How to Stop WhatsApp from Downloading and Saving Photos, Videos Automatically on Android, iPhone

WhatsApp is used by over a 1.2 billion people worldwide, and 200 million in India alone. In fact, it is probably one of the first apps anyone in India downloads when they get a new smartphone as it has become the default means of texting in the country. However, it can become an annoyance too when it downloads all the media files automatically, from pictures to videos to, more recently, GIFs, not to mention audio files and videos. These not only clutter your phone’s gallery and music player, but also eat up a lot of storage and data. Here’s how you can stop WhatsApp from automatically saving photos and audio on your phone.

How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving of Pictures, Videos and Other Media on Whatsapp for Android

WhatsApp for Android has a switch that lets you stop images and videos from downloading. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open WhatsApp, make sure you are seeing the main window – where all your chats are displayed. Tap the three vertical dots on the top right > Settings.
  2. Now tap Chat settings > Media auto-download. You’ll see three options: When using cellular data, When connected on Wi-Fi and When roaming. Tap each one and disable auto-downloads by unchecking all three options – Images, Audio and Video.

To view photos, you will have to download them. When you do, WhatsApp saves them in a folder, and you can get inundated with stupid memes and other unwanted content, which is visible to anyone who open’s your phone’s Gallery App. However, it is possible to stop these photos from appearing in the Gallery app. Here’s how:

How to Stop WhatsApp from Downloading and Saving Photos, Videos Automatically on Android, iPhone

  1. Download Quickpic and open the app.
  2. Navigate to the WhatsApp media folders. The location of the WhatsApp folder varies across devices but it should typically be the following: Internal Storage (sometimes labelled sdcard0) > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Images, > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Audio, and WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Videos.
  3. Long-press the WhatsApp Images folder and make sure that it is selected. Do the same with the WhatsApp Video and WhatsApp Audio folders.
  4. After selecting the three folders, tap the three dots icon on the top-right > Hide. This will ensure that the Gallery app doesn’t show them. You can still view these images and videos within WhatsApp and through any apps that let you view hidden folders. But if you pass your phone to someone, you no longer need worry about them seeing the WhatsApp photos and videos through the Gallery app.

How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving of Pictures, Videos and other Media on Whatsapp for Android

How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving of Pictures, Videos and Other Media on WhatsApp for iPhone

You can turn off media auto-download on iPhone too via the Settings menu.

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap the Settings button at the bottom-right, and tap on Data and Storage Usage
  2. In this menu, you will see the Media Auto-Download option on top
  3. For Photos, Audio, Videos, and Documents, select the Never option

Now only the files you choose to download manually will appear on your phone, and you can even choose to stop the photos and videos from appearing the phone’s Camera Roll. All you need to do is to go to Chats in the Settings menu, open the Save to Camera Roll menu, and turn it to off. This stops the pictures people are sending from showing up in the camera roll, and taking over your synced Photo Stream.

WhatsApp how to stop auto download saving photos videos GIFs WhatsApp how to stop auto download saving photos videos GIFs

How to Block a Contact on WhatsApp

Not saving images automatically has its advantages, but it also means that you will have to download each photo manually. If you end up downloading each and every image anyway, then it’s probably best to leave this feature active. Let us know if this tutorial helped you via the comments. For more such useful articles, visit our How to section.

Apple to Reportedly Use Micro-LED in 2017's Apple Watch 3 and Later iPhone Models

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has been working with LuxVue to develop new micro-LED screens
  • Apple was granted patents related to LuxVue and micro-LED
  • The company is also looking to invest in Toshiba’s chip business

Apple’s plans to replace OLED with micro-LED in 2017 Apple Watch 3 and iPhones has raised concerns in Samsung as Apple’s expected use of Samsung OLED screens for a new iPhone model this year may only be temporary.

“Apple has been working with LuxVue (which it acquired in 2014) to develop new micro-LED screen production in the two years since the technology began gaining public attention in the 2015,” Apple Indiser reported on Wednesday, citing a Business Korea report.

Apple was granted patents related to LuxVue and micro-LED, that also explains the inclusion of sensing Infrared diodes with the ability to read fingerprints on the surface of the display.

In addition to the loss of a billion dollars worth of OLED screens, Samsung and LG are also increasingly concerned that Apple will start sourcing its RAM and cameras elsewhere, too, the report noted.

Aiming to secure a stable supply of memory chips for its iPhones, Apple may invest billions of dollars to obtain a substantial stake in struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba’s chip business, ending nearly two decades of being among Samsung’s largest RAM customers.

Apple to Reportedly Use Micro-LED in 2017's Apple Watch 3 and Later iPhone Models

Apple executives are also considering joining hands with chip manufacturer Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision, for taking a big stake in Toshiba’s semiconductor business.

Early this year, Foxconn announced that it is teaming up with Apple to set up a display-panel manufacturing facility in the US at an investment of $7 billion.

The facility could create between 30,000 and 50,000 new jobs and could include the production of TV screens in addition to smartphone displays.

Foxconn has most of its factories in China where it assembles Apple’s iPhones.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 India Launch Date, Flipkart's iPhone Deals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Redmi Note 5 leaked even before Redmi Note 4 launches in India
  • MumbaiWiFi offers 500 hotspots for unlimited free use till end of January
  • Yahoo to be renamed to Altaba after Verizon acquisition

Monday was the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone and Apple’s VP of World Wide Marketing Phil Schiller gave an interview where he talked about the glorious last 10 years for the company. Today, we’re back to the average day in consumer technology – which like most days, is full of launches, announcements, and other breaking news. Here are your top stories for the day.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 India Launch Date, Flipkart's iPhone Deals, and More: Your 360 Daily

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 leaked, before the Redmi Note 4 India launch
The Redmi Note 4 has been out since August 2016, and on Tuesday it got a date of arrival in India, but rumours of a Redmi Note 5 have already begun surfacing on the Internet. A phone by that name has apparently passed the US FCC certification and could come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, Quick Charge 3.0, and MIUI 9 based on Android 7.0 Nougat.

Samsung Gear S3 models launched in India
Electronics giant Samsung at an event in New Delhi launched a successor to Gear series of smartwatches – the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier. The new watches run on the company’s homemade Tizen OS, with 4G connectivity on the Frontier for an untethered experience. Read more about the rest of the features and pricing in our launch story.

Razer is offering $25,000 for information on stolen laptop
You may have read about Razer’s Project Valerie, a laptop with three screens that was shown during CES 2017. Apparently, two of the three demo units were stolen. The company is working with law enforcement authorities to get to the bottom of the crime, and will offer $25,000 to those who can offer credible information regarding the theft.

Mumbai: 500 public Wi-Fi hotspots, toilet finder app launched
In what will be India’s biggest public Wi-Fi network, phase 1 of MumbaiWiFi was launched that enables 500 hotspots across the city. On May 1st, another 700 hotspots are said to be added to the initial offering. The offering is said to be free for an unlimited amount of data till the end of January. In related news, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will finalise its views on public WiFi networks in the next 20-25 days, with focus on low-cost WiFi networks that cost 10 percent of today’s data costs.

In another tech news related to Mumbai, the local authorities have launched an Android app that helps people find pay-and-use toilets in the city. Over 800 public restrooms have been tagged, and more will follow.

Flipkart offers discounts on Apple products
Dubbed ‘Apple Fest’, ecommerce platform Flipkart is offering a flat Rs. 5,000 discount on products like the iPhone 7 among others. Also on offer is an additional Rs. 3,000 if you exchange an old phone, for which you may fetch up to Rs. 23,000. Finally, there are interest-free EMIs on select credit cards as well. Check out offer details on all products here.

In other news, Flipkart promoted its top-tier person Kalyan Krishnamurthy to the company CEO position, and elevate current CEO Binny Bansal as the CEO of Flipkart Group organisation.

Housing and PropTiger to merge
Real-estate catalogue companies PropTiger and Housing are merging and are raising $55 million dollars in fresh investment in the joint entity. Dhruv Agarwala, CEO of PropTiger, will take over the numero uno position in this JV, while Housing CEO Jason Kothari will move to other opportunities. Housing’s estimated valuation was pegged at $70-75 million (roughly Rs. 476-510 crores), which is a downfall from the $120 million it had raised during its peak.

ZTE to cut 3,000 jobs
ZTE, the China based telecom multinational, is said to be cutting 3,000 jobs as its handset business struggles in its home market. The job cuts attribute to 5 percent of its 60,000 workforce. ZTE is the fourth-largest vendor of of smartphones in the United States, with a 10 percent market share. Its CEO had said that the company had “encountered its biggest crisis in its 31 year history” a few days ago at a New Year speech to the staff.

Yahoo to be renamed to ‘Altaba’, Marissa Mayer to leave board
After its sale to Verizon, the iconic name of the internet company ‘Yahoo’ is being changed to Altaba. The company also confirmed that CEO Marissa Mayer will quit the company’s board after the acquisition is complete. Yahoo co-founder David Filo will also be resigning from the board. Mayer is said to continue working for the new company.

iPhone 8 Price, HTC 10 evo Launch, YouTube Go Comes to India, and More: Your 360 Daily Rohan Naravane, 09 February 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It doesn’t seem like the sell-kidney-for-iPhone jokes are going to stop
  • YouTube Go is a dedicated app for watching and sharing videos offline
  • SoftBank loses $300 million in India after investing in Ola, Snapdeal

The world has already had enough of the selling-kidney-to-buy-iPhone jokes, but unfortunately those may not stop, as the high-end variant of the iPhone 8 is said to cost $1,000 (roughly Rs. 68,000) in the US. If true, after all the taxes and duties added, this iPhone SKU might end up costing upwards of Rs. 80,000 in India. One of the reasons cited for the price bump is a switch to OLED displays instead of LCD. Fortunately, this is said to be the pricing of the highest-end model in the lineup, with a cheaper ‘iPhone 7s’ and ‘iPhone 7s Plus’ starting out at the usual $649.

Let’s move on to the remaining top stories of the day.

iPhone 8 Price, HTC 10 evo Launch, YouTube Go Comes to India, and More: Your 360 Daily

1) HTC 10 evo launched in India at Rs. 48,990
The HTC 10 evo is available for sale in the country at a price tag of Rs. 48,990. It’s got a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, water-resistance and comes with Android 7.0 Nougat. What sticks sorely for this otherwise interesting high-end device is the use of the Snapdragon 810 chip from 2015, which was known for notorious heating issues in phones like the Xperia Z3+. We wonder at the response HTC will receive for the product.

2) YouTube Go launched in India for shareable, offline videos
A common sight when using public transport today in India is of people watching videos on their smartphones. To push YouTube adoption without paying for mobile data, the YouTube Go app is a standalone app from Google that lets you download videos and watch them offline later. It also has a convenient ‘send’ and ‘receive’ feature, that allows for transferring downloaded videos to other YouTube Go users locally, without using mobile data.

 

3) Android Wear 2.0 launched with two new LG smartwatches
After a delay of several months, the next major update to Android Wear – dubbed Android Wear 2.0 – is out. Two new watches from LG, namely the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport, run this new operating system, while other compatible watches will get the update eventually. Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to the wrist, along with other features like the ability to install apps directly on the watch, Android Pay integration, keyboard input, etc. Those LG watches mentioned above are priced at $249 (roughly Rs. 17,000) and $349 (roughly Rs. 24,000) respectively.

4) 170 days after its release, Android Nougat only runs on 1 percent of all Android devices
This should come as no surprise, considering there are many stakeholders in the Android update process. Android 7.0 Nougat, the most recent version of Android, despite being launched almost half a year ago, only runs on 1 percent of active Android devices. Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was out in 2014, is still the most used Android version to date.

5) SoftBank loses $350 million on India investments like Ola, Snapdeal
Japanese company Softbank has reported an investment loss of $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,345 crores) on its investments in India, which include cab-hailing service Ola and e-commerce platform Snapdeal. The Japanese firm has so far invested close to $2 billion in India and earlier this year it stated that it is looking to scale up investments to $10 billion in next 5-10 years.

6) 5G is official now, has its own logo
The 3GPP cellular standards group has officially christened the next generation of wireless communication technology as 5G. The logo has a familiar design as the official 4G logo that came before it. The final specifications of 5G are said to complete by 2018, with the next phase being completed by 2020.

7) Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon argue GST’s tax collection at source provision
At a press conference organised by FICCI on Thursday, the heads of Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal all found common cause as they expressed their worries about the TCS (Tax Collection at Source) provision of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Under this provision, online marketplaces are responsible for collecting – and paying – taxes on behalf of their sellers. This is something that all three companies, the major players in the e-commerce space in India, are against, as they argue it will hamper the growth of e-commerce.

8) Idea Money Adopts USSD-based digital payments
Idea Cellular today said it has enabled USSD-based platform for shopkeepers and customers to conduct digital transactions using Idea Money service. USSD is mobile short code that enables financial and banking transactions even on feature phones.

Consumer Reports smartphone rankings puts the Galaxy S8+ at the top of the table – and the iPhone 7 plus can only manage FIFTH

In the battle of the smartphones, Samsung reigns supreme.

Consumer Reports has released its smartphone ratings analysis, which had found Galaxy S8+ is the best handset on the market, followed shortly after by its smaller counterpart, the Galaxy S8.

The report cited the devices’ ‘stunning camera, long battery life, and gorgeous display’ as what brought them to the top and beating its rival Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, which placed fifth.

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Consumer Reports has released its smartphone ratings analysis, which had found Galaxy S8+ (left) best handset on the market, followed shortly after by its smaller counterpart, the Galaxy S8 (right)

Consumer Reports has released its smartphone ratings analysis, which had found Galaxy S8+ (left) best handset on the market, followed shortly after by its smaller counterpart, the Galaxy S8 (right)

TOP 5 SMARTPHONES

1. Samsung Galaxy S8+

2. Samsung Galaxy S8

3. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

4.  LG G6

5. iPhone 7 Plus

The findings from Consumer Reports shows the Samsung Galaxy S8+ ranked as the top smartphone, closely followed by the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7 Edge and LG G6.

Samsung had released its long-awaited Galaxy S8 family a few months following its unforgettable Note 7 fiasco – hoping the smartphones would repair its tarnished name.

And it seems that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were in fact the South Korean firm’s saving grace, as the release from Consumer Reports deemed them ‘top dog’ in the industry.

‘If you want a stunning camera, long battery life, and gorgeous display in a water-resistant package, one of these could be the right phone for you,’ Jerry Beilinson withConsumer Reports shared.

‘You just have to be willing to spend the rent money on it: The S8+ starts at about $840, and the S8 at around $720.’

Although it may be hard for some users to believe Samsung was able to take the top spot, Beilinson has attributed the victory to the smartphone’s overhauled design.

The Galaxy S8 duo are without bezels on the side – the each have thin ones located at the top and bottom.

The Consumer Reports Lab had conducted an analysis on the batteries and found the Galaxy S8+ hit 26 hours, and the S8 (pictured) reached 23 hours of talk-time. The team also deemed the smartphones to have the best cameras

The Consumer Reports Lab had conducted an analysis on the batteries and found the Galaxy S8+ hit 26 hours, and the S8 (pictured) reached 23 hours of talk-time. The team also deemed the smartphones to have the best cameras

And although Samsung has been able to create a minimalist look, it is believed to still support a modern and elegant feel.

Another important addition was increasing the size of the screen, but keeping sticking with the same-size device as previous models.

The S8 and S8+ were also designed to be taller and narrower when held in portrait than previous variants – allowing for an easier hold when snapping a selfie.

While typical smartphones have an aspect ratio of 16:9, the new Samsung handsets have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9.

 

iPhone 8 Render Leak Tips Rear Fingerprint Scanner, Bezel-Less Display

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8 fresh render suggests rear Touch ID sensor
  • This refutes previous rumours that suggest display embedded Touch ID
  • Benjamin Geskin claims that this render is fake

Fresh iPhone 8 renders coming out of China seem to thicken the mystery surrounding the implementation of Touch ID on the smartphone further. The one rumour that has been on the see-saw for long has been the integration of the fingerprint sensor underneath the display or at the back of the smartphone. Now, a fresh leak, seems to refute other reports to claim that the Touch ID will be integrated at the back.

iPhoneros.com has leaked renders of an iPhone 8 prototype fully assembled, sporting a fingerprint scanner at the back, right beneath the Apple logo. The prototype also shows the vertical dual camera setup at the back, and the almost bezel-less front display as well. The flash also does not reside between the two sensors at the back, but is situated outside of the vertical camera ring completely, beneath the two sensors.

iPhone 8 Render Leak Tips Rear Fingerprint Scanner, Bezel-Less Display

Tipster Benjamin Geskin seems to suggest that this is a fake iPhone 8 render, and reiterates that the iPhone 8 will have Touch ID embedded under the display only. He has been leaking iPhone 8 information regularly, and in his latest tweet, he suggests that some case makers have got a whiff of what the iPhone 8 final design will look like, and they have already begun mass production of cases and covers for the phone. He also claims that the back of the iPhone 8 will be a unique alloy of glass and metal.

The iPhone 8 is also tipped to sport an OLED display panel, wireless charging feature, some form of AR features, and a 3D front camera. It is expected to be more waterproof and dustproof than before, and will be powered by the Apple A11 SoC.

iPhone 8 Dimensions, Renders Leaked; LG Reportedly Eyeing OLED Display Orders Next Year

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8 dimensions tipped at 143.59×70.94×7.57mm
  • Renders tip an edge-to-edge display
  • It is expected to be thicker than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 8 rumours have been numerous in the recent past, and today’s leak brings more information on the dimensions of the iPhone 8. Renders have also been leaked alongside, and the iPhone 8 is seen being compared to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Samsung Galaxy S8+. Furthermore, LG is reportedly eyeing OLED display orders from Apple next year, and has made a large amount of investment to ramp up its OLED smartphone display production.

First up, iDrop News cites anonymous “factory workers with intimate knowledge” to report that the iPhone 8 will measure at 143.59×70.94×7.57mm. This makes the iPhone 8 wider and larger than the iPhone 7, but smaller when compared to the iPhone 7 Plus. To recall, the iPhone 7 dimensions are at 138.3×67.1×7.1 mm and the iPhone 7 Plus measures at 158.2×77.9×7.3 mm. Looking at the dimensions, the iPhone 8 is also thicker than both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

iPhone 8 Dimensions, Renders Leaked; LG Reportedly Eyeing OLED Display Orders Next Year

The report is unclear about the weight, but it is anticipated to be more than the iPhone 7 but less than the iPhone 7 Plus. The report has also leaked renders of the smartphone, based on the information it received. The iPhone 8 is seen sporting an edge-to-edge display in the front with no Home Button in the front as well. There is a small lip at the top edge of the smartphone for integrating the front camera and sensors. At the back, there is a vertical dual camera setup with the Apple logo, but no sign of a fingerprint scanner. This further cements rumours of a fingerprint scanner embedded underneath the display.

Furthermore, the iPhone 8 is also pegged against the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+. To recall, the Galaxy S8 measures 148.9×68.1×8.0 mm, while the Galaxy S8+ comes in at 159.5×73.4×8.1 mm. If the rumoured dimensions are true, the iPhone 8 will be slimmer.

A separate report from ET News claims that LG is investing huge amounts of money to become Apple’s second supplier of OLED displays next year. This year, Samsung has reportedly bagged the exclusive deal for the iPhone 8’s OLED displays, but LG is reported to be ramping up its production facilities for OLED smartphone displays, and is switching from its previous focus on TVs.

“LG Display is planning to invest about $3.56 billion (KRW 4 trillion) into P10, which is its new factory in Paju, and construct production lines for 6th generation flexible OLEDs in 2018. Although it was planning to make investments mostly on large OLEDs for TVs initially, it is currently thinking about making investments on OLEDs for Smartphones first. It seems that LG Display is planning to secure its position as the second supplier for Apple iPhone by quickly increasing its production capability of OLED for Smartphone, the report said.

LG also believes that Chinese OEMs will follow Apple’s footsteps to integrate OLED displays, so if it doesn’t bag an order from Apple, it does have other options to partake from.

Flipkart iPhone 6 Offer: 16GB Model Available at Just Rs. 21,999 in Father's Day Promotion

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The offer will last till June 10
  • Flipkart has also listed No Cost EMI options for SBI card holders
  • There’s an exchange offer of up to Rs. 15,000 listed as well

Flipkart is offering the iPhone 6 with 16GB storage at Rs. 21,990 as part of its Father’s Day promotion, as it had teased previously. The offer starts Thursday, June 8 and lasts till June 10; Father’s Day is on June 18. Notably, the Flipkart iPhone 6 16GB offer is available only for the Space Grey model, and not the Gold and Silver ones. The price drop is accompanied by smartphone exchange offer of up to Rs. 15,000. The e-commerce company is also offering a No Cost EMI option for SBI card holders, and a 5 percent off on Axis Bank Buzz credit cards as well.

Interestingly, the iPhone SE 32GB model is also available at Rs. 21,990 on Flipkart. This variant has double the storage, was launched last year (iPhone 6 was launched in 2014), and has a faster processor than iPhone 6. On the other hand, iPhone SE sports a relatively smaller 4-inch display compared to the 4.7-inch screen of iPhone 6. It is also available with exchange discount of up to Rs. 15,000.

Flipkart iPhone 6 Offer: 16GB Model Available at Just Rs. 21,999 in Father's Day Promotion

Another iPhone model you can consider besides the special price iPhone 6 16GB and iPhone SE 32GB is the 32GB iPhone 6 in Space Grey colour, which is available on Flipkart at Rs. 25,999 with exchange discount of up to Rs. 15,000. Notably, the listing pages for both iPhone 6 32GB and iPhone SE mention “Special Discount Ending Soon,” so these prices may not last long.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch (750×1334 pixel) screen, and is 6.9mm thick. The phone has high-speed Wi-Fi 802.11ac support and support the TD 2300 LTE band used in India. iPhone 6 has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera, with improved sensors when compared with the iPhone 5s. The phones feature the new Apple A8 processor and a motion co-processor labelled M8. Apple promises that both devices will provide better battery life than the iPhone 5s.

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Rs. 25,999
Buy
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  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Thin, light, easy to handle
  • Excellent camera
  • Superb performance
  • Reasonably good battery life
  • Bad
  • Limited storage
BUY AT
  • Apple iPhone 6 (Space Grey, 32GB ) –
    Rs. 25,999
  • Apple iPhone 6 (Space Grey, 32 GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 25,999
  • Apple iPhone 6 (Space Grey, 32GB)
    Rs. 27,299

iOS 11 Said to Get New Volume Indicator, Drag and Drop for iPhone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The new volume indicator sits on the top right edge of the screen
  • It doesn’t take up the centre of the screen like it does now
  • The drag and drop feature works within apps only
 iOS 11 Said to Get New Volume Indicator, Drag and Drop for iPhone

iOS 11 has brought along a host of new features, some targeted to solely elevate iPad experience, and some focused on improving both – the iPhone and iPad. This includes a new feature called Offload Unused Apps that deletes dormant apps from the phone without losing data on it, Maps improvements like lane guidance, Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, and even speed limit indications. Now, developer preview testers are highlighting new features that they have stumbled upon while using unstable iOS 11. Two big changes noted were the change in the volume indicator which no longer takes the centre space on your iPhone screen, and a drag and drop feature that works within iPhone apps.

Twitter user Devon T has revealed that iOS 11 has a new volume indicator that no longer obstructs the centre of the screen, as it does now. Instead, it sits in the top right corner in a non-invasive sleek manner. This has been a much needed feature by many, as the volume indicator often jarred the experience of a user, especially while watching videos.

ios11 main iOS 11

Furthermore, another user named Dave Schukin revealed that the drag and drop feature for iPhone is coming with iOS 11. He’s also shared a small video on how it works on the iPhone, and it seems that the feature works within apps only, and there’s no ‘spring loading’ as seen on macOS. In any case, this will particularly be useful to organise things in the new Files folder as well.

However, it is worth mentioning that there are tonnes of features tested in beta that don’t always make it to the stable version. Although these are both exciting features to look forward to, we recommend you to not hold your breath.

Google Assistant for iPhone Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Assistant works on iOS 9.1 or later
  • It’s only available for now via App Store in the US
  • Siri has a few homegrown advantages

Google Assistant now lives on the iPhone. Its purpose lies in its name: to help you with your day-to-day life, be it set reminders, play music, fire off emails, give you directions, and tell you random facts, among other things. If you’re thinking that’s what Siri is for, you’re right. Except Google’s offering can actually hold a conversation.

Ask Siri and the Assistant the capital of Uruguay, and they’ll both give you the same response. (It’s Montevideo, if you were curious.) But when you ask a follow-up question, say “What’s the weather like?”, Siri gives you the weather at your current location. It has already forgotten the query that came before. Google Assistant, on the other hand, can handle context, which allows it to give you the weather for Montevideo, and not where you are. You can then move the conversation forward, querying the best time to visit, or the places you should see.

Google Assistant for iPhone Review

That’s one of the things that makes the Assistant slightly unique. The other is the way you communicate; you can chat with Google’s digital assistant by either talking or typing, the latter of which Siri doesn’t do. It’s probably worth a mention that you could do the same inside Google’s chat app, Allo, earlier but Assistant now available without that convolution, as a standalone app. The ability to type and interact means you can use the Assistant on the train, or in a meeting, without feeling like a dork.

At launch, the Assistant is capable of a lot. Apart from the functionality listed above, it can initiate calls, provide answers or translations, play games, fetch sports scores, set timers, look up stock prices, places nearby, or the definition of any word; get flight status, your next meeting, food nutrition, or the news; and remember little nuggets of information (such as your bike lock). A lot of that is made possible by Google’s Knowledge Graph or linking into other Google apps: Calendar, Gmail, News, and so forth. It doesn’t support all of Google’s apps though, as you can’t use Inbox for emails, or Play Music for listening to music on iOS.

google assistant siri iphone Google Assistant Siri iPhone

You can even set up shortcuts in the app settings, which helps you cut down on repeating long phrases over and over to achieve the same thing. As an example, if you love watching videos of Corgi dogs on YouTube as a pick-me-up, you can set up a shortcut phrase, say, “Cheer me up”, which will then trigger the Assistant follow the much longer and complex command – “Show me Corgi videos on YouTube”.

But at the same time, owing to Apple’s baked-in restrictions, there’s a lot it can also not do. For one, it can’t talk to other apps like Siri can. That means it can’t call an Uber, or send a message through WhatsApp. It’s also not allowed to talk directly to any system apps and services, so you won’t be able to make handsfree calls, or toggle the Bluetooth setting.

The Google Assistant also steps into puddles of its own making on iOS. Every now and then, it tends to suggest features it can’t actually do – like “Start watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix on the TV” or “Play workout music on Google Play Music” – probably because of its roots in the Google ecosystem, but this is something that needs to be fixed, as it’s needlessly confusing for inexperienced users.

The first time we asked the Assistant to play music, it suggested “Listen to Imagine on Spotify” in the line below. But upon selecting it, it ruefully reminded us that it couldn’t do that. Another time, after singing a short song (yep, it can sing), one of the suggestions read “Tell me a poem”. Again, the function completely failed, and it instead looked up “Song Poem” on Apple Music. And though you can play anything on YouTube, much like on Android, Assistant for iOS still hasn’t been integrated with Google’s Chromecast hardware, so you can’t ask it to play stuff on your TV, like you can with Google Home.

IMG 2143 Google Assistant iPhone

Of course it’s not as simple to bring up Google Assistant as holding down the home button for Siri. Google’s way around that has to been craft a widget that you can quickly get to in iOS 10’s new widget panel. If you’ve place it at the top, you can get it by swiping right from the lock screen, from the left of home screen, or by pulling down the notification drawer and swiping right. But it’s still nowhere as convenient as the single press of a button. Even more so if you have security (passcode/ Touch ID) turned on, as pressing the widget’s button on the lock screen prompts you to unlock the phone.

What’s worse, for now, Google Assistant is only available via the US App Store (and in turn, only in US English), so its availability is limited at best. And thanks to the single language support – the Google Assistant is available in English (India) on Android – the iOS counterpart isn’t obviously as good with picking up Indian names.

But there are ways the Assistant is also better on iPhone than Android, surprisingly. You can listen to the news on iOS, and even customise your preferred news sources in the settings. If you ask the Assistant to “listen to the news” on Android, it starts searching for music called “the news” on Play Music, funnily enough.

For what it’s worth, it’s a kink waiting to be resolved, and the Assistant will always be more helpful on Android, thanks to the deeper integration. And for as long as Siri gets priority override on the iPhone, Google Assistant can hang around on Apple’s turf, but this will never be its true home.