Technological World for September 15, consumer tech: iPhone 13, iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7, how to display your vaccine status on your smartphone

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This week, new iPads, iPhones, and a new Apple Watch. Plus, how you can make it easy to display your vaccine status on your smartphone.

iPhone 13, upgraded iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 get unveiled by Apple

Yesterday (September 14, 2021) was the latest product briefing from Apple, and while the new models of iPhone 13 may be incrementally better than earlier iPhones, there were some interesting innovations revealed during the event.

The new iPhones are all getting the newest A15 Bionic chip, which brings improvements to speed and battery life, and the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini base models get double the storage capacity as well as the optical image stablization that was exclusive to the Pro models in the iPhone 12 era.

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max get a new 1 TB storage option as well as a Super Retina XDR ProMotion display, which automatically adjust the frame rate of the image depending on what you’re doing on the handset. The premium iPhones also get serious improvements to video capabilities with Cinematic mode and ProRes video. The former delivers an automatic focus and the ability to change the focus of the video after it’s been shot. The latter, meanwhile, is an advanced video codec used in the professional video arena.

The standard 10.2-inch iPad is also getting updated with features like Center Stage that used to be exclusive to the iPad Pro series.

But iPad mini gets more of an upgrade, with a larger screen in the same size device, a 5G connection, and the A15 Bionic chip. The iPad mini also gets a USB-C port, like the iPad Pro and iPad Air, which foreshadows the continuing shift by Apple away from Lightning with the rest of its portables.

The new Apple Watch, we’re at Series 7 now, gets a larger display that enables a full keyboard and larger on-screen buttons. It also fully supports cycling activity tracking, too. Including fall detection for those of us who live on the North Shore and only know how to ride a mountain bike downhill.

And Apple continues to enhance its subscription offerings with new additions to Fitness+, including pilates, guided meditation, and “workouts to get ready for snow season”. You can also take part in group workouts with up to 31 friends using Fitness+ and Facetime.

Create a shortcut to make accessing your vaccine status easier on your iPhone

For those of us who will be willingly sharing our vaccination status for the privilege of participating in certain extra-curricular activities, there’s a way you can make it easy to pull up that QR code on your handset no matter whether you’re on Android or iOS.

But you should not use the image as your wallpaper, because there is information encoded in the image that is easy to decipher. These QR codes are not encrypted.

Instead, on your iPhone, follow the steps provided by technical writer Kimli, who uses the iOS Shortcuts software to make displaying your code a one-tap task.

Cybersecurity engineer Kevin has the details for Android users.

For businesses that need to verify vaccination status, the province has developed an iOS app, BC Vaccine Card Verifier that allows an iOS device to be used to scan and verify the QR codes.


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