Apr 26, 2021

What can we expect from Apple’s new IOS 14.5 update?

Apple
software
apps
Tilly Kenyon
2 min
Apple’s IOS 14.5 will be released this week
Apple’s IOS 14.5 will be released this week and we take a look at some of the features which will be included in the new update...

Apple IOS 14.5 will be released this week, with the update offering more improvements and new features. 

Apple announced, during its Spring Loaded event, that this software upgrade will be launching over the coming days. This comes with the news of the launch of one of its new products, the possession-tracking Apple AirTags, which go on sale this Friday and actually need iOS 14.5 to work.

New features

Face ID has been a problem during the pandemic due to having to wear face coverings. A new feature will allow Apple Watch owners to unlock their iPhone with their watch. When Face ID spots a covering is on your face it instantly links to the Apple Watch, if that device is fully unlocked and on your wrist, the iPhone's screen will automatically spring into life.

iOS 14.5 is also expected to include a new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency. This will require apps to get your permission before sharing your activity and data with websites and apps owned by other companies.

The sharing of data is often used for adverts but with App Tracking Transparency you’ll be able to opt-out if you’d prefer, and Apple is insisting that users still have full access to apps even if they do opt-out of this.

Gamers will welcome the addition of support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers as part of the update. The Verge reports that this feature has been found in the public beta, and it should be a handy upgrade for anyone who owns one of these consoles, especially those who also make use of Apple Arcade.

Siri has been defaulting to a female voice (or a male one in certain countries), but with iOS 14.5, you'll be able to select which voice you want when first setting up your phone, with no default pre-selected. This change also includes more diverse voice options in English.

You will be able to recalibrate your phone's battery, so your phone can provide more accurate readings as to the remaining life. According to Techradar this feature only seems to be supported by the iPhone 11 range right now, but we'd expect it would make its way to other models too.

Apple began beta testing iOS 14.5 on 1 February 2021, so hopefully, it should be ready to go now. There are other tweaks and features that could be included (but not limited to) in the new update such as new emojis, crowd-source data on maps, and changes to the podcast app. 

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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