The Action Button is one of the most exciting new features to appear on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. It’s an easy way to toggle between silence and ring modes by default, but you can also customize the Action Button to handle several different actions. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t let you select multiple actions by default, so here’s what you need to do if you want to control several actions from the Action Button.
For whatever reason, Apple has made it impossible to set multiple actions to the Action Button simultaneously. However, you can achieve a similar outcome using iOS's Shortcuts feature. The process is pretty painless, so long as you know what you’re doing. Below, you'll find details on how to customize the Action Button to offer multiple actions.
While you can customize your Shortcuts to open any number of apps, we’ll focus solely on adding the Silence Ringer and Flashlight, as well as opening an app, to a menu that you can access from anywhere with the Action Button.
First, open Shortcuts on your iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max, then click the + sign at the top. Next, type “menu” in the search bar at the bottom and find the Choose from Menu option that pops up. This should generate an empty menu list with some pre-selected labels.
Name the Prompt at the top as Action Menu (or whatever name you think fits best), and then you will need to customize the Actions you want to have available on the menu. First, let’s change the One and Two text to read something like Silence and Flashlight. Each of these text areas signifies one button on your menu. Now, add a third item and name it Notes. We’ll use this to set up the Open app shortcut in a moment.
Now that you have the basis of your menu, it’s time to actually add in the shortcuts you need and fully customize your Action Button's new menu. Using the search bar at the bottom, find the Set Silent Mode and the Set Flashlight option. You’ll also want to go ahead and search for "open app" and select the Open App scripting option.
Now head back to the main list, and you should see the shortcuts you’ve just selected in the menu options, though they’ll most likely be underneath the End Menu section. Go ahead and drag them under their respective text labels, and then change the Flashlight and Silent mode scripting to toggle where it says Turn in the blueish test.
You’ll also need to set Notes as the app you want to open in the Open App script by tapping on the blue text there, too. Once you’ve done that, ensure that each item is underneath the label where you want it, and then save the menu by selecting Done at the top of the page.
To actually customize the Action Button, go into Settings > ActionButton and then swipe over to Shortcut and select the menu you just made from the options that appear here. From now on, you’ll be able to hold down the Action Button to bring up this menu, allowing you to select from multiple options with just one button press.
Sure, it isn’t as handy as if Apple actually allowed you to customize the Action Button with multiple actions by default, but it’s definitely a handy way to bring your most-used actions together in one place.
A drama about teenagers and sex, a docuseries about murder in a small town, and a live-action adaptation of a wildly successful Japanese anime. What do they all have in common? They’re among the biggest Netflix shows in the world right now, based on the latest data from the streamer’s regularly updated global Top 10 chart, dominated this week by the fourth and final season of Sex Education Season 4 (a Top 10 show in dozens of countries at the moment).
As for the rest of the hottest Netflix shows in the world this week, One Piece is still holding strong, while a second season of the very dark true-crime docuseries Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal makes its Netflix global Top 10 debut this week in the #2 spot on the chart.
Next, let's take a closer look at the top two series dominating the streaming platform this week -- both Sex Education and the Murdaugh Murders docuseries, the latter of which is currently on the Netflix Top 10 in 34 countries.
#1: Sex Education Season 4
First up, the #1 Netflix series in the world this week was voted one of the most anticipated seasons of TV for the month of September by Rotten Tomatoes users. The arrival this month of the fourth and final season of Sex Education also brings to a close a fan-favorite Netflix series that took a humorous and unique approach to telling stories about first crushes, growing up, coming-of-age romances, and so much more.
“We wanted to make a show that would answer some of the questions we all used to have about love, sex, friendship, and our bodies,” Laurie Nunn, the creator, lead writer, and executive producer of Sex Education, wrote in an open letter to fans ahead of the final season. “Something that would have helped our inner teenagers feel a little less alone.
‘It’s been overwhelming seeing how the show has connected with people around the world, and we hope it’s made some of you feel a little less alone, too.”
The residents of Moordale certainly go out on a high over the course of the show’s final eight episodes, which greet viewers with love and laughter, tears, friendship, and the joy associated with both new and old relationships. Heads up, though, if you’re a Sex Education devotee: Even though the final season is a Top 10 Netflix series in 91 countries, it's also resulted in one of the biggest spreads I’ve seen this year between viewers and critics. Just look at these Rotten Tomatoes scores:
It’s understandable, I suppose, when an extremely beloved show has to somehow bring everything to a close, that the fans who’ve loved it the most are the ones who, in all probability, will also end up being the ones feeling most let down or cheated by the end.
As for this next series on this week's Netflix Top 10 list, it’s a new season of the true-crime series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which debuted earlier this year.
Season 1 of the series details how, since 2014, a tight-knit South Carolina community “has been living in the wake of a series of violent, deadly crimes -- all of which seem to involve one family … Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal shows how the prominent Murdaugh family purportedly used and abused their wealth and privilege to the extreme, and which family member is allegedly behind it all.”
A quick summary of events at the center of this story: Back in the summer of 2015, 19-year-old Stephen Smith was found dead in the middle of a rural South Carolina highway. Police labeled it a hit-and-run. Almost a decade later, though, a new investigation decided otherwise.
Over the course of six years, the Murdaugh family dynasty in South Carolina’s Lowcountry starts to unravel, when a series of events connects them to the deaths of five people -- Mallory Beach (a friend of well-connected lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s youngest son), Stephen Smith (a friend of Alex’s oldest son), Gloria Satterfield (Alex’s housekeeper), Paul Murdaugh (Alex’s youngest son), and Maggie Murdaugh (Alex’s wife).
“Three years after the concluding events in Season 1, family patriarch and Hampton, South Carolina, attorney Alex Murdaugh stood trial for the double murder of his wife, Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, who were shot and killed on the family’s hunting property on June 7, 2021,” Netflix explains.
“In Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal Season 2, the events leading to the trial and the jury’s eventual decision are explored in depth, bringing new light to the case and revealing shocking information about what might have happened the night of Maggie and Paul’s murders.”
The writers inked a new deal with the producers, and now Hollywood can finally get back to work. That is, as long as the actors reach a new agreement soon as well. The end of the WGA strike prompted plenty of commentary in recent days, and now the first new scoops are popping up. For example, The Office might get a reboot, with Greg Daniels helming the project.
Separately, a Marvel insider has discussed what the end of the strike means for MCU movies like the upcoming Deadpool 3. Grace Randolph said the movie is so good that Marvel could choose any release date, and it would still top $1 billion at the box office. Moreover, she offered a two-word teaser for the film's plot, which aligns perfectly with other rumors.
Before I tell you what those words are, you should know that spoilers might follow.
The iPhone 15 Pro represents a relatively large improvement for the iPhone. It gets the all-new Action Button that replaces the old-style ringer switch, a huge processor improvement, and a new titanium body that makes it stronger and lighter. But the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus get...none of that. They're stuck with an aluminum body, a ringer switch, and last year's Pro processor.
But that's not the full story. The devices may not get as many new features as the Pro, but they do get some steady improvements that make them better than ever. They certainly don't reinvent the wheel, but they do refine the overall experience of using the iPhone in more ways than one.
If you have an iPhone 14, don't even think about upgrading. But anything older than that, and the iPhone 15 makes a compelling case for an upgrade.
The changes to the iPhone for the 15th generation start with the design, but the design tweaks to the iPhone 15 compared to the 14 are a little more subtle than the 15 Pro compared to the 14 Pro.
For starters, the standard iPhone 15 finally gets the Dynamic Island that was previously only reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro models. The Dynamic Island, I've found, is actually a genuinely helpful feature -- and I use it all the time for media controls, tracking timer and Uber progress, and more.
Perhaps a bigger deal is the change to the bottom of the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone now finally has a USB-C port. That means that you can use the same cables that you use for your other USB-C-equipped devices to charge your iPhone. Unfortunately, you'll still need Lightning for the AirPods Max, which, along with Mac accessories like the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, are still sold with USB-C. I'm expecting that to change in the near future, though.
On the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the USB-C port is limited to 2.0 speeds. Now, I don't think most will use the port for file transfer anyway, but if you do plan on doing so, you'll have to deal with slow speeds unless you upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro, which offers USB 3.0 speeds.
The iPhone 15 has more rounded edges along the sides. Yes, this is a very subtle change -- but it actually does feel a little softer and nicer to hold, especially considering the fact that the edges did feel a little sharp in the past.
Last but not least are the colors, and the iPhone 15 is available in a range of them. You'll be able to buy the device in black, blue, green, yellow, and pink, and they all look great. I'm reviewing the Pink model. Apple says that the back of the phone is now made with "color-infused glass," but however it was made, the colors are nice. Notably, the iPhone doesn't have a glossy Apple logo on the back anymore -- it has one that matches the color of the device.
The iPhone 15 doesn't radically change things in terms of design, but it does indeed look and feel great.
iPhone 15 display
The display has changed in that it now has the Dynamic Island instead of a notch, but apart from that, for the most part, it's still the same as last year. It still has a 1176 x 2556 resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate, and it's still an OLED screen. I do hope Apple increases the refresh rate on the iPhone to match the Pro models soon.
What has changed is that the screen on the iPhone 15 is a little brighter than it was on the iPhone 14. It isn't radically brighter, but you can tell the difference between the two when you place them side by side -- and if you use the device in a bright environment or in direct sunlight, it'll be easier to see the display.
iPhone 15 performance
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max get Apple's new A17 Pro chip that enables console-quality gaming on an iPhone -- but unfortunately, that won't come to the standard iPhone for at least another year. The iPhone 15 instead offers the Apple A16 Bionic, the flagship chip from last year, and the one used in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Thankfully, the A16 Bionic was already a great chip. In fact, it still performs better than the vast majority of other smartphone chips out there -- and it's really only second to the Apple A17 Pro chip. You'll still find that it performs excellently in day-to-day use, is able to handle heavy multitasking, loads games quickly, and so on. Perhaps the only thing it seemingly can't do is load the console-quality video games that Apple touted at its most recent event -- so if you plan on leveraging those games when they do finally come out, you may want to buy a Pro model or wait and see if Apple allows them to play on other devices at lower settings, for example.
Benchmark results confirm the excellent performance. Here's a quick look at the device's results compared to some other recent phones:
As you can see, the iPhone 15 beats even the best Android phones out there right now when it comes to performance. It certainly doesn't reach the heights of the iPhone 15 Pro devices, however.
iPhone 15 battery and charging
The biggest change to the battery on the iPhone is how you actually charge it. Not only does the iPhone 15 support Apple's MagSafe and Qi wireless charging, but it also charges through the USB-C port on the bottom. I've found this to be hugely convenient. I review all kinds of USB-C-equipped devices, and being able to charge them all with the same cable is a big advantage. I am looking forward to the time when Apple's Mac accessories and the AirPods Max get the new connector, though -- it would put the final nail in the coffin of Lightning.
Other than that, the battery life on the iPhone 15 is about as good as on the iPhone 14. That's to say, it's fine, but not amazing. It'll get you through a day of moderate use, but not much more. If you currently charge your phone at night, you'll keep doing so with the iPhone 15.
iPhone 15 camera
The camera gets a bit of an upgrade on the iPhone 15, too. The iPhone 15 still has a dual camera array, like previous generation devices. New for the iPhone 15, however, is that the main camera is upgraded from 12 megapixels to 48 megapixels. Not only that, but Apple has upgraded the output of images from 12 megapixels to 24 megapixels, which should allow them to look more crisp on high resolutions screens, or in large prints, if that's something that you ever use your photos for.
Apple uses this for more than just higher resolution photos. The phone now has a 2x zoom mode that essentially crops the main sensor, producing images that are zoomed to 2x without a loss in image quality. Sure, the lens doesn't actually physically zoom, and there's no zoom lens on the back, but the results are the same -- a tighter framing of the image overall. It's a neat trick, and the images produced through this mode look great.
Almost all photos taken with the iPhone 15 look great. The iPhone has long offered among the most consistent phone cameras, and that remains true here. In well-lit environments, images are vibrant and detailed, anywhere up to 3x zoom, which does introduce some digital zoom. Even images zoomed further than that, while slightly degraded, still don't look bad. And the phone can capture pretty good low-light shots, too.
You can push the iPhone 15 camera to its limits and create situations where images won't be great. At extreme zoom levels, you'll get a pretty poor image, and if you combine digital zoom with low light, don't expect much. But in 95% of situations, the iPhone 15's camera looks great.
The iPhone 15 may not represent a massive shift in iPhone development, but it does improve on many aspects of using the phone. The camera is better, the screen is brighter, the phone is more comfortable to hold, and it can finally charge through USB-C.
Even when summed, it's probably not worth upgrading from an iPhone 14 -- but if you have an older device, you'll get some solid improvements in the iPhone 15.
Let's be honest -- most users aren't switching operating systems these days. If you are considering switching, it's worth noting that the iPhone 15 performs better than any Android phone out there right now. However, while the camera is great, it lacks a telephoto lens, which many similarly priced Android phones have. You should stick with the operating system that you find to be more helpful for your needs.
You may also be considering the iPhone 15, or the iPhone 15 Plus or 15 Pro. The iPhone 15 Plus is more or less the same as the iPhone 15 but...bigger. So, if you want a bit of extra screen, the 15 Plus is worth buying. Even more worth buying is the iPhone 15 Pro, though -- it has a better processor, telephoto camera, the new Action Button, USB 3.0 speeds, and more. These are some serious upgrades, and if you can stretch your budget, it may be worth doing so.
If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you also have access to the Prime Video streaming service. If you have Prime Video, there are a ton of great original shows and movies worth checking out. New on Prime Video in October is Upload season 3, Totally Killer starring Kiernan Shipka, a documentary about The Wiggles, and Godzilla vs. Kong.
“I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.” So begins Edgar Allan Poe's creepy, Gothic short story The Fall of the House of Usher from 1839, which is both something of a deep cut from the horror master as well as the title of Mike Flanagan's highly anticipated new Netflix series set to premiere on Oct. 12. Think of it as Succession meets a gory blast of horror, and you'll have a good idea what to expect from this Poe-inspired extension of the streamer's so-called "Flanaverse."
It's not just that The Fall of the House of Usher is a modern adaptation of Poe's short story of the same name, which is about a man who travels to the house of a friend after that friend complains of an illness and asks for help. Each episode of this Netflix series is also named after either a Poe short story or poem from him (like, for example, the first and last episodes, which have reportedly been titled A Midnight Dreary and The Raven, respectively).
Without spoiling too much of the story and twists that await viewers, this series' cast includes Bruce Greenwood portraying Roderick Usher. Here, he's the CEO of a corrupt Pharma giant, and he must come to terms with his shady past after his children start to die in mysterious and brutal circumstances.
“It’s batshit crazy in the best possible way,” cast member Carla Gugino, who plays a demonic shape-shifter, said in a Netflix promotional interview about the series. “It has quite a lot of very dark humor, but also really touches the soul.”
She continues: “There is a fantastical supernatural element to the story, and she is the manifestation of that ... You could say she’s the executor of fate or the executor of karma."
If you need any more reasons to put Flanagan's latest Netflix series on your watchlist, critics are already calling The Fall of the House of Usher a near-perfect series and raving that it's a must-watch. It's got a 97% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, which also makes it the best-reviewed of all of Flanagan's previous Netflix series, which include:
Apple previously released iOS 17.0.2 for iPhone 15 devices. But now the tech company is making the latest iOS update available for all applicable iPhones, including the older iPhone SE 2nd generation or later and the iPhone XR and XS. The tech giant has also released the latest version of watchOS, version 10.0.2, for Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 devices.
The latest updates for Apple devices provide several bug fixes and important security updates. In fact, it was previously recommended that users picking up the iPhone 15 update to iOS 17.0.2 before moving over their data, as a terrible bug was introduced in previous versions of the operating system that could brick the iPhone.
Along with the release of iOS 17.0.2 and watchOS 10.0.2, Apple has also released iPadOS 17.0.2, which also fixed a similar issue with transferring data from one iPad to another. Seeing these issues resolved quickly is very important. Now that Apple has released the update to all applicable devices, you should be able to download it from the Update Software section within your phone’s settings.
It’s been just five days since the release of the previous iteration, iOS 17.0.1, which introduced its own bug fixes and security changes. It isn’t unusual for us to see additional updates to major OS releases like iOS 17, which offers several new and revamped features for iPhone users to take advantage of.
While watchOS 10.0.2 is only available on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 at the moment, the update will likely appear on other supported Apple Watches in the coming days, so keep an eye on your Update notifications so you can download it when it becomes available.
When people ask if I use Google Search, I always respond, "We're an Ecosia family." I'm not sure that Apple VP Eddy Cue even knows that Ecosia exists, though.
Today, Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Services, took the stand to testify in US v. Google, the antitrust suit that claims Google holds a monopoly with its search business. Cue was summoned as a witness in the case and to specifically talk about Apple's longstanding deal with Google to make its search engine the default on Apple's products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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German energy giant RWE has put a new airborne wind test facility in Ireland to work for the first time, as it explores alternative forms of green electricity. The experimental technology was developed by Dutch startup Kitepower. It connects a large kite to a generator with an ultra-strong rope, generating electricity as the kite goes up in altitude. “Kitepower, as the name suggests, uses a large kite structure with a hybrid inflatable and fixed fibreglass skeleton to hold the kite open. It has a wingspan of 60 square metres and weighs only 80kg, including the Kite Control and sensor unit,”…
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The world’s first self-stabilising walking exoskeleton, Atlante X, has entered a rehabilitation trial in Germany. The exoskeleton will be provided to patients with hemiparesis, an after-effect of stroke that causes muscle weakness on one side of the body. Atalante X’s efficacy will be compared with standard rehabilitation methods. The trial, named EarlyExo, will take place at two renowned neurorehabilitation clinics: the Vivantes Klinikum Spandau in Berlin and Schön Klinik Bad Aibling Harthausen near Munich. Both clinics will this month begin recruiting a total of 66 patients. “Recovery from a stroke and other acute neurological conditions is complex and can take…
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