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What iOS 16 and Android13 Tell Us About the Future of Smartphones

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What iOS 16 and Android13 Tell Us About the Future of Smartphones

This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

What’s happening

iOS 16 and Android 13 both come with new features that aim to replace your physical wallet and improve connections with smart home gadgets and connected car interfaces.

Why it Matters

The updates highlight the shared vision of Apple and Google to make phones more indispensable in daily life.

Your iPhone or Android phone is about to become even more tightly woven into the nondigital aspects of your life. That’s one of the main takeaways from iOS 16 and Android 13, the latest mobile software updates from Apple and Google, coming later this year. Both tech giants are working together to make your phone an electronic wallet to store your legal ID. This will bring your phone closer than ever to your identity. They also work to improve how phones communicate with cars, smart homes and other everyday devices.

Both iOS 16 and Android 13 are filled with tweaks and new features, some of which are more important than digital wallets and speedier connections (like Apple’s Safety Check tool for protecting domestic abuse victims, and Google’s new privacy updates). The overlap between these operating systems highlights the phone’s evolving role in our daily lives. Based on Apple’s and Google’s latest announcements, what’s happening around your phone will be just as important as what’s happening on your phone.

The more closely our phones are connected to our daily necessities like wallets and credit cards, as well as home appliances and cars, the more difficult it will be to switch between Android and iPhone. This concept is not new. The industry has been moving in this direction for many years. But the changes in iOS 16 and Android 13 bring important refinements to Apple’s and Google’s respective approaches that will likely accelerate such efforts.

Read more: iOS 16’s Lock Screen Upgrades Make the iPhone More Like a Smartwatch

Replacing the physical wallet

screenshot from Google I/O May 2022 presentation

Google is adding digital driver’s licenses to Google Wallet.


Google screenshot by CNET

The digital wallet was a big focus during both Apple’s iOS 16 announcement and Google’s Android 13 preview. The most significant change coming to Apple Pay is a new option called Apple Pay Later, which splits the cost of a purchase into four equal installments over six weeks. With iOS 16, identification cards stored in Apple Wallet can also be used to verify your age within apps. Apple added digital ID support last year.

Google, meanwhile, detailed a major revamp to its Wallet app during its I/O conference last month that brings it up to speed with Apple. Google Wallet, which is similar to Apple Wallet, will store personal documents such as payment and transit cards, vaccination records and student IDs. Google also works with government agencies to provide digital ID support. Together, the updates by Apple and Google represent another step towards their common goal of making physical wallets obsolete. This shift will inevitably lead to us becoming more dependent on mobile devices.

Google reiterated this ambition just before detailing the new updates at Google I/O in May.

” “In truth, these days, there are only two things that I don’t leave behind: my phone, and my wallet,” Sameer Samuelat, Android and Google Play’s vice-president of product management said on stage. “So, the question is: can my phone replace mine wallet?” “

Corey Fugman was Apple’s senior director of Wallet and Apple Pay. He made similar comments during Monday’s WWDC keynote.

“With Apple Wallet we’re working hard to replace your physical wallet,” he stated.

People already embrace the idea of replacing credit cards with mobile payment apps. Usage of in-store mobile payment systems like Apple Pay is expected to surpass 50% of all smartphone users in the US by 2025, according to a 2021 report from eMarketer. Apple’s new Pay Later option, and Google’s renewed focus upon its mobile wallet could make it even more attractive to leave your wallet at home.

Read more: What WatchOS 9 May Reveal About the Next Apple Watch

Your phone, everywhere

Google Search Explorer

Google’s new visual search tool details products on a busy store shelf.


Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Replacing the wallet is only one way Apple and Google hope to make our phones more useful offline in everyday life. The companies also released camera-based smartphone apps that can make it easier to navigate real-world points. A second theme is the increasing interconnectivity of mobile devices with home appliances, cars, speakers and other household gadgets. Google and Apple believe that the camera will play an important role in our interaction with the world. In iOS 16, you’ll be able to translate text into different languages using a new camera option in Apple’s Translate app. During its WWDC keynote presentation, the company demonstrated how this could be used to translate an entire restaurant menu into a different language. By simply tapping text in a photograph, you can also track flight information and convert currency.

Google showed off an ambitious expansion of its Lens app called “scene explorer” at Google I/O, which essentially applies its search prowess to the real world. To find the perfect product, you would simply use your phone’s camera to scan a shelf of products. The app would then overlay ratings and information on the screen. Prabhakar Raghavan, Google search’s head, cited as an example the ability to buy nut-free snacks and scent-free lotion in a physical store.

Although the execution might be different, the concept is identical. Our phones are used to ordering food, taxis, and other household necessities with the touch of a button. Apple and Google now want their phones to be an integral part of completing those tasks in real life, and the camera will play a significant role.

Google has also developed their respective visions of turning our phone into an appliance hub. Google explained how Android 13 would make your phone better at connecting to other devices with support for fast pairing, automatic audio switching between devices, and the ability to more easily sync messages between your phone and computer. It also revealed a new split-screen interface for Android Auto that should make multitasking easier when you’re on the road.

Read more: A New Apple Watch SE Sounds More Exciting Than the Series 8. Here’s Why

apple-carplay-wwdc-2022-preview-screenshot-0010x30m31s666.png

Apple’s new iOS-inspired CarPlay interface.


Apple

Apple simplified the process of managing HomeKit devices with a redesigned home app for the iPhone. The car is perhaps the most important area Apple intends to expand the iPhone’s reach. The company teased a revamp of its CarPlay software that looks like an entire operating system for automobiles, complete with app icons, widgets and other user interface elements that are reminiscent of the iPhone and Apple Watch. The smart home and connected vehicle are not new concepts. Both have been integral parts of Apple’s and Google’s respective strategies over the years. But iOS 16 and Android 13 clarify how Apple’s and Google’s visions for these devices should communicate and interact. As the smartphone is now the central point of everything, from your credit card to your car and thermostat, Apple and Google have made their aesthetics more personal. When iOS 16 launches this fall, your iPhone will get a brand-new lock screen with support for Apple Watch-esque widgets and new photo effects for background images. Google’s Material You is expanding with premade color sets that are available across all operating systems.

There’s a lot more to iOS 16 and Android 13 than new wallet functionality, camera tools for scanning real-world objects and improved connectivity. These updates are not only a sign of how important the phone has become in our offline and online lives but also indicate where the industry is headed next.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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