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The Best Video Player Apps for iPhone and iPad

Many people watch videos on their iPhone or iPad. But while the default player might be sufficient for viewing your personal videos, if you’re planning to watch locally saved movies and TV shows, you’ll need something with a few more features.

Thankfully, you’re not short of options—the App Store is packed with iOS video players. But which one should you use? What is the best video player for iPhone and iPad?

1. VLC

No matter which platform you’re discussing, VLC always pops up as one of the best video players available. iOS is no different.

The app supports a vast number of video formats, including all the most common file types and codecs. Importantly for Mac and iOS users, VLC also supports AirPlay video and audio streaming.

VLC’s most notable features include support for network streams (including HLS, MMS, and RTSP), integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, and Box, and support for file servers (SMB, FTP, UPnP, and DLNA).

Other important playback features, such as subtitle support, multi-track audio, and speed control, are also available.

Download: VLC (Free)

2. PlayerXtreme Media Player

PlayerXtreme Media Player is a widely-used video player for iPhone and iPad. It has one of the most extensive feature lists of any video player in the App Store.

All the major file formats are supported, including 3GP, ASF, DIVX, M2P, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, OGV, PS, QT, VOB, WEBM, and VIDEO_TS. You can also stream content from NAS drives, Windows and Mac computers, DLNA devices, and even Kodi.

Both AirPlay and Google Cast are supported (allowing you to cast your iOS videos to an Apple TV box or Google Chromecast), and you can use the app to download subtitles for your TV shows and movies


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in real-time.

PlayerXtreme Media Player has a free and a Pro version. The Pro version unlocks the aforementioned subtitle and AirPlay features.

Download: PlayerXtreme Media Player (Free, in-app purchases available) | PlayerXtreme Media Player PRO ($6.99)

3. KMPlayer

KMPlayer is a great iPhone video app for anyone who wants to play high-resolution content. You can use it to watch 4K, UHD, and FHD videos (as long as your iPhone model supports it). In theory, the app can also play 8K content, but Apple does not yet sell any products that support 8K video.

The video player works with more than 60 video formats, including MP4, MOV, REC, TOD, VRO, WTV, AVI, GVI, M4V, WMV, VOB, MT2S, MPEG, NSV, and MKS. It also supports more subtitle formats than almost every other video player for iPhone and iPad. The formats include SSA, ASS, SMI, TXT, MPL, PJA, VTT, and SRT.

Some of KMPlayer’s other significant features are network playback from Google Drive, FTP servers, and Dropbox, a mirror mode, and extensive gesture support. KMPlayer is free to download and use.

Download: KMPlayer (Free)

4. Infuse

Infuse is another app for the job that you should consider. It’s been around for several years and is widely considered as one of the best video players for iPhone and iPad. Thus, it’s a direct rival of PlayerXtreme Media Player.

Before we look at the features, it’s worth mentioning Infuse’s aesthetics. It’s probably the slickest-looking app here. So if beautiful design is important to you, Infuse should be near the top of your list.

Supported filetypes include MP4, M4V, MOV, MKV, AVI, WMV, MTS, ISO, VIDEO_TS, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WEBM, and WTV. You can watch locally saved iOS videos, but can also use Infuse to stream videos from external sources such as your Mac, PC, NAS drive, Wi-Fi hard drive, DLNA device, or even Plex and Kodi.

Infuse has AirPlay and Google Cast integration, free subtitles courtesy of OpenSubtitles.com, and support for video chapters, multiple audio tracks, and continuous playback.

Uniquely, Infuse also boasts Trakt integration. For those who don’t know, Trakt is like Last.fm for movies and TV shows


How to Track the Movies and TV Shows You Watch Using Trakt




How to Track the Movies and TV Shows You Watch Using Trakt

Trakt helps you track the movies and TV shows you watch using lists and histories, and can even recommend new things to watch.
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. It logs what you’ve watched, syncs across your devices, and provides recommendations based on your viewing habits.

The app is free, but to unlock all the features, you will need to subscribe. This costs $10 per year, $1 per month, or $55 for a lifetime license.

Download: Infuse (Free, in-app purchases available)

5. GPlayer

If Infuse is considered a rival of PlayerXtreme Media Player, GPlayer is the closest challenger to VLC. Because it gained much of its popularity before the VLC port finally arrived on iOS, it thus mimics many of VLC’s best features.

For example, like VLC, GPlayer has a Wi-Fi upload feature. It lets you transfer video files between your PC and your device via Wi-Fi so you can watch them when you’re away from an internet connection. For Windows users especially, it’s one of the best ways to transfer video files from a computer to an iPhone or iPad.

The app also rivals VLC when it comes to network streaming. You can play RTSP and MMS streams and videos from HTTP and FTP sources.

Other important features include AirPlay support, gesture support, and integration with iTunes. File types such as AVI, WMV, RMVB, ASF, H264, MKV, TS, and M2TS can all be played on the app. There’s also support for multiple subtitle formats, including SMI, ASS, SUB, SRT, and TXT.

GPlayer is the only non-free app on the list, so try it if you’ve found the others lacking.

Download: GPlayer ($3, in-app purchase available)

6. It’s Playing

You can use It’s Playing to play local files on your device or stream videos from cloud storage and local networks.

The app offers playback resolution of up to 1080p, can play videos over AirPlay, and has Dolby Digital audio output. It supports several video file formats, including MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, WMV, VOB, and RMVB.

Where It’s Playing really shines, however, is the list of Pro features. If you pay the $10 fee, you can use the app to watch your friends’ liked, shared, and posted videos on Facebook, watch YouTube videos, and play videos from HTTP sources.

Download: It’s Playing (Free, premium version available)

Other Ways to Play Videos on iOS

If your primary reason for downloading a video player on your iPhone or iPad is to watch movies and TV shows, you might be better served using Plex instead. You can use it to manage your media collection, cast to all the screens around your home, and watch your videos remotely when you’re on-the-go.

To learn more, have a look at the best Plex clients for streaming media


The Best Plex Clients for Streaming Media




The Best Plex Clients for Streaming Media

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.



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What Is the Deep Fusion Camera on the iPhone 11?

iPhone 11 Pro Max Cameras
Apple

Apple’s Deep Fusion Camera technology is now available thanks to iOS 13.2. If you have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, you can use this new image-processing tech to take better photos. Here’s how it works.

What Is Deep Fusion?

Smartphones aren’t complete replacements to professional cameras just yet, but Apple makes the iPhone a better camera every year.

This feature is available on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. These phones were released with Apple’s iOS 13. They came with several significant improvements to their camera setup, including improved sensors, an ultrawide-angle lens, a night mode, and slow-motion selfies. However, one improvement that didn’t come out of the box with their newest flagships is the Deep Fusion Camera, released with the iOS 13.2 update on October 28, 2019.

Apple’s Phil Schiller described it as “computational photography mad science.” While many smartphones are making great strides towards improving image quality in very dark environments with Night Mode and very bright environments with HDR, most of the photos we take fall somewhere in between. The Deep Fusion Camera is supposed to reduce noise and significantly improve detail for photos taken in medium to low-light conditions, mainly indoor shots.

To demonstrate, Apple used several samples of people wearing sweaters—an item of clothing that frequently loses detail in photos. The sweaters and other items in the shots taken with the Deep Fusion Camera are more detailed and retain their natural texture.

RELATED: The Best New Features in iOS 13, Available Now

How Does It Work?

Woman Wearing Knitted Sweater - iPhone Deep Fusion
Apple via The Verge

According to Apple, the new mode uses the iPhone 11’s new A13 Bionic chip to do “pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, optimizing for texture, details, and noise in every part of the photo.” In essence, it works similarly to the iPhone camera’s Smart HDR, which takes several shots at varying exposures and combines them to maximize the clarity in the finished image. Where they differ is in the amount of information that needs to be processed.

What Deep Fusion is doing in the background is quite complicated. When the user presses the shutter button in medium light, the camera immediately takes nine pictures: four short images, four secondary images, and one long exposure photo. It fuses the long-exposure with the best among the short images. Then, the processor goes pixel by pixel and selects the best elements from both to create the most detailed photo possible. All of that takes place in one second.

When you initially snap a photo, it immediately starts post-processing the image in your album. So by the time you open your camera roll to take a look at it, it will already have the effect implemented. This is made possible by the A13 Bionic chip, which is the strongest processor ever put into a commercial smartphone.

How to Get Deep Fusion on Your iPhone

You need an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max to use Deep Fusion. It will likely be compatible with future iPhones, too, but it’s not compatible with the hardware in past iPhones.

Your iPhone needs iOS 13.2, too. If it’s running an older version of iOS, Deep Fusion won’t be available. To update your phone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Make sure you turn on your Wi-Fi.

When your phone is updated, go to Settings > Camera and turn off “Photos Capture Outside the Frame.” While it’s a handy feature, it’s incompatible with the Deep Fusion mode.

How to Use the Deep Fusion Camera

One of the other features Apple introduced this year is Night Mode, which uses multiple photos to come up with the brightest image. It is accessible via a toggle in the camera software or is automatically activated in very dark lighting conditions.

Unlike Night Mode, there’s no way for the user to activate the Deep Fusion mode manually. There’s no indicator that it’s even turned on. Apple’s AI automatically detects when an image is best suited for Deep Fusion and takes the shot in a way that is invisible to the end-user. The reasoning behind this is that they want you to be able to take the best photos during normal lighting conditions without worrying about which mode to pick.

However, there are several conditions where you can’t use the Deep Fusion Camera. At the moment, it’s only compatible with the wide lens and telephoto lens. Photos that are taken with the ultrawide camera default to Smart HDR if the lighting conditions are sufficient.

Also, since each image takes a second to process, it is not compatible with burst photography.

How Do You Know It’s Working?

Man Wearing Knitted Cardigan - iPhone Deep Fusion
Apple via The Verge

In many cases, you can’t know if Deep Fusion is doing anything. On paper, the technology is a huge leap forward in mobile photography. In practice, the differences may be a bit difficult to notice for most people. This is especially true if you’re not comparing two images side by side.

Deep Fusion is mostly noticeable in objects with a lot of textures. Things like hair, detailed fabrics, textured walls, fur, and some food items will be more detailed, especially if you zoom into them. With the holidays coming up, expect to see some very detailed images of people donning sweaters in your feed.

Is It Coming to My Phone?

Deep Fusion will only be compatible with the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. Apple’s older devices, including the X and the XS, do not have the A13 Bionic chip, which powers much of the new camera processing features on the latest models. It can’t be added in a future software update.

On the other hand, if you’re not on an iPhone, it’s definitely not coming to your phone. However, other smartphone manufacturers, such as Google’s Pixel line, will likely see this as a challenge and develop their processing tools to rival Apple’s new mode.

RELATED: Hands-on with the Pixel 4: Damn, Google





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Can’t Update Your iPhone or iPad? 8 Ways to Fix It

Having problems updating your iPhone or iPad to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS? There are a few reasons why you could be facing these issues. Don’t be disheartened, though—there’s almost certainly a solution to the problem.

Let’s look at some fixes that will help you get the latest software running on your device properly. Here’s how to fix your iPhone or iPad when it won’t let you update iOS or iPadOS.

Preliminary Tips to Fix iPhone Update Issues

Before you dive into advanced troubleshooting, it’s a good idea to check a few basics first. Don’t forget to run through these simple troubleshooting steps when your iPhone won’t update.

1. Charge Your iPhone or iPad

Your device won’t let you upgrade if you don’t have enough battery power. This is to prevent your device from turning off in the middle of an update, which can cause catastrophic damage to your phone.

Make sure you plug in your device and have plenty of charge before updating. It’s a good idea to leave it on the charger while the process runs, too.

2. Make Sure You’re Eligible to Update

iOS 13 Compatibility

Unfortunately, Apple eventually drops support for older devices, so not all iPhone and iPad models can update to the latest iOS iteration. To make sure your device can get the latest release of Apple’s mobile operating system, scroll down to the bottom of Apple’s iOS info page or iPadOS info page and look for your model.

3. Give It Some Time

When you try to update to the latest version of iOS as soon as it comes out, you might run into trouble. Apple’s servers go under heavy load when thousands of people are trying to update at once.

If you receive an error when trying to update to the latest version of iOS, try waiting for a while. You might have better luck later when the update servers aren’t under such a strain.

4. Force-Restart Your Device

restart iphone two iphones

A one-off bug can prevent you from updating your iPhone. Restarting your phone will refresh its processes and hopefully clear up any temporary glitches. Follow our guide to restarting your iPhone


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to learn the steps for your specific device.

Once you’ve done this successfully, you’ll see your screen turn black. Afterwards, an Apple logo will appear, and you’ll be greeted by your lock screen. Your device is now fully refreshed, so you can go ahead and try to update again.

5. Free Up Space

A lack of device storage a common culprit for a faulty update process. Luckily, modern versions of iOS help you free up space easily. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

In this menu, you’ll see how much storage you have. Depending on what’s taking up space, your phone will provides a few recommendations, including:

  • Offload Unused Apps
  • Review Large Attachments
  • iCloud Photos
  • Auto-Delete Old Conversations

Offload Unused Apps deletes any apps that you rarely use. This won’t delete any of your personal data, though; only the app data itself will be deleted.

Review Large Attachments lets you see the largest photos and videos inside of Messages so you can delete them. This is often an easy way to gain a big chunk of storage, to give your iPhone a bit more room for the update.

iCloud Photos allows you to back up all your photos to iCloud. After doing this, you’re free to delete as many images as you want from your device. However, if you decide to do this, you’ll only be able to access your photos via an internet connection later on.

Auto-Delete Old Conversations has your phone clear out messages and attachments that were sent years ago in order to save space.

Once you’ve freed up some space, try the update again. Follow our ways to free up space on your iPhone


iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS




iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS

The “iPhone Storage Full” message hits us when we least expect it. Here are the ways to free up storage space on an iPhone.
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if you need to clear more.

6. Force Update via iTunes

itunes windows menu sync and update iphone

While most people are used to updating iOS right on their device nowadays, you can still run the update through your computer.

On Windows or macOS Mojave and earlier, you can update your iPhone through iTunes by following these steps:

  1. On Windows, download iTunes for Windows if you don’t have it already.
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with its charging cable.
  3. Open iTunes.
  4. Sync your iOS device.
  5. Click Check for update.
  6. Click Download.
  7. Once the download is finished, select Update.

Since Apple retired iTunes in macOS Catalina, you’ll need to do this through Finder instead. Connect your device to your Mac, open Finder, and click the device name on the left sidebar. This will bring you to a panel similar to the old iTunes interface, where you can follow the steps above.

After doing this, the update will install onto your device. If you have trouble, see what to do when your iPhone won’t connect to your computer


Your iPhone Won’t Connect to Your Computer? Here’s the Fix!




Your iPhone Won’t Connect to Your Computer? Here’s the Fix!

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.

7. Reset Your Wi-Fi Settings

If you can’t update through iTunes either, the next step is to take a look at your Wi-Fi connection. A slow or unreliable Wi-Fi connection means you may not be able to update properly.

Make sure you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi network when you try to update. It’s worth restarting your router if you haven’t done so in a while. You might also try connecting to another network and seeing if you have the same issue there.

If you can’t update on any Wi-Fi network, you can reset your device’s network settings to start fresh. Note that this will clear out all network preferences you’ve saved, so you’ll need to reconnect to all previously saved Wi-Fi networks again. This will also reset any VPN configurations you use.

To reset network settings on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode and confirm you want to do this.

8. Factory Reset Your Device

If none of the above has fixed your problem, you should consider completely wiping your device. In the Reset menu mentioned above, you can either reset all settings on your device, or perform a factory reset to erase everything.

Resetting your settings probably won’t fix an update issue, but it’s worth a try if nothing else has worked:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Open General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset all settings.
  5. Confirm with your passcode.

All your settings are now reset. Try to update again. If it works, you’ll need to put all your settings (including app preferences, display options, and similar) back as they were.

Failing that, you can go the more extreme route and reset your device to factory defaults. Keep in mind this will erase all the data on your iPhone or iPad. Make sure you’ve backed up your iPhone


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before proceeding so you don’t lose any information.

Here’s how to factory reset your device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Confirm with your passcode.

Your device will now revert back to its factory state. Because everything is fresh again you’ll hopefully be able to update without issue. You can restore your iPhone backup when you set up your phone after the reset.

iPhone Updating Troubles: Fixed!

It’s frustrating when your phone won’t let you update. Hopefully, one of these fixes solved your problem and you can now enjoy the latest version of iOS.

Speaking of which, after you’re finished updating, check out the best features you should try in iOS 13


The 10 Best iOS 13 Features You Should Try Out




The 10 Best iOS 13 Features You Should Try Out

Here are the best new features introduced in iOS 13 for iPhone users. There’s a lot to love about this update!
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.



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How to Use Your iPhone While on a Phone Call

 

A woman' hands holding an iPhone X.
chainarong06/Shutterstock

Your iPhone can multitask while you’re on a phone call. Whether you want to check your email, browse the web, or even play a game, you can do all that and more; here’s how.

How to Use Speakerphone or Headphones

The call Menu on iPhone.

To take a phone call while you do something else on your iPhone, you have to be able to speak to the other person on the line. You can use the speakerphone mode to do this—just tap “Speaker” to activate it.

If you have AirPods or Beats headphones with in-ear detection, simply put them in your ears, and your iPhone takes care of the rest. Regular old Bluetooth headphones with a microphone work, too—just put them in your ears and turn them on. If your wireless headphones don’t show up, tap “Audio” on the call screen, and then select your headphones from the list.

You can also use wired headphones with a built-in microphone; all you have to do is plug them in and use them normally. On older iPhones, you can use any headphones with a headphone plug. On newer iPhones, you need wired Lightning headphones like the pair that came with your phone. You can also use traditional headphones with a headphone jack dongle.

How to Leave and Return to the Call Screen

The green bar on a newer iPhone indicating a call is active.

With your headphones in or speakerphone activated, you can talk on a call without holding your iPhone to your ear. To do something else on your iPhone, you can leave the call screen like you’d leave any app and go to the home screen. Press the home button if your iPhone has one; if it doesn’t, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

After you leave the call, if you have an iPhone X, XR, XS, or 11, you should see a green bar in the top-left corner of the screen. On older iPhones, the bar stretches across the entire top of the display.

Tap this green bar at any time to return to the call screen. You can also use the app switcher (swipe up and hold, or double-tap the Home button on older iPhones) to switch back to the Phone app.

Remember, you don’t have to connect headphones or turn on speakerphone to leave the call screen, but you won’t be able to hear the other person.

Things You Can Do While on a Call

You can do virtually anything on your iPhone while you’re on a call, including sending messages, browsing the web, or creating notes and reminders.

Here a few things you might not have known you could do while on a call:

  • Watch videos or listen to music: The other person on the call won’t be able to hear any audio, even if you use speakerphone (we tested it). The audio reduces to background level, so you hear the other party.
  • Play (most) games: Full-screen applications, like games, work fine while you chat on the phone. You can even enjoy game audio if you use the switch on the side of your device to disable Silent Mode. However, games that require the microphone might not work.
  • Take photos: The next time you say, “I’ll send you a photo,” to someone on the phone, you can use the Camera or Messages app to do that before you hang up. You can shoot Live Photos while on a call, but the audio won’t record.
  • Use a personal hotspot: Need to share your internet connection with a nearby Mac or PC? You don’t have to leave a call to do so. Of course, your device’s battery will drain faster.
  • Pay or tap with Wallet: If you need to make a mobile payment, touch a transit card, or unlock an NFC-enabled lock, you can do so while on a call.
  • Call someone else: This is the same as the “Add Call” button on the call screen. When you place a new call, it puts the previous one on hold. Once they’re both active, you can switch between the calls or merge them. You can also make conference calls on your iPhone.

Things You Can’t Do While on a Call

The "Recording Disabled" message that appears in Voice Memos when you're on a call.

Generally, if something you want to do requires the microphone, you won’t be able to do it while on a call because the mic is already in use. Here are a few things you can’t do while on a call:

  • Shoot videos: You can take photos while on a call, but the Camera app won’t show you the option to shoot videos.
  • Take a Voice Memo: It would be nice if the Voice Memos app functioned like a call recorder, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case.
  • Use Siri: Siri requires the microphone, so it won’t work while you’re on a call.

How to Transfer a Call to Another Device

Thanks to Apple’s Continuity feature, iOS allows you to transfer a call to another device if it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So, if the battery is low on your iPhone when you receive a call, and you don’t have a charger handy, you can transfer the call to an iPad or a Mac.

Follow these steps to transfer a call from your iPhone to an iPad or Mac:

  1. Answer (or make) a call so that the call screen appears
  2. Tap the “Audio” button on the call screen.
  3. Choose the other device (like “MacBook Air” or “iPad Pro”) from the list that appears, and then wait.
  4. When the transfer process is complete, the call screen appears on your second device.

This feature only works for regular phone calls—you cannot transfer Wi-Fi, FaceTime audio, or FaceTime video calls. Also, on certain devices (like a Mac), you can’t transfer a call back to your iPhone.

Hanging on the Telephone

When you start using your iPhone’s multitasking abilities, you’ll never have to hang up the phone to check on something again.

You also might want to add an Apple Arcade subscription to your iPhone, so you can check out some great games the next time you’re on hold.





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How to Disable and Delete Your Siri History on iPhone & iPad

Siri listening on an Apple iPhone 7.
Wachiwit/Shutterstock.com

Apple’s new iOS 13.2 upgrade for iPhones and iPads offers improved privacy controls for Siri. You can now choose whether you want humans listening to snippets of your Siri interactions. You can delete any existing recordings from Apple’s servers, too.

Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you about this after the upgrade. You’ll see an “Improve Siri & Dictation” screen. If you select “Share Audio Recordings,” your device will share your recordings with Apple, and they may be listened to by humans to help improve Siri.

How to Disable Siri History Collection

To find these options, head to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements. You’ll find the Analytics & Improvements option at the bottom of the Privacy screen.

Opening the analytics options on an iPhone.

Ensure the “Improve Siri & Dictation” option here is toggled off. If it’s on, your iPhone or iPad will share clips of your voice with Apple.

With this option disabled, Apple won’t store or review audio of future interactions from this device. To delete audio of older interactions from Apple’s servers, you’ll have to use the below option as well.

If you have multiple devices—for example, an iPhone and an iPad—disabling Improve Siri & Dictation on one won’t disabled it on the other. You’ll have to toggle this option separately on each device you use.

Disabling Siri history collection on an iPhone.

How to Delete Your Siri History

To delete the history from Apple’s servers, head to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History.

Opening Siri & Dictation History in an iPhone's Settings app.

Tap the “Delete Siri & Dictation History” to delete all the stored Siri interactions from Apple’s servers.

Assuming you’ve disabled history collection and deleted the history, Apple won’t store or listen to your Siri and dictation history.

Deleting Siri & Dictation history from Apple's servers.

As the options explain, this also deletes interactions with the iPhone keyboard’s dictation feature and prevents Apple representatives from listening to them.





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iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS

Depending on whether you get the base model or the Pro, the latest iPhone models come with a maximum of 256GB or 512GB of storage. Why, then, do we still need to solve the “iPhone Storage Full” problem?

The usual culprits are photos, 4K videos, games, and other digital hoarding habits. You can’t upgrade an iPhone’s storage. That leaves you with three choices—buy a bigger phone, get more cloud storage, or create free space on your iPhone.

The first two don’t work if you want to free up space right now. So let’s look at the ways to free up storage space with a bit of iOS jugglery.

Note: You should make a backup of your device with iTunes before you do anything major, like deleting photos or videos. We cover this below.

Get Familiar With iPhone Storage

Newer versions of iOS have a dedicated iPhone Storage feature. It’s an improvement on the earlier Storage and iCloud Usage section. To find it, go to Settings > General >iPhone Storage.

Here, you get a quick view of the storage space available on your device. The list of apps is ordered by the amount of storage each occupies. iOS suggests space-saving steps such as auto-deleting old messages, erasing large message attachments, and storing messages directly in iCloud.

Some of the Apple default apps will let you delete data from here. For instance, you can delete songs from the Music app, clean all website data from Safari, and review personal videos before you delete them.

But this screen is also important because it lets you target each app and act on them in two ways: offloading and deleting.

Offload or Delete Apps

Tap an app on the list at Settings > General > iPhone Storage to view detailed info about its storage usage. At the bottom, you can choose one of two options: Offload App and Delete App.

  • Delete App removes the app and every bit of its data. It is the same as uninstalling the app from the home screen.
  • Offload App deletes the app’s core files, but keeps your personal data. This is useful for heavier apps (like PUBG Mobile) when you plan to use the app soon but need the space now. It lets you just remove the app; your important data will be there when you reinstall the app later.

Go down the list to pick the lowest hanging fruits. For instance, select the apps you use rarely and can safely offload or delete. You can make a choice according to your needs.

If you don’t want to do either, then go to the individual apps and delete unnecessary files that they save. For instance, you might erase large iMessage attachments or remove some downloaded songs from Spotify.

Delete games you’ve completed, as game files eat up a lot of space. They’re sometimes more of a space hog than photos and videos, which we will nix next.

Delete Photos and Videos

Videos and photos take up a lot of space on most people’s iPhones. You can take a few steps to clear them and make extra space:

  1. Enable iCloud Photos


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    to upload your photos and videos to the cloud and save space on your device.
  2. Copy photos and videos from your iPhone to your computer and use the computer as a primary backup. Then delete them from your device.
  3. After you clean up your photo stream, remember to empty the Recently Deleted album in Photos as well.
  4. Select and delete old Live Photos (and photos taken in Burst Mode). The three-second moving pictures can take up a lot of space. You can disable Live Photos altogether, but we wouldn’t suggest this as they help create wonderful memories. Plus, you can also convert them into GIFs and videos.

If you shoot a lot with your iPhone’s Smart HDR option enabled, there is no need to save the normal photos along with the HDR copies. So…

Take Only HDR Photos

Tack-sharp iPhone photographs taken with High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode come at a price. Your iPhone saves two copies of the image in your photo library—the “normal” image (without HDR) and its HDR counterpart, which is a succession of three photos taken at different exposures.

You can choose to disable the HDR mode by turning off the Smart HDR switch under Settings > Camera. You should also avoid tapping the HDR icon in the Camera app.

Alternatively, you can save space by not keeping the normal photo. To adjust this:

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device and tap Camera.
  2. Toggle the Keep Normal Photo switch to the off position.

Wipe Browser Caches

In theory, browser cache acts as a speed booster, as the browser does not have to load every element of the page again. But temporary files from the numerous websites you visit every day can add up and clog your iPhone’s storage.

Here’s how you can clear Safari’s cache and free up a bit of space:

  1. Tap the Settings app on the iPhone home screen.
  2. Go down the menu and tap Safari.
  3. Within the list of Safari options, tap Clear History and Website Data.
  4. In the confirmation box, tap Clear History and Data (or Cancel if you change your mind).

If you have Chrome installed…

  1. Tap on the Chrome app to open it.
  2. Select the three-dot menu at the bottom-right. Go to History > Clear browsing data.
  3. In the next screen, select what you want to remove or keep. Then tap the red button to start the cleaning process after the confirmation popup.

Manage Your Messages

SMS, iMessages, and unattended spam messages can add up over time. You can limit the number of messages that get stored by automatically deleting them after some time.

  1. Go to Settings and scroll down the list to Messages.
  2. Drill down to Message History.
  3. Choose either 30 days or 1 year instead of Forever.
  4. Click Delete on the Delete Older Messages confirmation popup.

Optimize WhatsApp

Instant chat apps like WhatsApp and Telegram are sneaky space predators. Their daily use consumes a fair amount of space, which can add up fast. Let’s optimize WhatsApp storage and get back some space on your phone. There are several ways to do this:

  • For the nuclear option, uninstall WhatsApp and re-install it to start from a clean slate.
  • For a selective option, tap on each contact and go down the Contact Info to select Clear Chat.

But if you want to be more surgical about it, then you can see how much storage each message thread is using. Launch WhatsApp > Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Storage Usage.

Use the list of your contacts to find the total storage size of each thread. Tap on any of these contacts and take action on that specific data by hitting Manage at the bottom.

For instance, clearing videos, photos, GIFs, and stickers while keeping documents can save you a lot of space.

Use External Storage With iOS 13

iPadOS and iOS 13 have added external storage support for iPhone and iPad. Though it is more useful for your workflow on an iPad, phone users can also plug in a flash drive and use it with the revamped Files app.

Most thumb drives and memory card readers with built-in Lightning connectors


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should work fine. You can use the extra space to store music, video, and photos using the drive’s additional storage. Then put the Files app to work as a media viewer.

Apple says the exFAT, FAT32, HSF+, and APFS formats are supported. NTFS is not.

Clear the “Other” Space With a Backup and Restore

Resetting your phone is a nuclear option, but it can also be the quickest way to start afresh.

Even if you don’t do this, it’s always a good idea to keep your iPhone data backed up to your computer


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. You should always use your computer as a primary backup for heavier files like photos and videos, and not rely on your iPhone’s storage.

A backup allows you to reset your device and start from scratch with a better plan to re-organize your device. Resetting your phone is also the handiest way to reduce the Other data you will spot on the iPhone Storage screen. It is a holding area for cache files of all kinds, especially those from streaming services.

iPhone "Other" storage space

The Solution to a Space Crunch on Your iPhone

It’s not fun juggling content here and there for a few spare gigabytes. Next time, you should buy an iPhone with more space if you like shooting photos and videos, playing games, or saving music to your device for offline enjoyment.

Otherwise, learn these iPhone photo management tips


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as a core skill before storage space becomes a problem.



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How to Share Your Apple Maps Live ETA on iPhone

Share ETA button shown during navigation on iPhone in maps app
Khamosh Pathak

The Maps app update in iOS 13 brings significant improvements. The maps data is much better, there’s a Look Around feature, and you can now share a Live ETA from Maps app navigation on your iPhone to friends and family.

The next time you’re on your way to meet a friend, or if you want your parents to know how long it will take to get home, just use this Live ETA feature in the Maps app. Once it’s enabled, the app will share your live location and your estimated arrival time with your contact.

Make sure you’re running iOS 13.1 or higher on your iPhone and launch the Maps app. Next, search for and select a destination. Once the destination is selected, tap on the “Directions” button.

Tap on Directions from the location page

From the next screen, select the mode of transport and then tap on the “Go” button.

Tap on Go to start navigation

You’re now on the navigation screen. From here, you’ll see a “Share ETA” button at the bottom of the screen, below the details for the time of arrival.

Tap on Share ETA text

The Share ETA panel disappears after a few seconds. If you missed the button, you can still access the feature by swiping up on the bottom panel and tapping on the “Share ETA” icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Tap on Share ETA button

Tapping on it will reveal a panel of your frequent contacts. You can tap on a contact to quickly share the ETA using the Messages app.

You can also tap on the “Contacts” button to search for and add any contact.

Select a contact on tap on Contacts to search

If you see a “Maps” icon next to their profile picture, it means they’re also using iOS 13.1 and they’ll get rich notifications. It also means that they will be able to follow along with your progress in the Maps app.

Seeing shared ETA on Maps app on iPhone

If you see a “Messages” icon next to their profile picture, it means they’ll only get SMS updates because they’re not using iOS 13 or they don’t have iMessage.

Details of the SMS that is sent as Maps ETA

Once you dismiss this panel, it will tell you how many contacts you’re sharing the location with. When you arrive at the destination, the location sharing will stop automatically.

You can also stop sharing your location at any time by tapping on the “Sharing ETA With X People” button.

Tap on Sharing ETA with People button

From the popup, tap on the profile picture of the people you want to stop sharing your location with.

Tap on a profile picture to stop sharing

This is just one of the many new awesome features in iOS 13. Once you’ve updated, make sure to try the Dark mode.





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Sleep Better With These 4 iPhone Settings and Tweaks

We’ve all struggled to get out of bed in the morning after a terrible night’s sleep. You wake up feeling drowsy, demotivated, and downright miserable. If this sounds familiar, you’re not the only one. It turns out there’s a sleep loss epidemic sweeping industrialized nations, and your iPhone might be the cause.

Blue light from the screen makes you feel less sleepy. Distracting apps stimulate you when you ought to be winding down. And random notifications disrupt what would otherwise be a peaceful night.

But it’s possible to change all that. Tweak these four settings on your iPhone to improve your sleep. Your body will thank you for it.

1. Set a Regular Bedtime in the Clock App

We need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Ideally, that means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including the weekends. This trains your body to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed

The two biggest mistakes most of us make when it comes to healthy sleep habits are not getting enough of it and not sticking to regular times. You can address both of these issues with the Bedtime feature.

  1. Open the Clock app, select Bedtime, then tap the Schedule button.
  2. Turn on Bedtime Schedule and make sure it’s active for every day of the week.
  3. Adjust the times to give yourself plenty of sleep. Since we sleep in 90-minute cycles, I’d aim for either 7.5 hours or 9 hours.
  4. Now return to the Bedtime tab and tap Options in the top-left corner.
  5. Turn on the Bedtime Reminder so you don’t forget to go to bed on time. Remember to allow yourself at least 15 minutes in bed to fall asleep.

2. Turn On Dark Mode and Night Shift

One of the reasons many of us don’t sleep enough is because we don’t feel tired when it’s time to go to bed. This is partly because the bright light from our iPhone screen tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime.

When you look at a bright screen in the night—particularly if it’s shining blue or white light—your brain thinks the sun is still up. This stops it from releasing melatonin, which is the chemical that makes you feel tired. Even if you don’t feel sleepy anymore, you still suffer the negative consequences of sleep loss.

Set a schedule to turn on Dark Mode and Night Shift at least an hour before you go to bed. Dark Mode eliminates bright white screens while Night Shift reduces the blue light from all your apps.

  1. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness.
  2. Beneath the Light and Dark Mode options, turn on Automatic and tap Options to set a schedule. Use Light Mode in the mornings to help you wake up.
  3. Return to the Display & Brightness settings, tap Night Shift, then turn on Scheduled and set it to come on at least an hour before bed.
  4. Use the slider to make the color temperature More Warm, further reducing the blue light.

3. Use Downtime to Get Away From Your iPhone

Blue light isn’t the only problem with using your iPhone at night. Most apps are designed to stimulate and engage us. This keeps us hooked to our iPhones when we ought to be winding down for bed.

Of course, it’s difficult to break an iPhone addiction


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with willpower alone. Instead, use Downtime to block apps you don’t want to use at night, which should be most of them. You can always ignore the Downtime limits to keep using apps in an emergency.

The best advice for healthy sleep is to spend 30 minutes to one hour relaxing before you even try to fall asleep. Use this time to read, bathe, listen to gentle music, or reflect on your day. Don’t use it to scroll through news feeds or get to the next level in a mobile game.

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Downtime.
  2. If prompted, enter your Screen Time passcode.
  3. Turn on Downtime and set it for Every Day, then set a schedule for it to come on at least 30 minutes before bed.
  4. Return to the Screen Time settings and tap Always Allowed. Add your critical apps to the list so they don’t get blocked.

4. Schedule Do Not Disturb While You’re Asleep

The last thing you want is for peaceful sleep to be interrupted by unimportant notifications. Even if your iPhone is on silent, the bright light from your screen turning on can be enough to wake you up.

It’s easy to combat this using Do Not Disturb. If you’re worried about missing emergency calls, add contacts to your Favorites list or turn on repeated calls so people can still reach you if they need to.

It’s possible to turn on Do Not Disturb During Bedtime from the Bedtime options, but I suggest you do it from the Settings app instead. This way, you can prepare for emergency calls and schedule Do Not Disturb to start before your bedtime if you want it to help you wind down.

  1. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Turn on Scheduled and set your Quiet Hours. Be sure to turn on the option to Dim Lock Screen as well.
  3. If you’re worried about missing emergency calls, scroll down and tap Allow Calls From, then choose to allow calls from Everyone or only your Favorites.
  4. Alternatively, scroll down further and turn on the option for Repeated Calls.

Bonus Tips for Smart Home Owners

You can do even more to improve the quality of your sleep if you’ve set up a smart home


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by automating the temperature and lighting in the bedroom. We fall asleep faster in cooler environments and wake up easier when a bright light is shining.

Use the Home app on your iPhone to reduce the temperature in your bedroom before you go to bed. You’ll be warm enough when you get under the covers and you might find you fall asleep faster.

In the mornings, use bright white lights to simulate the sun and make it easier to wake up. If you increase the brightness gradually, you can wake up to the light instead of a shrill alarm. Although you might want to set an alarm as a backup just in case.

Track Your Sleep to See It Improve

One of the best incentives for sticking to a healthy sleep schedule is seeing the effect it has on your life. When you use these iPhone settings to improve sleep, you might not feel an instant change in your wellbeing, but it’s sure to make a big difference over time.

Use one of the many sleep tracking iPhone apps


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to watch your sleep quality improve. You’ll surely notice positive trends in other areas of your life as well.



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How to Cancel App Subscriptions on Your iPhone or iPad

Nearly every app and service available today wants you to sign up for a subscription. While this spreads out costs over time instead of charging you all at once, it’s easy to lose track of your subscriptions. If you typically enroll using your mobile device, you might wonder how to cancel subscriptions on an iPhone or iPad.

We’ll show you how to view all subscriptions you’ve signed up for on your iPhone and help you get these under control.

How to Find All Subscriptions on Your iPhone

Apple makes it easy to review all subscriptions you currently have active through your Apple ID. Here’s where to find subscriptions on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the list.
  3. On the resulting page, tap Subscriptions.

In addition to app subscriptions, this page is also how you cancel magazine subscriptions on your iPhone. Next, we’ll look at managing them.

How to Cancel Subscriptions on iPhone

Follow the above steps to access the Subscriptions page for your Apple ID. Here you’ll see all subscriptions that are billed through your Apple account. Tap the subscription you want to unsubscribe from or change. If you only have one subscription, this page will take you right to it.

In the below example, you can see how to cancel Apple Music. Tap Apple Music Membership to see details and change the subscription if you want. It shows you what kind of plan you have, when the subscription renews, and your other options for subscribing.

You’ll see the Cancel Subscription (or Cancel Free Trial if you’re still in the trial period) button below. Tap this and confirm it to unsubscribe from the app’s service.

When you cancel an app, most services allow you to continue using them until your subscription period ends. This isn’t the case for some free trials, though. For instance, if you cancel the Apple Music trial, you’ll immediately lose access to the premium service.

Thus, if you want to utilize the entire free trial but don’t want to get charged when it’s over, we recommend setting a reminder to cancel the app subscription a few days before it ends.

How to Cancel Apple Subscriptions on Your Mac

If you’d prefer, you can also cancel an app subscription on your Mac. Because Apple has split iTunes on macOS into several distinct apps, this functionality is now located in the App Store.

Open the App Store on your Mac and click your name and profile icon in the bottom-left corner. Next, select View Information at the top-right. You may need to confirm your Apple ID password to proceed.

Mac View Account Info

Once you see the Account Information page, scroll down to the Manage section. You’ll see a Subscriptions entry with the number of subscriptions currently on your account; click Manage to the right of this.

From here, you’ll see a very similar panel to that on iPhone and iPad. This lets you change or unsubscribe from an Apple or third-party app, as long as you’re signed in with the same Apple ID.

Mac Manage Subscriptions

How to Cancel iTunes Subscriptions on Windows

If you use a Windows PC, you’ll still manage your Apple subscriptions through the iTunes subscriptions page. Open iTunes and head to Account > View My Account. This will bring you to a panel similar to the App Store’s Account Information above.

Scroll to the bottom and in the Settings section, you’ll see a Subscriptions line. Click Manage next to this. Then you can edit or cancel your subscriptions.

iTunes Windows Manage Subscriptions

Managing Other Subscriptions on Your iPhone

Didn’t find the subscription you were looking for using the above methods? You’ll need to unsubscribe in a different way. The above subscription management only applies to apps that you’ve subscribed to through your Apple ID. It won’t show subscriptions you made through other devices.

For example, you might have signed up for Spotify Premium through the Google Play Store on an Android device, or joined Netflix on the company’s website. While you can enjoy these accounts by signing into the apps on your iPhone, Apple has nothing to do with your subscription.

You’ll need to deal with the service directly to manage your subscription. A quick Google search should bring you to the appropriate website so you can log in and manage your subscription.

Spotify Premium Subscription

If you have trouble tracking down where a subscription comes from, check your credit card statement to see who you’ve made payments to. Vendors like “Apple” or “App Store” signify a subscription through your Apple ID, while the company name will likely appear for direct subscriptions. You might have also subscribed using a service like PayPal or Amazon Pay.

Otherwise, if you use Apple’s Family Sharing, one of your family members might have signed up for a subscription on their own. You can’t manage this from your Apple ID, so you’ll need to use one of their devices to manage that subscription. You may also pay someone else for a shareable subscription


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and need to talk with them.

Finally, make sure you didn’t subscribe with a different Apple ID than the one you’re currently using.

How to Manage Your iCloud Storage Plan

There’s one notable exception when wondering how to unsubscribe from an Apple app: iCloud storage. Apple will bill you for iCloud plans that include more storage than the 5GB default, but this doesn’t appear in the above locations.

Instead, to unsubscribe from iCloud plans on your iPhone, you’ll need to visit Settings > [Your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage. Here, tap Change Storage Plan, then Downgrade Options to go back to the free plan.

A Note on Subscribing Through Apple

We’ve covered how to unsubscribe from plans on your iPhone, so you’re all set to take control of your recurring charges.

Before we wrap up, you should be aware that subscribing to services through Apple often results in paying a higher price. This is because Apple takes a 30% cut of all purchases made through the App Store, resulting in developers charging more to offset that cost.

For example, Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month normally. However, if you sign up through the iPhone app, you’ll end up paying $12.99 per month instead. There’s no reason to do this, as you get an identical service either way.

If you have any subscriptions through Apple, we recommend checking the applicable company’s website to see if you can get it for a lower cost.

Cancel Subscriptions and Save Some Money

Subscriptions are a convenient way to access services you use month-to-month, but they can easily get out of hand. It’s wise to take a few minutes to review the subscriptions you’re currently paying for to make sure you aren’t wasting money.

For more tools to help with this, see our guide to managing your online subscriptions


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.





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Apple seems to have its eyes on the road (map) for iPhone processors

TSMC is now Apple’s primary processor manufacturing partner, churning out 7-nanometer A13 chips for iPhones – and may be producing 3-nanometer chips for iPhones by 2023.

What’s in a nanometer?

A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. It’s the unit of measurement used to show the distance between the transistors that comprise the processor.

The smaller the number of nanometers the higher the number of transistors you can squeeze onto one chip.

The result?

Faster processors that are also more energy efficient.

Rapid iMovement

Apple’s chip designs have led the industry for years. It has been developing ARM-based processors since 2007, ramped this up with the A4 and again with its A6 chips and pushed it even further in 2016 with the A10 chip.

The company has achieved significant performance and power efficiency improvements with each iteration of these:

  • The A10 Fusion processor in 2016 inside the iPhone 7 was the first Apple-designed SOC. It delivered 40% better processor performance and 50% better graphics than the Apple-designed 64-bit A9 chip (used in the iPhone 6S) it replaced.
  • Apple achieved a 25 percent performance boost when it shifted from the 14-nometer A10 (2016, as used in the iPhone 7) to the 7-nanometer A11.
  • Apple’s A12 processors provided significant performance gains on the A11 series chips in part because they were the first to adopt 7-nanometer process technologies.
  • Apple’s existing (7nm) A13 series processors maintain the trend. These deliver 20% more performance and 40% better power efficiency than 2018’s A12.
  • You can review performance increase between A6-A11 here.

It is thought that Apple will migrate to 5-nanometer processors in 2020 following comments from TSMC CFO Lora Ho, who revealed his company to have become “more aggressive” on the move to manufacture these chips.

This means that next year’s A14 processors may be built using 5-nanometer tech, which should deliver similar performance and power efficiency gains.

This should be useful as Apple attempts to handle the new power requirements of 5G solutions as it begins to field them in late 2020.

The future will be better tomorrow

That’s not the end of the road map. It has been revealed that TSMC has begun construction of a 3-nanometer fabrication facility at the Southern Taiwan Science and Technology Park, Tainan, Taiwan.

This is a huge investment – figures approaching $20 billion are being discussed – and mass production is expected to begin by late 2022 or early 2023 – right on schedule for a follow-up to next year’s anticipated 5nm A14 (if speculation matches reality).

Apple is, after all, one of TSMC’s biggest customers so it will inevitably be at least interested in what is made there.

What does this tell us?

In a sense, this tells us little new.

We only need to look at Apple’s track record to know that it is 100% dedicated to developing and distributing the world’s most advanced processors and to continued improvements in these architectures.

We also know wants its hardware to offer patented technologies its competitors cannot legitimately copy. It learnt this the hard way when it failed to win wars against imitators over design patents.

It also confirms that Apple is not working to any random rhythm but retains tight navigation along a clear road map:

  1. It shows that its road map for processor enhancements is solid all the way out to 2023 and beyond.
  2. It suggests Apple will be able to deliver significant improvements in processors and power efficiency every year until and beyond then.

This also suggests that if Apple’s processor road map remains on course then its wider company mission also remains on track.

What’s the big picture?

It’s pretty clear that Apple’s 64-bit chips are matching and now almost exceeding some desktop class processors.

That’s got to be significant in terms of Apple’s wider strategy to the computer industry, with iPads and iPhones designed to handle most tasks, and increasingly high-end Macs available to handle more complex tasks.

Will it also prove significant to Apple’s much discussed but never confirmed (and sometimes designed) wider plan to unify its platforms?

We don’t know for certain, but it makes the unthinkable thinkable, again. How fast will iPhones become before they can completely replace computers?

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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