Apple TV with Zoom means it’s finally time to call your mother | Digital Trends
Zoom is now available on Apple TV, complete with Continuity Camera. That means you can use your iPhone camera as, well, the camera and your TV as the screen on which to see the folks on the other side of the call. And because Zoom is a cross-platform app, it means you don’t have anymore excuses for your Android-wielding family.
All of which means: it’s time to call your mother.
OK, so there have been other ways to call home via video, of course, even using your iPhone in conjunction with Apple TV. FaceTime has worked on tvOS with Continuity Camera with the rollout of tvOS 17. And it’s very cool. But if you’re looking to talk with someone who isn’t on an iPhone, or who just prefers a different app for this sort of thing? Zoom is going to be a very cool option.
And because we’re talking about Continuity Camera and not just static lens that’s pointed in your general direction, it’ll zoom in on most important face (or faces, if you’ve got the family on the couch with you), and even track your ugly mug if and when you start to drift a little bit.
There’s not much you have to do to get things going. It just requires Zoom on your Apple TV — which, by the way, is our pick for the best streaming device — and then a few taps to get things going (you don’t even have to log in if you don’t want to). Then you approve using your phone as the camera, and Bob’s your uncle.
One strong recommendation, though: If you’re at all serious about this sort of thing — whether using Zoom or any other video calling app with Apple TV, and whether you’re alone or with family — spend a few bucks and invest in a basic tripod that’ll hold your phone. Nobody wants motion sickness because you’re weaving all over the place. And going hands-free lets you pay more attention to what’s really important — the family on the other side of the call.
5 things Apple needs to do with the iPhone in 2024 | Digital Trends
2023 was an exciting one for Apple and the iPhone 15 lineup. Apple surprised everyone by giving the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus some unexpected upgrades with the camera, as well as bringing the Dynamic Island over to non-Pro models. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max also got substantial changes with the titanium frame, Action button, and tetraprism telephoto lens on the Pro Max model for 5x optical zoom.
But now that the year is coming to a close, what could Apple do with the iPhone lineup in 2024? Here’s what I want to see from the iPhone next year.
Of course, we don’t yet know exactly when Apple will enable this feature, but I’m going to guess it will be something we’ll see with iOS 18. If you were expecting RCS messages to be a different color than the green currently used for SMS, that’s unlikely. The green-blue-bubble-wars will continue, but RCS has more benefits for everyone than SMS/MMS, though it will probably go unnoticed by many.
With RCS, the messaging experience between iPhone and Android users will be much better. It will support high-resolution photos and videos, typing indicators, read receipts, location sharing, and the ability to send messages over Wi-Fi and mobile data. Just the high-resolution images and video make it worth it alone — no more videos that look like they were taken with a potato.
It will be interesting to see how Apple handles the encryption part of RCS down the road, though, as it doesn’t want to use Google’s proprietary end-to-end encryption extension that is used on Android phones. Instead, Apple will work with the RCS standards body to create a new universal encryption method.
I would love to see more features come to RCS on iPhone, including group chat features that bring it more in line with what you can do with iMessage group chats. But still, just having the basics of RCS on iPhone in 2024 will still be exciting.
A folding iPhone
I know this one is a little farfetched, but hear me out! I used to be skeptical about the folding phone concept, but now that I’ve tried a few, I’m actually a fan. I think it would be a good one for Apple to tackle one day, even if it’s not in the cards for next year.
There have been very few rumors that Apple will have a folding iPhone, if ever. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. After all, Apple does have numerous patents filed that hint at a potential design for a foldable iPhone in the future, and reports have suggested that Apple has been developing and testing foldable OLED screens and hinges since 2017, with ongoing research.
Again, it’s very unlikely that the iPhone 16 lineup will have any kind of folding model. And while it may be nothing more than a fever dream, there are signs that Apple is at least looking into it.
Since the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple made the two Pro models pretty much equal in terms of specs, aside from the display size and battery life. One of the main reasons you choose a Pro model is the triple-camera system on the back with a telephoto sensor. For several years, both the small and large iPhone Pro models have had the same camera specs.
Apple broke this trend with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. While they both have a triple-lens camera system, only the iPhone 15 Pro Max has the new tetraprism telephoto lens that allows for 5x optical zoom capabilities. The biggest reason why this is not available on the smaller iPhone 15 Pro is due to physical size — it just wouldn’t fit in the smaller chassis.
In 2024, I hope Apple returns to making the camera specs on both Pro models the same again. One of the reasons why I prefer the smaller iPhone 15 Pro over the iPhone 15 Pro Max is that I don’t like large phones, but I still want the best cameras. I have had to compromise this year because I simply can’t do big phones, but it’s annoying that I have to miss out on the 5x optical zoom.
I really just want Apple to make the camera specs equal on both Pro models again so I can have the best iPhone cameras without having to use something that is largely uncomfortable for me. Is that too much to ask?
I would love to see Apple really take a chance this year and introduce more saturated and bold color options across the board with the iPhone 16. While I liked the green and pink of the standard iPhone 15 lineup more than I thought, the blue is just so bad — it barely even has a tint of blue. Some people went as far as to call it “hospital white,” which I agree with.
And the Pro models need more color than ever before. I loved Midnight Green (iPhone 11 Pro), Pacific Blue (iPhone 12 Pro), Alpine Green (iPhone 13 Pro), and Deep Purple (iPhone 14 Pro). But when Apple revealed the new titanium colors for the iPhone 15 Pro, it was the biggest letdown yet. I ended up buying the blue one because it was the only somewhat interesting color out of the bunch.
Even the “fun” colors that Apple made for the past Pro models were kind of toned down to look more “professional.” But they’re still better than what we got with the iPhone 15 Pro. Still, I really just want to see Apple step up and add at least one bright and bold color for the Pro lineup.
Seriously, can I just have a bubblegum pink iPhone Pro?
A smaller camera bump
As much as I like having the best cameras possible on the iPhone throughout the years, I absolutely hate how big the camera bump has gotten. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t even lay your iPhone completely flat on a surface without a case — it always wobbles if you tap it on a table.
I miss the days when the camera was pretty much flush with the back of the iPhone, like with the iPhone 5. I know that it’s pretty hard to have a flush camera on a smartphone these days, considering how big the lenses have gotten, but the point still stands. Perhaps making the phone a little thicker to make it stick out less while fitting a larger battery in there at the same time?
It’s just crazy seeing how the iPhone camera bump has grown each year. Call me crazy, but all I want is an iPhone without a camera bump that is as thick as the phone itself.
Plenty to look forward to
I know a few of these things I would like to see won’t come to fruition, at least in the next year. But at least RCS is a definite one, and I’m certain that the smaller iPhone 16 Pro will get some better optical zoom capabilities at least.
There’s still a lot to look forward to with the iPhone in 2024, even if it won’t fold or have smaller camera bumps. And I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for some better color choices; remember those awesome iPod colors back in the day? Let’s get back to the fun, Apple.
2023 was a strong one for the iPhone across the board, and if Apple plays its cards right, 2024 could be even better.
iOS 17: How to share contacts using Apple’s NameDrop feature | Digital Trends
If you’re like most Apple fans, you likely have your whole life stored on your iPhone, from significant events in your calendar and photos to a long list of friends, family, and co-workers with whom you’ve made those memories.
However, as useful as the Contacts and Phone apps on your iPhone 15 are for keeping track of everyone in your life, they also make it really easy to share that contact information with others when you need to. Whether that’s your own digital business card or the details of your favorite restaurant, you can beam an entire contact record over to somebody with only a few taps, which is much faster and easier than manually copying and pasting phone numbers, emails, and street address information one field at a time.
What’s more, with iOS 17, you can now share your personal details more easily than ever, thanks to Apple’s new NameDrop feature, which lets you swap contact info simply by holding two iPhones near each other. It’s never been easier to exchange some digits.
How to share contacts from an iPhone with iOS 17’s NameDrop feature
NameDrop is one of those features that seems so obvious in retrospect that it makes us wonder what took Apple so long to come up with it. After all, AirDrop has been around since iOS 7 was released 10 years ago, and it’s long been possible to use that to share contact information manually. NameDrop is simply an extension of AirDrop that automates the process.
With NameDrop, you can initiate an AirDrop session to share your personal contact card simply by holding your iPhone near somebody else’s; as long as they’re both running iOS 17.1 or later, they’ll recognize each other and offer to swap contact info. This also works with an Apple Watch running watchOS 10.1 or later, although in this case, it’s limited to Apple Watch models released in the last two years — that’s the Apple Watch Series 7, second-generation Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra and newer models in each of those lineups. Also note that NameDrop can only be used to share new contact information; it won’t update an existing contact card.
NameDrop is very simple to use, but contrary to a bit of fearmongering that’s been going around since iOS 17.1 was released, it’s also very secure. You can only start a NameDrop session when your iPhone is unlocked, which means you’ll have to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID (or enter your passcode) before anything happens, and then you still need to confirm that you actually want to share your contact information. Nothing is ever sent out with your express authorization. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: First, make sure that NameDrop and AirDrop proximity sharing are enabled by opening the Settings app, selecting General > AirDrop, and checking that Bringing Devices Together is toggled on. This should be on by default.
Step 2: Hold your iPhone within a few centimeters of someone else’s iPhone or Apple Watch. After a few seconds, each person’s contact card should appear in a full-screen view on both devices. If this doesn’t happen, confirm the other person also has the Bringing Devices Together setting enabled.
Step 3: Below your name, you’ll see a summary of what information will be shared. By default, this is just your phone number, but you can choose to share additional fields from your contact record — such as your email or physical address — by selecting the fields you want to include. When you’re done, tap Done.
Step 4: When you’re ready, choose Share to share your contact information with the other person. Alternatively, you can choose Receive Only if you only want to receive the other person’s contact card without sharing your own.
Step 5: If you change your mind at any time and decide you don’t want to share contact info, move your iPhone away from the other person’s iPhone or Apple Watch, swipe up to return to the home screen, or simply press the side button to lock your device. Doing any of these things will cancel the NameDrop session.
How to share contacts from an Apple Watch with NameDrop
You can also start a NameDrop session from an Apple Watch Series 7 or later (including the second-generation Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2) as long as you have at least watchOS 10.1 installed. However, since your Apple Watch is always unlocked whenever you’re wearing it, using NameDrop from an Apple Watch requires an extra step to prevent it from being triggered accidentally. Here’s how to start a NameDrop session from your wearable:
Step 1: Open the Contacts app on your Apple Watch.
Step 2: Select your picture in the top-right corner.
Step 3: Choose Share.
Step 4: Place your Apple Watch near another compatible Apple Watch or iPhone, as shown in the on-screen illustration.
Step 5: Wait for NameDrop to appear on both devices.
Step 6: Choose Share to share your contact information with the other person or Receive Only if you only want to receive the other person’s contact card without sharing your own.
How to share contacts in iOS 17 the old-fashioned way
As cool as NameDrop is, it’s not the only way to share contact information. You can still initiate an AirDrop session manually, which can be handy if you don’t want to hold your iPhones near each other or the other person is using an older iPhone that hasn’t been (or can’t be) updated to iOS 17.
While NameDrop is designed to share your own contact information — the card you’ve designated as the “Me” card in the Contacts app — you can manually share any contact in your address book, and choose what fields you want to share when doing so. For example, you might want to share only a business phone number and email address without including other information like a street address or personal contact info.
You can also share contact information via other channels, such as Messages or Mail. This attaches a vCard that can be opened directly in the Contacts app on the other person’s iPhone or imported into third-party contact apps like Microsoft Outlook.
Step 1: Open the Contacts app on your iPhone. You can also open the Phone app and select the Contacts button at the bottom.
Step 2: Your My Card contact information should be shown at the top. Select this to share your own details or locate another contact on you want to share.
Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom of the contact screen and choose Share Contact.
Step 4: Select the fields you would like to include. By default, this includes first and last name and job title, plus all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles. Deselect any items you don’t want to share and choose any additional fields you’d like to include. You can also choose Select All Fields at the bottom if you want to share the entire card.
Step 5: When you’ve made your selections, choose Done in the top-right corner.
Step 6: The standard iOS share sheet should appear. Choose a method for sharing, such as AirDrop, Messages, Mail or a third-party app and follow the instructions to send out the contact info.
Best Apple Deals: AirPods, Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook | Digital Trends
Apple products are praised for their high quality and interconnectivity, but that quality does come with a price. This is one large reason why we look for great Apple deals to shop, as it sometimes really is worth the wait. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of our favorite deals on all of the major categories of Apple products. Try these deals first next time you’re looking to expand or upgrade your Apple collection.
Best iPad deals
Whether you’re wanting to get a standard iPad, an iPad Air, or an iPad Mini, their is a sale on for you at the moment. If, however, one of the iPad Pro models is among the best iPads for you, don’t worry too much about holding off. These deals are small, typically taking off around 10% of the price, and are more of a bonus if you already wanted the model rather than an incentive to choose it over something you really wanted. Meanwhile, if you’re willing to go refurbished, our larger collection of the best iPad deals has larger deals and you can find an iPad Pro.
Apple iPad 10th Generation (WiFi, 64GB) —
Apple iPad 9th Generation (WiFi + Cellular, 256GB) —
Apple iPad Air 5th Generation (WiFi, 64GB) —
Apple iPad Mini 6th Generation (WiFi, 256GB) —
Apple iPad Air 5th Generation (WiFi, 256GB) —
Best AirTag deals
Here, we found great deals on both Apple’s AirTags and third party accessories meant to hold and carry them. If you haven’t used one of these tracking devices before, be sure to check out our AirTag review.
If you aren’t willing to go refurbished, you won’t find many good deals on an iPhone. In some ways, that’s a good thing, as it signifies that the product is good and that Apple doesn’t need to discount the phones to get them to sell. If you’re concerned about the quality of what you’re purchasing, be sure to check out our refurbished product guide, which will lead you through the standards companies use for renewed and refurbished products, as well as what to look for. Otherwise, check out these iPhone deals:
Apple iPhone XS (64GB, Unlocked, Renewed) —
Apple iPhone 12 Mini (64GB, Unlocked, Renewed) —
Apple iPhone 12 Pro (256GB, Unlocked, Renewed) —
Apple iPhone 13 (128GB, Unlocked, Renewed) —
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (256GB, Unlocked, Renewed) —
Best AirPods deals
Once again, there aren’t a ton of deals out there if you aren’t looking to head refurbished. There are, however, quite a few good deals out there in the AirPods category. We’re also highlighting the EarPods (while not techincally AirPods, they are legitimate Apple earbuds) as well as some accessories that you might want to pick up with the whole migration to USB-C going on right now.
Apple EarPods —
Apple AirPods 2nd Generation —
Apple AirPods Max —
Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable —
Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods —
Best MacBook deals
MacBooks are some of the most popular laptops around. MacBook Air and MacBook Pros are currently on sale with good discounts, plus they come with three months of Apple TV+ for free. Check them out here:
MacBook Air 13.6-inch (M2, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) —
MacBook Air 15-inch (M2, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) —
MacBook Air 15-inch (M2, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) —
MacBook Pro 14-inch (M1, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) —
MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3, 8GB RAM, 1TB SSD) —
Best Apple Watch deals
Apple’s products consistently rank near the top of the best smartwatches for their feature-rich and easy-to-use design. Right now you can get up to 28% off on these fitness trackers with the following deals:
Apple Watch SE 2nd Generation (GPS, 40mm) —
Apple Watch SE 2nd Generation (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) —
M2 MacBook Air vs. M1 MacBook Air: things have changed | Digital Trends
The Apple MacBook Air M1 has been among our favorite MacBooks for some time now, and it’s even held a place on our list of the best laptops overall. The new MacBook Air M2 is a significant redesign, bringing with it a new chassis and Apple’s latest M2 processor.
Sometimes, it’s easy to recommend the new model over the old one, especially when the new model brings significant improvements. The M2 MacBook Air qualifies, as it feels a lot more like a completely new model than a simple replacement of the old one. While Apple continues to sell the original M1 MacBook Air at a lower price, the M2 MacBook Air can often be had for only a little more money. That makes the choice between them a lot easier.
Apple M1 MacBook Air
Apple M2 MacBook Air
11.97 inches x 8.36 inches x 0.16 to 0.63 inches
11.97 inches x 8.46 inches x 0.44 inches
8GB 16GB 24GB
13.3-inch 16:10 IPS 2560 x 1600
13.6-inch 16:10 IPS 2460 x 1664
256GB SSD 512GB SSD 1TB SSD 2TB SSD
256GB SSD 512GB SSD 1TB SSD 2TB SSD
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 1 x 3.5mm audio jack 1 x MagSafe 3
Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
Price and configurations
The M1 MacBook Air starts at $999 with the eight-core CPU, seven-core GPU M1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). It tops out at $1,999 for 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. Note that you’re likely to find the M1 MacBook Air discounted at various non-Apple retail outlets, sometimes as low as $850.
The M2 MacBook Air has an entry-level price of $1,099 for an eight-core CPU, eight-core GPU M2, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The next price jump is to $1,299 for a 512GB SSD, which you’ll want to consider (see the performance section below). The most you’ll spend is $2,399 for an eight-core CPU, 10-core GPU M2, 24GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD. Like the M1 model, though, the M2 MacBook Air can often be had for less from third parties, often as low as $950.
That means that you’re not necessarily spending a lot more money for the newer version.
Right off the bat, the M2 MacBook Air drops the iconic wedge shape that made the Air famous. Instead, the M2 version adopts the same squared-off sides and rounded edges as its bigger brothers, the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch. While it does lose a bit of flair (and extreme thinness up front), it does make the MacBook line more consistent.
The new M2 MacBook Air chassis also continues to live up to its namesake by being only 2.7 pounds and 0.44 inches thin across the entire chassis. It’s perfect for those who prize portability over raw power (though it has plenty of that, as we’ll see later). It should be noted: The M2 MacBook Air is just 0.1 pounds lighter than the M1 MacBook Air.
The keyboard on the M2 MacBook Air isn’t that different from the M1 version but does look more in line with the larger MacBook Pro models. This includes the Touch ID button being slightly different than the M1’s, as well as the full-size function keys along the top.
While the stereo speakers on the M1 MacBook Air flank the sides of the keyboard, the M2 MacBook Air places its four-speaker setup in between the keyboard and the hinge. This new speaker setup also includes support for Spatial Audio, both through Dolby Atmos in the built-in speakers and dynamic head tracking using the high-end Apple AirPods products.
The display has been widened ever so slightly from 13.3 inches on the M1 Air to 13.6 inches on the M2 Air. That change is because of the reduced bezel size, both along the side edges and the top. That means, yes, the new MacBook Air includes a notch, and the old one does not. The screen also has rounded edges along the top corners.
Tucked into the notch is an improved 1080p webcam, bumped up from the 720p option on the M1 MacBook Air. You might be enticed to use Apple’s Continuity Camera with the M1 MacBook Air, which converts your iPhone into a webcam. On the M2 MacBook Air, that probably won’t be necessary.
The panel itself has also been upgraded to a 2560 x 1660 Liquid Retina display, which Apple says is the biggest and brightest ever on a MacBook Air. Liquid Retina is certainly a bump up from the M1 MacBook Air, but don’t expect the same eye-popping look of the Super Retina XDR, which is the mini-LED panel saved for the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch).
This display does support up to a billion colors and has an increased brightness to 500 nits. That’s compared to the 400 nits possible with the M1 MacBook Air. Both displays have True Tone technology. As we can see in the table below, the M2 MacBook Air’s display is brighter, has wider and more accurate colors, and enjoys deeper contrast. It’s a real improvement over the M1 MacBook Air.
Apple M1 MacBook Air
Apple M2 MacBook Air
Accuracy (DeltaE, lower is better)
When it comes to ports, both the M1 and M2 MacBook Air have the same arrangement: two Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB 4 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds. Both devices are capable of supporting just one external display, however.
There’s also a combo headphone mic jack on the M2 MacBook Air that Apple says supports high-impedance headphones, which the M1 MacBook Air does not.
The one major difference is the inclusion of the MagSafe 3 magnetic charging port on the M2 version. For some, that itself is enough to justify buying a new MacBook Air. The main benefit is that it frees up one of the two USB-C ports for other purposes rather than charging. Don’t worry, though, you can still charge the laptop using the Thunderbolt ports.
Both laptops also support the same Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard and Bluetooth 5.0.
Performance and battery life
Other than the display and overall design, the M2 chip inside of the newest MacBook Air is what separates it from its predecessor.
Like the M1 version, the M2 MacBook Air is fanless, owing to the power efficiency of the M2 chip. Apple says the M2 chip is up to 1.4 times faster than the previous M1 model while still getting up to 18 hours of battery life.
While Apple doesn’t advertise a huge jump in battery life with the M2 MacBook Air, in our testing, the latest model was significantly longer-lasting. The M2 MacBook Air lasted two and a half hours longer in our web browsing test and almost three hours longer in our video test.
This means an overall 18% faster CPU, 35% faster GPU, and 50% more memory bandwidth as compared to the M1, now up to 100GB per second.
Importantly, the M2 MacBook Air has the same media engine used in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which the M1 MacBook Air lacks. The media engine supports hardware-accelerated ProRes encoding and decoding.
The M2 MacBook Air allows you to configure your laptop with an extra 8GB of RAM for a total of 24GB, whereas the M1 MacBook Air is stuck at a maximum of 16GB. Storage options, though, are the same — both starting at 8GB and maxing out at 2TB.
Our testing bore out Apple’s claims, with a 12% increase in the Geekbench single-core test and an 18% increase in multi-core. In Cinebench R23, the M2 MacBook Air was 8% faster in single-core and 19% faster in multi-core.
Apple M1 MacBook Air (Apple M1)
Apple M2 MacBook Air (Apple M2)
Geekbench 5 (single / multi)
1,727 / 7,585
1,925 / 8,973
Cinebench R23 (single / multi)
1,479 / 6,680
1,600 / 7,938
We’ll note that there’s been some controversy around the M2 MacBook Air in terms of its storage speed. If you buy the 256GB version, which is the least expensive, then you’ll get about half the storage performance as with the 512GB version. If you work with large files, you’ll certainly notice the difference, and you might even notice it in normal real-world use as you’re booting the laptop and opening apps.
The M2 is better, but the M1 offers amazing value
The M1 MacBook Air was already a capable machine for everyday computing, productivity, and even video editing. Those who already have an M1 Air probably don’t need to upgrade unless you really want the MagSafe connector. However, those still holding on to an Intel-based MacBook Air may want to consider upgrading. The M2 MacBook Air is the better choice, particularly if you have the budget to spring for the 512GB version.
Those who don’t already own a MacBook and are interested in buying one should probably just get the M2 model over the M1, especially if you can find it at around $950. You’ll have more options when it comes to CPU/GPU/memory and benefit from performance increases, and you’ll only spend $100 more.
The Pixel Watch 2 just got a feature it should have launched with | Digital Trends
Google has heard everyone’s demands and has given in to a highly requested feature that should have already been a thing with the Google Pixel Watch 2: a fully charged notification. Yes, that’s right — you’ll now get a notification on your Android phone when your Pixel Watch 2 is fully charged. Hallelujah!
This new feature should be available starting today via the Pixel Watch app on version 126.96.36.1996785526. Google did not formally announce this feature, so it seems to be rolled out quietly (and was first spotted by Android Authority).
Essentially, when your Pixel Watch 2 is fully charged, you will receive a notification on your Android phone letting you know. Being notified of this lets you still leave the watch on the charger, but helps remind you not to forget to put it back on when it’s fully topped off.
Unfortunately, if you didn’t need this notification, there doesn’t appear to be a way to turn it off. However, it was a very highly requested feature, one that the Pixel Watch 2 should have shipped with, so it may be unlikely that anyone would voluntarily want to turn it off.
Those who are still using the original Pixel Watch should also get the notification, as it comes from the Pixel Watch app, not the watch itself. But as of right now, it only appears to be working with the Pixel Watch 2.
The Google Pixel Watch 2 is not the first of its kind to have such a notification. Apple has had a notification system in place for Apple Watch and iPhone users for a couple of years now. This is a feature that many users of smartwatches simply expect at this point, so it’s surprising that it took Google this long to quietly implement it. Still, we’re happy to see it finally come to fruition.
This is what an iPhone looks like after a year with no screen protector | Digital Trends
Apple says its Ceramic Shield glass over the iPhone’s screen is “tougher than any smartphone glass,” but how accurate is this statement? The Digital Trends Mobile team has each been using one of the iPhone 14 series models for the last year and two of us haven’t put a separate screen protector on, while the third member of the team has. Here’s how the screens have held up — and what we think about Ceramic Shield.
Ceramic Shield was first introduced by Apple on the iPhone 12, and it claimed it went “beyond glass by adding a new high-temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, increasing drop performance by 4x.” Apple worked with Corning, the same company that makes Gorilla Glass, which is used on many smartphones from other manufacturers, to produce Ceramic Shield. It’s found on all iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and now all iPhone 15 models.
iPhone 14 Pro — Andy Boxall
I conducted a similar test with my iPhone 13 Pro, in which it spent a year with me without a screen protector and did a decent job of avoiding deep scratches. That’s not to say it didn’t scratch; it’s just the majority of the ones that it did gather couldn’t be felt and were only noticeable when the screen was off and in certain light. Its performance didn’t push me into using a screen protector on my iPhone 14 Pro.
I’ve treated the iPhone 14 Pro in the same way as always. It lives in a case, but I put it everywhere from in my pocket or a bag, in the center console in my car, on tables, and everywhere else. It gets used every day in all kinds of situations, and although I take care of it, I don’t baby it. I haven’t dropped the phone onto any hard surfaces, so I haven’t been able to assess its ability to withstand shock, but I’m impressed with how Ceramic Shield has protected it from scratches it may pick up on a daily basis.
After more than 360 days, the screen has very few marks, and I can’t feel any of the ones it does have with my finger or my nail. It has definitely survived a year in my ownership better than the iPhone 13 Pro did, suggesting Corning and Apple have continued to improve the formula and performance. What’s more, if I didn’t deliberately highlight the marks in the photos using a light, you wouldn’t see them. I’ve included two additional photos showing the screen in normal light and with a light to the side, emphasizing you really have to work to spot the scratches.
I’m okay with the way Ceramic Shield has protected the screen. I don’t regret not putting a screen protector over it, as I have enjoyed the excellent tactility of the glass, avoided the annoyance of putting a protector on properly, and didn’t have to watch it get messy over time and ruin the look of my phone either. I’m not using a screen protector on my iPhone 15 Pro Max, either.
iPhone 14 Pro — Christine Romero-Chan
When Apple first introduced Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 lineup, it was touted as being tougher than any other smartphone glass, so naturally, I figured I wouldn’t need a screen protector as I had mostly been doing up to that point. However, when I put my iPhone 12 Pro face-down on a placemat to take some pictures of the gorgeous Pacific Blue color of the back glass, I noticed some small, fine-line scratches on the front glass right after. I thought the placemat was clean of debris, but apparently, I missed a tiny speck, and now my iPhone 12 Pro display was ruined.
Since then, I have put on a screen protector with my iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro. I also tend to have butterfingers, so I always use a case, even though the iPhone 14 Pro looks excellent without it. I shattered my first original iPhone screen, so I have always used a case since.
As you can see from my photos, the screen protector that I used for the past year has picked up quite a few microabrasions and scratches over the course of a year. Even some of the coating on the protector has come off, making it look like I have specks of debris on the screen when I used the phone. I tried multiple times to wipe them away to no avail. The scratches seem like a lot, but when you’re actually using the phone, it’s not as easy to notice due to the lighting. Only if you’re holding it at a certain angle could you notice the scratches, but how much that would bother you depends on your level of OCD.
After I took the screen protector off, the iPhone 14 Pro display was quite pristine — like the day I got the phone. The photos I took of the display after taking off the protector seem to show some scratches, but those are actually just specks of dust. There aren’t really any scratches on the Ceramic Shield after using a screen protector because the screen protector took all the scratches instead, as it was meant to do.
Now that I have an iPhone 15 Pro, I immediately put a screen protector on it and will keep using it until it either shatters from a drop and I need to replace it — or until I upgrade my phone again
iPhone 14 Pro — Joe Maring
Similar to Andy, I also used my iPhone 14 Pro without a screen protector. However, I didn’t use my 14 Pro for a full 360+ days like Andy did. I initially started using the larger iPhone 14 Pro Max in September 2022, but I then shifted to the 14 Pro in March.
That makes it all the more surprising that my iPhone 14 Pro looks as bad as it does. It doesn’t look too terrible in the photo above, but the minute you shine a light directly on the screen, you see just how many scratches are all over the thing. Look for yourself in the gallery below; it isn’t pretty.
What caused my iPhone 14 Pro to get so badly scratched? I’m really not sure! I don’t recall ever dropping the phone or putting it in a situation where the screen was in harm’s way beyond regular use. Even so, the screen tells a different story.
To Apple’s credit, most of these scratches are barely visible when the screen is on, and I’m using the phone normally. But there are times when I can make the scratches out even when I’m not searching for them, and once I know they’re there, it’s hard not to notice them.
Has this pushed me to use a screen protector on my iPhone 15 Pro Max? It has not! And so far, it appears to be holding up better than my iPhone 14 Pro. I’m obviously still early into my time with the 15 Pro Max, but it looks like Apple is still improving year-over-year — even if just slightly — and that’s great to see.
Should you use a screen protector on your iPhone?
So, what does all of this mean for you? Should you be using a screen protector on your iPhone? That’s ultimately up to you to decide.
If you use your iPhone without a screen protector, you are going to get scratches on the screen; there’s no avoiding it. But the end result may not be as bad as you’re expecting. If you can live with some cosmetic imperfections, it’s possible to use your iPhone for an entire year without a screen protector and be just fine.
But if those scratches are going to bother you — or if you don’t trust yourself to not regularly drop your phone — investing in a screen protector is still a wise idea. They’re affordable, easy to install, and add extra peace of mind.
I’m finally ready to stop recommending the M1 MacBook Air | Digital Trends
Apple’s MacBook lineup is a bit all over the place at the moment. It’s full of fantastic machines that trounce the competition, yet picking the right Mac for you has never been more confusing. But amid all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure: I can finally stop recommending the M1 MacBook Air.
For years now, the M1 MacBook Air has been a great choice for anyone looking to dip their toes into the world of Apple laptops. But three years after its launch, it’s no longer looking like the solid purchase it used to be.
A strong debut
The M1 MacBook Air launched in late 2020, debuting Apple Silicon to the world. The chassis of the laptop itself wasn’t new, leaving the chip inside to take the spotlight. The stellar performance and battery life made it a great choice at the time, especially with it being such a huge upgrade over the old Intel-powered MacBooks. It was so good, in fact, that I continued recommending it to people long after its supposed successor, the M2 MacBook Air, came out.
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So, why was I recommending the M1 MacBook Air for so long when the M2 version was out and on store shelves? Well, it comes down to a few things. Firstly, the difference between the M1 chip and its M2 successor was not huge. While some had predicted huge gains with the M2, in the end it was not a next-generation upgrade in performance. The M1 was still more than enough for most people who didn’t need to do anything demanding — and for the demographic the MacBook Air is for, the bump in performance just isn’t so important.
But extra performance is extra performance, even if it’s a small margin, right? Well, the wrinkle is that Apple kept both versions around, but charged an extra $200 for the M2 model. With such a small advantage over the M1, it wasn’t really worth the extra price.
Throw in an issue where SSD speeds got throttled on the entry-level M2 MacBook Air (but not on the M1 version) and the M2 edition was tough to recommend.
The fact that we continued to recommend this three-year old laptop is unheard of in the world of tech. It’s impressive. But again, it’s 2023 and there are reasons to finally move on.
Things have changed
Pricing was one of the biggest problems with the M2 MacBook Air when it launched. Because Apple was intent on keeping the M1 MacBook Air in the lineup, it priced the M2 model at $1,199 — a $200 premium over the original. Since then, Apple has officially reduced the price to $1,099, leaving only a $100 gap between models. When you consider not only the extra performance that the M2 provides, but also the thinner bezels, better speakers, better webcam, slimmer chassis, updated wireless connectivity, and the MagSafe 3 port — there’s certainly more than enough to justify spending $100 more.
Beyond that, we’re starting to see the M2 MacBook Air dip much lower in price at third-party retailers. During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday MacBook sales, we saw the M2 MacBook Air dip to as low as $949 — less than Apple charges for a brand-new M1 MacBook Air. For under $1,000, the M2 MacBook Air is a fantastic value.
Of course, the M1 MacBook Air has been dropping lower in price too. It’s still a laptop that could work well enough for a student or just someone who needs a basic laptop. But it’s now at the point where I wouldn’t recommend buying it unless you can find it on deep discount. The best M1 MacBook Air deal we found during the Black Friday sales was for $750. It still compares very favorably against Windows laptops at that price, but at the full price of $999, it’s starting to look and feel outdated.
What about the M3?
What about if you want to wait for the M3 MacBook Air? Well, that’s definitely a viable course of action. Apple often hosts a spring show around March or April, and rumors have pointed to this event as being where the M3 MacBook Air will make its debut.
But we’re not expecting a major change to the design of the MacBook Air. If you’re in the market for a MacBook Air, performance isn’t likely to be your number one priority. There’s the MacBook Pro for that, after all. Instead, chances are you want a light, portable laptop with oodles of battery life. The M2 MacBook Air can offer that without requiring you to wait for a few more months.
Either way, the M1 MacBook Air is figuring less and less in the calculation. If you’re after a MacBook Air, there’s no need to pick it over any other option unless you have very specific needs and requirements. The M2 MacBook Air has finally become the go-to option as an entry point for MacBook buyers, and will do you proud.
This Apple Watch is $179 for Cyber Monday, and selling fast | Digital Trends
If you want a new watch, and particularly a new smartwatch, now is the time to get one. That’s because Cyber Monday deals are here and you can get $70 off on the current Apple Watch SE if you get the right deals. This watch is normally $249, but is only $179 with Cyber Monday discounts applied. This is one of the best Cyber Monday smartwatch deals that we’ve found, so be sure to check it out yourself by tapping the button below. Keep on reading for more info about why this deal is proving so popular and why we recommend you shop it.
Why you should buy the Apple Watch SE
The latest Apple Watch SE is “simple, cheap, and brilliant” according to our review. It has all the essentials you need from a smartwatch. At all times, it’ll track your steps taken, calories burned, flights of stairs taken, and more. Alongside that is Apple’s Activity Rings system which motivates you into trying to achieve your goals every day. There are challenges and badges to unlock too while the watch will also track your walking speed and running speed, so you can always compete with yourself.
Besides helping you get fitter, the Apple Watch SE also keeps you safe. It’ll send a notification if it detects an irregular heart rhythm as well as if your heart rate is unusually high or low. That goes for when you’re asleep too, detecting when you’re in REM, core, or deep sleep. The watch also offers fall and crash detection, connecting you with the emergency services if needed, just like the best smartwatches.
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Carrying on its useful trend, the Apple Watch SE also saves you needing to pull your iPhone out so often. From your wrist, you can take calls, reply to messages, listen to music, or use Siri. It’s great for using on walks or runs as you don’t need to keep looking at your phone to do the core things you’re likely to do. If you want to change up the look, you can do so through changing the watch face or by buying a new watch strap.
Usually priced at $249, you can buy the Apple Watch SE for $179 for a limited time as part of the Walmart Cyber Monday deals going on at the moment. It’s proving popular so it’s likely to expire soon meaning you should really grab it now. It’s a great smartwatch for iPhone users thanks to how much it’ll encourage you to do more. Check it out now by tapping the button below.
The MacBook Air has been a favorite of students and casual users for many years. It started out as a more budget-friendly and portable option when compared to the Pro line, but it’s gotten significantly more powerful over the years. We’ve found discounts on version that have the M1 chip and the M2 chip, so you can pick your power level. Amazon Cyber Monday laptop deals are currently the best places to search for cheap MacBook Airs, including new and refurbished units.
MacBook Air 2020 M1 Chip —
MacBook Air M2 Chip —
Best MacBook Pro (M3) Cyber Monday deals
Were were surprised to see a nice deal on the newest MacBook Pro. This model is a serious upgrade over the last, with the M3 chip boosting performance considerably. At 14 inches, it’s a good medium size between the 13-inch and 16-inch models with the M2.
14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 —
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Best MacBook Pro (M2) Cyber Monday deals
Buying an older MacBook is a good way to save some money. The discounts and deals on the M2 model are a bit easier to find than the M3. There are a few different combinations of components to choose from too.
13-inch MacBook Pro 2022 M2 —
16.2-inch 2023 MacBook Pro 2023 M2 Pro —
Best Refurbished MacBook Cyber Monday deals
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a refurbished MacBook. While nothing beats the feeling of opening a brand new box of tech, refurbished laptops work just as well as brand new ones and have significantly smaller price tags.