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This Week's Chitter Chatter - iPhone 7, iOS 9 and Google Play Music
Let's start this week with the speculation that Apple are working on a big redesign of the iPhone 7. It's thought that it could be a while until the iPhone 7 is launched, may be sometime in 2017, and the new design would significantly alter the way it is currently used. The main feature of the big change is expected to be the scrapping of the home button key. This is likely to be replaced by a virtual version of a home button which will allow for more room for the new iPhone's display. This has implications for relocating the Touch ID fingerprint scanner which is currently embedded in the home button. We'll have to wait a bit to see if Apple overcome the technical challenges involved - the earliest we'll be seeing the iPhone 7 is 2016.
While we're on the subject of the iPhone, a few more significant features of the new iOS 9 Apple operating system have emerged recently. These include the option to delete apps on a temporary basis if you don't have enough space to install new system updates. If you have an iPhone with a smaller memory such as an 8 or 16GB smartphone, it can be a bit of a juggling act to squeeze new upgrades into any remaining storage. The good news is that thanks to Apple making the size of the iOS9 system update a lot smaller than the iOS8 upgrade (1.3GB compared to 4.3GB), together with this new function, you can fit everything in. As soon as the iOS9 update has been installed, the apps which were temporarily deleted will be automatically reinstalled so you don't lose anything.
Another great new addition for iOS 9 will be a new multi tasking feature for iPad users. There will be three options to multi task which are Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture. Slide Over enables you to open a second window by sliding your finger across the screen right to left. The window in the background will pause so you can send or read a new email whilst keeping the app open in the background. For the iPad 2, if you pull the window on Slide Over more to the left, you will get a Split View where you can have 2 apps running and in use simultaneously using half a screen side by side. The Picture in Picture aspect of multi tasking means that you can open up a video window to FaceTime or watch a movie whilst also using another app on your iPad.
And finally, with the launch of Apple Music imminently, Google have surprised everyone by launching a new version of their Play Music streaming service which will be free. Previously Google Play Music only offered a subscription service with a monthly fee for unlimited music streaming but the free version will offer a more limited selection of playlists and like Spotify it will feature adverts. Apple Music is set to launch next week with a free three-month trial period and with a monthly fee of £9.99 thereafter. The free version of Google Play Music is already available online in the USA and will be ready for Android and iOS very soon.