What’s new from Apple and Google

By | October 5, 2020

The last couple of weeks have seen various big announcements and launched from Apple and Google, so I thought I’d give you a few of the highlights…

iOS and iPadOS 14

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you might have a message asking you to update to the latest “operating system” – that’s iOS 14 on an iPhone and iPadOS 14 on an iPad.  Don’t worry if you haven’t had a message about it yet – Apple roll out the update gradually so not everyone gets it at once.

If you’ve got an older model, though, you might not be able to get this newest version.

So what’s different?

To be honest – not a great deal on the iPad.  The iPhone has changed a bit more, though.  You can now add little bits of live information called “widgets” to your home screen, and you can see all your apps sorted by type or in alphabetical order in the new “App Library”.

The other changes are all either minor tweaks or fiddling about behind the scenes that most of us mere mortals wouldn’t even notice!

The new “iPad Air”

Apple announced various bits and pieces last month (including a new version of the Apple watch and a minor upgrade to the standard iPad), but the new thing that stood out to me was the iPad Air 2020.  This is a new iPad that sits bang in the middle of the price range between a standard iPad and an iPad Pro.  While the Pro is designed for… well… pros… the Air is just a really good iPad.

So if you’re looking for a new tablet and you’ve got around £500 to spend, it might be worth a look.  If you’ve used an iPad before, though, it’s worth knowing that the new Air doesn’t have a home button, so you control it a bit differently.

Android 11 from Google

Google have just brought out a new version of Android, too – the “operating system” that runs most non-Apple smartphones and tablets.  You can only get it on Google’s own “Pixel” phones at the moment, but if you’ve got a top-end phone made by someone else, you might get an update soon.

Again, there aren’t any really big changes.  I think the best one is that they’ve brought in a “Notification History” option.  I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve swiped away a notification and then a minute or two later I’ve forgotten what it said!  On Android 11, you go back and look at notifications from the last 24 hours – which I think is a great feature.

A new version of the Chromecast

The Chromecast is a little gadget made by Google that plugs into the back of an ordinary TV to let you watch things over the internet.  There are loads of similar bits of kit around now, but Chromecast was one of the first.  Anyway, Google have just announced a new version that comes with a remote control to make it easier to use.  They’re a bit more expensive than they used to be (£59 now), but still an awful lot cheaper than a new “smart” TV!

So that’s a bit of a round-up of what’s new.  Not a great deal really, for all the song-and-dance they make of it every year, but that’s tech companies for you!

That’s all from me – hope you have a great week.

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