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Apple announces iOS 15 with new Messages, Photos, and Notifications features



Apple announces iOS 15 with new Messages, Photos, and Notifications features. Apple has begun its WorldWide Developers Conference for this year with a focus on the new version of its operating system for iPhones. iOS 15 now boasts of a number of new features across its apps and services.

As presented by Apple VP Craig Federighi, the iOS 15 carries upgrades to FaceTime, Focus, Messages, Photos and more. Here is the way these updates promise to elevate the user experience for iPhones.


Apple has set out to settle on FaceTime decisions seem more natural to its users. For this, the company announced the Spatial Audio feature for FaceTime. The feature will ensure that the sound from FaceTime calls is spread out to emulate where the speaker is with respect to the mic, giving a surround sound experience to the listener.

In addition, FaceTime now comes with Voice Isolation. The feature will assist give with outing voice from a person in a video call. It will do as such by reducing noise from the background and isolating the speaker’s voice, much like what is observed on voice calls.

In case users might want to include all voices and noise, they can switch to Wide Spectrum and every sound picked by the mic will be conveyed to the listener for what it’s worth.

For the app, there is also another Grid View that will show every attendee in a large size tile format to monitor who is saying what. Apple has also introduced Portrait Mode on FaceTime to make attendees stand out from their background in a video call.

FaceTime will now also allow users to share joins, much like connections for Zoom meetings. Apple says that these connections will work on any platform.

A big update for FaceTime is the new SharePlay that will allow shared experiences on a FaceTime call. Users can now listen to music, watch movies and videos, or share their screen on FaceTime with their friends. The apps will be opened within FaceTime, while the FaceTime controls will appear in a tab-like format on the top. Apple says that it is working with Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, nBA and other content providers for increasing support to this feature.


Messages will now show multiple photos shared in a chat in another collage design. In addition, Apple has introduced Shared Stacks to it, which will bring over content shared with the user from Messages, to their News app and Photos app for show.

This implies Shared Stacks will show shared articles in the News section, Safari, Apple News and other platforms.


Apple has enhanced the operations of Focus to give a more personalized experience to the user according to their schedule. For instance, another Notification Summary will use on device intelligence depending on user patterns to summarize notifications that can be delivered collectively at a set time.

This is coupled with new statuses for Focus, which means you can decide to see notifications from certain apps at a particular time of the day, making your phone functions more explicit to routines like workouts, office or your personal time. These changes will take effect across the home screen, notification preferences, across devices.

In addition, Do Not Disturb will now let others know your status through the Messages app. It will even let them bypass the DND and ping you in case of an important interaction.


iOS 15 introduces Live Text to Photos, that will now let users pick out text seen in images, which can further be copied and used as text in other apps. Photos will now also appear in Spotlight search, in any event, letting users search for text within these images.

Photos Memories has also been upgraded to create on-tap videos using music from Apple Music. While vieweing, users can tap and hold these recollections for pausing photos, while the music continues to play. Music can also be selected personally by the users.


China’s Shenzhou-12 with three astronauts blasts into space



China’s Shenzhou-12 with three astronauts blasts into space. China has effectively launched the Shenzhou-12 – its first manned mission in five years – further accelerating its space program to rival the United States.

Shenzhou-12, signifying “Divine Vessel”, lifted off at about 01:22 GMT on Thursday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, according to the live video broadcast on state television, CCTV.

The launch was carried with a Long March-2F carrier rocket.

The spacecraft carried three male astronauts – Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo.

In the CCTV live video, two of the three astronauts made an “Alright” hand gesture as Shenzhou crossed the Earth’s atmosphere and following the critical separation of the four boosters.

“The flight was perfectly smooth,” Chen Shanguang, deputy director of China’s manned space program, was quoted by news reports as saying.

“This is the first step. There are many challenges ahead.”

After entering orbit, the spaceship will conduct a fast automated “rendezvous and mooring with the in-orbit space station core module Tianhe”, according to CCTV.

The astronauts will be stationed in the core module and remain in orbit for three months.

Significant space power by 2030

State-owned Global Times publication quoted Gao Xu, deputy director designer of the Shenzhou-12, as saying that the development of the manned spacecraft followed “the highest standards in the country’s space industry.”

The Shenzhou-12 is made up of three sections – an orbiter module, a return module and a propelling module, and has 14 sub-systems onboard.

In the Global Times interview, Gao referred to the spacecraft as a “vessel of life”, as it won’t only ship the three astronauts to the orbiting Tianhe core module, but is also expected to carry them home to Earth in approximately 90 days.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Jonti Horner, a space expert from Australia’s University of Southern Queensland, said that the advances being made by China’s program is “incredible”.

“I think China has, in the last 12 months, really put itself front and center in space exploration,” he said, noting how Beijing is fruitful in its first attempt to send a manned aircraft to space, while noting that the country has also sent its first mission in Mars in recent weeks.

China began construction of the space station this year with the launch of Tianhe – the first and largest of the station’s three modules – in late April.

Nie, who comes from central Hubei province and is a former air force pilot, is the lead of the mission.

The Shenzhou-12 is Nie’s third space outing, after the Shenzhou-6 mission in 2005 and the Shenzhou-10 mission in 2013, according to the Xinhua news agency.

It is Liu’s second mission to space, his first being the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, which featured a landmark spacewalk. It is Tang’s first excursion into space.

China’s last crewed flight mission was in 2016 when two men – Chen Dong and Jing Haipeng – were sent by means of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft to Tiangong-2, a prototype of the space station where they later stayed for about a month.

Beijing’s point is for the country to become a significant spacefaring power by 2030, turning space into the newest frontier of its rivalry with the United States.

In May, China became the second country to put a rover on Mars, two years after landing the first spacecraft on the far side of the moon.

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Are we alone? Citizen scientists discover two planets orbiting Sun-like star



One of the biggest questions in astronomy has been: Are we alone? While planet hunters continue to search for habitable zones in the system, another discovery is creating a buzz in the scientific community. Citizen scientists, part of the Planet Hunters TESS project, have discovered two exoplanets orbiting a Sun-like star.

The new discovery published in Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society lists over twelve citizen scientists, who participated in the project led by Nasa.

The star dubbed as HD 152843 is about 352 light-years away from Earth and is about a similar mass as the Sun, but about 1.5 times bigger and brighter. Orbiting this massive star are two exotic worlds and, whenever compared to our Sun, they exist in the orbit of Mercury.

Planet b is 3.4 times bigger than Earth but like the size of Neptune and orbits the star in 12 days. In the mean time, Planet c is at a farther distance and 5.8 times bigger than Earth, orbiting HD 152843 in about 19-35 days.

In the interim, to confirm the presence of two planets and the accuracy of the data, scientists used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher for the Northern hemisphere (HARPS-N) telescope in Spain and the Extreme Precision Spectrometer at Lowell Observatory.

“We’re taking baby steps towards the direction of discovering an Earth-like planet and studying its atmosphere and continue to push the boundaries of what we can see,” lead author of the paper, Nora Eisner, a doctoral student in astrophysics at the University of Oxford said. She added that studying them together is interesting to constrain theories of how planets both form and advance over time.

Also Read: Greenhouse emissions contracting stratosphere: Ozone layer at risk as study predicts further decline

Scientists are continuing observations to confirm the mass of these two planets and are hopeful that once the James Webb Telescope, liable to be launched later this year, begins operation they will actually want to peer deep and take a gander at what sorts of particles make up the atmosphere in this system.

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Social media account of China’s Xiaohongshu goes dark after Tiananmen commemoration post



Social media account of China’s Xiaohongshu goes dark after Tiananmen commemoration post. A social media account for popular Chinese web based business site Xiaohongshu, or “Little Red Book,” was unavailable on Sunday, after it issued a post on Friday, the commemoration of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square, a highly sensitive date in China.

The Friday post on its account on China’s Twitter-like Weibo said, “Tell me loud: what’s the date today?”, according to a screenshot seen by Reuters. That post was quickly deleted by Xiaohongshu, according to a person acquainted with the matter, who declined to be named given its sensitivity.

A Weibo search for Xiaohongshu’s official account yielded no results on Sunday, although its own app appeared to be functioning normally. Some online searches said the account was unavailable “because of complaints of violations of laws and regulations and the relevant provisions of the Weibo Community Convention”.

The company, backed by Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on Sunday.

The Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday, and Sina Weibo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, The Information reported that the site was considering a U.S. initial public offering.

Xiaohongshu’s Weibo account frequently suggests conversation starters as part of its regular user engagement.

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