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Ready for SharePlay on your iPhone? Talking Tech podcast

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usatoday– Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Hey there listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome to Talking Tech. My co-host Mike Snider is off today. Yesterday, you heard us talk about the option to add your COVID cards to your Apple Wallet. This was part of an update to iOS 15 Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone. Along with that, we also got an update to a feature called SharePlay, which is available on FaceTime. And what it does is anytime you are on a FaceTime call, you have the option to watch movies, watch TV shows, or do other activities all while still participating in this FaceTime call. I write about this on techusatoday.com. Apple introduced a few other partners that are going to be involved with SharePlay, TikTok, Disney+, and the NBA. I got a chance to demo some of this recently and just get a sense for how it’s going to work and how you use SharePlay.

It’s a really fun feature and I think it’s great if you’re looking for new ways to connect with your friends or family who are far away, and you want to do it on a video call and you want to do something a little more fun. So here’s how it works. When you pull up a FaceTime call, you’ll see this button that appears on the top right. Basically, the way it works is you tap on the screen and then you’ll kind of see a little menu of options pop up. There’s something on the top right and that allows you to share your screen. And that’s part of how SharePlay works. So you could tap into that and then whoever’s on the call will be able to see your screen and they’ll be able to see things like if you pull up photos, if you pull up something else, like say you want to show someone how to do something on the app, or you just want to show someone a quick photo while you’re on a call, you can just screen share right there.

So also while you’re on these video calls, you can do other things too. One of the demonstrations I saw was through Disney+ where you pull up the Disney+ app while you’re on a call, you decide you want to SharePlay while you’re watching a movie, you hit a button. Other callers on there will get a prompt that alerts them that someone wants to invite you to a SharePlay session. You’ll click on that to join a SharePlay and then you start the movie together. It works with up to 32 people. So you can have a lot of people at once all on this FaceTime call, all watching the same movie together. Anyone can pause the movie at any point if they need to stop and do something. If there’s like a fun part in the movie they want to fast forward to or they want to rewind back to something that was worth checking out, you can do that as well.

The other cool feature there too is say someone starts talking in the middle of the movie, the volume from that movie will automatically lower. And then once that person stops talking, the volume returns back to normal again. So, really cool. It also works on the NBA app as well. If the participants on the call all have NBA League Pass, which is the separate subscription that fans use to be able to watch any NBA game they want, they can sit within a FaceTime call and watch a game together. It also works on TikTok where users can hop in, share their feeds. If they see something funny, they can share it on the call and all watch it together. And there was a fun point too where you can actually scroll through a TikTok and … a TikTok feed rather and see everything that’s on there together as a group. It’s a lot of fun. The other cool part of this too is you can also stay in that SharePlay session and use picture-in-picture.

So say you wanted to look something up on a browser while you’re involved in a movie or a game or something like that, you can minimize the window on your SharePlay session. So at the top quarter of your phone, you might see whatever videos on, you might have that, you might see the icons for the FaceTime call. So you’re still in this call and then you can go back to your phone and look something up. So say I’m watching a Lakers game and I’m just curious about who’s leading the NBA in scoring, I could drop that NBA game within SharePlay into the top quarter of my phone and then pop on my browser and look up what I need to look up. It’s really fun. It’s really useful. For the Disney+ and NBA experiences, you have to have subscriptions. So as I mentioned, you have to have League Pass. For Disney+, everyone involved has to have Disney+ in order for this to work. The TikTok and NBA experiences through SharePlay are available now. Disney is going to launch their experience later this year.

There are also several apps available in the app store beyond that, that have SharePlay too. Redfin is one example. Say you’re looking at a home listing, you’re talking with someone. You can both look at that home listing together. There’s other stuff like Apple TV+, the Apple fitness app, Showtime, the streaming app. You can watch movies and TV shows there as well, and CARROT Weather where you can share forecasts with other people while you’re on a FaceTime call. Really fun feature. Looking forward to using more of this in the future.

Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @BrettMolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. And don’t forget, we have a newsletter as well that you can subscribe to, the Talking Tech newsletter. You can visit us there at newsletters.usatoday.com and subscribe right away. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

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BLACKBERRY PHONES TO STOP WORKING AS COMPANY FINALLY PULLS PLUG

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independent– BlackBerry phones, once the height of mobile devices, are finally being shut off.

The company announced that services for the older devices will be brought to an end on 4 January. At that point, they will “no longer reliably function”, BlackBerry said, and will be unable to get data, texts or make phone calls, including to emergency numbers.

It is just the latest in a series of endings for the once equally beloved and hated name, which helped drive the mobile revolution and was at the forefront of business and technology. While the BlackBerry has been declared dead a number of times before, the latest move means that the phones themselves will actually stop working.

In 2016, after its phones had been replaced largely by smartphones from Apple and others, BlackBerry announced that it had transitioned away from phones and into making software and that it would focus on providing security tools to companies and governments. It has sold the BlackBerry brand to other companies, who have created devices bearing the name.

In 2020, BlackBerry said that with that move complete, it would start taking offline the legacy services that allowed those old devices to keep working. Phones that run any of BlackBerry’s own operating systems – BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software – were given an “end of life or termination date” at the start of 2022.

Next week, that date will finally arrive and support will end. While the phones will still be able to perform some of their functions without BlackBerry’s services, many of their central features will be removed, and the phones will not work reliably.

BlackBerry said the support was being removed in recognition of the fact that it now works in security software and that the old products did not reflect its business. It had prolonged support in the years since that transition “as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers”, it said.

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70 Jupiter-sized ‘rogue planets’ discovered in our galaxy

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independent– A team of astronomers discovered at least 70 ‘rogue’ planets in our galaxy, the largest collection ever found to date.

While conventional planets (like those in our Solar System) orbit a star, rogue planets roam freely without travelling around a nearby star.

“We did not know how many to expect and are excited to have found so many,” said Núria Miret-Roig, an astronomer at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux.

­It would usually be impossible to detect rogue planets because they are hard to spot far from a star’s light. One key fact of their existence made them visible: these planets still give off enough heat to glow millions of years after their creation, making them visible to powerful telescopes.

This heat allowed the 70 planets – each with masses close to that of Jupiter – to be discovered in the Scorpius and Ophiuchus constellations.

“We measured the tiny motions, the colours and luminosities of tens of millions of sources in a large area of the sky,” explained Ms Miret-Roig. “These measurements allowed us to securely identify the faintest objects in this region, the rogue planets.”

The astronomers’ study suggests there could be many more elusive, starless planets yet to be discovered, numbering in the billions in the Milky Way alone.

By studying these planets, astronomers believe they could unlock clues as to how the mysterious objects come to be. It is hypothesised they are generated from the collapse of gas clouds too small to create stars, but they could also have been ejected from a parent system.

“These objects are extremely faint and little can be done to study them with current facilities,” says Hervé Bouy, another astronomer at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique. “The ELT [Extremely Large Telescope, currently being built in Chile] will be absolutely crucial to gathering more information about most of the rogue planets we have found.”

The exact number of rogue planets discovered is vague, because the observations made by the researchers do not allow them to measure the mass of the objects. Bodies with a mass 13 times greater than that of Jupiter are unlikely to be planets, but relying on brightness makes this figure unclear.

The brightness of these objects is also related to age, as the older the planet is the dimmer it will be. The brightest objects in the sample could have a mass greater than the upper limit but be older and therefore dimmer. Researchers estimate there could be as many as 100 more planets yet to be discovered because of this uncertainty.

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Sign up to The Independent’s free cryptocurrency expert panel event

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independent– The price of cryptocurrency is seemingly in constant flux which causes a gauntlet for investors to run week to week and day to day.

Bitcoin remains in limbo following last week’s flash crash, which some analysts mistook for the start of a bear market that would see its price continue to tumble in the short term.

None of this is new with cryptocurrency making headlines for years, but its unpredictable nature and complex myriad of currencies means for many it is an area too daunting to delve into.

For those who have taken the plunge and invested there have been those who have become millionaires and even billionaires as a result, while there are those who have also lost a considerable amount as the price proves to be a constant rollercoaster for investors.

To decipher exactly how cryptocurrency works, how to invest and what the future looks like for the likes of bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA),The Independent is hosting an expert panel to explore the ins and outs of digital money.

The virtual event, which is free to attend, will be hosted by our own crypto expert, tech writer Anthony Cuthbertson and he will be joined by digital currency leaders who will be able to give their first-hand account of trading in the online market.

One of the panellists is none other than Fred Schebesta, a co-founder of financial comparison website Finder, self-made entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $214million.

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