This week: iPhone 15 testing, iOS 17 review, Fitbit Charge 6 and more

Looking ahead: Next week brings new Pixel hardware from Google.

This week: iPhone 15 testing, iOS 17 review, Fitbit Charge 6 and more

I started testing most of the iPhone 15 lineup this week, using the 15 Pro Max as my main phone for now. We went to the zoo over the weekend where I got a chance to test out the new camera, and I had a ton of fun using its 5x optical and even 25x digital zoom. The above picture was taken at 25x zoom, and I laugh at it every time I see it in my camera roll.

On a more serious note, you can now adjust the focal point for portrait photos after the fact. That may not sound all that impressive, but look at the GIF below and watch as the yellow focus box changes between both subjects.

I took that photo after tapping on the giraffe’s face, putting it in focus. At the very last second, my son turned around to look at me. Normally, I’d be stuck with a photo where he’s out of focus and the giraffe isn’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in this situation, but because I can now edit the photo and change the focal point, the entire photo changes. Good stuff, Apple.

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Stories I had published this week

It’s been a busy week, and it doesn’t really look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. I liked the summaries with links last week, and no one emailed me to tell me they didn’t, so I’m sticking with it. Here’s what I had published across the web this week:

  • If you read last week’s letter, you already know Apple released iOS 17, bringing plenty of new features to the iPhone. I reviewed iOS 17, highlighting some of my favorite features, for CNN Underscored. Read the review here.
  • This week, Apple released MacOS Sonoma, a hefty update for its Mac lineup. CNN Underscored was kind enough to let me review Sonoma, distilling the big changes and what you can expect once you update your Mac. You can read the full review here.
  • Fitbit’s most popular tracker received a pretty big update this week. The Charge 6 now has some of the Pixel Watch’s heart rate features, including Google Maps and Wallet. Read my full breakdown for CNN Underscored here. (You can preorder the Charge 6 here.)
  • I’d never used any sort of fancy lights on the back of my TV to mirror the colors on my screen, creating a more immersive viewing experience. Then I tested the Nanoleaf 4D TV Lightstrip for SI Showcase, and now I’m hooked. Read my full review to find out why. (You can order the Nanoleaf 4D TV Lightstrip from Amazon.)
  • Amazon announced Panos Panay, longtime head of hardware and Windows at Microsoft, is taking over Amazon’s device and services team. This is truly exciting news, and I had the chance to write about the hire and what it means for Amazon’s lackluster hardware going forward at Pocket-lint. You can read that piece here.
  • Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max can record video directly to an external storage device, bypassing the phone’s internal storage. Right now, it’s only available for Apple’s ProRes video format, but I’m hoping Apple opens it up to all video formats in the future. If you’re interested in learning how to use it, you can read about it on Pocket-lint here.
  • If you’re debating between upgrading to an iPhone 14 or an iPhone 15, you’re in luck! I compared both phones, breaking down the similarities and differences in an effort to help you decide. Read the breakdown on Pocket-lint here.

Next week: Google’s Pixel event

Next Wednesday, Oct. 4, I’ll be in New York to cover the Made by Google event where we’re likely to see Google announce the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel Watch 2. There have been plenty of leaks (per the norm for Google) about the devices. Pixel phones have been my go-to Android device for years now, and I’m hoping that the Pixel 8 Pro continues that tradition. Hopefully, Google has a surprise announcement or two for us as well. You can watch a live stream of the event here.

Other tidbits from this week

  • I’m very interested in what’s going to happen with the upcoming Tesla Autopilot trials. The company is facing several lawsuits, each one alleging in some form that Autopilot (Tesla’s driver assistance feature) contributed to an accident and resulted in death. I use Tesla’s Full Self Driving feature for about 95% of my personal driving. I’m well aware of just how good and bad it can be. What changes, if any, will come out of Tesla losing one or many of these lawsuits is what I’m waiting to see.
  • Meta announced the Oculus Quest 3, its newest VR headset. It’s available to preorder now, starting at $500 for the 128GB model or $649 for the 512GB version. Launches Oct 10.
  • Every household can once again order free COVID tests from the government. I ordered mine on Monday morning and they’re already here. You can order yours here.
  • Apple released iOS 17.0.1 and iOS 17.0.2 over the last week, fixing bugs primarily related to transferring your data from your old iPhone to the iPhone 15. I recommend updating, even if you aren’t getting a new iPhone anytime soon.

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