple told us a lot about new features coming to current iPhones, it lacked any specific mention of what to expect from the iPhone 14. That’s not surprising; Apple never discusses new products before announcing them. Sometimes the company reserves certain software announcements for its annual iPhone event so it can debut these features as exclusives for the latest iPhone. 

For example, Cinematic mode was absent from Apple’s iOS 15 announcement and instead launched as an iPhone 13 feature in the fall. Though if you look closely, there were some subtle hints sprinkled in iOS 15. Since Apple launched Portrait mode for FaceTime calls in iOS 15, it’s easy to imagine Apple creating a Portrait mode for video recording — which is essentially what Cinematic mode is.

iOS 16 seems to be no different. Several features look like they have the potential to offer hints as to what we might expect for the iPhone 14 series. One of these clues is actually buried in the code for iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 might have an always-on display

I was disappointed to see that Apple didn’t add an always-on display to iOS 16. It’s a handy feature found on numerous Android phones, and even the Apple Watch. An always-on display shows basic information like the time or weather while your phone is asleep. Instead of lighting up your entire display like your lock screen does, an always-on display only activates a portion of the screen to save power. It’s a great convenience and would make the iPhone more glance-friendly.

The Apple-focused site 9to5Mac reports it discovered multiple references in iOS 16 that suggest support for an always-on display could be in the iPhone’s future. The blog found references to backlight management tools as well as hidden flags for engineers that could allow them to test the feature on an iPhone 13 Pro.


The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro has an always-on display that shows the date, time, battery life and an avatar of an astronaut.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

But always-on display support might be limited because the screen’s refresh rate would have to dip down to 10Hz or even lower to use less power; way below the regular iPhone’s typical 60Hz refresh rate. The always-on display for the Apple Watch works at 1Hz which isn’t supported on any current iPhone (the 13 Pro can go as low as 10Hz) and that could mean that it debuts on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max since it would likely require new hardware.

Even without these clues in the code, the revamped and customizable lock screen also hints at an always-on display. Specifically, the way iOS 16 notifications are corralled at the bottom of the screen makes me wonder if Apple is experimenting with ways to preserve screen real estate. That’s important for an always-on display since that feature only uses specific portions of the screen to preserve power.

iOS 16’s new lock screen widgets are another potential clue, since they feel more akin to Apple Watch complications and are therefore more glanceable. Some Android phones have similar widgets on their own always-on displays.  

During the WWDC, Apple showed someone tapping and holding on the dog in a photo and lifting it from the background to share in a message. It’s part of a revamped Visual Lookup.


Visual Lookup could mean a more powerful Cinematic mode

One of iOS 16’s more subtle features is revamped Visual Lookup which can identify objects, people, pets and landmarks in photos and provide additional information or context. A nifty addition this year is the ability to tap on any photo to remove the background. You can literally tap-and-lift a foreground subject like a person or a dog away from the background and add the “cutout” to other apps to share or create a collage.

I could see Cinematic mode getting a boost from the machine learning that powers the new Visual Lookup tap-and-lift tool. That machine learning acceleration combined with a likely new A16 Bionic chip could make Cinematic mode videos look better. Subjects could be more reliably “cutout” and backgrounds have more of a consistent out-of-focus look. Apple could also use the separation technology to make Cinematic mode do more things akin to Portrait mode like replace the background for a black color or place your subject against a white backdrop.

Cinematic mode made its debut on the iPhone 13 series and is basically Apple’s take on a Portrait mode for video. While Cinematic mode is fun to use, the results can be hit or miss. It’s reminiscent of when Apple introduced Portrait mode with the iPhone 7 Plus: Initially it worked but wasn’t great. Over several years, Apple improved Portrait mode to the point where it’s actually quite wonderful.

A Pro mode for the Camera app

Without even reading a single rumor, you could guess that the cameras on the iPhone 14 series will be better than those on the iPhone 13 lineup. A lot of those improvements will likely come from computational photography-powered features such as SmartHDR and Deep Fusion, which directly correlate to the chip powering the phone. So an iPhone 14 running on an A16 chip would theoretically have new camera features or improved photo processing techniques that the iPhone 13 lacks.

Apple’s addition of a customizable lock screen in iOS 16 has me hopeful for an overhaul to the Camera app on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. New professional features like ProRaw and ProRes video recording can make the Camera app interface feel a bit cramped. Perhaps there could be a Pro mode that can be toggled on and off and provide shortcuts to tweak camera settings on the fly. Or maybe Apple will clean up the Camera app’s interface to make it more visually appealing. 

Apple ProRes toggle shown on the display of an iPhone 13 Pro

Apple ProRes debuted on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max in 2021.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone still has one of the best Camera apps on any phone sold today. But much like a family can outgrow a house, the number of features and modes is starting to grow past the app’s original intent.

This is all speculation, however, and we won’t know anything about the next iPhone until Apple announces it. But if there’s one certainty, it’s that it will run iOS 16.

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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect



Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.

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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists



Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.

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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor



Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More

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