Sonny, why are you like this?

Let’s get straight to the point: sony Makes a good phone. The hardware is always beautiful and the software has generally taken positive steps to become a perfectly usable skin over the latest builds of Android. The camera experience is top-notch, and overall, there isn’t much going on when it comes to Sony devices. So you may ask, what is the problem? I’m glad you asked.

Long-term issues with Sony are pricing and release schedules. All in all, charge what you think is fair, but at the end of the day, we know that there are generally better options available below the price of Sony phones. We can argue until the cows come home about the price, but Sony’s main problem is how they announce the phones and then release them.

The modus operandi for Sony is that they announce a phone in the spring, then we don’t hear from them for months. After enough time has passed and everyone has forgotten about Sony’s announcement (unless you’re a hardcore Sony follower), they release the phone through limited retail channels for a price that would turn off most potential buyers. Due to the lack of US carrier partners, paying full price is usually one of the only purchase options, which is too high for some or most.

Let’s take last year’s high-end Xperia 1 IV as an example. Fantastic phone, top of the line specs. The phone was initially announced and put up for pre-order in May 2022 for $1600. Not a typo. The phone wasn’t released until September. Sony, my friends, is that waaaay too long. In my mind, when a phone is announced, it better be available and potentially in my hands within 2-3 weeks or any interest dies. Because of the time between announcement and release, companies like Google are able to unveil and later release the Pixel lineup of phones, especially at much lower prices and packed with notable software features.

As I’ve said before, Sony makes a great phone and I’m sure it’s worth the high price to those who buy it, but let’s be real, there are plenty of other good options at better prices. Those two things, price and release schedule, don’t really help in recommending the phone to my family and friends. No one I know is dropping that kind of money on a smartphone. Sony’s least expensive option is the Xperia 5 III, from $999 2021, currently selling for $699. I’m sorry, but it seems crazy to me.

Sony, I need to have more options besides Google, Samsung and OnePlus. Please, try to tone it down a bit and don’t make me wait so long for your phone.

Apple released the first iOS 16.5 public beta

Apple released the first public versions of iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 betas today, days after releasing the same betas to the developer beta channel.

Those who have already signed up for the public beta are likely to see the new update available for download.

If not, you can open the Settings app, select General after Software Update and select which updates they want to download through the Beta Update options. Unlike previous betas, no profile is required and any Apple ID registered for the public beta will automatically be offered the beta.

Based on the initial developer reports one should not rush to download it. No major changes are seen at this time, although there are some changes. Apple News now has a new sports tab, while Siri can start screen recording for the first time.

Apple is unlikely to add any major new features in iOS 16 updates from here. The iOS 17 update will debut during the WWDC event in June, adding new features when released to the public in September.

That September release will coincide with the arrival of the iPhone 15 lineup and will come pre-installed on those new devices. While Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 9 during the same event, an updated Apple Watch Ultra is also a possibility.

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Android 13 QPR3 Beta 2 for Pixel phones is here

The first Android 13 QPR3 beta update is only two weeks old and we’re already seeing an update to replace it. Google has just released Android 13 QPR3 beta 2 for your Pixel phones.

This latest Android 13 QPR3 update is available for the same devices, Pixel 4a and 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, and Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. You can get it in factory image and OTA form or you can sit back and wait for Google to push it to your device momentarily.

What’s New in Android 13 QPR3 Beta 2?

Release Date: March 29, 2023
Build: T3B2.230316.003
Security patch level: March 2023
Google Play Services: 23.08.15

The only official change Google has listed involves adaptive charging. Google says the feature can now “automatically adjust to your charging needs using on-device signals.” It’s good to see this change confirmed after the internet noticed it earlier in the week.

Except for that one change, Google acknowledges that the bugs you encountered earlier are now fixed They took care of a volume panel flicker, a bug that caused the UI to get stuck in a blurry state, another bug in the notification shade, and a few more. You can see the full list here.

Install Android 13 QPR3 Beta 2

Below, we have links to factory images and OTA files for people to update the old school way, but you don’t have to go that route to update. You can always enroll in the Android Beta Program (here) and get the update over-the-air that way. Do this for those who would rather avoid a command prompt and the adb command. Google should start pushing the update through the Android beta program soon.

Get it later.

Android 13 QPR3 Beta 2 Download: Factory Image | OTA file

Apple Music Classical is now live for all Apple Music subscribers

After months of rumours, Apple Music has finally released the Classical app. The new app is now available for download on the App Store and music fans will need an Apple Music subscription to listen alongside.

Besides, there is no extra cost to listen to Apple Music Classical, so just download and listen.

Apple announced the new app in a press release, noting that the app has features and searches specifically optimized for classical music.

With Apple Music Classical, Apple Music subscribers can easily find any recording in the world’s largest classical music catalog with fully optimized search; Enjoy the highest audio quality available and experience many classical favorites in a whole new way with immersive spatial audio; Browse expertly curated playlists, insightful composer biographies and descriptions of thousands of works; And much more.

It is claimed that Apple Music gives classical listeners access to more than five million tracks, making it the largest classical music catalog in the world. We obviously can’t verify this, but it sounds like a lot of tracks.

While classical music was available through the standard Music app, this new one is specifically designed for classical music. This means that it understands the relationship between composers, their orchestras and different versions of a particular song. Users can even find music per period.

Apple Music subscribers can download the Apple Music Classical app now to get started.

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Verizon Pixel 6 update for March still missing (Updated: And it’s here!)

March’s rollout of the Google Pixel update wasn’t ideal. Like most Pixel updates, the big quarterly update didn’t come in the first week of the month. Then once Google confirmed the arrival of the next build, they dropped any details for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a. Another week passed and Google quietly updated its announcement post to include details on the Pixel 6 line-up, though there was no mention of when those devices would see the update.

We’re now another week after the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Prom and Pixel 6a build numbers were posted, and Verizon units have yet to see an update. In fact, Verizon’s well-maintained update pages for each device haven’t been updated to even suggest any March updates will be here soon. They’ve updated all the other still-supported Pixel pages, including the Pixel 7, to show that the March update is here. As for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a, all are still listed as only having the February update available.

  • up to date: I hate to take credit, but within 30 minutes of us releasing it, Verizon and Google pushed the update live. You should be able to grab it through the settings. You’re welcome, I think.

Google’s support forums are full of posts (like this one) from people wondering what’s going on No one has been able to get a clear answer and the customer service representatives don’t seem to know why there is a delay. The main theory for the delay at the moment still involves the Exynos modem vulnerabilities we reported here, with Google advising people to avoid VoLTE and WiFi calling until fixed.

Some have started updating manually with available factory images or OTA files, but not everyone wants to fire up their computer, learn the necessary handful of adb commands, and try not to screw anything up along the way. If you’re curious about that process, trust me when I say it’s not that hard. You shouldn’t be afraid to flash an OTA file, plus it won’t factory reset your phone if done correctly. We have instructions in this post.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what’s going on. Google generally does not respond to our requests for more information about update delays. We’re still waiting to hear back about that 3-month T-Mobile Pixel update delay.

If we learn more, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date. If you see the Pixel 6 update on your Verizon phone, be sure to let us know. And if we don’t hear anything in the next few days, feel free to assume that Verizon is skipping the March update and waiting for April, which should be here on Monday, April 3.

iOS 16.4 update can dim epilepsy-inducing flashing lights in videos

Apple recently released the first RC (Release Candidate) version of iOS 16.4 and people are now putting it through its paces. One of the things people noticed throughout the beta process was a new accessibility feature designed for people with epilepsy.

The new feature appears to dim flashing lights in videos in an effort to protect those who might be affected by such things.

Posted a screenshot showing the feature RedditApple’s description also indicates that its media player will display when parts of the video with flashing lights are coming up.

Video content showing repeated flashing or strobing lights will automatically fade out. The video timeline will be displayed when flashing lights occur in the timeline of supported media.

This is a big accessibility addition and one that can be very important for epileptics.

There is no hard indication when Apple will release iOS 16.4 to the public, but we expect it to be given the latest RC update soon. It’s possible that Apple will make iOS 16.4 available to the public before the end of March, but only time will tell. This may depend on whether any major issues are discovered as part of that RC release.

For those with iOS 16.4 installed, the new feature can be found under the Motions section of the Accessibility option in the Settings app.

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YouTube music shares your winter recap vibe

YouTube Music apparently compiles some sort of season to tell you how you’ve spent your past few months. From Fall to Winter, they seem to have released at least two, Winter 2023 being the most recent. For those who use Google’s music streaming service, take a look.

At the crew 9to5Google shared their experience today, opening with a big splash screen that told them “Your winter recap has arrived!” As someone who hasn’t used YouTube Music for more than 15 minutes every 6 months or so, I feel kind of left out. All Spotify gives me is an annual recap, not this seasonal fun.

As you can see below, the recap plays out like a story to give you a “look back at your winter music” with top artists, tracks, playlists, albums, etc. You’ll be able to save pages from it, play your total watch time, and try connecting it to Google Photos to “see your best songs matched with your favorite photos in your musical photo album.” Again it seems I’m missing out here.

YouTube Music Winter Compilation

If you haven’t seen it yet, feel free to open different screens with YouTube music and pull-to-refresh. Otherwise, it could be a slow rollout that a lucky group sees a little sooner. I looked, but again, I don’t use the app and probably don’t have anything that can be rebuilt.

Someone sold me Spotify on YouTube Music.

Google Play Link: youtube song

USB-C AirPods Pro Coming Soon, Ming-Chi Kuo Says

Apple is set to release new AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C connection before the end of the year, according to a report by a well-connected analyst.

Writing on Twitter, Ming-Chi Kuo said that a new USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2 will begin mass shipments in the second or third quarter of 2023.

It appears that the AirPods Pro 2 will be the same as the previous model, with the only change being that there will be no Lightning port. The only change is the move to USB-C.

Apple is sure to move the iPhone 15 lineup to USB-C when it arrives later this year, with the EU forcing all phones and accessories to use the same connector. That’s why Apple is about to launch a new USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, but there’s no suggestion that new AirPods 2 or AirPods 3 are on the horizon. There is no mention of AirPods Max either.

It was previously reported that Apple could ship the upgraded AirPods Max by 2024, while a cheaper version of the base model AirPods has a similar release timeframe. Both will use USB-C for obvious reasons.

The EU has given companies until December 28, 2024 to move to USB-C, so Apple could refresh AirPods and AirPods Max before that date.

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Get ready to report all your Verizon network issues

Verizon has undergone a major management shakeup in recent weeks as the company continues to struggle with aspects of its consumer business and as it tries to catch up to T-Mobile in 5G. A key role change has occurred at the top of Verizon’s network, and newly promoted executives are already talking about what’s next for wireless customers.

Joe Russo, who was promoted to EVP and president of global networks and technology for Verizon, participated in an “Inside Verizon” video Where he mentions a few changes that might come in handy when they roll out in the near future.

The first change could come as a tool within the My Verizon app that will let you report network issues. Verizon apparently already has this tool built in for reporting employees, but Russo is talking about reporting directly to you and me when we’re in a place that’s struggling.

For now, if you go to the My Verizon app, tap the bottom right menu and then “Feedback” there are only a few options. You can provide feedback either about the My Verizon app or about a store visit. Soon, you will be able to report a “Network Experience”.

Verizon thinks this can help them better understand issues they were already aware of or recognize new issues that require a deeper dive. If anything, given the amount of feedback I’m going to get around Portland, I might eventually be able to use a Verizon phone here without a 3G-level connection.

We don’t yet have a timeline for when this option might hit consumer phones.

My Verizon Network Experience

Another change Russo mentioned is being more proactive when network disruptions occur in your area. Until now, if Verizon was working to upgrade their network and you were affected, they didn’t proactively notify you of the impending outage. Going forward, they want to change that by notifying customers ahead of time if an upgrade is in the works or a cell site may go down.

Network transparency, I like it.

// Light reading

iOS 16.4 features Voice Isolation feature for regular phone calls

Apple’s iOS 16. Release Candidate update is now available for download and the company’s release notes indicate that a new feature is coming.

The feature, called voice isolation, is designed to make it easier for people to hear each other during cellular calls.

Voice isolation is already available for internet calling apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp and was added as part of the iOS 15 update. But now Apple is getting ready to enable it for cellular phone calls as well.

The feature promises to remove background noise to make it easier for callers to hear each other while improving the quality of audio picked up by the iPhone’s microphone. MacRumors notes that enabling the feature for FaceTime and other Internet-based calls is as simple as tapping a few things in Control Center.

In a ‘FaceTime’ call, voice isolation can be enabled by activating the Control Center, tapping on the Mic Mode option and choosing the Voice Isolation option, so the feature can be enabled in the same way for voice calls.

It’s still unclear when Apple plans to make iOS 16.4 available for download for everyone, but since we’ve already got the first release candidate update in the hands of developers, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to wait that long.

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