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15 years of iOS: Let’s take a walk down memory lane

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15 years of iOS – iPhone OS 1.0, iOS 6, iOS 7 and iOS 17 Homescreens
15 years of iOS
Source: Pocketnow, Illustrated by Roland Udvarlaki

Today marks 15 years since Apple officially released iPhone OS 1.0 on June 29, 2007. The first version of iOS was a breakthrough, and it introduced a multitouch display smartphone. It was new and something that hadn’t been seen before in a commercial product. The first iPhone had an on-screen keyboard, multitouch functionality, iTunes integration, and many more features. Fun fact: The operating system wasn’t called iOS until the fourth iteration.

While the first iPhone and iPhone OS were significant historical breakthroughs, the phone and the operating system lacked major essential features. It didn’t support third-party applications, couldn’t record video, and only had a few dozen pre-installed applications, enabling users to complete basic tasks, such as browsing the web with Safari, playing music, and seeing photos.

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In this article, we’ll talk about each iOS version, its highlighted features, the history of the platform, and the things that made it one of the most advanced systems in the world. We also recommend you to visit our dedicated pages that cover the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max devices, as well as our unique guide that explains everything new in iOS 16.

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iPhone OS 1.0 – Where it all began

iPhone OS 1.0 was announced at the iPhone keynote event on January 9, 2007. It launched alongside the first, original iPhone on June 29, 2007. During the announcement, Apple didn’t provide the operating system’s official name, and Apple’s marketing material only stated that it was running a desktop operating system based on OS X.

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Apple developed nearly two dozen different concepts, and tested several other user interfaces before it decided to pick the one that was presented at the keynote. There was a lot of confusion about the idea of typing on a keyboard, since only physical keyboards were being used at the time on all devices. No one was doing it the same way Apple was, and it took some time for people to adjust and play around with the idea.

The operating system had a pretty basic set of features. It could send and receive text messages, had a calendar application, a photos app, a camera, YouTube, maps, stocks, weather, clock, calculator, notes, settings, a phone and mail app, and Safari as a web browser. App Store didn’t exist, and users were able to sync and purchase new music using the iTunes integration.

iPhone OS 2

Apple iPhone OS 2 on iPhone 3G
Apple iPhone OS 2 on iPhone 3G
Source: Pocketnow

iPhone OS was announced at the 2008 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 9, 2008. It was released publicly on July 11, 2008, alongside the iPhone 3G, the second-generation iPhone. It included some of the most significant changes and was the first operating system to come pre-loaded with the newly introduced App Store.

The App Store allowed developers to create third-party applications that could then be used on the device. The App Store was the beginning of what has since become a massive money maker for the company. iPhone OS 2 was later available to iPod Touch users for a flat fee of $9.95, and free updates didn’t exist back then.

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The new operating system introduced many changes, adding new languages, the ability to import contacts from a SIM card, new settings, screen captures, and the option to save images from the Mail and Safari apps to Photos, parental controls, and Camera app improvements.

Apple also added many more updates in 2.1.1, 2.2, and 2.2.1 that improved the operating system’s performance on the existing iPhones. Later, Apple added new features such as emojis, the ability to disable autocorrect for the keyboard, faster updates, a 24-hour clock for UK users, street view in Maps and many more.

iPhone OS 3

Apple iPhone OS 3 on iPhone 3GS
Apple iPhone OS 3 on iPhone 3GS
Source: Pocketnow

iPhone OS was announced on March 17, 2009, alongside the iPhone 3GS. It was available to all previous iPhones, including the iPod Touch 1st Generation. The first generation iPad also arrived later with iPhone OS 3.2.

The new software added copy and paste functionality for text and images, support for in-app purchases, MMS support in the Messages app, and most notably, the ability to record videos using the camera app – yes, it took Apple more than two years to add this feature. There were a lot of new features that we take for granted nowadays.

Future versions also fixed many bugs, and it was the first OS from Apple to support larger displays (the first-generation iPad had a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 display, which was unveiled in 2010).

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iOS 4

Apple iOS 4 on iPhone 4
Apple iOS 4 on iPhone 4
Source: Pocketnow

The fourth version of the iPhone OS was renamed to iOS, and it was released to the public on June 21, 2010, alongside the iPhone 4. This update removed support for the first generation iPhone and the first generation iPod Touch. Back then, chipsets weren’t as powerful as today, and Apple didn’t have a track record for 5+ years of software support – and that wasn’t such a big deal back then.

iOS 4 was supported on iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod Touch, but it had limited features, and they lacked multitasking and the ability to change the home screen wallpaper. While there were a few issues and missing features, iOS 4 was the first completely free OS, and users didn’t have to pay to receive the update on their compatible devices.

iOS 4 brought many new features and apps to the platform, namely the ability to multitask, FaceTime, iBooks, a new way to organize applications into folders, AirPlay, AirPrint, and the option to turn on Personal Hotspots.

iOS 5

Apple iOS 5 on iPhone 4S
Apple iOS 5 on iPhone 4S
Source: Pocketnow

Apple released iOS 5 on June 6, 2011, at the WWDC event. It was released to the public on October 12, 2011, alongside the iPhone 4S. The operating system was compatible with all iPhones dating back to the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (3rd generation), as well as the first-generation iPad. iOS 5.1 also supported the newly unveiled iPad (3rd generation).

By 2011, Cloud storage started to surface as the next big thing, and Apple was one of the first companies to announce a new service called iCloud. It allowed users to activate their iPhones wirelessly (users were required to activate devices with a computer before this), and the ability to sync music and other contents with iTunes via Wi-Fi. iMessage, Notification Center, and Siri all debut on the iPhone 4S and iOS 5.

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iOS 6

Apple iOS 6 on iPhone 5
Apple iOS 6 on iPhone 5
Source: Pocketnow

iOS 6 was publicly released on September 19, 2012, alongside the iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th gen.), and the iPad (4th generation). The new software dropped support for the iPod Touch (3rd generation), and the first generation iPad due to performance issues. While the software was compatible and supported on the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (4th generation), it was limited in features. All newer Apple devices, including the iPhone 4, iPod Touch (5th gen.), iPad 2, and iPad Mini (1st gen.), fully supported the operating system.

iOS 6 made Siri more useful by including sports and other general information, making it one of the best digital assistants. Although the idea of digital assistants was only just taking off, and it was closer to a voice assistant than anything else that existed back then.

The new OS also brought significant changes, and Apple removed Google Maps and YouTubes from the device, and they were no longer pre-installed on devices. Instead, Apple introduced its own Maps application, which received a lot of criticism for providing wrong directions and its buggy behavior that also lacked a lot of features compared to Google Maps.

Other notable features include the introduction of Passbook (renamed to “Wallet”) and the Do Not Disturb toggle that suppresses incoming calls and notifications.

iOS 7

iOS 7 was released to the public on September 18, 2013, alongside the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. It was the first major design overhaul. The new system introduced vibrant colors, gradients, new animations, blur effects, and a modern user interface. The current version of iOS still has a few things in common with iOS 7, although the design language has improved a lot in recent years.

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iOS 7 supported all iPhones dating back to the iPhone 4 – the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad (3rd gen), and iPad 2 have lacked many of the newly introduced features.

iOS 7 was a complete overhaul, and Apple brought support for the beloved Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Control Center (swipe up from the bottom of the display to access data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, screen brightness, media control, and other toggles). It was a game-changer, and while this is subjective, it encouraged a lot of Android users to make a switch.

The OS also added support for the newly introduced AirDrop feature, allowing users to share files between iPhones. Apple also introduced the Find My iPhone Activation Lock that prevented others from gaining access to devices without the original owner’s email and password.

iOS 8

Like most previous mobile systems from Apple, iOS 8 was announced at the WWDC conference on June 2, 2014. It was released on September 17, 2014, alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus flagships. They were the first iPhones to come with a larger display (since the iPhone 5), and they each come with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively.

iOS 8 supported all iPhones going back to the iPhone 5, iPod Touch (6th gen.), iPad (4th gen.), and the iPad Mini 2. Apple received widespread complaints due to the slow performance on older devices, and the software dropped support for the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S was supported, but the user experience was far from great and lacked many new features.

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Design-wise, iOS 8 wasn’t much of an upgrade, and Apple mainly focused on adding new features and fixing a few design choices made in iOS 7 to make the fonts easier to read. Alongside the enhancements, iOS 8.4 also introduced Apple Pay, and the Apple Music subscription service. Apple also added new features to iCloud, including iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Music Library.

Some of the new features and applications included the option to use “Hey Siri” to recognize when it was called upon, Time-lapse was added to the camera, and users could use third-party keyboards. Apple also launched Handoff continuity features to allow Apple devices to work together. Family Sharing also debuted on iOS 8, and so did HomeKit.

iOS 9

Apple iOS 9 on iPhone 6S series
Apple iOS 9 on iPhone 6S series
Source: Pocketnow

iOS 9 wasn’t much of an upgrade features-wise, and Apple took a much-needed step back to focus on eliminating all the bugs and problems introduced in previous software updates. iOS 9 was released on September 16, 2015, alongside the new iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPad Mini 4 devices.

Since iOS 9 wasn’t focusing on new features, the operating system received a lot of praise for fixing previous issues, and as a result, the OS was more stable. It received significant improvements regarding speed and responsiveness, and it significantly improved the usability of the software on older iPhone models and iPads. It was also one of the first operating systems to not drop support for older devices, and it was compatible with all devices that iOS 8 supported.

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iOS 9 added Night Shift, Low Power Mode, and a new Public Beta program that allowed users to try out early builds of iOS before releasing to the masses. This was very popular, and the program is still being used before major releases.

Other improvements included further enhancements to Apple Maps, which now supports public transit, station details, schedules, and directions. The News app was redesigned, and Apple Pay received significant improvements. More minor tweaks improved the user experience and the interface.

iOS 10

iOS 10 rolled out on September 13, 2016, alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It was available to all devices until the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C devices, although these two devices and the iPad (4th generation) lacked support for some features due to the old chipset. Apple dropped support for the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), the first-generation iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch (5th generation).

In this update, Apple allowed users for the first time to hide and delete first-party applications, such as the Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Podcasts, Notes, and more. New locking and keyboard sounds were added, and the lock screen was also improved to allow swipe actions to open the camera, and the Today view. The “Slide to Unlock” was also removed, and users were instead asked to swipe up. Siri (third-party app integration), iMessage (iMessage apps), Maps, and multiple other first-party applications received new features, and Apple Music was also completely redesigned.

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iOS 11

iOS 11 officially started rolling out on September 19, 2017. It launched alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and the latest update dropped support for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, and the iPad (4th generation). The iPhone X was unveiled on November 3, 2017, and it launched with iOS 11.1.1.

The operating system also dropped support for 32-bit applications, and Apple forced developers to support 64-bit. Due to the older chip architecture, Apple A7 and A8 processors received limited support, including devices such as the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 series, iPod Touch (6th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, 3, and 4.

In iOS 11, Apple completely redesigned the App Store, and the Camera app also received a few notable features. Most of the built-in applications received several enhancements. Still, the main focus was on the iPad, which was now easier to use thanks to the redesigned Dock, Slide Over, and Split view features, Markup, Drag and drop functionality and many more. The new iPad Pro devices also supported the newly unveiled Apple Pencil, and multitasking was easier on the larger display.

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iOS 12

iOS 12 debuted on September 17, 2018, alongside the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and theiPhone XR devices. Apple didn’t drop support for any of its previous devices, and the software was compatible with all devices from iOS 11.

iOS 12 brought new features, further refining the user experience and the interface to improve devices. The most notable new features in iOS 12 were the Siri Shortcuts, redesigned applications such as News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and more. The system also displayed the screen time in settings, and the notifications also appeared in a new grouped view. Apple also released ARKit 2, and Memojis were now more customizable.

iOS 13 / iPadOS 13

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iOS 7 revamped the complete user interface, and iOS 13 added even more enhancements with a new set of features. iOS 13 released on September 19, 2019, alongside the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

The new software update introduced a brand new system-wide dark mode, a new option to sign in with an Apple user account into third-party services, new portrait lighting effects, an improved version of Siri that supports third-party music applications and audiobooks, and so much more.

One of the main reasons iOS 13 was so hyped up was because Apple decided it was finally time toseparate iOS and iPad OS into their own platforms. iPadOS borrows heavily from iOS, and it is undoubtedly still the same operating system under the hood, albeit with some changes that make it more useable and user-friendly on larger displays and pen inputs.

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Apple also announced a new service called Apple Arcade and introduced new Apple Maps functionalities, such as a new look-around feature that lets users experience new places in a 360-degree environment. Beyond these new features, Apple also made Face ID faster, and it redesigned key built-in applications like Mail, Safari, Reminders and more.

iOS 14 / iPadOS 14

iOS 14

iOS 13 introduced a few noticeable changes, like a proper system-wide dark mode that changed the phone’s feel and looks, but iOS 14 took it a step further by introducing and supporting widgets, and adding an app drawer called “App Library”. The new update rolled out to users on September 16, 2020, and it was available for all devices that supported iOS 13.

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 launched alongside the new iPad (8th generation), iPad Air (4th Generation), and the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The new features included the aforementioned widgets on the homescreen, and the App Library application drawer. The goody-packed system also came with the ability to set third-party email and web browsers. Beyond these, Apple added Picture-in-Picture, new privacy-oriented features, and App Clips and CarKey. Most, if not all, of these features were also available on iPads running iPadOS 14.

iOS 15 / iPadOS 15

iOS 15: everything you need to know featured

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are currently the latest releases, and the two operating systems support all devices dating back to the iPhone 6S series. iOS 15 supports all devices compatible with iOS 14, except the iPod Touch (6th generation). Apple has since also discontinued the iPod after 21 years.

The new operating systems were released on September 14, 2021, alongside the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max devices. The iPhone SE 2022 launched alongside the new iPad Air (5th generation) running iOS and iPadOS 15.4.

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iOS 15 introduced new FaceTime features that allowed users to watch movies together using SharePlay, and the new update also added the option to share screens, and listen to content together. For the first time, Apple allowed non-Apple users to talk with friends using a web solution of its service. Apple also made improvements to Spacial Audio, new Memojis, and significant changes to the Messages app.

Apple later added Live Text, Visual Search, and several privacy-focused features to protect users’ information better. The company also improved Apple Maps with new advanced features and 3D views and introduced an iCloud+ subscription service that provides VPN-like features.

iOS 16 / iPadOS 15

iOS 16 lock screen customization Source: Pocketnow

iOS 16 and iPad OS 16 was unveiled at WWDC on June 6, 2022. The new software update comes with a lot of new features, and it completely revamps the lock screen interface. We have an excellent guide that explains everything you need to know about the next major update.

A public beta is expected to be released sometime in July. As always, we don’t recommend you to try it out on your primary device.

Which version of iOS was your favorite? What are your favorite features? Let us know in the comments below!

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Android

OnePlus 10T vs iPhone 13: Which one should you buy?

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OnePlus 10T vs iPhone 13 Source: Pocketnow

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The OnePlus 10T is the latest Android flagship in the market. For a price of $649, OnePlus’ new smartphone offers an impressive list of features, including a pro-grade display, Qualcomm’s new and improved Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, 150W fast charging, triple-camera setup, and much more.

At the same time, the OnePlus 10T has many rivals available in the market. Now that we’ve compared the OnePlus 10T to the Google Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S22, it’s time to pit it against Apple’s most popular iPhone of 2022, the iPhone 13, to see which smartphone deserves a place in your pocket.

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Design

iPhone 13 mini back Source: Pocketnow

Starting off with the design, it’s quite evident that both smartphones sport a very different look. The iPhone 13 comes with the same flat edge design Apple revived with the iPhone 12 series. While the smartphone does look a lot like its predecessor, there are a few differences between the two. For starters, the iPhone 13 has a smaller screen notch compared to the previous generation.

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It is also slightly thicker than the iPhone 12, thanks to a bigger battery. The phone now also features diagonal camera lenses (due to bigger sensors). And then there’s the aluminum metal frame surrounding the device, which is sandwiched between the Ceramic Shield front and back glass.

OnePlus 10T Source: OnePlus

On the other hand, the OnePlus 10T keeps a similar profile as its pricier sibling, the OnePlus 10 Pro. It features a protruding camera module on the top left corner that blends into the side frame. Unlike the iPhone 13, the OnePlus 10T has a curved-edge design, making it easier to hold. Although the OnePlus 10T features Corning’s Gorilla Glass, its frame is made out of plastic. OnePlus has also removed the company’s iconic Alert Slider from the OnePlus 10T, a favorite fan feature.

As far as colors are concerned, the OnePlus 10T is available in two options: Moonstone Black and Jade Green. The Moonstone Black variant comes with a matte rock-like texture, while the Jade Green variant sports a ceramic-like finish.

On the other hand, the iPhone 13 is available in a number of colors, such as Green, Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product (Red). Regardless of the color variant you choose, you’re getting a glossy back on the iPhone 13, though.

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Display

OnePlus 10T Display Source: OnePlus

Moving on to the front of the two phones, both flagships offer fantastic displays. The OnePlus 10T comes with a 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution. The display supports an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, allowing the smartphone to adjust between 120 Hz, 90 Hz, and 60 Hz depending on the type of content being displayed to save battery life. In addition, the display boasts a 1000Hz touch sampling rate and a peak brightness of 950 nits.

On the other hand, the iPhone 13 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED panel. It has a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels and supports a peak brightness of 800 nits. However, the refresh rate is one key area where the iPhone 13 loses, as its refresh rate is stuck to 60Hz. Another key difference between the smartphones is that the iPhone 13 comes with a big notch up top, while the OnePlus 10T features a small center-punch hole camera cutout.

Performance

The OnePlus 10T is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. This chip offers peak CPU speeds of 3.2 GHz, all while boasting 30% improved CPU and GPU efficiency. The smartphone also packs OnePlus’ next-generation 3D Cooling System, which it claims, ensures that the 10T remains cool while avoiding any kind of throttling.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 comes with the A15 Bionic chip, one of the best mobile SoCs out there. Apple has maintained a lead in the chipset industry for quite a few years now, and it’s the same case here with A15 Bionic vs Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

If you are looking for a smartphone that offers unhindered usage with a great combination of performance and efficiency, the iPhone 13 is bound to be the better pick out of the two. However, you won’t notice any lag on the OnePlus 10T as well as it features an equally capable chipset and will easily run games and apps at their maximum settings.

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Camera Hardware

Like the recently launched Asus Zenfone 9 and Nothing Phone 1, the OnePlus 10T features the 50MP Sony IMX 766 as its primary camera, with an 8MP Ultrawide and 2MP Macro camera supporting the imaging system. Unfortunately, improvements introduced with the Hasselblad co-branding are not present on the 10T, which means it lacks the color-science and imaging improvements we loved on the 10 Pro.

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The iPhone 13 features a dual-camera setup which includes a 12MP Wide camera and a 12MP Ultra-Wide lens. The new sensors are large in size, and the camera system sports many features, such as Photographic Styles, Cinematic Mode, sensor-shift optical image stabilization, and many more. To learn more about how the iPhone 13’s camera performs in real life, make sure you check out our review of the smartphone on YouTube.

Battery

iPhone 13 Pro MagSafe charging Source: Pocketnow

Our comparison of the OnePlus 10T to the Samsung Galaxy S22 showed how OnePlus has an edge over its competitors in the battery department, and this is true here as well. Not only the OnePlus 10T features a bigger battery — 4,800 mAh on the OnePlus 10T vs 3,240 mAh on the iPhone 13 — but it also boasts the highest battery charging rating of all the devices in this price range.

The 10T features OnePlus’ proprietary 150W (125W in North America) fast charging, which can fully charge the device from 0-100% in just 19 minutes. On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone 13 offers only 20W fast charging. However, it’s worth noting that only iPhone 13 boasts wireless charging. The OnePlus 10T, despite sporting a glass back, does not support Qi wireless charging.


OnePlus 10T

OnePlus 10T

OnePlus 10T is the latest affordable flagship from the BBK-owned brand. It comes with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a 4800 mAh battery with 150W fast charging, up to 16GB of memory, and much more. Check out all the deals on the device using the links given below.

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iPhone 13 in Black

Apple iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is the default smartphone from Apple for 2021. If you’re looking for an experience that remains fast and fluid over years to come and not lacking on any hardware front, this is the device to get. Check out all the deals on the device using the links given below.


Technical Specifications

Category OnePlus 10T iPhone 13
Dimensions 163 x 75.4 x 8.8 mm 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65 mm
Weight 203.5g 174g
Display 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
Display Features 120Hz refresh rate
HDR10+
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
60Hz refresh rate
HDR support
Ceramic Shield
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 A15 Bionic
Memory 8 / 16GB LPDDR5 4GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Rear Cameras Wide: 50 MP, Sony IMX766, f/1.8, OIS, 1.0 µm
Ultrawide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120-degree FoV, 1.12 µm
Macro: 2MP
Wide: 12 MP, f/1.6, OIS, 1.7μm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS
Ultrawide: 12 MP, f/2.4, 120-degree FoV
Front Camera 16 MP, f/2.4 12 MP, f/2.2
Security In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Face ID
Connectivity Single Nano-SIM, 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6 (ax, Dual Band), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Ports USB-C 2.0 Lightning Port
IP Rating – United States: IP54
– Rest of the world: No IP rating
IP68
Battery 4,800 mAh 3240 mAh
Wired Charging North America: 125W SuperVOOC fast wired charging
Rest of the world: 150W SuperVOOC fast wired charging
20W fast wired charging
Wireless Charging No 15W MagSafe, 7.5W Qi wireless charging
Operating System OxygenOS 12.1 (Android 12) iOS 15
Colors Moonstone Black, Jade Green Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, (PRODUCT) RED
Starting Price $649 $829

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How to customize your iPhone home screen and lockscreen on iOS

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iOS 16 lock screens and home screen setups on iPhone 12 Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow

iOS 16 introduced a lot of new features, namely the option to customize your lock screen. Aryan, from Pocketnow, went hands-on with the latest features and explained them in detail. iPhones were never known to be customizable, but that appears to be changing slowly, as Apple introduced widgets in iOS 14, and the company is continuously adding small touches to offer even more options.

While iOS 16 adds a lot of significant enhancements and neat new features to the lock screen, there are still a lot of improvements that could be made to the home screen as it doesn’t currently offer a lot of different ways for users to customize widgets. The option to move widgets anywhere is still severely limited by Apple.

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Clean up

Before we get to the customization stuff, let’s not forget that Apple now allows everyone to remove icons from their home screen. To do this, users can remove applications the same way they used to delete them. Long press on an icon, then instead of uninstalling, users can select removing from home screen.

This can clean up a lot of junk, and there’s no longer a need to place everything in a folder called Junk. The App Library makes it easy to find these applications again if you later decide you want to move some back to your home screen.

Use app icons

iOS 14 app icons by traf Source: Twitter: traf

Before we talk about app shortcuts, it’s important to note that iOS 14 added the option to add shortcuts to your home screen. These shortcuts can be customized with personalized labels and icon images, which can help replicate the look of real application icons on the home screen.

There are many free app icon packs available on the internet, and many premium ones that let you change the icon for several hundred different and popular applications. We found the App Icons as a great website to offer a lot of free icons. There are a lot of artists on Etsy that offer premium icon packs for a small price. Many artists made a fortune when the option was added in iOS 14.

Use app shortcuts

Apple Shortcuts Source: Pocketnow

Shortcuts are an excellent way to get things done faster. It lets you trigger certain actions, such as sending a message to your family or friends when you get home or get in the car after work, turn off the lights, or in this case, open an application.

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Shortcuts enable you to replace your icons on the home screen, and until Apple fully allows users to customize their home screens, this will remain a viable and only solution to fully personalize your device.

Follow these steps to make a shortcut for an application:

  • Open the Shortcuts application.
  • Tap the + in the top right corner.
  • Tap on Add Action button.
  • In the pop-up menu, search for Open App.
  • On the next page, tap on the App to select the application you want to open.
  • On the bottom, select the share menu (square with the arrow pointing up) and select Add to Homescreen.
  • Change the application’s name, and select the icon from your Gallery or Files app that you want to use.
  • Tap on Add in the top right corner.
  • Tap Done in the top right corner.

You can repeat the same process for all the applications you wish to add to your iOS home screen. It’s a tedious and fairly long process to do for multiple applications, but it’s currently the only way to customize your icons on iPhone.

Use widgets (iOS 14 and above)

iOS 14 added the ability to add widgets to your home screen. It finally enabled the ability to further customize the home screen of your iPhone and tablet, and it also made it easier to keep up with news, control music, and see your smart home devices. Widgets are an excellent way to gain extra information at a glance, and we strongly encourage you to use them.

There are also several applications available on the App Store that let you customize the colors, shapes, and functionality of custom widgets. Some of the best-known apps are Widgetsmith and Color Widgets, both of which offer different small, medium, and large-size photos, calendars, text, and weather information to be added to your home screen.

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Follow these steps to add widgets to your home screen:

  • Long press on an empty area on the home screen until the icons start to jiggle.
  • Tap on the + icon in the top left corner.
  • Select a widget, and choose from the different widget sizes.
  • When you have selected the widget you wish to add, tap on the Add Widget button at the bottom of the page.
  • Tap Done on the top right corner.

You can follow the same steps to add widgets to the Today View, which can be found when swiping all the way to the left from the home screen.

Use widget stacks

Widget stacks were introduced in iOS 14, allowing you to stack multiple widgets on top of each other. These can be added to your home screen or Today View. You can follow the same steps as adding a new widget to your home screen to access the Smart Stack option in the widgets panel. Alternatively, you can drag and drop a widget on top of another, assuming they’re the same size.

Change your lock screen setup (iOS 16 and above)

iOS 16 lock screen customization and colors.png
iOS 16 lock screen customization options and filters
Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow

iOS 16 added brand-new ways to further customize and personalize your iPhone. One of these is the option to change the setup of your lock screen. iOS 16 allows users to change the wallpaper, add widgets, change the font and color of the clock and date, and so much more. It’s a new and intuitive way to get the most out of your iPhone, and we’re a fan of the added options and creative ways it can be used.

Follow these steps to change your lock screen on iOS 16 and above:

  • Lock your device, then use Face ID to authenticate yourself to remove the lock.
  • Once the lock is removed, tap and hold anywhere on the lock screen to bring up the setups you may already have saved.
  • Swipe to the right and tap on the + icon to add a new setup.
  • You can select from one of the recommended setups, or use the top bar to add a new photo, people, shuffle, emoji, weather, astronomy, or color. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll select a Suggested Photo.
  • Once selected, you can swipe to apply different filters and tap on any widget to change or replace them. You can also tap on the top date or the time to replace the font, color, or information they display.
  • Once you’ve got the setup you like, you can tap Done.
  • You’ll be asked whether you want to save the setup as Wallpaper Pair, which applies the lock screen wallpaper to the home screen. Alternatively, you can further customize the Home screen wallpaper separately.

iPhone 13 in Black

Apple iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is the default smartphone from Apple for 2021. If you’re looking for an experience that remains fast and fluid over years to come and not lacking on any hardware front, this is the device to get.

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Best deals today: Dell’s G15 5520 Gaming Laptop, iPad Air, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and more

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Dell G15 5520 Gaming Laptop featured Source: Dell

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Dell G15 5520 Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 5520 Gaming Laptop Long Source: Dell

We start today’s best deals selection with the Dell G15 5520 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop, which now sells for $1,250 after scoring a $150 discount. This model comes with a FHD 120Hz refresh rate display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage space, NVIDIA RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 graphics, and Windows 11 on its Spector Green color option.

However, you can also get yours in Dark Shadow Grey with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6 graphics for $925, but you will only be able to save $75.

And suppose you want something way more affordable. In that case, you can also consider going for a new Lenovo Tab P11 Plus Tablet that is currently selling for $293 after receiving a $47 discount, representing 14 percent savings. This model has an 11-inch 2K display, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage space, and a MediaTek octa-core processor. And we also have great news for those looking for a new docking station for their laptops, as the Belkin Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro now sells for $337 after scoring a 16 percent discount.

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Dell G15 5520 Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 5520 Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 5520 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop features a large 15.6-inch FHD display with 120Hz refresh rates, tons of RAM, storage space, and more than enough power to run your favorite games.

iPad Air

2022 Apple iPad Air long Source: Apple

Next in our selection comes the 2022 version of the iPad Air that now sells for $559 after scoring a $40 discount on its Wi-Fi-only version with 64GB storage space. The latest iPad Air is getting this special deal on almost every one of its different color options. However, you may want to stay away from the Starlight version, as this is the only one selling for $569 after a $30 discount.

The iPad Air comes with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone, P3 wide color, an anti-reflective coating, Apple’s M1 processor, a 12MP Wide camera on the back, and a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage for those who love video calls.

You can also opt for the higher-end 11-inch iPad Pro model that now sells for $749 after picking up a $50 discount. This model also features an M1 processor, but you start with 128GB storage space, but only two different color options to choose from.

2022 Apple iPad Air Purple PBI

Apple iPad Air

Apple’s latest iPad Air comes with a 10.9-inch display, the potent M1 chip, new color options, support for the second-generation Apple Pencil, and other amazing features. It’s one of the best options in the market for those planning on upgrading their current iPad models.

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iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max After the Buzz

Now we head over to Woot.com, where you will find some interesting iPhone deals. We start with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which sells for as low as $800 in refurbished condition. This means that you will get a pre-owned device with a couple of scratches and maybe a ding here and there. But don’t worry, you get your hands on a new case, and your new iPhone will look like new.

You will also find some interesting deals on the previous generation iPhone 11 lineup that starts at $330, depending on the storage space you want. Now, I only suggest you remember to hurry, as these deals will only be available until July 23rd or until sold out.


iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is blazing fast and looks terrific, but it’s the camera hardware and tricks such as Dolby Vision HDR and Apple ProRAW that set it above others, as it’s still one Apple’s best devices on the market.

Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard

Razer Huntsman Elite Long Source: Razer

Savings have also made their way to the Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard and other great gaming keyboards. This model comes with a 40 percent discount, which means you can take one home for $120 after receiving an $80 discount. It also comes with clicky optical switches, which may appeal to those who love to write and feel every key they press.

However, if you’re more interested in gaming, you can check out the Razer Huntsman Mini 60% Gaming Keyboard, which comes with liner switches and a $90 price tag after receiving a 31 percent discount. And suppose you’re looking for more options with a similar price tag. In that case, you can also consider going for the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that sells for $100 after receiving a 23 percent discount.

Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard product box image

Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard

The Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard comes with Razer Optical switches that use light-based actuation, which are faster than legacy mechanical switches. You also get ultimate personalization and gaming immersion with Razer Chroma and other amazing features.

Kasa Smart Bulb

Kasa Smart Bulb Long Source: TP-Link

Finally, we have the Kasa Smart Bulb that now sells for $13 after receiving a massive 41 percent discount, representing $9 savings. This smart bulb comes with 850 lumens of full-color changing and dimmable possibilities, and the best part is that they’re compatible with Alexa and Google Home.

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You can also consider going for the Philips Hue Bluetooth Gradient Ambiance Smart Lightstrip 3ft extension that sells for $63 after a 10 percent discount, or get a set of Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels for $180 after you add the on-page coupon that will help you score $20 savings.

Kasa Smart Bulb

Kasa Smart Bulb

Set the mood with the Kasa Smart Bulb, which comes with a wide range of colors and dimming capabilities and other great features.

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